This is normally a blog that talks about saving money and personal finance. Every once in a while I talk about spending money, mainly with two goals in mind. One, to get people thinking about money in positive ways while still being responsible. Two, because sometimes a person is actually thinking about doing some of the things I talk about, and maybe once they see it in writing they’ll decide “nah”. If they still decide to spend that kind of money, at least they can’t say they had no idea what they were getting themselves into right?
This time I’m going to give 11 ideas for having a lavish wedding. This follows up on posts I wrote last year on tips for keeping wedding costs down, where I talked about my own wedding almost 20 years ago, as well as 10 other ideas on how to save expenses on one’s wedding. Hey, gotta have a bit of fun sometimes, right? Here we go.
1. Purchase a great wedding ring. This is one time when women should let their men go to the store on their own to shop for the ring, making sure the men know their finger size. Men tend to spend more money on things they don’t know a lot about, especially if they have the money to spend. It wouldn’t hurt your case to walk by a jewelry store here and there while in a mall, admiring certain styles of rings.
2. Purchase a great wedding dress, but make sure it’s shiny and sparkles. You want to feel like Princess Aurora or Sleeping Beauty or any of the other Disney princesses, and though you’ll look great in any wedding gown you wear, imagine how you’ll capture everyone’s eyes in a dress adorned with Swarovski crystals. Make sure to buy it from a famous designer; after all, you’re out to impress.
3. Don’t get just one limousine; get three. You may need more, but you need at least three to show the entire community whose getting married. You need one for your wedding party, one for your family, and one for your spouse’s family. If you have a large wedding party, you might need another limo; bigger family, more limos.
4. Go all out for decorations in the church. You want real flowers and a mixture of colorful satin and lace touches. That’s just not enough. You need a customized, painted runner made of cloth. You need scented candles to be lit during the ceremony along the aisles. You want plants, and you want symmetry. You also want to hire someone else to put them all up; you have better things to do with your time.
5. Don’t hire a singer; hire a choir.
Everything sounds better with more than one voice, even if that voice belongs to Mariah Carey. Whether they’re singing with an organ or a chamber orchestra, having at least 8 voices singing will impress everyone. Get them to sing the wedding procession in its original German for an extra touch that not all princesses would be allowed to have (because the wedding march most people know is from a secular classical piece, Lohengrin by Wagner, rather than a liturgical piece, which wouldn’t be allowed in a Catholic service).
6. Release the doves. It’s not a lavish ceremony without having some birds flying off the first time you step outside as man and wife. You may never see them again, but who cares; you’re rich!
7. Select a large reception hall that also offers spectacular views. Anyone can rent a reception hall that’s totally closed in, but what if you can find a location that sits on a waterfront? What if you can find one that looks out over a valley, or towards the mountains? Maybe you can find one with panoramic views. Whatever you can find, make the experience more than just the norm, even if the norm is in the ballroom of the most expensive hotel in town.
8. Don’t just hire a band; hire an orchestra. There are larger groups of musicians that play at weddings for people who can afford them. They come with their own singer and conductor, and can usually play all sorts of musical styles. You may not be able to enjoy the latest rendering from Lady Gaga, but it’s hard to boogie in a spectacular wedding dress anyway.
9. Three course meal? Try seven courses. Of course you’re having a sit down meal; that wasn’t even questioned. If you really want to stand out, you can’t have just three courses. You need the salad course; the soup course; the sampler course; the first meal course; the second meal course; the palate cleaning course; and the first dessert course. First dessert course? lol
10. The desserts room. That’s why you have the first dessert as part of the meal. This allows the full table to sit together and enjoy a full meal, including dessert, before people start to move around a bit. A desserts room holds people in check, along with drinks of course, while the couple gets to have some time to mingle with the crowd. We’re not just talking 3 or 4 choices either; the most lavish wedding I ever went to had at least 50 different desserts in the room; wow.
11. Time for the cake. When the wedding cake is finally introduced, you know that the end of the wedding is near. You don’t want a regular wedding cake; you need tiers, and you need presentation. You need at least 7 tiers to show what you’re worth; 10 would really make you stand out. It needs to be designed, not just have frosting and roses; fondant will be your friend. You also need to have either a fountain or ice sculpture somewhere close; you can afford it.
If you have the money to show off, do so without reservations or shame… just make sure you have the money. Here’s something to think about. Weddings of the rich often mean many of the guests have money also, and they won’t want anyone after the fact thinking they’re cheap. It’s possible that you might make all of your money back, and then some. One of the lavish weddings I went to resulted in cash and checks of almost $80,000 for the bride and groom; I almost felt bad only giving them a wedding photo album. 😉