Number 1 on the List:Time line
We finally made it to the number one money saving tip. If you sum up the rest of the ideas I would use one word to describe them all. Timing! There was an overall feeling of timing throughout all the tips, and that is the key! Timing for everything is the one single way that will guarantee you to save money.
If you want to have the most distinctive, memorable and pocket book savvy wedding of the year, here are your big chance ladies. From your wedding date to the moment you say I Do, you can be saving money every step of the way. The first trick is to select an off peak time of year or a weekday for your wedding date.
You can save up to $1000’s of dollars when you think uniquely. Spring and Summer weekend rates for wedding vendors skyrocket at these peak times, selecting a different time of year or day of week will give you great opportunity to be special and you guests will be intrigued to see what else you have up your sleeve!!!
There is no right or wrong way to design your wedding day itinerary. Be fun and whimsical when selecting your timing for the day. One of the trendiest timelines that has been leaving our brides & grooms and their guests thrilled and satisfied is the mid day wedding. Instead of the traditional Saturday night ceremony and reception, consider this: Having an enjoyable early afternoon ceremony followed by an entertaining mid afternoon happy hour style reception. This gets you out of being committed to serving a full course dinner and drinks. This in turn, will lighten your catering bill substantially, but will leave you and your guest with a radiant and memorable celebration.
After happy hour reception you have a couple exciting options. You and your bridal party can continue the celebration with an exciting off site after party. Or just the two of you can take this new found moment to relax and enjoy this incredible day before heading off to your hotel and onto your honeymoon! Take a limo or fancy car to drive around the city, stop and take pictures, grab a nibble and a drink! Enjoy toasting in the car together with strawberries and indulge in your love. Have your photographer follow to a few stops and get some amazing photos. This day was meant for the two of you and there are wonderful ways to save money on the day and truly get to enjoy every moment of it together basking in your you love for one another.
One more timeline aspect to consider is hiring a coordinator; they will help you some up all your hard work and break it down to a timeline that works best for your needs and desires. You can find one usually through your venue at a cheaper cost. But this one person will
be by far some of the best money invested in your wedding.With all your hard work planning let your coordinator take the reins and organize your last month. They will manage your vendors and your wedding day. They also help set up and break down so you can just arrive and leave whenever you are ready. Hiring a wedding professional is always the best way to make sure your investment is safe. They do it every weekend and love doing it, so let them take the stress away and help you organize all your hard work so that your beautiful wedding unfolds just as you always dreamed.
Now these were quite a few wedding tips, but don’t forget there are many aspects to a wedding you may not have thought about. So these tips were just a handful of the most important must haves or things to consider when planning your wedding! Being organized and fully prepared is the beltway to save and have a fabulous event. Pick and choose what you find appropriate and your dream wedding will transform right in front of you!!! It is all in how you present your wedding and timing is the ultimate way to save in all areas of your wedding! Have fun planning and never forget to keep it simple so you can enjoy every moment of this cherished day!!!!
Number 2 on the List: Décor
In keeping with the theme of trendy ideas to keep costs low,the trick continues to be: stick with keeping it simple. The most easy and simplistic décor is often the most elegant. Knowing how to accent your venue with just the right small touches is exactly how you can create an impressive and stand out event on a budget. I have three easy steps to follow when planning out your detailed budget friendly design.
Number 1: Location
The easiest thing you can do for yourself is to find the right venue that does not require a lot of additional elements to make it stand out for your wedding. Look for a venue that has neutral colors and backdrops. This will allow you to add small inexpensive touches throughout the venue to incorporate your design. Consider the wall colors, floor colors, chair and table styles and fixtures at the venue. Make sure to think about the entire space as a whole. Take note of where you and your guests will be spending most of your time. By keeping these areas in mind it will be easier to design which items you want to go where.
The goal is to make the entire space one cohesive unit, so that every space has been addressed and included in your wedding. By applying small or delicate pieces throughout the venue you will create a full vision for you and your guests. It may be in actuality, less decoration (because they are small items and accents), but it will feel as though you put more thought and funds behind your design. Design is all about how you present it. If you have a vision, makes sure to finalize it and see the décor through. If you don’t your hard work defining your image will be lost and unseen.
