Wedding Ideas

Two Wedding Tricks That Will Save You $5,000

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Francesca Sgambati

New Jersey Bride Vanessa Joy Photography Money Saving Tips
Vanessa Joy Photography

New Jersey wedding photographer Vanessa Joy shares two great tips to save money on your wedding day that you may not have thought of before. 

“As a NJ Wedding Photographer, I see so many brides and grooms are paying for their own weddings, and needless to say it’s not an easy task. Often, these happy couples are stuck having to choose price over quality on everything from flowers to photography because they simply can’t afford to buy everything they’d like. Particularly in the tri-state area, weddings are quite the affair and the average wedding that I work usually runs the couple $60,000-$200,000.
However, there’s a method to help you learn how to save money on a wedding that couples outside of the tri-state area have long since adopted that’s starting to trend here in NY and NJ Weddings – the Mini Wedding Day. Most of your wedding professionals have to bill you for their time, but the secret is you don’t need most of them for the normal 10 hour coverage to get almost the same results. Here’s how that works.

New Jersey Bride Jansa Polana Boho Bride
Vanessa Joy Photography

Trick #1 is having your ceremony and reception at the same location, and getting ready there too. Places like Weddings of Distinction’s Bonnet Island, Mallard Island and The Ashford Estate make this easy. This doesn’t mean that you have to see each other before the ceremony. In fact, if take your pictures during cocktail hour instead, that’s another time and money-saver for you.

What this does, first off, is eliminate the need (and cost) for transportation the day of – you’ve just saved $2,000. Secondly, it takes travel time out of the equation, which vendors like photographers and videographers essentially charge for (as they should) as part of the wedding day. Sometimes, I’m driving for well over an hour throughout the wedding day and that’s wasted time and money for the bride and groom.

New Jersey Bride Vanessa Joy Photography Money Saving Tips
Vanessa Joy Photography

Trick #2 is understanding that there’s absolutely no need for your photographer to take 3+ hours of dancing photos during your reception. In this day and age with every single one of your guests bringing and using cameras at the reception, you’ll have more dancing photos then you want or know what to do with. What you do want your photographer to be present for are the reception ceremonial events like intros, first dance, parent dances, toasts, one dance set and cake-cutting. All of that can happen within the first 90 minutes of your reception.

Sure, normally New York and New Jersey weddings like cake-cutting to happen an hour before the end of the party, but truthfully it can happen whenever you’d like. To make this work you have two easy options – 1. Tell your banquet manager that you want to cut your cake up front after toasts or 2. Take a staged cake-cutting shot with your photographer that mimics the photo that will end up in the wedding album.

New Jersey Bride Vanessa Joy Photography Money Saving Tips
Vanessa Joy Photography

Now that you know trick 1 and trick 2, you won’t need transportation and you’ll only need your photographer (and potentially videographer) for only 5-7 hours during the wedding day. For my services, that saves my clients about $1,200 on their wedding day and they still get the same photos and quality that all of my full-day clients receive.

Don’t believe me? Here’s two full weddings – one I was there for 10 hours, one I was there for 7. The only difference you’ll notice is that there are not 150 more dancing photos in one – which isn’t a big deal because only about 10 dancing photos ever end up in your wedding album and that bride and groom still have 100’s of dancing photos from their guests.

Mini Day:
Full Day:

Using this method will save you about $5,000 the day of and that’s nothing to sneeze at, especially when you’re not sacrificing the quality of any part of your wedding. So when you’re planning your wedding day, try these tricks and find vendors who love Mini Wedding Days as much as I do!”


Vanessa Joy is a professional New Jersey wedding photographer capturing NJ, NY and destination weddings. With an emphasis on photojournalism wedding photos with a vintage and rustic flair, she is an experienced photographer who has captured everything from Jersey Shore Weddings and elegant formal affairs, to farm weddings with rustic wedding photos and vintage wedding details with her husband NJ Wedding Videographer Rob Adams Films.



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New Jersey Bride Two wedding tricks that will save you $5000