Posts Tagged ‘wedding wednesday’
This Wedding Wednesday, is all about contracts.
Contracts are a necessity in the wedding industry, particularly for photography.
Save the Date
In the wedding industry, there are only a few dates per year when weddings are likely to happen.
- Most brides want Saturday (52 in a year).
- Most brides do not want a holiday weekend. MLK, Passover, Easter, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s eve/day can eliminate anywhere from 7 to 11 weekends.
- Some local events can make that weekend a bad choice for your wedding date. After all, you probably don’t want your reception and the local prom in the same hotel on the same night. Area graduation weekends could affect your family’s ability to be at important events for everyone.
- Vendors take vacation and have family responsibilities, too.
- So, 52 Saturdays – 7 holidays – 2 family weekends – 1 vendor day off = 42 weekends left.
In order to secure your date with any vendor, you need a contract so you are sure you have them on your date.
The vendor needs a contract because they can only take a certain number of weddings on any one date. They have to know if they are your final decision or not before they can turn away another couple.
Set the Standards
A contract is your written agreement to ensure everyone has full understanding of what the costs, services, and products are. The contract should repeat all that you discussed verbally. There should be no surprises.
Contracts are especially important for Photographers and other sole-proprietor vendors, because we can only take one wedding per date. A baker can bake multiple cakes and drop them off during each ceremony. A florist can arrange flowers for multiple weddings and deliver them to each ceremony venue. A photographer is there for you all day or weekend.
The same is true for Professional Planners. While they may have more than one wedding per day (with a staff of Professional Coordinators to be on site for each event), you still need all their services and prices in writing. That part of the industry is diverse and varied. Be sure you know what you are getting!
…and everyone else, too.
In all honesty, it’s just a good practice for all your wedding day services. It only adds clarity. And, if you happen upon a vendor who “doesn’t do contracts,” you’ll know to run fast and far away from them.
Kids at Weddings
This weeks’ Wedding Wednesday tip is about inviting kids to weddings.
At a recent networking event, we were part of this conversation:
Guy 1: We missed you at [a friend's] wedding. You missed a good time. It was a great meal and an open bar.
Guy 2: Yeah, we were invited, but what were we going to do with the kids on a Sunday night?
Guy 1: There were a few babies there, but kids weren’t invited. (With an implied “it was nice to go to an adult event where no kids were present”.)
Me: It’s actually really expensive to invite kids to weddings. Catering charges the same for them as they do for adults. It can be as much as 30% of the budget.
Guy 2: I never thought of that.
Guy 1: Me either. I never considered that.
Me: Yeah, the most recent average I heard was $37 per guest for a wedding reception.
Guys 1 & 2: [Clear look of shock on their faces....and them digressing into a conversation about the "extremely fiscally conservative" nature of their friend.]
In the above conversation, I was simply quoting what I have heard. So, I did a little digging for real data.
Wedding budgets are different for every couple, of course, but thanks to our wedding magazines, we have some averages we can apply. However, almost no one would invite kids to the ceremony and not the reception. Furthermore, while receptions cost a lot more on the per-kid basis, we’ll use the whole wedding. However, if you want to apply the numbers to your real budget, then feel free to use the most conservative percentage we’ve found: 46%. Just consider each kid’s attendance .46 of the amount of your total budget.
$27,000 Average Wedding in Austin
$27,000 is the average wedding cost in Austin, Texas
($26,984 to be more exact, but for simplicity, we’ll just add in the extra $16), average wedding cost
46% of the average wedding:
$12,420 for kids to attend the wedding. That’s a pretty big chunk of change just to guests who, for the most part, don’t want to be there, anyway.
More Specific Prices
Online published per-person meal prices in Austin, Texas (rounded up to the whole dollar, including real (not disposable) place settings.
$18 Chicken-Fried Steak
$39 several beef options
$50 hors d` oeuvres, two light courses, main course
…without linens, extra tables & chairs, a larger venue to accommodate more people, etc.
There is no reason for a couple to invite any one group of people that does not fit into the budget. Weddings are a very personal, and sometimes private, occasion. Weddings might be a social occasion, but they are sacred to the couple; there is no reason for a wedding to be “the” social occasion.
Inviting kids to your wedding is a big decision.
