Thursday, October 25, 2007

People Want Me To Be Helpful

I received a few emails from readers that weren't too thrilled with my blog entry about BROWN. One even went on to say I should prepare to lose business if I'm going to start telling everyone what I hate about weddings. Um...probably not. And for the record, I never said I hated brown weddings. I'm just sick of them right now. If you planned weddings and attended up to two weddings per weekend year-round, you just might tire of some trends also. Walk in my shoes before you pass judgement please.

Another reader said she (or is it a he? I probably shouldn't assume things) would appreciate some helpful blogging once in a while instead of my "typical recaps of weddings." It's funny how this is MY blog that I write in MY spare time, yet I'm supposed to do for others first. However, I will. I'm on wedding hiatus until December 21 so expect to see some wedding-related tips, advice, possible guest bloggers, any maybe other helpful little items from yours truly.

Today's helpfulness will be about saving money. We all want to save money on wedding-planning no matter what our financial state or background is. Hopefully this will assist those of you that are in planning mode.

1. Your guest list will determine your budget in most cases. 100 guests is more cost-friendly than 350 guests. The more guests you have, the more you will spend on invitations, postage, meals, favors, cake, centerpieces, linens, rentals, and on and on and on.

2. Research your vendors. If this means calling 15 different florists to gather quotes and get a feel for what they do, then that's how you're going to save money. No, you will not save time doing this. Saving money on anything usually means adding more time to your wedding planning.

3. It's perfectly fine to have one DJ at your wedding. While two DJ's is great and can make things flow even smoother, it is certainly not necessary. One outstanding DJ will make your reception the party you envisioned.

4. Sheet cakes are less expensive, as we all know. However, numerous bakers are catching on to this new trend of having a small display cake and two or more sheet cakes to cut from in the back. You can still order a smaller display cake from the baker of your choice, but you can also order a much more reasonable sheet cake or two from your local bakery or grocery store. Even Sam's makes sheet cakes that are to die for. As long as the taste is one else will know their cake was cut in the back from a sheet cake.

5. DIY. Do.It.Yourself. The more you can do yourself (invitations, addressing envelopes, non-floral centerpieces, searching out Ebay for deals, etc.) the more cost effective it will be. Again, this means having the time in your life to do these things. There are also several DIY projects that may mean being crafty; be sure you have that crafty gene before attempting to bring together all the pieces of your decor vision.

6. Hire a wedding planner. I know, I know....I have to say this, right? No, I don't. I only say it because I've seen it work for couples. I've seen the money I've saved couples. Wedding Planners have relationships with numerous vendors and can often negotiate a much better price than the couple can. Planners are also able to cut time in half because we KNOW the good, bad, and ugly out there where vendors are concerned. We KNOW which vendors are going to be a good fit for our couple based on what their needs are. We KNOW which vendors have the personality to get along well with a couple that may have a difficult personality or a challenging timeline to pull off. All in all...the money you invest in a Wedding Planner will almost always end up saving you at least double the cost of that Planner.

7. Skip the chair covers. Rent chairs instead. Usually an actual chair rental will be less expensive than renting covers and ties. You can rent white wooden chairs, an array of colors of chivari chairs, black or natural colored wooden chairs, etc. They can make even more of an impact on the room than chair covers.

8. Skip the stretch limo, stretch hummer, trolley, 32-passenger bus, or whatever other transportation you're seeking for the bridal party. Instead, rent a few classy cars (Cadillac, the new fancy schmancy Chrysler's that are out there, Mustang, etc.) and designate a couple drivers either in the bridal party or even uncles or cousins that would have fun chauffeuring everyone from church to picture site to reception site.

9. Re-use what you can from your ceremony site at your reception site. There are so many brides that are in awe when I suggest that they take their Unity Candle arrangement and move it to the center of their head table. Move your pew buckets to the placecard or guest book table. Move the altar floral arrangements to flank the head table at the reception.

10. Do what you can afford. Really examine whether it is so important to you to have a big fancy party that you are willing to go thousands of dollars into debt on a credit card for it. Determine your budget early and stick with it. Splurge on a few things that are the most important to you and then go from there. If a cake isn't important to you, do something different. I know brides that have done ice cream sundaes, caramel apple pie, and dessert buffets.

So....there you have it. Some actual honest to goodness wedding tips to help you save money. Even if you do just a couple of these, it has the potential to shave hundreds of dollars off your wedding expenditures. Just for the marriage, not for the wedding party. If you think of it that way, it will keep you much more honest on what you're spending and what you're not.


Erin Nevicosi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

I have some advice for your readers... but maybe it's not very nice, so I guess I'll skip it for today.

Great tips, Danica!

Darci said...

Yikes! Can't believe so many people had such a strong reaction to the brown post!

I think I'm dying. said...

I think they're probably just douchebags and bridezillas. Oh snap! It's your blog, write about what you want.

Love your post as always! :)

No Bridezilla said...

I am doing brown and was totally not offended. I even agreed with you! I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep it up!

Natasha said...

I think you are completely justified in writing about whatever you want. Clearly you are going to see a lot of wedding trends over and over. A bride's guests will not. Of course you would be tired seeing the same things!

Having said that, I really appreciate this entry!

Jessie said...

Great advice! I guess I'm doing pretty well so far based on this post :)

About that other stuff...

1: I'm having brown and I was in no way offended by the brown post. That's just lame and overdramatic.

2: Screw those people anyway! It's your blog. Emphasis on YOUR and BLOG. It's not the Martha Stewart website or Weddings for Dummies.