A couple times a week I am in the habit of surfing the net and reading a wedding blog or two. There are some good reads out there but for every good, there are a dozen bad, and by bad I don’t mean poorly written.
Since the economy went south, there has been an influx of people writing about cheap weddings and how to save a bundle. Oh sure they have lots of advice, but most the time it lacks well, reality
Take for instance “Wedding Savings Revealed” or “Weddings on the Cheap” or anyone of the other titles used in rewrite.
These professionals claim that paper flower centerpieces are an equal option to real floral arrangements and maybe they are right, that is when the paper flowers are crafted by a professional. Of course, there will always be a rare exception to the norm where a bride or someone related retains the creative skills to pull off such a task. However, if you could, would you even have the time? Ok, maybe you do, and then if you took the time did you really save money? Was the final product truly equal? Or are you just setting yourself up for the disappointment and a lifetime of thinking you should have saved everything and simply gone to the courthouse and gotten hitched? Just because you can’t afford or don’t want to spend the $20K to $30K that the average wedding runs these days doesn’t mean that spending $5,000.00 on regret is worth it.
I think it is fair to say that yes while paper flowers from a professional, when handled and displayed properly, are a nice option. However, I can assure you the chances are slim based on advice offered below:
“Quality paper flowers will look very elegant when done correctly. You can create DIY cut flowers from paper for a wonderful, crafty effect. Or you can purchase a pattern for hand-cutting and assemble the flowers, or purchase them already assembled. The key is the paper you use: common construction paper is going to look cheap, while more elegant, unique papers will look (you got it!) elegant and unique.”
Or how about this wonderful thought on how to save money on food:
“The Picnic Reception: This type of reception is perfect for spring, summer or fall weddings – depending on where you live. Getting everyone outdoors and serving picnic fare is a fun way to change things up. It also makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere.”
Relaxed for whom? Now, again, I am not knocking the idea if that is what you had in mind but as I move past the 5000 wedding point in my life I can say; I have never met a bride whose heart was set on a traditional wedding and could switch gears and be satisfied with a picnic in a true cost cutting “picnic” style. Not only that, I can tell you from a professional standpoint that if you do opt for a “picnic” style unless you mean “picnic” in every sense of the word, your expense will be equal or worse after attempting to turn a park into a mainstream venue.
There are some good ideas out there, but none better than the single most important way to save is to speak with the local wedding professional. This thought is never driven home or completely overlooked because then they wouldn’t have anything to write about. Let the professionals point you towards discounts and when you shop, shop hard in advance and when you negotiate, do it as if you are negotiating the West Bank peace treaty.
There are many ways to get the ball rolling; it can be as simple as stopping in at a local venue to ask a few questions and getting some information on what vendors are doing what. They are pros, and they know everything that is going on in their buildings.
Another thought is, would it be better to have your “Brother Bruce” as a photographer and spend money on hundreds of prints that you can’t bear to look at, or would it be better to have a smaller package from a professional.
Or the best idea that is again is not emphasized enough is to simply cut down on the guest list.
Everyone in our industry is well aware of the circumstances these days, and most of us have been affected in one way or the other, and as business and professionals, you learn to adapt to the times. The last two years have changed our industry dramatically in many areas, and everyone I know has introduced cost saving programs or at least will offer good advice and point you in the right direction. I don’t know of anyone who has posted their pricing in neon with a sign that says “If you can’t afford us, don’t bother us.” Although, I have heard a few stories where the bride felt like that is what she was told during a meeting with a professional. Again, there is an exception to every rule. However, I am sure it was not their intention, and if so, then at least you learned that they are not right for you.
Pricing these days has become so complex, and with so many considerations it is nearly impossible to quote our best price without all the details. Dates, times, guest counts, and even the location of your venue can play a role in the vendor’s final price as we are drilling down into the cost looking for ways to save.
Keep in mind we are all in the same boat, and most can find common ground with their clients. Remember these are businesses and the monthly overhead can be staggering, but everyone’s goal is to provide you with a product or service within your budget if it’s reasonable, but again, we know not everyone is aware of what is reasonable, and you won’t know until you ask and happy to assist.
In closing, give this some thought. If you can even consider the time to make paper flower centerpieces, then you can certainly find the 15 to 30 minutes necessary to speak to a wedding professional and get good advice about your budgets. If you don’t, you will never really know what you could and could not afford, and you might not be as far off as you think.
In the end, most of the time you will save the money necessary to have the wedding you dreamt of and if nothing less, while you were sitting in the park munching on one of Uncle Fred’s famous burgers, you will find it a lot easier to swallow knowing you at least tried.
Until Next Time,
Be Careful When Getting Advice from the Seemingly Endless Group of Online Wedding Professional’s by DUANE HUTSON is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.