3 Money Saving Tips Without Sacrificing Style for Your Wedding

wedding
Looking for ways to save money without sacrificing the overall feel of your wedding? Check out these tips.

Decor

Greenery and candles are still one of the best ways to save money on centerpieces. It’s elegant and cost effective.

Want something with big impact, but not the big price tag? How about a graceful candelabra,
Silver Light Brass Candelabraor a large, elegant vase or candle holder? Gorgeous, but costs a fraction of a large floral arrangement.

You can also add some pizzazz by easily dressing up plain glass candle holders with adhesive rhinestones, ribbon, lace, glitter or paint.

Word of caution: If you do use real candles, get the unscented kind. When you get a room full of candles, a scent will get overpowering, can aggravate someone’s allergies, and (believe it or not) will affect the taste of the food.

Dessert

Serve cupcakes or cake pops rather than a traditional tiered wedding cake.

Chocolate and Pink Cake Pops
You’ll save money per serving (cupcakes & cake pops are often .50 – $1 less per serving than cake). You won’t be paying a cake cutting fee (that most venues charge).

And you’ll be able to order just the amount you need.

For example, if you have 100 guests, you’ll want 100 servings. For a tiered cake, you’ll end up with at least 118 servings as an 8″ tier serves 24, a 10″ serves 38, and a 12″ serves 56. Not that there’s anything wrong with having extra leftover cake, some couples do so on purpose, but if you need to shave something off your budget, this is an easy way to do so.

Fun Stuff

Photo booths are still popular. And with good reason – they’re fun, a great activity for your guests, people can be silly or or serious . . .

However, many couples whose budget doesn’t allow for a traditional photo booth are changing it up.

photo booth wedding party bridesmaids girls

Ok, DIY Photo Booths are a bit more effort on your part than having a professional photo booth, (not to mention that there won’t be the fun extras that the pros offer, such as a custom logo, booth attendant, professional equipment, and on-site prints). However the DIY route can be relatively easy. Get a digital camera on a tripod, and guests can snap away. You’ll have to wait until after the event to load up all the photos online for you and your guests to see.

A relatively new service is perfect for use with a DIY photo booth. Veri is a photo and video sharing product which was created specifically for weddings. Before your wedding day, your guests will get a link for the Veri app. Then any photos and videos they take at your wedding will be shared instantly. Unlike a hashtag where the photo has to be uploaded, with this app your guests won’t have to do anything other than snap the picture. Be sure to check out www.veri.com for more details.

For more money saving tips, or unique ideas for your wedding, contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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4 Tips to Help Manage Your Reception Costs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all know that weddings cost a lot of money. The best advice we offer brides and grooms on budgets is “Spend where you need to, save where you can.”

Receptions tend to be the biggest ticket item of the entire wedding budget, and major savings can be realized through some minor adjustments.

There are many wonderful and practical ways to save money without crushing your wedding dreams and vision. Done in the right places, these money saving ideas will take nothing away from the wedding you are dreaming of.

Consider these!

    1. Find a location that requires very little decoration. If you do want to add a little something extra to the decor, create one large decorative element. Not only is it dramatic, but it’s also more budget friendly than a dozen or so smaller elements scattered about the room.
    2. When planning your decor, always imagine the way your guests will be looking at it. What do they typically look at/see? Three main things – 1) The tablescape in front of them, 2) where the bride/groom are sitting, and 3) the cake table. Don’t spend money on decor items that won’t enhance the overall effect. Except for the head/sweetheart table and cake table, which are seen from the front, don’t worry about decorating the skirting of any other tables. For the rest, think tabletop and up!
    3. People tend to take less food if it is passed by the wait staff than if it is placed on a buffet table. The good news is that less food can be ordered, but your guests will still feel pampered.
    4. If you are having a sit down dinner, instead of ordering one high end entree consider half portions of two main entree items. For example ordering half portions each of prime rib and chicken breast, you may be able to bring down the cost per plate while still offering guests a wonderful selection.

 

 

 

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for unique wedding ideas that won’t break the bank?Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Photo credit: rich piggy via photopin (license)

10 Easy (and Invisible) Money Saving Ideas

Planning a wedding requires more than just money. What gets remembered is creativity and the unusual that is meaningful to the couple.