If your budget is tight or if your tastes are more elegant, excluding children might be a good choice. Still, we present both sides, so you can make the decision that is best for you.
How much should you spend on an engagement ring?
Shopping for an engagement ring can be a scary process for guys. It’s the most important piece of jewelry they’ll ever buy and quite likely the most expensive, too.
Tacori not only makes beautiful rings, they also are good teachers about their products…with this lovely infographic that teaches about diamonds, their 4 C’s, and engagement rings.
We love all the great information they have shared!
Guys, this one’s for you!
- Is she The One for you? For always and forever?
- Do you spend your time away from her wishing you were together?
- Is every day with her better than the one before?
Then, it might be time to begin the planning to put a ring on it!
Engagement season runs mainly from Thanksgiving through Valentine’s. With all the holiday gatherings and family close by, it’s a convenient time to propose. If you are going to have a ring for her and still have enough cash to get through the rest of your gift-giving, you need to start planning, now.
You’ll be pleased to learn that “two months’ salary” is no longer the norm in the engagement ring industry.
next week: Budgeting for the Bling.
Devices at Weddings
This week’s Wedding Wednesday is about devices: phones, cameras, and camcorders.
The Way It Was
Originally, etiquette combined with the cost of devices kept guests from showing up at a wedding ceremony with a camera, camcorder, or any other device. Then, cameras got cheaper and guests began to bring cameras to capture their point of view at the reception. Next, our world went social and all over the Internet. Guests began to bring cameras and phones to the ceremonies. Some officiants and church-supplied wedding coordinators got testy over this….and for good reason in most cases.
The Way It Is (And Our Experience)
Every “Joe” at the wedding has a phone/camera/camcorder and is facebooking/Tweeting/YouTubing the event…often live. As long as “Joe” stays in his seat and doesn’t lean into the aisle for a better angle, this is not a problem.
One church had an un-posted rule banning guest cameras from their sanctuary, but since it was not posted, it effectively only applied to the members of that church. While it’s likely that family and friends from that church were a large portion of the guest list, the couple also had friends from their social life and professional lives that weren’t members of that church…and weren’t familiar with this rule. The result was an upset church coordinator. She didn’t understand why the guests didn’t all follow the rule.
One church had a rule: no flash during the ceremony. However, this was also an unwritten rule. Upon meeting, the officiant gave the professional photographer this rule. As photographers at that event, we dutifully followed the rules, but the whole intent by the minister was lost when virtually every guest pulled out their “red-eye ready” cameras and strobbed the whole ceremony with flashes.
We know of one bride who received a camera as a wedding gift. After some pleading, she was allowed to open the gift half way through the reception. She was shooting the reception instead of enjoying it. The images of the bride during the second half of her own reception are limited and obstructed.
One wedding included a special-needs friend of the groom who, during formal photography, painstakingly replicated every one of the posed images with his disposable camera. He kept telling us that he was a professional videographer. Not wanting to offend anyone, we gave him all the room and time he needed to get his shots. Ultimately, the groom’s family pulled him away from the after-wedding portraits.
By far the most disruptive case we’ve seen images from was when a friend of the bride continually stepped in front of the contracted professional photographers and videographers during key unrepeatable shots: bride coming down the aisle with her father, first dance, toasts, cake cutting, etc.
The Way It Should Be (In Our Opinion)
Less Is More. We always want the guests excited about and involved in the wedding. They gave up their time and went to a great expense to be there. They are excited and happy for the couple. They want to spread the good news to friends unable to attend.
At the same time, they need to respect several things:
- the decorum necessary for a ceremony such as a wedding
- the expectations of the venue, especially religious venues like churches
- the expectations of, for example, the bride’s grandmother (a standard way to measure any “should I…?” behavior)
- the professionals hired to execute and record the event and the space they need to do their job in accordance with the contract they have with the couple
The As You Wish Way
We do, and always have, welcomed guests to take their own images at weddings. We simply require (and it’s in our contract) that they not interfere with our obligation to the bride and groom, their wedding party, and their families.
This week’s Wedding Wednesday tip is about toasting!
