Tailored Elopement Packages – Finding the Balance between an Expensive Bespoke Wedding and an Off-the-Shelf Package
What is a bespoke wedding anyway?
If you’re still in the early stages of planning for THAT big event in your life, it’s best to read this post because today, we’re going to talk about the framework of wedding planning.
A ‘bespoke’ or ‘package’ are your two framework options for wedding planning and your decision on this will determine the course of your next steps.
A lot of couples these days like to make their wedding highly customized so that their preferences and personalities will be reflected in every element of their special day. That’s exactly what a bespoke wedding is all about – “your choice” down to the last detail.
Why are couples crazy for bespoke?
In our experience as wedding planners for many years, we’ve seen how every couple dreams of a completely unique wedding, designed 100% to fit their vision.
They want a specific style for the bridal gown, a specific floral arrangement for the ceremony, a definite type and number of tables for the reception, a unique calligraphy style for their invitations, along with all those very specific details for their big day.
21st century brides and grooms are just so inspired about how they want their wedding to be because of everything they see on Pinterest, Instagram, and various “wedding websites”. Not just that. Couples are also very knowledgeable about how to make their wedding exactly as they envisioned because of all the wedding tips they see online.
What we realized while planning bespoke weddings is that this type of “highly customized wedding” is a product of gazillion online inspirations out there. With all these available wedding resources online, everything you want to do for your big day seems to be achievable! With a little modification from the published weddings you see online, you can turn yours into something so unique and so reflective of your personality.
Culture and Religion
Aside from personal preferences, cultures and religions are the top reasons why some couples want a bespoke wedding. For example, Greek, Indian, Russian and Italian tend to have over 100 – 200 guests. With such large party, a bespoke wedding is often the only way.
Bespoke wedding are for couples who…
- Have a healthy, flexible budget
- Have a lot time to get involved in each planning step and decision
- Plan a larger party (say over 100 people)
- Want to control every aspect of their wedding
- Want an elaborate / specific decoration and styling or wedding theme throughout the entire event
- Have a multiple days celebration / events
How to plan a bespoke wedding
Oftentimes, you need to hire a bespoke wedding planner long before your wedding day because this type of planning framework requires precision and attention to detail. You don’t just plan a bespoke wedding, but you need an expert to help you “prepare to plan.”
Confused? Well, here are some ideas on how to plan a bespoke wedding. After going over them, you’ll understand why a bespoke wedding planner is much needed to prepare for a highly customized wedding.
#1 Identify the big details of the wedding
Here’s a list of the important elements and suppliers that you have to decide on:
- Venue Styling (and Stylist)
- Type of Ceremony (and Officiant)
- Legal Paperwork
- Ceremonial Traditions and Symbols
- Wedding Cake
- Food for the Reception
- Wedding Planner and Coordinators
- Hair and Makeup Artist
- Photographer and Videographer
- Overall Budget
After deciding on all these major aspects of the wedding, your planner will fill in the little details that you’d miss out.
#2 Decide on a timeline
“If my wedding will be 12 months from now, when do I need to book a venue? When do I need to start writing the guest list? When do I need to send out the invitations?”
These questions can all be answered by setting a wedding timeline. Couples must do this with their wedding planners because a bespoke wedding, being a highly customized event, has a unique timeline as well.
This is a sample timeline that bespoke wedding planners usually follow:
First quarter of planning
- Accomplish the legal paperwork
- Make a draft of the guest list and decide on a range
- Book a wedding planner and coordinator
- Set a ceiling for your wedding budget
- Book the venue and venue stylist based on the range of guest list
- Book the officiant, photographer, and videographer
Second quarter of planning
- Finalize the guest list
- Decide on the unique elements you want for your wedding
- Book the florist, wedding cake supplier, and caterer
- List down your options for accommodation and transportation
- Decide on the look and wedding attire
- Talk to your planner about the estimated wedding budget
Third quarter of planning
- Book the artists/suppliers for your bridal gown, groom’s attire, and wedding attire for the entourage
- Book your HMUA and musician
- Talk to your planner about the little details you need to finalize
- Decide on alternatives for some elements that are difficult to procure
- Start formally informing your prospective guests of your intent to invite them
- Finalize your total budget with the wedding planner
Fourth quarter of planning
- Send out invitations and RSVPs
- Finalize all the details with your planner
- Start relaxing to physically prepare for your big day
As you can see, you need to make a lot of decisions. Most of them involve picking wedding suppliers and thinking about those unique details that you want to incorporate to your big day. This is the big difference of a bespoke from small wedding and elopement packages.
There is a price to pay for a highly customized wedding and oftentimes, they are time, creativity, and money. Having said that, here are the pros and cons of a bespoke wedding so you can see the bigger picture and decide whether or not it is for you:
#1 It is 100% unique and reflective of your desires
Bespoke is bespoke because it is 99.99% customized to fit your specific desires in all aspects of the wedding. These unique elements come in different forms such as the favorite dishes of the family; wedding dance based on your cultural background; religious elements and decorations; and wedding giveaways based on your interests.
