30 Day Dash | The 530 Bride

It's not too late to hire a Day-of Coordinator for your wedding!

"Day of Coordination is my cup of tea..you should be taking selfies with your bridesmaids, not fielding phone calls! " - Veronica 

It is never easy for me to hear people tell me their experiences as a guest at an unorganized wedding, from dinner running behind or the marriage license left behind.. it can happen.  Having a coordinator to help you put together an organized timeline, confirm your vendors, create a packing list of what items to bring on your wedding day (like the marriage license) can help you avoid these little bloopers.  

Even for the couples who have their items packed, and their timeline written out it still shouldn't feel like you are the job site foreman on your wedding day.  You need to hand over the clip board and go drink a cocktail with your friends and family! No seriously.

Day-of Coordination is my cup of tea. It involves reviewing the details already planned by the couple, confirming vendor agreements, fine-tuning the timeline and being the point person for all of your friends, family and vendors on your wedding day so that you can take those selfies with your bridesmaids instead of fielding all of the phone calls.  

If you are in the 30 day dash leading up to your wedding day or know someone who needs a wedding planner intervention please contact me today to get started. 

We have packages to fit any budget and we are always happy to create a custom package for you. Please hop over to our services or FAQ's page to learn more.   

~ Happy Planning! ~

The Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

It is always an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor in a wedding.  Being by the side of your good friend or family member when they stand at the altar on their big day and sharing in the journey to get there is pretty special!  All of that aside, it does come with some expenses.  We found an infographic on the web aimed to breakdown some of those costs:cost-of-wedding-high

Image courtesy of Dimespring.com

Couples should try to keep these figures in mind when planning the involvement of their wedding party and make sure to communicate with everyone in their party to ensure that the expenses are not a hardship for anyone.  Being open to cost alternatives makes the experience better for everyone, a $200 bridesmaid dress may not be doable for some so its good to consider choosing a color and material and allowing the bridal party to find a dress that fits their style and their budget.

Are you a bridesmaid in a wedding?  Take our poll on the expenses of being in a wedding: [yop_poll id="4"]

Wedding TV Show's You Shouldn't Watch

bridezillas-4Okay brides, you get home from work or school and turn on the TV as you flip through the channels you may come across wedding shows like TLC's Four Weddings, Say Yes to The Dress, Bridezilla or even David Tuteras "My Fair Wedding."  While entertaining, these types of shows can hinder your planning process more than help; and here is why:

We TV's Bridezilla - Well this one is obvious, just because you are getting married you do not have an excuse to be ridiculous and treat your friends, family or fiancé badly.

TLC's Say Yes to The Dress - The gowns are beautiful and the brides usually do walk away with the gown of their dreams, but it's the idea of bringing your whole entourage with you to judge or comment on your gown that is a real downer.  I think the bridal consultant would agree that having a maid of honor or other family member like your mother or grooms mother present is special; the only opinion that the bridal consultant wants to hear is yours.  If you feel beautiful and special in a gown, you shouldn't let your 10 friends who came along tear down your choice.

TLC's Four Weddings - Your wedding is not a competition, in real life you will not have a panel of judges with a score card rating each component such as food or atmosphere.  Please don't lose sight of what will make your day special to you and your fiancé because you want to please others and impress them with your wedding.

Why you shouldn't watch WeTV My Fair WeddingMy Fair Wedding - Built on the premise that bride's can wait until months or even weeks before the wedding to get things in order and someone (David Tutera) will magically come in and save the day.  At this point the brides have usually made purchases and have deposits with vendors, and David comes in and "rescues" their wedding morphing it into a big (admittedly beautiful) production.   (Image courtesy of channelguidemagblog.com)

When you are planning your wedding it is easy to absorb yourself into anything and everything wedding, but you should try to have a healthy balance.  Make sure you spend just as much time doing non-wedding things and most importantly focus on communicating and enjoying your soon to be husband.  The better your relationship before walking down the aisle, the better it will be in years to come.

Lastly, remember your wedding is not a contest or an excuse to behave badly! Hire professional vendors and you will have no problem staying on track and within your budget for your big day.

~Happy Planning~

Wedding Budgets

everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-wedding-budget-calculatorImage courtesy of AllWeddingSecrets.com While every couple has a different priority list when planning their budget, there is a typical break down when it comes to putting your budget together.  Your wedding coordinator will have more realistic figures based on the area where you plan to get married.  Here are some of the "typical" budget break downs in percent form:

According to TheKnot 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.

