Remember your favorite `Order of Operations` in Math Class? After getting married in January, I`ve modified it to the Order of `Wedding Planning` Operations!
So whether you`re just getting started or your big day is tomorrow, here are 6 wedding tips (based on that weird high-school acronym `PEMDAS`) that will help you save money and let loose so you can be fully present and enjoy your wedding day:
Determine what is most important for your wedding. Do you want a sunset backdrop in Sedona? Or would you rather have a video DVD of your entire day, regardless of where it is?
For me and Amy, we decided that we could not budge on the quality of our entertainment. We also knew we wanted video footage of our day. Those two vendors were the biggest costs of our wedding, and the ones we were most thrilled with. You get what you pay for (or don’t).
Decide now who is going to do the bulk of the planning. Do you really want to let your mother-in-law be the event coordinator or do you want to hire a professional and save a lot of headaches, not just weeks before, but hours before the ceremony?
We were reluctant to hire a wedding planner, particularly because we knew all of our vendors personally. But all the meetings and phone calls ahead of time cannot take the place of a coordinator being hands-on the entire day. We are very glad we had one, and encourage you to make sure your event coordinator (whether hired by you or contracted through your venue) does everything you expect/need before, on, and after your wedding day.
Conduct a thorough analysis of your financial status, including any donations or loans you`ll be getting from family. Then increase that number by 50% and expect to spend every penny, of course depending on how important those (previously mentioned) priorities are.
We did everything we could to reduce cost, including making our own invitations, mailing labels, table centerpieces, and even ceremony and reception music. Our budget still ended up being nearly twice what we had originally “hoped” for.
Revisit your priorities and weigh pros and cons of each, THEN factor in cost.
It`s really difficult to start talking to vendors about cost and availability until you have a date. This can be frustrating (especially for the groom who might want to put off planning), but is absolutely necessary to make real progress. Consider that `off days` – midweek and off season (Summer in Arizona) will reduce your cost for most vendors.
We were engaged in February. We planned the wedding to be the following February. Then by May, we started thinking about moving it to January. By the end of September, we had finally solidified a date. We knew we had it under control, but we made some of our vendors a little nervous. While it’s not the end of the world (if you’re working with the right people) to plan a few months in advance, be kind to your vendors and try to get a solid date at least 6 months (minimum) in advance.
The date and venue go nearly hand in hand. All vendors must coordinate and make plans based on the venue. Start with the location, then determine which part of town you want and what is most important to you (outside ceremony, grass\water landscape, etc.).
We looked at three venues before we realized we weren’t going to have patience to look at any more, and that when we found the right one (the fourth one), we would know. We wanted grass, lakes, and cactus in our scenery. We knew we wouldn’t be happy with an airport hotel, although it seemed convenient at the time for all our out-of-state relatives…. Which leads to the last tip…
At the end of the day, this is YOUR day to remember forever. It is easy to get caught up in what the family wants and what is `affordable.` Remember to stay true to yourself and your partner`s dreams of how you picture your big day. Remember that people who want to come to your wedding will come, no matter how far, while close friends in your neighborhood may surprisingly be too busy to attend.
6 Wedding Tips – From the Newlyweds
Courtesy of #YourPianoMan Randy and Amy Keith
Premier Piano Shows Dueling Pianos, Phoenix only Local newlywed Dueling Pianos Team