How NOT to save money on your wedding
My mother gave me a very beautiful wedding, and she took so much of the planning burden off of my shoulders. I was so appreciative of that, that there were many issues where I “gave in” because not only was she holding the checkbook, but she was doing so much hard work in the planning.
But, she went a little overboard on some things (shh, don’t tell Dad). Here are some places where the budget went awry. Hey, your little girl only gets married once, right?
- Weekly trips to Michael’s to “get ideas”.
I doubt Mom ever left the store with only ideas and not something in her shopping bag as well. She bought silk flowers, only to be told later by our florist that they are not representative of fresh flowers. She bought “practice petals” for our flower girl (I was told she never used them). She bought white accessories only to have to take them back later after I picked out an ivory gown. My mom is quite the shopper.
- Going overboard with the favors.
We had ceramic heart ornaments with our names on them. We had full-size Hershey bars (with almonds) with custom wrappers. I think there were votive candleholders. And then of course the little place card holder/bell combos and the bubbles. I told my mom that people would need little plastic bags to bring home all the stuff they’d get. No, they just didn’t take them and she shipped them all out to me. I’m sure she got “ideas” for all of these things at Michael’s.
- Buying an expensive figurine as the cake topper.
Personally, I think cake toppers are stupid. You don’t need a couple of figurines on top of the cake in order to understand that it’s a wedding cake. I think flowers or cool sugar designs are so much more pretty and classier than a little bride and groom. But my mom spent $240 on a Lladro bride and groom figurine (but it was on sale! she told me). And she did this before we picked out a cake. This thing is like 8 inches tall and the event planner told us it was too big and heavy to go on top of any cake. Plus, the cake we agreed on had a large sugar flower for the top. So the figurine stood next to the cake on the cake table. And now I own a Lladro. Something else I get to dust (or store).
- Oy. The invitation debacle.
Instead of buying the invitations that I wanted online that would come exactly as I wanted them (navy card with silver lettering, for the most reasonable price I had seen), she insisted on buying them from a local wedding boutique. She got horrible customer service, and they were not what I wanted at all. They were ugly compared to what I pictured in my head as my perfect wedding invitation. Luckily, my guests don’t know what I was thinking and I suppose they were pretty in that regard. Even after the bad customer service, she still went back to that boutique for cocktail napkins (which turned out very nice) and:
- The unity candle.
I am indifferent to the unity candle tradition, and generally I didn’t like the idea of things that would make the ceremony longer. But my mom really loves the idea and since we couldn’t do it outside during the ceremony we did it at the very beginning of the reception during the introduction of the families and the new couple. My mom actually used to make custom unity candles as gifts for marrying couples using the invitation and a photo, dipping it in wax to seal the decorations and then adding pearls and other decorations to it. They turn out very pretty. Well, now you can buy candles that come with an easy way to attach the invitation. The problem is, the invitation has to be portrait-oriented and mine was landscape. So Mom purchased a minimum order (25) of my invitation with the correct orientation just to have the one copy for the candle, at a cost of $125. I think we could have figured out a compromise on this one.