Choosing your Bridal Bouquet

A bridal bouquet, more than any other type of flower arrangement, is chock-full of lore and symbolism. The bouquet itself must be beautiful, to highlight the beauty of the bride, and meaningful, as it is such a special day. The flowers themselves are a symbol of fertility and femininity, fragile petals held together by a strong stem, blossoming and blooming, much like the blushing bride. It’s a good idea to understand a bit about flower meanings when you are choosing your bridal bouquet or any of your wedding flower arrangements.

While white is traditional, to carry only white flowers down the aisle foretells bad luck for the superstitious. White flowers are traditional for funeral arrangements, and so the bouquet must be mixed with another color.

Adding another color also pleases the eye aesthetically, as pure white flowers would blend in with the traditional wedding gown. Adding another color, for luck, also makes the flowers stand out in stark contrast to the gown, and highlights the beauty of the bride.

Traditionally, herbs or edible flowers are often placed within the bridal bouquet as well. Marigolds, an edible flower known to symbolize constancy and endurance are often included in a bridal bouquet as are roses because they symbolize eternal love.

Orchids and Calla Lilies are two other very popular choices for bridal bouquets, although not necessarily together. They are unique and add a personalized ÿtouch to the happy couple’s special day. Exotic flowers may be a bit tricky to keep fresh throughout the day, but they definitely make a statement.

After the ceremony, the bride will be throwing her toss bouquet to one of her bridesmaids or single friends. Legend has it that the woman who catches it will be the next to marry. The bride is symbolically tossing away her single-hood, and at the same time, bestowing good luck in love upon the recipient.

In recent years, brides have begun to have a second or ?toss? bouquet, which they throw to the lucky friend, thereby allowing the bride herself to keep the actual bouquet she carried in the wedding as an heirloom or souvenir. Sometimes the toss bouquet is made of silk flowers and, increasingly, brides are choosing silk wedding flowers since their appearance is so lifelike.

The bride’s bouquet, and the flowers carried by her attendants, set much of the tone for the wedding. The bridal flowers are a personal choice and a statement by the bride about the woman she is and the physical representation of all her wedding dreams come true.


image1Have you ever had the most beautiful wedding pictured in your mind? The venue is picturesque. The audience is oohing and awing over every little thing. Flowers are unique and vibrant. Everyone is smiling and waiting for that moment when the beautiful bride takes her long awaited stroll down that aisle. The moment has finally arrived. Nothing could go wrong. That is until you look down and notice that your aisle isn’t so glamorous. The aisle you see before you isn’t what you pictured growing up. It is plain. Boring. Lifeless. Dull. The best part of picturing your wedding and all the finite detail is that you now know what you are missing. Decorating an aisle to show yourself off to the many who made their way to see you can be exciting, easy, and cost effective. The most traditional way of going about this is throwing down some rose petals to blanket the aisle. Not only is this traditional, but it is very classy looking as well. However, putting rose petals down doesn’t have to be the end of the tradition. Add to it. Put them on the aisle as well as to the sides so that it widens the perception of the walkway. To really add some class, put a vase next to each row of seating with a floating candle to really enhance the image. If you can manage to gather roses from your own garden or from someone you know that would drastically cut down on wedding expenses. Be sure to clip them in the early morning, as they will provide you with the freshest blooms.

For the artistic bride, or bridesmaids, setting up poles along the aisle can give you the opportunity to hang paper lanterns for intimate lighting. This sounds pretty lame and a little cheap but it’s all about creativity. Find paper lanterns that match the wedding colors first of all. You definitely want to decorate your poles so that it flows with the theme: a wedding. By doing so, go into a fabric store and get a few rolls of silk ribbon. Wrap that along your poles along with clusters of fresh flowers. If you are having flowers on the floor, bring them up into the poles as well. It will provide a real warm and intimate feeling.

