Tallahassee Wedding Tips From An Economist | TALLAHASSEE WEDDING

Tallahassee Wedding Tips From An Economist

December 14, 2010

Here’s a new slant for planning a Tallahassee Wedding.
Scroll thru for lots of good and useful comments.
All this from the NPR Story Wedding Tips From an EconomistAdvice for planning a wedding
A friend, and a prospective consumer of Hot Pot, inquires for tips on planning a wedding. I will offer a few:
1. Non-contractibility is a bigger problem than you think. You can agree on the number of people, and the amount you will spend on flowers, but ex post many questions will pop up at the margin. One of the two persons will care more about the right answer than the other. One party will be more willing to work on the wedding than the other. Contract in advance for a method of disagreement resolution, not just on the details of the wedding. Get ready for the fact that one person cares less about the wedding than the other and realize this is not the same as caring less about the marriage.
2. Refuse to accept the intransitivity of indifference: “If we invite Uncle Fester, we surely can’t turn down Auntie Mame,” etc. Just say no and (in vain) expect our federal government to do the same.
3. The purchases are a classic Hansonian “showing that you care” problem and the capitalist suppliers are not on your side. Early, up front, do something to show that you don’t care. Buy a cheap paper cup. Relish the feeling. Accept it. Celebrate it. Then let the other person see you still care. Break in the idea of showing that you don’t care.
4. Googling to “advice for planning a wedding” is a nightmare of P > MC commercial promotions, not just in the ads but also in the main search results. Rely more on the reader advice, in the comments section, from a very good economics blog.
What am I forgetting?
Posted by Tyler Cowen on December 11, 2010 at 12:29 PM in Games | Permalink
The more people you invite, the less of your wedding day you’ll actually remember.
Posted by: Dan Lewis at Dec 11, 2010 12:42:23 PM
5. Your wedding is not a contest.
6. Your wedding will be tacky. Don’t worry about it being tacky; it is. Just go with it.
7. At the end of it all, what matters is that you will be married. One way or another, you will be married.
Posted by: RIta at Dec 11, 2010 12:42:32 PM
Watch “Four Weddings” on LivingTV, to see, objectively, just how identikit and tacky weddings are.
But the weddings that seem to be the most endearing and fun are the ones where the bride and groom have lots of genuinely close friends and family around. No correlation with spend.
Posted by: demotic at Dec 11, 2010 1:04:32 PM
(1) Free yourself of the illusion that this is the “most important day of your life”. If you and your spouse love each other, this single day won’t matter very much in the long run.
(2) All the pomp and circumstance is just an imposition on your guests. What people want the most is simply to have a good time.
(3) Flowers, table centerpieces, and the all the other window dressing matter very little–this follows from points (1) and (2).
(4) Therefore, keep it as simple as possible, and spend your money on having top shelf booze and good food for your guests.
Posted by: JG at Dec 11, 2010 1:13:22 PM
DON’T start with the default of a classic wedding and then remove the elements you can’t bear. Instead start from scratch and add only what is meaningful to you. This applies to everything: location, venue, catering, music, timing. The suppliers will be “shocked” that you are considering going without _______. This is nonsense. You are throwing a party, and if you include some form of food and shelter the guests will be happy. Indeed the less traditional your wedding the more they will have something to talk about after. Parents generally have a hard time accepting that they will lose the contest. They always come around, but not before exerting pressure to conform. Eventually they end up smug about the savings.
Posted by: anon at Dec 11, 2010 1:13:40 PM
0. Forgo the xx,xxx dollar affair, get hitched by a Justice of the Peace (get your marriage blessed later by your priest, if you like) and then use that money to put a down payment on a house or pay off/down your debt. Hell, for that matter, politely refuse a diamond ring, as well. Put that towards the down payment or debt payment or why not a really stellar honeymoon?
Your mom will forgive you. (Though my grandmother is still mortified about the diamond thing.) Throw a dinner party later to celebrate. Smile as all your cousins (well, at least the male ones) come up to you during said party and say, “Damn, I wish we had done this.”
You’ll be just as married as everyone else when you’re done but you will argue that much less about money, making your marriage even happier.
