Ok, your getting married and you're checking the cost of everything and it's expensive! I feel you, but there are things you can do. First of all, the secret of a great wedding is "who you invite." I've been to hundreds of weddings and whether you spend $5,000 or $50,000 the principal is the same. Think about it. What do all weddings have in common? The dress, the venue, food, drink, photographer, music, it's all the same. Maybe the expensive wedding has a live band and a DJ. So what? You only have a DJ. It's still music. Maybe the expensive wedding has a great chef cranking out fancy gourmet cuisine, where the less expensive wedding has a regular caterer at $10.00 a plate. It's still food. I can't remember what I ate at the last wedding, nor can most people. Venue? There's always a way. For example, in Wilmington, NC, we have this great park called Greenfield Lake. I think it costs $60.00 to reserve for a wedding. It's beautiful and doesn't need a lot of decorations. Some benches or chairs and your all set. Then you rent one of the many venues in downtown Wilmington for your reception. If it rains, move the ceremony to the reception. Easy. Or, get married at the beach. (Pretty inexpensive for a permit.)  Find a venue close to the beach for your reception. Rain? No worries...move your reception area for the ceremony. Photographer? Sure, you could hire some high priced photographer with three assistants who'll do a great job at your wedding and then charge you an additional $1,500 for an album, or you could hire someone like me who'll charge you $200.00 per hour, and let you make your own album on Shutterfly. Bride Prep? Iphone. Groom getting ready? Iphone. (Phones take great pictures). Ceremony? Me. Group Shots? Me. Romantics? Me. First Dances? Me. Cake Cutting? Me. Stupid dancing shots? Your Uncle Joe or anyone else you know with a camera, or splurge and let me handle the full reception. The point is, if you invite family and great friends, your going to have a wonderful time, if you're inviting a bunch of people you hardly know, but feel obligated to invite, we're all going to be checking the time on our phones as to when we can make an exit. If you've got the money, go for it, have your dream wedding. If money is a little tight, you can still have a great wedding. Feel free to contact me for tips and tricks on how to save money on your wedding or for any other questions. I really don't mind. Billy :) billy@billybeachphoto.com or (910) 386-9974

P.S. Even if you do have the money...down payment on a house, honeymoon in Australia, his and her Tesla Model S. I can think of lot's of things to do with some extra money. Don't be one of those brides who two weeks before the wedding, wishes she had simplified. Large complicated weddings are almost always a giant pain in the ass. 

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Dapper ring bearer at Greenfield Lake Wedding in Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable wedding.

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Here comes the bride. Bride walking alone into Greenfield Lake Fragrance Garden in Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable Wedding.

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Bride sees her groom for the first time at her wedding in Greenfield Lake, in Wilmington, NC. Big smile. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable wedding.

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Bride accompanied by father to her wedding ceremony at the Fragrance Garden, Greenfield Lake, in Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography, Affordable Wedding.

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A prayer before the vows at the Fragrance Garden in Greenfield Lake, Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable wedding.

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First Kiss at the Fragrance Garden, Greenfield Lake, Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable Wedding.

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Married. Walking up the aisle at the Fragrance Garden in Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable wedding.

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Posed portrait of bride and groom at the Fragrance Garden, Greenfield Lake in Wilmington, NC. Billy Beach Photography. Affordable Wedding.