In some situations, both the bride and the groom have big families and lots of neighbors and friends to invite. Most wedding blogs and magazines today talk about smaller, fancier weddings – but in the Midwest or rural areas, the trend is quite the opposite. Of course, we love a beautiful wedding. But we want it to include ALL our friends and family, too!
Midwestern bride Lucy Mills was faced with a guest list that topped 350 people. Instead of trimming her list, Lucy embraced her big guest list and was delighted at the result.
Lucy said, “The guests – no matter how big or little the guest list is – are the best part of the big day. This is a celebration of your new marriage with friends and family. If you want a big wedding, make the sacrifices it takes to get a big wedding. My parents were footing the bill so we didn’t argue with their guest list. My husband was a first child and ours was the first wedding in the extended family in years. Trimming the excitement of their family (and therefore his guest list) was impossible. We knew it was going to be a big wedding, so we just accepted our reality.”
After Lucy finalized her 350-person list, she started making her big wedding a beautiful, fun event by keeping other areas of her budget in line.
She said, “We decided to have the wedding in our back yard under a very large tent. The flexibility allowed us to invite who we wanted.”
Lucy learned to trim costs in creative ways. She ordered a small 50-person cake and then asked aunts and friends to each bring two pies. This way, she was able to serve 350 people a wonderful dessert. Plus, the pies fit perfectly in her “rustic chic” theme.
Lucy said, “With big weddings, the expense comes when you choose to provide every guest with something, so forget the party favors and real china and stop looking at expensive wedding magazines for inspiration. Instead, start talking to your friends and family to see how they would be willing and able to help make your big day one of the best ever.”
In addition to seeking help from friends and family, Lucy hired a wedding coordinator to help her save money. At Hitch, we’ve worked on lots of weddings, so we are well versed in vendors and cost-saving tips and tricks. If a big wedding is your goal, we are happy to help you achieve that dream.
Here are a few examples of how Hitch can help you have a big wedding with your budget:
- Centerpiece design and setup: While designing and DIY-ing your own centerpieces can be fun, it is expensive when you need 30 or 40 centerpieces. We offer rental items, keeping your costs much lower than purchasing centerpieces outright. In fact, for one low price, you get access to EVERYTHING in our rental inventory. Whatever makes your wedding the most beautiful it can be — you get it all. From table runners to vases and fake flowers and flameless candles.
- Professional invitation design and printing: We are very experienced in designing wedding stationery and can help you avoid costly mistakes with typos or errors in layout and re-printing. We have paper and envelope choices that are budget-friendly.
- Vendors: We’ve been helping create beautiful weddings in the Brookings area for five years. Our list of vendors is extensive and always growing. We can help point you in the direction of cost-effective DJs, florists, cake decorators, limos, photographers, dress alteration services and vendors. Let our experience save you time and money!
- Hitch has also seen brides use fake flowers mixed in with their real flowers to trim some bouquet costs with such delicate flowers in hot weather (and nobody noticed). Watch this video that shows how mixing fake and real flowers look beautiful!
- Another bride and groom used small cakes at each table as part of the centerpieces, then cut the first slice for the table. They saved the expensive venue cake-cutting fee by doing it themselves and got to greet each and every table! (An added bonus: They said guests started mingling, trading and swapping cake flavors for other tables’ flavors. It was a blast!)
- Consider borrowing lawn games like big Jenga, bean bags and ladder golf. No need to rent when you can borrow from friends and family!
- Having your flower girls carry pinwheels or another cute item that fits your wedding theme saves you the money of getting them a bouquet or fresh flower petals. Hitch has also seen groomsmen with fun colored pocket squares instead of boutonnieres to save money.
- Although etiquette dictates otherwise, some brides forgo the open bar and hand out a couple of drink tickets to each person to keep the bar tab under control with so many guests.
- Hitch has one bride who is skipping the DJ, but not for an iPod playlist and some speakers. They’re bringing out their old record player and having each guest choose a song to play all night long! (Of course, someone will be in charge of the record player to make sure there’s always tunes playing.) But a great way to save money! They’ll need a master of ceremony, but that’s nothing that Hitch can’t help with. 😉
- There are countless other ways to save money on your BIG day. Contact Hitch for more ideas.
If you’re dealing with a large guest list like Lucy, please contact us today to set up a consultation. We understand that big guest lists can be the most important part of the day for some couples, and we are happy to help you create a beautiful, big wedding.