If you are like most people when you hear the words planning a wedding you instantly begin to feel a small ache in the back of your cranium. Fear not dear ladies and gents wedding planning doesn't have to be a head ache it can be quite simple and very affordable.
First of all it goes without saying that the more time you have to plan things the better things will be. If you are looking for some great tips on how to plan your wedding your in the right place. There is a lot to do to plan your special day but don't worry there is also a lot of help to make things as simple and affordable as possible. As long as you have a plan of attack you will do fine. There are a few things that should be at the top of your list. The list below is my priority list. Make your list in order of what matters most to you.
First start with the basics and work your way up.
- Plan your Budget
- Plan your venue or location
- Plan your guest list
- Pick your invitations
- Plan your wedding party
- Pick your wedding dress
- Plan your cake
- Plan your food
- Plan your drinks
- Plan your ceremony
- Plan your music
- Plan your honeymoon
It goes without saying that if you have no money you have no options. First step plan your budget. There is a reason people say budget rules the show. In other words without money the wedding is going no where fast. Step one budget rules and I mean rules big. Set down figure out just what you can spend. If someone is helping pay for the wedding suggest a wedding savings account so you have access to the actual money. Nothing is worse than having everything picked out and ready to go only to have a person say they do not have the money they promised you. This has happened to a good friend of mine so take no money for granted set up a savings account with both your names on it if you must but be insistent that people put their money where their mouth is up front. This will save time and a huge head ache in the end trust me.
Decide what is most important to you when it comes to your special day. The location is a big part of some special day ideas. Some people have a special church or location that means a lot to them both for their one time special event. Other people really don't mind the location as long as the family and friends are present. For everyone this question will be answered differently so make sure to discuss this with your spouse to be then decide in order of importance to you both. The first thing on your budget list should be the most important things to you both then you can go from there.
There are many ways to trim your budget without cutting things out. One example of a budget stretching idea is to ask friends and family what they could volunteer to do for the wedding. One friend or family member may be a great cake decorator or cook that could trim hundreds of dollars off your budget if someone can help in those big ways.
For example a cake made by a professional bakery will cost anywhere from $3.00 per serving to $6.00 per serving. Now consider a small round 8" cake will serves 10-12 people. Now consider that would be $36.00 -$72.00 for one two layer of a cake 8 inch depending on their pricing. Most professional wedding cakes cost upwards of $500.00 for the average wedding. Making your own wedding cake becomes a lot more appealing when you look at the cost of a cake mix being only a few dollars . That's just one example of course.
Make sure to ask around about pricing of everything it may really surprise you what kind of pricing differences exist. One big shock I found was if you cater just the sides and ask a family member to cook the main course it can save you $2.00-$5.00 per guest depending on what your main course is. I don't know if you want to do the math in your head; I don't so I will figure it for you and tell you that for 20 guests that is a $40 - $100 difference just considering cooking your own main course. If you cook chicken breast instead of beef it will save you even more money per pound as well because it is a cheaper cost per pound type of meat.
Another thing that has changed drastically is the fact that many people are opting for e-invitations instead of printing and sending them through the mail. Considering one stamp is .44 cents that would make wedding invitations for 100 people to be $44.00 without including the cost of the invitations at all. This fact makes the idea of e-invitations very appealing. There are some really great invitation idea.
You could also do matching e-invitations and a paper copy for those who are not online. Modern day technology is not for everyone but for a lot of people they would love an online e-invitation. Not only do you have endless possibilities for online ideas and space to add a whole array of pictures and things you get a place to express yourself fully.
The guest list can be trimmed down to only close friends and family which will stretch your budget to help you to have the funds to plan a nicer wedding reception. For many people it's about inviting everyone they know but for others it's about showing their closest friends and family a wonderful time from the wedding to the reception. It's a fair price range to say it's going to cost you anywhere from $5.00 to $350.00 per person. Either way you look at it if you invite people you really would not mind leaving off your guest list it will save you money. When it comes to the invitations consider each person carefully because they will all cost you money to be at your wedding. Just ask yourself one simple question; do you want to pay for this person to be at your wedding? If it is a person you or your spouse barely know and feel would not make much difference to leave off the guest list consider it a wedding savings. It is easy enough to say we are on a budget I know you understand.
Food matters when it comes to the wedding reception. Many people think they have to have a gourmet meal to knock people's socks off at their wedding but I think a simple dessert can be just as impressive. Punch and cake can be very expensive all by itself but if you do a lot of the prep work for yourself you just might be shocked at the results. The feedback on how beautiful and delicious your deserts were will last a life time not to mention how impressive it is to have anyone do their own cost efficient wedding food. With the right recipe you can be very successful and impressive. Gourmet pretzels are one of my favorites you can see the pictures of the desserts I made for my sons wedding last June.
It might surprise you when I tell you that the bride and her bridesmaids helped me make the desserts two days before the wedding and they keep beautifully in the refrigerator. We had so many compliments about the deserts that was the main topic of conversation. I had people congratulate me on the kids wedding however, I had three times as many people ask me for the recipes for the pretzels.
I will not say this did not take us hours of time but time is what we had as opposed to money for gourmet desserts. I wanted the food to be as beautiful as they are and it worked out wonderfully. I bought the serving trays from the discount store for $1.00 each. I went with their fresh fun colors but you could pick any color you need they even have stainless steel serving trays if you wanted a more formal elegant look. Not only will you be saving yourself a ton of money you will impress your friends and family for years to come.
There are so many endless ideas on how to stretch the ol' mighty dollar but if you just do a few things yourself for your own wedding you will be sure to save money. You can do things as simple and affordable or as elegant and grand as your budget will allow but it is the special personal touches that will keep your friends and family talking for many years to come. Good luck and may your special day be a wonderful blessing to you and your friends and family. Peace, love and beauty to you both for many long happy years to come. Congratulations!
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