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8/14/13

Wedding Dates

The date you choose for your Wedding is very important when sticking to a real budget.  Especially because the months of January to August are considered peak season for weddings therefore those dates get booked quickly. Saturday evenings are also prime time for weddings.  So, will you consider a Morning wedding?

Morning weddings can be more economical because you get married on the beach before the sun gets hot and go to your favorite restaurant for Brunch. Food for brunch is a whole lot cheaper than Dinner and no Open bar. 
 
How about a Sunday evening wedding?  Not too many people book Sundays, so your chance of getting a great price on that hotel venue is very possible. Also, your guests will get a great room rate for a Sunday night stay. 
How about a Friday Evening wedding?  Fridays are not booked a lot for weddings, so you could get a great price for a reception hall. But the room rate for your guests will be pricey because it's the beginning of the weekend.  Aside from the morning wedding where you can see a big difference in the food and beverage costs all other costs will be comparable. You do have options. Book wisely.

Consider Having a Small Wedding.  Keep your wedding day to family and close friends only. Then when you come back from your honeymoon, have a large cocktail party and invite everyone. 

Destination Weddings: You are offering your Guests a Party & a Vacation on some Island Paradise. Those who are close to you and want to share in your Joy will make the effort to join you and it will be very cost-effective!

8/10/13

Reception Costs

The Reception.  Normally the wedding reception slice is the biggest expense but it is the easiest major adjustment to cut significant costs. Based on statistics, it shows that the average guests to attend in a wedding is 180.  If you try to keep this number in mind, it is easier to calculate costs per person in the discussion with your caterer.  Food at the wedding can be significantly reduced if you choose a hot buffet over serving a four course meal. And as long as the food is delicious, your guests will not mind walking over to partake of your great food.  Keep in mind that you have to pay and tip the wait staff to serve those four courses.  

Cash Bar or Open Bar ~ With an Open bar the alcoholic beverages are unlimited and you get to select the brands you want, just remember that top shelf is expensive and you have to pay in advance. ~  A cash bar limits your guests to the amount of drinks to be consumed based on their pockets.  You would offer a

8/8/13

Planning

Planning a wedding is a big deal. There are so many different things to worry about. You will need to set the date, select the location, choose the rings, bridal gown, wedding party apparel, decorations, menu, wedding cake and so much more. There are invitations to send out and reservations to make. It's easy to become totally overwhelmed by everything you need to do. With that in mind, you must create a wedding plan - a list of all the things you need to complete in order for your event to be stress free. If you have the money you should hire a Bridal Consultant or Wedding Planner/Coordinator. It will be money well spent. But, if you are on a strict small budget and cannot afford the luxury, get a binder and create your planner. Also, some wedding sites have a free printable planner you could use to help streamline the process.

One Year before the Wedding:
It is best to give yourself One year to properly plan and execute the wedding of your dreams - Set up the Budget so that you know how much you can afford and establish a fund. Then you can: Purchase the Rings;  Create a Guest List;  Choose wedding colors/theme;  Select Invitations;  Hire a Consultant, & Select your Bridal party, etc.. etc.
 

8/5/13

The Budget

CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement & the start of your life together! Let's have a Wedding.

Fairy tale weddings do come true if you work closely on the planning, preparation of that memorable celebration. Most women envision themselves exchanging vows with their prince charming in a beautiful & romantic island or beach wedding ceremony. How about put all this imagination and daydreaming into a reality? There are numerous things that you need to give your attention to like:  Venue, budget, decorations, guests, invitations, programs and on and on. To achieve all your great wedding ideas, BUDGET is going to be your key ingredient. The main thing to remember is that you have to make what money you have cover all the costs. First of all there are expenses that you have no control over that are fixed costs: license, space rental & Taxes.  But, there are other costs that you can fully control: wedding dress, decorations, caterers & guest list. The number of guests you want to have will drive up the prices you pay for caterers, beverages, table d├ęcor and size of the rental space. Therefore you need a Guest List.

The reception is the most costly unit of a great wedding  and the Food & Music is the most important! If you have bad food and terrible music you & your guests will not enjoy the party and you will have deep regrets. That is why a strict guest list has so much importance in the planning.  Yes. . Your wedding gown is very important and you will find that it is much easier to make your selection, once you have your finances in order. Here is a list to assist in your budget preparations:

1. Make a strict Guest List (Average # 180 guests)
2. Reception Costs ( Venue; Catering)
3. Bridal Gown & Groom's Attire
4. Wedding Rings & Honeymoon costs
5. Beverages (Bar) & Gratuities
6. Photography & Music (DJ or Band)
7. Ceremony (License, Clergy)
8. Flowers (Bouquets & Table Decor)
9. Transportation, Invitations & Programs
10. Travel costs for Destination Weddings.

As a guideline, the national averages for certain wedding costs are:
Bridal Gown  = $1,200.00
Groom's Attire - $250.00
Wedding Rings - $5,200.00
Floral Arrangements = $1,980.00
Venue Rental & Catering = $12,700.00
Entertainment = $1,400.00
Cake = $466.00
This is only a guide, please do your own calculations!


Other Factors to Consider:
Safety First - If kids are at the reception, you cannot afford to choose a spot that is not safe for children.
Second - The venue should come within your affordable range. Do not overextend yourself.
Third - The decor and atmosphere should be in harmony with your wedding Theme.
Fourth - There should be adequate bathrooms.
Fifth - The space must have a Liquor License if you want to serve those beverages.
Last - The spot must be accessible for your guests. Transportation should not be costly.
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Note: Certain vendors like the Photographer, Clergy, DJ & Band have to be fed and you are responsible for their meals, so you have to include them in your Catering budget.

Note ii: Save costs on Gratuities serve a Hot Buffet (you have to tip the servers to serve a four course meal). If the food is delicious your guests will not mind sampling all you have to offer.

Note iii: Save transportation costs by having the Ceremony & Reception at the same location. You will need a large facility but it will save you time & money in the long run.

Note iv: Before you get overwhelmed, get a reputable Wedding Planner or Bridal Consultant to work within your budget. They can get discounts from vendors that they have a relationship with.  Most hotels have a Free coordinator so, make good use of their services.  Get a Free Budget Planner Here.
A Good Budget makes for a Joyful Wedding!