Every bride and groom wants their wedding day to be everything they’ve ever dreamed it would be, but the cost can be unbearable.

How about a way to make your wedding stand out while saving money at the same time? Get your guests involved. Whether you are having an intimate affair or a blowout with 200 people, here are some tips for having your friends and family help make your big day one of a kind:

DO have your guests help personalize your ceremony.

Who knows you better than the people who are going to watch you get married? Ask friends and family to send favorite photos of you together, and then arrange a slide show or a collage to display at the reception.

DON’T expect your guests, family, or bridesmaids to “throw” you a wedding.

DO consider having a pot luck reception.

DON’T use your guests as a maintenance crew.

Your guests are at your wedding to share in your celebration and enjoy themselves.

DO tap your guests’ hidden (or not-so-hidden) talents.

Are your friends musicians, vocalists or painters? Ask them to perform in the ceremony by singing your favorite song or creating a portrait of the wedding party. Perhaps your friend who is known for her fantastic confections can bake your cake. Or, a close friend can read a poem, passage or verse that is special to you. Even doling out disposable cameras for every table can save money on the photographer – you can save the professional shots for the wedding party and leave it to your guests take candid photos of the reception.

But DON’T take advantage.

Remember that wedding cakes can run from $600 to $2,000, and musicians can earn just as much for an afternoon in a wedding. If you wouldn’t expect your guests to shell out that kind of money for a gift, don’t expect them to donate their services for free. Ask them how you can compensate them for their help.

DO acknowledge your guests, and let them leave their mark.

No matter how you decide to involve your guests, at the very least you should greet each one.

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