Vol.1, No.11

How to have a wedding without hiring any outside services

A wedding does not need to be expensive. By keeping the wedding simple and eliminating hired professionals, you can save yourself a lot of money.

Waiter at wedding
Photo Credit: Dirk Freder
Every girl dreams of having a fairytale wedding. From the beautiful gown to the abundant flowers, every detail is planned out. However, although everything is easy to imagine, actually creating the magical day while sticking to any sort of budget often seems like a fantasy. With florists, caterers, photographers, bands, and professional planners, weddings can quickly become ridiculously expensive events. If you are preparing for a wedding and need to keep costs to a minimum, try saving money by cutting back on - or completely eliminating - the number of outside sources you hire.

The easiest professional to give up is the wedding planner. Yes, having somebody else take care of the details is nice, and a professional wedding planner probably (hopefully) does know more about weddings than you do. However, if you are on a tight budget, then a wedding planner is a luxury that you simply cannot afford. Furthermore, if your wedding is supposed to be moderately priced, then it should not be so extravagant as to require the aid of a wedding planner. If you need help with the various arrangements, try asking a relative or friend. Your future mother-in-law will probably jump at the opportunity.

A wedding just wouldn't be a wedding without flowers. However, you do not really need to hire a professional florist to decorate the ceremony and receptions sites. Simply order the bare minimum amount of flowers - the bouquet, some petals for the flower girl, and maybe a few centerpieces - and put them out yourself. If you really feel that a full garden's worth of flowers is necessary, consider holding your wedding in a garden.

Guests at wedding receptions do expect to be fed. Unfortunately, caterers are usually very expensive. In order to save money, try serving a simple champagne and dessert reception. After all, people are really there for the cake and the champagne; everything else is quite unnecessary. And, because a champagne and dessert reception is so simple, you will not need to hire a caterer. If you really need to cut back on costs, serve only a wedding cake, which can be purchased at almost any bakery, including most grocery store bakeries. If you want to offer a little more variety, serve some other alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages as well as some cookie, fruit, and cheese platters. Such platters can also be purchased at a grocery store, without the aid of a caterer.

In lieu of a DJ or band, you can simply play some of your favorite DVDs. And instead of a photographer, you can supply guests with disposable cameras; they will have fun taking pictures of the wedding, and you get to keep some of the copies. And, of course, if you happen to be close friends with a DJ or a photographer, you could enlist their help. The same goes for friends who are caterers or florists.

Small weddings do not need to be overly complicated or expensive. If you are willing to keep things simple and do a little bit of work yourself, then a perfect wedding is definitely within reach. And wouldn't you rather spend your money on the honeymoon?