Category Archives: Wedding Advice

Myth Busters, Wedding Edition: A Wedding Planner’s Advice on Those Dreaded Budgets

Myth Busters, Wedding Edition: A Wedding Planner’s Advice on Those Dreaded Budgets

Photo Credit: Monika Broz Photography

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lauren Ricciardelli. Lauren is President & Creative Director of Private Receptions, a boutique event planning company based in both NYC and Hilton Head, SC.

As a wedding planner I have to take on many roles in a days work. One of those roles is frequently Financial Advisor. Hands down, this is always my clients’ biggest concern, especially when planning in New York City. I can totally understand why, since the wedding industry is now a multi-million dollar beast. But being on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean giving up your wedding dreams or DIY-ing until your fingers are permanently covered in Modge Podge. Here are my Dos and Don’ts when planning your wedding budget.

DO invest in an amazing photographer

The first thing to do (after creating your guest list – because, really, you can’t find a venue until you have an idea of how many people you’re inviting) is to create your budget. Sit down with your fiancé and the wedding financiers and discuss what is most important to you as a couple. Now, I know this is different for everyone, but the one thing I ALWAYS advise people NOT to skim on is the photographer. Here’s why: after all the wine has run out, the food devoured, flowers tossed and dress preserved the most priceless memento from your wedding will be the pictures. Trust me when I tell you, the day goes by so fast that it’s impossible to remember every detail (unless you’re Sheldon Cooper). A great photographer can capture those moments that you may have missed.

Picture this if you will: Your grandmother tears up as you walk down the aisle but your eyes are glued on your man. A good photographer will have preserved that moment for you to see later. Or perhaps, your fiancé was anxiously waiting before entering the ceremony; how else would you know about those adorable nerves if not for the photo? (Because you know he’ll never admit it) Do yourself a favor and dedicate a sizeable chunk to your wedding photographer. Do you ever regret amazing pictures? (I’m guessing ‘No’)

DON’T Go Over-board with Food

Most people/planning apps, etc will tell you to dedicate the largest portion of your budget to the venue and food. And it’s easy to spend enormous amounts on food and beverage, because it ain’t cheap! But if you’re on a tight budget, it’s best to cut down on all those foodie heaven bells and whistles. Sorry, that means that mashed potato bar gets cut. If you still want stellar food (and who doesn’t?) cut back on the cocktail hour and invest more in the actual dinner. After all if you’re spending the equivalent of a car payment on a seated dinner or buffet, you want people to eat it! And they won’t if they’ve filled up during the cocktail hour. Keep it simple, too. The less exotic the food or more simple the preparation; the more budget friendly it will be. Stick to beer & wine and a signature cocktail to keep alcohol costs down. Remember, people don’t come JUST for the food – they want to celebrate and party with your amazing selves!

DO Invest in Music

A great DJ or band will get people out of their seats before you can say “DANCE BREAK!” And once everyone is dancing their pants off; they’ll forget all about the fact that you didn’t have that shrimp tower during the cocktail hour.

DON’T Get Caught Up on Labels

Yes, I mean designer labels. It’s SO easy to get caught up in wedding runway fashion and dream of going to Kleinfeld’s (you know, Say Yes to the Dress). There are plenty of small wedding boutiques that cater to many different budgets. And hey, you’re supporting the small business economy. If you’re absolutely set on a designer dress there are some wallet friendly alternatives. Online stores such as Nearly Newlywed, Once Wed, and TrendGet.com offer deep discounts to either purchase or rent. Some of their selections even include the wedding greats such as Amsale, BHLDN, Jenny Packham, Monique Lhullier and yes, even Ms. Wang.

And this goes for the gentlemen too, there’s no need to go splurging on a custom suit or tux when the dollars are tight and there are so many more affordable options. (Even if he claims he has awkward measurements)

DO Consider a Professional Florist

It always scares me when brides say they don’t need a florist. Maybe their aunt knows where to get them from the farmers market or they think it’ll be a fun project the morning of the wedding. It won’t be, I swear. From a planning perspective, this leaves SO much room for error. What if the flowers you love are out of season? How will you store them? Where will you store them? How will everyone get his or her flowers? What will the centerpieces be displayed in? How much do the vessels cost in which to display them? I could go on.

I completely understand that flowers can be expensive. (I’m under-stating here) But a really, truly great florist will be able to create something wonderful from the smallest of budgets. You don’t need a huge bridal bouquet. It’s romantic with even a small nosegay; and once you’re dancing you won’t be holding it anyway. And the same goes for bridesmaids; a few long stem roses or a bunch of hydrangea can go a long way. Centerpieces? Ask your florist to use fuller flowers to pack a larger punch. And candles. Candles go a loooooong way. Or scrap the centerpieces all together and do something more personal like display photos of you as a couple, pictures of you both growing up or even books that you love. I love helping clients think outside the box!

DO Hire a Wedding Planner

Yes, this is the very FIRST thing that people cut when they’re on a budget and it makes my heart cry. It’s quite possibly one of the biggest wedding mistakes you can make, especially on a budget. Despite popular belief, wedding planners are NOT just for the rich and famous. In fact, a knowledgeable wedding planner can actually save you money. Yes, I said SAVE YOU MONEY. This is because we already know the industry ins and outs. We can tell you that, ‘Hey that loft space is going to require a lot more rentals than your budget allows but how about this venue?’ Or, ‘I see on your Pinterest board you wanted to make those adorable cookies wrapped in a monogramed box. I know the perfect supplier for the cookies AND the boxes that will be cheaper than going to a craft store’.

