Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Create a Budget
Before meeting with any vendors or signing any contracts create a budget. Gather all parties that will be contributing to the wedding costs and decide what amount will be spent on the total wedding. Once that number is agreed upon, decide on how much you want to spend on each category. Do not stray from you amounts!

Trim Guest list
The people at your wedding should be people who have a vested interest in your marriage. If you have folks on your list that haven’t seen you since you were in grade school you may not want to invite them to you wedding. Cutting the number of guests can save you money on invitations, location, food, drinks, tables, centerpieces, and rentals. Do not feel pressured to let single guests bring a date.

Smaller Bridal Party
All bridal party members receive a gift of thanks from the bride and groom. Not having to purchase a large number of gifts helps your wallet. Remember not only are the bridal party members going to be at the wedding but so are their spouses/significant others.

Have the Ceremony and Reception in the same location
Unless there are religious reasons having the ceremony and reception can be a wonderful way to save dollars. Venues will sometimes give you a discount for using multiple spaces. And there is no transportation cost to include in your budget.

Flowers should be in season
Having you florist make your arrangements with flowers that are in season will help cut cost. Also, do not feel you can only decorate with flowers. Use ribbons, candles and vases to help cut floral budget.

No Alcohol
If you and your fiancé do not drink consider eliminating alcohol from the wedding. Other ways to cut the alcohol cost is to provide the alcohol for the wedding, if allowed by the caterer, or only have an open bar during the cocktail hour. Having guest pay for drinks is not in good taste so NEVER have a cash bar at your wedding.

Buy a used Wedding Gown
There are many consignment wedding gown stores online. Ideally the dresses have been worn once. You may have to get alterations but that is cheaper than buying a gown. You can also rent a gown to help save money. Reusing a gown is also very GREEN.

Have your wedding on any day but Friday or Saturday
Having your wedding on a date other than Friday or Saturday can help you meet your bottom line. Vendors do not usually have a high demand for these other days and may be willing to cut you a deal.

Have your wedding during an off month
Having you wedding during off-peak times, November – April can help you avoid higher rates. Ask vendors if they have off-season rates and if not see if they are willing to negotiate.

Forgo favors
Most guest do not remember the favors from weddings so not having favors will not be a problem and you get to put that money towards other parts of your wedding.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Which Wedding Vendors do you tip?

Tipping - although expected - is not required and it simply given for outstanding service. Caterers, reception site, wait staff, and bartenders usually have 20% tip included in their contracts. Parking attendants and coat check staff should be tipped in advance - approximately $2 per guest or car. Limo Drivers and DJ's normally receive 20% of the contracted fee as tip. Florists, photographers, and bakers are not usually tipped but again if the service is remarkable then by all means. An officiant is never tipped. If you would like to make a donation to the officiants' house of worship that would be more appropriate.

Happy Planning!

Green is the New Black!

Everyone where and everyone are talking about GREEN. You can host a green event without breaking the bank and it does not have to be hard. Below are a few examples:
1. Have your photographer use digital film and forgo the wedding album and just have you wedding photos on disk.
2. Rent linen and china instead of using paper or plastic napkins, plates and tablecloths.
3. Have your ceremony and reception in the same location or very close to help cut down on air pollution.
4. Ask your stationer to use recycled paper when creating your save the dates, invitations, response cards, and thank you notes. Also recycle any paper that is left at the wedding
5. Forgo favors and make a donation to your favorite charity. If you decide to have favors give each guest a small floral that they can plant. This helps the environment.
6. Ask your caterer to use local food sources to help cut down on air pollution.

These are just a few ways to be GREEN and still have a fabulous event!

Happy Planning

Let Them Eat Cake - Jell-O Cake that is...

I was recently reading the Catersource magazine and came across an interesting article about serving Jell-O cake for your wedding instead of the traditional wedding cake. WOW! Good Gracious! Events in Los Angeles has created this cake for the couple who is really looking to have their wedding be unique. The cake comes in about 20 varieties and colors. Champagne is combined with water, syrup and gelatin and berries and fruit can be mixed in. Per the article they have gotten rave reviews for their Jell-O cakes. They also have a not alcoholic version available.

I think this is very innovative and would love to try it!