Your friend/family network is one of your most important assets during engagement. And a great way to save when wedding planning is to ask favors from these talented people. It saves you time, money, but also stress because it surrounds you with the people you care about and trust in this important time.
Here are some areas you can call in favors for:
I asked a close friend in our college group who has experience working in salons to do my hair. I loved that I could be honest with her about what I liked and wanted. It was nice to have someone I enjoy spending time with curling my hair the morning of the wedding and styling my hair in the bridal room. I am grateful I got to skip the hair salon all together.
Personalized Bridesmaids/Groomsmen gifts
I also asked a good family friend to make my bridesmaid gifts. She is an esthetician but her hobby is to make crystal jewelry. We met up at a Starbucks and talked through the designs and sizes for bracelets. The end products were dark purple glass bracelets with golden clasps. She went above and beyond what I asked, making purple dress-shaped gift bags for each bridesmaid.
I enlisted another close family friend who is a Mary Kay consultant to do my makeup. We love to talk and laugh and could honestly share with her what I wanted. I was glad to avoid a high fee for a makeup artist or a trip to the mall.
I was able to ask a close friend to do my photography. She had done several weddings and engagements before. I am a little camera shy and especially when I’m expected to be affectionate in public while photos are being taken. But it helped that I knew her so well because eventually I relaxed and learned to be myself around the camera.
Our photographer suggested we rent out video equipment and have someone we trusted film it. So we asked a trusted friend in the college group to do the video for our wedding. He knew the photographer so they worked well as a team. Then the photographer and her husband edited the film, made copies, and mailed the DVDs out.
Last of all, we chose to ask my great uncle to preform our wedding (he helped my great-grandfather preform my parent’s wedding) but due to his busy schedule he didn’t think he could come. While we were at lunch with his family his daughter , also a pastor, offered to be our officiant. We met up with her and her husband for some awesome dinner and talked through the ceremony. She got to know our hearts and personal story. In the end we were able to keep up a family tradition and my great uncle did get a chance to come and do our communion and prayer time.
You may be thinking . . .well I don’t have a network with those talents. But you may have friends and family with other talents. What about cake decorating? or catering? Maybe they are good with arranging flowers? Maybe you know musicians who would love to preform at the wedding? or who are good with a sound board who could be your MC or DJ? Or maybe they are just good at organizing details. If you can trust them and they have expirence-ask for their help! If you can’t ask them to do a large favor, there are still many little things that can be delegated out. ( Stayed tuned for more on delegating).
Most importantly: Do not forget to say THANK YOU!!!!
I am blessed with wonderful family and friends who were willing to help make our wedding day amazing without any expectations in return. But just because they are volunteers does not mean you shouldn’t thank them. We wrote thank you letters to everyone who helped contribute, paid the photographer, videographer, and pastor (and invited them to the rehearsal dinner since they came to the rehearsal). I paid for the supplies for the bracelets, although not for the labor. And for my hair and makeup stylists? Well they got gift certificates for facials from our esthetician friend.
It all tied together so well. Thank you once again to all those who volunteered to make our wedding day so special.