ABC7 On Your Side: Budget weddings

There are ways to cut costs and achieve the same "wow" factor.

"About 40 percent of the budget is spent on the venue, the food, and the alcohol," said Jenny Lefcourt from Bella Pictures.

Couples can shave off part of the cost by having the event on a night other than a Saturday night.

"The other thing they can do is consider having it at a place like a Marriott, where your reception dollars work double duty, meaning they give you reward points for all the money you spend on the reception, which can really make a dent in the cost of your honeymoon," said Lefcourt.

Buying alcohol in bulk helps save money.

"If your reception site does not allow you to bring in alcohol, then simply having a specialty drink like a dirty martini or a mojito, versus hosting an open bar, can really help save money," said Lefcourt.

Designer copycats, like a copy of Jenna Bush's Oscar de la Renta gown, are a fraction of the cost at retailers like David's Bridal.

"I think the average bride spends $2,500 on her gown, so spending $800 is a huge savings," said Lefcourt.

A gown similar to the one Eva Longoria wore to her wedding sells at David's Bridal for $399.

"J.Crew started carrying beautiful, very simple, affordable wedding gowns a few years ago, and it's something a bride should definitely look into," said Lefcourt.

Homemade flower arrangements can also save a bundle.

"A number of brides are creating their own floral arrangements now or are asking a friend to do it for them," said Lefcourt.

There are a couple of ways you can sweeten the cost of wedding cake.

"One, you can have a smaller, beautiful cake and have sheet cake waiting in the back that you can help serve your guests with," said Lefcourt. "The other thing is, while everyone talks about saving the top layer and eating it a year later, it doesn't taste so good. So if you can get over the nostalgia you can certainly save a little money that way."

However, Lefcourt advises not to skimp on quality photography.

"It's just too important, but what they can do is work with a company like Bella Pictures," said Lefcourt. "Bella Pictures offers amazing quality photography at a wide range of prices, but all the packages include the digital negatives."

"We definitely want to get some of the pictures and kind of do our own little collage with it for the walls and make something for our families," said newlywed Annette Galasso.

Like a lot of couples, Annette and Jake Galasso have been together a long time, so they decided to give their guests a choice when it came to gifts and registered on

"We already lived together, so we didn't need the pots and pans," said Annette. "We didn't need anything more, so they were actually able to buy stuff for us to do on our honeymoon. So it was really, really nice, up to the airfare to like swimming with the dolphins."


It's getting tougher to make ends meet these days, and ABC7 On Your Side is a campaign to help you save money. Watch Eyewitness News for money-saving tips and freebies to help stretch your dollar. Click here for more money-saving tips from ABC7 On Your Side


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