When you first get engaged in can all be a bit of a blur of excitement. The ring, the announcements, the Facebook posts sharing your news. The shower of congratulations. You feel as though you’re walking on air. Everything has changed, and your mind is working overtime imagining how your big day will be.
But when the dust settles, it’s time to start planning, and often when it comes to setting the wedding budget and starting planning, people neglect the little things that go into the big day, that really mount up.
You’ll no doubt have factored the most significant expense, which is usually hiring the venue for the function, and the catering. You’ll have thought about the wedding dress. And possibly the evening entertainment. But it’s time to sit down and make a comprehensive list of everything that you probably hadn’t anticipated ever buying for the big day.
You’ll want to make sure that you’ve got beautiful bridal bouquets for starters. This will mean one for the bride and one for each of the bridesmaids and flower girls.
You’ll need buttonholes for the groom, best man, ushers and pageboys. As well as for the immediate families on both sides.
Then, it is traditional to give a bouquet to the mother of both the bride and the groom.
And all of that is before any flowers for decorating the venue for the ceremony and the tables in the reception.
Often you can save money if you have someone who can help with the flower arrangements or can craft buttonholes.
You’ll need quite a bit of stationery for your big day. Having information about your big day is quite important, it helps people prepare ahead of time and also lets them know what they’re doing when they are there.
First, come the save the dates, usually at the earliest stages of planning, immediately after you’ve got a date booked in with your venue you can send these out.
The main invites can follow up to a few months before the day. If you want people to RSVP by post, you may want to supply an RSVP card and stamped address envelope with the invitation.
Order of service, hymns and readings are useful for the guests at the actual ceremony. It allows them to follow the event and engage better with the selections you’ve made for readings and songs.
You may want also to get seating plans and place cards made up for your reception to help the guests find their seats.
Following your wedding, you might want to send out thank you cards to all of your guests, showing your gratitude for any gifts and also for sharing your big day.
If you’ve got an artistic flair, many of these can be handmade or printed yourself from a computer. This can save you a great deal of money. There are also wedding websites that allow your guests to RSVP online too.
For the bride’s outfit, small items such as garter, wedding jewellery and underwear can often be forgotten as you focus on the dress, veil and shoes. But these items can be pretty pricey too, so need including in your budget. After all, you want every little thing to be perfect. Even the details that your guests won’t even see.
For the ceremony itself, you will need ring cushions, and you may also have specific decorations in mind for dressing the venue up precisely as you’d like.
It’s traditional to give gifts to members of the wedding party, such as bridesmaids, best man, ushers, flower girl, page boys and father of the bride. Often the gift is something sentimental like a keepsake. If you have a large group, this can be more of your budget than you’d imagine.
Hair and Makeup
Getting the right hair and makeup is essential, and you’ll probably want to go and visit your hairdresser and makeup artist ahead of the big day and have a dry run of the looks that you will be going for on the big day. If you’re taking your bridal party too, this can be quite an expense. It is important, as it minimizes the risk of anything going wrong on the day, and allows the makeup artist and hairdresser to understand your expectations fully.
Buying your wedding cake is just part of the challenge. Having it decorated can be quite a bit of work. You’ll want toppers, possibly your names, some edging. You may be lucky to have a baker who is willing to supply all of these things too. But often, you might be left to customize your cake.
You will also need a cake slice. While, the venue probably has one that you can use, having a special one for the occasion is one of those nice touches.
You’ll want your guests to leave you messages wishing you well. It’s nice to read back on these things to reminisce on your wedding. Buying a beautiful guest book can add to your budget.
It is traditional to leave a little something for each of your guests at their tables. This can be a small gift or a sweet item. It doesn’t need to be expensive; however, when you have a large number of guests, this is where it can add up.
Many of these items can be bought in bulk though to help make this easier. But then having small bags for each favour adds up too.
Cutting corners might not be an option to you on your big day. However, quite a few of the smaller things are there for the sake of tradition. They are finishing touches, and at the end of the day, your wedding would still be the best day ever without them. If traditions are not so important to you, then think about doing your own thing and removing whatever you believe you don’t need. After all, it is your day.