Stick with items that represent your theme in a simplistic yet elegant style and use them as small embellishments in these specific locations of your venue. Instead of spending a large amount on large pieces to fill your ceremony and reception hall, shop for small items that make and impact.To make sure you see your ideas through, pick one to two ideas from the flowing categories:
Front Entrance or Walkways - Welcome and Direction Sign(colored ribbon/elegant chalk board/ provide information for your guests)
Doors – Wreathes (designed letters of the first names or last name of the couple/ ribbon/pomander balls/ cut outs)
Gift Table – Card Basket (mailbox/ bird cage/ fruit basket/ vintage suitcase/ wooden wine or fruit crate)
Chairs – Chair Covers (satin/ribbon/ place card/flowers/ pillows)
Cake, Buffet & Cocktail Table– Height (risers/fabric clouding/ tea lights/ signage/ flowers/cake toppers/toasting flutes/cake cutters/ other matching décor theme items)
The Bar – Décor (bar menu, elegant barware =pitchers, punch bowls, coffee urns, glass beverage container with spout, framed picture of the newlyweds, tea lights, matching napkins, flowers in matching vase)
Restrooms – Flowers (small bud vase/ floating flower or candle bowl/ restroom supply kit)
Outdoor Space – Hanging Items (paper lanterns/pomander balls/ candles/ garland/ pinwheels/ banners)
Number 2: DIY
Décor is all about embracing your inner DIY skills. When you are thinking about design don’t get overwhelmed. Decide what style you are going for first. Are you thinking sophisticated evening wedding with all the glam, or a rustic vintage afternoon wedding? Either style can be simply accented for a very low cost. Your best friend will be Pinterest and Etsy. If you don’t know what these are yet Google them and get yourself signed up and logged in, they will become your best friends very quickly
Pinterest is a online cork board full of ideas from flowers to food to beverages. Any style you are thinking of just type it in and see your imagination come to life. It will give you pictures of styles and even show you how to DIY them all by yourself. After you pick some of your favorite ideas and get all your craft supplies get a group of your bridesmaids, family and friends and make a fun girl’snight of decorations. This one night will let you get everything done and not have to worry about finishing every last detail. Family and friends are always offering to help you and this is how you can get their help and make the best use of it!
Check out Etsy if you don’t have the time or you’re just not into DIY, Etsy is a place where people have already done the work for you. They make personalized banners, toasting flutes, décor items and so much more. And the best part is they offer great deals for their personalized product. These two sites are the key to your décor success. If you are simply decorating candles and vases or elegantly designing large structures and tables you can still use the creations from Etsy. You won’t believe the amazing ideas you will find.
Number 3: Selection
It is a huge undertaking to design a wedding vision, but if you think local and in season you can save tons on your design budget leaving you with more room for flexibility.
1. Think in season. Fall = pumpkins, sunflowers,apples, fallen leaves, burlap, wagons, jams. Winter= branches, pine cones, evergreen garland, ornaments, chocolate. Spring = potted tulips, rocks,fresh herbs, teacups, metal bins, crisp white linens. Summer= colorful fruit, planted grass, mason jars, wild flowers, ice cream.
2. Limit the use of floral décor. Only do bridal bouquet and grooms boutonniere. Find alternatives for alter decoration and bridesmaids bouquets. Floral is a huge cost that only lasts until the end of the night.Invest in décor that you can resell, reuse, or gift to your guests.
3. Use ceremony decorations for your reception.After your ceremony is over transfer aisle décor to the tables as centerpieces and use alter decoration for room decoration.
4. Shop early and on sale at farmers markets, home decor stores, and craigslist for easy and low budget ideas.
When you are designing your décor take a deep breath and follow these ideas closely.Remember there is no wrong or right way to do anything and it’s all about what you want and your vision. Have fun designing your unique day and make use of the helpful places and ideas that are available to you. Every idea is a good idea, just make sure to break it all down so you fulfill your theme and stay within your budget. Look around you for inspiration, anything can become wedding decor! Happy designing!!!