Looking at this breakdown, it could be very different for a couple with a very small guest list who do not plan on using special transportation or who would like to really splurge on their food and drink vs flowers etc.  In the same token, some guest may want to have a larger budget for photos and videography vs entertainment.  Every couple is different but it is helpful to have a basic outline to go off of.

Happy Planning!

How to Calculate Your Alcohol Budget

Alcohol Budget When planning your wedding, the first thing you need to determine is your budget.  It may be the least fun part of the whole process but it certainly going to play a huge part in your wedding.  You can read more on how to set your wedding budget here.  So once you have determined your overall budget, you need to select your wedding venue and your wedding vendors.  Doing so will dictate what your needs are.  For instance your venue may have exclusive catering and beverage services meaning you cannot bring in a bartender to serve alcohol that you have purchased elsewhere.

If you do determine that the venue does not have exclusive vendors then first talk with your caterer to see what they offer when it comes to alcoholic beverages and serving.  Some caterers will supply an extra server at an additional cost to you to strictly man your bar, while others do not have insurance coverage or licensing to do so and you will need to hire your own bartender. So after doing your research and you still determine that you will purchase your own alcohol you will want to look into exactly what type of alcohol (beer, wine, cocktails) that you want to serve and how much you should purchase.

Your guest list should be pretty squared away when it comes time to make this purchase so that you are not buying more than you need.  You should also look over your list and think about your guests, are the majority going to want to drink beer vs wine or should you stock up more on hard alcohol for martinis or mixed drinks etc.  Also make sure to consult with your caterer to get their opinion on wine pairing with the food menu you have created (white wine vs red wine with chicken vs steak etc)

Here are a few websites that offer calculators designed to help you determine how many bottles of alcohol to purchase for your event.  You plugin the number of guests and it spits out the estimated break down of how much wine, champagne, beer and or hard alcohol to buy.

Bevmo Party Planner Calculator 

Naturally after you realize how much you will need to buy, your immediate thought is "how do I get the best deal on alcohol?" Hera are some key ways to keep your alcohol budget in check:

1. For wine, take advantage of sales at retailers such as Bevmo & World Market who will often offer a buy one get one sale. 2. Costco offers their Kirkland Signature wines that are not only affordable but also well rated by wine critics. 3. If your venue supplies the alcohol, opt for a limited or no host bar.  You can then set a block of time that you will pay for the guests drinks for example during the cocktail hour. 4.  Opt for a beer and wine only menu 5. Create a signature cocktail menu, this option limits the amount of alcohol you need to buy so that you are only buying the ingredients to make the signature drinks rather than trying to supply a full bar.

Lastly, please make sure to put some thought into how to ensure that your guests drink responsibly and what steps can be taken to get guests home safely should they "over-indulge."  Consider having a shuttle available at the end of the night or have a few business cards for taxi's handy.

~Happy Planning~

Free Wedding Printables

We always recommend hiring a professional when it comes to weddings & events so that you can trust that it will be done right the first time.  If you are a bride looking for creative stationary and custom wedding collateral, you definitely need to head over to The Idea Emporium for inspiration.  If you are Maid of Honor trying to be the hostess with the mostess on a budget, these free printables are for you.  Word of advice, printing from home may have its challenges and may not turn out as desired. Try these out ahead of time, so that if you aren't happy with them you will still have time to contact a professional. Photobooth Props - Six Months to Mrs.

Photo-Booth-Props

Bows and Tags - PrintableWeddings.com printablebowsandtags

Chevron Invites and Favor Tags - The Tomkat Studio inviteandtag

Printable Bridal Shower Game - ElegantWeddingInvites.com printablebridalshowergame

Just remember, for the best results contact a professional rather than printing from home.

Happy Planning!

 

Keeping Expenses Down For Your Wedding Party

In the August/September issue of Brides Magazine, 103 bridesmaids participated in a poll and gave some insight.  Among many of the interesting questions such as what a bride should know when choosing her bridesmaids, thoughts about the bachelorette party, and of course the dresses; one thing stood out to me.  73 percent of bridesmaids who were asked what the hardest part of being a bridesmaid was, responded that the expense was the most difficult. As a bride you expect that costs are going to add up because it is your wedding, we may not stop and think about the costs for those involved in our wedding party.  Typical expenses are the cost of the attire for the wedding, travel expenses, time off from work, and shower/wedding gifts.

Here are a few ideas on keeping your expenses down without compromising a good time!

1. Choose an affordable dress line for the bridesmaids to choose from, or allow them to choose their own gown.  Allowing your bridesmaids to choose their own gown may give your girls a little more pocket change as well as feel more comfortable in their dresses.

