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!
You’re a few months away from the reception day. You begin thinking about who will be the Master of Ceremonies (MC) at your reception. Will it be Uncle Ron or cousin Harvinder? Uncle Ron gets a bit too rowdy and cousin Harvinder is a bit too shy. They both really want to be your MC.
So, who do you pick? Well, you don’t have to pick! One of today’s blooming trends is to hire a Professional MC. These individuals carry the skill set and confidence to speak in front of large crowds and engage the audience. With a Professional MC, you won’t have to worry about embarrassing stories (that you weren’t aware were going to be told), or the awkward not-so-funny jokes.
Here are top three reasons why hiring a Professional MC can lead you to a successful and enjoyable reception.
A strong, confident voice is required in order to grab your guest’s attention. A Professional MC is able to capture your guest’s attention without having to get too loud or too aggressive. They know exactly how to settle down your guests and get the night started. They can create the right ‘build-up’ to introduce the bride and groom or gather your guests for a group picture without a hitch.
Maintaining your guest’s attention is extremely important. A Professional MC knows how to engage your audience. Those small breaks between the cake cutting and the next speech are the perfect time to have some fun! Professional MC’s have a ton of audience interaction games to really get your guests excited and involved. Professional MC’s are natural entertainers.
Now and then, things might get switched around. Professional MC’s know how to adapt to changing schedules and events. They are able to think on their feet to create fillers. They keep the transition smooth and quick so the audience won’t notice there was a change. Planned or unplanned, the MC will add excitement to your reception, making it better than ever.
The greatest thing about a Professional MC is that they are a professional. They have perfected their art to get the job done right. As our dear friend MC Donovan Fernandes explained, “The MC should always be on his/her feet, and is constantly watching the faces of the bride and groom and the rest of the crowd.” Keeping it authentic and fun, a Professional MC can definitely make your reception a memorable one!
Set the bar by setting the bar! I’m not talking about an open bar or cash bar. I’m talking about the delicious stuff that makes you want more. I’m talking about food bars! Food bars are one of the fastest growing trends. Not only does it taste delicious, but it also adds a special touch to your next event that will have your guests talking about it for days. What are our favorite bars? Have a read below!
1. Sundae Bar – Who doesn’t love ice cream? Incorporate a build-your-own sundae bar at your wedding. Perhaps during cocktail hour on a hot summer day to cool of your guests before the reception begins, or even as a late night station when your guests are sweating from strutting their moves on the dance floor! Choose three different flavored ice creams and a whole ton of toppings to choose from! Mix it up with healthy toppings such as pineapple, strawberries, toasted coconut flakes, and sweet favorites such as mini reese’s, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. Definitely a crowd pleaser for both adults and children!
2. Donut Bar – It’s Donut Time! This bar can be used as a breakfast display at the ceremony, or is the perfect addition to a bridal shower! Gather your favourite donuts and set them up in a beautifully displayed donut bar. You can stack them or place them in uniquely crafted trays. You can mix it up with timbits and regular sized donuts. Another option is to have plain donuts, with assorted glazes to drizzle on top and toppings for guests to create their own flavour of donut! Always remember to label the different flavours!
Picture: Donut stand wedding favors donut bar cake table by FreestyleMom
3. French Fry Bar – French fries are no longer basic! You can pick from onion rings, sweet potato fries, and regular fries. Add a selection of seasoning such as sea salt, rosemary, and garlic. We all know that we don’t just have to eat fries with ketchup anymore, so display a few different dips to choose from. If you want your guests to get really unique with customizing their fries, you can also add cheeses and toppings such as shredded chicken. The fun element of having a French Fry Bar is that you can get as creative you like with the display. Use jars, trays, different levels of platforms and cones to really give it an edgy feel!
Picture: By Southern Revivals
Off to the bar! Stay dashing!
