Have the ‘Wow’ wedding without a ‘Whoa’ price

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Not every gay couple who wants one can win a spare-no-expense wedding ceremony like Atlanta’s Brent Ferricci and Ronnie Mallette did, but tricks of the trade can blow guests’ minds without breaking the bank.

Our resourceful friends at the Atlanta-based Equally Wed magazine are on the case all year long. They were even sponsors of the 11Alive WOW Wedding contest that gave Mallette and Ferricci their big gay dream wedding last week (photos –view their wedding album).

Even if you don’t have the fat wallet to out-do the Atlanta newlyweds, or say, Portia and Ellen or Elton and David, you still deserve to feel that way. The latest Equally Wed issue provides an exhaustive survey of industry experts that offer 40 Savvy Ways to Save on Your Wedding Day.

If you’re in the throes of budget planning, it’s a good read for digging into every last dirty detail. For a cleaner get-away, say if you’re just mulling the idea right now, we’ve chosen our five favorite tips to spark your imagination as it veers toward clothing, cake, music, drinks, flowers, invitations and, well, everything else you have to consider.

Let them eat cake

For big weddings, cut the cake – literally – by having a small display cake showing off your dream detailing. Then cheat with a separate (but same flavoring) sheet cake behind it to serve the majority. “Getting your fully decorated cake exactly how you want it design-wise, but slightly smaller than it would be if it were to serve everyone, can save you a chunk of change,” the lady from Elegantly Iced tells Equally Wed.

Music makes the people come together. Yeah.

Pass over the wedding pros and hire musicians that don’t necessarily specialize in nuptials. They charge more for the privilege, and “Any professional musician can play weddings in the way you’ve envisioned it. Wedding music is not technically hard to play, and pros are used to being reliable and answer to cues, like the ones they’ll get from the wedding coordinator,” the editor of TheProfessionalMusician says. You can also consider one harp player over that string quartet.

Hey, Mr. (or Ms.) DJ! Consider a DJ for the ceremony and cocktail as well as the reception. Again, ones that don’t specialize in weddings can play whatever you want, and you can choose tracks that are most meaningful to you.

Dressed to impress

Sample sales, trunk shows and even consignment shops can cut price tags on gowns and tuxes, but we love this tidbit: “Who says you can’t wear American Eagle down the aisle? If you’re a non-traditional bride or groom, shop at your favorite stores for your wedding day attire. Many brides are going this route, opting for a fun summer dress instead of a full gown for their big day. Some retailers, such as J. Crew and Bebe, are now even offering wedding dress collections.”

To look good is to feel good.

Check out a nice salon at least once in advance for a style, cut or blowout. Head over there the next time, and don’t breathe a word about it being your wedding day. Why? They can milk you dry just because your desire is higher.

Avoid facials on the day-of and start a skin regimen and nutritional plan that works for you four to six months in advance.

Time for a lil drinky-drink

Set aside what the wedding party wants to embibe and blow off an open bar. Serve wine, beer and one signature cocktail that fits your theme or colors. People will think it’s “personalized” instead of cheap. And what’s a gay event without a signature cocktail anyway?

Head over to Equally Wed for all 40 cost-savers and bookmark their site for way more nuptials advice, including a budget section, than you can digest in one sitting.

Photos by Leah and Mark

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