Keep Your Wedding Budget in Check

Can you keep your wedding budget in check? Well, it all depends how much research you do in advance.  You may THINK you’ve thought of everything, but there many little things you might not have planned for.   This can add up.  I read an article from the huffpost.com recently.  They had some good points to consider…all items that I encountered with my own daughters.

POSTAGE

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Postage is a not an insignificant charge; especially as your invitations may require more than one stamp. When my girls were planning their weddings, I’d buy a page of wedding stamps every couple of weeks.  I purchased extra, so they also had stamps for their thank you notes.  One of the girls’ future mother-in-laws would also surprise her with a book of wedding stamps every now and then as well.  It really helped.

VENDOR MEALS

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Vendor meals were not something I thought about until I was placing my final order for my first daughter’s meal count.  All of a sudden I was hit with the cost of 8 additional meals. At $ 100.00 a head, not an insignificant cost.  Many caterers have “vendor meal pricing”, however, which can be as much as 50 % off the price of guest meals.

LIGHTING

I signed daughter # 2’s venue contract and thought I was done.  But no…there were extras to consider…do we want lights, extra decorations, etc., etc.  I wasn’t going to go with the light package, but I sure liked it.  (Photo below – of my best friend, and her handsome son, (MY son-in- law!), at the venue WITH the light package).

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TENTS

Inclement weather…What if it rains?  Well…it did at daughter Maggie’s wedding.  We decided to book a tent 4 days out when the weather looked inclement.  It was a good call.  And at only $1,000, a lifesaver…but wait, add a delivery charge, light package, set up package, etc., etc. and it was almost $ 2,000.  This was NOT budgeted in…But in the grand scheme of things, there was no other option.  Below is daughter Maggie dancing with her Dad.– in the tent  🙂

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GRATUITIES…don’t forget to plan for this. It’s a big expense, and one you don’t want to scramble to round up the week of the wedding.  Below is a great guideline.

 

 

Decide How Much to Tip

For specific suggestions, see this “Tipper’s Table,” excerpted from event planner Mindy Weiss’s The Wedding Book($23, amazon.com):
Bartenders: 10 percent of the total liquor bill (to be split among them)
Bathroom attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Catering manager: $200+ or a personal gift
Chef: $100+
Coat check attendants: $1 to $2 per guest
Hairstylist: 15 to 20 percent
Hotel chambermaids: $2 to $5 per room; $10 to $15 if you used a suite as your dressing room
Limo or bus drivers: 15 percent
Maitre d’hotel or headwaiter: 1 to 3 percent of food and beverage fees
Makeup artist: 15 to 20 percent
Musicians: 15 percent of fee for ceremony musicians; $25 to $50 per musician for reception
Photographer/videographer: If you’re paying a flat fee with no overtime, $100
Valet or parking attendants: $1 to $2 per car; 15 percent for valet parking
Waiters: $20 and up each (distributed by the catering manager or maitre d’)
Wedding planner: 15 percent of fee

OVERTIME CHARGESimage

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How Well Do You Know Your Wedding Cake?

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weddingwire.com

Ah…the wedding cake…how well do you know all the ins and outs of this time honored confection?

It’s history is rich.  According to wikipedia,

“The contemporary wedding cake has grown out of several different ethnic traditions. One of the first traditions began in Ancient Romewhere bread was broken over the bride’s head to bring good fortune to the couple.[3] In Medieval England cakes were stacked as high as possible for the bride and groom to kiss over. A successful kiss meant they were guaranteed a prosperous life together.[3] From this the Croquembouche was created. The myth behind this cake tells of a Pastry chef, visiting Medieval England who witnessed their tradition of piling sweet rolls between the bride and groom, which they attempted to kiss over without knocking them all down. The pastry chef then went back to France and piled sweet rolls up into a tower to make the first Croquembouche. The modern croquembouche is still very popular in France, where it is now common to place the croquembouche tower on a bed of cake and make it a top tier. This traditional French wedding cake is built from Profiteroles and given a halo of spun sugar.[4]

In 1703, Thomas Rich, a baker’s apprentice from Ludgate Hill, fell in love with his employer’s daughter and asked her to marry him. He wanted to make an extravagant cake, so he drew on St Bride’s Church, on Fleet Street in London for inspiration.[5]

 

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heb.com

Be advised, wedding cake serving sizes are about a quarter of what you would receive as a piece of cake in a restaurant.  Wedding cake is for show, for tradition.  And one, frankly, I would not do away with.  But many brides are.

