This is an excerpt of my upcoming ebook 10K Wedding: Planning a Platinum Wedding on a 10K Budget. This is from Chapter 2: You Party Animal, You. For more information on 10K Wedding, sign up for the newsletter.
One of the things mentioned in the budget breakdown is “miscellaneous”. This is for charges you may not have considered before hand. One of the things that can fit this category is a party! Who doesn’t love a great shindig or gathering? What kind of parties you ask? There are several celebrations that can be had in your honor.
Some of these parties are usually not hosted by the bride and groom, so you may not even have to worry about it. If so, proceed to the next chapter. Extra celebrations outside of the ceremony and reception include an engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party (or bachelor party for the groom), and post wedding brunch. These parties are completely optional; if it doesn’t fit your budget, don’t worry about it.
When you get engaged, it’s an exciting moment, and you want to share it with the world! What better way to announce your plans of marriage than having an engagement party? It should be noted that some couples choose to skip this aspect of wedding planning, and find word of mouth to be the best (and most cost efficient) way of spreading the word. Saving money is the name of the game, but some people can’t resist a good party.
So if you’re set on debuting as a betrothed couple, an engagement party can be on the agenda. Traditionally, this is a gathering hosted by the bride’s parents, so the cost may be out of your hands, but should still be included in your budget. To keep it frugal, keep it informal. No need for a huge event equipped with separate invitations and a huge feast. Something casual like a barbecue in the backyard, or even happy hour at your favorite restaurant will suffice.
The thing about engagement parties is that the guest list can get a little tricky. It’s obvious that immediate family from both sides should be invited, to get to know each other before they “blend”. Close friends would love to come to. However, those who are invited to the engagement party may expect an invitation to the ceremony. The best advice is to keep it intimate.
A bridal shower is just like a baby shower, minus the baby! It’s all about the bride being “showered” with love, and gifts! It tends to cater more toward the ladies, but contemporary couples are starting to make them co-ed, as to not leave the hubby out in the cold. Bridal showers are usually hosted by the maid of honor, but sometimes the mother of the bride or mother of the groom lend a hand.
Once you know who’s hosting the shower, put your two cents in about what you want. Southern belles have afternoon teas, an event your fiance may opt out of. City gals love an excuse to go to the spa, and schedule facials, massages, manis & pedis. If the mister wants in, find something your friends and his can both enjoy.
Because the bride has little to do financially with the bridal shower, a budget isn’t your concern in this area. However, if your hostess is known for going overboard, encourage her to be a little more modest. Tell her you’re working on saving money for the wedding and should should do the same.
Another party that’s not traditional for a bride to plan is the bachelorette party. Known as the “last night as a single woman”, the bride and her friends go out on the town and have a great time. No need to go into details, as this isn’t something you will usually have to plan, or spend money on. If you do have one, enjoy yourself!
After you exchange vows in front of everyone, you may want to enjoy a later morning brunch with your immediate family and wedding party. The post-wedding brunch is not meant to be a huge gathering, another intimate meal, this time as husband and wife. This usually is the conclusion of a weekend long event, and is very low key.
The best way to keep the cost down here is to limit the guest list and find an inexpensive restaurant to host the brunch at. Sure, it’s technically after the wedding, but it should still be included in the budget.
There’s no need to have all of these parties; you don’t even need to have one! Because the cost of them don’t really rest on the bride, it’s a bit of stress off your shoulders. If you do want a shower or brunch, ask the lovely people of your family or wedding party to host a cost efficient gathering in your honor in place of a gift.