Splurge vs. Steal! How To Get the Wedding Look You Love On A Budget

Want to find out the secrets behind saving on your wedding day essentials? Katie Couric featured  Site Director Anja Winikka as a special guest on a wedding segment as she demystified what adds dollar signs to everything from shoes to centerpieces! Get a sneak peek of the tips here:

The Gown

Splurge vs. Save

Photo: Courtesy Disney-ABC

Splurge (left)

This Dennis Basso for Kleinfeld gown retails for $2,500. Hand-beaded embroidery, silver-dipped thread, forty layers of silk tulle, and three-dimensional French-imported lace all combine to create this gorgeous gown.

Steal (right)

This ball gown by Allure Bridals is priced at $1,200 and features embroidery and Swarovski crystals across the bodice. There are no lace appliqués like the Dennis Basso and the Swarovski embellishments on the skirt are scattered instead of in a dense band around the bottom.

How To Save On Your Gown

Choosing a classic gown without embellishments may lower the price tag significantly (often by up to 25%). Alternatively, opt out of some of the ornamentation. Get all that gorgeous lace and beading on the bodice, but eliminate the lace and embellishment on the hemline, waistline, train, or sleeves to save.

The Cake

Splurge vs. Steal

Photo: Courtesy Disney-ABC

Splurge (left)

A three-tiered gold Swiss buttercream cake by Ana Parzych Cakes will run you $2,300. With features like pressed fondant lace borders with edible gold dust and brushed piped embroidery painted with edible pearl dust in addition to tons of hand-crafted gum paste flowers in different types and sizes it’s easy to drool over this splurge cake.

Steal (right)

Also by Ana Parzych Cakes this similar three tiered Swiss buttercream cake with light pink fondant finished tiers, but the design is far less intricate. It features fondant ribbon, which is painted gold and embellished with a single sugar and gum paste bloom.

How To Save On Your Cake

By the time the wedding cake is supposed to be cut, chances are, your guests are pretty full! So order half the size of a wedding cake you’d need (i.e. 150 guests = cake for 75 people) and actually serve half-servings. Trust us—your guests won’t even notice!

Want to find out how to save on your centerpieces, invitations, and wedding shoes? Watch Site Director Anja Winikka on Katie Couric: Secret Tips to Slash Your Budget!

> 10 hidden wedding costs

> Stay on track with our wedding budgeter tool

> 100+ budget wedding ideas

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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