Ah, the wedding aftermath. Half-empty beer bottles line table tops, once-neat chairs lay in complete disarray, and rubble fills every crevice of the room. You seriously contemplate whether or not a tornado hit once the lights turned out before you realize that, nope, the only natural disaster of the evening was your crazy Uncle Ron doing the splits on the dance floor. And while poor Ron’s dignity isn’t salvageable, there is one thing about your wedding night that is: flowers.
In the case of my wedding, where flowers were the main decor item of choice, there were so many leftover that our venue was quite literally overflowing with them. Every surface had a mason jar, vase or wine bottle filled with gorgeous stems, which would have been the perfect departing gift except for the minor detail that we needed to return all the holders to their owner. And so began our clean up, which consisted of pouring out the flowers and stacking the vases and jars on their lonesome.
It was tragic to look at the flowers on the table, gorgeous and colorful yet alone and without water. We were unprepared and without a plan B for saving them, until my dear friend Darlene held up a water jug and declared, “This will do!” Confused, we all watched as she cut off the top, filled it with water, and placed a large pile of flowers into the jug. Right after I loudly declared her a genius, the clean up crew followed suit, and soon we all held a simple DIY to recycle your wedding flowers that was nothing short of darling.
Now that you’re happily engaged to the love of your life, it’s time to (sort of) come back to reality and start planning your wedding. Weddings are notorious for being pricey, and chances are that you don’t exactly have tens of thousands of dollars to spend willy-nilly. Not only is planning a wedding indicative of your stellar aesthetic taste, but it is also a way to test your financial savvy.
While I cannot guarantee you advice that will have you hitting your budget perfectly, I can promise that this guide will provide a comprehensive overview of where to start with your budget. Having your wedding budget in the back of your mind is a very stressful feeling, but if you plan well and in advance, planning your wedding will most likely go as smoothly as you’ve always hoped for.
Now’s the time to be super-brutally honest with your partner in the midst of the wedding high. There’s nothing like brewing bad blood in a relationship than fighting over money, so you need to sit down with your partner and have a heart-to-heart chat about what how much you can and are willing to spend on the wedding.
The average cost of a wedding in 2014 is $25,200, and there’s no other way of looking at that amount besides thinking, ‘Damn, that’s a lot of money.’ Of course, some people can easily pay that much and some people might be wary of pitching forward that much dough.
The point of this discussion is to not only discuss your own individual financial situation, but the financial situation starting from the moment you both tie the knot. Are you strapped for cash, but your partner’s making more? Communicate that fact, and try to work around a budget. How about the other way around? Still communicate that. Being honest in this discussion particularly will help you and your partner retain a sense of practicality throughout the whole process (and trust me, wedding planning can get very crazy) and give you a better idea of where to cut or indulge costs. I firmly believe in not going into debt for your wedding — spending more than you can afford almost guarantees throwing in some major blips in your wedding. Not a good thing.
Additionally, factor in your parents and in-laws. There might be a fair chance that they’ll want to pitch in too for some of the wedding costs. While it seems tempting at first, be honest with yourself and ask whether or not it’s a chance you want to take with the parentals having a financial stake in your wedding. Although it’s certainly not done intentionally, the parents might subconsciously use their financial contributions to leverage something out of the wedding planning process, whether that be how many guests they get/want to invite, the wedding colors, or whatever.
What is a wedding without wedding invitations? They’re an important yet highly underrated part of wedding planning. After all, how else will you alert your friends and family of your special day?
The best part about wedding invitations is that they can be personalized and customized to fit your unique personality. They can be DIY or store bought. They can be black and white or full of color. They can be simple and understated or elaborate and extravagant. It’s completely up to you.
Whether you’ve had your wedding invitations planned for months or haven’t even begun to think about them yet, Wedding Party has put together a collection of wedding invitations below for inspiration. So sit back, relax and enjoy the pictures! We have something for everyone!
