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Posts Tagged ‘florist’

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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When it comes to DIY centerpieces as the bride, you have to weigh two factors.  What do you value more: time with family and friends or time arranging centerpieces?  Here are some further questions to ask yourself.  1) How far ahead of time can it be created assembled?  2) How much time do I have to create between now and the wedding?  3) How much time the day before the wedding will I have to assemble and arrange?  4) How much help do I have?  5) Would I use any pieces again?  6) Are fresh flowers important to me? 7) How much money am I willing to spend?  8) How far ahead of time can I be in my reception site?  9) Does my vendor (florist, caterer, host site) offer set-up help, linens, glassware, votives, or candles?

The farther ahead of time a centerpiece can be created and/or assembled, the less stressful your wedding week will be.  I am totally a DIYourselfer, but I was unpleasantly surprised how much time fresh flowers take to assemble and arrange.  Plus, the day before is the earliest I suggest doing them.  Afterall, it’s a lot of money to spend for them not to look their best.  After weighing all options, here’s my advice for each of the following winter centerpieces.

Let’s Get it Started . . . Now!

If you want to do it now, and forget about it later, think about all glass and mirrors.  No one looks prettier than in candle-light.  The warm glow softens the face like a Glamour Shot.  See what your venue offers first, then hit The Dollar Tree.  They have  glass holders and mirrors in the candle aisle for a $1 a piece.  And, if you’re a true DIYourselfer, you will use the glass and mirrors again.  I use them under every candle in my house to reflect the glow.  I also use them as tiny serving trays under salt and pepper shakers, toothpick holders, and candy dishes.  For more of a nostalgic feel, check out antique stores, flea markets, and yard sales.  I buy every framed mirror that seems salvageable.  Then I use painters tape and newspaper to cover the glass and spray paint all the frames the wedding color, or gold, or ivory. 

Grouping all of these candles under an antique framed mirror would take it from engagement party to wedding centerpiece.

Roses are a Girl’s BF

If you insist on DIY fresh roses,  I don’t blame you. Nothing says classy like fresh flower centerpieces, but please enlist some help.  For a wedding of 100 people, we ordered 2 boxes of white roses from Cost-Co.  The afternoon before the wedding, we poured champagne and had a de-thorning party.  It took 4 girls 3 hours to prep  and arrange the roses. 

For prep, we 1) removed the thorns with knife or just pick off with your fingers,  and 2) remove the bottom 3/4 of leaves (or whatever will be in water) and any browning, wilting, or bruised petals.  3) Cut the bottom of the stem to desired length at an angle and 4) IMMEDIATELY immerse stem in water.  (You can even cut the stem at an angle while the stem is under water by having a doggie-type water bowl at your station). 

For a modern, elegant look, just use the roses.  Start with the biggest, prettiest rose from the dozen, and then circle around that rose chosing from next biggest, prettiest, until all twelve are encircled.  Place in tall, cylinder vase.  When buying your vase, realize that the size of the opening is going to determine how many flowers it takes to fill it.  The smaller the opening, the cheaper the arrangement.  You could use floral wire or waterproof tape to achieve a modern look in the “wrong” vase.

For more drama, lace or weave the greenery and arrange roses an inch apart.  Greenery not only fills your vase for less money, but adds to visual interest but adding texture.  Mistletoe or seeded eucalyptus are perfect winter fillers for roses, and for even more budget=friendly, only use roses on every other table because these are breathtaking stand alone. 

eucalyptus leaves and buds

Seeded eucalyptus is a beautiful texture to add to white roses for a winter wedding

Breathtaking Purity

You’re like Subway, you want it fresh, but it doesn’t have to be high-maintenance.  Nothing says “wedding”, like the simple elegance of a pure Baby’s Breath arrangement.  It appears on the table as a soft snowfall.  Use it in different height vases with white candles as your centerpiece.  You can have fresh and do it ahead of time.  It’s perfect for your winter wedding.  Ask your reception venue what they offer in terms of mirrors, vases, and candles.  You may only have to buy the baby’s breath (next to nothing, so get a lot!).  If you do have to purchase vases, you can monogram the one at the sweetheart table for a personalized look, but I would keep the rest unadorned b/c you can use them again for a friend’s wedding or your  baby shower (upcoming or before the wedding, whatever).  Check the cost difference of renting vs. buying.  You can find clear glass and mirrors at the dollar store for only a $1 a piece, so if they ask more than that, forget it.  Use your excess baby’s breath to frame your cake table, gift table, DJ table, etc.

very tall white vase with baby's breath shaped in a topiary ball

Baby's breath speaks for itself. Use clear or white vases. Branches add DIY drama. http://ruffledblog.com/white-lace-clouds/

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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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