Save Big Without Skimping

Continued (page 4 of 4)

31. Be your own beauty pro. You can save a lot by doing your own hair and makeup. Get ideas and tips beforehand from magazines and makeup counters, and ask a friend to help on the big day.

32. Bring your own bar. If your site allows, it can be cheaper to buy liquor at a warehouse-style store and pay your site to provide a bartender. You can use any leftovers to stock your home bar.

33. Stick with the standards. Nix premium-brand liquors and instead serve more economical "house" brands. In mixed drinks, it can be difficult to tell the difference.

34. Be frugal with photography. If the photographer you have in mind seems priced beyond your reach, you may still be able to hire him without going over budget. Ask this pro to provide proofs only, then craft your own album out of those. You won't have to settle for a different vendor-and you can always order more prints or a polished album later.

35. Ask for a rough cut. Scale back on videography costs by asking your pro to give you just a very basic edit. You'll get the footage you were looking for, in the style you wanted, and you can always save up to have him edit it further later.

36. Minimize the musicians. For your ceremony, hire just a pianist and a vocalist instead of booking a string quartet-you'll still get the great music you'd envisioned but at a greatly reduced cost.

37. Bypass a live band. Most top DJs charge a lot less than top bands. An added benefit is that a DJ can act as an all-in-one entertainer: He can play the tunes for your ceremony, switch to background music for the cocktail hour, then take the remainder of the party into high gear.

38. Forgo the favors. Your guests will hardly notice that they're missing. Another option: Give one favor to each couple instead of one per guest in order to pay half the price.

39. Craft items by hand. If you have time for this budget-friendly DIY project, make your own favors. (Enlist friends or relatives to help!) A bonus: Since homemade treats are more personal and unique, they're always a hit among guests.

40. Postpone your honeymoon. Consider delaying the trip to your dream destination until the off-season, when rates will be lower. If you can't be this flexible, try to schedule your departure and return on a Monday or Tuesday to secure better airfares.

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