Beware of bad advice

As much as I see really good wedding planning advice out there...but then I see something like this: 10 Ways to Save on The Rising Cost of Weddings.

"9. Ask friends to help with photography

Wedding photographers cost $2,379 on average, according to The Knot, and there’s no guarantee you’ll like the photos you get. Skip the pricey professionals and ask your friends and family to serve as photographers. It’s likely that one of your friends is a skilled photographer.

Another alternative: My friend gave all of her guests disposable cameras and asked them to take the whole roll. Most people did and she has great wedding shots."

Here is why this is bad advice.

1. Although you can certainly spend a lot of wedding photography you can also scale that back before just cutting it out. Often you can hire a photographer for just a couple of hours for less than $1000.

2. As a photographer who has photographed friends weddings, I can say it is not a fair thing to ask a friend to photograph a wedding. Wedding Photography is a lot of work! There is no way to be a guest and the photographer.

3. The disposable idea is bad in a number of ways, the quality is terrible and it is a bad choice for the environment...but the biggie is it is hard to find a place to develop them. Many places will sell disposable cameras but not develop. Just steer clear of that all together.

My advice, cut back on the things that are perishable and/or peripheral to the what your marriage is about.  The photographs, the marriage and the rings are the only things you will have after the wedding day itself.  Why would anyone cut the budget around the things that last?

My top five ways to trim the wedding budget:

1. Consider a used dress.  And/or sell your dress after the wedding.

2. Use an electronic invitation and RSVP system for your wired guests.  You can still send paper invites to older invites.  An e-invite will save you hundreds in postage alone.

3. Invite fewer people.  I know this is hard, but the biggest way to save is to trim the invite list.

4. Skip the rehearsal dinner or have a DIY or potluck rehearsal.  Rehearsal dinners easily cost $2,000.

5. Do you really need all those flowers and cake?  Flowers are beautiful, I know.  But they are also perishable.  You don't have to cut out the flowers entirely but consider an alternative to the floral center pieces, Mother of the bride/groom flowers, attendant flowers.  By doing that you can save $1,000+.  And I can tell you as much as I love wedding cake, we see a lot of it thrown away at the end of the wedding.

My final take-away is two-fold.  First, don't get caught up trying other people do, plan your wedding in a way that makes sense to you.  And second, remember to spend at least as much time planning your marriage as you do planning your wedding.

Now I will get off my soapbox and get back to editing last weeks wedding :)


Thea Dodds