“Are you overwhelmed by the high cost of your wedding reception? Here are a few ways to cut costs that might just work for you.”
With the high cost of weddings in 2015, every bride is looking for ways to cut costs. Think of all the details that go into planning a wedding. After the engagement, the happy couple starts looking for the venue, for both the ceremony and reception. You need to think about the photographer, flowers, invitations, food, music, etc. It feels like the planning will never end. I think a have a few ways to cut expenses, and make your wedding a little less burdensome.
Ø Trim the guest list - This will dramatically cut the cost of your reception. I know what you’re thinking. I have to invite so and so. But is he or she worth the amount of money you’ll be paying for each guest. Depending on what type of food you serve at your reception, the cost per guest could run from $45 to $125 per guest. Unless you have unlimited funds, this is a topic I would discuss with all family members concerned. Invite the people that are important to you as a couple. Keep in mind if Mom and Dad are paying, they might want some say in who is invited.
Ø Choose either Beer and Wine or a Signature Drink – When planning a reception, the subject of an open bar may come up. If you choose to have an open bar, this will dramatically raise the price per person, especially if you use top shelf liquor. To keep the cost down, choose a signature drink that is either compatible to the season or theme of your wedding. For instance, for a summer wedding, you could serve Margaritas or Pinna Coladas. You could always serve beer and wine to your guests. If you want a non-alcoholic reception in the autumn, you might want to serve Apple Cider. Consider always having a couple different types of soda and bottled water available for your non-drinking guests.
Ø Double Duty Flowers – Aren’t flowers beautiful, and expensive! Why not consider using the flowers from your ceremony at your reception. Many times the flowers used at the alter or around the ceremony site are lovely bouquets that could double for the signature decorations at your reception. Many times the colors choices are season related and would fit in beautifully at both locations. Your planner could even help in redirecting some of the bouquets to make them fit in the perfect evening reception.
Ø Cut Meal Courses – Food, food and more food, isn’t that what receptions are all about? And how much of that food gets thrown in the trash. When working with your caterer, make sure to look at all the options. Many times the buffet is the better deal for your money. But if you want a sit-down dinner, consider cutting the salad or soup. You would be surprised how much money this would save. Or you could cut the appetizer display, which can bring the price down drastically. Many caterers have pre-determined packages. Always ask questions about the food and what the price would be if you cut this or that. You’d be surprised how much money you could save.
Ø Hire a Wedding Planner – You might think that hiring a wedding planner is an added expense. But what you don’t know is that when you hire a planner, the pricing on items is less. Planners work with suppliers to get the best price for their clients. This added value is passed to you as the customer. Plus, you have the confidence to know that all contracts with suppliers will be completed to perfection, without any frustration on your part. This will also make your day full of the beautiful memories, instead of dwelling on what might go wrong. The wedding planner can give you the best value for your time and money.
I know you have more questions. So send me an email or give me a call.
1. Brooch Bouquet
Add vintage style to your bridal look with a one-of-a-kind heirloom that will last forever. If you have lots of relative/friends and want to include them in a special place at your wedding, think of asking them for either an antique brooch or something that would tie in with your bouquet. Just think of all the stories behind the jewelry they give to you. Unforgettable!
2. Vintage Luggage Guest Book
This is a great way to capture the fun time that your guests had at your wedding. For travel buffs and lovers of vintage, create this luggage “guest book” using a faux vintage suitcase, vintage postcards, a pen and a simple sign to direct your guests.
3. Hot Chocolate Favors
For winter weddings think of something that the guests can take home and think of you when they open their surprise from your wedding day. Think of edible gift kits packaged in jars, which will warm the heart. Who can resist a cup of cocoa on a chilly winter’s day?
4. Save the Date Sign
How about a stand-alone sign for your engagement shoot! Best of all, it's versatile and can easily be customized for bridal showers and weddings, too. You could even make wonderful signs for the actual wedding and reception to guide your guests through the day.
5. Rhinestone Garter
Designing and wearing your own garter — even if just your future husband who sees it—will give you a secret thrill though out the night. Use beautiful rhinestones, pearls and lace to make it special for you and him.
6. Winter Wedding Program
Wedding programs can be expensive and look commonplace. Put your special personality and flare in your programs by making them a DIY project. It takes a bit of preparation, but it’s worth the time and effort.
