Categories
Wedding

How to Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Getting married can be one of the most exciting times in your life. Whether it’s your first marriage, your second or even your fourth, the butterflies are still likely part of the process. What shouldn’t make you nervous is having to pay for a wedding though.

The fact is that weddings can be incredibly expensive, but they don’t have to be million-dollar affairs that put you in debt for the rest of your life. Even if you don’t break the bank you’ll still have the experience of a lifetime and get married to that special someone.

Use this guide to learn more about planning a wedding on a budget without sacrificing too much.

Set an Exact Budget

Very few people getting married have unlimited money to spend on a wedding. Even if you’re financially secure, you’ve probably got a top-figure dollar amount that you’re not willing to go over for your wedding. So why don’t you have this in writing?

When you’re planning a wedding, sit down and make a real budget. You can use a yellow legal pad or an Excel spreadsheet – just make a real budget. If you’re not sure how much everything costs at first, stick with a bottom-line dollar amount.

Figuring out how you’ll spend that money you put aside through cash, credit cards or maybe even money family members have offered to help, is also an important goal.

Pick Your Venue Wisely

The venue you choose for your wedding is obviously of pretty high importance. After all, a wedding that takes place in an auto body shop is just not going to be fun even if they give you a good rate.

Taking the time to shop around for a wedding venue can be exceptionally important though. With more and more startup event spaces popping up in cities throughout the US, non-traditional venues could help you save a lot of money.

Before you pick a venue, make sure you talk to them about your particular wedding setup. They need to be able to handle food, dancing and probably a bar. They also need to be able to host the number of guests that you want to invite.

If you’re having a big wedding, that’s not always going to be a given in non-traditional spaces. Opting for something outside of the more typical hotel venues can help you save a lot of money though.

Purchase Flowers Early

Flowers are a huge part of any wedding, and without them, your venue is going to feel barren and like you’re not celebrating anything at all. Wedding flowers can also be a costly part of your budget if you’re not careful.

While you do need to set aside money for flowers, buying early can help you avoid overspending or getting locked into high arrangement rates because you didn’t provide enough time to your flower vendor. When shopping for flowers, you’ll also want somebody who specializes in weddings.

Meet with florists and talk about your needs and budget. A well-equipped florist should be able to offer you different flower arrangements and styles to meet your budget and wedding needs.

Consider Food Options

Food can drive up the price of any wedding, but you may not need a high-end caterer for your event. Instead, go casual and hire your favorite food truck or create a buffet set-up. Maybe your favorite pizza place would even want to get involved.

Think outside the box when it comes to food and you can save. As long as your guests are fed they likely won’t be too worried about what they’re eating. At least as long as you think it’s delicious!

Categories
Lifestyle

The ultimate tricks to plan your big event – Making sure you’re on the right track

When you plan your wedding, there are few important things that are nice to be aware of and then there are many things you need to know. There are few advices which are so essential that any bride who is lucky enough to know it beforehand wonders how glad she is that someone informed her about it. Do you have your wedding round the corner? If you’ve been wondering about anything important that you may have missed, we’re here to give you a list of indispensable things that you should watch out for. Let’s take a look at some such points.

  • Guests are always your first priority

The first thing to check is to get a firm grip on the approximate list of guests whom you’re going to invite before you move on to settling down with the venue. Once you know the right number of guests, you would know that there’s ample space for the crew members. If there can be some rule to follow, you should allow 25-30 square feet per guest; this may seem like a lot but you should take into account bustling waiters, tables, the band and the entire dance floor.

  • Do some research on wedding blackout dates

Did you check ahead of time whether or not your wedding date falls on the same day as a charity walk, conference or some local event which could affect availability of hotel room or traffic? You will get a handy list of wedding dates that may cause problem and once you know them, try to avoid them. You may even consider other online guide to weddings.

  • Check the reward credit rewards program

You should reap the benefits of high cost weddings and sign up with some credit card reward program. Whether it offers you airline miles or some interesting deals on shopping, combining all purchases for wedding to this card will help you accumulate too many reward points which can ultimately help you in saving money.