Posted by: Terri at Dec 11, 2010 1:14:24 PM
Weddings are not efficient opportunities to rekindle friendships that have lapsed or become closer with distant relatives. If someone has not played a noticeable roll in your life they do not need to be there. Weddings are not a good time to demonstrate how much you care about anyone other than your new spouse. Making your parents understand this is more difficult than convincing yourselves, in my experience.
If you wish to save money then cross out entire lines from the budget. Don’t look for cheaper suppliers, just skip it. If you have food, drink (for most crowds), music, and are wearing clothes which are respectfully presentable then your guests will have a good time. Those that would be upset by a lack of [chair covers/linens which match bridesmaids/voluminous flowers at the ceremony/seven kinds of cheese during cocktails/etc.] are not behaving like good friends or good party guests.
If the bridal party and the bride and groom’s parents enjoys themselves at the reception, so will everyone else.
Posted by: SB7 at Dec 11, 2010 1:21:35 PM
Very important lesson from my wedding: BRING THE WEDDING LICENSE. In a related comment, should wedding license be forgotten, don’t worry, your officient/priest can, and will fake the ceremony.
icon smile Tallahassee Wedding Tips From An Economist
Posted by: Canadian_Bratin at Dec 11, 2010 1:28:38 PM
We were lucky. I was out of the state and my fiance was out of the country, so her mother planned it all.
It helps if the groom doesn’t care too much about the details. I thought of my role as like a small but important part in a play and was quite happy with everything.
Posted by: jrp at Dec 11, 2010 1:37:08 PM
Don’t be afraid to haggle with some vendors. You’re not going to remember the venue that much; the important thing is to take nice pictures. And the background will be blurred out of focus anyway.
If you get a good deal on the dress, the in-store alterations will cost a fortune. Get them – 75% of the cost is for insurance. The store is more likely to get them right than someone else, and they are better equipped to deal with a disaster if they ruin the dress beyond repair.
Do not ask a friend to take the wedding pictures – there is too much stress and time spent in photoshop to tweak the lighting, etc. It will not benefit your friendship – this should be a business relationship. If your friend volunteers, that is different, especially if this is something they do. If your friend is your father-in-law, say yes, but suggest you will need someone else to help capture the other shots, like walking the bride down the aisle.
You will wear the dress once, you will wear the rings every day for the rest of your life, or at least until your divorce. There are greatly diminishing returns to the ring quality, particularly for a man’s wedding band. If you are vain enough, consider something like this:


Get something to eat before the ceremony. You will probably not get to eat much of your $80/plate catered meal. Such is life. Any guest you do not greet will be bitter, particularly if they drove a considerable distance. They will want to take pictures with you, just brace yourself for this. Whether you know them or not. It is best not to face this on an empty stomach.
Register for a minimal amount of towels. This is a default gift, and you will get more than you asked for. Register for pillows.
Posted by: David at Dec 11, 2010 1:41:32 PM
There’s a 50% probability that your wedding will end up with a divorce, so why the fuss.
Posted by: Pavel Kohout at Dec 11, 2010 1:43:00 PM
I second Dan Lewis’s comment. The more people you invite the less time you’ll be able to spend with each of them. We ended up having about an 80-person guest count, and in retrospect I wish it were smaller.
As a former bride, I will say that I did sincerely appreciate my groom’s help in planning the event though. It’s a lot for just one person to manage.
Posted by: em at Dec 11, 2010 1:43:45 PM
The advice I gave my daughter on the morning of her wedding, no one else knows what you have planned or arranged. If something goes wrong no one will notice or care unless you make a big deal of it. So relax and enjoy the occasion.
Posted by: spencer at Dec 11, 2010 2:51:04 PM
know that 1 thing will go wrong over the course of the day. embrace the wrong thing. make it a contest with your new spouse to guess what it will be.
Posted by: nate at Dec 11, 2010 2:55:13 PM
No kids. No fire. Candles, if used (don’t) must not move. If candles must move, have someone willing to hold them up when they don’t go back in the holder and can play it off like it was planned that way.
