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 recently.  They had some good points to consider…all items that I encountered with my own daughters.



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 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.


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).



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  🙂


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,
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


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Groom’s Emergency Kit

Ah…the Groom’s Emergency Kit …  Do you have one?  I must admit…I had THE BEST BRIDAL EMERGENCY KIT for my two daughters when they married…but I didn’t think of my soon to be sons-in-law!  I now carry a groom’s kit in my role of wedding planner.  When my next two daughters marry, no one will have a better emergency kit for the groom than I!


When one stops to thing about it, your groom probably needs an emergency kit more than you, the bride, does!  You will be surrounded by women.  Someone always has an advil, a tampon, (hope he doesn’t need THOSE) 😳 , a bandaid.  But do men carry those items?  NO.  But they may need one.


Above is a nice list.  I have to admit…I am a little shocked to see that every single “Groom’s Emergency Kit” that I come across has some sort of alcohol included.  Really?  Do our men need to be sedated in order to marry us?  Really?!?


Get creative.  Anyone can find a list on pinterest and follow it.  It takes real love and a creative spirt to design something like the tie above.  If that’s not a care package/emergency kit, I don’t know what is!  Much better at calming shaky nerves, or warming cold feet, than any alcoholic beverage.


No need to get everything on a pinterest list.  But some must haves are: mints, pain reliever, bandaid, mini sewing kit, safety pin, snack, bottle of water, deodorant and ‘tide to go’ stick. Everything else is just fluff.


The above shoe shine kit is adorable.  It has some great amenities I didn’t list on my minimalist package: shoe horn, nail clippers, collar stays, shoe shine kit.  And the nice thing about this is…it can be reused for years to come.

Your Wedding Dress Neckline

Your bridal gown. So much to think about — not the least of which is your wedding dress neckline.  Think it really doesn’t matter?  Think again… It matters…a lot.



When choosing your dress, AND your neckline, the number one thing to consider is your figure.  Your wedding day is not the time to experiment.  Pick the style that most flatters you.  I think the gown below is exquisite.  The bride has a great combination of a sweetheart and scoop style.  She is slightly daring with the cut, but still presents a modest sillouette.  That’s the second point to consider.  A bride, in MHO, should not present a daring style, at least at the ceremony.


The bride below chose a combo style as well – a sweetheart neckline with sheer gauze to her collar bone.  Quite the ingenue – which is what a bride should strive for.



The dress below — could this dress be more beautiful? I don’t think so.  But is it appropriate, especially for a church wedding?  No.  Would it make just the perfect “Reception Dress”?  Yes.  it does have a place at a wedding.  But remember, this is just my opinion. That’s the thing about weddings.  There really is no right or wrong, just what you like, or don’t.


Wedding Inspirasi

I think of all the dresses on this post, the one below is my favorite.  The illusion neckline is perfection.  The tiny rhinestones on the bodice give just the right amount of coverage so the dress achieves a little more decorum.


The final thing to consider when choosing your wedding dress AND it’s neckline, is how your guests will respond.  You really shouldn’t have to, but your do. The last thing you want to do is offend your grandmother, or your groom’s…

Vintage Wedding

What about a vintage wedding?   I’ve always been of the mind that when a wedding has a theme, it is more cohesive.  It just flows better.  A vintage wedding is simple to achieve, creates a sense of nostalgia that all can relate to, and DIY projects are available galore.  Look at these cuties below.  They set the theme right away in their darling togs, and relatively easily.


Another no brainer start to set the tone?  Your hair!  If you’re blessed with long hair, consider one of the iconic styles below. These put one in mind of old movie legends.



Easy decorating items to set the stage?  Your china.  You can rent individual place settings like the plates below, or search tag sales, (tag sales on the right coast, garage sales on the left 🙂  ), for mismatched plates to use as props.



I love the accent candles set in antique teacups below.  While probably not cheap to make, given the cost of the cups and wax, the look is exquisite.  Flowers wouldn’t be necessary, so you could save there.


And you can’t go wrong with the 20’s feel of the pearl and beaded draped chairs below.  Makes me thing of ‘The Great Gatsby’!


Looking for a cute way to collect your wedding cards?  Look no further.  Love this DIY mailbox with the vintage, rustic flair.  Keep in mind…if your reception is in a public venue, consider a way to secure your vessel to a table or make it stationary in some manner.  While you do not need to fear your guests, others walking through your reception may not be so honest…


And don’t forget those escort cards.  LOVE these below.  The darling key’s could double as a favor!