Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Monday, September 21, 2015

8 Ways to Save Money On Your Wedding!

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Cutting Costs,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 1:18 pm
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It’s your wedding and you get to say! In my conversations with brides after the wedding, many have told me that they wish they would have skipped some of the smaller stuff so they could have afforded someone who was really great but thought they couldn’t afford them because their fee didn’t align with their budget. Rank your priorities. So, I say to you… Never skimp on what you truly want!

Here are several ways to save money on your wedding without any of your guests noticing.

WED-Save$Cut out the Favors ~ If you have a big wedding, you can spend a lot of money of “personalized” wedding favors. The least expensive way to do wedding favors is not to do them at all. I perform about 70 to 80 weddings a year and recently have noticed that most of the favors are still on the table when the party is over. Most guests won’t miss them.

Reception Shortcuts ~ For most couples, food is their biggest wedding expense. You want to serve something your guests can enjoy, but it’s not necessary to go broke doing so. Go appetizer-only: At an early afternoon wedding, your guests won’t expect a full meal. Serve tasty hors d’oeuvres and save money.

Trim the Guest List ~ This will slash your catering costs and save on invitations and more. Announce your save-the-date by e-mail or phone call. For every 8-10 guests you can remove from your guest list, not only will you save the cost of their meal and bar package, but you will also be able to remove a whole table – including the centerpiece, rental chairs, specialty linen, menu cards, place cards, table number, welcome bags and favors. Keep the numbers down for your wedding party as well: Fewer attendants means less money spent on bouquets, boutonnieres, presents, and transportation.

Skip Anything That’s Not Important to You ~ There is absolutely no reason to purchase something if you truly would prefer not to have it. DIY whenever possible. Utilize discount sites. Do away with aisle runners and programs.

Purchase Flowers by Seasonality, Not Type ~ Work closely with your florist to design your florals based on a style you are looking to achieve rather than favorite types of flowers that may or may not be in season at the time of your wedding. A simple and elegant single stem can make just as strong a statement as a large bouquet. Your florist will be able to offer you flowers you might have never heard of that can help create your look without the excessive cost.

Buy Bridesmaids Dresses in a Department Store ~ If you and your bridesmaids are lucky enough to find a dress you like, in the right color and sizes off the rack in a department store, you might be able to save a bundle this way. Look into stores that are going out of business and ask for a discount price on the last of all of one stock. Bridesmaid dresses are expensive because they are custom and anything custom comes with an increased cost. There is a big opportunity to save here.

Belly Up to the Bar ~ Forget about hard liquor: Hard liquor and mixed drinks cost more than other alcohol. Cut them out and offer choices of beer, wine and soft drinks instead. You can cut this cost altogether by not serving alcohol at all. Consider having a coffee bar with a barista who can whip up espressos, lattes and other specialty coffee drinks.

Hire a “Great DJ” Instead of a Mediocre Band (Emphasis on “Great!”) ~ A great wedding band, like the ones you see in the movies, will cost up to $5,000 and more. Save a bundle by selecting the best DJ you can find who will be professional and can read your crowd. Check references. Skip the friend with a boom-box!

My Best Bonus Tip! Hire an expert to help. Save money by spending it on a wedding planner? It sounds counterintuitive, but wedding planners are not shy when it comes to haggling, can draw from years of experience working with brides on budgets, and have working relationships with vendors – all of which can amount to big bucks shaved off your final bill.

One more thing. A wedding is an incredible celebration. It’s a time to get together with old and new friends to have a really good time. It’s important to be very clear about one thing. The wedding ceremony is the wedding! Most of the wedding details that you work so hard on will be mere memories the next day. Some you won’t even remember. The food will be eaten, the dress put away, the monogrammed napkins crumpled, the flowers wilted, favors left on the table and the party of the year – your reception (intended to celebrate the wedding ceremony) – will be a distance memory. Be smart. The reception is not the most memorable part of a wedding! Even the guests will tell you that. Sure, it’s great to have a terrific party but when you hire the right wedding officiant, the buzz at the reception should be about the wonderful wedding ceremony. Take the time to find the right wedding officiant. I promise… it will be worth it.

