Well lets start with the most obvious reason & that is that you're going to hire me someday to photograph your wedding & lets face it...we both would rather be on a beach somewhere! If that's not a good enough reason for you, it's ok because there's lot's more. I'll start by admitting rather shamefully, that I have been engaged for 9 years. Yes. I know. Please don't tell you Catholic grandmother. It's not that I don't love my fiance with all my heart because I do. Id compare it to working at a Bakery & never wanting to see another pastry or being a Photographer like me who takes pictures of everyone else & doesn't have a single family photo up....it's despicable really, I know. So I've been shooting Weddings for a few years now & I guess I just got jaded at some point. I have seen $500 Weddings & I've seen $20,000 Weddings & it's the same thing almost always....there's something they wish they'd done different. Sometimes it's small things like cupcakes instead of a huge cake or the time of year etc sometimes they want to get rid of the groom...lol...that's a joke.
But on a serious note, I have seen so many times where people spend $30+ on a plate of food to feed people they invite to their weddings who can't even bother to watch them walk down the aisle or pay attention to the first dance. I have gotten pretty good at angling the camera to hide the fact that most people aren't paying attention in the pictures. You have the bride beaming & in love & the guests are facebooking on their phones or too involved in their cake to pay attention. It's not that they don't care, they came to your wedding & you have some sort of relationship or you wouldn't have invited them but here's what I'm saying...."why not save hundreds of dollars & have a more fun & meaningful wedding?"
A pastor once said to me that he has couples come in for a few meetings leading up to the wedding & he is always noting the same in couples....
|Photo by Jose Villa|
Meeting 1: (they just decided to get married at this point) couples are swooning, they can't stop staring into each other's eyes..."hey keep your hands away from eachother you in the house of god!"...that sort of thing you know....& then later they meet again & its Meeting 2: (4 months out) they are in love but seem a bit distracted, trying to figure out all the things that they need to still get done, things are a little stressful but we are excited. And then it's the final meeting before the meeting, let's call it Meeting 3: (1 month out) they aren't sitting by each other, he asks how are things & the bride says "he isn't helping with anything, I feel like I'm doing everything & it's been so stressful trying to get everything finished before the wedding. He says she's crazy, the wedding is getting way more expensive than they'd planned.....yata yata
And the pastor tells me, "I'm not complaining.....Weddings are a beautiful way to celebrate your love but at some point couples get so wrapped up in the 'Wedding' that they forget it's a Wedding. It turns into a money eating machine & they are so worried about the guests & entertaining everyone it's forgotten that it's just really about you loving someone with all your heart & commiting to be with them.
I had to agree with him. And a part of that scares me away from planning my own wedding. I often joke with bride's when we are sitting down to talk that the main reason I haven't gotten married is I'm afraid it'll end up like the end of Carrie where I'm blocking the exit & commanding them to stay & dance. Im afraid Ill spend all this money in search of some perfect wedding & end up disappointed.
So that's why I say get away. Go somewhere far far away lol. If your friends & family can't afford to go far then don't. Have a mountain wedding & camp or rent out a few large cabins to split between everyone. Theres lots of great sites where you can rent large houses for the week or weekend & then split the cost. Try AirBnb for starters. For my Wedding I want to go to Mexico. I grew up there & there's the most beautiful hotel I always snuck into to swim & that's where it has to be I just feel it : ) Unfortunately it's like $200 a person to have a wedding there with music, cocktails & dinner.
So in noting how ridiculously expensive a Wedding can be, let's think about the biggest money saver of it all....you're basically having your Wedding & Honeymoon in one. Instead of spending $10,000 on a Wedding & then another $3000 to go on vacation you will already be somewhere amazing so you are basically cutting your expenses in half.
If the thought of being surrounded by people the whole time scares you try this. Plan the wedding so that guests are gone the last few days of your trip so you both have time alone. Also consider if there's anywhere close by you can escape too when you pick a destination for your Wedding. In Mexico where I want to get married there's tons of beaches & cities close by we can always take off too & they are all under a two hour drive.
The second huge money saver will be on decor & venue. Local venues are often not the nicest unless you can afford to book the really nice places in your area. You'll usually pay a pretty penny just to book somewhere that's mediocre. By the time you get done spending money on decor to make it look nice, you have spent a few thousands dollars between the venue & decor. Why not go somewhere thats already beautiful & doesn't require tons of decor to make it look better? Tropical places, the coast, the mountains...they are already stunning the way god made them so you won't have to do much to make it perfect.
The last reason doesn't involve money, it's about the experience. Bride's spend the whole day on a schedule. A tight one. Sometimes there's not time to hug & say hi to people. The dance is where they can finally start to relax & have a fun time, so it's really the most important part for guests to attend. Unfortunately, I've seen so many Wedding's where guests start leaving almost right after dinner. Maybe they have kids they have to get home to or work to do, who knows. But it sucks because I see Bride's get so disappointed. If you go somewhere for your Wedding then the people that attend are there & are all yours. They have taken the time off from work & life & their mind is in a place to have fun & be there to celebrate with you. So now that you're convinced & you sent me an email to book me for your Wedding Photography go ahead & check out this next post for Planning a Destination Wedding on a Budget.