(Modern weddings are too expensive, so how can you cut costs?)
I think modern weddings as a concept, are dumb.
They’re a giant corporate black hole of money that’s no longer about the ceremony, as much as it is about bling and one upping your frenemies. The day is 100% about the bride (LOL equality) so most grooms just acquiesce and go along with whatever the hell his girl wants. Besides that, the cost of modern weddings has turned out to be downright astronomical. Between the dress, cake, centerpieces, guests, bouquets, church, it alll adds up to be way too much money. If you insist on having what is essentially a party though, instead of putting a down payment on a house, here are a couple ideas for cutting costs on your “most special of days”.
Why spend thousands of dollars on a dress you’re only going to wear once? Buy a “really nice” dress for cheaper, one that you can wear multiple times. The groom can wear his nicest suit, and frankly, he wouldn’t care if you told him to show up in sweat pants. And to make your bridesmaids buy a unique dress for hundreds of dollars, is an exercise in selfish cruelty. Just tell them to wear their LBD or “something yellow” and trust them from there. At least the groomsmen can rent.
Seven course meal. Five layer cake. Who cares. That’s thousands of dollars for food. If you put that in perspective, that’s enough money to but your groceries for eighteen months. That’s enough money to go eat at French Laundry ten times. That’s one hundred cakes from Sweet Lady Jane. It’s just food. And while food is amazing, why would you spend that much money on what are probably strangers. Strangers and their dates. That uncle that creeps you out. Your racist aunt. I like the buffet idea, that seems to be more economical. But I say you go all the way and invite a taco truck. You’re quirky enough to pull it off and it’s “kinda cute”.
If you have to invite people to your wedding, then don’t invite more than fifty. Seriously, I bet you can’t even name fifty people right now. The Rules: No one can bring a date and forget all the people from work. Don’t worry, they’ll get over it. This whole thing is about you anyway right? Don’t invite anyone that you haven’t gone out to eat with at least ten times.
Images convey so much information and memories, that this cost, is absolutely worth it. I also like the idea of putting disposable cameras at each table and then developing the photos taken by your mischievous guests. The snazzy photo booth idea is genius, and should be a wedding must. But of course, the photos of you and your groom are probably the best photos of you may ever have done, so spend a little bit more here.
I’ve been to a civil ceremony before. It’s depressing to go in to a municipal building and walk past the parolees and hobos to a tiny room where a judge sentences you to marriage. Ambiance can create mood (just like your favorite restaurant) so in order to get you and your guests in the right frame of mind, pick a good venue. It doesn’t have to be famous either, so think out of the box. Combine the ceremony and reception to the same place. Instead of a winery, go to a barn. Instead of a banquet hall, rent a house. Instead of the beach, go to a beach in Greece.
All of the well-documented stress of planning a wedding is mostly self-inflicted. You’re making it way more complicated than it has to be. You don’t need a giant purple trolley if you have the ceremony and reception in the same place. You don’t need to pick a color scheme if you just don’t have one. You don’t need to have a hair and makeup person, if you just do it yourself like you do every day of your life. Why are you making what is supposedly “the happiest day of your life” so complicated? You’re becoming corporate and losing sight of the most important part of marriage. The message. The symbolism. The romance. You know, the actual getting married part.
That being said, why don’t you just elope?