Mrs. Bee and I are becoming professional wedding attenders. We go to more than a few weddings a year, which is amazing to me because we both think of ourselves as not knowing many people! Anyway it’s humbling going to other people’s weddings, because you realize how many things you wish you could change about your own wedding. I really think that weddings are becoming a competitive sport. The bar is being raised in so many ways, many of which cost a lot of money!
If Mrs. Bee and I had gotten married after all these weddings we’ve been to in the last few years, I think we’d feel compelled to double our budget! The cool thing though is that the best things about my favorite weddings were all pretty affordable. So to hook up all those poor grooms out there, I thought I’d make a list of inexpensive or free things you can do to make your wedding special.
You can *really* tell when a bride and groom have planned a wedding around their guests. I think a key thing is making sure guests can easily find and get to your wedding. It’s a bunch of little things and they’re mostly cheap or free: putting a great map in your invite… putting signs on the street corners pointing to the venue… making sure there’s parking near your venue… posting signs in the lobby… basically the little things that make it easy for guests to find the place, and to settle in. I’ve been to sooo many weddings that were hard to find and people got lost! By the time the ceremony starts (usually late, because so many people got lost), everyone is already in a bad mood. A stressful start to the wedding, and hard to recover from!
I totally underestimated the importance of the Slideshow, and the Best Man Speech. If these are pulled off right, they add so much energy to a party! Everyone starts laughing… and the mood is set for the dancing. Oh and also about the Slideshow: there is something magical about wedding slideshows, where every nostalgic photo evokes peals of laughter from everyone old and new. I think it’s because so many guests have known the bride and groom for so long, they can relive their memories with each slide. And the guests who haven’t know the couople for that long get a chance to see photos of their past.
Anyway I was a skeptic when it came to the slideshow, but now I bow down before their might.
3. OUTDOOR WEDDINGS
This may be somewhat random, but outdoor weddings can be amazing and yet so cost effective. My sister had an outdoor wedding, and the venue was gorgeous. It was a double set of savings: there no need for flowers, and we barbequed the food. You may be thinking: damn, Mr. Bee’s family is so ghetto. But can I be honest with you? It was some of the best food I’ve ever had at a wedding. It probably worked out to a few bucks a plate. I think her whole wedding was in the four figures. She’s definitely the smart one in the family.
I think the best (and most memorable) things about weddings are cheap or free! Well except for open bars.
Anything cheap or free to add to this list?
- New York City, New York
- Wedding Date:
- March 5, 2005
- Westside Loft, New York