How to Have a Free Wedding

Updated on September 27, 2013
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You want a meaningful and a beautiful wedding.The only way to have that is to spend $2,000 on your wedding gown, at least $10,000 on the food for your 200 guests, $5,000 on the venue, $5,000 on the flowers and decorations, $1,000 on the three-tiered cake... The list simply does not end. Half-way through your wedding preparations, you both sit down and figure out where you both are in your budget. After happily clicking the calculator keys for an eternity, you finally have the amount. Alas! You are already $5,000 way over your budget. How did this happen?

It must have been the exotic belly dancers, booked to entertain the guests at the reception, or the fireworks display, arranged secretly by the groom as a surprise for his bride... This sets off a heated conversation filled with pin-pointing. Every single cent from the purchases thereafter are inspected thoroughly and can easily set off another round of the blaming game and accusations.

Then comes The Day itself. We expect a calm bride, instead, we are treated to a sight of a bridezilla walking down the aisle. The meaningful and beautiful wedding is gone, replaced by the apocalyptic ambiance of a wedding fraught with arguments and debt.


Bridezilla
Bridezilla | Source

I Am No Bridezilla!

Wait a minute! I do not want that wedding and neither do you. Let me just tell you that if a meaningful and beautiful wedding is what you want, then you can have that without ever opening your purse.

I am also on the first stages of planning my own wedding with the low to zero cost in mind. Let us be open to the fact that it is definitely possible. Others have done it and so we can, as well. But before we can talk about the how, let us first understand the wedding debt trend.


Wedding E-Card
Wedding E-Card | Source

Till Debt Do Us Part

A bank can offer a really high line of credit. They are happy to do this because they want you to borrow more. It is simple, really. The more you borrow, the more the bank earns (from the processing fees down to the interests you have to pay). A wedding founded on debt is doomed to a lifetime of monthly repayments, and this is exactly the worst way to start a life together.

This usually means you get to spend tens of thousands of dollars which are really not yours in the first place. The average American wedding expenditure averages around $27,000. Imagine spending all that in a one-day event.

This reminds me of a Shania Twain song, Ka-Ching, about how we spend money that we do not possess. As a result, we create this mess and how do we get out of it?


"When you're broke go and get a loan
Take out another mortgage on your home
Consolidate so you can afford
To go and spend some more when
You get bored"

Till Debt Do Us Part
Till Debt Do Us Part | Source

It is especially vital nowadays not to follow the trend which is impracticality and spending beyond your own means. Modern day marriages are often disposable. "Till death do us part" has now become "Till debt do us part."


Not Really Free

I have a confession to make. A wedding cannot be entirely free. You would have to pay for the wedding papers and registrar. As for a Catholic couple like us, we cannot skip the church ceremony so we factor the fees for that as well. For other Christians, you would also have to pay for the officiating minister's time.

However, you can still have the rest free-- if you follow what's written here....


Tip #1. Have an Intimate Wedding

This is probably the best tip I can give you to start off your wedding preparations. Let us get back to what a wedding really is. It is a ceremony where two people are ritually or legally united as one. I also initially wanted a grand wedding, but after realizing how it could affect us, crippling us financially for at least the first few years of our life together as husband and wife, I knew I had to redefine my wants and stick to the needs.

I am also trying to get my head around the fact that this wedding is not a 'me' wedding. Instead of an 'us' wedding, it has become just the bride's. We are fixated by the material details and impressing people you probably do not even know that well. By slashing down the number of attendees, this will help to really lower your wedding cost.

How low can you go? Ask yourself that. How many people should be in your wedding? 300? 200? What? Are you planning to invite your whole clan and village to your ceremony? I am sure you can do better than that. 100? That is still the whole clan, inclusive of 50 or so friends you have not even talked to or seen for years except on Facebook.

How about 20? 10? 6? 4? 0? You did not misread it. Many couples really have done weddings with no guests before. However, that is too much. I personally will not go that far. Twenty-five is a perfect number for me so I will stick along that number, give or take five. Let us analyze the 25 guests who are coming to my own wedding:

  • 4 (Parents- his and mine)
  • 4 (Siblings- his and mine)
  • 2 (Grannies- his and mine)
  • 2 (Grandpas- mine)
  • 1 (Sibling's wife- his)
  • 2 (Siblings' kids- his)
  • 5 (Closest friends- his)
  • 5 (Closest friends- mine)

Intimate Wedding
Intimate Wedding | Source

A wedding should be about you both being united as one and the closest people in your lives should be there to see it. It makes a ceremony even more meaningful, when the people witnessing it really give a darn about you both. Ask yourself: who are the people who have always been and will always be part of our lives? THEY are the perfect guests in your wedding.


"Why Wasn't I Invited?"

Now, how to tell the other 75 that they are not invited... That is the dilemma and you just have to be blunt-but-loving when explaining it to them. First off, do not go about calling people that they have not been invited. If they ask, then you answer.

Ariel from www.offbeatbride.com lists out some of the blunt-but-loving reasons you can use to explain your situation. Read the whole article here.

Now you have a good excuse!


Tip #2. Have a Free Wedding Reception Venue

A wedding reception area can easily cost you $5,000. How about we enumerate the free ones here?

CHURCH-- Sometimes, it is possible to have the reception free in the church grounds if you are a parishioner. A small donation would be at your own discretion.

BACKYARD-- This is the first location people think of to be as economical as possible when it comes to their wedding. If you have a nice enough, good-sized backyard for the number of guests you have, then you might as well take that. Another alternative is to ask a friend (or a friend's friend's friend) who owns the perfect backyard to allow you to have your wedding reception there.

What is good about a backyard wedding? First off, you can customize it the way you want. If you are opting for a jungle-themed wedding, just prop in some plants and voila! Your own paradise. Second and more important reason why this works is that it is free.

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PARK-- There are many parks that allows gatherings without any fee. There will be no privacy but a lake in one side and a beautifully-maintained garden in the other are nice compromises. A picnic-themed wedding is a great idea. Browse through the photos below and see how other couples have used this theme to make their weddings charmingly memorable.

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BEACH-- There are beaches which are open to the public. Try to find a nice, secluded-enough spot to hold your reception in.

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UNUSUAL LOCATION-- If you would like to hold your reception in the place where you both met, say, the airport, then prepare to convince the airport big shots and perhaps have the media get wind of your plans as well. Businesses want good advertisement. A wedding will boost their PR.


Tip #3. Have Free Food!

A potluck wedding may not seem to be mainstream but people who are budget conscious do this. Other couples have also done this for generations and is embedded in many cultures.

You probably want to ask, "isn't it rude to ask your guests to bring food?" Well, if your guests are the ones closest to you, they most likely would not mind. In fact, they would be willing to help any way they could. In lieu of a wedding gift, perhaps you can ask each to bring a certain type of food or drinks to be shared by all after the ceremony. For instance, one guest would be tasked to bring a case or two of Coca-Cola, while another, pork on skewers to be grilled afterwards. One positive thing about this is the fact that each puts so much heart into making/buying the food-- and you would be able to taste it!

Caterers could easily cost you $10,000 for a 200-head party.


FREE CAKE

If your mother-in-law knows how to bake delicious home made cakes, just ask her to make one for your wedding. It may not be the cake in the magazines but it would be perfect for your wedding.

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Just dig in and stuff your face, ladies! These cakes look fantastic!


Tip #4. Have a Free Wedding Dress

If you think that the wedding dress is a have-to-have, and you simply do not want to purchase or rent one, you may want to find if there are some organizations that accept donated wedding dresses to be given to brides who are financially unstable.

You may also want to check these websites out: donatemyweddingdress.org, myexwifesweddingdress.com.

Another way is to approach friends or relatives (or their friend's friend's friend) who have recently tied the knot. If they are willing to lend you their dress, then you do not have to spend $1,000 to walk down the aisle.


Tip #5. Have A Free Photographer

A professional photographer can easily cost you around $800 - $3,000. Now that is a waste of good money. As photographers run their own business, you may want to approach them and strike a bargain: cover your wedding and they can use it as a platform to advertise their business. That is a win-win situation there.

If that does not work out, try to look for a budding photographer in your family or perhaps, that friend of yours who is brilliant when it comes to taking photos... Exploit these talents lah! You will be more comfortable and confident striking pose upon pose when you know the person behind the camera. No fees at all.

Before the big day, try out different angles and lighting and explain it to your friend/relative how you want some of your shots to look like. This gives them the idea of what photos you are aiming for.


Tip #6. Have a Free DJ

The question is: do you need a DJ? They cost around $500. Disc Jockeys play music; music you can find on iTunes. There you have it, fellow brides! Your iPod is the answer. Just hook em up to a loudspeaker and ask another guest to serve as a DJ in your wedding.

If you do not have an iPod, just use the reliable laptop. Download tons of wedding-appropriate songs beforehand and let them play out on your special day.

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If you want to learn the basics of how to DJ your own wedding with an iPod, read A Practical Wedding's article here.


Tip #7. Have a Free Bouquet

One way is to harvest newly-bloomed flowers from your own backyard or someone else's. However, if it is winter and flowers are nearly non-existent, try the toilet. The secret to having a free bouquet is... the tissue paper.

Here is a video tutorial on how to transform that toilet or Japanese crepe paper into a beautiful bouquet.

This is a bouquet that you can keep days, weeks or months before the wedding. If you prefer another design or color, you can always change it up without spending anything.


Tip #8. Have Free Wedding Invitations

There are tons of free DIY crafts online that demonstrate how to create incredibly cheap wedding invitations. There are also printable and customizable ones. The only thing you have to spend on is the paper and ink.

But if what you want is a free one, you might want to call up the guests you have in mind by phone or better yet, go house to house and invite them personally. If you do this, you can properly explain and ask for their help when it comes to the potluck aspect of the wedding.


Final Words

Right now, I am scaring the fiancé.

He is worried that we might going to end up asking friends and family to bring their own food. Well, what is wrong with that? Everyone's family and at least at one point in our lives, we all ate the delicious dishes created by our family and WE LOVED EVERY SINGLE BITE.

If we can all remember that a wedding is not supposed to be only about the brides, but about how two souls are united by the holy sacrament of matrimony, then it would be easier to stick with the needs and not the wants.

Congratulations for getting engaged! Now go plan that free wedding!

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    • profile image

      Ariana Gulton 

      12 hours ago

      Bullshit photography advice. Are you so entitled you think you deserve a free photographer? Bridezilla if I've ever seen one

    • profile image

      Zeejet 

      2 days ago

      A lot of hate in these comments from people who have been brainwashed by the wedding-industrial complex and are down right selfish (what right do you have to demand someone else's wedding be up to your standards).

      While I agree some of the points are a bit absurd, a wedding is whatever the couple chooses it to be. No one should dictate how you do a wedding.

      I think wedding venues are highway robbery; the price is artificially inflated because they know idiots will pay the price because society dictates that it shouldn't matter.

      I also agree with the smaller headcount; only your closest family and friend need to be there. I've been to so many weddings where I will never speak to the bride/groom ever again; I simply happened to be in their lives at the moment (work, school, etc.)

      DJs? Waste of money unless it's someone who actually mixes tracks and know understands the craft. Most wedding DJ's hit play on a machine.

      What I will defend is wedding photography and food services. Yes, sometimes you might know someone who is really good and isn't a professional, but like any specialty, wedding photography is it's own genre and someone who takes awesome landscapes or street photographs won't have the same skill set as a wedding photographer.

      Food/cake is also really easy to mess up if you try to go the potluck route. Plus, you are serving the people closest to you (some of who have traveled far and paid for accommodations in order to attend). Make sure that it is properly catered.

      Overall, I think this comment section is overly privileged, but I will say that there are some corners you shouldn't cut in weddings.

    • profile image

      John 

      5 days ago

      Ok - EVEN if you have a friend or relative who is a professional photographer ....and assuming hat they are an event or wedding photographer - some huge flaws as a result of lack of experience & knowledge by the author.

      A) it’s rude to ask someone to come to something as a guest and work - like really rude.

      B) they will NEVER do the job as well as a non-attached photographer as the nature of the event indicates that they will know people - they will be faced with being rude themselves and totally brushing off the folks who try to pull them aside and engage them in pleasantriesto stay focused on a job - or only paying partial attention to the job at hand,

    • profile image

      Harsh 

      8 days ago

      Just ask your friend to take pictures on their phone and someone to broadcast it live to 500 wedding guests/witness during dinnertime so they can eat at their home while you have a wedding with just 5 people (bride, groom, priest and 2 friends) in a court where you can sign a document saying you're married :)

    • profile image

      Done 

      8 days ago

      I’m all for having a small wedding and all but this article is a joke. This sounds more like how to plan a backyard bbq ... have your guests bring food? free dj and photographer? I’m surprised you didn’t suggest using Facebook to send your invites. You’re better off eloping if that’s what you’re expecting. Your wedding sounds like it’s going to be a burden to your friends and family. FYI - Food isn’t free. Your family has to BUY everything to make what you’re requesting. If you don’t see anything wrong with this post -you probably shouldn’t get married quite yet.

    • profile image

      juicerat 

      8 days ago

      “Exposure” doesn’t pay the bills. Pay artists properly!

    • profile image

      um its me 

      9 days ago

      watch jessica kobessi vid she did a review this article(ps.she's a photagrapher)

    • profile image

      This is messed up 

      9 days ago

      As a photographer I really hate tip #5..!

      (And tip #6 since I used to be a DJ at certain events..)

      When you pay a photographer to shoot your wedding your not paying for just the photos..You pay for their time (just as you pay for the officiating minister's time..!).. A wedding is such an important day of your life. Why would you not want high quality photos of you and your bride/groom that are taken by someone with experiance? Someone that knows what they are doing and not just pushing buttons..A photographer want to give you the best pictures. And that means that the photographer puts in time and effort in every photo, to make sure that you get the best shots you could! And of course..! -if you have a friend or a family member that are a professional photographer, sure! Ask them. BUT! You should still pay them since they are doing a job for you. If you are really good friends you might get a good and solid discount.!

      Remember that if you are inviting someone to your wedding and they say yes, they might want to go as a guest. Not everyone wants to get a task during their friends wedding.

      And everyone that works at a wedding should get paid for their work and time! Not only the photographer, but the DJ, caterers and every other person that makes your wedding possible. There shoudn't be a problem to make the day really special for not only you, but your bride/groom and your families and friends.

    • profile image

      Absolute Joke 

      9 days ago

      Hope you realise that disrespecting an entire industry is NOT gaining you anything. Whoever wrote this needs a reality check and a new job.

    • profile image

      Marcos 

      9 days ago

      If you ever wanna have the saddest wedding on earth just follow these "tips"

    • profile image

      Holy god 

      9 days ago

      Do you have a job? It sounds like you can't afford socks, let alone a wedding. The title of this article should be "HOW TO EXPLOIT YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS". When I first started, I photographed budget weddings. For one, I actually got paid, and two: it was crap. A wedding that costs no money is going to be horrible. It looks good on paper, but you'll get what you have coming to you if you actually try and pull this off.

    • profile image

      Alejandra 

      9 days ago

      Absolutely shameful.

    • profile image

      Are you kidding me 

      2 weeks ago

      I hope no one followed this advice

    • profile image

      What 

      2 weeks ago

      Extremely cursed wedding. Anyone who'd actually try this will have 8 years of pain before death.

    • profile image

      Christopher McIntosh 

      2 weeks ago

      Fire your writers. Did they get paid for it? Should've had them do it for free, use this platform for exposure! How bad could that be?

    • profile image

      No no no 

      2 weeks ago

      Only a fool would write this and only a bigger fool would take this info and use it

    • profile image

      Fuck you 

      2 weeks ago

      This is actually awful. How could you disrespect an entire industry of workers in one post? Whoever wrote this should be ashamed of their ignorance. Never coming to this clickbait bullshit site again

    • profile image

      Kari 

      2 weeks ago

      How dare you publish as actual advice that couples go out and try to coerce photographers into working for free on one of their biggest sources of income - weddings. You should be ashamed of your cheap ass. Your special day is never so important that the people who work at it should work for free and using THEIR own property to advertise their own service? Don’t be ridiculous, they could do that if you paid them. This is a completely bridezilla thing to do - delusional bride thinks she’s the smartest and most important thing alive and ropes everyone into making her day happen for free

    • profile image

      Ella 

      2 weeks ago

      Don't advocate trying to exploit professionals for free services.

