Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Collaborative Wedding Budget

Cherie Johnson, Guest Author

For husbands-and-brides-to-be with large, extended families, they often find that both sets of parents, and perhaps even grandparents, want to chip in to help defray the soaring cost of today’s weddings, which, on average, come in at a whopping $20,000. Many couples, too, are electing to pick up the rest of the slack. Corralling so many people who want to help with the wedding budget can be a virtual nightmare though.

Before simply accepting their good wishes and checks, the very first thing you should do is to sit down with your fiancé and chart a course of action to ensure you’ve covered every element of your wedding that requires a significant contribution. Planning a wedding with a budget in mind comes down to knowing what you’re looking for in terms of venue, vendors, and necessities – this, however, can be easily put to rest with a systematic budget planning roadmap.

WED-Collaborative-BudgetPlanning a Wedding with a Budget in Mind

An itemized wedding budget detailing the specifics – such as the dress, food/drinks, venue, flowers, and band – will ensure you’ve covered all the major aspects of your wedding day. At the top of your worksheet, spreadsheet, or what have you, list what you’ve decided is a reasonable amount to spend on the wedding.

On the left-hand side, make each specific and significant element that you must or would like to have a line item. For instance, the ceremony, which encompasses the venue/place or worship, wedding officiant, and any licenses, would be listed here.

Decide on a true and honest estimate of what you’re willing to spend planning a wedding on a budget, and then, at a later date, add what you actually spent so that you can keep accurate track of your finances. Other items in the left hand column should consist of things such as the reception (food/drinks, cake, favors, venue, etc.); wedding attire (bride’s clothing and shoes, makeup, hair, groom’s clothing and accessories); rings/jewelry; flowers (for the entire party and at both venues); music/band/DJ; photography; transportation (if applicable); invitations and signage; and anything else that would cause a significant dent in your wedding budget.

Remember to include such essential fees as tips for vendors (about 15 to 20%), trial hair and makeup sessions, and dress/tuxedo cleanings and pressings.

As far as planning a wedding on a budget with your parents, his parents, and any other well-wishers (step parents perhaps), show them your finalized wedding budget at an informal, yet constructive meeting. Discuss costs and who can realistically afford what. In days past, it was common – and expected – for the bride’s parents to pay for everything, a modern dowry in a sense.

Today’s weddings no longer involve such a considerable sacrifice, though it is still carried out by many traditionalists. At this meeting, you’ll want to discuss how the payments will be made; maybe your parents would like to split something or pay for one segment of the wedding entirely. Will they be giving you one lump sum in a check or visiting vendors with you to pay upfront? Such concerns about planning a wedding on a budget should be dealt with by a frank talk that involves all parties.

Many wedding budget planners suggest opening a separate wedding account at your bank that’s not linked with any of your personal accounts. This simple action will help you more carefully figure out what’s been spent on the wedding and where the funds are going. You should also set aside an additional 5 to 10% of your overall wedding budget should mishaps arise.

The likelihood that you will go over your budget is almost a given; the amount to which you do can be controlled, in most instances, by careful wedding planning, and that budget of 5 to 10% extra you’ve stashed away will come in handy. Scaling back from the get-go is a huge help; this includes things like not having a buffet (wasted food), having fewer bridesmaids, and offering just wine and beer at the reception (alcohol is a major expenditure).

Still, if these are must-haves, just be cautious of vendors who try to upsell you to some better, improved service that you probably don’t need. Research is a crucial part of planning a wedding on a budget, so make sure you do your fair share before visiting vendors and venues.

Fine-tuning Your Wedding Budget for Success

Far too many couples forget about planning a wedding with a budget in mind and have a bang-up, blow-out bash that ends up putting them in the red. Add that to any other debts, and you’re starting your marriage – which should be thoroughly exciting – with a gray cloud over your heads. A well-planned wedding budget that’s done from the start – with nothing unaccounted for – will ensure that you can mosey off to your honeymoon with nothing else to worry about but enjoying yourselves.

BONUS Articles: How to Make Money Talks Less Awkward
Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!
Making Your Guest List Budget-Friendly!
Post-Wedding Credit Card Blues? Here’s the Solution!

Larry’s NOTE: This article was originally published at http://Blog.WeddingPlanningInstitute.com.

cherie-johnsonCopyright 2015 – Cherie Johnson. Cherie Johnson is the founder and owner of Creative Wedding Favors, the premier site for unique anniversary, baby and bridal shower, graduation, quinceañera, and wedding favors. Her wedding ideas have also benefited readers of many websites, including Women Of, Wedding Lenox, and The Wedding Guide. Before establishing Creative Wedding Favors in 2006, she worked as a professional wedding photographer, capturing all the special moments of the nuptials and ceremony. Cherie live in the York, Pennsylvania Area.

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tying Up Loose Ends After the Wedding! – Newlywed To-Do List

Wheew! The wedding and the reception are over. Now what? Honeymoon? And when you return it’s time to get busy again. No rest for the weary, right? Time to get organized. We’ve put together some ideas that may help you tie up the loose ends after the wedding celebration is over.

Put Away Your Wedding Keepsakes ~ Put your favorite wedding photos in frames and display them. Clean and store your wedding dress or tux. If you intend to keep your wedding dress have it dry-cleaned at least six months of your wedding. Use a service that specializes in wedding dresses so they use the right cleaning solvents. Make sure they stuff it with acid-free tissue, avoid using metal pins or buckles, and store it in a box. Once it’s back home, store it in a cool, dry place. Last. but not least, get rid of gifts or keepsakes from ex-partners.

NewlywedToDoListChange Your Name ~ Ideally, you should change all your IDs as soon as possible of getting hitched. Hopefully when you purchased your Marriage License, you ordered a Certified Copy to be sent to you after the Minister/Wedding Officiant registers it with the County Clerk’s office. Once you receive it, change your name with Social Security first. Wait a couple of day then change your name on your Driver’s License, State ID, Passport. Social security and the passport people both require a certified copy of your license. Depending on where you live, you may need to apply at Social Security in person. Call all of your credit card companies to get your name changed. Store your marriage certificate in a safe, easy-to-remember place.

Ring Up the Tax Man ~ Time to check off a new (married) box on your tax forms! Now that the two of you are a legal unit, you need to decide whether you’re going to file together or continue to file separately (joint filing isn’t something mandated by law, though it’s generally recommended). Don’t decide this on your own. Consult your accountant or attorney to see what he or she advises for the two of you. Think about changing your beneficiary to your husband/wife.

Plan and Review a New Budget ~ Take look at your income and set short-term and long-term goals. Begin to pay off any credit card debt that occurred as a result of your wedding. Fast-track any student debt. If you plan on having children, tighten your money belt before the baby arrives. A baby is something you should plan for. You will need to plan for who will be responsible for the bills since it’s now not just your money now. Remember to begin saving for retirement (Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or Roth IRA). One important goal should be to have at least 6 months or more of your monthly non-discretionary spending in an account separate from your checking account. Check out Dave Ramsey’s website for terrific financial information.

Send Your Thank-You Notes ~ While it’s still fresh in your mind, take notes for which gifts you received and from whom. If you don’t want snippy comments from family and friends, toss those thank-you notes in the mail within two months of your wedding. People will be waiting, and wondering if you liked their gift! Do few each night. Share this project with your sweetheart and the job will be half as daunting. It’s important to each sign your names on every card. Print off address and return address labels on your computer.

Give Everyone Your New Address ~ It’s perfectly fine to send a mass e-mail or an e-card with your new address. The traditional route? Buy store-bought moving announcements and slip them in with your thank-you note or have them custom-designed. Make sending thank you notes a breeze by printing address labels. Make sure to inform everyone of your new address. You never know who might be sending along a late wedding gift or card. Check our name-change checklist.

Return Wedding Gifts You Already Have ~ Sick of looking at those three toaster ovens gathering dust in the corner? Bite the bullet and return ’em within two months of your wedding. While stores are likely to be lenient with couples who’ve registered with them, each store will have a different policy on when you need to make returns by and what they’ll take back. Consider a garage or yard sale. Use it as a great opportunity to de-clutter. Put some of your wedding gift money toward

Update Your Employer on Your New Status ~ Remember to notify your employer of your new marital status. They will need to make any necessary adjustments such as changing any information on your W2 form, adding your spouse to your health insurance, and changing beneficiary designation on any retirement or 401k plans you may be enrolled in.

Finalize Your Wedding Album and DVD ~ Your photos from your photographer and guests won’t file themselves. Don’t put off your photo selection and video requests too long! On your first anniversary, wouldn’t it be great to pop in your wedding DVD and flip through your album? Most photographers and videographers issue a standard contract that gives you six months to a year to select album photos and edit footage for your DVD. If you don’t, you may have to pay extra.

Figure Out Your Finances ~ No one likes having “money talks,” but hopefully you had this one long before you walked down the aisle. Many married couples opt to merge their single accounts into a combined one, so definitely bring it up now if you haven’t yet. Decide if you want to keep your bank accounts separate, merged or a combination of both. Take a trip to your bank to fill out the necessary paperwork and get new debit cards and checks made. You may want to designate your spouse as beneficiary on financial and insurance related accounts, draw up a will, and ensure that you are both carrying the ideal amount of life insurance.

Make It Legal ~ When the two of you made it official, it meant more than just a tacit agreement not to hog the covers. In the next two weeks, you’ll want to talk about changing beneficiaries – most newlyweds switch their spouse to their beneficiary on work and life insurance docs. Call your insurance company and HR department at work for these forms. Decide whose work health insurance plan you’ll use by comparing cost and treatment options. If you’re the one making the switch, make sure the doctors you like are on the new plan. Within a few months, talk about drawing up a will that reflects your newly combined asset. Contact your attorney.

Remember Your Wedding Vendors ~ Send thank-you e-mails or cards to your vendors. Include any positive feedback on their services. If you and your guests were happy with there services, write reviews on wedding websites – and recommend your favorites.

