BOSTON (CBS) – Should you elope and throw one great party after the fact?

But if your mom has had her heart on seeing you walk down the aisle what can you do to cut costs?

The most expensive item for a wedding is the reception. What can you do to keep food, alcohol and the venue costs down? A wedding at home? In your parent’s garden? The beach at sunset? An afternoon wedding and serve finger foods. Serve only wine and beer or just a wine punch.

Next would be the cost of the engagement ring. Average cost close to $5,000. That’s a lot of money for something that sparkles and needs to be taken off when you make meat loaf! Makes a great future anniversary gift! And if you get one make sure it is insured properly.

Wedding Gowns: Do something simple. Look for a cocktail dress. There is David’s Bridal where you can get a very nice dress for under $300. Buy a used wedding gown at a yard sale or better still, try Craig’s List. I found several never-been-used dresses for under $300. Also check out eBay.

Pictures can cost close to $4,000. Is there an amateur photographer among your friends or family? Someone that you would entrust with the day? Then go to Snapfish and create your own wedding album.

Average cost of a wedding cake is close to $600. They are priced by the slice, some as high $10 a slice. Go for a small cake, a 9-inch size that you can do the traditional cutting of the cake together and then serve slices from a sheet cake or fancy cupcakes.  You can get a great cupcake for under a buck or have your Aunt Mary make the cupcakes.

After the wedding you may just need a restful place for your honeymoon. Consider a less expensive stay in the Berkshires, the Cape, anywhere in New England. Save the Hawaiian trip for your 10th anniversary.


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