When it comes down to budgeting for a wedding, I have learned a few things about myself. I had to figure out what was most important.
For one, I love having all of my friends together in one room. I love to entertain them with food, drink, & great music. (Which, in the end, is the most important thing to me – Dancing!) Truly, I want to have a big dance party to celebrate my wedding. Sometimes that requires a little liquid courage, and with all of those libations, you need food! Okay – done & done.
Though I love flowers, honestly, our celebration is in February. It’s for a few hours. Most of the people attending my celebration have attended other celebrations of mine. (If you get what I mean.) There were tons of flowers, a big puffy dress and all of the stops were pulled out. Photographer, Big cake.. and all of the rest.
I get it. It’s important stuff.
But this time.. it is different. And on behalf of all brides who are just trying to keep it simple – here is what I have to say:
Things that deal with weddings are simply entirely too expensive. This is coming from someone who technically could afford to fork out the cash, but has learned a thing or two.
No amount of money for a few hours is going to secure that marriage. If I have to choose between photographs or time spent with a sweetie on a honeymoon – I’m going with the trip. THAT is where the marriage begins.
The wedding ceremony needs to be intimate. You are basically entering into a binding contract – and really, it’s for the groom & bride. After a ton of contemplation, I decided that’s what I want. A private ceremony. Sure – I’m allowing our family and a close friend or two to attend, but honestly, we would both prefer to be alone with the Pastor. The other is for the family, and since we are bringing together two families, we are doing the rest. But when it comes to the actual church – I don’t want a lot. Not major flowers, no runners- none of that! I want it to be about Tim & I. Period.
As for the reception- again- It’s a party at 7pm. Not a dinner, a party. We will have food, but it’s more of a “party food” atmosphere. There will be a small wedding cake for Tim & I, and cupcakes for everyone else. How many times have we gone to a wedding and watched people dumped the left over wedding cake into the trash? (Example, his step daughter’s wedding. An expensive cake (which had maybe a few slices eaten out of it) ended up completely in the trash.) Um.. no, thank you.
Yes, I have invested in the bar & DJ- again.. this is a party. Simply decor, but great space. A lot of thought went into the venue. No photographer. Yep – you read that right. Here’s the thing – you mention you only want one for the reception, and you only want candids, people sort of balk. It’s not worth their time.
That’s okay – because everyone can use a hashtag, and take those random shots for us! I have several very successful photographer friends, and they really are the best in the business. But I, like most people I know, at this point in my life cannot see spending 3k+ on a few shots. I just can’t see it. I don’t mind a bunch of selfies and what not. Candids – photo booth stuff, etc. Honestly… I would rather spend that $3,000 on the Honeymoon.
I think what I am getting at is, think about what is most important to you. I understand that when you are in your 20s and it is your first time getting married that you want to the “dream” wedding. I’ve been there and done that. It didn’t create the best marriage. Tim & I have invested in Pre-Marital workbooks & sessions with the Pastor we have selected. That is where I want to see my focus. Yes, I want to celebrate with family & friends – but more than anything, I want to do this right. Without the flowers that will be trashed in a few hours, nor going into debt over photographs, wedding cake, and what not.
It’s simply not worth it. Not to me, at least.