How To Plan a Wedding On A Tight Budget

how-to-plan-a-wedding-on-a-tight-budget

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding is over $30,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on one day of celebrations—but luckily, you don’t have to spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to plan the wedding you’ve always dreamed of. Follow these tips to stick within your budget while planning your big day:

Visit a sample sale

A wedding dress can account for a large percentage of your budget if you’re not careful. To save on this expense, don’t just buy a dress from a local boutique. Instead, research sample sales in your area so you can get a better deal on your wedding dress. Most bridal shops will have sample sales at the end of each season so they can quickly get rid of dress samples and make room for new inventory. Wait patiently for one of these sample sales and you may be able to save hundreds—or even thousands—of dollars.

Narrow down your guest list

Each guest you invite to your wedding makes your big day more expensive. Why? You will have to pay for food, wedding favors, invitations, and programs for each guest, so if you cut back on the number of guests, you can greatly reduce the cost of your wedding. Make your wedding more intimate by only inviting close friends and family members. Go through each guest on the list and ask yourself whether he or she should be included. If you haven’t seen someone in a long time, or if someone is just an acquaintance, it’s best to leave him or her off of the list.

wedding-on-tight-budget

Choose your flower arrangements wisely

Flowers can eat up a lot of your budget, but there are ways that you can decorate with beautiful blooms without going completely over budget . For example, instead of spending a lot of money on giant bouquets for your centerpieces, let a few blooms float in a bowl of water alongside floating candles. This is much less expensive than floral bouquets, but it looks just as romantic and elegant.

When choosing flowers, you should always ask what will be in season at the time of your wedding. Flowers that are not in season are much more expensive than those that are, so be sure to ask your florist for a list of seasonal flowers prior to making this decision.

Hold a “Stock the Bar” party

It can cost a pretty penny to serve your guests alcohol at your wedding, but not if you plan ahead. Many couples are choosing to host a “Stock the Bar” party in the weeks leading up to their wedding. At this party, guests are asked to bring their favorite wine, beer, or liquor that they want at the wedding. The couple will then save all of the alcohol that their guests bring to the party and use it to stock the bar at their wedding (hence the name). This is a great way to cut costs—and to make sure that your guests all have access to their favorite drink!

Skip the gifts

It’s tradition for the bride to buy her bridesmaids gifts and the groom to buy his groomsmen gifts. But, if you’re on a budget, you may not have the funds for this extra expense. Instead of buying gifts for your loved ones, write a meaningful thank you note that expresses how grateful you are to have them in your life. This will mean much more to them than a gift—and it’s far less expensive, too!

It doesn’t matter what your budget is—whether you have one hundred thousand, ten thousand, or even one thousand dollars, you can still make the wedding of your dreams a reality!

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Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the fashion and health industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time, she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf.

How To Host A Winter Wedding

How to Host a Winter Wedding

There may be quite the hub-bub over spring weddings; those elusive chapel bookings in the traditionally prime marriage month of June — even vineyard weddings in late August have become increasingly popular.  But where’s the true romance?  Winter.  Really, can anything beat winter in terms of romance factor?  We don’t think so.  Here are some of our favorite tips in planning a truly special winter wedding.

Attire

The winter landscape makes the perfect backdrop for bold, more romantic color schemes. Deep berry, emerald and royal purple all look beautiful against a pristine snowscape. Muted, more metallic colors also work well, silver in particular is a great option for a winter wedding. Wintry items like wool coats, leather boots, and fur trims can all be classically incorporated into your outfits. Just imagine how wonderfully your wedding gown will pair with a beautiful fur (faux or otherwise) coat.

Food

In winter, holiday food reigns supreme.  Why not incorporate it into your theme?  Homey foods like honey-roasted ham, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes (plus copious gravy, of course) can all make for wonderfully filling fare.  Winter essentials like s’mores, hot cocoa, and cider can also be a nice tip of the hat for your theme. You can even create a hot cocoa or s’mores bar, where guests can choose to top their drink (or treat) of choice with delectable toppings such as mini marshmallows, whipped cream, and caramel sauce.

