Wedding Planning: How do you solve a problem like wedding finances?

Marriage gurus name the three big areas of conflict as sex, parenting, and finances. Add a wedding to that mix and it’s no surprise that wedding planning is up there as the most testing of all predicaments. So how do you solve a problem like finance when it actually involves the planning of a celebration that’s invented to tighten your relationship bond? Well, we’ve come up with a game plan to assure you of a great day without the regrets and unnecessary spending leaving you to concentrate on what your suppose to  concentrate on to make your big day the one you’ve been dreaming of.

God dang it, I wish I had booked that band.

The stress of money is the last thing you want to invite into your wedding planning. This is a special time to enjoy. It’s your big day and you don’t want to settle for less. Nobody wants a wedding on the cheap but everyone loves a bargain. When dealing with suppliers the most elusive trick is to balance services that are reassuringly expensive while saving you on cost at the same time and avoiding financial insecurity in the process. Here are our top 5 things you should invest in – in the following order.

  1. Reception location, venue, menu
  2. Entertainment plan – Band, DJ, dance acts
  3. The Photographer, videographer
  4. Ceremony location, celebrant
  5. The Dress

The reason we have chosen the above is because nobody will remember the flowers, the candy-cart, the cake, the favours, the photo booth, the car, the lanterns, the twinkling dance floor, the fizz or the macaroons and dare I say it, not even the honeymoon suite. Of course every couple has their own ideals of what matters to them the most on their big day but it’s called your big day for a reason. It’s not just you the couple that must be pleased. The good news is that all your guests will remember after the day is how good they felt and how much fun they had. You want this day to be all about the culmination of friends and family that you both love and hold dear in your hearts to join together, celebrate and be merry. The people who have been with you through thick and thin and this is why the occasion must to be marked.

1.The venue, firstly I’d like to tell you a horror story about the time my friend booked her amazing venue but on the day of the wedding they showed up after the church with guests she was horrified to discover large industrial scaffolding donning the entire exterior of the building. Once entering the grounds it was really sad to see that the contractors didn’t stop there. I will never forget the look of horror on her face as she was inconsolable for quite some time before the fizz came around. We eventually all forgot about the monstrosity of the work going on around us and as we entered the function room, all the guests were oblivious to anymore drastic sights of workmen and building tools. The best man got up to speak and as he stood up he placed a hard-hat on his head which he had in his car boot as all good architects do. Before he uttered a word of endearment he announced that the guest sitting to the right of the room must move over to the left as the right wall partition is about to be bulldozed. The room roared with laughter and jolts of prosecco spilled everywhere from continuous chuckling. The point is, we can make light of any situation. However, the venue of your wedding sets the scene. Do you really want an unreliable venue who doesn’t appreciate your need for the finer details on your big day? I didn’t think so. Choose wisely. The food, who doesn’t like their food. The food is pivotal as yes we know the day is all about you but we know how a good meal can make us feel so happy and hearty and it’s your way of saying this is how much we love you and thank you for coming. We want you to have the best as only you deserve.

2. Aah, the wedding band. This is the one that gets grossly overlooked a lot of the time. Let’s just consider how many guests have spent hundreds on outfits, hair, makeup, manicure, tan, ties and bows and all the bells and whistles. They’ve taken annual leave, hired a nanny and all they want now is to have a day off from work and the perils of everyday life to just please god, let their hair down! That’s not too much to ask, is it? Yet so many couples decide that once the speeches are over that’s it, the day is done, if you choose to dance or not it’s up to you and it’s up to you to enjoy yourself. Wrong!! It’s up to you as a couple to make sure that they enjoy themselves. That the aunts and uncles who are home from America are mentioned on the PA. That your old school friend who you haven’t seen in years is greatly appreciated for traveling 4 hours to get there, while your 8 months pregnant cousin gets a mention for staying awake and your Nan gets a shout out for being the longest person on the dance floor. That the band play that 80’s track that you and your sister used to sing into the hairbrush. That the boys get to mosh and even crowd-surf like teenagers. That the people’s choice in music is appreciated by the band and requests are a necessity, not a nuisance.

I honestly don’t think there is anything sadder than a bad wedding band or an empty dance floor. I’ve seen it happen too many times and I feel the pain for the couple who’s special day it is and also for the hundreds of couples that are considering ringing in work the next morning to try to revoke the day they’ve booked off work because they didn’t dance enough in the wee hours of the morning to need to take the next day off to recuperate. I’ve looked across many empty dance floors and I’ve seen people fall into photo booths, bored singletons chat up an overpriced videographer and guests coming indoors drowned from standing in the rain, smoking having broken up the celebration. All this could have been saved by just booking that band that gets your guests up on the dance floor from the get go and leaves them dancing right through till the end of the night. I don’t mean to snub the good services of videographers or added entertainment. I just feel that where you invest your hard earned cash into your wedding should really be considered carefully. To really think long and hard about what’s important. People will never remember the key-ring photo favour you gave them, they will only remember how you made them feel.

3. That said, you do need to have a keepsake and the photographer is there to capture that but make sure he has something to capture. It’s a milestone event you want to capture and archive. Some people prefer not to hire a photographer or videographer. But you’re probably about to create a family and you’ll have grandkids one day and down the line you want to share how happy your special day was with generations to come. After all, they are the future of celebrations to come and you should show them how it really should be done!

4. Ceremony location and celebrant – Possibly the most important aspect of the day for you as a couple. This is where the magic happens. Of course your parish priest and church is the best option if you’re marrying the traditional Irish catholic way. There are other options for people with different ideals of celebrating their nuptial ritual. Celebrants are in high demand nowadays but other choices include humanists which are also becoming increasingly popular for those of a more spiritual nature. Our prediction for the forth coming trend will be catholic ceremonies al fresco. If people won’t come to the church, the church will come to them. If you would like more information on popup weddings please click here on Limelight Group Prestige Weddings. 

5. The dress is what stands out about the occasion. We can’t have Christmas without a tree and we certainly can’t have a wedding without the belle of the ball. We all know the reason behind why a bride wears white, it symbolises purity and innocence of course, which is why we love the humorous contrast of witnessing the bride getting down on the dance floor to really cool rock anthems. But remember to make sure your dress is not the joke on the alter nor the dance floor. Always think in years to come, when you look back at photos with your OAP pals after a game of bridge, did that dress age well in the classy stakes. Try and veer away from fad trends and go with a timeless piece.

Financing your wedding day isn’t the easiest of chores, however if you prioritise what areas of your big day to focus your expenses more heavily on, such as the best quality food and music (i.e the big things people will really remember) then you’re halfway through the battle and what’s more, it will leave you to enjoy the best day ever also, which is even more important. Put your money where your memory is.

Do you have a reoccurring nightmare of an empty dance floor at your wedding reception? Click here to learn how to avoid it –  Harlequin Band 

To get a quote for Harlequin to play at your wedding please email shane@harlequinband.ie