Tag Archives: Wedding Budget

Our Wedding Invitations

wedding invitations
The moment I saw our invitations sitting outside our front door, I may have jumped a little.  I was so pumped that they came, they made it to our new address! 

wedding invitations

First thing I did was bring them inside and grab the camera, because that is normal, right?  The dogs were just as excited as I was or maybe just the box smelled… I am not sure.

wedding invitations

We opted for the simple Seal ‘N Send invites for several reasons:  1) they fit in perfect with what I wanted. 2) seemed easier for my friends to have a pull-off postcard to send back.  There was no envelope stuffing for our friends – so easy! 3) cost less to send and if you remember my save the dates I like saving money on postage.

Cheers!

Wedding Planning Tips: Save the Dates

wedding planning tips save the dates

photo by Savoy Ballroom, graphics by MereLynne

Want some valuable wedding planning tips when sending out your Save The Dates?

Well, you have to come to the right blog.  I recently sent out our save the dates – actually a few weeks ago, but waited to post my tips until everyone received their postcards so I wouldn’t spoil anything for anyone.

J and I decided to send postcards over an actual formal save the date card with the fancy tissue paper and embossed envelope.  First,  I am not that formal of a person and second, the postage is so much cheaper on postcards! Saving some of that cha-ching for more important parts of the wedding.

Here are some wedding planning tips when selecting your save the dates and things I would have liked to do differently:

1) postcards, postcards, postcard.  I mean, postcards are simple and easy to send.  No envelope licking (ew!) required.  Gross!  Just the thought of licking nearly 100 envelopes or having to use a wet towel – it’s just a mess.  Not to mention if you wanted to go super-duper traditional and have the outer envelope and the inner envelope – that’s double the licking.  And like I said above, the cost of sending a postcard is considerably less when sending a standard letter or worse an odd shaped envelope.  I had that happen to a friend of mine, she budgeted the average amount of postage stamps for her save the dates then when she went to USPS to mail them.  While waiting in line she got slammed when she learned that the envelope was a square and that would cost more… almost double.  That adds up for 150 save the dates… let’s do the math.  $0.46 per stamp * 150 save the dates = $69 bucks.  Now double it – $138 bucks just went to USPS that you had not planned for.

2) ensure that you have the spelling correct for all your guests.  I did not know everyone on my guest list.  Some were family of J’s that I had not met and others were some of his family friends that I had not met.  Names can be weird.  Spellings are not always common.  Double check that spelling before you waste a save the date or worse, send out a misspelled name!

3) one thing I would have done different is placed a return address on the postcards.  Luckily, I had a stamp made a few months ago, but it would have been so much nicer to have them pre-printed on the cards.  Also, I didn’t want to be blissfully unaware of any save the date not reaching their intended target.  My OCD tendencies could not handle that.

4) another thing I wish I would have thought of was space.  The space to address the save-the-dates was a little small.  I do not normally require people to have a magnifying class to read my handwriting so I had to nix first names.

5) do not put off address your save the dates.  I kind of did that.  I thought it was going to take so long to sit down and actually address the cards so I put it off, like any normal person who was avoiding a task that didn’t seem fun, which it was not fun.  It did not take as long as I thought – like an hour, maybe?  If that.

There we go – simple, easy wedding planning tips that I like to pass on to others so that they could be wiser in their wedding planning than me.  Go forth young ones and conquer.

Cheers!

 

My Day: wedding planning

Wedding Planning – less than 4 months away from the big day.  EEK!

I love paid days off of work, they are my favorite.  I get to sit in my PJ’s most of the day watching trashy reality TV while getting paid.  What’s better than that?  I woke up, made myself some cheesy pasta because that’s normal, right?  Then I plopped down in the big comfy recliner with Tiny in my lap to watch my favorite TV show – Dog the Bounty Hunter.  I will pause while you laugh…. done? okay.