Toasting is not easy. Even if you aren’t the Best Man or Maid of Honor, you could be expected to toast the bride and groom. These days, toasting ceremonies take on a life of their own. You don’t want to be the only guest at the party without something tactful-yet-witty to say. So, plan ahead!
- Mention of the love you see that the couple has for one another. For example, “I can tell by the way you look at one another…”
- Mention the beautiful ceremony and/or day. For example, “This beautiful ceremony [day] symbolizes the happiness I wish for you…”
- Keep it short and sweet. For example, you might recite an appropriate cultural wedding toast. Or, you might simply say, “I wish you lifelong happiness and prosperity. Congratulations.”
- Consider having one drink to calm your nerves.
- Reference low points or rough spots in the couple’s history, “you’ve had your ups and downs”. Instead, say, “You have proven you can handle things, if you have each other.”
- Reference any ex-partners, ever. period. Even if that person is you. Instead, mention the friendship you share with the couple.
- Make claims expecting the marriage to produce children, even if you know the couple has immediate plans for kids. Instead, try, “I wish for you that all your hopes and dreams come true.”
- Tell jokes or embarrassing stories. They are rarely effective and might embarrass the bride and groom.
- Mention sex, drugs, illegal activities, or drunken evenings.
- Mimic TV commercials, movies, or sitcoms.
- Have more than a drink–or maybe two–before giving your toast. Even a slight buzz can slur your speech and keep you from sounding articulate.
When in doubt, leave it out!
Remember, the videographer will record every word and the guests’ and couple’s reactions. Make your toast one that they will be proud to show at their 25th and 50th Anniversary parties.
Babies in Weddings
This week, our Wedding Wednesday tip is about including babies/toddlers in the wedding ceremony.
A lot of couples want to include babies and very young children in the wedding party. There are a lot of idealistic visions for how cute it will be when the little flower girl gives the little ring bearer a kiss on the cheek.
There are several realities that need consideration before assigning wedding ceremony roles to very young children.
Kids are unpredictable. Be prepared for them to be sleepy, grumpy, hungry, in need of a potty break, or just freaked out by all the attention they are getting from the adults.
Willingness to Abort
As a bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding, I got to see, first hand, the right way to involve very young children in a wedding.
The ring bearer was a 2-year old nephew of the bride (son of the maid of honor) and the flower girl was a 2-year old daughter of a couple who were both attendants in the wedding. The idea of them walking down the aisle was too cute to pass up, but the realistic bride had visions of the kids throwing screaming fits when confronted with the formal garden setting and large crowd.
So, they had a plan: In the program, the little ones were listed as the “honorary” ring bearer and flower girl.
More importantly, if the kids were either one fussy at the back of the aisle, they would abort and the ceremony would continue with only adults.
How It Went Down
Of course, Murphy’s Law shined down upon them all…and the bride’s fears never made reality. After all, if you carry an umbrella with you, it won’t rain, right?
The ring bearer held his mom’s hand down to walk down the short aisle. Since mom/MOH was rocking the baby bump for his little sister, it was a wonderfully sweet family moment in the ceremony. At the altar, he was handed off to his dad and whisked around the guests and to the back.
The flower girl was sent down the aisle, next. She waddled toward her mom and was then handed off to Grandma and whisked to the back. Again, a sweet moment could not have been better planned.
Because both kids had an adult guest responsible for them, if either became fussy during the ceremony, they could be quickly removed from the serene ceremony.
Later, during the post-ceremony formal portraits, the very patient photographer spent a long time with the two kids seated on a velvet settee. Without too many adults in that room—which can be a huge distraction when coaxing very young children to be cute—he was able to get the kids to hug and cuddle…and got the kiss on the cheek, too. This focus on images was more about the kids than the bride and groom, but this was a concession they were willing to make since they had a First Look moment with their photographer and had most formla portraits out of the way before guests arrived and while the kids were still napping.
Cry Rooms are Essential
Whether it’s for the littlest members of the wedding party or the youngest invited guests, a cry room is essential to the adults—and the videographer’s microphone— being able to hear your vows.
