More often than not, brides say, “I wish I didn’t” instead of “I wish I had”. Whether it’s a wedding beyond budget, a really expensive dress or incorporating expensive trends, there are often a list of things most couple wish they hadn’t done for their big day. Rarely do I hear, I wish we had a more expensive wedding; It’s often the opposite. Here are a few things I’ve noticed.
A Never-ending Guest List…Try to invite people who matter to you. It’s easy to get lost in the “I have to invite everyone I know” bubble but remember that venues have capacity limits and the larger the list, the higher the expense. You don’t have to invite everyone from work, they’ll understand. So will friends and family with whom you don’t communicate often. Know that although people may be happy for you, some may not WANT to attend your wedding. Weddings are expensive for guest as well, particularly for those who have to travel (airfare, car rental, hotel, taking time off work, childcare, a new outfit). Be conscious of who you add to your guest list. Are they present in your life? Are they part of your support system? Do they bring joy to your life?
If your family is helping out financially, I’m sorry, they may have more say than you do. But even then, try to set expectations. Limit the number of people your parents can invite, let them narrow it down to those who have to be there. If you have a big family, limit the list to first cousins, or at the very least, those with whom you actually see and interact.
When in doubt, just tell everyone it’s going to be a small/intimate wedding. That alone will set expectations for family and close friends.
Spending Too Much On Flowers… In most cases, you beg guests to take these home after the wedding, who wants their home looking like a funeral home? As beautiful and sweet smelling as flowers are, some, most times, too much is well…too much. If you’re having a simpler wedding, spring for more greenery, they’re also more cost-effective. If you’re an over the top wedding, you can do a FEW really nice arrangements and some simpler ones. Know that a week, month or year from now, if people are talking about your flowers it’ll either be because they were so sad (dead) or a waste of money (way too much); it’s often the latter.
Plated Meals…Yes, you can still have food options that are not plated. Many couples think a plated option is fancy or are lured by what they’ve seen in movies, the option to include food choices on the invitation. However, plated meals are expensive! While a plated meal gives the caterer a better idea of what will guest will eat, it requires more servers to ensure everyone is served around the same time. A better idea is to focus on the quality of the meal and less on how guest will receive the meal. Whether a buffet or station, people will find the food. Use the extra money you would have spent for the plated meal on better/more food options. I rarely hear, I wish we’d plated the meal. I do hear, I wish we had more food options.