8 Ways To Save On Wedding Costs and Avoid Debt

Today’s blog post ‘8 Ways To Save On Wedding Costs, Avoid Debt’ comes from Dawn Papandrea and creditcards.com.

save on wedding costs avoid debt

We recently posted an article with tips for funding your wedding where the topic of using your credit card was briefly touched upon. The following article by Dawn Papandrea goes further in depth on what to look for (and what to avoid) if you do choose to pay for any of your wedding with a credit card, as well as other great money saving tips.

Ask any soon-to-be bride about her wedding plans, and she’ll pull up elaborate Pinterest boards on her smartphone. With so many amazing ideas accessible at your fingertips, it’s no wonder why today’s engaged couples are under pressure to spend more than ever on their big day.

According to The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding in 2016 cost $35,329 (and that’s not counting the honeymoon!). Besides rising prices, part of the reason may be the desire for custom guest entertainment has more than tripled, from 11 percent to 41 percent since 2009, with couples adding special touches, such as photo booths (78 percent), games (18 percent), musical performances (12 percent) and even fireworks (8 percent) to their events.

With good planning and creativity, however, it’s still possible to have a Pin-worthy wedding without going into debt (or over the top), as these experts reveal.

Take a look at some frugal chic strategies to help you save money on your nuptials:

1. Say ‘I do’ to credit rewards.
If you’re a couple with strong credit, the pre-wedding period is the best time to open a rewards credit card . “If you don’t have a credit card that offers hotel discounts, airline miles or other rewards you should get one,” says Anne Chertoff, WeddingWire’s trends expert. “I signed up for a cash back card before I got married and put everything on it from lunches to bigger ticket items like my photographer,” she says.

Some things to keep in mind: You’ll need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for the most generous rewards credit cards. When comparing cards, look for ones that align with your spending style, and that have good sign-up bonuses (you’ll have to spend a certain amount within a time frame, such as $1,000 in three months, in order to get them banked). Then, figure out what type of redemption will benefit you the most. If you don’t travel much, look for a card with points that can be redeemed for anything from rental cars, hotels, airfare or gift cards instead of one just focused on airline miles.

Here’s an idea: “You can use points to purchase gift cards for stores that carry products and supplies you might need to create the centerpieces for your wedding reception, or to buy bridal party gifts,” says Dawn-Marie Joseph, president of Estate Planning and Preservation, and founder of Williamston is Your Wedding Destination, a group of wedding vendors in Williamston, Michigan.

Of course, rewards cards only benefit you if you don’t carry a balance month to month. Once you start paying finance charges on purchases, you’ll cancel out your earnings.

If you can’t pay off the balance right away, you or your intended may want to look into getting a card offering an extended 0 percent promotional rate on purchases; just be sure you have a repayment plan set up to get the balance paid off before the promotional rate expires.

2. Minimize wedding-day travel.
If you find a venue that provides space for both your ceremony and reception, you can save a lot, says Sharon Naylor, author of 35 wedding planning books including “1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding.” “For instance, your floral designer will only need to travel to and from one location, so that cuts down on their travel charges,” she says.

It might also mean that your photographer and videographer will spend fewer hours with you. Also, paying for an officiant is often less pricey than ceremony fees in a house of worship. Plus, if it’s all in one place, you can reduce your limousine costs, or maybe not hire one at all.

3. Scale down the food.
You don’t want to risk your guests going home hungry, but you might be able to lower the menu price per head by working with your caterer, says Naylor.

“You can skip the raw bar and just have seafood accents on some dishes, such as a lobster topping for the mac and cheese station. Or, instead of offering a buffet bowl of shrimp cocktail, have shrimp cocktail hand-passed by servers,” says Naylor. You can also opt for noodles, salads, pastas and other lower-cost selections and reduce the number of meat-carving stations.

For your cake, stick with simpler designs and classic cake flavors and fillings. “Some cakes triple in price when you opt for specialty ingredients,” says Naylor.

4. Fine-tune your flower budget.
“The majority of people don’t know how much flowers cost,” says Joseph. While she recommends going online to get ideas about the bouquet shape and colors you like, don’t get hung up on particular types of flowers unless they have a special meaning to you.

In fact, ask your florist to recommend “nonwedding flowers,” says Naylor. “Gardenias, stephanotis, callas and some other traditional bridal blooms cost a bundle. Your floral expert can suggest some blooms that are not only in season and more affordable, but are super-pretty and can often be acquired in larger masses for more effect,” she says.

Bonus tip: Bridal bouquets can pull double duty as centerpieces or to decorate the head table when placed atop clear cylinder bases or pedestals, says Joseph, and florists often have these inexpensive items on hand.

