If you are planning to create any of your own décor for your ceremony or reception, November and December is the time to acquire the supplies. Joann’s, Hobby Lobby and Michaels all have their best sales of the year at this time. Go online and sign up for their coupons to maximize your savings.
It’s best to go in with a list of what you need, so review your plan and inventory your supplies so that you can get everything you need. In addition to saving money, getting the supplies now for a summer wedding will give you plenty of lead time to get the décor assembled, and that will be one less thing on your wedding “to do” list.
Once you have an idea of your style and your budget, you will begin a balancing / juggling act to see how you can fit the real essentials of what you want into your budget.
You need to figure out how you’re going to allocate your budget, so think about what’s most important to you: Do you want a really fantastic professional photographer, are you willing to take a chance on an up and coming photographer who will be more affordable, or are you ok with friends and family taking photos? Do you feel strongly about wanting to serve a meal? Open bar, beer and wine only, or no alcohol? For most people it’s hard to not get caught up in the temptation of all of the wedding industry marketing around weddings. I encourage you to evaluate your choices in light of what you agreed at the beginning was most important. Will program fans or chair bows really bring you joy on the day of your wedding? Maybe, and that’s ok. Just be willing to keep prioritizing things until you are within your budget. Want more food/alcohol? Change the floral arrangements on the tables to single flowers in bud vases. You get the idea.
A wise man once told me, to complete a project, you have the options of good, fast, and cheap – pick two, you can’t have all three.
This reflects a business concept called the Project Management Triangle. These three properties – Fast, Good, and Cheap – are inter-related, and it’s difficult to optimize all three – one will usually suffer.
Events that are put together quickly and are intricate and highly detailed are usually not cheap.
Events that are put together quickly and are inexpensive are usually not intricate and highly detailed.
Events that are intricate and highly detailed, and inexpensive, take a longer time.
First, think about how people got married 100 years ago. My grandmother married about 6 weeks after becoming engaged. That gave her time to make her dress and send letters to out of town family to invite them to come for the wedding. Out of town family stayed with various families in town for a few days, and there were shared family meals to visit with the out of town guests. They married at the local church, had cake (made by her family) and punch in the multi-purpose room attached to the church, and that was that. It was not always a big production with candles, chair bows and a plated and served meal that it has become in recent times. So as you think about this, remember, none of the things promoted by the “wedding industrial complex” are required to get married.
Start by focusing on what's most important to you for your event to be genuine; don't be swayed by "wedding industry" trends. That can mean doing things that will be meaningful to your family and friends, too. Talk with your fiancé and your family, make your list and prioritize it. Those items may move around as things develop. Be willing to let the things at the bottom of the list go when you’re getting to the end of your budget. This is easier if you know you’ve put your personal “most important things” in place, regardless of what wedding industry marketing tells you that you should have for the “perfect” wedding. Nobody knows what makes your perfect wedding except you, your fiancé and your family.
Be careful about what you decide to take on. Don’t try to craft all of your table decorations and arrange intricate flower arrangements if you don’t like to craft and don’t have much experience in building intricate flower arrangements. If one of your close friends is a florist – fabulous! But don’t take on projects that are likely to stress you and your planning and preparation team.
And if you start something and realize it is making you CRAZY, find someone who is great at that task and see if they will take it off your plate, or LET IT GO! Don’t make yourself crazy over needing to hot-glue lace on 50 mason jars in order to have the perfect table décor.