Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dear Victoria (On Wedding Planning)

Stefanie's Bouquet

Does it mean you're getting old when you start giving advice?  Or was Dear Abby still young when she started dispensing wisdom?

I recently found myself on the giving end of advice about weddings and babies.  How did that happen?!  As I wrote responses (and, in some cases, rewrote, because I didn't do a good job at saving my very thoughtful words the first time around), it occurred to me that some of what I had to say just might help out someone else.

So the first in my very unplanned series of "Dear Victoria" posts is tips to reduce wedding costs.
  1. Pick what 1 or 2 things are most important to you and use your funds there.  There are so many other details that you won't even remember!
  2. Look for a venue that is "self decorated" so you don't have to spend on decorations.  Daddy Moose and I had ours at an historic B&B that was already decorated with antiques and flowers.  All we did was throw some rose buds (from Sam's Club) in little fishbowl vases (available at Jo Ann or Michaels, or probably even the dollar store depending on the day) on the tables and we were done!  We had friends do something similar at a local art gallery.  
  3. Ask if your venue works particularly closely with a caterer or baker.  Ours recommended a baker and because they worked so closely together, the venue let the baker use their cake hardware for our cake so we didn't have to buy the hardware (which we would have never used again!).  Some may offer discounts if you use an affiliate.
  4. Don't be shy about making your flowers do double duty - we used our alter pieces for the food table at our reception.  My bridesmaids were under strict instructions where their bouquets were to be placed for decorative purposes at the reception (they didn't really want to haul them around the whole time anyway!).
  5. Depending on your personality, a videographer might not be a must-have.  I can tell you we have watched our video exactly 1 time since we were married.  Thank goodness my husband's uncle was the one who did the video (for free)!
  6. Seriously, don't spend too much on favors!  How many favors have you kept from others' weddings?  I know I have exactly zero.
  7. Do not, however, pinch pennies with shoes! When you're looking at your special clothes for your special day, remember how long you will be on your feet - comfortable shoes are invaluable.
  8. If you have a friend who is a photographer and perhaps trying to make a name for herself, you might ask if she would do the photos as her gift to you.  A great way for her to build her portfolio and she's off the hook for a present.  One of my best friends did this and it worked perfectly for her and her photographer friend!
Have I missed something?  If you have a great tip, add it to the comments!  Someone will thank you!

Photo credit: Tim Forbes

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