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Tips on Gratuities For Your Wedding Services – Part 1

  • Posted on February 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I found this article when I was deciding on a Podcast host and thought you would love to know about tipping. I know I’d forgotten about this until the day before our wedding. Here are some great tips even though Bill is specifically talking about Orlando weddings. I’ll follow up next week with New York tipping, but you probably know them anyway. Also I am starting the article with the less expensive way of tip or the budgetary way so as to avoid sticker shock.  It’s a long article, so I have decided to break up into three segments over the course of the next week. Enjoy it.

Gratuitous Tips on Gratuities and Tipping Your Wedding Services.

By Bill Parkison

Published by: Orlando Wedding Professionals Bridal Directory Magazine – Fall 2011 October 17, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

 

What if your budget prohibits you from affording a tip?

During these difficult economic times, couples from coast to coast are cutting back on their wedding expenses. If a simple wedding and modest Staycation honeymoon is all you can really afford, consider these suggestion as a way of showing your appreciation for outstanding services when funding is tight:

This is the era of individual mass communication. Send your message of delight with your wedding services providers in a message released on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, and the endless social networking services available online. All it takes is one “Like” on Facebook for everyone you have befriended to get the word on the great experience you had with a vendor.  Referrals, referrals, did I mention referrals?  A referral contract makes everyone’s day! One good word goes a long way in the wedding industry. Even if you don’t know anyone getting married in the near future, most wedding vendors provide services to corporate and other social events. What a great surprise to your vendor if they were hired to work a holiday party due to the referral from your wedding. One of my favorite non-monetary tips is a big basket of home-made cookies. Home-made inexpensive chocolate chip, oatmeal or the family’s secret cookie recipe for a holiday favorite, you can’t go wrong.  And cookies are guaranteed to bring smiles to the faces of everyone in the room.  For the officiate, or business owner that went above and beyond, you may consider sending something personal, like as a restaurant gift certificate, or tickets to the theater.  Flower arrangements or plants are very nice and widely appreciated as well. Remember, a simple handwritten thank you note is always greatly appreciated by everyone.

Nothing can ever make you wedding day more memorable than the moment you stand holding hands with your best friend promising to love and care for them the rest of your life. However, when special moments arise due to the efforts of your vendors, don’t forget to let them know it.

 

 

Wedding Flowers

  • Posted on December 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Thinking about flowers for your wedding?  Having trouble deciding on which flower means that special something to you?  Perhaps you already know exactly what you want.  Everything is easy smeasy, right?

You’ve been told , perhaps by your local florist, that you can get your flower or anything you want or need, at any time you want it.  The flower doesn’t necessarily have to be in season in your area you’ve been told, but it is in season somewhere and you can order that flower and have it at your wedding anytime you want it, right?  A flower that is not grown here in New York or even the northeast, can of course be gotten from the southwest, or even further south, South America including one of the Americas in the southern hemisphere. That is all very true of course, but what you are not being told is that there can be quite a hefty price attached to receive that very special flower you want.  Yes, of course you can have any flower.

Another reason, the florist may say that everything is in season and can be in season all the time, is that flowers now rather than 60 or so years ago, have been cross pollinated to present a varied flower, more resilient, an even more exotic flower in look and scent.  http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/pollination.html A flower that can be grown almost anywhere. Just because this is the case, is that specific bloom going to be within your budget, whether it is merely a victim or cross pollination or has been flown in from the southern regions of the world? Whether it is science or imported, is the price tag too great for your budget.

When my husband and I were getting married, I’d found a beautiful purple and exotic flower within the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Found the name, looked it up online, and found that it would be in season during the summer time, however I hadn’t look to see where it was natively grown, and if it were here in the northeast. Alas, it was not in season in New York City during that time frame and I had chosen a flower that was so exotic, that it was not even in season in the United States. Getting it from the southern hemisphere was prohibitive to our budget.

