I grew up the son of a florist who also added balloon design and decorating to her available services. During the 1980’s and 1990’s balloons were used to decorate almost every event including; baptisms, graduations, birthday parties and even weddings. I became a pro at creating arches, pillars, hearts and being able to spell almost anything with balloons.
We had a neighbor behind our home who was also a florist and across the street was an amazing baker. As a kid I remember walking clients from our home for balloon ideas, to the florist’s home and then to the baker’s home to see the amazing wedding cake ideas.
They worked as a wonderful trio and as a kid I spent almost every Saturday assisting with setting up and decorating at least 1 wedding and sometimes as many as 3 or 5 events a weekend.
Although, I’m not a wedding planner, many times I acted as one when I was a teenager. Now that I’m an adult, I realize I have many of the talents and attributes to organize large events which I learned from the hundreds of weddings I helped decorate in my youth.
As I was chatting with a friend who was planning a wedding, I realized as we talked, that I was able to assist with almost every aspect of the wedding, and if I couldn’t directly help, then I had references for the other services which were needed.
On average, I attend about 12 – 15 weddings a year. I assumed that was a normal average, but I was told by another friend that that was crazy. I love weddings and I love being present when a couple declares their love in front of their family, friends and loved ones. I’m sure it’s the romantic in me who revels in this public display of their affection. I’m lucky to have a large community of friends who enable me to attend so many weddings.
I love weddings of all sizes. I especially enjoy the small DIY weddings. I love when the wedding couple reaches out to their friends and we have decorating parties. If you’re short of money, or would just rather spend your money on more important things like a home, honeymoon or vacation fund, then feel free to do some research on pinterest or visit Amazon Shop Handmade – The Wedding Store and see what you and your army of friends can accomplish.
Here’s a list of some things you should consider when planning your wedding:
- Will you have a priest, ordained minister or deputy commissioner?
- Will it be an indoor or outdoor wedding?
- Will it be at a church?
- Will it be in a backyard?
- Will it be at a restaurant/winery/chapel?
- Wedding Music
- Will you have a Wedding cantor?
- Will you have a choir?
- Will you have instrumental music?
- Will you have a soloist sing a special song?
- Will you be playing recorded music?
- Will it be an indoor or outdoor reception?
- Will you have a bar?
- Will this be a sit down dinner?
- Will there be a buffet?
- Will you have light tapas?
- Have you planned your first wedding dance?
- Will you have a live band?
- Will you have a DJ?
- Will you have music played from your personal playlist
- Will you have a photographer?
- Will you have a videographer?
- Will you have a photo booth?
- Will you have your guests take photos and upload them later?
This is just a partial list, but a good start in shaping your wedding ideas. Keep in mind, I have had an amazing time at a wedding which cost over $50,000 and also a fabulous time at a wedding which cost under $500. In the end, it’s not the cost of the wedding, but the company you keep.
The saying, “you get what you pay for,” can be very evident in an event like a wedding. You can handle most everything yourself, or you can hire a professional. There is also the middle ground if you’re blessed to have friends who have the special talents you may need for a fantastic wedding.
There can be less stress when giving the responsibility to someone else instead of taking it all on your shoulders. A professional wedding photographer and videographer will definitely make a big difference on your special day, just as a professional DJ will keep the dance floor bumping.
Sometimes, it’s hard to justify the money when you may not understand the value you will receive. Examine your budget and see what you can afford. Always remember, you can also be creative with your financing. Do you happen to have a professional service you can offer as trade or for an extra discount? Also, letting the professional know your budget will allow them to be creative and work with you.
Your DJ may be able to modify the set rate if you are flexible with how many hours you want the DJ to work, or the photographer might be able to provide digital copies instead of printed copies. There is no end to the creativity someone can come up with when you respect their craft and are honest with your goals and budget.
My sister was married in February 2018 and with some out of the box thinking and help from family & friends her entire wedding including 200+ guests, bridal shower, bachelor party, gathering parties the day before and after the wedding, photographer, wedding dress, flowers, wedding cake, birthday cake, anniversary cake, party favors & honeymoon were less than a 1/3 of the cost of an average american wedding. I wrote about this in this blog post.
Remember to check references. See what they have done at previous weddings and see if they are recommended by the bride and groom. If they have done a good job, they will usually be endorsed by who has hired them.
I have a list of DJ’s, Photographers, Videographers, Caterers, Venues and some fun, creative ideas depending on your budget and theme.
Remember, proper planning will save you stress, time and money.