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Thursday, September 06, 2007

The DC Wedding For $20K

Sounds Crazy no matter which way you look at it.

TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for one day...

or $20,000.00 for a wedding in a city where the venue alone can eat up 75% of that budget (Literally.) Here are some objective tips for my Brideys as you begin the process and before you become uber obsessed with the whole thing and can't hear Logic any longer :)

1. What is important to you? Be honest and list all your items in order of importance. Is it the venue or the Food? Your dress or the flowers? Photography or Music. If you prioritize you will be able to allocate your dollars to the areas most important to you and find you can spend less on less important areas rather than just booking vendors willy nilly.

2. Be Open To Options. Friday versus Saturday really isn't going to make much of a difference in this market. Sunday will net a lower rate but the real savings are during the week. I know CRAZY. But you would be surprised when I tell you that I did more Tuesday weddings this season than ever before. It's a European thing where weddings take place on any day. Think about a Thursday or a Monday before or after a long weekend. Make YOUR wedding the destination and treat it as such. If everyone were on an island, they wouldn't care what day you had the ceremony.

3. Put your vendors to work. If you have a vision in mind, you are the client. Have them embrace your vision. If they can't or won't perhaps they aren't the best vendor for you. It should not be that you are so flattered to have ____________________ "do your wedding" that you let them run the show. You are hiring them to work with your vision. (ALWAYS be polite, sometimes a No is the right answer.)

4. DIY is wonderful. A few projects here or there are about all any one bride can handle (Between work, grad school, the dog, the fiance and life...) If there are DIY projects you would like to incorporate, then incorporate your bridal party to assist. Give over the task completely and don't micro-manage them.

5. Use your contacts. If you are using a planner that can purchase wholesale ask them about the items you fall in love with that may seem to be out of your budget. If you need 200 pieces of an item, they can probably nab them wholesale with only a modest mark up and the cost of shipping.

6. Read the Resources Section. All the great items you find perfectly staged in the magazines... Turn to the very back of the magazine and find out where you can get them. Most of the information you need is already there in print. Name of the item, shop name, location, website or phone number and often price.

7. Spend your money on the WOW and accent your WOW on the cheap. Use a terrific specialty linen in vibrant colors and accent your tables with an inexpensive flower like carnations or baby's breath en masse (in large quantity). the effect is stunning and the linens will cost less than an elaborate centerpiece would have.

8.Finish everything to the edges. Rather than have 15 DIY projects all over the place that don't really work together, but were done because it was a "cute idea" choose items that will work together and give a finished look. For instance have a custom monogram designed for your wedding and have it go through on everything, invites, programs, napkins, chair sashes, water bottles, favor boxes etc. Everything at the event works together and the entire event looks "finished to the edges".


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