Posts tagged Budget
Posts tagged Budget
1. Take Stock of Your Location
Do a walk-through of your venue as soon as you’re able, noting features to highlight — a grand staircase or a grove of trees, perhaps — and areas that need to be spruced up or downplayed.
2. Get Glowing
Lighting can make or break an event, but to create the right ambience, you don’t necessarily need to hire professionals to cast patterns on the dance floor. You can set the mood simply by flanking an outdoor walkway with dozens of luminaria or setting dining tables with elegant candelabra or clusters of small candles; you might also replace harsh white bulbs in fixtures with more flattering amber ones.
3. Dress Up Your Entryway
Beautiful front-door decorations, which can be as low-key as swags of greenery, serve as a visual welcome whether adorning a building or a tent and ensure that everyone’s first glimpse of the party is from its best vantage point.
4. Work with What You Have
An all-white theme won’t do in a hotel ballroom papered in red and gold, nor does it make sense to try to transform a rustic lodge into the Crystal Palace.
5. Choose a Theme
Whether it’s a monogram, a color pairing, or a food or flower that evokes a favorite place, a repeated element helps to both personalize and unify your event.
6. Don’t Overlook Small Details
A few well-placed touches, such as monogrammed cocktail napkins or an interesting charger, can go a long way toward making your party look extra-special.
7. Think Outside the Box
A silver bowl of sugared fruit makes a stunning and unexpected alternative to a traditional floral centerpiece, and one long banquet table may fit a sleekly modern space better than several round ones do.
8. Size Up Your Centerpieces
Keep floral arrangements and other table decor under 14 or over 20 inches high, so guests can view and converse with each other across the table.
9. Build in Flexibility
Look for ways that allow you to change things easily at the last minute. The seating cards below keep names and table numbers separate, so you can shift guests’ assignments without having to rewrite the cards.
10. Tackle Big Tasks First
Your immediate “to do” list: Book the venue, hire a caterer, decide on basic decor. With these major tasks done, you’ll be ready to focus on the smaller details.
11. Know Your Time Line
You’ll need to choose your florist at least six months ahead of time and reserve your party rentals two months after that.
12. Send Save-the-Dates
Especially if you are planning a destination wedding or marrying on a holiday, ask guests to mark their calendars. Ideally, mail out these announcements at least four months before the wedding.
13. Invite Carefully
Be prepared: Up to 80 to 90 percent of those invited may attend. (The smaller the list, the more yeses you should expect percentage-wise, because you will likely be asking only those closest to you.)
14. Get It in Writing
Make sure you have signed contracts from all your vendors and that you’ve read the fine print and resolved any questions.
15. Map Out Your Space
Be sure you have ample room for tables (figure 10 to 15 square feet per person, assuming that the tables are round and seat six to 10 guests); also check that the dance floor is big enough (four to five square feet per guest is about right).
16. Arrange for a Backup
Planning an outdoor reception? You can’t count on sunshine, so either reserve a tent or opt for a location with an indoor alternative in the event of inclement weather.
17. Enlist Help
Even if you’ve decided against an overall wedding planner, you’ll want a cool-headed pro on hand to ask guests to be seated for dinner, help organize toasts, and handle any problems. Ask if your venue can provide this service; if not, some independent planners will work for a single day.
18. Don’t Let the Seams Show
If possible, designate a separate cocktail area and close the reception space to early arrivals. To create a sense of drama, neither you nor your guests should see the behind-the-scenes machinations and last-minute setup gaffes. Keeping the doors closed will also let your photographer take unhurried shots of the reception decor before the crowd arrive
19. Whip Up Affordable Favors
Stylish tokens needn’t be expensive. These biodegradable bowls (below) look sumptuous when wrapped with gauzy fabric and labeled with paper strips that are laser printed in a pretty font. Fill with mini meringues, an economical treat; either make them yourself or ask your caterer to provide them.
20. Go for Daytime Drama
Many venues charge more for after-dark affairs. With an outdoor reception, if you opt for a luncheon event, you’ll also cut back on or eliminate costs associated with lighting, such as setup and generators.
21. Narrow Your Tables
By seating diners family-style at long tables no wider than 36 inches, you’ll shrink the amount of empty space to decorate, cutting down on centerpiece costs. Guests will still have plenty of room and will find conversation easier as well.
22. Reuse Your Blooms
There’s no reason why ceremony flowers can’t come to the reception. Ask for altar arrangements that will also complement the party site. Alternatively, your florist may be able to refashion them into small gift bouquets for your bridal party.
23. Play with Time
You’ll save on liquor, food, and possibly vendors’ fees if you shave 30 minutes or an hour off the party. So it doesn’t feel rushed, cut a little from everything (make the cocktail hour a “cocktail 45 minutes”) instead of eliminating events.
24. Consider a Full-Service Deal
A site with a fee that includes necessities such as linens and furniture may at first appear more expensive than an a la carte venue, but once you factor in rental fees, you may ultimately keep costs down.
