Archive for the ‘Budgeting’ Category

Budget Tips: Reception   Leave a comment

My last blog entry centered around Budget Tips for Invitations.  Let’s take a look at Budget Tips for the Reception.  By all means, this is not exhaustive!  There are money saving tips all over the place!  Just take a look at some of your favorite Wedding Sites!

Beware of hidden costs!  They can sneak around the corner and get you!  So your Reception site vendor says that you can have chairs decorated with Tulle and a ribbon of your color.  The cost? $$$.  Do you need chair covers?  How about going with just a sash of your color?  Don’t be lulled into multiple menu/meat choices.  You don’t have to have multiple menu/meat choices.  Just have one meat.  If you feel that you would like your guests to have multiple choices, consider a Finger Food dinner, or work with your vendor to supply smaller portions of two different choices.  Don’t ever forget, Vendors will negotiate.  The worst they can say is “no”.  Skip the dessert course, you already have cake!

While we are on the topic of vendors.  Look for a one-stop venue to save $$
(your Wedding Ceremony and Reception will be held in one location).  Also, look for a location that will let you bring your own caterers, alcohol, food, etc., without penalty.  This will take some organizing, but will save you lots of your hard-budgeted dollars.  Consider having your Wedding and Reception on an off-day.  Even Friday nights are cheaper than Saturday.  Sundays are cheaper, too.  When you call to get estimates and quotes, don’t tell them that you are getting married, tell them that you are holding a dinner for X amount of people.  You will find that the estimate is a lot different!  Take a step back and take a look at your family and friends.  Maybe someone has a beautiful home or property (even a barn!) that would be willing to host your Ceremony and Reception.  If you have your Ceremony outside, you have the natural decor, which means less flowers, less ribbon, less cost!  You could even have a backyard BBQ!  Most of the time, outdoor locations = free Venues!

When it comes to your Wedding Cake, you definitely have alternatives.  Lots of them!  You could have a Candy Bar, Pie Bar or a Cupcake Bar.  Use Butter cream Icing instead of Fondant, or consider using fruits, flowers and/or ribbon.  Also consider a smaller cake along with a sheet cake, or even a Fake Cake.  Yes, I said a Fake Cake. At Cake Rental, you can design your own, or use one of their pre-designed cakes.  Some locations and/or bakeries will make you a cake that is part real and part fake!


CrownGownSmall Alladins_PillowS PrincessS2 RedCarnationsSmall


Or take a look at Fake The Cake.

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Or check out Ultimate Fake Cakes.

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For your Reception decorations, use your Ceremony flowers at the reception.  Delegate a family member to help transport.  For your centerpieces, consider fruit or vegetable centerpieces, intertwined with fresh cut flowers or greenery.  Remember the greenery is less expensive than blooms.

Don’t get caught up in favor overload.  Skip the favor or have something small, such as a candy bar in a small cellophane gift bag.  Make sure that favors can be re-used (or edible) and the packaging can be re-used.

For alcoholic beverages, check to see if your venue will let you bring your own (this is a much cheaper option, sometimes).  Check out an alcohol superstore such as Lukas Liquor.  Make sure that they will allow you to bring back unopened bottles.

Okay.  I think that’s it for now.


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finger food reception   Leave a comment

This topic is quickly making it’s way around Wedding DIY sites.  However, this isn’t a new discussion.  Typically, the best thing about a finger food reception is the cost.  Your food budget can almost be cut in half!  You can include quite a few different choices and even create an ethnic or themed finger food reception.


There are a couple of tidbits of information that we should discuss.  First of all, remember that, typically, Wedding Reception have a full meal.  You will want to make sure that your guests are aware that you will be having hors d’oeuvres, so that they aren’t expecting a meal.  Also, the time of the day that you have the reception will be an indication to your guests.


So, on with the pictures! Let’s take a look at the board below.  These Brides and Grooms chose to go with Fruits, Cheeses, Crackers, Breads and Veggies.  Choose any, or all.  The decorations and presentation for the food tables can add greatly to the decor of the Reception. I love the presentation of the Cheese Tray that also includes tags telling the name of the cheese.


Finger Food


Let’s take a look at the following pictures.  Here you have traditional and not-so-traditional foods.  Bruschetta, Pinwheels, Cordon Bleu, Dumplings, Shrimp Cocktail, Salmon and Skewers.  Use your imagination for what to include INSIDE them.

Finger Food2


Sandwiches or Tea Sandwiches.  The term “sandwich” can be used lightly.  Use crackers, and all kinds of toppings can be used.  Look up Tea Sandwich Recipes on the internet and you’ll find gobs!

