The Hippo


May 29, 2020








The Barrs. Courtesy photo.

Tips for keep costs down

Tracy Dapp, wedding planner and owner of Inked Events, knows how to keep a couple within their budget. 
Here are a few tips from Dapp for planning a low-cost wedding.
• Keep the guest list low. This is a biggie. Each person counts for one entree and catering is one of the biggest costs, not to mention the cost of a larger venue to fit a big guest list.
• Find a venue that throws in extras for its regular fee. Some places include catering, furniture rentals, cake or flowers.
• Try alternative catering options like food trucks.
• Go paperless with your wedding invitations. There are a number of digital services available online.
• Check out discounts stores or Facebook groups that are selling things like used decor or clothes.
• Keep the decor simple. You can nix the guestbook and favors.
• Purchase a dress at a designer’s trunk show or purchase a sample dress at a bridal shop.
• Schedule your wedding in the off season. Avoid Saturdays, since those are the most expensive days.

A church wedding
Big community, small overhead

By Ryan Lessard

 Hannah and Rob Barr took a largely traditional route in getting married but weren’t afraid to go off-road to save a buck (and hurt feelings) along the way.

The venue
Hannah, 20, and Rob, 28, both of Manchester, tied the knot on Aug. 12, 2017, at Calvary Bible Church in Derry. The ceremony was held in the chapel and the reception was held in the gym, which doubles as a worship center.
“The venue was kind of chosen because we are Christians and go to Calvary,” Hannah said.
She and her husband are active members of the church, which entitles them to certain benefits, including free use of the facilities and its furnishings for their wedding.
They briefly considered having an outdoor wedding at Odiorne State Park beach in Rye but the cost was estimated to be around $10,000 for the use of the land, a tent rental, an officer detail (required when serving alcohol), catering and bar. That figure did not include decorations or other details such as the bride’s dress.
Hannah said the use of the church is also available to non-members but they must pay a small fee  of around $200.
Both the chapel and the reception hall was large enough to seat the estimated 130 guests who attended their wedding. 
The couple opted not to have a wedding party since the alternative would have been having a very large party or a party of a more manageable size with some close friends feeling left out. 
Plus, this way the couple were able to keep things simple and make the happy time about their commitment to one another.
“We still had other people involved, just not in the ceremony,” Hannah said.
In the end, they spent an estimated $5,580 on their wedding, with the help of family.

Decor and more
All told, she estimates the decorations cost about $1,000. That included about $200 spent on about 180 roses purchased in bulk from Costco. 
“We were able to get a screamin’ deal,” Rob said.
They got a mix of pink and white roses and assembled them in vases with ribbons to form centerpieces.
“It wasn’t a crazy theme of anything, but the thing I kept saying was ‘elegant but simple,’” Hannah said.
She did her best to avoid the rustic wedding aesthetic that has grown popular in recent years. And to that end, she avoided getting ideas from rustic-wedding-heavy Pinterest. 
Some of the key colors they adhered to were blush pink and light teal. Rob’s tie was teal, as were the cupcakes.
They had cupcakes made by Rob’s mother and sister, who also made a larger wedding topper for the ceremonial cake cutting. His mother has a cupcake side business called Bebecakes.
Their photographer was Brennan McCarthy (, who was a friend who offered to shoot the wedding at a rate discounted from his usual $1,000 rate, and they had a friend cater for them (K&M Catering) at a discounted price of $2,500.
Hannah’s wedding dress was purchased at David’s Bridal in Nashua. She was able to get a discount, which made the dress $500. Rob went to Men’s Wearhouse in Manchester and ordered a custom suit for $550.
While the couple did not pay for a limousine or any other sort of unique transportation rental, they did ride in style. Rob, a sports car enthusiast, drove his own Subaru WRX to and from his wedding. 

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