Saving on a band

Many couples would prefer to use a live band at their wedding and reception. Live bands offer a special tone to the ceremony and it adds some elegance.

When you want to save money on a band, you can often find great deals when you look to local high school and college bands to get much cheaper prices. You can use the school bands to play music at the ceremony and hire a DJ for the reception.

You can also look to any friends or family members who play musical instruments to help you out. Just make sure that the band that you do hire knows how to play the song or music that you are hoping to have at your wedding.

Instruments like guitar, Spanish guitar, saxophone, and piano are always great for weddings and you can often find local musical students who will be willing to play a wedding for small fees.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Saving on a DJ

For starters, you can look to hire an amateur DJ who is just starting out. They are eager for the work and will often cut you a good deal. You can find good amateur DJ’s at local school dances and sometimes just by asking local area high school and college kids about DJ’s that they might know.
Young DJ’s who are just starting out are also using modern technology like portable computers with downloaded music and this means that they can almost always get just about any song that you might want.

Young DJ’s are also more willing to follow your precise instructions for what you want to hear and will allow you to have full control of what they do. Many amateur DJs will also make you custom CDs if you ask them and you can give them to the bridal party as gifts.

To get the best prices from the amateurs, you can let them audition to make sure that they can play your wedding song and then you can let them bid their prices. You simply choose the best of them who has the best price.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Saving on Wedding Music

When it comes to wedding music, there are some choices that stand apart from others. During the ceremony, it is getting more popular to avoid the traditional bridal music and use a chosen song of love instead.

People still are using the traditional bridal song too, but it is just not necessary anymore for those who want to be original or walk down the aisle to a song that best expresses how they feel about their nuptials.

When it comes to the music for your wedding ceremony and the reception, it is important that you consider your budget above all things. Naturally, you will want to have all of the music that you love available including the music that you want for your first dance.

Hiring a DJ can be the best way to go, but it is not the only way to go. If you must hire a DJ, there are a few ways that you can save money on it.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Saving Money on Photography

Weddings are momentous occasions to all people involved; especially the families of the bride and groom. One very important aspect of a wedding is to commemorate the event with beautiful pictures so that the day never really disappears.

Hiring professional photographers is usually the preferred way for couples to capture the moments of their wedding forever.
Professional photographers can charge an obscene amount of money for their services at times, but there are a few ways that you can save money on photography at your wedding.

Here are some of things that you can do to save some of your money for the honeymoon instead. Let’s take a look at what you can do.
1.    Place disposable cameras on tables at your reception and let your guests capture special moments for you.
2.    Ask a friend or family member to take special photos of the ceremony for you or videotape it
3.    Check at colleges and universities who are studying photography and hire a student to do it. You can get professional looking photos for a fraction of the price.
4.    Have your photographs taken before the wedding by having your wedding party to gather together at a professional photographer’s shop
5.    Have your photos taken before the ceremony and keep the negatives yourself so that you can develop them later and make prints

During one of the most important days in your life, pictures and videos can make the day last forever. The above mentioned tips can also make sure that you will not go broke in the process.

When it comes to the disposable cameras, you can often find cameras that are decorated with wedding themes. If you can’t, you can have the bridal party decorate them instead.

This is a sample of a pre-designed wedding disposable camera and it only costs $3.99

Using digital cameras can limit the amount of pictures that you have to take while making them easy to reproduce. Digital camera technology can make even an amateur take professional looking pictures. You can even use the prints to create thank you cards later that are personalized that show the guests and/or the bridal party.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Getting Deals on Catering

When it comes to your catering services for your wedding, there are options to make it more affordable. Generally for larger receptions, catering companies will offer discounts on their own.

Saving money on your food and drink can be very easy, but it really depends on how large your reception party will be and what you are planning to serve. I will explain how you can save some money on the catering for your party.
1.    You can serve basic entrees where the meals are all inclusive and forego the extras like salads, soups and breads and bring these items yourself.
2.    You can choose to go with appetizers instead of full entrees. Many catering companies will offer a variety of appetizers at a special cost.
3.    Skip out on the extra services that many catering companies offer such as place settings or servers.
4.     Avoid going to a professional caterer and opt instead to use a small restaurants catering services instead.
5.    Picking up the food for your reception instead of letting the catering company deliver it can save you a great deal of money.
6.    You can always make the food yourself and experiment with many different tastes or prepare all of your best dishes.
7.    Tips are generally included in catering packages so you do not have to provide extra tips during the reception unless someone goes out of their way and/or far over the duties
8.    Plan your wedding yourself instead of using a wedding planner
9.    Limit your transportation costs by booking the services on off seasons or shopping around for the cheapest costs
10.    The very last thing that you can do is elope!