When picking out your flowers be mindful of what is in season and exactly where it is in season, if you go the route of a florist. The florist can get you anything you want at any time of the year, but be smart and do some research on your own as well.

While compiling the budget for you wedding, you of course can always give yourself breathing room around your segments, so if you run into something like a pesky out-of-season bloom, perhaps you can splurge. If you feel it is a bloom you will not be able to live without, then and only then, if you have the money figured into your budget to use for this specific instance, by all means do it. Tell yourself ‘you deserve the splurge’ and do it, but if you have not worked it in, then don’t blow the seams off your budget by getting this one item. If you do it for this bloom, you will undoubtedly do it for almost anything else in your wedding purchases. If done repeatedly, you won’t be able to call your budget a real budget and will start to spend future money on your wedding, which I do not condone.

 

Here’s some tips to keep your cost within budget or lower:

 

  1. Do further research, there may be another bloom that mimics your exact flower that is in season within your area.
  2. Look at your wedding attire, see if there is something in or on it that represents a bloom and go with that one, if it is in season. (That’s what happened to me. I revisited my dress’ appliqués, which were hydrangeas. Perfect they were in season during June, and in purple*.)
  3. Do you have a theme to your wedding, maybe there is a flower that works perfectly with your theme. (It’s probably not the exotic flower you initially had in mind, but it will lend itself to something more reasonably within your budget.)
  4. Hey! Here’s a novel idea; confer with your fiance’. Maybe there is something that could be highlighted that you both like. Maybe you won’t even go the flower route. Mmmh!
  5. Purchase your bouquets from an emerging florist, rather than a big named flower company. (They might be able to not only drop them off, but supervise the handling of the blooms for decorations and handing or pinning them to or on your wedding party.) See www.BlissfulBlooms.com

    Handheld or table setting blooms

  6. Purchase your bouquets from your local florist shop.
  7. Purchase your blooms from a local deli. (Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  8. Purchase your blooms from one of the web or phone floral companies. They’ll deliver to your door. (Probably the day before your wedding.)
  9. Purchase from a warehouse or giant florist out in the outer boroughs. (It’s great to live in New York City for many reasons and this is one of them.) (If it’s from the warehouse: Don’t forget you’ll be in charge of making of the bouquets.)
  10. (Perish the thought) Silk or flowers made of cotton/polyester. They may not smell like real flowers, but if gotten at the right place, you can have your beautiful blooms forever. (Why not spritz the scent of your choice on your flowers?)

 

All in all, wedding flowers even though they can expand into ten or more segments within your wedding, they do not have to completely obliterate your budget. With some planning and ingenuity you can stay within your budget and have a beautiful wedding with beautiful wedding flowers. Just think outside the wedding flower box, and win.

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.wnyc.org/blogs/wnyc-news-blog/2011/may/04/niche-market–silk-flowers/

Doesn’t it look like she is in a greenhouse?   No, she is standing in the midst of silk blooms.  Can you tell the difference?

Great Spot in South Bronx For You AND Me

  • Posted on July 29, 2011 at 8:26 am

 

Last Friday, 22 July, I had a truly fun experience. I was able to catch up to a friend of my husband’s, John Colon, and experience a new establishment – – to me in the South Bronx. The place is The Gallery Lounge, 26 Bruckner.   It’s a beautiful spot with yummy half moon sherbert-colored, orange leather banquettes, a long bar and few table set-ups.   Sounds lush and something out of Florida, doesn’t it?  My friend is of course John Colon of The LatiKnow Company, (which Educates through foods) and is also known for setting up restaurants’ management teams [notably 809 Restaurant & Lounge] in and around New Jersey and New York area, plus his dream come true–his current shop, La Bodega {Food Distribution} in La Marqueta.

