With the age of smartphones upon us and photography classes being so popular, there have to be some pretty sweet ways to ditch the uber-expensive professional photographer–or maybe not! Below are some creative ways to cut your snip the snapshot budget without sacrificing that award-winning wedding look that will live on your mantle for the rest of your lives!

Be Stingy

Forget about everyone else–including your bridal party. I know, but sometimes it has to be done. A really trendy thing that is making waves in professional wedding photography is getting that epic shot of you and your husband standing in a field as a thunderstorm rolls in, or the two of you holding one another at some epic landmark with an endless sky behind you – you get what I mean. Send everyone to enjoy a sweet DIY champagne reception and save the photographer for yourself. Then just do one of the amazing suggestions below and you’ve started to battle the budget crisis!

thedipHire Photography Students

Why not check around with local Universities, Colleges, and Art Schools. Not only do photography students love to practice, it’s a requirement for their classes. Hire five to ten students at $50 each for a couple of hours. You’re certain to get a boatload of photos, and who knows–some of them might be pricelessly perfect! Remember, you’re still getting what you pay for, so make sure they’re okay with releasing the images to you before booking them, and understand that these are in no way guaranteed to be professional shots.

Enlist Your Wedding Party

Eliminating the hours of getting ready shots with a professional photographer can cut down the cost pretty significantly. Offset those professional photos by enlisting your girls and guys to take photos with their smartphones. Instagram filters (when used tastefully) can capture some really great still life images of the rings and shoes, which will be perfect for memories and don’t come with a huge price tag.

There are super cool photo booth apps you can download to use during the reception for those super-fun, goofball moments. Get involved in wedding apps like Appy Couple or Big Day and everyone can share the photo love with you when they get home!

Phone A Friend

If you know someone who is a semi-professional or amateur photographer, ask them to take photos from the reception on. Find out if they’d be okay with  a barter or exchange for their services, and explain that you’re on a small budget.  Don’t just assume they’ll do it for free, definitely ask if they’re up for it. Always gift them a little something personal as a thank you!

Cheap Print Services

If you’re familiar with photo editing software, you can save on post-production and edit your photos yourself. There are free apps online that will let you do that as well, rather than spend the money on expensive software. Costco has great photography printing. You can get 50 free prints from Shutterfly (and there are other special offers all the time).

What about having your favorite photo turned into a canvas print? Here’s a coupon code that looks like it’s good into 2016 for 50% Off Photo to Canvas Prints plus an additional $10 off orders $75 + Free Standard Shipping on all orders.

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