7. Chicken Wire Seating-Card Holder
Want a different, yet awesome way to present your seating cards? The beauty of a country chic project is that it can be assembled in under an hour. Check out my Pinterest page for directions.
8. 5 DIY Braided Hairstyles
After scouring YouTube for the best tutorials, Bridal Guide found five easy-to-follow videos featuring gorgeous styles that are all wedding-appropriate. The best part: Each of these videos is under five minutes. So part your hair in three, and let's begin!
9. Embellished Raffia Fans
Feeling romantic? Hand fans can be quickly embellished to look like a southern fantasy on a hot day. When an indoor ceremony isn’t possible, have your guests reach for this simple, but stylish solution: A hand fan can bring air to the guest in need and sent home as a wonderful memory of your special day.
10. Vintage Teacup Candles
Teacup candles would be perfect for a bridal shower; after the party, or you could display them as decorative accents in your home. All you need are a few vintage teacups (hello, flea market), candle wax flakes and a little patience (it takes some time for the wax to dry).
11. Beautiful Chair Backs
Every head table at a wedding seems to be dressed with chair backs. Make your chairs special by tying your theme into the chairs. Use vines and florals for a whimsical signature and add the color of your wedding party to boot. Or make it simple with just “Mr. & Mrs”. I‘ve provided some great ideas on my Pinterest page for you to see.
12. Centerpieces Galore
Centerpieces are one way to connect with all your guests. Normally each table reflects the theme and personality of your wedding by color, type of flower or decoration, and special effect you want to portray to your guests. Keep in mind you can save a huge amount of money when you design and create these masterpieces yourself. Even if you don’t create the centerpieces, keep in mind you have control of the design. Take a peek at some gorgeous centerpiece pictures I have waiting for you.
The first ten items on this list are from bridalguide.com/planning/wedding-budget. For how-to’s either check out the above website or check out my Pinterest page under my "DIY Wedding Trends" board for ideas from vintage to modern pinwheel centerpieces and chair backs.
I have so many ideas that I want to share with you. Contact me to learn more about how I can make your dream a reality. Talk with you soon!
Jodell Larkin STARRY NIGHT EVENTS
Wedding planners are not just for the well to do. They are for all brides, because every bride is unique and deserves special attention on her wedding day. You don’t have to have a huge wedding budget or an exceptional guest list to benefit from a wedding planner’s expertise!
There is a wedding planner and a planning package for every couple out there. You simply have to find the one that best fits your needs.
So why should you hire a wedding planner? Here’s a few reasons why it will be the best money spent on your wedding.
#1. YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING TO BE PERFECT ON YOUR WEDDING DAY -
It takes a lot of time and hard work to pull a wedding together perfectly. A wedding planner has organized a wedding many times, and with practice comes perfection. They know the right people to talk to, how to get the best prices, what should (and shouldn’t) be in a contract, and how to ensure that every single detail is prepared for your big day. Your wedding planner will take care of all the details to make sure you enjoy your wedding day.
#2. WEDDING PLANNERS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY ALONG WITH CREATING A BUDGET –
Weddings can be extremely expensive. By hiring a wedding planner, couples can save a great deal of money. A wedding planner is like a financial adviser or an accountant who specializes in weddings. They know how much things should cost, roughly what percentage of your budget will be spent in each area, and when payments will need to be made in order to secure services and/or products. Because wedding planners provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. With a wedding planner, you’ve got someone to guide you through the process and help you maximize your budget by focusing on the elements that are most important to you, whether it’s food, decorations or entertainment. And let’s not forget about out of town guests!
#3. ORCHESTRATES AS MUCH AS YOU WANT - FROM REHEARSAL THROUGH THE END OF RECEPTION –
A wedding planner’s job is to orchestrate from rehearsal through the end of the reception, ensuring everything goes off without a hitch! Believe me, you do not want to be responsible for organizing the rehearsal or making sure the bridal party is properly lined up. How about making sure that the guest who had a little too much to drink departs safely? Wedding planners are there to handle the little incidentals that could happen during the day and into the evening.
#4. WEDDING PLANNERS REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVELS –
Not only does your wedding planner help you in the lead-up to your wedding, but more importantly, they’re making sure every last detail is taken care of on your wedding day as well. Do you or someone in your family really want to be the one to answer a million questions on your big day? Hiring a wedding planner ensures that you will have a worry-free and stress-free day, allowing you to enjoy your day, just like your guests.