I went there to talk to my friend, John Colon, about possibilities of our teaming up together in a mutually beneficial business  with regard to my Wedding Specialties. The experience I had was truly wonderful. Several minutes after my arrival, John came out to greet me in a white double-breasted jacket, to show me what he foresaw in the near future for the space and then back to the kitchen. On the way back, he asked me if I wanted to see “his” kitchen. I was surprised, not so much that he can cook, since I knew that already, but that he ls now a chef. John has always loved food, to eat, yes of course, through education for the customers about uses for certain foods.  Also educating the restaurant team on how to both treat and serve their customers, but also now educating his customers’ palate through their eating experience.  He is all about widening people’s awareness of the arts of Spanish foods from the Hispanic perspective on a broader spectrum.  And now he gets to do just that every Friday and Saturday nights, here at the Gallery Lounge, from 7 pm – 4 am.

I was also able to meet his Consulting Chef Tamar Poysner,  who won Rachel Ray’s 2009 competition:  “Hey You Can Cook 4”.  Ms. Poysner in 2010 was on Gordon Ramsey’s Master Chef program as well.  By now you are wondering what’s the idea behind all this talk of food on a wedding website, right?  Think event space, food, chefs, what does that spell?  Reception site. And I was there on your behalf, asking about possibilities of having your wedding and reception here.  Right now we are working out the details, but have your event for under $10,000 with either full-service or cocktail parties.  Keep in mind for a sit down it is suggested no more than 50 people. http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/show/segments/view/cooking-hcyc-winner-tamar/

The two chefs were in their element in their kitchen, [and so was I], joking, trying out new recipes, etc. as they continued washing their hands after everything they touched [a very good sign].   I even got to taste a couple of the newer items that they were trying out on their menu, for the evening. It’s always fun to go to talk business and wind up being offered tidbits of food.  I hadn’t expected that at all.  A surprise tasting as it was, for me and you. Yum!  Let me list what I liked there so when you go, you will know:

  • Hot, hot, hot Salsa dance music.
  • Tamarind Sauce and Curry Puff
  • Meet-Lover’s pizza (consisting of Shrimp, rather than pork of sausage.) YUM!~
  • Canoa
  • Jerk Burger [with cheese, of course] Slider

All I can say is YUM!!!!  Go!  Experience the Spanish-Caribbean blend from these two chefs’ diverse and co-mingling cultures.  Ms. Poysner throws in a bit of Italian cuisine she learned during her winning tour to Tuscany.  Together Chefs Tamar Poysner and John Colon through their cooking are able to share their passion for food, via their styles of cooking together for you.  Imagine having that at your wedding and reception.  Again, I say YUM!!!!

The Gallery Lounge, 26 Bruckner Boulevard, Bronx NY 10454


Look for wedding workshops and seminars in the near future in this spot.  There’s even an art gallery complete with paintings on the walls.  Fun and Yummy!

 

 

 

Wedding Cake Taste-Off; Behind the Scenes – Part 2

  • Posted on June 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

  • What’s the idea behind the Taste-Off besides publicizing my book? Well, there are two other ideas, that dovetail into the book and the brides.
  • What is one of the bigger subsegments of the reception that money can be thrown? The booze? Sure, if you don’t go with a cash bar.
  • The flowers, yes, maybe if you haven’t spent all your budget during the ceremony.
  • The cake? Yes, that’s it!

I knew you’d come up with it. The cake can get extravagant, plus if you don’t have or know of a baker, where do you go?

  • Do you go with word of mouth or do you go to someone you’ve seen on television, or in magazine or do you go to a wedding expo?
  • Or do you go to several bakers and taste-test their wares or a flavor you think might be what you want for your wedding? That can be both time consuming and expensive. It could also be frustrating.
  • What if your spouse to be can’t go at the same time you are doing your research, what then?
  • Do you buy a slice of what you like?
  • What if your spouse doesn’t like it or once you get it home, you realize you don’t even like it, then what?

The beauty of the Taste-Off is that the brides, grooms, and or wedding couples can come together on a Sunday and taste to their heart’s content, the baker’s best cake. Even look at their portfolio, check out their presentation, style and their price. But it is not just a bridal party bonanza, it is also an opportunity to showcase cake bakers/designers who have been in business for less than 10 years and who may have graduated through and from the WIBO process.

Coming up with the why, who, and where were easy. All of the whats and the how were the tricky parts, but as the time ticks down those seem to be taking care of themselves, too. I hope and it is my plan that it continues that way, too. I needed to come up with an idea for my logo, which initially I saw as an action type of logo, but then I realized that really could be just the background on a flyer. I decided to take it to a professional, but it still wasn’t resonating with me. The logo like the title of my book was posing a challenge, but finally I realized, I had to relax and it would come to me, what the logo could be, just like the book’s title did. After a strange weekend of our new Time Warner modem failing and being thrown off the Internet for 2 ½ days, I was able to come up with a usable logo. Mmmh. I like it. Meanwhile I was talking to other amazing women who were helping me make a successful start on through to and after the finish of event.

  • Rose Jeffries, a designer has signed on to design my gown for the event and offer an hour of her services as a giveaway to one lucky bride.
  • Additionally, Fouzia Eldrissi, one of the people I interviewed for my book is a wedding planner and she also will have a table set up and is giving away time for a winning bride, from one of the giveaways as well.
  • There will be additional giveaways for the brides, but I don’t want spill all the surprises here.
  • Plus, of course a special chapter specific to the event, that I believe each bride or wedding couple will appreciate.

The bakers and cake designer’s for the event will be able to showcase their best cakes for the taste-off, which will be judged for their taste, (blind taste-test) design and table presentation. They are allowed to bring their portfolios and I hope possibly get bookings while they are set up for the event. There will be two baker winners. too. I think they will be delighted to realize that the winning baker’s businesses will be publicized in local media outlets. Yesterday I finished the first drafts of my letters/emails to the various celebrity judges from around the tristate area. I can not divulge as yet who they are, but I have already received two verbal affirmatives. WooHoo!

Money-saving” Ideas That Will Cost You Your Dignity BY APRIL WINCHELL

  • Posted on March 24, 2011 at 4:51 am

The following article are the opinions of Ms. Winchell.  It is fun, funny and informative, but not all of her ideas coincide with my own.  Enjoy the article.

Years ago, I went to France for the first time. And while I was there, I visited the Palace at Versailles.

It was incredible. Room after room of the most mind-blowing opulence you can imagine. I was absolutely spellbound.

For about an hour.

Then I hit my saturation point and stopped being impressed, or even caring at all. I found myself shuffling from room to room, walking over priceless mosaic floors just looking for the gift shop. And I suddenly realized the original occupants must have felt the same burnout. That’s why each room was more over-the-top than the last—it was the only way they’d feel anything at all.

That’s the downside of luxury: At some point you reach a plateau, and it’s all the same. There might be a difference between 900- and 1,000- thread-count sheets, but who can feel it?

I think this is a very real trap people fall into when they plan a wedding. You can only have so many flowers. The steak can only be so big. The linens can only be so fine. You hit a wall after a certain point, so the spending itself becomes the gesture. And ultimately, it’s meaningless.

Of course, there are people on the opposite side of the spectrum. A friend of mine recently told me about a wedding invitation she’d received that said guests were welcome, but they’d have to pay $20 at the door. They were also asked to bring cash for their own food, and cash for the couple, to help fund their trip to Burning Man (naturally, family and special friends were given wristbands allowing them “access to a VIP area with seating”).

Like most of you, I’m somewhere in the middle. I’m not going to fly everyone to Tahiti, but I’m also not going to make them sit at card tables and eat Hot Pockets. It’s all very nice to be a bride, but to have a great wedding you also have to be a gracious host and a relaxed guest. And that’s all about attitude—not a mile-long list of things you have to have.

Here’s my wedding wish list: |

ILLUSTRATION. MONTANA FORBES

1. A nice dress
2. A picturesque location
3. A good meal

That’s it. No attendants, no separate gown for the reception, no unicorn. Just a nice, middle-of-the-road event for about 100 people. So imagine my surprise when the hotel cheerfully quoted me $600 per person.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never eaten a $600 meal. The most I ever paid was around $1,000, and that was for five people. With drinks. A lot of drinks.