It’s YOUR Call
Mom and Grandma may be pushing you one way or the other. You may feel that the little ones will take too much attention away from you on your big day. Certainly, that’s fair! It’s your day and they’ll have their day when they grow up. If you are feeling pressured to involve babies and you just don’t think it’s for you, then use our logic and timeline to show that baby attendants and baby portraits take significant time and attention on wedding day. Mom and Grandma might not be so pushy if they have to give up their portraits with you or be relegated to babysitting during the ceremony. Or, if they are that “gung ho”, they might hire all the resources needed (a babysitter? wedding day-care? an extra photographer?) to make it happen without disruption to your Big Day.
These Wedding Wednesday tools will help you select a color palette for your wedding!
- Adobe’s Kuler site that helps you pick a color palette for any project. It can be really helpful with planning wedding or other party colors.
- It was down for a while, if if it’s back, Color Scheme Designer is great, too. It provides more options, a little more ease, and some flexibility. It’s actually made for websites, but could apply to print materials, living rooms, or even wardrobes.
Certainly, both have a place in the color world. The combination of features is sure to help you find just the perfect palette for your Big Day!
This week’s Wedding Wednesday is part two of our series on saving.
Keep the fairytale, but balance the checking account, too. There are many places were you can save on your wedding without sacrificing. Some require a little more research. Others are just a better way to spend the same amount of money. A couple require a tiny bit of creativity or handy work.
To save money on attire, consider renting your fiance a nice suit instead of a tuxedo (or, invest in one he’ll need for other occasions in your life together).
For you, consider a dress that isn’t traditional; colors other than white, shorter hem lines, and simpler styles are often more affordable.
Don’t buy accessories like shoes at the bridal salon where they are horribly marked up. Veils are easy to make. If you aren’t crafty, ask a maid or family member to help you.
For the maids, consider dresses from a department store. Shop early in the season of your choice for a good selection of sizes. Or, consider a classic investment instead of a “bridesmaid” dress:
Another very affordable option for maids is to give them a color and some ground rules and let them each pick their own dresses. They can still run it by you for veto, if necessary. Some of them might already have a dress like what you want. The real bonus here is that each maid will look her best in a cut/fit that looks good on her. And that will only make you look better on the big day!
Gardens, parks, and museums are often beautiful wedding venues at a fraction of the price.
Just be sure they aren’t going to do something tacky, like charge your guests admission or parking (a common practice at state parks). If they will let you cover the parking/admission charges, insist on making the tickets yourself. Their version comes off a copy-machine! Not only will it not match, but the copier ink will smear all over your pretty invitation during mailing.
Invitations, Programs, Menus, and all that stuff.
It seems like an unnecessary waste to you (or your mom) because you know all the details. You have to remember the most remote person invited. Put yourself in their shoes. Be sure they have all the information they need to get to your city, their hotel, your ceremony, and your reception with ease.
None of these have to be expensive to be nice. Hit your local scrapbook store. Stay focused and make a bee line for their wedding aisle. You’ll find many beautiful papers and cardstock that are perfectly elegant for your perfect day. Look at their how-to flyers and books. Consider their classes. Check out their workroom policies. If you can use a rotary paper cutter, a “hole punch”, and a laser printer, you can make elegant-but-affordable printed items for the big day. Get your craftiest bridesmaid or friend to help. Make it a girls night, if you can. And, if this is all just too much for you, ask your wedding planner and photographer what they offer.
Eliminate much of the decor at the ceremony. Most ceremony venues–even those that are plain for religious reasons–are quite beautiful. You can save a lot of money by reducing rentals and flowers at the ceremony. Again, focus on a couple of nice elements to accent your ceremony.
At the altar, decorate from “maids-to-guests”. Focus most decorative items closer to the first row of guests. Otherwise, these items will be hidden behind your attendants throughout the ceremony.
I once photographed a fabulously decorated table for the unity candle. A lot of love and care went into that setup. Because it was at the back of the altar, only the couple, the moms, and I saw it. It was completely obstructed from the guests’ view.
Select a venue that can host both your ceremony and reception.
Plants are usually a lot cheaper than arrangements and can be purchase in much larger sizes.
Plants can be rented. While this is about the same cost as buying them, they arrive in pristine condition with glossy leaves. And, the price includes delivery, setup, and retrieval. This can save you a lot of time and hassle.
Consider taking a flower arranging course at a local craft store and make some silk altar arrangements. From their seats, guests will never know they aren’t real.
