Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wedding planning in the news

Is it just me, or is everyone doing news stories about weddings lately? A few weeks ago, the L.A. Times did a story about how the economy is forcing brides to get thrifty, and all of a sudden, its wedding week at the Washington Post.

Photo by my friend Katherine Isokawa

I suppose that no matter what happens, people always do three things: be born, get married and die. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but its true. But at this point, let's focus on what everyone is really talking about: How to save money.

The L.A. Times starts with a bride who is planning to spend only $8,000, not the average $30,000 spent on weddings today. That's a big cut, but personally, that's still a lot for me, since I want to buy a bed, a bedroom set, a MacBook Pro...Oh, sorry. Got sidetracked there.

Planning a cut-rate wedding might seem out of step with the gauzy dream of the big day, but lately, more brides have been thinking thrifty as the economic slowdown has left them worried more about the higher cost of living than whether to serve chicken or filet mignon.

"There's no question that the recession has affected the wedding industry," said Jolene Rae Harrington, director of creative content at Here Comes The Guide, a wedding planning resource. "Brides still want to realize their wedding dream -- they just need to be more creative in how they achieve it."

That includes inviting fewer guests, getting married on off-peak days such as Fridays and Sundays, crafting handmade wedding favors and holding receptions at low-cost or no-cost venues such as parks and beaches.

As thrifty as I am, I knew my friends would be too. So a few months ago, I quizzed them as to how they saved money on their weddings. My girlfriend Olivia:

i would definitely have passed on the favors. they were dumb. i got my dress on ebay brand new for $100. my mom spent way too much on too much food. i dont know what else i would cut because it was all pretty cheap per person because we had to have 300 people. so it was more the number of people than the stuff that made it so much.

My former editor Amber:
1) We bought the flowers at Costco the day before the wedding and did them ourselves.
2) We had a destination wedding, so we rented a big house and had the rehearsal dinner and wedding ceremony there. For the dinner, we hit Costco since we were buying a lot of food and then fixed the dinner ourselves.
3) Jill Karnicki (old GNP photog) took the wedding photos -- that was her present to us, which I suggested.
4) It's not something I did, but a friend of mine bought a wedding dress that she later dyed black and has used as an evening gown.
5) Instead of a wedding cake, we did cupcakes (again, made them ourselves) and decorated them up really cute.

But you don't have to take it just from me! I stumbled across this great post from Unclutterer -- Ten tips for planning a simple wedding. Hey, you brides could use all the help you can get in this day and age.

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