These tips can save you a lot of money on catering because when you skip the extras and forego the delivery charges and set up etc. catering companies will give you good prices.

Of course, you can also opt out of full entrees and serve something altogether different. It can be very easy to get good prices on catering services. Perhaps the best way to do this is to simply limit the guests at your reception that you have to serve.

By turning your full reception into a private and intimate celebration, you can limit the amount of guests without offending anyone. Unless you can afford to invite all of your co-workers that you get along with, don’t invite any. It is just good etiquette.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Getting Deals on the Wedding Clothing

If you are planning to have a full wedding that includes bridesmaids, and groomsmen etc. it could run you a great deal of money to cover your gown as well as the other women and men’s clothing as well.

Bridesmaid’s dresses get more and more costly with every extra woman in the wedding party. When you are deciding how much money you can afford to spend on the wedding clothes, you have to consider the fittings and the flowers or accessories as well.

If you can, you might do better to allow for casual wear for the bridesmaids so that they can wear less expensive dresses or skirts. This is particularly good if you are planning an outdoor or beach wedding.

The less formal the ceremony, the less money that you are required to spend. Perhaps that is why outdoor ceremonies are getting more and more popular these days.

You can also save money on the ladies dresses by purchasing them off season from a bridal store. You can always shop for out of season or discontinued dresses as a means of getting great discounts on gorgeous dresses. If you really want to, you can ask that your bridesmaids forget about the wedding shower gifts in favor of buying their dresses. That is a common compromise that is made these days.

If the cost of the dresses is really going to be a matter of stress for you, just reduce the bridesmaids to just having a maid/matron of honor and a best man only for the groom.

Many couples opt to forego the extras all together and simply do not have anyone standing up with them at all. After all, there is no law that states that you have to have a maid of honor or best man present during the ceremony.

When it comes to the tuxedos for the male participants and the groom, you can often find good deals when renting if you just shop around. It helps is you limit the number of participants if you must in order to reduce costs or if the men involved have their own tuxedos already.

Either way, research and comparison shopping really is the best chance.

You can also choose to rent the ladies gowns as well as the tuxedos. Not everyone wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a dress that they will wear once. Or spend that much money on many dresses that you will never be worn more than once.

Many bridal shops will let you rent a dress rather than buy one. The only difference with rented dresses is that you have to take it as is. They are not custom fitted to you. Other than that, you can save hundreds of dollars doing this.

Wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress is also an option; especially if your are choosing a period theme where the dress was used. For example, if you are wearing your grandmother’s dress and the dress was worn in the 40’s, you can make the 40’s your wedding theme.

If the dress is your mother’s from the 60’s or 70’s, you can do the same thing. It will save you money and provides you with a fun theme.

You can also opt to make your own dress from scratch. Many women are choosing to go with home made pieces because they can get truly original in the make of the dress and the style.

It can be made in any fashion that you like and of any material also. Making your own dress is a good way to save money and it is also guaranteed to make sure that no one else has the same style as you.

When you make it yourself, you are guaranteed a custom fit without paying a custom price.

Finally, you can save bundles on your whole wedding party clothing, including the wedding dress by dressing according to your theme.

For example, if you choose a Hawaiian theme, you can wear island clothes. As part of your theme, you can dress in costumes to make the festivities more fun and as an added bonus; you can make the guests and wedding party dress in costume too.

You can also get a good deal by buying your wedding items at vintage or used stores. Many people bring back their wedding clothing after they have used so that they can recoup some of their money later.

This is a great way to save money for you and the rest of your wedding party. Used clothing items can also be found in bridal shops or tuxedo warehouses because the average person doesn’t wear these items more than once and because of this they will return it to the store that they got it from later.

When you are not afraid of vintage clothing, you can find some truly beautiful designer clothing for great prices. Some of the stores that offer used items will not force you to buy them, but they may request that you pay a bit of an extra fee for dry cleaning etc.

Either way, you will still be saving yourself a great deal of money that you would spend if you bought your items outright.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Invitations

It really doesn’t matter if you are planning to have a large or a small wedding; you still have to send out invitations. For larger wedding parties, you should buy your invitations at bulk party stores, or wedding warehouses in order to get the best buy for your money.
Of course, you can always choose to make your own invitations which is also nice and unique.

Common homemade invitations are often made up of tissue paper over white regular paper, and decorated colored paper. When it comes to wedding invitations, some people even use calligraphy to hand craft their invitations and it adds a nice elegant touch to your invitations.

When you make your invitations by hand, you can address each one individually so that you can add unique invitations to your guests that are addressed specifically to them.

When you hand make your invitations, there are no limits to what you can do to them or what add-ons that you can use. The most popular additions to hand made invitations are:
·    Photos of the happy couple
·    Artful calligraphy accents
·    Paper flowers
·    Poems, verse and prose
·    Rhinestones and/or sequins
·    Gold or silver model car paint for accents

Not everyone has the know how to create hand made specialty invitations, and if you would prefer to buy yours, you can easily find good bargains on them if you go to a wedding warehouse or a party warehouse.

Most places offer discounts when you buy items in bulk and this is great if you are planning to have a larger wedding of 50 or more guests. Invitations do not have to break your bank account, but they do have to be there.

You can also save money on invitations if you personally deliver as many of them as possible rather than sending them through the mail.

You can also hand certain invitations to friends and family members to pass along for you to those who they see more often than you do.

You can also post your wedding date and guest list on your family website if you have one or in the newspaper and only send invitations to those who do not have access to the internet.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Affordable Centerpieces

When it comes to decorating your reception tables, the centerpieces for each table play a major role in setting the tone and style of your wedding. They will be one of the major focal point for your guests while they are eating their meal, and spectacular or unique centerpieces can add an element of sophistication or surprise to your event.

The most established kind of centerpiece is flowers and it is the most expected. There are literally hundreds of floral centerpiece designs, from tall lilies to tightly packed roses.

You should really shop around and check out different wedding supply shops and online specialists to see the different possibilities, and look at the varying prices. You must also remember that you will need a centerpiece for every table, so it could get expensive if you are planning to invite a large guest list.

For a cheaper option, buy the flowers yourself from a wholesaler, and produce simple displays such as six tulips in a glass vase. You could also use the bridesmaids’ bouquets as centerpieces to really get the best value out of them.

Believe it or not, this happens all the time. Instead of fresh cut flowers, consider using potted plants as centerpieces. You can decorate terracotta pots and pick plants that flower in co-coordinating colors to your scheme.

These centerpieces will last long after the day has finished, and provide a lovely gift for those you would like to give them to.

Popular alternatives to floral centerpieces include candles and fruit. Candles are a wonderful way of creating an air of romance and enchantment for your wedding, and look particularly effective if your venue is dimly lit.
However, if you plan to hold your reception in the afternoon, with plenty of natural daylight, candles may not produce the appropriate dramatic effect.

You could purchase candelabras for each table for an elegant look, or consider the less formal appearance of floating candles in a large glass bowl.

You must ensure that any holders or bowls you use are heat-resistant, and also check with your venue for any restrictions they may have on the use of naked flames.

Fruit is a nice and decorative choice, and can also be eaten later in the evening! Other edible choices include candy, chocolate lollipops or Hershey’s Kisses. Use your imagination to display whatever treats you choose in an exciting way, using glitter, streamers or balloons.

You can be as original as you like when it comes to your centerpieces, and you could choose something really personal such as hand-written poems or family photographs in ornate picture frames.

If you are having a themed wedding, create a unique centerpiece that reflects the wedding motif. A wonderful centerpiece for an oriental themed wedding is a bonsai tree, or large origami creations. Anything that matches your theme is best.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Food for Outdoor Reception

There are many ways that you can choose to serve your reception food when the reception is held outdoors. Here are some of the most popular and money saving ways to serve foods.
·    Have a casual reception and serve barbecue items such as hamburgers, chicken, ribs etc. Have everyone forego a gift in exchange for bringing their own special dish to the barbecue instead. Just have everyone confirm beforehand so that you do not have everyone bringing the same thing.
·    Serve your food buffet style having each guest bring a food item instead of a gift.
·    Serve vegetable, cheese, fruit, and meat trays with dips and other snackables rather than hosting a huge meal. This is a great alternative anyway, for vegetarians as well.
·    Host your reception with a theme so that you can be more casual with your food, for example, perhaps you can host your reception with an Italian theme and make spaghetti or order pizza etc.
·    Choose an outdoor theme that is simple and easy and one that you can afford.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!

