For couples looking to tie the knot, the bride and groom-to-be will each have ideas on what the important ingredients would be. Once you put your wants together, you have a list. Start to consult websites, magazines, people (not to mention both the welcome and unsolicited pieces of advice you’ll get). Your shortlist can turn into quite a checklist after you jot down the things you need, the stuff you want and possible add-ons.
Many couples would love their Big Day to be excellent and think it would be nice if the same could be economical. While the words Budget and Beautiful don’t immediately seem like a pair, there is wisdom in it – and savings.
Make it Complete
The foundation of a well thought out wedding (and marriage) are the essentials. Budget for the basics: venue/s for reception and ceremony (plus accessories), apparel, bridal car, invites, food menu, the cake, photo and video coverage, décor, musical elements for the wedding, a task list for a DIY-type occasion and if otherwise, a wedding coordinator. Non-budgetary necessities would be your guest list, seatplan/layout, role assignments, your timeline, motif/theme, and program to tie it all together. Once you have all that down, then you can talk extras, or maybe even do away with them (i.e. the need for a dress rehearsal, an open bar, games, bridal registry, place cards, etc.).
Not getting ahead of the occasion here, just sayin’: Keep It Simple, Sweetheart. Beauty can be found in simplicity and so a bigger entourage, a longer guest list, pricey venues and resources, more food on the plate, etc. may not be necessary. Be willing to compromise with your spouse as well on your list of priorities. Schedule trials with your makeup artist options (or DIY), plan a visit to a couturier or visit shops and make educated choices. What’s important is that wedding apparel fit well and that there’s harmony in the elements such as music, colors, a balanced menu and efficient sequence of events to avoid dead air or hungry guests. It’s not about more spend or garb because a perfect wedding is about just the right blend and not necessarily cooking up an extravagant-za.
Make It Personal
Talk to people in the planning stage. People know people. Say, someone close to you makes items that would make great handouts. You have company suppliers who would be happy to give you loyalty discounts on stuff, friends who would make great hosts, singers. Think reliable individuals who would gladly assist in the planning and execution (greeting and ushering, manning a reception table, distributing giveaways, cueing the servers on when to serve wine, etc). Apart from your spouse-to-be, you will be pleasantly surprised by the other people who love you that would be happy to play a real part in your once-in-a-lifetime event and make it all the more intimate. Lots of ways to get free advice and not only would you feel good patronizing your talented friends, some won’t even accept payment from you – although it would be gracious to offer or at least provide a token of appreciation. Also, reflecting on the details and knowing what you want in terms of your choice of colors (keep in mind the season, venue), music, etc. will help you and your coordinator/s.
There may be things you can do yourself such as pick out tokens for sponsors/godparents, discount-shopping, personally handing out the invitations that you don’t have to go out of your way for (to save on delivery costs). Email your Save-the-Dates or make personal calls to those guests who fail to RSVP. Explore your options (truly, knowledge is power) so that you can customize deals according to your budget and not the other way around. Work smart; you could have your cake and eat it, too. Instead of a dessert item in the menu, get a wedding cake you can serve. Some opt for cupcake versions of their cake to take home as souvenirs. The icing on the cake is having extra funds left over for your happily ever after. You can think of your honeymoon which will center on the two of you, and also keep in mind that you have other important decisions to make, post-wedding, for which funds will be useful. An impressive, not expensive wedding = a day well-spent.
Make it Happen.