- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
In my opinion, the answer the the following is:
make-up (person to do it for you) artist? NO. You can do it, a friend can do it, but if you want it, go for it! It can be nice to be pampered by a professional.
hair styist? NO. You can do it, a friend can do it, but if you want it, go for it! It can be nice to be pampered by a professional.
programs? NO. They’re nice to follow along to for guests but ultimately many of them will be thrown away or left behind immediately afterward.
centerpieces? NO. But they do add a nice ambiance and can be made very cheaply. Remember, you don’t have to use flowers at all. You can use things from a flea market, fruit, books, whatever!
o’dueves (i know i spelled it wrong) MAYBE, but think of your guests. Depending how far they have come and how long it has been since their last meal, they will probably appreciate a snack. Make sure they are comfortable and hydrated. Crackers, cheese, and fruit are inexpensive and classy hors d’oeuvres.
open bar cocktail hour? NO. Open bars are PHENOMENALLY expensive. You can serve signature cocktails or a limited number of cocktails (drink coupons) or JUST beer and wine. I’ve never seen anyone complain about kegs and nice wines.
open bar after cocktail hour? NO. Same as above.
chaircovers? NO. Personally, I think they’re hideous. If your chairs are awful enough to ruin photos (think carpet-covered conference chairs), you might consider chair covers. Otherwise, nope.
table seating name thing? NO, but it does make it easier for your guests in a way. It can streamline your reception in a way your guests (and you) might appreciate. But a seating chart is not required and I’ve been to many receptions without.
favors? MAYBE. These really are the best ways to show your thanks to your guests for putting the effort into attending your wedding. Most of them are giving you somewhat expensive gifts, so spending a few dollars (or less!) on a favor is not much to ask. Bake some cookies or make them something inexpensive! I know that YOU know you’re already paying for food and drinks for your guests, but they take this for granted. A favor shows you care.
paying for bridesmaid dress/flowers? Dresses NO, flowers, YES. If you want them to have flowers, generally you should pay for them.
wedding cake? NO. It’s nice to have some dessert, but you can do pie or cupcakes or whatever you want. Some brides don’t like cake. You could cut a zucchini loaf and it would still be cool!
photographer? YES. Even if this person is not a professional, you really should have someone whose job (paid or unpaid) it is to take photos of you at key moments, otherwise you will probably regret it. A picture is worth a thousand words and your family will probably appreciate having some of you (and them) together! Even though your family members will have cameras, remember that they are there to enjoy the event, not work for you, and they would probably like to be in pictures as much as they enjoy taking them!
videographer? NO. But it could be a nice luxury. I’ve never enjoyed wedding videos, so we’re not having one.