Do a Google Image search for some unique and fun DIY centerpieces that aren’t silk. There are some great ideas out there that aren’t difficult or expensive.
Make decor pull double duty. One job of the ushers can be to schlep some decor from the ceremony to the reception. Use it twice! Put your/maids bouquets in pre-set vases on the head and parents tables. Put the large altar arrangement on the stage or near the DJ. Instead of one big cake, order one small layer for each table (and one for you and the groom) and let it be the center of the meal.
When it comes to the reception, decorate from the “eyes up”. Chair covers are nice, but only the first few guests in the room will even notice how pretty they make the room look. Once the room is full of people, they are hardly even noticeable. And, once people start mingling from one table to the next, covers and drapes often become disheveled. Focus on elements that will draw attention to the dance floor or other center of the reception action.
Use a reception venue that is already pretty, so you can save on both the time and expense of decor.
Have your ceremony at a time of day when light snacks and wedding cake will be plenty of reception food.
Serve heavy hors d’ oeuvres instead of an entree with side dishes.
Select drinks that match your style and limit the bar and/or drink stations to just a few selections. Drink service will go faster and your guests will rave about the unique and personal touch.
Favors do not necessarily need to be elaborate. Copies of your engagement portrait make nice favors. Or, make a small donation to charity and print table signs explaining that you made a donation in lieu of buying favors.
Instead of renting a limo for the getaway, borrow a car from a family member or have a friend chauffeur your trip from the reception to the hotel. One of the cutest getaways I photographed (only a couple of blocks in a very small town with no traffic and a very slow/careful driver!) was a decorated bed of a pickup truck. The tailgate was down, covered in white fabric and draped in floral garlands to match the wedding. The bride and groom rode with their feet hanging off the edge. The looks on their faces and their laughter are priceless.
Work with photographers who will let you build your own package and who can incorporate photo-based save the date cards, invitations/announcements, and RSVP cards. Ask them to make programs, menus, and thank you notes to match, if they offer these services. This makes your printed materials unique and personal and saves you the time and expense of another vendor, additional shipping, etc.
Wedding Wednesday: saving on the big day for the big day! Part one of two.
You just got engaged. You want the wedding of a lifetime (who doesn’t?) but you also want to keep some money for a down payment on a house. Oh, and now that you’ll have in-laws, your travel expectations have just gone up (How much is that annual holiday flight?). How do you accomplish it all without putting your parents into debt? (After all, they helped you through college and you are a real, live grown-up, now!)
Establish a wedding budget and stay within it. If a vendor is outside that budget, politely negotiate as far as you can. Be prepared to walk away from the vendor of your dreams to stay within your budget.
Less Is More
Cut back on all but the essentials. There are a lot of new traditions in weddings, even just in the last few seasons. Not all of them are expensive, but some are. Pick a few elements that are especially important to you and your fiance and focus on those.
Except for obligations to religion or etiquette, don’t let your maids or your moms talk you into doing anything that you don’t specifically want for your event. You don’t have to have a groom’s cake, or save the date cards, or a champagne toast, unless those are the things that are important to you and your groom-to-be.
More Is More
Invite more maids/men to be in your wedding party. Yes, it will cost you the extra gifts and flowers, but that is a small price to pay for all the help they will be to you during the planning process and on the weekend of the event.
In my experience with brides and grooms (and in my own as a bridesmaid and as a bride):
- 2-3 maids/men is just too small; it’s a burden on your attendants for showers and parties
- 4-7 is “just right”, as Goldilocks would say
- 8 or more can be utter chaos (because it’s hard to wrangle that many people)
Most vendors will allow you to “register” for their services. Your family and friends can purchase gift certificates toward those “must have” vendors. It might be worth sacrificing the last two place settings of china/crystal to nudge your reception budget just a little more. Put those last two settings on your birthday wish list. Or, ask for them for your first anniversary.
Your vendors will happily put you on a leading-up-to-the-wedding payment plan; this is easier for us and for you. Make the effort to pay down your wedding bills in advance of your event. This will not only give you a lot more room in your budget for last minute-emergencies (or splurges), it will also help you pay for the wedding with more cash and less credit.
