Seriously bro? You didn't get enough help from our posts about how to keep the pre-game, the ceremony or the reception budget-friendly? Dude, I'm running out of ideas on how to help you save money on your wedding... Wait... "Help..." OK bro, I'll make you a deal: Manly Bands will assist one last time with more wedding planning tips and tricks, and you go check out the Woodsman Collection. Deal? Good. Today: The Help.
TIP #1: "I Do" Costs How Much? AKA Clergyman Vs. Ordained Officiant
Let's just start here: If you opted to have your wedding in a church, I hope a preacher/priest/reverend came with the package. If not, they have some 'splainin to do, Lucy!
If you opted for something else, do you have a church you are a regular at? Would any local preacher/priest/reverend recognize you on sight? If so, ask them, and see what they say. Or, you could roll your way through your "old friends" Rolodex, and see if any of your old buddies have become ordained.
Just to throw this out there: If no particular denominational factors are needed from your officiator, the sky's the limit. There are a lot of folks out there with ordainme... Ordainifica... There are a lot of ordained folks out there, many of whom will officiate your wedding for a nice low price. (We recommend Emily Button, who married the owners of Manly Bands, for LA based weddings, and Paul E. Cooley, who married the author, for the Houston area... And also via Skype... Trust me, it worked.)
Need good enough? Fine... If you have a friend who barely missed the cut for being in the wedding party, but you still want to have a roll (and isn't grilling for you, as was suggested last post), they can just get ordained themselves and officiate!
(Seriously, it isn't as hard as you think. They pay a fee and go through a course from United Life Church, and it is good in a great many states/counties. Or try theamm.org for free, if they want to handle doing the research themselves.)
TIP #2: But Can He "Pump The Jams," AKA Pros & Cons Of Hiring A DJ
So in the Reception post, I spoke strongly in favor of hiring a DJ over a band and gave a few reasons for said choice, not the least of which was the versatility having a person with a multipurpose sound system brings to the table.
Here, we can expand on how to keep that cost low.
First, if you and your spouse-to-be hit the karaoke scene regularly, you probably have a solid option or two at your disposal. A lot of karaoke hosts, if they own their own complete set-up, are willing to take on a special event. And, as a karaoke host, you know they have a thick library of music ready to play when the singer pool gets shallow. So, if you find one you like, just ask!
Seriously, I know of a karaoke host who did an entire wedding, ceremony and all, keeping the mics hot when needed and the music flowing for the ceremony, for less than $300. You'll never book a quality band for that. And he played every song the bride and groom asked, when asked, without a single hiccup. He even dealt with having a mic set up next to a laptop, so the guests could hear the officiator (...told you Skype worked.)
Long story short: Go out. Hit a bar or two. Make friends with a DJ/KJ. Get them to work your wedding...
... Unless you want a friend making a playlist on their iPod, AKA: "The Zero-cost Option."
TIP #3: How Loose Is His Wrist? AKA Picking Your Bartender
In that same referenced earlier post, I recommended buying your own booze rather than paying an outside source to handle your boozy needs. And while buying your own supply is a great idea, you'll still need someone to pour the liquid bliss.
... Or do you really trust drunk Uncle Clyde to serve himself a responsible rum and Coke?
While it won't be too hard to keep tabs on "self-service" beer tubs, you don't really want to spend your own wedding pouring drinks for your (and your spouse-to-be's) entire family, plus all your friends. You need a pro, and that is where you need to once again hit the streets.
If you are hitting the bar scene to find a DJ, take some extra time to chat up the bartender too. Even if it is just your favorite beer-slinger from the nearby chain restaurant, you can make good enough friends with a skilled bartender who will be happy to take a day to sling drinks for you and yours, for less than you think (so long as your people will throw some tips own on those free drinks... We all gotta work, yo).
TIP #4: These Are Worth How Many Words? AKA Pros and Cons of an Amateur Photographer
This one ... is up to you. Professional photographers are expensive, even the cheap ones. But they are pros, and will not only get every shot you ask them to get ... they will look great.
Your friend who has a nice camera and likes using it? Yeah... Maybe... Possibly... Nevermind. Too many "if's" in there. Maybe they're too lazy/will get too drunk/be a no-show? Go see if that Pro has a cheap package, with less working hours, and one rather than two shooters. Selfie sticks and disposable cameras on the tables will cover what they can't get.
Now, go Woodsman Collection browsing. You owe me!