Smart Bride: Ways You Can Curb Your Wedding Expenses

 

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“Weddings are wonderful, but they do not have to be expensive. Marriage is about love, not dollar signs” –Author Unknown

 

Weddings have been known to be expensive.

Regardless of how hard you try to keep the costs down, it seems like one aspect or another would cause your overall expenses to bloat. Couples do try to stay in budget as much as possible but there is also that factor that says they are only going to be married once. In this regard, they would want their wedding day to be memorable as well and enjoyable. Unfortunately, to most couples this would connote as a huge expense.

However, this should not be the case. Your wedding should be memorable in the sense that people enjoyed it and you had great moments as well and not because you were overwhelmed with payables and budget deficits. Be smart in your approach and plan a wedding that is doable according to your budget. It might be a milestone in your relationship but going over budget and drowning yourself in debt trying to achieve that dream wedding you have can potentially make your marriage fraught with complications. However, keep in mind that this is not to say that your dream wedding is not within your reach. It is but it requires a little effort and creativity on your part to achieve. So, as a smart couple-to-be avail of wedding packages, do whatever you can to keep your wedding expenses small. Do not go beyond budget and perhaps, keep these small but useful tips in mind when planning and preparing for a wedding:

 

Have a well-defined budget

Saving money on your wedding starts with creating a well-defined budget. In this regard, your budget should be strict and clear. Take a look at the state of your savings and determine how much you and your spouse to be can afford to put toward your wedding. Keep in mind that you have to set a limit as well and not go overboard. Keep in mind that you would still need money to start out your life as a couple as well. List what your prospective expenses might be, tabulate them and put them in a spreadsheet. If you can already canvass prices for these, all the better as you would be able to include it in your sheet but for other expenses, it requires a bit of guesswork. Determine how much the average person is going to consume and how many guests you would have and what the overall price would be then include it in your spreadsheet.

 

Do not go for the most obvious and convenient venues

Convenient venues charge couples exorbitantly because they are obvious choices. They make everyone happy and they do not need little more work and effort just to get there. Sure, it might be tempting to book your wedding in places where it is accessible both to your guests as well as to you. However, by opting for unconventional and out-of-the-box choices, you can potentially save a lot. Remember, just because they are far does not mean they would be any less grand. If anything, you might even discover hidden gems in the suburbs or rural side of your town. Explore as many of your options as possible before going for the most obvious route.

 

Try to see if you can ask for discounts

Most couples do not bother with negotiating a discount solely because it is more hassle to negotiate. However, you should ask whenever you can but remember to be reasonable in your request. Remember that your suppliers are running a business as well so do not try to low ball them. Apart from that, scout out some family, friends and relatives who are in the business and ask them if they can offer you a discount or if they are willing to negotiate on one. Of course, as a way of saying your thanks, ask them if you have any skills you can offer them in exchange.

 

Buy your alcohol

You would be surprised as to how steep the markup on alcohol will be in catered events. Apart from this, some venues will even charge you extra for each alcoholic drink served. In this regard, it is best to go wholesale rather than pay retail. Buy boxes of wine or any alcoholic beverage and serve them up on your wedding. Not only would this make your bartender’s life easier, it makes your total expense significantly smaller than what it would have been had you paid retail.

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Successful Events: Five Characteristics of a Good Wedding Organizer

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“Planning the wedding is a trial run for your future marriage. The things you battle about now are clues to where you are going to have trouble in the future.” -Tina B. Tessina

 

All brides are different.

There are some brides who plan their wedding the moment they get engaged and there are those who possess the bride gene and have planned for their big as a kid. Then there are those who would rather let others run the show.

However, regardless of what kind of a bride a woman might be, a wedding is still considered a major celebration that transcends all of the other events she might celebrate in her life. Furthermore, it is of no question that the couple’s wedding day would be the most significant event they would ever celebrate in their lives. Beyond the glitz and the glamour, weddings are all about celebrating love, commemorating a successful union and cementing a relationship–and it is an event that the couple gets to share with everyone they hold dear in their lives from family to friends. In this regard, it is only natural for a woman to wish for a successful wedding event. It is for this very reason that wedding organizers exist. These are the very individuals who would translate your visions into reality and give life to your wedding receptions. Unfortunately, as with the consequence of technology, many brides have taken to wedding planning apps rather than employ the professional services of a wedding organizer. However, one has to keep in mind that no matter how advanced these technological innovations are, they cannot replace the skills and expertise of a professional wedding organizer.

That being said, it is also true that not all wedding organizers are cut from the same cloth. In this regard, you need to be a little thorough when it comes to selecting the professional you do want to work with. Here are some of the characteristics you might want to look out for:

 

1.) Organized

Planning a wedding is not easy feat. There are a lot of elements and aspects to consider which is why it is imperative that your wedding planner possess massive organizational skills. As your wedding planner, it is part of their job to have detailed notes on each contracted vendor’s product or services rendered. Furthermore, it is a wedding organizer’s foremost responsibility to have a cohesive and seamless timeline that would guide them as well as the couple on the big day.

