Minimalism is the new buzz word. With houses, offices and dresses, all taking the minimalist route, weddings are quick to follow. This article on This Luminous Life, gives us an insight into what minimalism is actually about. It rightly says that minimalism is not about getting rid of things, instead it is about shifting focus to what really matters in your life and making way for it by eliminating the unimportant things. Isn’t that an accurate way to put it?
Many couples now choose to have a minimalist wedding, for several reasons. For some it is about avoiding the stress associated with a big wedding. For others, it is about making it more meaningful by celebrating just with the people who matter to them.
While the term can mean different things to different people, having a minimalist wedding is usually a huge budget saver. Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to mean it shouldn’t be stylish. Minimalist weddings can have the desired impact, if you plan it right. Before we go into the planning part, let us take a quick look at why you may like to have a minimalist wedding.
#So you can enjoy the wedding planning
Often, planning a big wedding ends up like a chore, especially when there are hundreds of details to perfect and it is entirely up to you to do it right. Even if you hire a wedding planner to do the planning part, it can seem impersonal and you may not really enjoy planning everything in bulk. Brides who want to enjoy every aspect of the planning and do it with perfection are better off when the wedding is small. Intimate gatherings are easier to personalize and allow you a better chance at enjoying the process.
#It helps keep your finances in check
Holding a big wedding is costly. Whether your parents or you pay for the expenses, there is no doubt that it will add up and a huge amount of money will be spent. Not all couples are keen on starting their life together in debt, or with most of their savings spent. A minimalist wedding offers more control over your wedding finances, and helps you plan a meaningful wedding without spending more than you can afford to.
#To keep it simple
Let us consider what a wedding is actually all about. Many weddings just end up being an extravagant show and people remember nothing beside all that was on display. Isn’t a wedding actually meant to be celebrating your love and being married in front of the people who matter to you? This idea is quickly forgotten with the stress of bringing together an elaborate wedding. Many couples find the pressure stifling, that they cease to enjoy their engagement. A minimalist wedding gives you a better chance of making the most of what you have, and enjoying every moment without worrying too much.
#To spend on the more important things
When you host a big wedding, you may feel obliged to spend on the food and favors.. This can sometimes leave you with a limited budget to travel to a place you love for your honeymoon. Or, it may be that you wanted a designer dress, but your funds run low after you budget for all the other wedding aspects. Keeping it simple will allow you to designate money to the more important aspects of your wedding, and not worry about impressing guests or obsess over how they will judge you.
Now, let us look at the planning part. How do you plan a minimalist wedding, and still make sure it has all that is important? These tips will tell you what to do.
1.Keep the crowd small
The wedding budget is directly proportional to the number of people attending it. If you think you should invite all the people you know, meet, have been friends with, whose wedding you have attended etc, the list will just go on. And with it, your ideas of keeping it small will have to be tossed out. Invite only your immediate family, close friends and those who you really want at your wedding. A good idea is to first fix a number, and then plan your guest list. This will allow you to narrow it down to people who are most important to you.
2.Leave out the fancy stuff
Unless it is important to you, of course! There is no rule that says your invitations have to be engraved, your décor should include real flowers or you have to buy your wedding dress. There is plenty of scope to customize, and you can find brilliant designs at a nominal cost. All you need to do, is to research options and find cost-effective ones. You can always rent a fabulous wedding gown at a fraction of the original cost and still be the beautiful bride you always wanted to be. Of course, with the bonus that you save a significant amount this way. Similarly, you can craft the look of the venue by mixing and matching options, or working with something that isn’t extra-expensive.
3.Plan the timing well
Did you know that wedding costs are significantly reduced, when held on weekdays? The same applies to when you get married during the off-peak-season. Have your wedding between December and February, and not only will it be easy to book the venue you want, you can also get a discount on it. The same applies to your caterers and other wedding services, as it is not wedding season. If you don’t mind having a wedding brunch instead of a dinner reception, you can also serve delicious meals at a cheaper rate.
4.Skip all that is unnecessary
There is a lot going on during the wedding planning, but have you ever felt that most of these are totally unnecessary? An engagement party, bridesmaids in matching outfits, save-the-date cards, expensive favors, flowers that have to be flown in and tiered wedding cakes—are all these actually compulsory? Keep the ones that really matter to you, and choose the sensible approach for the rest. Go with personalized wedding favors and bridesmaids in dresses that you choose specifically for the wedding, only if they matter to you. Go with seasonal flowers and accessories for the décor, a simple wedding cake, and minimum wedding stationery and your wedding will still be a wedding.