 Winter Bouquets

 Bouquets

There are so many choices for beautiful colors and winter accessories you can add to your bouquet in a winter wedding. A mix of soft violet roses, miniature paperwhites and pinecones make a unique and gorgeous bouquet. Of course, you can never go wrong with red roses, which work wonderfully in a winter setting. This can be mixed with berries or stray branches to give the bouquet more depth. Tying a small piece of rope to hold your bouquet together will be a nice touch and add to the warm, rustic feel.

Decor

There are a lot of different directions you can go in terms of decor.  You may want to go for something warm and cozy, in which case plaid and wood accoutrements, along with copious numbers of candles can lend a very nice feel — for extra charm,tabletop fireplaces are a lovely touch!  You can also go more nature-inspired, where snow-dusted (or glitter, if you’re so inclined) pinecones can add their own sense of personality to centerpieces, place settings, and flower arrangements.  You can even go for a more icy aesthetic, by using crisp blues, silvers, and glass and crystalline decorations — snowflakes are always a great final touch!

Favors

Favors are where you can really have your fun — there are so many great (and delicious)  winter favor ideas out there.  Winter treats like caramel apples and hot cocoa care packages can add a sweet-yet-quirky spin on your favors.  Or a customized tumbler or drink cozy for your guests to carry their hot drinks is an option your guests will surely make use of. Christmas ornaments are another fun option, they have real staying power, too: how romantic for you and your spouse to be a part of your friends’ and family’s Christmas decor, year after year! Along that holiday theme, mini-Christmas tree saplings can be quite the endearing gift.

Winter Wedding Favors

So there you have it: your winter wedding can be the fairest one of all.  The themes are near-endless, and it provides you the perfect setting in which to concoct your dream wedding.  After all, what makes for better wedding photo than fresh snow? 

 

Author: Uma Campbell is a freelance writer from Southern California. She loves writing about wedding trends and styles. When she’s not writing, she loves to practice yoga.

15 Top Tips for Planning a Dream Wedding On a Budget

Your wedding day should be the day of your dreams; whether bride or groom, you should make the most of this opportunity to be the centre of attention amongst your friends and family as your celebrate your love for one another. In today’s economic climate though, creating such a day is becoming increasingly more difficult as purse strings tighten and budgets are limited due to a lack of available funds. This scenario is not uncommon so if you find yourself in this position, don’t panic as help is at hand.

Detailed below are 15 tips for planning your dream wedding whilst always sticking to the pre-arranged budget you have set yourself:

Soft Pink Bridesmaid Dresses

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1. One Location, One Price

Attempt to hold your wedding ceremony and reception in the same venue or on the same estate as this will reduce the need for multiple bills as well as transport fees to get from one location to the other.

2. Compare, Compare, Compare

You will undoubtedly be viewing a number of different venues as options for your wedding day, so create a comparison chart that helps you keep track of the prices in addition to what each venue can offer. Once you have viewed all potential venues, you can then compare prices and see what you are getting for your money from each location.

3. Invest in Insurance Early

The importance of investing in wedding insurance early can’t be stressed enough as this will ensure that the investments you make, in many of the services associated with your wedding, are protected and should a problem arise, you won’t be hit financially.

4. Book a Weekday Wedding

Weddings at the weekend are renowned for being considerably more expensive than a wedding on a weekday, so if you want to save some money, why not book your big day for a Friday instead and see how much you could save?

5. Drinks Don’t Need to Be Free

There isn’t really a need to provide your guests with a free bar, which, if you do, can significantly eat into your budget. By all means provide wine and toasting champagne for the wedding breakfast, however for your evening reception, you will more than likely find that guests are more than happy to pay for their own drinks.

6. Book a DJ Not Band

Whilst the idea of a live band or singer sounds great for your evening reception, this is really an unnecessary expense as a DJ can play some great music throughout the night and can be anything up to half the price you’d pay for a live singer.

7. Downsize on the Cake

Traditional wedding cakes are usually tiered and very intricately designed, and as such come with a bigger price tag. Consider downsizing your wedding cake to something slightly smaller or alternatively go for individual cupcakes, which are becoming increasingly popular choices for frugally focused bride and grooms.

