Thursday, October 17, 2013

Part 2: How Real Simple's Wedding Budget Advice Went Really Wrong

You can tie the knot without knotting up your stomach!
Part 1 is here. 

I've been trying to figure out it out. These are real tips, anyone could do them, obviously. But, the advice Real Simple offers is so full of caveats, stress and just all out pressure for anyone and everyone involved!  Like you don't have enough of that while you're planning your wedding anyway? Most of them seem like good ideas, until you try and figure out to execute them.  There are easier way to save money on your wedding, and certainly less time-consuming ones for you, your family and your friends. I've said it before, everyone is happy to help you, and hesitant to say "No." Don't be the couple that takes that for granted, and takes advantage. You know when you're asking too much, and going too far. And it just.
Stop twisting yourself into knots trying to find stuff that you don't have to pay for, and start searching for what you need at the price you can afford.

#7-12 were a little less crazy, but it's the devil is still in the details. Here we go:

#7:Go Digital
"Consider sending out electronic save-the-dates or being your own iPod DJ." 

Email invitations - I'm a big fan of these, but We're not quite there, yet. Lots of couples have older relatives, even today, who aren't as online savvy, or just won't respond to an email. You're going to have problems with RSVPs already, so don't make it worse. Budget-wise, there are happy mediums out there: Paperless Post has been sending out paper versions of their email wedding invites for years, and E-vite also sends out paper copies of your free online invite, both at reasonable prices.
iPod DJ - Once again, execution. Hook it up to a speaker (Thanks, friend with extra speaker lying around!) and play. But, someone needs to be in charge of the music. Someone has to fade out the ceremony music (no sudden stops!) And with most playlists, sometimes you just don't want to hear the song that comes up. Someone should know what's on the actual playlist. If you don't or cant' afford a DJ, make sure that's covered. DJs also bring microphones, so they can make announcements and you can do toasts. Make sure those are covered, too.
Another big part of saving for your wedding is thinking about your wedding, and how the day is going to flow from event to event. Each separate part needs another part to support it. A good way to look at is, "how does this look in 'real life'?" When one songs follows another on the radio, what does it sound like? At the last wedding you went to, what did the DJ do? You can get rid of the expensive pieces, but how do you replace them?
Bottom-line truth? If you don't have a friend with speakers and a microphone...and a stand, then you are going to have to rent those, or buy them. And you can find a DJ for little more than the cost of doing that, and it's a lot more convenient. Again, give me a call and I'll point you in the right direction.

#8: Let them Eat Sheet Cake
This is the one tip I can agree with. Grocery stores (Whole Foods in this case) have good cakes, too, and what you lose in design possibilities, you will save in cash. And, truthfully, there is always cake left over, so don't get more than you need. The title of the tip is misleading - this bride bought several cakes, not just a sheet cake, but that's a quibble on my part. I already started out irritated!

#9: Opt for Edible Centerpieces
The picture shows a stand of macaroons, the tip talks about the bowls of guacamole that they put in the middle of their tables. Non-floral centerpieces are popular,  just don't drive yourself crazy making them. Which brings us to...

10. Pick Paper Flowers
I have a rule about Wedding DIY - if you didn't do it before you got engaged, don't attempt to do it for the first time he week before your wedding. Anything that looks this simple takes forever to learn how to do! I like the bride's other suggestions about decorations - balloons (although they are a bit time-consuming in bulk), streamers, or, my favorite, large bunches of baby's breath. Think high-impact, low cost.

11. Crowd-source Your Photos
"A wedding photographer can account for thousands [out]of  your budget, but Cotner came up with a thrifty shortcut—without hiring a pro or pal. “We have three different friends with fancy cameras, so we asked each one of them to take photos of a different piece of the wedding,” she explains. “That way no one felt like they were working.”
Why, because you're not paying them? Because they are working, and you are putting them under pressure to deliver.  There are reasons why professional photographers get paid what they do. It's not a con! Photos are the only thing, aside from your new spouse, that you're getting from that day. You don't have to settle, and you can find a photographer that you can afford. And as I said yesterday, I will happily point you in the right direction.

Ask your guests to download their pictures onto a flickr account - Don't expect to get everyone's pictures, even if you do set up a laptop in the corner, or if you email them about it after your wedding. You will get some great shots, but you won't get a lot of great shots. And, either way, take a deep breath and try not to make it an issue if you don't get the response you expected. Don't make your guests work at your wedding.

12. Give Thoughtful Favors
"the couple gifted their guests with very personal and handmade wedding favors: “Cilantro seed packets with directions on the front, and our personal guacamole recipe on the back," she says.
I feel kind of bad saying this, because a lot of couples do want to personalize their favors, and really? Anything with your names or initials on it, anything that requires work on your guests part to pull off, anything, basically, that's not food? Is going to be left behind for you to pick up at the end of the night.

Look, it happens all the time: Couples are trying to save money, and they look around and they can't find resources that fit within their budget. Then they either give up, or they end up twisting themselves in knots and adding a whole new level of stress by trying to do it themselves. They work so hard to create a beautiful day that they don't get to enjoy! So, here are my two tips:
1. Stick to your budget, and keep looking until you find professional services that fit in your budget. They are out there. You might get tired of looking, but that doesn't mean you can't find what you need. You can.
2. If you feel like you have to DIY, or want to, walk through the execution of it in your head. How is it coming in, where does it need to go, what needs to happen for it to work, and how many people need to be there. And most of all, when can I practice making it happen before my wedding day??
3. Be realistic about what you can do on one day, and about what you should ask your family and friends to do. "Willing" is not the same thing as "Can."

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events

Post a Comment