If you are in that planning stage, or might soon be, consider some of these big spenders:
Prince William and Kate Middleton spent $800,000.00 on flowers and $80,000.00 on their cake. (That's a lot of ZEROes, folks.) Chelsea Clinton spent 4.8 MILLION dollars on her wedding! She wore a Vera Wang gown, and her cake was a mere $11,000.00. And I can hardly wait to see how much ABC doles out to televise the much anticipated and probably lavish wedding of hunky bachelor Sean Lowe and his cute fiance, Catherine Guidici.
When planning your wedding and going over the numbers, keep this in mind: Your flowers fade, the cake will be eaten, and twenty years from now, you will not fit in your wedding dress. There's one thing that should last. Your photographs. And two decades from now, your children should be looking at your photos. They will probably laugh at your hairdo, and think your dress looked "old fashioned." And you probably won't be able to view pictures on CD or DVD anymore, with all of the advances in computer technology. (Remember, we've gone from vinyl records, to 8-track tapes, to cassette tapes, to CD's, and now download mp3 files to gadgets that don't resemble anything from the past. We went from VHS, to DVD, to Blu-Ray.)
Message: PRESERVE YOUR MEMORIES. Get a great photographer, and invest enough to get it all... an album with beautiful covers and prints that last, and print some of your favorite images professionally (not at the corner drugstore or at the nearest chain of "buy everything in one location" retailers). Yes, you will probably put away those images as you replace them with pictures of your new babies, and children growing, and family portraits. But you WILL go back and look at those wedding photos... if you invest wisely and budget for them. They're priceless. They're irreplaceable. They're one of your most important purchases in regard to your wedding. PROMISE.
One more thing... here's a picture of my Daddy (Nelson M. Chamberlin) holding me when I was just a couple of weeks old. Go back to memory lane, and look at some of your family photos and see what kind of memories they bring, what you feel when you see them --- love, laughter, sadness, missing someone, or whatever. Frame them. Above all, treasure them!