“You are often going to see variations in what you have planned and what you execute,” says Rochelle from Wedding Works, adding, “Going about planning an occasion of this magnitude can be a daunting task. But plan well and stay organized and small mistakes can be avoided. Visit her website for more information on planning ideas. These wedding planning tips will help you put everything together minimizing errors to a great extent.
The guest list first and the venue later
Venues that host weddings fill up fast during the season and having something booked should be one of your first priorities. Whether indoor or outdoor, having a ballpark figure on how many people you plan to invite will give you a better idea on what kind of a venue you need to choose. You do not want your guests to be cramped up in a tight space or in a make-shift seating, but at the same time you wouldn’t want to have lots of unused space that you will be paying for either.
Picking your bridal party
Do away with obligations and choose the people you would want standing beside you on your big day. There are always social pressures that come to play here, but eventually, people understand that it is your big day and that it is your right to choose people close to you. So take all the time you need before you officially ask somebody to be in your bridal party, rather than regretting once you have.
The Plus One Policy
Some people do not like to attend marriages all by themselves, especially if they are in a relationship. When handing out invitations, ensure that you give these individuals a plus-one option on their invite. Your single groomsmen and bridesmaids should also be given the option of bringing dates to the wedding as well. This way, not only will they have some company, they will also enjoy themselves making your special day an occasion to remember.
Posting your Invites
Invite your guests well in advance so that they have ample time to plan their travel arrangements. If you are posting you invites, take them to the post office to have them weighed before you drop them in the mail. If your guests’ physical address, however, you could always drop them an e-mail or text message with all the necessary details. Follow up with a phone call for a special personal touch.
Dealing with Vendor Contracts
Take the time to read through your vendor contracts as weddings are expensive affairs. If you are not aware of the details within them, you can be left stranded with things you do not need, or even lose your advance. If you feel that you are not good at reading the fine print, ask a lawyer friend or even your parents to have a look. Photographers, Floral Vendors, Band, Videographers, Decorators and Caterers should be on the top of your priority list.
Going overboard with Pinterest
Yes, Pinterest looks great and yes you have created an exciting wall of pins that you look forward to replicating for your celebration. Keep in mind that very few are practical enough to pull-off and many are simply unrealistic. Going overboard with DIY’s might lead to disappointments at the end.
You will have to perform a balancing act here as your florist would love to give you the best of everything there is, but you will have to check for details such as seasonality of the flowers and other alternatives even visiting the venue a couple of times with the florist before she provides you with an estimate for her services.
Everyone certainly cannot afford an open bar that lasts all night. Hence, having alternatives is a good option. Access to a cash bar would mean that your guests can get a drink if they like even if it is not exactly free.
Forgetting about the thank-you’s
You might have to resume work once you get back from your honeymoon or get caught with other commitments, so starting out early on the thank-you’s would mean that you can simply drop them in the mail as soon as the day after you walk down the aisle. Not only will your guests appreciate the gesture, but you will endear yourself to your spouse’s family and friends as well.
You can reduce the cost of several items such as renting a car instead of a luxury limo or even limiting the floral decor. You can also have make shift items that you can re-use at the ceremony as well as the reception like floral stands, backdrops, etc. Kate Seigal from WWE & Co. put together vital pointers to get the best if your limited budget.
Trimming down the guest list
Keeping the guest list down to a tight number will reduce the math on cost per person. Food and drinks cost per head and can be brought down according to the number of people attending the wedding.
Here, opt for something a little less expensive. A two card with white background along with a gold print works as the standard invite for the occasion. You can also reduce the cost of postage stamps by reducing bulky styles and decoration. Save the dates can be made by hiring a designer online and later having them printed at the local stationary.
The Bridal Gown
Always try out several different alternates in several different fabric types. If you have plenty of time to the day at hand, you can also look for season sales or designers online or even outside the country. This way, you can save at least 20% to 25% on your bridal budget.
The Grooms Tux
Look in to non-designer tuxes if you wish to reduce the cost on clothing for the groom. Having the groomsmen limited in number and wearing rentals also helps.
Hire out a Lincoln instead of a limo if you are looking to cut back on transportation costs for the bride and groom. Family and guests can also be encouraged to carpool to the event.
Flowers for the Ceremony and Reception
Artificial flowers can be used instead of fresh flowers to reduce costs. Similarly, look for vendors over the internet that have used similar colors that you are using and offer to rent them out.
