Hi everyone, thanks again for coming back to the weekly blog here. Over the years as a wedding filmmaker, I’ve seen some awesome, breathtaking weddings and I’ve also seen and heard some horrible advice that simply should have never been given to couples.
Today, I want to share with you some of that advice in hopes that you’ll take it and NEVER do it!
I remember filming a wedding in 2001 where the bride’s mom was covering the wedding dinner but what the couple didn’t realize is that it was a hotdog and hamburger dinner. This was a wedding venue in Vinton and everything else was great, beautiful dress, great location, awesome flowers, the couple forked out money on a wedding videographer, me, but mom was a cheapskate.
She spent all of $600 on the entire dinner with chips and dip, buns and sodas. It was completely out of place and many of the guests thought it was some sort of trick, but nope, a true backyard BBQ for about 90 people.
Whatever you do, don’t cheap out on the dinner. From my own research, plan on spending about 23% of your entire wedding budget on food, including alcohol and beverages too. Your catering will be very much close to your venue budget if you get married here in Southwestern Virginia.
Bad Seating Advice
I did a wedding at the Vinton War Memorial back in 2013 and one of the things I noticed was the confusion on where the wedding guests were being seated at. Apparently, someone that oversaw the seating chart (a family member is all I know) thought they would spread everyone out so you could meet new people.
While that sounds great in theory, the reality is that your high school best friend isn’t going to want to sit next to your spouse’s cousin they’re never going to meet again.
Unfortunately, the person in charge split up kids from moms and dads, married couples and people that brought their significant others too. The seating arrangement was just a huge mess.
Complete DIY Will Save You Money
Having a DIY bride can be a great thing, but some things are cheaper if you hire someone. In 2015, I filed a wedding at The Inn at Virginia Tech and the couple had bought an entire load of silk flowers for the wedding thinking that it would be cheaper than hiring a florist with real ones.
Truth be told, while silk flowers last longer, its usually cheaper to hire a florist than it is to buy the silk counterparts and make everything yourselves.
The other issue is that you must store them and try to resell them. You may get lucky getting rid of them, but you’ll lose money on reselling them on a Facebook Group page.
In fact, wedding florist tend to be about 16-22% cheaper than buying the same types of flowers in a silk version. Listen, you’re getting married, spend a little bit extra on things that can help save you money and when it comes to DIY, take on some things like your décor but leave other things like catering and flowers to the professionals. You won’t have the stress; storage issues and you can focus on other things too.
DIY isn’t always cheaper as some people think.
Wedding Trends Are Great
Many wedding trends come and go and I’ve seen a few of them first hand in my 20 year career. First, let me just say that if it’s a ‘trend’ most likely you’ll regret it after a couple years.
Just a few years ago there was a trend where the bride and bridesmaids would flash their panties to the camera, yeah that lasted about a year and people started realizing that it wasn’t smart or appropriate at the wedding day.
Revolting bridesmaids’ dresses, wedding cake in the face, cheesy themed weddings like zombies or Game of Thrones, sending out those “Your not invited cards” to people you don’t like, what’s know as the Roast Toast and oversized fake eyelashes were all trends that I’ve seen come and go in the last 20ish years.
Sure, it might seem fun at the time, but trust me as time goes onward, it’s something you think twice about after a couple of years.
More Guests = More Gifts
Some people have been told the more wedding guests, the more money and wedding gifts you’ll get in return. While that might be true to some extent, the truth is that having wedding guests at the wedding and reception costs, a lot MORE than a wedding gift most times.
Think of it this way, say you spend just half the national average on a wedding, that’s about $14,000 and adjusted for our region of Virginia. If you have 100 people, you’re spending roughly $137 for each person to be there and enjoy everything that you put into it the dress you bought to the wedding photographer you hired to the food, flowers, cake and wedding venue too.
Plus, for every guest you have, there is an increase in everything, the food, the centerpieces if you must add tables, linens, beverages and deserts and the like too.
Guests are by far the BIGGEST expense at your wedding, not the venue, typically that’s second. Normally it’s the catering that often times will outcast everything else, it’s just the nature of the beast.
Some people will tell you to take out a wedding loan in order to pay for everything up front. Honestly, don’t. Sure, there are select circumstances where it makes sense to get an unsecured loan from a place like Propser.com, but it typically comes with a price, a large interest rate.
Honestly, if you need to do it the right way, just save each month for a couple of years or less. While a wedding loan might seem like a great idea, paying 15% or more on the money is a bad idea. I’ve seen so many couples put deposits on a credit card just to lock in dates for wedding vendors but then take years to pay them off.
My advice to couples is to save money then pay deposits.
My advice to vendors is to offer in-house financing over time. This is something to consider as many millennial’s in 2019 are seeking various options to pay for their wedding vendors. You’ll still get your money before the wedding, it’s just easier to swallow a bunch of smaller pills than a couple of large ones.