Appoint an Overseer
Having “too many cooks in the kitchen” all issuing orders on your wedding day can lead to confusion and chaos. If you’re not using a professional wedding planner, select a “wedding marshal”—one person who’ll be in charge when the day comes. Pick as your overseer a responsible friend or family member who will be at the wedding but who doesn’t have a specific duty or isn’t already deeply involved in the day. Don’t choose the maid or matron of honor or the mother of the bride, as they already have enough to do.
Give your wedding marshal a to-do list and specific instructions on how things should be done. The marshal will make sure the flowers are in their proper spots, the chairs are set up in the right places, and all the caterers and helpers are where they need to be. Make sure to work with your wedding marshal well ahead of the event, rather than just handing him or her a list on the morning of the wedding.
Officant Fees Made Simple
Officiant fees (or donations—the commonly used term when the officiant is a member of the clergy) vary a great deal depending on the officiant, his or her location, and the services he or she provides. Some officiants charge nothing or simply ask to be invited to the reception. Others suggest a donation to their religious order or house of worship. In most cases, however, there is a set fee or donation for performing a wedding ceremony, over and above the cost of hiring the church or other wedding venue. The officiant’s fee, traditionally paid by the groom, can range from $75 to multiple hundreds. Traveling, customizing the ceremony, or attending a rehearsal typically adds to the cost. So don’t be shy. If you’re in doubt, ask the officiant what his or her fee or expected donation is, and what it includes.
Get Good Music For Less
Hire a music student. You’d be surprised at the number of music students out there who’d jump at the chance to earn some money while practicing their art. Contact local music schools, private academies and instructors, and local performing-arts theaters. All may be able to recommend young, talented musicians who can provide beautiful music at a reasonable cost.
Saying Thank You
It’s appropriate to give your wedding attendants a token of your appreciation and esteem. If it’s within your budget, one gift your attendants will really appreciate is assistance with all or part of their wedding-day attire or accommodations costs. Less expensive alternatives include cufflinks, money clips, or bar sets for the groomsmen and jewelry for the bridesmaids that can be worn on the day of the ceremony. Gift certificates for spa treatments are also a popular choice for bridesmaids.