Tag Archive | "wedding planning"

Wedding Planning: The Budgeting Basics

Budgeting for your wedding can sometimes be a huge headache and may take the romance out of the whole wedding planning process. Rather than stressing out every time you think of another bill or deposit that’s due, create an organized budget in advance before you spend a dime and give yourself a realistic idea of what kind of wedding you can afford.

Budgeting Before You Buy

Sit down with your partner and create a thorough budget before you start thinking about where to have your wedding or how white you want your dress to be. Make a list of every detail you can think of and assign a monetary or budget percentage value to each item. Creating a budget and not worrying about all the little stuff is usually what gets couples into tight situations because it’s those little things that can add up after all the rest of your budget has been spent on the caterer, the venue, and the wedding dress.

The Guest List to Expense Ratio

Creating your guest list should go almost hand in hand with creating your budget. More guests equals more cake, more food, more drinks, and more seating space. For a large guest list, you need extra wedding invitations, wedding favours, and perhaps even a bigger sound system to function in a larger reception hall. When estimating out your budget, be sure to keep all these factors in mind.

Make a List of Priorities

You can’t know in advance exactly what everything is going to cost. While you may have put your best effort into drafting up an accurate budget, some things may just end up costing more and you may have to eat up those extra costs. By prioritizing everything in your budget, you’ll be able to cut back on the less important aspects of your wedding. If possible, pay for the most necessary things in advance and save the less important things for the end when you have a better idea of what you’re actually spending.

Keep a Budgeting Checklist

By making a chronological checklist of everything you need to buy, pay for, or put a deposit on, you’ll be able to see how much you’re spending and when you have to spend it all at a glance. If you have to pay a few vendors all within the same week, you may choose to make any additional purchases at a later time in order to leave yourself some financial breathing room. This is also a good way to remind yourself when a bill or deposit is due so you don’t lose a hold on your dream dress or that perfect venue.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a chore when planning your wedding if you stay organized and keep records of everything. When your wedding day rolls around and you’ve stuck to your budget you’ll be able to enjoy your big day with unburdened shoulders and a light heart.

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Will You Need to Hire a Wedding Planner for Your Big Day?

As you probably know already, planning a wedding can be a lot of work and it can be all too easy to overlook some of the most important details. Hiring a wedding planner can be expensive, but in some cases the help they provide will be invaluable. Even when you have the time and energy to do it all yourself, you may still find that a wedding planner can offer a great deal of knowledge and experience that will come in very handy.

Your Budget is Tight Enough Already

Even if it’s just a rough draft, get a good idea of your budget before deciding to hire a wedding planner. Once you have a better idea on how much you can spend on some extra help you will be able to determine if hiring a planner will be worth the cost. Keep in mind that a professional wedding planner will most likely be able to haggle with your vendors and may already have contacts they work with often enough to get discounts from. If you can’t afford to hire their full services, you may be able to negotiate a fee to get some consulting advice.

Save Yourself from Unwanted Surprises

Hiring a wedding planner may seem like an unnecessary luxury on a tight budget, but you could save yourself quite a bit of hassle by following the advice of a professional throughout your entire wedding planning experience. If you don’t know where to start for some or all aspects of your wedding or if you’re having your wedding in a different town whose vendors and locations would be unfamiliar to you, a wedding planner becomes even more valuable. Especially as you get closer to your wedding day, your wedding planner will be the one who takes care of any problems or surprises that arise.

You Don’t Need a Pro to Still Get Help

If hiring a wedding planner just isn’t in your budget, talk to your friends and family for a little extra advice. Given the opportunity, your mother, your maid of honour, or even future sister-in-law may be more than happy to take the role as your second in command. Any friends or family you have with extra time on their hands may be happy to take charge on the floral, cake, or catering responsibilities. If you’re going to put certain aspects of your wedding in the hands of your friends and family, just be sure it’s someone you can count on who knows your tastes and understands what you’ll be expecting.

If you choose to hire a wedding planner, be sure to get referrals from your friends and family who have used one in the past and ask for references from any potential planners. It will be up to you how much help you want to get from them, so if you just need a hand on the day of your wedding or you want help with only a few details of the planning process, shop around to see who you can hire on a per service type of basis.

