Is it even possible to have a wedding on a budget these days? Sometimes it feels like a daunting task! According to the Bridal Association of America, the estimated average cost of a wedding in 2009 is going to be over $30K! Whether you are the parent of a bride or groom or a couple paying for the shindig yourself, that can be a daunting number, in this economy or any other!
So, do limited finances mean a bride and groom have to pout, morning the loss of their dream wedding? Well it depends on what your idea of a wedding is. If you are insistant on a white stretch hummer limo and a five course plated dinner, then you might be disappointed. But if you understand that a wedding is a celebration of the bride and groom and the love that they will share for the rest of their lives, and a time for their community to come together and celebrate with them, then it really helps you put things in perspective.
Ok, so you've just gotten engaged... congratulations! Now what?????? For most people the task seems nothing short of overwhelming. Even if you've had a subscription to Brides or Martha Stewart Wedding since you were five, pulling together the biggest party you will ever throw while trying to keep in mind that it's supposed to be about more than just a party can make you want to rethink your fiance's suggestion of being married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas!
But don't worry, there are some things that you can do at the beginning and through the process that will really help you along the way!
First though, a tip: DO NOT buy anything until you have a clear idea of what you want the tone, style, and theme of the wedding to be! You will most likely only be wasting your money on random things that you won't be able to use in the end!
1) Make yourself a cup of tea, grab a blanket, sit back in a cumfy chair, close your eyes, and envision what you want your event to look and feel like. What words come to mind when you think of the wedding? casual, modern, elegant, rustic, glamorous? On a scale of 1 to 10, how formal do you want it to be? Does a theme come to mind? And when I say "theme" I don't mean cowboys and indians or luau! But have you always loved the look of an elegant monogram, what about a cool line drawing of a cool sea shell for a beach wedding. Before settling on anything though, seriously consider putting together what is called an inspiration board. This is basically a collage of different things that, when you look at it, gives you the same feeling that you want your wedding to have.
*click to see sources*
And while we're on sources, you might as well just go ahead and bookmark Snippet & Ink and Style Me Pretty's websites because trust me, you will want to check them out every day if not every few days! In addition, when putting together you board, try to keep track of where your images came from (wish I'd known this when I was putting mine together). It's just good web ettiquet that if you are going to borrow an image that you acknowledge were you got it from so that if another bride likes it she can go to the original source.
Don't feel like you can only make one inspiration board. I've known girls who made one for every element of their wedding, who made one at each major development, and anything else. The first one or two you make might not follow a certain color scheme. Just pull pictures that give you the feel without worrying about it all matching color wise. I suspect though that a color scheme will emerge as you look over your board(s).
Next up: Guess Whose Coming to Dinner... the guest list.