I’d been to a lot of weddings and was constantly annoyed when I saw people skimping on the wedding costs. I’d vowed that when it was my turn, I would make sure that I spared no expense and if it meant that I had to cut down the number of guests to have the wedding I wanted, so be it. Well, that worked better in theory than in reality and when it came time for my wedding I realized that there was no way for me to have the wedding I’d wanted on the budget I had. I ended up choosing the five star location and going way, way over budget which left me stressed and unhappy on my wedding day.
We think that it’s very common to be less forgiving of other people’s wedding choices until you have your own wedding and realize just how hard it is to make the decisions that are going to maximize the amount of money you spend of the amount of goods you receive.
One good way around this is to choose a five star location that is out of season – so you’ll get the fantastic accommodations and great food without the high room prices to go along with it. Look at ski resorts just before and after ski seasons, summertime resorts at the end of their seasons or any other very seasonal locale that you can exploit to your benefit.
For example, ski resorts on the west coast often have high prices in the snow season and in the summertime but are an absolute bargain in the fall and spring. If you get lucky and choose the right weekend, your guests might get in some skiing as well. Pay attention to transportation to and from the resort [better to fly into Salt Lake City for a wedding in Deer Valley than some remote Colorado ski location that costs a fortune to get to]. At the St. Regis in Deer Valley – fall rates start at $150 for the rooms that are typically $750 during the ski season. What better than to have the run of the resort for you and your guests? Similar deals can be found in the off season in the Caribbean, Mexico and many other great locales. There is probably some seasonality to your hometown as well [though you may not realize it] in terms of convention business, tourist business, etc. (more…)
I don’t know exactly how it happened, but somewhere along the way we became so consumed with our wedding planning that we forgot to plan our honeymoon. At the last minute, we booked to go to Tahiti thinking ‘it is February in the US so summer in Tahiti so that will be good.’ When we arrived at the hotel, it was half empty, half closed and hotter than you can possibly imagine. Thankfully, we were headed off to New Zealand and that saved the trip or it would have been a total bust!
To me, this is totally understandable. The wedding details become so all consuming that planning the honeymoon actually becomes somewhat of an afterthought. You figure that you will pick a great hotel and then everything will take care of itself from there. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to plan the honeymoon, make sure you at least cover these few important points before you go. (more…)
We booked our venue and when we went to negotiate the room block, the prices were absurd. The banquet manager said she couldn’t really help us as the group reservations person was a different person altogether. It wound up that half of our friends had to stay about 1.5 miles from the reception site and we were so upset.
The thing about doing your wedding is that you get only one chance to do things the way that you want them. There is no possibility of learning from your mistakes. That means you have to learn from the way that other people did their weddings and not make the same mistakes. One thing to learn is that every aspect of the contract with your venue should be negotiated before you sign any part of it. That means, the actual wedding, the room block, any rehearsal dinner you may have in one of the hotel restaurants and any other amenities [airport transfers, etc] that you want for your wedding party. (more…)
My friends are fun. Perhaps I should have known that putting them all together in a restaurant with an open bar was a recipe for disaster, but I didn’t think it through. Everyone had so much fun but were completely hung over the next day and our wedding seemed like a downer compared to the rehearsal dinner!!
Though we agree it is important to know your audience, this one is tricky. I mean, you want your friends to have a good time but not too good a time? That is a hard balance to strike. If you have an inkling that your crew may be the type to party like rock stars on the night before the concert, we have a few suggestions for you……. (more…)