Wedding Budgets: small things, big things — they are still just things.
Weddings are the cornerstone of David’s and my business. The wedding ceremony celebrates a legal status that we, until recently, were denied. That alone makes it worthy of celebrating! Weddings are one of life’s milestones and Taylor Street Favors exists to encourage celebrating life, so I definitely am not looking to kill this golden goose. Weddings also symbolize an ideal — a desire for something to look a certain way — and we can spend a great deal of time and money trying to make “real” the picture we have in our mind.
Here are three of the most common wedding industry messages that mess with your priorities, encouraging you to create and then memorialize your picture perfect wedding. These messages can shift your focus away from what you already have in front you to what is “missing”, helping to justify spending money you don’t have on things you don’t need.
Message #1: This day is THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE.
The unmistakable implication here is that you ought to spend whatever it takes to put your personalized exclamation point on this day-of-days. You can not buy an awesome marriage by paying for it with your wedding — don’t get sucked in. Stick to your guns and stick to your budget! Don’t equate the size of your wedding budget to the significance of the day. Your wedding day is the beginning of a journey, not the whole trip. Think old mantra: “go big or go home,” versus new mantra: “you are NOT your wedding.”
Message #2: You must share EVERY MOMENT, EVERY DETAIL AND EVERY CAMERA ANGLE WITH EVERYONE – AND VIDEO IT TOO. …and maybe stream it live from a drone.
Our hyper-connectedness and increasing fascination with video’s (i.e.- silly cat videos) makes it very easy to be convinced that you must stream and record your wedding. Many wedding blogs treat this as a “done deal,” listing questions to ask the videographer instead of questions to help you decide if you want a video at all. Let personal taste and your budget dictate your decision. Videographer rates vary widely (from $500 to over $3000) but if you do decide “yes,” having a video professionally done helps insure you will have high quality sound to accompany the recording, making it more likely you will have something you and your family will be able enjoy years from now.
Message #3: THE MORE TRADITIONS you include, the more memorable your wedding day.
From the engagement celebrations to the must have bridal party large enough to fill a mini-bus, the wedding industry grows only by succeeding in inflating your budget. Your budget grows as you agree to fill it with more “must-haves,” to the point where you “must-have” someone to organize and manage all of the moving parts. Your wedding day signals an important transition in your life, but its significance is not magnified by embellishing it with staged, and often expensive extras. Don’t buy into it. Better to think of your wedding as probably the most complicated party you’ve ever thrown. The goal of your event is for everyone to have a good time — and that means the both of you too.
Pay attention to your intuition and do not spend hours comparing your wedding to the thousands of images shared, pinned and liked online. Those images are for inspiration, not judgement. Do not let a list of must-haves overshadow the importance of creating a wedding day that is meaningful for you and your soon-to-be-spouse. There is no wrong choice as long as it is your choice.
And remember — the best things in life are not things — your best is yet to come.