Brent Zimmerman’s sister, Bethany Olczak, made a big mistake when she got married.
It wasn’t her choice of husband; it was her decision not to hire a wedding planner.
“Afterward, she realized that if she had had somebody to
help her,” says Zimmerman, “she wouldn’t have
made such expensive mistakes.” To help others avoid the same
pitfalls, the siblings joined forces a decade ago to found Lilypad Wedding &
Events in Amherst, N.Y.
With Zimmerman as creative director (he’s a graphic designer by training) and Olczak as the numbers person, the company has grown from a home-based operation to occupying a storefront at Main Street and Eggert Road, where they’ve been for the last two years.
“We’re in a central location,” he says. “And we benefit by being in a college town. A lot of people meet their spouse at college and want to get married here.”
We asked Zimmerman to fill us in on some of the worst monetary
excesses of the soon-to-be-married.
1. A too-good shoe
Get a shoe with a good fit in an appropriate color. Nobody is
going to see your Louis Vuittons until they’re kicked off and
lying on the dance floor.
2. A 10-tier cake
Don’t let the cake overshadow your own entrance. A
three-tier wedding cake can be just as beautiful. Order a sheet
cake or two to ensure you have enough, and save the extra dollars
for your honeymoon.
3. An endless evening
Most of your guests are counting down the time until the end,
especially your older guests. An extra hour of the DJ and per
person bar fees, plus extra staff, is costly and unnecessary.
4. Double tipping
Examine those contracts carefully; most gratuities are included.
I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times
I’ve saved clients from over-tipping.
5. Not hiring us
You’d expect me to say this, but it’s true: A good
wedding planner can find areas to save money. We have that