Looking for a way to save money and still have a beautiful wedding? Marcy Blum, author of Weddings for Dummies, has the inside scoop. As a wedding consultant and contributing editor to Modern Bride, she know how to get more value for your dollar. Here, she shares some of her best secrets!
The Photographer
Many studios will show you books of many different photographs, but the photographer who took those photos won't likely be the one at your wedding. Marcy says to get the name of the photographer you want put in your contract.

Be sure to look at whole wedding albums done by the photographer, not just at their best shots. You need to see how they put together the story of the day.

The Dress
Jewels and sequins on a wedding dress can add up. Marcy says to consider spending your money where it will have the most impact, such as accenting the neckline or the sleeves of your dress.

The Reception
For your guests to be comfortable, you'll need to get the floor plan of the space. Marcy suggests 12 to 14 square feet per person.

"A big financial shocker after your wedding might be the size of your bar bill," says Marcy. Specify the number of bartenders you want in your contract; two per 100 guests is considered adequate.

Once you've booked your reception site, you are entitled to a tasting. Make sure that if you like what you've tasted, that you get in writing the name of the people who cooked it. Otherwise, you may have some mysterious chef cooking the meal at your wedding.

Table Settings
Don't be tempted to buy or rent fancy napkins for your wedding. Marcy insists that's an unnecessary expense. "It makes no difference on the table, and some of those very spiffy fabrics are like razor blades to wipe your mouth," she explains.

"Using candles as a centerpiece is less expensive than flowers, and they give much more bang to the entire look of the table," says Marcy. If you do use flowers, specify color rather than specific flowers so your florist can try to save you money.

Paying the Bills
Marcy suggests using a credit card wherever possible for your wedding. Deposits paid by credit card are protected by federal Regulation C, which means if the merchandise delivered is not up to your expectations or perhaps isn't delivered at all, you may be entitled to a full refund if you comply with the rules outlined in your credit card agreement.


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