2. Plan your bridal shower/wedding related projects and events close together in dates if you have out of town bridesmaids so that they can make less trips without having to miss out on the fun.  If you have a bridesmaid or maid of honor who can't attend the final fitting, get creative and see if you can come up with a way to face time or Skype with them in the dress store if the store owner allows.

3. Stay local and plan a night out that won't break the bank.  You may be able to live it up in your home town by saving money from airfare and hotels.  Get a limo or talk to some of the local bars about having your own VIP table vibe without the out of town price tag!

4.  Their presence is gift enough, let your ladies and gents know that you understand they have had to spend money to be involved in all of the events and are just happy they were able to be a part of everything with you!

5. Look for discounts for booking as a group, and try to plan things out in advance. Check for rewards programs and other incentives for travel arrangements.

6. Talk your wedding vendors such as your planner for ideas on keeping your budget in check and you may get some creative tips and advice from vendors.  When you network with your professional vendors you are tapping into a pretty great resource!

Money can be a touchy subject, and sometimes you may think that your bridesmaid is checked out from your wedding planning but in reality she may just be stressed with the thought of the financial aspect.  Just remember that you are doing all of this to celebrate your love and commitment to each other as a couple, and want to share this with your friends and family!

~ Happy Planning~

Three Tips To Successfully Creating Your Guest List

Posted by: Alisha Rouland, Event Coordinator Creating a guest list can be a daunting and confusing task! Should you invite all 500 of your facebook friends, your parent's college friend whom you've never met, or your favorite middle school teacher? Usually the size of the guest list is determined on your wedding budget. It is also helpful to consider the size of your wedding venue - a backyard wedding may not accommodate your 400 person guest list. Below are three tips to assist you in creating your wedding guest list.

1. Compile an initial guest list

Traditionally, half of the guest list goes to the bride's family, and half to the groom's family. Ask that each family create their own list of guests. Think of groups of friends or clubs of which you belong (example: church, co-workers, recreation leagues, etc.) Finally, go through your address books to make sure you did not forget anyone. Once you have your initial list compiled, the hard part begins...

2. Separate names into categories

With the help of your groom and family, begin to place people into three categories. Placing guests into categories, as terrible as it sounds, will be very helpful in getting your guest list count to an acceptable budget-friendly number. Let's say your wedding budget allows for 200 guests, and in your Group A and Group B you have 200 guests to invite, and 50 in your Group C. Typically 70-80% of guests invited attend, so as you receive a "No" RSVP from someone on the A or B list, you can send someone from your Group C an invitation.

1. Group A (Definite Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be those involved in the wedding (parents and bridal party for example) or immediate family members (grandparents and siblings.)

2. Group B (Probable Invites): Examples of guests on this list would be other family members and close friends.

3. Group C (Optional Invites): Examples of guests on this list might include friends you haven't seen in years, work acquaintances, distant relatives or children. While it is appreciated by single guests, if your guest list is overflowing, it is not necessary to invite all single guests to have a plus one.

3. Check your list for any duplications

Double check your list to eliminate any overlap that may have been caused during the formation of your guest list. It would be unfortunate to invite the same person twice and eliminate another potential guest.

Special Note: If you haven't already, consider sending RSVP Cards along with your invitations. Caterers and bakers require an accurate head count to make sure there is sufficient food for your guests. It would be a shame to run out of food before all guests are served or be costly if you have an overabundance of food. In addition, having an accurate list of guests helps when creating the seating arrangements. If this sounds overwhelming, remember that the Event Coordinators at The 530 Bride can help!

Happy Planning!

Planning Tip: Avoiding Temptation

When you are in the planning stages for your upcoming nuptials, you may be tempted to go into "shopping mode" where anything wedding-ish ends up in your cart.  To keep your budget in check you should avoid making purchases until you are clear on what you actually need to buy.  One of the side effects of shopping mode is that you end up buying odds and ends which in the end can clash with your overall decor.

DIY Projects are probably the biggest culprit when it comes to blowing your budget because even though the purchases seem small, it adds up in the end and you may not even end up finishing the project or get intended results.

Once you have booked your wedding coordinator, venue, caterer, florist and/or event decor & rental company, you can go down the list of anything that isn't already provided by these vendors and then purchase or rent the remaining items as needed.  Often one vendor may have several services and products under one roof and they may even offer discounts for combining different services or products.

So next time you're tempted to make an impulse buy at Michaels or your local wedding store, make sure that you are sticking to your list. Your budget will thank us!

Posted by Veronica Enns