5. When it makes sense, do it yourself.
“A lot of people think they can save with DIY, but test before you invest,” says Chertoff. She’s seen many brides attempt to do their own wedding accents, and end up paying for professionally designed items at the last minute.

Here are some DIY dos and don’ts:

Do consider DIY favors. If you have an idea that’s nonperishable or can be done well in advance of the event, go for it. Whether it’s creating a custom USB of music or packaging up food that will last (like chocolates), you can find discount supplies and enlist your bridesmaids to help you package them up, says Chertoff.

But don’t … try to DIY anything that needs to be done during wedding crunch time. Making baked goods or trying to create your own bouquets the day of the event can turn into a disaster.

Do a DIY photo booth. Guests will have a blast if you put up a backdrop poster, and set up a prop table with a few selfie sticks (Etsy.com has lots of customizable and affordable ideas). Then, you can ask guests to use a custom wedding hashtag when they post photos so you can see them.

But don’t … try to get away with not hiring a professional photographer or videographer, says Naylor. “Your wedding photos and video become so much more important in the years to come. Hire a reputable pro, even if prices are higher than some hobbyists you may see advertising out there,” she says.

Do create your own signage. There are lots of great ideas online to create customized table seating cards, table numbers, and ceremony and reception signs. If you’re crafty and have the time, you can pull these off with low-cost supplies.

But don’t … think that doing invitations or programs on your own will save you money. “You might not be aware of just how much ink goes into your invitation, program and other print items until you get started, and by then it’s too late,” says Naylor. Still, there are large price variations based on types of paper and print processes, costs for inserts, and whether you bundle your invitations with your programs, so shop around.

6. Don’t be a designer snob.
For many brides, it’s all about the dress, but finding one that flatters you is more important than the name that is on the label. “There’s nothing wrong with looking at stores like David’s Bridal. Dresses are totally affordable and fashion forward. And high-end designers are creating selections that are stunning,” says Chertoff.

She also recommends shopping sample sales, but only after going dress shopping to try on different styles and see what you like. Otherwise, you’ll end up settling for a gown you’re not crazy about, and cave in to buying a second dress you find later on.

Although it’s unconventional, Joseph says it’s possible to save a lot of money by considering a consignment dress purchase, which is sometimes offered in her boutique, The Wedding Gallery. “I just took in a $2,500 ballgown dress in perfect condition – there’s not one bead out of place,” says Joseph. If you can get past the fact that the dress was already worn – literally for a few hours – you can save a lot.

7. Learn how to manage extras.
Many couples go over their wedding budget by at least 10 percent, says Chertoff. To not have to rely on credit cards, she recommends putting $1,000 into a do-not-touch fund for last-minute surprise costs – such as having to buy large umbrellas if rain is in the forecast, or items for guest hospitality baskets in the restrooms.

Of course, don’t forget that extras are optional. “Your wedding is not the last party you’re ever going to throw,” says Chertoff.

8. Read your contracts carefully.
Another way to get in over your head with wedding spending is by ignoring the fine print. “Make sure you know what’s included, such as if you have to pay extra for valet service; what the payment schedule is; and if credit cards are OK, or do they charge a processing fee,” says Chertoff.

A bit of haggling can go a long way, too. “Ask for a discount if you pay in cash, or are buying in volume,” Joseph says.

There’s no getting around the fact that planning an elegant affair is expensive, but by employing some of these frugal tactics and sticking to your budget, you’ll start your new lives together with not only a grand celebration, but on the right financial footing.

I hope you found this information useful! To see the original article, or for more of Dawn’s credit card tips/suggestions go here.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

9 Tips to Help You get Started With Your Wedding Plans

While planning their wedding, many brides want to save money while making their dreams come true just like they imagined the day as little girls.

From choosing your venue to creating your decorations and invitations, there are several tasks to take care of. Find a few tips below on how to get started.

1. Announce Your Upcoming Wedding
Sure, you can have your announcement in the local paper. But won’t it be more personal if you create and send a simple card (you can get them printed at your local printers)? Choose a cute theme, color, and envelope, and send out the announcements to the people who matter.

Start with making a list and gathering addresses (you can later use these addresses when getting ready to send out your wedding invitations). Want something a little different and fun? How about an animated version of your wedding announcement card? If it’s created to be an invitation, share it only with those you want to invite, however if it is merely an announcement go ahead and share it on social media.

2. Pick Your Wedding Date
You’ve got a lot of things to take consider when choosing your wedding date, such as when you and your fiancé are free, when your desired venue is available, and (especially for outdoor events) seasonal weather patterns.

