PHOTO BY CODY HUGHES PHOTOGRAPHY
ARTICLE BY DARIA BEDDARD
Weddings are magical events celebrating the love between two people who are vowing their lives to each other. Some have large events filled will people from all over the world, and others keep it small and cozy. It should be a day without stress, but if you’ve been married, you know that isn’t quite how it goes.
During planning, it is common to be stuck trying to decide where to spend more money and where you could pinch pennies. As a former bride, I can tell you that making those choices is not always easy and may come with disappointing family members or guests, but this is your day and it is important for the happy couple to be just that.
If you are planning a wedding, maybe it would be best to have some advice from former brides on things they would, and would not, change about their big day. Don’t fret, the leg work has been done already. Putting the task of asking people in your life about this is not one more thing you have to do because I have done it for you!
When asked what the top three most important things you should absolutely have, a great photographer won by a landslide. That probably doesn’t come as a surprise either. Capturing the special moments is a way to remember the day, and people, for years to come. Coming in second was a good caterer. Some venues may not allow outside caterers and some may. Some caterers may be able to provide your food, cake and bar drinks. Rounding out third was the DJ. Most DJs will have a list of songs commonly played at a wedding, so don’t stress about a full playlist. Spend more time on deciding what songs you do, and don’t, want to be played and let them do the rest. Honorable mentions include a great location, a videographer, a good minister and love.
Among those who were surveyed, the biggest investment was the food and bar, followed by attire and location. However, one bride did skirt some bigger costs by getting married on the beach and another by getting cookie cakes instead of a big traditional one. Splurging on your dress is one of those things that seems so traditional, but if it is not high on your list, you can always shop at bridal consignment stores or go a less traditional route like a bride who wore a gray dress.
While the DJ and photographer were high on the list of must-haves, they were the smallest of investments amongst most brides. Throughout the process, there always seems to be something couples say they would have changed. Hiring a better photographer was mentioned three times. One bride used a family member as a photographer but wishes she had spent a little more and used someone who did it professionally.
Additional things mentioned were making sure important family members were there, not stressing the small things, and advocating for their wants more. I’ve heard that last one often and think it is something that is not discussed a lot. Some concerns are raised because parents are paying for the event, but it is important to find the balance and have a say in how this special day is created, and remembered, for years to come.
A common bond among brides when asked what they would not change was having a small and intimate ceremony. This trend is being seen more often when it comes to weddings. A small and personal ceremony, followed by a bigger reception, can allow for a more personal connection with the guests and between the couple. Additional things that some would not change are having a judge marry them, an open bar and a smaller amount of food.
A few pieces of advice to take in:
Enjoy and embrace every moment; it goes by so quickly.
Make a list of the really important things you want, and let the rest just be okay.
Don’t go into debt – spend wisely and pay deposits early.
Nothing matters but marrying your person.
From this bride, I wish you the best of days ahead and memories to last a lifetime.