As you may know, I have been working on my wedding planning for awhile now:
I said yes / wedding budget tips / Ranking What Is Important / A few Engagement photos /6 months to go

wedding planning

wedding planning tips for budgeting

I have some wedding planning details to work on today, mostly dealing with money.  Think it’s time, like every bride would do … re-evaluate the wedding budget.  It’s important to take a look at the budget from time to time to know if you are still on target and don’t have any surprise expenses popping up.

For J and I we were originally under the impression that our friend’s Uncle would be our officiant and that would be our friend’s wedding gift to us; however, that was months ago and we have yet to hear anything about it.  So, now enter my panic mode and have decided that we need a backup officiant.  I talked to our wedding planner and that’s going to cost about $150.

That’s $150 that we were not planning on spending for that… we had other ideas for that money.  You know, like favors or programs.  Now, I have to re-evaluate so that we can afford it all.

Oh wedding planning!  It’s fun, but also stressful.  Don’t get too overwhelmed with it, that’s what I have to keep telling myself or that’s what J keeps telling me.

Wedding planning helps you get an idea of the big picture.  Know what parts will cost the most, for us it was the venue, photography and alcohol – you know, the important parts – the booze and the part that will capture those moments!

I will be sitting in this big, comfy chair for most of today working on some wedding planning – crunching numbers, stressing out, and thinking that I’m wanting to do too much; however, in the end it will all work out and I will get to marry my best friend.

Cheers!

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Will you be my bridesmaid?

bridesmaidgift

I saw a pin on Pinterest awhile back and it linked to lauren.david.style’s blog here.  I fell in love with the idea of packaging all the details and knick-knacks about the wedding into a nice box to give to my bridesmaids.

I had already asked the fabulous ladies to be my bridesmaids and now it was time to get them some info about J and I’s big day.

bridesmaidgift-open

I decided early on that it was not worth the stress to find a dress that fit in with the style of the wedding that made each girl feel beautiful.  Each of my bridesmaids are their own woman and knows what fits them the best.  I have given them some guidelines and details of what our style is so that they can find a dress that fits them and their budget.

bridesmaidgift-box

I included information about:

the big day – when, where, what time, and paint chips to see the colors.

my bridesmaids – a little introduction about each of my girls and how they came to be such a large, important part of my life.

their dress and accessories – navy blue, knee-length dress with eggplant (plum) heels or wedges.

their role – to feel beautiful, to have fun, and know that I am truly grateful for them standing with me on my day.

Cheers!

6 months to go

Love <3 #branson

Here we are: six months to go till J & I say “I Do.”  Whew! TIme flies when you are having fun.
Trying on my WEDDING DRESS this afternoon. I'm so excited! #wedding #weddingdress #thebigday
I found my dress – that was a huge weight off my shoulders!  My dress is absolutely perfect, in every way.

Here are a few tips that I’ve discovered along this wedding planning process:

– check your budget.  It’s very, very important to stay on top of your budget. Buying wedding gifts, favors, and little things here & there can really do a number on your budget.  You think you are a-okay and in the green, but then as you get closer to the big day and final payments are due then you might shock yourself.

– prepare your rehearsal dinner. I have the venue booked for our rehearsal dinner and a menu in mind, but it’s time to start narrowing down your guest list. If you’re wedding plans are similar to ours then a small, imitate dinner is all you’re looking for.  Our venue is a room at an event center where we can come and go easily.  It’s small enough that we are envisioning a room full of family and future family sharing stories, laughing, and eating some good food.

– block hotel rooms.  J had one task that he made his own. I had no input in which hotel he blocked, I just wanted to make sure that we had a room.  I have to admit – he did good!  We have one of the nicest hotels in Springfield reserved with a shuttle for our guests so no one will have too much to drink and no way to get back to their room.

We are still working on finding an officiant.  It’s next on our list and will be done ASAP! It’s making me a little nervous that we don’t have someone booked yet, but can have everything fall into place perfectly.  So far, I will not complain about how smooth the wedding plans are going.

Cheers!

