Monday, August 18, 2008

Weddings: Keeping It Real



There is too much fantasy and hype involved in wedding
planning. Maybe its all the media crap touting
weddings that cost in the 6 to 7 figures. Or its the
celebrities having over the top weddings. Or maybe its
the Disney fantasy weddings that is turning the
Princess/Prince Charming from all the fairy tale
movies into a real life money making cash cow.
Or maybe its all the brides who spend hours
comparing notes on the online wedding boards.
Or maybe its the competition between friends
and family as to who can have the best wedding.
Regardless of who planted the idea, a wedding
out of control is a train wreck in the making.

Its time to keep it real. Keeping it real means
having the wedding that YOU can afford.
Bottom line: The wedding is a party to celebrate
the union of two people in marriage. Its a party,
its not a show to put you or your parents in financial
ruin. Its not a competition.

Keeping it real means being realistic in your
expectations of your wedding. You can't replicate
a celebrities wedding without a lot of cash. Besides,
they get a lot of freebies for their weddings. They
sell the pictures to the press and recoup their
costs.

Tips to keep your wedding real:

Have the wedding you can afford.

If you can't afford a big blowout, then have a small
group of select family and friends and do so within
your budget. Think outside the box, a garden wedding
with a barbeque reception, a wedding at sunset on
the beach with dinner.

Personalize your wedding your way.
Put small touches on the wedding that show your
style as a couple. Maybe its an unusual color scheme,
maybe its the food you serve. Maybe you grew all
the flowers in your backyard. Or you made little snack
gift baskets for your out of town guests. The personalized
touches you add to your wedding take it from
ordinary to rocking. I've attended small weddings and
walked away more touched than the most expensive
country club wedding.

Stop thinking of what you CAN'T afford and start
thinking about what you CAN afford!

If you can't afford an open bar, stop beating yourself
up. You don't owe anyone a drunken time. Look for
alternatives. Put a bottle of wine on each table and when
its gone, its gone. Oh, well.
If you can't afford the exotic orchids, who is going to know
if you use pretty in season flowers? It may actually turn
out nicer than you imagined.
If you can't afford the couture wedding dress, there are all
sortsof great wedding gowns in lower price ranges. As long as
it flatters your figure and feels comfortable, who will
know you paid less than the $4,000 couture gown you
can't justify in your budget. And here's a secret: Most
wedding gown companies make bridesmaid dresses. You
can get a similar looking dress in their bridesmaid line
without a train and for a lot less money. And guess what?
The quality is nearly identical.

Eliminate the extras you don't need:
There are things you need for a wedding,
namely a bride, groom, marriage license and
an officiant. The rest is just gravy.
Choose the gravy carefully. Do you really NEED
favors? Do you really NEED a band at the reception
or will a DJ do the job? Do you really need a sit
down dinner or can I have a less expensive buffet?

Concentrate more on the marriage and less on the
wedding planning.

I see brides who never mention their fiance. They can
tell you exactly every detail of their wedding. It makes
me believe that they are in love with the idea of having
a wedding, rather than getting married. Sure, the guys
get into having a wedding, too. But keep the focus
where it belongs.

Keep things in perspective and keep a sense of humor.
If some little thing goes wrong, don't go all Bridezilla and blow
it all out of proportion. Thing can and will go wrong, I've never
seen a perfect wedding. But you know what? No one ever
knew!

Keep your sense of humor and laugh often. Your friends and
family will appreciate it and so will you. Because once the
wedding is over, and real life smacks you in the face, its
good to laugh!

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