Have someone you trust watch your car. They can douche it up, but they won’t let something disastrous happen.
Posted by: Andrew at Dec 11, 2010 3:01:03 PM
Posted by: ├ůse at Dec 11, 2010 3:25:22 PM
If you’re trying to put on a nice wedding without spending a fortune, do not think that it is a good idea to skip the day-of-wedding coordinator. You NEED someone whose sole job it is is to overlook what everyone is doing and make sure it is all happening the right way. If there is no such person, the bride will inevitably become that person, and believe me you don’t want your caterer to be asking you for timing decisions at your own reception, or have to run back in your big fluffy wedding gown to turn down the music because someone wants to speak and the music guy has abandoned his post.
Posted by: Chiara at Dec 11, 2010 3:35:39 PM
Think about every wedding you ever attended.
What do you remember vividly as either wonderful or awful?
If you don’t remember it, then don’t spend much time or money on it. Notable examples include the invitations, the music, favors, and the appetizers. Sometimes even the meal falls into this category. Practically ANY venue can look nice if it’s well decorated.
Our photographers were probably our best investment: a two man team for ten hours with a beautiful leather bound album. We went with professionals who do weddings, portraits, corporate ads, head shots, and artistic photography, bringing together all those talents. Two photographers can catch different angle and be in two places at once. It cost us $5000, but worth every penny. We figured videography was too expensive, and when you get photographers and a videographer, they get in each other’s way.
It will be the busiest day of your life. The Best Man and Maid of Honor are NOT your best friends – they are EMPLOYEES. They should be attending to all the last minute details, driving you around, making sure everything goes smoothly. You do not have time (or the desire) to do this on your day. That’s why you get people you trust, will work hard for you, and thats why you give them a nice gift.
You can plan meticulously and things will go wrong. Most of the time YOU will be the only people who know it went wrong, so don’t fret over much. Plan in no finer than 15 minute increments. Expect everything to run late, including arrivals. Stay relaxed, keep expectations low, and you won’t be disappointed.
Expect some no shows in your head count, especially if you don’t invite kids – child care will fall through.
Have a unique theme, but don’t overdo it. It should be subtle.
Our wedding coordinator was provided by the venue, gratis. She was the biggest disruptor of OUR plans. Don’t let anyone take control of your vision, but expect many to try.
It’s a VERY FUN day, but also very stressful and expensive. The industry is a racket and unfortunately you have to haggle and invite competition. Protect your money. Save it for later.
Posted by: Six Ounces at Dec 11, 2010 3:51:06 PM
Pay for your attendants’ dresses and tuxes.
Posted by: liberalarts at Dec 11, 2010 4:14:39 PM
I see this in the comments, even here: don’t be bound by what you think people expect in a wedding or what you expect in a wedding. Spend some time talking to each other about what you want and like about a wedding and make it personal. You will enjoy and people will remember a lovely, personal wedding far more than something cookie-cutter, no matter what the cost.
Also, I agree with the people who say something will go wrong. Of course something will go wrong and everything will be great anyway.
Posted by: Will at Dec 11, 2010 5:24:24 PM
Make low stress a goal. Use that goal to make many decisions
Posted by: Jim at Dec 11, 2010 5:30:35 PM
This isn’t in the spirit of some of the other comments, but anyway …
If you are the party that cares less about the wedding, and you’re getting some blowback for caring less about the wedding, volunteer early to take care of some aspect of the wedding (something like arranging for music, location scouting, printing the invitations), and then screw it up.
Posted by: mobile at Dec 11, 2010 5:32:31 PM
You will thank me for this advice:
Argue about prices with a third party, not the bride. Spoons too expensive? Go straight to the vendor and haggle. If prices aren’t flexible, talk to the person helping plan the wedding. If the bride’s BFF says $5 per spoon is too much it won’t devolve into a fight about how much love is worth, it will just be taken as advice.
