Priorities, priorities, what should they be?
1) Choose a venue you adore
This is it. Once you have a venue you fill in the rest with your personal touch and most important you locked in a date. We suggest the venue to go to at least 11pm; 10pm is an abrupt ending especially once your bridesmaids are feeling the music and feeling the buzz. And make sure the dance floor is not in a separate location from the drinks and tables – got to keep people together. Most important the venue needs to fit your personality. Do you like ball rooms or rustic barns or gardens?
If you want to save money ignore the expensive and trendy zip codes. Napa or Carmel, is it really worth the extra cost?
2) Get a DJ! The DJ is your energy
You invested so much time and money on your wedding and you cheap out and not get a DJ? This is 60% of the experience – good sound, good energy and good music. Nothing worse than your friends fighting over which song to play next and having the music stop every 4 minutes. Not sure why you would want to run a sound system and run microphones back and forth when you are trying to meet your guests. And I am sure your friends would want to have fun instead of getting the speakers to stop cutting in and out. Renting sound equipment might be just as expensive. And a DJ would be next in line to the wedding coordinator to make sure the timetable is met.
If you want save money skip out on the photo booth and extra lighting.
3) Photos are everything
Do not try to cut corners on the photographer. Do not hire your friend or cousin to take pictures. This is easily the most emotional part of the wedding. The wedding is over so fast and all you have at the end are the pictures. I am sorry there is no way to cut on the cost of the photographer. A good one will be priced around $4,000 and is worth every penny. There is so much time in prep, on site and the postproduction is heavy on hours.
If you want to save money don’t get a videographer. Again, DO NOT hire a friend or relative it is not worth the potential heartache.
4) Coordination is key
At the very minimum a day of wedding planner is going to save you so much aggravation. While you are putting on your dress or your tie and catching up with your friends who came all the way across the country you don’t want the florist to be asking where to put the flowers or losing track of time. A day of planner will be your quarterback and execute your vision all the way to the last 2-minute warning.
If you want to save money don’t hire a wedding planner, just a day of coordinator.
6) Dinner will be remembered
The venue, music and food will be the most remembered. The main course will be remembered but the appetizers not so much. Your guests will spend a bulk of time at the dinner table. There is a lot of time to enjoy the food while talking to friends and listening to toasts.
If you want to save money do it on the appetizers, it will be drowned with wine and beer anyway.
7) The flowers, the magic of flowers
The flowers are the color and the mood you want to create and a subconscious feeling the guests will have. Put a lot of thought into your colors and style – Pinterest and wedding blogs will have tons of inspiration for you. This will be your 4th largest investment after the catering, venue and photographer. Reviews are everything and be very specific with your florist by showing examples from Pinterest. Many brides are vulnerable to disappointment. So clear communication with your florist is very important.
If you want to save money look into repurposing the flowers.
8) The wedding cake - the center piece, that special cake cutting moment
This is not the biggest deal breaker. It’s great to have a beautiful cake but it is just decoration at the end of the day. Yes there will be pictures of you cutting the cake and people will taste it. They will easily forget the looks of it and the taste; there is way too much other stimulus.
Want to save money make sure it is a local guy, no need to pay transportation for something that will be cut up in a few hours. And design is more important than taste, it will be in your pictures forever and everyone is too drunk to notice the taste at that point.