Monthly Archives: January 2010

Picking the Perfect Wedding Date

You’re engaged?! Congratulations! When’s the date? This delicate decision is different for each couple, but a year-long engagement is often about right. It gives you time to get your dream wedding dress (which can take six to nine months) and your dream wedding reception venue (some are booked a year in advance!), yet doesn’t drag out the engagement. Consider the following to pick a day that is both practical and personal.

Symbolism

How romantic would it be to marry on the date your eyes first met, on the date you officially became a couple, or on your grandparents’ anniversary? Some cultures use traditional methods to choose a date — Japanese families use the koyomi, an ancient astrological calendar, to pick the most propitious day, while ancient Greeks divined pig entrails! (Pork rinds, anyone?) You may not be able to marry on the exact day you want — the venue you want may be booked or that special date could fall on a Monday — but you can probably get pretty close. Make sure you tell your guests about any significance of the timing in your ceremony programs!

How romantic would it be to marry on the date your eyes first met, on the date you officially became a couple, or on your grandparents’ anniversary?

Season

Weather not only affects your wedding’s style and location, but may set a completely different mood. If it’s snowing outside, or it’s 90 degrees, people will behave differently. Consider your wedding personality, then choose your season accordingly. Free-spirited fun, sun-dappled settings, wild and sweaty dancing: Stick with a summer wedding. Opulence, snowfall, holiday sparkle: Try a winter wedding. Rich colors, nostalgia, mulled apple cider: A fall wedding is for you. Freshness, pastels, a daffodil bouquet: A spring wedding is your thing.

Price

Budget may affect your choice. June, August, and September are the most popular times to marry, so, prices are inevitably higher. But if, for example, you’re planning a wedding in January, March, or December, it may cost less because 50 other couples aren’t lined up behind you offering to pay top dollar. Days of the week also matter: Saturday nights carry a hefty price tag, but marry during the week and the world is your oyster (venues may even bid against each other to get your business)!

Holiday

If you’ve always wanted a Nutcracker wedding, or you’re hot for a heart-covered wedding cake, sounds like you’re a holiday wedding couple. If you’re Irish, opt for March, when everyone is already in the St. Patty’s Day spirit. Try a wedding party in pastels and an Easter egg hunt in March or April. Have a Fourth of July celebration with flags, barbecue, and fireworks. A plus: Some holidays fall on long weekends, which might make it easier for out-of-town guests to attend. On the flip side, some guests may not want their holiday weekends upended by a wedding, so take that into consideration as well.

VIP Preferences

Speaking of guests, but only of the top-tier, wouldn’t-get-married-without-them variety: If you have limited preferences, you may want to ask your nearest and dearest about date conflicts and plan accordingly. Be forewarned that this is a slippery slope if you ask anyone outside your essential circle of parents, siblings, and honor attendants. Keep it simple and don’t budge once the date’s set.

No-No Days

There are definitely wedding dates to avoid. The weekend before tax day is not the best time to tie the knot — especially if one of you is an accountant or tax attorney! No matter what your career, you probably have your own crunch time at work (inventory always happens in July, the new fiscal year begins in September), so don’t marry then. You’ll either be stressed or you won’t be allowed to take off for your honeymoon. Also, your religion may dictate some times of year, or even days of the week, that are off-limits.

— Tracy Guth – As Seen on TheKnot.com

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WOW!! Free Wedding Photography

What a great idea!! There is a wedding photographer in Denver Metro area that is running a wedding photography contest for FREE service.  For this contest the couples tells their story and not only receives a free engagement session but may also win there wedding day services for free.  From his website – he also travels all over the country so this could definitely be of interest to every bride.

I think that every bride that budget conscious should take a peek at this because when all is said and done….. when the wedding is over all you have is your dress and your pictures.  I’ve always believed that the pictures are one of the most important things you take away from your wedding.

wedding-photography-giveaway-contest

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The Wedding Planning Season is Here Again!!

Now again it is time for fantastic wedding shows and all the brides to get going in their planning if they are getting married in 2010.  We are going to post weekly thoughts about planning and where to start…..

This weeks topic

Set a BUDGET FIRST!!

Figuring out your wedding budget can be stressful, but don’t worry — whether you’re dreaming of a lavish hotel affair or an intimate garden get-together, answering these questions will help you figure out what you have to spend to make it happen.

Who’s Paying?

Talk with your families about who will pay for what: Some brides’ families still pick up the entire tab, but more and more groom’s families are participating too. How do you bring up the conversation? For many couples, talking to each family separately is the best way to have truly open discussions. When you do talk, here are strategies for determining your initial budget.

  • Ask both of your folks to commit to a specific dollar amount, and then add up all the contributions to create your budget.
  • Alternatively, it may be easier to ask each set of parents to finance a particular aspect of the wedding (such as the ceremony, honeymoon, or catering) instead of just committing to a dollar amount.
  • Decide how much you two can contribute between now and the wedding. (37 % of the couples we polled say they’re planning to contribute financially to their wedding.)

How Much Do You Actually Need?

Just like buying shoes, an apartment, or a pair of jeans, when it comes to financing a wedding, you should figure out how much you need to spend to get what you want. Set your expectations accordingly. The average cost for a 150-person wedding is about $25,000 (higher in urban areas).

  • Here is a basic breakdown of what you can expect to pay:
    Reception: 48%-50%
    Ceremony: 2%-3%
    Attire: 8%-10%
    Flowers: 8%-10%
    Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
    Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
    Stationery: 2%-3%
    Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
    Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
    Gifts: 2%-3%
    Miscellaneous: 8%
  • To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund.
  • If you’re paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well.

How Much Can You Save?

As soon as you’re engaged, start putting aside as much of your income as you can for the wedding. Saving 20% of your monthly income is a good — though painful — goal. The longer your engagement, the more you’ll be able to sock away.

  • Ways to save: Limit your spending on small stuff (renting movies instead of going out; going to Starbucks once instead of twice a day; downloading just the song you love instead of buying the whole CD). These changes will hardly affect your quality of life, but after a year, the extra cash will cover some wedding essentials.
  • Make the most of your money: Instead of stashing your money in a low-interest savings account, consider buying CDs or opening a money-market account. The interest rate can be double that of a savings account. Just check the fine print to avoid penalties.

*************more next week.

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