WEDDING NOTES™ – What Will It Cost?

ImageThe answer –as much or as little as you can afford!  You can have a lavish event that tops $100,000 or you can say your vows and entertain your close friends and family for $1500.   It all depends.  If you are planning a wedding on a budget, we offer some dollar saving tips.

  • Avoid a summer wedding.  About 70% of US weddings take place between May and October.  As couples compete for vendors and venues, prices rise – because they can.  Depending on where you live, getting married in the “off” season months can save you money on reception expenses, floral arrangements and photography services.
  • Choose a day other than Saturday when most weddings take place.  Marrying mid week or Friday night can save rates on room rentals, food and music.
  • Look closely at your guest list.  Pare it down to include only those persons who are really close and have meaning in your life.
  • Have your ceremony and reception in the same place.
  • Choose an hour when a meal is not appropriate or necessary.  Morning weddings followed by a lovely brunch or a later afternoon ceremony followed by a cocktail reception are wonderful options.
  • Use flowers that are in season and fill bouquets with more ribbon and fewer flowers.
  • Rather than investing in large floral arrangements in the church and reception areas, consider using rental greenery.  It will fill spaces and create more warmth than large stylized arrangements can.
  • A good wedding planner can save you time as well money; and most importantly help assure you of one perfect day.

Be honest about your budget and stick with it.  Look for ways to economize but know which items are the dearest to you.  Always remember that it is the marriage that is important – not the entertainment.  Feel free to discuss your plans and concerns with us.  We can help you have a gorgeous wedding and save you money in the process.

WEDDING NOTES™ – Online Gift Registries

ImageWhile the bulk of wedding gift registries is still run through big box stores, department and specialty stores, there is a growing segment of that industry that is utilizing the reach and specificity of on line communications.  At one time considered somehow “tacky”, on line gift registries have come into their own and have proven to be a real advantage to couples and their guests.

It’s easy to build an online registry.  Your guests can shop from their homes (or phones), which is a huge convenience if they are out of town.  You can select the items you want in stores and then list them on your e- registry.  You can also list your registry on national sites like theKnot.com, weddingchannel.com if your chosen retailer has a partnership with those sites.

Once registered, you can log on to your site anytime to add, delete or change preferences.  You can also see what has already been purchased.  Some sites will include the information about who ordered what.  That will prove helpful when writing thank you notes.  Gift enclosure cards do not always remain attached to the box containing the gift.

There are also new sites that specialize in “non traditional” registry offerings.  While there is still discomfort around the concept of “registering for money”, some couples are utilizing these sites.  For couples who prefer to accumulate cash for a major purchase, there are www.depositagift.com and www.myregistry.com. For couples who may prefer a fund for the future, there is a website called www.weddingfutures.com that specializes in gift stocks and/or mutual funds.

Whichever method you choose for your gift registries, remember that under no circumstances should those sites be included anywhere in your invitations.  Depend on members of the wedding party and family to spread the word about your gift registry preferences.

Don’t forget that although gift registries now include non-traditional items, gifts for a lifetime are remembered most.

For other helpful registry advice, speak with one of our experienced consultants.

WEDDING NOTES™ – Questions for a Wedding Planner

ImageShould you hire a wedding planner or are you preparing to do it all yourself?  Most busy working brides today need the help of a professional planner – for all or part of their weddings.  A professional wedding planner’s advice and expertise can save time, money and sanity so don’t dismiss the idea out of hand.

When you meet with a wedding planner to talk about how much or how little you need him/her to do for your wedding, here are six key questions you should ask to guide that informational meeting.

1. Here are the vendors and venues I am considering using.  Do you know anything about them?  Who are your favorites and why?

The planner can often give you some good feedback about a particular vendor and/or steer you away from potential trouble.

 2.  How many weddings of my size have you done?

If you are planning on a small intimate gathering and the planner specializes in huge society weddings, you two may not be a good match.

3.  If I hire you for my wedding, what is your role and what is mine?

It is a good idea to have clarity around who is responsible for what and in a tight situation, who has the final say?  Do need to have the planner clear every little detail with you or can he/she make decisions based on early parameters you two have established?

4.  How many weddings do you do each month?  Do you have enough staff to cover all weddings you book?  You don’t want to be one of a multitude in June if the planner doesn’t have the staff to handle all of its commitments.

5.  Ask for a client and vendor list and ask if you may call them for references.

6.   Ask for an explanation of how he/she charges.  Is there a flat rate, a sliding scale, extra charges for add ons?

7.   Do you belong to any professional organizations? Associations such as Weddings Beautiful Worldwide have helped increased the value, and raise the professional standards of wedding planners everywhere.

The goal of all good wedding planners is to save you time and money . . . and most importantly for you to enjoy one perfect day! 

WEDDING NOTES™ – Gift Registry Ideas

ImageAs brides and grooms confer on what and where to register for wedding gifts, here are some items to be included on the registry that are frequently overlooked but are really necessary for a new home start-up.
  • Cleaning supplies – Don’t be afraid to put a nice vacuum on your gift list.  This is the time to find a model that is easy to use and is durable.  If you have a home with stairs – either a split level or multi story model, consider the value of a vacuum on each floor.  If you already have a terrific model, add a hand held/portable vac for your kitchen area.  There is nothing better for picking up crumbs and the inevitable dry spills.
  • Iron – while you may still take shirts and professional clothing to a cleaner, there is always a place for a good steam iron in every household.  Put a good ironing board on the list at the same time.
  • China – always register for more china pieces than you think you’ll need or want.  IF you think the perfect size dinner party is 6, order enough for 8.  Likewise, if 8 is your ideal size, order 10 place settings.  Pieces break over time.
  • Kitchen – select and place on your list a set of really good kitchen knives.  One good set will last for years and make slicing and dicing a pleasure.
  • Entertainment items – Unless you have every electronic device you think you need, take another look at your camera.  Not every photograph needs to be taken by your phone.  What about a DVD or portable TV?
  • Gift Cards – more and more vendors are making room for those on gift registries.  These are a nice way to fill in  items you need or want that you did not think of when completing your registry.
You may wish to include some “off Registry” items for your guests’ consideration .Use your wedding website to let guests know that you’d like donations made in your name to your favorite charity.  This lovely way to celebrate your new life together spreads the joy and makes many people happy.

For other ideas on formatting your gift registries, stop in a talk with one of our certified wedding consultants.