Budget


31
Oct 12

Wedding Planning Checklist

Ah, the wedding planning checklist! With so much to do, wedding flowers, music, wedding invitations, table plans and so much more it can be tough to remember everything for your wedding. This is the ultimate guide for all couples planning a wedding but where do you find this guide and how do you know if it’s legitimate? There are thousands of wedding planning checklists on the internet, in magazines, and on blogs, but most of these only include the big tasks that must be complete and completely glaze over the smaller yet ever important details.So you ask yourself, “where can I find one of these AMAZING checklists you’re talking about!?”.  I’ve been spending years configuring a comphrehensive wedding planning checklist. But the truth is, every wedding is so different from one another that tasks will need to be tweaked to in order for your wedding to be successful. So please, I beg you, do not plan your wedding from a checklist downloaded on the internet or found in a bridal magazine. These are very generic lists that help you remember to book the big vendors but completely forget about the smaller details that will make or break your wedding.

I’ll let you view a copy of my “final countdown checklist” which is a typical list of tasks that need to be complete in the two months before your wedding.

Since the final countdown wedding planning checklist is lengthy and a bit overwhelming, I’m going to post the tasks that I typically suggest you try to tackle two months before the wedding. Your one month checklist will come in a later post so stay tuned!

 

For further help compiling your wedding checklist or for questions on the final countdown leave a comment below!

wedding planning checklist

2 Months to go, the wedding planning checklist’s final countdown

 

                                                        TWO MONTHS

Finalise ceremony music, hymns, readings and order of service with the officiant
Schedule ceremony rehearsal, if haven’t done so already
Purchase outfit(s) for pre and post wedding events
Order stationery for the wedding day. Order of Service for the ceremony and any other stationery for the wedding reception.  Menus, placecards, escort cards, personalised table names, etc- May be left until 1 month before wedding depending on when final numbers come in. Ask you printer how long it will take to print
Make sure gift list is up to date
Make sure all equipment has been hired.  Poseur tables, linen, salt and pepper shakers, table number holders, tea lights, umbrellas, furniture, dance floor, decorations, etc.
Reserve any parking spaces necessary for pre-wedding events and wedding
Talk to your attendants and anyone else you’d like to give a speech or toast at the reception.  Let them know when they’re going to talk, how long the speech or toast should be, and what the tone should be like. Explain the importance of sticking to timings
Go through budgeting sheet and send payments to vendors that require a payment 6 weeks before wedding (most will send an invoice)
Now that you have more of an accurate head count, order wine, beer and liquor if not provided by the caterer
Discuss wedding flowers in detail with the florist.  Think about every corner in the venue. Entrance, bathroom, stairway, escort card table, cake table, every room. Update them on wedding party numbers and final banqueting table numbers
Double-check the sizing of the wedding bands. If they’ve been sent for engraving, pick them up, if your ring size has changed send them in for re-sizing.
Start mailing thank you cards as you receive gifts.
Check in with the bridesmaids to ensure they have their dress alterations complete. Make sure they’ve all picked up their dresses, shoes and accessories.
Check in with the groomsmen to make sure their formal rentals are booked. Ensure they all have their shoes and accessories in order.
Purchase a guest book and pens. Where will the guest book go?
Purchase any remaining supplies, ribbon, carpet runner, candles, etc.
All gifts for the wedding party, parents and the bride/groom should be purchased by now
Compile a play list for the band, DJ, and iPod.
Select first dance then send to band or DJ. If you have a live band, make sure they will sing the correct version of your first dance song.
Liaise with ceremony musicians and discuss music for ceremony. Do they require armless chairs? Will the church/venue provide this? What will they wear on the day? When will they arrive/depart?
Book transportation to first night hotel if you haven’t done so already
Hire uplighters or a professional lighting technician if required
Decide where the cake will be displayed, when you will cut it, when it will be served, and how it will be served
Arrange a face to face meeting with your wedding planner and reception venue to run through and confirm final details and logistics. Layout of venue, number of guests, food served, dietary requirements, drinks served, where will musicians stand/sit, where will table plan or escort cards be on display, additional tables required for cake, guest book, etc., where can iPod be hooked up, where will speakers stand during speeches, where will cake be, who is the emcee, if required, who will move flowers from one room to the next, is there a cake knife and stand, is there an easel for the table plan, ETC, ETC. Go through all details.

21
Aug 12

Alternative Wedding Gift Registry Options

Gone are the days when couples walk around with laser guns in department stores tagging high balls, plates, pots, and pans. Most couples cohabitate these days and are therefore equipped with the necessary household items. So what do you do when it comes to registering your wedding? You could tell your guests to just bring themselves and send their best wishes – but we all know that won’t happen! Purchasing a gift is a traditional part of a wedding so below I’ve listed some modern ideas to the single department store gift registry:

alternative wedding gift list options

A gift registry for your Honeymoon!

Guests can contribute towards air fares, dinners, nights out, elephant rides, scuba dives, whatever you have planned on your romantic getaway!  Most of our brides and grooms are opting for this type of registry as the Honeymoon is a holiday you will never forget.