Make Sure All Hired Items are Returned ~ Normally your florist or decor supplier will collect hired items from the venue but things like groomsmen suits and post-ceremony games will need to be returned so that you can get your deposits back. Make a checklist before the wedding and delegate this task to your best man or maid of honor.

Establish a Date Night ~ Very Important. Never let the romance fade in your relationship. Promise each other that no matter what you will always make time to be together. Specify at least one night each week to be designated “Date Night!” Read, “Date Night – No Less Than Once Each Week – No Excuses!

Plan Your First Wedding Anniversary ~ Begin to think about what you want to do, where you want to go and how you want to celebrate your first anniversary. Make a reservation or just agree on a plan so that you can have the year to look forward to it.

The wedding may be over, but the adventure of marriage is just beginning. A happy marriage is a fun and exciting time. Now it’s time to get busy again. Embrace and enjoy the change marriage brings and celebrate Love and your life together – remember, you’re only newlyweds for so long.

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Check Larry’s availability.

comment2Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

Add Larry James to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Stats Show the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2012

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget — Larry James @ 7:30 am

Are wedding costs declining?

There are many who think so. However, The Knot’s founders say, “No!” Brides are pressing on with having the wedding of their dreams. Here are the average costs of what the approximately 17,500 brides in the survey spent on their weddings in 2012.

2012WeddingCosts

There’s more. Survey finds that wedding budgets continue to rise, brides are focusing on guests; plus first-ever same-sex wedding statistics! Click here!

Copyright © 2013 – The Knot.

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Make Money Talks Less Awkward

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget,Financial Infidelity,Money Matters — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Aly Walansky, Guest Author

You can talk to your significant other about what they love, what they hate, where they want to travel and what they want to accomplish. But talking about the root of all those things – money – can be difficult. Financial experts say money and money problems are the leading cause of divorce which means communication is key. Make those money talks less awkward with these tips.

Money-TargetPlan for It

daveramseyHaving a conversation about money isn’t something you want to spring on someone. Instead of bringing it up in the heat of the moment or just before bed, plan your chat ahead of time. Tell your partner you want to go over your finances next Tuesday or Saturday afternoon. Write it down on your calendar in ink. That way you can both be prepared and focused.

Read more of this article. . . Click here! (Not to worry, the article opens in a new browser window).

Larry’s NOTE: Don’t be blindsided by your partner’s debt. If you or your partner are knee deep in credit card debt, you need to talk about it “before” you tie the knot. Waiting until after marriage and then finding out that your partner has $45,000 in credit card debt could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. You must learn to discuss your money as often and thoroughly as necessary and the earlier in your relationship, the better. Financial counseling can help couples with different styles meet somewhere in the middle. Please be honest about money!

BONUS Articles:100 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs
Splitting the Wedding Costs
Get Out of Debt with the Debt Snowball Plan” by Dave Ramsey, author of “The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness

alyCopyright © 2013 – Aly Walansky. Aly is the beauty and fashion editor for MyGloss.com, a style columnist for SheKnows.com as well as a contributor to publications ranging from Huffington Post to About.com. While she is well-known for her beauty and style writing — New Beauty Magazine rated her one of the top four beauty bloggers on the web in their Winter 2010 issue and Star Magazine rated her the hottest blogger on the Internet this summer – she’s rather diversified in the blogosphere – she’s been hired to live-blog from locations ranging from the Miss America pageant to the Emmy Awards. Diversified, sure, but her true passion exists in the worlds of beauty and style, and she is quoted in countless publications on a weekly basis, and has appeared as a beauty expert on the FOX network and various radio programming. Aly currently resides in New York City, where she focuses on the travel, beauty/spa, and fashion writing realm. Visit Aly’s BLOG.

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Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Friday, January 18, 2013

Tough Talk “Before” the Wedding!

Filed under: Budget,Guest Authors,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

MissNowMrs.com, Guest Author

When it comes to marriage, there are many matters that could result in power struggles once or several times over the length of the relationship, but there are two very common reoccurring themes that come up in marital disputes. The first has to do with the financial status of the new family unit and the second deals with the matter of time. Learning your fiancé’s take on both topics can help solidify a base for your marriage to stand upon. This post addresses a few of the questions that can be the starting point for these necessary pre-wedding conversations.

african-american-couple-arguingWho does the housework and grocery shopping? Many years ago, the answer to this question was obvious. Today the “little woman” isn’t necessarily in charge of the household. With both the husband and the wife taking on professional roles in this day and age, the rules of marriage have been altered. Suddenly, housekeeping and grocery shopping are eating into everyone’s free time. Because time is valuable to both of you, it is best to be up front about what will be expected from each of you, so don’t be afraid to be specific and outline the chores to be done.

