1 Instead of hiring a band, get musically inclined friends and relatives to form a string quartet.

2 Get friends and family to play act the story of your meeting. Skits are often entertaining comedies, even when they are not! 

3 If you cannot round up enough musicians for a quartet, one brave pianist can take centrestage.

4 Burn your favourite tunes onto a CD. You can pick the songs you want and the order in which they are to be played, too. The CD will come in handy when the musicians are on their break.

5 Try to borrow a sound system. Renting a system and crew can cost $500 or more.

6 Convince a friend or relative that he or she has a great voice. Then ask the person to be your Master of Ceremony. The pro bono aspect can be discussed at a later stage.

7 Make your own PowerPoint/video/multimedia presentation, with details and images showing how you met and so on, as part of the entertainment.

8 If you have a garden party, give out sparklers to your guests and have them light them up for some affordable, albeit handheld, fireworks.

9 Or head to the toy section of department stores to get battery-operated bubble-makers. Guests can have fun filling the venue with bubbles.

This story was first published in Her World Brides September – November 2003.