Wedding on a Budget? Is it Possible?
The short answer is yes but the longer answer is "it depends what matters to you".
Unlike what our wedding industry may claim, there is no correlation between amount paid (for the wedding) and the longevity of the marriage. The wedding is a celebration of the vows, binding two people together for the purpose of edification. Marriage is difficult, requiring both parties to give it their all, putting other people before their own interest. Of course there are many benefits to marriage, but none of them are connected to the wedding celebration itself. While the day can be magical, it need not be so expensive that you need to mortgage your home, or leverage it at collateral. Furthermore, many newlyweds lack a personal home, whether they live at home or rent.
Just to be clear, you will not get a Kennedy-esque wedding on a shoestring, but you can make it just as memorable. Here are some tips to help guide your wedding planning, ensuring that the right things are emphasized and the thrills are reduced.
Instead of booking the biggest wedding venue, look for offseason deals in November through to April. Many are will to offer significant discounts, especially since the Covid Pandemic has hit this industry particularly hard.
If you have a cottage, consider getting married there. If you have your wedding ceremony on private property (whether owned by family or friends) it will allow more resources for other endeavors.
As your friends who they have used (as vendors) and see who they liked. Many vendors are thrilled to offer a discount, especially if referred by a satisfied client. Use your personal network to see who is in the wedding business.
If your synagogue or church requires you to book the entire facility for the service, you can elect to hire another wedding officiant, who can come to you or you can come to them. If you are working with a lower budget, many religious wedding officiants will appreciate the situation and charge accordingly.
There is no need to have a huge wedding, where the guests are (generally) unknown to the couple. This could be due to the parents (of the bride and groom) inviting all of their friends, colleagues, and acquittances. You have the right to chose who comes to your wedding, especially if you want to keep the ceremony low key and intimate.
If you are booking a wedding venue, ask if you can bring in outside food. This could be relevant if the food is overpriced or subpar. While many wedding venues refuse such requests, this can be an area of negotiation, especially during the offseason. Even if they have accepted outside food (in the past) they may no longer agree to do so, especially after the new Provincial Covid Guidelines.
If you are keen on hiring live entertainment, it may be advantageous to do some independent research, especially on social media. While it is unethical to offer nothing, many musicians are willing to lower their price, especially since the industry has no fully recovered (as of 2021).
If you are interested in a legal wedding ceremony-but under 20 people-one option is to reserve a restaurant room. There you can ensure intimacy, with only the most important people being present. To execute the legal wedding requirement, a wedding officiant can be hired to attend the wedding, doing the ceremony before everyone years.
Weddings are a beautiful thing, regardless of the budget or context.
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