8. Cut Down Buffet Options

Buffets are a great idea for feeding large groups, however you do need to make sure you don’t go over the top on the food options your guests have. Cutting down on buffet options will cut costs per head and leave more money to be spent elsewhere. If you didn’t want to go for a buffet to feed your evening guests, consider a barbeque or hog roast which can also easily cater for large numbers.

9. Book Wedding Cars Early

You will of course want to arrive in style so to get the best deals on your wedding car, be sure to book well in advance. If you need more than one car or require your chosen car to make more than a couple of trips to and from your venue, see if you can get an even better deal by booking multiple vehicles or additional trips with the same provider.

10. Create Invitations By Hand

If you are particularly artistic or you know of a friend or family member who is, create the invitations you plan to send out to guests by hand to avoid the high prices associated with buying large numbers of shop bought items. A handmade invitation will also make your wedding more unique and be something that all guests will enjoy holding onto to remind them of the day.

11. Flowers on a Wholesale Scale

In a similar way to above, you can save huge amounts of money on flowers if you know of someone who is a particularly good DIY florist as you can buy the flowers you want for your wedding day on the local market to avoid paying expensive floristry and delivery costs.

12. Avoid Bridal Boutiques

Shopping for and trying on a variety of wedding dresses can be great fun, however a stunning wedding dress doesn’t have to cost the earth so if you are working to a tight budget, avoid the bridal boutiques and head for the independently owned bridal shops or factory outlets where you will find the best bargains on equally gorgeous dresses.

13. Hire Suits Not Buy

Whilst the bride will most certainly buy her dress, for the groom and his party, hiring suits is the best way to get a great suit at a great price. In some cases, hiring a certain number of suits can result in the groom getting his free, so shop around to find the best deal for you and your party.

14. Picture Perfect Recommendations

Photographers can be another expensive area of your wedding, so the best way of getting a good deal is to ask for recommendations from friends and family. Going to a photographer and saying you have been recommended to them may result in them being more inclined to offer you a reduced deal or a few extra treats for the money you are paying.

15. Book Honeymoon Well in Advance

After all the effort put in to planning your wedding, the honeymoon offers the perfect opportunity to get away from it all and relax, so book this well in advance to get the best possible deals. Letting your travel operator, chosen hotel and travel agent know that this holiday will be your honeymoon could also see you get a few little extras, like a room upgrade or free drinks on arrival.

Whilst weddings can be incredibly expensive, if you are working to a tight budget, making a few adjustments here and there can effectively save you pounds, so follow these 15 tips if you are readying yourself to plan the wedding of your dreams any time soon.

 

This post was written by blogger Oliver Kyle who, alongside his now wife, effectively planned a low budget wedding that was everything they could have wished for and more. Taking on all of the tips detailed above, they made sure to invest in Debenhams Wedding Insurance earlier to ensure all possible eventualities were covered and their finances protected.

  ♥   S P O N S O R E D    P O S T   

*Debenhams Wedding Insurance is a LWB advertiser. For more information about advertising on Love Wed Bliss enquire here. We would love to help you.

 

How to Plan a Bachelorette Party

A bachelorette party is a pre-wedding celebration typically organized by the maid of honour and the bridal party. The goal of the party is to celebrate the bride’s last days of “singledom” by having a fun and unforgettable event with her girlfriends. This cute infographic with its great timeline and helpful tips is a fabulous tool to help you plan a bachelorette party that will make the bride-to-be buzz with excitement!

How To Plan a Bachelorette Party

 

Infographic courtesy of Simply Bridal

 

How to Plan a Wedding You Will Remember Forever

Your wedding should be a one of the best days of your life, something you will remember forever and cherish with that special person. These top tips will help you to make some of the most key decisions for that all important day.

Classic Romantic Wedding Farewell

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Venue

Most people plan their wedding date around the availability of their preferred venue. It is best to have a few choices in mind in case the waiting list is ridiculously long, or their available dates don’t work for you. Your venue should be a place that you instantly love, remember this will be the backdrop for all your memories and the photos. You also need to think about whether it will seat all of your guests and if it has suitable parking.

Photographs

If you want to remember your wedding day for years to come, what better way to capture it than through photos? Hiring a professional photographer is important. Remember these prints are going to be what you look back on when thinking about your special day, so you want to make sure they provide a quality service. Always ask for recommendations and ask to see previous work they have done. Everyone has a different style and taste so make sure you supply them with exactly what you want before the day.