Posted by: michael at Dec 11, 2010 6:07:30 PM
Make sure that costs are allocated appropriately, and that the parties that benefit most from the wedding ceremony are those who pay for it. Early on in the process, try to engineer a credible threat to under-provide the more expensive items: given a requisite level of uncertainty regarding your own valuation of those items, your parents and in-laws can usually be coerced into paying for things rather than calling your bluff and risking the one-time penalty payoff. This assumes that you aren’t planning to get married frequently.
Also, forgo the usual gift registration catastrophe. Get a tip jar.
Posted by: CheapTalk at Dec 11, 2010 6:10:07 PM
Send invitations and thank you notes via email (my wife and I did this). It is much easier and cheaper than sending it via postal service. And if you care, it is a “greener” alternative.
Posted by: JA at Dec 11, 2010 6:15:59 PM
While planning for your wedding, remember to prepare for your marriage.
Posted by: Chris at Dec 11, 2010 6:24:30 PM
Plan when the bride and groom will eat at the reception. We took this for granted and wound up famished. Someone packed some take-away styrofoam containers of stir-fry for us to consume in the limo ride to our hotel, but once we started the drive we realized we had no utensils!
Posted by: Tom Anichini at Dec 11, 2010 8:07:19 PM
You can get just as married at the county courthouse and it won’t cost you nearly as much.
Posted by: Sbard at Dec 11, 2010 8:46:19 PM
We eloped to Vegas and everything was taken care of by the hotel. Very much recommended though my mother-in-law wasn’t pleased.
Posted by: Jon at Dec 11, 2010 9:56:07 PM
Lawyers can be lovely people, but beware of jilting one right before the wedding. http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=2052774&spid=
Posted by: Peter M at Dec 11, 2010 10:42:11 PM
Remember that the wedding is for your guests to see each other, not you. Unless you have a very small wedding, you won’t have time to even see, let alone have a meaningful conversation, with everyone you invite.
Pictures will take forever. Plan for it.
The honeymoon is not to celebrate your marriage. The honeymoon is to relax and destress and have lots of sex after the months of emotional buildup and stress preparing for the wedding.
Be as involved as you can. You only get married once (if you do marriage right).
Posted by: Neal at Dec 11, 2010 11:31:07 PM
Try to have wedding party photos taken before the ceremony so that afterwards there are fewer to take before the reception.
Delegate like mad, as if you were running a drug cartel from prison. For some reason, your friends are willing to help with menial tasks at this time.
(Clarify my no kids comment above, no kids involved in the critical path of the ceremony if it bothers you that they will wreak havoc preciously. Kids are fine otherwise, and not having kids at your wedding is a bit of denial, no?)
Posted by: Andrew at Dec 12, 2010 5:36:56 AM
Delegate like mad, as if you were running a drug cartel from prison.
What he said. We asked all of our friends to help out with different parts of the ceremony and reception. The whole shebang ended up costing a couple hundred bucks; most of it was postage for invitations.
Posted by: Neal at Dec 12, 2010 7:17:32 AM
Some good advice above. A few more comments from a recently married person:
1) The best — and possibly hardest — decision to make is to limit the number of guests. As other above have pointed out, you can only interact with so many people in a night. Do the math — 100 guests and three minutes per guest is five solid hours of accepting congratulations and thanking people for coming. In reality, of course, you’ll end up just not talking to a bunch of people. We had just over 100 at our wedding, which was fine, although I think 80 would have been a better number. (I see Em up above had 80 and wished she had less, so maybe 60 is ideal, or maybe everyone feels this way).
1a) As a corollary, don’t get upset when an “important” person can’t come to your wedding. In advance, you may have a vision of a perfect day, surrounded by all the people who have been meaningful in your life. In reality, the day will be wonderful no matter what, and also such a blur that you’ll have a hard time remembering after the fact who actually came. Seriously.
1b) Things we did to limit guests: no kids, other than nieces and nephews. No plus one. No invites just because someone invited us. Sharp limits on parental invites. Sharp limits on rarely-seen family members. These decisions were *hard*. But they were also necessary — my wife is one of six children, her mother is one of seven children, and the combinatorics were just scary. The good news is that people tend to be very understanding (as far as I can tell).