To really spruce up the aisle on a budget, go with luminaries. Basically a luminary is a paper bag with a candle inside it. This sounds tacky but it really does look nice, especially if you are on a tight budget. This will have a similar effect as the paper lanterns: warm and intimate feeling.

Aisle decorating is by far one of the quickest and easiest parts of a wedding to plan for. With a little bit of imagination you can create a very beautiful walkway. Now go back and visualize your perfect wedding. The venue. The audience. The flowers. And now, even the aisle.


Choosing the right wedding cake

1. Budget. Set a budget straight from the beginning and be open with your cake decorator. It will make the process much easier and smoother for both parties.
2. Theme of the cake. When meeting your cake decorator for the first time, bring as much information as possible; photos, your pinterest pins, themes for your wedding, color of your dress, bridesmaid dress and inspiration from the room and flowers. It will make the selection easier.
3. Selecting the Flavor of the cake.
It doesn’t have to be a traditional fruit or sponge cake. Be inspired; go for chocolate, red velvet or carrot cake and mix the layers. Make sure you taste them. Remeber it must taste as good as it looks.
4. Delivery and setting up of the wedding cake. Before confirming your order, find out who will deliver your cake on the day and more importantly who will set it up. Too many brides forget about this.
5. Serving your wedding cake as a dessert. Why not save money and let your guests enjoy your delicious cake by serving it as a dessert, instead of waiting till late in the evening when people are too busy partying. Your guests tart to leave so make sure your planner out the cake cutting in an appropriate place on the timeline most suitable for you and your guests. You want them to enjoy your cake not leave before it is served and cut. They will want to take pictures of the cake cutting ceremony.
6. Making your own wedding cake, this is not recommended unless it’s your profession. Good on you to try to make your own wedding cake but remember the magic word is time. It’s very consuming and even more stressful coming closer to your wedding date. In order to avoid any anxiety and disappointment you will not want to have anything such as this to be holding you back from just relaxing and enjoying your wedding day as it arrives.
8. Helping hand from family and friends. Before accepting an offer from a friend or family member to make your wedding cake, ask to see their work and taste the cakes. Be honest with them, without offending them, instead of feeling sorry on your big day. If for any reason they get sick or are unable to attend your weddings day, you will not want to rely on them for bringing your cake.
9. Displaying your wedding cake.
Too often forgotten, you must make sure you display and light your wedding cake where your guests can see it in its full glory. Select the right time for your cake to be dropped off so it doesn’t interfere with your cocktail hour and can be snuck into the reception area without you or your guests seeing it. You will want your cake on display prior to your grand entrance from ceremony to the reception room or area.
10. Keeping the top tier of your wedding cake. If you’re planning to keep your top tier of your wedding cake for a christening or anniversary, make sure it’s a fruit cake inside. The best way to keep it is to freeze it. Make sure to ask your bakery for a to go box for the top tier so after the wedding your planner can pack it up for you.


The first 5 are guidelines I send to all my brides and grooms to help assist with writing them, the last 3 tips are to help when speaking to the audience.

When writing your vows make sure to be in the same page. If you do not to know each other’s vows make sure to agree on topics that both of you can write about. There can be a variety of memories you want to share or even inside jokes. It may also be stories you both can relate to and sharing special moments that have brought you to where you are today. Things like this that you both can touch base on or possibly your outlook on marriage. You may want it to be a collaboration of all of the above. Here are tips I offer:

1. To get inspired:
Start by reading traditional, by-the-book vows — from your own religion, if you practice a certain faith, but others, as well — to see what strikes a chord with you. You can incorporate these into the original words you write, or simply use them as a jumping-off point to base your personalized vows on. Remember you may rewrite them as much as you would like until you are comfortable and confident with the words you have chosen.

2. Set the tone:
Before putting pen to paper, decide what overall tone you want to achieve. Humorous but touching? Poetic and romantic? It’s your call — the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they’re from your heart. One word of advice: While your vows can be lighthearted (or even hilarious), they should, in some way, acknowledge the seriousness of the commitment you’re about to make. One way to do that is to weave little jokes into traditional vows (for example: “I promise to love you, cherish you and always watch Monday Night Football with you”.)