Venue for the reception
Choosing a public venue such as a park or an isolated beach would mean that you will not have to spend on decor.
There is nothing like planning a home wedding if you are on a shoestring budget. Just ensure that there is enough space and seating to fit everyone in comfortably.
Food at the Reception
Reduce the number of dinner courses and keep the menu simple. You can stick to traditional items and avoid the expensive ones. Negotiate with the caterer on bringing your own alcohol and bring out the expensive champagne only for the toast, switching to a less expensive one for the rest of the event.
Remember that the more the tiers on the cake, the higher the cost. Also stick to flavors that are basic. Even a simple fruit cake could do the trick. Have a separate pre-cut cake for guests.
DJ instead of a band
Bands generally charge more than a DJ. Going with a karaoke DJ will also help if you have friends and relatives that could take over the mike.
Don’t skip the video for the day big day, instead have the videographer cover just the ceremony. Inform the videographer that complicated editing won’t be required. If he is charging you by the hour you can split the time between and ceremony and the reception.
Hire just a single shooter for the ceremony and reception and keep the post production process to little or no editing and limit the number of prints.
Rings for the Occasion
If you are on a tight budget, opt for simple silver rings which you can later upgrade to platinum.
Honey Moon Costs
Keeping you honeymoon dates flexible would mean better discounts and offers can be found. Scour the internet for deals thus reducing your costs by 20%-25%.
Although the right colours can make or break your special day, you don’t really need to hire a professional planner to choose a colour scheme that will work for you. From vibrant blues to forest greens to hot pinks and bright yellows, every imaginable colour or combination of colours is up for grabs.
While you can initially start off by browsing through the various color palettes on the internet, and choosing a few combinations that might work, the best way to settle on a final color would be by visiting your local store where you plan on making your purchases.
Now remember, even if you choose say purple, you will still have to decide what exact shade of purple you want. Are you interested in the rich, deep tones of royal purple or is lavender more up your alley. Would this be the sole color or would you like to have a combination of two, three or even four.
Your combos can vary from two or more shades of the same color (so lavender AND royal purple) to colors from the same family (purple and pink for example) to complete opposite but complementary color shades like a beautiful purple and gold combination.
Decide on how much material you will need beforehand by discussing the same with your designer and purchase a whole bundle at one go. You will never get the exact same shade of your chosen color at a later date as each lot will always slightly differ from the previous one, and especially more so if the color that you have settled on is a rare one, like say malachite (something between jade green and teal) for example or a brick red or a rust orange.
Then start working on everything else. From the cards to the venue décor to the flowers to the accessories, your color scheme will make itself evident everywhere thus tying up all your wedding pieces in one nice pretty package. No matter what color you have chosen, your printer will be able to create the same pantone on his computer. You can either choose to print on white card stock paper in your chosen color or go for colored paper itself.
Flowers should be no problem at all, as long as you aren’t extremely particular about the kind of flower. Roses for example do not come in purple, orchids do. But if your color scheme is yellow, you obviously cannot insist on orchids. Instead go for roses or fresh looking dahlias or even pretty little chrysanthemums.
In this way almost everything can be colored to match your color scheme. Just don’t go crazy and overboard, or it’ll just ruin everything.
Get a nice relaxing massage
Just hearing the word “massage” conjures up images of a cool, refreshing spa in the middle of the woods, as an experienced massage therapist uses slow smooth strokes to help you relax while you just lounge about drinking herbal tea. Yes, the thought itself is enough to make you relax, but why not go out and get a real massage instead. If the woods are a long shot, just hop on over to the nearest five-star that offers spa services and let their attendants indulge you.
If you are stressed, overworked, having a bad day with nothing going your way, or just in need of a pick me up, simply head to the nearest shopping center or mall or whatever is nearest and the most convenient for some retail therapy. Just find something that you’ve always wanted, but never had time to go looking for, or pick up that pair of shoes or earrings on an impulse. Nothing can improve your mood faster than that smart bargain or a luxury buy.
From simple, healthy, home cooking to a nice extravagant dinner at your favorite restaurant, good food has been known to boost your mood like nothing else. Plus it gives you a chance to just put up your feet, sit down and relax for a while. Open a bottle of wine while you are at it. And don’t forget that decadent desert.
