Lavish weddings thrown on the cheap

June 16, 2009 7:26:06 PM PDT
It is possible to have a lavish wedding at one-tenth of the usual cost. It is true. Couples can have it all this wedding season despite the bad economy. All it takes is a little ingenuity.

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Jennifer Mae and Chris Watters had the wedding of their dreams. Their Pacific Palisades wedding had all the ritz and glitz of Hollywood royalty.

"It would've cost about $30,000. But, I think we had it down to about $3,000 and it might have been even a little less," Jennifer told ABC7.

They did it by taking their skills as videographers to the bank and cashing it in. Jennifer and Chris bartered for everything.

"Our chapel, our wedding planner, our photographer, our DJ," listed Jennifer.

Even their wedding bands, invitations and catering came as a result of bartering. People willing to barter can be found on websites, newsgroups and even bulletin boards. Those searching should be specific about what they have to offer and what they want. They should give people fair value, keep lines of communication open and maintain good records because bartering is taxable.

Julio Cruz traded out $8,000 in party supplies with Jennifer and Chris. In return he got video for his new website.

"For us, works really great because it's not going to cost us anything to get their labor for our website. So, it is wonderful," Cruz said.

Event designer Nancy Flores was a bit skeptical about bartering at first.

"I thought, 'Hmm. Could this work? Will we benefit from this?' But, with them being videographers it actually ended up being perfect," Flores said.

The DJ, Mars Resendiz, wanted help advertising his business.

"In order to do that, I needed the right tools. And Jennifer, they really gave us the right tools," Resendiz said.

The wedding site director, Chris Erickson, would not have second thoughts about doing this again.

"We both had needs that were met through this. So, it's been a great experience," Erickson said.

Get the bartering started. Jennifer and Chris put their opening offers on Craigslist and say businesses were really open to the idea.

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