- Wedding: September 2020 - The Desmond Hotel in Malvern, PA
I know you have received a ton of suggestions and different views here, and I’m sure you’re overwhelmed (I’m kind of overwhelmed just reading them, ha!!!). I just wanted to add my two cents.
First, take a deep breath! You will get through this. The people who are demanding nicer things need to (calmly and rationally) be told that if they are adamant about certain things, they need to contribute in order to make it happen, otherwise it falls into your hands and comes out of your wallet and you have the final say. Don’t get upset, don’t get angry, and don’t bring up old fights…. be an adult, show them you’re serious and respectful, but not going to take anyone’s demands anymore unless they’re ponying up some dough.
I’m sure the ice sculpture is part of the package at your venue — how about having a heart-to-heart with your contact there, tell them your situation, and see how much $$$ you could get back if you cut the ice sculpture. Honestly I am not a big fan of ice sculptures, and I think this is something you can do away with and NO ONE will know that you ever even intended to have one…. but they WILL notice just a tiny bit if you don’t have centerpieces!
Whatever money you can get back — a little here, a little there…. $$$ back for the ice sculpture, a tiny bit of $$$ off if you cut an hour from your photographer’s package or forego doing an album right away (if that’s something that’s included now), etc. — and then prioritize two things:
1. What you’re going to do with the $$$ that you have after moving a few things around and cutting back just a tiny bit
2. How much you’re willing to put on a credit card in order to have a wedding you won’t regret (without regretting a lot of debt, too)
It sounds like dress alterations need to be the #1 priority, because you deserve a dress that fits on your wedding day! You are luck enough to be in the middle of NYC and Philly — although expensive in some ways, you also have a BAJILLION resources to choose from. Find a reputable but affordably priced seamstress, talk to a friend whose mom sews (my mom made her own wedding dress in the 70s, and I’m sure if I was entirely strapped for cash she’d be able to make my dress fit somehow! There are lots of Baby Boomers with the same skills )
As for flowers and centerpieces, I think ordering wholesale flowers like others have suggested is a great way to go. Do a little online research to find out what flowers hold up best without water for a period of time, and maybe buy enough to put together one or two trial bouquets. Yes you’re spending money, but in the long run you can probably make all of your bouquets and bouts for a few hundred dollars, if that.
For centerpieces, I love Corn’s idea…. I’m not sure what your colors are, but last year I went to a wedding where the bride had filled hurricanes with coffee beans (as one of her colors was chocolate brown) and then had a large candle sitting in them, and small votives around it with a mirror underneath. If you plan things out carefully, shop for bargains at places like Ikea (a few in the Philly and NJ/NY area!) and save-on-crafts.com, you can do all of your centerpieces for a few hundred dollars. If you’re still set on having flowers in your centerpieces, make sure you have some reliable friends to help you out and buy more wholesale flowers to create the centerpieces the day before the wedding (and make sure someone has the fridge space to store them).
For your invitations, go with something simple from a craft store or recruit a talented friend to put something tasteful and inexpensive together for you as her wedding gift to you. Keep it rectangular (square envelopes cost more to mail) and don’t add too many pieces so it’s not too heavy. I like the idea of hand-delivering to those who live near you — get dressed up and make an event out of it with your Fiance Your guests will think it’s charming and it won’t even occur to them that you did it to save postage!!!!
I know it’s not ideal to scrimp a little here and there, DIY a lot of things and put a tiny bit of cost on credit card….. but try to remember that there are some beautiful weddings out there in the wedding world that happened on a tight budget and they were STUNNING. Read this blog for inspiration:
It’s hard to let go of that "perfect wedding" dream, but remember that a lot of people don’t have anyone helping with their wedding financially, and are still able to put together a beautiful day on a budget. At the end of it all, you and your guests will remember the love that was present. Just try to keep it all in perspective and allow yourself to give a little on some things. I know you want everything perfect and don’t want to give up certain things, but try to think of what will REALLY have the most impact and then rework things in order to balance things out.