Custom lighting. The releasing of the doves. Specialized engraved invitations. Hand-made chocolate favors. Designer bridesmaid dresses. Full top-shelf open bars. It's these things that many bridal magazines and TV shows (and, heck, my future mother-in-law) would portray as the norm for the average wedding.
True, weddings have grown more elaborate over the decades, as more brides and grooms emulate the gala-style events of the stars. But for the first time in a decade, the average cost of a wedding has gone down.
It's true. The average wedding dropped from $28,732 to $28,704 in 2007. OK, that 28 bucks may not seem like that big of a deal. According the the experts, though, it is a very, very big deal.
Time magazine reported that half the members of The National Association of Catering Executives had seen a decline in wedding spending due to economic hardship. Some 12% even said they had seen weddings canceled for financial considerations.
So, how are happy couples scrimping on the price, but not on their fantasy?
1.) Friday and Sunday weddings make a big difference, since there is often a discount. Just not everywhere... My wedding will be on a Sunday, but there are no discounts. I guess there are enough other people who are having Jewish weddings to still make that day popular.
2.) Bring on the chicken. Who really remembers many wedding meals anyway?
3.) Forge a new tradition. Forgo the champagne toast. We're skipping the champagne toast to save on the cost of the wedding, as well.
4.) Selective invites. B and I had to do this. Warning to other brides: Your future mother-in-law may not react well.
Some people with a artistic streak, oodles of time and other helping hands are also making their own invitations, sewing bridesmaid dresses, arranging their own flowers, making cakes and catering events.
Personally, I am looking to get creative with my budget.