When you get married, 

it is easy to spend money.

Of course, everyone wants this once-in-a-lifetime event to be as special and memorable as possible.

Occasionally, would-be newlyweds resort to pouring on the  features until their wedding is overflowing with expensive extras.

Some people, however, want to keep things simple and have the focus be on the ceremony and the reception rather than on the decorations, cake, and food.

Unless you are a celebrity or someone with royal lineage, simple is often better when it comes to planning a wedding.

It saves money and is usually appreciated by guests who want a memorable experience instead of a gaudy spectacle.

Want to make your wedding a reasonably priced affair that is also unique and memorable?

Here are five simple ideas that can have amazing results...

1. Have an early wedding

Having your wedding early in the day allows you to get your event catered for cheaper.

A reception that starts at 11 a.m. or noon can consist of a lunch buffet or designated stations.

While sandwiches, soups and salads might seem out of place at an evening reception, they are perfectly fine for a noon-time party.

Catering will be cheaper, you won't need to hire a large waitstaff and the food itself will not be as expensive as if you had a sit-down prepared meal.

At the same time, you can't skimp on what you do serve (for example, make sure you accommodate for the meat & vegetarian eaters).

2. Limit the bar

It's a party, so people will want to drink.

The cost of alcohol is often the single biggest expense of a wedding.

You don't want to forego the beverages, and you still want people to have a good time.

However, costs can be limited by doing several things.

The first option is only to serve wine and beer.

A few people might want a pre-dinner cocktail, but most will be fine with these two cheaper choices.

Another option is to have a full bar before the meal and then switch over to wine and beer later.

Having an early wedding can also help here.

People aren't going to drink as much at noon as they are at 8 or 9 p.m.

3. Have the centerpiece or other decoration double as wedding favors.

You can get wedding favors that can also be part of the décor by having centerpieces that can be broken down.

Then, each guest at a table can take away a small bouquet of flowers as their party favor.

Perhaps you could attach a small bag of candy to the bouquet.

Of course, this is a cost effective idea, since you are combining the flowers and favors.

It is also stylish and welcome, since people will be sitting with their favor in front of them for a large part of the reception, so they'll have plenty of time to admire it.

4. Be creative with the entertainment

Everyone is going to expect dancing, but you don't have to stop there.

A magician or clown would be out of place at a wedding, but what about a balloon animal artist for the kids or a caricature artist who can draw fun pictures of your guests.

These can add an unexpected element to the wedding reception that can really make it memorable for guests.

And the DJ?

Simply create a playlist on your iPod and hook it into the sound system.

5. A smaller cake and alternative desserts

A large, tiered wedding cake can cost hundreds of dollars (perhaps even $1,000+).

But does it taste any different than other forms of dessert?


In fact, this is one area where you can have a little fun.

Opt for a cupcake or cake-pop dessert instead of the standard slice of cake.

Or just have a small display cake and then give guests a small slice plus some other sweet extras.

Even well-made cookies or pastries will be more welcome than a piece of dry cake served sans milk.

Have more to add?

Share some of your Money-Saving Wedding Ideas in the comments below...