  • Take suggestions from vendors

Allow one vendor to lead you to another one. For example, your wedding photographer can definitely tell you about the florist who delivers real good flowers and the reception manager will let you know which band has the capability of attracting everyone towards the dance floor.

  • Get focused in an organizational manner

Combine all correspondences with the vendors, all the small notes that you make during the meetings and the tear sheets which you want your vendors to see. Make a special email address which is dedicated to your wedding and store vital vendor numbers in the cell phone. Once you organizationally focus on these minute details, you will find yourself emerge successful.

For more detailed wedding planning guide, you can also hire an event management company which can take on all responsibilities of handling the event in the best way possible. Just make sure you pay him the right amount and that he has your best interests in mind.

Categories
Shopping Wedding

8 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Buy an Engagement Ring

Shopping is definitely not a man’s game. For one, most of them don’t have the meticulousness of a woman when it comes to purchasing items. Two, most of them just don’t have the woman’s shopping instincts or patience. But shopping needs not be complicated for men, especially when they are guided by the right questions.

If you’ve been thinking of sweeping your lady off her feet, kneeling down before her and holding out a diamond engagement ring will surely do the trick. But before you do that, make sure to choose the right ring that will perfectly fit in that much-coveted finger. Here are 8 questions to guide you in your selection process:

  1. How much is your budget?

Setting a budget is like setting the boundaries of a basketball court. This way, you’ll know how far you can dribble your money for an engagement ring. If you’re unsure of your price range, a 1940’s ad suggested a budget that is equal to two months of your salary. But if you’re uncomfortable spending that much, you can definitely lower it to your convenient price range. However, if you have enough savings to spend on an expensive ring, then invest on it. Remember that wedding rings hold symbolic and lifetime values. But this should not cause you to jeopardize your financial stability. Determining a price range that you’re comfortable with will make this shopping experience more rewarding. Once you’ve determined your budget, it would be easier to explore available options that could maximize your hard-earned money.

 

  1. Where should you buy the ring?

Once you’ve set your price range, list the possible jewellers whom you will be trading with. Choosing the right jewellery store is central to finding the right ring for you. Don’t worry; you won’t need to go to Mount Doom in Mordor to have your ring forged. However, keep in mind that buying a jewellery is not like buying a grocery item in a nearby store. This means to say that finding a jeweller you can trust is imperative. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when determining the right jewellery shop:

  1. Is the company established and has credentials?
  2. Do they offer a wide variety of services?
  3. Is the jeweller knowledgeable?
  4. Do they handle diamond certification and appraisal?
  5. Does the jeweller listen to your needs?

Basically, you have to ask yourself if the jewellery shop could be trusted. Checking their valid third-party certifications and verifications will further help you ensure their authenticity. Asking the right questions and having a sense of trust with the jeweller will make your shopping experience more convenient. You can also seek the advice of you friends, family or any trusted person. Better yet, bring them with you when scouting for an engagement ring.

  1. What is her ring size?

Most men overlook the size of their partner’s ring finger. In order to avoid the humiliation of sliding a smaller or a bigger ring on your girlfriend’s finger, find out her ring size. If you want to maintain the element of surprise in your proposal, you can try these subtle tricks:

 

  1. Sneak away one of her rings when she’s not looking and bring it to the jewellery shop to have the ring sized for you immediately
  2. Use a pen and a paper to trace the size of one of her rings
  3. Ask her friends or family
  4. Enlist a friend who will ask your girlfriend to try on her engagement ring

If the ring still doesn’t fit, you need not be anxious. Take the ring back to the jeweller and have it resized (though you may have to pay extra for this). Nevertheless, the best and easiest way to know her ring size is by asking her directly.

  1. Which style should you choose?

Every woman is unique. Thus, it is imperative to research the style of your partner to determine the perfect ring design that will best reflect her personality. Important factors to consider when choosing a particular style are setting, stone shape and cutting style.

 

Here are some personality tips that you may find helpful in finding out your girlfriend’s style:

 

Gentle. If your girlfriend reflects this personality, e.g., she loves animals, children, and elderly people and has really long patience, a simple yet elegant design might be the perfect ring for her.