But let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that the hotel can reasonably charge $200 a plate. In fact, let’s say they can get it up to $300 by putting pearl earrings in the mashed potatoes. Every guest would still have to drink $300 worth of alcohol. I don’t even think that’s scientifically possible. In fact, I don’t think you could get up to $600 apiece if you catered the whole thing out of the mini bar.

And this is when the hotel explained that the price they’d quoted didn’t really reflect the food or drink as much as it did the day of the week. This same wedding on a Friday would be $20,000 less. And there’s your plateau: The extra $200 per person doesn’t get you anything except the privilege of writing a bigger check on a Saturday.

My search for cost-cutting ideas also turned up another surprise: Saving money is as subjective as spending it. My reasonable expense might be your ridiculous extravagance. Your sensible cost-cutter might give me a headache from rolling my eyes. For example:

“Fake your cake with an icing-covered foam cake rental. You’ll get the look you want, and you can purchase a sheet cake from a bakery that can be cut up in the kitchen.”

This is insanity. It’s like that Twilight Zone episode where Carol Lynley and her husband wake up after a party and find themselves in an alien child’s dollhouse [spoiler alert].

To me, the tiered wedding cake is nonnegotiable. You have to keep the top so you can eat it on your first anniversary, or your husband will leave you for a massage therapist. Or something like that. I’m not clear on the subtleties.

“Toast with white wine instead of Champagne: Champagne can get expensive, and not everyone likes the carbonation.”

I’m sure lots of people will strenuously object to toasting your marriage with Champagne. “How was the wedding?” “It was okay, except for the carbonation. That was a downer.”

You know, some people don’t like dressing up, either. Maybe you should ask everyone to come in sweatpants, and you can all eat pizza over the sink.

“Do you have a friend who brews their own beer? Ask them to provide beer for your wedding at cost!”

Fantastic. You can get your uncle to make up a batch in his bathroom, and when people start complaining of lead poisoning and blindness, you can blame it on the foam-rubber cake.

“Better yet, do away with alcohol altogether and have a coffee bar! Guests can get cappuccinos, espressos, or even decaf.”

Sheet cake and decaf! It’s like Saturday night at the nursing home, only not as fun.

And now that you’ve ruined dinner, how about saving the planet?

“Instead of wasting paper, send your announcement via email!”

Your wedding invitation is a waste of paper. It’s perfectly okay for the Thai restaurant down the street to shove menus in your mailbox every day, but those wedding invitations of yours are going to turn this planet into a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Okay, maybe the five cards with two envelopes is a bit much, and I can do without that weird, arcane piece of blotting paper that looks like you’re supposed to roll your own cigarette with it. But the wedding invitation is a wonderful keepsake for some people—what are they supposed to do, print it out at Kinko’s? Oh wait, that would be a waste of paper. Well, maybe you can just send it to their iPhone and they can look at it while they’re on the bus.

“Don’t pay your florist big bucks to put together your centerpieces. Make your own with supplies from the dollar store and a little ingenuity.”

Finally, a sensible idea! After all, they have so many high-quality materials at the dollar store. How about a car-deodorizer centerpiece for the bride’s table? And with “a little ingenuity” I’m sure you could work in a few pencils and a bottle of discontinued shampoo.

“Share decorating costs: Find out if another bride books your venue for the same weekend, split costs on shared flowers, décor and other expenses.”

I love the idea of another woman’s used, wilted flowers at my wedding. But why stop there? Use her bridesmaids and none of your friends will have to buy dresses. Serve leftover Champagne from her reception—it’ll be flat, so that’ll please the carbonation haters. What the hell, why not marry the same guy? You can all chip in on a family compound and lower your mortgage.

“Consider an intimate destination wedding: You’ll be able to slash the guest list and combine it with your honeymoon.”

