Keeping expenses low:

· Use major retailer or discount store for your dress and shoes – who says that you have to get married in white. I used a champagne colored Donna Ricco dress that I got from TJ Maxx for $39.99. Go throught the clearance racks and find something uniquely you.
· DIY – For a lot of things. On the things that you know you can not do, get assistance, but if you’re crafty, then why not make your own favors or design your own invitations. I bought my invites from Michael’s and hand wrote them myself (don’t forget to use the 40% off coupon found in the Sunday paper).
· Getting family and friends to help (my aunt is baking some of the desserts, my friend enrolled in a photography so she will be taking our pics, get someone to act as a DJ, have everyone be a part of the clean-up crew). Find out what people’s talents are and play up on it – use it for your good.
· Use flowers that are in season or go get a few flower bouquets from the grocery store (I always get beautiful bouquets from the local Kroger store for my parties – the manager’s specials always seem to flow with my theme)
· Use what you have at home (for example, my hubby and I load up on peanuts – they are a part of our grocery bill. Instead of throwing away the cans, you can use them as favor boxes.
· You don’t have to hire a calligrapher, take the class and do it yourself or hire someone who is just starting out in the business
· Choose a professional photographer and negotiate the rate – as them for the photos on a high res cd and print the pics yourself