BONUS Articles: Save $$’s With a Cake and Punch Reception!
“Oh, About the Reception…”
Is There a Shortage of “Professional/Qualified” Wedding Officiants?
No Thanks! A Family Friend Will Perform Our Wedding Ceremony!
Is a Memorable Wedding Officiant Worth the Splurge?

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Copyright © 2015 – Larry James. This information is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website and Wedding Blog. 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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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Save $$$s With an Off-Season Wedding in the Arizona Desert

In Sunny Arizona we have two wedding seasons. While brides and grooms in the mid-west and the east tend to plan their weddings in June, wedding vendors in the Greater Phoenix area are busiest in March, April and May and again in October, November and December. Why? Because the temperatures in June through September – our off-season – in the desert can melt the Unity Candles and be quite uncomfortable.

There is a big however… Some of the finest Arizona resorts and reception facilities have greater availability during our off-season. Wedding professionals estimate brides and grooms on tight budgets can often save several thousand dollars, depending on the size of your wedding and the day they choose.

CasualDressCodeOn off days, like weekdays and Sundays can save you even more. The exception is Fridays, out second busiest day for weddings. Most brides and groom still choose Saturday as the busiest day for weddings.

For brides who aren’t put off by a little bit of extra heat and humidity, summertime is the perfect season for a beautiful wedding. Besides it’s a dry heat! 😉 And to be honest… it’s still hot. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Remember to provide multiple ice cold water stations spiked with citrus slices to keep your guest hydrated. By the way, beer and wine don’t count toward keeping you hydrated. Nonalcoholic drinks are a wise choice.

Ask your wedding consultant to keep a special eye on itty-bitty people and elderly people; these groups are more apt to become quickly dehydrated. Rent a gelato cart, snow cone machine or set up an ice cream bar at the reception.

Consider printing your program on hand fans that ushers give to everyone as they are seated. The ladies will appreciate having the extra breeze during the ceremony to keep their makeup in place. Provide small spray bottles filled with cool water that the guests can use to spritz themselves. Out-of-town guests appreciate summer weddings because their kids are out of school and bosses are sometimes more lenient with vacation time.

Using a little strategy can often save you money. Food and labor cost are pretty much remain the same, but in June through September there are often some incredible savings on room rates for your out-of-town guests.

Push the ceremony back so it’s as late in the evening as possible. The hottest part of the day is around 3 and 4 o’clock, so how about planning an evening wedding. Near sunset or after dark works best. That’s when the sun will be well past its peak damage potential. Contact a lighting company to provide special lighting for a romantic glow.

Consider a “dress casual” wedding by lightening up the dress code even if you choose an indoor venue. Address wardrobe options via an invitation insert, e.g., “Stiflingly hot jackets and ties forbidden!” or “Lightweight clothing advised.” Any time earlier than sunset and you can count on higher temperatures. Consider relaxing the wardrobe requirements especially for your groomsmen. Light-colored dresses and slacks for the guys will help them stay cool. Light, breathable fabrics can save the day. If you must have tuxedoes have the guys dress moments before the wedding.

What about photos after dark? The bride and groom could do a “First Look” and do most of your wedding photos before the wedding instead of after. Photos in direct sunlight are never quite as good. Follow your photographer’s advice.

Ask your florist to suggest flowers that will not wilt as quickly. Avoid white flowers with white blossoms as the tend to lose their appeal as they lose their moisture.

Guests tend to eat less when it’s hot, so ask your caterer to make suggestions. Beat the heat with a themed reception. South-of-the-border food is very popular in the Arizona desert. OR brighten up your menu with tropical fruit, which can be served fresh, in sorbets or even as a glaze for the main dish. Cold salads are another great idea.

The shade is your friend. Canopies or tents can be rented and installed cheaply and easily. Check prices on outdoor fans. It’s money well spent. And as an after-thought… you could have your wedding indoors although most of my weddings love the outdoors because the Arizona scenery provides such great photo opts.

Summer weddings in Arizona can save you money and a lot of fun.

BONUS Articles: How To Make Your Summer Wedding Cool
Arizona Sunsets
Getting Married in Arizona? Here’s the Latest Scoop!
Destination Wedding: Arizona…

CelebrateIntimateWeddings

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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
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

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Best Use of 10% of Your Budget: Hire a Coordinator!