If you’re like some couples, you have a specific date (such as the anniversary of your first date). Other couples are more flexible, such as anytime in August, or wanting a Fall wedding.

You may want to make sure that your desired wedding date doesn’t fall into any type of “scheduling conflict” with your parents and other people who are so special to you that you can’t imaging them not being at your wedding. Just remember that this is YOUR wedding, and not lose control of choosing the date.

3. Find Your Venue
If you’re flexible with when to have your wedding, you may want to look for a venue before having a definite date chosen, then finalize your wedding date based on your selected venue.

During your venue search, don’t just pick one hotel or banquet hall to visit; interview several, and choose the one that offers not just the best price, but the one that has the best combination of price, service, amenities, and decor/look. A venue that has an exquisite ambiance may cost more to rent, but will need minimal decor, whereas a venue that is more “bare bones” and plain costs less, but you can end up spending more in decor to achieve the look you want.

Before you go venue-searching you’ll need to know the number of people you would like to invite (or at least a good estimate). This will help to calculate the cost, and you’ll avoid looking at venues that would be too small to accommodate all of your guests.

4. Create a Menu
Some couples find creating their wedding reception menu as one of the most challenging tasks. Others find it quick and easy.

Regardless of which one you fall under, there are still a few things to keep in mind. You probably know the tastes of your friends and family members, so you may want to consider offering an entree that is a known favorite. And be sure to see if any of them have any food allergies, preferences, or dietary needs. These days most caterers offer more vegan/vegetarian, gluten-free, and other types of menus.

You will also have a wedding cake to design and order. It’s possible that you have a friend or family member who can help in its creation, or recommend you a company that will offer you a customized service.

5. Select Your Dress

9 Tips to Help You get Started With Your Wedding Plans - Wedding DressImage via Pexels

You might already have an idea about what you want to wear on your wedding. From simple white dresses to elegant lace combined with diamonds from diamantes certificados, there are many designs that suit your wedding budget and style.

Instead of roaming the shops, you can look for designs online and in magazines and create a shortlist of designers, dress styles, and elements of dresses that appeal to you. When you do visit wedding dress shops tell them your dress budget right from the start. But if you happen to fall in love with a wedding dress that you can’t afford, check with a local dress maker or seamstress to see if they can recreate the look for less, if you provide the materials.

6. Choose Your Bridesmaids
The bridesmaids you choose will be your helpers for organizing your wedding, so you have to make sure that you pick capable and reliable people.

Even if you already have somebody in mind, you’ll need to sit down with them and have a chat, to make sure they have enough time (and finances) to spend helping you with your wedding, and other pre-wedding events.

7. Get Crafty and Create Your Decorations

9 Tips to Help You get Started With Your Wedding Plans - Wedding RingsImage via Public Domain Pictures

You can personalize your wedding by creating your own decorations. Whether you want to have a few simple rosebuds on the table or go full in and get chair covers and silk drapes to cover the windows, you will need to get creative. Visit your local DIY store for inspiration. Use paper and other fabrics or decorative materials, and get custom printed napkins to make your wedding personal and unique.

8. Send Invitations
Once you have the venue and catering arranged, the theme and style of your wedding will have taken shape. A few months before your wedding, don’t forget to get invitations. You can create your own wedding invitations and design them to fit your wedding theme and style. Designing them yourself can save you a few hundred dollars, and your guests will remember your date by adding a personal touch.

When sending your invitations, make sure that you ask for RSVP confirmation. You can include a separate card for people to return to you, or include your email address or phone number at the bottom of the invitation for potential guests.

Alternatively, set up a simple website where you feature all the information about the wedding and allow people to contact you, including a section for them to RSVP and even leave a personal message.

9. Arrange Transportation
You want to make sure that you and your guests can get to and from your wedding venue easily. You might want to book a limousine or party bus, or appoint drivers if you want to save money.

While you are not obligated to provide transportation for your guests, giving them options, particularly if your wedding venue is a more remote locale, is a generous and well appreciated gesture. You might hire a bus for all your guests to be picked up. When you pick your transport company, ask them about their hourly rates, tell them of all pick-up and drop-off points.

So it’s time to get started with your plan. List all the main elements you will need and want (venue, dress, flowers, etc.), and decide which elements are the most important to you. Also list the small details you’ll have to take care of. Delegate some tasks to other people, and allow yourself time to think through the different options you will have. Carefully research venues, catering companies, and florists, and all other types of vendors, to make sure your big day will the fun day you’ve imagines since you were a little girl.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Planning A Destination Wedding? 4 Accessories You’re Going To Need.

A destination wedding is becoming more popular as the costs of a wedding at home begin to rise. Destination weddings don’t just give you the wedding in the sunshine that you dream of, but a two for one deal with a built-in honeymoon.

