Tuesday, June 29, 2010

wedding day advice: splurges, wishes, & what you could have done without

This one is a little long, but has some great advice from the comments section of wemetinabar.com (See the original post here)

At your wedding:
1. What are you glad you splurged on?
2. What do you wish you would have splurged on?
3. What could you have done without?

1 Amanda B { 06.29.10 at 5:57 am }

1. Our Photographer
2. A Photo Booth, self-made or rented
3. We had minimal floral already (only bouquets and bouts) in order to be a bit more eco (budget) friendly, but I wish I would have used feather or some other “save-able” bouquets since mine did not dry nicely.

2 Candice { 06.29.10 at 5:57 am }

1. So glad I splurged on a DJ, we were deabting on going with speakers and a preset iPod but the DJ and the music is what sets the tone for the entire reception. For us it was oen of the best decisions.

2. We wished we could have splurged on a videographer. There were other things that seemed more important but the hubs threw in some surprises at the ceremony and reception. We have them in photograph but I wish they were captured on video.

3. We looked at spending a fortune on a cake but as the time got closer the budgets got lower and the venue threw ina free cake. It tasted good and looked good so we were greatful we didn’t spend any extra on it. However, we did get a bit more yummy specialty groomscake that we had at the rehersal dinner and becuase it wasn’t a wedding cake, it was a lot cheaper so we still had the cake we wanted that weekend.

3 Stephanie { 06.29.10 at 6:00 am }

1. What are you glad you splurged on? My Polaroid film! We got 100 photos for like $200.00. It took a lot of convincing on my part, but the polaroid sign in table was the hit of the wedding!

2. What do you wish you would have splurged on? Paper goods for sure. I wish I could have done more with our invitations, menus and programs.

3. What could you have done without? FOr me personally, I couldn’t have done without anything. I worked hard on a ton of DIY projects that people thought I was crazy for, but in the end just simply made the day! If you think you can’t live without with, then do what you can to make it happen!

Happy Planning!

4 Colleen C { 06.29.10 at 6:12 am }

I just got so excited when I saw this … I love giving advice about a wedding because it is such an important day …
1) Videographer – we actually didn’t “splurge” cause we got a really inexpensive one, but I’m so so happy to have that video. We only had them for four hours, the ceremony, the photos, and the first dances/speeches … then they left! No one needed the crazy drunken dances of the bridal party caught on film!
2) Again not much of a ’splurge’ but I wish we had gotten dance lessons — nothing too crazy and fancy but it would have given us a better idea of how long our first dance song was and also would have given us four one hour time frames to be alone in the month before the wedding.
3) Centerpieces – now wait, don’t freak – you should still do beautiful centerpieces! But there is NO harm in doing only a handful (and making sure to tell your photographer to take photos of those ones!) on the ‘important tables’ – sweetheart/head table, parents tables, bridal party tables … but for us we had a fairly big wedding, and a great way to save would have been to make smaller ones for the rest of the tables.
4) Here’s some advice you didnt ask for — the wedding day timeline that you are going crazy planning minute by minute — it’s important but don’t forget to plan the day before the wedding, of even the two days before. For me the only day I was frazzled was the rehearsal day – because everyone was arriving and I wanted to see everyone and I also wanted to look beautiful for my rehearsal & dinner and had to get myself situated at the hotel and my husband had to too and well, there was just a lot going on the day before that I hadn’t accounted for.

Woohoo! Have fun!

5 Megan (Running Foodie) { 06.29.10 at 6:51 am }

1. What are you glad you splurged on?
We DIYed most of our wedding, so I considered our photographer a splurge that was TOTALLY worth it. Our pictures are beautiful and professional looking and we became friends with out photographer and know we will use her for many, many years to come.

2. What do you wish you would have splurged on?
I cannot think of anything that we felt was “lacking” from our day, but I can imagine that if we had not catered the reception ourselves (my family owns a grocery store) I might feel like we should have spent more for food. Our guests do not remember the favors or the flowers or the color of the tablecloths, but they are STILL talking about how great the food was. And because we saved so much money doing it ourselves, we had a LOT more food than you would normally see at a wedding reception.

3. What could you have done without?
We bought WAY too much wine! My mom made delicious cocktails for the cocktail hour and people just kept drinking those through dinner. They barely touched the wine – we had two whole cases left over. People also ate very little during the cocktail hour because they had heard about how much food we would have at dinner and didn’t want to spoil their appetites!

6 Mrs. Smith { 06.29.10 at 7:10 am }

1. Photography. Do NOT go cheap on photography. And videography too if you can possibly make it happen.
2. A better wedding planner. Mine was a little too new to the job and she really fell short in a few areas.
3. Can I say nothing? I was genuinely happy with every single detail. The only thing, maybe: I would have made fewer programs. We had 100 programs for 200 guests, and we ended up with tons leftover. It was weird.

7 Theresa { 06.29.10 at 7:36 am }

1. Open bar- everyone loosened up, the dance floor was full, and even though I’m not a big drinker, it was a riot seeing everyone have so much fun.

2. PHOTOGRAPHER. I didn’t think I’d care to look through wedding photos. But I do. And I’m so disappointed I didn’t advocate better for the style I wanted. My favorite photos are the ones I specifically set up with the photographer.

