As you probably have noticed, the pandemic has certainly changed the wedding industry around the world. More couples are opting for elopements, micro weddings, or pushing their wedding dates back in hopes of having a “normal” wedding down the line. With the looming uncertainty of the pandemic, many people are also trying to be more mindful of their expenses when it comes to their wedding day. With that said, we interviewed French designer Aurelia Hoang for her expert opinion on the things worth investing in for the once-in-a-lifetime event.
Splurge or Save?
1. THE INVITATIONS
SAVE! Between custom stationery and a digital template, there’s a lot of work that goes into invitations and this has a price. Many graphic designers and illustrators offer semi-custom collections which include invitations you only personalize with names, dates and addresses. If you have time, you may buy the digital version and print them on your own at a print store. The best choice will be the one that suits your budget, your style, and your wedding. If you’re open to emailing your invitations, the paper-free option can be something to think about. You save paper, printing, and shipping- very eco-friendly!
2. THE DECOR
SAVE! Call your friends and family. Save your weekends. Roll up your sleeves. If you like DIY activities, then go for building your own decor. Check Pinterest for ideas and videos and show off your craft skills. Remember to pay attention to harmony and coherence in your vision.
3. THE VENUE
SAVE! Sometimes, the most modest places have the best impact. It’s about the energy of the venue and the mood. However, you might need to spend a minimum if you need a venue with accommodations such as electricity, parking, or help from a landlord/manager to help you out with organizing the vendors.
4. THE DRESS
SPLURGE! Obviously, as a bridal dress designer, I will recommend this investment to you. You must pay the price, the real value of what you want. It can be a cheaply made fast fashion item under $500 or a designer dress above $4,000. Imagine yourself on your D day, be sure of what you want and then go for it.
5. THE CAKE
SAVE! Desserts do not have to be the traditional wedding cake or the French pièce montée. The taste should be a priority- you’ll make a bigger impact with something unconventional and delicious. It’s such a shame that most of the work done by cake designers ends up in the bin as the decor is not edible. Ask a cake designer for a smaller and more minimalistic cake that will make a nice impression visually and taste-wise. Additionally, you could even have your families bake childhood favourites, the traditional pastries that will add sentimental value to dessert time.
6. MAKEUP & HAIR
SAVE! Only if you are confident in your hair and makeup skills or have a friend with a fantastic track record. You can also ask professionals for some advice and practice any tips beforehand. My own wedding was two days, and I did my own makeup and hairstyle for both days which saved a small chunk of money. If you really want a professional to help out, going to a hair salon or to a makeup counter is usually less expensive than having the artist come to your venue.
7. THE PHOTOGRAPHER
SPLURGE! Certainly one of the most important wedding investments there is. The photographer is not just there to snap a few photos, 50% of the work is guiding you and making you feel comfortable in front of the camera. Then you have the pictures, these long-lasting memories are the only material things that will help you remember the details of this particular day, telling the story for generations to come.
8. THE MUSIC
SPLURGE! If you want a dance floor, it’s mandatory to let a professional play the music who will feel the atmosphere and can set the right mood. Having a standard playlist is not enough, who will change the tune and match the songs to the appropriate moments? If you want to have fun, let someone help you with this.
With all of this said, I think each vendor is an important aspect of your wedding. Wedding planning can be stressful. You can save on your budget in different ways, according to your priorities, your DIY skills, and your timeline. Make sure that your decisions are reasonable so that there is no worrying about the details on the day of. Your wedding should be about you living in the moment so that when you look back at the memories, you remember a day filled with love, excitement, and happiness!