Although you will be having professional photos taken, they don’t always capture the fun and laughter throughout the whole day. One way you can do this is by hiring a photo booth for you and your guests to take some natural, fun filled snaps for you to keep alongside your more traditional wedding photos.

Dress

It’s every girls dream to find the perfect dress for their wedding day. Start preparing early. Look through magazines and websites to get an idea of what you want. Keep all the pictures and once you have decided on a rough style it will be easier to find what you are looking for. However check that the style of dress you are going for flatters your figure. There is no point choosing a dress that looks perfect on someone else but is extremely unflattering on you, keep in mind it will be on display in all of your photos. Take someone that is honest to go dress shopping with you, it is very easy to get caught up in the glamour and some people may be scared of hurting your feelings if they don’t think that dress is the right one for you.

Rings

Your wedding ring is something that you will proudly wear on your hand forever, so making sure it’s something you love is essential. It is best to go shopping with your partner so you can get matching rings (if that’s what you want), or you can make the financial decision together. You also need to ensure that it compliments your engagement ring.

Wedding Favours

Wedding favours are a way to say thank you to your guests, and give them something to remember your special day by. Try to think out of the box and give something different as well as something that looks pretty and compliments your table setting and colour scheme. This will make sure everything fits in nicely together.

Now that you know what things you need to consider to ensure your wedding day is one to remember, it’s time to start shopping!

 

Ekta Mair, a snap happy enthusiast recommends Picture Blast, a photo booth rental specialist for all your creative and fun wedding photos with a difference.  

  ♥   S P O N S O R E D    P O S T   

*Picture Blast is a LWB advertiser. For more information about advertising on Love Wed Bliss enquire here. We would love to help you.

 

Something Blue Ideas for the Modern Bride

Our last dose of inspiration for our “Something oldsomething newsomething borrowed and something blue ideas”  is all about adding Something Blue to your day.  Selecting a “blue” item for your wedding style is probably the easiest of the four, as there are endless options. You could choose practically anything, as long as it has blue in it. For instance, if your looking to add some colour to your wardrobe, add a blue sash, or have your bridesmaids wear blue dresses. You could also have the groomsmen wear blue boutonnieres. There are a million more ways you can incorporate blue into your big day; and this fun infographic includes plenty of unique ideas plus a little glitz and glam for the modern bride.

Something New Ideas for Brid 

 

Infographic by Simply Bridal

 

{Guest Post} How to Avoid a Real Life Bride War

You just got engaged and the wedding planning frenzy is in full swing. It’s going to be your year, full of showers, parties and a lot of preparation all leading up to the most important day of your life. There’s just one minor problem. Your closest girlfriend is getting married this year too. At first, the thought of sharing your special year together seems sweet. But, then it starts to get a little competitive.

Bride WarsImage Source: NY Times

Before you know it, you are competing to send out invitations first and there could even be a little blue hair dye involved a la Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars. So if you find yourself in a race to the altar with your BFF, follow these tips for how to avoid a real life bride war.

DO save the date second

In the movie Bride Wars, best friends Emma and Liv settle for the same wedding date to secure the venue of their dreams. Emma sends out her save the date first, starting a drop down drag out war that plays out through the rest of the flick. So what should you do if you get engaged second, but want to set your date first? Think twice. It may not be an official Emily Post decree, but unwritten girl code states that “she who is first to get the rock, should be the first to take the walk.” Save yourself hard feelings from your bestie, and try to set your wedding date after hers.

DON’T use the same colors

Of course every girl has their own vision of the perfect wedding, right down to the color of a bridesmaid dress. But there are only so many colors in the rainbow and on the rack at the local bridal shop. So if your best friend announces she’s chosen the perfect shade of pink for her wedding palette, dare to be different. Not only will you avoid hurt feelings, you can be sure that no one will be comparing your wedding to hers.

Bride at War

DO coordinate calendars

If you and your gal pal have already planned your weddings for the same year, try not to plan all of your showers, parties and bachelorette parties back to back. Chances are a lot of your friends will be attending both weddings. Don’t clutter their social calendars. Get together and plot your event dates with enough room for your guests to breathe in between.