Number 3 on the List: Food and Beverages
If you are sticker shocked about the price of food for your wedding here is some extremely easy ideas that you can use right now to help stay on budget. You don’t have to sacrifice elegant and tasty food and drinks at your wedding. Follow these steps and count the money flying back into your wallet! Your guests will be astounded at the high quality of your wedding food and drinks and will never know you were able to save so much!!!
Step One: Provide easy pre-made homemade snacks and/or put out fresh cheeses & crackers accompanied by some nice seasonal fruits for your guests to nibble on. Remember appetizers are just a light snack,so keep it simple with only 1 or 2 different things to eat. This way there is variety but it won’t take up a lot of your precious planning time.
Step Two: Take a pass on having servers for your appetizers.Extra staff can cost a lot extra money, so be sure to ask for an extra table at your venue that your guests can access easily. Because you are only having a few items, make it a small table and embellish it with pretty linens and elegant serving platters. Your guests won’t even know your caterer didn’t provide the food!
Step One: It’sall about selecting a venue that will allow you to bring in your own beverages with no extra charge. You will save on corking fees and higher priced in-house alcoholic drinks. Go to your local brewery and winery for great deals and stick to just beer and wine at your reception. Scratch having to buy champagne for your toast and allow your guests to cheers to you with simply whatever is in their glasses. Most of your guests will not even drink the champagne so save on the often wasted expense for cases of champagne.
Step Two: A great simple idea to keep your alcohol costs low is to provide just one signature drink to your guests. This gives you and your fiancé a chance to be creative and keep with your theme. Pick something fun and it will be sure to be a guaranteed hit at your wedding. You will keep costs low by only having to buy the ingredients for just one drink to serve all night vs several different options that will cost more.
Step One: I know we have already talked about it before in previous posts, but you must pick a venue that allows outside catering. This opens you up to so many options,you will be sure to find the best catering prices available. It is no fun trying to be budget friendly while stuck with someone else’s food constraints.
Step Two: When you are reviewing caterers to select from, make sure you talk and communicate with them your budget constraints per person. Often times you may find that the caterer is willing to create a personalized menu option for you instead of going off their pre-designed ones. We are talking about trained chefs here and they should be more than happy and willing to make you a menu that works well with your budget and is delicious.Make sure you pick in season and local foods to help your caterer think outside the box.
Also make note of what the difference in cost between plated and buffet style is. It is thought to be cheaper to have buffet style but oftentimes it is not the case. The caterer will prepare more food for a buffet because it is harder to regulate each guest’s consumption of different types of food. One person may have a whole plate of one thing and another will have some of everything. And you may end up with a lot of left over food that you didn't need. Believe it or not, but in some cases a plated dinner could save you money in the long run.
Step Three: If you are going for a casual afternoon or early evening wedding consider not providing a full meal but a display of heavy appetizers. When you do this option you can select from a variety of caters who provide drop of service for a much cheaper fee. You could also pre-order trays of food from your local market and have someone pick them up. This is an easy and fast way to save money. To class up a heavy appetizer buffet that is drop of or tray style, gather fancy platters from your family and friends. Have someone switch the food from their plastic or aluminum carriers onto the nice platters and your guests will never know you went cheap on them! It is all in how you present your wedding to your guests. You will have an elegant looking buffet that is full of your yummy favorites.
Step One: It may be hard, but consider dropping the idea of a large massive tiered wedding cake.They can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. To keep with your budget, have your baker make a detailed small cake. Imagine it being the top tier of a larger cake and have fun with it and express your love. Get a gorgeous cake platter or stand and have it placed in position where it can be the center of attention. This will be the cake you cut into for that special moment in front of all your guests.
Then have your baker make a large sheet cake that you can keep stored in the kitchen. Have you caterer cut small slices to make sure there is enough to go around. You will save so much of your wedding budget right here. One small cake and one sheet cake is amazingly cheap!