Set aside at least 10% of every paycheck for the emergency wedding fund. Make this payment to yourself beyond what you already have budgeted for your wedding payments. This way, if any emergencies occur, you have a fund to work from. And, if not, you have money to add to your honeymoon, a down payment on a home, or just to start off your marriage with a nice nest egg.
Piggy bank photo used with Creative Commons License for Commercial Use by o5com.
This Wedding Wednesday, we share some first steps to wedding planning for those who are newly engaged.
Newly-engaged couples have several initial tasks ahead of them as they embark on the journey of planning their wedding.
Announce your engagement.
Northern brides and grooms may find themselves the guests of honor at fairly formal engagement party. In the South, an engagement announcement runs in the society pages of the local newspaper. Tech-savvy brides and grooms will set up websites, Tweet their friends, and change their facebook statuses.
If your parents haven’t yet met, now is the time. Any help they are going to be during the planning process will go much more smoothly if they have met.
Select a wedding season.
Selecting a wedding date can depend on your ceremony and reception venues, and even your favorite planner/coordinator and photographer (most other vendors can handle more than one wedding on a day). For now, get an idea of what time of the year you’d like to get married and consider a window of ~6weeks while you shop for venues and your key vendors.
Outline a rough guest list: 60 family members on his side, 30 on yours, 40 friends, a handful of his guy friends from work, a dozen or so from your job. The numbers need not be exact for now (but you might as well start a list for the rough count). But, having a general idea will help you narrow down ceremony and reception venues and may influence the style of wedding/reception you select. Be sure to consult with both sets of parents on this, too. And, be willing to stand your ground when things go too far. If your parents are going to invite all their colleagues and business associates to your wedding, be sure that they are helping you foot what will certainly be a heftier bar tab. Be sure, too, they they all have their own section or room at the reception. You’ll want to concentrate your attention on family and your friends.
Establish a budget. There are many great tools for this. Find a tool that works for you. Involve all those who are contributing to the cost of the wedding. Parents always forget how expensive weddings are. (They know how much inflation has occurred since they got married, but they are still floored by the updated costs…every time.) If they are helping you pay for the wedding, you should show them some hard numbers. Your vendors can help you explain to them why things cost what they do.
Next, take your total budget and divide it by the number of months in your planning process minus 2. Put that much money into your wedding fund every month. The extra two months will give you a cushion to handle unforeseen expenses, last-minute splurges, or contributions from family that don’t quite work out like you’d hoped.
Here’s an example: You get engaged on Valentine’s Day and decide you want a May wedding the following year (14 months away) in Austin, Texas (average cost $26,722).
$26,722 / (14 – 2) = $2,226.83
is what you’ll need to put into your wedding account each month.
Then, in April and May of next year, you’ll have some breathing room in your budget and can splurge on a couples massage or that special thing you didn’t think you wanted early on, but now you really want.
Once you have an idea of the season and the time of day for your wedding, shop for your wedding gown. Take two truly honest friends with you. There is a statistic floating around out there that something like 93% of all brides buy the first gown they tried on. The theory is that they can’t replace the feeling of seeing themselves in a bridal gown for the very first time. Consider your emotions and factor this in. Try a wide variety of dresses including styles you think aren’t quite you. You want to see a wide range of dress types. Ask your friends which dress looks the best on you and which one accentuates your best features. Do not fall for that “first dress” experience. After all, a savvy saleswoman has just put you in a dress just “this much” more than your budget…and with accessories, you’ll spend far more than you had planned.
One of the most fun parts of wedding planning can be choosing a unique color palette. At the same time, unique colors can be harder to match with ribbons, tulle, and wedding accessories. And that, is the quandary. With all the cool palettes and inspiration boards out there, the accessories and decor items are going to catch up, soon. They’ll have to to survive. But, what can you do in the mean time to get the fun color combos, yet keep it all in sync?
Shades and Hues
Work with shades your primary/single color. One of our brides had six maids and dressed them in 3 shades of her wedding color: 2 in the main color, 2 a shade lighter, and 2 a shade darker. It was beautiful and gave her an immense amount of flexibility when selecting accessories, crafting invitations, designing programs, etc. Her handmade invitations and programs were a mix of blue papers that gave the products depth and interest.