It doesn’t matter how you came to the decision of a destination wedding: whether dreamed about or impulsive, you’re on your way to the beach to say your vows!

Planning a wedding can be hard regardless if you will have it at home or abroad, but if you pay attention to the smaller details, your bigger things to organize will all seem to fall together.

Finding the perfect wedding package is your first step, and for inspiration look at sweethawaiiwedding.com today. Once you’ve done that, you can focus on your dress so you’ll know the rest of the accessories that you will need.

So, what accessory details will you need to take into consideration for your destination wedding day, compared to the wedding that you could have had at home?

Accessories-For-Your-Destination-Wedding-Bride-and-Groom-On-the-Beach

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1. Shoes
When you walk the aisle in your choice of venue at home, you can be pretty certain that the heels you’ve chosen for under your dress will keep you steady, as the surface you’re walking on is steady. Going abroad could mean a beach wedding or a wedding on grass. You’ll need sturdier shoes but want to keep them pretty. A pair of wedges like these could be the perfect footwear for an outside wedding – failing that, barefoot on the sand sounds pretty amazing to us! If you’re off somewhere cold, why not custom-design some Wellington boots such as these?

2. Jewelry
Accessories For Your Destination Wedding - Pearl Embellished Bridal Necklace

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Pearls are classic bridal jewelry, and they are never out of place at a beach wedding considering pearls come from the ocean. Go for silver or white gold or even platinum jewelry for a destination wedding; the sunlight will dance off of it and make your entire look shimmer.

3. Purse/Bag
Accessories For Your Destination Wedding - Leather Embroidered Clutch

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You don’t see many brides carrying a purse or bag at their wedding, but a small clutch for you and your bridesmaids to carry is the perfect accessory for any wedding. For a beach wedding, you’ll need to top up your sunscreen or keep sunglasses handy during the day, (and no matter where your wedding takes place, you’ll want some lip gloss handy). No need for a huge tote, a clutch is perfect.

And if you decorate yours with a blue flower or broach, you’ve got your “Something Blue”!

4. Bouquet
Accessories-For-Your-Destination-Wedding-Artificial-Rose-Flower-Bouquet

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It’s unlikely that the bridal bouquet that you had carefully crafted at a florist and paid good money will last the journey to the destination you are having your wedding. Instead, have an artificial bouquet made that you can easily box and fly over to where you are getting married. It will save you the trouble of needing to take the time to organize it when you arrive, and you’ll still have a hand in the design before you go.

A destination wedding doesn’t mean that you have to compromise the accessories that you have so long dreamed about. It just means you’ll need to make some adjustments to fit the surroundings, so your wedding can be as beautiful as you imagined.

Oh, these destination wedding accessories tips will still work great even if you’re having a non-destination wedding!

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

The Beginner’s Guide To Planning A Wedding

Unless you and your bride/groom have a successful background in planning events then planning your wedding might sound like the stuff nightmares are made of. If you are completely clueless, or just unsure of where to start, not to worry – this beginner’s guide to planning a wedding can help as you start your wedding plans.

After you and your fiancé have talked about what you have in mind for your wedding day, and have started on a budget, check out this quick list of things to be thinking about to make things simple.

Venue

Where’s it all going to happen? You may find that you need more than one venue – one for your ceremony and another for the reception. Then again, your ideal venue may be able to accommodate both. Some things to look for in a venue are: size (Can they comfortably fit the number of guests you’re wanting?), appearance (Does the existing décor fit your color scheme and style? Is it a “blank slate?”), price (What is the rental fee, and what does that include?).

Booking the perfect venue can be time consuming, as you want a place that best suits your and your partners wedding vision, (and fits your budget), so once you’ve found the ideal venue, make an inquiry as soon as possible, as some venues book up years in advance. Check out this event space, and be sure to see their Wedding Gallery to see their space and get some great decor ideas.

The Beginner's Guide To Planning A Wedding - Photo 1Image source

Dress/Attire

What are you and your fiancé going to be wearing and what dress code would you like to plan for your guests? Will your wedding be Black Tie? Semi-Formal? Casual?

It’s fantastic to know that you’ve found the perfect dress, but what about everyone else. Most of the time, whatever your guests decide to wear is fine. However, everyone’s wedding is different, and you may have a specific theme or style, and having your guests dress accordingly would be a fun addition. If this is the case, let your guests know prior to the wedding (usually a simple line added to your invitation will suffice). Remember to keep this attire choice optional, as purchasing a new outfit may not be financially feasible for them.

The Beginner's Guide To Planning A Wedding - Photo 2Image source

Dinner

What’s on the menu? Will it be a plated/served meal, buffet or food stations, and for how many people?

Maybe you’re thinking of something a little less traditional like a brunch or a dessert reception.

Another meal detail that you may have to plan for is if any of your guests have a special dietary requirement (allergies, vegan/vegetarian, intolerances). This is more common these days and most chefs and caterers can easily accommodate this.

Asking your guests to get in touch with you if they have any specific dietary requirements will give you plenty of time to notify the chef. An easy way to gather this information is to put a line on your RSVP card requesting any dietary requirements/restrictions. That way everyone can be well fed and happy on your wedding day and as a bonus you’ll score big points with your friends for putting their needs before yours.

Party

How are you going to celebrate? Something low-key with just background music? Dancing to a live band or DJ? Maybe some karaoke? What kind of entertainment will you be smiling about for years to come?

That covers music but how about some add ons just for fun? A candy buffet or ice cream bar for those with a sweet tooth. A photo booth to collect all those fun memories.

You could even introduce a light snack (maybe french fries or pizza bites) later on in the night to keep everyone from having a few too many.

Keeping all of this in mind, as well as all the other gazillion wedding details, can be quite the task to take on yourself. But by starting with the basics can help keep you on the ball, and be a great start if you decide to meet with a wedding planner.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

5 Little Wedding Details That Will Impact Your Special Day

Little Wedding Details Add Impact To Your Special Day

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Planning a wedding is definitely an exercise in money management, from spending wisely to saving money. A big focus is placed on the big expenses (and, of course, rightly so). But, at the onset of your plans, the smaller wedding details, and the impact they can have on your wedding, tend to be forgotten.

It’s the little things pull all of your wedding elements together and help make the day run smoothly. So if you are in the midst of wedding planning, or the big day is edging ever closer, what are the little things you really need to remember?

1. A Note (Or Present) For Your Husband-/Wife-to-Be
Depending on how traditional you are, you may want to get a little wedding day present for your significant other. If not, a note explaining how excited you are to finally marry him or her will help to calm the wedding day nerves. If you are going down the present route, something simple, such as a watch for him, or a bracelet for her is a nice choice. Getting it engraved with both of your initials and wedding date make an extra special touch.

2. Decor Set Up
From the wedding favors to the table settings, setting everything up can take up a lot of time, and you certainly don’t want it left until the last minute. If you have professionals providing any of your decor items, seriously consider having them also do the set-up. It may incur an additional expense, but think of the peace of mind you’ll have knowing it’s taken care of.

If you are doing the decor yourself, or your budget just won’t allow for the additional cost of paying someone, you’ll either have to set it up yourself, or assign the task to somebody else.

It can be very time consuming to set up 20 – 30 centerpieces, so one of the best options to get this done in a timely fashion (and not just thrown together) is to set up one complete centerpiece/table, take a picture of it, and then give the photo to who you’ve assigned to finish the remaining tables. This way they’ll know exactly what you’re wanting and what to do.

3. Wedding Playlists
For all the aspects of planning a wedding that can add to your stress level, this task can be the most fun. Sit down with your partner, open a bottle of wine, and go through the playlists you want. Select songs you would like to hear, and those you absolutely have to hear. Also include artists and genres.

Make sure you choose suitable songs for the meal section, and the cocktail hour, as well as music for your guests to dance to later in the night when they’ve had a few! It’s also important to decide what songs/artists/genres you really do not want to hear, and make sure to share all of this with your DJ.

4. Personal Grooming
Although nobody would see, if you’ve forgotten to shave your legs, it can be a bit mortifying and stressful, to say the least. This is probably a non-issue during the warmer months (shorts and skirts weather, you know), as it’s probably already part of your regular routine. But this may not be so during the colder time of the year.

5. A Memorable Way For The Day To Come To An End
It can be so easy to forget about, especially when you are trying to get everything else in place. But how do you want to remember the conclusion of your wedding day? The music stopping and the lights turned back on, and everyone just standing around? Or with a fun send-off from your guests?

Sparklers are a popular choice, but there several different ways to make an memorable, fun conclusion to your special day, whether it is confetti, rose petals, or something else. You can find plenty of wedding send-off ideas online. Having a fun send-off makes for fabulous photos, and is a fantastic way to for your guests to feel more involved in your wedding day.

It’s those little wedding details you need to remember, as they will diminish stress, add ambience, and add to the joy of your day. Yes, the little things do mean a lot.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

5 Wedding Hacks Every Bride And Groom Must Know About

5 Wedding Hacks Every Bride And Groom Must Know About Image via pixabay

Your wedding day will be the best moment of your life so far, but what if I told you it could be even better? There are so many little tips and tricks out there that will help your wedding day be all the more magical, affordable, and memorable. Have a read through for some wedding hacks below.

