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The Be Selfish Bride

10 Things Inquiring Brides Want to Know

By Staci Lewis
Photo credit (Staci’s headshot): Cameron Johnson

“Be a Selfish Bride, not a Bridezilla.” – Staci A.

Q: I’ve just become engaged. Where do I start?

A: This is a very popular question. The answer is to start by creating a budget. You and your fiancé(e) should sit down and figure out the number that you are BOTH comfortable with spending. You are the only ones who truly know what works for the two of you. Do this at the beginning of the planning process, so that it does not become a problem down the line.


Q: How much does a typical New Orleans Wedding cost?

A: The average cost of a New Orleans wedding is approximately $35,000. The actual amount, though, really depends on you and your fiancé(e)’s vision and style. Every wedding is different, no two weddings are the same, so of course this will vary per couple.


Q: What is the best way to cut costs when planning my wedding?

A: I know some of you are not going to like this answer, but it’s the honest truth. Decrease your guest list! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the absolute best way to save on your budget. Your guest count determines everything including: food, bar, tables, chairs, centerpieces, etc. The smaller your guest list, the lower your cost.


Q: What is the best day of the week to get married?

A: I actually get this question more often than one would think. The most popular day and most expensive day and time is a Saturday evening. If you are wanting to save hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, consider a Friday evening, Sunday or even a Saturday brunch day wedding instead.


Q: Is a wedding planner a necessity?

A: Of course, as a planner I am going to say YES! (LOL) But seriously, every couple, should have that neutral and calm person throughout their entire planning experience. Weddings can take on a life of their own, and as a planner, I know how to navigate through all of the curves that “wedding life” throws at you. A planner’s expertise saves you time AND money!


Q: How do I create my guest list?

A: Your wedding ceremony and reception should be filled with the folks who genuinely want the best for you and your marriage. When considering potential guests, ask yourself this question to determine if they should make the list: “Did this person call me on my birthday OR randomly check to see if I was ok this year?” If you say NO, then there’s your answer.


Q: When should I send out invitations?

A: If you have opted to send save the dates, then your guests have a good idea of your wedding date. The formal invitation should be ordered 4-5 months before your wedding and mailed out 2-3 months before your wedding.


Q: Which is the correct side for the Bride/Groom?

A: Normally and traditionally, the bride stands on the left side (facing the altar) and the groom stands on the right side. I always advise my clients to set their own traditions and to do what feels right for their own wedding.


Q: Should I opt for a cash bar or and open bar?

A: Your wedding is the first celebration that you are hosting as a married couple. You want your guests to feel at home and enjoy every aspect of your special day. Please do not have your guests pay for their drinks. You can choose a less expensive beer & wine only bar, cocktail hour only bar or choose non-alcoholic drinks and just opt for a champagne toast.


Q: What do I need to do in order to incorporate a second line parade into my wedding?

A: In New Orleans, what’s a wedding without a second line ending, right? To end your big day in true New Orleans fashion, you would need a brass band, second line umbrellas (for the newlyweds) and handkerchiefs (for the guests). If you are wanting your own parade on the streets of New Orleans, a permit from the City is required as well as a police escort.


Got a wedding planning question? Staci will be answering reader submitted questions in a recurring blog feature on our website! Click on Be Selfish Bride to submit your question today!

About Staci:

Staci A. Lewis has been an event planner and designer in the wedding industry for the past 11 years. She is the owner of Jazzi Events, an award-winning event planning & design firm here in New Orleans. Together with her husband Michael, she manages the Algiers Auditorium, a local event venue. This summer Staci launched the company Be Selfish Bride, a bridal brand, to inspire newly engaged couples and up and coming event planners. Staci loves all things design, fashion and, of course, all things wedding! Her expertise and knowledge has helped produce hundreds of successful events throughout her career. She is passionate about ensuring her clients’ experiences are seamless, stylish and memorable.


Follow Her On Instagram: @jazzievents | @beselfishbride

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Jennifer Vogel was raised in Metairie, LA. Now living in Ohio, she still draws from her New Orleans roots for inspiration in her work. Jennifer freelances in web design / development, graphic design and, now, writing for New Orleans Weddings Magazine.

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