Step Two: Decide to not have cake but cupcakes, they are extremely inexpensive and your guests will love it. You can even provide
personalized small boxes and your guests can take a cupcake home with them as their favor. A complete two for one idea is always a sure way to save you money!!
In addition to keeping these steps in mind, think about keeping your wedding guest count to around a hundred or less including you and your bridal party. Having a lower guest count will allow you to have a much more flexible budget for food and drinks. Instead of stretching your budget to thing in several areas just so you can invite more people, you will be able to have much nicer things to go around and provide for a smaller wedding. Make sure your wedding doesn’t look or feel like a budget wedding by considering these steps for your wedding day!
We have two more tips to go, check back in with me next week for#2 on the list of the Countdown of the Top Five Trendy Money Saving Tips for your Wedding continues!
See you then!
Number Four on the List: Venue
Booking your wedding venue is one of the very first tasks that I know every bride wants to check off their list. Getting your venue secured is pivotal for the rest of your wedding planning to begin, so that everything else can fall into place. Selecting the right venue will set the tone and atmosphere for your big day so you want to choose wisely. There are many things to consider when settling on just the right location for you to marry the love of your life, but in truth is it’s actually very easy. Use the following breakdown categories when selecting your venue. The list I have created will ensure that you don’t miss out on getting your venue and your date by being overly cautious and indecisive. Remember, there are a lot of brides out there searching for their perfect venue too, so don’t forget that many venues are booked well in advance. Call and be sure your venue is open for your date before you get too invested into one venue.
Look for a venue that has indoor and outdoor space available to keep things interesting and refreshing. Your event will flow effortlessly and your guest will be more relaxed if the ceremony and reception are in one location. Select a venue with classic charm and elegance with a simple yet flattering color palette.
This will allow you to do minimal décor or spice things up with your unique design. Be sure that you and your fiancé agree on the space and it is special to both of you.
The most important thing is the flexibility of the venue. You may fall in love with one place but many venues have fine print rules and regulations that may interfere with the needs of your event. Many venues can be transformed into your wedding day dream vision, but not every venue will allow you to do so. Make sure that your vision can come to life at your venue. You will want to select a venue that has NO preferred vendor’s lists that you are required to pick from. If they do, once you sign a contract with them you are stuck with their vendors who may be over your budget or not your style.
There are thousands of wedding vendors out there that can make or break your wedding day and you need to be informed about the vendors you are hiring.
Hidden fee’s, Hidden fee’s, Hidden fee’s. I can’t say it anymore clear. I can’t count how many times a bride as been caught off guard by venues hidden fee’s. When you are planning your budget you need to be fully aware of what everything costs up front so you can plan accordingly. This will save your bank account from having to make any unforeseen and upsetting withdrawals to make payments as you continue to plan your wedding day. You can’t always eliminate all hidden fee’s but you can be prepared for them and organize your budget around them. Most common hidden fee’s to keep an eye open for and ask your venue: Non-preferred vendors, additional room/ space, parking, table and chairs, cake cutting, wine corking, gratuities, taxes, clean up & break down, and rehearsal time.
Beyond hidden fee’s you can also save a lot with certain venues. Look for venues that offer peak and off peak rates, different day of the week rates, package rates or coupons. The more flexibility a venue has the happier you will be as you work with them during the planning process.
Staff & Services
Professional and accommodating venue staff can go a very long way in helping to relive some of the stress of your big day. When you do your initial meet and greet with the venue, make sure the staff is friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. Often times you can get some great info from venue staff on other wedding professionals. Most venues who do not require you to select from a preferred wedding vendor list can actually provide you with a distinguished and wonderful recommendations list instead. They may even be able to match you with a vendor that suits your style and needs. This will help you narrow down other vendors when you’re selecting caterers, dj’s, florist and more. They are there to answer questions for you and assist you in the selection process, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.
