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The Key To Your Perfect Wedding Guide To Wedding Budgeting 10/3/2012 Weddlock Wedding & Event Planners Lori Lockwood & Tracey Lockwood-Smith

Weddings On a Budget Choosing A Venue

Rehearsal Dinner. Host at a family members house or in the back yard. This also may be an option for hosting your reception. Shop around. Compare and track what’s included in the price for each venue. Some may include cake and food while others may only provide the linens. Key is to stick to your budget. Local parks, orchards, wineries or golf course , may be available to rent at a low fee. Word of caution, if the space is not equipped to handle events, you’ll have to rent everything from napkins to tables and chairs. Out of the norm… Try an aquarium, a zoo, a gallery or an historical site. Site fees are low and the venue already supplies ambience. Hold your ceremony and your reception in the same place. Your guest will appreciate not having to travel and you save on multiple site fees as well as transportation from one location to the other. Take advantage of any community organization that you may have access to at low cost. This will include the church you belong to, college, lodge, etc.. Family home or vacation spot, find out if you can hold your wedding there. Wedding and reception packages. Some venues offer discounts for holding your reception and ceremony in same location. Keep it short. No one said it was written in stone that you had to hold your reception for 5 hours. Day and Night. Holding your reception in the afternoon will cost less than an evening one, as will a Sunday brunch. Changing the day of the week will save you as well… Thursday, Friday or Sunday is far less expensive than a Saturday and you are more likely not to find the venue booked on your date. Consider the season— you’re likely to get a better price for a venue in January than you would for the same spot in June. Also if it is Christmas or Easter, the church is usually decorated, so you save in decoration the ceremony venue. Destination wedding. Because the guest will have to travel, your list will be smaller, therefore costing you less in food, and you will be on your honeymoon the minute you say "I do”

Weddings On a Budget Invitations

DIY. Creating your own invites by hand or use high-quality printer paper. There are many free font programs available online. You can also find invitation and program kits at your local craft store. Once completed, get your bridal party to help with assembly. Stick to the basics. The price goes up along with your options. Colored inks, papers, textures and shapes all add to the price. Keep costs down with standard white or off white paper, black ink and square or rectangle shaped invitations. Don’t’ forget to say thank you. If ordering invitations, some vendors will offer a discount for bulk orders.

Weddings On a Budget Music

Band or a DJ? Choosing a DJ will cost about half of what a band will charge. If you fancy yourself a DJ‌download your favorite music and create playlists for the ceremony and the reception on your iPod. Live band? If you opt for the band, consider students from a local music school to perform at the ceremony. Cost will increase if: band has to travel far (keep it local), if the whole band comes to play (you don’t need 2 drummers/2 guitarist..). Master of Ceremony. If you are using the DJ or Band Leader to be master of ceremony, be sure there is no extra cost.

Weddings On a Budget Drinks

Bar Serve beer and wine (both red and white) with one or two signature cocktails that you’ve personalized with a cute name and your wedding colors. Nonalcoholic. Iced Tea, fresh lemonade or Sparkling Water can be dressed up just like a mixed drink with an umbrella, lemon or lime slice or chunks of fresh fruit in the bottom of the glass. If you’re stocking your own bar. If you serve mixed drinks or hard liquor, you can choose mid shelf to keep cost down. Another option is to serve only wine and beer. Mixed drinks require you to keep a number of liquors on hand. Check out your local wine discount stores… Also think about the corkage fees. This can be negotiated during your contract. You can also eliminate the champagne… guest can toast with what they are drinking. Signature drinks. If you want something other than beer and wine, you can have a drink specially made and named for your special day. Close the open bar an hour early and offer coffee. You’ll save hundreds of dollars; even better, guests will have a chance to sober up before they head out to the road.