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Using a Theme When Planning Your Wedding

Regardless of how simple you want your wedding to be, you’ll need to follow some kind of theme, even if that theme is just “minimalism”. Determining your theme early on will help with your budgeting and planning and will let all the other little details fall into place much more naturally. Once your theme is established you’ll have a much less complicated time of choosing floral arrangements, dresses, and decorations.

Purchase After You Plan

Don’t buy anything until you’ve settled on a theme and you’re sure that’s what you want. It can be a big hassle to buy a dress you thought was your dream dress only to find it clashes completely with the rest of your theme. Anything you do buy, save all your receipts and be aware of any return policies before you leave the store. Once you have a colour scheme to follow and have visualized what you’d like your wedding to look like you’ll be able to co-ordinate your shopping efforts to ensure your flowers match your bridesmaid’s dresses and your wedding cake.

Planning a Theme around Your Wedding Date

If you aren’t already set on a theme but know your date, creating a theme that ties into that day can be a creative way to celebrate your marriage. A Valentine’s Day wedding could give you plenty of options with pink, red, and white colours along with some heart and cupid designs. For autumn weddings any earthy colours and natural leafy and pine looking decorations can add quite a bit of romance through nature. You may even choose to go a little darker and add some spook to your wedding for an October 31st wedding date. For a true white wedding, getting married in the winter can give you beautiful colour options with light blues and sparkling whites.

Keep Your Guests Informed

Whatever your theme, be sure your guests know how to dress. If you’re having a princess or renaissance type of theme, letting them know on their invitations will give them the opportunity to match their wardrobe to your theme if they’d like. If you expect your guests to dress in strict formal wear, be clear about it on the invitation. Especially for any wedding at an extremely casual venue, such as a sandy beach, let your guest know if casual wear and sandals are acceptable. If you’re guests are properly prepared, they’ll be much more comfortable and be able to more fully enjoy your wedding.

You may choose to have a theme for just your reception or you may use the same theme for your ceremony as well. Traditional white weddings are no longer the standard, so don’t be afraid to have fun with your wedding and get creative with your theme. Just be sure to plan out all the details of your wedding in advance and shape your budget around that before you start putting deposits down on anything.

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How To Create Unforgettable Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitations are your first impressions. Before you get people to your ceremony or reception, the only feel they’ll have of your wedding is what comes in that invitation envelope. Taking a little extra care in designing your invitation will ensure that you’re sending the right message to all the guests you’ve invited to share in your big day.

Make Your Guest List First

Before designing up a bunch of beautiful invitations on high-end paper create your guest list and get an idea of how many invitations you’ll need. If you have a huge guest list and a limited budget, you may not want to go with the most expensive invitations. However, if your guest list is going to be quite small and you have a little extra to spend on your invitations, you could splurge on a fancier design. Seeing who you’ll be inviting to your wedding may also have some effect on the wording or font you choose to use on your invitations as well.

What Info You Should Include

You may want your invitations to be lovely and simple, but be sure you’re including all the necessary information. If someone else is paying for the wedding, you may want to give a mention to your host in your wording. Your basic info such as who is getting married, the location of the ceremony and reception, and the time and date of each should be clear and easy to read. A map and directions could be helpful as well if you’ve chosen a difficult to find venue.

Standard and Simple or All the Bells and Whistles

Depending on your budget, you’ll need to decide what will be included with the invite. Generally you’ll have the envelope, invite, and response card. You could opt to have a separate reception card and you may even decide to get another card printed up with a map and directions. You may also want a thank you card for after the wedding to be part of your invitation package. Of course, the more you add, the more it will cost, so determine your budget before brainstorming your invitations. Pre-wedding favours can be included as well in the form of bookmarks, pictures, or some other little memento that suits your particular theme.

Adding Your Personal Touches

Deciding on your theme before designing your invitations will give you the opportunity to make your invites match your wedding. If your wedding will be casual and on the beach, inform your guests of this in the invitation so they can dress appropriately for your chosen venue. Alternatively, if you’re expecting strict formal attire, relay that info in your invitations as well.

Let your guests know when to reply by and ask for any information you’ll need, such as dinner option preference, on the response card. Proof-read your invitations before having them all printed up to avoid any costly corrections. Your invitations don’t have to break your budget to be beautiful as long as you take your time in deciding what paper, ink, and font will suit your wedding best.