    • profile image

      Sham 

      2 weeks ago

      If you cant afford to have a wedding then save until you can!! You dont rob photographers and djs out if their jobs. Douchbags

    • profile image

      Bordoy 

      2 weeks ago

      if you cant afford it, then dont. Dont exploit suppliers or friends.

    • profile image

      Photographer Jade 

      3 weeks ago

      it's perfectly alright to have a free or low budget wedding. If you said just having some "normal photos" taken by family will do is still acceptable. Engaging the service of professional photographers and trying to shortchange them is downright despicable.

    • profile image

      tinatalks 

      3 weeks ago

      Hi there! Some of your points here make a bit of sense and can actually be considered.

      But free photographer? Sure, absolutely no problem! Just please pay for a new camera and any other equipment (lenses, flash, spare battery/ies, etc.) since a camera's worth is devalued with every click of the shutter. Not to mention that the person will have invested time and effort going around taking pictures, and the time and effort spent post-processing thousands of images, just so you can have your "magical day" immortalized — for free.

      P.S. Enjoy all the photos — in low-res and with watermarks all over. :)

    • profile image

      Terrible advice 

      3 weeks ago

      Terrible advice, please remove this post. You are providing a misconception to so many different things that make a wedding run smoothly and the symbolism of it.

    • profile image

      You’re a freeloader 

      3 weeks ago

      When people flee from a house fire they take their pets and photos. Why? Because they’re some of the most cherished possessions. Thankfully your advice will allow them to leave their mediocre photos behind for something else.

    • profile image

      WriterWriter 

      3 weeks ago

      Dear blogger;

      The ONLY thing that will remain from a wedding in the weeks, months and years to come is the photographs.

      Secondly, in Canada and the US, photographers own the rights to their images and can use them whenever and wherever they wish; so your "let them use the images" comment is boGUS!

      You are CLEARLY uninformed, cheap, and misguided, and if you did have a fiancee at the time you wrote this, I hope she wised up before the wedding... because seriously.

    • profile image

      Annoyed 

      3 weeks ago

      Is this serious? Surely no respectable human being will actually try any of this! To undermine industry professionals like this! Its shocking!

    • profile image

      Ridiculous 

      3 weeks ago

      You're encouraging people to try and exploit professional photographers and other wedding industry services for free. What justification is there - EVER - for attempting to cheat people out of making an honest living?

      You're also completely undermining the amount of work, time, experience, physical labour, and technical/creative know-how it takes to deliver quality and professionalism to a client.

      People get what they pay (or don't pay) for. Asking your great aunt Sally to take shots with her $200 crop sensor camera yields exactly the kind of results any sensible person would expect. Not something couples planning the most important day of their lives want to risk.

      A lavish wedding with professional photographers, a DJ/band, catering, cake, lights, matching napkins, bridesmaids, groomsmen, center-pieces, scenic views and classy venue locations IS A LUXURY! If you can't afford it, you shouldn't be expecting others to foot the bill or badgering professionals to cut their paycheck so that you can live out your Disney fairy-tale wedding.

      I hope you're only getting paid in "exposure dollars" to write this because that's all you deserve for offering such terrible advice to your readers.

    • profile image

      Dan 

      3 weeks ago

      This is absolutely terrible. Author must be a spoiled brat who has never a worked a day in their life. Have you ever googled free photographer? You'll find that most listings are criticizing people like yourself.

      Get a real job and pay for photographers services, much like I would assume you get paid for yours.

    • profile image

      Insulted 

      3 weeks ago

      My photographer was well worth the pictures he took. And this is just insulting to all people who provide these services everywhere. If you know you're getting married you've probably known for some time. If you haven't saved even a little bit of money for this then that bodes worse for your financial future than a little bit of money for your wedding.

    • profile image

      Disappointed 

      3 weeks ago

      This article is not only poorly written and terrible advice, it’s desparaging and damaging to an entire industry of people and their livelihood.

      Nobody said you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your wedding but the fact that you’re belittling the value of a DJ, photographer, venue, caterer, with your poor choice of words...

      “Disc jockeys play music” wow way to minimize their career. Have you ever hired or been to an event with a crappy DJ who runs nothing, announces nothing, organized nothing, and just pushes play? Have fun with that. And your snarky comment in reference to the cost of a wedding photographer being $800-$3,000 “Now that is a waste of money.” Again, I question whether you’ve ever been married or looked through a friend or family member’s wedding photos... after all the money spent on the party the ceremony the dress and tux and food and booze, the memories and photos are all that’s left. And to advise a couple to reach out to a photographer and offer your degrading and devaluing bargain, assuming the photographer is just in this for portfolio work or to pass the time so of course it’s a “win win” to shoot a wedding for free, right? Sure, 6-10 hours of walking around photographing an entire day with the pressure of importance surrounding one of the hugest days of a couple’s life together, followed by weeks sometimes months of editing...sounds like my second cousin who likes taking selfies and pictures of sunsets could handle that. I can only hope that this old article stays buried.

