40 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

The most effective way to lower the cost of a wedding is to lower the number of guests. Food and alcohol are the biggest expenses, therefore, the more people you invite, the more you will spend. If your wedding will be at a hotel, you can save money by grouping the services you need. If the hotel is providing guest accommodations, event space, food, and alcohol, you can often get a lower price since you are getting everything from one service provider.

Negotiate everything. Speak to a manager or someone who has the authority to make deals. Most vendors will gladly throw in a few extras or give you a lower price if they can secure your business. Always ask for a better price or a better deal. The worst the person can do is say “No.” Venues that specialize in weddings usually offer package deals that include everything you will need for once price. These can be a much better deal than hiring separate vendors for each service. Ask friends and family to contribute their skills to your wedding day instead of giving you a gift.

Perhaps your Aunt Sally is an amazing baker and could make your wedding cake, or maybe Cousin Ricky is a graphic designer and could design your wedding invitations.

Hold your ceremony and reception in the same place. You’ll only have to pay one site fee and you won’t need to pay for transportation between locations. Don’t hold your wedding on a Saturday. Since most people have Saturday weddings, they are the most expensive. Consider having it on a Friday or Sunday instead. You’ll save a bundle in almost every area of your budget. May through September is peak wedding season. Often wedding vendors will charge higher prices during these months since there is more demand for their services.

By planning your wedding anywhere from October through April, you’ll be able to get lower prices for the same services. Find out if your church has a hall or room where you could hold your reception. This will usually cost far less than a separate banquet hall. See if your reception venue will allow you to bring in your own alcohol. Most banquet halls, restaurants and hotels usually have a significant markup on liquor. By providing your own, you can save a ton of money. Print your own wedding invitations instead of buying them from a stationer. You can purchase nice quality paper and find free wedding invitation templates online.

If you buy invitations from a stationer, assemble them yourself. Most stationers charge up to $1 per invitation for assembly. The cost of calligraphy can be hefty—often $2 to $3 per envelope. Save that money by using your computer and a good-quality printer, to address your envelopes. By printing directly on the envelope in a script font, you’ll get a similar effect for less money.

Hit the discontinued racks at bridal shops and department stores for bargains on your dress. You can find a great dress for less money. Another way to save money on your wedding dress: Browse internet sites for discount dresses, or gowns that never made it to the altar. Wear your mother’s dress. It can count as your “something borrowed,” and you’ll only have to pay for the cost of cleaning and alterations. For a casual wedding, buy a white or ivory dress off the rack. Not only will you save money, you might be able to wear the dress for other events in the future.

Borrow whatever other wedding accessories you can. These costs can add up quickly, so borrowing jewelry from a friend or family member can help keep your budget under control. Have the groomsmen and fathers rent their tuxedos from the same store. Many businesses will throw in the groom’s formalwear for free. Don’t assume a buffet dinner will be less expensive than a sit-down dinner. Buffets generally require more food, so ask for estimates on the price of both serving options from your caterer before you decide. Have an earlier wedding, and hold a wedding luncheon instead of a dinner reception. Guests tend to eat less and drink less alcohol in the afternoon. Skip the steak and lobster in favor of ethnic foods or seasonal dishes. You’ll cut your food bill significantly.

Have an earlier wedding, and hold a wedding luncheon instead of a dinner reception. Guests tend to eat less and drink less alcohol in the afternoon. Skip the champagne toast. If you’re providing beer wine and liquor for your guests, you can probably skip the traditional champagne toast and save a lot of money. Most guests only have a sip or two of champagne anyway. Limit the menu to 3 courses: dinner salad, entree, and wedding cake for dessert.

Save on your wedding cake bill by having the baker prepare a small cake for the cutting ceremony and a large sheet cake (which is less expensive to make) to be served to your guests. As an alternative to cake, serve decorated cupcakes—or even a variety of doughnuts—instead of an ornate cake that requires many hours to create. You can stack these sweet treats on a large, cake-shaped, tiered tray.

Instead of top-shelf open bar, offer beer, wine, and a perhaps a signature cocktail. By limiting the offering at the bar, you’ll have lower alcohol costs.

Cut down the number of flowers you need in bouquets and centerpieces by using plenty of inexpensive greenery, like ivy and baby’s breath. This will help you save money on wedding flowers. Large floral centerpieces require many blooms. Conserve cash by using low centerpieces, which can look great with fewer flowers.

