5 Ways to Save On Wedding Expenses

Local experts are here to help you stay within your budget

Planning a wedding can be daunting; with every new vendor, your expenses seem to go up. So to keep your costs from going sky high, we recruited five local experts to share the following money-saving tips.


Dig Through Your Jewelry Box

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Kathy Zaltas, owner of Zaltas Gallery of Fine Jewelry in Mamaroneck, specializes in creating uniquely personal pieces out of her clients’ inherited jewelry. And she advises that, “All you really have to do is spend money on the mounting, and that saves thousands of dollars.” Don’t have family diamonds? Take a nod from Kate Middleton and try sapphires, suggests Zaltas, which are less expensive per carat but still provide a classic look.


Don’t Do Flowers At Home

This may seem counterintuitive to Pinterest-savvy brides, but professional florists are better equipped to purchase and care for your arrangement. Without proper care, they can wilt in just two or three days, according to Darryn Cooke of The Rosery Flower Shop in Hudson. And it’s not just a financial loss. “You don’t want [wilting] flowers in every picture,” he reasons. A good florist can recommend in-season flowers that meet both your budgetary and aesthetic needs.


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Budget For the Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner “could cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or $6,000,” says wedding planner Melissa Fife, owner of Events by Missy & Co. in White Plains. The easiest way to keep this expense low is to have a smaller guest list, but that’s not always an option. Consider hosting it in a family member’s home and hiring a caterer instead of paying for a pricey restaurant. Or, Fife suggests, “Do it during the daytime, like lunch as opposed to a formal dinner.”


Pay Attention To Your Catering Package

Look for an experienced wedding caterer that includes party rentals like tents, tables, chairs, and linens in their package. “If your caterer has everything in-house, you may get a bit of a discount,” says David Loesch, owner of Tastefully Yours Catering in Briarcliff Manor, who points out that rentals can cost more than $50 per person. And if your venue allows you to bring your own liquor, you can save a lot of money. “Local liquor stores will usually sell it on consignment, so, at the end of the event, anything unused is taken back,” Loesch explains. “It’ll cost a third of what a caterer would charge.”

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Break With Cake Tradition

“I’ve had people who want just a six-inch cake to cut for the ceremony,” says Maxine Stein, owner of Maxine’s Catering/Bittersweet Bakers in Accord. Consider a non-traditional option, like supplementing a small ceremonial cake with cupcakes or a dessert buffet, but be mindful that too many types of desserts can also add up. If you can’t part with the idea of a traditional cake, keep in mind the number of guests in attendance to prevent food waste, because as Stein herself can attest, “I’ve gone to weddings where the cake gets served and half of it doesn’t get eaten.”


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