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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

11 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding That Actually Work

Save Money on Your Wedding
It’s no secret that weddings cost a lot of money.

Here are 11 easy ways to save money without sacrificing your wedding style.

  1. Individual programs or menu cards look pretty, but you can save a bundle by providing this information on a pretty calligraphed sign.
  2. Serve only beer and wine instead of offering a full bar.
  3.  Skip the champagne toast (or just have it for the head table). Your guests will be fine drinking what they have.
  4.  Some vendors offer discounts for a wedding on a weekday or during a non-peak month such as January or March.
  5.  You can save on catering by having a morning or early afternoon ceremony/reception.
  6.  Trim your guest list. You’ll save on food and beverages. And less people means less seating, which = less tables/chairs, centerpieces, and linens.
  7. Offer a meatless entree. A veggie or pasta entree costs less than one with meat.
  8.  Have your ceremony and reception at the same venue. No need for a limo or party bus to transport the wedding party, and you’ll save on multiple site fees.
  9.  Omit favors, your guests won’t miss them.
  10.  Use more greenery and less flowers in your arrangements.
  11.  If your ceremony and reception are at the same location, have your DJ provide the music for both instead of hiring live musicians for the ceremony.

Looking for fun ideas, or need help with your wedding plans?
Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Photo credit: rrraum / 123RF Stock Photo

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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)

20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#11 – 20)

11) Use Non-Floral Elements in Your Decor

Non-floral items such as pinecones, twigs, berries and feathers are inexpensive ways to enhance your bouquets and other floral arrangements. Christmas bulbs, paper or fabric flowers, crystals, and seashells add inexpensive, but fun touches.

Bowls and vases filled with brightly colored seasonal fruits are fun and festive, but less costly than floral arrangements. For an Autumn wedding, try bowls of acorns or fall leaves.

12) Order Additional Cakes
Instead of having your wedding cake large enough to serve all of your guests, order one smaller display cake for pictures and your cake-cutting ceremony, and have extra cakes out of sight in the kitchen. You will save money since the ‘kitchen cakes’ aren’t as elaborately decorated. And once they’re all cut and plated, no one will be able to tell the difference.

13) Have a Signature Cocktail
If you want to serve something more than just wine and beer, why not try a signature drink. You can choose a favorite cocktail, or try one that coordinates with your wedding theme – Pina Coladas for a tropical themed wedding or a Gin Gimlet for a Great Gatsby theme.

14) Shop Around for Your Bubbly
Champagne is a sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France. It’s a festive way to celebrate, but can get pricy. Check out this list of several sparkling wines that taste just as wonderfully, and cost less than $20 per bottle.

15) Beg, Borrow, (Don’t Steal!)

Special keepsakes such as a cake knife/server or toasting glasses are a nice touch, but in reality, after the wedding day most couples just end up putting these items in the attic. They never see the light of day again. Save some cash by borrowing your keepsakes and accessories from family and friends. You’ll also be getting your “something borrowed.” By the way, this little cutie was the same cake topper the bride’s parents had on their wedding cake!)

16) Keep Your Bridal Party Small
Keep the number of your attendants to a minimum. The fewer the people, the fewer attendants’ gifts, bouquets and boutonnieres you will need to buy.

17) Have Your Centerpieces Do Double-Duty

Think about using an alternative to traditional flower centerpieces. Your wedding favors grouped together in a pretty bowl, or individual tiers of wedding cake on a cake pedestal make pretty centerpiece presentations.

18) Downgrade the Fancy Ride
Limousines definitely look elegant, but you’re only going to be in for a short time. You can save money by getting a town car instead of a 6-passenger limo for the bride and groom’s getaway at the end of the evening.

Or rent a premium or luxury vehicle from a car rental company such as Avis or Hertz – you can have it for the whole weekend for a cost comparable to a renting a limo for just a few hours.

19) DJ vs. Live Musicians
Simply put, DJs typically cost less than a live band.

20) More Music Money Saving Tips
For a ceremony and reception that are at the same location, consider hiring a DJ provide music for both. However, if you prefer live ceremony music, choose a smaller combo such as a guitar/violin duo or string trio instead of a quartet, then have them provide the music for the cocktail hour. On the other hand, if you want a live band for your reception, hire only the keyboardist for the cocktail hour.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Use Non-Floral Elements: Washington DC centerpiece openField photography

20 Easy Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget Without Cutting Back On Style (#1 – 10)

1) Choose Flowers That Are In Season

Many popular and beautiful flowers are available year round. However, there are some — peonies and lilies of the valley, for example – that have a limited bloom season, and quite expensive out of season. So choose flowers that are in season.

Also consider using flowers with a similar look. Cabbage roses resemble the pricier peonies and are available year round. Other year-round flowers include: Carnations, Baby’s Breath, Sunflowers, Asiatic Lilies, Dendrobium Orchids and Spray Roses.

2) Put a Limit on the Alcohol Choices
You can save money by serving just wine and beer, instead of having a full open bar. Your guests will be happy and so will your wallet.

If your reception site allows you to bring in your own alcohol, purchase wine by the case as many places offer a case discount. You’ll pay your caterer a corkage fee to pour it, but wine purchased through him can cost twice as much. Most merchants offer a 10 percent discount for buying wine by the case.

