Real Talk With Loli Events: Part 2
Welcome back to part 2, with girl boss, Lauren, owner of Loli Events! If you missed our last post, click here to catch-up! In this week’s installment, Lauren keeps it real and offers unfiltered, expert tips on how to navigate the actual planning process, budgets and the stress that comes with it. Frazzled brides, we got you!
Okay, Lauren, give it to us straight - how do couples save money on a wedding. Tell us everything!
“I think the biggest way to save money right away is to rethink and simplify your food and beverage. You don’t have to offer an entree choice (aside from those with dietary considerations). You can also cut down on the options for cocktail hour and not have 10 stations of appetizers, (think of your honeymoon). This also saves on the amount of waste for caterers. For the drinks, you don’t have to offer so many options there either. For example, instead of offering two types of reds, just pick one that is a multi-purpose choice. Simplifying your menu will allow you to stash some cash away.
One other cost you can save on is flowers! They are always more expensive than you expect them to be especially because they are often flown in. Be picky as to where you put them and distort to the areas where they will make the biggest difference. Look at how your guests will see the space as you do this exercise. More is not more in this case! Mix in some low, smaller centerpieces, and use fronds and leaves to pad out the arrangements, this will still look beautiful. You can also save money from ditching paper invitations and going digital. Invitations can often run up to double digits (as much as $40!) per invite. I really like the e-card program Zola offers, of you can use Paperless Post - it’s simple and EASY!
What should couples not skimp and save on, like really?
“Service! Service! Service! You don’t want to fall short on servers and bartenders and have your guests wait in line. Or worse - have inexperienced servers who forget to tell the kitchen about someone’s food allergies. Always keep the comfort of your guests in mind - from keeping the venue at a good temperature to easy bathroom access. Also, one thing that can really make a wedding feel extra luxurious is lighting. It can truly transform the space and you might want to consider diverting some of your flower funds to some extra lighting. Even simple string lights can make a place feel that much more special, not to mention more romantic.”
Is there anything that brides regret cutting from the budget?
“Many brides are bummed out that they didn’t have a videographer at the wedding. Many brides think that a videographer will be intrusive or that it is very expensive. However, with the changes in film equipment, many times, it can be just one videographer with a small camera. A lot of brides don’t know this but you can limit the amount of footage you want to be filmed. For example, you can opt into just the ceremony, or to certain parts of you getting ready. Whether you watch it once in a lifetime or send it along to the people who couldn’t make it, the video captures the moments in a completely different way than photography.”
How do you feel about DIY wedding projects to save money? What advice do you have for couples who want to dabble in this?
“Don’t do it, especially when it is something that you haven’t done before and requires some expertise like calligraphy. You have so many things to do already - sending out invitations, putting together your song list, your pictures list - that the last thing you want to do is commit to learning something new and doing it yourself. There are so many vendors out there that you will probably be able to find someone to fit the budget that you have… you just have to do the research! Oh, and sometimes vendors might be willing to charge for an hourly consult versus charge for the entire project, so get negotiating!
Have you noticed any big regrets that brides tend to have?
“One big regret is not picking comfortable shoes or wedding dress! We have had brides who weren’t able to sit in the dress for dinner or dance for a long time. Your wedding day can last up to 12 hours so definitely keep this in mind! One other regret is waiting until the last minute to get things done. Everything takes longer than you think it will, so try to get things done sooner to avoid the last minute rush and stress. For example, ask your DJ or Band to complete the song list 2 months in advance versus in the last month.”
Speaking of last-minute stress, what is the main driver for stress in the wedding planning process, and how can brides find some zen?
“Be honest with what you want and what is important to you and your partner. This includes setting the budget and prioritizing what part of the wedding is most important. Also, be realistic as you have this conversation. Many couples feel the stress because they haven’t talked about this and then they get pushed and pulled by outside pressure. Be brave! Many people will impose what they want or what they think you want, so be brave in saying no if it isn’t the vision that you and your partner have set. My last piece of advice would be to enjoy! Enjoy the process, the creativity, the flowers! It’ll all fly by so quickly, so savor it all!”