You’re engaged! You feel excited and pumped to start planning your wedding. You finally sit down with your notebook and pen and start with the basics – budgeting. The first step to wedding planning is determining your budget, which requires crunching some numbers. Sounds exciting, right? You look at your numbers and begin to feel nervous. It is probably one of the hardest things you’ll have to do during the planning process, so let us help you with some tips on saving your budget.
Date and Time
Here’s a great way to save some money on your wedding. Consider having your wedding off-season. Summer weekends are higher in cost than winter weekends. Winter weddings can be just as beautiful as a summer wedding, for half the price. Vendors are also more available during the winter months, so you’ll be sure to get your first pick! Today, most South Asian weddings are two-day events. Since the venue will make up 50% of your budget, consider having the ceremony on a Saturday and the reception on Sunday, or even having the ceremony on a Thursday and reception on a Friday. Try to escape from long weekends as they are the most costly! Another option to save your budget is the timing of your event. An evening reception will be higher in cost than a lunch reception. Determine the best possible options to help save your budget before picking the date and time.
Style/Theme of Wedding
The style of wedding will greatly determine your overall budget. If you’re planning to have a formal affair, with a 5 course-meal, it’ll be more expensive than an intimate wedding on your Uncle’s farm. A simple wedding vs. a luxury wedding will significantly impact your budget. The theme of the wedding can also greatly determine how much of your budget will be spent on executing the theme. A black tie affair will be more costly to execute than a rustic-themed wedding. Consider having some elements of your wedding as a “DIY” project. Nowadays, Pinterest has a whole realm of ideas to make your wedding a special one without having to spend the extra dollar!
Most couples won’t actually create a breakdown of their budget but rather they’ll discuss how much they want to spend overall on their wedding. When you begin crunching your numbers to see what is a suitable budget for you, you’ll want to discuss what’s important to each partner. Determining what is most important to one another will help determine which elements of the wedding you are willing to spend more on. Your partner may want the best photographer, whereas you may want to splurge on decor. Mapping out what’s important will help you cage which vendors are the perfect fit for your needs!
We know you want to share your special day with all your family and friends, but this can hinder your pockets. The longer your guest list, the higher your overall budget will be. Food and liquor are typically one of the biggest expenses for the wedding, and therefore size matters. Decreasing your guest list will allow you to spend more on other details of your wedding such as decor, cake, entertainment, rentals etc. Small or big wedding, your special day will remain special!
As a wedding planner, we are always crunching numbers and keep our dashing couples on track. Find out how we can help you budget your wedding accordingly!
Let’s start with the basics. No matter what type of service you are booking for your wedding, whether it is a photographer, cinematographer, event stylist, hair and make-up artist or DJ, having a formal contract, in writing is an absolute must. Without a contract you have no guarantee or agreement of the services provided, along with the big question of whether the vendor will hold the date of your wedding. Without a contract, and some sort of initial payment, you can highly assume that the vendor may not provide services on the day of your wedding.
Here are a few key components of a legitimate contract:
1. The Basics:
- Name of the Bride and Groom
- Contact information of the Bride and Groom
- Date of service(s)/wedding
- Contact information of the vendor
- Location of venue(s)- some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Start and end times – some contracts allow this to be confirmed at a later date
- Deposits and final payment amounts
- Signature of all involved parties
When you create a contract with a vendor, it is essential to clearly indicate the service you are contracting for and the details associated with that service. It could be a few bullet points or complete sentences, but it should confirm in writing the services agreed upon. This will assist in avoiding confusion when confirming details of what is expected a few weeks prior to the wedding. For example, if you are signing a AV/Lighting contract, it should list exactly what type of lighting you are receiving ie. pin-lighting, spot lighting, intelligent lighting etc. Review the contract before signing it to ensure all details are outlined correctly and as per your wishes.
Every contract should include a clause that outlines the cancellation and refund policy. Make sure to read through the cancellation and refund policy very carefully as some tend to be very complex. Understand the amounts you’ll be refunded and the cut-off dates for cancellations. Sometimes unforeseeable situations occur that can cause the wedding to be cancelled or delayed. It’s crucial to know what the cancellation and refund policy entails.
If a vendor refuses to provide a contract or is missing essential information, ask to have it included. Always think twice if a contract does not include key details.
Protect yourself and your wedding by always signing a contract with each vendor.
Creating a seating plan for your wedding can be one of the more tedious tasks closer to the big day. There are many different types of seating options to choose from. Below are options that are frequently used at weddings.
Open Seating – Pick any seat!
This seating option works great for small, intimate weddings. Having open seating is a great option if your guests are comfortable with one another and are familiar. It’s great to be seated next to someone whose company you enjoy! However, this seating option may not be the most suitable for a large wedding. Guests find it a hassle to look for a seat themselves, and it becomes difficult to manage which tables have seats left.
A seating chart is one of the most commonly preferred styles of a seating plan. Easy to use and read, display all the names of your guests by first or last name, along with the table number beside it. For larger groups consider having one chart for the groom and one chart for the bride. You can also personalize and get creative with the design of your seating chart.
Escort cards are an aesthetically appealing option. An escort card displays the name of the guest, followed by the assigned table number on individual cards. You can have them in small envelopes or two fold tents. Place them in alphabetical order on your receiving table to add character to the entrance. Using escort cards also gives you the advantage to make any last minute changes without a big hassle.
Seating Chart + Place Cards
Make it even easier to seat your guests by using a seating chart and place cards. Place cards are placed on each table setting with the name of the guest to make is easy for guests to know exactly where they are sitting at the table. This is a great way to add some creativity to your guest tables.
Before creating your seating plan, always ensure to have a floor plan from the venue. This can also effect the type of seating option you choose to have. Try to be as accommodating as possible, and make it a memorable experience for your guests. Now, if everyone please take their seats, we are about to begin!
If you’ve come this far then you’ve already done half the work. Every bride goes through the thought process of why you should hire a wedding planner. Here are 3 reasons why you should consider hiring a wedding planner:
WEDDING PLANNING IS STRESSFUL: Wedding Planning requires you to learn a whole new set of skills; negotiation, organizational skills, problem-solving skills etc. It sounds stressful already right? This is why hiring a wedding planner makes wedding planning that much easier. From the small details, to communicating with vendors, to booking and attending your appointments, wedding planners take the workload off of you so you can enjoy being engaged.
WEDDING PLANNING TAKES TIME: In this busy and hustle-bustle world we live in taking on more responsibilities in our daily lives can be overwhelming. Finding and contacting the right vendors, and knowing who to trust is a time consuming and stressful task. Having a wedding planner by your side can solve this problem. With industry and vendor knowledge, a wedding planner can direct you to the right vendors who will fit your style and needs. The wedding professionals have the time and resources to plan your wedding from start to finish, leaving no cracks in between.
WHERE TO SPEND THE MONEY? Big or small budget, do you know where to spend the money? Allocating your budget is one of the hardest aspects of planning a wedding. Having an organized budget will help you focus on parts of your wedding that are most important to you. Wedding planners are your personal financial advisors. As a wedding planner, we are educated in knowing what percentage of your budget will be spent on a specific vendor or category. We help you budget your money wisely and most importantly, help you keep on track.