    • profile image

      Angry Reader 

      3 weeks ago

      Say hello to the worst weddings you have ever seen! As a business owner I feel disgusted that anyone would advise "bargaining" with a photographer. We have bills to pay too, and didn't get to where we are in the professional world doing "free weddings".

    • profile image

      Alabai 

      3 weeks ago

      Crap!!! Hahhahah...Hey, can I get you to plan my free wedding for free?

    • profile image

      Joe Alfano Photography 

      3 weeks ago

      To the person who wrote this article. Your advise is probably the dumbest I have ever heard in my life. You get one wedding day and you want to advise people to F that up. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • profile image

      WOW 

      3 weeks ago

      What a way to promote exploiting others for the sake of your convenience (FYI. "exploiting" is never a positive term), and add to the current struggle for survival of creative professionals (photographers and disk jockeys)! Congrats on hitting two birds with one crappy stone! Is this the best the writer can do?

      Why not advice them to take photos from their phone cameras instead? And asking the visitors to use a certain hashtag when posting so you can see them on social media? Ever thought of that? I think not.

      Also, what the heck is the blatant belittling of disk jockeys? DJs do not just play canned music from iTunes. They create, mix, and transform music depending on the mood and occasion. You can't just call someone pressing 'play', 'pause', and 'next' a DJ.

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      Henri 

      3 weeks ago

      Worst. Article. Ever.

    • profile image

      MH 

      3 weeks ago

      I got paid in exposure for a job once.

      Turns out though my landlord didn't accept exposure for rent.

      The shop didn't accept exposure for food.

      The electric company wouldn't allow me to pay my bills with exposure.

      My insurance provider wouldn't accept exposure either!

      I couldn't even buy a new camera lens with exposure.

      Weird, right?!

    • profile image

      Andrej Hromin 

      3 weeks ago

      Well .. taking pics of your drunk friends and relatives is a great exposure only for a rehab clinic and devorce attorneys. Nobody gives a shit about your wedding pics

      .. you'll devorce way before the chemicals on photos evaporate anyway.

      A decent camera with a decent lens, a pc with adobe licence, few years of experience and ability to make you look half decent are worth more than your entire wedding.

      So pls .. by all means .. have your milky eye cousin take the pics with his new IPhone and let him have all the attention and benefits of that exposure.

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      Studio 4 Lytham 

      3 weeks ago

      As a photographer feel free to negotiate the best deal for your wedding and I’ll do my best to negotiate an album, online galleries, prints etc etc as well as my time, fuel and other costings that go into making me wanna turn up and do a wedding and enjoy my job. A photographer isn’t cheap and yes, we maybe self employed but don’t screw us over otherwise you’ll end up with someone with no experience and bad images

    • profile image

      Cass Emily 

      3 weeks ago

      Ironic that the images included in the article were all shot by professional photographers, not a 'budding family photographer'. This article is seriously the biggest load of horseshit on the internet at the moment.

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      Flavian 

      3 weeks ago

      I don't know how a 5 year old article got dredged up in my facebook feed, but here I am anyway. The author or any site admin should remove the section on having a free photographer and then issue a public apology.

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      John Steele 

      3 weeks ago

      This article should be called how to f@ck up your wedding day.

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      Edwin 

      3 weeks ago

      I'm a photographer is just soooo loooow on soooo many levels.

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      kimkimkim123456 

      3 weeks ago

      chris ling cheng is the type of person to overfeed his parents sugar, salt and pig skin so that he can get his inheritance faster

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      3 weeks ago

      Well, I suppose that it's appropriate to title this "How to Have a Free Wedding", not "How to Have an Amazing Wedding"... Or even a good wedding. There is just so much wrong here.

      Every single park or backyard that I've been to has been a disaster. From random people showing up at a park and taking chairs, to generators not working, to chairs in the back yard sinking up to the braces in mud.

      Free food? Great in theory. Bad in practice. Many guests travel distances to weddings, so how will the food stay cold/hot? Also, they may be made not only with love, but also a touch of food poisoning. Oh yeah, let's not forget guests with food allergies.

      Free Photographer? If you have a friend in the family that has a photography business and OFFERS to shoot your wedding, great. But asking for it is a big no no. Photographers are artists that make their living from this. And if you just ask good Ole Uncle Bob that has a camera somewhere to shoot your wedding... Don't expect to get all of the shots that you want.

      At last we come to the DJ...where do I start? Sure, use your ipod or laptop if you want dead space in between songs. By the way, that will kill your dance floor. Oh, and so will just playing from a play list. Good Djs read the floor to keep guests on it. Not only that, where are you planning to get speakers? How about an Emcee? Do you need an Emcee? Only if you want people to know when youre having pretty minor things happen likeyour first dance, or cutting your cake. But then again, maybe you don't need a DJ...sounds like not many people will be hanging around this party for long.

      I could go on and on, but I'm almost out of characters. The bottom line with weddings is that you get what you out into it. Can you cut some corners? Sure. But trim away too much like this article suggests and you risk having the regret of missing out on something for the rest of your life. If you can't afford it, either wait to get married or get married in a courthouse and call it a day.

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      Jeremy 

      3 weeks ago

      Great article with good advice on how to have cheap wedding. Some more advice I would include-

      - carpool with guests to wedding to save money on gas

      - buy expired meats and fruit from local grocery at discount for reception

      - use opportunity to sell Lularoe or recruit potential team members to your skin care downline

      - cash bar/BYOB

      - sell your guests’ contact info to telemarketing centers

    • profile image

      Ultra 

      3 weeks ago

      Dude is good and all you write an article but you just making our creative industry worst and i know you gonna take exposure with all this hate comment, we the one commented just gonna make you famous but please feel ashame

    • profile image

      Ethan 

      3 weeks ago

      This is legit the worst article I've ever read...

