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Hi Friends!

I’m McKinzie Loutre, the Events Coordinator here at The Center for Rural Development. Many of you may not be aware, but we offer a full range of wedding consultation services to help couples plan and coordinate every last detail leading up to their special day. In our first Wednesday Wedding Wisdom of 2018, I’m going to give you some tips on how to plan a wedding on a budget.



10 Easy Ways to Save Big Bucks on Your Special Day!

Congratulations, you’re engaged! You’ve been dreaming of this day for most of your life and I’m sure you’re on cloud nine with visions of wedded bliss in your head. However, here’s a number that’s sure to bring you back down to Earth. Statistics say that the average cost of a wedding in 2018 is over $30,000! After reading that, I’m sure most of you are ready to elope, or even trade in your lavish plans for a simple court house wedding. But dreamers, don’t give up hope! You can still have a beautiful, memorable ceremony and reception without breaking the bank.

1. Opt for Digital Invites & RSVPs

Welcome to the 21st Century. Nowadays it’s just as easy to create a wedding website, utilize an app, or send digital evites than it is to mail your invitations and RSVP cards. You’ll save tons on paper and postage and I guarantee you’ll get more responses from your guest list. Be sure to include your phone number or address for those that might not be as tech-savy.

2. Think Big for Programs

Save on printing costs again by posting one large program at the entrance of your ceremony and reception site. Calligraphed chalkboards or mirrors are trendy, budget-friendly options.

3. Don’t overdo favors

Wedding favors are an easy way to rack up a big expense, especially when purchasing for each individual that attends. Instead, opt to give a favor to each couple or family. Just make sure it is shareable.

Letter of love

4. Select a family-style meal

Work with your caterer on a tasty family-style dinner. Think gourmet pasta bar, instead of a three-course plated meal. Be sure to include choices that ALL guests will love, including meat, vegetarian, and allergen options.

5. Go for a dessert buffet

It’s time to think outside the box for dessert options. Cakes are expensive, especially if you’re looking to serve a big crowd. Consider planning a dessert buffet with cupcakes, cookies, and other mini treats. Enlist family members and friends to help create the spread and save money by forgetting the bakery/cake artist altogether.

6. Repurpose flower arrangements

Have your florist create arrangements that work for both the ceremony and reception. Enlist a trustworthy friend or family member to help transport them between each location. You may also repurpose bridesmaids’ bouquets and combine them to make one large arrangement. This would be a great way to decorate the bar or gift tables.

7. Hire a student

Ask reputable sources to recommend students or new businesses to cover some of your vendor needs, i.e. makeup artists, hair dressers, DJs, even videographers. They are more likely to go the extra mile to help build their reputation for a fraction of what an established pro would charge.

8. Choose candles for centerpieces

Tall candelabras are an excellent way to add elegance to your event space and are significantly cheaper than floral arrangements. Less is more with centerpieces!

9. Pick a less popular date/time

You can get great deals with various vendors by marrying on an unconventional date, time, or day of the week. Think, Friday evening, Sundays, or even mornings. Since these are days that are typically hard for vendors to book, they are more likely to work with your budget and offer you a great price!

Marking The Calendar

10. Save big on your dream grown

So you want the designer gown without the large price tag?! Explore sample sales and off-the-rack options, then have them tailored for a perfect fit!


We would also like to invite you to our bridal show “From This Moment,” on January 19, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. You will have exclusive access to a wide variety of vendors and services for your big day! Brides are FREE and guest admission is $6 (which includes sales tax).  Check out our event page for more details or follow us on for vendor announcements and emerging details.

Register me!


McKinzie on her wedding day.

More moments from McKinzie’s wedding and reception at The Center for Rural Development.