Hopefully you'll have read Part 1 - The Ring before now. If you haven't and are a little lazy to click, here's the executive summary: I'm getting married. I saved some money along the way. I explained how one can save 50% or more in buying the ring and what to look for in buying a diamond.
In part two, we'll cover what can be the largest cost of any wedding, the reception. This is especially true for me. The odds were stacked against me having a cheap wedding from the beginning. I've got 200 mouths to feed. My friends have had 30-60K weddings with the help of their wealthy parents. By passing expectations on the ring, it put us in a place where we really need to step up and have something great.
The solution for me was Uncle Sam. I know it won't help many people, but my fiancÃ© has military connections. That means we have access to tax-free weddings on nearly any (I think) military base. For those that don't know, state taxes can add another 5% onto everything. I know it doesn't seem like a big savings, but it adds up quickly on such a big outlay of cash. I also found that the prices on the military base are a little better than a typical hotel. I know some of you are wondering about the quality of the venue. We were able to get the Navy base in scenic Newport, Rhode Island. This is home to numerous mansions that belonged to generations of some of the most wealthy people in the US (think Vandervilts and Rockefellers here). The Officer's Club at the Navy base has arguably the best view of all of Newport with the Pell Bridge in the background.
So with a little looking and the right connections, you can get a lot more for less money.
Next: Getting Close to the Move and Still no Job