Part II: finding & budgeting for your Wedding Photographer

Photographs are one of the few items wedding budget items that your wedding day… so consider cutting in other areas if you have found the perfect photographer, you won’t regret it!

Here are some money saving ideas that allow you to stretch your photography budget so that you have the pictures that last long after the wedding. Lessons learned brought to you from someone in the industry.


1. Elope

  • This is the easiest way to save a TON of money. Unfortunately it's being forced now for many couples who planned their wedding before COVID-19. You don’t have to do it in a tropical place, one of my best friends eloped in her mom’s back yard and only had family there – BUT I got to feel like I was there because she had a legitimately AMAZING photographer. Courthouse and private church weddings are also great to keep it small. You can rent out a private dining space at a restaurant for afterwards.

  • Point to ponder: If you are doing a destination wedding, be mindful of travel costs for your guests.

2. Guest List

  • Limit your guest list – think about only including people you have seen or had meaningful conversations with in the last 6 months to a year

  • Point to ponder: If your parents are helping with the costs, it is fair for them to get some friends on the guest list. Someone told me that if you would not spend $100 buying someone dinner on a random day, do not do it on your wedding day.

3. Wardrobe

  • Finding an affordable wedding dress. We had a semi-formal wedding, so I knew a $200 department store dress was NOT going to be an option for me. You might find a dress of the rack and do alterations. Also, rent the tux instead of buying. A tux runs around $1,000, but renting can be around $200… So, there’s about an $800 savings

  • Point to ponder: The affordable wedding dress find can be found, but it is a BIG game of chance. And if he is going to need a tux often, then buying may be a good long-term play

4. Food and Beverage

  • Opt for a buffet instead of plated service and Beer and Wine instead of full open bar.

  • Point to ponder: I don’t really see a downside. But I’m partial, this is what I did and my wedding and believe me, my guests STILL had a great time!

5. Wedding Cake

  • Wedding cakes can be expensive! They are amazing to eat though (trust me, I have had my fair share). Consider having a small wedding cake and either a giant sheet cake in the back or cupcakes for the guests. The wedding staff cuts the cake in the back anyway.

  • Point to ponder: If your dream is to have the 4-tier wedding cake and you must have that cake, this is not an option.

6. DIY

  • I put this last… not because I’m not creative (I am), but because I’m not totally convinced that the financial savings is worth the sanity!

  • Point to ponder: You need time and sometimes the money saving is not worth the headache. Also for many DIY Pinterest ideas, a cricket machine is a must. So, if you don’t have one, find someone who does, enjoys it and ask if you can do some DIY together – you could pay for the materials and maybe some dinners😊

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