It is also extremely helpful if the venue offers an on site event manager to oversee your event and be available if any emergencies arise. Most importantly check to see if there is a coordinator or coordination package available for purchase. Typically when you hire a coordinator from the venue directly you can save up to half the cost of what an outside coordinator would charge. Plus this person will know specifically the ins & outs of that venue. This will save you a lot of time and worry that your coordinator does not know the facility or how weddings flow at your specific venue.
Another service to consider and look for at your venue is if they have on site event rental items. Things like linens, vases, pillars, and serve ware can cost a lot extra when you account for the pickup and drop off fees. When you rent them directly through the venue you can save yourself a lot of extra money by eliminating any delivery or set up fees.
Don’t be caught by those pesky little jabbers of hidden fee’s or venue limitations by remembering these tips. Have fun with the process because this is a once in a life time event and you deserve to enjoy every minute of it. Feel prepared and confident when you are out there seeking your perfect wedding venue. You are now ahead of the game by knowing these easy and friendly reminders. With this venue breakdown you will be able to find the venue you always dreamed of! If you have any other questions or concerns about selecting your venue comment below and I will get back to you with a specific solution!
Stay tuned for Number 3 next week on the Countdown!
Number Five on the List : Invitations
First things first my Brides to be, it’s time to crunch the names on that ever expanding guest list. Intimate and more personal weddings are on the rise and one of the most favorable newest trends. Make sure you keep your wedding day sweet & simple by celebrating with only your very closest family and friends. This inspiration will insure the creation of the tranquil and picturesque wedding day you always imagined. And not to mention save on your pocket book in more ways than just one! Just imagine the extra money you could spend decorating the way you always dreamed if you only had, lets say 7-10 tables instead of 15-20 tables to design. Oh the possibilities!! Here is a little teaser pic to get you thinking :)
Now let’s talk invites. There are always a lot of hidden costs when selecting & sending your save-the-dates, wedding invitations and RSVP’s. While you may think the cost of a stamp is low in theory, multiply it by your guest count and the fees can add up to hundreds of extra unexpected dollars. You want to be very conscious of the style of card you select for your invitations. Bulky, fancy, beaded and different shaped invites can cost up to and additional $2.00 each to mail. So please be careful when you are DIYing your invites to not add too much embellishment to your card. Simple is always better! You can still put a lot of detail and personality into a one page invite!
To cut down on your postage fees you will want to create your own customized wedding website. These popular & FREE wedding websites are a fabulous place for you to have a little fun with. By providing fun pictures and tidbits about you and your fiancé and important and detailed information about your wedding day, your guests will feel included and important. The most useful tool on these websites is the ability to allow your guests to RSVP through your on line website. Skip out on the pre-stamped envelope & RSVP card and direct them straight to your helpful website.
We have four more excellent trendy money savoring tips that you NEED to know to keep more of your hard earned money in the bank. Check back soon for the number four idea. Don’t let planning your wedding be a stressful and regretful experience. By cutting these easy corners you will feel rejoiced in the money you are investing in your wedding day!
Quick Tips Below:
*These simple little invites are hand made and look very shabby shic. Pic out thin light weight paper that matches your decor at your local craft store, cut them to size of a simple folding card and glue them on the cover. Pop them in your printer with your invite template and your good to go. Adding one simple stamp will get these babies in the mail on onto your guests!
*To save your guests time and make sure you get those RSVP's on time, add a simple QR code for you wedding website and people will RSVp on their way back from the mailbox! Once you make your website go to this free QR Code Generator website to get your personalized QR Code for your invites.
Comment below and share your creative easy money saving tips that you have or will be using to save $ on your invites! I’m always brainstorming and value hearing
new ideas to share with brides!
Now we all know how jam packed your wedding reception can get once you start laying down your time line. With all the traditional events; bouquet toss, cutting the cake, first dance, toasts etc. you may feel overwhelmed. Here is one new trendy idea that will ensure you get to enjoy the fabulous event you are throwing for not only your guest but you too! The Late Night Snack is sure to be a slamming hit and you won’t want to miss it at your wedding. Take a mini break and savor these yummy treats.
