Friday, June 28, 2013

What Does it Really Cost??? Part 3

Once you have picked out where you are going to have your wedding or reception, it's time to get down to the details that the guests will get to enjoy. Some couples think that these details are not as important as venue or catering but in the long run, flowers/décor and entertainment are just as important.
There are many different flower options and décor settings that you can pick from. Depending on what your theme is or what colors you are using for your wedding, you can have an array of options to choose from. Flowers can brighten up your ceremony space even if you just place petals along the aisle with no other flowers at the ceremony. Majority of ceremony sites allow flowers and majority of couples choose to have some kind of flower decoration during the ceremony. For your reception, you can use centerpieces that are only flowers, do not have flowers at all or even a combination of both. Centerpieces are the main focal point for your guest when they are at their table so you want the centerpieces to reflect your personality and the theme of the wedding. More and more couples are drifting away from the standard flower only centerpieces and are having a detailed decoration that ties in with the theme or colors of the wedding. These centerpieces can range from $20-$150 per table depending on how much detail you put into them. This is true with flower centerpieces as well. Flowers can be very costly depending on the time of year and what type of flower you choose. They can range from $50-$350 a centerpiece depending on how big and how many flowers you want. The picture below to the left is a centerpiece that cost $350 while the picture to the right cost $65. It truly depends on how big and elaborate you want your centerpieces to be.


                                         A non-traditional centerpiece for a beach reception

When people go to a wedding they want to go and have a time to remember. Picking the right kind of entertainment can really make your reception come alive. When you are deciding what kind of entertainment you want for your wedding and reception, you may pick between having a live band or hiring a DJ company to entertain your guests. These two are very different in the ways of pricing, atmosphere, and even music styling. When you hire a live band to play at your wedding there are a few things to keep in mind. Having a band is great if you are wanting your guests to enjoy a show along with some dancing. Bands typically take a break every 20-30 songs which stops all playing and you will have a silent reception for about a third of your night if you don't have a professional group who know what they are doing. Most bands will have a prelude of music in between these times and will always make sure to fill the room with joy and excitement. With this being said, if you have a live band and want them to play the ceremony, cocktail hour, and the reception they might not be able to be at all the places to setup and perform in a timely matter so please think about the logistics and discuss with your group what they believe would be the best transition. Live bands can range from $2,000-$5,000, it just depends on who you book for your event. It's better to get a great band and create that wonderful experience than to try to cut costs here. They will really set the tone for the whole night so you want professionals who are full of personality and spunk!

The other option you can go with is having a DJ. A professional DJ company can transform your wedding and reception into the life of the party with nonstop music from beginning to end. Most DJ companies have majority of songs so anyone can request a song and have it played which allows your reception to have a large variety of music. However, if you don't check out your DJ's before the event and at least meet with them, there could be a lot of issues to arise. A man with a microphone who isn't a professional DJ could do one of two things: talk to much or kill the mood. There is nothing worse than a chatty DJ throughout the night. They need to know your balance of structure and fun. A monotone DJ or one who doesn't know how to feel the crowd can also be a killer of the night. It is very important to meet and analysis who you are hiring for entertainment.  DJ's can be very reasonable with price. If you just want a basic package you can get book a DJ for under $1,000 or if you want up-lighting, monograms, slide shows, and all the works, it can range to about $3,000-$5,000.

Centerpieces and entertainment can really show your guest who you and your fiancé truly are and can be very reasonable in price as well. These elements of your wedding will help make your day even more special and memorable to everyone that attends.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

What Does it Really Cost??? Part 2

After the question has been “popped” and you have picked out your dream gown, you may be thinking, what is the next step?! Picking your venue, caterer, and invitations are your next big decisions.

When picking a venue, you have many options of where to have your wedding but one question you have to ask yourself is, do you want to be inside or outside. There are many differences in these two options and the biggest difference is the pricing. Many newly engaged couples want to save money and decide to have the wedding in their parents backyard or at a local park. These options sound great since they are free but one might forget that you have to bring everything to that location for either the ceremony, reception or both.

Depending on the size of your wedding, tent rentals can range from $250-$4,500. Whether you want a small tent for guest to just relax under during the reception, you still have to keep in mind the cost of tables and chairs. You can always move chairs from the ceremony to the reception but you still need areas for your guest to sit if you choose to have a cocktail hour. Along with renting tables and chairs, if you choose to have an outdoor wedding, you will need to power your tents and have electricity for the DJ and anything else that uses electricity. This is an additional cost that can slowly increase your wedding costs. Even though outside weddings have many cost that most couples do not think of, they do have many positives. If you find an outdoor location with wonderful views, you will have everyone at your wedding talking about how breathtaking the views were. It also allows you to not pay for a room plus all the extra fees you may have with an indoor location. You can always keep your venue to a very reasonable price if you choose an outdoor location just by planning your budget accordingly.

If you decide to have an indoor venue, you would not have all the extra costs of tables, chairs, tents, and electricity. Most venues include the table and chair prices in their cost along with adding the cost of linens for the tables. Having an indoor venue allows you to not worry about weather conditions that may occur and can enhance your wedding even more. Simple details in a building or space can make certain items pop and be more noticeable. There are downfalls to having an indoor venue just like any location. Some venues may have rules and regulations that you would have to abide by which might mean you will have to give up a few things to make them fit into those regulations. Another is high demand for indoor locations during fall and winter months. If you are planning on getting married in those months, plan in advance so you can receive the venue that will make your day even more magical.

The next big decision after you choose your venue is to decide if you want to have a buffet or a sit down dinner for your reception. There are pro's and con's to both choices but you just need to decide which one will be best for your reception. With a buffet, it allows your guest to pick from a larger option than a plated dinner. If you are having a large amount of guest, a buffet would be less expensive than having a plated dinner since most caterers only charge for the amount of food and not a certain price per person. If you are having a smaller number of guests a buffet might not be the best option since you would have a great amount of leftover food and you may feel like it is going to waste. Having a plated dinner is great for a more formal reception. A huge advantage to a plated dinner is your guest do not have to get their own food but instead are served and can enjoy their time at your wedding.
Flat Printing
Before you get too far into your planning, you will need to get your invitations made and sent out to all your family and friends. There are so many options now-a-days for invitations and it can be hard to decide what you and your fiancé want. There are four major kinds of printing for invitations that can range in prices. The cheapest type of invitations are flat or digital printing. Flat printing consists of the ink being laid flat on the paper. A metal or paper plate is created from a black and white image with a laser printer and is lightly coated with ink. Digital printing allows you to use color ink and use digital printer to create the images. It allows multiple color options, more graphics, and ink coverage to the edge of the paper.
Digital Printing

Thermography is a popular type of printing which simulates engraving but keeps the price a lot lower. Thermography starts with flat printing and while the ink is still wet, it is covered with a light powder that is heated so it rises. Engraving is the last way to print invitations. The use of copper plates will have your invitation carved in on a plate and then pressed into paper where it forces the paper to raise slightly where the press is on the front. This method is very expensive so if you are on a tight budget, try to find another way to make your invitations look like a million bucks without costing that much.
These three things are major parts of your wedding that can eat up most or all of your budget before you realize what is going on. Keep in mind that you can always make something look very elegant and expensive at a very reasonable cost, you just have find the right items to fit your budget.