#5. SAVING TIME IS A WEDDING PLANNER'S JOB –
Planning a wedding takes an enormous amount of time. In fact, the average couple spends well over 200 hours planning their special day. The beauty of having a wedding planner is that they’ll take on all the research and leg work for you. Your wedding planner takes care of gathering information while you have fun being engaged and make all the final decisions. A good wedding planner will save you time and energy by researching vendors, taking care of the many, many details, and coming up with various creative ideas to make your wedding amazing.
#6. WEDDING PLANNERS CAN TAKE ALL OF YOUR IDEAS AND TURN THEM INTO YOUR SIGNATURE WEDDING DESIGN –
This is one of the most important days of your life and you need someone that can help you weave your big day all together flawlessly. So if you have your heart set on an amazing beach wedding and your partner would rather get married in a mountain meadow, your wedding planner will help you pull it together. Who says you can’t have the perfect dream wedding for two?
#7. THE WEDDING PLANNER CREATES SCHEDULES –
There are so many events leading up to the big day. Combine that with the many things that happen during the wedding and everyone will lose track. The wedding planner can keep you all on track. Wedding planners are well-versed at making detailed itineraries for all involved (including other vendors) and making sure that everything happens on time. Wedding planners touch base with vendors several times before the wedding day to make sure everything goes smoothly. This is key!
#8. WEDDING PLANNERS ARE GREAT MEDIATORS –
We all know that uncomfortable situations can happen when you’re planning your wedding. Your wedding planner can be a neutral, impartial voice amidst the emotional chaos that can result from an argument or family situation. Wedding planners have been trained when situations arise and know how to avoid such problems before they begin. They can also act as a buffer when there are conflicts. Wedding planners are able to take on the responsibilities often assigned to loved ones so that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding. Since they can see the bigger picture, it’s often easier to help everyone involved reach a peaceful resolution.
#9. WEDDING PLANNERS ACT AS THE “GO TO PERSON” –
The average wedding has at least 20 different vendors. Combine that with the entire wedding party and all of the guests and that is a lot of people with questions and concerns. You might even have multiple venues, a large guest list, or have to “flip” the space from ceremony to reception quickly. If so, your wedding planner is there to handle it for you. By hiring a wedding planner, couples can simply tell others “talk to the wedding planner”. Your planner makes sure your vendors all work together seamlessly and that any issues are handled behind-the-scenes while you sit back and relax.
#10. WEDDING PLANNERS MAKE THE PLANNING PROCESS ENJOYABLE –
Couples that don’t use a wedding planner often get burned out on the whole process because there are so many decisions that have to be made. If you’ve thought to yourself, “I’m so tired of planning this wedding,” then it is long past time to find yourself a wedding planner. A great planner will make the whole process enjoyable for you and keep your stress to an absolute minimum. Isn’t your sanity worth it?
If you're a newly engaged couple, are you considering using a wedding planner?
Let us know your story by commenting below!
Starry Night Events, LLC
We all have an idea of what we want for our big day. Here’s a few ideas that can help you decide what theme you may want for your wedding.
Fall is upon us! Many brides want “rustic” mason jars and lace, and then there’s rustic “chic” with sparkle and wildflowers. This theme has been around for a few years, but is still popular, especially in the Mid-West. Many couples who prefer the barn wedding use tents, which give their guests the option of using farm house tables, chiavari chairs, and bright fall colors. Of course there are still barn venues that are perfect for the ceremony and reception all in one place. Many brides, in this case, will also rock out a pair of cowboy boots instead of heels with their dress family, and wedding party.
I already created a blog about the “Enchanted Forest Wedding”, but there is also something magical and beautiful about a secret garden theme. This type of wedding is extremely romantic, using lots of flowers from the entrance to the exit, including mounting floral designs on the walls. The bride can also use old pins and lace to accentuate her wedding gown and add to her table decorations. Lots of vines are used to enhance the florals, creating a secret garden setting.
Clean lines define a modern theme. Couples who want the formality of a hall or ballroom are consistent when building a design that is sleek and beautiful. Many times Calla lilies are used in modern wedding designs, as well as sharp suits and fitted (but classic) wedding gowns. Many times couples who go modern still want a classic feel that is simple, but elegant. Many stylish brides choose this theme because it is stylish and can be extremely impressive.
