In recent years, the popularity of big-budget weddings in Napa and Sonoma have soared. Although we can work with almost any budget, it often seems our brides and grooms feel a little overwhelmed by the myriad of costs to create their dream weddings. To that end, here we identified ten quick and easy ways to cut your wedding costs but still keep your dream wedding and reception.

1. Stick to Local Flowers

Florals and floral design are some of the more significant costs in contemporary weddings themes, and you can save thousands by sourcing local flowers and even picking your own from friend’s garden or one of our gorgeous wildflower fields here in Napa and Sonoma counties.

2. D-I-Y invitations

Invitations are also a significant cost center for weddings. Consider designing your own invitations and save the date – it’s an excellent way to show your creativity while saving on your design expenses. If this option appeals to you, try surfing the web for a DIY wedding invitation for templates and tailored fonts.

3. Host Your Wedding at a Private Home

Planning your wedding at your home, or a relatives home is most likely the most significant way to cut your wedding costs. We can also find high-end private homes that host weddings and events.

4. Edit Your Guest List, the Edit it Again

Your wedding will be a private and sacred event and should only be shared by those closest to you. Don’t sweat not inviting your friendly hair stylist or that cute couple down the street if it means stretching your budget out of your comfort zone.

5. Serve hors-d’oeuvres in Place of the Reception Meal

Trim your catering cost by serving trendy small bites. If your shooting for a party-like atmosphere, just pass on traditional table service and get your guests up and chatting.

6. Have Your Wedding on an Off-Day

To really rake in some savings, consider scheduling your wedding on a Friday afternoon or Sunday evening. You’ll find most of your vendors will have lower rates on these dates and even your guest travel expenses will decrease.

7. Forget about the Bridal Party

Eliminating the traditional bridal party is trending here in Napa and Sonoma counties. You’ll save a boatload on boutonnières, thank you notes, bouquets, and thank you gifts. This doesn’t mean you can’t blend your friends into your celebration – you can still ask them to wear a theme color, invite them to say a few words in during your wedding toast, or encourage them to read a poem or scripture.

8. Limit Your Bar

We have found, in most weddings, food and beverage is a significant portion of the budget. The smart idea is to limit your bar to wine and beer only, or offer a single signature cocktail.9. Shop Consignment for your Wedding Gown

It’s incredible what big-label deals you can find at resale wedding gown salons. You can also update an heirloom or vintage gown by replacing old buttons, change the neckline, or switch out the sash.

10. Have Your Bestie Create your Wedding-Day Look

You know the one – she does your makeup for parties and is always around to help you with your hair. Why not ask her to do your makeup? You can even schedule a few test runs to make sure your wedding day look is epic.

Summary

Once you decide to cut back in some areas, you might consider upgrading in others. Perhaps you have your heart set on a specific reception venue, but it was out of your initial price range. Or you wanted a higher end photographer but had to settle with a less experienced professional. Wherever you chose to trim back, you could decide to splurge on what matters to you most.