Yes, You CAN Avoid “The McWedding”
The McWedding is not McDreamy. The McWedding is McTacky.
Can you avoid it? Sure, with the proper 12 step program, you can drag your wedding out of the clutches of becoming another proud event catered, DJ’ed, photographed, coordinated by the infamous Ray Ray of Ray Ray’s Chicken and Weddings.
But Terrica, you say. What do you mean? I mean, honey, there are ways to save immensely on your wedding while eliminating the “tack factor”. Let’s see how…
1.) Hire pros. I know you have a lot of magazines, books, message boards saying, “Yes! You can slash your XXX budget in half by hiring a student or allowing Uncle Larry to “gift” you his services as a XXX. Don’t be totally sold…yet. The perk is that you get to pay a vendor less money, to get a service. Notice I didn’t say the same service. Hiring your friend who works at the JC Penney Portrait Studio is not the same as hiring a photographer who specializes in weddings. If Aunt Mary does offer to bake your cake, get something in writing. I have had so many clients not do this and were extremely sorry for it in the end. I’m glad you can save money, but when it comes time to execute the job– the real professionals need to know who is going to do what, when, how, for how long and why. A lot of people say they don’t want to infringe on the personal relationship by asking for a contract. Trust me, infringement will be the LAST thing you are worried about during and after the wedding when something goes wrong. Besides, there is a level of confidence and reassurance you get when hiring a pro or someone with advanced training. If you want to look for a bargain, look for someone on Craig’s List in your area. But avoid ones that look “too good to be true” or a bit shady. Do your research and ASK QUESTIONS.
2.) Less is not always more. You can decorate very nicely on a moderate budget. The key is to use color to draw the eye in or great textures to appeal to the senses. However, sometimes, the five rose petals and 2 votives on top of the square mirror just looks cheap as a centerpiece. In some instances, candles can be your best friends. Add several pillars of varying heights to your tables. Rent a chair sash or cut an adequate piece of fabric to serve as a colored runner and line your rectangular tables with votives (Cudget.net has a ridiculous all year special of 72 votives and holders for $25. You should get that just because it’s Tuesday). Then scatter your rose petals. Another tip…if it has tulle in it, leave it. Just walk away. Ditch the string lights. Go for the soft light of candles– it’s cheaper and believe it or not, more versatile. You can find colored votive holders or hurricanes to add color if you need to.
Look for specials from places like ProFlowers, where you can get your whole decor and flowers for about $1000 or less (YES! This includes bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, etc.) Also look for “wedding twins”– things that can double in purpose for both the ceremony and the reception: arrangements or pew markers for the buffet tables, etc. You are also not limited to your grandmother’s silk/cotton flowers anymore. In my opinion, those along with columns, cake fountains and the like scream TACKY. If you want nice flowers, without sacrificing style, go to ProFlowers (mentioned above) a wholesaler like Sam’s Club or Costco or even Flowers for Rent.
3.) Avoid the One Stop Shop Vendor. I may make some people out there upset with me when I say this, but this is nothing new. If you have a vendor that offers to do your coordination, officiating, DJing, etc. Run as fast as you possibly can. Why? Because there is no way one vendor can do the job efficiently of three for your event. Something will suffer. And think, if s/he is doing that for your wedding, they are probably doing it for someone else’s wedding too. They will get burned out quick and the work will be lackluster. And, yes. It will show.
4.) It’s not a Telethon. You don’t hold any Section 501(c)(3) exemption status, so please stop asking people to make donations for your wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very giving person. I like to give personal and meaning gifts. People who demand money (on their invitations, no less!) from their guests, have registries/showers just to return the items for cash or gift cards or start actual mortgage registries irritate the lipstick out of me. It’s rude, crass and classless. Also, asking your guests to pay for their meals– not cool….at all. This is a surefire way to take your wedding from a wonderful event to “uber-tackfest” in about 2.5 seconds. If you can’t afford the wedding that you want, hold off until you can or scale down. Personally, I’ve got college funds and makeup to buy and save up for. I don’t have the desire to fund your wedding. I’m sure your guests will feel the same way too.
5.) You demand a wedding uniform. Thank goodness more brides are pulling away from the idea of having complete control over their poor bridesmaids. Some say, “Here’s a swatch, pick your dress” others give different dress options. But nothing is more tacky that planning EVERYTHING for your bridal party– from their jewelry, to their dress, to their hair and makeup. They aren’t dolls, and they are all are not the same size. You risk making some bridesmaids feel really self-conscious and uncomfortable. For example, one bride had some really nice slender bridesmaids. The slim belted halter dress she chose was stunning on them. However, they were quite possibly a size 4 and 6, respectively. The poor Matron and Maid of Honor were a size 16 at best, and were very busty. As a formerly extremly busty woman, I can tell you first hand…we do NOT like halter tops. First, there is a lot of behind the scenes work that has to be done– just like a house, that building needs a strong foundation. It’s hard finding a corset for a DDD. But this bride insisted that everyone look the same….even as her poor Matron and Maid pulled up their dresses all night.
Some of this is relative, as I am sure depending on your wedding and its size, you can make some things work for you and our budget. The most important thing is to do it with style and class without sacrificing the integrity of the beautiful day you have planned!