Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cut Favors?




Last week, there was an article in the Chicago Tribune about the things to cut from your wedding. The list of things to cut included: 
  • Ceremony décor
  • Two dresses
  • Late-night snack
  • Personalized napkins
  • Elaborate centerpieces
  • Engraved Stationary/save-the-date cards
I don't agree!  I think that even a budget conscious wedding should stick out in some way.  If you cut out all of the fun stuff, like personalized napkins, then the wedding seems like every other wedding.  

Instead, I would focus on one thing: either a late night snack, a candy buffet, or a photobooth.  If you love paper (like me), than I would have some pretty menus and escort cards for the day.

What do you think?

17 comments:

MaggieMae said...

Personalized napkins are for the Prom - cut them. Costume changes are for pop stars - forget the second dress. Elaborate centerpieces get in the guests' way of talking to one another at dinner - scaling back doesn't mean you have to skimp on style. Late night snacks are what guests order when they run out to the bars after your reception - don't waste your mortgage money on food not everyone will eat anyway, especially if you already provided OOT guest goodie bags. Cutting decor and stationery completely out is impossible, but doing it creatively on a budget is not.

Honey Bee Weddings said...

I think that you miss my point. If you cut everything, then your wedding is going to have a very sterile, generic feel to it. I think it is better to do some of these things that others.

If you want a great example of personalized napkins, look here. It's a great way to advertise your after party.
http://honeybeeweddings.blogspot.com/2009/01/real-wedding-shannon-rick-details.html

Finally, you should never go into debt for your wedding. That said, I am all for splurging on the details.

~M said...

My husband and I both come from families with strong opinions. :) So, even before we got engaged, we individually made a list of our top 10 priorities. We shared our lists with one another; most priorities overlapped. I'd even go so far as to say that many of our priorities were different than our friends' for their weddings. For example, we decided to splurge on having a local Jewish artist create our ketubah (marriage contract) and chuppah (marriage canopy). We also used many family heirlooms throughout our ceremony: I wore my mother's gorgeous wedding gown, we broke one of my great-grandmother's china plates (it's customary to break a plate in a traditional Jewish ceremony), and we wrapped our glass for smashing with my husband's grandmother's handkerchiefs. While we had almost every one of the items on the Tribune's list-to-cut on our 10.12.08 wedding because my parents' wanted to host a fancy gala, I would have happily done without them as long as our 10 combined priorities were met (although our napkins and dance floor included our Hebrew monogram, which we created ourselves and matched our invitation covers - pretty cool!). I think that if everyone has personalized napkins or engraved stationary then the personalization is kind of meaningless since it becomes practically expected. Also special and unique was our menu, which we put hours into creating (both from a food and paper-layout perspective) and our program, which highlighted all of the aspects that we thought made our wedding unique. I can't tell you how many of our guests, especially unmarried-but-dating ones, have told us that they loved our program and kept our program in a safe place so that they can use aspects in their weddings! My husband and I also did a lot of artsy-craftsy projects together, including designing our wedding invitation with the aforementioned unique Hebrew monogram, creating brochures for our OOT bags, and making a video slideshow for our rehearsal dinner (my husband has also been asked by our engaged friends to make them a slideshow).

Laura said...

I think it's just a matter of prioritizing. There were some things that I knew we just couldn't swing or didn't matter (ie probably not going to have passed h.d.'s during the cocktail hour. Why? I don't like 'em and our caterer wouldn't be serving anything special there anyway).

But then we are able to make sure we have the fun details...funky menus, awesome (I hope!) candy/dessert display, fabulous cake...etc. The details do make the wedding, you just have to be smart about it (and do-it-yourself!).

MaggieMae said...

I think you are missing MY point. Doing things inexpensively does not equal sterile and generic. It means you have to get creative. And the more creative you are, the more your wedding reflects your husband and you, making the day more intimate and memorable for your guests. I'd rather my guests go home feeling confident in and happy for the newly married couple and honored to have been a part of our day than leave a pile of unwanted personalized napkins in the trash, thinking the whole wedding was more style than substance.

Honey Bee Weddings said...

M + Laura,

I agree. It's a matter of prioritizing. You should do some of these items to make the wedding your own.

Laura, I would urge you to have some food doing the cocktail hour. Otherwise, you might end up with some guests that are drunk before the even starts!

Misse

MaggieMae said...

