After almost 30 years of helping bridal couples plan their weddings, Iâ€™ve refined the following ideas as the easiest and most common ways to keep costs under control:
1. Invite fewer guests. It sounds silly, but this one choice can have the single largest impact on your total budget. Caterers charge by the person for food plus you may need to rent additional equipment for larger groups. Often, having fewer guests will mean that you are able to choose a nicer menu that would be beyond your budget for a larger group.
2. Schedule your wedding for very early afternoon. An afternoon reception is usually shorter than an evening reception, resulting in lower staff costs. It is perfectly acceptable to offer only light appetizers or a light lunch for an afternoon reception. Guests will expect a meal to be served at evening receptions.
3. Have your wedding during the week. Saturdays are the most popular days for weddings and venue rates are always highest on weekends. Most locations offer lower rental rates on Fridays or Sundays. Caterers and other vendors often will charge less for receptions held on weekdays.
4. Pick a date during the off season. Most weddings are held May through September. Have your wedding during the slow season when venue rates are usually lower. Many wedding vendors offer lower prices or other incentives during their slow season as well. (As an example, my company, Snuffinâ€™s Catering, offers a free chocolate fondue station during our off season.)
5. Choose a location that includes tables and chairs in the rental rate. Having to rent your own tables and chairs can add substantially to your total bill.
6. Choose a location and caterer that will allow you to provide your own alcoholic beverages. Clubs and other locations that provide liquor service make a substantial amount of their profit on alcohol sales. Providing your own beverages can save a great deal of money. Check with your caterer to see if they allow you to bring your own beverages and if they charge corkage fees.
7. Hire a disc jockey rather than a band. Disc jockeys will play any type of music you want â€“ at a much lower rate than a band.
8. Have your friends and family set up and decorate the hall. Friends will offer to help you with your wedding â€“ let them!
9. Use disposable serving items instead of china & glass. Not only are china and glassware more expensive than disposables, their use also requires additional staff for set up, bussing and dishwashing.
By choosing one or several of the above money saving ideas, you can reduce the total costs for your wedding reception.
My most important piece of advice is saved for last: decide whatâ€™s most important to you about your reception and allow enough in your budget to accomplish that dream. Make less costly choices on items that are not as important to you.
Your wedding day should be joyous and stress-free. Once youâ€™ve make your choices, relax and have a wonderful day!
Article by Sharon Snuffin. Sharon Snuffin is president of Snuffin's Catering, the award-winning caterer in the South Puget Sound area of Washington State. Menu and pricing information are available at http://www.snuffins.com
While planning your wedding you are no doubt bombarded by more advice than you can handle, but the bottom line is you have to make your wedding personal. This is your day make it look like you, not your friends, your mother-in-law, or the latest hot celebrity. Your wedding should reflect your groom's and your personality.
The key is in the details, the small things that reflect who you are. My sister attached little silver charms that said "love", to almost everything. She then used similar silver charms that said "thank you" to the party favors. She carried the theme of the small charms with red ribbon thru out her wedding. It tied everything together, and reflected her personality, and likes. Find a theme that fits your personality and go with it.
Another little detail that often gets overlooked is the stamps you use on your wedding invitations, and on the return envelopes. The USPS offers wedding stamps that are much more attractive than the standard issue stamps everyone gets. You can look at the stamps at http://shop.usps.com , then search for "wedding". (Blog credit Paperjam) The small detail make all the difference.
A fun idea for your centerpieces is to incorporate your engagement pictures, using your pictures helps make your wedding more personal, and gives guests that may not know both of you a look into your life together.
Be creative and have fun, its your day.
Again from the Weddingbee is some great information on your choice of wedding flowers:
Acacia is the flower of friendship.
Agrimony is a flower associated with gratitude.
Ambrosia is the flower for love returned.
Anemone is the flower of expectation
Apple Blossoms are for hope.
Aster is a flower associated with elegance.
Azaleas are the flowers of temperance.
Babyâ€™s breath is the flower of innocence.
Bay Laurel is the flower of glory.
Calla Lilies are for Beauty.
Cemellias stand for loveliness.
Carnations represent devotion.
Chrysanthemums are the flowers of abundance.
Daffodils represent regard.
Daisies are flowers that stand for gentleness.
Forget-me-nots are flowers of remembrance.
Freesias are flowers of innocence.
Gardenias stand for purity.
Heathers are the flowers for future fortune.
Heliotropes like carnations mean devotion.
Ivy is equated with fidelity
Larkspur is the flower of laughter.
Laurels represent peace.
Lilacs are for humility.
Lilies stand for majesty.
Lilies of the Valley are the flowers of happiness.
Myrtle is the flower of rememberance.
Orange blossoms like Gardenias are associated with purity.
Orchids are equated with rare beauty.
Parsley represents the beginning.
Peonies are for bashfulness.
Queen Anneâ€™s Lace means trust.
A Rose of course is the flower of love.
Rosemary is the flower of remembrance and has the same meaning as a forget-me-not.
Sage represents immortality.
Stephanotis represents marital happiness.
Thyme stands for courage.
Tulips are for passion.
Violets are for modesty.
and finally, the Zinnia represents affection.
Shop for local wedding florists on BridesClub.com.
