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Three ways to spend less on your reception

Is your bridal bank account starting to show the signs of super-spending-syndrome? Planning a wedding can be extremely expensive in this day and age, especially for brides-to-be who really want to have it all on their special day! Financial decisions become even more difficult when couples are forced to figure their own savings into the budget, without any outside help from mom and dad.

It can be challenging for soon-to-be wed couples to spend within their means when planning for a life-changing event. Thankfully, there are ways to throw a chic celebration without breaking the bank, and couples can incorporate a few DIY projects into the day to save some of their hard earned cash. If you're looking for a way to spend less, here are three money saving tips for wedding day receptions.

1. Create your own flower arrangements. It doesn't matter what type of celebration you're throwing, you're going to want to have decorative floral accents. Unfortunately, store-bought or pre-made flower pots can be extremely expensive, costing anywhere from several hundreds to several thousands of dollars! Putting together your own arrangements can help you save and is a relatively easy feat for brides to accomplish with a little bit of help. Purchase attractive vases in several shapes and designs, and visit a wholesale florist to pick up bunches of your favorite blooming buds. Then, invite bridesmaids over to arrange attractive table centerpieces for your special day!

2. Fake your cake. If you've been planning your wedding since you were a child, you probably have a good idea about what you want your cake to look like. Unfortunately, large decorative confections are another extremely expensive reception item. Instead of ordering a huge cake that will be hard to cut, serve and pay for - order a small version of your dream cake to display on the dessert table on your wedding day. This cake should serve four to six people, and will cost less than a large treat. Surround your beloved cake with a collection of individual cupcakes on attractive personalized stands, which you can serve to guests for a fraction of the price.

3. Fashion your own favors. Although it is customary for couples to give out a small gift to guests at the end of the reception, these trinkets are often thrown away, lost or forgotten weeks after the event. Instead of spending a lot on something your family members and friends won't appreciate, give out a sweet surprise that guests can enjoy at home. Personalized jars can be filled with inexpensive bulk candies for a cheap favor that will be enjoyed by all. Package each jar in a chic favor box and add on a personalized wedding day label to dress up your homemade gift!

Remember - you'll have your whole life to enjoy being married, but only one day to enjoy your wedding. Weigh the costs of items against the memories you'll share to find a price that fits within your lifestyle and budget.