These are the bits we wanted to get right:
These are the things you and your guests will remember. Guests always comment on these things! If they are treated well, they will remember it. They won't remember the fancy guestbook and pen or the program you spent hours making.
Church flowers - really no one noticed this! spending hundreds on flowers for one hour is a sin
Cake - we didn't skip it, but we kept it simple
Table plan - we hung cards to a nearby tree (outdoor reception)
Video - a great friend did loads of interviews with guests, these were invaluable. We still laugh at them
Luxury honeymoon - most people regret what they spend on this. Pick somewhere you know you're going to like, just book a nicer hotel if that makes it more special.
Minimal Bridesmaids and groomsmen - you won't believe how much they add up
Car - they are used so little. We had a Jaguar, I didn't even like it. I just got it because my Dad wanted a car. Sometimes you have to keep the parents happy.
Cake - we didn't spend a lot, but I still wonder why we even bother with them
Things I wasn't going to spend money on, but glad I did:
Hair and Makeup. I had the crazy idea that I could do this myself. I have no patience for doing my hair on a normal day and I didn't realise how nervous I would have been on the day. The ladies were real pros and there's no way I could have done half the job they did.
BBQ the day after the wedding. Was coaxed into this by my parents, who helped with the cost. But as we had a wedding abroad, it was nice to thank guests for their effort in coming over and didn't cost a huge amount compared to other wedding costs.
Spend what you can afford. Don't get into debt buying diamond encrusted wedding rings if you can't afford it. How do you think we ended up in a recession? People always put themselves under so much pressure to buy what they think they should. I always remember weddings from my parents day, they were so simple. There are people I know paying off a wedding a year after the day - this is ludicrous!
Pick a few things that are most important to you e.g. entertainment and get that right. And don't depend on wedding gifts to pay for your wedding. Despite what people say, guests do not pay for themselves in wedding gifts!
It's so easy to get caught up in wedding fever. You want everything you see in sight. But just ask yourself the question "do I really need this? Is it worth the money? Is my sane self going to tell me off about this after the wedding?".
What do you think of these tips? Do you have any yourself? What are the important elements of your day?
If you're considering getting married abroad, go on over to my post to help you decide Here