I kept it simple with money…we allocated mainly towards what we’d be walking away with in the end, video, photo, jewelry. I also only spent a total of around $7000 on my wedding for 65 people. It took a lot of hunting (whether online or to numerous stores) and hours of my life. I didn’t hire a coordinator…I don’t regret it. What I had a month before was a good friend who called me weekly to check in on my sanity…there wasn’t much I could allocate to them since they weren’t local. This friend totally came through, above and beyond the day of as practically my personal assistant even though that was never asked of this friend.
Go with your gut and don’t be afraid to take some risks but know your budget well. I was taking a full risk on the venue, DJ and video. We moonlight in the wedding industry and we took a chance on people and places we had never worked with – why? Well, to be very honest, all the vendors we had worked with had never really impressed us all that much or were immediately out of our budget. Our photographer was a recommendation from another photographer who wasn’t available for our date. Our photographer was just starting out in weddings from doing commercial photography. This meant she was in our budget but also came with a slight risk. The venue turned out be a hidden gem in our own backyard with great food (a tasting wasn’t included).
We chose to forgo the bridal party and we dont’ regret it one bit. We saved on gifts, clothing, drama etc. The one thing I kind of regret is the money I lost on the trial and error of DIY projects, I guess that’s a given to some level with DIY.
If you have the time and the help before the wedding consider DIY on flowers for centerpieces. I saved a bunch of coupons to my local grocery store for summer bouquets and after about 13 bouquets I spent under $200. We did the rehearsal two nights before so we had the time to dedicate to this and drop them off.
I had a small splurge to calm my anxiety on music at the ceremony – it was a small chapel that no one particular person ran and with no coordinator I didn’t want anyone fussing with a radio as we have seen some very awkard situations with radios/cds. I hired an accoustic guitarist…with a short walk down the aisle I barely had time to take in his presence, so I’m glad I have the video.
One thing that was a slight surprise to me was that one of our photographers took pictures of all the guests at the tables. We love all our photos but these in particular I absolutely cherish. This may be fairly common but it was never on my mind and was never brought up between the photographer and myself. Neither of our families have been to a wedding in a very long time or been together somewhere with a reason to dress up. I can’t wait to print these and send a great ‘couple’ photo to each guest in the thank you cards. Just thought I’d mention.
If I can offer any bit of advice from someone who was nervous about everything, don’t worry about what others think – you can’t please everyone and the day isn’t about pleasing them. If you are happy about your choices, stand by them, it will shine through on the day of and guests will follow your lead.
Good luck with everything!