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Frugally Yours

Even the most dazzling events are showing less glitter in these cost-conscious times, says Washington, D.C., caterer Bill Homan, who has a few tips for prudent party-givers: For centerpieces, create a garden of potted herbs or arrange apples, lemons and other fruit into topiary trees. At weddings, instead of the popular bubbly, add wine or vodka to a sparkling soda with strawberries or blueberries. Replace lavish bouquets with a single long-stemmed flower. And skip the extra dessert: Let them eat cake!