1. This is 2020. We have lived with this ancient rule that a bride’s family is supposed to pay for everything, but typically nowadays couples pay for their own wedding, and that’s OK.
2. Plan ahead. Simply put the more time you have to plan, the more time you have to collect some cash.
3. Be honest. Once you decided how much your dream day will cost, talk to your parents and find out how they might be willing to help on. Rather than asking them for some money, suggest they pay for a particular expense like the cake or venue.
4. Be shrewd, not cheap. Don’t scrimp on the special event. A little creativity and good advice can save you fortun, but if you can’t come up with a creative way to save money, spend it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll remember how you really wanted those roses on the tables even 25 years after the day of your wedding! Details matter too.
5. Ask around. Talk to everyone you know who has been married in the last couple years. The best events are often filled with ideas or variations of ideas borrowed from several different weddings. Don’t be afraid to “borrow” ideas, but do try to personalize them.
6. Pick a number. Sit down with your future husband and decide how many people you can afford to invite to your wedding. Make up the list and stick to it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to invite someone you’ve never met. And most important, don’t fall into the “but they’ll buy you nice gifts” trap. You’ll spend $50 a head for a couple who brings you one of 16 clocks you received that day. You won’t know where to return it because they bought it from the factory outlet store while they were vacationing in North Carolina. Invite people because you want them to witness the special occasion, not because of the gifts they’ll bring. This is not a political campaign we’re talking about, it’s your wedding.
7. Be organized. Create an itinerary for the day of your rehearsal and the day of the wedding, literally minute by minute. This is where a Wedding Coordinator comes in. Most brides have never planned their own wedding, so don’t really know how to do it. Spending a little bit of extra money to have someone plan your big day to save you stress is worth it!!! Plus, you will get to be a guest at your own wedding instead of a hostess; which means you can enjoy your night without having to check the clock every five minutes to make sure that you are still on schedule, because you will have paid someone to do that for you.
8. Love your photographer. Believe it or not, this could make or break the entire day. Tell your photographer exactly what you want and when you want it. There’s nothing like being pulled away with a mouth full of imported cheese to be told it’s time to pose for a photo with grandma Simmons. I’ve seen one too many bridal couples show up 45 minutes late to the reception because the photographer took too long taking photos at the gazebo. If the photographer is not crystal clear on what your expectations are, it will throw off the entire day. I know getting the best shots for the album is important, but it’s certainly not worth ruining the event. Again, a Wedding Coordinator can handle this for you as well.
9. Have fun. Don’t let last-minute details throw you off. Just try to enjoy your day. If you start to feel stressed, think honeymoon.
10. What are you doing? In all the chaos, it is easy to lose sight of the day’s purpose. You and your fiancé are pulling together the people you love to witness this important occasion – the day you commit to spend the rest of your lives together. You are starting a new life together, a life filled with love, fun, and happiness. Whatever you do, don’t let the details allow you to forget about the partnership you are about to enter. That’s more important than any wedding planning decision or detail you’ll encounter.