Bride’s Biggest Budget Buster…

I’m always looking to help my clients save money without sacrificing style. Getting the biggest bang for your buck on wedding day comes by combining the ceremony and the reception. Not only is it easier on your guests (particularly if they are mostly from out of town), but it can save a bride BIG bucks! Most venues are prepared to handle both the ceremony and reception for your big day. Here’s a quick list of how this simple, convenient decision can save you some real money!

*Floral decor can be reused for both the ceremony and reception

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*Transportation costs reduced for both you and your groom, as well as your guests

*Shortened time frame for photographers, videographers, and event planners with fewer travel expenses.

*Avoid the rental fee of a church, or other location for the ceremony

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*Uplighting and staging can also be reused for both the ceremony and reception

 

(Reblogged From Circle City Designers)

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Happy Maids and Gents = Happy Bride

Today, I have some advice on how to keep your bridesmaids and guymaids happy and you’re relationships with them in peak condition throughout your wedding planning process. First things first, remember that these are the women and men that you love and cherish the most. So much so, that you have asked them to stand next to you on what is the most important day of your life. Keep that in mind as you progress through the months leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to lose your besties by turning in to an unhinged Bridezilla.

 

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics.      Source:  http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics. Source:http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Next, consider the body type of ALL of your bridal party when choosing what they will wear.  If you have petite or plus size maids, pick a style that will flatter everyone. No one should have to crash diet or wear sky high heels just to work an outfit. This too goes back to rule number one.Second, keep the finances of each of your attendants in mind when choosing your bridesmaid’s and guymaid’s attire. If you have one person who could realistically afford a $400 dress/suit and another who can only afford to spend $200 or less, don’t make the one with the smaller budget feel insecure, misunderstood, and feeling like he or she has to get a part time job just to pay for being in your wedding. What to do? Either choose a more affordable dress or pay the difference. Remember rule number one: these are the most important people to you, treat them with love and respect.

Fourth, when planning events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, keep the budgets and beliefs of your maids and gents in mind. That trip to Vegas could conflict with religious beliefs or be unattainable due to finances. Trust me, you can have a great bachelorette party keeping it local and affordable and by everyone present keeping their clothes on. If you and your maids can do the weekend in Vegas, then by all means drop some dollars in the slot for me!

Finally, be respectful of your maids’ and gents’ time. Give yourself a good old fashioned reality check when it comes to your expectations of your crew. Expecting them to attend each and every wedding related event from dress shopping, making favors, to parties is incredibly selfish and unrealistic. They have lives too and you have to keep in mind that they have to work, take care of their kids, pay bills, etc. and that your only expectation should be for them to attend the rehearsal the day before the wedding, purchase their outfits, and stand next to you at the wedding. That’s all that should be asked and expected of them.

Don’t be like this real bride who sent this letter (that has since gone viral) to her bridal party:

“To my lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen+Doe.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get measurements..you don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!

Love,”

Read more: http://www.uproxx.com/webculture/2012/10/this-bridezillas-letter-to-her-potential-bridesmaids-is-sad-terrifying/#ixzz2I1Xnn8rF

Really? That is one big mess of crazy and I would hope that her bridesmaids stood up to her.

So, with that said, how about some affordable bridesmaids dresses for under $150?! For your guymaids, rental suits and tuxes are typically under $150, but here are some great accessories under $50 so your guys can spice up those cookie cutter rentals.

Bridesmaid Dresses under $150

Men's Ties "Guymaids" under $50

Planning Your Outdoor Wedding

Even though right now isn’t ideal to have a wedding outside since winter has just started, it’s still pretty popular to get married and party outside during the rest of the year.. Here’s some things to keep in mind if you are planning an outdoor wedding…

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Wedding 101: 10 Things No One Tells You About Your Wedding Day

All right ladies.  Cupcakes and sparkles aside, you will most likely experience a bit of stress on your wedding day.  As I’ve mentioned multiple times, there is no such thing as “perfection” and your wedding day is no exception.  This post is intended to lessen the blow of wedding-day blunders.  I promise I’m not a cynic, just trying to keep it real.  Loosen up a little bit and laugh thru the stress.  After all, memories are created from the quirky, unplanned incidents in life.

1. Keep a cash reserve and blank envelopes on your wedding day for vendor tips.  

You will most definitely incur unforeseen costs on your wedding day.  Whether you need to enlist a last minute harp player because your previously hired musician goes into labor or your rental company has to scramble to move your rain-soaked ceremony to an indoor spot, it is always important to keep cold hard cash on hand.  Tipping your vendors is extremely important and, as always, cash is king.  Save yourself the embarrassment of coming up short at the end of the night by preparing ahead of time.