1c) Understand that your wedding costs are roughly linear with the number of people you invite. The cost per guest varies very greatly with the type of wedding you’re throwing, so you’ll have to do your own math, but consider that removing five people from your guest list can easily save you $1,000, which comes in really handy on the honeymoon.
2) Focus on one or two things that you care most about, and resolve to be relaxed about the other stuff. This works as both money-saving advice and as general stress management. Is music your passion? Then spring for that band. Otherwise, an iPod playlist is free (and your friend will DJ). Oenophile? Then pick out those special wines. Otherwise, recognize that there are some pretty decent $7 bottles out there, and most people just want to get drunk anyway.
2a) The thing that my wife and I cared most about was the ceremony, which we designed entirely ourselves. It followed the traditional format, but was a bit more modern, very personal, and blissfully short. I’m not sure why more people don’t seem to care as much about the details of the ceremony itself (obviously if you’re having a traditional religious ceremony, you have less leeway here), but this might be an area to consider investing some energy in.
2b) Also, our officiant was a friend, who was “ordained” at an internet church. This is an increasingly common thing to do (I’ve married two couples myself), and it made the ceremony much more personal. Of course, pick someone based on who will do a good job (is an accomplished public speaker), not just someone you like.
2c) A lot of people will tell you not to skimp on the photographer. They’re probably right. Although even assuming you want nice photos, there is huge diversity in pricing, and you can certainly save money by being savvy and shopping around.
3) A common claim is that seating arrangements are the biggest source of fights between bride and groom. Maybe this is so. My wife and I had no problems, and it only took as a few hours to work out. I’m not sure why this was easy for us — maybe just a personality thing. We used a spreadsheet to map out the floor and move people around. This worked well. And we also generally didn’t get too invested in other people’s drama, which certainly eases the task.
4) Here’s some advice that’s probably too late to follow: get married four months after you get engaged. We were engaged in August and married in November, and it was a full wedding with all the rigmarole. Our thinking was that the planning burden would expand to fill the time we allowed, so better to set a close deadline and just start making decisions. Miraculously, this worked, and rather than leading to more fights (which you might expect to increase with general stress), it seemed to help keep us moving past any disagreements. I think our lives would have been a bit easier if we had an extra month, though — hence the recommendation for four months. Also, this won’t really work if you want to have your wedding in mid-June in a popular venue.
5) Gifts! I really wish that we had had the nerve to ask for cash, and I think more people should do this. In many (most?) cultures, this is actually standard. Wedding registries are already so brutally unsentimental, why not just go the rest of the way?
5a) This sounds impossibly ungrateful, but: it’s actually kind of a pain in the ass to have 300 presents mailed to your house, particularly if you’re already in your mid-30s and don’t really have counter space for a juice machine. It’s also painful to see how much money gets wasted on tax and shipping.
5b) Then there are the people who decide to go off registry. Why god why? This is OK if they know you incredibly well, but usually you wind up with another crystal bowl that you can’t return. Ask for cash instead.
5c) And then there are the people who split the difference and get you a gift card, because they don’t know exactly what you want, but cash seems too unsentimental. You know what’s better than a gift card that can only be used at one store? Cash.
5d) As mentioned, we didn’t have the nerve to ask for cash. However…there is a sneaky but no less venal workaround if you already have all the flatware you need and really just want to get started on your kid’s college fund. Both Crate & Barrel and Bed, Bath, and Beyond allow you to return gifts for cash. Check to make sure the policies haven’t changed, but it is incredibly convenient to be able to return unwanted gifts and not have to worry about finding an immediate item for exchange.
There’s more, I’m sure, but that’ll do for now…
Posted by: Recently married at Dec 12, 2010 7:30:15 AM
No plus ones. In the words of my friend who got married when a college friend asked “I am not paying $50+ for you to bring some skanky @#$%* girl who I don’t know to my wedding..just so you can feel more like a man.”
If people are in a relationship, then by all means include them. But say no to random guests.
Posted by: Chris at Dec 12, 2010 8:53:37 AM
The good news is that people tend to be very understanding (as far as I can tell).
I should hope so! Anybody who’s been through it has no excuse not to be very understanding.