5.Getting help and delegating duties
There will be many people around you who would love to help. It may be family, or friends. Enlist their help and give them the chance to make your life easier. For a smaller wedding party, you can afford to find time to employ your DIY skills in making gifts and décor items. So, make the most of it. Not only will it be more personal, you will also enjoy it a lot more than just having everything done by a vendor. If there are florists, bakers or photographers in your circle, you can even delegate the wedding tasks to them, if appropriate.
With these 5 tips you should be well on your way to planning a meaningful minimalist wedding. We also suggest that you take a look at the Nourishing Minimalism blog page, for more ideas.
If you are stuck for ideas, here are some specific ideas to go minimal.
Invitations: For those of you who want to minimize expenses on stationery, either send out wedding invites by e-mail or print your own invites and send them out. But if you are looking at budget-friendly professional options, you can choose thermography or digital printing for your invitation cards.
Bridal party: Like we said before, skip the matching look and go with the mix ‘n’ match look instead. Find out how you can obtain cheap bridesmaids dresses on a budget with the help of this article. Or, you can always ask your girls to wear a common color (the Little Black dress is a wardrobe staple and your best bet), and work around to achieving a cohesive look through inexpensive accessories like shoes and belts.
Image Credit: Mark Taylor Cunningham, via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Wedding dress: Rent your wedding dress, buy it on sale or second-hand. If you start your search early, you can find fabulous vintage dresses on sale, and even second-hand dresses with tags. You don’t have to skimp on style, just because your wedding is minimalist. Although a dress silhouette may be simple, it can still be classic and stylish. The sheath and A-line silhouette are essentially minimalist, but you will find fantastic dresses in these options with a signature element or two that makes it fantastic. At stores like Best for Bride, several designer collections allow you to pick from what is available within your price range.
Accessories: If there are family heirlooms, make the most of the available choice by building your outfit around it. You can also consider wearing a wedding dress with an illusion neckline or longer sleeves to minimize the need for jewelry. Just like renting your wedding dress, you can do the same for accessories too. It makes sense too, as it is a one-time occasion and you needn’t spend so much on it.
Venue: For a small crowd, you could plan your reception in your backyard, at a nearby park or a site that your friend or family has agreed to lend you. With a little effort, even the simplest location can be transformed into a beautiful wedding venue, without the additional costs that you incur when booking an actual hall. You could also keep the ceremony and reception venue the same to minimize cost.
Venue décor: Limit the décor to what is available seasonally and locally, and try to DIY for a pocket-friendly choice. Look at Pinterest or other online websites and borrow ideas to make the most of simple décor items that you can find at thrift stores. Consider alternatives to flowers, like potted plants, candles, berries, fruits and vegetables, to make attractive but inexpensive centrepieces and decorations.
Food and cake: You do not need the classic tiered wedding cake, especially for a small crowd. Either ask to make a faux cake with just the first tier made from actual cake, or choose practical and equally attractive options like wedding cupcakes or a dessert buffet instead. Opt for brunch or a buffet with local and seasonal fare to keep the food costs minimum.
Bouquets: The bride needs a bouquet alright, but it doesn’t have to be made from exotic blooms. Equally appealing bouquets can be crafted from flowers like daisies, lilies and lavender. Even wild flowers can be grouped together to create a fantastic rustic and unique looking bouquet. If you are flexible, you can even work with what you find on the day before the wedding, and design your bouquet around it. Another option is to use silk flowers or faux flowers to create a beautiful and different bouquet.
Wedding favors: Think of whether photo wedding favors or expensive wrapped favors will actually be displayed or used by your wedding guests. If you really want to gift a favor that will be appreciated and used, gift edible favors like cookies or candy that will cost less too. The other option is to gift green wedding favors like plant starters or nice sachets of tea or coffee that will find use.
Driveaway car: Skip the limousine or vintage car, and instead go with a regular car that has been decorated to look festive enough for a wedding. As with everything else, remember that it is not all about impressing the guests, it is about functionality and how meaningful it is. As long as you keep this in perspective, everything will seem alright.
Now that you have all the inputs you need to plan your perfectly practical and minimalist wedding, you are set to act. Whether you want to buy or rent your wedding dress, visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride and you are bound to find a dress that you will fall in love with. Also find all your wedding needs, ranging from décor and accessories to wedding favors and invitations, all at our Best for Bride stores.