Tag Archive | "wedding budget"

Create Your Own Wedding Planning Checklist

Even for them most organized woman, trying to plan a wedding with no timeline and no checklist can lead to disaster. Especially as your wedding date gets closer, you’re going to have a million little things on your mind and deposit due dates or appointments will be jumping out at you from nowhere. Creating a wedding planning schedule early on in the planning process will give you a great guideline to follow and will provide an all-in-one reminder resource rather than wallpapering your whole house with sticky notes.

Making a Timeline of Your Checklist

Having a list of things that need to be done is great, but keeping things in chronological order will help you stay much more organized and keep you on top of any upcoming deadlines or appointments. A lot of bridal magazines or wedding websites offer wedding planning checklists that usually range over about 18 months or so. You may have more or less time than that to plan your wedding, so creating your own checklist will allow you to tailor it to your specific needs.

Incorporate Your Budget into Your Checklist

Deposits and vendor bills can sneak up on you when you have so much already on your mind. By putting due dates on your timeline checklist, you can avoid overstretching your budget at any one time. Using your checklist this way will allow you to decide at glance when to schedule in another big purchase for your wedding at a time when you won’t be paying for too many other expensive wedding necessities.

Get the Most from Your Checklist

Be sure to check your list weekly to see what new errands you’ll have to keep track of. As you get closer to the wedding date, it could be a good idea to start checking it daily. Creating smaller task lists off the main schedule every day can keep you focused on just what needs to be done for that day. By having a master schedule saved onto your computer, you can add to and edit your checklist as often as needed and reprint updates when necessary. It would also be a good idea to print a copy of your checklist for everyone helping you plan your wedding.

When you’re starting your checklist, fill in all the most important dates and appointments first and plan the smaller details around those. Whenever possible, try to spread out the tasks that aren’t time sensitive so you don’t overwhelm yourself in any one day, week, or month. Sticking to an organized checklist can take a lot of stress and uncertainty out of your planning and will keep you on the right track if you ever start feeling like you’ve become too swamped.

Posted in Wedding Planning TipsComments (0)

Choosing Between an Indoor or Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

Every wedding is going to come with endless decisions you’ll have to make and some will be much more important than others. One of the biggest decisions, which could affect many of the other smaller ones, will be whether to have your wedding ceremony indoors or outdoors. A few things should be considered before deciding on an outdoor wedding ceremony, so before putting any deposits down on a venue, make sure you’ve done your research on your intended location.

Weather in Your Area

If you live somewhere that has unpredictable weather patterns, an outdoor wedding could be a little risky. If you’re constantly facing the threat of rain and wind or if you risk seating your guests under a blistering sun throughout your entire ceremony, you may want to be prepared with some alternative options. An outdoor wedding can be lovely and romantic, but you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to take a chance on the weather.

Creating a Backup Plan

You may have your heart set on an outdoor wedding and live in one of those areas where the weather can be tricky. Renting some tents to block out too much sun or some light rain can be a great way to protect you and your guests from the elements. These tents may act as mini greenhouses on the exceptionally hot days so do your research on what kind of setup you’re thinking about using. Clear roofed tents can also provide a beautiful view of the day while still offering some protection.

For more severe weather possibilities, having an indoor backup plan may be your best bet. A tent may not do much to shield you from heavy winds and sideways rain. If it’s a good chance you’ll be seeing conditions like this on your wedding day, it could be a better idea to just plan for an indoor wedding right from the start.

Think About the Little Things

It can be easy to overlook some of the smaller factors that come with outdoor weddings. Keep in mind that certain locations may have a higher insect population and some spots may require you to walk through dirt and grass in your white dress. Are paths available at the spot you’ve chosen? Washrooms may be something you should be considering as well. Even if you aren’t having a long ceremony, be sure to think about the guests you’ve invited and what their needs may be. You’ll also be taking plenty of pictures that day, so think about the time of day you’ll be having your ceremony and what kind of lighting effects you can expect.

An outdoor wedding can offer an amazing variety of breathtaking backgrounds for your big day. While some factors will be beyond your control, being prepared can help you minimize any surprises during your ceremony. If your desired location requires special clothing requirements, such as a sandy beach or breezy cliff side, be sure to keep your guests informed so they can be comfortable during your ceremony and are paying attention to your vows rather than being distracted by sand in the shoes or mist in their face.

