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how to save on your wedding, but still have beautiful images

Let’s face it. Weddings are expensive.

Not everyone has family to help them out with the bills and I know there are many people out there, myself included, who don’t feel comfortable with accepting hand outs either. But what if I told you that it’s possible to still have a beautiful stress free wedding and breathtaking photos without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 ways to save for your big day:

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1.)  Make it intimate

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I mean, make it really intimate.  Elopements are an easy way to save big on your wedding day while still making the day all about you.

Amy and Adam are outdoorsy people. They spent their honey moon hiking the West Coast Trail (for the 3 time). Their Facebook and Instagram accounts are littered with photos of their latest trekking experiences and mountain summits. There wasn’t a single doubt in their minds when they set their hearts on a mountain top elopement  in Whistler.

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Meghan and Michael flew over to Vancouver from Fort McMurray to elope.  The staff at The Opus Hotel in Yaletown took care of the whole wedding package for them – their wedding and event coordinator even signed and witnessed their marriage license! After a short stay in Vancouver and honeymoon in Hawaii, they celebrated with friends and family in Alberta.

2.)  Grow your own flowers!

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Easier said than done, but if you’ve got a green thumb, this will be a cinch! Rachel had a beautiful and fragrant bouquet of lavender she grew in her backyard and Matt’s boutonnière was made of the same lavender tied together with some twine. Amy’s bouquet was made of some wildflowers she’d gathered on a hike earlier in the day. Both these arrangements were inexpensive and really express their personalities and lifestyles!

3.)  Prioritize your budget

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Not everyone NEEDS full day photography coverage. Having beautiful photos is important (and a must in my eyes), but for some, decorations are just as important. Gary is an interior designer so it was really important to have a beautifully decorated venue. He and his wife Alice decided to only hire me for a portion of the day so they could put their wedding dollars towards decorations. Be careful when you go this route though. You want to hire a photographer whom you trust to still take fantastic photos. In Gary and Alice’s case, they went with quality over quantity when hiring me as their wedding photographer.

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4.)  Have a small celebration then take photos another day!

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Some couples choose to have a simple celebration with their friends and family on one day, then pick a separate day to take their wedding photos. This not only saves you ton on your wedding day coverage, but gives you a fun and relaxing time to make some beautiful images. You can make your session as casual or as fancy as you see fit.

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5.)  Do it yourself!

This is super cliché, but it’s true! If you want to save some money, just do it yourself!

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For Wayne and Grace’s wedding, they had a small and intimate gathering in the backyard of their own home. They rented a tent, chairs and high top tables locally and set them up themselves. Decorations were simple and elegant, made up of potted plants, mason jar arrangements and stringed up photos of their childhood moments.

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So that’s it! There are 6 ways you can save big on your wedding day. If you have any other tips and tricks, feel free to comment below!

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