Get a good night’s rest
This is the most important tip of all. Sleep deprivation increases the production of a stress hormone called cortisol. So it is imperative to get a good night’s rest if you want to look your glowing best. Not just in the days leading up to the big, but during the weeks and months leading up to it as well. It’s called a beauty rest for a reason, so just listen you the experts and get seven to nine hours sleep every night.
No one said that organizing such a memorable occassion wasn’t a lot (and I mean lohhhttt) of work. That’s why (especially if you have the money) it’s best to leave it in the hands of a good and capable wedding planner. Peace of mind, after all, is the best de-stressor of all. With your planner doing all the hard work, you can just sit back, relax and focus on enjoying your big day and reveling in all the attention and compliments you receive.
Eggs, flour, butter and a dash of baking soda are all you need to create the most delicious desert known to mankind. Cake! Decadent, flavorful, rich and creamy, cakes are pretty hard to resist. Cover it in a beautifully-glossy layer of icing and you have something truly marvelous.
From deep, dark chocolate cakes to playful ribbon cakes and to hazelnut and angel food, wedding cakes come in a wide variety of flavors. Pair them with the right frosting and you will have a match made in heaven. Literally!
Popular choices are sponge cake with lemon frosting to keep things light, champagne with vanilla bean and chocolate to keep things elegant and a rum and fruit cake with royal icing if you are looking at the traditional. Other innovative flavors to choose from are caramelized vanilla cake with salted caramel buttercream, almond cake filled with ganache or raspberry buttercream, ginger spice with vanilla bean icing, red velvet with cream cheese, Italian meringue with hazelnut, pumpkin cake with cream cheese filling, … the list is endless.
Ask your cake shop to pick a few options for you depending on your theme and the style you are looking for and then arrange for a tasting.
Wedding cakes also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. While the three-tier round shape (which symbolizes the cyclical nature of life) is the most common one, the square is considered the most trendy. And you do not have to stick to the traditional three-tier concept either. Instead why not opt for a two-tier or even a single mini cake? Or how about multiple tiers of cupcakes that your guests can conveniently enjoy or even cake pops?
And if the groom is particularly insistent about including his preferences, why not go in for a groom’s cake. It can be fun and themed and something that can be cut and served during the rehearsal dinner.
Yet another way to personalize your cake to make it truly unique is its décor. From the color to the style to the elements used, everything can be personalized to suit your tastes and wedding setting. Remember, the simpler the cake, the cheaper it will be so keep this in mind when discussing how elaborate the cake should look. Communicate with the chef and ask him/her if they could draw up an image of the cake. Depending on the season, the theme and the venue, choose from fresh flowers to sugar paste décor, to pulled sugar.
And don’t forget to individualize your cake topper. While most couples opt for a bridal couple made out of sugar paste or other material, going the monogram way is quite hip and all the rage. A fresh flower cluster on the top or a cascade of gum paste flowers is also very fresh and appealing. Using other items like intertwined hearts, or some vintage piece from the day your parents got hitched is also a good idea. Many modern brides, however, opt for no wedding topper at all, choosing instead to keep things simple with clean lines and smooth finishes.
Whatever you decide to do, your special day, it is definitely one when you can have your cake and eat it too. So go on, dig in and relish.
Your wedding day is the most special day of your life. Most brides spend over a year preparing for it, seeing to every little detail and décor piece, all in an attempt to make the day perfect. And while everyone knows of the essentials: a gorgeous white gown, pretty heels, a glittering tiara, a cloud-like veil and of, course a matching pair of gold bands, there are several other items every bride must have in her arsenal if she is to go through the day of the wedding without any untoward occurrences. Here are the top seven.
Besides the above, many advise keeping a sewing kit handy. And a pair of nail clippers. And stain removers. The list is endless. And to each, of course, her own. So feel free to add items based on your personal requirements.
After all the planning and money you pour into D-Day, plenty of weddings end up being just like each other…staid, boring, un-original. Here is a shortlist of ideas that could help you add small personal touches to your special day so that it does not end up being “just another wedding.”
So you have set the date and booked the venue… Congratulations. Now gear up to deal with the vendors and professionals that will bring your wedding to life.
Here are a few pointers to ensure that you are getting the right guys shortlisted for the cause.
Meeting and discussing how they can be a part of your special day can be a bit awkward at first, but you can ensure that your meetings are productive by asking the right questions and getting a better understanding of what each one can provide for you.