3. Figure out the logistics:
Make sure you and your fiance are both on the same page. Are you each going to write your own vows, or will you write them together? If you’re writing them separately, will you want to run them by each other before the wedding? If you’re writing them together, will they be completely different for each of you, or will you recite some of the same words and make the same promises to each other, as you would with traditional vows? If you want them to be a surprise on your wedding day, make sure you both send a copy of what you’ve written to your officiant or to one friend or family member so they can check that your vows are about the same length and similar in tone.

4. Make sure to ask yourself:
What are you most looking forward to about married life? What make your relationship work? What hard times have you gone through together? What have you supported each other through? What challenges do you envision in your future? What do you want to accomplish together? What makes your relationship succeed? Answering these questions will help you make and keep your promises, and talking about your bond may expose your inner Wordsworth and help you come up with phrases and stories you can and want to incorporate into your vows. What did you think when you first saw them? When did you realize you were in love? What do you most respect about your partner? How has your life gotten better since meeting your mate? What about them inspires you? What do you miss most about them when you’re apart? What qualities do you most admire in each other? What do you have now that you didn’t have before you met? You may be surprised how these answers may lead you to the perfect words.

5. Look for inspiration:
Borrow freely from poetry, books or even from romantic movies that you two have watched together. You might find a word or phrase you would like to add into your vows. Jot down words that capture your feelings or intrigue you. What grabs your attention when you read these words? How does it make you feel, how do it relate to the two of you. How does it express your passion for one another.

Remember Your Audience:

Don’t make your vows so personal that they’re cryptic — or embarrassing! You’ve invited your family and friends to witness your vows in order to make your bond public, so be sure everyone feels included in the moment. That means putting a limit on inside jokes, deeply personal anecdotes and obscure nicknames or code words.

Time It Right:

Don’t make them too long — aim for about one minute or so (it’s longer than it sounds!). Your vows are the most important element of your ceremony, but that doesn’t mean they should go on for hours. Get at the heart of what marrying this person means to you with your vows; pick the most important points and make them well. Save some thoughts for the reception toasts — and for the wedding night.

Practice Out Loud (Seriously!):

These are words meant to be heard by a live audience, so check that they sound good when spoken. Read your vows out loud to make sure they flow easily. Watch out for tongue twisters and super-long sentences — you don’t want to get out of breath or stumble.



Star of The Hills ties the knot with Ciao Bella Weddings & Events this weekend.

This was an article written by Life & Style Magazine that features CiaoBellaLagunaBeach.

Jason Wahler has said “I do” to model girlfriend Ashley Slack!

Life & Style can exclusively reveal that the pair tied the knot today, Oct. 12, in front of 180 guests at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, Calif.

The former star of The Hills even shared his wedding vows exclusively with the mag:

“Dr. Seuss once said you know you’re in love when reality is better than your dreams. I always lived my life through my dreams until the day I met you. In your eyes I have found my home. In your soul I have found my mate. In your heart I have found my love. You make me laugh, you let me cry. I am yours and you are mine. You are my breath, my every heartbeat. Today I stand before you offering my love. I promise to love you today, tomorrow and always. I promise to nurture your dreams because through them your soul shines. I promise to be faithful, supportive and to always make our families’ love and happiness my priority. With you, I am whole. You are my best friend, my confidant, my love and today you become my wife.”

Ashley stunned in a customized Allure Bridals gown, while Jason looked dapper in a David August suit.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, Janice Dickinson, Andy Milonakis and Laguna Beach’s Cedric Channels were among the pair’s celebrity pals who attended the beautiful nuptials.

For their first dance as a married couple, Jason and Ashley held each other close as they swayed to David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” surrounded by gorgeous floral arrangements by Charmaine’s Bouquet Canyon Florist. Christina Lomonaco — with Ciao Bella Events Laguna Beach — was the mastermind coordinator behind the luxe affair.

Guests took turns taking advantage of the photo booth and cigar bar before noshing on yummy food, which included roasted chicken breast, seared Atlantic salmon and grilled polenta cakes with wild mushroom.
When it came time for dessert, Sweet and Saucy Shop created a 4-tier cake with chocolate, vanilla and red velvet flavors.

Before meeting Ashley, Jason suffered from substance abuse addiction. He’s now three years sober since completing VH1’s Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew in 2010.

The 26-year-old reality star, who once dated Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari, proposed to Ashley last November. He revealed the news on Instagram when he shared a picture of the blond beauty wearing a gorgeous diamond engagement ring in January.


I enjoyed reading this article and found it interesting.

Credits go to writer Jessica Ferri On 12-12-12 Thousands of Couples Will Head to the Altar

Is 12-12-12 a lucky wedding date?Forget once in a lifetime: this year, thousands of couples are tying the knot on 12-12-12, a once in a century wedding date.

According to a survey by David’s Bridal, approximately 7,500 brides will tie the knot onDecember 12, 2012. To put things in perspective, that’s a 1,446 percent increase from last year’s un-special 12-12-11.

What’s in a wedding date?

The date is popular across the globe. French news agency the Agence France Presse reports that in Hong Kong nearly four times as many couples will be married on 12-12-12, as compared to last year, and in Singapore, 540 couples will be married on 12-12-12, eight times as many from the previous year.

Marry Abroad UK, a planning website for weddings abroad, told Yahoo! Shine it has received a 15-percent increase in inquiries about that date, despite the fact that it falls outside the traditional May to September wedding season. “The lucky couples who have succeeded in booking 12-12-12 will be amongst a very select few in the world, with such a memorable wedding anniversary,” says Marry Abroad’s co-founder Steph Bishop.

12-12-12 follows the trend of sequential numbers for wedding dates, like 10-10-10, 11-11-11, and 10-11-12. Back in 2007, Las Vegas’s Clark County saw 4,333 marriage licenses issued around the date of7-7-07, a huge increase in daily requests, since the office would usually license only about 7,400 marriages per month.

Canadian couple Krisztina Sebesi and Rex Lu, who plan to get married on 12-12-12, have incorporated the date into other aspects of their wedding: thank you cards with palm trees with 12 coconuts, a buffet of 12 courses, and 12 starfish decorations on their wedding cake, they told The Windsor Star.

Though many assume that the symmetry of 12-12-12 will bring good luck, from a numerology standpoint, “each couple in considering when to get married, should choose the date based upon their own personal charts to be sure that the date gets the marriage off on the right foot,” numerologist Daniel R. Hardt, of the Life Path Numerology Center in Indianapolis told Yahoo! Shine. “12/12/12 is popular because it is easy to remember. That date reduces to an 11 number (12+12+2012) for the marriage, a high level of spiritual awareness. It also brings sensitivity and romance to the marriage, but there is a danger of one or both parties taking everything too personally.”

There is, however, a major drawback to the date—12/12/12 falls on a Wednesday, not a popular day for weddings. “If 12/12/12 was on a Friday or a weekend, that would be a different scenario altogether,” wedding expert David Tutera told Yahoo! Shine.

Despite the spiritual symmetry, real or imagined, for some couples a weekday wedding is just out of the question.


