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7 Affordable Tips For A Fabulous Same-Sex Wedding
Aimee Palifroni, owner and lead coordinator at Prisma Weddings & Events, a firm that offers innovative wedding planning, shares seven cost-conscious tips for planning a great same-sex wedding – some of which make sense for weddings of every budget and sexual orientation.
1. Forgo the bridal party
Palifroni starts, “Forgoing the bridal party and keeping your ceremony focused on the two of you is one quick and easy way to cut some line items.” Admittedly, she sees this option being used more with her same-sex clients than her straight clients.
Forgoing the wedding party lets you save on expenses such as bouquets, boutonnieres and gifts to the wedding party. It, also, keeps the focus of the wedding on the brides or grooms, which can provide a more intimate experience.
Guests of honor, parents, grandparents and best friends can still have a reserved moment to walk down the aisle and have prime seating, Palifroni clarifies.
2. Do reception-style with food stations
As opposed to family style or full-service, reception style creates a fun and moving ambiance with a mixture of tables. This can include a few round tables that seat eight to ten people with several cocktail tables for people to stand.
Using food stations is one of Palifroni’s favorite wedding saving solutions. It’s an opportunity to encourage wedding guests to mix and mingle and lets the couple create any number of experiences that incorporate different cuisines, which is wonderful when marrying families of mixed cultures.
This solution can help you save money in ways that may not be obvious. For one, it reduces the need to decorate a large number of tables with flower arrangements, other decorations and costly basics such as tablecloths, napkins, glassware, silverware and chairs.
Palifroni cautions to prepare parents and grandparents, if they’ll be in attendance, for this food service style, as many will expect a traditional experience.
3. Use digital invitations and RSVP tracking
Incorporating digital tools for money and time-saving solutions is becoming more popular. Palifroni shares, for example, that there are many easy and mostly free options for wedding invitations and RSVP tracking. Considering that some of the cheapest printed invitations start at $2.50, not including postage, and the amount of paper used for printed invitations, couples are opting for more economical and eco-friendly solutions.
The most popular digital invitations and RSVP trackers: The Knot, Zola and Minted are alternative solutions. For the few guests, maybe grandparents, who require printed invitations, they can be custom ordered by downloading and printing a digital option from Etsy as a great workaround.
Palifroni says that with so many partners having full-time jobs, reducing or eliminating time-intensive tasks, such as designing invitations, stuffing envelopes and tracking RVSPs, helps with saving money and reducing stress.
Likewise, eloping or choose a private ceremony are more common with Palifroni’s LGBTQ clients than her straight clients. Usually, couples who choose either of these options will follow up with a party or reception.
This money-saving solution may upset some friends and family, but they’re not paying for the couple’s special day. Plus, who wants to start their marriage with financial stress just to make family or friends happy?
Palifroni warns about being guilted or compelled to follow certain traditions because of a parent or grandparent. Studies show a correlation between more expensive weddings and the likelihood of divorce.
5. Stock the bar yourself
If allowed at your venue, stocking your bar yourself can save a lot of money. Palifroni has worked with couples who when items are on sale stockpile beer, wine and liquor over several months to a year before their wedding days.
Likewise, couples have stockpiled liquor at their engagement party as a “stock the bar” game. Finally, Palifroni advises couples to research local liquor stores for price matches, buy-back programs, free and cold deliveries.
Palifroni says that this tip can help build anticipation for your special day, too, because most everything else about your wedding day is conceptual until the actual day arrives. Watching a growing liquor cabinet can create tangible excitement.
6. Hire college students to do live music, photography or hair and makeup
Everyone has one or two elements that are important to them. Hire professionals for those elements and hire college students or recent college graduates to help with the rest. This lets you save money while helping someone else.
One of Palifroni’s clients did this, and it saved her clients a lot of money while helping a student at their alma mater build a portfolio. This suggestion is also a great idea to help an LGBTQ student launch their career.
To make an informed hire, though, reach out to college administrators or faculty to help you find the best student for your needs.
7. Be creative with your venue
Palifroni suggests “thinking outside the ballroom” with Airbnb, Misterbnb, breweries, parks or restaurants. Venues will often price a buyout of their space for your wedding. Depending on the beauty of your location, such as a park, the need for decorations may be reduced or eliminated.
Finally, as a bonus, Palifroni says that hiring a wedding planner is a line item many people skip even though wedding planners can help couples save more money in the long run. “Our goal is to make sure you’re getting everything that you want and celebrating exactly how you want, without having to take a second mortgage out,” Palifroni concludes.
So, yes, stay as non-traditional as you want to be. Let your same-sex wedding be as unique as you are. And plan a wedding that leaves nothing but amazing memories, personable 'gay' wedding gifts and no lingering money headaches.
Join us next week for more fabulous wedding day tips on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page