Monday, October 18, 2010

Planning a wedding in a down economy

Planning a wedding in tough economic times
By: Jessica Robinson

    In these very trying times it takes a little more creativity to plan the wedding of your dreams and stay within your desired budget.  Think outside the box and with some smart thinking and planning you'll be able to enjoy your cake and eat it too.  Even with a tough economy, people still get married.  It's about thinking and planning a little different to save money and still enjoy the day.
    Create your guest list, then tour facilities.  Remember that everything adds up.  The more guests you invite, the more meals you'll need to pay for, more centerpieces, rentals and such.  With a slightly smaller guest list, you'll be able to choose a more unique venue and possibly save big bucks.  Many smaller reception sites offer a more intimate setting and custom menu options to suit your every palette.  They also are more flexible time lines.  Who says you have to have a fancy sit down dinner with all the embellishments and touches.  The front porch of a local Inn would be completely romantic with guests sipping tangy lemonade and sweet tea.  Serve a simple picnic style lunch and bring back childhood memories for guests.  This can be a really unique and fun option for a summer or early fall wedding.  
    With less guests, you can locate a venue that maybe wouldn't normally host weddings.  This can be a very intimate and romantic option for your reception.  I love the idea of having less than 50 guests on a Friday or early Sunday afternoon.  Invite close friends and immediate family only.  There are many options for venues, including smaller restaurants with small private banquet/conference rooms, Inns and even a great rustic barn. 

    Do your research before booking the venue.  Ask them what comes with the rental (i.e. do they include the catering costs, tables, chairs, basic linens and china, etc.??) and what you are responsible for.  Are you only allowed to pick from one or two caterers?  That can be good and bad.  On one hand, the caterer really knows the venue well.  On the other hand, you could be stuck with using them and spending more money than you really wanted to.  

Here are some of my favorite venues for an intimate New England wedding:

Go with one or two types of flowers and one color.  Loose blooms in a collection of bud vases (which you can pick up at Ikea or flea markets/tag sales) look wonderful down a family style table clustered with an abundance of candles.  Simple and really pretty.

What ever you do, budget yourself and try to stick with that budget.  Don't let everyone's opinion (and believe me, they'll all have one) sway your decisions too much! 

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