2. Children will most definitely disobey your wedding wishes.

Your adorable niece and nephew are stepping in as flower girl and ring bearer.  Awesome.  Your ring bearer walks down the aisle picking his nose and your flower girl runs close behind, screaming and crying at the top of her lungs.  Double awesome.  The best advice with kids at weddings is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.  Mother-approved candy bribes never hurt either.

3. You can’t make a deal with higher powers to achieve  perfect weather.

Try as you might, a rain dance ain’t gonna cut it!  Embrace rain, sleet, snow, and wind and go with the flow.  Weather is completely out of your control, no matter what the price you try to pay to keep the weather sunny.  You can, however, create a contingency plan in the case of inclement weather.  Draped tents, anyone?

4. Going to the bathroom in your wedding dress will become a team sport.

Bustles and built-in bras and corsets, oh-my!  Modern wedding dresses can be as difficult to navigate as the ancient Greek labyrinth.  Use some common sense and enlist your buds to help make trips to the bathroom easier.  Your wedding day is the one day you shouldn’t feel guilty  about piling in to the handicapped stall.

5. You will most likely experience a sense of post-wedding depression. 

The past year of your engagement has been nothing short of pure bliss.  You are rocking some serious bling on your finger and had an opportunity to plan a lavish event centered around you and your fiancé.  The day after your wedcding can be compared to the depression that sets in after all of the presents have been opened on Christmas Day or the awful, sinking feeling that you have far exceeded your daily caloric limit on Thanksgiving Eve.  Buck up, buttercup!  This is only the beginning of a fun-filled adventure with your main squeeze.  Enjoy the ride!

6. Just because you’re having the best day of your life doesn’t mean that all of your guests will be sharing in the sentiment.

Whether it’s bitter single girlfriends who are having trouble being happy for you or cranky great-aunts who complain that the reception temperature is too cold, there will always be someone who appears to be having a less than stellar time at your soiree.  Don’t sweat it.  Enjoy your day and ignore the naysayers.

7. You’re going to feel the effects of alcohol much quicker than usual.

Let’s face it, ladies.  You’ve been working out like a maniac, dieting to fit into your gorgeous gown and running around like a chicken with your head cut off to tie up last minute loose ends with vendors.  Eating substantial meals is probably the last thing on your mind during the days leading up to your wedding.  Regardless of whether you’re a teetotaler or only enjoy a glass of champagne on special occasions, you will get drunk faster at your wedding than any other day.  It’s a proven scientific fact.

8. Keep a close eye on your wedding gift envelope table.

Although I hate having to give a warning that seems to be in such bad taste, when alcohol is involved there are times that goodnatured, honest people do shady things.  If the Father-of-the-Bride is not collecting all wedding gift envelopes, make sure you have a designated, secured spot to keep all envelopes and keep it monitored at all times.

9. Not everyone will want to participate in your wedding games and activities.  Let it go!

Yes, we know you spent months poring over Pinterest pins, wedding magazines and blogs to come up with the perfect wedding activities.  You’re a wedding diva, through-and-through.  If your girlfriends don’t want to dress up in funny accessories for your photo booth or your groomsmen don’t feel like blowing bubbles for your ceremony send off, don’t sweat it.  You still get an “A” for effort.

10. Guests are coming to your wedding ready to party.  Hard.

We’ve all seen “Wedding Crashers.”  Don’t feel guilty if you have to tell a guest to take a chill pill for inappropriate alcohol induced behavior or sneak a vodka soda sans vodka into a friend’s hand.  He or she will most likely thank you in their post-wedding haze (or when they see photos posted on Facebook from the wedding).  Party on, brides!

 

(Reblogged from WedInsider)

New Year, New Bridal Shows

So that most popular time of year to get engaged has just passed so many new girls have a sparkly ring on their left hand and now they are ready to start planning their big day.

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Here’s a look at some of the upcoming bridal shows across South Carolina! MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!