1. Get Rid Of Static To Avoid A Wedding Hair Disaster

Static electricity is every woman’s nightmare, particularly when you combine long hair with a wedding veil. Your veil can easily stick to your hair, making you feel very uncomfortable, and causing you to look annoyed as well. Thankfully, with one simple hack, you can get rid of static and avoid this problem. Often, rubbing a small amount of lotion in your hair can help you get rid of this pesky problem. The video below shows a few more ways you can do this.

2. Buy An Engagement Ring That Offers Rewards

One hack that can save so much money on your wedding day is to buy an engagement ring that offers extra rewards. As it’s shown here http://yourdiamondguru.com/reviews/ritani-review/, some retailers provide you with discounts and rewards when you buy your ring with them. This could mean you save money on flowers, your dress, and even the venue!

3. Don’t Get Married On Sunday (in the UK) or On a Saturday (in the US)

Did you know that getting married on a Sunday in the UK or a Saturday in the US can cost a great deal more than getting married on any other day of the week? It’s the ‘traditional’ day to get married, and that means prices will be higher. So, one little secret is to get married on a different day, preferably during the week, to save even more money on your wedding! A simple hack, but you’ll be pleased you tried it.

4. Sneak A Tissue Into Your Bouquet

Slipping a little hanky into your wedding bouquet is one of the smartest things you can do. Why? Because you’re bound to get emotional during your ceremony, and I don’t see any pockets on that dress of yours! With a hidden tissue or hanky in your bouquet, you can slip it out to dry your eyes if you’re feeling a tad emotional on your big day.

5. Number Your RSVP Cards

When you’re planning a wedding, you need to know how many guests will be attending. Cue the long process of writing and sending out loads of RSVP cards. Also, cue the annoying moments when people respond without leaving their name or any idea who’s responding. To avoid this, you can do one simple hack; number your RSVP cards. When you get them back, you’ll know who it was from, as you’ll see their number. Make a list of everyone’s corresponding numbers, and your wedding preparations will be a lot easier. Speaking of these cards, there are some great tips at https://www.shutterfly.com/ideas/wedding-rsvp-wording/ to help you create the perfect ones.

Hopefully, these wedding day hacks will make your special day much better. You can save money, avoid fashion problems, and generally be more organized and less stressed!

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

Wedding Planning Advice To Keep You Relaxed & Organized

Wedding Planning Advice
All the planning and decision making that go into pulling the gazillion aspects of your wedding into place can leave you stressed out beyond belief. The following pieces of wedding planning advice can help you stay relaxed, organized, and focused on the important aspects of your wedding.

Do whatever you need to do to unwind, relax and sleep well
Take your vitamins, exercise, and find effective emotional outlets for releasing the stress you feel. Remember your groom. Do fun things together and plan together.

Get and stay organized
Start early and document every decision made around your wedding day. It doesn’t matter if you keep records on line or in file folders or a paper bag. Find a system that works for you, implement it early on, and keep it current.

Determine your wedding priorities
Along with your bride- or groom-to-be, set and agree on priorities. Identify those key items that you both really want (and don’t want), and areas where you want to splurge and can under spend.

Be grateful for all that you have and for everything others are doing for you
You will get gifts, good wishes, and offers to help. Thank those who offer assistance whether you take them up on that offer or not. Because weddings are happy occasions, people feel good and want to help if they can. It’s nice to be a part of a positive and joyous event.

Remember your plan and stick with it
Yes, you’ll hear of a great idea or see something at someone else’s wedding that you’d like to adopt for yours, even though you may already have plans in place for your wedding. Be careful of over thinking or playing “one upmanship.” Is this new idea something you really want or makes sense for your wedding? What plans will you have to change or give up for it? Remember to plan your (and your fiance’s) wedding, not copy someone else.

And the best advice of all – let go of bridal guilt!
You can’t make everyone happy all the time. It’s not worth the worry and stress. Sometimes guilt is ok as it can help us acknowledge and deal with others’ feelings. But most of the time we are simply afraid of letting someone down or hurting someone’s feelings. Of course you should be aware of the feelings of others. But remember that on your wedding day, first and foremost, you are there to please yourself and your bride/groom as the two of you begin your new life together.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net

3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

Money-Saving Tips - 3 Ways To Keep Your Wedding From Emptying Your Bank Account

When it comes to the big purchases that you expect to make in your lifetime, there are few that spring to mind faster than your wedding day. With many weddings costing in the tens of thousands, many couples worry about how it’s going to affect their finances from the moment they start planning.