So you have just gotten engaged and now the big question still lingers… where do we want to tie the knot? It seems so simple of a question, but with so many different venues available, it can become an overwhelming process very quickly. We are here to try and calm your nerves by sharing our knowledge of Estate Weddings and why they are the venues we prefer and recommend to all newly engaged couples. It’s not just the dozens of estates to choose from that entices us, it’s the ability to choose an estate that fits your personality and what you want your wedding to look like. There are large mansions that boast extravagant columns, chandeliers, and fountains throughout the property and then there are romantic and intimate estates that welcome guests with ease and grace. Whether you are looking to wow your guests with acres of property or have an intimate setting for your closest friends and family, here are a few questions answered on what to expect from any estate wedding.
1. Is it cheaper than a traditional wedding venue?
Because most of the estates are designed and provided for private events, they usually do not come with anything included. This can cause an estate wedding to become expensive very quickly because you must bring in EVERYTHING. From tables, chairs, cutlery, and decorations, every detail must be reviewed and checked off to be sure nothing is left out on your wedding day. As some may see it as a downfall to an estate wedding, we see this as a huge perk. Not only do you get to choose your location, but you get to design every detail for your wedding making it completely unique and personal. Each wedding we get to help plan we think of as a blank canvas just waiting for our ideas and thoughts to fill the canvas with color and beauty. The options are endless and it allows each bride and groom to add their own special touches to the property to make it unique to each couple.
2. Do I need to hire a Wedding Coordinator or can I do it all myself?
Hiring an experienced Estate Wedding Coordinator is highly recommended because they will take care of all the small details of the wedding making sure all contracts and permits are taken care of, allowing you to enjoy the fun parts of planning your wedding. Not only will you have someone to help you find the best caterers, florists, and photographers, but they will be there the day of to help make sure your entire day runs smoothly.
3. Why choose an Estate Wedding? How does it compare to a Traditional Venue?
a. Privacy- With a traditional venue, you do not have the entire place to yourself, therefore you may have unexpected visitors trying to catch a glimpse of the wedding taking place. By choosing an Estate as your wedding location, you have the entire estate to yourself and your guests. Each vicinity is completely yours allowing you to enjoy every corner and room of your estate.
b. Extended Access- Typical venues only allow access the day of your wedding, and even then it may only be a few hours before it is scheduled to begin. With an estate wedding, you are usually allowed a 3-day access to the property. This not only allows your vendors ample amount of time to set up, but there isn’t pressure to have everything cleaned up by the time your last song finishes and guests have cleared the dance floor. Having this extra time allows you to include more detail and add those extra touches to your wedding day making it that much more special.
c. Estate Staff Just For You- What could be better than having an entire staff brought in just for your special day? Each staff member works hard for your wedding making sure every detail is flawless and the day runs just how you envisioned it. By making sure the fountains are on, lights dimmed to a certain degree, wait staff just for your guests, and restroom tenants are all just an overview of what our Estate Staff does for you.
d. Customizable Options- More traditional venues have restrictions as to what type of décor you can have and limits the amount of variety you can have. These are all not an issue because with an estate wedding there are no restrictions so your options really are limitless!
e. Location Convenience- At an estate wedding, there is enough space to have your ceremony and reception at the same place, so your guests don’t need to worry about getting from one venue to the next for your wedding festivities. This allows more time to be spent with your loved ones rather than time spent in the car traveling from ceremony to reception site.

Questions to Ask when looking at Venue Estates

Are there any restrictions we should be aware of prior to our wedding day?

Yes usually. Because most estates are in a neighborhood many of them do come with a music cut off time due to noise ordinance laws. Most times that time is 10pm which for some can be a little early to end the party. Although many take the opportunity to go out afterwards to continue the party with the ones they love.
Those are just a few of our frequently asked questions answered, but don’t be shy to ask questions when looking at an estate for your wedding location!!

Here is what you need to know:

1. Capacity – An estate’s ambiance and amenities are important, but it is imperative to not forget the basics.

Your guests not only have to fit in the event space, they have to fit comfortably, with enough room for dancing, eating, lounging and whatever other activities will be part of your special day.
Would-be brides and grooms should go as far as seeing all the event spaces for themselves so that they can decide whether the capacity quote is accurate.

2. Facilities – Having enough room for guests is one thing, having the proper amenities and facilities is something else entirely.

Good estates will have ample restrooms, handicapped access (if necessary), sufficient parking and spaces for caterers and other vendors who will help put on the wedding.