2.) Creative

Today, many wedding organizers would capitalize on the fact that they can give couples their dream wedding. However, dream weddings can be taken to mean many things and can be different for every couple. Your wedding organizer should be creative enough to recreate your dream into reality and incorporate elements that would make it better. While getting inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram is great, wedding organizers should also be able to think outside the box.

3.) Budget Savvy

As a bride, you would want to mitigate expenses as much as possible. Unfortunately, you would rarely have any idea about the true cost of the wedding photography, flowers, catering and your other vendors. On top of planning for your day, your wedding organizer should be able to create and manage your budget. They are the ones tasked in selecting appropriate vendors who will fit into that budget and set realistic expectations for you as to what you can afford. After all, there is no point in keeping your hopes up and setting the bar too high when your budget cannot even accommodate it.

4.) Good in correspondence

In planning a wedding, you will inevitably spend most of the following weeks leading up to your wedding in correspondence with your wedding organizing. In this regard, the wedding organizer you select should be able to have communication skills–both verbal and written. They would be doing a lot of talking–and not only to you. More often than not, they would be the ones to do the negotiating with the vendors as well as talk to your family and friends during the planning process. Effective communication is pivotal in this aspect. Furthermore, you must take into account that wedding are rather temperamental events to plan insomuch that emotions are at all time high–especially weeks leading up to a the wedding. Should things get a little tense, your wedding organizer should be able to appease the situation and remain professional and pleasant.

5.) Skilled Negotiator

Your prospective wedding organizer should know how to haggle. This is because most of the time, they would be doing the negotiating on your behalf as you would not know what questions to ask of which vendor. In most cases, professional events planners would be able to get a better price from suppliers than a couple will as they have already established a business relationship with many of them. Choose a vendor who can negotiate the best term appropriate for you as this will not only save you money, but time as well.

 

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Practical Weddings: Five Ways to Cater on a Budget

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“Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.” –Lin Yutang

Throwing an elaborate and lavish wedding is already expensive by itself.

In fact, an itemization of the things you would need to spend on from the event venue down to the catering would show you the extent of what you would have to be spending on. However, this is not always the case. Sure, you may need to cut down expenses here and there, but there is no absolute need to compromise what your dream wedding would be. One of the crucial aspects that make a wedding so expensive is the catering. After all, most caterers would charge you an exorbitant fee for every guest you would be feeding considering that they would be doing more than just serving your guests food. However, it is not so much that caterers would be charging their clientele with a premium but more on the fact that couples who do avail of their service do not know how to strategically plan their catering that they would end up having the best price possible.

Fortunately, with the recent rise of affordable catering, the thriving market has created a demand for exceptional catering service sans the exorbitant price. Today, affordable catering is widely available. If you wish to have catering that exceeds your expectations and stay within budget, here are some of the things you should consider:

1.) Know your guests

Have an estimate of how many guests would be attending your event. By having a rough idea of how many they are, you can accurately estimate how much food you would need to order with the assistance of your caterer. Overestimating the number of your guests might cause you pay a little more but that is at least a little better than not having enough food on your function. Moreover, it is imperative that you note down any dietary requirements or allergies your guests might have so that each and every one of them would leave fed and satisfied.

2.) Find the best caterer for you

The caterer selection process can be a bit overwhelming considering that there is a myriad of options available. However, it is best to choose the caterer who is comfortable with supplying you with the food you want and an event your size. Remember, established large-scale caterers might not be so receptive in catering a small function and might price you a premium just to cover your event.

3.) Skip the extras or at least keep it to a minimum

Sure, it can be tempting to go with a caterer that can provide you with almost everything that you need. However, do note that more often than not, these caterers would charge you a lot more than necessary considering that they are doing so much of the extra work. More often than not, it is more cost-efficient to just go with a caterer who provides solely food and look for other vendors for other elements. In any case, it is best to ask yourself whether you really need those extras. By choosing the services you avail of carefully and eschewing aspects you do not necessarily need, you can significantly reduce how much you pay.

4.) Find the right venue

The catering and venue aspect of your wedding event go hand in hand. Indeed, selecting the appropriate place to host your event can contribute to achieving your budget goals. Remember, your caterer would likely charge you a bit more if you selected a venue that does not come with the equipment they need to prepare their food. In this regard, it might be best to choose a venue that complements their hosting service with a catering one. Today, quite a lot of venues would offer you great deals on function rooms if you can guarantee a certain number of heads.