Photographers and videographers
A potential photographer/videographer should speak of his experience and skill set and whether he specializes in wedding photography and is a photographer on a full time basis. Remember that wedding photography is completely different from table-top photography in terms of lighting and perspective angles so your potential photographer s experience in wedding photography over other types of shoots would be a big plus.
Ask him if he has done any wedding shoots at the venue of your choosing. Have a look at the work he has done there to give you a close idea of what you can expect of him. If he hasn’t worked at the location before, ask him whether he would he be willing to go and have a look at the venue in advance.
Enquire as to who will be his replacement just in-case there is a last minute emergency? If you talking to a sales person, ask them to schedule a meeting with the actual photographer who will be covering the occasion for you.
Discuss the post production dates of when you will receive the finished product and whether they would be edited. Enquire about the deposits and any added costs in advance so that you can budget for it and no additional cost need be incurred.
Bridal wear and party wear gowns
Your designer will need sufficient time if you are looking for a made-to-measure outfit. Some even take as long as six months to deliver, so have this task on the top of your list of things to get done. Once you narrow in on a particular designer, review their work on social platforms where you will be able to see feedback of work done for brides in the past and even reach them, if required, to know more about their experience with the designer.
Your designer will also need to know the fabric, pattern, design and silhouettes you have in mind so that she can advise you on what will fit you right. Don’t forget to enquire on costs well in advance so that you can budget for the bridesmaids dresses as well.
Choice of Music
The DJs choice of music is the most important aspect when hiring one. Referencing on whether he has been a successful entertainer in the past will also help. If you find him bad-mouthing old clients, that would be a sign of un-professionalism.
Most DJs are accustomed to club music so find out how good he is at switching over to the right tunes at the reception and ceremony venues.
All things Floral
Florists work with various budgets, all depending on what your plans are for the floral decor. Being able to communicate effectively with the florist is important as it will determine what the florist can deliver. The number of tables or the number of guests, the type of flowers and how much are important elements you must discuss.
The size of the wedding has an impact on everything that needs to be planned for the occasion. Budgets are always important when it comes to planning, so have a ballpark figure of how much you want to spend before you begin.
The bigger the guest list, the bigger the budget. The bigger the budget, the bigger your scalability. Although the idea of a large guest list has its own advantages and disadvantages, you cannot discount the fact that the crowd, whether big or small are there to see you celebrate the biggest step of your life.
Here are a few key things you may need to know.
Advantages of a larger than life wedding
The is a certain amount of prep required for the ceremony as there is a lot more to that ‘I do’ than just walking down the aisle in style. Here are a few tips so that you can avoid hiccups, both big and small.
Getting to know the officiate ahead of time would give your ceremony a personal touch and an added bit of authenticity. Ensure that your officiate knows a bit about you and your fiancé to help him prepare a ceremony meant just for the two of you rather than an otherwise casual one. You could meet informally over a cup of coffee or even take-up his offer for premarital counseling.
Put some thought in to the location of the ceremony. Planning a ceremony in close vicinity to the reception area will reduce travel time and logistics. The time saved can then be used to get better photographs and even mingle with your guests instead of being in a hurry to get from one place to another.
Outdoor venues require plenty of floral décor. Ask your florist for a proper estimate ahead of time or else he and the decorator may simple go overboard with everything. Decorating the aisles and the ceremony area is the most important since this gets the most attention than other areas.
Having your guests comfortable is something you should focus on more than anything else as they would be able to relax and enjoy your ceremony which could set the tone of the day.
You could add soft cushions to the pews and also check on the type of chairs that will be used well in advance. Ensure that there should be enough room between pews and each guest. If the ceremony is being held during a warmer part of the year, have mini-bottles of cool water around for guests to sip. Similarly, if the wedding is being held during the cooler time of the year, have a small enclosed area that guests could use just incase it gets too chilly.
Prepare the program well in advance as it would give you the time you need to make changes if you feel like it is getting too lengthy for your liking. Some couples today don’t plan a program and simply have a large board at the entrance with all the information regarding the ceremony. People’s roles need to be planned in advance as well. Take the time to decide the right person for each role, you might not want to push someone to do something they are not too comfortable doing.
Lastly, if you are having an outdoor ceremony, it is advisable to have an indoor alternative or a make shift set-up just in case the weather decides to turn bad.