wedding faqs - from our readers
How do I feed everyone on a budget?
The style and formality of your wedding has a massive
impact on the expectations on the food provided and the cost.
If you are holding a formal sit down evening dinner in a banquet
hall, guests will expect big expensive dishes of meat and large
servings. On the other hand, if you are holding a cocktail party
in an art gallery or winery, guests will be thrilled to receive
tasty but delicate finger foods or platters of cheese and fruit.
So, my best tip for feeding everyone without appearing 'cheap'
is to hold a reception better suited to your budget, rather than
trying to force an event of a particular style into a lower cost
How do I have a budget wedding that doesn't look 'cheap'?
Easy. Be picky. That nasty 'cheap' look comes from settling for
less than you want. Just because you are spending less, doesn't
mean you should have inferior items. A great trick is to carefully
choose the items that you spend less on. I had crystal vases on
the tables at my wedding, filled with glass pebbles and a white
candle. I chose nice quality vases but instead of the $10 bag
of glass pebbles and $5 white candle from the department store,
I bought the $2 bag of glass pebbles and $1 white candles from
a dollar store. Looking at the decorations, guests would have
had no idea that I'd saved $12 each by shopping carefully.
Another tip for budget weddings – trim the fat. By that
I mean cut all of the unnecessary stuff that goes with weddings.
If you have a budget of $3000 for your wedding and can manage
to avoid spending any of it on silly little things that don't
add to the atmosphere of the day (think expensive stockings, parasols,
pens and teddy bears etc) then you'll have a lot more left to
spend on the things that add to the opulent atmosphere that you
are aiming for.
How can you let people know you're getting married and
planning a small wedding, but can not invite them?
This is a tricky, but surprisingly common issue. Most of us have
a large circle of people we know and are associated with, but
a smaller circle of friends and close family. Where a lot of couples
get into trouble is if they feel the need to invite both circles
to their wedding. You end up paying for many more people than
you can really afford to. My top tip in this situation –
invite everyone to the ceremony. On the invitations, clearly state
that they are invited to the ceremony but that the bride and groom
will be celebrating privately with family and close friends. Anyone
who is a good friend will understand. If anyone is rude enough
to question their invitation, simply smile and say 'This is how
we are keeping the evening small and about our special day'. You
don't need to explain yourself. It's your wedding!
Is it possible to arrange a wedding on a budget from
out of town?
Absolutely! I won't promise you that it will be as easy as organizing
a local wedding, but it is certainly possible. Many a clever bride
has organized a budget wedding via distance, even in places she
hasn't been before. If at all possible, get someone who lives
in the area you are to be married to be your eyes. Send them along
to possible locations, take digital photos and email them to you
and tell you their thoughts.
In this day and age where almost anything can be done over the
Internet, distance is no real barrier to getting a bargain. The
downside is that you may at times need to agree on things without
having physically seen them so it is more important than ever
to get all agreements and details in writing in case of a later
dispute or problem. It is a great idea to check out many of the
forums on the Internet as well. Quite often there are groups for
brides being married in a similar area and they are often happy
to share the details of suppliers they are using and recommend.
Do we need to take a honeymoon straight after the wedding?
No, but most couples do want at least a couple of days off to
unwind after the months of planning! Seriously though, if it makes
more sense to you to use the money for the wedding and save up
again for a honeymoon later then do it! Maybe have a night or
two in a local hotel as a 'mini-moon' straight after the wedding,
but even that is just to give you a break. Save up and go on the
honeymoon of your dreams later!
Things are so expensive! How do I get things for less?
Knowledge is Power! To get the very best prices on everything,
you need to have done your research. For example, if you have
your heart set on carrying a dozen red roses, call around or visit
the florists in your area and ask them all the following questions;
How much? Is delivery included? If I buy 3 do I get a group discount?
And any other questions you can think of. Write down their answers
as you get them. From here you can see what the market average
is – as well as how widely quotes will vary! Now you need
to work out who is the best deal. If 'Business A' has great flowers
at a good price but no delivery and no group discount is it still
a better deal that 'Business B' with a higher price but free delivery?
Once you know this, feel free to try polite bargaining with the
businesses, starting with the ones you prefer the most. You could
call 'Business B' and say “I loved your flowers but 'Business
A' is selling the same arrangement for $ XXX. Could you match
that price?”. Or, you could call 'Business A' and say “I'd
really prefer to get the roses here, but 'Business B' will deliver
for free and has a group discount of $ XX. Would you be able to
match that?”. You'd be amazed at the success you can have!
Most business are used to people blindly purchasing from them
without actually doing the number. For the small investment of
your time you can be saving on everything from confetti to convertibles!
Where do I even start to plan a wedding?
Weddings are one of those enormous ideas that just seem bigger
the more you think about them. My number one tip is to stop thinking
and start writing. Make lists of who you would like to invite
(this can always be refined later) and ask you partner what style
of wedding he/she would like. Be honest and let them be honest.
Then start making lists of possible locations for the wedding.
From there, it will be a giant snowball of things to organize,
research, book and buy. But as you may have gathered from the
book so far, research and clever subtle compromise is the key
to a budget wedding that looks and feels like an extravaganza.
Last Page - Page 22: Happily Ever After / Donate & Link Info / Feedback.