    • profile image

      TheChrisTopher 

      3 weeks ago

      Your tips on getting paid services for free is very disrespectful. Just because you don’t value someone’s skills doesn’t mean you shouldn’t convense people don’t need to pay for them.

      Here’s what everyone should do...turn on an ad blocker so that ads don’t run on your articles. This is the equivalent to what you’re saying.

      Bottom line if you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. Or if your willing to be content and happy with amateurs then go for that route.

    • profile image

      This article sucks 

      3 weeks ago

      Beside the fact almost nothing is free, this article is garbage anyway.

      If you use a 'free' reception venue, like a beach or a park, remember that it's public property and you can't just block off a part without securing the right permits, which can be hundreds of dollars. Use your backyard if you want to be cheap.

      If it's in lieu of a gift, potluck is fine, but otherwise, don't just assume your guests will be a-okay supplying everything for an event they were INVITED to. They didn't decide to have a wedding and reception, so don't be shocked if people decide they don't want to bother. Outside of your own mum, good luck getting a free cake, ingredients can be expensive and it takes time to bake/decorate. Go buy a Coles mudcake.

      HA HA HA. A free photographer? Look, if you get a free photographer, you're going to get whatever the hell they want to do on the day. The photos are blurry? Boo hoo. They don't turn up? Fine, you get what you pay for: nothing. No one is going to see your cheap-ass wedding as a good opportunity for 'exposure'. They already have exposure, what they want is paying clients.

      Don't ask a guest you've invited to an 'intimate' reception to babysit an ipod for hours.

      What a mess of an article.

    • profile image

      Victoria W. 

      3 weeks ago

      What an ignorant post! Maybe that’s why you’ve barely scrapes 200 likes on your Fb page.

    • profile image

      Jorge 

      3 weeks ago

      I am pretty sure the teenage unemployed cousin of the owner of this site wrote this article for free.

    • profile image

      papapapa 

      3 weeks ago

      YOU are an IDIOT ! please can you come to clean my toilet I will give you free exposure as well !

    • profile image

      KristenRLF 

      3 weeks ago

      Absolutely not. I don’t agree with any of this. Do you work for free? How do you eat? How do you have a shelter over your head? I would be appalled if someone asked me to take WEDDING PHOTOS for free. Um, what?! And insinuating that you wouldn’t pay for the wedding venue if it were at the church ⛪ facilities... Those people need to feed their families, too! They can’t just be there for several hours and take time away from their families without expecting payment. They pay for electricity, water, sewage, insurance, etc. This whole post is absurd.

    • profile image

      Your Fiance 

      3 weeks ago

      Your Fiance is right to be afraid. He's about to marry someone he's realizing is willing to exploit others. If people offer to help, that's one thing. But to expect people to give you for free a service that they have thousands of dollars invested in is both ignorant and insulting.

      You reap what you sow. Never forget this.

    • profile image

      Free fotographer 

      3 weeks ago

      I hAvE sMaRtPhOnE, wIlL tAkE pHoToS fOr FrEe

    • profile image

      YoureGarbage 

      3 weeks ago

      I wonder if this writer is still a writer, I sure hope not.

      I’m sure Holidappy can ask some of their relatives to write new articles for the low, since they’re budding writers.

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      free writer for hire 

      3 weeks ago

      I freelance write as well as have invested my time money and passion into being a wedding photographer.

      I will gladly take over this guys job, for free aka exposure... just to teach this person an amazing lesson....

    • profile image

      Al 

      3 weeks ago

      Disgusting! Even if you ask friends or relatives u shouldn’t exploit them

    • profile image

      Kay 

      3 weeks ago

      I hope that were all just completely missing that this is satire.

    • profile image

      Rita 

      3 weeks ago

      You are stupid. I have noting else to say here...

    • profile image

      Michael 

      3 weeks ago

      This article is absolute garbage. You obviously belong to the 'those who can't do, write shitty articles to take advantage of those that can' group.

    • profile image

      Jimmy G. 

      3 weeks ago

      Here how you do a true budget wedding.

      Get eloped at City Hall make sure someone has a 2018 flagship phone for photos...

      Have a party in your backyard. Bam done.

      Or else save up and pay all parties involved what they rightly deserve.

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      Work and earn some money! 

      3 weeks ago

      I will happily shoot your wedding for free for my portfolio.

      Yes as statedy portfolio no you wont be getting any photos from me because as stated its for my portfolio.

      But if your lucky i may pull out my favourite camera i use when it comes to people trying to get free from me.

      I think they sell them in 'toys r us' you know that really high tech one made by fisher price.

      I mean you want something for nothing seems only fair that i use my state of the art equipment!

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      The writer of the article is an idiot 

      3 weeks ago

      Maybe you should work and write for exposure/free since you expect other artists to do so. If you can't afford a wedding, simple....don't get married! Don't expect other people to cover your costs. Don't go around teaching people to rip off other artists or use people to get free stuff.

      Do you think my mortgage company will take payments in exposure? They'll laugh at me and foreclose my house. Same with photographers. It's how they make a living and feed and take care of their families. The can't feed their families on exposure you idiot.

