Planning Your Wedding
Survive meddling relatives, bad budgets and your foodie fiancé
A head start on planning can quell wedding day mishaps and help you avoid hiccups along the way. Here are some survival tips to help get you get started.
Before you give cheques to vendors, be sure you have a firm budget in mind. Talk to family members who express a wish to contribute financially or cover specific costs like the wedding cake or photographer. Put together a rough guest list to determine venue options (most vendors require deposits upon booking, start saving early to cover these fees). As a contingency plan, keep 10% of your overall budget for emergency use to cover unforeseen costs that may arise. Put any leftovers towards your honeymoon!
A large bridal party might seem like more fun, but can also increase your costs. Some brides and grooms contribute money towards hair, make-up, bridal bouquets or boutonnieres, bridal party gifts, transportation or money towards suit rentals or dress purchases. If you plan on a large number in your bridal brood, consider increasing your budget or invite them to do readings or greet attendees as they arrive. Remember, being a guest is just as welcoming.
Buying an extravagant designer wedding dress for your one-day event is an easy way to lose sight of your budget. If you’re not keen on borrowing, renting or wearing an informal dress on your big day, shop around until you find stores that fit your budget. Most bridal salons offer discounted gowns on last season’s sales, trunk sales or samples at a lower cost. Be sure to save funds to cover incidentals like shoes (even an extra pair of ballet flats for dancing), a headpiece, a purse, jewellery and accessories (gloves, garter belt and bridal lingerie).
If your vision of flowers lies somewhere between cascading orchids adorning tables and floating flowers in a vase, you’re in luck. The range of greenery for bouquets, venue decorations and table settings is exponential. Ask florists which flowers are in season and available locally, and recommend mixing expensive buds with cheaper florals to keep costs down. Clip pictures to create an inspiration page with bouquets and centerpieces you like and use as a guideline.
Prioritize the items most important to you and narrow your venue choices. Is excellent food your number one priority? Or are you looking for a scenic garden backdrop for photographs? Once you’ve made your list, it’s time for you and your fiancé to scout out locations. Remember: the time of year you’re getting married, how much travel is involved for guests and your estimate for guests are all things to consider.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but it shouldn’t cost that much. If you’re going with a professional (as opposed to a student photographer or family friend who loves photography), be thorough in looking at portfolios. Do you want classic black and white images, formal pictures or candid photographs? Talk with your photographer to determine their expertise and previous experience with similar venues. Confirm in writing that your package includes unmarked negatives, along with unmarked proofs to choose album photos for at a later date.
Written by: Melissa Jenkins-Gray
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