What’s the ultimate income goal and who is going to handle the financial matters? Perhaps even more important than time, is money. At least this seems to be the case in marriages as financial problems are the number one cause of divorce. So, be upfront about your expectations and ask about his or hers. It is better to know in advance where each expects to be financially two-, ten -, and even fifty years down the road. Also choosing the member of your new team who is best able to make that happen, will reduce stress over the length of your marriage.

couple-talkingHow much will our monthly bills cost us? Similarly, it is important to have a true understanding of all expenses that will come with your coming together as one. These costs may not be entirely obvious. It is safe to assume that anyone today will have some debt. He or she may also carry insurance policies (auto, life, home, etc.) that can quickly rack up. Calculating all of these expenses in advance can help to keep everyone on the same page.

What professional goals do you have and will they keep us apart often? Another matter linked to time is the professional aspirations of each spouse. It is important to know what is involved with the career that your partner wishes for. Are the commitments something that you can truly live with? He or she needs to be able to answer the same question about your goals in life.

How often do you expect to see your parents? Mine? Our friends? Finally, the other major claimant of time is the outside relationship. Whether it is parents, siblings, or friends, these outsiders will cost you and your soon-to-be spouse some of your time, but how much? Now is the best time to figure all of that out.

Copyright © 2013 – http://www.missnowmrs.com/

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 475 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Average Wedding Costs in Maricopa County, AZ

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget,Vendor Fees,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Every bride is faced with a million choices and let’s face it, she really doesn’t know what to do with all of them. She wants a beautiful wedding and so assumes that she wants all the bells and whistles. In reality however she couldn’t afford the bells and whistles and probably doesn’t even need them. Starting your happily-ever-after with a stack of bills can add an incredible strain to your relationship.

On average, couples that live in Maricopa, AZ (County) spend between $19,175 and $31,959 on their wedding. You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. The amount you pay may also be affected by the number of guests you invite.

weddingcostsThe average wedding cost is based on number of guests estimated between 120 and 140. A single guest could add between $177 and $216 to the overall cost of your wedding. The best way to save money on your wedding is to control the number of guests. You should expect to pay, on average, 50% to 100%+ more when choosing well-experienced professionals, designer labels, popular event locations, unique or custom products and services. Investigate all options and choose products and services that best meet your needs.

• Dress accessories includes; Tiara, Combs, Hair Pins, Garter, Shoes, Jewelry (not the engagement ring or wedding bands), etc.
• Tuxedo/suit/other accessories includes; Cuff links, Cummerbund, Tie, Pocket Square, Shoes, Jewelry (not the engagement ring or wedding bands), etc.
• Ceremony accessories includes; Aisle Runner, Ring Pillow or Box, Unity Candle, etc. not flowers or decorations
• Wedding Officiant includes; Justice of the Peace, Officiant, Ordained Friend or Family, Pastor, Minister, Priest, etc.
• Other transportation includes; Shuttles, Antique Car, Horse & Carriage, etc.
• Reception accessories includes; Toasting Flutes, Cake Topper, Serving Set, etc. not flowers or decorations
• Reception rentals includes; Lighting, Tent, Tables, Chairs, Photo Booth, etc.

Cities Included in the above: Aguila AZ – Arlington AZ – Avondale AZ – Buckeye AZ – Carefree AZ – Cashion AZ – Cave Creek AZ – Chandler AZ – Chandler Heights AZ – El Mirage AZ – Fort McDowell AZ – Fountain Hills AZ – Gila Bend AZ – Gilbert AZ – Glendale AZ – Glendale Luke AFB AZ – Goodyear AZ – Higley AZ – Laveen AZ – Litchfield Park AZ – Mesa AZ – Morristown AZ – New River AZ – Palo Verde AZ – Paradise Valley AZ – Peoria AZ – Phoenix AZ – Queen Creek AZ – Rio Verde AZ – Scottsdale AZ – Sun City AZ – Sun City West AZ – Surprise AZ – Tempe AZ – Tolleson AZ – Tonopah AZ – Tortilla Flat AZ – Waddell AZ – Wickenburg AZ – Wittmann AZ – Youngtown AZ. (Source: http://www.costofwedding.com)

A Wedding Costs a House Down Payment

These are the numbers. According to CostOfWedding.com, which is produced by a market-research company collecting information for the wedding industry, the average wedding in the U.S. costs about $25,631, possibly more depending on where you live. That is a down payment on a very nice house here – or the whole house, in large swaths of the country – and an amount many claim they just can’t manage to save up.

creditcarddebtSo ask yourself: You want to take that amount and blow it on a one-day party, or you want to use it to create an investment that’ll end up paying your kids’ tuition if you play it right? And if your answer is the former, holy crap. Are you bipolar?

The website goes on to list all the expenses you should take into account when planning a wedding. Things like gifts for the parents, wedding favors, a “traditional leather bound album” for the photos, flower-girl petals. According to the Association of Wedding Professionals, the wedding industry nets about $86 billion per year. That’s billion with a “B.”

That is a lot of people counting on you getting starry-eyed about your wedding. Just like Las Vegas counts on chumps who think they’re going to beat the craps table, and the tobacco industry counts on weak-willed copycats who feel rebellious when they emulate Courtney Love.

jackzieglerCartoonThis idea that you deserve a wedding is not the point; of course you deserve a wonderful day. But what you deserve even more is financial security and a debt-free future. So plan a wedding based in reality, and who you are and what kind of wife you want to be: supportive, smart and with two feet firmly in reality.

