Planning for a wedding can be filled with details and costs that never seem to end. It’s especially easy to get caught up in the excitement of the planning process and get carried away trying to meet everyone’s expectations. If you focus on the most important elements and minimize the distractions, you can still have an amazing wedding while keeping it simple and affordable. Here are some tips to keep in mind while you’re planning (and celebrating) your big day.
#1 Be Intentional About Your Ceremony Size
While some traditional weddings can have hundreds of people in attendance, you don’t have to follow suit. Many people are choosing small, intimate weddings with their closest friends and family. While it might seem counterintuitive, selecting invitees for a really small wedding is much easier than a medium size-once you start adding more people, the social obligations that come with inviting some people but not others begin to get more complex.
Whether it’s a courthouse wedding with your parents and a few witnesses, or an intimate group of twenty friends, family and a co-worker or two, just remember: bigger isn’t always better.
#2 Unique Venue
While more traditional wedding venues have their benefits, there are other options to consider if you’re looking for something different. Locations that host a lot of weddings tend to have packages (and higher prices that come with them).
Breweries, warehouse buildings, co-working office spaces, cafes, and campsites are just a few of the possibilities. My wife Amy and I actually held our wedding at an Ethiopian restaurant where we had our first date and we loved it!
If the venue you choose doesn’t typically host weddings, they’re more likely to be flexible with you and give you better pricing on renting out the space. In addition to that, you can probably choose your own vendors and catering whereas a typical venue will have it all predetermined. On the other hand, having fewer available options set out for you at a traditional venue may be beneficial in reducing the number of decisions and coordination, which might be less stressful if you’re planning everything yourself.
#3 Small and Intimate With A Delayed Reception
Lots of my friends have been holding destination weddings with just a few close friends and family and then holding a big party when they return. That way, it’s the best of both worlds getting to go away for your wedding vacation, and still celebrating with all the important people in your life that might not be able to make it.
One of my friends had the party celebration a year after their small ceremony. Doing this would give you a period of time to save up for the bigger event, and splits up all the planning with some time in between.
#4 Different Officiant
While your particular religious beliefs might dictate the need for a certain type of officiant, it’s becoming increasingly popular to have a long-time friend or family member act as the officiant. It’s really easy to get certified online and having someone that knows you and your partner very well makes the experience incredibly intimate and meaningful.
Plus, there’s the added benefit that you likely would not have to pay for an officiant in this case (but a gift to express your gratitude is always nice).
#5 Wedding Planner vs Wedding Day Coordinator
While you may be planning your wedding for months on end, the actual event will fly by in just a few hours. Although you might want every detail to be perfect on the big day, it’s super important to relax, be present, and enjoy the moment.
If you want a lot of help with the entire planning process you can hire a wedding planner-but if you’re looking to save money and handle the details yourself, I highly recommend working with a Day Coordinator. Instead of planning the entire wedding, they meet with you a few times and then handle all the details on the actual day.
This often costs much less than a wedding planner and still allows you to relax and enjoy the wedding day knowing that someone else is there to make sure everything happens when it’s supposed to.
#6 Don’t Be Afraid To Break Tradition
Years after our wedding, Amy and I reflected back on why we did things a certain way and realize that some of it was just because that’s what we felt was supposed to happen.
The special day really is about you and your fiancé, so make sure to keep that in mind. Remember to stay grounded, add in the elements that matter most to you and don’t be afraid to break tradition if you see fit. Whether it’s a different take on the venue, decorations or timing, you won’t regret choosing your own way.
In the end, you’ll still end up married, and people will have fun celebrating along with you. It’s all about how everyone felt during the celebration, and knowing that they were a part of your special day.