Wedding Budget Wendsday: Not just naturally cheap, but a professionally thrifty


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Wedding Budget Wendsday: Not just naturally cheap, but a professionally thrifty | A Practical WeddingApparently, there are maybe one or two people who have given me wedding advice who are convinced that I am off my rocker. There is, they say, no possible way to have a nice wedding in San Francisco and not spend the GNP of a small country to do it (it hasn’t seemed to occur to them that I might not have access to a whole GNP, making the point moot, but I digress). Given this, I thought it might be only fair to share my “Oh Dear God you want me to throw you WHAT kind of party on WHAT amount of money?” bona fides.

I spent the last five years of my life working in fundraising for non profit theatres in New York City. Non profit theatres, in case you haven’t noticed, are not rich, but they do have a lot of fundraisers. This means I have worked on and attended more galas then any non Upper East Side socialite ever should.

I have pulled together a 100 lot silent auction in three weeks. I have placed and double checked 350 place cards in a ballroom in stilettos in 15 minutes. I have design a floral centerpiece for under $7. I have thrown a dinner party, rented space, and bought alcohol for 50 guests on $500, in Manhattan. I never want to have to do any of those things again. Working with very little money, very little time, and very little support is awful. Working with people who will do anything to save a dollar, including disrespecting the talented artists and vendors making the party happen, sucks. But it does give you lots of experience and perspective.

However, the idea of throwing a wedding with a lot of time, a medium amount of money, and a ton of friends and family volunteering to help, is a joy. It’s so exciting to get to plan a party our way! Having a lot of event experience just means that I know where I can cut back on costs, and where it makes sense not to cut. I’ll post more tips as time goes on, but I wanted to let you know a little bit about my background. I know of what I speak.*

*David knows too. We used to run a theatre company and we threw a awesome gala together before we ever started dating. But that is another story for another time.

(Picture: a gala I co-chaired. In fact, the pink blur is me!)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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