The economics of wedding planning
Manipulating the finances
What are areas of savings that won't destroy the quality look of my wedding?
Consider having no floral costs. Eliminate boutonnieres and corsages (pretty old school, and who would miss them?), make your own gorgeous center pieces from mountain foliage or folk art. Choose a wedding venue that requires almost no added decoration. Schedule your wedding on a Friday or Sunday instead of a Saturday to save big on the rental of your venue.
Construct your own bridal bouquet from five flowers, picked up at the florist, and beautiful greenery gathered from nature. Floral tape to bind the stems; satin ribbon to wrap over the tape, leaving streamers.
Find the best speaker set in the house, or your Bose radio, and plug your ipod into it, after making a play list that is perfectly customized to your dream evening, to avoid the cost of DJ or musician.
Is a wedding cake really important to you? Why? I have seen lavish weddings with no three story cake, but including a wonderful, tasty, nutritious, more economical dessert following the dinner.
I think for some people a video is everything, but if that is not you, think long and hard about how you really want your memories preserved, and don't undertake the cost of unnecessary services just because they have become so commonly used in the recent decade. Maybe ask your friends who have been married eight years how much they have referenced their wedding video.
Find a photographer who will work at what you want to pay for. You don't have to have someone all day and all evening or a minimum purchase of product, if you don't need that. Figure out the kind of photos that will be important to you and hire someone, by the hour, plus product, who will come for a few hours and get shots of the stuff that is important to you. Don't really want all those posed group shots? Ask for candids only, designed to eventually include all the important persons in both families (be certain the photographer commits to learning which individuals you mean!). It is important that you respect the photographer's need to get paid for his/her professional expertise, at a professional rate; but it is not realistic to believe that everyone who holds a wedding should pay for eleven hours of professional photographer time.
The wealth of rich backgrounds for photos at Camp Colton is appreciated by photographers and clients alike. Be certain that you plan your day's schedule to allow the photographer time alone with you to take advantage of the romantic possibilities.
I guess, in short, just don't get sucked into thinking that effects that may not even be missed have to be part of a long list of extras you pay for.
What is the most cost effective way to stage a wedding?
Have a picnic, use a public park, have the guests bring pot luck. It won't be less fun. You won't be less married.
I think in this scenario, and for a camping wedding, the thorny part is figuring out how to inject a feeling of ceremony that conveys the importance of the transition being undertaken by the new marriage partners. You might get that by introducing live music: one flute or penny whistle for an out of doors ceremony is magical.
And act like an adult: don't expect guests to create the banquet and still provide lavish wedding gifts! It is their company you want, right?
Why should I use a caterer?
'Cause it just works. It works good.
Besides, do you really want to spend the big event day toting the food you spent the whole day before preparing into the site? Do you want your relatives or friends who should have been in the wedding photos to miss the ceremony in order to set up the buffet? Do you want the family waiting tables during the reception? Are you prepared to remember the coffee beans, sugar and cream, set the tables, keep the coffee re-made and refreshed, refill water pitchers at every table all day, bus dishes, tote garbage, pack up all leftovers, wash serving dishes?
And when did you stop kidding yourself that the food was free because you didn't pay a caterer?
If your budget for the edibles (remember, there is no law it has to be a "dinner") is way tight, that is a clue that you should take another look at trimming the guest list.
How do I know your prices won't change for my wedding next year?
We don't always have a price increase for the new year, but we make that determination in the fall of the previous year. Sometimes a new wedding package or new inclusions in a package change the price. We have had almost no price changes since 2006, but have added many new options for wedding couples. There is, unfortunately, no way of insuring you when you preview that the same cluster of services or package will remain as is for next year.
Your signed contract will have attached the printed advertising showing what you were promised for the package you chose at the time of your signing; whatever we decide to change, you will get what the contract states. If you are considering contracting for a range of services for a wedding, party, or retreat, if you have a preview visit you can ask us to make you a written bid and state for how long the bid is good.
Other services, from cottage prices to camping to rented center pieces may change price at our discretion at any time of year. We stand behind our advertised prices, keep the web page up to date on any changes, and carefully code our printed materials with their creation date so we can know if a client is referencing a piece of older advertising. We do not honor older prices, just because a client has held on to an older piece of advertising.
Sometimes we reduce our prices, as we did on cottage overnights in 2011, in acknowledgment of how difficult it is to afford vacation options in a serious recession.