Weddings are “once in a lifetime events”, so no expense or effort should be spared to make it a memorable event. Right? Well, maybe.
Certainly, if you have the money and the time, a lavish and expensive wedding with all the trimmings will be an event to remember and cherish; but for many couples just starting out in life together, and for their parents and relatives, the money spent on a lavish, expensive wedding could also be used for less exciting, but necessary needs when setting up a household and making a family.
Practically speaking, a wedding is, after all, a once in a lifetime event – no matter how many times you do it. After the reception, the wedding gown is put in the closet, the tuxedos go back to the rental, the band moves on to other gigs, the food has been eaten and the wine and champagne imbibed, the decorations disappear and the gifts moved to the cupboards, closets and drawers. What is left are the memories.
The Dream Wedding is what everyone wants. What we often get is the reality. Lavish weddings are expensive; and not many couples or their families can afford those expensive weddings seen in the magazine about the rich and famous. Of course a simple ceremony in front of a Justice of the Peace or at one of those “wedding chapels” does the job just as well, but are hardly events that create “special memories” for the family album.
But planning a wedding based on a realistic budget is certainly a good beginning for a couple starting a life together. And it doesn’t mean that the wedding cannot be just as beautiful and memorable as the ceremonies as you see in the fashion magazines. The trick is to know how and where to “cut corners”, without looking like you’ve cut any corners.
For the Bride: Avoid expensive bridal salons obviously. You can rent or buy an inexpensive one on a payment plan. Or, sew some tasteful additions and alterations to a party dress to make it look more “formal” and elegant. Smart shopping and creativity can land you a dress that looks expensive but still fits your budget, and no one will know the difference, unless you tell them. And why should you?
For the Groom: Your job is easy. You can rent or borrow a nice, well fitting tuxedo, and help your bride be even more radiant by giving her a knockout corsage and that stunning ring and necklace that enhances the special glow every bride has on her wedding day.
For the Reception: Instead of renting a hall and a caterer for your reception; plan your wedding for earlier in the day or morning, and have your reception at a nearby restaurant during the slow hours between lunch and dinner. Most restaurants will be happy to host you celebration during those “slow” hours for a lot less than renting a hall and hiring a caterer. After the reception go “clubbing” check out the discos or go to a concert, or even the beach. The whole trick is to prioritize. If you can’t afford a fancy wedding and a lavish honeymoon, decide which is more important and put your efforts there.
Shop around for discounts. Plan for “off season” weddings and honeymoons to take advantage of discounts and a better chance for vacancies. Also, check the internet for marriage and honeymoon special rates and “package deals”, as well as for tips on how to make you wedding memorable and easy on the check book.
Most of all, remember why you’re doing it. This is a once in a life time moment, but don’t get lost and obsessed with “issues” you forget the most important thing: It’s NOT the wedding; It’s the life AFTER the wedding you are preparing for.