Broke-Ass Tag: Planning Advice

3/6

Lili_Ben-27

Credit: Life’s Highlights

Last week, I got an email from a bride who didn’t have a problem yet, but was anticipating a huge one. She and her fiance want a small wedding, surrounded by their good friends and close family. She was pretty sure that wasn’t going to happen once her mother got ahold of the list. What if her Mom insisted on inviting the 120 family members that she would probably want to add to that list? There’s a ton of you worried about the same thing. I know there’s a few (unnamed) couples on my roster who are, for sure.

So, how to combat that? For starters, stop thinking about it as a battle. It’s a wedding, its not a war. And if you keep looking at everything as a potential conflict, that’s exactly what you’ll find. I’m not so zen that I’m saying the guest list won’t be an issue. I…have parents, too. And what I (eventually) figured out was that it’s easier if you manage their expectations of your expectations. You’re not going to be able to avoid the conversation with them, but you can certainly put it into context.

Get specific with your numbers

Sit down with your fiance and make a list of everyone the two of you want to invite. It won’t take long, but go over it a couple more times to make sure you didn’t miss anyone, and that you included their significant others. Now, given that list, how many more people are you willing to have at your wedding? So, say you come up with a list of 50 people, or 25 couples. Are you willing to have another 50 people at your wedding, to bring it to 100? Another 25 people to bring it to 75? Think about it as people, and think about it as tables. 50 people is five tables, 100 people is 10. What feels right to you?

Mom?

Be straightforward, and tell the truth: “We want to keep the guest list to 100 people, and we have 50 people that we want to invite. Can you help us and give us a list of the 50 people you want to invite by [make up a date in the next couple of weeks]?” This is what we want, this is what we have so far, this is what we’re asking from you and here’s the date we need it by. We really appreciate your help! DO NOT under any circumstances, apologize. You’re not being mean, you’re not being rude, DO NOT get defensive. Just state what you want, which is a wedding with this number of people. Ask for their help. And then change the subject as quick as you can. Check in a couple of times before your deadline. Be prepared to have the conversation again. Express gratitude for their help as often as you can.

Bonus points: Get specific with the costs

For extra credit, if you’ve already booked a venue and/or caterer, figure out out how much it is going to cost per person and for the entire group, and give that to her, too. So, say, your venue is $2500. if catering is $75 per person, plus tax and service (30% here) = $97.50 per person, or $14,750 for 100 people. See? You’re trying to be reasonable by sticking to a reasonable budget, whether they’re paying for it or you are.

They’ll be thinking about those numbers while they’re going over their own list. And, again, Do NOT apologize! No, “I’m really sorry about this.” For one thing, that’s a lie. For another, you’re not doing anything wrong. Ask her for help. Thank her for her help. Take a deep breath, and smile.

So, really, how many of you are facing a massive guest list from your folks that you don’t want? Got any questions about my advice? Let me know in the comments below!

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz
Liz
  • 1/9

    Five Good Wedding Planning Habits That You  Should Probably Start Now

    I believe that it’s not enough to simply survive planning your wedding, you should thrive and feel like a Boss while you’re doing it.  Here are five wedding planning habits to start practicing now that will help.

    Let’s start with the money, first:

    1.Multiplication. Avoid sticker shock that every couple goes through, and  remember that you are buying in bulk. For example, Chiavari chairs  for  $10 each? Multiply by 100 = $1o00. $2000 if you’re getting another set for the reception.

    2.Ask about the other STDs – Service, Tax and Delivery. Always. Everyone who is delivering a product – your photographer, your photo booth, your cake – is going to charge tax, plus a delivery or travel fee. Your venue and your caterer will charge tax, plus a service fee. Here in Los Angeles, that’s usually adds up to  30% of the bill, on top of the bill, turning your $85 per person dinner into $110.50 per person. Multiply that by 100 …

    3. Your last question to any potential vendor needs to be, “Is there anything else I need to know?” There are many unknown unknowns in wedding planning — the stuff that you don’t know that you don’t know, or need to know.  Asking this question will give the opportunity for your vendor to go over anything they might have missed in their spiel, but are mentioned in the contract, or cover concerns other couples should have had. Things like, late fees, open fire permits, parking, vendor meals. That question might lead to more questions, but there are never too many questions. Or answers, for that matter.

    And then there’s the mindset:

    4. Treat this like any other shopping trip. This past weekend, I walked through Bloomingdales – like an idiot – to get to the rest of the mall, and I was stopped dead by an ankle length full-sweeping silk skirt. If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that’s My Style. $598? No. I took a picture of it so I can maybe find it cheaper online, and then skipped over to Banana Republic and bought another ankle-length sweeping skirt for $75. My point is, that with every vendor, every service, you have alternatives. The last thing you look at is not the only option you have. It’s not only being able to afford it, maybe you just don’t like it. As an ex-bride of mine once said to the hovering bridal salon sales lady, “I know I look good in it, I just don’t feel good in it!” Feel good in it, feel good about it, whatever it is. If you don’t, move on.

    5. Keep reminding yourself that you are not a victim of your wedding.  This wedding isn’t something that’s happening to you, you’re not being forced to pay $110 per person for dinner on a Saturday night. If you start thinking otherwise, or continue thinking that way, you are going to be very, very unhappy through this whole thing.  Throwing a wedding is a choice that you are making. That can be frustrating, or it can be empowering: You get to choose how you’re going to do it, what your wedding is  going to look like, or if you’re going to do it all. You get to say “Yes,” and you also get to say, “No,” and your reasons for doing either are perfectly valid, okay? So, stay empowered and don’t confuse “want to” with “have to.”

    You’ve got this.

    What are some habits that you’re already starting with your wedding planning? And what do you think of mine? Let me know in the comments below. And if you would like more information about me and my little area of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

    See you at the end of the aisle,

    Liz
    Liz
  • 5/9

    Image courtesy of Style Within Reach Dear Heather, I am getting married on 5/24 and we are having a hard time finding a cheap but good wine along with liquor choices. Please give me some ideas! Wants Inexpensive, Nomnom Elixirs Dear WINE, The ability to obtain different types of wine, alas, depends on where one lives. For instance, I live in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania…

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