25. Stay in One Place
Have your wedding and reception in the same location. You’ll spend less on decor as well as on transportation costs for you and your wedding attendants.
26. Rethink Humble Decorations
Balloons have long been used to fill party spaces at low cost. For a sophisticated feel, opt for a few large balloons instead of masses of birthday-party-style ones. Those with a diameter of 36 inches have an elegant globe shape.
27. Put Big Smiles on Little Faces
Young guests will enjoy goody bags that are all theirs. Fill a toteable container like below with treats that aren’t messy, such as age-appropriate toys, or animal crackers. Add paper and washable crayons, and kids might even create one-of-a-kind cards for the bride and groom.
28. Eschew the Receiving Line
If you will be hosting more than 50 people, the traditional meet-and-greet can take an hour or more. For groups of this size, it’s more gracious of the newlyweds to thank guests by visiting every table.
29. Tame the Toasts
An unplanned ramble can interrupt the flow of a party and make everyone uncomfortable. Encourage spur-of-the-moment speeches at the rehearsal dinner so the reception includes only words from the host, the newlyweds, and the best man and maid of honor. If you’re concerned that your speakers may overindulge, schedule toasts to take place early in the festivities.
30. Break the Ice
At a less formal reception, a short written quiz about you and your new husband, with questions about where you met and how he proposed, can get conversation started between guests who’ve never met.
31. Set a Time Limit
Your guests have already spent hours, if not days, at prewedding events and at the ceremony itself; they’re likely to be tired. Though you may wish the reception would never end, it should last no more than five hours. Also, make it clear that any after parties you schedule are entirely optional.
32. Add Thoughtful Extras
A few small comfort items are always appreciated. Consider stashing a basket of inexpensive slippers near the dance floor for women who are tired of their high heels. Have hand lotion, tissues, or hair spray in the restrooms. At an outdoor fete, stock sunscreen, bug repellent, paper fans, and perhaps even a few cozy wraps for the women in case of a sudden evening chill.
33. Restrain Yourselves
Less is more when it comes to a wedding reception, so consider ditching the 30-minute video montage or the fireworks display for something less elaborate. Even a gesture as simple as distributing sparklers at night’s end can charm guests and keep them from feeling overloaded.
34. Keep Your Helpers Happy
Your hospitality should extend to photographers, videographers, waiters, and musicians, as well as any other vendors working at your reception. Make sure they have water, scheduled breaks, and, most important, a meal. It need not be the same one that you’re serving to guests, but it should be nourishing and delicious.
35. Offer Small Amusements
Unexpected entertainment is wonderful when your guests tire of dancing. A portrait station of do-it-yourself Polaroids, a cigar roller, or a strolling palm reader can offer a touch of surprise and whimsy.
36. Have Fun with Finger Food
Hors d’oeuvres are best when they are easy to serve and eat. You’re offering a choice, so go ahead and pick something exotic; plan on about six options and six pieces per person.
37. Show Off a Beautiful Cake
You may be able to afford a premium baker even on a tight budget. Skip labor-intensive iced decorations and ask for a simpler style, then dress it up with ribbon and fresh flowers. Be sure the flowers you use are food safe and pesticide free.
38. Be Seated
If your budget allows, pamper guests with a plated meal instead of a buffet — it’s an especially nice gesture. If you’d prefer a buffet, be sure to have enough serving stations to prevent long lines, and ask your caterer to prepare and serve plates of food for any elderly guests in attendance.
39. Set Up a “Nonalcoholic” Bar
For an event that includes many children or abstaining adults, consider having a separate table with sparkling and flat water, as well as a spirit-free version of your signature drink if you’re serving one.
40. Streamline the Bar
There’s no need at many weddings to stock your bar with a full selection of liquor. A red and a white wine, a sparkling wine, and a signature cocktail (like the “mintinis”) are plenty, and they’re economical to boot.
41. Limit Your Courses
Unless the meal will be the focus of the evening, as with an intimate party at a five-star restaurant, your menu can consist of an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert (the last could even be the wedding cake).
42. Serve a Mini Meal
If you choose to have an after party, you’ll need to provide refreshments, such as a light buffet of snacks or breakfast treats. Plan on enough for about one-quarter to one-third of your total original invitees.
43. Have It Both Ways
Can’t decide — or can’t agree — on whether to have live entertainment or a DJ? Split the difference and hire musicians for cocktails and a disc jockey for dancing.
44. Build the Best Band
If you’re hiring a cover band, a good one requires a male and a female vocalist, a guitar, bass, keyboard, trumpet or sax, and drums to make the most versatile combination.
45. Offer Guidelines
If there are specific songs you must hear, make a list beforehand for your band or DJ. Are there tunes you absolutely don’t want? Draw up a do-not-play list as well.
46. Keep Mealtime Tunes Soft
If your entertainers aren’t taking a break during this time, they should be considerate of diners by turning down the mike and avoiding any energetic selections.
47. Ask What They’ll Wear
Most DJs or bands will don tuxedos or suits, but it’s best to clarify attire with them to avoid surprises. For a casual event, such as a beach reception, you may want them in something less formal.
