Weddings on a budget: Ways to cut costs

By Karla Redditte - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Located on Abercorn near 35th Street in downtown Savannah, the Savannah Wedding Studio provides sort of a home away from home when it comes to saying "I do."

One look inside and you'll see it is all things wedding, all in one place.

Teresa Earnest started the Savannah Wedding Studio two years ago and at the time, her photography business was the only business.

The studio has since grown to include nine.

"We are not exclusive," said Earnest. "We work with other wedding businesses in Savannah. There's an amazing industry here in Savannah, but a bride can certainly come here and from hair and makeup, invitations, cake, catering, I mean she can do it all."

And the businesses in the Studio make sure doing it all can be done within a couple's budget, no matter how big or small.

Since food and drinks can make up 40 to 50 percent of wedding costs, Cynthia Creighton-Jones, owner of Cape Creations and member of the Studio, says you can cut corners without cutting quality.

"In this economy, everybody is trying to maximize their dollars and the way we're assisting our brides with that is that we're offering different cuts of meat," said Creighton-Jones. "For example, tenderloin is very expensive, so we'll say what about a skirt steak or a clawed steak. They are flavorful cuts of meat. They're pretty tender and it gives you that great beef option at a lower cost."

She even offers a variety of dinnerware, including bamboo which is biodegradable and you won't have to pay servers extra to hang around longer to wash dishes.

You can also cut costs when picking a date and time for your wedding.

"A lot of people are adjusting their wedding times and having an earlier wedding," said Creighton-Jones. "If you do that, we don't have to do so much food. One of our mottos is that we will fit in with your vision of your dream."

And many people want their wedding dreams captured through photography, which is also considered to be one of the most expensive components of a wedding.

Earnest tries to make sure each couple gets the most for their money and says research is the key to finding reasonable deals, especially when it comes to photographers.

"You should meet with tons of photographers," said Earnest. "Make tons of comparisons. A ton of pictures that they can see. Not one or two pictures from a bunch of different weddings. Anyone can go and out of 800 to 1,000 images get a few good ones. You want to see a ton of consistency."

So it takes doing a little homework to have a nice wedding on a tight budget, but it can be done.

And once the ceremony is over, you can easily walk into wedded bliss instead of the poorhouse.

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