Posts tagged ‘budget’

November 21, 2011

What About the ‘Maid?: Budget-friendly Bridal Shower

Planning a bridal shower can be stressful and can put a strain on your wallet, but there are great DIY and budget-friendly ways to throw (and host) a shower without breaking the bank. Here are some great tips to having a first class party in honor of the bride-to-be.

Location, Location, Location
Who says that a bridal shower has to be at a fancy hotel or boutique tearoom? Consider hosting it at your home or another bridesmaid’s home. Or if you have access to a community clubhouse, consider hosting the bridal shower there. You can save on any major rental fees that a hotel or restaurant may charge.

Good Eats
Think about having a potluck where each bridesmaid brings a dish or two to share. Simple DIY dishes like a cheese platter or a fruit tray with some of the bride’s favorite fruits is a great potluck dish. Want to add a fancy touch to the food? Try a simple recipe for creamy brie en croute, savory bacon wrapped dates or festive prosciutto wrapped breadsticks. Also, a potluck shower is a great way to share recipes with the bride – have each bridesmaid write down the recipe on a recipe card and have a recipe box as a gift for the bride.

You don’t need to spend hundreds to turn a room into a well-decorated space. DIY pom balls and paper canopy can add a festive touch!

Martha Stewart Weddings

October 26, 2011

Ask Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,
My fiancé and I come from different cultural backgrounds and we’re trying to figure out who pays for what. In my culture, the groom’s family pays and in his culture, the bride’s family pays. How can we compromise on this?

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It’s best to consider who is financially able to contribute to the wedding rather than sticking to cultural traditions. As we discussed in our budget blog, have a conversation with both sets of parents to see how they would like to be involved. Also, consider your personal finances and discuss how much you and your fiancé can contribute toward the wedding.
– Wednesday
October 13, 2011

Wedding Infographic

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October 5, 2011

Ask Wednesday

Dear Wednesday,
I know that it’s not cheap to be a bridesmaid, but the dress I want them to wear costs over $250. I’ve looked at other designers and similar dresses, but nothing compares. How can I tell my friends to buy an expensive dress that they may or may not wear again?

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Before you start browsing for bridesmaid dresses, talk to your girls individually about their budget. If everyone’s budget is $200, but you fall in love with a $250 dress, maybe you can offer to pay the $50 difference.
– Wednesday
October 3, 2011

What About the ‘Maid?: Cost

We can all agree with & that being a bridesmaid comes with a price tag.

  • Before agreeing to be a part of the bridal party, get a general idea of when and where the wedding will take place. You’ll want to know if it’s going to be a destination wedding, so that you can take into consideration travel costs and time off work to attend the wedding. If the bride and groom aren’t sure yet, ask if it would be okay to give a definite answer later when the couple has more details about the wedding. You don’t want to be stuck in a sticky situation where you say “yes” and then be forced to back out at the last minute due to financial circumstances.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about wedding day attire, address them as early as possible. For example, if the bride picks a dress that you can’t afford, take her out for a coffee and explain your situation so that you can come up with a solution together. Don’t wait until a month before the wedding, or after all of the other bridesmaids have already purchased and altered their dresses!
  • For pre-wedding event budget concerns, talk to the maid of honor since she will be in charge of planning most of the festivities such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party. If you are not able to make an equal financial contribution, offer your time and labor! For the bridal shower, help put together the favors and be in charge of setup and cleanup. For the bachelorette party, be the concierge and research fun activities that everyone would enjoy.
  • DIY isn’t just for the bride! Save money by watching YouTube tutorials and learn how to do your own hair and makeup.
Makeup tutorials:

Hair tutorials:

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The honor of being a bridesmaid doesn’t need to dragged down by dollar signs. Get creative and be a budget-savvy bridesmaid!

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?

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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

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.

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

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.

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.

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