Posted by: Neal at Dec 12, 2010 8:56:29 AM
Spend $40 on these three books and both read them. That will end up more important to a happy marriage than anything that happens at the wedding.
Fall in Love, Stay in Love by Willard F. Harley Jr. $13.59
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley Jr. $13.59
Love Busters: Protecting Your Marriage from Habits That Destroy Romantic Love by Willard F. Jr. Harley $13.59
Warning, they can get expensive when you are tempted to buy copies for every other couple you know!
Posted by: Sharper at Dec 12, 2010 9:47:52 AM
Oh, sorry, forgot one (well, forgot a lot, but this one is important):
6) Some people will become oddly demanding as your wedding approaches. Have a plan for getting them off your back.
As your wedding approaches, the odd requests will start piling up. One person asked us to invite her ex-boyfriend to the wedding so she could engineer a confrontation between various members of her social circle (yes, this actually happened). Tons of people peppered us with trivial questions about lodging, transportation, entertainment. Last-minute seating requests. Etc.
I sort of understand why this happens. People are spending a lot — in time and money — to attend your wedding, and it’s easy for them to forget that you’re spending a lot more. They also don’t realize that they’re the twentieth person to call you that day. Plus, a lot of people are just flat-out clueless.
Anyhow, to keep from going crazy, you need a plan. Some suggestions:
* Be organized. People are going to pester you for hotel information if you haven’t made it easy to find. Of course, they’ll pester you anyway, but at the very least you should be able to quickly refer them to a web site or somesuch for details. Put schedules, phone numbers, etc., all in a central place.
* Say no to special requests, early and often. Don’t “see what you can do” — just say no. Come up with a polite way to deflect and use it aggressively.
* Appoint someone to run interference. As someone mentioned above, maids of honor and groomsmen are not there to look pretty, they’re supposed to be doing stuff. It sometimes happens that you get a useless maid of honor or best man (not local, not interested, not competent, etc.), in which case, deputize a best friend to help out. They will be better able to handle odds and ends than you, because they will be way less stressed out.
Posted by: Recently married at Dec 12, 2010 10:20:19 AM

Vegas casino chapels do free webcasting.
Watched a friend get married in an empty chapel at 3:30 on a Wednesday afternoon over the web.
Memorable? Absolutely.
Posted by: Brian at Dec 12, 2010 11:13:45 AM
Do not ask a friend to take the wedding pictures
Agreed. Either get an experienced photographer or skip that and ask all of the attendees to send you their pictures. (And don’t waste money on video, especially of the ceremony.)
But do task one or two responsible 9 – 13 year olds to wander around and video tape guests at the reception. Encourage the kids to ask those they are taping their names, how they know the bride and groom, etc. Kids love doing this and most people are delighted to talk with them. And using 9-13 yos will keep most of the guest comments G-rated.
Posted by: anon at Dec 12, 2010 11:35:07 AM
If you can agree on it, eloping is great.
If not, unlike some of these others I say focus on making it fun for the guests. Which means:
1. Let them bring a date. +1′s for all. Its not all about you. Unlike their prospective date you’ll barely talk to them.
2. Open Bar, at least beer and wine.
3. Let them bring their kids. If they’d prefer not to, they’ll get a sitter. This gives them choices. A baby might cry during the vows, so what? There might be teen brats there, again, so what. This is your family and friends. Embrace them.
4. Open seating. You have better things to do than make seating charts. If you must make a VIP table or two so the parents aren’t in siberia.
5. Pick one element (the photos, the music, the flowers, invitations, food, whatever – spent some cash on that and go cheap in anything else you can).
6. Don’t do the video. Who wants to watch it? If you want to show the grandkids grab the photo album. You’re stories will be better anyways.
Posted by: Dave at Dec 12, 2010 1:11:41 PM
Don’t ask your attendants to buy/rent expensive matching dresses & suits — ask them, instead, to wear a nice suit or dress they already own. They’ll love you for it, and if you make this call early, it’ll set the proper anchor point for the overall production values.
