This is Kristen and her fiancé, Wes, the beaming winners of our wedding ticket give-away to last Saturday’s Brooklyn Based wedding fair at the Bell House (which we heard was big fun). To win tickets, we asked readers to submit their best ideas for saving money at their wedding, and Kristin had a bunch:
“Think of all of your friends and friends of friends and see who might be willing/able to pitch in. My best friend does a baking blog, and she’s making my wedding cake. Another friend has a restored classic Mustang, so he’s providing the getaway car. Yet another works at a brewery, and he was able to give us an awesome deal on alcohol. Cashing in on relationships—without taking advantage—is a great way to save money while making the wedding unique at the same time. “
Yep, ya gotta have friends, and ones with restored classic Mustangs are the best kind. But Kristen isn’t the only Brokelyn bride-to-be with some cheap tricks up her sleeve. Nicola suggested buying all your wine at Trader Joe’s, buying meat in bulk and supplying it to the caterer yourself. Or, trying an ethnic menu. “Think Chinese, West Indian or Indian,” Nicole said. “Often they cook banquet-style meals at a fraction of the price, and you get away from the boring chicken-steak-fish paradigm.”
Lisa Draho at Joshua Zuckerman photography said couples should negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, on photos and everything else:
“While you may not get your top pick, the closer to your wedding date that you hire a photographer—e.g. 6 to 8 weeks in advance or less—the more likely the photographer is to cut a steep discount because they have a diminishing chance of getting booked.” If you’re getting married during a non-peak time, like Fridays, weekdays and deep winter months, you should also negogiate aggressively, she suggests. (By the way, if you’re looking for a thoroughly non-cheeseball photographer, check out Josh’s site—he’s really good. Love the two guys arguing over the challah.)
Readers and vendors sent us other fun ideas, but we’re saving them for the big list of 25 budget wedding tips that Brokelyn Labs has been cooking up. For some time now, we’ve been polling Brooklyn wedding pros on how to save on dresses, caterers, venues, photographers, party favors, floral arrangements, and so on. We’ve got some pearls, and now we want to hear from real people too. Whether you’re soon-to-be or recently married, committed or otherwise conjoined, lay ’em on us, so that all of Brokelyn can live cheaply ever after.