When choosing ceremony and reception locations, look for a place that doesn’t require additional decorating. Museums or botanical gardens are beautiful spaces and are often available for weddings. Hold your wedding around the holidays, when houses of worship and reception venues are already decorated for the occasion.

Rather than hiring outside musicians, ask whether the organist at your house of worship would perform at your ceremony for a small fee or donation. “Instead of paying a professional string quartet to play at your ceremony or cocktail hour, post an ad at the music department of a local college. There are always talented music students who would love to earn some extra money, and they’ll charge less than a professional musician. Enlist a friend or relative who plays an instrument well, or has a good voice, to lend his or her talents to your wedding day. Chances are, he or she would be honored.

Book a DJ instead of a live band. It usually costs less to hire one person than a whole group. For an informal event, skip the band or DJ and play your favorite music on an ipod during dinner and for dancing. You can rent your own PA equipment for a fraction of the cost of hiring a DJ.

Hire your photographer and videographer from the same company—you may be able to get a discounted rate for doing so. Save on the cost of ordering additional prints from your photographer by using your proofs for an album. Shop post-holiday sales for affordable wedding favors. You can often buy great items like candles and picture frames at rock-bottom prices.

Choose wedding favors that do double duty, like small picture frames that hold your guests’ table cards. – See more at: The Free Wedding

DIY Paper Wedding Flowers

DIY-paper-wedding-flowers
Floral arrangements definitely add to the beauty of any wedding, but they can also eat up a large portion of your wedding budget. What if you could get the same visual impact for a fraction of the cost, or even free? Well, here is a great way to do just that: DIY paper wedding flowers. With a little practice, and some patience, you can create everything from bridal bouquets to Boutonnières with paper.

diy-paper-flowers-bouquet
Paper flowers mimic what is found in nature,  but they are far more durable—they won’t wilt or droop. Another benefit of paper flowers is that they are always in season. Have a favorite flower? Chances are you can find an online tutorial for ways to make it with paper. You can create pretty much anything you can dream up, and you’re not limited by which flowers happen to be in season for your wedding. Because these are made of paper, you can create them in any color to match your wedding color scheme. You can even get effects that would be impossible with real flowers, such as using different paper textures, making the flowers larger-than-life for a really stunning visual, or incorporating printed patterns that match your wedding decor. Get creative and have fun with it!

newspaper-wedding-flowers
These paper flowers will take some time and effort to create, but it’s not as hard as you may think. The process will go a lot faster with some help, so get your bridesmaids together for a flower making party. Each bridesmaid could make her own bouquet. Pages from books, maps, and even old newspaper can be turned into little works of art. Not only are paper flowers eco-friendly, but they will last forever as a wonderful keepsake from your wedding day!

Thanks to the free wedding articles website

How To Choose a Wedding Site

We recommend that if possible, both bride and groom will attend all interviews.

Always carry a note pad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview.

Actually, choosing the wedding site that is just right for you, is a lot of fun.

Before you start looking, you should brainstorm. As you do, take to consideration your budget, your wedding theme, the atmosphere you want at your wedding, your interests, and your guests.

The location is one of the most important aspects of your wedding so consider carefully what will make yours a special, one-of-a-kind wedding event. You have many option including a do it yourself wedding (friends and family contributing of course.) Following is a list to get you started.

Ideas for wedding sites include:

  • A Home – do it yourself wedding,
  • Auditoriums – usually on a rental basis,
  • Beach – public domain may need permit and or license,
  • Bed and Breakfast – full service,
  • Camp Grounds – do it yourself wedding,
  • Club Houses – do it yourself wedding,
  • Country Clubs – most offer full service,
  • Conference Centers- some offer full service, some are on a rental basis,
  • Convention Centers – some offer full service, some are on a rental basis,
  • Hotel – Ball Rooms – Grounds or – Gardens. A Gazebo makes a wonderful setting for a     wedding ceremony- full service
  • Houses of Worship – Churches – Synagogues – Temples – Mosques – etc…some offer     full service, some are on a rental basis, some can only facilitate the ceremony,
  • Mansions – full service
  • Museums -some museums offer celebration rooms and may even help with special     wedding themes, especially historical – usually on a rental basis,
  • Parks – Great – do it yourself wedding,
  • Patio – Gardens – do it yourself wedding,
  • ranches – usually on a rental basis,
  • Resorts, full service
  • Rented Halls – usually on a rental basis,
  • Stadiums – usually on a rental basis,
  • Yachts or Cruise Ships – full service,
  • You can probably come up with some more ideas.

