WeddingDay has reached out to leading area wedding planners for advice, answering your top questions and helping make your wedding "recession-proof," fabulous, and unforgettable, no matter your budget! Our wedding planners took on a myriad of issues from planning the size of your guest list to knowing what not to skimp on. As always, WeddingDay is here to help plan your perfect wedding-log on to weddingday-online.com to send us your questions.
Q: IS IT OK TO ASK GUESTS TO TRAVEL FOR YOUR WEDDING?
A: Your wedding is you and your groom's day and you can plan that event wherever is meaningful for you, be that a destination far away or in your own back yard. It is perfectly permissible for you to ask guests to travel to your wedding as long as you are understanding if they cannot make the trip. Destination weddings usually have a smaller guest list anyway but in these economic times, you may have family and close friends who cannot afford to make the trip. Be understanding and plan a celebration?whether it be a small dinner party, a backyard barbecue or a full fledged reception that more people can attend after the wedding.
Q: IS IT OK TO SERVE SHEET CAKE WHILE DISPLAYING A FANCY STYROFOAM CAKE?
A: My personal opinion is that is not classy to "fool" your guests. There are many options for desert these days rather than a traditional wedding cake. I have had brides serve cupcakes, cheescake, assorted pies, ice cream sundaes, and a desert bar with assorted sweet finger foods. If you still want the look of a traditional cake ask several bakers their suggestions on keeping the cost down. For example, fondant is usually more expensive than butter cream frosting. Use a touch of fresh or artificial flowers for decorations instead of intricate edible ornamentation,. And if you want a more impressive look for your cake a large Styrofoam bottom layer can still be used with cake above it for you and the guests.
Q: WHO PAYS FOR WHAT? HOW DO YOU DIVIDE THE WEDDING EXPENSES WHEN THERE IS A GREAT DIVIDE IN FAMILY RESOURCES?
A: You can find all kinds of traditional lists of who pays for what but the bottom line is that each family is very different. My best advice is to sit down with parents very early in the planning process and discuss money. This is usually a difficult meeting but the earlier you do is the less painful. Talk realistically about how much each party can contribute. See what parts of the wedding are important to each member-for example, maybe the open bar is important to the groom's parents and they would be willing to foot the bill for that; maybe the location of the reception is important to the bride?s mother and she is willing to pay for that. Set your guest list limits and if either side has extra people they feel compelled to invite, there is nothing wrong with explaining to them that they will need to pay for those extra guests ( food, bar, decor, etc.). By setting the standards very early on, there will be better communication and cooperation throughout the planning process.
--With over 25 years experience in the floral and wedding industry, Linda Maggert AIFD is the owner and creative genius behind One of a Kind Events, a full service wedding planning and floral decor company. She was inducted into the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers in New York City in July of 2004.