You’re not a princess, princess. He’s not a prince. You’re both smart cookies. Choose your wedding vendors wisely.

Your wedding budget and spending styles should be discussed before you tie the knot, and communication about money should be maintained throughout your marriage. Remember, pretending money issues don’t exist doesn’t actually make them disappear.

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to Amy Keyishian for her contribution to this article. She has been a staff writer for Cosmopolitan Magazine, a freelance writer for Glamour, Self, Maxim and other magazines, and now blogs for Learnvest as well as Recipe.com, Kveller and the Huffington Post. She lives with her family in San Francisco.

BONUS Articles: Post-Wedding Credit Card Blues? Here’s the Solution!
5 Tips To Help Safeguard Your Wedding Day
How Much Do You Charge to Perform a Wedding Ceremony?

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Stages of Wedding Planning on a Budget

Filed under: Budget — Larry James @ 7:00 am

wedding stages

BONUS Article: The Stages of Wedding Planning on a Budget

Graphic – Copyright © 2012 – Mehndi Rao
Text for graphic – Copyright © 2012 – Amy J. Chung.

Mehndi Rao is currently busy planning her wedding and stumbled across this very apt article by Amy Chung! In addition to try to find the right photographer, selecting wedding invitations, and choosing the right decorator for her wedding, Mehndi loves creating illustrations that are relevant to her life !

Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Beware of “Cheap” Wedding Vendors!

Filed under: Budget,Vendor References,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 8:00 am

It’s difficult for a wedding vendor to imitate a true wedding professional. But there are those who try and often deceive their clients into going the cheap route. If it sounds to good to be true… it probably is. If it sounds like a duck, well… (you know the rest). One bad vendor can ruin a celebration and there is no time for buyer’s remorse on your wedding day.

VendorReviewIf you want your wedding to really shine – the kind of wedding that will be the “buzz” with your friends for months to come – never settle for cheap! Be wary that you do not sacrifice quality for the sake of price. The “cheap” vendors are probably cheap for a reason. There is a big difference between cheap and affordable, and you will know it when you see it.

Sit down with each vendor and talk to them to see if they can actually create the vision you have of your wedding. Be strategic when interviewing them and rely on more than just the references. Look for a vendor who goes above and beyond your expectations. Beware of the high pressure sales pitch: The best vendors are eager for your business but not desperate. Also beware of part-timers. Look for vendors who are in the wedding business full-time.

Most brides and grooms who haven’t done the getting-married thing before or haven’t been to a wedding recently may not know what to expect, so it may be up to the vendor to paint a picture of what they can do to make your ceremony memorable. If you agree with the picture they give – hire them. Trust your gut feeling.

Most wedding professionals should be able to provide you with a list of 2-3 couples they have worked with who are willing to act as references. But remember, this is a list the vendor put together. If they have a video… watch it. I often receive what I call “LoveNotes” or rave reviews from past clients. Ask the vendor to give you references to other vendors they have worked with. Contact the venues where the vendor has worked.

Carefully check the references of all of your wedding vendors before you sign on the dotted line! Is the vendor reputable. By “reputable” I mean the vendor has a solid reputation for delivering to the client exactly what the client is paying for. The only way you can get a “reputation” is by being in business for more than five minutes and working well with others and by “others” I don’t just mean the bride and groom, I mean the other vendors as well.

driveUPwedding

Cheap – NOT Memorable! 😉

When you call the references ask lots of questions. One of the main questions should be: Did they keep their word and deliver everything you requested? Others might be:

• What made you choose that vendor?
• Were there any charges on your bill that came as a surprise or were added at the last minute?
• On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate their professionalism, level of service, willingness to work with other vendors, etc.?
• If your best friend were getting married, would you recommend this vendor to her?
• Would you have any hesitation or reservations about recommending this vendor?
• Were they punctual?

Some wedding venues have a “Preferred Vendor” list that they will share. Usually they will have 2 wedding officiants, 2 photographers, etc., so it is up to you to choose. Click here for a list of questions you should ask Wedding Officiants, Ministers, Priests, etc. Ask how vendors are added to the list. If you’re told it’s a paid list, you can certainly start with it as a resource, but don’t assume that placement on the list is tantamount to a testimonial. Also, don’t assume that the absence of a vendor on a paid list makes them unworthy of your consideration.

Notice how well you connect with the vendor? Good personality? Easy to work with? Will they make the changes that you want? Are they trustworthy? There is normally a contract/agreement you must sign with them, so be sure to read the fine print “before” you sign it.

“Be leery of cheap impersonators. They CAN ruin your day! People who are not well trained can be disastrous. Planners will make sure to send you to the right people who they know are reputable and will do an outstanding job. This does not mean the most expensive in their field. We have our favorites that meet any bride’s budget.” ~ Lottie Fowler, Couture Events by Lottie

Comparing Prices: It’s certainly okay to check and compare prices (and you should), however, remember that cheap isn’t always the best. AND… expensive isn’t always the best either. If the fee of a vendor is higher than you have planned for in your wedding budget, you may want to look at other areas of your wedding where you can trim a few dollars here and there so that you can afford to hire who you want. I would never recommend that you make your decision based upon price alone. There are many other things to consider.

Newly Married CoupleVendors with big advertising budgets often get a lot of attention. I’ve often heard, “They have the biggest ad so they must be good.” Some are great. Others, not so great. Check ’em all out thoroughly.

Caution: Some vendors have wedding “packages” that virtually includes all the vendors you will need for your wedding. Some allow you to bring in other vendors and most do not. Proceed with caution because you may not be allowed to hire the one vendor that you like who may not be included in their package.

When you find the vendor of your choice – hire them. Don’t wait. Often a good “tell” is how busy they are. The busy wedding vendors are usually a wise choice. I had a wedding client recently who told me after the interview that they wanted to hire me but they had one more appointment with another wedding officiant. Three days later they called me and wanted to know where to send the deposit and I had already booked the date with someone else. In this case it would have been better for them to call the other officiant and cancel the appointment and offer me a deposit to secure the date. Hindsight is 20/20. When you find the vendor of your choice – hire them. Don’t wait.

Remember: Wedding vendors are a great source for other trustworthy and experienced professionals. Wedding planners/consultants, are also a great resource for quality, reliable vendors.

Sasha Souza, celebrity wedding planner, founder of Sasha Souza Events, and author of “Signature Sasha: Magnificent Weddings by Design” says, “Your gut instinct, more than cost, is really important.”

I highly recommend you hire a trained wedding professional. Uncle George and his video camera, Cousin John with his stack of CDs and family friend Bob with his online ordination and no experience at performing wedding ceremonies isn’t gonna cut it!

BONUS Articles: Check Wedding Vendor’s References. . . A Piece of Cake! Right?
10+ Tips to Help You Choose the Right Wedding Vendor!
No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony

Larry’s Note: A special “thank you” to Lottie Fowler, Couture Events by Lottie, Dallas for her contribution by inspiring this article.

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts for a Stress-Free Wedding

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget,Stress-Free Wedding,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Your wedding day should be a day of fun and romantic celebration. You want your wedding day to be great and to run smoothly, right? It doesn’t take much for you to begin to feel overwhelmed. Couples who begin planning early and pace themselves should be able to avoid last minute chaos.

First things first. Start planning at least a year in advance – more if possible. Get organized. Buy a wedding organizer. You may not think you need one, but the best way to keep track of potential caterers, DJs, Wedding Officiant, venues and other assorted bridal services. Make a Wedding Checklist. Keep track of every wedding vendor you talk with; name, phone number, Website and e-mail address and bring the list with you to the wedding, just in case you need to contact them.

DO – Set priorities; choose the date, book the wedding venue and hire a professional wedding officiant.

WeddingStressDO – Select “dependable” attendants and give each one a copy of the tentative timeline for the wedding so they can make arrangements in their own life to be at rehearsal, etc. Be sure that they are clear about the duties that come with being the Maid of Honor, Best Man and bridesmaids and groomsmen. If they falter from doing what they are expected to do, let them know that you will not hesitate to appoint someone else. Surround yourself with attendants who cause you the least amount of stress.

DO – Delegate someone to put together a bride’s emergency kit to have on hand the day of the wedding. Be prepared for anything that may happen.

DON’T – Don’t wait until the wedding day to make major changes. Don’t make any spur of the moment decisions. Thank ahead. Once you make a decision, move on.

DO – A wedding is not just for the bride. It takes two! Make sure the groom is involved. Girls: he may say he doesn’t care, but down deep, he does. Give him a list of things to do with deadlines. This event is the mutual responsibility of both of you, so guys, you need to do more than get fitted for a tux and remember to bring the ring. 😉

DON’T – Don’t eat, drink, smoke or apply make-up after you’ve put your wedding dress on for the ceremony. If you do drink, use a straw and be very careful.

DO – Two weeks prior to the wedding, phone all your vendors and verify everything. Verify the date, time, location and exactly what they will be doing. Make sure they know the directions to the wedding venue. Bring a list of phone numbers so someone can call them if they don’t show up on time.

DO – If you plan to have a wedding party of 3 or more standing on each side of the wedding officiant – have a rehearsal! The wedding rehearsal is a run-through of the ceremony with the minister (hitting the highlights of the ceremony and giving everyone their cues for the big day) from beginning to end, allowing everybody involved to feel more confident about what will happen on the wedding day. Walk through the ceremony, establishing the pace and timing, in the order each element will occur, where everyone will be standing and make sure all of the participants know their responsibilities.

HOT TIP: Some couples prefer to have the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner two days before the wedding to allow a day of rest from the stress of having two busy days in a row. Wrap it up early enough for the bride to tend to any last minute details the next day like doing her nails or packing for her honeymoon, and to allow her the opportunity to wind down, relax, and rest well for the big day ahead. Take that stress-free day before the wedding to really pamper yourself – your hair, a spa visit, a manicure and pedicure. Just relax.