5.) Book in advance

This one is self-explanatory and needs no further elaboration. The reality is, the closer to the event you book, the more your caterer would charge you. Moreover, by booking ahead, you would give your catering partner and yourself a wide berth in planning a menu for your event.

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Essential Wedding Items Brides Neglect to Budget for

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“My goal is that every couple, even those on a limited budget, have an elegant wedding day to remember” – Polly Clements

 

Planning a wedding can cause a couple a lot of stress, and that the same stress escalates by the time they would receive the total charges of the wedding they just had. In planning weddings, whether lavish or simple, a strategic plan must go into budgeting to make sure no couple overspends or they will end up commencing their union swimming in debt. As it is, weddings do have many hidden costs and although Polly Clements has the right sentiment in mind about every couple deserving an elegant wedding they could truly remember, this would hardly be the case if the couple themselves are not meticulous enough to know where their money is going—including the hidden costs they may potentially neglect.

Other charges such as choosing an appropriate wedding menu are apparent enough, but others may not be as conspicuous. To give you a brief illustration of what these potential costs are, this article has enumerated them down below.

PRE-WEDDING COSTS

This list would include your marriage license which would cost you. This is an essential piece as this would be the most critical thing you would need on your wedding day in order for you and your spouse-to-be to get married. Another pre-wedding cost you might fail to consider is your bachelorette party.

Typically, the maid of honor and your bridesmaids would pick up the tab, but if you are planning an out-of-town excursion or a beach trip, your maid of honor and the bridesmaids would be paying for their own airfare—the least you can do is to pitch in to help alleviate the costs. Lastly, you would need to factor in the paper goods you are going to spend for your wedding invitations and the postage for these should you want them to reach your guests via snail mail.

GETTING READY

This list would include items that you are to be setting aside a budget for during the day of your wedding. Typically, this would include a hotel room you would need to book for the night before if you are planning on getting ready in a hotel suite. You would most probably need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready and a room to getaway to at night.

Additionally, you would have to spend for the meals your entourage would be having as they will be with you every step of the way on your wedding day. So, make sure they have something to keep their stomachs filled during your big day. Lastly, this should include a backup fund which would cover the costs of things you may have forgotten during the big day. “Wedding brain” is a thing and it can happen even to the most fastidious bride on her wedding day especially if you are not getting ready in your own home. Make sure you have some spare funds to spend for the pair of shoes you may have forgotten, the grooms belt, etc.

COSTS FOR GUESTS

Apart from obviously spending for the catering your guests are to enjoy, there are a lot of other factors you need to take notice of. One of them is their transportation. Naturally, your guests should be responsible as to how to get to and from your wedding, but when they do become too intoxicated to drive home, it should be your concern.

If you cannot assign another guest to take them home, you would have to pitch in for the taxi fare. Another thing is to show your parents your gratitude, you would need to present them with gifts and this will inevitably cost you.

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A wedding affair certainly does not carry a cheap price tag and can even be a bit overwhelming with so many hidden costs. However, this would not need to be the case at all times if a couple is wise enough to arm themselves with all the information they need prior to their wedding day.

Five Big Wedding Blunders You Should Avoid

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“Weddings are wonderful, but they do not have to be expensive. Marriage is about love, not dollar signs.”

Burt Reynolds had once said that Marriage is the most expensive way for the average man to get his laundry done and although the sentiment is more comical than fact, there is a certain truth to it. However, though weddings do not necessarily have to be expensive to be memorable, couples should not discount the idea of having a big wedding altogether.

Every wedding is unique after all, and if you are a couple who has several family members having a big wedding may be the best option.

However, no matter how meticulously a bride may have planned her wedding day; there are some things that may go awry amidst the ceremony or the reception. And although dreaming of a perfect wedding is close to impossibility, it is something that can be achieved and for starters, you can arm yourself with some of the fatal errors committed during big weddings so that you are less likely to make them come your wedding day. After all, forewarned is forearmed and in this case, knowing beforehand would do you and your allocated wedding budget a favor.

PLANNING MISTAKE: Blowing Your Fashion Budget on Just the Dress

Sure, we all want to look dapper and our personal best on our wedding day, but that does not mean that you would singularly blow your budget on your wedding gown in an attempt to look like a princess on your big day. Say for example you have allocated at least twenty-five thousand for your look; this does not mean you should spend that twenty-five thousand on your gown alone. Allocate your fashion budget well; remember that your gown is only one aspect of your look. Consider that you would have to spend for your undergarments, shoes, hair accessories, makeup and jewelry as well.

PLANNING MISTAKE: Sending out Save-The-Dates Too Soon

In the midst of all the euphoria and anticipation, it would be rather easy and tempting to tell everyone about your wedding date as soon as possible or even the moment you get engaged. You have not even adequately planned the guest list yet nor the wedding venue or the catering menu, yet here you are happily sending invitations away. Make sure you do not commit this blunder and have guests that are mere acquaintances by the time of your wedding show up by planning a guest list only for those guests you are certain would be invited such as your families.

