Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Foto Friday

Grooms, you know exactly what’s going through his mind!

Buscemi Photography

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September 28, 2011

Ask Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,
As a wedding gift, my parents offered to pay for the photographer. When we found the perfect photographer and let my parents know about the package deals, my mom completely flipped out at the $3000 price tag! I personally think that it’s very reasonable for what is included (e-pics, 2nd shooter, 30 pg wedding album, 2 parents albums, 1 large framed print, etc.). My mom keeps referring to how much they spent on a photographer when they got married 30 years ago. What do I do?

– – – – –

When family members or close friends offer a specific wedding item as a gift, it is best to discuss a ballpark figure of what they’re estimating. This helps to avoid any misunderstanding or confusion as you (or they) research the gift. You should discuss with both your parents about how much they would like to spend on photography. If their estimate is below what you would like to spend, considering paying for the difference. If you decide to go this route, make sure to keep your parents in the loop and communicate with them openly so that they don’t mistake your decision as being unhappy with how much they’re able to contribute. You just don’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt! Also, you can ask your photographer to put together a custom package based on your budget. You may have to compromise and do without the extras (parents albums, large print, etc.), but you can buy these items at a later date as long as you have the hi-res images on a DVD. For more suggestions and tips on the budgeting process, check out The B Word Pt 1 and Pt 2!
– Wednesday
September 27, 2011

The B Word: Part 2

Now that the wedding budget process is broken down and key questions have been answered, it’s time to be a budget savvy bride. Here are some tips and recommendations on how you can get the most for your buck.

Stick to it!
The key to executing the budget plan successfully is sticking to it. When researching venues, photographers and dresses, don’t look above your budget. If your food and beverage budget is $5000, don’t visit a venue that has a $10000 minimum. This applies to smaller ticket items too. If you’re allotting $800 for a wedding dress, don’t try on the $1000 gown. You think, “it’s only $200 more,” but a little bit here and a little bit there adds up to a big number.

Embrace DIY Projects
Let your inner crafter come out and add personal touches to your wedding. You can always save money by printing and assembling invitations, making centerpieces and creating favors. But remember, don’t try to DIY everything—make a list of what you can realistically handle, taking into consideration your crafting experience, the time it takes to work on a project and if you have additional hands to help. You don’t want this to be a frustrating experience.

When & Where
Consider off-season months (November-April) and days (Friday and Sunday). Most vendors will be more flexible open to negotiating. For additional savings, check out venues other than your typical hotels and country clubs. Local parks, private estates, museums and historic buildings can offer affordable rental fees.

Wedding Dress
Consider renting a dress or even buying a “gently worn” dress. Once Wed and PreOwned Wedding Dresses offer great options, including designer brands, that are affordable. We also love Brides Against Breast Cancer, a non-profit organization that sells new and pre-owned gowns 25-75% below retail price. Save money for a great cause!

PreOwned Wedding Dresses

Photography
Photos last a lifetime and and capture the emotions of your wedding day. It’s definitely not something you want to skimp on. If the photographer’s pre-packaged deals are too expensive, don’t hesitate to ask the photographer to put together something that works within your budget. This may mean foregoing extras like framed prints or parents albums, but you can always get those items at a later date as long as you have the original hi-res images on a DVD. Check out Blurb or Snapfish.

Flowers
Stick to locally grown flowers that are in season. Also, consider bouquets and centerpieces that showcases a single type of flower. This allows your florist to buy flowers in large quantities and get better pricing from flower growers.

Q WeddingsBella FioriAriel Yve Design

Music
Debating between a live band and a DJ for the reception? If you’re working with a tight budget, DJ is the better option! Less people means less money. Or if your venue has a sound system on site, plug in your iPod as your DJ—it’ll ensure  that you’ll dance the night away to all of your favorite songs. Also consider using your iPod for ceremony music and hire a DJ just for the reception. Some DJ companies that offer ceremony music services will charge for the “dead time” between the ceremony and reception.

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My Other Half isn’t about sacrificing things that are important to you on your wedding day; we’re about being budget-savvy. It is possible to have a five-star wedding without the $1 million price tag!

September 26, 2011

The B Word: Part 1

An exquisite Monique Lhuillier wedding dress, picture-perfect chiavari chairs, sophisticated letter-press invitations, a string quartet playing Cannon in D as you walk down the aisle…these are the things we dream of for perfect wedding day. Then we realize that we must face reality and think about the dreaded B-word: BUDGET. It’s daunting and overwhelming, and you begin to think that maybe eloping to Vegas isn’t such a bad idea after all. Don’t book your flight ticket just yet! We’re here to guide you through the budgeting process. With all the right tools and careful planning, it will be (somewhat) painless!

Who’s footing the bill?
Figure out where the money is coming from. Talk to both sets of parents and discuss if they are able to contribute financially rather than assuming that your parents are paying for the reception and his parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner. If they offer to pay for a specific item, like photographer or flowers, get a ballpark figure of how much they’re estimating. Secondly, consider your personal finances and discuss how much you and your fiancé can contribute toward the wedding budget. Don’t put yourself into debt! This is supposed to be a celebration of love that’s followed by a lifetime of happiness, not financially inducing pain.

Prioritize
Identify your top priorities so that you can move forward with a focused and united vision. Print out 2 copies of this priority list and individually evaluate what you must absolutely have on your wedding day and what things you can scale back on. If your fiancé is an avid music lover, put him in charge of researching DJs. If you’re all about the flowers, that can be your assignment. If neither of you care for an extravagant 8-tier wedding cake, consider other fun and budget-friendly options, like the DIY Cookie Bar.