Not only can we tell you how and where to save money but we’re also the ones who will artfully set up all your DIY projects and décor details exactly as you want them so your mom can enjoy seeing you get into your dress. (In fact, at Private Receptions, we’ve even helped our brides with their DIY projects) Buses running late? We’ll be there to let the venue and other vendors know so that you don’t walk down the aisle as your guests are pulling up. You see, wedding planners exist to make your planning process, and consequentially your wedding day, as stress free and fun as possible; no matter the budget. And we want your family and friends to sit back and enjoy it too! I promise, you won’t regret being able to enjoy every moment of your day and not lift a single finger. (Except for a toast of course!)

Of course each wedding has their priorities, but keeping these Do’s and Don’ts in mind during your planning process may help put things into perspective.

 Thanks Lauren! For more information about Private Receptions, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide Profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Lauren? Add them to the comments below!

Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

5 Tips to Save You Money on Custom Invitations

5 Tips to Save You Money on Custom Invitations

This insightful and practical guest post was written by Dondrea Owens. Dondrea is the owner of Jenkins Rose | Modern Paper, a letterpress and calligraphy studio located in Atlanta, Georgia. Nothing excites her more than pretty paper and fancy handwriting. The studio is named after Dondrea’s grandmothers who taught her that all of life’s moments should be celebrated with love and in style.

You’ve looked everywhere for the perfect wedding invitation suite, and you feel a bit like Goldilocks trying to find one that’s just right. You want an invitation suite that communicates the feel of your special day in all of its perfection, but nothing you’ve found fits the bill. Enter the custom invitation suite. While most existing suites can be changed to fit your color scheme and wording requirements, custom invitations go a step further in allowing you to design every single piece to your heart’s content. From your choice of font, color, patterns, and print medium, the decisions are completely yours. In order to avoid sticker shock after you’ve put together your dream invitation suite, here are some tips on how to save while still getting exactly what you want!

Read the full post after the cut!


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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · 2 Comments

How to Ensure Success for Your Destination Wedding

How to Ensure Success for Your Destination Wedding

Big thanks to Samantha Alexander, contributor to the HomeInsurance.com blog, for this guest post!

Do you dream of getting married in a picturesque, exotic location? Destination weddings can be a romantic and memorable alternative to a traditional ceremony and location. In fact, many couples are ditching the church ceremony and banquet hall reception for breathtaking backdrops in the Caribbean, Europe and even Asia.

Planning a destination wedding comes with its own unique set of obstacles and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Check out these helpful tips to ensure – and insure – that your journey down the aisle will go a lot smoother.

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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

Wacky Weddings — Infographic

Traditional weddings certainly aren’t for everyone and for those of you who really want to push the envelope,  Simply Bridal is here with a great infographic of some over-the-top wedding ideas!

Click to see full size:

Wacky Weddings — Infographic

See our other previous infographics here!

Posted in Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

Whirlwind Weddings — Infographic

Getting married in a jiffy? Traditional wedding planning takes about a year, but sometimes you don’t have that much time. Simply Bridal is here with a great infographic with a breakdown of costs, a timeline, and some advice!

Click to see full size:

Whirlwind Weddings

 

See our other previous infographics here!

Posted in Wedding Advice by Tracy · Leave a comment

What to Expect for a Private Estate Wedding

What to expect for a private estate wedding

Today’s guest post is by the wonderful people at Estate Weddings and Events, with whom we work with through WeddingVenueLove listing some of their great estates available for rental (all photos are available estates, click to see their profile!) We’ve asked them to explain everything that you’d might need to know about renting an estate for your wedding — enjoy!

Private estate weddings are the answer to brides who ask the question, “Where can I find a unique, out-of-the-box wedding venue?” As a company specialized in managing private estate venues across the U.S and Internationally, we speak to many brides everyday who are completely new to the idea of renting out a private estate for their special day. The truth is the possibilities are endless with private estates! Just take a look at many of our past weddings.

Are you a private estate bride? Here are some basics of what to expect when you choose a private estate as your venue.

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Bridesmaids Gifts: What to Get Your Girls

Bridesmaids Gifts: What to Get Your Girls

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

When considering how to buy gifts for your bridesmaids, I have one piece of advice: Do not think of them as goodie bags. There was a time and a place for those plastic baggies stuffed with candy and clearance-item doodads, but I think we all agree you should show your wedding party a little bit more creativity. Here are some ways of thinking about bridesmaids gifts that avoid conventionality and overspending.

Read the full post after the cut!


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Posted in Guest Post, Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party — Infographic

SimplyBridal has created another helpful infographic to help you get ready for the big day. Today’s infographic is all about planning a bachelorette party, because there’s more to wedding planning than just the wedding!

Click image for full size:

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party — Infographic

See our other previous infographics here!

Posted in Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

Pets at Weddings — Infographic

Pet friendly weddings are the new craze, gaining popularity worldwide. The idea is, You wouldn’t leave your child at home on your special day, right? Then why leave the pug? Including a fuzzy pal, requires a bit of planning SimplyBridal had gone ahead and did the brainstorming for you, consider these 8 steps and you are set!

Click image for full size:

Pets at Weddings — Infographic

See our other previous infographics here!

Posted in Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

Locations for Autumn Weddings — Infographic

Are you planning an Autumn Wedding? Still searching for the perfect location? If so, this lovely infographic by SimplyBridal is for you! Enjoy:

Click image for full size:

Locations for Autumn Weddings — Infographic

See our other previous infographics here!

 

Posted in Wedding Advice by Jessica · Leave a comment

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