Finger Food3


A couple of tidbits to remember when you are doing a food bar.  Remember ALL of your guests.  Different tastes and different preferences.  Just be sure to have a good selection.  As to have it catered or not?  That just depends on your budget.  You can have it fully catered, partially catered (+plus you and your family) or not catered at all and do the creating yourself.


Have fun!



more cost-cutting tips   Leave a comment

More DIY….


1.  Use DIY Bouquets and Boutonnières.

2.  Did you know that anyone can become an Officiant?  They can do so online.  Ask a favorite family member to do the honors.

3.  Have your guests RSVP online at your free Website, or via phone (to save on the postage).

4.  Have a reception luncheon or brunch.  Purchase the food from a local catering place.

5.  Do have a Wedding Cake, but make it a smaller one.  Order a sheet cake to complement the servings.  Also, use a Buttercream icing instead of Fondant.  Or have a “fake cake”.  Yes, you can do that.  What’s the harm?  People will still have their cake.

6. Have your hair and make-up done by a Beauty School student.

7.  Believe it or not, we have a Goodwill store by us and there are plenty of Wedding Dresses and a fraction of the cost!

8.  Use favors as seating or place cards.

9.  Buy the alcohol yourself.  Hire someone to tend the beverages. Or have just beer and wine instead of liquor.

10.  Have a dessert buffet with Cookies, Cupcakes, etc.

11.  Beg, Borrow, Steal (okay…..just kidding).

12.  Use a one-stop Venue.  This is a very thrifty choice!

13.  Make your own invitations.  You wouldn’t believe how simple it can be!  Also, many stores now carry “Make Your Own” Invitation lines, such as Martha Stewart.  Also, do an RSVP postcard, it will save on the postage.

14.  Hire a “new” vendor, such as a Photographer or Videographer who is just starting out.  Check with local colleges.


Hope some of these tips can help you as you plan the day of your life!


cost-cutting tips   Leave a comment

No matter what the budget, you can still have a beautiful Wedding that you and your gusts will remember for years to come.  Some of these cost-saving ideas are easy and some will require a bit more time.  Some can be done by yourself, and some will require the help of family and friends.  I hope that you find something in this list that will be useful to you.

1.  Hire a Seamstress/Free Seamstress.  If you purchase the pattern and the material, you can hire a Seamstress to make you/your bridesmaids beautiful dresses for a fraction of the cost.  Better yet, does anyone in your family sew?  But!  Make sure that it’s someone you trust to do the best job possible.

2.  Borrow it, Rent it, Buy Discount.  Rent a dress or buy it through a consignment shop.  You can also borrow a dress and have it altered.  Tip: Try for free wedding items, cheap wedding items and some even willing to trade FOR wedding items!

3.  Cut and arrange your own flowers.  This takes a great deal of planning.  You will definitely need help.

4.  Have family and friends decorate on the Wedding Day.  Again, you will need help and some pre-planning is involved.  You can rent centerpieces from a Party Supply company.  Petals and/or dried flowers can make a great addition.  Tip: Try Oriental Trading Company. 

5.  Rent decorations, large palms, ferns, topiaries and flowers for the ceremony.

6.  Use Ceremony flowers at the reception.  Delegate to friends and family.

7.  Use silk or dried flowers.  This can get very costly if you are looking for a lot of flowers or big bouquets.

8.  Have attendants carry a single flower with a trailing ribbon.

9.  Make fruit or vegetable centerpieces intertwined with fresh greens.

10.  Use garlands of fresh greenery tied with colorful ribbons.

11.  Use inexpensive fillers such as sprays of greenery or Baby’s Breath to plump up your flower arrangements.  Better yet, grow our own!

12.  Have your wedding around a holiday.  Then you can use decorations from the church or venue that you are using.  Include the holiday colors as your own.

13.  Check out local free venues, if not free, perhaps a small fee.  You can use natural decorations or venue decorations.  Check out historic homes or sites, Museums, Aquariums, City or State Parks, Botanical Gardens or Greenhouses, Town Halls, Libraries, Vineyards or Riverboats.

Good luck!


wedding web-sites   1 comment

By wedding web-sites, I mean web sites that you can post your info on and that have tools to use….I’m sure that I’ll forget some.  Please let me know if you have a site to add!



 Wedding Wire’s Free Site!














Project Wedding’s Free Site!









 Wedding Channel’s Free Site!









The Knot’s Free Wedding Site….











eWedding’s Free Web Site!









Here’s OneWed’s site!











mywedding’s Free Web Site!







Let me know if you have more to add….I’m sure that I missed some….


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