We can help you plan a memorable event without putting dents in your budget. Here are some tried and true budget savers:

  1. Avoid peak season dates. Being married mid week instead of a weekend or in less popular months can save upwards of 20% off location costs.
  2. When you make adjustments to the guest list, make cuts in groups. For instance, if you are planning round tables that seat 8 or 10 guests, cut by that number or multiples of that number.
  3. Try to find a venue that hosts both ceremony and reception events in one place. Look for an all inclusive venue.
  4. Have a smaller wedding party (VIPs) – have two instead of six bridesmaids.
  5. Serve four appetizers instead of ten.
  6. Have your photographer stop at a specific time. Tell him when the formalities are done and the party is underway rather than expect him to stay till the last guest turns out the light.
  7. Make a grand entrance or a grand exit but don’t pay a limo to stay for both.
  8. Consider earning extra cash to assist in paying for the wedding. Get a part time job, sell some items on EBay or Craig’s List. Don’t use plastic!!!!
  9. Save on postage by including a post card RSVP.
  10. Make choices based on your personal style – choose a cocktail party reception rather than hosting a sit down dinner.
Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

photo credit: rich piggy via photopin (license)

Do you have questions or are looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or by phone at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

3 Ways to Manage Your Wedding Budget and Cut Costs

You do have a budget established don’t you?

If not – stop right now and seriously work on it.

Establishing a budget and sticking to it will help you organize, produce and deliver a wedding that is beautiful and yours. On the offside chance that you’ve gone over that budget in some area(s) here are some tips from experts on places to trim those costs.

  1. The guest list. The number of people you invite to your wedding will contribute to a major component of expense – the cost per guest measure. It is reflected in the cost of food, beverages, invitations, reception site and postage. One way to control those costs is to carefully watch the number of “plus ones” you allow. The basic rule is a simple one: If couples aren’t married or in a serious, long-term relationship, “plus ones” are optional invitees for the bride and groom. The same rule should apply to your wedding party and their potential “plus ones.”
  2. Feeding the band. If your dream is to have a band play for your wedding dance in place of recorded music, one place you can save some green is in what to feed the band. Yes, it’s likely that the band members be counting on grabbing a bite to eat before they play or something nourishing between sets – or both. But you don’t need to offer them the same sit down dinner you are serving your guests. Ask your caterer to provide a less expensive (and easier to handle) alternative.
  3. There is no rule that says you need to have an open bar for guests at your reception. In fact, you can serve only beer, wine and punch or other non alcoholic beverage at your cocktails before dinner. Some couples have a signature cocktail as an additional surprise for guests, but no open bar will save you big bucks. Remember that it is your reception and if you don’t want alcohol served, that’s fine. You get to decide what you’ll serve. Most experts will agree that having a cash bar is a definite no-no. Guests are guests. That means that they don’t have to pay.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

To see how Weddings From The Heart can make your wedding day stress-free, enjoyable, and just the way you want, contact me at 937-235-2586, 937-581-3647, or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net and schedule your free, initial appointment!

photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via photopin

Book Review – The Bride’s Money Book: How to Have a Champagne Wedding on a Ginger-Ale Budget by Pamela A. Piljac

The Bride's Money Book by Pamela A. Piljac

As a wedding planner and designer I am always on the look out for helpful resources to add to my library to use assisting couples plan their own weddings. The Bride’s Money Book presents some good and useful ideas.

The questions to ask service providers are definitely beneficial since each couple, whether or not on a strict budget, needs to be an informed shopper. The tips offered in the later chapters are useful as well as they give each bride and groom many cost saving ideas which they can choose from. Although these tips can often be found in other sources (bridal magazines, planners, web sites) it is convenient (and time saving) to have them all in one place.

There is no one way to have a ceremony and reception as the “Sample Weddings” section explained, however only one included the budget used, and it was over budget. Also, paying [their estimated expense] for dinner is NOT budget minded. It may have been helpful to know where Rachel and Mark’s reception was taking place, since typical weddings (and budgets) vary considerably from places like New York or Los Angeles to the Midwest.

I must disagree with the statement on page 7 which states, “people seldom use wedding consultants unless they are having a larger, more expensive wedding.” Many couples have smaller guest lists and lower budgets. Those with less money to spend can benefit from the assistance of a professional to ensure that their hard earned dollars are spent wisely, and that they get the most bank for their buck.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

If you have questions or are looking for ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Top 10 Most Commonly Forgotten Wedding Items to Budget For

Creating a wedding budget can be a daunting task – you’ve got to allocate funds for so many things, including flowers, music, your dress . . .

But there are several other items that have to be paid for. While they’re not really “hidden” costs, they can be easily overlooked until it’s time that you really need it.

