Budget Bride Tip for June 22: Skip the champagne toast

Bride and groom with pink piggy bank

We’re celebrating the month of June with a daily tip from savvy brides who saved big bucks on the wedding of their dreams.

When Angela and Walter Grauer realized how much a champagne toast would set them back for their Sept. 10, 2011, wedding at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis., they decided to skip it altogether.

“My experience at weddings is so many people don’t enjoy champagne and let it set on the table,” says Angela, 35, a production sales specialist. “It’s just too expensive to go to waste.”

She surmises that guests are either already enjoying their favorite cocktail or beer, and don’t want to switch, or simply don’t care for champagne enough to take more than the obligatory sip.

Since the Grauers paid for alcohol by the glass, champagne for their 150 guests at $8 each would have cost $1,200.

“I’d hate to see all of it sitting on the table at the end of the night,” Angela says. “I would’ve known that I wasted a lot of money.”

Plus, the couple was determined to have an open bar for the entire evening and had splurged on the venue, including having the ceremony in the sculpture garden and renting the art gallery for guests to enjoy during the evening, so they were looking to cut costs where they could.

“When it came time for the toast, everyone was asked to raise their glass, whatever that glass may be, and everyone said, ‘Cheers,’ ” she says.

That included Angela and Walter, 40, vice president of information technology for a nonprofit, who didn’t have champagne, either.

The Grauers spent nearly $29,000 on their wedding day, more than the $25,631 an average wedding cost in 2011, according to The Wedding Report, a wedding industry research company.

But eliminating expenses such as the champagne toast kept the cost from creeping higher.

“Nobody said, ‘We missed the champagne,’ ” Angela says. “No one asked.”

Here are Walter and Angela on their big day ...

These are the newlyweds being toasted at their champagne-free reception ...

Here are the other "Budget Bride" tips we've published so far:

Budget Bride Tip for June 1: Throw a potluck dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 2: Say 'yes' to an affordable dress

Budget Bride Tip for June 3: Bake your own wedding cake

Budget Bride Tip for June 4: Put dad to work

Budget Bride Tip for June 5: Turn your reception into a barbecue

Budget Bride Tip for June 6: Take the ceremony to the beach

Budget Bride Tip for June 7: Cupcakes make tasty wedding favors

Budget Bride Tip for June 8: Hold down the guest list

Budget Bride Tip for June 9: Feed your guests wedding cake from Costco

Budget Bride Tip for June 10: Decorate your reception with Craigslist

Budget Bride Tip for June 11: Buy dishes for the wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 12: Go with a lunch instead of a wedding dinner

Budget Bride Tip for June 13: Buy your wedding veil online

Budget Bride Tip for June 14: Rent a summer camp for your reception

Budget Bride Tip for June 15: Hire a friend to make your wedding gown

Budget Bride Tip for June 16: Tie the knot on a Sunday

Budget Bride Tip for June 17: Take a pass on gift bags

Budget Bride Tip for June 18: Ask guests to RSVP online

Budget Bride Tip for June 19: Hire a one-man band to provide the music

Budget Bride Tip for June 20: Build, stock and staff your open bar

Budget Bride Tip for June 21: Decorate with locally grown flowers

Thanks to Angela and Walter for sharing these personal photos from their wedding album.