Kennedy and her husband-to-be printed their wedding invitations on their computer, and no one would ever have guessed! They also prepared a newsletter that they sent out a few months before the wedding. "This helped to alert out-of-towners to make reservations in advance and plan a mini-vacation if they wanted to," Kennedy explains.
8. The magic of music.
For some couples, a band is an absolute must, for others a disc jockey. The advantage of a DJ is you get a master of ceremony to move the reception along and they usually are much less expensive than a band. If your hearts are set on live music, look for bands that have day jobs and "jam" for fun. Don't rule out high school-aged bands. Or hire a child violin virtuoso to perform for the ceremony -- there won't be a dry eye in the place. A rock-bottom budget option is to set up a playlist on your mp3 player and rent an amplifier and speakers..
9. Picture perfect.
Weddings tend to go by so quickly, and each moment is so precious that having a photographer chronicle the event is the only way to really capture the moment for posterity.
It doesn't have to be over-the-top expensive. Kennedy says, "When we were married, we knew that photography and videography, were important to us, but we also knew that we did not want to spend top dollar for the services. We hired a friend of a friend who was an art school graduate. She gave us a package deal of a full day of shooting, a wedding book, the proofs and the negatives for a very fair price. Another friend videotaped the wedding in lieu of a present."
10. Bar service adds up quickly.
Eliminating or limiting a traditional full bar to one or two hours will really cut costs. Alternatives include serving beer and wine only, not serving alcohol at all or only pouring a champagne toast. Depending on the local laws and the rules at your reception hall, if you are able to buy the liquor yourself and then hire someone to pour it -- the savings potential is enormous.