The harsh truth – you’re not going to please everyone with your wedding choices. Planning a wedding involves many different groups of people; parents, siblings, friends, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts just to name a few. Not only are there many people involved in the wedding, but there are many decisions to be made such as budget, colors, theme, catering etc. Things can get carried away when you let others heavily influence the decision-making process. Now by no means ignore what your family and friends have to say. It’s important to maintain happy and healthy relationships with these individuals as I’m sure many of them play a major role in your life. Instead, there are ways to manage the feelings and expectations of others, while keeping in mind your overall vision for your wedding.
One way is to always think about the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on individual decisions that will affect certain people, think about the overall feeling you want to have on your big day. Remember that you’re bringing two families together in harmony. Another great way is to divide and delegate tasks. If your sister is very passionate about the color theme, take her to a design consult with you. Making your family and friends a part of the process doesn’t necessarily mean it’s their final decision. It’s a great way to include important individuals in the planning process, while the ultimate decision is still yours.
A wedding is a celebration of two people becoming one. Don’t dwell on the little nits and grits. Have fun throughout the planning process because you’ll miss it when it’s all over!
Wedding planning can be overwhelming and stressful at times. But there is nothing worse than letting that stress consume you. Keep cool, step back, and take a breather. Remember the importance of enjoying the process, because immediately after the wedding, I promise you will wish you were back at Day 1 of planning!
E-shoots may not be as easy as the pictures make them seem. There is a lot of background work that goes into putting together the perfect e-shoot from both the photographer and the bride and groom. There are some key elements to keep in mind when putting together your e-shoot. Here are some pointers to help you prep.
What Represents You: An engagement shoot is a great opportunity to capture the love between two people. A great place to start brainstorming is to think about how you met, and where you met. Then think about your likes, dislikes, common interests and ideas that really represent you as a couple.
The “Feel”: Think about the overall feel you want to portray in the shoot. Maybe you want it to be cute, comfy, stylish, sexy, sweet, sporty, whimsical or a combination of a few. Pick something that makes you feel your best. Just remember that you should be having fun on the day of the shoot. At the end of the day, the pictures should convey your personalities as individuals and as a couple with a glimpse of an eye.
Location: Inside, outside, or destination? Maybe even multiple locations and seasons. The location plays an essential role when planning your shoot. It sets the ambiance for all of your pictures. Start by creating a list of locations that interest you. Then narrow it down to what fits your “feel”. Lastly, consider the time of year and any weather concerns that may affect your shoot on the day of. Remember to always have a backup plan.
What to Wear: Always wear something you are comfortable in. You never know what kind of stunts you may need to pull to achieve creative shots. Your outfit should also represent who you are and should coordinate with the overall “feel” of the shoot.
Get Creative: Have a little fun by using accessories and props at your e-shoot. Think creatively as to what props and accessories would fit accordingly with all the other elements of your shoot. Think outside of the box, and be distinctive.
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.
Food for Thought
Literally, you need food to be able to think. Skipping breakfast on your wedding day is a BIG no no! You need the extra energy and nutrition to get you through the day. The last thing you need is your stomach growling while getting married.
Eating a breakfast will also assist in giving you that extra glow you need, because we all know that the night before the wedding you didn’t get much sleep. A yogurt, some toast, and a fruit will do just the trick!
Bad weather can happen anytime of the year. Depending on the season of your wedding, you can determine what kind of weather conditions are a possibility. We advise to always have a back-up plan or plan B, especially for outdoor weddings. There is nothing worse than scrambling to have everything arranged last minute. Think it through and list all the reasons you could be outside, such as photography. Consider carrying appealing umbrellas just in case the sun doesn’t want to shine.
Everyone has these, but what’s important is how to prepare for them. Our tip is that you familiarize yourself with each other’s guest list, especially those guests you are bound to meet at some point during the wedding. Give each other a short briefing so that when you meet this person, you don’t draw a blank. What could’ve been an “awkward introduction” is now a “comfortable conversation.”