Editor's Note: The quotes in this layout have always been correct however, the way I layed the breakdown out was incorrect this problem has now been fixed. Please accept my dearest apologies for the confusion. Happy Planning Budget Brides.
This month, we're challenging wedding and event planners from across the country to come up with a plan for a gorgeous wedding on $10K. In a city where the average cost of a wedding happens to fall around the $50K mark (not including the honeymoon!), the task of planning a chic and elegant wedding on $10K in New York City seems close to impossible. With her insider knowlege and creativity, the talented New York City-based wedding planner Soraya Jollan of SORAYA Weddings & Celebrations proves it can be done...
A $10K Wedding in New York City
The SettingOpen air ceremony on Summit Rock in Central Park at 11 a.m. on a Saturday anywhere from late spring through early fall.
Wedding Ceremony: Guests will gather pre-ceremony in the rustic amphitheater of Summit Rock for self-serve "Thank you for getting up so early on a Saturday" doughnut holes and orange juice. In case of rain (or very strong sun), two-person umbrellas (from GolfUmbrellas.com) will be provided for guests to shield themselves since the ceremony will be held on Summit Rock rain or shine. The umbrellas would also serve as the wedding favor. If the weather does not require the umbrellas, they can be brought to the restaurant and displayed with a sign thanking guests for keeping stormy skies at bay during the wedding.
Ceremony Flowers: The gorgeous park background along with the colorful umbrellas will eliminate the need for ceremony decor. Bouquets and BoutonnieresThere will be four boutonnieres (for the groom, best man, and two fathers) and two bouquets (for the bride and maid of honor). The bouquets will be paper fans embellished with flowers in lieu of traditional bouquets and everything will be made by the talented designers at Inbetween Greens.
Ceremony Officiant: In my experience, most families have at least one clergymember in their midst. If so, the officiant should register in NYC (cost is $15) to legally marry the bride and groom in the state of New York. If no such person exists for the couple (or they prefer to have a friend marry them), they should go to the City Clerk's office on Friday to be married civilly (and legally) and have their chosen friend or officiant lead them in a spiritual ceremony on their wedding day.
Ceremony Music: A lone trumpeter from the Julliard School of Music will herald the arrival of the groom, his parents, the best man, the maid of honor, the bride's parents and the bride. The ceremony will take place in the round with guests encircling the happy couple as they exchange vows.
Transportation and First Dance: At the end of the ceremony, the trumpeter will lead the newlyweds and their guests and the photographer Pied-Piper-style down the winding path at the south end of Summit Rock out of Central Park to the subway stop at The Museum of Natural History. This subway station has wonderful tile mosaics that provide a great backdrop for candids as well as the couple's first dance on the subway platform as they wait for the "C" train to take them downtown.
Reception Setting and Menu:The trumpeter will continue to serenade the guests on the ride down and then walk them from the 14th Street station to The Park for the wedding brunch in the restaurant's Penthouse. The wedding brunch will run from 12:30-3 p.m. and will consist of a 2-course menu with a juice bar and coffee service. At the juice bar, guests can take their juice straight, "Add Fizz" (seltzer), or "Add Buzz" (prosecco or cava).
Reception Music: The custom mix of tunes on the couple's iPod will be played through the restaurant's sound system. The highlight of the reception will be "Roast or Toast" style speeches sprinkled thoughout.
Reception Centerpieces:Individual 2"x2" cube vases wrapped in ribbon with one large floating bloom (think vibrant gladiolas!) at each place setting. These double as placecards with the guests' names on imprintable stickers attached to the vases. To control costs, the couple will pre-buy the vases, ribbon, and stickers. They will also wrap all the vases and attach the name stickers. The morning of the wedding (early!), crafty friends of the bride will deliver the vases to the restaurant, add water, drop a bloom in each vase and arrange them on the tables according to the seating chart.
Table Names and Numbers: The Couple will make accordion table name signs from inexpensive decorative paper. Two places for reasonably priced paper are Pearl Paint and Paper Presentation. Tables can be named for things that signify their relationship or the day (think TRUST, LOVE, FAITH, JOY, FUN, LUCK, DREAM, etc.) Since there are only 80 guests we will forgo escort cards and encourage guests to mingle as they look for their placecards on the tables.
The Photographer: Hire a professional photographer who is building his or her event portfolio (meaning they might be a fine art photographer or photojournalist primarily but are looking to do more work in events). Because this event is during the day and would require 4 hours of shooting time (10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.), a photographer can be a bit more flexible on pricing. The fee should include a DVD of high resolution images, but keep in mind that these will be color-corrected, but not retouched. A terrific photographer for a job like this would be Michael Kirby.
The VideographyThe couple's best bet is to register for a Flip Ultra video camera (holds up to 60 minutes of video and is easy to use) and then hand it to their most tech-saavy friend to record the ceremony and speeches.
Invitations One word -- ETSY!!! A great shop to try for vibrant, but modestly-priced invitations is Decadent Designs. A simple invitation plus a reply card and envelope in the wedding colors does the trick.
The Gown:This is a day-time wedding that begins in a park... this calls for a flirty, gorgeous dress with sandals and slightly messy, casual hair (think half-up, half-down and held with a large flower pin -- check out Lo Boheme on Etsy for gorgeous hairpins. Great sources for just such dresses are Calypso Christiane Celle and Nordstrom. Another great resource is Once Wed for new or nearly new wedding gowns at all price points.
The Formalwear Casual and daytime, but still his wedding, so I suggest a navy or tan suit that's already in his closet and splurging on a new shirt. No tie...!
The Bride's Hair: The bride should get a blow-out on Friday evening at the ultra affordable V2 Salon on the Lower East Side ($25 including tip) and then loosely style it herself the morning of the wedding with a clip. A few twirls of the curling iron and spritzes of hairspray and she's good to go.
The Bride's Makeup: Make an appointment at one of the Bloomingdale's makeup counters for a free makeup application... The bride should plan on buying a couple of products (powder and lip color are ideal) and ideally will have done a trial earlier to know that she will get a look she wants day-of.
RECEPTION TOTAL $7,059 (incl tax & gratuity)
FLOWERS / DECOR $618
PHOTO / VIDEO $750
HAIR & MAKEUP $70
FAVORS / RAIN PLAN $315
GRAND TOTAL $10,000!
Where applicable, NYC sales tax of 8.375% has been included in the budget and the gratuity has been included in the reception total. In other words, the cash outlay really does come in at $10K (not $10K ++).