DO – Accept that your wedding may not be perfect! Sometimes things go wrong. Take a deep breath and be okay with whatever happens. Sometimes those things become the memorable moments you can smile about later.

stressedbrideDON’T – Don’t stress out about what other people think about your choices for your wedding, especially the mothers. This is YOUR wedding. They have already had their wedding. You may have to “gently” remind them of this if their ideas get in your way.

DO – Put something in your stomach. Eat something before the wedding. Have someone pick up sandwiches or a veggie tray to share with the bridesmaids. A Pepsi, cheese and crackers are better than nothing.

DON’T – Never let yourself be pressured into buying a wedding dress which you feel is not right or cost more than you can afford. Never be tempted to buy a cheap wedding dress online unless you are sure it is from a reputable company.

DO – Make a budget. Money is such an easy thing to fight about. Make sure you sit down at the beginning of the planning process and agree on how much money you’re going to spend, and stick to it! However, allow room to switch money from one thing to another if the one vendor you really MUST have costs a little more. Cut back on favors. Have a buffet instead of an expensive per plate charge for your guests. Do your best to not charge everything on your credit card. The last thing you need is to be stressed about starting your marriage with enormous credit card bills.

DON’T – Money issues can frequently come up and create stressful situations. Not every couple has the luxury of having their parents share in the expenses of their wedding. However, I strongly recommend that instead of putting all the expenses that you are responsible for on a credit card, once you know that wedding bells are in your future begin to work on a budget together and save every penny you can into a special wedding fund.

DO – Make sure all the vendors are paid and everything is taken care of BEFORE the wedding day. You don’t have to worry on that day. Make arrangements for vendor tips to be given after the wedding. This task is often given to the best man.

DO – Designate someone to drop off all the essentials at your venue – the favors, the place cards, the cake cutter, the cake topper, the sand for the sand ceremony, etc., the day BEFORE your wedding.

DO – Make arrangements to get your hair done in plenty of time before the wedding ceremony is scheduled to begin. If you’re having a bad hair day, you will wish you had. This is often the excuse for the delay of the bride being ready on time.

DON’T – Don’t be tempted to jet off on your honeymoon as soon as the wedding is over. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. When you are fully rested, go for it! Don’t worry about not being able to take a big fancy honeymoon. You have the rest of your lives to make money and take big, wonderful, fabulous vacations.

DO – If your intention is to lose a lot of weight before the wedding, you would be wise to start that regimen 6 months to a year before the big day.

happycoupleYour relationship – between the bride and groom – can be stressful and can become even more stressful prior to the marriage. Focus on the important thing – the relationship! Be certain to take some time to stay connected. Don’t allow your life to be consumed by the planning of your wedding. Spend some relaxing time together as a couple. “Make” time for each other.

DO – Be okay with the butterflies in your tummy! It’s normal to be a little nervous or stressed on the day of your wedding. If you have done the best you can to hire the best wedding vendors, the butterflies should all be flying in formation by now. Allow the professionals to do the work, and sit back and relax.

PLEASE DO – If you are afraid that you will forget something important… don’t freak out… PLEASE hire a Wedding Consultant! The wedding coordinator will work with you on everything from the budget to the flowers, photographer to the DJ, caterer to the cake, and your venue. Your wedding coordinator will handle every aspect of your wedding planning, alerting you to possible problems that may be costly. Wedding coordinators also have relationships with vendors in the industry, possibly encouraging discounts and/or negotiating terms that you would not be able to do on your own. They can keep you on budget, on target and focused. They can help with event décor and design. They can help you with etiquette questions, creating a budget and payment schedule for vendors, creating timelines for your event, researching vendors, scheduling appointments with vendors and attending them with you, reviewing contracts, and much more.

Larry’s TIP: You will actually SAVE money by hiring a Wedding Consultant. Trust me, I know! Call me for referrals.

DO – Get a good nights sleep the night before the wedding. No excuses. Go to bed early. Relax into a deep slumber. You will be glad you did.

DON’T – A brief word about alcohol. Have an exciting ceremony, enjoy the reception – dance like nobody’s watching – but do yourself a favor and don’t over-indulge in social lubricant! You will thank me later.

HOT TIP for the Groom: There is nothing that will excite your bride-to-be more than a dozen roses on her wedding day.

And finally. . . take a deep breath. Relax. When your big day is done, all that matters is that you are married to the love of your life and surrounded by family and friends who love you.

BONUS Articles:How Much Do You Charge to Perform a Wedding Ceremony?
Sorry, I Don’t Need a Wedding Consultant… My Venue Has One!
The Rehearsal & the Rehearsal Dinner! It’s Fun Time!
Shedding Pounds for the Wedding!
Wedding Checklist
Post-Wedding Credit Card Blues? Here’s the Solution!

For more than 200 articles, tips, etc., visit the Wedding Articles Menu! AND… if you have a tip that we’ve missed, please feel free to post a comment.

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Making Your Guest List Budget-Friendly!