Which begs the question: does it have to be that way? Does a wedding have to be something that completely drains your bank account?

Of course not! The truth is that weddings have so many details and “moving parts” (ex. special decor, food, entertainment, photographers, etc.) a great deal of money is often spent. However, if you have a lower budget in mind, there are plenty of ways to help keep costs down for your big day. Here are 3 money-saving tips to help from emptying your bank account.

1. Keep things simple

One of the major things that causes weddings to be so expensive is when couples (and their parents) insist on inviting everyone – the co-workers, the second (and third) cousins they haven’t seen in years, the neighbor whose wedding they attended 5 years ago . . .

By keeping things simple and small with your wedding, you can save huge amounts of money. You don’t need to invite everyone you’ve ever known (the bigger the guest list, the bigger the price tag). Instead, just include the people that you really care about.

Another thing that can quickly cause a wedding budget to get out of hand is when couples go overboard on the endless details that they really don’t need.

Things like complex flower arrangements with imported flowers, an unusual venue, pricy favors, elaborate paper goods (such as menu cards and individual escort cards for each guest), and all kinds of decorations might be nice, but they don’t necessarily add to the specialness of your wedding when you get right down to it.

2. Try something different

Of course, if you want to get married without having to spend huge amounts of money then you could try something a bit different. Eloping is never going to be the most common or popular style of wedding but going away and having a quiet ceremony without too much fuss can be incredibly exciting as well as being easier on the wallet.

Think what you want about the stereotype around Vegas weddings, but places like the Little Church of the West offer lovely, intimate ceremonies that aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg. It’s certainly not going to be for everyone, but if you want a wedding that won’t be too expensive, then it’s at least worth considering.

3. Go the homemade route

Of course, if you really want lots of detailed decorations, food, and place settings, there is one thing that you can do instead of spending money on buying them or hiring someone to do them: make them yourself.

Taking a homemade route with your wedding can save you huge amounts of money. Just be careful that you aren’t planning on too many DIY wedding projects, which can end up making life more stressful and gives you a lot more work to do. Get your friends and family involved to help so that you’re not dealing with all of the work by yourself (you can “pay” them with a pizza lunch or dinner).

A lot of couples don’t like the idea of having to make compromises on their wedding plans because they feel like they won’t have a “real wedding” unless it has all of the bells and whistles. It’s important to remember that the most important part of any wedding is getting to promise yourself to the person you love most in this world. That’s what makes it a “real wedding.” As long as you have that, just about everything else is optional.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding call or text me at 937-581-3647, or email me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net!

“I Take Thee… Erm…”: What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?

“I Take Thee... Erm...": What Are You Forgetting About In Your Wedding Planning?
Pixabay

Right from the moment he (or she) popped the question, there is a never-ending cavalcade of things to do, details to plan, and a constant feeling of “have I forgotten something?”

With an almost never-ending amount of things to have to remember while planning your perfect day, it can seem like this feeling never goes away. While you can draw up lists and plans and make sure that everything you have prepared is thoroughly in your control, there may be things that escape your thoughts, especially if you are blindsided by bigger issues at the time.

Here are some things that you may want to think about that can have a major impact leading up to your big day itself, and afterwards.

Include The Helpers

In other words, your vendors, from the people in the band, your photographer and videographer, as well as your wedding planner. These people need to be taken into account during the big day, and while you may have thought purely in terms of feeding your guests, these people who have worked so tirelessly to make your day so special need feeding too! A lot of caterers will consider your vendor meals at a price concession (couldn’t hurt to ask), so while it is a little bit extra on your budget, you want them to be working at full capacity, so make sure they are fed!

A Guestbook

You may want to make a trip to a local bookstore for a type of book that is characteristic of where you’re getting married. But there are also plenty of great guest book suppliers. Pure Invitation provides various designs, depending on your individual style. Also, you don’t want to forget the pens! Having a guest book for your guests to give you their well wishes when they arrive at the reception adds a lovely little touch and gives you a fantastic memento of your perfect day.

The Seating

If you are not doing assigned seating, you’ll need to think about the fact that people don’t sit next to each other naturally. So make sure that you get an extra few chairs than the amount on your guest list. In addition to this, it’s beneficial to get an extra set of chairs for the ceremony as well as the reception.

If you are getting married in the same venue as you are having the reception, it may be practical to reuse the same set of chairs for the ceremony and the reception.

You’ll also need to think about providing canapés (also called hors d’oeuvres or appetizers) for your guests, as well as the room layout/flow so there isn’t going to be caterers and helpers coming through destroying the ambience.

Your Marriage License

It depends on where you are in the world, but you will need to take your marriage license with you to the venue. Be sure to check for deadlines in applying for this license, and if there are any special documents needed so that your application is completed.

