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November 26, 2014
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Affordable elegance

Contributed photo


Is a wedding planner necessary?
Fully aware that I am talking to a wedding planner, I nevertheless ask if having a wedding planner is really necessary. “Planners help in a lot of ways,” Ambrozewicz replied. “A wedding planner should be able to save you money, to work with you and say, ‘Let’s figure it out and keep it simple.’ Usually, a wedding planner will have relationships with vendors in the area and will be able to help that way, too.”

A wedding planner not only knows what kinds of decisions need to be made, but also can help the couple put things into perspective. “Maybe you don’t need the most expensive silverware at the tables, for example. Maybe you don’t need flowers on every table; maybe just one big flower arrangement is a better choice. In that way, a wedding planner knows where to get the most bang for your buck.”

To my surprise, Ambrozewicz has a definite opinion about “the dress.” “I don’t think it’s important to put so much money on the dress. Beautiful, yes. Something you like, yes. But keep in mind, it is for only one day.”

Keep it simple
So, what other tips did Ambrozewicz have? “If you’re really looking to keep the budget low, limit the number of guests,” she said. She suggested categorizing the guest list. “It’s okay to say, ‘Sorry, but we can’t invite our work friends,’ for example. You can also limit the number of people in your wedding party. Having one or two close friends is fine. You don’t need to go overboard. In fact, nowadays you even see couples getting married without a wedding party, where just the couple is standing there getting married.”

As for saving on food, Ambrozewicz’s recommendation again is to keep it simple. “You may want to serve family style,” she suggested. “It’s not as expensive, but it doesn’t look like you’re cutting corners if you’re passing the food in a beautiful bowl. Also, there’s nothing that says you have to have a big Saturday night thing. Have a tea party, have Sunday brunch—the options are endless.”

And what about the cake? “Wedding cakes don’t seem to be the trend these days,” she said. “There’s often just a small cake for the bride and groom.” Other options include serving a variety of homemade desserts or cupcakes, or “maybe your mom makes the best lemon bars in town. If she made them for dessert, that adds a nice personal touch.”

Then, Ambrozewicz offered a word of caution about the bar. “A bar can be very expensive,” she reported. “Remember, it’s just one day and one party. It’s okay if you serve just beer and wine and a signature cocktail. That way, everyone will have a choice.”