Wedding in the Wallet of the BeholderMany couples dream of a special wedding day. Some of those dreams grow to cinematic proportions, with epic scenarios of exotic embellishments. For those with means, a fantasy wedding is theirs for the renting. For those with fewer resources, however, a truly memorable event can still be had with a bit of inspiration and creativity. Extravagance is a state of mind. What a couple wants versus what they have comes down to how and how much.

Pinterest Is a Curse

Pinterest is the go-to for many a bride and groom who want to virtually shop the many ways to bedazzle their special day. Many a wedding planner, though, is finding the site to be more of a hassle than a help. It seems people get attached to a certain style or idea without understanding the logistics or the costs. While the Web is often the first stop to gather inspiration, planners might suggest you log on with a professional who can explain exactly what is involved in securing a rose-covered Victorian horse-drawn carriage.

When Money Is No Object

Harmony Walton is the founder and operator of the Bridal Bar of Burbank, California. The Bridal Bar serves as a kind of concierge for soon-to-be-weds, rather than a planner per se. Walton's company can engage almost any manner of entertainment or extravaganza for an event. "And," she says, "if it doesn't exist, you can create it." Some sample possibilities for an unforgettable moment include:

  • Aerial banner flown across wedding location: $600 to $700
  • Skywritten message: $5,000 to $30,000
  • Fireworks: $5,000 to $7,000 (higher around July 4th)
  • Water cannons shooting fountains of water toward the skies from a fireboat: $2500 for one-half hour
  • Bejeweled elephant to carry in the groom like a South Asian luminary: $6,500, costume included

Other options include leasing an entire island (cost variable) or renting a Ferris wheel for the weekend for around $50,000. Restrictions apply, as weather and air traffic may impact some plans.

Location, Location, Location

The how and the how much of an event depends greatly on its location. In the middle of the country, a $20,000 budget could go quite a long way, even allowing for some special detail or flourish. In New York City, says one Gotham planner, $20,000 would just about cover the band. Space restrictions might actually serve to impose a little discipline on the occasion, where less can mean more if one plans it right. The important thing is to focus on what is meaningful to the couple celebrating the start of their journey together. A remarkable and memorable gesture is a handwritten note for each guest. It is the sort of embellishment that sparkles brightly at a smaller event.

Burritos, not Baroque

A strengthening trend in wedding catering is the food truck. Think of it as a hipster response to the traditional sit-down beef or chicken option. In places such as Los Angeles, where food truck culture is well established, a couple can bring in multiple trucks that offer a global parade of delicious choices. After agreeing to a minimum purchase, the costs usually amount to around $10 per guest. For that kind of menu, the requirement is the space in which to park the trucks and set up a few dozen picnic tables. Such an event is bound to be remembered fondly.

Mark the Occasion

In the majority of most wedding celebrations, couples share the impetus to create a special moment that uniquely reflects their love and enthusiasm. It may look vastly different from couple to couple. For some, it could require an elephant and pyrotechnics. For others, it could manifest in take-out under the stars. Whatever the dream or the budget, a true fantasy wedding is a joyous occasion in the eyes of the betrothed.

Category: Wedding Planning

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