Listen to the sweet symphony, feel the romance in the air, and then glance at the bank balance, only to see your money dwindling. So, what do you get out of having these lavish, fairytale, dream weddings? There are those irreplaceable memories and pictures to serve as reminders of the moment two crazy love birds tied the knot. But that’s only a quarter of the fortune dropped for these wedding events. Also remember the taste of that one of a kind, custom cake bought with a pretty penny. One hundred plus, slices gone to the guests, meanwhile the bride and groom are left with a tenth of the goods. Nonetheless, hats off to the guests and the wedding party that showed and were so supporting of this bond between two people, many of these guests missed the wedding, showed up to the reception for $31 a head, at the newlyweds expense, and brought a $20 gift if any at all. So why have the dream wedding?
After unloading all of that skepticism, dream weddings are not that horrible. Besides, those priceless memories will last a lifetime. Remembering the looks of one precious love to another at opposite ends of the aisle and how their smiles grew bigger as they grew nearer or how dad shed a tear when he had let his baby girl walk towards the tyrant standing at the altar. I personally am always fond of the first dance and how the two newlyweds chuckle and whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ear while slow dancing to the song that seemed only fitting to describe their love. Moreover, the pictures showing how everyone reacted to the bond and the cohesiveness of the wedding party (if lucky). However, that’s just the sweet and innocent part.
Once all the formal photos are snapped, and everyone’s had their fill of dinner and desert, that’s when the natural moments start to happen. No one is nervous or careful about how spectators or haters react to what goes on next. Mom and Dad grinding on the dance floor and remembering what their wedding was like, and the bridesmaids and groomsmen begin to look at each other in new lights after their stomachs are infiltrated by a liquor of their own choosing. The flower girl and ring bearer are also jamming on the dance floor because after all, they are the actual stars of the show. But the greatest moment for the bride is when she didn’t have to participate in that traditional, organized single woman’s dance or fight for a bouquet just to hint to her man that marriage is on the mind. This is usually the moment when worries of nasty food, clothing fittings, and dry cake all disappear. This is when everyone just laughs and has a good time.
Now once the champagne toasts and the bubble blowing have come to an end and all the lovely guests have seen the two newlyweds out the door, the unknowing couple goes home. The groom carries his bride across the threshold for the first time, and although there are no regrets at this exact moment, they may have a few regrets after arguments regarding who needed the custom cake, engraved stemware and some lingering wedding aftermath bills.
$25,000-$30,000 is the average cost of a wedding in America. While many couples start off with a conservative budget of 10k-15k, somewhere along the road, everything begins to spiral out of control and the two mates begin to say, “Oh, we’re only over by 10k, that’s not too bad…” And it isn’t bad at that particular time because the mission to complete at the moment is to simply get married. But, couples must think further than the wedding, and realize that there are bigger things that lie ahead such as a home mortgage, car note, and kids.
Couples tend to argue over the extra 20 people that somehow snuck into the wedding reception and who ordered the grand fresh flower centerpieces instead of the floating votive candles. All of this can be avoided by focusing on what is really needed versus what is wanted and here are some tips to help:
First, do not acquire a reception hall that is much bigger than the number of guest to be invited. This is what helps reception halls to allow the extra guest attend your wedding, especially since they know the bride and groom will not be going around counting heads. All buildings have a fire code that only allows for a certain amount of people and if the guest number coincides with the halls’ limit, then that’s a sign of saving the budget.
Second, pay attention to the list, pay lots of attention to the guest list. This also cuts back on last minute, additional reception costs. If the hall allows for more people than on the guest list, they cannot come back and ask for more money, it is the halls fault and therefore the charge is on them.
Third, I know many people love the live bands at the weddings, and those can be nicer and more elegant. However, live bands cost more and tend to take breaks, and those breaks leave your guests un-entertained for an undetermined amount of time. In addition, the band has more than one member that will want to eat, which is an additional catering cost (unless the hall provides the band). Moreover, if the singer is having a bad night, the wedding guests will have a bad night. D.J.’s tend to be more frugal thus saving you money. You can request your music ahead of time, it’s only one person, and when the D.J. wants to eat, the CD can continue to run therefore your party can go on without that awkward moment of silence.
Fourth, this message is particular to all the brides out there. It is always helpful to have a great helping hand such as an awesome maid of honor and/or bridesmaid(s). Don’t just pick the girl(s) that looks good in the dress because she is going to do just that, make sure she looks good. Always pick the one that will not only look good, but will make sure the bride and the wedding look good too. Many brides save loads of money by doing things themselves such as centerpieces and party favors. Believe it or not, decorating the wedding and reception venues is not so intimidating with a bridesmaid who’s not afraid of getting elbow deep in hard work. But, it is also the brides’ duty to explain the definition and duties of a bridesmaid upfront, and that is being a maid to the bride. This way, no one feels tricked or guilted into doing manual labor.
Fifth and lastly, don’t be too humble or timid to shop around for better prices on everything. A wedding is planned at least know 3 months in advance (on average) which allows time to play one venue against the other. Get written quotes from limousine companies, and get the best wedding cake deal possible. All of these things combined can help a wedding flow a lot smoother and be a lot less heavy on the bride and grooms pockets. Let’s face it, saving money saves the trouble of arguing over money which is helpful when the time comes to buy a house, fix the roof, or buy a new transmission for the car.