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Planning, Wedding

Would You Accept Corporate Money to Pay for Your Wedding?

We all know just how expensive a wedding can be. Perhaps you have spend many a sleepless night thinking about it? Between the clothes, the rings, the food, the alcohol, the hall rental, and every other incidental, you could make a very large house down payment for what the average wedding now goes for. We do not for one second blame anyone who wishes to thoroughly analyze their wedding preparations and make cost-cutting changes where appropriate.

But how far would you be willing to go in compromising your vision of the perfect wedding ceremony and reception? Some couples have also now turned to the recent trend of crowdfunding in order to help meet their nuptial bills. Would you be willing to accept advertising in order to help defray the cost?

Sponsor My Event is one such site where you can find couples can solicit sponsors to make their dream day everything they hoped it would be. In exchange, the company would be able to feature advertising at the event.

Our take is that it just sounds tacky. Certainly everyone has their dream of what a wedding should be, but it should also be something that centres solely on the union of the couple, not some company’s desire to further promote itself.

If your wedding plans are beyond your budget, and there is no feasible way for you to raise the necessary funds, then you must be willing to compromise. What are the things you truly don’t absolutely need? Do you really need 150 people? Cut it down to 75. Do you really need a free bar? Make it a cash bar. Do you need such a big reception hall? Rent a smaller venue.

Be realistic and you can still have a very magical day. When all is said and done, it’s the couple that counts, not the frills.

Planning, Wedding

Budgeting for a Wedding? Don’t Forget These 5 Hidden Expenses

 

So, what’s our budget for this thing?

It’s the first question most couples ask when they’re planning a wedding. Or, at least it should be. You can’t have a productive conversation about venues, florists, food, or decorations until you know how much money you’re working with.

Failing to set expectations about budget early on in the planning process can lead to conflict and disappointment down the road. That’s the last thing you need in the days leading up to your wedding.

We rhymed off a few of the obvious expenses above, but there’s more to the wedding budget than cakes and caterers. Writing for Apartment Therapy, Taryn Williford points out five hidden wedding expenses people tend to forget. Mark these on your budget to stay in good financial shape from the start.

Decorations, Especially the Small Stuff

The big-ticket items on the list, like chairs and centrepieces, are safely tucked in with your rental and florist budget. Of course, you’ll need more than that to make your venue pop in those wedding photos.

There will be lots of little decorations, like candles, signs, or a ceremony backdrop, that bump up the expense as well. Don’t think you can avoid it by doing it all yourself – craft supplies add up quick. It’s good to set a budget for “small stuff” before you get started.

Beyond Hair and Makeup

For some, getting your hair and makeup done is enough for your wedding day. Some of us are even more low-maintenance than that! But others (and you’ll know if this is you) will require other pre-wedding beauty prep, like a tan, manicure, waxing, haircut or colour. Don’t add this to an already-bloated budget at the last minute.

Meals Before the Wedding

The wedding party will arrive at the venue before everyone else. If you’re having the ceremony before lunch time, you may want to arrange meals for you and your closest allies. This intimate meal could add more great memories to an already-special day, but only if you budget for it properly.

Gratuities

Turns out you’re supposed to tip in the wedding industry. Who knew? You do, now. Check out this guide to wedding etiquette to find out how much should set aside for vendor tips.

Gifts

Your friends and family gave it their all to give you a wedding day to remember. How could you ever thank them? Well, words may not need enough! Make room in your wedding budget for gifts. You may want to leave a little extra for unexpected MVPs, like florist or DJ who goes above and beyond on the big day.

 

Planning, Wedding

How to Plan a Restaurant Wedding Reception

No, we’re not talking about the folks who get married at McDonald’s. More and more couples are foregoing the stuffy banquet halls of the past in favour of cozy, high-end eateries.

Restaurants are a popular choice of venue for couples who want good food and an intimate, laid-back reception. Though there’s usually less space for guests, having a restaurant reception takes a lot of the stress out of planning the event.

There’s minimal set-up, as high-end restaurants are already perfectly polished. You won’t have to worry about hiring a caterer, since the venue comes with a team of experienced servers and chefs. It’s also usually less expensive than booking a larger venue (but don’t forget to add gratuity).

The biggest draw of a restaurant reception is, of course, the food. Caterers can be pretty hit-and-miss. If you’ve attended a few weddings, you can probably think of at least one where the food was forgettable (or memorable for the wrong reasons). With a restaurant, you have plenty of opportunity to sample their wares ahead of time, and lots of feedback available from diners online. Plus, unlike caterers, restaurants care about repeat business – they want your guests to come back for seconds!

Thinking of going the restaurant route? Keep the following in mind:

  • Decide on the number of guests before you choose a venue. Make sure there’s enough space to accommodate them, noting that there may be a few last-minute plus-ones. Ideally, you’ll want to trim the guest list to 100 or fewer people.
  • Make sure there’s enough space. Not only does the venue limit the number of people you can invite, it may also limit what you can have in terms of a DJ, photo booth, and dance floor. Be realistic about what you can fit in the space.
  • Be mindful of kids. If there will be children at the wedding, make sure there’s a kid-friendly menu.
  • Consider the restaurant’s busy season. Spring and summer are prime wedding season, but the restaurant industry usually peaks in November and December. Make sure you account for this as you plan, and try to schedule it six to twelve months in advance.
  • Can you bring what you need? Some restaurants aren’t keen on people bringing in outside decor or food (like a cake), even for weddings. Make your expectations clear when you meet with staff.
  • See what they’ve done for other weddings. If it’s a popular spot, check out professional photos from other events at the restaurant to see if it’s what you envision.