A Wedding Stimulus Plan

Over the past several weeks and months we've certainly all read the headlines and heard the stories of what a troubled state our economy is in and what we we should/could do about it.  The state of our economy can make things like planning a wedding, purchasing a home or car, or making any large financial commitments an even bigger deal than they normally would be.  Some are suggesting to save every penny, some are suggesting to spend what you can to stimulate growth, and some are just completely confused (I fall into this category).  My two cents is that we all have seen ups and downs not only in our country's economy, but in our own personal "economies" if you will.  And this too, in my opinion, shall pass in due time.  Why am I writing about this on a wedding blog?  Because in these cost conscious times, there are some things you can do to maximize your budget when planning your wedding and still get a big impact.  How might you ask? 

1) Make it intimate.  Spend your wedding day with your closest family and friends and then send announcements to extended family and acquaintances after the wedding day.

2) Choose 2 or 3 areas of your wedding you really want to focus on like floral, photography and food, or location, food, and entertainment and spend the bulk of your budget here.  Let the rest of your planning "to do" list fall into place and in line budget wise with where each item falls on your priorities list.  

3) Go thrifting!  Many clients have had great success both style and wallet wise by finding decor pieces for the tabletop at estate sales, flea markets, and online at sites like eBay and craigslist.  The best part is after the wedding you can use these pieces in your new home or gift them to friends and relatives.

4) Get creative with your menu selections.  Not only are there more options out there than filet and lobster, but many of them show off your personal style and food favorites as a couple much better!  Your presentation of the meal can be creative too - try active food stations where guests can watch as a chef prepares their meal, or serve a multiple course tapas-style meal where guests are served a series of small plates to up your flavor quotient.
5) Forget the fully stocked bar and offer guests a selection of fine wines, champagne, and beer.  You can add 1-2 signature cocktails to the mix to personalize it for your guests while still keeping the costs down.  

These certainly aren't the only ways to maximize your bottom line, but they're a start as you begin your planning.  Above all, remember that finding something inexpensive ("a value") doesn't always equate to finding something of value.