48. Depart in Style
Ask your site manager beforehand whether rice, rose petals, sparklers, and the like are allowed. When it comes time to leave, have someone round up guests and pass out props, then say a heartfelt goodbye.
49. Show Appreciation
Make sure you’ve designated someone, such as the best man, to distribute gratuity envelopes you’ve prepared at party’s end. You’ll need to tip all service providers, including the catering and reception staff (unless gratuity is added to the total bill), cleanup crew, and limousine drivers.
Q. My parents are paying for our wedding. We have no other family, and only a few friends of mine from work will be invited. My parents have agreed to host 100 wedding guests at a seated-dinner wedding reception with an open bar at a very nice hotel. However, both my fiance and his parents are having a fit because they want to invite more guests than that. I feel this is very unfair and I wonder how this can be resolved. My fiance will not accept limitations!
A. Clearly you’re right, and your groom and his parents are being unreasonable (and a bit ungrateful). But how to handle it without causing a major blowout? This is your future husband and in-laws, after all. You need to confront them calmly about this. Simply explain the facts: Your parents have volunteered to foot the bill for 100 guests, a majority of whom will not be people they know. You can’t ask them for any more than they are already giving — nor should you. If your fiance and his family want to invite more guests, tell them they’re more than welcome to do so, as long as they are also willing to contribute the money to cover those guests for the reception. End of story. It’s difficult to imagine what kind of rational argument they could make against that. The key is that if you’re calm and rational, they will feel silly not being calm and rational about the situation. It’s all in the way you present it.
Official confrontation aside, it sounds like you need to have a good talk with your man too. Find out why he doesn’t understand that your parents are generous people but don’t have bottomless pockets. This misunderstanding could be a sign of very different attitudes toward money matters — which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s definitely an issue that will come up in your marriage. The sooner you can resolve this stuff between the two of you, the better off you’ll be. Good luck!
Committing wedding mistakes can be extremely costly, especially with all of the costs associated with w . So, to help you avoid wasting your money I’ve compiled a list of the top ten mistakes that could drain your bank account!
When you’re, it’s super easy to get caught up in the fun and forget about your budget. When you put your budget as a priority, not only will you be saving money, but you won’t be overspending on details that might not matter in the end!
2. PEER PRESSURE
bride plans, there are typically a lot of other people involved and I gotta say, the biggest wedding mistake that most brides make is allowing themselves to be pressured into something that they don’t want. For example, do you really need to have the biggest suite at the hotel? Do you really need the $4,000.00 wedding dress? Scale down and listen to your own words!isn’t something that just the
3. NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO FINE PRINT
I speak with a lot of brideshe sales department and I gotta say, it’s crazy how many brides don’attention to the fine print! If you are signing your life away on tons of contracts, it’ really important that you are reading the fine print. That way you know exactly what you are getting into before you sign!
4. NOT HAVING A PLAN
As I said before,isn’t just about what the bride wants, there are lots of people involved. Having a plan of who is going to plan what and who is going to take care of what is huge! This will not only save you a ton of time, but it’ll also save you money!
5. NOT LOOKING
A lot of people, when they are getting married just leap before they look. If you’re wedding date to a Friday or a Sunday, you can probably get a better deal!, you gotta have a venue to have it – are you looking at more than one venue? ? This is huge to save money! Heck, if you can even switch your
6. OVER FEEDING YOUR GUESTS
Typically, if you are going with a creditable catering company, they will often over estimate the number of people that they are going to feed. What this means is that you might not need to have six appetizer choices, instead you could probably stick with just two or three and be fine.
7. TRYING TO DO IT ALL YOURSELF
When you’re trying to handle each and every detail yourself, it can actually end up costing you money that you otherwise could have saved. Why not involve your bridesmaids, the mothers and even the fathers on both sides? They all want the day to be a success, so why not let them help?
8. LACK OF CREATIVITY
Think outside the box and be creative to save money. Why not visit your local garden shop rather than a high end florist who will import expensive flowers. Rather than go to an expensive cake bakery, why not visit your local grocery store bakery. A friend of mine had her cake specially made from a Walmart and it was beautiful. I bet nobody would have guessed where she got her cake, and she saved a lot of money!
9. TOO MANY GUESTS
When you’re, you should definitely make sure that you have a cap on your guest list. If you are planning on 150, you should cap it at 150, not keep adding to it. This is definitely one of the most common that brides make all of the time!
10. TOO MANY EXTRAS
Finally, it’s really easy to get sucked into the details of a wedding and the details are important, but do you really need the wine charms to go around the glasses? If you scale down on some of the extras, I promise, you’ll save a ton of money in the long run!
Tradition states that the bride’s parents are responsible for fronting the bill for the wedding reception; these days, the bride’s parents, groom’s parents, and the couple themselves all contribute to the wedding pool. That said, it helps to come to the budgeting table prepped with the traditional list of which side pays for what. These conventional “rules” can then be adjusted according to your financial situations: