Sunday, January 27, 2013

Save the date ideas

 As promised from my last post, here are some Save The Date ideas:
 My favorite is the balloon, when inflated it reads the date. 

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Save The Date Cards

Should I send out Save the Dates?
In the process of planning your wedding you will have to make the decision on who to invite and how. If you are planning on having a lot of out of town guests Save the Date cards are a must have, as they will allow your guests time to plan their trip. In all other circumstances the decision is ultimately yours, but I love the idea of a Save the Date and would encourage all to look into it. 
What is a Save the Date card?
The Save the Date card is an informal invitation that comes out about 4 to 8 months prior to the wedding date. It would include only the date of the wedding and should not request a reply. This gives guests a longer heads up before the date of your wedding and would therefore increase your attendance. 
  • Increases attendance
  • Sets the mood for the wedding. Save the Date cards are less formal and allow the couple to express a little more creativity and a tradition wedding invitation would be. This allows the couple to show off their individuality. Save the Date cards can be really cute memorabilia for your wedding guests. 
  • Relieves some of the stress. If you send out the Save the Date when wedding planning is not quite as hectic the couple can worry less about informing guests when the 4 to 6 week point rolls around. Note: This does not mean you can send your formal invitations out too late, but if you miss your mark you don’t have to worry too much
  • You would have to pay to print two separate cards for each of you guests. However, money can be saved on the Save the Date cards because they are less formal
  • You cannot change your mind on guests. Once someone receives a Save the Date they are officially invited to your wedding. You must send them a formal invitation. 
There are lots of different opinions and ideas on Save the Dates and I encourage you to look them up. I will be posting some of my favorite Save the Date ideas here in a little while. 

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Resolutions for a better marriage 2013

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Hiring The Right Wedding Planner

Many couples dismiss the idea of hiring a wedding planner thinking it will be out of their budget. This may be a big mistake. A professional wedding planner can help you plan your wedding while saving you money!

How do wedding planners charge?
1. Standard fee — regardless of the size of your wedding or your budget.
Some people like a fixed price; they know what they are getting and how much it’s going to cost. However, a stock standard price usually means a stock standard wedding. Make sure you’re happy with the inclusions and the fees.
2. Percentage of your budget.
Other couples feel the percentage system is fair—those with bigger budgets to pay more, while people with smaller budgets pay less. If you choose this option, ensure you establish a price cap; the costs could skyrocket, especially if your budget is creeping steadily upwards. By the same token, if your budget decreases, you shouldn't expect their fees to decrease either.
3. By the hour or per service provided.
Paying by the hour/service is not usually recommended; you won’t be able to accurately estimate how much you’ll spend on your planner, which will be a major component of your budget. The ‘pay as you go’ system might seem affordable at first, but might end up costing you a lot more by the time the wedding is done and dusted.
4. Bespoke — a fee based on your wedding, your needs and your budget.
The bespoke fee system allows you to talk in-depth with your planner about your real budget and what you want on your wedding day. This is the approach I take to charging for my services, and it’s a fixed price. I always tell my couples, my fee is X and it’s the only item on the budget that won’t change. It won’t decrease, but it also never increases, even if your budget doubles or the number of guests you have changes, my fee stays the same.
So, what am I up for?
You can find planners to suit any budget, from one end of the market to the other.
Low range prices vary between a few hundred dollars to $2,500
At the lower end, you may only be paying for planning or on the day coordination; a basic package that gives you basic services. The lower end of the market might also see you with a younger company and more junior consultants (of course, there are also experienced planners operating in the lower end of the market, offering competitive rates!).
Mid-range will cost you between $2,000 – $5,500
Be sure to see what the cost includes. At the high-end price range that should include all your planning, styling (which typically does not include the hire items or florals these are extra!) and on the day coordination. You should know that you will have more than one person working on your wedding day, and that those people have worked on your wedding planning the whole way through.
High-end will set you back about $5,000 – $9,000
For high-end prices, you should have a dedicated planner as well as assistants you can call whenever you need to talk to someone. Be wary of planners who sign you up with lots of promises, then hand you over to junior assistants for the duration of the planning. Whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing—a good assistant is worth their weight in gold!— you also must be able to contact your senior planner instantly if you ever need to.
Before you meet with a wedding planner:
Google them, check out their Website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Next, think about what you want from a wedding planner.
Do you want a company to take control of your wedding planning and deal with every aspect?
Do you want to plan most of your wedding but leave the ‘hard parts’ to someone else?
Do you just need a bit of advice (consulting), and are happy to do the actual planning yourself?
Are you actually after styling (what your wedding will ‘look’ like) rather than planning, and need to talk to a stylist?
Find out what each planner offers. This might sound obvious, but you don’t get married very often and may not have a good idea of what wedding planners do, so check their websites first to see what their ‘standard’ inclusions are.
Once you know what you want and have a fair idea of what planners are offering, then it’s time to shortlist a few and make an appointment to see them. A lot of planners will offer a complimentary, obligation free consultation. Use this consultation to discuss your wedding ideas, how they can help you and to see if you like them.
You should walk away from each consultation with:
A quote for the services (or packages) you want.
An idea of how it all works—the process, what they do and don’t do etc.
A ‘feel’ for the planner—Do you like them? Can you see yourself spending a bit of time with this person or their team, to create your dream wedding?
Choosing your wedding planner
So let’s say you meet with three planners and you like all three. How do you decide?
1. Look at the costs. Are the packages all-inclusive? Will you get a bill at the end of the day (or close to your wedding day) for extras like face-to-face meetings, travel, parking, extra staff etc.
2. Look at their contracts. All planners have them and they tell you about the inclusions and extra fees. Compare the contracts, highlight the things you don’t like and definitely address this with each planner. Also, please be aware that some planners only use their vendors – meaning some get ‘kick-backs’ from these vendors for using them and not always because they are great vendors to use.

