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Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

1. Have a budget.  A budget will force you to prioritize.  If having a great photographer is important to you, but your cake doesn’t matter, then spend your money accordingly.  It will help you plan ahead without going overboard.  Everything seems important in the moment and advertisers play on our emotions to make us feel like we deserve it all on this day.  We DO deserve a special day, but no one deserves to be in debt.

2.  When you were a girl, you may have dreamed about your husband, your dress, your flowers, but did you ever dream about your calendar date?  Didn’t think so.  A venue on a Friday night can be $1,000 less than Saturday.  Any month but June can also be less, and not just for your venue.  Other vendors follow the rule of supply and demand.  Since demand is up in June, florists, bakers, and photographers may charge more also.

3.  Location, location, location.  Besides the day of week and month of your wedding, you can also save money by choosing the right location.  If you can find a venue that allows you to choose your own vendors, you will be able to save money.  Try nonprofit venues, such as churches, parks, and museums.  You’ll save money and feel better that at least the money you are spending will be going to a good cause.

4.  Think about the time of day you want your wedding.  It would be poor taste to have a 6 pm wedding and not serve dinner, but a 2 pm wedding could serve light hor dourves and be splendid.  Also, a cocktail hour would not be necessary for an afternoon affair.

5.  Try cupcakes instead of cake.  Not only are they adorable and trendy, cupcakes are $2 a piece compared to a tiered cake that can be up to $10 a slice.  Want that traditional cutting of the cake ceremony?  I found that Food Lion offered simple yet beautiful wedding cakes that you could use as the top layer.  They only come in buttercream not fondant, but really, buttercream tastes better anyway. 

6.  Wedding dresses are only worn once.  You can wear a Vera Wang gown that costs $9,000 or a Vera Wang gown that has been worn once for $900.  http://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/dresses/by-designer/Vera-Wang-wedding-dresses.html

7.  Ask the photographer if you are able to buy the CD of all images.  For me, buying the CD and printing my own images was cheaper than ordering an album and prints.

8. Flowers can be ordered from on-line florists who work in bulk to save you money.  The choices are limited, and you must designate a volunteer to be in charge of delivery, but they are a way to save money.  Here is the package I like for a wedding party of 6.  http://www.fiftyflowers.com/product/collections/Alluring-Peruvian-Lily-Wedding-Flowers-Box-~-20-Package-_24214.htm

9.  I do recommend hiring a professional DJ.  A DJ provides atmosphere music and entertainment but furthermore acts as MC of the event and helps everything run smoothly.

Overall, just remember that money does not buy happiness and that your wedding is about a covenant between your spouse, yourself, and God.  It is not about spending money to impress other people.

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The variety of flavors and colors means you can personalize for your taste and wedding colors.

Heregehty Patisserie in Raleigh on Glenwood inside the beltline and A Southern Season in Chapel Hill are 2 of the few places in the triangle to get fresh macaroons. At miette.com you can order a box of 6 vanilla or chocolate Parisian macarons. Their lavender and lemon shortbread cookies caught my eye too.  If you’re handy in the kitchen, you can make them yourself, and freeze for up to 3 months.  Check out this recipe http://www.dimasharif.com/2011/05/macaroons.html.

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If during summer, serve old fashion soda.Want to have a hoot at your rehearsal dinner? Host a Hoedown in your backyard!Cut wildflowers or buy bouquets from your local farmer's market.

Arrange in 3 different size containers: mason jars, root beer bottles, and anything with an antique look.

Paper decorations are an inexpensive way to create theme.

If during harvest, serve warm apple cider.

If children are invited, make a Barnyard out of cardboard boxes and stack hay bales for them to climb on.

Nothing says fall like making S'Mores around a fire. Use hay bales for Hoedown-approved seating.

And for a hollerin' good time, hire a square dance caller to bring out the inner-Cowboy in everyone. These hats from the costume section of Target helped us get in the mood too.

Instead of cooking dinner yourself, you'll have WAY too much to do, have a local BBQ cater. It actually ended up being cheaper for me to cater.

Add roasted pumpkin seeds to trail mix and set about the party for people to munch on

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If you’re looking to save money, friends and family will be glad to help.  However, you don’t want to stress and you don’t want your loved ones stressed out at the wedding either.  Think about it this way, anything that needs to be done the day of the wedding should not be done by you or your wedding party.  You and they need to be getting ready.  Also, somethings are just to important and need a professional.  Here’s my advice.
 
To hire:
Florist – unless you use silk, then you can make ahead of time
Photographer
Caterer
DJ – not only for the music but as the director of the reception
Pastor or Officiant
Tailor -if needed
 
To find volunteers:
Cake cutting – or ask the caterer to throw this in for free
Videographer – who really watches their wedding video anyway? J/K
Decorating reception hall
Driving bride and groom from church to reception
Tying ties and pinning corsages/bouts – if you hire a florist, he/she may do this for you
Take presents to car
Usher/Hostess pass out programs, greet guests, pass messages from officiant to bride, pass out bubbles
 
DIY:
Six months in advance you can
Reserve ceremony site, dressing room and reception hall
Plan and reserve honeymoon
Send Save-The-Date cards
Shop for trausseur
Prepare invitations
Register on-line
 
Two months before
Create reception centerpieces (not fresh flowers though)
Send Invitations
Put together OOT bags
Buy wedding party gifts
Make favors
 
Two weeks before
Seating
Make-up trial run so you can buy new colors to match your present skin tone
Pack for honeymoon
 
6 days before
Mini facial
Pedicure
Manicure (do clear)
 
That day
Hair
Clear coat nails
Eat
Make-up
Get dressed
Get your flowers
Pics with loved ones
 
After
Thank yous
Photo albums
Adjust to married life

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