Monday, February 28, 2011

Conserving Your Cash While Your Guests Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

A PENNY SAVED IS A DOLLAR EARNED | Is what my parents used to say...
Doesn't matter if you have champagne taste and caviar dreams, on a fast food dollar menu budget, you can still have a beautiful wedding if you put to use some of the tips I've provided for you over this month. A tip a day was a great way to suggest ways to cut costs and save money.  If you missed a day, it's ok! Just check out my blog archive, each day in February there is a new tip.
A wedding is an occasion for celebration and remembrance. You can still have a grand wedding if you can apply the tips I've mentioned during this month. The basic idea is to make this special day look more special, not expensive. If you can strike a balance between your budget and wedding then it will be the best day that you will always cherish in your life.  Best of luck in your wedding planning and please stay tuned because we have so much more to offer! More tips, tricks and trends to come...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #27

                   KEEP EVER-AFTER
                             IN MIND

Remember that the wedding is one day at the start of a life-long commitment. Look beyond the wedding day to the goals you will have as newlyweds. If you want to purchase a house in the next few years, keeping that as a priority throughout the wedding planning process will help you to be prudent about how much you spend on that one day.

Consider whether you really need choral singers and a string quartet at the ceremony and a wedding singer and a DJ at the reception. Releasing doves or butterflies or having a candle-lighting ceremony are all wonderful, but may end-up costing a lot of money. Simplicity saves money and if done well, your wedding may seem more serene and awe-inspiring!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #26


That’s right, social media has taken over nearly everything in our lives, and now they have managed to break into the wedding business as well. But this is a good thing for you, the couple currently struggling to create the perfect setting for their nuptials. Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of social networking sites and prepare.


Connect the Wedding Party

How many times have you had to tell the bridesmaids the color scheme, or the groomsmen the kind of tux that has to be rented for the big day? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to just have them all in the same place, reading the same message? Facebook, Twitter and other sites are great for this. You can even now sync up your various profiles to send out the same status or note.


Find Registries and Gift Suggestions

Admit it, a big part of the wedding is getting the gifts as much as the well wishes. Which you can send out a note on your registries in the invitation, you can also put a link to it on your profile to allow people to see your online wishlist. Anyone who has gotten a swan-shaped punch bowl from a distant relative knows how important it is to be specific about your wants or needs.


Get Helpful Tips and Advice

Probably the most important thing you can do, getting help from those who have been there should be high on your list of reasons for using social media for your wedding. But don’t forget to keep up on wedding blogs around the net. Not only will you get some great ideas for the wedding itself, but you might be able to win some free stuff, enter contests and find discounts.


Get In Touch With Vendors

Those who are smart enough to find wedding vendors on sites like Twitter will know that you can get some incredible deals this way. Many places dedicated to celebratory events will give major cost reductions for anyone willing to promote them through their wedding announcements. Some also just post about sales or give online coupons or discount codes.


Share the Experience

You might just want to show the world what is going on, and give those far from you a glimpse into the  magical day ahead. Share the experience and your happiness, after all it is all about the love you have for one another, and celebrating it with those closest.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #25



Wedding Insurance generally covers a variety of wedding related situations.  Depending upon the coverage limits and options you select, your wedding insurance can cover everything from lost or damaged wedding attire or wedding rings to damaged wedding photos or wedding gifts - and just about everything else in-between. Since different insurance companies offer different specific coverage and limits be sure to review and compare wedding insurance policies before you buy.

Wedding Cancellation Insurance protects you from financial losses if something beyond your control (like injury, illness, weather conditions, call to military service, etc.) occurs that requires you to postpone or cancel your wedding ceremony and/or wedding reception. This portion of the insurance may also protect you from a variety of financial losses like if wedding supplier doesn't show up or if your wedding gown gets damaged.

Wedding or Special Event Liability Insurance coverage will protect the bride and groom when it comes to damage or injury to property or people during the ceremony and reception.  NOTE:  Your homeowner's insurance policy may also offer this type of liability coverage.  However, a rider to your homeowner's policy may be needed to extend coverage to the location where the wedding and reception are held.
NOTE: You should also make sure that all major suppliers to your wedding (caterer, limousine service, etc.) maintain liability coverage. Services providing alcoholic beverages should also carry liquor liability insurance coverage. When you sign the contract and pay your deposit obtain a copy of their "Certificate of Insurance".  Also, keep in mind that insurance typically does not cover illegal acts.  For example, money is collected from the guests in exchange for alcoholic beverages without having a liquor license and someone gets in an accident because they consumed too much alcohol you may be held liable.