Unless the location is your top priority, choose the dream location and a few alternative sites that will be just right for you, so that if necessary you can be flexible. Some location are natural for weddings and offer all the amenities you need. Others rent the space and leave the rest to you, still others are free but you have to make all the arrangements. So, consider your budget, consider the work involved, consider your guests and choose the site that will afford you your dream wedding. The information you gathered, is actually a wonderful preparation for your interviews.

FULL SERVICE WEDDING SITE and FACILITIES

These are venues that can take care of every little detail regarding your ceremony and reception. You’ll still need to attend to your personal needs. You’ll need to attend to the attire, wedding accessories and wedding gifts for each other, family, and wedding attendants.

SITES AVAILABLE on a RENTAL BASIS

Many wedding sites that are available on a rental basis. Some provide the space, others provide tables and chairs too while still other provide linens, tableware, flatware and glassware as well. There are also rental based sites that have a working relationship with selected caterers and are familiar with other wedding service providers and vendors.

PUBLIC SITES

Public parks, beaches, gardens etc… make great wedding sites and are perfect for do it yourself weddings. They offer you the opportunity to express yourselves in an unconfined atmosphere. Most are free to use but you’ll need to do the majority of the planning and contracting. Your first step is to find if you need any permits and or licenses. If you do, obtain them.

HOME

Many apartment complexes, condominiums, mobile home parks and gated communities have club houses for their residents´ use. So whether you choose to have your wedding in a home or a club house, you’ll need to be in charge. Do recruit your family and friends and assign them appropriate tasks. Most will be honored to be asked and excited to be a contributing part of your wedding.

How to Find Wedding Sites

Once you have chosen the type of wedding site you want for your wedding, do the following:

  • Ask your family, friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
  • Attend bridal shows.
  • Search the yellow pages under the appropriate category.
  • Either call or visit the facility and request a brochure specific to weddings.
    • You want only the best! Be selective!
    • When visiting or calling, were you greeted cordially?
    • Were you able to obtain the information you requested in a timely manner?
    • Were the people you spoke with helpful? Too helpful and eager?
  • Now, check the internet for local wedding sites and go to their websites.
    • Do you like the look and feel?
    • Does it provide you with the information you are looking for?
    • Does it show or tell about unique one-of-a-kind weddings ? Can you find Free gifts, Free articles or Free information? Are they helpful? Did you find a clearly posted name, address, phone and email contact?
    • If not, skip it and go to another site.
    • Bookmark (favorite) the websites that are agreeable.
  • Place the brochures in a folder until you are ready to choose a few favorites.

What to Expect of the Representative of the Facility:

  • A business card of each person you may work with within the facility.
  • A brochure that explains what is offered and any exclusions, rules, regulations and options.
  • References
  • A tour of the facility so you may check their amenities.

Questions for the representative of the facility:

Please note that not all questions apply to all. Each question will indicate what venue(s) it is directed to.

fs = full service rb = rental basis ps = public site

  • Are there bathrooms on the premises? ps
  • Are there garbage receptacles on the premises? ps
  • Are there electric outlets on the premises? ps
  • What are the hours available for a wedding? ps
    (Most public sites are available only on certain days and certain hours.)
  • Is there a parking area close by? ps
  • How long have you been accommodating wedding parties ? fs rb
  • How many wedding clients have you served? fs rb
  • Do you offer any guarantees? fs rb
  • Do you have an in-house wedding coordinator? fs rb
  • Do you offer a bridal package? fs
  • What are your rates for the different packages and what are the options available? fs
  • Can you recommend wedding vendors and service providers your customers had a good experience with? fs rb
  • Do you offer any discounts? fs rb
  • What additional expenses may be charged? fs rb
  • Do you provide an insured and bonded babysitting service?* fs
  • How much and by when will we need to put down the deposit? fs rb
  • What is the latest time frame for making changes? fs rb
  • Will you provide us with a written contract? fs rb ps
  • Does the contract include a 3 day cancellation clause? fs – rb ps

* If you plan not to include children in your reception, do not alienate guests who’d rather bring children than miss your wedding. You should provide a babysitting service for such guests.

Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the facility. Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware! Read each contract very carefully, on, under and above the line. Be sure that you understand it fully and agree with all the terms. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain, contact them for clarification.

In most parts of the USA you have 3 days to examine the contract and if you need to, cancel with no penalties.

Copyrights © 2004 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser

How To Choose Wedding Photographers And Videographers

We recommend that if possible, both bride and groom will attend all interviews.

Choosing a photographer and finding a videographer for your wedding Day are as easy as asking friends, checking your local yellow pages or searching the Internet. In order to comparison shop and select wisely, interview at least 3 photographers and at least 3 videographers before you contract with any.

Always carry a note pad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview.

Other than your date, location, officiant and attire, photography and videography are the most important aspect of your wedding. There are many ways to cut wedding costs, photography is NOT one of them. Hire the very best and most highly recommended photographer as his – her work will walk you down memory lane. What was preserved in pictures, will not only become a cherished keepsake, but will pass on to your heirs as a part of your family legacy. If you can not afford both, forgo the videographer but be sure to have the best photographer you can afford.

Tips

In addition to having a photographer, provide your guests with disposable cameras and ask them to take spontaneous pictures and leave the cameras on the table so you can have them developed. These pictures will be much less expensive than the photographers and supply you with enough pictures to send to your guests with their Thank You notes.

Before you meet with potential photographers and videographers, you should brainstorm. write down exactly what you want captured prior to and on your wedding day. As you do, make a list of all the photos, poses, people and events you want taken before the wedding, during the ceremony, at the reception and after the wedding so you can inform the photographer and videographer.

Since you’ll be rather busy during your wedding, you may wish to appoint a person and explain clearly and exactly what you want captured. Armed with the knowledge of and a list of your specifications, the appointed person needs to insure that the photographer and videographer follow your instructions precisely.

Highly professional photographers and videographers are very busy. Start your search as early as possible, after you set the wedding date, secure the location(s) for your ceremony and reception and confirm the date with your officiant.

You’ll need to follow the guidelines set by your wedding venue.

Choose your photographer and videographer very carefully. Check his/her portfolio to assure that s-he is going to deliver what you have in mind. Consider not only the quality of the pictures but also the creativity of the photographer and videographer. Your wedding photos are the memory of your special day and you do not want them to be dull.

You may consider having the photographer take your engagement and other pre-wedding photographs. This will benefit you because you’ll see the quality of his or her work and you’ll get to spend time with him or her and be able to decide if indeed s-he is right for you.

Things to Consider

  • Your budget—Budget enough so you do not risk capturing the memories of your wedding by cutting corners.
  • The style—Do you want all your pictures traditional, Photojournalistic or a mixture of both?*
  • The color—Do you want all your pictures black and white, color or some of each?
  • The equipment—Do you want all your pictures on 35mm, digital or both?
  • Your wedding theme—If you have one be sure to require that your photographer and videographer incorporate it with at lease a few pictures.
  • The mood and atmosphere—You want some pictures that will bring it out.
  • Special effects—Do you want the photographer to set up special effects?
  • Lighting—If you are having an out-doors wedding, the best lighting for photography is one to two hours before sunset. If your wedding is indoors, make sure that the lighting is not fluorescent. Fluorescent lighting will make your skin looking greenish.

Things That Your Photographer – Videographer Needs To Know As Soon As Possible

  • What style of photography – videography do you want?
  • How large is your wedding?
  • Will you have an indoor or an outdoor wedding?
  • What time of year?
  • What time of day?
  • How formal or informal?
  • Have you set your priorities?
  • Did you listed all the details your wedding photographer and or videographer needs to know?

You can probably come up with some more ideas.

*Traditional photography, album photography emphasizes posed snap shots. Photojournalism, like video, captures details of the wedding as they happen.

What you get are pictures that bring forth the emotions and feelings, the friendship, love, laughter, tears, joys and even glitches should there be any.

