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bridePhotography: $500
When we booked with Evin Photography, we chose a $2500 package that we customized- it basically included the wedding coverage, an engagement session, and the disc of images. But when I got laid off in December, we had no idea how we were going to pay for our wedding, and the photography was eating up a huge chunk of our budget. It just so happened that when I told Evin about my employment situation, that she was looking for someone who did the kind of work that I do. So we worked out a trade. I worked off my balance to her by doing design work and editing photos. Basically all we paid was our deposit- which was $500. The fact that we were able to work out this arrangement is the only reason we were able to have the wedding. PERIOD. If it weren't for this it wouldn't have happened for another year… or we would have had a lot of credit card debt. So thank you Evin Krehbiel! 🙂 Of course the fab Evin had already been booked for our date so she contracted Chris and Adrienne to shoot our actual wedding but they did a phenomenal job and we couldn't be happier with the results.

Alcohol: $530
We bought all the alcohol to serve at our reception, instead of hiring a bartending service to come in and do it. If you can find a venue that will let you provide your own alcohol you will save a BUNDLE. I would say this is a MUST if you want to save some cash. We saved by purchasing wine from Trader Joe's for super cheap, and one of E's groomsmen was in the army so he got our beer for us at the PX for a discount and no tax. We hired a bartender who came recommended from a friend to serve the alcohol, as that was a requirement in our venue's contract.

$280 on wine- Trader Joe's 2 Buck Chuck
$130 on beer
$100- bartender

I also spent $19.49 on 20 pages of ink-jet printable Waterproof labels from to put on the wine bottles. I had no idea that they existed, but this was a MUCH cheaper option than getting them printed somewhere else. Trust me! I designed the labels to match our other printed materials and printed them on my HP C6380 and the labels held up great- even in a bucket of icewater!! E and his dad peeled all the labels off the 2 Buck Chuck, and my mom and her friends affixed the new labels to the bottles. It worked out great!

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • sanebride

    Girlfriend, you are amazing! You’ve MacGyvered the most amazing wedding with nothing to it. I love it!

  • love the custom wine labels 🙂

  • omgweddingblog

    Love how you managed to get all of your photography for so cheap! Brilliant!
    I actually found a local photography student who has agreed to do all of my photography for a very reasonable price. (She’s trying to build her portfolio) It was such a steal.

  • I am so impressed with the wine labels – what a fabulous idea, thanks for sharing. Congrats on getting married this year.

  • That is awesome that your photographer was willing to work with you.

  • I’m not getting married anytime soon, but that alcohol idea is terrific!

  • Jessica

    Did you have any alcohol left over?

    We get to buy ours as well, but the I’m never sure how much to get – we have some Irishmen in the crowd 🙂 Real Irishmen.

  • Budget Savvy Bride

    Yeah we had a bit left over. Mostly Red wine. We had at least a case of it left over, and then random bottles of wine here and there. We had less than half a case of beer left, so I figured we made out okay. Although, we didn’t have any irishmen at our wedding so it’s hard to say… LOL

  • Wow, I wish I had your design skills – very cool barter.

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