Who? When? Where?
Do want a small and intimate wedding with 30 of your closest friends and family, or a big fiesta with 250 people? Are you a sun-loving summer bride, or do you have your heart set on a winter wonderland wedding? Did you want to stay local, or have an exotic destination wedding in Jamaica? Having these things figured out in the beginning will help you tremendously with setting realistic numbers with the next phase in the budget planning process.

Categorize
Everyone seems to have a different answer for this question–What’s included in the wedding budget? It should include everything that is involved in the wedding. This mean pretty much everything except your engagement ring and the honeymoon, neither of which are a part of the wedding celebration. Refer to our budget sheet to see the general categories. Make sure to include any mandatory service fees and tax. Below is our recommended allocation (for a non-destination wedding):

  • Reception (45%): Site fee, food, beverage, corkage fee, cake, cutting fee, vendor meals, rentals (tables, chairs, linens, etc.)
  • Photography & Videotography (12%): Engagement session, wedding day coverage, production (editing, prints, wedding album, parents’ albums, etc.)
  • Attire  & Beauty (10%): Wedding dress, alterations, veil, jewelry & accessories, shoes, undergarments (bra, bustier, slip), hair, makeup, groom’s tux, groom’s accessories (tie, cuff links, etc.)
  • Flowers (9%): Bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ bouquets, groom’s boutonniere, groomsmen’s boutonnieres, mothers’ corsage, fathers’ boutonnieres, ceremony flowers, reception centerpieces
  • Music (7%): Ceremony music, cocktail hour music, reception music
  • Planner (5%): Wedding coordinator or day-of coordinator fee
  • Ceremony (2.5%): Site fee, officiant fee, ceremony accessories (for religious ceremony, aisle runner, unity candle, etc.)
  • Stationary (2.5%): Save-the-dates, wedding invitations, thank you cards, postage, programs, escort cards, place cards
  • Gifts (2.5%): Wedding favors, parents’ gifts, bridal party gifts
  • Wedding bands (2.5%): For bride and groom
  • Miscellaneous (2%): Gratuity and other unplanned costs
September 21, 2011

Ask Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,
For our destination wedding, do we have to pay for the bridal party’s travel and accommodation?

– – – – –

No, as is the case with local weddings, your bridal party is responsible for their own transportation and accommodation. You are expected to host dinner the night before the wedding, but nothing more. However, if you budget allows, it would be great for you to provide hotel rooms for your bridal party.
[Tip: Consider renting a vacation home near the ceremony/reception site. It might be cheaper than booking multiple hotel rooms.]
– Wednesday
September 19, 2011

DIY Bartender: Cookies & Milk Bar

Ready to Raise the Bar for your wedding? Creating a Cookies & Milk Bar is very DIY-able and won’t break the bank.


Supplies


DIY
Get a few of your friends and family together for a baking party. There’s nothing better than eating spoonfuls of cookie dough with your favorite girls. Below are our picks for some delicious cookie recipes!

[Tip: You can bake you cookies in advance and freeze them for 3-4 weeks. Let cookies completely cool before freezing. Wrap cookies individually in plastic wrap and store them in a ziploc freezer bag. The cookies will thaw in about 10-15 minutes at room temperature.]


Semi-DIY

A perfect solution for the working bride or the novice baker. Go to your local grocery store and load up on your fave cookies.

September 16, 2011

Foto Friday

Hottest Husband EVER! Promise to love you forever…♥

Paper Antler

September 14, 2011

Ask Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,
My family is notorious for bringing extra guests to any event. We’re pretty close to our maximum capacity at our venue. How do I let them know that they can’t bring random people to our wedding?

– – – – –

On the RSVP, specify the number of guests you are extending the invitation to (“x seats have been reserved in your honor”). Also, you can include a note at the bottom of the RSVP explaining your situation (“Due to limited space, we are unable to accommodate additional guests. Thank you for your kind understanding.”).
– Wednesday
September 12, 2011

DIY: $5 Cake Stand

Happy Monday, everyone! The My Other Half team has been working on some great DIY projects to add fun personal touches to your wedding day. Here’s a creative budget-friendly idea for just $5. Take a plate and a wine glass and turn it into a simple, elegant and affordable cake stand!


Supplies

  • Plate (Ikea Öppen, $0.99)
  • Wine glass (Ikea Närhet, $3.99)
  • Wrapping paper, construction paper, fabric, lace, etc.
  • E6000 glue (Michael’s, $2.39 with 40% off coupon; Not counted toward final budget since this tube of glue will be used for several other DIY projects.)
  • Heavy book (Hardcover books are recommended for stability. Textbooks are perfect!)


Instructions

  • Step 1: To add a colorful decorative backing to your cake stand, trace your plate (upside down) and trace a circle on material of choice (wrapping paper, construction paper, fabric, lace, etc.). This is a great way to incorporate your wedding colors!
  • Step 2: Draw a second line about ⅛” outside of the outline and cut circle.
  • Step 3: Cut evenly spaced slits (8-12) about 2¼” deep.
  • Step 4: Apply a thin layer of epoxy glue to the backside of the plate.
  • Step 5: Carefully glue the paper onto the plate, allowing the slits to slightly overlap. This helps the paper wrap smoothly around the curved part of the plate.
  • Step 6: Apply the epoxy glue along the rim of the wine glass.
  • Step 7: Position the bottom of the wine glass to the back of the plate. Please a heavy book on top to weight it down and let dry overnight.


Finished!

 
September 9, 2011

Foto Friday

A sweet kiss as the sun sets.