As most of the young moms and wives here from Proverbs 31 Woman can attest, getting married isn’t cheap. There is wedding venue to book and important decisions to make on menu, photography, and seating plans. It also seems that as soon as you get engaged, you get bombarded with marketing messages and advice on which suppliers to book. Although your wedding celebration will likely never be free, there are some ways to pare down your time, effort and expenses without sacrificing its essence.
After all, there are many inspiring, old couples who have been whipping their marriage for decades of years without most of the fancy wedding add-ons that is available to us now.
So, yeah. From just-married women to brides-to-be, here are some practical advice to make your wedding planning more practical than you can imagine and to make sure you’re going to have a pretty awesome wedding!
1. Invest on a reputable wedding coordinator.
My husband and I were one of those couples that went “Man, our wedding planner sure was a waste of money!”. The only reason we hired her was for her pleasant face, her promotional price and the senseless hooks we didn’t really need.
Don’t fall for the same trap.
Don’t think as well that just because you think you’re overly obsessive compulsive, you can already underestimate the value of coordination services. Wedding planning certainly isn’t rocket science but its full scope is so rich in detail. It requires a lot of hard work. So if you’re living overseas, I suggest you hire a full-time coordinator. Otherwise, on-the-day services should be just fine since the best ones would still meet you days or week prior to make sure every wrinkle in your plans is ironed out.
Look for reputation, organization skills and critical thinking. If you can, ask scenario questions in your interview so you can gauge her thought process. If you need more advice, here are some good tips in hiring a wedding planner.
Remember that your sanity the week prior to your wedding and your peace of mind on your big day are important investments. So go ahead and splurge on your coordinator, this is a supplier you can’t risk.
2. If you’re going to dish out extra money on another thing, make it your photos.
For me, it’s definitely photographer over videographer. If you could afford both, that’s one thing but if you had to pick I think you’d get a lot more out of the pictures. I can’t emphasize this enough. When your altar kiss has been made and the last dance ends, you’re going to want all the love and laughter captured by a photographer that knows your style and expectations for the photos. Your photos are the only lasting memory you will have of your big day, and if they don’t turn out as you want, then your memories will be ruined.
Niceprint Photography does great in capturing moments. I personally like them, not simply because I’m a Niceprint bride but because really, they do SO MUCH. The team that handled me during my wedding knew how to pose us, what angle and lighting to use, and they help keep the day moving along. And really, they’re not as expensive as they seem to be.
3. Order print invitations ONLY for your Gen X and Boomer guests.
Digital invites can be a really smart and practical tool for your wedding. They are more streamlined, cost-efficient and eco-friendly. So consider using hard invites only to appease old-school family members. After all, it’s still nice for your moms, dads, and grannies to have a tangible keepsake to frame or scrapbook.
But if you really want to make your task easy and to have your RSVP list done in a breeze, send chic paperless save the dates, wedding invites and thank you cards such as these to your under-40 tech-savvy crowd.
After all, wedding make up should just be simple and neutral, it shouldn’t give you a complete new look. The only hard part about it is that you have to make sure that it lasts all day, through all the crying, hugging, kissing, eating and dancing.
You know your facial features better than anyone does. On my wedding, I remember secretly brisk-brushing my eyebrow filler with my bridesmaid in the bathroom. I wasn’t used to the thick and dark look. I thought my dear MUA made it look harsh and heavy-handed. But you see, doing make up your way avoids this because you know exactly what looks good on you and you know offhand what pleases you.
So instead of paying someone else to make you look like… YOU, why not go to Rustans, buy those expensive, branded waterproof mascara, kissproof lipstick, and bombproof skin makeup you’ve always been dying to buy. Watch YouTube videos leading up to the wedding. And you might be surprised at how you’ll be pretty pleased with how your DIY makeup would turn out. Plus, you get to keep those branded make up with you for a long time!
