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  • David Wilson

Extreme money saving tips for weddings

Every girl dreams of having a beautiful wedding, but most do not dream of having their parents mortgage their house to do it. After recording and photographing weddings for the past 20 years, I can tell you with out a doubt, unless you are independently wealthy, over spending on your wedding will not make it any more memorable. Here are some Do's and Dont's to help you save a lot of money and still have a #kickassweddingday! #diyweddings

Do get great designer wedding shoes
Kate Spade Wedding Shoes

1. Do have your wedding in your families back yard or rent a local park pavilion! #backyardweddings. Choose a mild weather time of the year, plan things for the late afternoon and evening so it's not too hot and the sun isn't beating down on you, rent a large party tent (if needed) and have your fiancé's friends put it up. Go to the local equipment rental store and rent your tables, chairs and buffet equipment. Extreme money saving tips for weddings

2. Do Cook/Cater your own food. Does uncle Joe know how to use a grill? Seriously, food is most likely the biggest expense of your entire wedding. You can SAVE SEVERAL THOUSAND DOLLARS by having a buffet style backyard barbecue #buffetstylebackyardbarbecuewedding. You can also have the main course (chicken, steak, etc) catered in, but then go to #Gordonfoods or #Costco to get all of your side dishes (that's where they are probably getting it from anyway, so just cut out the middle man).

3. Don't hire an expensive wedding officiant! Seriously, wedding officiants often charge upwards of $300-$500 to read from a three ring binder and most of them use the same ceremony format. Instead, ask a close family member or friend to take a quick internet course and become an ordained minister. I have seen then many times and while they may not be quite as polished as a someone who does it twenty times a year, at least they know you and actually care about your wedding. It's a great way to make your wedding more personal.

4. Don't choose the biggest package your photographer has! This is where you can easily save a few thousand dollars (or more depending on your market) by choosing the more simple package. Think about it, do you really need professional “getting ready shots”? Another big expense is having a 2nd shooter and/or purchasing a photo album. Having one photographer who starts an hour before the ceremony and ends after the bouquet and garter toss or after the first dances can cut many hours off of their time and off their cost. You'll still get amazing photos and your friends can take pictures of the getting ready stuff. Just have the pictures emailed to you and get them developed online on Snapfish, Walmart or CVS. Make sure that your are easy to get along with when it comes to meeting the photographer, if they think your going to be high maintenance, forget getting a price break.

5. Don't choose the biggest package your videographer has! Similar to the photographer, have them start at the ceremony and end after the first dances. Also, most videographers charge a lot of extra money to create the highlight/trailer videos as these take the most time to create, so unless your just dead set on having one, save your money and go for the standard documentary video and maybe ask if they will cut your first dance out for you separately so you can share that with your friends. Ask if you can make your last payment a few weeks after the wedding, you will most likely get more than a few thousand dollars as gifts, so keep some money up front and make the final payment with your gift money.

6. Don't get a big designer cake! Go to the local super market for your cake or even Costco for the majority of the cake the guests will eat. Of course, if you just have to have a designer cake, just have one small special cake designed by a cake decorator and keep the money from the other layers in your purse.

7. Do get great designer shoes! #designerweddingshoes This is where you don't have to save money, of course your shoes (and his) should look great, but make sure they are comfortable. YOU WILL BE STANDING ALL DAY, so make sure your shoes not only look great, but are VERY comfortable. (see #bootsandbluejeanswedding below)

8. Do make your first dance memorable. Honestly, there is nothing more boring at a wedding reception than watching the newly weds slowly sway back and forth in a circle. Your man is probably telling you he doesn't want to dance in front of all of these people anyway. The truth is, men hate dancing because they don't know how, so they are self conscious about it. Make it something you both do together once or twice a week till you learn a cute routine that your both looking forward showing off to your guests. Don't spend a bunch of money on a dancing lessons though, Here is a super cheap program to help you and your fiance make a great first dance. Click Here to learn how dance!

9. Don't buy table gifts for your guests. This has to be the biggest waste of time and money I see at every wedding. Nobody wants to take home a coaster with your picture on it, or a shot glass with your wedding date on it. These things are usually left sitting the table at the end of the night. JUST SAVE YOUR MONEY!

10. Do have a #bootsandbluejeanswedding. This is perfect if your going with the back yard theme. Boots and blue jean weddings completely eliminate the tuxedo costs and all the problems associated with renting them, like missing cuff links, improper fit, etc. And what guy doesn't love to wear a comfortable pair of blue jeans? Isn't that what he was wearing when you fell in love with him anyway? Best of all, you and your girls walk away with a new pair of cute boots that you can all wear for years to come!

Remember, you can spend all the money you want on your wedding, maybe you want an extravagant, super high end wedding and that's great, it's your wedding! But, if money doesn't grow on trees, or if your just looking for a more simple style of wedding, then print this out and keep it close. You don't have to follow every tip, but at least you'll know that it's OK NOT to spend all your money on a big party. In the end, your still marrying your best friend and that's what it was about in the first place. #moneycantbuyhappiness #onabudgetbride #nwiwedding #myweddingplan #keepitsimple #weddingdances #weddingreception

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