PLANNING MISTAKE: Skipping a Wedding Videographer

You may consider forgoing the services of a wedding videographer in favor of some other service you need at your wedding. If you are, have a moment to reconsider and allocate a part of your wedding budget for a videographer. Keep in mind that wedding photos can only take you so far whereas wedding videos can capture the most poignant and important highlights of your wedding. This momentous milestone in your life should be recorded, your future self will thank you for it.

PLANNING MISTAKE: Micromanaging Your Vendors

Many brides are notorious for being overly meticulous that even if they have hired the services of the best photographers and other wedding vendors, they would still be tempted to control every detail. It is normal to want everything to be perfect during your wedding day, but if you insist on micromanaging every single aspect in your wedding, you would have barely any time to enjoy it. Trust the wedding professionals you hired to get it right.

PLANNING MISTAKE: Telling Everyone about Your Wedding

It can be rather hard to keep yourself from talking about something you are excited about. But remember that once you start sharing more often, the more likely you are opening yourself to opinions regarding your choices regardless if you have solicited them or not. Another thing is that it would be rather hard to surprise your guests if you have blabbed too much information regarding the details of your wedding and they would not be as impressed as they should be if you kept mum about it.

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How to Have Your Dream Wedding within Your Budget

 

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We all have our fair share of dream weddings.

 

We want everything to be perfect and the way we envisaged it in our heads. We want everything in place from the wedding dress down to the wedding catering. On that one day where we are to tie the knot with the person, we envision spending the rest of our lives with, we want nothing to go wrong.

However, weddings are rather costly and with product prices at an all time, it can be hard to negotiate with the dream wedding we have without compromising a few costs. The logistics of planning a wedding is already costly enough, complement that with the actual cost and you might just be paying quite a hefty bill before even saying your respective I do’s.

This is why most couples need to have a workable and estimated budget on the costs they are about to incur. As it is, it would be impractical to needlessly splurge everything on your wedding day and have virtually nothing left for you to spend your days together in building a family. However, working within your budget does not have to mean sacrificing the dream wedding you want. It is still very much possible to do so and here are ways just to do exactly that.

HAVE A WEDDING PHILOSOPHY

Being guided by your wedding philosophy determines your decision-making process, especially when it comes to pecuniary matters. This will complement your budgeting ideals and will assist you in making decisions when it comes to wedding expenditures regarding how much you should spend on a particular wedding aspect. To establish a solid wedding philosophy, you and your partner should ask yourselves what the purpose of your wedding is, how you feel about it, how you want your guests to feel about it and what your values and priorities are. From there, you can align your purchases with your philosophy and make decisions from there.

HAVE A LIST OF NEGOTIABLES AND NON-NEGOTIABLES

In connection with having a philosophy, you and your partner should be guided by the very same philosophy in listing your negotiables versus your non-negotiables. Your non-negotiables should include all the items you cannot imagine your wedding without while your negotiables are all the things that would be interesting and fun to have at your wedding but ones you can skip and do without. Every couple has unique priorities and determining what yours are will make the spending process of your wedding funds a whole lot easier.

KNOW WHEN TO SPLURGE AND WHEN TO CUT COSTS

Having a list of non-negotiables and negotiables will help you identify which items you would rather splurge money on and which items you could still have at a lower cost. One instance of this is hiring a professional photographer while having faux floral decorations and arrangements. Having non-negotiables present at your wedding may still be a possibility provided you know where to determine the areas where you should splurge on your finances and where to cut some costs.

RESEARCH THE MARKET

It is best to be amply prepared when it comes to spending an exorbitant amount of money—especially on momentous events and affairs such as weddings. When you adequately research the market beforehand, you can have a reasonable comparison of the services you want to avail of and avoid unnecessary overspending when you can get it at a more affordable price. Additionally, researching beforehand helps you gain insight into the products and the services offered by the company and will aid you in your decision-making process.

UTILIZE YOUR CREATIVITY

Cutting costs in negotiable areas may take creativity on your part. Consider some DIY projects and enlist the help and assistance of friends and relatives. Hiring professionals for every aspect in your weddings in your wedding will cost you greatly—besides, giving your wedding that creative touch may be more meaningful to your guests considering that this will feel a lot more personal and intimate.

 

Having the wedding you have always dreamed of is a possibility without breaking the bank. Following these five easy steps will assist you in achieving that. While you do not have to agonize over every peso spent on your wedding, it does not mean you should be unwise and needlessly splurge on your expenses. Have a solid wedding philosophy and stick with it and you will have the wedding of your dreams minus the expensive cost.