We had a pretty simple wedding, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but here are some thngs that helped.
Cutting flowers down is a good way to reduce costs for sure. You could always look at non-floral centerpieces, there are some really good ideas on Pinterest. I made a bunch of crepe paper flowers with wine bottles for our centerpieces, and while I don’t reccomend doing quite that much DIY work, there are definitely less labor intinsive options.
As far as DJ/band, it depends what kind of vibe you’re going for. We had an afternoon reception so just made a playlist on Groove which cost $10 for the month subscription, and had it going during the reception. Depending on how music savvy you are and how much dancing you’re planning, you could always make your own playlist and hire a college student or someone similar to run it for you and switch to a more dancing/upbeat song as necessary.
Favors, transportation, and reception extras like photobooths or other games are all unnecessry if you’re trying to cut costs. They can be nice for sure, but I would look at cutting here first.
We picked a venue that let us bring our own alcohol, which we bought in bulk from the local liquor store fore really cheap. We only had wine and beer, so didn’t need to hire a bartender, but even if you did have to hire someone it might be cheaper overall. IDK if your venue allows this though.
We printed our own invitations with a templete from Etsy ($20). Overall the cost was about $60 for 100 invitations, including paper, ink, the templete, and custom printed ribbon to tie around them. They looked very professional too.
Smaller bridal party means less gifts, flowers, hair/makeup, etc.
Literally no one looked at our programs, and we even had them for the full Catholic Mass so everyone could follow along, so I would skip these for sure. I’m glad we only spent $20 printing them lol
If you’ve already choosen the venue, I’m assuming this means you’ve set your guest list, but cutting that down can help as well. Just don’t make the mistake of not inviting your guests’ SOs.
I honestly skipped most of the little things at our wedding, and nobody cared at all. I found that if everyone is fed in a timely manner and there is good music, then guests are pretty much happy. 🙂