Wedding Recap and Withdrawal

Those of you who already got married...

My mom and I just got back from our consultation with our caterer. My mom asked for an average price for wedding services and they said $8000 - double what I was hoping for. When I told the girl that I was going to do all of the decorating myself, her and my mom told me that I don't want to worry about all that because it's too much, and that I should just show up and have them take care of everything else. I have a feeling that this is why their estimate was so high - they plan on charging me for all of the decor, the flowers, and for them setting everything up. I feel like this is too much money, even though my parents are paying for it. I really wanted to keep the budget right around $10K, but my mom seems to think that this is reasonable (we just got back, so I don't know my dad's take yet).

So here's my question: Do any of you former brides wish you could have done things differently if you had the opportunity? Would you have rather spent less money and done more work, or (if you were a budget bride and money wasn't as much of an object) would you have rather done less work and spent more money to have other people take care of the legwork for you? I'm trying to decide if my controlling, do-it-myself side is nuts, or just practical.

Re: Those of you who already got married...

  • My daughter wanted a stress free weekend.  We got all the stuff together ahead of time, delivered it at the rehearsal, and they took care of all of it.  That way, my family, friends, and daughter had a lovely relaxing day. How the favors were placed on the table?  Not a single person gasped and refused to sit at the tables, and she was having such a good time that she didn't even remember to check until the pictures came back!  Was it the way she would have done?  Maybe not...and really it matters not.  RELAX!!!!!!  Your mom is right.
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • i would just let them do everything that way you can relax and enjoy your special day & the few weeks leading up to it without having to worry about all of the little things.

    i didnt DIY anything except my place card holders and assembling my gift bags,I dropped eveything off at my venue and let them take care of it all,if i could go back i wouldnt change a thing i really did have a stress free wedding.
  • My take on this, for what it's worth:

    I totally agree that you first need to decide what is most important-for us, we knew we wanted a venue that was already beautiful so we didn't have to spend money on a ton of decor and lighting, etc. so we could cut corners there.  I made a lot of things myself beforehand-the place cards, programs, etc (in bio if interested) but the day of I totally did not want the stress of worrying about putting out arrangements and decor, nor did I want any of my family or friends have to deal with it, so, we had someone else do it and I thought it was totally worth it!  My WP, family, and I coudl all sit back and take in the fun of the day and not have to worry at all about decorations.  Sure, I spent time in the monthes before the wedding making things and saving money, but when it came down to wedding time, I dropped it all off with the venue and they took care of putting it out.  The day ran perfectly and I was stress free!  I think its worth the money for everyone to not have the stress of setting it up, enjoy your day, you are the bride!
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    I thought that my time was worth spending the extra money. I'd rather spend a bit more than have to DIY things, because I would've been a giant ball of stress. With someone else running the show, MH and I could just chill out and actually enjoy the day, rather than worry about things getting done.

    However, that's up to your parents and their budget. I totally get what you mean about not wanting them to spend more money than they have to, but maybe they'd rather spend the extra money than have to be at the hall until midnight the night before setting things up with you. Talk to your parents about their expectations and how much they are willing to spend vs. how much work they are willing to do (assuming they've offered to help set things up).

    Negotiate with your current caterer, and get price quotes from others (if you have a choice of who you can hire). Say, "We were hoping to spend more like $4000, so can you do anything for us in THAT budget?" See if you can split the difference at $6K or something like that.
  • I'm not a former bride but I must say if you're getting all of your decor, linens and food for 8000 dollars that sounds like a steal to me.  
  • I agree with that!  Mine was a lot more than that!
  • I agree with your mom. I had every intention of helping to set the church and reception up, but in the end, my mom shooed me away and I actually did very little. I was so busy, I wouldn't have gotten much done anyway. Packing for the HM, writing thank you notes, unwrapping gifts, there is so much going on in the last couple days, decorating is the last thing you need to worry about.

    The only thing I did was help set up tables, because I had a specific way in mind I wanted them to go. After that, DH and I helped a little bit with stuff, but it was really nice to not have to worry about it.

    8K seems like a lot, but you didn't really say what that includes. Obviously food, but alcohol, linens, decor, tableware? Any of that? And yeah, set up and clean up probably is a big part of that because it's such a pain.
  • It does go by in a flash.... that's why I was glad that I did the decor myself. I had family and friends to help. We decorated the morning of the wedding and had plenty of time. Everything looked great.  The reception went by so fast with people enjoying themselves dancing and mingling, that I was glad I didn't spend the extra money on something that in the end was only there for pictures anyway.

  • What "cutypie953" said and did was EXACTLY my advice. I gave everything to my caterer after I had done my own DIY projects and honestly, I WAS stress free. It was SO nice to not have to worry about details like that.
  • I'm a pretty organized person, so I did all that myself with help of family and friends. Many people told me later that they had really enjoyed being part of the process. I have no regrets. We had the money for a giant wedding, but decided to go small and intimate. I would not change a thing. It's so fun decorating, creating the seating plan yourself. I would suggest do it yourself, it's a richer experience.
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