wedding budget

Planning your wedding without stress

Photo credit: Tuscany-Hills-Styled-Shoot-Mishaun-Arrington-Photography

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and not knowing where to turn for guidance can be very overwhelming. The main struggles most engaged couples face during the wedding planning process involve having one too many people wanting to run the show. Their opinions are based only on what they think wedding etiquette should be, but modern couples have adopted new trends and are branding their weddings, moving away from a cookie cutter or size fits all wedding. Having so many ideas and the mountain of advice can drive the couple absolutely insane. So, to assist with the decision making, I’ve put together six steps to ease your anxieties and a give you peace of mind as you prepare for of the most important days of your life and have a stress-free wedding.

It;s your party

Photo Credit: Tuscany-Hills-Styled-Shoot-Mishaun-Arrington-Photography

It’s Your Party

Cardinal rule number 1 is to remember this is “Your” wedding and everyone is celebrating this special milestone with you. The bride and groom are the ones getting married after all, so you should be the ones making the final decisions on the style, theme, colors, food, etc. for your big day. You have to put your foot down and not be overrun with the ”You Should Do’s” because everyone has an opinion on how a wedding is structured, but little do they know each wedding is customized to suit the engaged couple because after all, they are the ones spending their future together. The gathering is to celebrate the joining of two families and their customs. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask someone to back off by simply saying “thank you for your suggestions we will keep it in mind or we are going in a different direction with the planning”.

Family members, the wedding party, and vendors need to have a clear understanding that final decisions will be made by you (the couple). When one too many opinions get intertwined with the planning process, things will get confusing for all parties involved, and this can cause unwanted stress for you both.

Photo Credit: Tuscany-Hills-Styled-Shoot-Mishaun-Arrington-Photography

Planning Help For Your Wedding

If you intend on hiring a planner, you’ve made a smart choice that will add benefit to you during the month leading up to your wedding. The event planner has forged relationships with vendors in the wedding industry which can have a huge impact ($avings) on your wedding budget.

If you opt out of hiring a planner, appoint someone you can trust to coordinate and execute your plans down to the very last detail; remember you can’t be a bride and a planner because both roles are way too challenging to do at the same time. Also, consider the level of responsibility you are placing on the shoulders of the person you are handing the reins to. They will not be able to celebrate the day with you. Also, if you both are in the spotlight, they can’t troubleshoot while all eyes are focused on you.

If you never remember anything else, remember to always have a backup plan for everything. There are so many things that can go wrong on the day of the wedding; you want to be prepared for any and everything that is thrown in your direction. Make sure you discuss it with your planner or point of contact for the day.

Select attendants wisely

Photo Credit: Tuscany-Hills-Styled-Shoot-Mishaun-Arrington-Photography

Select Attendants Wisely

When selecting attendants to stand in as your wedding, try to keep the number to a minimum because the more people in the wedding party, the bigger the headaches can be. It can stem from dress style to hairstyle to the reluctance to wear a bow tie and the list go on.  I recommend gathering the people you intend on asking to take an active role in the wedding and explain what is expected of them as members of the wedding party and clearly explain what their roles and financial obligations are for the wedding; also make them aware of the meetings and fitting schedules.  Setting clear expectations will save you the time it will take to replace the attendant and the stress it’s going to cause replacing the attire if you are fitting the bill.

Stick to your budget

Photo Credit: Hart to Hart

Remember Your Budget

Never bite off more than you can chew…. Everyone wants a lavish wedding, but don’t drive you crazy and break the bank to get it. This is a great the time you for you to consult with your planner and use their recommended vendors. Remember you can always have your dream wedding without the costly price tag. You can always find s elegance that fits into your budget. Research is the key; you can always find a good bargain.

Stick To A Timeline

Always know that timing is very important, they say NEVER PUT OFF WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY FOR TOMORROW. I say this because before you know it, your wedding day is weeks away and you both are left with a mountain of chores that need completing before the wedding day. Make sure you are giving yourself ample time to place orders on all items and make arrangements for every aspect of your wedding as soon as possible, so you won’t have a mile long to-do-list.

