Category Archives: costs

Petaling Flowers

Flowers bring vibrancy and beauty to your wedding and often take up a sizable portion of your budget. Being immersed in the colors and smells typically only experienced by florists makes it is easy to get carried away. Below are a few things to consider regarding such an important decision:

An overabundance can become obtrusive and distracting. If you are holding too many flowers, the dress you spent countless hours selecting will be hidden behind your bouquet. Your guests want to see one another during the reception while seated at their tables too. Large arrangements (beautiful as they may be) can easily become disruptive if they interfere with conversations.

Most florists won’t tell you that several blossoms have less expensive ones that are so similar, they could be substituted for the pricier ones without anyone noticing. Doing a little research can quickly keep you from paying more than necessary. Also, countless types of leaves can be transformed to add bulk and reduce costs while accentuating the blooms.

If you are looking to match something, take a swatch or sample of some sort. Not only do people often view colors differently but a lot of flowers come in various shades of assorted hues. Therefore, if you simply say pink, you may end up with magenta when you wanted a light blush.

Take time to “smell the roses” so to speak as certain blossoms have very strong aromas. While that may enhance the ambiance, especially in a smaller venue, it can become overpowering and even cause issues for sensitive guests or those with allergies.

A little bit of learning, thought and discretion will make a significant difference in your budget, the comfort of your guests and ensure you get exactly what you have are looking for.

I Tip My Hat to You

Wedding budgets are always difficult. It may feel like you spend more every time you even look at something but part of you says it’s your one day to indulge. There will always be unexpected costs, some of which can be minimized or completely avoided. Others, such as gratuities for your vendors should at least be considered.

Officiant: Time and energy is spent making your rehearsal and ceremony perfectly fitted to you. This is done on top of regular job duties and already busy schedules out of joy from uniting couples in marriage. A cash gift should be given by an attendant at the rehearsal. If he/she is connected to your location (and your budget permits), a donation to the venue space is an added way to show your gratitude.

Wedding Planner: Because what is provided is done as a profession, tips are optional and don’t have to be monetary. In fact, they are usually not expected. If you feel inclined, send your gift after your honeymoon (10 – 20% is appropriate). A free option is to send some photos for your planner to enhance his or her portfolio.

Hair and Makeup: Stylists should be treated as you would in a salon if not better. Often, rates are higher for wedding days and wedding parties, but the gratuity should not be affected by that. The styles are more complicated, everything must be perfect and often, hairdressers and make up artists travel to your location. Show your thanks at the end of the service and allow photographs, if requested, for portfolios or look-books.

Reception and Entertainment: Bands or DJs and catering, transportation companies etc. typically add a surcharge to their base rates so additional tips are optional. If you give extra, follow the same guidelines you would on a regular day. However, put an attendant in charge of handling payment(s), all of which should occur at the end of your big day.

Whether gratuities are expected, optional (but typical) or out of the norm, they are always welcome. Everyone likes to know they have done a good job. However, especially at weddings, vendors understand the huge costs you have already incurred. Handwritten, individualized thank you notes are a very cost-effective and special way to show your gratitude if your budget doesn’t allow for monetary tokens of appreciation.

Tis the Season

If your heart is set on a particular day, choosing your wedding date is one less thing to worry about. If you aren’t one who falls in that category, selecting the right time can be more challenging than you think as there are factors to consider. Breaking down the pros and cons of each season is a good place to start and, at the very least, helps narrow down your time frame.

Spring is the time of year associated with rejuvenation and newness as colors begin to reemerge and the climate warms following the drabness and cold of winter. The lush landscaping and countless flowers beginning to bloom make for wonderful photos and beautiful bouquets. Chances are your friends will be thrilled to get together and celebrate after the hullabaloo of the holidays is over.

Because it is not the most popular time for a wedding, you may be able to get lower rates with vendors but, with summer approaching, the competition will increase for venues, available dates and prices will begin to rise. Additionally, the weather can be finicky and occasional showers do occur without warning.