Not Just White
Do beige and champagne do it for you? Or, are you working with a fall or earth tones palette? Are you afraid that the base linens and guys’ shirts will clash with your creamy idea?
Mix up your palette with shades of white. Be sure to tie in a brighter white and you won’t spend half your wedding planning time searching for ivory shirts for the guys.
Just look at all these shades of white: Alabaster, Albino, Alice, Antimony, Argent, Blond, Bluing, Blush, Bone, Buttermilk, Champagne, Chiffon, Cloud, Coconut, Cold, Concrete, Creme, Dew, Dove, Eccru, Eggshell, Electrum, Ice, Iceberg, Ivory, Jeffrey, Lace, Lily, Linen, Lotus, Magnolia, Milk, Navajo, Onion, Palladium, Parchment, Pearl, Periwinkle, Platinum, Powder, Rhodium, Seagull, Seashell, Snow, Stucco, Sugar, Swan, Titan, Titania, Titanium, Vanilla, and White.
The Ranunculus Paper Flower Bouquet by sunnyandstumpy on Etsy.
Inspiration from Nature
Look at nature and see what jumps out at you.
A popular inspiration these last few years, the peacock is a bevy of color inspiration. Bright blue and spring green are a common combination inspired by these beautiful creatures.
Once upon a time, a popular TV-show designer, Genevieve Gorder, used an artichoke to inspire a kitchen’s palette: eggplant and vanilla-sage.
An obvious go-to for a fall wedding might be a fall palette, but some of the warmer shades of fall colors can work quite well in other seasons, too. Pull our your favorite shade of orange or dusty red and pair it with another color for a completely different look.
The khaki color of sand pairs quite well with sky blue or seafood green. Or, start with a sunny yellow and work in a tattered blue and white for a nautical inspired look.
Another place to find fabulous inspiration is a gardens. A lot of thought and effort goes into the planning of which plants are paired with others, not just for the health and natural pest control of a flower garden, but also for the visual appeal. If you are devoid of ideas, visit your nearby botanical gardens and see which groups of color jump out at you. Bonus: you also can see a large selection of flowers in/among those colors, which will give you ahead start when you involve the florist in your wedding plans.
Visit your nearby aquarium! The salt-water tanks will be full of vibrant colors paired by nature. You are sure to find inspiration among not only the sea creatures, but also the plant life.
Inspiration from Others
Is your beau a huge fan of the Cowboys, but the idea of a navy and silver wedding just reminds you too much of the “cage dancers” atop Jerry’s World? Steal inspiration from these colors. Use one of the popular muted “brushed” pewter colors for the maids dresses, wrap them in darker gray shawls, and work in some gentle and occasional navy blue touches. Even if he’s a Packers fan, you’ll find a green-and-yellow that are elegant instead of “cheesy”.
Most brands have put a lot of time/money/thought/effort/research into the color schemes that represent their products. Think of your favorite products, clothing lines, etc. and consider their brand colors and marketing for inspiration.
Use Your Professionals
Florists, most wedding planners, and some wedding coordinators have a great eye for color and planning of the elements of a wedding that involve color. When in doubt, ask their advice. Even if you have just one color you know you want to use—or no color in mind at all—they can help you design a palette that represents your personality and tastes as well as your event’s style.
Your library may not have these books (some are pricy!) books on the shelves, but your local book store will. Consider spending an afternoon at a book store and browsing these books for more ideas and inspiration.
http://colorschemedesigner.com/ (currently down…but we hope it comes back, soon!)
Regardless of the first item to inspire your color palette, get a sample set of that/those color(s): fabric swatches, paint chips, whatever. If you can, get several of them to share with your vendors. This will help your planner, your florist, your photographer/designer, your bridesmaids, your lighting professionals, and every other vendor stay inside your color palette. While not every element of your wedding will match, exactly (after all, a monotone wedding would be quite boring!), swatches and sample sets ensure that every element will coordinate in harmony.
This week’s Wedding Wednesday tip is about negotiating.
It’s your big day. Many brides dream of their wedding day from the time they are little girls and have grand plans and elaborate fantasies of every detail. Sounds lavish, already, right? In addition, family can have expectations on the couple that translate into a more expensive event (like inviting all those third cousins you’ve never met).
