When I put the call out to the recently married ladies, most of the responses came from people I know very well. I could relate to every girl's story in some way, but none quite like Sarah's. Her budget was $5000, mine was $6000. She had 350 people attend. We had just over 300 attend our wedding. I can really sympathize with her guest to budget ratio...it's tough doing that size event, even with $10k, 20, or 30k.
Sarah + Johnathan
Sarah and Johnathan were married on June 14, 2008 at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Xenia, OH.
Did you hire a professional planner to help in all elements of planning? Partial planning? Or did you handle most/all of the planning yourself?
Sarah: "My mom actually did most of the planning for us, as I was still in school. I gave her a few guidelines for what I wanted and did NOT want, and left the rest up to her. The pastor's wife was the coordinator for the day. She was fantastic! Everyone was able to enjoy themselves because we knew that she had it handled."
Looking back, do you have anything you would change about your wedding day/weekend?
"More pictures of my bridal party and us. We have the standard ones, but nothing outside of that. Thankfully, Johnathan and I got some wonderful ones outside. His aunt and uncle did our photography."
What would you tell a bride who is thinking of going without a weekend coordinator?
"DON'T! Even if you don't have a planner, the coordinator is essential! You will lose you mind or make your parents/in-laws lose theirs trying to keep track of it all."
Even with Sarah's $5000 budget, she was still able to use REAL flowers. (They CAN BE affordable!) She hunted for deals and negotiated pricing to fit within her limits.
If you have a small budget, that's okay. Perhaps you'll have to do without a few modern wedding luxuries, such as a limo, a sit down dinner, or a live band; but don't short yourself by going without a day of coordinator. Even if she's not doing the planning, she can give you suggestions for when you need to cut corners. She will enhance your wedding day experience by being your advocate and making the day a success.
Thank you, Sarah for allowing me to share your story.
Next week, you'll get to hear from the PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!