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By Anna Sachse - CTW Features | posted on January 19, 2013 at 4:00am

6 things you could try to cut from your big day budget – but shouldn’t

Professional Help

You might have limited funds or a love of getting your hands dirty, but bringing in a few wedding pros will help ensure your I do’s are your vision-come-true – and save both time and your sanity. Of course, DIY is encouraged for areas such as favors, says Anja Winikka, the site director for TheKnot.com, but some details that are better left to the professionals – think flowers and the cake and catering. A professional wedding planner (or at least a day-of coordinator) also is a savvy investment. They often have insider leads on ways to trim other costs, and having someone else take care of logistics allows you to just enjoy the day. You could certainly ask a friend or family member to coordinate for you, but they may not always know what to do, how to troubleshoot, how to leave you out of it and how to not have one too many drinks.

Photography

No, a friend can’t shoot your photos – or video for that matter – unless, of course, they are professionals, says Winikka. “At the end of the day, those photographs are all you will have left to look back on from your wedding,” adds Kasey Skobel-Conyers, owner and principal designer for Bliss Wedding & Event Design, Columbus, Ohio. You’ll wish you’d spent the cash when you discover that all your ceremony shots are blurry or there’s not a single picture of you with your parents.

Food

Make sure your guests are well-fed, says Skobel-Conyers. “Even if you have a tight budget, you can still select a menu that tastes great and fills bellies. If guests leave hungry, that will be the one thing they remember from your wedding.” In addition, Winikka advises never skimping on the service people, or you will end up making guests wait on line forever at the buffet.

Gratis Alcohol

“Even in a recession, a cash bar is simply not acceptable,” Winikka says. “Limit the hours, keep your alcohol to bar brands or only offer inexpensive beer and wine and one signature cocktail that matches your color scheme, like a mango mojito or chocolate martini. But never make people pay for their own drinks at your party.”

Bridal Boutique Service

Winikka acknowledges that purchasing a wedding dress via the Internet might sound like a great way to save a few dollars. “However, dress sizing is not a simple task – a six is not necessarily a six,” she says. “You may end up spending far more on alterations when you need to take it to an expensive seamstress at the last minute.”

A Band or DJ

The ceremony might take 30 minutes and dinner uses up about an hour, so what do you do with the rest of a five or six hour reception? “Entertainment is a big part of the evening and can make for a great, best-night-of-their-life party,” says Skobel-Conyers. “We love ending our nights with a packed dance floor and the crowd chanting ‘One more song! One more song!’”

Copyright © CTW Features

TAGGED: wedding ceremony, wedding planning, wedding reception

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