Saving Money Using Reception Themes

Just like weddings, receptions are often theme based as well. Reception themes are often more relaxed than wedding themes because they are meant to be provided in a party atmosphere. There are many affordable themes that can be used and I will mention some of them here as well as some great ideas for them.

Choosing a themed reception can save you a great deal of money on it, depending on the theme that is chosen.

Reception themes allow people to get creative with their celebration and express themselves. People often choose to base their themes on hobbies, personal interests, and dreams. It can be very costly to host a reception. That is why the majority of your wedding budget is spent on it. Themes help to cut the costs because you can choose to use a casual theme that doesn’t require a great deal of extras. Choosing themes like beach themes, Mexican fiestas, or toga party is simple and the food is cheap and easy. Take a look at some more themes to lessen the cost of your reception.

Star Trek

This fun theme can be extremely affordable. You can decorate the room or hall with stars. You can use black garbage bags like wallpaper and string white lights around to simulate the stars. You can have guests dress up like aliens or star trek characters.

You can serve appetizers rather than entrees and give them special names that remind them of Star Trek. It is a really fun theme that is great if you are a star trek fan. You can also go with other-worldly music that is downloaded from a computer rather than go with a DJ too. You can also choose to play episodes of the show during the reception as entertainment.

NASCAR

This theme has a world of possibilities. You can decorate with checkered flags and checkered flag streamers, toy cars, painted numbers of the different cars and drivers.

If you would like, you can decorate with a particular driver motif. The best part about this theme is that it is very casual and you can serve regular foods like pizza, large submarine sandwiches, hamburgers and even chips and nachos; pretty much any food that you want.

In general this relaxed type of theme applies to all sports related theme. This theme is great for receptions. You can also opt to watch a race.

Movies

Popular movie themes like the Matrix and Lord of the Rings etc. can be a lot of fun for receptions when the bride and groom are movie buffs.

Decorations will be based on what the general movie symbolizes such as; if you chose the Matrix, you would use computer data charts and sheets, computers, dress in all black etc. You could serve appetizers rather than entrees for this type of theme as well. Playing the movie during your reception is a cool idea for background scenery.

·    Fairy Wonderland: Decorating in fairy’s wings, sheer fabrics draped around you, baby’s breath, moss, and serving fine breads and appetizers as well as all things beautiful. This theme really lets the bride bring her childhood dreams to life. Music like Enya would be nice to listen to for this theme

·    Ethnic traditions: This theme require that you choose specialty foods and decorations from the ethnicity of your choice. For example, should you choose a Scottish theme, you would listen to bag pipes, dress in the Scottish fashion and do all things Scottish.

·    Mexican fiesta: This fun theme can have you hitting a piñata, serving popular Mexican dishes, mixing a bit of Santa Fe decorative blankets for the walls and many other things. You can play mariachi music or Spanish guitars for this theme.

·    Holiday themes: i.e. Valentines day, Saint Patrick’s day, Halloween, 4th of July, Christmas

·    Arabian Nights: Filling your reception hall with beautiful linens; letting your bridal party have costumes should they wish to. You can also serve Arabic foods or appetizers and pita breads etc. this theme is very versatile and fun.

·    Greek Mythology: This theme can be geared toward a particular Greek saga or more popularly, guests can each come dressed as a particular Grecian of their choice. Greek foods like fresh fruits, wine, and other edibles of ancient Greece can be offered.

·    Hawaiian: You can use your imagination to create any Hawaiian fantasy that you wish. You can give out fresh leis or artificial ones as wedding favors. You can serve fresh tropical island fruits such as pineapples and serve those cute tropical drinks with decorative umbrellas etc. Wherever your mind takes you.

·    Disney (options are endless with Disney)

·    The Wild West: This theme can be as fun as you want. You can set up your reception area to look like an old saloon. You can have dancers give a burlesque show etc. You can do all kinds of fun things with this theme. You can also serve easy to create entrees like meatloaf or more expensive steaks etc. As long as you stick with your theme (leave out the shrimp cocktail) you can have a great time.

When it comes to themes, the possibilities are endless. Coming up with them can be much of the fun. After you have chosen your theme, you can brainstorm ideas to expand upon it for the decorations and foods.

The themes that have been touched up on here were designed to be as easy as possible, but they can be as intricate as you want.

Get the Full Guide for FREE full of over 30 pages of wedding tips!