 

Artsy. If you’ve fallen in love with a woman who is passionate for arts, theatre, literature, and music, choosing a uniquely designed ring may suit her perfectly. The ring needs not be huge or expensive. But it should be interesting enough to capture her imagination.

 

Bold. If your girlfriend is the type of woman who speaks her mind and enjoys being the center of everyone’s attention, then you should probably choose a ring that will reflect her outstanding personality. Choosing larger settings and stones, like sapphires and rubies, usually captures their attention.

 

Classic. If your partner usually dons on a classy little black dress or a white blouse or a high fashion bag, chances are she’s a classic woman. Choosing a simple yet elegant design (e.g., a sparkling round cut diamond) will do you just fine. Remember that these women choose substance over trends.

 

Fashion-forward. If your girlfriend is the type who goes with the most current fashion trend, choosing a modern yet sophisticated design may be your best option.

 

Dramatic. For men with passionate and fiery partners, choosing a flashy but elegant design will bring smiles to your bride-to-be’s face. You may choose resplendent stones such as a princess cut diamond.

 

Eclectic. Bubbly and energetic women have a unique style of their own. If your girlfriend is this type of woman, choosing a unique design that would appeal to her many distinct styles will surely impress her. You may go for a vintage design with a romantic touch.

 

Whatever style you choose, remember that nothing touches a woman’s heart more than a thoughtful man.

 

  1. Should you go for a diamond?

Engagements are one of the most memorable moments in a woman’s life, and choosing a diamond engagement ring may take your relationship to the next level. However, while engagement rings are considered investments, not all women are impressed with a diamond. It’s best to research your girlfriend’s preference. Perhaps there’s a certain stone that she likes more than a diamond. Most importantly, check if a diamond ring will fit in your budget. Following are notes that you might want to ponder before buying a diamond ring:

 

Pro: A diamond ring is the quintessential symbol of purity and elegance. Plus, the circular shape of the ring is a metaphor for everlasting love. Buying your girlfriend a diamond ring may give her a sense of being special and treasured.

 

Con: Buying a diamond ring is costly, and putting a lot of financial pressure on the purchaser will not build the couple’s relationship. If buying a diamond causes a lot of financial restraints in your life, the Internet is available for you to research on other classy alternatives.

 

  1. What are the 4C’s?

If you’ve decided on buying a diamond engagement ring, studying the 4 C’s is as important as studying for a class exam. After all, you don’t want to waste your money on the wrong diamond. The 4 C’s stand for cut, carat, clarity and color.

 

Cut. This refers to the angles and proportions of the stone, rather than to the shape of the diamond. A cutter determines a diamond’s cut, which gives the diamond its sparkle.

 

Carat. The carat refers to the weight of the diamond. The heavier the stone, the more it will weigh on your budget.

 

Clarity. Clarity determines the diamond’s perfection. The clearer it is, the fewer imperfections it has, and thus the more expensive it will be. Diamonds also have inclusions that affect their clarity. Fewer inclusions suggest better quality.

 

Color. Diamonds have a variety of colors. Colorless diamonds are the rarest, and thus the most expensive, while white color diamonds are the most common. To determine the right color for your partner, check her style preference.

 

  1. Which metal should you choose for the engagement band?

Choosing the right metal will enhance the overall design of your engagement ring. Platinum is the most durable, yet the most expensive, metal option. But you could go for a cheaper, yet similar look, by choosing a white gold. Rose gold and yellow gold are also stunning choices which are friendly to your budget. But always keep in mind your fiancé’s style before deciding on which metal to go with your gemstone.

 

  1. What are the warranty and return/exchange policies?

Before you get overwhelmed by all the different cuts, styles, stones and metals for your perfect engagement ring, be sure to be a well-informed and wise buyer. Always check the jeweller’s warranty and return/exchange policies as accidents can happen.

 

Finding the right engagement ring for your partner can exhaust you even before you propose to her. But the trip will surely be worth it, especially when she finally screams, “Yes, I will!!!” However, while this journey can be both exciting and scary, you should probably ask this last question first before you even think of buying an engagement ring: Have you really found the right girl?