Considering the costs involved in planning the average wedding, the one time premium is relatively reasonable.  Although the total cost will vary depending upon specific coverage, we found that basic wedding cancellation insurance coverage starts at about $100.00 and increases in cost depending mainly upon the total cost of the wedding expenses to be covered.  Additional wedding liability coverage costs (as of 2008) were as low as $100.00 for $1,000,000.00 in coverage.

WHERE CAN YOU OBTAIN WEDDING INSURANCE? You can obtain wedding insurance coverage online via several websites.  Since wedding insurance coverage options and limitations vary between insurance companies, please be sure to compare all policy options, coverage limits and costs before making a purchase.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #24


Wedding Planning can be extremely time consuming and difficult. "Special Events" by Sandy is your online wedding site for planning your special day. Whether you are planning an extravagent wedding or a wedding on a budget, you will find wedding planning tips that will save you time and money.

You just need a bit of guidance and a few tips to help you plan the perfect wedding day. Visit our website or contact Sandy to get suggestions and tips on how you can save on some of the most expensive wedding cost.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #23


There's nothing that says that you or your family have to pick up the entire tab for your wedding. There are certainly no rules about how many sets of dishes, vases, and blenders you need to receive, especially in this economy. Get your guests to help contribute to your wedding fund by creating a cash registry. Engagement parties and showers are a perfect time to get cash to pay for your wedding. Your friends and guests love you. And in this economy, they will love to help where it counts most. Here's a great website I found to create and build your own registry-FREE!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #22


Shopping sample sales and the Internet for inexpensive wedding dresses that considered past season can mean more dollars redirected in the wedding budget. If you wear a 6, 8, or 10, check out sample sales, which generally happen once a year. It's a great opportunity to get a designer dress at rock-bottom prices. You can also look on eBay, Craigslist and other websites for deals on used wedding dresses. Remember that cleaning the delicate fabric of a wedding dress may cost up to $250, so avoid the cheap dress with the filthy hem. And many towns have a shop where you can rent a wedding dress, saving you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #21

You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Make your wedding your own. You’ll have a low cost wedding that will be a cheap, chic joyous occasion.

First and foremost, you should decide which type of wedding theme suit your personalities and lifestyle.
Play it smart and pick your theme first. It's easier to coordinate your decorations, favors, flowers, dresses, menu and all the other items required when it revolves around a theme.
Choosing to work with a theme will guide you in your decisions and selections regarding the best invitations, favors, food and menu choices, beautiful decorations, as well as finding the perfect location for your ceremony and reception, along with so many other critical details.
Once you have a vision of what you want your wedding to "look like", you can then begin focusing on exactly what you'll need to buy and/or make, plus have a better understanding of what vendor arrangements will need to be made. This will save you both time and money in the long run.
So take your time browsing through this site. There are many wedding theme ideas that are sure to spark your imagination with possibilities.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #20

Many brides dream of having a church or reception hall filled with fresh wedding flowers. But that can be an expensive dream, especially when you’re working with a tight wedding budget. Luckily, there is an alternative. Using silk wedding flowers can help you create that setting you’ve been dreaming of for your wedding, while helping to keep your wedding flower budget from getting out of control.
If you’re unsure about using “fake wedding flowers,” consider this; Some silk flowers look just as authentic and fresh as the real thing. But, unlike the real things, silk flowers won’t start to wilt and droop if they are set out too early. Meaning a lot of the wedding decorations that use flowers can be done well in advance, before things get too hectic. And you won’t have to worry as much about your silk wedding flowers getting damaged during transport. Plus, real flowers that are out of season cost more. By using silk versions of those flowers, you can still have the varieties of wedding flowers you desire, whether they are in season or not, without spending more than you want.

Flowers are beautiful whether they are fresh or silk, so there's very little you can do wrong with them. Don't be afraid to use silk blooms to decorate your wedding.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #19


A beautiful cupcake display can be a stunning and unconventional option for a wedding dessert that is easier and less expensive to make than a cake.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #18


Trying to find ways to save money while not compromising on the beauty and feel of your wedding day? A great way to to do this is to have your escort cards double as favors. Think about ways to incorporate your style, theme, and colors into your favors and have them double as the seating cards. One way is to take a packet of seeds your guest can plant later and use construction paper on the front to place their names. Another idea is take some construction paper, wrap king sized candy bars, and personalized each one with the guest's name and table number.

Napkins rings! bake cookies, before baking use a cookie cutter to cut a hole and decorate to your style. Roll napkins and insert into the hole, placing it at the table setting.

Using Cupcakes? box them up and they can also serve as the favor.

