33 Money-Saving Secrets from Wedding Pros

We're busting the wedding industry wide open in order to save you a bundle. Only the pros knew of these brilliant cost-cutting strategies—until now!


  • Many couples these days are choosing to have both color and black-and-white photographs taken of their weddings. But check your contract to make sure your photographer isn't charging extra to shoot in black and white. The truth is, it's easy and cheap to convert color film into black-and-white pictures during the developing process. (Note: It's even easier to do from digital film, which is what many wedding photographers are using today.)
  • Negotiate to keep the negatives of your wedding photos. Since many photographers charge a premium for creating prints, you'll save a bundle by using the negatives to make copies for friends and family or even to create enlargements of frame-worthy images.
  • When you hire a videographer, forgo special effects, like slow motion, freeze-framing or voice-overs. They're expensive—and not really necessary. Skip the fancy DVD or videotape case that your videographer may try to sell you. A plain one is just fine, and is more affordable. Besides, you'll probably store it in a drawer, where no one will see it anyway.


  • Take advantage of those day-after-the-holiday sales at your favorite stores, where you can save up to 70% on all sorts of items to use as favors for a holiday-theme wedding the following year. For example, you can buy marked-down red candles on February 15 and tree ornaments on December 26.
  • Comb the Internet for well-priced favors. Check out economycandy.com, where you can find all kinds of sweets, from dried fruit to chocolate. Partyblockstore.com sells everything from beverage glasses and bottle openers to matchbooks and more.
  • Another idea to consider is making a charitable donation in honor of your guests. It's a personal and thoughtful gift they will definitely appreciate. The I Do Foundation offers a simple way to donate to your charity of choice. You can choose an organization from their list or suggest your own. Place cards are also available for purchase to let your guests know about the special gift.