3. Rules – Estates might have different rules that guests have to abide by.

These could range from things like not allowing candles in certain rooms (for safety reasons or to preserve fragile antiques) to not allowing guests to have access to certain indoor or outdoor areas of the property.

It is best to ask about restrictions upfront, so that any misunderstandings are avoided.
In addition to guest areas, make sure that areas used for food prep and photographs will be accessible on the day of the event.

4. Décor – Many people want to have décor that features a consistent theme and colors.
To achieve the desired look, some decorations may have to be put inside the estate.

Some estates have in-house decorators who can handle this, but others do not.
If an estate doesn’t decorate for you, it is good to make sure that your decorators will be able to have access before the ceremony and reception and, more importantly, that they will not be breaking the estate’s rules by placing the decorations around the property.

5. Fees – Estates might require their renters to use in-house services (for catering, music, etc).
Wedding parties that rely on outside vendors might be charged an additional fee.

This is not always the case (most estates go out of their way to accommodate guests’ desires), but it is better to be sure than to find that the wedding is beyond your budget because of unforeseen fees.

Bringing your own alcohol can be another major source for fees.

Many estates make much of their event money from serving alcohol, so they may charge some sort of corkage fee for weddings that bring their own beverages.

6. Other events – Larger estates may host more than one event during a weekend.
It pays to ask if there will be any other events and where they will be hosted.

While most estates are pretty good at separating their guests, it can be frustrating if noise or crowds from another event interfere with your wedding.

The estate may not have another event scheduled at the time that your wedding will take place, but one could be scheduled at a later date, so it is best to proceed like another event will be taking place (if the estate hosts more than one event) and then making sure that the other event spaces are sufficiently separated from your own.


The cake-cutting is one of the most romantic times during the wedding. The very first undertaking the couple will handle as husband and wife will be to cut the cake! Most brides and grooms wish to have special songs played during the cake-cutting ceremony. The music sets the tone for the scene and will create a lasting memory in the hearts of the couple and their guests. Here are some of the most popular cake cutting songs of all time.

‘Sweet’ and Sentimental
Some brides and grooms choose to play sweet and touching music during the cake cutting ceremony. There are many different songs which would be fitting for this moment, but these are without a doubt the most popular.

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) by James Taylor
Sugar, Sugar by The Archies
That’s Amore by Dean Martin
Sugar Pie Honey Bunch by The Four Tops
Happy Together by The Turtles

Funny and Humorous
It’s very important that the wedding music (including the cake-cutting music) fits the personality of the bride and groom. If you and your soon-to-be spouse are a pair of jokesters and enjoy a good laugh, perhaps these funny cake-cutting songs will appeal to you.

Hit Me with Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar
Pour Some Sugar On Me by Def Leppard
Hungry Heart by Bruce Springsteen
Eat It by Weird Al Yankovic

Upbeat Favorites
If you’re looking for some upbeat songs that are known by most people, there are some fun options available. Take a look at the songs below to find some inspiration:
Going to the Chapel by Dixie Cups
It Had to Be You by Frank Sinatra
Everlasting Love by Natalie Cole

Whether you want a funny song which will have your guests rolling in laughter or a sentimental song that will bring a tear to their eyes – there are definitely plenty of songs for every personality. Choose something that is special to you and your fiancé and that you will remember for years to come.



A well designed event that truly speaks your style is much more layered and complex than simply choosing rentals, lighting and all the small finishing touches. When working with clients it is first the task of discovering and defining your personal style, then opening up our idea trove to share with you how we can create a unique space that takes your guests on a memorable experience.

Starting on a larger scale our design process evaluates the spaces to be used, how we will configure your layout to best optimize the space and accommodate the look you desire, tent design, lighting options, flow and progression of your event from when guests arrive to departure, stationed areas, and how these spaces and elements all tie together.

