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Erin from Broke Millennial shares her own wedding budget hacks.

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Hi i'm Erin from Broke Millennial for the Financial Diet.

Welcome to the Three Minute Guide brought to you by Skillshare. In mid-september my partner and I of eight years finally said I do and officially became husband and wife.

We didn't focus on a frugal wedding, but we did find both big and small opportunities to hack the cost of the overall wedding, saving thousands of dollars in the process. Here are six of the hacks that we used. Number one, paperless wedding invites.

We ditched the paper save the dates and wedding invitations and sent everything via email. We used paperless post so our digital cards were beautiful, environmentally friendly, and a fraction of the cost that we would have spent sending traditional wedding invitations. I got asked a lot how older guests responded to this idea of being invited via email and my 92 year old grandmother was the first person to RSVP to our wedding via the digital invite, so we didn't actually have a problem.

However you can do a mix of both print and digital invites if you have a couple people who need to kick it old-school. Many of the digital card platforms do offer the option to print on paper. Number two, I used referral discounts for the DJ and photographer.

There is no better endorsement than enjoying somebody's work yourself, so I already knew that I wanted to use a DJ that had played at my cousin's wedding and a photographer that a friend of mine had used at hers. When I contacted each of these vendors, I asked them straight up if they took a referral discount. The DJ knocked $200 off his cost and added some additional party lighting and the photographer gave me a $500 discount.

This not only saved us money but a lot of time not having to do research into photographers and DJs. Number three, used YouTube to choreograph our first dance. The performer in me didn't want to have a first dance where we just swayed around the floor.

I wanted to put on a show for our friends and family to enjoy. That meant we needed a choreographed first dance but after researching some dance studios near where we lived we realized it was going to cost us 800 to a thousand dollars to have a professional help us choreograph our first dance. So instead we turned here to YouTube.

We had already selected the song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" to be our first dance number, so we just researched on YouTube to see other couples first dances and those are couples who had hired professional choreographers so we just stole snippets of their dances and then mashed it up with other ballroom dance moves that were pretty simple and we enjoyed. We had tons of fun goofing around and creating the dance ourselves and it was completely free. I also used YouTube to help choreograph the father-daughter dance.

Number four, used bridesmaids bouquets as centerpieces. Flowers and centerpieces can be a really pricey part of your wedding budget so I decided to reduce the cost by having my bridesmaids and my bouquet work as seven of the centerpieces out of our 18 tables. That move alone shaved a few hundred bucks off the florist bill.

Like I said, flowers can be really pricey. Another idea is to nix flowers entirely as a centerpiece or pick up pre-made bouquets at the grocery store for your bridesmaids, like my best friend did at her wedding or if you have the time you can get flowers wholesale and make the arrangements yourself. Another good time to turn to YouTube.

Number five, got bridesmaids dresses on Black Friday. This isn't typical, but I paid for my bridesmaids dresses. My bridesmaids had three different dresses from which they could choose and they told me their style preference in size and then I waited until Black Friday to make the purchase because the sales clerk had told me that was the biggest discount available for the year.

My male bridesmaid just wore a navy suit that he already owned. I also fully endorsed just picking a particular color and then having your bridesmaids pick whatever dress whatever style that she personally feels beautiful in. Finally, our hotel room the night of our wedding was comped because we used a hotel that would comp our room if enough of our wedding guests stayed there.

There was also a discount for our guests if they booked a room in the block that we had reserved. This is a fairly common practice and definitely worth asking about if you're debating between two different hotels. Getting your room comped and usually upgraded can save you a couple hundred bucks the night of your wedding.

Bonus tip: If you're planning a wedding it's a great time to travel hack using sign-on bonuses with credit cards and this way you could actually use miles to subsidize the cost of your honeymoon. Just make sure you're not putting yourself in credit card debt in order to get there. Channeling your own artistic ability and learning how to craft is certainly one of the best ways to hack a wedding budget.

One place you can go to learn how to get in touch with your inner craft maker is with Skillshare which provides an easy and affordable way to expand your talents. Every week we're featuring a different skill share class we think you guys will love. This week's class is Create Your Own Floral Centerpiece hosted by fashion stylist and events producer Anne Kim.

This class will teach you the fundamentals of creating a floral centerpiece by showing you how to create a foundation prep your vase then begin arranging so that your flowers appear effortless and beautiful. As always though, Skillshare offers a huge range of high-quality classes on must know topics from writing to fitness to business and it's all about what you want to learn at an affordable annual subscription of less than ten dollars a month. And since Skillshare is sponsoring this video, the first 500 people to use the promo link in the description will get their first two months free to try it out risk-free.

Click the link in the description to check out this week's featured class or any of the other classes Skillshare has to offer. Have a money question you want to learn more about? Leave your topic idea in the comment section below.

I'm Erin from Broke Millennial for the Financial Diet and don't forget to be here next Thursday for a new 3-Minute Guide. Bye.