Combine your wedding with your honeymoon, so everyone you know will be there the whole time. Won’t that be fun? You and your husband can have a romantic dinner while your entire family sits at the table behind you. Then you can all go back to your room and watch Grown Ups on pay-per-view. Better yet, get some roll-away beds and your parents can split the room with you.

To be fair, I did learn something from these horrible ideas: It all comes down to what you can live with. It’s the same strategy I use when I vote: I choose the candidate who’s the closest to my way of thinking on things that really matter to me, then just try to let the other stuff go.

Revised wedding wish list:

1. A nice dress
2. A picturesque location
3. A good meal
4. Paper invitations
5. Real cake

April Winchell has been a talk radio host, a sitcom writer, an advertising executive and the voice of hundreds of animated Disney characters. In October of 2009, she created the hit websiteRegretsy.com, which led to the publication of “Regretsy: Where DIY meets WTF” in April of 2010. Even though she has been writing professionally since 1989, she still finds talking about herself in the third person really uncomfortable.

A Do It Yourself Wedding in New York City For $15,000 Or Less, Is It Possible? Part III – Tips for you, too.

  • Posted on March 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  1. Car Rental for the weekend: Go Green with http://www.ConnectbyHertz.com $160.33/weekend day whether it is for 6 hours or 24 hours. Go with the 24 since you can use it for those last minutes things that come up before the wedding. That is for a smart Fortwo, talk about making an entrance. Keep in mind with Hertz you can pick the car up at one location and drop it off somewhere else, as long as they have a lot. That could save you some time. For instance: pick up at a Hertz on the upper west side and drop it off at one of their hotel locations especially if you’re not going away to your honeymoon right away..
  2. Car rental for the 3-day weekend from Speedy-Rent-A-Car $205.00
  3. Rental from Zipcar.com or DriveMint.com are by the hour from $11.00 – $17.00 for the weekend depending on the car. A Scion Xb or smart Fortwo on the low end hourly or a Mercedes on the high end hourly at DriveMint.com
  4. You can also offer your relatives and/or friends some money to use their cars, or perhaps they could offer their services and their car as a gift, to chauffeur you and your wedding party around for a couple of hours.
  5. What if you want to have your wedding catered, it is still possible to do it economically in a big city, whether it is in New York City or Chicago, or even Boston, you just need a bit of ingenuity to stay within your budget. If you’re a curious detailed oriented person like I am, then you’ll decide this is the fun part, the chase or the journey to your end destination is what you really want. It is actually the magic part about the entire wedding, I think, because you are at the stage where you are shaping the outcome of the day. It will take patience and possibly lots of legwork, to see just what you might be getting for the day of event, but the hunt (for the guys) is on and it can be a great deal of fun. Here are a few tips:
  6. Decide on the type of wedding and plan your food accordingly. The food, reception space and beverages will be the biggest part of your budget, no matter how large or small it is.  Such as casual, spiffy-casual, or formal, (usually sit down) While casual and spiffy-casual may come very close to looking like the same thing, they really are quite different when it comes to food. I have seen casually catered events start as low as $12.95 per person or just under $1200 for 85 people. This is strict buffet style, no seating provided usually, put stand-up cocktail tables in various spots with food arrangements on them along with some passed appetizers, can be just as elegant as a formal sit down affair as well.
  7. My friend’s wedding although it had a very high-church of various cultures feel to it had a casual reception, since all the guests were expected to bring something. With her committee of  ‘wedding corralling ladies’, the guests with each acceptance of the invitation, was then asked what they could bring to the reception. By doing it that way, my friend saved all sorts of money and even had leftovers. Wedding party paid nothing, zero, zip, for that feast. Their reception had everything from appetizers to desserts including rum balls, (YUM!).  Some of us were getting high just from the fumes of the rum balls; additionally there was even a fruit bowl.
  8. Another casual reception could be to have a stand around party with a huge sandwich or various pizzas or have your new mother-in-law make something for the crowd. You can probably strike up a deal with your favorite pizza store once you pass 10 pizzas. Figure at 3 slices per guest and you’ve got it made. For instance, a pizza usually has 12 slices and for 80 guests, you’d have to have 20 pies feeding each person 3 slices each. My neighborhood pizza store sells a large pie for $16 each, but if I ordered 20 pies for 85 guests, my budget for food would be at around $350. Even with spending $350 on the pizza, you must give your guests something to wash down the pizzas, so add $50 – $75 for some sort of beverages.  Have a variety of beverages and pizza flavors and you have a batch of happy guests.
  9. For more organic less oil, use whole grain flat breads; American or Italian version with different toppings, as your starter rather than bread and cheese.

10. Don’t forget to include something for your vegetarian friends or even people allergic or staying away from wheat.

11. Perhaps as I did you can get a combination price with another feature of the wedding. My limousine company managed a caterer and so     I able to receive a combination price. Plus, my new mother-in-law, made something special in large quantities at her son’s request. We had 85 guests, so with the 4-hour use of the limousine and the caterer  it was $625. My new mother-in-law’s food was gratis. Ours was a casual formal of sorts. It was buffet style with seating.  There was enough seating for everyone, but the only things passed were the Hors d’Oeuvres.

12. The formal caterer or sit down with service is where you’ll have to weigh your options on how much is too much. These types often run    as low as $27 per person and up into the tens of thousands. If you’re trying to do a wedding for under $15,000, as I am advocating then you’re probably priced out of this market unless you can strike a deal with one of your favorite restaurants. Perhaps Carmine’s, in which the food is served family-style, but everyone is sitting. This could be a possibility. My friends took me there for graduation and we ordered one full meal and had left-overs for two additional people.

13. If using Carmine’s works for you, I am betting that they can work for your budget as well. Think about it, a main dish for a meal is $21 – 25, which easily feeds 5 – 6 people. If you have 12 tables of 8 could still be less than pricey, but your guests will be full and have potential doggy bags to take home. Roughly your pricing could still be under $1000 ($400), even with the addition of salad, garlic bread, beverages, and dessert. YUM! A pure feast to behold.

14. Decorations are another item that can run into lots of pennies. In this instance, I am talking about the flowers for the bride and the wedding party and the extras for the reception to make it a wedding themed event. The extras could include tulle and floating candles, or almost infinite ideas as motifs or table decorations of some kind. Here are few of my favorites with pricing of the day:

15. Check any of the websites that sell pre-made flowers and you’re good to go. Flower arrangements start as low as $29.95 and go $79.95 for our purposes. Flowers can, of course go into the hundreds from these websites and upward if you use florists.  There are florists who offer budgetary wedding packages, but you will have to ask specifically.

16. To cut cost further, the bride and matron/maid of honor could be the only people to carry flowers and then everyone and everything else could be decorated at the ceremony venue with tulle, or aisle candles.

17. At the reception venue, the theme could be carried further with floating candles on the tables as centerpieces instead of flowers. If, like we did, you have a water feature, add some floating candles, larger than the table candles, to it and call it a day. Candles at the reception venue could run you a whopping $100 to start, unless you want or have a half an acre to decorate.

18. Additionally you could have:  balloons, silk roses, candy, vases of things (marbles, fruit, etc.) at your reception for decorations.

19. Add some special candies or other cheery items for the table; M&M’s or Jordan Almonds or Junior mints. We went with special made-to-order M&M’s. I bought 3 bags and that was all I needed, at $11 per bag, [The price per bag has gone up] it was a steal. And you get to choose your colors so they can coordinate them with your wedding colors. Pretty cool, I think and inexpensive, too.

20. Don’t forget those disposable cameras, so your guests can snap some fun pictures as well. Check out various websites and you might be able to get 9 cameras, all for $35, just like I did.