I have to admit that the first few anniversaries my husband and I celebrated were duds. Neither of us cares very much about extravagant gifts for that type of occasion, but one of us cares very much about celebrating milestones like birthdays and anniversaries in a meaningful, special way. For the first few years, we felt pressure to find a gift for each other, but trying to figure out what that gift would be was stressful. We realized after a few mediocre anniversary celebrations that it was important for us to be reminded of the memories of our wedding day in some way. It’s amazing how tasting a piece of your wedding cake or staying in the same place you got married jogs so many memories you don’t have time to remember throughout the busy year. One of the easiest ways to take the stress out of anniversary gift giving is to have a tradition you and your spouse do every year. You may add or subtract different elements depending on circumstances, but if you’re starting with the same romantic tradition every year, you’re setting yourselves up for success. So now, each year, my husband and I look through our wedding album, watch our wedding video, and celebrate by doing one of these traditions. I’ll let you read below to find out which one works for us!
If we lived anywhere near where we got married, I would love to do this every year. It’s a nice little getaway for you and your spouse to spend a night or two at the same place you got married. You can stroll around to all the places you had photos taken or had different events and be reminded of the memories of your wedding day.
Not everyone lives close enough to their wedding venue (or has the budget) to return every year. Here’s another option – spend the night in with your spouse recreating your wedding meal. Stock up on really nice ingredients, and set the table with your wedding colors or even a few of your wedding gifts. If you manage to create some of the same flavours as the meal you shared on your wedding day, it will bring back a flood of memories.
We live in Ireland now, but we got married back in the States. Since we don’t always visit on our anniversary, each time we’re there we try to pick up a bottle of our wedding wine to share. This would be even more fun had we gotten married in a vineyard, but it’s still fun to say we’re drinking our wedding wine!
We have friends who recreate a mini version of their wedding cake each year on their anniversary and I just love that idea. They ask the same baker to make a mini version of their wedding cake and make sure to slice into it together, remembering the day they did the same in front of all their family and friends. This might be the most delicious and stress free way to mark your anniversary!
This idea is becoming more and more popular, especially as couples make stronger connections with their wedding photographers. If you just loved your wedding photographer, what better way to celebrate your anniversary than by getting the special treatment from them on your anniversary! But you don’t have to dish out big bucks for an anniversary shoot with a professional to have a special memento from your anniversary. It’s just as easy to get dressed up with your spouse and have a friend snap a few photos before you head off to dinner. But here’s one tip that can help you get glowy photos without a professional – wait until the hour before sunset when the light is the softest.
This is actually the tradition my husband and I have started just this year and we’re already feeling relieved! We decided that each year, instead of worrying about finding each other a gift, we’re going to invest in a piece of art for our home. We’ll choose it together, which is a fun process, and then we’ll slowly build an art collection of pieces we might one day pass on to our children. It has taken all of the stress out of our anniversary, but we still feel like we’re celebrating with a special treat.
I absolutely love seeing visual reminders of our wedding day around our house. When I made over our bedroom last year, I decided to turn a quote from our wedding ceremony into a piece of artwork. It’s not fancy – just a canvas, a little paint and my best handwriting, but I love waking up to this reminder every morning. Another year, I also created a few prints from pieces of our wedding song and the song I danced to with my father. Just a few more sweet, visual reminders of our wedding day that make me smile throughout the year.
Here’s another sweet idea you could try – have a gift made from a piece of fabric or flowers from your wedding day. If you have a swatch of extra fabric from your dress, your husband might have a necklace made to celebrate your anniversary. Likewise, you might have a pocket square made for him! A few months ago, I wrote about these five ways to save a piece of your wedding day that might give you some anniversary inspiration! Do you have any anniversary traditions or ways you celebrate every year? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Emily Westbrooks is an American-born writer and blogger based in Dublin, Ireland. She is the Online Editor for Confetti Magazine, one of Ireland’s top bridal magazines. She also writes her own lifestyle blog, From China Village, where she chronicles her adventures in Dublin, travels around Europe, DIY projects and Irish design. She shares her home with her husband, one cat, and four sassy chickens!