5 tips to having an amazing, dream wedding while also working within your budget

You only get married once, and there are definitely "must haves" for every wedding.  Those priorities will vary from person to person.  For one person, a designer wedding dress has been on the wish list since childhood.  For another, a destination wedding in an exotic location is the dream.  I want to give you some ideas on how to have the wedding you have always wanted and not feel limited by your budget.  You don’t have to sacrifice as much as you think.  As I think about my last nine years as a wedding photographer, here are my observations on how to have a dream wedding even if your budget wants to convince you otherwise.

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Tip # 1

Consider narrowing down the guest list by eliminating unnecessary people.  

For example, don’t invite a person just to avoid offending someone.  Really make your guest list your favorites list.  I promise you will love having all of your most loved ones at your wedding minus a bunch of people whose names might escape you on the wedding day.  One of my favorite weddings to date was a couple who brought thirty of their closest friends and family to a private estate for the weekend to be together and celebrate.  

Tip #2

Choose one part of the wedding that isn’t as important to you, and go extremely simple.  

Let’s go back to that estate wedding I just mentioned.  The estate was extremely nice, and it was also a destination wedding for them.  So the venue and travel was definitely a splurge.  However, for dinner, they served food from a simple local restaurant.  Granted, it was a super yummy restaurant, but it was galaxies away from the hefty price tag that many weddings have on each plate.  I had another couple who felt like photography was one of the most important parts of the day.  They booked an all-inclusive package and even added extra items to that.  However, they also served food catered by a very simple and inexpensive local restaurant.

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Tip #3

Choose a wedding date that is off season or not on a Saturday.  

Not all, but some vendors or venues will give discounts for non-busy days.  Maybe your dream venue is way out of budget, but getting married in January would make the price completely doable.

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Tip #4

Choose high-quality vendors.  

I know this seems like a contradiction to what we’re trying to accomplish here, but often if you do too much DIY-ing it can end up costing you more than you were hoping.  And remember, time is valuable too (so is sanity).  I happen to think that time and sanity are extremely important!  If you don’t actually enjoy DIY projects, then I promise you that you shouldn’t plan a DIY wedding just to save.  And yes, I know I just said to choose one area and go super simple - but the key word is ONE (maybe two).  I wouldn’t try to do this with every part of your wedding if your goal is a dream wedding.  If you hire a high quality wedding planner, that will cost you in order to hire him or her, but having that expertise on your side is also going to save you money and time in other ways.

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Tip #5

Take some time to slow down and really think through your wedding and how you’ll feel during and after your wedding.  

What are the things that really matter?  What are the parts of the day that you will actually enjoy or your guests will love?  I guarantee there are details that seem important but very few people will notice.  So put yourself into your day and imagine what will stand out and what will fall into the background, equalling a waste of money.  Then put yourself in your living room 10 months later and again 10 years later.  What will be important at that point?  What will you remember and what will you keep with you?

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And of course, I’m a wedding photographer and would LOVE to chat with you about your wedding.   If you are still looking for a wedding photographer, I would love for you to view my portfolio to see if you connect to my photos and style.  After that I would love to chat to hear more about your wedding day and get to know you.

- Leah Vis


View my porfiolio at www.leahvis.com

Contact me at leah@leahvis.com or call 951-295-2910