Wednesday, November 29, 2006

5 Frivolous Wedding Details that Rack Up Your Wedding Budget

As you plan your wedding, you will find that around every corner lies another opportunity for a costly add-on or upgrade. Many brides are quick to nod yes to every seemingly fabulous idea and little extra presented to them. Hey - when you're spending upwards of $30,000 - what's another $300?? It's an easy conclusion to make when swept up in the chaotic sea of wedding planning.

But if you're on a budget, the easiest way to stick to it is to just say no. For what seems now like an idea that you absolutely cannot forego lest you want a completely unremarkable and utterly forgettable wedding reception will eventually wind up as just another unnoticed wedding detail that burried you further into debt.

That said - here are some common wedding details and extras that you can live without, and neither you nor your guests will be the wiser:

1) The Champagne Toast - This is a biggie - almost every reception venue offers to pass a champagne toast to all of your guests for a $200-$400 fee. Don't do it - it's a waste. Many of your guests will simply take a sip and set the glass down - or not take a sip at all. It's best to allow your guests to simply toast with the drink of their choice when the toasts are made.

2) The Champagne/Chocolate Fountain - Fountains - especially chocolate fountains - have been the rage for the last few years. My opinion is that the trend is now cliche and tired. If you have your heart set on one - fine. But if not - this is another extra you can do without. Trust me - your guests aren't going to search your reception site for the chocolate fountain. Really, they won't.

3) The Groom's Cake - The groom's cake is a southern tradition that has recently been spotted at wedding receptions throughout the country - (we all remember the armadillo cake from Steel Magnolias). A southern girl myself, I admit that I couldn't do without this one, but it too is an unneccesary expense. No one ever runs out of wedding cake at a reception, so why have two cakes?

4) The Tossing Bouquet - Having your florist create an additional bridal bouquet for the bouquet toss has become the norm. The idea makes sense in concept, as most brides wish to keep their real bouquet as a keepsake. But there is no need to have your florist create a tossing bouquet - which can tack on an additional $50-$100 to your floral bill. Instead - have a friend or family member pick up some flowers from your local grocery store - a mere $5-$10.

5) The Extra Hour - Almost every reception site has an upfront overtime fee, and they'll casually mention that your reception can go an extra hour for, say, $200. It may seem tempting to turn your make your 4 hour reception last 5, but the extra hour is not only unnessasary - it could also increase your wedding costs exponentially. For you'll probably have to contract your entertainment, transportation, photographer and videographer for an extra hour as well. Guests are usually ready to call it a night after 4 hours - let them.

Brides - got any more ideas? Send them my way!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Plan a Thanksgiving Wedding - Creative (and Budget Friendly) Ideas

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for an elegant yet relaxed wedding celebration. The autumn holiday lends itself to natural settings, simple decor and comfort food - all which can prove extremely friendly to your wedding budget. Looking for thanksgiving-themed inspiration? Here are some creative and wallet-friendly ideas to get you started towards planning unforgettable nuptials with a Thanksgiving twist.

Invitations and Stationery - Dress up ordinary wedding invitations and wedding with inexpensive silk fall leaves included in each mailing.

Wedding Flowers and Decor - Instead of gaudy arrangements featuring pricey blooms - keep your decor a simple enhancement to mother nature's natural bounty. Use the autumn harvest for inspiration; think gourds, pumpkins, squash, gold dipped fall get the idea.

Menu and Catering - The food is the main attraction for this wedding. You cannot go wrong with traditional favorites: turkey, red potatoes, corn bread dressing, green beans, and honey glazed carrots. Consider incorporating your family recipes into your wedding menu and serving the meal family style (if your guest list is small). To round out the thanksgiving feast - serve a pumpkin cake or even a tiered pumkin pie!

You can find even more ideas and advice on planning a theme wedding at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Transportation Tip - Save Money with Two Trips

Here's an easy tip to help you save money on your wedding transportation:

When reserving your wedding day transportation, remember that the groom and his groomsmen need to be at the church 45 minutes early to seat your guests. Instead of paying to rent 2 separate vehicles (and drivers), have your driver can pick up the guys first and return for the bride & bridesmaids. This will save you from having to contract two vehicles/drivers - which would double the cost.

You can find even more tips to save on wedding transportation in this article at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Thursday, November 02, 2006

5 Ways to Save on Wedding Décor

After selecting the perfect reception site, it’s all about the details. Consider the venue a blank canvas upon which to create your stylistic masterpiece. Event décor can make or break the ambiance, but don’t assume it has to break your wedding budget. Remember—less is always more. Here are some simple ways I found to get the most bang for your decorating buck.

Choose Wisely -

Make your wedding venue work for you – not against you. Find a ceremony and reception site that complements your desired style – so that you don’t have to decorate around it with pricey floral arrangements. For instance, if you envision a relaxed natural setting, go with a park or botanical garden. Or for a formal stately affair, consider a museum or historical building, with dominant architecture as your wedding backdrop.

When I scouted reception sites, I paid close attention to the ceremony and reception settings at each site. I wanted an antebellum style setting with gorgeous grounds, greenery and flowers - and I didn't want to pay for expensive decor to make it happen!

Something Borrowed -

Add a personalized touch and honor your heritage by using family photos as wedding décor pieces. Gather some stylish frames and ask for photos from both sides from the family (black and white works perfectly here). These inexpensive touches can embellish your guest book table or decorate otherwise décor-impaired spaces in the facility. I did this - and everyone agreed that it was such a classy touch - and it hardly cost me a thing.

Think Double Duty -

Wedding flowers are pricey, so make your floral arrangements earn their keep. Invite your ceremony flowers to the reception! You can use them to decorate your cake or gift table – and your guests will never be the wiser.

Go For Impact -

Unfortunately, some elements of your special day simply go unnoticed by guests. So if your budget won’t allow you to drape your entire reception area in stylish décor pieces, relax. You can still create a noticeable impact by saving your decorating dollars for the areas that will pack the biggest punch – such as the entranceway or a grand staircase.

See The Light -

The right lighting can transform an ordinary room into something extraordinary. If hiring a lighting technician is out of your budget, consider creating this effect with candles. Fill glass bowls with floating candles and flowers, or place a single pillar candle in a hurricane lantern for a dramatic effect. The result is romantic and elegant…and inexpensive.

For more ideas and advice to help you plan your wedding decor, visit the complete wedding flowers guide at - Elegant Galas Made Simple.