Brides Beware of Bad Advice
Ever since I wrote my blog ‘Untying The Knot’ my email inbox has been bombarded with people (brides and vendors alike) not only thanking me for bringing that situation to light, but with similar stories and dozens of links to what I will call ‘wedding injustices’ for lack of better term. On Saturday morning I received one that I just couldn’t resist sharing as it was quite likely some of the worst wedding planning advice ever posted to the internet.
The blog, titled ‘The Big Wedding Money-Wasters’ was posted to Yahoo blogs in the Food section, and seemingly featured as well. The authors were two women – Rita Mauceri and Elicia Rubin – who call themselves ‘Entertaining and Style Experts’ but judging from their blog, nothing could be further from the truth. Apparently they also author books, which after reading this blog I would suggest brides steer clear of wasting their money on because if their books are anything like their blog, they are likely filled with equally worthless advice.
Here is a link to their blog, which advocates planning a cross between a hillbilly hoedown and welfare-state wedding.
Now let me dissect the wealth of bad advice…
By suggesting spending $300.00 on your wedding dress they are in fact suggesting that your wedding dress be reduced to what many girls spend on prom dresses. I don’t even think a bride would consider this ‘advice’ in the first place, so no need to waste time on the foolish suggestion. Brides, this is your magical day that you have dreamed of all your life…Nuff said.
Band (and DJ)
The prices they list for a band or a DJ are quite unrealistic on the low end (that is being kind) and they go on to suggest either having a friend DJ for you or using an iPod in combination with renting a sound system.
Please don’t believe for a second that a random friend or an automated IPod could replace a band or DJ with experience at reading a crowd, the iPod being the worse of both options. So when people aren’t dancing because the auto-play iPod isn’t playing the correct sequence of songs are your guests expected to shuffle through songs making wild guesses? Just go to YouTube and search ‘iPod DJ’ to see a plethora of horror stories regarding this option.
As they say, cupcakes can be nice… but remember, the ‘Etsy’ featured cupcakes were likely made by a bakery and the photo taken by a professional photographer hence making them look so good. Do yourself a favor, don’t bake Betty Crocker cupcakes in your kitchen and bring them to your wedding. By cutting the cost of a wedding cake or bakery presentation you aren’t cutting enough money to compromise the look of your wedding cake and reduce it to the look of something you bought at a bake sale.
I was married once, and my former mother-in-law did just what this blog suggests… went with the lowest low-budget photographer available. What we got was low-budget photographs. Bad lighting, bad angles, bad pictures. If the photographic memories of your wedding day are of little to no importance to you, just ask an art school student or better yet a guest with a camera to take those important photos and hope you get something worth framing. A camera in the hands of someone with little to no experience is no different than you or I trying to paint a masterpiece on canvas with oil paints… trust me, you wouldn’t want to hang it on the wall.
Flowers & Food
I don’t suggest picking your own flowers or skimping on the food… It just sounds ‘ghetto’ to me. A cocktail type party or a reception with stations can be nice, but to say that a professional caterer makes ‘rubbery chicken’ is just propaganda to scare you away from doing things the right way. As for making your own flower arrangements, good luck with that… florists are called florists for a reason.
In a nutshell, these two women tout themselves as ‘professionals’ yet their advice would suggest that using professionals on your wedding day isn’t the best course of action. Look up the word ‘hypocrite’ and you may just find a link to their blog. Remember that, before you consider buying their ‘professional’ book or seeking their ‘professional’ advice.
Or perhaps they are trying to start a new trend called ‘Ghetto Chic.’
Let’s face it… I’m not sure if it’s a certain social responsibility or just an unspoken expectation, but if you are going to have a reception at all and your plan is to serve store-bought cupcakes and play your favorite tunes on your IPod to entertain your invited guests, does that somehow absolve your invited guests from giving you gifts, or for that matter skimping by giving you the bare minimum from your bridal registry? One spoon or one plate perhaps? If you’re going to throw a reception, do it the right way… otherwise you might as well just elope.
I’m surprised they didn’t suggest a CZ over a diamond for the engagement ring. Maybe that’s in in the book, or they’re saving it for a future blog.
Excellent points Craig!
I didn’t bother to read their blog, but I did read their bio at Yahoo. It looks like these women aren’t professional event planners, but rather they’re professional “experts.”
Their other great literary work is a book on makeup and style tips for women. I suppose that qualifies them to write blogs on cutting corners for weddings like I’m qualified to write a blog about neurosurgery.
I wonder if their next book will be about getting more performance out of muscle cars…or astronomy…or maybe feeding and care tips for ferret owners.
I couldn’t agree more Rob… It blows my mind.
