As the second week of March makes it's appearance, I am realizing that I have to start preparing for the kick off of wedding season. Wow, it's here already! Start charging the batteries, upgrading the equipment, finish up my other projects, and stretch those muscles. Not to mention get the creative juices flowing. There are still a lot of brides and grooms out there finalizing their 2010 wedding plans, it is a lot to organize and a true challenge to stay within budget. I stumbled on to this great list of tips recently posted by the Wedding Guide of Chicago Magazine, and thought I would share it with you:
1. Spend time talking to your fiance about what the most important things to you two are. Like is it the music, the photography, the decor, or do you have to have gourmet cuisine? Then use these preferences as guidelines for determining your budget allotments for each service.
2. Friends of mine had a great suggestion. Her fiance asked her to think about the last couple weddings they had been to, and what stuck out in her mind and what she remembered most. This helped them determine where they wanted to put the bulk of their budget.
3. Ask friends, family and co-workers for referrals. Register on wedding websites like weddingguidechicago.com and go to bridal shows and get the special offers. You may find things you weren't aware of and find great vendors in your price range. You can also use these offers in negotiations with other vendors.
4. Hold your wedding in the off-season, January - March, or on a Friday or Sunday. Most wedding vendors offer specials prices, up to 30% for these dates.
5. Hold the wedding and reception in the same location. This saves on transportation, decor, music, photography and video.
6. Have an hors d'oeuvres reception. It saves cost on food cost, you can have more people for the price and saves on rental items such as plates and utensils.
7. Have a brunch, lunch or afternoon tea instead of a formal dinner. Have a signature cocktail or serve just beer and wine.
8. Buy a sample gown or a consignment gown. You can find beautiful dresses at a fraction of the cost if you don't mind a little wear and tear on a dress you'll wear once!
9. Be honest with your vendors about your budget and see what they can do for you.
10. Spend money on your photographer. Hire someone who has done many weddings and get the photos on a disk if you need to save. Hiring a novice can really cost you if they miss valuable once in a lifetime shots.
11. Finally, hire the best professionals you can within your budget for the things you feel are the most important. They will make you shine!
PS- don't forget to make an appointment with Love, Lulu Mae for your one-of-a-kind handmade hair accessory or veil, Aggie will help you achieve the perfect vintage look.
I look forward to being a part of some terrific weddings this year!
Feel free to share some of your own wedding tips below in the comment area.