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Accommodating the masses can sabotage a wedding budget in short order.

When you find yourself sacrificing details and compromising on essentials for the sake of the guest count, it’s time to re-examine your priorities. Downsize your event to maximize your budget. With 50 or fewer guests, your options suddenly switch from economical to extravagant. Here are five areas where you can reallocate your spend for a wedding that guests will rave about for years.

Venue

Select a gorgeous setting and save a bundle in decorations. Think museum, conservatory, boutique hotel, botanical garden, art gallery. These spaces often can accommodate both ceremony and reception, which can be kinder to your budget.

Rentals

Score bonus savings if your venue comes with tables, chairs and staff. Mega bonus if linens and place settings are included too. Some venues even have specialty lighting for ambiance. If yours does not, splurge for it. You can’t beat the flattering glow it will bring to the space, not to mention your wedding photos.

Food and beverage

An open bar (beer, wine and a signature drink) and sit-down table service will enhance the reception experience for your guests. With money saved on décor, you might serve hors d’oeuvres between the ceremony and reception, add courses to the meal or upgrade your entrée options.

Entertainment

Celebrate your heritage in a special way; have your ceremony musicians play background music through dinner; bring in your favorite band for dancing; set up a photo booth and use it as an interactive guest book; rent yard games for the kids. All of these things will keep guests engaged and sticking around to see what’s next.

Showstopper

Every great party has a stellar finish. Make your sendoff one to remember with sparklers, a lantern launch or fireworks — the ultimate bang for your buck! 

Chris is a magazine and special sections editor for The World-Herald. She writes on lifestyle topics and trends, including interior design, travel and fashion. Follow her on Instagram @chrischristen and Twitter @cchristenOWH. Phone: 402-444-1094.

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