Summer is the most popular time to wed for a variety of reasons. With children out of school, parents often plan on a more relaxed schedule including vacation time which would allow your friends and family separated by distance to share in your special day with you. Also, due to the hectic nature of the first half of the year, chances are your guests haven’t been spending much.  Therefore, they may have a bit in their budget for extra special wedding gifts for you.

On the negative side, the first thing is the weather. Regardless of how cool the inside of a venue may be, the heat can cause issues with your hair and makeup during outdoor photos, not to mention the discomfort for those who either just don’t like the heat or cannot tolerate it well. On another note, because it is the most popular time for a wedding, prices will be at their peak and there is a chance that some of your guests may be invited to another ceremony on the same day.

Fall is ideal for you if you are a fan of oranges, gold, rust and darker colors as well as falling leaves and cooler, brisk temperatures. It is a time that brings with it a sense of togetherness and tranquility. With fruits, vegetables and leaves being abundant, there are numerous ways to create one-of-a-kind decorations that are not only elegant but incorporate the sentiments of these months.

Unfortunately, if berries and greenery won’t replace your heart’s desire for bright, vibrant flowers, this may not be the time of year for you unless you are willing to have flowers shipped in from wherever they may be available (at a very steep price). Also, school begins again, people have plans for Labor Day, Halloween and Thanksgiving so you need to keep those dates in mind.

Winter might not be your first choice (as it isn’t for most brides) but, with it comes an air of coziness and romance unmatched by any other time of year. Not only is everyone already feeling a sense of togetherness, the sun sets earlier and there is nothing warmer in the world than closely holding the arm of your new husband. Vendors are more likely to be available and because there is less competition, not only are prices typically already lower, there is often room for negotiation.

Despite the unexpected pros, there are some drawbacks. One is that the cold and lack of foliage can make outdoor photos less desirable so many of them may have to be done indoors. As well, your guests are probably saving money for the holidays, have preexisting plans and travel arrangements are much more expensive and difficult during this time.

Your wedding will be wonderful regardless of the day you choose but, realistically, no matter the day, there are always factors and possible conflicts that may arise which are out of your control. A seasonal breakdown is an easy way to quickly eliminate large spans of time so you can begin focusing on the particular day.

Some Rules Were Meant to be Broken

Weddings are often planned around age old traditions, some of which you may feel comfortable making slight variations to but don’t want to appear as if you are either stepping too far outside the box or not taking your commitment seriously. Thankfully, times are changing and, after all, it is YOUR day so here are some ideas you may not have considered….

You don’t need a theme and not everything has to match. It would not only be unique but an honor to let your bridal party choose their own gowns. One may be pink, long and satin while another could be short, causal and floral. There’s an element of fun in letting those closest to you show their individual personality (not to mention that it makes for great photos).

Customarily, your parents pay for the wedding and your fiancé’s do so for the rehearsal dinner although the two of you may be on your own. One way to save money and set yourself apart, regardless of who is contributing, is to have your bridesmaids wear corsages. Opting out of bouquets not only significantly reduces your budget but makes it easier for them to help you both in preparation for but as well your ceremony.

Maybe white isn’t right whether it comes to your ring or your dress. If there is a stone you love and would prefer over a diamond, select it as you will be wearing it for countless years to come. What matters is the meaning behind it to you. Additionally, in reference to your dress, a selection of white paired with another color is one option or, if you have your heart set on red, blue pink etc., any gown can still be made to look as elegant and special despite not being white.

Weddings are celebrations and meant to be fun. Not only should you show off your individuality/personality but allow everyone else to do the same.

Bar(Gain) Shopping

The common belief when dress shopping is that the more expensive, the better. That is not true and you would be surprised how many locations have beautiful gowns for less than $1,000. It is important that you stick to your budget and don’t even try on a gown you cannot afford as, most likely, you will fall in love with it and nothing will ever compare afterwards.