3. We really cut the budget to make sure we had the most important things and slashed out the ones that were “But you NEED ______”, so we didn’t have favors, or a dessert bar, or the like. And you know what? No one missed them. So we were glad we didn’t spend the extra cash or extra time to work on that stuff.

8 Amanda { 06.29.10 at 7:49 am }

1 – Our wedding photographer. Like so many others, it was so so worth it. We just got our pics back (wedding was 3 weeks ago) and are over the moon about them. When done right, the photographs will be able to capture the spirit of the wedding.
2 – Our venue. Though beautiful, they were new to the business and it showed. We were won over by the low price but paid for it in stress.
Also, not money related, but make sure you fully test your dress for “danceability” if you plan to do any serious dancing. I just figured mine would stay up. But, it turns out a little sweat and lack of boobs can cause a dress to travel south. So my only regret is wishing I had jury rigged some sort of dancing strap to hold that puppy up.
3 – I could have done with a lot of the tiny DIY details I did. Monogrammed coasters? I did receive tons of compliments, but they probably were not worth the hours of work. I would have focused a bit more on the big picture instead of the micro details.

But, wedding planning is fun! Just remember when it stops being fun to stop and re-prioritize.

9 Allison Harris { 06.29.10 at 8:11 am }

Our wedding was small – 40 people in Vegas – and I DIYed most everything because we had a small budget. That said…

1) Glad I splurged on: plane tickets. We spent 1/2 of the budget flying 20 people to Vegas. Extravagant, yes, but the “wedding” itself only cost $1000 and it was worth it to have my friends with me. They couldn’t have afforded to fly out their without our help.

2) Wish I’d splurged on: photography. I had my SIL take the pictures and, though she has a nice camera, she didn’t really know how to use it and most of our pictures have TERRIBLE lighting. You can never go back and re-photograph an event.

3) Could live without: The expensive dresses. I wore a $225 sample dress, off the rack (yes it was poly, and no you can’t even tell in the pictures) and my maids all wore black cocktail dresses of their choosing. I feel good knowing I didn’t force myself and my friends to spend hundreds on one-use dresses.

10 Sarah { 06.29.10 at 8:11 am }

1. Venue. There were cheaper options, but I loved the historic ballroom we got married in. It was a whole package — they took care of venue, catering, cake, coordination — and it made my life so much easier.

2. Music. I generally find DJs annoying, but that was our budget, so I tried really hard to be diligent about finding a good one. I thought I’d found one, but nope. Totally cheesy, and he spent the whole night trying to lead coordinated dances. In retrospect, I would have splurged on a live band. The DJ is honestly the ONLY thing I didn’t like about our day.

I really really wanted a photo booth, even though it’s a trend, but I couldn’t justify the cost. Kinda wish I’d done it anyway, but c’est la vie.

3. Flowers. I just didn’t care that much about them, and our venue was an old, ornate, historic ballroom so it didn’t need much sprucing up. We went really minimal with the flowers — bouquet, bouts, and small simple centerpieces, and that was great.

11 KellyV { 06.29.10 at 8:19 am }

1-Photographer, Photobooth, Cany Buffet. DONT SKIMP on photography. I have had so many poeple tell me they wish they had good wedding photos because they went with someone less experienced. And guests are still talking about our photobooth

2-A DAY OF COORDINATOR!!!!!!!!!!!! UGH I wish Id had one, there were so many little things that I relied on my BMs and other people for that really should have been left to a DoC. I confused my on-site coordinator with a DoC and I was sadly mistaken.

3-I mean, I loved everything. What I can say I wasnt THAT into flowers, so I could have done even less there. But I dont regret a single thing

12 Natalie { 06.29.10 at 8:24 am }

Thank you for all the advice everyone… and Heather of course for the post. It really helps to hear from people who have been through it all!

13 logan { 06.29.10 at 8:41 am }

1. Our venue
2. A videographer, especially with the old 8 mm.
3. Nothing really, we worked on a very tight budget, so I eliminated as much as possible from the beginning.

14 PDXBride { 06.29.10 at 9:22 am }

1. My photographer (although she was really rather affordable), but also having live music at the ceremony. Musicans are not cheap but they make your ceremony more personal and they help to create an enviroment that shows more about you and your new hubby.
2. A videographer. We were supposed to have my husband’s dad bring the video camera and a friend was going to tape, but he through a fit and nothing got filmed
3. A dancefloor. We got married and had the reception outside. It was just so nice to dance on the grass. There was no reason for a dancefloor (especially since it basically started to fall apart on the grass anyway.

15 Rachel { 06.29.10 at 9:44 am }

1. We splurged on the band. What a huge difference than a dj. We still got a great deal on them, but it was a good bit of the budget. We got a soul-motown band that a big hit with the guests.
2. I wish we had money in budget for a videographer. Like previously posted, one that used old 8mm would have been really cool and a great keepsake. Some of the videos that are able to produce these days are unbelievable.
3. Help from my family and friends. If you are on a tight budget, help from friends and family is crucial. If they ask what they can to help, don’t be afraid to take them up on the offer. I really couldn’t have pulled it off without them.

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