A gift registry to re-design your home

A handful of companies are offering interior design gift lists so the couple can start their married life with a fresh look to their home. Guests can buy pieces from the leg of a sofa to a chandelier to wall paint. If I could go back in time I would sign up for this!

alternative gift list ideas

Via JLD Designs Blog

A one stop shop gift list

I came across a company called The Bottom Drawer who offers couples a gift registry where they can pick and choose a mixture of gifts from multiple vendors. This might be money towards a new home, a massage on the Honeymoon, upgraded household items, or even cash gifts. There are fees to host your site here but the convenience usually outweighs these nominal fees.  

Charity lists

If you truly have everything you want, or you’d like to raise money for a Charity, then set up a registry for your guests to donate to a Charity of your choice. You can organise your list by visiting the Charity’s website or going to Give It.

Bride and groom on honeymoon

Via All Wedding Party


6
Jul 12

10 Tips to Cut Catering Costs

You should budget around 45%-50% of your overall wedding budget on catering. No matter what type of wedding you have or what time of day it’s held at, guests will expect food and beverages.  Most couples opt for a 3-course sit down meal but I’ve also seen buffets, stand up cocktail receptions, and more informal versions of the sit down meal. Most couples are now offering canapes, a main meal, and an evening buffet so this can really blow the budget if you’re trying to spend wisely. Catering is not cheap so see my 10 tips on saving catering fees below.

luxury wedding planner london

Lloyd Dobbie Photography

Top 10

1. Save your meat for the main dish and serve vegetarian canapes and starters. Try risotto served in shot glasses, vegetarian rice rolls, or a trio of asparagus

2. Cut out the starter course by offering more canapes during the drinks reception and this will save on crockery, cutlery, equipment, and staff.

3. Unless you and your guests are champagne connoisseurs, opt for cava, prosecco, or English sparkling wine to add a bit of luxury without the price tag. Most guests won’t know the difference. I personally prefer cava over the other two (when champagne isn’t offered, of course!).

4. Replace the first course with a selection of breads and dipping oils

5. Serve wedding cake as your dessert. You will save so much money doing this, and guests will actually eat your cake! If you serve a dessert and then offer wedding cake, you will have a lot of leftovers.

6. Serve your food “family style” meaning 3-4 dishes come out for the starter in which guests serve themselves, then you see the same for the main course. This allows for a formal seated dinner with an informal service and cheaper price tag.

7. If you’re having an evening buffet, you don’t need to cater to all your guests as only a small percentage will eat at that time. I normally see less than half of guests touch the evening buffet.

8. Serve the expensive drinks (bubbly, specialty cocktails) early in the day so guests can remember them and enjoy the taste. Towards the end of the evening I always see half full glasses being left around the room which always go to waste. Guests leave their glass on a table then forget which one is theirs, or they set it down to use the loo then a waiter picks it up before they return. To avoid waste on expensive items, serve these early on.

9. Add a bit of luxury to your presentation by dropping raspberries into your bubbly, or adding small slices of cucumber and orange into each water glass. Presentation is everything and a small touch makes a major impact.

10. Serve cold canapes and a cold starter. Hot dishes require more equipment which means more cost. Also, if you’re running behind on time, you don’t need to worry about food coming out cold. Win/win!

luxury wedding planner in London

 

Happy planning!

Erika xo

 


9
May 12

Budgeting: The Essentials and the Extras

Everyone knows that weddings are expensive, but not everyone knows how to allocate their budget for a great wedding. To begin, there are certain items and vendors that must be booked in order to have a fabulous wedding and happy guests. If you have any leftover money in your budget, refer to the extras guide below for some added luxury and an even more show stopping and jaw dropping day.

 

Please note that the below refers to a traditional wedding with a sit down meal. Many couples are planning unconventional weddings these days so if you have any questions about your budget or how to allocate funds, please leave a comment and I’ll be in touch. Please also note that the essential list is made up of the minimum items/vendors that are necessary for having a wedding celebration. If you’re like me and love your luxury, save up for your extra items! :

 

Essentials

Ceremony and reception Venue

Ceremony Officiant

Photographer

Stationery: invitations, table plan or escort cards, and place cards

Food and beverages caterer

Music for ceremony, cocktail reception, dinner, and evening reception

Rings

Bride’s outfit

Groom’s outfit

Bridesmaids outfits, if paying

Best man and ushers outfits, if paying

Flowers for bridal party

Wedding cake

Table centrepieces

Tables, banqueting chairs, linen, china, stemware (usually provided by venue or caterer)

Transportation, if required (often dictated by venue)

Dance floor (normally required but check with your venue)

Guest book

Gifts for wedding party

Insurance

Microphone and PA for speeches and band

*** Marquee weddings require a lot more in the essentials list***

 

wedding budget

Peggy Porschen

 

Extras

Hair and make-up

Videographer

Ceremony decorations

Ceremony aisle runner

Transportation for bride and groom

Transportation for wedding party and parents

Transportation for guests

Lighting, lighting, and more lighting

Live music

Special cocktails

Statement floral arrangements

Decorations

Evening buffet

Personalised dance floor

Charger plates and upgraded table ware (linen, stemware, china, salt and pepper shakers, etc)

Specialty banqueting chairs

Draping

Toastmaster

Wedding day stationery, including; dinner menus and personalised table names

Fireworks

First night hotel

Gifts for guests

And much, much more

luxury wedding cakes

Grace Ormonde

 

 

 

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer