For our wedding, we came up with several money savers.
1) For our florist, we hired the local community college who will do the flowers at cost. So we get the DIY price tag, with none of the work!
2) For our photographer, I contacted a high-end photography house in Austin and told them my budget. They referred me to a "second-shooter" who was just starting to work as a primary photographer and she offered to do 6 hours with 2 photogs for half price. And then knocked an extra $300 off when I offered to blog about her and forgo the engagement shoot. (we already had one.)
3) For my couture dress, I'm having a dress custom made by Kathryn Conover in NY who buys materials from the same places as Vera and Monique and creates custom creations for a fraction of the price. My dress will be a combo of a Vera dress and a Melissa Sweet dress and comes with lots of handmade sketches for a keepsake!
4) For favors, we decided to give away flip flops--the official shoe of Austin, TX! And we bought them the day Old Navy has their $1 flip flop sale!
5) I hired the college rugby team to be waitstaff as a fundraiser for them and a tax-free donation for me!
6) We found our bartender on Craigslist.
7) We're getting married on a Friday the weekend before peak season.
8) We bought the groom a suit at the Brooks Brothers Friends and Family sale.
9) For videography, we'll pass around a collection of camcorders for an organic feel and have my bridesmaid, the film editor, put together the film.
10) For invites, my designer friend is learning how to letterpress and will be making our invites at The Arm NYC in Brooklyn--a letterpress studio that lets you rent machines for $15/hr. She also did our concert poster-style Save the Dates. Check 'em out at www.blushandbashfulbride.blogspot.com! She's available for hire. And awesome!