In my more than seven years of publishing a wedding website (and then four years of running a parenting website) one of the things that came up time and time again the concept of a "gift grab." Maybe this logic used to make a little more sense during a time when most couples A) weren't paying for their own weddings or B) weren't living together before getting married. But back here in 2014, round these parts? 43% of us are paying for our own weddings. Why in the world would we spend money on a wedding (or even just a reception) just to get gifts?!
This is Offbeat Bride's archive of Budgeting Advice posts.
How to cope with your wedding budget
I've just started looking around at venue options, and I'm realizing that my dream venue (funky and yes, offbeat) is potentially going to cost us TWICE as much as this more traditional, kinda-boring venue that offers wedding packages. Thinking about this reminded me again that offbeat does NOT necessarily mean less expensive! Then it made me wonder how much other Offbeat Bride readers are willing to spend to pursue their nontraditional visions — versus going lower-budget for a more packaged wedding. Given that many corners of the wedding industry are set up with packages, how do you decide between an easy/low-budget package vs. a more expensive but more authentic offbeat vision?
So, in my crawls across the internet I came across the idea of "sponsored weddings" ie services that you either get discounted or free in exchange for promotions/advertisements at the wedding. On one hand, I think it's tacky… on the other, I think it's fabulous.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
My fiancé and I are totally excited about including some DIY elements in our wedding, but I am wondering if it makes sense financially. What are your experiences? Did your DIY projects save you money or cost more?
We are close to hitting the ceiling on our small-budget wedding, and I'd love to hear from Offbeat Bride readers who've finished their weddings…
What are things that you wish you spent more or less on?
I have been checking and re-checking my wedding budget spreadsheet weekly — especially the estimates vs actual money spent. I am not the first, nor will I be the last that spends a good deal of valid energy on a wedding. But something happened yesterday, thanks to an app, that helped remind me of the fun of wedding planning.
There’s so much conflicting information on the internet, it’s no wonder tipping wedding vendors can be such a perplexing topic to so many couples. To make matters worse, it’s a subject that usually doesn’t come to light until the end of the wedding planning process, after you’ve already shelled out a great deal of cash and suddenly realize you might be expected to give EVEN MORE?! And if you don’t — clearly you’re a bad human, your vendors will despise you and ALL. WILL. BE. RUINED! (Dun dun duuuun!)
Well, not exactly. But, the fact is, clients ask me all the time for guidelines on tipping wedding vendors because… wait for it… there are no rules.
I know from the our reader survey exactly how many of you are trying to plan economical weddings with budgets under $10k (or $5k… or $2k). It's a lot of you. But I also know exactly how many of you are planning weddings over $10k — and even over $30k. And I know how many of you are feeling weird about it.
Once upon a time (okay, mostly in the '40s and '50s), before weddings became huge social events, they were typically held in a church with a cake and punch reception directly followed in the basement. So, what would all of this look like in money and time? Here's how a cake and punch reception would go down AND save you money…