Let’s talk about the elephant in the chapel: money. Weddings are expensive! There, I said it. Every bride I’ve met, myself included, walked into the wedding planning process resolved to spend efficiently and not waste a cent. But as expenses accumulate, many brides start looking for ways to cut corners. This is natural!
As an experienced Miami day-of wedding coordinator, I’ve helped dozens of brides around South Florida and have a few tips on must-have wedding investments as well as some ways to curb your costs.
Where Should a Bride Never Skimp?
- The Floral Test: Flowers are the backdrop to your wedding and likely to appear in just about every picture. Once you’ve selected your florist, be very specific about what you want. Talk with him or her at length about your taste, style and inspirations, and have a floral test built into the budget. This will give you a chance to see your flowers in person and be sure they’re exactly what you want.
- Hair & Makeup Test: Do a test run of your hair and makeup plans with the actual stylist and makeup artist you hired for the wedding. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a chair hours before the ceremony and realize that the up-do or eye shadow you envisioned just aren’t working!
- Your Pictures: As a Miami day-of wedding coordinator, I tell all my brides that great photography is a must-have, and that they should invest in the best possible photographer they can afford. Oh, and pick a timeless photo style – one that will look fresh for decades to come!
How Can Brides Save Money?
- Party Favors: You made them cry. You fed them. You got them drunk and now they’re dancing the night away. Chances are, a parting gift for every guest won’t have a big impact on anything except your wallet. Give them a hug and a wave!
- Printed Menus & Programs: Printing is critical for things like invitations and place cards, but printed programs and menus can be a needless expense unless you’re having a five-part royal wedding or a seven-course meal. Your guests don’t need to know what’s in store; let them sit back and see what’s next.
- Liquor & Food Upgrades: Caterers price their packages very strategically. The gap between basic and middle is significant, and no bride wants to feel like she’s giving family and loved ones the minimum. But the step from middle to premium is smaller, so it feels doable – but just a little more per person can put a lot of stress on your budget. Top-shelf liquor, a better entrée, fancy coffee – these all sound great, but if they’re just out of reach, leave them there. Your guests will still have a wonderful time!
Danielle Ondarza Cipriani is a day-of wedding coordinator in Miami and the owner of A Love for Detail. Need assistance or have wedding questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.