When you are trying to plan a wedding and stay on *any* sort of budget, you end up paying really close attention to budget wedding planning tips. Sadly, lots of the tips that get passed around are not super helpful. The tip you hear most often is that the first thing a budget bride should do is cut down her guest list. Now, if you and your partner want a small ceremony and reception, this is great advice, because it’s the easiest way to make your wedding affordable. That said, if you have a big group of family and friends you want to celebrate with, this advice is enough to make you tear your hair out. You can’t invite your Great Aunt Sue because you don’t have a lot of cash? No fair! To you or Aunt Sue! More then a few tears have been shed over this nugget of budget advice, believe you me.
So, I’m going to step in, and say that there is another way. Miss Manners, she of the wise advice, has ruled that we should first think about who needs to be at the wedding, and then think about what we can afford to feed them. Hear, hear! No matter what you might think from reading some of the wedding glossies, it is not rude if you fail to serve your guests fillet mignon and shrimp. It’s not even impolite if you don’t serve your guests a meal at all. The old fashioned wedding, after all, involved punch and cake on the church lawn, and punch and cake is still a proper way to go (with or without the church).
When I was eight, I was a flower girl in a wedding cake and punch wedding, and it was great fun. The church in question had a large lawn, light appetizers were served, along with mounds of cake and cookies. The kids all had punch, and the adults had champagne. I remember loving it (Hello? Punch + Cake + Pretty Dress + Game of Tag = Best Wedding Ever) and the adults had a grand time chatting and drinking. The bride’s brother played his bagpipes for the end of the service, and the highlight of the party was when the bagpiper started up the pipes, the brides sisters jumped up, grabbed the bride, and they all three performed a lively impromptu Scottish jig on the middle of the lawn, in full wedding garb. That will be one of the wedding moments I remember that for the rest of my life, and it was free.
So. I don’t care what all the budget wedding guides say, you can stay within your budget, invite all your loved ones, and still have a memorable (and stylish) time. And you will still think back on your wedding 50 years hence and get misty.
**Update: with awesome blogging synergy, it just so happens that Kathryn of Snippet and Ink posted a Punchy Luncheon inspiration board today! You can see a previous punch and cake inspiration board as well, both proving that you can do this with great style.**