Just a caveat to this, if you’ve never held a make up brush before and if you think Christina Aguilera’s make up looks are natural, please just hire a good make up artist. Avoid a MUA that has a portfolio full of dark smokey eyes and bright lips. I know a few good ones that really specialize in wedding make up. Ria Aquino is one who tends to get booked up quickly. She knows how to keep her bride’s make-up really pretty and dewy, you’ll see that she makes everything in their faces work ‘together’ rather than clashing.
5. Go for a full-service hotel venue.
Hotels are a fantastic, convenient choice for a wedding venue when you want to avoid logistical or transportation issues. My husband and I held our Christian wedding at Marriott in Resortsworld and we did everything– from the ceremony, to cocktails down to reception– in one big ballroom. They managed to divide it to three separate spaces for all our events. And we never had to lift a finger. They worked even better and more detailed than our own wedding planner. It was actually impressive.
They even recommended this “flip” concept for our wedding– that’s changing our ceremony space into the reception space during the cocktail hour, when our guests are in another area. If you’re considering just booking single part of their ballroom, this could be a great, practical option for you.
While it may seem cheaper to hold your wedding in other venues such as non-full service ones, remembering to consider the logistics of these places can actually save you big headaches later on. Most of the time, they only offer you the space and it is up to you to fill in the rest. This means you will be responsible for booking all of the vendors for and dealing with every single one of them on your wedding day. It’s just the tip of the iceberg, it’s only later on that you’ll see its potential hidden costs and its hidden issues.
Marriott’s function rooms and ballrooms are also naturally beautiful and impressive for a wedding. And if you’re a valued guest, sometimes they give you the bridal suite or complimentary room, or offer on welcome drinks and canapés. They’re also proactive in recommending suppliers that they regularly work with, who could offer discounts based on the repeat business they provide. When it comes down to it, your wedding expenses won’t really compare to the relationship you make with your suppliers.
By the way, if you want to see Marriott all dressed up as it would be on your wedding day, try to visit their Grand Ballroom this 19th (July), at 6pm. They’re holding a wedding fayre called Marry Me at Marriott. I heard they’re also going to showcase bridal gown designs of top fashion designers such as Libiran’s, Madamba’s and Santiago’s. If you’re planning a fancy modern weddding, it might be worth checking. You’ll love their programmable pillow lights (which change into 360 colors!), adjustable ceiling heights, and private sky boxes, if you’re into those amazing pizzazz.
On our anniversary, Marriott even made an effort to prep our booked room with flowers, scattered petals, cake and champagne. And you know these things, they create loyalty and a buying habit. Another year after, we still chose their space to celebrate our son’s first birthday and dedication. And like before, I never had to retouch my make up from any single hassle.
6. Ask for cash in lieu of wedding gifts.
After our wedding, we ended up with a bunch of stuff we didn’t know where to store in as we started out our first year in a studio flat. I had no idea as well why I included both a toaster and smart oven on my registry (other than my weakness for kitchen equipments), but now that and other impractical (though much appreciated!) wedding gifts are just cluttering our parents’ house.
The truth is, many people have already accrued all kinds of household supplies to outfit their lives, but very few would refuse a helping hand toward buying a home or a good honeymoon. That’s why money may be more practical and acceptable to ask these days. If you opt for this, just be specific and honest. Explain what you’re going to use the money for and actually spend the money on only those things. Here are some inspirations for wording it.
7. Lastly, don’t break the bank just for your wedding.
Ultimately, your wedding budget and spending are your and your groom’s decision. But keep in mind that the glamour and aesthetics shouldn’t be the focus of your wedding. Your big day should be a reflection of your dedication to the glory of Jesus Christ. It should affirm before God and your family and friends, your desire to live according to God’s plan.
And if you truly want to glorify Christ through your celebration, your aim should be for your guests to remember the beauty and seriousness of your wedding through your heartfelt vows, prayers and thanksgiving, and not through trivial elements such as your table centerpieces or wedding dress.
What else are your pain points? Let us know in the comments and wishing you a happy wedding planning!
♡ If you enjoyed this story, I’m sure you’ll love this too → Is Prenup Agreement Part of God’s Design For My Marriage?.