~M, I feel like you make my point. You were able to use personal, sentimental items for your ceremony that meant something to you, your husband AND the people witnessing your marriage - and they were free! You got creative with your husband and spent time with him making special items for your wedding - that is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. Cutting everything out isn't necessary if you're being creative to make the day personal, beautiful and affordable. It sounds like you had a wonderful wedding. Mazel Tov!

Honey Bee Weddings said...

Maggie Mae,

The article gives a list of things to cut. My opinion is that you should do at least one "unneccesary" to keep your wedding original. I never mentioned that a bride should make it expensive. Unneccesary does not equal expensive in my opinion.

I have a Real Wedding coming up where the bride spent only $15,000 on a downtown wedding. Her wedding was far more beautiful than some of my clients that double.

MaggieMae said...

Excellent. I can't wait to hear about and see what she did to make her wedding beautiful and affordable.

Kate S. said...

You all have made great points here.
To each bride their own - everyone has their own dream vision for their wedding....and a different budget.

While I splurged ($50) on the little kvetchy-cool-vintage personalized napkins, My wedding shoes have cost me $13.50 total between the shoes and shoe clips. While we splurged on invites and save the dates by hiring a graphic designer, I bought my dress off the rack for $900.

Its all about budgeting,and doing what YOU want to do.

Honey Bee Weddings said...

Kate S, I couldn't have said it better!

Angie said...

I think that cutting extras and budgeting is not equal to cheap and generic. We had a "budget" wedding and still receive comments on how unique and special our wedding was. We splurged on photos, and that was it. Everything else was budgeted and strictly! We didn't have anything that was on the Trib's list and saved a bunch of money that way.

Truth be told, what people remember most was the ceremony-the actual wedding itself. It was emotional and personal and didn't cost us very much. We don't get a ton of comments about the reception, and that's okay. If it was "generic" then so be it. It was our day to celebrate, not a day to impress others.

paula said...

I agree--my daughter had so much fun working with bird and banner in designing the invitations, escort cards, misc. signs, napkins, stamps for tags, etc. It was really fun to watch the ideas develop and so many people commented that they had not ever been to a wedding that had so many personalized details. You can see the pictures at http://www.pictage.com/368625 Event key is Laura.

MaggieMae said...

Angie, it sounds like you had a beautiful wedding and I love that you were focused on the real point of the day - your public, lifelong commitment to your spouse. That is what should be memorable because, in the end, that's all the day is really about.

Rachel said...

Just remember, like Angie said, the wedding is about the marriage, not the party. Make your wedding unique by doing things like writing your own vows (Misse, I believe you and Denton did that) or making the effort to spend time with each of your guests. Unless you are in the wedding planning/ event planning business, many of the "unique" details like personalized cocktail napkins and the second dress are forgotten after a few drinks that night.

Anonymous said...

I think in times of recession you have to just do what's really really important to you. My fiance and I still want to get married now; we could wait another year and see if times get better in order to have a more fab party. Or we could get married now because we love eachother and we want to be married; esp during hard times. So we're getting married now with a toned down wedding. I bought my dress on sale, we compromised on the ceremony site (its only $300), we won't have much in the way of favors (I really think only the bride cares about this anyway), and we're not doing an afterparty. Personalized napkins hadn't even crossed my mind so scratch that too.

We are however going to have a really great dinner, some cool flowers, a fun cake, and all of our friends and family. For that I feel completely lucky and blessed and don't feel it will be stark.

OrangeMew said...

I think Misse has a point about if you just use a checklist of what needs to be done and not throw in a few nice to haves (which don't necessarily have to be expensive, but realistically, you can do without), it's just a wedding by the book, making it like any other generic party. Doesn't mean people won't still have a fine time thanks to the great company that has been assembled, but to really distinguish the event to reflect you as the host, you need to allow yourself "splurges" of personalization. Even if you DIY, it's still a splurge because by the book it was unnecessary use of even the small funds needed and especially your time, after all!

If anything, rather than cut all the fun stuff out, prioritize at least one fun thing and perhaps even making some of the extras DIY is really the recommendation to cut costs but still have your touch of style. If you end up stretching yourself thin on too many extras though, that's when it becomes more meaningless because not one thing was executed well, just a motley of things done partially ok, so it blurs just as much as if you hadn't done them at all.

One thing I disagreed about the article's recommendation was keeping a champagne toast. Half of my guests don't drink much, and I think it's a total waste of champagne to pour glass after glass for one sip. I'd rather have guests toast with whatever they already have/offer champagne or sparkling cider and not automatically pour one for each guest.

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