Photo Credit: Hart to Hart

Ask Vendors Questions

When picking a wedding vendor like a videographer always remember to do the following:

  1. Check their work. Look for high-quality work with special effects, so you know there is no limit to the things that can be done with the wedding video.
  2. Please, please get references. Try to speak with at least 3 clients to ensure you are getting someone people who will get good reviews based on the quality of their work. Of course, with social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) you have access to the vendor’s clients and reviews.
  3. Make sure you ask questions about timing. How many hours will the vendor cover your event? Verify if charge you extra for overtime
  4. If the primary camera(s) used stops functioning during your event, is there is a backup?
  5. Ask the vendor how many copies you will receive. Will they give you the unedited version on the wedding video?
  6. Ask about the turnaround time for the completed project.

Asking your vendor these few questions will let him know that you mean business and you will be able to determine if they are a right fit for your special event. Following these simple steps will help you both have a stress-free wedding day and make the planning process a breeze.

Bio: This blog was written by Rochelle Hart of. Hart to Hart Events (H2H Events), a planning serice with the motto You said “Yes” We do the rest.

Established in 2004. Hart to Hart Events, based in Douglasville, GA provides services for all special events. What they offer includes floral arrangements, wedding planning; onsite coordination, event designing, anniversaries, baby showers, bar/bat Mitzvahs, birthdays, bridal showers, engagement parties, graduations, corporate and holiday events, proms, quinceaneras, and sweet 16 celebrations. 

H2H can provide full-service coordination and planning, partial planning, or day or month of coordination, while also specializing in floral design. 

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Plan your destination wedding

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Destination weddings are an ultimate, fun and romantic adventure couples remember till the end of their lives. But even though they can double as your dream vacation, they take twice as much planning and can be quite stressful to organize. However, there is now one quite handy thing called the internet, where you can find all the information you need, so without further ado, here is how to prepare your perfect destination wedding.

Consider your budget

Consider The Budget

Before you even start googling through hundreds of “destination wedding ideas” articles, you have to consider your budget. Just like with everything, your budget is going to dictate the time of the year, the location, and how long it is all going to last. Travel costs can fluctuate depending on if you are traveling during low season, peak season or holiday weekends. Make sure you check the calendar and all the events happening around your destination in advance. An average budget for one luxury destination wedding goes from $750 up to $1500 or more per person, only for the reception and ceremony, while your wedding planner’s fees can account for roughly 20% of the entire budget. So if you want to spare some expense and cut your costs, consider finding an all-inclusive resort which offers wedding packages for couples that fit your budget.

Pick your destination

Picking A Destination

If your budget is limited, you should go with a destination that is closer to your home. Besides that, the place you are marrying at should make sense to you and be something that your guests will be excited about as well. Currently, the most popular destinations for destination weddings are the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii.

Hire Some Help For Your Destination Wedding

Even though turning this into a DIY is possible in theory, it is a much smarter idea to hire an extra pair of hands – some of the destination management companies (DMC). If you are an American, have in mind that there are many different DMC in the USA that can help you and make everything go as stress-free as possible. There are simply so many logistical things that are behind the scenes but in the same time are crucial for everything to work, plus, they already know all the good vendors, the right people overall, etc.

Invite your guests early

Create The Guest List Early

The number of guests directly impacts your budget, because the smaller the list, the less alcohol and catering you have to bring, and, of course, fewer tables with fewer centerpieces etc., so knowing your numbers as early as possible is a win-win scenario. Send the invites at least nine months in advance, so they can decide and plan everything out.

Get Legally Married

The legality of your marriage and making sure it is recognized in your country is also an important detail you as a couple should plan. Make sure you visit the embassy of your country at your destination to verify the wedding is legally recognized. And if you want to avoid that step, you can do a civil ceremony in your own country and do the celebration at the destination.

Getting There

Think ahead – if you are buying a lot of things from the vendors, check if you can send all that directly to the hotel where it will be assembled before the ceremony. Before and during travel consider the comfort of your guests as well, and plan their experience to ensure they are carefree and happy. Maybe go there a day early and personally greet everyone when they arrive.

Consider the dress

Don’t Forget The Dress

For shipping, you will have to think about the logistics that are involved, since some countries may have shipping restrictions when it comes to this type of ‘luggage’, and may charge you customs at the point of entry. Also, you need to think about how you can get that dress back, since some airlines can make allowances for holding your dress on a flight or you might even have to book a separate seat for it. In other words, its size and weight also matter big time.

As you can see, a destination wedding is not an easy ceremony to plan, but once everything is done, your effort will definitely pay off.

Help finance your wedding dreams with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio: Carla Cartmell writes for SmoothDecorator.com, a website dedicated to that sanctuary that is your home.

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