Part 2 of 3: Budgets: The truth behind the myths

Myths abound about matrimony and money, but it's time to forget what you've heard about the cost of weddings. There's more than one way to approach the day of your dreams.

  • Story by Photo Moda Fotografica & Words Briar Douglas

Myths abound about matrimony and money, but it's time to forget what you've heard about the cost of weddings. There's more than one way to approach the day of your dreams.

The truth behind: The Gown
With all eyes on you on your special day, you’ll want to be wearing a gown that makes you look and feel your best. Cost-conscious brides may steer clear of custom-made dresses for fear of overspending. But as designer Anna Schimmel points out, there are other ways to save, such as opting for a simple silhouette; a dress with minimal detail will likely be kinder on your wallet. Conversely, opting for a highly embellished dress may see you wear fewer accessories – another way to trim your budget.
Be upfront with your designer about how much you have to spend, and see if they can align your vision with your budget. As with all aspects of your wedding day, it depends on your priorities – if having your dream gown is crucial, cutting back in other areas will allow you to spend more on your ensemble.

The truth behind: The Catering 
Even if your aunt is a whiz in the kitchen or you have an army of helpful cousins at your disposal, doing all of the cooking and serving yourself is often a false economy. Once you’ve purchased the ingredients and hired the dinnerware, you may be no better off financially – and you’ll certainly be shorter on time. Wouldn’t you rather that your guests were able to relax and enjoy the party, instead of having to fuss with the food?
The alternative – leaving your menu to the professionals – doesn’t have to stretch your budget beyond its limits. Jamie Miller of Auckland’s Mint Kitchen Catering says the best way to save is to find a flexible caterer. Look for one that will allow you to provide your own beverages and delegate minimal duties to family and friends. While you don’t want any guest stuck in the kitchen on the day, pre-prepared jugs of your brother’s signature sangria will go down a treat with your guests, and reduce your costs too.

The truth behind: The Dessert 
No matter how tasty the cake, your guests won’t eat it if they’re already full. Serving a decadent dessert before dishing up a multi-tiered masterpiece may mean you end up taking most of it home.
Auckland-based Sondra Vicelich of Sweet Bites Cakes says there’s nothing wrong with making the most of your cake by serving it as dessert. If you’re going with a simple cake, jazz up the plate by serving it with fresh berries and cream. Alternatively, do away with the additional cost of guest favours by placing delicious slices into boxes for your loved ones to take away.


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