So, whilst I cannot tell you exact costs for wedding planning or other services offered by planners, I can tell you this, doing your homework, paying good money for good people and having a good relationship with your planner will make all the difference to the journey up to and including your wedding day.

It’s the difference between a good wedding and a great one!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Setting Your Wedding Budget

1. Have “the talk”. It’s awkward, I know. It doesn’t have to be though. You’re excited- you’re getting married! And hopefully your family members are excited too! If you think that family members will be contributing, when it comes time to start talking budget, you definitely want to consider your family dynamics. There are way too many variables to consider, but if it were me, I would sit down with your fiancĂ© to “pre-assess” whether or not family can contribute (you usually have an idea of monetary situations with your family members, right?) and then go from there. It always helps to be prepared and educated about wedding costs, so be sure to check this out.

2. Decide who will be contributing and set your total budget. If you’re going the traditional route, the bride’s parents would pay for the wedding reception, and the groom’s parents would pay for the rehearsal dinner (groom’s parents also sometimes pay for the alcohol at the wedding). However, today it’s pretty common for multiple people to contribute- such as the bride and groom’s parents, as well as the bride and groom themselves. It’s also not uncommon for the bride and groom to pay for the “extra” costs of vendors or things that mean a lot to them- like a super amazing photographer, or a planner to keep them sane. Plus, since many couples are getting married later in life (aka once they are successful and have established careers), it’s becoming a norm for the bride and groom to pay for their own wedding. There’s really no right or wrong way in deciding who contributes to your wedding budget though. It’s all about whatever works best for you, your family, and your wedding. Once you know who will be contributing to your wedding budget and how much they can contribute, you can add it all up and set your total wedding budget!

3. Prioritize. Once you know your total budget, it’s time to prioritize what things mean the most to you. A wedding budget is broken up into various “categories”, since there are several vendors and components involved in making a wedding happen. If amazing food is the one thing that you and your fiancĂ© care about, you’ll want make sure you have a great budget for that. Be prepared to make some cuts to other areas within your budget order to accommodate your priorities. Decide what things are most important to you, and then move on to the next step.

4. Set individual budgets.  Each element of a wedding needs its own budget. This is where your prioritizing comes in handy, because you will know right off the bat that you’ll most likely need to allot more money to those things that you have prioritized. I recommend setting your budgets according to a percentage of your total budget- you can see a very broad example in this post. (But see below for something special!) And remember- as you’re setting individual budgets, it’s important to keep in mind what means the most to you and your fiance!

5. Get to planning! Now that you have your budgets set, you can move on to the rest of your planning! As you find out pricing, get quotes, and book vendors you may need to alter some of your numbers, but just make sure that if you’re going over budget in one place, you’ll need to compensate for that by being under budget somewhere else!

ring & shoes?
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