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weddingfavorsunlimited.com

If you want to keep the cake current and fun, maybe you could employ a topper like one of the choices above, or order a novelty cake like the treat below.

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cakesdecor.com

I think today, guests expect an additional dessert along with the wedding cake, and most brides are stepping up to offer it.  A perfect way to meet that need and add a little pizzaz, is something like the adorable “mini” cakes below.  Love, LOVE this…

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deerpearlflowers.com

Uncertain how to cut a wedding cake?  Click on the link and read my post on how to do it!  How to Cut a Wedding Cake.  You may never need to know, but if you do…

All the Ins and Outs of Wedding Invitations

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weddingdeals.com

All the ins and outs of wedding invitations, do you you know them? There’s more to your wedding invitation than just picking a pretty pattern.  You must decide who the hosts are, (bride’s family, groom’s family or both), type of wedding, (religious, non-religious), font and invitation style.

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elegantweddinginvites.com

In deciding the script font, you are making a choice as to whether your invitation will be formal, or informal.  Above are some lovely, “free” fonts for a DIY invite.  CAN you DIY?  Yes you can, and nicely too. Although if you go on a website such as etsy.com, you can get a professional to make your invitations for not that much more than a DIY “kit” would cost you.

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buzzfeed.com

Addressing those invites…this can be a challenge to be done properly.  Best advice?  Consult an etiquette book, this blog post, or a website.  You want to do it right?  Consider hiring a calligrapher, it’s not prohibitively priced, and can save you so much time – as well as looking beautiful.  Another option?  Check to see if your printer offers the option of printing your guests’ addresses on the outer envelopes prior to shipping you your completed order.

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mod wedding.com

The above chart offers some “extra tips” for the right way, and the WRONG way of the envelope etiquette.  Perhaps the most important tip, always, always spell all words out, i.e., state name, street address, etc.

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brit.co

When you’ve figured all the business side of your wedding invitations, the fun begins.  You get to choose your style.  Remember, your wedding invitation is the first glimpse your guests will get for the style and vibe of your wedding.  Not to scare you, but it’s a big decision!

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pinterest.com

Honoring Loved Ones Who Can’t Attend Your Wedding

What’s the best way of honoring loved ones who can’t attend your wedding? There are a lot of options.  Sadly, some of the people you most want to attend your wedding won’t be able to.  Perhaps they have passed away, are older, or not able to travel.  Maybe they are ill.  Don’t forget to think of them on your special day.   Know they are thinking of you…

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mediacache.com

The photos above and below are lovely ways to keep absent loved ones in your thoughts, and the thoughts of your guests.  The photo above is self explanatory. But the fireworks below…well, I found a photo of some sparklers, and thought THAT would be a delightful, large, positive way to say, “You’re not here, but you are…”

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mediacache.com

The photo on the chair is a tried and true way to keep a memory alive.  This is an graceful option, and needs no sign or explanation.

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glamour.com

What about remembering your loved ones, either absent or deceased in your welcome speech? (Traditionally given by the father of the bride).  In the photo below, you see three of my four daughters, myself and my husband.  My husband, father of the bride, is welcoming all. His speech was touching and eloquent.

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Patty Cloherty photos

And my favorite of all?  Well, that would have to be the photo below.  My parents, who live in California, were not able to travel to my daughter’s New England wedding.  (Dad will be 98 this year, Mom is significantly younger), so what did they do, being the modern folk they are?  They Facetimed the wedding!  Thanks to our great family friend, Becca, they were able to enjoy the wedding. They opened a bottle of bubbly and joined the celebration!  And a special thank you to our photographer extraordinaire, Hannah Colt, for capturing it.

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Hannah Colt Photos