3) Let Mother Nature Do Your Decorating

Choose a naturally gorgeous site and save on decor – such as the well-manicured lawns of a country club, or beautiful gardens for outdoors, and an art gallery or historic home for indoors.

4) Have Your Flowers Do Double-Duty
Your ceremony floral arrangements can be re-used at your reception. Pew décor can dress up a seating card or favor table. Bridesmaids’ bouquets look pretty on the cake table. An altar arrangement is perfect sitting in front of the head table.

5) Offer Champagne for Just the Toasts
Only serve a glass to each guest for the toasts. Or just provide Champagne for the head table and parents only. The rest of your guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. Make sure you also offer some sparkling grape juice for the under-21 crowd.

6) Have Your Wedding Earlier in the Day
Breakfasts, brunches, and afternoon teas are delicious and fun, and they usually cost less than evening receptions. The menu usually consists of lighter fare which doesn’t cost as much as a typical reception dinner. Also, they don’t usually last as long as an evening event, so you may save some money on your venue; and people typically don’t drink as much alcohol earlier in the day, so the bar tab will be less.

7) Cake and Punch
A cake and punch reception can be quite inexpensive. This style of reception usually takes place in the late morning or afternoon, and is simple and elegant. You can change it up by serving several cake flavors and designs, and serve a festive punch. Here’s one of my favorites (which I found at Razzle Dazzle Recipes).

8) Avoid Costly Entree Choices
Instead of serving pricier entrees or cuts of meat for dinner, incorporate them into your hors d’oeuvres. You may love lobster, but it will be pricy to serve lobster tail to all of your guests. Instead, serve lobster puffs during your cocktail hour.

9) Have Your Cake and Eat It Too
Serve your wedding cake as dessert instead of ordering a wedding cake AND serving a separate dessert.

10) Simplify Your Wedding Cake
The biggest cost of a wedding cake is in the labor – so choose a less elaborate design. Use less costly embellishments such as ribbon or fresh flowers.

Tomorrow we’ll conclude with Tips 11-20.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

For more money saving tips and planning ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Photo Credit: Choose Flowers That Are In Season: Bridesmaids’ Bouquets Brian James Photography

9 Easy Ways to Contain Your Wedding Costs

Weddings will still take place in these tough economic times, so savvy brides and grooms are looking for ways now more than ever to have the weddings of their dreams without breaking the bank.

Here are some easy-to-do tips that will help you contain the costs of your wedding.

1) Prioritize
After you and your fiancé have decided on what your “ideal” wedding day will be, prioritize all of the different elements that generally go into a wedding. What is more important and what is the least important (or maybe not important at all)? This will help you when determining your budget and know where to allocate the money you want to spend.

2) Budget
You need to know how much money you really have to spend on your wedding. Wedding funds can come from your and your fiancé’s savings, money you can comfortably set aside from your paychecks and money that others will be contributing. Establish a separate savings or checking account that is strictly for wedding expenses.

3) Make Your Money Work For You
If you get a chunk of cash early on – say a contribution from your parents or his – invest in a short term CD which can earn interest in the time before you need to pay vendors.

4) Credit Cards
Use them carefully. Only put on your cards what you can comfortably pay off each month. You don’t want to start your marriage in debt. Choose cards that offer some type of rewards, such as points, cash back or free airline tickets.

5) Non-Peak Times
Consider holding your wedding during non-peak times. This could be a non-traditional day of the week (a Friday or Sunday often costs less than a Saturday), or a non-typical month (January or February rather than June or September).

The time of day can also impact your wallet – plan to get married in the morning and have a reception lunch instead of a dinner. Luncheon and brunch menus are less expensive than dinners. An added plus is that guests tend to drink less during the day, so you’ll also save on liquor costs.

6) Non-Peak Times (Part 2)
If you really want a Saturday evening event, avoid the typical dinner hour. Plan to have your ceremony later, such as 6:30 or 7:00 pm, and follow it with a dessert reception rather than a full sit down dinner. Most people will have eaten dinner by the time your event starts, but to be sure, put “Dessert Reception” on your invitation so there will be no confusion.

7) Invitations
Forgo a separate Reception Card and use “corner copy.” Your reception information will be printed at the bottom of the Invitation. You’ll see considerable savings by only having to pay a nominal fee (~$10 regardless of quantity) compared to $60-$70 or more for 100 Reception Cards. And one less card in your invitation ensemble could mean less postage.

8) Ceremony Decor
Use the KISS rule (Keep It Simple, Sweetie). Don’t put flowers on every pew, and on the sides, and at the entry and at the back . . . Where will your guests be looking? That’s right, where you’ll be exchanging your vows, so this is where to put decor. Still keep it simple by accentuating the area with something simple like a nice arch or columns, with greenery. (Rental greens cost less than cut floral arrangements).

9) Ceremony Decor (part 2)
Get the most from your money by making your ceremony decor do double duty at the reception. Use bridesmaids’ bouquets to dress up the head table or cake table. A unity candle arrangement is the perfect size for a head table or sweetheart table centerpiece. Pew decor can also be placed on the cake table.

These tips aren’t just for the small budget wedding. Regardless of how much you are able to spend on your wedding, these ideas will help you get the biggest bang for your buck.

If you want more wonderful tidbits and ideas on how to personalize your day and make it uniquely yours contact me at 937-235-2586 or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean