Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Size Counts - Save on Wedding Music with an Ensemble Catered to your Guest Count

Having live music at your wedding ceremony doesn't have to be a budget breaker. A string ensemble can be a gorgeous accompliment to an elegant ceremony, but the potential cost of a string quartet can deter the budget-conscious bride.

But remember this - the size of the string ensemble should be determined by the number of guests at the gathering. It is not always necessary to have a string quartet (the most popular and costly string ensemble) if your guest list is less than 150 persons. A string trio, or duo is perfectly adequate for smaller venues, at less cost than a quartet.

For more advice to help you plan your entertainment, visit my complete wedding music guide at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Save on Wedding Attire - Excellent Option for Flower Girl Dresses

Believe it or not, Easter dresses make excellent flower girl dresses. Arriving in department stores around February, Easter dresses come in a wide variety of colors and sizes and cost much less than dresses at bridal shops.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Save on Wedding Flowers - Decorate for Impact

In decorating your event spaces, remember the importance your guests' first impressions as they enter your ceremony or reception settings. Brides often spend a lot of money on things that go largely unnoticed. If budget is a concern, first spend on areas that are the most noticeable - such as arrangements in the entrance way or candles on ledges, windowsills or walkways.

For more advice on planning your wedding day floral scheme, visit my complete wedding flowers and decor guide at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Monday, December 18, 2006

Don't Get Stuck Paying for Wedding Guests Who Don't Show Up

Without a doubt - you will allocate the largest portion of your wedding budget to wining and dining your guests. You should count on spending as much as 50% of your total wedding budget on food and beverage, more than any other element for your big day.

The easiest and most efficient way to slice your costs in half is to shrink your guest list. Food and beverage costs are charged per person, and whether you choose to serve filet and caviar or vegetable pasta and chicken wings, the cost is going to multiply by the number you are feeding

Along those lines - here is an easy, failsafe way to save:

There are always some guests who respond that they will be coming to the wedding, and then cancel at the last minute for some unforseen reason. Quote your headcount to your reception site about 10 less than your actual total. You can always add-on up until a few days before the wedding. I followed this advice and saved a lot of extra cash.

Looking for more budgeting advice? Visit the complete wedding budget guide at - Elegant Galas Made Simple

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Engaged for the Holidays - 10 Holiday Inspired Wedding Proposal Ideas

This post is timely, because December is apparently the most popular month to pop the question. Almost 1 million couples will get engaged this holiday season. And a lot of those pre-engaged men (and women!) turn to the internet for a creative "holiday-themed" proposal idea.

So (online wedding planning resource) just released a list of the top 10 holiday proposal ideas - all inspired by favorite holiday tunes and Christmas carols.

Hint: if you're hoping your boyfriend (or girlfriend) will pop the question this holiday season - casually forward this link from an anonymous source :)

OK - on to the list; here are the top few proposal ideas:

Silent Night
Ah, the first snowfall…the sparkling white silence, the blanketed landscape catching the glow of the twinkling lights and stars above. The season’s natural landscape sets the perfect ambiance for a romantic marriage proposal. Take a moonlit stroll through the new fallen snow, and ask her to be your wife.

Jingle Bell Rock
Arrange for the two of you to put up the holiday decorations together. Carefully attach a sparkling rock to her favorite ornament, and give it to her once all the rest have been placed on the tree.

And a Happy New Year
Ringing in the New Year goes hand in hand with a glass (or two) of the bubbly. Make hers extra sweet by dropping a dazzling diamond in her glass, and present it to her at the stroke of midnight.

Let it Snow
Ask her in a winter wonderland; write “Will You Marry Me” in fresh snow.

Read the rest of the top 10 holiday proposal ideas in the California Chronicle.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Videography Virtuoso - How to Capture Your Wedding on a Budget

Emotions, reactions, interactions…there’s no better way to capture and preserve it all than live footage. Your wedding videographer has the unique capability of documenting every moment of your special day as it unfolds. In theory, your wedding video is a priceless memento; in reality, it can cost anywhere from $500-$10,000 and beyond. With these simple tips, you can have memorable wedding footage without breaking your wedding budget.

Learn the Lingo -
There is a lot more to videography than just “record,” “fast-forward,” and “rewind.” A number of fancy editing techniques exist, such as animated titles, still shots, slow motion and dissolves. These techniques can be appealing, but will likely increase the price tag. Educate yourself and decide which editing techniques you want included in your videography package before getting carried away with all the belles and whistles. If you’re on an extremely tight budget, select a straight shot package, which covers the event in its entirety with little or no editing.

Sound Check -
Quality sound is a must – so know the different microphone options and their costs. Digital sound recorders attached directly to the bride and groom provide the best up-close sound, but because it is recorded onto a separate disk that must be synched with the footage, it will cost you more during the editing process. A professional videographer should have state-of-the-art equipment, in which case sticking with the single mic that is built into the recorder should suffice.

Be a One-Man Woman -
If necessary, stick to one camera operator. Extra cameras will tack on $400 to $1000 a piece, which may not be the most efficient use of your budget. Most weddings are actually shot with one camera, so rest assured that a single operator will be able to capture the important moments. Forget all the FootageIf you simply cannot forego some of the pricey sound and editing options (we don’t blame you), consider saving on time alone. Hire your videographer for the most important part of the day only – such as from the beginning of your ceremony until the first dance – and save on billing hours and editing fees.

-contributed by Joni Lacroix-
For more ideas and advice to help you plan your videography, visit my complete videography guide at - Elegant Galas Made Simple.