I hope some of these tips will help and they are useful to bring down the costs  on your dream wedding event.  So, it can be done with a bit of ingenuity, verve, and flair. Dreamers can

Saving Money As A Wedding Guest

  • Posted on March 13, 2011 at 12:32 am


Saving money as wedding guests can sometimes be as hard as the couple saving money on the wedding event.  Brides can sometimes in their quest for their perfect day forget that their guests have not saved up for this specific day like the bride and groom may have over a significant amount of time.  When their wedding guests get the invitation, depending on its formality it may represent a crunch of both time and money.  Because of this forgetfulness, wedding guests often feel the pinch of having to buy something special to wear to the event, or to participate in the many pre-wedding and post-wedding events, especially if they are an integral part of the ceremony.  Or even to purchase an expensive gift, just because they have been invited to the wedding.  Friendship is one thing, but the wedding couple, must remember that their guests do not want to spend the rest of their lives paying for the happy event in collusion with them.

When planning the wedding the couple must take into consideration their guests’ range of attention-span during pre-wedding events.  Especially if these are also their out-of-town guests.  Just because they are out-of-town, in for the wedding, does not mean they want their days and evenings filled with wedding event socials.  That is holding your friends and relatives hostage from out-of-town hostage to your desires.   Shortening or eliminating them altogether is a plus for the wedding guests.  Not everything should or has to be mandatory and revolve around the wedding event.  That alone, will cut down on outfits to purchase.  For my husband and my wedding, we dispensed with the rehearsal dinner, which saved both our wedding party time and money, especially since the pre-wedding gift was no longer “an expectancy”.  In actuality, we hadn’t expected it, but with the traditions of the rehearsal dinner, the wedding party usually is expected to buy an additional gift for the couple who they are attending and vice-versa.

Since my husband and I were well into adulthood, we did not expect nor need any of the big-ticket items that have become the norm for most wedding gift registries.  A few additions were set-up, but not entire stores-full of items.  Gift certificates of small denominations were encouraged and although no one took us up on the gift certificates or really even the registry, Amazon and Bed, Bath, & Beyond were our picks.  Most of our guests gave us money of varying combinations, which is always a plus, and a time-saver for the guests.  Our wedding was on a Saturday mid-afternoon in a church which cut down on wearing apparel cost for most of our guests.  Since it was a June wedding, buying or having dressy formal wear is easy for most folks.  Summer weddings are easy apparel re-wear, with most people being able to wear it again to a barbecue.

  • An afternoon wedding set in the summer especially can save on the guests having to purchase items to wear, that may never get out of their closets, again.
  • Summer weddings are especially easy because dressy summer apparel can easily fit into anyone’s closet.
  • The wedding invitation will denote a great deal to the couples’ guests as to what type of attire is expected.
  • The later into the evening the more expensive the attire and unless their guests go to a great many cocktail parties for work, that one bit of wedding-wear may set them back a pretty penny.
  • Plus, an afternoon wedding is or can usually be casual enough that women do not have to have special hair at premium prices added to their attire.
  • Spring and autumn weddings loosely follow the same constrictors and sometimes can feel even less money constraints, but with a twist for weather related attire.
  • A winter wedding depending on where it is held is the most formal attire but if the couple dispenses of a strict color code or theme of their wedding their guests may be able to wear the outfit again, as well.  Winter weddings do not usually have the playfulness of summer weddings, when it comes to attire for guests.

The choice of where the wedding will be held will also bring the cost of clothing for the attendees down as well.

  • A hall on a Friday or Saturday night denotes very special or formal attire.  Think date night or prom.
  • For weekend weddings; Saturday, and if the church lets you, a Sunday night and afternoon is less formal, followed by a Saturday afternoon.
  • Weekday evening at someone’s house; even less formal, with garden parties weddings being the less expensive for the guests.

In the couples’ burst of enthusiasm for their great day, it would do them well with their friends to also remember their friends’ pocketbook, which does not mean they have inexhaustible supply of money for their friends’ wedding day nor should they have to take the hit either.