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      KellyS1 

      3 weeks ago

      Yes, many photographers do run their own business. That's how they make money to pay their bills. If you can get their power company and insurance carrier to accept "exposure" or "advertising" as payment, by all means, offer it. Otherwise, pay them with actual money. And if you're going to expect some family member to donate the use of their home/backyard for your reception, I hope you at least have the decency to help them clean up afterwards.

    • profile image

      George 

      3 weeks ago

      You spelled "How to ruin your wedding" wrong.

    • profile image

      Kris A 

      3 weeks ago

      How DARE you suggest an artist not get paid for their work??? A photographer comes with a ton of expensive equipment, plus their extensive knowledge, and you want them to devote HOURS of time and effort for EXPOSURE??? Artists are professionals, just like in any other career. Would you ask a lawyer to represent you for “exposure” or “practice”? NO. As an artist myself who often gets asked to perform for “exposure,” this is degrading and disrespectful. PAY ARTISTS FOR THEIR WORK, no matter the venue or situation!!!!

    • profile image

      Chris Thomas 

      3 weeks ago

      So basically your entire article is about exploiting people around you and selfishly asking them to provide you with services you are too cheap to actually buy. If you can't afford a wedding how are you supposed to afford kids? College? A house? Hey I have a great idea, how about you stop running ads on your blog and let business post on here for free. Maybe, you should give every photographer, cater, DJ, venue, florist, and officiant a free page on your site since you have decided to be the worst kind of person expecting other people to do stuff for you for free.

    • profile image

      Veronica George 

      3 weeks ago

      I'm sorry but your advice for free wedding photography is ridiculous. Ever hear the term "you get what you pay for?"

      My equipment is over $10,000 not including my knowledge. It's going to take a lot better photos than a cell phone or disposable camera or Uncle Bob who doesn't know anything about color casting, lighting, posing, editing, capturing special moments, remaining invisible and not bothersome to others, etc.

      If someone is fine with hiding their photos in a box under their bed due to embarrassment then definitely go the free route. But if someone is wanting to capture this typically once in a lifetime moment. Then save up the $$ and get a photographer who has the experience to capture those special moments. Because in 50-60 years your grandchildren & great grand-children will be looking at these photos. Professional images will stand the test of time, while the cheap stuff fades and doesn't look nearly as nice as a good quality product.

      Lets also not forget that pro's have insurance, so if the stuff is screwed up a couple is covered. While your friendship with Jane might end. Is it truly worth being cheap?

    • profile image

      Someone who values their time 

      3 weeks ago

      Or how about: If you don't have the money, don't get married. This is the most ridiculous article I've read.

      Free Photography?

      Can I get my rent paid? Or groceries bought? Or clothes paid for?

      What a dumb fucking article that insults hard-working people.

    • profile image

      Don’t have a wedding 

      3 weeks ago

      You might as well not have a wedding if you can’t afford it. I can’t take this article serious at all as you probably wrote it for attention.

    • profile image

      Yet another Tog 

      3 weeks ago

      Camera £1,500

      Lenses (at least 3) £2,500

      Lights £450

      Insurance £200 pa

      Travel £variable

      Taxation £variable

      Hours at wedding = 6

      Hours planning =3

      Post production hours = 18

      Editing software £15 pm

      Sure, I’ll shoot for free if you can give me marketing ‘exposure’ to the same value as above .

    • profile image

      Free Willy 

      3 weeks ago

      Im a whale..I stared in a few films and didn't get paid a penny.. No one should be made to work for free..

    • profile image

      Not A Free Photographer 

      3 weeks ago

      You Sir (the author) are an idiot. Holidappy.com you are even bigger idiots for letting the afore mentioned idiot write this article. Im sure you idiots paid the idiot to write it, or did the idiot do it for free? Actually judging by the content of the article I image it was free. Maybe the idiot who wrote it for you idiots is a vert talented writer but didn't want to charge for his time, effort, skills.. Or maybe a family member if the idiot wrote it for free..

      I think moving forward a subtle rebranding of your company could work out better for you.. May I suggest dropping the Holi from your name as dappy.com seems far more appropriate .

    • profile image

      Shite 

      3 weeks ago

      Your blog is utter shite

    • profile image

      Yet another photographer 

      3 weeks ago

      So this article suggests you shouldn’t pay a photographer. But also on your site is this, taken from the article about working with professional photographers for your wedding...

      You Get What You Pay For

      I know, we're expensive. And it can be hard to see at first, but - you get what you pay for when it comes to wedding photographers. Keep in mind, when choosing a photographer that you are paying for...

      Equipment. Many of us are still paying off the cameras and equipment that give us the ability to capture all of those little moments.

      Time. For some photographers, weddings aren't their full-time job and they may be taking time off from their day job to shoot your day. Then, there is the time it takes post-shoot to sort through and edit your photos.

      Insurance. Both business and health. Since we operate independently we must pay that on our own.

      Assistants and Employees. They gotta get paid too.

      Taxes. Again, since we operate independently, we have to pay out self-employment taxes at the end of the year and that comes directly out of our upfront price.

      Wardrobe. Hopefully we're not showing up in rags.

      Gas, food, and lodging. If you're hiring one of us to travel, we have to factor those expenses into our final package price.

    • profile image

      Laura 

      3 weeks ago

      Yeh don’t bother paying a photographer just get your ban to take blurry out of focus pictures of the best day of your life

      It’ll be fine

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      Pay people for their job dude! 

