Wedenomics 101: Save your money AND your sanity By Lindsay GobleJordan Owner, Abendtulpe Event Planning So you have decided to plan your own wedding. Fantastic! Now all you have to do is make it to your big day without having a nervous breakdown. Planning a wedding requires diligence, patience and a flair for design – and while the decision to plan your own wedding may have been an easy one, the path to the alter is often not. Step 1 – Your Budget The #1 most important tool for any bride is the budget. A wellplanned and carefully executed wedding budget will ensure that your mascara and your mother’s blood pressure will stay right where they are supposed to on your special day. First, decide which elements of your wedding are the most important. Do you see your wedding revolving around a certain dress, color, or food? Grab a pen and list everything that you can think of. Next, call around to find out the average cost for the items you have listed and add them up. You may find that while some items are indeed out ballpark, others are completely affordable, or even less than you thought. Step 2 – Vendors Remember that balance is key for the DIY bride. While the concept of designing and controlling every element of your wedding may sound like a great idea, you don’t want to spend your entire engagement assembling programs, pawning over favors, and hunting down the least expensive flower to ever sprout from the earth. Consider your own creative strengths as well as cost and time commitments certain tasks require before reaching out to vendors. Compare local and national retail options, discount programs, and the quality of services provided when shopping around. For example, if photography is high on your list of priorities, you may want to reconsider having Uncle Harry showcase his digital prowess and invest money set aside for invitations instead. After all, most wedding invitations end up in the recycling bin, while that snapshot of your cousin using a floral arrangement as a football will last forever. Step 3 – Design There is a plethora of information available to the DIY bride on everything from hair and makeup to centerpieces, favors, and wedding themes. Seek advice from other DIY brides. Scour magazines and newspapers for wedding and trunk shows and DIY seminars conducted by trained professionals. Websites such as TheKnot.com, WeddingWire.com, and MarthaStewart.com are also excellent sources of information.
When considering design options, always take into account the time a task will require of you. Search for inexpensive options that will still allow quality time with your future husband and family. Step 4 – The Day Of Many brides select a close friend or relative to oversee their event the day of. This, however, can result in a bridal meltdown due to the fact that friends and family would truthfully rather enjoy the festivities. If your budget allows, consider hiring a wedding consultant to handle vendors and staging so that you can keep your eyes focused solely on the man that put all of your careful planning in motion.