A touch of the 20’s has been popular for a few years now, but should remain popular this year and probably into 2016. This theme is great for people who would rather stay more monochromatic with their wedding colors. Whatever accentuating colors used (gold, purple, and green) will work with this theme and look amazing. This theme has many options, from using sparkly linens, tall centerpieces, and black and white in the décor. Since the 20’s was such an interesting time in history, think of what could be done at a wedding.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ever think of using this year’s Pantone color of the year, Marsala? It’s especially great for fall and winter weddings. The dark, rich, reddish, burgundy color looks amazing with off –whites and pinks. It can be used in a rustic theme, but in the comfort of a hotel ballroom. It can imitate the enchanted forest theme by using trees, manzanita branches, and moss, creating a romantic and dreamy ambiance. Think of it as the indoor woodsy and romantic wedding that your guests will always remember.
Think bold, bright colors and how they can be used to create an awesome effect on your wedding day. Bold colors are now becoming popular and being incorporated in upbeat weddings for this year and through 2016. This means bright colors for the wedding party, flowers, and all other décor. Popular combinations in upcoming magazines are hot pink, turquoise, and hot orange. Couples are using white as a base, so the pop colors can shine and take on a life of their own.
Do you want to include Grandma’s brooch or your grandparents wedding picture? Or do you love to go antique shopping? Then this theme is perfect for you. We’ve found that couples like to incorporate treasures that they have found into their table décor and throughout their entire wedding. This very romantic theme has possibilities that create lifetime treasures and memories. Sometimes couples can find items to set on their vintage escort card table to holders for the flowers, and beyond.
Have you ever met a girl that just loves pink? I know several and this is a real wedding theme, all the way from dark pink to the very lightest of shade of blush pink. Pink wedding themes can be both sophisticated and artistic. Think of using tall centerpieces, working green vines and gold in the mix. This look can really be stunning when different shades of pink are incorporated, along with a slight contrast of dark shades of gray for accent. Add some sparkle tablecloths, along with plain crème napkins and you’ve got a winner.
Can you guess why this is my favorite? This theme is for couples who host their wedding in the winter months when everything is dark. Or may I suggest using this anytime when you like navy blue and want a starry environment. This theme always works best with a base of white flowers and silver sparkle, everything else is draped in navy blue with black undertones. You can either use dark blue or silver linens to drape the tables and tall white centerpieces surrounded by candles, adding bling to the mix. If you don’t want flowers, you could always use branches sprayed in silver for an elegant effect. Blue or dark purple up-lighting adds that over the top effect to pull the entire look together.
I’ve got plenty more suggestions for wedding themes. Contact me for information on how I can make your wedding an event to remember.
Starry Night Events, LLC
Have you seen it? Probably not! At least not in the Midwest. As most of you know, all the fashion trends start on the East and West coasts and we in the Midwest are the last to get all the spectacular ideas when it comes to fashion. While this new direction has been released in some of the Eastern US markets, it has not come to the central part of the US as yet.
During the search for the perfect wedding gown, brides will try on many different kinds of dresses. We now know that color is being added to wedding gowns. You see color at the neckline, hemline, or throughout the entire gown. You can even find wedding gowns with color in the St. Louis market. However, the latest trend will make your gown exquisite and personalized.
Starry Night Events, LLC wants to introduce you to the wedding gown monogrammed train. Think about it,...during your wedding ceremony, what is the part of your gown your guests view most? That’s correct! It’s the back. So why not provide something interesting and beautiful for them to look at during the ceremony.
You can pick a large monogram in whatever color you choose. Most brides are coordinating the color of the monogram with the wedding party colors. Pick one color in the color scheme to accent your gown. You could go with white on white (a little hard to see), champagne on white, or even go dark with this year’s Pantone color, Mahogany. Pink or light blue are always pleasing to the eye. But definitely match it to your color scheme.
The embroidered monogram itself usually runs 11.5” x 4.5” and can be placed around lace that it already on your gown. Size of the monogram is also up to you, so you can make it smaller if that is what is needed. You could go with any type of font, from script to Old English Letters. We have over 500 fonts, so the limit is endless.
Are you a trend setter? Is this something that would add to your ceremony and become a treasured keepsake from your wedding? Starry Night Events is the only St. Louis business that offers this service at this time. Be one of the first and make your wedding an unforgettable experience.