Weddings can be REALLY expensive as I'm sure you're all finding. Here are some tips to make the budget stretch.
You can find out if there is another wedding ceremony before or after yours and you may contact another bride to see if she wants to participate in decorating the site.
Use help of your family members to help decorating.
Buy flowers from wholesaler, especially if the flowers are in season. Often out-of-season flowers are harder to find and are more expensive.
Use pew bows for both ceremony and reception decorations.
Decorate every other or 3rd pew or aisle chair, or alternate between bows and swag of ribbon.
Reserve first few rows for immediate family by placing bows only on those pews.
Get big bows for altar decorations, it's much cheaper than flower arrangements.
Put your reception table centerpieces on columns at the church and move them to the reception.
The altar arrangements can be placed on the head table at the reception.
Alternate big and small bows at the pews.
Do not use aisle runner, just have flower girl to throw petals.
Use less fresh flowers. Mix in silk flowers here and there.
Make sure to splurge on the things that matter most to you. If flowers are your thing, or you want the best pictures money can buy, then go for it. But maybe decorating every other pew, and reusing the flowers from the ceremony, for the reception doesn't seem like such a big sacrifice you can really save the budget.
Blog credit BALSA CIRCLE
The most noticeable thing at your wedding will be color. It is very important, and you should carefully consider your options. This theme becomes an essential part of the planning. The use of color directly affects the beauty and romantic excitement of your affair serving to enhance both the ceremony and reception options. Many brides start with the color of their Bridal Gown or bridesmaidâ€™s dresses. It could start with your choice of wedding flowers and they may best be decided by the season of the year. It all depends on how soon you want to start planning your decorations. You could surround yourself with colors that add to your own beauty for instance start with the color of your eyes.
Colors are sometimes chosen according to the season of the wedding. It is important to understand that different colors can work together to create harmony. Floral designers are excellent at color combinations for your wedding flowers. Deciding on a central color theme does not mean that every aspect of the wedding must be the same color. In fact too much of the same color can be boring. Remember there are various tints and shades within one color and this monochromatic look is very "in" right now. Tints mean you have added white while shades mean you have added black.
Color is either cool or warm. Usually a color is cool if it has blue in it. Warm colors have yellow, orange, and red in them. Purple, Cranberry & most Blues are cool colors and remind you of cool things and make you feel cooler. Yellow, orange, and red-orange are warm colors and remind you of warmth and make you feel warmer.(An example of warm colors would be yellow-green, turquoise, peach and orange. They look best with gold and brown.)
COMPLEMENTARY COLORS are colors directly across from each other on the Color Wheel. Color schemes include red and green, yellow & violet, blue & orange or gold. They create the strongest contrast and a very dramatic effect. Your photos will be spectacular.
MONO-CHROMATIC COLOR refers to combinations of tones, tints and shades of a single color on the color wheel. Using the tint, tone and shade of the primary color red as an example, red + white = pink, red + black = burgundy, red + gray = mauve. So your color choices would be pink, burgundy and mauve. (Using these colors would look great with silver bows on your covered chairs or tied bouquet). Shades of any one color are created by adding white, black or grey. Selection of a Mono-chromatic Color scheme will create a bold color statement.
ANALOGOUS COLOR is the use of two colors next to one another on the color wheel. Possible combinations include yellow and orange, blue and green or green and yellow. Analogous Colors are vibrant and interesting. They create a strong complement to an existing color theme such as the color of the carpet or walls. For variety include various shades & tints within the 2 colors.
TRIADIC or TRIANGLE COLOR is use of three colors equidistant from one another on the color wheel. Red, yellow and blue (Primary Colors) or orange, green and violet (Secondary Colors) are the two BASIC Triadic color schemes. Using these colors in combination can create a very beautiful and different look. For instance Royal Blue bridesmaid dresses combined with Red roses and Yellow lilies or orchids would be a Triadic Color scheme. For variety you can throw in light blue, pink or fuchsia.
For more information check out this page on wedding colors. Whatever your choice of colors, Iâ€™m sure your wedding will be the talk of the town and give you beautiful memories to look back on.
For more planning information and local wedding vendors visit Brides Club.
Photo provided by CORY PARRIS PHOTOGRAPHY.
I was just looking outside and noticing the beautiful flowers in bloom for Spring and it reminded me of the importance of seeing your reception location at around the time of year that you're planning your wedding.
If you're planning a wedding for November, what will the reception hall look like at that time of year? Visit the reception site at that time of year (if possible) and/or ask for photos of a previous wedding from the same season as your wedding so you can plan your colors and decorations around it.
If you tour a reception site in July or August you might be disappointed when it doesn't look quite the same in October for your big day.
Q. For a May wedding, would it be considered too late to have daffodils for the wedding bouquets and church flowers. They could be mixed with some kind of white flowers but I just love the color yellow. My bridesmaids will be wearing pale yellow dresses.
A. Daffodils are beautiful bright flowers for a spring wedding. In the prime season time, they are also reasonably inexpensive. Depending on the area of the country where the wedding will take place, the price can be much more expensive if they are already "out-of-season." That may be the case for daffodils in May in a lot of locations. If you're aware of the cost in advance, however, and want them, they would be absolutely beautiful and add such a sunny glow to an already happy occasion.