 

CHARLESTON:

* Sunday, January 13th – The Charleston Bridal Show – The Marriott Hotel (Lockwood Blvd) – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, February 17th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston Area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, August 18th – Southern Bridal Show – Charleston area Convention Center – Noon until 5pm

 

COLUMBIA:

* Sunday, January 6th – WNOK Bridal Expo – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, February 24th – St. Andrews Woman’s Club Bridal Showcase – State Fair Grounds – Noon until 5pm

* Sunday, July 21st – 2013 Summer Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

* Sunday, September 22nd –2013 Fall Carolina Bridal Showcase – Columbia Metro Convention Center – 1pm until 5pm

 

MYRTLE BEACH/FLORENCE:

* Sunday, January 6th – BRAVO! Bridal Expo – Florence Civic Center

 

UPSTATE:

* Saturday, January 5th – Weddings With Style – Hyatt Downtown Greenville – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 19th – Anderson Wedding Festival – Anderson Civic Center – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, January 26th – Spartanburg Wedding Festival- Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium – 10am until 3pm

* Saturday, February 9th – TD Wedding Festival – TD Convention Center, Greenville – 10am until 3pm

Planning with Pinterest: Pros & Cons

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We all, meaning I, have spent hours browsing the endless eye candy that Pinterest has to offer. When I first joined I really didn’t understand what it was, other than I was finding tons of recipes, fashion, fitness and wedding (even though I’d already gotten married) ideas that I wanted or wished I could have to put into action. Pinterest can be a great tool to use to plan many things, and for many brides when they get engaged, they go Pin-crazy. I’ve put together a list of good and bad things about trying to Pinterest plan.

Pros:

-Ideas for pictures: I’ve found countless of picture ideas I never would have thought of if I never got online. I can easily show my photographer some great snapshots I can’t go without on my big day.

YES - Have your family and friends in the background of the first kiss instead of the officiant

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First kiss from behind the preacher

Awesome shot!

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– Ideas for colors/bridesmaids dresses and flowers: I can easily show a florist and look for bridesmaids dresses that go along with a shot I’ve seen and easily Pinned.

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-Easy organization. When visit a vendor or go to the bridal salon to buy bridesmaids dresses, I can easily whip out my phone and show colors, ideas and my vision. I don’t have to print out endless amounts of pictures and remember to bring them with me when I meet with a vendor. It’s all right there!

Cons:

-Idea and Information Overload: One could possibly spend countless hours looking at ALL of the great ideas for favors, pictures, colors, decorations, extra fun activities, etc. But you can easily get overwhelmed with all of the ideas, trying to do all of these great ideas that sounded good at the time but make you lose track of the purpose of the day- marrying the love of your life. I was talking to a friend of mine whose friend recently got married, and commented that she got so caught up in doing all of the ideas she saw on Pinterest, it became too stressful.  You don’t want to spend your wedding day stressing over whether the photographer is going to still be there at the end to snap that awesome ‘sparkler picture’.

-Will I be able to afford that?: As many start to actually plan their wedding, they quickly realize that:

True!!!

Things you think you are definitely going to have at your wedding- like a rustic barn venue and vintage cowboy boots for all of your bridesmaids- might not be a financial reality.  Looking at all the pictures then realizing what you can actually afford can leave you feeling inadequate and unfulfilled. Just remember that you don’t need all the bells and whistles- remember the true meaning of the day!

absolutely amazing

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– Usability of images you find: Again, as you start to plan, you’ll probably realize that some of the stuff you Pinned really isn’t even useful to your actual planning.

 Pinterest can be fun- but try not to get overwhelmed! It’s really easy to get caught up in “I need to do this” and “I must have this”. Don’t lose sight of the point of your day. My advice is pick 2-3 really good ideas that you find and focus on those instead of trying to focus on 15 things you find you want to do.

Blog inspired by Pencil & Pancakes

Priciest Weddings in History

Weddings have a way of costing more than intended. After the dress, the food, the venues, the photography, the flowers, and everything else, you may find yourself looking at quite the bill. But you’ll probably never face a price tag quite as high as these weddings:

1. Prince Charles and Lady Diana spent $48 million on their big day in 1981, which would be about $110 million today with inflation. It took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral and had over two million spectators (including royalty). It was televised to over 750 million and had 27 wedding cakes and a five-foot-tall main cake that took about 14 weeks to prepare.

princess+diana+wedding2. Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia, a businessman and philanthropist from India, dished out $60 million in 2005 (about $66 million today) to be married in Versailles. Invitations were sent out in silver boxes that included plane tickets and rooms at a five-star hotel in Paris. A temporary wooden castle was constructed for the event, and festivities lasted five days. They even handed out gift bags filled with jewels.

Vanisha-Mittal_Amit-Bhatia-wedding

3. Prince William and Kate Middleton spent about $34 million for their big day in 2012. The flowers alone cost a reported $800,000 and the cake comes in at $80,000. Like his mother’s wedding, William and Kate had their wedding televised to hundreds of millions around the world.

