Inevitably, the question will arise when developing your guest list – Do I really need to invite everyone from my office and/or from his office? Your guest list is probably the most important factor in determining your final budget and stretching it to accommodate every person can sometimes be very taxing. Please don’t feel guilty about not extending an invitation to everyone in your office. An easier way to sort through this difficult and sometimes daunting task is to determine if you would invite these people to your home for dinner on a Saturday evening. Your answer will determine if they go on the “A” list!
The WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards ™ recognizes the top local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the Bride’s Choice Awards are determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 500,000 newlyweds. The winners represent the top five percent of WeddingWire’s vendor community, which consists of over 100,000 local wedding professionals nationwide.
Dream Weddings has been given this award three years in a row! Thank you to my wonderful clients! Visit Dream Weddings’ site on Wedding Wire and click on reviews to see what brides had to say.
This news just in from The Wedding Report.
The average amount spent on a wedding in 2010 increased 23% over 2009.
In 2009 couples spent, $19,581. In 2010, couples spent $24,066.
This is based on 5,977 survey samples collected from Brides, Grooms, and wedding professionals between Jan 1, 2010 and Dec 31, 2010.
Your budget is the starting point for planning your wedding – Are you ready to start?
Effective January 1, 2011 it will be my pleasure to serve as President of the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP). I am humbled and honored to serve as the leader of this great organization of wedding planners whose main purpose is to educate its membership to best serve brides in the DFW area. If you hire a wedding planner, please be certain your planner is certified and if you see the AACWP logo near their name, you have hired the best in the area! Thank you AACWP members for your votes of confidence!
What do you as a bride consider a reasonable price to pay for peace of mind on your wedding day? As a wedding planner, I know how many hours are spent in the background trying to make certain that your day is absolutely perfect from start to finish! Do you think a wedding planner is a luxury item or a necessity? Where does a wedding planner rank on your list of priorities? Is your wedding planner certified?
But what’s it really all about? It’s a celebration of a new LIFE together and should be a reflection of two people – not necessarily what is IN at the moment and has been shown on a TV show as the ultimate.
It’s no wonder Brides these days are totally overwhelmed. With new ideas online and photos of over the top weddings and platinum weddings taking over the wedding books and television programs, we seem to be in a world where we are losing perspective on what it is that is actually happening – getting married and committing your new life together to your soul mate.
While working with brides for over a decade, I have seen weddings from the cake and punch reception that lasted a bit over an hour as the norm escalate to cocktail hours, sit-down dinners, signature drinks, a sculpted ice luge through which martinis flow, video montages shown on 10 foot screens, complete with total lighting packages with Hollywood effect spotlights. Send-offs via helicopter, fireworks in the background, and a Rolls Royce are not uncommon wants and desires of 2010-2011 brides.
Although imagination is limitless, the bride’s budget can limit what is done with her dreams. It would be great to see a return to balance from over-styled, over-themed weddings that are geared to being published.
In retrospect, it seems that it’s time to focus on what Wedding = Marriage is really all about. Have you thought about it lately?
With the economy in the state that it currently is, many people cannot afford babysitters for their children and a gift for you. Along those same lines, your budget or venue space might not be able to accommodate the little ones. So how can you politely tell your guests that while you would LOVE their company, their children will not be welcomed at your wedding?
There really isn’t a tactful way to say “don’t bring your children.” Moms and/or Dads of the bride and groom can spread the word that there simply isn’t enough room at the venue for anyone extra, you can take your chances and hope, or you can provide entertainment for any children who happen to be present.
In many cases, there are small boardrooms in hotel facilities that can be used, but if you run into the situation where there is not an available room, you can rent a hotel room for the children (where your out-of-towners might be staying) and provide a bonded and insured babysitter (or two!) to oversee the festivities for the younger children.
