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5 Easy Ways to Save Big on Your Wedding DayYou'll save more than a pretty penny with these expert tips

Weddings expert Cara Davis, author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot, has made it her life's work to save you a buck or two on the big day, so we eagerly picked her brain on how you could save big without huge sacrifice.

2: What are the five easiest ways a bride can save on her wedding?

1. Guest list. Cut the number of guests to quickly slash your overall costs.
2. Reception. Don't feel like you have to have a traditional sit-down meal. Guests can be just as (or more) delighted with a creative dessert buffet.
3. Photography. However, while photography can be a major expense, this is one area I don't suggest skimping on. You'll regret it later.
4. Alcohol. Eliminate alcohol (before or after the wedding) and you'll save major bucks. If you want to serve alcohol, buy through bulk clubs like Costco.
5. Party favors. Skip the chotskies and opt for something more personalized, like photobooth strips guests can take home.

2: Is there an unnecessary splurge brides can skip?

Cara: The dress! While you think only a designer gown will do, more affordable and practical dresses are becoming available that are just as glamorous. 

2: If you could give married-to-bes one piece of advice, what would it would be?

Cara: Instead of a traditional registry from a department store, register for stuff you really want or will use. On Card Avenue , you can request gift cards toward a big purchase, like a $2,000 Crate & Barrel couch, or get creative and register for gift cards to your favorite restaurants, so you can keep dating long after the wedding without it affecting your budget.

For more ways to save, visit Cara's blog at Cheap Ways To... where she writes about her favorite subject, weddings. It doesn't hurt that browsing beautiful wedding blogs counts as research.

For more wedding style ideas and bridal news, follow our wedding experts on Twitter @2magweddings.

Posted by Milena Canizares

2011-07-21, 10:10:02