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Choosing Between an Indoor or Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Every wedding is going to come with endless decisions you’ll have to make and some will be much more important than others. One of the biggest decisions, which could affect many of the other smaller ones, will be whether to have your wedding ceremony indoors or outdoors. A few things should be considered before deciding on an outdoor wedding ceremony, so before putting any deposits down on a venue, make sure you’ve done your research on your intended location.

Weather in Your Area

If you live somewhere that has unpredictable weather patterns, an outdoor wedding could be a little risky. If you’re constantly facing the threat of rain and wind or if you risk seating your guests under a blistering sun throughout your entire ceremony, you may want to be prepared with some alternative options. An outdoor wedding can be lovely and romantic, but you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to take a chance on the weather.

Creating a Backup Plan

You may have your heart set on an outdoor wedding and live in one of those areas where the weather can be tricky. Renting some tents to block out too much sun or some light rain can be a great way to protect you and your guests from the elements. These tents may act as mini greenhouses on the exceptionally hot days so do your research on what kind of setup you’re thinking about using. Clear roofed tents can also provide a beautiful view of the day while still offering some protection.

For more severe weather possibilities, having an indoor backup plan may be your best bet. A tent may not do much to shield you from heavy winds and sideways rain. If it’s a good chance you’ll be seeing conditions like this on your wedding day, it could be a better idea to just plan for an indoor wedding right from the start.

Think About the Little Things

It can be easy to overlook some of the smaller factors that come with outdoor weddings. Keep in mind that certain locations may have a higher insect population and some spots may require you to walk through dirt and grass in your white dress. Are paths available at the spot you’ve chosen? Washrooms may be something you should be considering as well. Even if you aren’t having a long ceremony, be sure to think about the guests you’ve invited and what their needs may be. You’ll also be taking plenty of pictures that day, so think about the time of day you’ll be having your ceremony and what kind of lighting effects you can expect.

An outdoor wedding can offer an amazing variety of breathtaking backgrounds for your big day. While some factors will be beyond your control, being prepared can help you minimize any surprises during your ceremony. If your desired location requires special clothing requirements, such as a sandy beach or breezy cliff side, be sure to keep your guests informed so they can be comfortable during your ceremony and are paying attention to your vows rather than being distracted by sand in the shoes or mist in their face.

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Choosing the Music for Your Wedding Reception

Hiring a band or DJ for your wedding can be a big decision and it could rely on more than just your personal preference. You may need to consider a few things before committing to go with the same DJ you heard at the last wedding you were at. You may have a preference set in your mind that you’re determined to see through or you may not care one way or another as long as some good music is playing in the background. Even if you aren’t fussy, you may still need to consider how your music will sound at a particular venue.

Live Band or DJ?

First you’ll need to decide if you’re going with a live band or if you’d prefer a DJ to play recorded music for you. A DJ may be cheaper and could give you and your guests more versatility in requesting songs while a live band may add to the atmosphere or possibly even give a more romantic feel to your wedding. Keep in mind that bands will need to take set breaks while the DJ can just keep your music playing. When hiring a band, you may want to schedule in speeches and toasts during their breaks.

Know Your Crowd

It’s your wedding, so play the music you want, but keep in mind that if you’re playing all hip hop and most of your guests are more of a country crowd, you’re going to have a pretty empty dance floor. With a DJ, you may want to give your guests the ability to request what they want to hear. If you already know exactly the type of music you want played, be sure your DJ or band is aware of your requests in advance and have those albums on hand or can play your songs.

Keep Venue Specifications in Mind

If you have a small guest list and your reception is in a little hall, a live band with lots of equipment could overwhelm your entire reception. If you’re set on having a live band, hiring an acoustic musician may be a better choice. Having a pianist provide ambient background music could give a very romantic effect as well. You should also check out what kind of wiring and electronic setup is available at your intended reception location as well as any noise or music restrictions in that area.

Whether you hire a band or DJ, be sure to get references and listen to some samples of any potential band you intend to hire. The music being played at your reception could set the whole mood for the night, so determine your music budget and take a little extra time when considering your entertainment options.

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