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Have Your Dream Wedding on a Budget

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 11/14/2008

Lewis and Melissa knew they would have to cut the cost of their wedding due to the current economic crisis.

Wedding planner Carolyn Mason suggested low cost centerpieces using glass vases, candles, and orchids.

Carolyn Mason also suggested designing your own wedding announcements on a home computer.

Wedding cake maker Jay Ellis recommends using real flowers on cakes instead of sugar florals to cut costs.

Melissa's mom made her dress and bridesmaid dresses.

Melissa's wedding was everything she hoped it would be, even though she cut costs.

Melissa and Lewis said the wedding was beyond their wildest dreams.
  One happy couple fell in love and eagerly planned their dream wedding...until the economic crisis threatened to turn their big day into a nightmare.

"I said, 'Have you checked your 401k recently?  Because the money's not there anymore,' " says Lewis, the groom-to-be.

"I thought, 'Okay well what can I do to save money?' " says Melissa.

That's when New Jersey wedding planner Carolyn Mason stepped in to help Melissa Young trim her wedding costs.

"Everyone knows we're living in hard times, it's certainly not embarrassing to scale back on a wedding," says Carolyn.

Extravagant floral centerpieces can break any budget.  "Low centerpieces are less expensive than high centerpieces," Carolyn explains.

Carolyn worked out an elegant centerpiece arrangement using glass vases with floating candles, accented with orchids.

Carolyn says the couple saved at least $200 per arrangement, with a total savings of $3,000.

And wedding announcements can cost thousands of dollars, so Carolyn suggested using a home computer to design and print her own invitations.  Melissa saved $2,000 on the announcements.

Let's not forget the wedding cake! Elaborate creations with handmade sugar flowers can cost upwards of $20 per slice of cake.

"The best way to save money on a cake is to use fresh florals instead of sugar florals," says Jay Ellis of Cakes by Jake.

Melissa used fresh flowers and in all saved $1,500 on her cake!

And the wedding gown is always a huge expense.  In Melissa's case, her mom pitched in, designing an elegant gown as well as seven bridesmaids dresses.

"She probably saved at least $10,000," says Melissa.

But if your mom is not a seamstress, Carolyn says think department store.

"You can find a beautiful simple white gown, a simple silhouette gown, from $500," she says.

As for the champagne toast, Carolyn says use sparkling wine instead of champagne, which will save you $500.

Even with all the cutbacks, Melissa's wedding day was simple, elegant, and everything she hoped it would be, proving you can have style on a budget.

"We cut a few corners, but this is amazing, beyond our wildest dreams," the happy couple told INSIDE EDITION.

The newlyweds say they figure they saved between 25 and 30% on the cost of their wedding.

   

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