Small silver frames used as place cards. Other decorative favors (such as small votive) can be grouped around your centerpieces with a personalized tag, or even placed on the center of each plate.

If your favors aren't personalized, you can place them in an attractive container near the door with a "please take one" sign. Or if they're stackable, create a beautiful "favor tower," possibly modeled after the cake table.

"Double-duty" favors are the easiest to figure out, have fun with them, get creative!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #17


The purchase of your wedding dress is one aspect of the wedding budget that can quickly spiral out of control. Take into account the type of jewels and embellishments you want on your dress. It can make all the difference on a plain dress. You could add fabric rosettes, Swarovski crystals, small topaz colored jewels for a fall wedding, or red rubies for a Christmas wedding.
Crewel is a nice embellishment for a winter dress. Crewel is embroidery using thicker materials such as chenille. It gives a dress more dimension. Pearls are a favorite but you can always try something new by using freshwater pearls (great for a beach wedding dress) or softly colored pearls in pinks and lavenders. The embellishments can go along the neckline, on the skirt or the edge of the sleeves.
All of these wedding gown styles and ideas can inspire you to create a unique and custom wedding dress. Don't forget about Bridesmaid Style as well.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip#16

Avoid the elaborate bouquets from florists, which are known to be pricy. Instead, tie several long-stemmed flowers with beautiful blooms together and wrap the stems with a wide satin ribbon that matches the decor of your wedding. This inexpensive and pretty bouquet can be made the day before if kept well-hydrated in a cool place.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #15


Have the groom and his groomsmen wear nice suits or coordinated clothing instead of tuxedos. Most men own or can easily obtain a nice suit for less money than it would cost them to buy or rent a formal tuxedo. This is a great option if your wedding is less formal or set for an outdoor location like a garden or beach.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #14


Wedding favors allow guests to take a little piece of the celebration home. Though often presented at place settings or displayed on a table by the door, favors can be offered in another way that is both impressive and economical: grouped together as centerpieces.

Give a favor that symbolizes love growing and becoming stronger with time. Many seedlings are available at online nurseries -- these are foot-tall Norway spruces.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #13


Forgo the inner envelope and blotter paper, which are leftover relics from times when ink needed time to dry, and people wanted a pristine envelope. Rather than having a reply card, ask guests to reply online or by the telephone. Not only will you save money from the printer bill, it should also reduce your postage expense. Having a wedding webiste is one tool that helps with RSVP's. You can set up your own site for free at (wedding tools+my wedding website).

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #12


"Fake The Cake". Showcase a beautiful wedding cake on the dessert/cake table and serve slices from a sheet cake in the back. The displayed cake isn't real, hence the "old caterer's trick". Caterers can make a styrofoam base and decorate it like a traditional cake. Some may be lucky enough to live near a baker that has fake cakes for rent. Here's a great website

Friday, February 11, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #11


A wedding brunch or lunch is less expensive than providing dinner for your guests. Not only will you save money on the food, but you'll also be spending less on alcohol, as people generally drink less early in the day. If you have an evening wedding, consider a buffet instead of a served meal, or try something different like a hors d'oeuvres or dessert-only reception with a variety of decadent treats.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #10


You don't need to fund a full bar for your guests. Provide them with sparkling and regular water, wine, two or three types of soft drinks and beer; it's more than enough to offer at the reception. In a pinch, you could even limit your bar further to just water, tea or fruit punch mixed with sparkling water, and champagne for a toast. You could also opt for a dry reception, especially if it takes place earlier in the day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #9


Don't feel obligated to invite your twice removed step-cousin's friend or an acquaintance you haven't spoken with in over a decade. Having fewer guests allows you to focus on quality over quantity. A small wedding on a moderate budget has the potential to be more beautiful and elegant than a large wedding on the same budget.

If a small private wedding is what you want, everyone close to you has to understand your needs and desires. Without hurting their feelings, there are a few ways to have everyone meet in the middle (depending on what type of family you have).

  • Stand politely firm in your decision to have a small wedding and make it clear that you will not change your plans no matter how much pressure others put on you.

  • Choose a wedding location appropriate for smaller gatherings.

  • You can plan a vacation wedding as well. With just family and few close friends it will not be grand expense. You can even stay there later for enjoying the marital bliss and take leave from friends.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #8

Some ceremony sites also offer fellowship or reception halls. By keeping your guests at the same location for the entire event, you can save on multiple site fees, ease the hassle of transportation for your guests and the wedding party and most importantly, simplify the planning process for yourself.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #7

Scrapbook and stationery stores carry many beautiful and elaborate papers that you can use for making your own invitations. With a dash of creatvity, your own computer and a printer you can make invitations that are both beautiful and within your budget. If you don't trust your own skills as a designer, use the creative resources of your friends and family or look at online samples and base your design on one you find. Here's a great site with wonderful ideas:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Your Wedding for Less | Tip #6

Of the many ways to save money on a wedding, possibly the greatest money-saver is planning your wedding during the off season.

