My colleague Mary Beth Ryfun  is brilliant.  She has opened a bridal store with a completely different outlook; she feels that every bride should have a fabulous time trying on her potential wedding dresses, and her store,

And of course, I love that she pointed out the fact that you really DO need an officiant…..

“In times like these, I understand saving money.  Nobody who’s in business for themselves will argue with saving money when they can.  I clip coupons.  I make coffee at home instead of hitting Starbucks on the way to work.  The trick is to save money on the right things.  Planning a wedding and buying a dress can be tricky when it comes to finding ways to save money.  Let’s start with the facts.

What do you actually NEED to get married???

Well, you need you, your fiance, the marriage license and the officiant.  Maybe a witness depending on where you get married.  That’s it!  You can’t get married without those things, so let’s not skimp on that.  A good officiant will customize the ceremony to you, so they are worth their weight in gold.

What do you WANT when you get married???

Let’s face it.  We all want the over-the- top huge rockin’ party with money as no object.  Unfortunately, most of us live in the real world, where money is a very real and huge issue.  So let’s see what we can trim down.  How about looking at the money issue from the standpoint of your 10 year wedding anniversary.  What are you going to remember when you celebrate 10 years of marriage?  What’s going to be around you that will remind you of your special day?  A photograph of course!

What is in that photograph? You, your fiance, the venue, the tux, the dress, the bouquet, the rings, maybe the accessories.

What is not in the picture? i.e. things that it might be okay to shop around for.  Favors.  Food. Centerpieces. Guests. Decor. DJ. Getaway car. Planner. etc.  I’m not saying that you don’t need all the stuff listed here, or that you should hire a guy with an IPod.  These things will affect the outcome of the wedding.  The ambiance, the mood, the meal are all important factors of your dream wedding.  It’s just that 10 years down the road, when you look at the picture of the two newly weds, are you really going to remember the chicken you ate for dinner?  No, but you will sigh again at how pretty your dress was, how handsome your guy looks in his tux, and the way your rings still sparkle.

I guess what I’m getting at is there are ways to save money.  Invite

fewer people.  Offer 2 food choices instead of 3.  Use simpler centerpieces instead of orchids in the shape of a peacock.  What you really shouldn’t try to save money on is your officiant, (you need them to marry you), your photographer, (you do want the pictures to last forever right?) and your dress,  (hopefully it’s still in the closet waiting for your daughter to wear it).   Everything else is just a bonus!  Have a great wedding!”