10/25/2011 10:51 am ET Updated Dec 25, 2011

Champagne Wedding With Beer Pockets: Recession Proofing A Wedding

With so many people out of work and struggling to make ends meet, there's little money left to have any fun -- let alone pay for the elaborate wedding of your dreams, right? Not so fast! You can have the wedding of your dreams if you are willing to get creative. And you don't need to DIY (Do-It-Yourself) every single piece of décor. Here are some insider tricks of the trade to help you reduce costs while still having your dream wedding.

1. Offer your vendors cash up front in exchange for a discount. Vendors will often give a better rate knowing that you will save them credit card processing fees and the hassle of waiting for payment.

2. Choose your flowers wisely. Many brides don't realize the hidden costs of flowers. You can still have something beautiful without having to pull your grandma out of retirement. Think about using less expensive flowers. There are so many wedding blogs and websites -- my fave is Pinterest -- to find inspiration for that perfect look with more affordable choices like carnations, roses, or daisies. Also purchase your flowers from a flower mart or wholesaler instead of a florist. Think of where your florist gets his/her flowers and go direct!

3. The trendy idea of a DIY wedding really means 'Driving Insanity to You'. So many brides think in order to save money they have to do everything themselves. Not true. In fact, it may end up costing you more! For example, order place cards online with the design and color of your choosing for only $0.65 each. They'll arrive completely finished, and all you've had to do was email the guest list to the printing company. To DIY, you'd have to buy pre-cut blank cards for about $9 a pack, plus printing ink and pretty pens... and they still won't look as good. On top of the money you just spent, you've lost your mind trying to merge and print. No amount of money is worth your sanity during the most exciting time of your life!

4. Pick a black and white color scheme. It's glamorous and sophisticated and chic, yet cost effective. Your printing needs are one color instead of full color print jobs, white flowers are often less expensive, and many venues have in-house black and white linens so no rentals are necessary. Opting for things in black or white is less work for your vendors than trying to find that perfect shade of coral. This means less expense for you.

5. Choose a less elaborate Save the Date. Lose the custom magnets with your photo, and send a cute vintage postcard. Not only will you save money on envelopes, but you will also save on postage. $0.29 to mail a postcard versus the regular $0.44.

6. Choose a party bus over a limo. Although limos and fancy cars are glamorous, opt for a party bus to transport the entire bridal party in one shot. This can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars depending on the size of your bridal party. Ask your party bus driver to park around the corner so your guests don't see a giant bus when they walk out of your ceremony.

7. Skip the bouquets for your moms. We know that moms are the most important people on your wedding day other than the bride and groom, however you can make them feel just as special in other ways. A pretty wrist or pin-on corsage is just as nice and half the price or take a moment during your ceremony to present one single rose to each of your moms.

8. Opt for a smaller band. Sure a twelve-piece band is amazing but will anyone even notice if you have a six- or eight-piece band instead? The songs will sound great and you still have a live band which guests always appreciate.

9. Buy your alcohol "on consumption". Ask your venue/caterer if you can bring your own alcohol. Costco anyone? If that's not allowed, determine if your guests are big drinkers. If not, ask if the venue/caterer will charge you for your alcohol "on consumption", i.e. charge you only for the amount of alcohol consumed versus a flat rate per person. Be careful, if you have big drinkers it's often better to pay a flat rate per person.

10. Lose the fancy cake fillings. You can have the cake you love but be cautious of the fillings you choose, they can add up. Filling the cake with the same frosting that is on the outside saves money. But if you really want that special Bavarian cream with lemon puree opt to have it on only one or two tiers of your four tier cake.

The most important part of your wedding is the special person you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with, so have fun together! Check back for more cost saving tips to help keep you drinking champagne...or Prosecco, just as festive and half the cost...yup, I just saved you more money!