Monthly Archives: November 2013

How Event Planning on a Budget can Help you Predict the Future

Budget

We’re not talking crystal ball here, but armed with the right information (and a professional event planner), you can cut your event costs and predict that you and your guests will have a grand time. The key is to preserve quality while preserving your dollars.

Photography/Videography: A professional photographer/videographer can charge upwards of $1000 to photograph or record certain types of events. Many think that you can just ask a friend or relative to capture the event to save money. That is not recommended. Instead, look to local photography clubs. You may find members that are super-hobbyists and have all of the necessary equipment but aren’t doing photography as a full-fledged business. It would be a good idea to hire them for a pre-event photo shoot or video to ensure you will be satisfied with their work.

Venue:  If you think that you could save money by holding your event at your house for free, depending on the number of guests you may be required to apply for special permits, not to mention your neighbors might not be too pleased with you afterwards. If you’re hosting a themed event, look for a “matching” venue. Western theme? Consider a barn (or anyplace in Tombstone…) . You would save money on decorations.

Flowers. Are you envisioning and event complete with walls and tables full of your favorite flowers?  Well, you might be shocked to learn that fresh floral costs can get up to $500 or more.  Save money here by forgoing your fave flowers and sticking with what is in season. Or even better, choose a garden for your venue!

If you can save money during the planning process by making these small swaps, we predict an event full of merriment, good tidings and cheer and best of all, no buyer’s remorse 🙂

HAPPY PLANNING!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/7027596629/”>Tax Credits</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>

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Four Questions about Venue Selection that Will Keep You Up at Night

VenueSelectionAs you proceed through the steps to planning a wedding or other special event, the more questions you ask, the better. Reception costs consume almost half the budget for a wedding, and with the average wedding costing more than $27,000 you could be spending a hefty penny. Additionally, the popular venues book far in advance, forcing couples to make their final decision on a location immediately after the date has been set. For these reason, we want to arm you with a few important questions to ask before signing a contract. Save yourself some grief and check them out below:

Do you have a specific list of caterers I must use, or may I choose my own?

Some venues require customers to use the in-house caterers or choose from a small list of approved vendors. If you find that your selected venue has such a list, ask for testimonials from previous clients. When it comes to package deals, you’ll want to ensure that you’re happy with all of the included parties.

Are there any restrictions on decorations?

Many venues have them, but rules vary widely from place to place. Common restrictions include: no open flame (or no flame whatsoever), no tape or tacks on the walls, or no confetti. When linens are provided, some venues will prohibit the use of pins or dark colored drinks. Ask if the venue can provide any decorations themselves, especially around holidays.

Can we bring our own liquor, is there a “corkage” fee, and do we need a license?

If you’re planning for the alcohol to flow freely at your event, you can save a lot of money by bringing your own, if the venue permits it.  For the venues that allow bringing in alcohol, some charge a mandatory “corkage fee” to serve it. Make sure that you are crystal-clear on the fine print regarding alcohol before you commit to a venue.

As for licensing, many states consider wedding receptions/special events to be “unlicensed social functions,” meaning you don’t need one as long as guests are not paying for alcohol during the event. But be sure to check your local regulations before moving ahead.

Is there a cake-cutting fee?

If the venue allows customers to bring in their own cake, ask if there is a cake-cutting fee.

As long as you know the “right” questions to ask when shopping for venues, you will avoid contract surprises with the venue. Fortunately for you, we’re got your back 😉

HAPPY PLANNING!!

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/riptidessportsgrill/6939719408/”>Innisfree Hotels</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>

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The ‘Secret Sauce’ Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding_cake_with_orchid_topper

Sure, anybody can do an online search for tips to plan a wedding, but there are some things that will be omitted, some things that may be indirectly related to the big day, but are no less significant in your newly married life. While we agree that experience is indeed a good teacher, some things we just HAVE to share 😉

The Cake

Get personal. Give each guest his or her own miniature wedding cake or cupcake-a work of art to win over the toughest critic. Have a larger cake created so you can have the fun of slicing it. If you’re on a budget, stick to cupcakes. Add a special touch with your monogram, a special flower or color that makes the guests think of you two.

Flowers

Take a cue from nature. An “unkempt garden” is a popular look with tall centerpieces overflowing with beautiful flowers, branches and leaves. Candles all over the table are a great way to give the room a warm, inviting finish. The idea is to make your guests feel as if they’re not in a museum, but at a celebration of your union.

Selecting Gifts/ Personalizing your Registry

Give guests lots of choices and price ranges. To make it easier on yourself, wear comfortable shoes and clothes when choosing your gifts. Take along some water and snacks. If your fiance doesn’t want to be involved, do most of the legwork yourself and “extend the invitation again”  once you’ve narrowed down the choices.  Let the registry reflect your personality and think about your entertaining style. Let your registry develop around that.

Home Decor

Don’t forget to feather the nest before leaving for your honeymoon. Don’t you want to return to an inviting (already decorated to your liking) space where you can begin your life together?

The actress Ruby Dee said it best, “The wedding is the event, the marriage is a lifetime.” You should certainly take care to ensure your day is free from incident, but it is equally important to put that same energy to the days, weeks, months and years that will follow. Add these bits o’info to your list, and don’t worry, you can thank us later 😉

HAPPY PLANNING!

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Guerrilla Wedding, no Camo Required

Mr. Webster (the dictionary dude) defines guerrilla as, “a http://www.suhana.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Camo-Womens-Wedding-Rings-2013.jpgperson who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage”. (Source)

Well, there has been a recent increase in the guerrilla wedding, one where the couple does not reserve a venue, plan an elaborate ceremony, and may not even buy “the dress”. Instead, they show up at a predetermined location with their officiant for an impromptu wedding. 3-5 minutes they are declared husband and wife. In most states an officiant and a witness are the minimum requirements for a marriage to be legal.

What types of locations are we talking about? Anywhere! The mini golf park where the first date where the first date was held, the favorite amusement park ride, museum in front of a favorite painting.

On one hand, a guerrilla wedding is unordinary, romantic, and it’s a memory that that will cherished for the remainder of the couple’s lives together. On the other hand, some venues may frown upon (or take further action against) a couple using their space for a wedding without permission.

Regardless of the plan, the day is about recognizing the love between the bride and groom. If it is your intention to create a diversion to distract security until you’re hitched, don’t say we didn’t warn you about potential apprehensions!

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