Posted in Wedding Planning TipsComments (0)

Wedding Planning: Choosing the Best Caterer for Your Wedding

Some of the biggest hassles that come with wedding planning are related to catering or food issues. You may get a surprisingly large bill loaded with additional charges or the food doesn’t taste anything like you’d expected. This doesn’t have to be the case as long as you do your research and ask all the right questions. By choosing a caterer with good references you can trust, the dining experience for your wedding will be pleasurable instead of stressful.

Hire Someone You Can Work With

Not all personality types can work together and some caterers may be either too pushy or too flexible for your needs. If you aren’t picky about your menu and want your caterer to make all your decisions for you, hire a caterer that is comfortable working with those parameters. On the other hand, a fussy chef that wants to do things their own way isn’t going to work out for you if you already have the perfect wedding dinner in mind.

Cater to Your Guests

It’s your wedding and you should definitely get your way in every respect, but keep in mind that some of your guests could be vegetarians or have food allergies. You can ask for this information on your invitation response cards and keep their answers in mind when designing your menu. If there are going to be quite a few children at your reception, it might be a good idea to have a kid friendly option available as well, especially if your dinner choices are intended for more adult tastes.

Decisions for the Bar

If your caterer is setting up and staffing your bar make sure you’re clear on how you’ll be getting charged for any drinks served. Will you have a cash bar for all or part of the night? Do you pay per bottle opened? Are there only certain drinks, such as beer, wine, and soft drinks, which you’ll be serving? Be sure that your caterer has all their proper licensing and insurance as well before your wedding day arrives.

Read All the Fine Print

Extra costs could be included for some things such as cake cutting, overtime, cancellation fees, and linens or tablecloths. Make sure you know everything that could appear on your bill so you have the option of declining or approving certain services in advance. Get everything in writing and make sure you and your caterer are in full agreement on your total costs. Discuss what kind of payment schedule you’d like to work out before you get the bill. By being prepared and informed, you should be able to avoid nearly every hassle or disaster that could come with your dinners and drinks.

Posted in Wedding Planning TipsComments (0)

Wedding Planning: Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

Wedding Planning: Finding the Perfect Wedding Dress

choosing a wedding dress

For a lot of women, their wedding dress is the highlight of the whole wedding planning experience. Many brides-to-be have had a dream wedding gown in mind since they were little girls and when it comes time to shop for the real thing a lot of time and energy will be spent on this aspect of the planning process.

Keep an Open Mind

Unless you are completely set about having a certain colour and style of wedding dress you should try to be open to all styles, at least at first. Seeing certain cuts of a dress in a magazine or on a mannequin may be misleading as many dresses could look quite different on your body. That dream dress you’ve always had in mind may not actually suit your shape once you get it on. By trying a wide range of style at first, you’ll give yourself a better idea of what’s going to look perfect on you so you can start narrowing your search.

Shop with a Trusted Companion

While your caring friend or loving sister may have your best interests in mind, they may not always have your tastes in mind as well. Everyone has their own style, so while it’s a great idea to bring someone with you for a second opinion and extra pair of eyes, be sure the shopping buddy you bring knows what suits you and understands what you want rather than what styles they prefer.

Budget before You Shop

Before you even set foot in a store, figure out your wedding budget and decide how much you’ll be willing to spend on a dress. Stick to shopping only in the bridal shops that have dresses in your price range. Figure out if you’ll be renting your dress, buying one brand new, or looking for a used dress. Some women buy a dress and never get married or some buy their dress but change their minds a buy an entirely different one before their wedding day. Buying a used wedding dress is an option that could save you quite a bit of money.

Keep the Little Things in Mind

If you have any idea how you’ll be wearing your hair and makeup, try to wear it that way when you do your dress shopping. Wear shoes that would be similar to something you’d wear for your wedding as well. Since you’ll be wearing your dress all night, don’t forget that you’ll need to have at least some degree of comfort. You don’t want to spend your entire wedding day tripping over a beautiful but ridiculous train or struggling to breathe in a too-tight corset. Take your time when shopping for the perfect dress and you’ll feel radiant and wonderful when it comes time to walk down the aisle.

Posted in Featured Articles, Wedding Planning TipsComments (0)

Will You Need to Hire a Wedding Planner for Your Big Day?

