Miles Witt Boyer Photography
Elizabeth Irsik & Jacob Sullivan Aug. 9, 2014 • Thorncrown Chapel and 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs

If you're in the middle of planning your wedding, chances are you have a budget and you need to stick with it.

To help you cut costs without sacrificing quality, we turned to the wedding professionals at the 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa. It's located in Eureka Springs,"The Wedding Capital of the South," so you know these professionals have the experience necessary to help. 

Here are their tips:

1. Pick your date carefully.

July and November are months with traditionally good weather, yet surprisingly offer discounts for weddings. A “summer sunset wedding” is almost assuredly a success!

2. Be flexible.

Choosing a Friday or Sunday afternoon slot could bring meaningful savings, so don't be afraid to wed on a day that isn't Saturday.

3. Don't sacrifice the food.

When it comes to food service, don't scrimp!  Statistics show that a reception guest remembers the food that was served (its selection, quality and quantity) above everything else. Find fabulous caterers here!

4. Consider a cash bar. 

Those who want to drink several cocktails can do so at their expense.  For the toast we suggest “glass/liquid in hand.” Cutting out the room-wide champagne distribution can really be a nice savings.

5. Downsize when you can.

Make your "show cake" smaller and more impactful.  Additional guest sweets can be easily fulfilled with less expense.  And, if dramatically displayed, cupcakes can make a wonderful surprise for all. A place like Cupcakes on Kavanaugh in Little Rock is a great option for those looking into cupcakes!

6. Think comfort.

Especially when planning your wedding party’s wardrobe for a summer wedding. If you are planning a late spring, summer, early autumn outdoor event, consider something other than tuxedos for the guys. (Would you want to wear wool-blend outside in Arkansas when the temperature is in the 90s?) For the bride, less can be more, especially when you don’t have to worry about dragging around the train of the wedding dress in humidity nearing triple digits. Get some ideas on where to shop here.

7. Spend where it counts.

Spread your photography dollars out to include casual captured images of the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bride and bridesmaids getting ready on the day of the wedding. Also capture the last part of the reception when it is winding down, the post-wedding brunch the next day and, of course, everyone’s departures. This way you basically have a wedding documentary that will be so much fun to watch and share with those who attended. Find the perfect photographer here!

8. Rethink your flowers.

Wedding flowers can be expensive and can get out of control quickly. Statistics show that few guests remember the flowers. Of course some flowers are needed, so choose wisely. In fact, some brides become creative at receptions and trade in cut flower displays for edible fruit displays. Going green has major appeal these days, so houseplants are being used for centerpieces. Each one becomes an on-going, living memory of the wedding and it adds oxygen to the atmosphere.

*The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa hosts nearly 300 wedding events per year and along with Thorncrown Chapel, serve as the wedding icons in northwest Arkansas.