Arrive in style for your big day
Brides and grooms agonize over the details of their wedding — what they’ll serve, how they’ll decorate, what their attendants will wear — but they often give too little thought to one of the most fun and memorable aspects of the big day: getting there in style. Darcey Lohman, a wedding planner for Big City Bride in Chicago, offers some fun options.
1. CIAO, MAMA!
Conjure up “Roman Holiday” memories by renting a Vespa. It’s romantic, inexpensive (only about $40) and you won’t have to return it until the next day, says Brad Stone, general manager of Eaglerider Motorcycle Rental in Boston.
2. FLYING HIGH
Consider making your reception exit James Bond-style via helicopter. It may be easier than you think, as long as the landowner agrees and the weather cooperates. Atlanta Helicopter Charter charges $800 for an hour.
3. OLD-FASHIONED WHEELS
If you’re in a city where carriage rides are part of the tourist trade, rent a horse-drawn buggy to get you to the church on time. Chicago Horse & Carriage charges $650 for the first hour, and $90 for every hour after that.
4. LET’S PARTY
Rental limousines have fallen out of favor because getting in and out of them can be tricky, Lohman says. Instead, couples are choosing trolleys or party buses because they’re easy to board, hold a lot of people and beverages can be served, she says.
5. GO GREEN
Another budget-friendly choice that’s also good for the environment is rickshaws and pedi-cabs — plus they make for great photo opportunities, Lohman says. Check out www.ibike.org/economics/pedicab-usa.htm for rental companies.
Cut back on all the reception extras
One of the more challenging tasks involved in wedding planning is choosing who will provide the food. Brides and grooms often wonder how to be good hosts and satisfy their guests’ various preferences without blowing the whole wedding budget on feeding their friends and family. Here is some advice for couples who need to be frugal:
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Don’t make elaborate preparations for children attending the reception. Similarly, there’s usually no need to add a whole separate menu option for two or three vegetarians or puzzle over a relative’s food allergy — let the caterer know, and he or she will make special plates for those guests.
2. BE REALISTIC
Call prospective caterers, talk to other recent brides and get a feel for the pricing in your area. If what you want just doesn’t work with the reality of your budget, talk to the caterer about what can be done within your means.
3. BE CONSIDERATE
Saving money shouldn’t mean skimping; your guests will appreciate plenty of good food. Hors d’oeuvres should be served as soon as possible after the guests arrive at the reception.
How to deal with your mother and mother-in-law: 10 tips for brides
You want a small, elegant wedding. Your mother-in-law’s list alone includes 300 relatives and friends. Plus their kids. You plan a ceremony on the beach. Mom insists on a church affair. Whose wedding is it anyway? Wedding planners and psychologists have these tips to keep your mother or mother-in-law in check while still involving them in the wedding.
1. GIVE THEM A JOB
“Most moms just want to be involved in the wedding,” says Melissa Franzen, owner of A Perfect Day wedding planners in Springfield, Ill. She suggests giving them small or tedious tasks, such as making and wrapping favors.
2. ASK THEIR OPINION
This makes parents feel important and a part of the process, advises Dr. Jodi Stoner, a Miami clinical psychologist and co-author of “Good Manners are Contagious.”
Meet with both sets of parents as soon as you get engaged so there are no surprises later, Stoner advises.
4. DON’T ACCEPT MONEY
Parents feel they have more rights if they’re paying for the wedding, Stoner says.
5. HAVE A MEDIATOR
Whether it is a wedding planner, etiquette expert or a relative, someone should be there to help work out the bumps and assist in resolving disagreements.
6. STICK TO THE NUMBER
Stoner says if everyone has to cut their guest list, moms won’t be as upset. But the bride and groom have the last say.
Pick out your priorities, and be flexible on matters you aren’t that passionate about but that do matter to your mom or mother-in-law, such as centerpieces or flowers, Franzen says.
8. KNOW YOUR MOMS
Let the mediator know in the beginning if there is a pushy mom. The mediator may meet with that person separately, or not include her at all if she won’t budge, Franzen says.
9. BRIDE FIRST
If something is really important to the bride, she should make sure everyone knows it and honors it, Franzen says. It is your wedding.
10. THINK OF THE FALLOUT
That said, remember, this is one day of your life; fractured relationships with your families could last forever, Stoner warns.