The finer details, such as inspiration boards, table design, ceremony decor and design, centerpiece design, cake design, favor design and selection and how all of these components feed off each other are all details thought through with meticulous care and attention.

Through our experience and knowledge of the countless options, vendors and possibilities available in the event industry, you will be presented with the options to make your own decisions as we journey through this creative process. Factors such as budget, venue limitations and functionality are all items we discuss and are well-versed in to provide our clients the highest level of customer service.

We have a variety of options available for clients looking for design assistance. Please email us so that we can best match you with our services. Stand out from the rest! Distinguish your design. Reflect your inner style and show off who you are, let us make your DREAMS INTO A REALITY! Let us show you how to shine! Make your guests be swept off of their feet, give them a WOW factor, and surprise them with the newest trends with our innovative style. You are in the hands of professionals, let us make your fairy tale come true and deliver to you the most spectacular production ever where everything is fabulous and flawless.



Set your price levels
1. Create a comparison chart to track what’s included in the price for each venue you’re considering. One company may not include linens and the cake, for example, while another company does.

2. Many public spaces, like parks or the local village green, may be available to rent at a low fee. However, if the space is not equipped to handle events, you’ll have to rent everything from napkins to tables and chairs. Make sure you come out ahead!

3. Choose an unusual venue, such as an aquarium, a zoo, a gallery or an historical site. Site fees are not high and you’ll save on decor because the venue already supplies ambience. But the same caveat goes as for public spaces: Figure in what you’ll have to spend on rentals.

4. Hold your ceremony and your reception in the same place. You’ll save yourselves multiple site fees as well as transportation from one location to the other.

5. If you belong to a community organization or to the military, you may have access, at low cost, to a venue belonging to them.

6. Don’t forget your alma mater—these usually rent for a few hundred dollars.

7. Depending on your venue, you may not need to decorate extensively. If you marry outdoors at a winery, for example, there’s not much you’ll need to add to the gorgeous vineyard backdrop.

8. Rent a vacation home. Even if the owners charge you a week’s worth of rent for the day, it may still be equal to or less than renting a traditional reception venue.

9. If a family member has a scenic property, find out if you can hold your wedding there. One couple held their wedding on the Wyoming ranch where the groom had grown up. Unique and cost-conscious!

10. If you’re a city-dweller, leave town for your wedding. One Boston bride saved more than $50 per person by holding her wedding in Burlington, Vermont.

11. For a garden wedding, look into renting an historic mansion; many of these have gardens that are included in the deal. You may find, as did one couple, that the mansion they rented had no time limit, and the fee was less than half a hall rental.

12. Look for reception packages. Holding your event at a venue that provides catering and food-service items will save you quite a bit of money on rentals.

13. Save on your rehearsal dinner site by throwing a backyard barbecue or a picnic in a local park—both of which will cost you less than a dinner in a restaurant. (These may be more fun too!)

14. Accept a post-wedding brunch at a relative’s home as a wedding gift. You may find that in lieu of a gift, a friend or relative will be thrilled to host this event in their home.

15. Trim the length of your reception. Even doing three hours instead of four or five will save you money. Trust us, everyone will enjoy themselves just as much.

16. Determine early on what you can spend and stick to it. One rule of thumb: Food, beverage and venue should come to half of your budget.

17. Most venues charge a premium for Saturday night. Hold your reception on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday night. An afternoon wedding will cost less than an evening one, as will a Sunday brunch.

18. Consider the season— you’re likely to get a better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June.

19. What about a destination wedding? Because the guest list will be smaller, a wedding away may cost less than a traditional event held in your hometown.

20. Think small. If your guest list is 50 or less. Check into bed and breakfast venues in your area and place firm limits on your guest list.

21. When you’re deciding between an indoor or outdoor space, figure in the cost of a tent rental—if it rains, a tent is worth every penny.

22. Check with local large restaurants for private rooms or banquet areas.

23. DIY Invites / Signs / Wedding Elements / Take Aways