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One of the best ways to save money on a wedding is to beg, borrow and steal. Well, maybe not steal. But we have begged for asked plenty of favors, and we’re borrowing several things from friends and family. Off the top of my head, here are all the ways our dearest are helping us:

1. Making the majority of the food.
2. Providing all the beverages.
3. The location.
4. Very cheap photography.
5. Free invitations.
6. Unofficial videography.
7. Providing officiant duties.
8. Lending jewelry.
9. Creating my hairdo.
10. Bringing all the chairs and tables so we don’t have to rent them.
11. Helping with setup and cleanup.
12. Helping with several of the decorations.
13. Contributing to our Unity Quilt.

I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting, but that list alone is pretty impressive huh? That’s a lot of talents and materials being offered up for free. We’re pretty confident we’re going to come in under our ($2000) budget with this wedding, and the only way we’re able to have a great wedding with the people we love is because of the people we love.

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One way that we’re able to keep our budget low for our wedding is by getting a great deal on photography. My thinking with photos was that we didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars on them. I know a professional can take AMAZING pictures, but I didn’t need to look like the pages in a bridal magazine. I just wanted to remember the day. I wanted photos, not necessarily works of art. So we were willing to to forego a photographer and just ask friends and family to have cameras at the ready.

But we got lucky. Remember my friend Erica who took our faux engagement photos? Like this one:

Or like the one in our header and the one in the sidebar. At that time she was just contemplating getting into photography for real, so we “modeled” for her and essentially ended up with a free engagement session (even though we didn’t technically get engaged until after). Anyway, Erica had offered to also do our wedding for free, to get the practice. She moved to California last fall, but said if we flew her in, she’d shoot the wedding for free.

Now Erica’s doing the photography thing for real. She recently started a business, she has had some clients, and she, I presume, has even made some money from it! Arika Reed Photography. Check it out.

Even with her budding business, she is still doing our wedding photography for the cost of a plane ticket. Perhaps because it’s valuable practice for her, but more likely because we’ve been friends for nearly 20 years.

Thanks Rico!

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