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

To keep your wedding costs in check, there are a few budget-friendly ideas for your wedding you can do to that will not compromise the quality of your day.

 

Budget-Friendly Ideas for Your Wedding

Limit your guest count

Tip 1: Limit your guest count

Opt for a smaller, more intimate wedding with your closest friends and family. Organize your invite list into different categories such as family, college friends, friends from home, co-workers, teammates, and acquaintances. Consider sending out invitations in different waves, and invite additional guests as you get declines.

Pick a date

Tip 2: Pick a less in-demand-date

Instead of choosing a Saturday in the middle of wedding season, save some money by considering having your wedding on another day of the week like a Friday or a Sunday. Also, the winter months are considered the off-season, but you can still have a fantastic wedding if your venue is indoors.

Hire a wedding coordinator

Tip 3: Hire a wedding coordinator

 These professionals have already done the research and have relationships with local vendors that can help you save on costs. Their experience in the industry and their connections will save you a lot of time and hassle. A wedding coordinator knows what works and what doesn’t and can brainstorm ways to work with your budget.

 Hire a photo booth

Tip 4: Photo Booth pictures are fun favors

Everyone loves taking fun photos! Guests can take their photos home as a keepsake and you can enjoy looking back at an album of all the funny pictures your guests took. You can look into hiring a photo booth or if you are tech savvy, you could create your own photo booth station too! Get imaginative with backgrounds, signage, and accessories!

Tip 5: Save Trees and Save Money 

Instead of sending out traditional Save The Dates and Invitations, consider sending your invites electronically. You save on the cost of paper goods and stamps, and you’ll also likely get a quicker response. Paperless Post has elegant templates for online invitations and can also collect and organize RSVP’s and addresses.

Floral favors

Tip 6: Enlist your florist or rental company for help with decor elements

 Love those mason jars or sparkling chandeliers that you saw on Pinterest? You don’t need to buy those items yourself, florists and rental companies already have an inventory of these items. Let the professionals set up the decor for you so that you don’t need to stress about any DIY projects on your big day.

Choose an all-inclusive venue

 Tip 7: Choose a Venue that has it all

 Having the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all at one venue moving from space to space allows for a nice flow for the evening. You’ll save on transportation costs and time that vendors need to set up in multiple locations. When you are searching for the perfect venue, be sure to inquire about whether they already have tables, chairs, and linens included in the price. Be sure to choose a venue that matches the style of wedding you are going for. 

Homemade desserts

Tip 8: Homemade Desserts 

See if your talented family and bridal party can help bake goodies for dessert. You can have a variety of homemade cookies, brownies, and cake at a more affordable price! These delicious goodies can also double as favors for your guests. Prepare some cute goody bags for any leftovers to be taken home. 

Wedding table

Tip 9: Be a savvy shopper 

Brides often post wedding decorations such as table runners, signage, and centerpieces on sites like craiglist.org at a discounted price. Sometimes you can even negotiate and bargain for the best price. Another great way to save is to shop for your wedding dress at a resale shop such as Dahlia Bridal where dresses can be found for 40-70% off!

Tip 10: Create a registry at Honeyfund 

Don’t have a use for any more toasters and toasting flutes? Ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund if they would like to gift something to the newlyweds. Your wedding guests will be happy to send you off on an unforgettable honeymoon.

Honeymoon at the beach

Bio: Events by Sonya: At Events by Sonya, the organization, attention to detail, and passion for helping others is what makes Sonja an excellent wedding coordinator. She enjoys getting to know each couple and learning each unique love story. Sonya loves that every wedding and event is unique and she works hard to bring out each couple’s personality and style. Sonya plans and coordinates weddings in Southern California. Please visit www.eventsbysonya.com for more inspiration!

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

A wedding toast is a little speech about the bride and groom, given by certain people in the wedding party, parents, or other special persons chosen by the wedding couple. If you are asked to make a toast, here are a few tips for making your toast memorable.

best man toast

Best man gives the first toast to start the party. F Santos Photo

Observe the proper order. Typically, the best man will deliver the first toast, then followed by the maid or matron of honor. The bride and groom will typically speak last, side by side and taking turns thanking guests for sharing their special day with them. If the bride’s parents are hosting the wedding they will speak first, welcoming guests and thanking them for coming.

Introduce yourself! Remember most of the people at the wedding will not know who you are. Starting the toast with how you know the bride and groom is a great way to break the ice.

Guest join in the toast. Joey Allen Photo

Guest join in the toast by clicking their glasses. Joey Allen Photo

Keep it short and sweet, a few minutes max. This will ensure everyone can quickly move on to sipping and celebrating.

Respect the other person. This isn’t the time to talk about how you’re so happy he finally found the one after the many girls you both dated in college. Although you may think everyone will get a kick out of the story about how you used to get drunk and in trouble together, that story may be better left unsaid. Save those stories for the bachelor/bachelorette parties!

wedding toast

Guests  toast the happy couple with champagne. J-anne Photography

Don’t get drunk beforehand. You may think you need to throw a few back to calm your nerves,but alcohol fueled speeches can get incredibly awkward. Fast. Save the shots until after your speech.

Don’t talk about yourself! Remember this day is about the couple getting married, not you!

Prepare something ahead of time.  Although winging it may seem like the easiest thing to do, writing something up before hand will ensure you don’t get tongue-tied when standing in front of 100 guests. (Psst, it’s okay to peek at those notes on your cell phone!)

wedding toast photo

Happy bride & groom  finish off the toasts. Joey Allen Photo

Hold the microphone close to your mouth.  I can’t tell you how many toasts I see where the person speaking nervously takes the mic away from their mouth and puts it by their side. Ahem, we can’t hear you!

Respect your audience. Including a joke is okay, but only if you think it will be well received by the audience. Always take into consideration the demographics of the guests at the wedding. Older guests will not find your dirty jokes humorous.

Close the toast with confidence. A toast should always end with well wishes for a happy future together. Now raise your glass and take a sip. Cheers!

Extra: Don’t give a toast unless you are asked prior to by the guest of honor. It’s not proper etiquette to grab the microphone and start giving an unannounced toast. If you have something special to say, pull the couple aside and tell them privately.

Weddings & Events by Emily Bio: Weddings and Events by Emily is one of the finest wedding planning companies in Las Vegas. Owner Emily Reno and her team of highly experienced wedding professionals will work diligently to plan and execute the wedding of your dreams. Emily is fully committed to bringing your wedding day vision to life with different wedding planning packages to accommodate your needs and budget and  create a flawlessly planned and executed wedding day. Learn more at www.weddingsandeventsbyemily.com

 

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