DON’T create a competition

Your friend is taking dance lessons with her groom to be to prepare for the first dance. Resist the urge to start arranging a choreographed flash mob with your wedding party to rival her performance. Resist the urge to go bigger and better. Instead of creating a competition, play on the same team: Team Bride!

Follow these simple rules and you are sure to avoid any bridal battles with your BFF. Most importantly, enjoy your time planning together and sharing all the moments that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

 

 

Author: Cami Hadley is a movie, television and entertainment aficionado for the cable television blog on cable.tv.  She is also in the process of planning her own wedding, a small destination wedding set for this fall.

Something New Ideas for the Modern Bride

In Part Two of our ‘Something Old Something New‘ inspiration, we go technologically savvy with a whole bunch of cool ideas for Something New!  If you’re a modern bride who embraces social media and all things digital, then you’re bound to love these online-friendly ideas. 

Something New Bride Ideas

Be sure to check out part one Something Old Something New Ideas for the Modern Bride  

 

Infographic by Simply Bridal

{Guest Post} 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

Wouldn’t life be a lot easier if someone could just hand you a wedding checklist? Whilst we may not cover every aspect today, we do have the venue covered for you! We’ve narrowed down ten of the most important questions to ask your wedding venue to ensure that there are no unwelcome surprises on the day. After all, preparation is key when it comes to planning your wedding and with this tick list, you’re well on your way to creating a wedding everyone will remember. 

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue

BYOB

The wine provided by wedding venues often comes with a heavy price tag. You can save yourself a lot of money – and choose bevvies that you love – by heading out to your local winery and ordering bottles by the crate.

That said, some venues will charge you extortionate corkage fees for the privilege of bringing your own bubbly. Apparently, opening a bottle of wine and filling up a glass is a service that can cost you a small fortune – go figure!

Dietary Requirements

With 5% of the population vegetarian (3 million!) and 1% vegan, it’s likely that you, your hubby, or a guest at your ceremony has dietary requirements (and that’s not even including the people who have allergies!). Talk to your venue about catering for all sorts of eating habits and try to include at least one vegetarian option for each course – even meat eaters can be picky.

For Your Eyes Only

Many venues like to juggle their weddings. If it’s important to you to have the venue to yourself, check that it’s exclusive.

Getting Ready

Some wedding venues will have a bridal suite for the bride and her entourage to get ready, which is a huge plus. If there isn’t a dedicated room, it’s worth asking the venue if they would be willing to turn another room into your bridal boudoir for the morning. After all, getting ready is half the fun!

Curfews

The managers will want to kick you out at some point. Check when everyone has to leave to avoid incurring heavy fines and the wrath of the venue owners. If you like to party until the small hours of the morning, make sure that the venue will allow for that.

What Does the Fee Include?

Your wedding venue may be expensive, but do you get plenty of freebies? Package deals can often work out as fantastic money-savers. Check what the venue includes in the price to get the best deal – it can save you a lot of organisation if the venue covers every little thing.

Can You Use Your Own Suppliers?

You’ll notice many venues will try to foist their suppliers on you. Usually this’ll be because they’re getting a cut from the deal. If you want your flowers and catering to represent you, ask if you can use your own suppliers.

Is There a Co-ordinator?

Some venues offer management on the day, to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. A wedding coordinator is a blessing sent from heaven – you don’t have to worry about the ceremony or breakfast going smoothly – it’s all in his or her capable hands. Even if something goes wrong, you can arrange for the coordinator to sort it out toot sweet!

Fire Hazards

Candles + drunk people = not really a safe equation. Venues may not allow you to have a candlelit celebration, so if you’re looking for a romantic glow, check that you’re allowed. Some venues have priceless works of art inside them; obviously, owners can be a little protective.

Parking Spaces

Something that’s often overlooked – parking spaces. People need somewhere to put their car. Find out if the venue offers ample room and if they charge.  

 

Thank you to Zoe for contributing this wonderful post. Zoe is a British lifestyle blogger, who writes on behalf of Knowsley Hall. Looking for a country house wedding venue? This gorgeous stately home makes the perfect backdrop for tying the knot in style.

Image credit: Digital Sublime via Compfight

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