By all means, rent a G-rated movie or two for a little added entertainment as most hotel rooms will provide a DVD player, borrow some board games, and provide little goodie bags with things like coloring books, sketch pads, colored pencils, crayons, candies, water and any other kid-friendly things. What to eat? PIZZA! Most hotels have pizza delivery service available and that should be your treat.
If you think your guests might bring their children even though their names did not appear on the invitation, wait until those RSVP cards come back to see who has added their children to the invitation and then contact those people and let them know that babysitters will be provided at the rate of $5 or $10 per hour and they will be staying off the premises of the venue.
Keep in mind you can also offer a “kids” table at your reception that might be more geared to the younger ones. It can be decorated differently from the adult tables and you can still provide them with a bit of entertainment in the form of the goodie bags but in this case, parents would be responsible for their children’s behavior. In most cases we are referring to children under the age of 12 as that is the usual cutoff age between a children’s menu and an adult plate.
Should you choose to have the “kids” table, be sure to choose a menu for them that most little ones enjoy – maybe chicken fingers, burgers, mac & cheese, french fries, and some fresh fruit. I would suggest choosing a plated meal for these little guests.
I had some clients who knew and relished the fact that their guests would be bringing their children and we had two buffets – one for the adults and one for the children! I’ll let you guess which buffet was the busiest due to the food selection!
We were all children at one time or another – don’t let the little ones stress you out!
Do you want your ceremony outdoors with all the beautiful flowers in bloom and the trees and other foliage in the background? But what if it rains?
Rain isn’t the only thing to consider when planning an outdoor wedding. There are so many other elements to take into account –
Temperature – It might be too hot, too humid, too cool
Wind – We all know Chicago is not the only windy city as seen by this past week!
Sun – Is that outdoor ceremony right out in the sunshine? If so, you and your guests will have the sun beating down on you during the entire ceremony.
Soggy Turf – The sun may be shining today but has it rained for the past week? The chairs may not be able to be put on the ground due to possible sinking as guests take their seats. And don’t forget about those stiletto heels – no one wants to walk on tip toes to your ceremony!
Bugs – EEEK!
With that said, if you still want to plan your ceremony outdoors, please be sure to have Plan B in place. And more important – be sure you love Plan B as much as Plan A! We’re in Texas!
No one likes to talk about the B-word. However, let’s face it – without a budget number, your wedding planner has nowhere to begin.
Right after you have hired your planner, one of the first questions will be “What is the budget?” Please don’t think your wedding planner is intruding on your privacy. It’s the only way possible to know which venues to check into or which wedding industry professionals to call. Decide who will pay for the wedding and if there are multiple contributors, find out their participation in determining your spending plan.
How the money will be spent should be based on YOUR priorities. No matter what the magic number might be, only you and your fiancé know what is important to you. Conveying this information is most important to make certain you get all the items on your wish list.
Following are most of the things that are included in a wedding budget –
Priest or Minister
Entertainment (DJ or live Band)
Hair and Makeup
Rentals (linens, chair covers, etc.)
Lighting (pin spotting, uplighting, gobo, etc.)
Tipping – yes, there are certain people who might be deserving of a tip and these costs should be put into your budget as well.
Decide where your priorities lie and be sure to tell your wedding planner because no two budgets are the same, just like no two weddings are same!
All I need to know
I learned from the Easter Bunny! (and my parents )
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. (Get yourself another one!)
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. (Friends are our most prized possession – treasure every friendship!)
There’s no such thing as too much candy. (Or too much bling!)
All work and no play can make you a basket case. (Go ahead and take a break today – you’ll be happier tomorrow.)
A cute tail attracts a lot of attention. (Hmm…)
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day. (I’ve had my share…)
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits. (YES!)
Some body parts should be floppy. (Another Hmm…)
Good things come in small, sugar coated packages. (And they are probably full of sparkle, too!)
The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket. (And your grass is probably greener to others.)
To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell. (Allow yourself to dream a little dream every once in a while – and dream BIG!)
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey. (And they are never free!)
May the joy of the season fill your heart.