Small or large, elegant or casual, hired out or DIY, weddings are expensive.
As professionals, we are quite aware of how expensive weddings can be. We are also embarrassed by any vendor in any sect of the industry who charges more than a fair price for their work.
How To Negotiate
So, how do you effectively negotiate with that favorite wedding vendor so that you can fit their wonderful services into your budget?
Politely and honestly is the basic answer.
Be polite and kind; never threaten. Keep your questions and requests gently worded and remain respectful of the vendor, their craft, and the industry at all times.
Ask questions; don’t make demands.
- “Are there any parts of this package we can eliminate to bring the costs down within my budget of $N,NNN?”
- “I’m handy/crafty and want to do some of the work myself. Are there parts of the labor I can do to offset some of the costs?”
- “Are there other recommendations you can make that will ease the financial burden?”
- “I really like your work the best. What else can we do to make this work for both of us?”
Be honest; share your budget. You’ll be amazed and surprised at what your vendors will do to win you over if you just communicate openly and honestly. Within my own business model, I can work quite a bit of “behind the scenes” magic if I know what I’m working with. The brides who have gotten the best deals from me have been those who gave me a budget and said, “What is the most I can get for ‘this much’ money?” While they may not get the exact combination of prints/albums/etc. that they originally thought they wanted, often times, they end up with some unexpected service/product. Sometimes the things I can offer—like invitations—can save money in another area of their budget.
Recognize, too, that some vendors have flexibility on service, but not product. Others may have greater control. Every niche of the industry has its own business quirks.
And now, to answer those questions from As You Wish:
“Are there any parts of this package we can eliminate to bring the costs down within my budget of $N,NNN?”
Absolutely! Because we offer a build-your-own custom package model, you can select only the services and products that meet your needs and budget.
“I’m handy/crafty and want to do some of the work myself. Are there parts of the labor I can do to offset some of the costs?”
Certainly. If you plan to make a scrapbook, you can purchase affordable prints from us.
“Are there other recommendations you can make that will ease the financial burden?”
Yes, take advantage of our unique split payments. You’ll pay us for our overhead and labor (an hourly rate) to work your event, pre-touch the images, and host them online (among other goodies and bonuses that come with the As You Wish model). Then, after the wedding, buy all the prints/albums/canvases/etc. you like. Because you don’t have to pay for the costly album before the wedding, you can stretch your budget. And, you’ll be able to use cash gifts from your wedding to put toward your album purchase.
Let us set up a registry for you. We’ll monitor each and every gift payment that comes in and send you full information for your Thank You notes and budget tracking.
Pay as you go. You can make a payment at any time. Paying along the way will be a lot easier on your budget and planning than making a large payment just before your wedding.
This Wedding Wednesday tip is about cutting costs, so you can save money!
A wedding is a once in a life time occasion. You want the day to be perfect. You don’t want to start your married life with debt. Here are some tips for making your day truly special while keeping an eye on the budget.
Select a few high-priority items and concentrate your budget there. Find affordable alternatives to the items that are less important to you. Be careful in your selections; sometimes, cheaper vendors will cost more in the long run.
With all the rage to shop online, it’s easy to forget your local vendors. However, local vendors have more power to negotiate than national websites. Local shops can also offer you more personalized deals to fit your needs.
Don’t be afraid to ask, “What else can you do to help us get within budget?”. Often times, vendors can remove items from your package of products and services to help lower the costs. Be careful, here; don’t be afraid to hear the words, “I’m sorry, but we just can’t.”
63. Hire a high-quality vendor: This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to splurge on a professional that can get the job done right.”
Read the entire list at 100 Creative Ways to Cut Wedding Costs.
Cut Wedding Costs
We strive to remain an affordable option. We do this in several ways:
- Design your own package. Select as many hours as you need. Select the prints and products that you desire. With this setup, you will not be roped into purchasing items you don’t really need.
- After-the-event print and album purchases. Since we don’t require print and album payment before the wedding, you can stretch your budget just a little more.
- Purchases from your event–regardless of who makes the purchase–count toward the minimum purchase requirement to obtain the free CD-ROM. So, if his mom is going to go nuts buying prints to send to all the family members, you’ll save money. It’s a win-win.