Also, make sure you have somewhere safe to keep your documents. Make sure they are in a secure folder, in a place that is out of the way of any pets or children, because without this piece of paper, you will not be able to get married! There are plenty of folders you can purchase that are nice and secure, but there are ones you can purchase from places like Abbey Stationery that do the job just fine. This folder is also a great place for you to put all your other relevant documentation, such as your ID and your passport, so when you are ready to jet off on honeymoon, it is all in one secure place.

If you’ll need to renew your driver’s license or passport before heading off, try and do this at least 8 weeks before the wedding.

Get Someone To Corral People

It is always helpful to have someone who is able to wrangle people together for photos. Remember, the photographer doesn’t know who the important members of the family are, (and neither does your wedding planner), so it may be worth assigning a member of the family this duty so they can get the desired people quickly. That way, you are able to get through all of the photos you need, without the photographer running over time, and therefore you running over budget.

Check For Food Allergies

While you may love barbecue chicken sticky ribs, your gluten-free vegan guest may not take so kindly to it! So, it’s important to make a note early on in the proceedings of who has food allergies, intolerances, or are vegetarian or vegan. A handy little tip, if you can get a list to your caterer that states where these people are sitting, it is going to be a godsend for them, and makes your day that much smoother.

Thank You Notes

You are obviously grateful that people have come to spend your big day with you, but it’s a thoughtful little touch to send everybody a thank you note, especially for those that bought you gifts. Make sure these notes don’t go out any later than two months after your wedding day.

It can be overwhelming to write personalized and heartfelt thank you notes, especially if you have more than 200 guests in attendance, but be sure to allocate a little bit of time each day to writing these notes, maybe 30 minutes. And, not just your guests, be sure to thank your bridal party, your family, and your parents.

We can get so overwhelmed by the whole process that we will inevitably forget about something, but the important thing in this respect is to plan and to allow sufficient time to think about what you really want for your big day. Little details mean a lot in your wedding, and you want your guests to feel like they have been looked after, so take a few of these ideas into account, and use them in your planning to make their day, as well as yours, extra special.

* This is a contributed post

I hope you found this information useful!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Wedding Q & A – When Are Aisle Runners Used in a Wedding?

Bride's processional with her father, entering wedding ceremony on a traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Childers Photography

Q. – When is an aisle runner used?

A. – The use of aisle runners at wedding ceremonies originated centuries ago.

The three main reasons for their use were:

1) Out of superstition – it provides a barrier between the bride and any evil spirits that may come up from below the ground

2) The bride was considered “royalty” and an aisle runner prevents her from having to walk directly on the ground

3) Cleanliness – since roads were unpaved and guests would track in dirt and mud an aisle runner kept the bride from dragging the hem of her gown and her train through the dirt

These days it is done out of tradition. When asked to imagine a bride walking down the aisle, most people imagine her walking on a white aisle runner.

bride and groom's wedding ceremony recessional, walking on traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

When is the aisle runner put in place?

A wedding aisle runner is most commonly put in place after the mothers of the bride and the groom have entered, and before the ceremony processional (when the bridal party enters).

Groomsmen putting traditional white wedding ceremony aisle runner in place
Photo credit: Shiloh Photography

It is secured at the front of the aisle with pins and tape so it can be easily unrolled, then, once completely unrolled, is secured at the back so it won’t roll back up which helps prevent anyone from tripping.

Sometimes couples prefer to have the aisle runner already in place before the start of the ceremony.

In this case, the center aisle is blocked with ribbon preventing guests from walking on the runner, and guests are seated from the outside aisles (not the center aisle). The ribbon is removed right before the moms are escorted in.

There are many options for aisle runner styles. The most common and economical are made from a durable heavy-weight plastic or rayon. You can find these in the wedding section of some craft stores or in a floral supply store. You can also get them from your florist.

You may also want to read: Alternatives to the White Aisle Runner

Aisle runners can also be personalized, with your names, monogram, or a romantic saying. They can even coordinate with your wedding colors or season.


Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Be extra careful when using an aisle runner for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Since ground is rarely smooth and level (even the best manicured lawns will have some minor bumps and soft spots. May not be easily seen, but easy to find with your foot and potentially wobble, trip, or sprain an ankle).

For an outdoor ceremony, either omit the use of an aisle runner for safety’s sake, or choose one that is more durable such as a carpet runner (can be found in different colors and patterns), or heavy fabric such as burlap.

Make sure to get the length of the aisle before purchasing an aisle runner. They come in 25′ increments, starting at 25′ long and going up to 150′ or more.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Want fun ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net, 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!