Weddings On a Budget Food

Cocktail hour/Cocktail reception. Butler expensive appetizers to prevent guests from over indulging. Offer Italian breads, crackers, olives, cheeses, finger fruits and salads. Lunch or afternoon tea reception. Food options are less expensive and guests tend to drink less during the day, so you’ll save on liquor costs. Evening reception. Consider a savory cupcakes or a desserts-only reception. If you choose this option, indicate it on the invitation, so that guests don’t expect a full meal. To accompany, serve champagne or specialty coffees and teas. Signature tasting tables. Set up special food stations with cuisine from tastes around the world. Label each selection and it’s origin. Carving stations and raw bars can be expensive. Casual fare. Please the crowd with tiny crab bites, martini mac and cheese, pig in a blanket. Soup Bar. Serve miniature cups of soup, like clam chowder or French onion. Vegetarian entrée option. Don’t forget to include options for those who don’t eat meat. Where’s the beef? Have your caterer show you price options for different cuts of meat. Family-style dishes. Platters of pasta or sliced meat and sides that guests can pass around. Buffet option. This option requires you to have a larger quantity on hand. Therefore, it may not be cheaper than a plated meal. Seafood entrée. As with flowers, use what is in season at the time of your wedding. Likewise for meat: Select one that will come at a reasonable cost. Eye appeal. Turn that simple plated meal into a mouth watering attraction. Simple chicken can be dressed up with colorful sides.

Weddings On a Budget Desserts

Wedding cake Go with buttercream instead of fondant. Caution: If it's an outdoor wedding, you will have to go with fondant....Warm temperatures are not a good fit for buttercream or cream cheese. Cupcakes Require less intricate decoration. Opt for a small cake For the cake cutting ceremony and use a sheet cake, served from the kitchen. Decorate with fresh flowers This will keep decorating cost down. Have a dessert bar This will take the place of the layer cake and sheet cake. Only cake needed will be the small cake for your cake cutting ceremony. Consider your local grocery store Surprisingly, I have found I enjoy cakes from my grocery store over the bakery... And the cost is far less (hundreds). Fillings Try not to go with several varieties and if using different flavors, have the smaller cake made with the most expensive filling. If using fruit same rule applies as with flowers...Use what is in season.

Weddings On a Budget Pictures

Negotiate. Some photographers will allow you to order your prints after the wedding. This buys you time to saving a bit more for this purchase, or you may consider using your gift money. They may charge you a fee for their time and allow you to order the prints later. Candid Camera. Place disposable cameras on each table and have your guest take candid shots of each other. This will allow you to get shots that one photographer may miss. The only thing to consider is the cost of developing the film. Photography Students may be a option to consider. They may not have all the expensive equipment that a more seasoned photographer does, but can still offer you quality work. Ask to see some of their work prior to hiring them.

Weddings On a Budget Transportation

Renting. Consider your options…party bus is less expensive than a limo. Be sure to ask what packages are available and book at least 6 months in advance for the best cost. Color of choice go with black or silver. White tends to cost a bit more Alternate transportation. If you, a family member or friend has a higher class car, see if they can provide your transportation for the day. If you go with the limo, have it take you to the ceremony and not wait for you all day. They usually charge by the hour. You can make alternate arrangements to leave the reception.

Weddings On a Budget Flowers

DIY. Choose a picture you desire and copy it. Have one floral arrangement as the focal point and decorate the other tables with runners, chargers and silverware and goblets. Go green. Adding greenery to your arrangements will require less blooms. Potted plants are another way to go. Buy in bulk. Visit your local market or go online. Try groupings. Try the same flower in different hues or groups of vases in different sizes. Fruits and vegetables make great fillers for arrangements. Choose what’s in season. Substitute out-of-season choices with in-season blooms. Holidays. If your wedding day falls near Christmas or Easter, you may benefit from the venue already being decorated. The flip side, if it falls near Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, you may have to pay more for your blooms. Simple elegance. Larger displays = larger bills. KISS (Keep It Super Simple) rule is best. Consider blooms submerged in water, rose petals floating or colored stones and floating candles. Use votives, pillars or tapers between floral arrangements to enhance. Keep ceremony flowers simple by only placing arrangements where you’ll be exchanging vows. Decorate the pews with bows.

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