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How do I plan my wedding?

My fiance and I want an actual wedding, not a court wedding, but we cannot however afford it that well. How can I go about planning a simple, cheap, nice wedding? 1) I'm most likely getting my dress with the Davids bridal sale, or if I find a better one. 2) I've already gotten a close friend to make our cake, she bakes. 3) I have a friend who is great with photography, not professional, but it's what she wants.... She said I can get her to take pics for $150, I might shop around, and get a professional, so I could get blown up pictures. Here is an example of her work.. http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=135176682&albumId=1789643&page=2 Should I stick with her and her price? Or find a professional? 4) I want our 4 children to be in the wedding, and my two young sisters. My best friend and my cousin are the bridesmaid, and they can pay for their own dresses. 5) Where do I go about getting the place set up? Go to the Dollar store/wal mart find some cheap items, and spray paint? I've heard of getting a mirror, and setting it under a candle. What do I need? Our budget is $1500, but we're shooting for less. There will be no alcohol Thank you! :) We are going to just have a park reception, And we have just close family and very close friends. I'd say under 30 people. I need to figure that out soon, though. And, our families are great cooks, and I know a great chef who is going to help us. So that helps. Oooh, I should have rephrased it... But if we keep my friend as the photographer, our budget is $1500. If we use a professional, it would obviously be a lot more. I already have invitations and everything as far as that goes. And the marriage license is taken care of. And, I know this sounds weird for a wedding, but I want daisies for flowers, they are my favorite.

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  1. It is totally possible to have a wedding on that budget. Using friends and family is a great way to go. Use your friend for photography. I don't care where you live you won't find a professional for so cheap. Plus, she'll most likely give you unlimited use of her photos which is so fantastic and you won't regret that. Dollar store is a great resource for decoration items. You could get hurricane glasses and just put candles in those for your centerpieces. Restaurants are great places for receptions, and they are cheap! Typically they will have a room for parties that you can reserve for $50-$100. Then, you can decide if you want to serve a meal, hor'dourves, or have guest purchase their own meals. The drawback to a restaurant is you have to have food. Other options are community centers or Elks lodges or anything along those lines. The drawback to those places is they aren't always pretty. Also, keeping your guest list small will help so much with the costs. To start out though I would imagine what your dream wedding would be and then take elements from that to create your wedding. Just take your time and try not to get too stressed out.
  2. Congrats! You can do this, but with an absolute limit of $1500, what will trip you up are the things that nickel and dime you. I'm talking about things like the officiant fee, marriage license, your shoes, flowers, gifts for your 2 bridesmaids and groomsmen, the clothes for your kids, the invitations and postage, etc. These things could easily add up quickly, so you have to set aside funds for incidentals. On the photographer, you have no choice. You won't be able to spend more than $150. On food, I'm assuming this is a small wedding, so you have a couple of options. If the wedding/reception takes place during a meatime, you do have to serve a meal, but there's nothing wrong with asking family members if they want to help cater it for you. And lots of meals are inexpensive, like a pasta, salad and garlic bread, etc. If this doesn't work, then you do have to have the event at an off-time (like midafternoon) and you can serve cake and champagne, with maybe a few munchies like mixed nuts. Edit: I totally agree with Miamort that restaurants are a great option, but I do not agree that you can ask people to pay their own way. You cannot do this. However, there's no rule that says it has to be pricy. If you can get a pizza place to give you a back room, you could have fun creating a pizza menu.
  3. It sounds like you're off to a great start with planning a budget friendly wedding. As many things that you can do yourself or have friends and family help with will really save you a lot of money. See the websites below for tons of ideas on how to save, including your centerpieces, favors, etc. The second link is for a site that has free printable wedding invitations and ideas for other DIY invitations. There are many to choose from. Congrats!