Budget Your Time

This blog is a little different today. It’s not a savings tip or a DIY project. I photographed a wedding last night and I walked away from it with one CLEAR tip.  ENJOY YOUR BIG DAY!  There were a couple things that happened that made the bride a little miserable all night.

1) She had no one with her while she was getting ready.  I know it sounds silly.  We’re grown women, we don’t need anyone there while we’re getting our make-up on.  But, trust me, when you’re nervous/excited like this it’s good to have loved ones with you (not just your vendors who you don’t know very well).  Make sure you have someone!  Wether it be one of your bridesmaids, a friend, your mother.  Someone needs to be there.  You will want opinions on your hair and your make-up, plus having those people around will help to keep you calm and share in the excitement.  They can take care of your phone calls, they can make sure you eating and drinking.

2) Make sure you eat and stay hydrated!  This wedding was supposed to take place at 6:30 and she didn’t eat all day!  As soon as the ceremony was over she had to sit down away from everyone and not take photos because she was to sick and faint.  Once the reception started she was already sick and miserable and left about 2 hours in without telling anyone. I know you may be a little anxious, but try to at least snack throughout the day.  And drink water (and maybe a little Champagne!).

3) Try to be on time!  This bride was over an hour late.  This meant she went over an hour longer without food, she only had the venue until 10 (which meant the reception was now an hour shorter), the guests were anxious, the groom was anxious.  All of this also added to the bride’s stress.  And since the reception actually closed at 11:00 instead of 10:00 they will now have a little extra tacked on to their bill.

Budget your time well that day.  It will be over before you know it!  You have spent months planning and you want to enjoy it.  Have a clear game plan with everyone in your party and family before the wedding day.  I would suggest making your made of honor your go-to person.  Obviously you are close and she knows how to make sure you stay calm and have fun!  If you feel it’s not going to be enough, you could consider a wedding planner.  Most now have a “day of service” that will save you money, but give you someone to take care of everything that day.  This could take the burden off of you and your party for the day.

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You’re Fab Venue at Your Frugal Price

Do you have your heart set on the location of your dreams, but the price is a little more like a nightmare?  Not to worry!  There are plenty of ways to save on your wedding location.

1)  Being flexible with your date.  Think of it as location, location, location!  There are certain times of the year that you can get your venue for almost half price!  The best times for this are in January and February (except Valentines and New Years).  These are the slowest times of the year for weddings.  You can actually save BIG $$$ on all of your vendors this time of the year most of the time.

2)  Off the beaten (date) path.  So many people get married on Sat evenings.  If you’re willing to change the date to any other day of the week, or to the morning, you usually save around 1/3 of the price.  I’m shooting a wedding on Thursday and they are paying almost HALF for the Knot’s #1 voted venue here in GA.

3)  Forgo the alcohol.  For some this is not a problem and for some it’s inconceivable.   However, you can save some money on the over all budget as well as the venue with this.  Many venues will charge you for the bartender (sometimes 2), the alcohol, mixers and (sometimes) cops.  These costs can add up quickly.  If you really want to incorporate some alcohol  you can still go for a champagne toast.  Many venues will offer this in the cost or for a small fee (much less than a bar though).

4)  Don’t sit down!  Instead of a sit down meal serve heavy hor’derves  or go for a buffet style.  This gives your guests more chances to mingle and enjoy a variety of foods.  Plus, if your venue is in charge of the food (as many are) then you could save up to $5-$10 a person.  That may not sound like much, but if you have 100 people there’s $500-$1000 saved! Plus everyone will still be feed and happy.

5) A little off the top.  Maybe it’s time to look at that guest list and see who is not essential.  Even shaving off 10 people can make a big difference!  If you’re talking about $20-$30 a person it can add up.

Some things to think about also.  Does your venue offer any of their decorations? If so, then maybe you should re-look at your entire budget.  Do these savings from what you have planned for decor balance out with the price of the venue?  Do they offer an all inclusive package that fits your total budget (hair, flowers, cake ect.)?   Sometimes going with the whole shabang will cost you the same and you still get what you want!