It’s never too early in the wedding planning process to start talking about your guest list. First things first. It’s all about the budget! The best way to cut the cost of your wedding is by managing the guest list.

Know what your budget is for food at the reception. Decide how many you want to invite then use the following list to help. If you’re on a tight budget, a smaller wedding may be the way to go. Each guest you invite translates into dollars spent on your wedding.

Here are a few things to think about when you are building your guest list for your wedding and reception. If you are paying for it yourself, you can pretty much invite as many as you can afford. If someone else is paying for the wedding, consult with them about a budget – and stick to it.

Who is so important that you can’t imagine getting married without them there? What can you afford? What is the wedding venue charging per plate? Sometimes a buffet is more economical. Who is absolutely not welcome?

Budget-Wedding-GuestlistRemember: family first!

1. Bride’s list (Family) – Must be invited

2. Groom’s list (Family) – Must be invited

3. Our list (Friends) – Should be invited

4. Would be nice to be invited. If you’re no longer friendly with certain people from your past, don’t feel obliged to invite them.

Narrowing down the wedding guest list is never an enviable task, but since a lot of your major wedding planning decisions are dependent on the number of guests you’re inviting, it’s a good idea to not wait until the last minute to finalize your list. Go through it with a red pen. It is better to first write up a preliminary list, then after a bit of consideration, have a second meeting to finalize the details. There is only one way to include everyone on your wedding guest list and that is increase your budget, which is usually unrealistic. 😉

If your wedding guest list already approaches your budget’s limit, take a step back. You might want to consider making your wedding an adults-only affair. You can trim the reception budget quite a bit if you eliminate having children at the reception. You do, however, run the risk of some close friends who have kids deciding not to show up for the wedding, either because they are offended by your choice or because they have no babysitter. You might want to consider providing guests with the names and numbers of local babysitters.

Kids look cute at weddings in their dress-up duds, but they don’t need to be there if you need to make cuts. It is inappropriate to write “No Children” on the invitations. Note on the reception “RSVP” card that an adult reception will be held after the ceremony. The only correct wording for your “save the date” cards is “Adult Reception,” “Adults Only Reception” or “Adult Only Ceremony and Reception.”

guest_listConsider limiting the amount of people you allow to bring dates. Forget about adding “and guest” indiscriminately to single friends’ invitations.

Will your ex and their date be excluded? Inviting an ex to a wedding is generally considered taboo, however, in some cases it might be acceptable, especially if one partner has an ex with whom he or she shares children.

How about people who are known to always drink to much?

If you see you will be over budget, begin your trims with business associates, then parents of your attendants. The people on your wedding guest list should be people you truly care about, not people you feel obligated to invite.

The first stage of planning your wedding is excitement! Yippeee… it’s FINALLY my turn! You can avoid hurt feelings if you hold off on the big announcement to everyone except your immediate family. I know you’re excited but resist the urge to tell anyone else until you know the wedding’s approximate size and your budget. Remember this is YOUR wedding, not your parents or in-laws. Set limits. I know that may be difficult if one side of the family is paying for the wedding and the other side insists on inviting a bigger share of their friends.

One of the most important first steps is to clearly define your parents’ involvement in the wedding. Odds are, if they’re the ones coughing up most of the cash for your nuptials, then they’re going to be eager to invite everyone on their guest list. And its only proper for the two of you to extend that courtesy.

The easiest way to satisfy everyone and avoid conflict is to set an equal number of guests that each family is allowed to invite. How they choose to select those guests is up to them. Make things clear to both your families early on. Once you have a final number of guests in mind, it’s a good idea to divide the number of invitations by thirds. One for your family, one for the new in-laws and one set of invitations for your friends. Determine how many guests each set of parents will be able to invite. Ask them for a list of names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail that does not exceed the number of guests they are allotted.

Most wedding consultants agree that if you invite 100 guests, about 20% may not respond or show up. Have a small back-up guest list ready for those who decline the invitation. Once the guest list and the budget are determined, you may have to make some adjustments to one or both to accommodate everyone.

It is impolite for a guest to ask if he or she can bring a date, however, it is not impolite of you to refuse. Say, “I’m sorry, Erica, but we have very limited seating at the reception and we just can’t accommodate any additional guests.”

Allow for errors when you order your wedding invitation. By the way, it is always a courtesy to send invitations to those people you know will probably not be able to attend due to great distance or illness. Mail your invitations out at least two to three months in advance for a normal wedding and six months or more if you’ve selected a holiday weekend. Be patient waiting for RSVPs, and don’t hesitate to call unresponsive guests at least two weeks before the wedding.

Plan your wedding guest list according to budget, guest importance and stay with it!

BONUS Articles: Wedding Guest List Mistakes
No Rugrats (Children) Allowed!
6 Questions to Ask Before Inviting Your Ex
The Stages of Wedding Planning on a Budget
Does Your Wedding Guest List Include Out of Town Guests?

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationship BLOG” at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com/
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Authors & Speakers” BLOG at: http://AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.wordpress.com

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