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Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Ideas for a Frugal (Not Cheap!) Wedding

Mary Hunt on

I get a lot of mail on the subject of weddings. I get stories of joy, tales of woe, great ideas and even a blooper from time to time.

In 27 years, I cannot recall a single time I've heard from a bride or groom saying they wished they'd spent more money on their wedding.

The best wedding mail comes from frugal brides and grooms who are anxious to share their fabulous frugal ideas with future couples!

LEAN GUEST LIST

Dear Mary: Our first guest list included everyone we knew. As the list grew (and grew), we realized that would be a really bad idea. Without intending to do so, we got very close to inviting people who would then feel obligated to attend a wedding for people they didn't really know that well. We decided to whittle that list, seeing our wedding as a more intimate event rather than a big everyone-we-know blowout.

From where we started, we got the list down to 25%. Best decision ever. Our wedding was manageable, affordable and exactly what we wanted -- an intimate celebration of joy. -- Debbie

 

FIERY RECEPTION

Dear Mary: For a wedding reception that is out of the ordinary, have a bonfire rather than a sit-down meal. My husband and I did this, and people still talk about how much fun our wedding was. We changed clothes after pictures and started a big fire at my grandmother's house. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had side dishes brought by family members. It was the best potluck ever because we requested our favorite family dishes. By shopping in bulk for hot dogs and buns, we came out to about $200 on food. -- Rochelle

GO FRUGAL ON PHOTOS

Dear Mary: I had my guests take pictures at the event, and we sprang for a professional portrait session before the wedding. Instead of spending $1,200 to $5,000 on a wedding photographer, it cost us $200 to go to a park and have professional portraits taken in our wedding attire. This would also make a great gift to the couple from a family member who wants to contribute. -- Diane

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