I’m replying to this thread for a second time, as I had written a list before I actually got married. I’m wondering if any of my answers have changed.
Expensive flowers – we found a great deal on our florist and they exceeded my expectations more than I could have imagined. They truly pulled through and all I did was show them my inspiration photos from Pinterest. Communication is also key, and knowing what flowers are in season (don’t bother dreaming of peony bouquets if you have a December wedding unless you’re willing to shell out $$$ for it)
Wedding programs – I contemplated making some the week of, but by the end of it all I was tired of DIY projects and we scrapped it entirely and had no program at all. Luckily, we wouldn’t have even needed them. Though if I had to do one, I would stick to my original answer and just have one program, perhaps like on a large chalkboard or photo frame. – for all the guests to see.
Guestbook – We had my SIL draw the template for a fingerprint guestbook (16×20 inch)and I’m SO glad we didn’t pay more than $4 for it because the guests did NOT listen to our helpers’s instructions at our guestbook sign in table. They put their damn fingerprints EVERYWHERE, all over the page, even drawing in their own balloons (we had wet wipes available for people to clean their fingers). It’s not really frameable, and I can’t believe guests would actually refuse to listen to where we asked them to put their fingerprints (is it really so hard??) I would have been so furious (not only at them, but myself) if I had paid $75 for those Etsy prints. Thank goodness I didn’t.
Videography – didn’t go through with it, don’t regret it.
Cake – had a friend make a simple two tier cake with frosting (photo inspiration again from Pinterest) and I made a little flag bunting. It was great. The cake cutting lasted no more than 2 minutes, and we had a dessert buffet anyway. Our friends noshed on the cake after the reception. Duncan Hines all the way (probably what those cake companies use anyway….)
Wedding veil – I bought a plain waltz length veil and several yards of beautiful ivory alencon lace trim all on Etsy for a total of about $80. I hand sewed the more difficult areas by the comb, and used my machine for the rest. Totally worth the effort (I’m not sewing expert), completely happy I didn’t waste $200+ on a veil. I only wore it for a total of about 2 hours in the day (ceremony and family portraits).
Makeup/hair artist – I’m on the fence about this one. While we all looked great on the day, I feel like if I had invested more time and effort into practicing my makeup skills, I probably could have done it myself. I wasn’t used to the amount of makeup I had on my face, and I felt like if I had done it myself, I would have looked more like “me”. Nonetheless, it was nice to pamper my girls and myself that day and it was relaxing.
Photographers – I may be premature in saying this as I haven’t yet seen our photos, but based on their previous work and our engagement photos, they were worth every penny. They helped fulfill nearly every wedding photo dream I’ve ever had. They were probably the second most important thing I was willing to splurge on (after the food) and they were great people to work with.
Photobooth – we didn’t book our photographers’ photobooth until about a week before the wedding, but it was truly a hit, both with the older and younger crowd. I’m glad we decided to do it. If you have the budget to squeeze it in, I recommend it. Ours was not the traditional boxy shaped booth, but rather a white backdrop. Less claustrophobic for sure and you could fit more people. Our photographers make their studiobooth photos look amazing.
Transportation – we used our own 2 cars and two of the groomsmen drove to transport the wedding party around for photos and it worked just fine. Limos are expensive and weren’t worth it.
Something that I WOULD recommend that you will probably forget about… remember to eat! My bridesmaid was amazing and bought candies and snacks, and my mom helped order a platter of sandwiches (later wrapped up) and a flat of water bottles to keep us satiated throughout the day. They were a lifesaver because we definitely got hungry during photos.