Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

It seems these days everyone is trying to save and weddings are no exception! Sometimes saving is as simple as thinking outside the box. The traditional wedding reception occurs on Saturday evening, making it the most expensive time to celebrate your nuptials. By now, most people know it can be less expensive to get married on an alternative day of the week, with the next most popular being Friday and Sunday, respectively. Switching the day of the week isn’t the only alternative though. Why not consider changing the time or style of your reception? There are many different ways to do this – check out our list below for some inspiration…

Brunch Anyone? Who doesn’t love brunch? It is by far my husband’s favorite meal and one of my favorites to cook. A casual brunch reception can help cut your food and beverage costs signficantly. A brunch buffet can be beautiful and more filling than a full dinner. Brunch is the perfect time for some food stations as well – omlettes, waffles, carving stations. Certainly most of your guests will not expect a full bar at this earlier hour so a coffee bar (with flavored whipped creams and chocolate chips!) and mimosas are a nice treat.

Cocktail Reception: A cocktail style reception is a classy and fun alternative to a formal reception. Cocktail receptions are traditionally shorter because there is less time needed for dinner service and are typically held between 4pm – 7pm.  They offer a more social environment, with no formal seating, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  Get creative! Offer a specialty drink that represents you as a couple, maybe a cigar roller and some lounge furniture. I guarantee your friends will love this laid back atmosphere!

Tea Time! While this one is not for everyone, it can work for some couples. A reception held during the mid afternoon with a variety of punch flavors, lemonade and sparkling water in pretty containers as well as finger foods and pastries can make an elegant presentation while saving you on costs.

Dessert Reception: Dessert – my husband’s second favorite meal (and yes it is a meal in our house!) A dessert reception later in the evening is always fun. Offer mini versions of all of your favorites paired with champagne and cordials. You can purchase or rent a chocolate fountain and display pound cake, fruit, marshmallows and brownies to dip in the chocolate.

Whatever you chose, make sure that your reception is a reflection of you as a couple and fits within your budgetary guidelines. Every couple is unique and each wedding should be too! chocolate_fountain


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According to costofwedding.com, on average, US couples spend $20,398 for their wedding. However their wedding budget is typically 50% less than the amount spent.  That’s pretty scary!

The numbers for Palm Beach County are significanly higher, with couples spending on average between $35,034 and $58,389. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.

Understanding average wedding costs NOW can help you create and stick to your wedding budget later. I use a simple spreadsheet to create and track budgets for my clients.  Below is a general idea of how your overall wedding funds should be allocated. There is obviously some flexibility on these items but understanding how much money you have left in your budget will help you plan and help your vendors provide you the best value for your money.

Ceremony – 5%

Attire – 10%

Photography – 15%

Stationary – 5%

Reception – 40%

Music – 5%

Flowers – 15%

Transporation – 3%

Gifts – 2%

In addition to creating your wedding budget, it is helpful to also create a reliable tracking system to help keep you organized.

Finally there are a few items that many couples forget to include when planning their big day.

  • Tips for your vendors – 15-25% is customary for certain services
  • Trial runs – make-up and hairstyling – about $20-$100 each
  • Overtime fees if your reception goes longer than expected
  • Last minute dress cleanings or tux pressings – anywhere from $50-$100 each
  • Postage for invitations and stamps for RSVPs – cost depends on how heavy your mailings are and how many you send
  • Marriage license fees – approximately $15-$90; depending on state

*From Elegala.com

By taking the time to create a budget you are ensuring that you will not have any additional unnecessary stress throughout your planning process!

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