Take as many pictures before the ceremony as possible, so guests aren’t stuck waiting for all the photography. Delay your honeymoon departure for a day and have an informal event the next day where you’ll have a chance to spend some more time with guests (especially those who you rarely see and who may have traveled long distances to get there).
Posted by: Slocum at Dec 12, 2010 1:32:19 PM
We went to the county courthouse. Total cost $75 for the license. My inlaws took pictures and had cake with us afterward. Completely relaxed and carefree.
Posted by: Craig at Dec 12, 2010 4:46:03 PM
Seriously consider doing buffet service for the reception, it regularly costs less than having wait-service and it encourages the guests to get up and mill around, as well as letting you offer a wider variety of foods instead of having to ask everyone “chicken or fish?”
Posted by: Sbard at Dec 12, 2010 6:49:54 PM
Weddings can be relationally expensive even when they’re not financially expensive. Some people have given advice to ask friends for help (see, e.g., Neal at 7:17:32 AM). This can work, but you have to have the right friends and you have to think carefully about how much work you’re asking them to do. Catering in particular is a truly major endeavor – there’s a reason ingredients costs are such a small part of the cost of catering – but making the dress, taking the pictures, and decorating the venue can all be very substantial amounts of work.
In general, when you are asking for help, consider the relational cost. Ask for less. Give people graceful ways to say no. Ask people to do things they will enjoy, on schedules they will find manageable. If you promise a particular resource (e.g. peel-off stamps for addressing invitations), let them know if they’ll be stuck with stamps that need to be licked.
Under no circumstances rely on your friends to serve during the meal or clean the reception venue.
Posted by: Arlex at Dec 12, 2010 9:38:27 PM
Posted by: Jacqueline at Dec 13, 2010 1:12:01 AM
Spend more time/effort etc. on planning for the marriage rather than the wedding.
You need to make a proper investment in your future marriage, it is an investment that can pay dividends for a lifetime to you, your spouse, and society as a whole.
On the other hand your wedding is a one shot deal with no real pay-out.
Further, those who spend all their time thinking of the wedding day are not preparing for a life of being married, thus increasing the chances that the marriage won’t work. Everyone knows or at least has heard of someone who had the “ideal” wedding and spent a fortune on it and then divorced 3 years later. Better to get the marriage right and the wedding wrong than the other way around.
Posted by: smf at Dec 13, 2010 1:59:14 AM
Regarding what Arlex said: yes, in case it wasn’t clear, don’t expect friends to serve roles that you usually pay people for. Rather, expect them to some of the stuff that you yourself are taking on and suddenly find yourself unable to attend to as time grows short: running quick errands; helping Aunt Flo find her seat; etc. Common sense applies here. The operative principle is that you should recognize in advance that you will hit a crunch period, and if you can arrange in advance for some friends to be on call during this time, you are less likely to explode.
Regarding what Dave said: this strikes me as pretty questionable advice, not because you absolutely shouldn’t have kids or plus ones at your wedding — if that’s what you want, go for it — but because of the implication that people won’t have fun otherwise or that you need to be bound by some sense of convention. You can have a wedding in any format you want — 500 people at a beach barbecue; formal ball; twenty friends at your favorite restaurant; whatever. People will enjoy themselves.
Perhaps the one area in which I personally do make a big allowance for guest preferences is location. Specifically, I think destination weddings impose an excessive burden on guests and should generally be discouraged. But I’m sure many disagree.
And a more minor note: if you don’t allow kids, you may want to arrange group child care. Not necessary by any stretch, but a nice thing if you know a lot of people will have babysitting needs. You don’t even need to pay for it yourself, just arrange it…
Regarding all the calls to elope: probably not helpful to someone asking for wedding planning advice. Just a thought.
Posted by: Recently married at Dec 13, 2010 8:16:16 AM
Photos are a good investment. Im the end when you do a wedding you are buying memories to carry with you. Photos help cristalize (and sanitize) these.
Posted by: Felipe at Dec 13, 2010 8:56:37 AM
Get a good photographer. The most important people in your life (your children) will most likely not be at the wedding, so don’t sweat the size of the guest list.
Posted by: Jonathan at Dec 13, 2010 10:15:44 AM

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