#2 Your options are unlimited
You can look for any supplier you want and book him or her for your wedding. Unlike an off-the-shelf small wedding and elopement packages, you are free to choose anything and anyone you want without being limited by a specific list of options that usually comes with a package. The same goes with all the other aspects of your wedding – your choice prevails!
#3 You can be your own venue stylist
Venue, venue, venue. At the end of the day, your wedding venue spells half of the success of your wedding. The good thing about a bespoke wedding is that you get to decide how your ceremony and reception venue will look like. It is your chance to be your own venue stylist so you can fulfill your dream wedding!
#4 You make most, if not all, of the decisions
We’ve been talking a lot about “your” decisions and that’s the bottom line of a bespoke wedding. Whether you hire a planner to help you out or not, planning a bespoke wedding means executing all the details of your wedding based on your choice in every aspect of it. Unlike in off-the-shelf wedding and elopement packages, bespoke weddings give you the complete freedom of choice.
#1 Takes more time to plan
Since a bespoke wedding is completely unique, you’re going to start from scratch. And by scratch, we mean getting a pen and paper, listing down the wedding elements you need to decide on, researching on how to make your choices possible, and going through all the excruciating details to execute them.
Be ready for the not-so-good surprises as well, like the unavailability of some unique wedding elements or the longer waiting period from certain suppliers. These all require adjustments to your planning timeline. These surprises are minimized or totally eliminated in elopement packages.
#2 Bespoke wedding planners must be there every step of the way
To help you execute your plans, you really need a bespoke wedding planner on board. Otherwise, you’ll need twice as much time to plan and arrange everything.
#3 Actual budget is hard to determine
A budget estimate is usually determined later in the course of bespoke wedding planning. The main reason is that your planner needs to look for the best sources of the unique elements you want for your wedding. Another reason is that there’s a lot of finalizing that needs to be done. Expect a lot of alternatives to the original plan and a corresponding series of budget adjustments.
This is a much simpler framework that is completely different from bespoke wedding planning. An off-the-shelf package includes pre-selected wedding details and elements so couples won’t have to start from scratch.
Typical package inclusions: the venue, catering and wedding cake, photography, videography, hair and makeup, flowers, and the musician(s).
From what we’ve observed, such packages are often offered by wedding venues themselves with limited options. Wedding planners who work with a set number of venues and suppliers in certain regions also offer wedding packages. They pre-select suppliers for all the abovementioned wedding essentials and categorize their packages into high-end, mid-end, and budget options. Here’s a quick look on the pros and cons of wedding packages.
#1 A complete package that needs a little to no modification at all
Once you choose a specific package, everything else has been decided for you. Most wedding packages include the suppliers behind each wedding element so all you have to do is to tell the planner your venue styling preference or motif and their stylist will do what has to be done.
The same goes with food for the reception, your photographer, and your musician. Typical wedding packages even include a specific menu that you cannot modify. With all these characteristics, you can expect a complete package that does not require a lot of planning.
#2 Less time to plan and arrange
Since everything has been decided for you, expect less time to finalize the details and arrangements for your wedding. If you’re a couple who’s too busy to research for a wedding inspiration, much less plan for every detail of your big day, then a package will definitely be a good fit.
#3 A predetermined budget
Every package comes with a price tag. In fact, this is the first thing you’ll see when a planner explains the differences of their wedding packages. Therefore, if you go for this option, you can easily set a budget and start saving up for your wedding.
#1 Not as personalized as a bespoke wedding
As you may expect, every typical wedding package follows a pattern. Therefore, you can’t have a customized event when you go for off-the-shelf elopement packages.
#2 You have very limited options or no options at all
As mentioned before, most wedding packages have pre-arranged elements and suppliers. You may not have the chance to change these aspects because they are the inclusions in your chosen package.
#3 You can’t choose who to work with
Some couples are very particular with the photographer, videographer, and caterer that they’re going to work with. However, in a typical wedding package, you don’t have the luxury of choosing the people you will work with on your wedding.
A Balance Between the Two
Is it possible to simply have the best of both worlds?
Peach Perfect Weddings used to plan bespoke and luxurious weddings before but our experience taught us what’s really important for couples. That’s why we’ve built up a network of suppliers for venues and other wedding essentials so we can come up with a package that eliminates all the time and stress that bespoke wedding planning entails.
Here at Peach Perfect Weddings, we’ve created our brand by personalizing elopement packages and finding a balance between the two extremes.
We love the idea of a customized wedding but we don’t want to give you the burden of planning every single excruciating detail of your big day. In the same vein, we love the convenience that wedding packages give but we don’t want to limit brides and grooms to the elements we have pre-selected for them.
Therefore, we’ve searched not only for one or two caterers, photographers, musicians, and other wedding suppliers for our packages. Instead, we widened our network so you can decide who you want to work with for your wedding.
We’ve also searched for the best venues for destination weddings all over Europe so you’ll have a wide range of options on this crucial aspect.
In the end, we were able to create elopement packages that are complete with the essentials but are still flexible to accommodate your preferences.
In fact, we’ll let you customize the package by removing and replacing one or more elements so it will be tailored according to your needs.
Peach Perfect Weddings has found its niche in creating a perfect balance between a bespoke and a wedding package. This is our service to all couples out there who are torn between a luxurious wedding and a wedding factory.