How To Rank What’s Important At Your Wedding

wedding-rings-wallpaper1

photo credit

Earlier this week I posted about how J and I are budgeting for our wedding (check it out here).  I mentioned prioritizing what is important to both of you for your wedding.  J and I both had different ideas of what was important, so we had to come together in agreement.

I have some tips on how to rank what is important to you:

Tip 1: Have both of you come up with a list or an idea of what you want your day to look like.  Then once you have an idea, talk about it with each other.  See which parts match up and make those a high priority.

Tip 2: Discuss the differences.  When J and I were talking about photos of us as a married couple we realized that we had a problem.  You see, I wanted to see each other before the wedding to take our pictures.  I figured it would save time between the ceremony and reception so that we could have the ceremony later in the day and a shorter reception.  However, it was important to J that he not see me until I was walking down the aisle.  After discussing our views for a while, I finally realized just how important it was to him.  So, now we have bumped our wedding time up and added a cocktail hour so that we can have pictures taken after the ceremony.  We understand that taking pictures after the ceremony is going to increase our budget because we will be having a cocktail hour, but it was great to learn what was important to him and listening.

Tip 3: Don’t get emotional when talking about it.  I am one that can go from 0 to 90 in less than two seconds when it comes to discussing a topic.  J is really good about calming me down and making me breath.  So, just remember that the two of you are just having a conversation and nothing is set in stone at that moment.  If you need to walk away and think about it for a day, that’s okay.

So, sit down with your future spouse and discuss what matters most to you.  Remember this is your day, so make it what you want.

Cheers,

Mere

Wedding Budget Tips

wedding-budget

photo credit.

Budget. That word alone can usually cause stress in most people, including me.  However, it is imperative to have/know your budget when planning a wedding.  There are several ways to determine your budget and I was lucky to have parents that helped A LOT with my budget.

TIP 1: I determined that amount of money that J and I would have to plan our dream wedding after talking with my parents.  Then in my typical fashion I cut my budget by 15%.  Wait… what?! I cut money out of my budget? Crazy, huh?!

Well… hear me out before you think I’m that crazy.  In my mind, I know… I just know that unexpected charges or needs will come up during the planning process and I don’t want to be scrambling for money.  By taking 15% of the budget away on paper then I know that if an emergency arises, we are safe and okay with money.

TIP 2: Prioritize the important parts.  When J and I started thinking about what we wanted our wedding to look like we had to prioritize what was most important to us.

We came up with three categories.  First, highly important.

Photographer
Venue
Music
Cake

Next, important.

My Dress
Food
Flowers
Groom’s Tux
Groomsman Cake (well in J’s case a cookie cake)
Hair & Makeup
Stationary (invitations & thank you notes)
Favors

Finally, not that important.

Bridesmaid Dresses
Transportation
Seating Chart

Tip 3: Knowing your guest number limit.  J and I started crunching numbers and decided that we would ideally like to invite 175 people.  Knowing that on average 20% of those invited will not be able to attend.  That would leave us at about 140 guests.

Tip 4: Don’t forget about tax and gratuity.  Those charges can add up pretty quickly.  For example, let’s say that you’ve budgeted $2,000 for flowers.  You start talking roses, lilies, carnations, baby’s breath and next thing you know the subtotal is $1,999.  You’ll be surprised to learn that your total will be over $2,140 (at least in Southwest Missouri because our sales tax is 7.06%).

Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors what the tax rate is and how it is applied.  I learned that there is no tax on linens because the vendor pays the tax during the purchase and cannot pass that on to each customer.

Also, gratuity is another hidden budget balloon.  I talked to one caterer that charged a pretty high gratuity, which after the tax put her way above my budget.

Tip 5: Ask your vendors if they are running any specials for booking that month.  Since I started planning in February for a November wedding a lot of my vendors were running specials.  For example, my caterer through in a house salad for each guest at no charge, which will save us about $2 per guests (140 guests x $2 = $280 savings).  Also, my venue had a free champagne toast for booking… that saves a lot of $$$.

Hope these tips are helpful during your wedding budget planning! Let me know what you think!

Cheers,

Mere