VENUES: Country houses, boutique hotels, charming restaurants, small private villas, are perfect for a small charming wedding. There are plenty of options out there for couples to be creative!
The alternatives to the traditional meals are so many, and so much fun! You don't have to go as far as having a brunch or a tea time wedding (looks great on Martha Stewart website, but it isn't much fun).
If you still like idea of a evening dancing party.. so have a real dancing evening, hire a room in the best hotel of your city for a black tie reception. Forget about the €100 per guest sit down meal, this is not the only way to do it!
If you prefer, you can have a cocktail reception, earlier on in the day, (at about 17.00) with lots of tantalizers, you could have it outdoor, in a park, in a hotel, in your back garden. Call the best catering, and offer to your guests an evening they'll not forget!
A BBQ is a great idea as well! To do this well, you should hire a catering to do it. You don't really want your guests to stink of sausage by the end of the meal. Ask the catering to cook everything in a smaller version, small hamburgers, small tiny sausages, little colourful skewers...
HOW TO CUT THE GUESTS LIST
As a wedding planner I know that it is hard for couples to cut the guests list. But the only way to do it is avoid discussing about each single person; it is not about Tom, Mary or Aidan. You should divide the list in groups, "family1", "family 2", "friends 1", "friends 2", "Colleagues", etc. You are going to invite groups in order of importance as long as you have reached the number of people you could invite.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY - HOW NOT TO SAVE MONEY
DIY is great, but it doesn't always save you money and it isn't always pretty. Go DIY only if you know what you are doing. If you have never done anything like this, probably you shouldn't start for your wedding day. For instance, you are not saving money if you buy 10 different ribbons to go on your DIY invitations, just go plain and choose a simple elegant ivory card!
FLOWERS: the purpose of flowers is to embellish your day and surprise your guests. Don’t make your guests move flowers from the church! First of all they will not be very pleased in having to share their car seat with a bunch of Lilies and second they will not very surprised is seeing that bunch of lilies ending up on their table.
If you cannot afford flowers for the church, just don’t use them, one bunch for the altar, is enough and if you want you can use candles instead
My Cheap & Chic flowers suggestion is carnations, I adore them!
Credits: foto Morlotti Studio www.morlotti.com
Don't buy cheap dresses for them. If you can't afford good dresses for your best friends, just don't buy any. The latest trend is non-matching bridesmaids. You might have spotted this trend on Sex & the City... Your bridesmaids have different shapes and colouring, they will not look good in the same dresses, especially if it is cheap! Do them a favour, just let them decide what they want to wear, it might be something they already have in their wardrobe!
Cheap &Chic. If you want you can still gift them with one accessory, a necklace, a pair of earrings, or a brooch or just a corsage of fresh flowers.
If you can't afford them, don't get any. Cheap favors are an offense to your guests.
The one thing you cannot save money on is thank you cards.
Cheap & Chic favors are a fresh long stem rose for each woman you can hand them over when girls are leaving.