How To Find The Wedding Photographer And Videographer That Are Right For You

Once you have chosen the type of wedding site you want for your wedding, do the following:

  • Ask the director of your chosen wedding site for recommendations.
  • If you have a caterer, ask for recommendations.
  • Ask your family, friends and acquaintances for recommendations.
  • Attend bridal shows.
  • search the yellow pages under the appropriate category.
  • Call and request brochures specific to weddings.
  • Place the brochures in a folder until you are ready to choose a few favorites.
  • You want only the best! Be selective!
  • When calling, were you greeted cordially?
  • Were you able to obtain the information you requested in a timely manner?
  • Were the people you spoke with helpful? Too helpful and eager?
  • Now, check the Internet for local wedding photographers and videographers and go to their web sites.
    • Do you like the look and feel?
    • Does it provide you with the information you are looking for?
    • Can you find Free articles or Free information about wedding photography or videography on the web site? Are they helpful? or are they over selling? Did you find a clearly posted name, address, phone and email contact?
    • If not, skip it and go to other sites that interest you and are agreeable.

There are a few elements you need to pay attention to if you want your association with any service providers. You need to arrange an appointment at THEIR facility and check it out. Now, size up the following:

  • What was your first impression?
  • Are they a real company running a professional business full time?
  • Did they offer you their business card?
  • Did they offer you their portfolio and did you like their work?
  • Did they merit good references?
  • Can and are they willing to offer you what you want on your terms?
  • Will they guarantee that once you reserve their service, you will have the specific photographer and-or videographer you chose for your wedding?
  • Are you happy with the customer service you receive?
  • Are they courteous?
  • Are they accommodating?
  • are they helpful?
  • Did they offered clarification when you asked about anything you were unsure of?
  • Were they patient while you took notes?
  • Are their prices competitive?
  • Do you feel comfortable working with them?
  • Information on hand, check out their reputation by contacting others in the wedding industry and asking about it.
  • If you are satisfied, keep the information until you are ready to choose and commit.

The tips, questions and ideas you gathered, actually provide you with wonderful preparation for your interviews.

What to Expect of the Contact Person

  • A business card of each person you will work with.
  • Contact information including cell phone, email and web site address.
  • A brochure that explains what is offered and any exclusions, rules, regulations and options.
  • References
  • Samples of their work.

Once you made your choice, you need to receive a written contract signed by the person in charge, and dated. The contract must include all of your responsibilities and all of the responsibilities, warranties and guarantees offered by the Dj – Music Service Provider. Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware! Read each contract very carefully, on, under and above the line. Be sure that you understand it fully and agree with all the terms. If you have questions, concerns, or are uncertain, contact them for clarification.

In most parts of the USA you have 3 days to examine the contract and if you need to, cancel with no penalties.

Copyrights © 2006 All Rights Reserved Nily Glaser, A-wedding Day and Gan Publishing

Fall In Love All Over Again Renew Your Vows…

Love is in the air, everywhere you look around. Perhaps it’s because it’s February and the stores are bustling with candies, flowers and stuffed animals thanks to Cupid and his arrows. Or perhaps it’s just that you and your spouse want to make every day feel like Valentine’s Day. If this sounds like the two of you, this may be the perfect time to plan a vow renewal ceremony.

Once you have made the decision to renew your vows you’ll need to think about what kind of ceremony you want. Are you hoping for something big and extravagant like a traditional wedding? Or would you prefer a small event with close friends and family? You could even decide go the super secluded route- just the two of you and someone to officiate.

After deciding how big or small the ceremony will be you will also need to get clear on things like your budget, guest lists, themes, attire, vendors etc…

For smaller ceremonies the possibilities are endless. Since you are already married there won’t be any issues with marriage paperwork so you could choose just about anywhere in the world to say “I do, still”.

Our suggestion would be to pick a spot that the two of you want to have a second honeymoon and have the ceremony there. Imagine how special it would be to profess your love once more in a place you have never been! Then again, even if you do want to include the whole family in your vow renewals we think you should still conclude the event by skipping town with your honey for a private getaway. The whole idea is to feel like newlyweds again, so why not plan a romantic trip for two?

All-inclusive beach resorts have some wonderful packages that will significantly save you money and allow you to enjoy more quality time with family and friends! You can celebrate longer in paradise with low-stress planning and make your vow renewal unique and unforgettable.

Remember, the beauty of vow renewals is that there are no real written rules on how to do it. Every detail of the ceremony is completely up to you and your spouse and whether it’s big or small, Destinations HD would be honored to help you with all of your travel needs. Give us a call at (913) 244-9195 and let’s start working on your vow renewal plans today!

Experiences Await…

Haley Davis – Owner & Travel Counselor – Destinations HD

“I sell experiences, not travel reservations. I create a lifetime of memories!”

Ph: (913) 244-9195

Email: haley@destinations-hd.com
www.destinations-hd.com