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Have your wedding cake, and eat it too: five tips for planning large events

Planning parties is something I truly enjoy - perhaps that's why I was attracted to a company called House Party - so when I got engaged last year, I was very excited to start planning the festivities. I've planned many events, ranging from 20 - 2,000 people, so I've learned a thing or two about how stressful this process can be, but I've also learned some great tips to on how to avoid unnecessary pains and save a buck or two along the way. Here are five recommendations that I hope will make your party planning experience a little more enjoyable and wallet-friendly: 1. Do your research: I strongly recommend reading the book "How I Planned Your Wedding" by Susan Wiggs & Elizabeth Wiggs Maas. These women give mother and daughter viewpoints about planning a wedding and offer great tips about beauty, saving money and your overall well being. It's a great place to start as you gather ideas for your wedding. Oh, and Pinterest. You definitely have to sign up at Pinterest.com, this virtual pinboard, for wedding inspiration. Trust me, you'll soon see exactly what I'm talking about once you're on the Pinterest site!

2. Save some green (trees AND cash): Creating a wedding website is a great way to keep guests informed and have all the celebration details in one spot, but it can also be used as a place for guests to RSVP to events. By directing guests to the site to RSVP you eliminate the need for a response card and envelope in the invitation and you can tell guests you're going green by saving the paper! Just be sure to check in with any older guests that may not have internet access. I like the site wedsite.com, but there are many out there that now have RSVP functionality.

3. Use your resources: Photographers, Videographers, DJs, all of these vendors can add up. Cut some costs by asking your talented friends and family to help out. Ask your crafty aunt for help with the favors or a friend who's in photography school to take your pictures. We're using a family friend as our DJ and my wonderful graphic-designer roommate designed our invitations.

4. Only register for things you need: My fiance and I are on a tight budget so we decided to start a honeymoon fund for our registry. Honeyfund.com is a great site where your guests can purchase day trips for you during your honeymoon, upgrade your room, or even gift you a nice dinner. This makes the gift of cash a little more special by contributing directly to the first memories you and your spouse will make together as a married couple. Another honeymoon tip comes from a House Party newlywed, David Smith: take the honeymoon shortly after the wedding, if you say you're going to wait and take it later, life happens and "later" doesn't always come.

5. And finally, don't get so caught up in the details that you forget what you're planning for. Stress is a part of any event, large or small, but at the end of the day realize that this should be a very happy time and all your guests really care about is that you two are happy (no one will care if the napkins don't match the chair covers exactly!)

What are some of your wedding savings tips?

PS - check out Mark's tips (we've got a lot of weddings coming up here at House Party HQ)!

Have your [wedding] cake, and eat it too: five tips for planning large events

Pin ups: discovering the addiction of Pinterest