Give us a call 636.294.4970 or e-mail us at email@example.com for more information.
Enchanted Forest themed weddings are one of the hottest trends in 2015. The color scheme is very dreamy and inspirational with the use of purples, blues and shades of ivory. This new theme is gorgeous with creative items done in lace, shimmer, foil and silk ribbons all throughout the entire theme.
Think about sending handmade invitations created with premium paper. You could use paper doilies, lace, and paper flowers to adorn your invitations. They would have a Victorian look even if you do a laser cut and add lavender and gold etching. Add monograms, filigree, or maybe ribbons to create a romantic effect.
The arrival of your guests is a way to show your creativity. Since your wedding is in a forest setting or at least outside, why not be dramatic and arrive in a romantic royal carriage. Think vintage and set a beautiful guest book for people to sign and write a personal message. Smother the guest book table and gift table with English roses and other flowers that mix with the bridal and wedding party bouquets. You could even have the guest cards hanging from a decorated tree for a special effect.
To set the atmosphere of your wedding think natural light during the day. But as you move into the evening turn on the twinkle light garlands in and around the trees, flowers and large decorative flower arrangements. This will pull the guests into a new world. The tables could have silk tablecloths that are sleek and shiny, with other textured items to complete the tablescape design. The highlighted table would hold a beautiful multi-tiered cake in a stunning Rococo design. Or you could have sequined tablecloths on guest tables, adorned with bead and lace floral bouquets.
You could start with fruit and champagne for the cocktail hour. Greenery designs would hover over multi-level stands to prepare for the evening’s collection of food for the wedding day. Then move into a wonderful array of pheasant and salmon for a main entrée. Or perhaps you want to go with a simpler menu to treat your guests. Your dessert table could have radiant splashes of color with branches of ivy and roses arching over the table. These are just a few ways to present the food to your guests.
We always try to think of the best way to entertain our guests. You could include dancing, games like wishing notes, lucky cookies, etc. and a DJ to make the evening special. You may even have an orchestra who plays music that will enlighten all ages of the people attending your wedding.
Always think personal when thanking your guests. You could have cake pops and other delicious take home desserts available at the end of the night. If you do not want food, think of something that will make the guest remember you every time they use your gift. Larger personalized gifts will be given to the bridal party, plus special guest, thanking them for their assistance in making your wedding an event to remember.
I have more ideas for an enchanted forest wedding. Give me your ideas of what you think goes into this type of theme. Together we could make your day a reality.
Partial information received from Anna Debnam, Preston Bailey Signature Wedding & Event Design
You want the scoop, don’t you? I’ve been researching what’s hot for 2015. Hopefully these ideas will help you plan your wedding and keep you in the know with what will be the trends for this year.
Let’s start with invitations. Laser-cut invitations will have intricate patterns on paper goods which will provide beautiful, visual interest. A variety of wedding styles make it possible to use these awesome invitations depending on your color scheme and style.
Always keep the guests informed by using a wedding website or app (WedSocial, AppyCouple). This provides your guests with up to the minute information and photo-sharing capabilities while using their phones or i-pads.
Every bride thinks about her hair style for her wedding. This year’s style is loose and romantic updos. Actually sides swept updos will probably be the most popular hairstyle for all of 2015.
Blue is the new color for men’s attire this year. Navy is the new black, although black will never go out of style. The fashion forward color is royal blue if you have a daring young man at your side.
Speaking of daring, skin is in! Wedding gowns this year are going sexy, with lots of skin showing when the bride walks down the aisle. As you look through bridal magazines, take a look at the number of gowns that show the beauty of you.
While the Pantone color of the year is “Marsala”, (a reddish-brown hue), the buzz in the wedding industry is that “copper” will dominate the 2015 palette. This is an amazing rich hue as either a focal or accent color.
As for your decorations, greenery will be seen in everything from table runners to decorative wreaths, and garlands. Greenery will be used in the spotlight and in nooks and crannies because it’s versatile and provides Old World charm. It’s become chic to use and a little less expensive than large bouquets of flowers.
The new trend in wedding cakes this year are a collection of smaller cakes instead of or in addition to the multi-tiered wedding cake. This provides variety for your guests and displays a wonderful dessert table. You could even have a smaller cake on each reception table for your centerpiece.
These are just a few of the wedding trends for 2015. Ask me more about what’s new for this year. Always remember, plan early, it takes the stress off later!