      3 weeks ago

      Lol. Cheapskates don't deserve a nice wedding. Don't do it big if you're not financial ready. These article is garbage, so is the author's logic. I'm writing this just because all the traffic here's gaining this person some money and I'm one of them helping. So gotta express my disgust here. Oh yes! Make a good use of ad money to pay people cheapskate! Prop to the last part, yes potluck! We do it all the time for friends gathering here. That's called gathering, not a wedding.

    • profile image

      Photographer 

      3 weeks ago

      This stupid article is 5 years old and its still stupid. The only photographers that work for exposure and not professional photographers. Also playing music from your iPod or iTunes other than for your own private listening is a violation of the music holders copyright. You are now broadcasting and unless you have procured broadcast rights its just illegal.

    • profile image

      Photographer3000 

      3 weeks ago

      Exploiting up and coming amateurs of photography, is wrong. Plus no one should work for free.

    • profile image

      EMR 

      3 weeks ago

      I got married almost 12 years ago and I found the cheapest photographer I could. I had never seen his work and he handed me a disk of unedited photos when all was said and done. My wedding photos are absolutely awful. It is my biggest and only regret about that day. I cringe, especially now being a photographer, when I look at them. I have tried to fix them myself but the files are just terrible in the composition is awful. Aside from purposely ruining your wedding photos with an uncle Bob, how rude to ask a professional to shoot an entire WEDDING for free/exposure. We have pricing so we can pay our bills! Do you not have a job to pay your bills?

      This is the worst article I have ever read for wedding tips or advice. Don’t ruin one of the most important days of your life by being the cheapest person on earth. Have your guests bring the food? Omg. I. Can’t. Even.

    • profile image

      Photographer 

      3 weeks ago

      YOU, who write this article, YOU are an IDIOT ! Go and work for free ! Do you like it ???

    • profile image

      Donny TrumpsterFire 

      3 weeks ago

      Just hire them and then don't pay them. I do that all the time.

      DJT

    • profile image

      The author is an idiot 

      3 weeks ago

      Tell me which job you are doing? I want you to do it for free and I will promise to advertise how good you are. This is a win-win situation, isn't it!

    • profile image

      Photographer 013 

      3 weeks ago

      Nice, I'll let my kids know they aren't having a Christmas this year because someone else is going to pay my business in magical exposure beans.

    • profile image

      Jade 

      3 weeks ago

      Thanks for trying to kill the Photography Profession...

      Nonsense.

    • profile image

      Another Photogrpaher 

      3 weeks ago

      Funny how this author suggests ripping off hard working photographers. Yet freely admits to writing to "generate passive income". Maybe you should write an article telling people how to save money for a wedding rather than advocating for people not respect photographers. Maybe you should write that article for just the "exposure". It's a win-win right...?

    • profile image

      Michael 

      3 weeks ago

      Why not ask your plumber if he or she will work for free exposure as well? See if any of your relatives can perform open heart surgery for free. Expertise is such a waste of good money.

    • profile image

      Disposable 

      3 weeks ago

      Please rename the title to - Worlds biggest cheapskate gives advice on how to ruin one of the most important days of your life.

    • profile image

      Lmao 

      3 weeks ago

      Way to be the most stereotypical cheapass Asian who looks down on their artist friends and tries to swindle them.

      Hey, I see that you're a lawyer. How about you do some legal stuff for me. I'll pay in via exposure and tell all my friends about you. Win win, right??

    • profile image

      Giving you ad revenue 

      3 weeks ago

      Congratulations - you've found a way to get a LOT of traffic and make money... by pissing people off with absolute nonsense.

      I look forward to your future articles on how to have a baby for free, how to 'borrow' your neighbor's wifi, and how to get free Amazon packages by finding them on people's doorsteps.

      Ugly ideas here.

    • profile image

      Nonsensical Article 

      3 weeks ago

      I mean seriously... a photographer is a waste of money? The one part of that day that will not age, and can be looked back on at any time in the future. The cake will be eaten, the flowers will rot and the guests will leave but the photos never will... And the recommendation is to have someone produce the work for free, that is going to be far from good, that all will look back on and say wow. It didn’t look that special. How awful can an article get

    • profile image

      Susan 

      3 weeks ago

      You are using the word perfect incorrectly. And that's just for starters ...

    • profile image

      Brian 

      3 weeks ago

      Came for the pissed off photog comments, was not disappointed.

      However hiring a free photographer may leave you disappointed in your wedding photos.

    • profile image

      Photographer 

      3 weeks ago

      This is the worst article ive ever seen. I hope you lose all your following.

    • profile image

      Tom 

      3 weeks ago

      This ain’t it, chief.

    • profile image

      Trash Advice 

      3 weeks ago

      Yeah, sure, I’ll bring my $4,000 camera and my $3,000 lens, along with another $10,000 worth of lighting gear, backup bodies, alternate lenses, extra batteries, memory cards, and all of the other things professional photographers use for weddings - and I’ll spend 7 hours of my time - so that you can post pictures, just like paying customers do, and magically make me enough money to be worth it all? What fantasy world are you living in??

    • profile image

      JJ1980 

      3 weeks ago

      LOL working for "exposure." GTFOH. Don't ask me to work for exposure unless I can pay my mortgage with exposure, too.

    • profile image

      Mrichphoto 

      3 weeks ago

      Can't afford a wedding? Then don't have a wedding. Don't expect others to do the work for free. Free photography and iPhone DJ? Gtfo

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