More weddings occur in the late spring, summer and early fall months. You'll find better deals on the locales and vendors during the "off season" of late fall, winter and early spring.

Schedule your wedding on a Friday or Sunday, or for early in the day. This can help to cut costs, especially for the reception. You can still plan a wedding for decent weather even if you wait until after the traditional summer season. Take advantage of off-season prices in the early spring or autumn when the weather still can be fair.

Of course, while a wedding costs less during off-peak times, consider the practicality of where and when it takes place. A winter outdoor wedding in freezing temperatures or a Southern wedding during hurricane season makes for an impractical ceremony. Since weather is often a factor in off-season weddings, be sure that your site offers a Plan B for that outdoor terrace you wish to use for the cocktail party. Securing a separate party room or backup transportation in case of inclement weather makes for smart planning.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #5


Using seasonal fruits, vegetables, or flowers in your wedding will be less expensive than produce or flowers sourced out-of-season or shipped from an exotic location. Use these seasonality charts; FLOWERS and FRUIT help you make the best decision for these sapects of your special day.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #4


Since weddings can be overly stressful, you shouldn't try to take on all of the responsibility alone as a couple. If you enlist the help of friends and family members. Chances are, many of them would be more than happy to help with your wedding - just don't burden them with too much, respect their time and assign them only one or two tasks.

Hiring a wedding planner or Professional Bridal Consultant frees everyone up to enjoy the wedding.

Choosing a wedding coordinator to handle the last month of your wedding will save you an immense amount of stress. Picking the flowers and decorations does not stress a bride as much as the final responsibility of making sure that the wedding comes together successfully at the right moment. In the few weeks leading up to the wedding, a bride can experience more stress than she probably felt the entire 12 months of planning. Hiring someone to handle the last 4 to 6 weeks can ease the level of anxiety on everyone.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #3


Choose a location that is open for public use like a local or national park, they are almost always free. Maybe you have a close friend or family member that has a fabulous home or yard. Another popular freebie is the beach. If you live in a city, consider a rooftop. Some apartment buildings have rooftop garden areas designated specifically for residents' use. Art Galleries, if you plan on having a small ceremony in the courthouse but want to meet friends and loved ones for a reception after, an art gallery could be a relaxing and low-preparation space. Place of worship, a church or synagogue is a lovely traditional setting but sadly may not be entirely free, some will request a donation.

Either way, whatever local fits your needs, consider yourself lucky!

Contact the local city hall or chamber of commerce for information about public parks, botanical gardens, arboretums, art galleries, churches and beach areas. Find out if there is a maximum number of people allowed and whether it will be open to the public while your wedding is going on. Will there be a shelter, a kitchen for food preparation and adequate wiring for your electrical needs. Some parks may not charge a usage fee, but you many not be able to reserve the space in advance. Find out if there is a beach permit required and some even require a noise permit if you plan to have music on the beach for your ceremony.

Go to the National Park Service Web site at to find a list of all the national parks.


Be sure to stop by our booth at the Onslow Bridal Gala to register for our giveaway!

Sunday Feb 6th 1-5pm
Jacksonville Country Club
2201 Country Club Road,
Jacksonville, NC 28540

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #2


Before you make any other decisions, decide on the dollar amount you want to spend for the big day. Set up a wedding bank account, if you draw only from these funds for the wedding you will be sure to stick to your budget.

If you must go into debt for your wedding, open a wedding-only credit card account with a set limit, pay if off each month if possible and do not increase the limit for any reason.This way each month, you’ll know exactly how much you’ve spent on your wedding. (If you do get a credit card, ensure it is one with a 0% introductory rate and that it gets paid off each month. The interest charges shouldn’t add to your budget!).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your Wedding For Less | Tip #1


Allow yourself plenty of time to research the best and most cost-effective options. Decisions made in haste can end up costing you more money than you want to spend.

Remember, there are only 52 weeks in a year which means only 104 days to choose from! Take away all the inauspicious days and you’re left with not much choice at all! Starting your planning early gives you a better chance at getting and securing the dates you want early.

Normally after a date is set couples will begin to look for the venue. Typically in order to reserve the most desired venue, it should be booked a year out, starting early gives the opportunity to search for the perfect venue with all the amenities desired. Take the time to look at various locations.