I only have $____ (fill in the blank) for my wedding. I can’t afford a professional wedding photographer!

Yes, wedding photographers can be pricey, on average a professional wedding photographer runs about $1000 – $2000, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford one. You just need to be creative and willing to cut a few corners.

I speak from experience on this one, since I too planned a wedding on a budget.

I am going on the assumption that this day is more about you and your fiance and less about the party. It’s about the love you have for one another and making your relationship official in front of your closest friends and family. If I am on point then this is what I suggest…

First, take a hard look at the guest list.
After all, the more people you have the more expensive your wedding is going to be. More tables and chairs, more food, more booze, more of everything.

For me, this was the hardest part of planning our wedding. We didn’t want a big affair but wanted all of those who were important to us to attend. We made a few difficult decisions that in the end were not so bad.

We created two guest lists, the VIP list and the friends list. The people on the VIP list were invited to the whole day, from the ceremony to the sit down dinner to the reception and after party. The people on the friends list were invited to the reception and after party.

All of the people on the friends list were completely understanding of what we were doing and had a great time.

The second place you can cut costs are the flowers.
Personally, I think the cut flower business is a big waste of money. When I started making some phone calls for quotes I could not believe the prices I was getting!

So what we did was order cut flowers from a local greenhouse, gathered a bunch of family (aunts, grandmothers, cousins, moms) the afternoon before, and made the centerpieces our selves. We saved a fortune and everyone was more than happy to pitch in.

The third item that you can get creative with is the music. 
Live bands and DJ’s can run $500, easy, and that is half of your money for a wedding photographer right there!

Who doesn’t have an iPod or mp3 player these day? Even if you don’t have one, surely you know someone who does.

Take a few hours and program the best play list ever. Or break it down into a few play lists, one for each section of the day from the ceremony, the dinner and on into the reception.

Then, all you need is a sound system. You can use a docking station or tap into the PA system in the reception hall.

I don’t know about you, but I have been to a handful of wedding where to music was AWFUL thanks to an obnoxious DJ/MC. Do you really need someone to announce you, your dances and all that fluff? I know I didn’t.

So let’s add this up real quick.
If you cut your guest list into two you are going to save a few hundred dollars if not more on food and drinks and all the other details needed. Next, by doing the flowers yourself you are saving another five hundred dollars or so. Finally, you are saving about five hundred dollars by doing the music yourself.