Well, I probably should have included this post in my "Top 10 things every bride should do", so maybe this can be the bonus #11!
There is so much talk today about the recession and the need for people to cut back on costs that it's definitely permeating into the wedding industry. Everywhere you turn there are bridal magazines with DIY projects and money saving tips to help pull off your big day without breaking the bank. I am all for saving moolah and crafty DIY projects (heck, I planned my own semi-DIY wedding!), but I do feel the need to encourage couples to follow through with their vision regardless of this economic downturn.
What, you say?? Someone is telling me to ignore this crisis and plan my wedding without consideration of the repercussions to my financial well-being?
Well, yes and no. Life is full of compromises, and as you soon will learn, so are weddings. You're dealing with multiple opinions (mothers, sisters, bridesmaids, grooms) as well as limited options, and on top of that you want to do it without risking your future financial stability.
I do believe that compromises will, and should, occur throughout your planning process, but I don't believe you should completely stray from your lifelong vision just to get there. If you've always had dreams of towering romantic centerpieces in a grandiose ballroom with a 7-course plated dinner, then why on earth would you settle for a buffet at a local community centre? If your dreams of being married in small chapel and then joining your friends and family for a local back-yard barbeque reception, then why would you fly to France for an over-the-top destination wedding to please your in-laws? There are so many reasons people compromise their wedding vision, and money is only one of them. I am just saying don't let this economic downturn completely influence your wedding planning. The economy WILL recover eventually, but you will never have a chance to re-do your wedding (well, I'm staying positive here- at least to THIS person). If pictures are important to you, don't settle for a crappy, cheap photographer, because I guarantee that in 5 years, when you're sitting on your comfy little nest egg, that you'll wish you shelled out the extra dough to have some really beautiful wedding photos.
Your wedding is YOUR party. It's your one big celebration that will bring your family and friends together, and how you want to spend it is YOUR choice- I'm just asking that you don't let people talk you into completely altering this day you've been envisioning forever because of a few bumps in the road. If your idea of your perfect wedding is an intimate gathering with 10 friends, then follow through! If a big, fat, greek wedding is what gets your crank turning, then perhaps a of wedding of 10 guests is not for you. Make small compromises, like reducing your 7-course meal to 5, or alternating your tables with one luxurious centerpiece with one not-so expensive. You can still have the wedding you always dreamed of, and you don't need to blow the budget out of the water.
And on the subject of weddings and saving money, here is one small note on DIY projects: no one ever tells you how incredibly LONG these projects take to complete. If your time is valuable (if your job is in consulting or any field that requires you to put in hours to earn a salary) then you NEED to calculate your opportunity cost. If you need to take a week off work prior to the wedding to complete your DIY projects, calculate the money you are not making, and find out how much your DIY projects would cost to purchase pre-assembled or made by someone else. This, of course, does not apply to everyone, but you might find that you're PAYING to make DIY projects, not saving!
The top image was sourced from the blog post http://budgetdisneywedding.blogspot.com/2008/10/this-disney-wedding-is-brought-to-you.html and is actually a very good, honest read from a bride planning her wedding during the recession. Although I don't like to be the one giving such advice from a professional stand-point, I definitely concur with her notions on budgeting for a wedding.