If they did write those books you mentioned, I wonder if their wisdom would include ‘Oil is overrated in overall auto maintenance’ or ‘Just because science says the Earth revolves around the Sun doesn’t mean it’s true.’
And in regard to ‘budget’ photographers – a point which I disagree on – you might check out this blog that does a good job explaining why good, professional photographers cost more.
You’ve made some good points here, but should people really spend so much money just for the sake of spending it? Cost-cutting CAN be done tastefully and successfully, even with some of the advice from the blog that you’ve mentioned. For instance, the dress. If you can find the dress you want for $300.00, then why the hell not buy it? Why waste money on something more expensive when you don’t have to? I found my wedding dress on clearance for $75.00 and it was PERFECT – I absolutely loved it. I know that not everyone will get as lucky as I did, but why shouldn’t people take advantage of something like that when they can?
Photographers: Do a little research – there are PLENTY of “budget” photographers who will take great photos. You just have to put some effort into finding them. Ask to see portfolios, visit websites. A little effort can go a long way in saving a lot of money.
Seriously, do you really think you MUST break the bank on everything? A little taste and research can go a long way in saving money and still showing everyone a good time. Not every single person at every single wedding reception is going to be an A-lister or a food critic anyway. In fact, most people aren’t!
Good points Gina. Particularly in regard to the dress. I do realize not every bride can afford that ‘dress of dresses’ but if the dress of your dreams is $500.00 I think it’s silly to simply spend $300.00 because it is something you will only wear once. Dream days like weddings are one of the times I think it’s ok to get what you want.
I’m not suggesting to break any banks here, just that often times you get what you pay for.
A professional photographer will have your images archived. If something should happen to your computer or your home, at least those captured memories can be reclaimed. Try that with a college student trying to make a few bucks for books. Also, professional photographers know how to everyone quickly through the formal shots and stick to a timeline. Uncle Joe isn’t as worried about conflicting with the wedding professionals.
Also, florists have adequate cooler space. Home-spun floral decorators and Aunt Sue do not. Spend all that money on flowers, only to have them wilt and turn brown. I’ve seen it happen!
I’ve got a bride that’s been to a reception with the old country bar karaoke jock and one with an ipod/burnt CDs. She doesn’t have a lot of money but she doesn’t want what she experienced and is willing to budget appropriately.
There are definitely “good” ways to save money and “bad” ways lol. I agree with most of your post here except the dress part. My wedding gown cost me $220 – and it was a gorgeous lace overlay strapless gown with a chapel length train and delicate beaded detailing. It would have retailed for about $1200 – and yes, it was brand new. There are tons of gorgeous gowns at great prices if you are willing to do your research and shop around. Keep in mind – not all brides care that much about the dress anyway. For some of us, the dress is just a side note and I would much rather spend that money on the reception where I get to celebrate with all our loved ones. To me – that’s just so much more meaning full then an expensive dress could ever be.
I agree with crystal. There are good ways and bad ways to save money on a wedding reception.
Good Ways: Have the reception on a non Saturday. Most places are more willing to offer discounts because they are much less busy on those days. Less busy months like January through March is also a time to get better bargains.
Bad ways: Trying to “do-it-yourself” when you have no idea how to do it. That goes for cakes, photographers, entertainment, and catering. The fact of the matter is just about all of us had made a cake, taken a picture, played some music, and cooked some food. Suggesting that any of that experience should make doing it yourself at a reception worth it is simply bad advice. Doing these things at your house and doing these things with 100’s of people relying on you is about as different as you can get.
When your “lil brother” or the I-Pod ruin that “once in a lifetime moment, you will wish you had hired a reputable, professional disc jockey!
I am just reminded of the line from the movie, “Father of the Bride” – Don’t go “chicken and cheap”. A big wedding is not for everyone. You should do the best you can for the money you have. I agree that at least 2 things you should not skimp on are the photographer and the music.
Lots of great insight here. Thanks for all the information and encouraging new brides to do the right thing, not the cheapest thing!
I think it’s great that there is someone out there giving tip’s to couples who can not afford an expensive wedding. Shouldn’t EVERYONE no matter how rich or poor be able to have a day celebrating their love with friends and family?
I would be really interested to hear YOUR advice on how to throw a wedding on a minimal budget.
Yes Mindy, everyone should have a special day, but the tips were bad.
We would actually love to hear your advice, being an event planner.
From my point of view, there’s no one blanket piece of advice you can give generally on the right places to spend money.
One of the first things a couple should consider as they’re budgeting is their priority list. What are those things they care about the most? What are they willing to splurge on or cut on? For some it’s the dress, some the food, some the venue, etc…then they can seek out great tips on how to save on the things that are lower priority for them.