As you probably know already, planning a wedding can be a lot of work and it can be all too easy to overlook some of the most important details. Hiring a wedding planner can be expensive, but in some cases the help they provide will be invaluable. Even when you have the time and energy to do it all yourself, you may still find that a wedding planner can offer a great deal of knowledge and experience that will come in very handy.

Your Budget is Tight Enough Already

Even if it’s just a rough draft, get a good idea of your budget before deciding to hire a wedding planner. Once you have a better idea on how much you can spend on some extra help you will be able to determine if hiring a planner will be worth the cost. Keep in mind that a professional wedding planner will most likely be able to haggle with your vendors and may already have contacts they work with often enough to get discounts from. If you can’t afford to hire their full services, you may be able to negotiate a fee to get some consulting advice.

Save Yourself from Unwanted Surprises

Hiring a wedding planner may seem like an unnecessary luxury on a tight budget, but you could save yourself quite a bit of hassle by following the advice of a professional throughout your entire wedding planning experience. If you don’t know where to start for some or all aspects of your wedding or if you’re having your wedding in a different town whose vendors and locations would be unfamiliar to you, a wedding planner becomes even more valuable. Especially as you get closer to your wedding day, your wedding planner will be the one who takes care of any problems or surprises that arise.

You Don’t Need a Pro to Still Get Help

If hiring a wedding planner just isn’t in your budget, talk to your friends and family for a little extra advice. Given the opportunity, your mother, your maid of honour, or even future sister-in-law may be more than happy to take the role as your second in command. Any friends or family you have with extra time on their hands may be happy to take charge on the floral, cake, or catering responsibilities. If you’re going to put certain aspects of your wedding in the hands of your friends and family, just be sure it’s someone you can count on who knows your tastes and understands what you’ll be expecting.

If you choose to hire a wedding planner, be sure to get referrals from your friends and family who have used one in the past and ask for references from any potential planners. It will be up to you how much help you want to get from them, so if you just need a hand on the day of your wedding or you want help with only a few details of the planning process, shop around to see who you can hire on a per service type of basis.

Posted in Wedding Planning 101Comments (0)

Wedding Planning: The Budgeting Basics

Budgeting for your wedding can sometimes be a huge headache and may take the romance out of the whole wedding planning process. Rather than stressing out every time you think of another bill or deposit that’s due, create an organized budget in advance before you spend a dime and give yourself a realistic idea of what kind of wedding you can afford.

Budgeting Before You Buy

Sit down with your partner and create a thorough budget before you start thinking about where to have your wedding or how white you want your dress to be. Make a list of every detail you can think of and assign a monetary or budget percentage value to each item. Creating a budget and not worrying about all the little stuff is usually what gets couples into tight situations because it’s those little things that can add up after all the rest of your budget has been spent on the caterer, the venue, and the wedding dress.

The Guest List to Expense Ratio

Creating your guest list should go almost hand in hand with creating your budget. More guests equals more cake, more food, more drinks, and more seating space. For a large guest list, you need extra wedding invitations, wedding favours, and perhaps even a bigger sound system to function in a larger reception hall. When estimating out your budget, be sure to keep all these factors in mind.

Make a List of Priorities

You can’t know in advance exactly what everything is going to cost. While you may have put your best effort into drafting up an accurate budget, some things may just end up costing more and you may have to eat up those extra costs. By prioritizing everything in your budget, you’ll be able to cut back on the less important aspects of your wedding. If possible, pay for the most necessary things in advance and save the less important things for the end when you have a better idea of what you’re actually spending.

Keep a Budgeting Checklist

By making a chronological checklist of everything you need to buy, pay for, or put a deposit on, you’ll be able to see how much you’re spending and when you have to spend it all at a glance. If you have to pay a few vendors all within the same week, you may choose to make any additional purchases at a later time in order to leave yourself some financial breathing room. This is also a good way to remind yourself when a bill or deposit is due so you don’t lose a hold on your dream dress or that perfect venue.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be a chore when planning your wedding if you stay organized and keep records of everything. When your wedding day rolls around and you’ve stuck to your budget you’ll be able to enjoy your big day with unburdened shoulders and a light heart.

Posted in Wedding Planning 101Comments (0)