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4. Wayne Rooney, an English soccer player,  and Coleen McLoughlin take fourth place with their $8 million wedding in 2008. Included in festivities was a masked ball on a $120-million yacht in Genoa and stays at a five-star hotel. The ceremony was at a 17th century villa and the reception took guests to a medieval abbey near Portofino.

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5. Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky got hitched in 2010 for about $5 million. The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and her investment banker husband spent about $600,000 to air condition tents and $11,000 on the cake. The bride wore a Vera Wang wedding gown and Oprah even attended the festivities.

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“Off-Season” Weddings

As we near the end of the year and the beginning of another, seems like wedding season is finally slowing down. October has defiantly become the new “it” season to get married. Last month alone, I personally know about 14 people who got married. That’s a lot more than the people I know who got married back in May.

So with that being said, is there an “off-season” for weddings? I believe so, but it depends on the area. During the holidays, I believe you find fewer people saying “I Do” as this time of year so many of us are in the hustle and bustle between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

Here in South Carolina, busy season is March-June and then September-November. Clearly, that’s when the weather is the best here. Up north, I can tell you it’s very much the opposite. So let’s say that YES, wedding seasons do indeed exist for each market. And now on to part 2 of this discussion, what you really want to know…

Do “off season” discounts exist?

This is a tough one. It’s not quite as definitive as a season being determined by the weather and time of year. From my experience, it just totally depends on the person you’re dealing with. It also depends on the TYPE of vendor you’re dealing with. A photographer or a service-based professional may be less likely to offer an “off season” discount because they’re doing the same amount of work no matter when and where your wedding takes place. On the other hand, a venue or someone providing a rental product might be more apt to give a discount because of the “off season”. (I think it’s safe to say that these statements also apply to the whole Friday wedding discount thing.)

As a wedding coordinator, my own answer in regards to giving an off season discount? That would be a big fat NO. Because service is service. A wedding is a wedding (YOUR wedding at that!) and I’m not going to work any differently just because I don’t have a wedding every weekend of that month. Yes, I know the argument of, “Oh well if they don’t have anything booked, they want to make money don’t they?” But the reality is that wedding professionals know that there are busy seasons and slow seasons. And if they’re experienced professionals, they plan and prepare for that. Most actually take their family vacations, attend conferences, or work on personal projects during “off season”.

Whenever speaking in terms of money for weddings, I always like to put things in context of another “normal” situation (Since for some strange reason weddings are often seen as being “outside” of normal situations).

If you decided to go to the movies on a weeknight and it’s empty, do you ask for a discount on your ticket or concession stand food? 

Probably not, right? So in all honesty, why would it be okay to do that for your wedding?

I’m sure some of you have experienced special discounts for “off season”- I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m just saying don’t count on it. Don’t choose a wedding date just because it’s during what is said to be the “off season”. Choose your date because that’s when you want- and if it happens to be during off season, then I guess you’ll get to test the theory!

Insight Into Vendor Pricing

Today, I thought I would just provide some clarification and insight into things regarding vendor pricing that I never knew about or understood when I was a bride…

Pricing: This is the big thing, because I don’t care how much money you have, you want to get the best price on everything. I thought it when I was a bride and I’ve heard many other people voice the same- “Why is everything SO expensive for a wedding?” Simply put- weddings are people’s jobs. It’s their livelihood and what puts food on the table. Prices that you are given are what the vendor has decided they need to charge to make a living- not all of the money that you pay vendors goes into their bank accounts to stay forever. That being said, vendors’ prices can vary because of QUALITY. It could be the quality of flowers, the quality of chivari chairs, the quality of equipment, or the quality of the service you’re getting.

Service fees: “Why the heck do they need an extra fee? That’s ridiculous.” A service fee covers costs for vendors. If they have any employees, that pays them. It covers any extra costs and materials for your wedding- like floral foam for your centerpieces, or tape to tape down electrical cords for your DJ. It’s there so you’re not being nickel and dimed for every little thing– because ultimately that wastes your time and the vendor’s time.

 

Delivery: Simply put, it covers gas for a vehicle to get to your wedding and deliver everything. If a truck or van needs to be rented, the delivery price covers that as well.

 

Tax: If you are getting anything that is an “object” you have to be taxed. Flowers, rentals, linens- the rule of thumb for me is if you can hold it, it’s taxed. (A service like planning is not taxed, because it’s all just paying for time.) You go to the store and buy anything- food, a dress, shoes- and you know that it’s not going to be exactly the same price that’s listed on the price tag. Unfortunately that’s how it is with everything, weddings included.

I could go on and on, but these are the general things that I myself had no clue about. I hope I was able to clear some things up for some of you! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