The following are the most common items that all couples will have, but usually forget to include in their wedding budget.

Alterations
Your wedding gown will require some type of alterations, whether it’s a hem, a little nip at the waist, or adding straps to a strapless gown. Depending on how much is needed, this can easily cost you several hundred dollars.

Undergarments/Accessories
What goes underneath is (almost) as important the gown. Besides that beautiful dress, you’ll be wearing a veil, shoes, undergarments, shapewear, and jewelry.

Marriage License
Don’t forget to make it legal! Marriage licenses typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on where you’re getting married (see your state’s and county’s guidelines).

Postage
Make sure you carefully weigh your invitations with all of the enclosures. You won’t want them coming back to you with postage due (or end up putting on too much postage ans wasting money). Also keep in mind that square or over-sized invitations will require extra postage regardless of how much they weigh. You’ll also need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes.

Wedding Day Meals
You’ve got a fabulous dinner picked out. Don’t forget you and your bridal party have to eat the rest of the day too. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Bagels and a fruit tray is perfect for breakfast, and a platter of sandwiches makes a great lunch.

Meals for your Vendors
Your vendors will be easily with you on your wedding day for 8 -12 hours, and unlike other jobs, we cannot leave to take a lunch break. We need to re-fuel so to speak, so we can be able to give you our best. Your vendors (photographer, videographer, coordinator, dj or band members) don’t have to be fed the same meal that you are providing for your guests. Most caterers offer vendor meals.

Counting Yourselves in the Final Head Count
When you’re counting up those “Yes” RSVPs, it’s too easy for forget to count yourselves (or your parents if they are issuing the invitations). You’re gonna want to eat too, so remember to add yourselves to the final head count.

Sales Tax/Service Charges
When you’re looking at that catering menu, the listed prices do not include the service charges or sales taxes. Service charges can vary anywhere from 18% to 22% of your catering bill, which can be a quite significant “extra” if it wasn’t figured into the budget in the first place.

Day-of Coordinator
So many times brides don’t hire a day-of coordinator because they didn’t include one in their budget, but after the wedding day they wish they would have had someone there to take care of all the little details for them.

Your wedding day should be the one day where you, your fiancé, your mom, and your BFFs (eg. your bridesmaids) should only have to think about enjoying yourselves, and NOT on worrying about if deliveries have been made, and things are set up the right way, and the everything flows smoothly.

Overtime
When your reception is in full party mode and you want to go over the scheduled end time, or if you got a late start and are running behind) overtime charges will incur. Remember this goes not only for your venue, but for your photographer, videographer, dj/band, and day-of coordinator. Not only will they require overtime fees, these fees will most likely need to be paid that night.

Add a Miscellaneous category to your budget and allocate 10% of your wedding funds to it. You can use these funds for any forgotten items or last minute must-haves.

Need help with developing your budget or other wedding planning assistance? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

photo credit: sinksanctity via photopin cc

Jean’s Top 10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding – Part 4

4. Set a workable budget
Stay away from budgets that are little more than an “expense report.” I’m sure you’ve seen the kind — you to enter your “estimated” budget and your “actual amount spent.” This is really nothing more than a tally of receipts instead of a true budget.

With no – or an incorrect type of – budget, it will be too easy for your wedding expenses to get out of hand and you end up paying more that what you wanted to, or what you could afford.

Before you make any purchases or put down any deposits determine a feasible budget. Start out with knowing how much you’ll have to spend on your entire wedding. This can include money you and your fiancé can comfortable take from savings, how much you’ll be setting aside from your paychecks, as well as money that either your parents or his parents (or anyone else) may contribute.

Once you’ve got this dollar amount, divide it up by percentages based on national average. (Example, the reception is typically 33%-50% of the total budget, transportation 2%, invitations/wedding stationery 4% . . .). This will be your starting point.

Next, grab your priorities list (remember Tip #2?) and determine where to make adjustments.

Maybe having lots of gorgeous flowers at the top of your list, but special transportation at the bottom. Then move the amount you’ve have allocated for transportation up to your floral category. Or perhaps you’ve been dreaming about hiring a great band, but although you want the food to be good, it doesn’t have to be too fancy. Then shave off a bit from your reception category and add it to entertainment.

This will help you to know where to splurge and where to save. Spend your money on what’s important to you and cut backless on what’s not so important. Then if you come in under budget in a category you can reallocate the difference elsewhere, and if you go over budget it will be by choice, not by accident.