Many wedding shows on TV project the idea that, if you aren’t willing to spend at least $2 – 3,000, you have to settle for something you don’t really want.  However, that is far from the truth. In actuality, keeping your budget low does not mean that you must opt for a bland dress made of cheap fabric, second-hand, resembling a prom dress or anything else. With a little research and effort, you can find exactly what you have always dreamed of for a very low cost.

No one will know the name of your designer, where the purchase was made or what you paid (unless being completely inappropriate). In fact, typically the name determines the price and has nothing to do with the quality.

Whether a ball gown, mermaid style, sleek and sexy, over the top for a huge wedding or simple/vintage (perfect for a rustic country home feel) are available.

Saving on your dress also doesn’t require you to alter your vision and may even result in you discovering something you love more than what you’ve ever imagined. After all, taking time doing some research far exceeds spending thousands of dollars on a dress you will only wear once.

Here is a place to begin looking just to get some ideas….
http://www.stylemepretty.com/2016/01/10/budget-wedding-dresses-1000-dollars/

Flower (Girl) Power

One concern that may not immediately come to mind is the type of dress your flower girl should wear as you may think people will not notice the outfit but solely the entrance she is making in anticipation of yours. That is not true and there are things that should be considered when making the settling on one.

Typically, flower girls wear white dresses that are small versions of your gown but should incorporate an element which ties in with the wedding whether a sash matching the bridesmaids gowns or a floral headband in harmony with your bouquet.

Be careful of the length of the gown as well as the material it is made of. She needs to feel comfortable as her responsibility is a very important one to her. Therefore, it is imperative that her dress is not too long because her concentration is on the task at hand and she shouldn’t have to worry about getting her shoes caught and tripping. Additionally, you don’t want anything made of a fabric that could irritate her soft skin as, that too, would be a distraction.

The outfits can be purchased from many places whether bridal salons or any number of stores at your local mall. Something to consider is that, most often, the parents of your chosen flower girl are responsible for the cost of the dress. Children grow quickly and, it goes without saying that it is something she will probably only wear for your special day.

She will be nervous as well as filled with excitement. Don’t put any pressure on her and allow her parents to sit in an aisle near the front so she can both see and focus on them as it will calm her nerves. No matter what, any little girl feels honored to take on the responsibility and does so with the hopes of carrying it out with absolute perfection.

Best Kept Hidden Secrets

It goes without saying that every detail of your wedding, from the smallest to the largest, comes with a cost although it may be surprising that the price tag you see or are quoted is not the price you will actually be expected to pay. Many times, fees are added that either aren’t mentioned or that you certainly wouldn’t expect (although later you can be told that you should have). Here are just a few….

Invitations are representative of your motif and you want them to appear engaging, charming as well as welcoming. It is very easy to be sold on more decorative invites, heavier cardstock or are simply bulkier. What may not cross your mind is that you have to pay extra postage for each of those, not to mention the costs for RSVP cards and thank you notes all of which quickly add up. The message is the same and may be presented equally creatively in a simpler and more cost effective fashion.

While your dress should be the first (if not only) item to splurge on depending on your budget, it’s important to consider that the listed price is not the amount you are going to veritably spend.  The vast majority of dresses require alterations which are not included in the cost of the gown but your veil, jewelry, undergarments etc. must be accounted for as well. Modifications alone can set you back up to $500 unless you are lucky enough to find a bridal shop where everything is included for a set fee.

Customarily, when you pay for a service, whether a photographer, DJ, coordinator, use of your venue etc., the quoted amount is for a specific period of time. It may take you longer to get ready than expected, causing the wedding to run late and it’s easy to lose track of time during the subsequent celebration. Be aware that, just as with any other profession, additional charges accrue for overtime. Either you need to be exceptionally aware of your schedule or set aside a portion of the budget in anticipation to cover overages.

Although your wedding day is one of the most special in your life and has tremendous meaning to you, at the end of the day, to most vendors, it is a way to make a living and a means to an end. It is important that you don’t spend every penny allocated without being aware of unforeseen expenditures as almost every aspect of your special day will include them.