Who doesn’t want a delicious snack in the middle of the night? You and your guests have been dancing all night; it’s been hours since dinner, and the fabulous wedding cake, gave you a bit of a sugar high. What you need now to fulfill your palate is a late night bite to eat! Your guests will be ecstatic when you bring out these surprise novelty snacks they love and adore!
You can either fill their tummies with these heavenly creations and send them on home to bed, or give them the energy jolt they need to celebrate with you all night long! You can even have certain items prepackaged for guests to take with them on their way out. This way they will have a tasty little indulgence to enjoy on the way home. Just make sure to follow these important simple rules when planning what style of delights you want to serve up at your wedding.
First rule of thumb when planning the menu for these scrumptious treats is to think mini. When it comes to fun foods late at night, mini is always better! Don’t forget it’s not a full meal, just a light midnight appetizer. Okay maybe not “light” I should say, but definitely small portions! These snacks aren’t usually the most calorie friendly, but if you keep them small, it’s a perfect way to have a few mouthfuls of those decadent sinful flavors to satisfy your cravings.
Second, decide whether you are going to do sweet, savory or both. My advice is to always keep it simple! Pick one or two snack options and definitely no more than three. It’s nice to do a one starter of a salty bite and finish up with one sweet treat. We don’t want to overwhelm everyone with too many options so late at night. After a few drinks, people may be very enthralled with your menu and forget to get back to the celebration !!!!
Third, pick items that go with your wedding theme, or something that is special to you. If you are doing a fun laid back vintage wedding go with something like caramel apple wedges and fresh cooked salty buttery popcorn. At an elegant chic reception pull out all the stops with passed sophisticated versions of french-fries and mini burgers. Then follow it up with a shooter glass filled with mocha coffee and a yummy mini donut! If you are doing a rustic outdoor wedding, invite your favorite taco truck to stop by and serve up delicious and fresh mini tacos with chips and salsa!
If you want to add a bit of curiosity to the night let your guests know you have a special surprise for them towards the end of the night. Or that you are serving up something delicious at the after party. This will make your midnight snacks an event to look forward too! Put the axe on late night munchies, with mouth watering and classic combinations.
No matter what version you pick, this novelty idea will get you
mucho bonus points from all of your guests!
Yum, I'm starved after writing this blog, is it midnight snack time yet?
It’s finally Friday and it has been a week of rain and clouds here in the Pacific Northwest. But here at the ballroom it has been a fun week of meeting new brides and helping current brides design their stunning summer weddings.
I’m obsessed lately with patterns of all colors and sizes. I am loving the visual appeal of weddings inspired by a captivating textures.Whether it’s a bold or soft touch, these modern looks can give your wedding the fresh and festive vibe you are looking for. The trick to finding these new looks to spice up your wedding, is to find something unique and different. Look for calm yet vibrant colors and styles wherever you are. I encourage you to start taking pictures of anything and everything you find with that pizzazz that stands out to you.
It can be a pattern of texture & height from the outdoors, such as moss, twigs, or flowers. Or as simple as a blank canvas that you have complimented with a few touches of colors from a repeating fabric design. The key to any successful theme is to use your key ingredient prominently in once space, so that it pops and stands out. You will also want to use a dash of it as a partner to your other decor, to help with blending! We may not all have that keen eye for design, so I have found several fun and new patterns you can use for your wedding! Notice how the chosen patterns are a simple and almost a delicate background. But, when you single it them out for placement elsewhere in your set up, on an invitation or ribbon, it can easily hold its own. That’s exactly what you are looking for. It is easy to overdo it when it comes to busy arrangements. Be sure to stick with one to two stylized patterns, but feel free to mix and match with fun colors on your palette wheel.
It is Friday ladies, but your homework for the weekend is to look for new themes and colors wherever you go this weekend and document them.Send me the pictures next week, so I can see all the fun ideas that are coming together out there. No cheating with my helpful pictures :) Make sure to find new and interesting patterns!!! Looking forward to seeing your ideas next week! You will have so much fun by the end of this task you will be smitten with how fabulous your creative design comes together.