Ask your caterer about the availability of children’s plates. This is a practical and sensible way to reduce wedding expenses. Many couples aren’t aware that, at a reduced cost, most caterers can create smaller portions for the little people on your guest list, who normally don’t eat as much as adults. In fact, often you can request something which will have more appeal to the little guys anyhow, such as cheese burgers or chicken fingers and fries instead of the more fussy food you and your adult guests will likely be dining on. Children’s plates are typically available at dramatically lower costs than your cost per plate for adults. While children’s plates make a great deal of sense from a couple of different stand points, particularly that of your budget, many caterers will not mention their availability unless you specifically enquire or request such a thing. This is because they will make greater profit on adult plates.
1. ‘Tis the season…. Looking for affordable bridesmaid dresses? Try shopping for them during the holiday season – but not in expensive bridal salons. Department stores such Sears, for example, generally carry an excellent selection of glamourous cocktail and evening dresses as the season for parties approaches – but at much lower prices than what you’d pay for similar “bridesmaid dresses” in a bridal boutique. With just a quick look though a local department store before firing off this tip, I was able to find an array of gorgeous styles priced at a mere $49! An entire world of fabulous finds can definately be found for well under $100. So when the season of good cheer rolls around, it’s time to grab your girls and hit the mall! If rock bottom prices are what you have in mind, here’s an even better suggestion: Scour the stores towards the end of the holiday season when prices are being heavily marked down, and cash in on the clearance sales for even greater savings!
2. Number those reply cards! Many a bride has a huge headache on her hands when, as sometimes happens, the occasional reply card is sent back with no names filled in. Clearly an oversight on the part of the guest who sent it, but how do you figure out who on earth it came from? Here’s a little trick which will ensure that you avoid this problem all together – place a small, inconspicuous number on the back of each reply card before enclosing it with the invitation. Use a list to record each guest’s name along with the number on the reply card you are enclosing for them. That way, if someone should forget to fill in their name, a quick glance at your list will tell you precisely who the reply belongs to.
3. Making your own invitations? Save money by using reply postcards instead of the usual reply cards with envelopes. Postage rates for postcards are about 13 cents less than the rate for stamping envelopes (Remember, you must pre-stamp the reply cards for your guests!) Plus, by using postcards you’ll also save the expense of envelopes. Simply print the response information on one side of the card, and your address on the other side.
4. Make sure your florist includes at least a little bit of ivy in your bouquet. This lush green climbing vine symbolizes fidelity and is traditionally used in bridal bouquets for that special symbolism.
5. Be sure to “break in” the shoes you will be wearing on your wedding day in advance. If your new shoes aren’t stretched a little before the big day, your feet may be killing you before you even make it to the reception. This has been an unpleasant distraction for many a bride on her wedding day, don’t let it put a damper on yours! Spend several hours wearing your bridal shoes around the house in the weeks before the wedding and you’ll have no problem kicking up your heels long into the wee hours when the big day arrives.
6. Be sure to have pictures taken of your reception site before your guests arrive, while everything is still in place and looking fabulous! Later, you’ll love looking back on these pictures which will so perfectly capture the way in which everything you envisioned for your wedding was transformed into reality.
7. This piece of expert advice comes to us from Ann, a wedding consultant with over 30 years of experience – and the owner of the bridal consulting firm of Bergin-Bryant, Inc. in the New England area. Check out the insider information she provides about booking a limousine for your big day…
“I have a few questions I always ask limo services before booking them for my clients:
a. Are the drivers properly attired in livery and cap….or are they inappropriately attired in tuxedos? To be technically correct according to traditional etiquette, drivers should wear livery and cap, but many companies send them out in tuxes instead.
b. Aside from the usual vanity license plate, is there any advertising on the limo…such as in the rear window? If so, is it a cling that they can pull off?
c. What brand of champagne do they serve…usually its pretty cheap…..so ask!”
8.The Games Photographers Play…
Everyone knows that before booking a photographer one should visit his or her studio to view their work. What you may not know is that the photos you are viewing may not be the work of the photographer you are considering hiring! Some photographers purchase beautiful wedding photos from photography industry suppliers and wholesalers, which they then hang in their own studios. This understandably leads the prospective clients inevitably to believe that they are viewing the work of the photographer in question. This practice is far more common than you might imagine, and although it may be misleading, in most jurisdictions there is nothing illegal about it as long as the photographer doesn’t explicitly and specifically tell you he took the particular photo(s). So what can you do? How will you know? ASK! That’s right, ask the photographer specifically if all of the photos on display were taken by him or her. Unless you are dealing with someone really unscrupulous, most will tell you the truth if asked this question directly – although there are never any guarantees. So buyer beware! As always, exercise caution and ask a lot of questions. When booking a photographer, you should always insist on references from previous clients, and check those references! You should also ask for the names and telephone numbers of the couples in the photos you are being shown, and do a very careful reference check to ensure that they are legit!
9. Forget about trying to keep all of your wedding planning details organized by writing them in a book, binder, or 3-ring planner – that’s a disaster waiting to happen. Weddings are huge projects, and they require excellent project management – you should be using wedding planning software. This is the secret to how the best weddings are being planned today. There are simply too many details to manage, too many things to remember, and far too much to juggle without the help of the right planning tool to keep you on track, organized, and in control. You can download an excellent software product and start using it right now for 30 days, risk free. Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how brides ever managed with out it – but, what we really love is that you have nothing to lose with the risk free trial period. Download it now and put it to work organizing your wedding immediately, or see our article about wedding planning software to learn more about why good software is fast becoming the best keep secret to wedding planning perfection.