Your special day isn’t far off, and now that the reality of getting married is sinking in, you may be in the beginning stages of a major freak out because you think you can’t afford some of the seeming essentials – like a wedding photographer, which is usually an enormous part of the average wedding budget. If you still want to document your wedding day without breaking the bank, consider these inexpensive alternatives to throwing thousands of dollars at a photographer.
Let the guests do it (part one). Instruct your ushers to make sure that every couple at the wedding has been given a disposable digital camera, and also that the guests are aware that you would like them to take as many pictures as they can of the ceremony and the reception. After you collect the cameras and examine their contents, you’ll have shots (particularly of the moment when you’re kissing your honey) from multiple angles and distances as well as qualities, so you can pick and choose which ones you keep. A few of your guests will continue to be snap-happy at your reception, so you should have that aspect covered as well.
Let the guests do it (part two). Ask a few of your friends and family to take a variety of photos with their own cameras that they can give to you later on a disc. This option allows you to pick and choose the shots you want to keep, and your loved ones will feel as if they’re in on the magic. If you’re lucky enough to count any amateur shutterbugs among your crowd, ask to see if they wouldn’t mind shooting the ceremony as a wedding present. Pay them back with a nice gift that will still cost you far less than a traditional wedding photographer.
Let the kids do it. One charming and inexpensive option is to offer disposable digital cameras to a few children in attendance so they can snap photos from a child’s point of view. Do be choosy when dishing out the cameras, though, so you can be sure that the more responsible youth attending your wedding are in charge. Be as specific as possible when offering them direction about what kind of pictures to snap, as well as how many different shots you would like.
Photo booths. Renting a photo booth is one of the latest wedding trends. Most people have seen them before, usually in the mall or a carnival – old-fashioned, black and white, three-to-four shots, everyone mugs like crazy for the camera? The happy couple can be photographed in “before and after the ceremony” shots (or as many times as they wish), while guests can be encouraged to have their pictures taken, then include them in the guestbook with a message written on the back.
Videography. This is a trend that many couples are including in their ceremonies in addition to a photographer, but you might use it a substitute. Once again, check to see if any of your relatives fancy themselves amateur moviemakers. They can even be encouraged to compile a documentary of your special day!