WEDDINGS: Do’s and Don’ts of wedding planning

Let’s face it, we all have a budget we have to work with in planning any wedding. That could be very modest or extremely lavish, but there’s something to be said for planning a low cost wedding on high style taste, too.

There are many strategies in when planning a wedding on a tight budget. There are a few do’s and don’ts you should be aware of, as well.

Bring your personality to your wedding day. This is one of the biggest moments of celebration in your life; it should reflect who you are as a couple in love. (Photograph courtesy of Ashley and Landon Snyder)

DO: Pick a beautiful venue which doesn’t need a lot of decorating; you’ll save a lot on trying to mask problem areas with decor if you already love the place you choose to host your wedding and/or reception “as is.”

DON’T: Pick a venue that advertises “All Inclusive” with the assumption it will be less expensive than a venue where you’ll get to choose your own vendors. You will have a lot more freedom to pick who you really want to work with and all you’ll have to do is invest a little time and legwork finding a caterer, photographer, baker, etc whom you really like and can work within your budget.

DO: Ask for referrals! Did you recently attend a wedding where the DJ kept the energy high and the party dancing all night long? Get their name. Ask all the newlyweds you know who their favorite people to work with were for their weddings. And ask the vendors you’re interviewing who they love to work with too. I guarantee everyone you’re thinking about hiring for your wedding is an expert in the local wedding scene and has their favorites too. So, ask your florist who bakes the best cakes and ask the DJ who is the most talented photographer. What they have to tell you could be very insightful!

DON’T: Feel silly asking for advice from everyone you know. This is probably your first wedding, so you can’t be expected to know everything about planning such an important event.

DO: Bring your personality to your wedding day. This is one of the biggest moments of celebration in your life; it should reflect who you are as a couple in love! Do you really enjoy camping together? Have a s’more buffet instead of a cake! Set up lawn chairs and little tent full of props for your photo booth! Give your guests a sparker for a fiery send-off instead of throwing rice! These little touches are very inexpensive and bring a lot of personality to your celebration. Think of small ways you can make your day truly YOURS and incorporate unique ideas that will leave a lasting impression on your guests.

DON’T: Think you need to hire a wedding planner. You can do this! Ask everyone for a little help and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn how many people are excited to help you with small jobs to play a tiny part in your big day.

DO: Rent or borrow versus buy items for the wedding; you’ll save a lot of money that way. Your florist will be happy to lend you vases and containers for your arrangements, and your baker probably has all kinds of stands you can use for your cake or cupcakes or even apothecary jars for a candy buffet. Or, if you know someone who just got married ask if you can borrow items they used. For example, you can always put your own little twist on a borrowed bird cage your friend used for her gift cards with a pretty bow in your color scheme.

This article was written by Lisa Marie Brown, s a wedding consultant for Eastern Floral and the Goei Center in Grand Rapids. She has been an event planner for multiple government and non-profit agencies for several years and now enjoys working with brides and grooms to help make their wedding celebrations beautiful and unique.

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