Amy Bacon, Guest Author

Do you need a Wedding Planner? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Be realistic about the time you really have to devote to putting together the sort of wedding you want. If you have lots of spare time, you may be able to pull it off. Interesting enough, most Brides simply don’t think they can afford a planner (silly Brides!), and it’s the one vendor they WISH they’d spent a portion of their budget on. Ask a recent bride, she’ll tell you the same!

Here are some good reasons we believe that tell the story of why you should hire a wedding planner:

• You’re planning your wedding in another city or state.

• You have special needs, such as finding a place of worship that will accommodate a mixed- religion ceremony, or would like to track down a caterer who can prepare a diabetic-friendly, or vegan/vegetarian menu.

• Both you and your fiancé work long hours and/or travel frequently for business, and you want a big, blow out event; but who can make the time for all the detail work AND end up a nice woman, when it’s all said and done?

• You don’t particularly like hassling with little details; you’re a “big picture” person.

• You want someone else to do the leg work for you! As an example: your coordinator/planner, after spending time with you knows what your budget and needs are and sets appointments with vendors they think will be a good match. You don’t waste your time looking for vendors by going on appointments that are a total waste of time based on price points, or your budget/vision.

• You’d like to be able to purely enjoy your day with no worries regarding any issues that will undoubtedly transpire.

A wedding planner can actually SAVE you money – Most planners will be able to get you discounts with different vendors that they work with on a regular basis (baker for your cake or cupcakes, catering, photography, flowers, videographer, officiates, and even at venues)!

Brides: You need a “Day-Of” coordinator; you just don’t realize it!

Why? Well firstly, you’re hosting the biggest party of your life! (How many people can you imagine would throw a formal, sit-down party for over 50 people and not hire help? Exactly!). Secondly, we know how perfect you’d like everything to be and we know after years of experience, a Bride cannot sanely be in 8 places at one time and truly enjoy her day. Thirdly, your choice of reception site may have a Catering Manager, but it’s really not her job to be sure you stay on schedule or to wrangle!

Our “Day-Of” Wedding Consulting Service will afford you a sense of control and ease, allowing you the opportunity to relax, enjoy and be in the moment:

• Complete oversight for your Rehearsal and Wedding Day

• On-site meetings prior to the Wedding to ensure placement of flowers, gift books, etc

• We’ll keep you completely on Schedule the Day-Of

• We’ll make sure each attendant knows their role for the ceremony

• Ring Bearer and Flower Girl Tutoring

We communicate with every contracted Vendor prior and the day of, ensuring all requirements are met. They will know exactly where to be and what the bride’s and grooms expectations are.

We’ll make sure your photographer and videographer get the Photos and Reel from your Shot Lists, etc.

Cuing the music, the procession and more.

Why Hiring a Wedding Planner is imperative…

While you may not need someone to assist with the menu or your dress or color choices or any number of your dream desires for your wedding day, we strongly advise hiring a “Day-Of” coordinator, who at the very least will assist you for some months prior to and the Day-Of; we’re here to assist and as much or little as you like!

What is a “Day-Of” Coordinator? For example: a month out we will meet with you, help finalize contracts and your desires for placement and decoration; the time line on your wedding day and so much more. We make all the follow up phone calls, we do all the organizing so that on the Day-Of your wedding, you’ll have one or two main people (depending upon the size of your wedding), to answer any and all questions, maintain the day’s flow and to be sure you and your groom really enjoy your day.

If you’re thinking you can handle all this yourself; consider that it may sound easy; certainly seems like something you can handle and it very well may be, but if you want people running up to you the whole day asking:

• “What time will the limo be here?”

• “Aunt Jo and Uncle Charles from NYC are lost; how do they get here?”

• “Little Eric, where’s the ring pillow?”

• “When are we supposed to line up?”

• “Where’s Tiffany; your Mom, your Cousin Ilene, the Catering Manager?”

• “What time are you going to throw the bouquet?”

• “Should we ask Earl (who drank too much and is disrupting guests) to leave?”

• …and more; then by all means, run your wedding day yourself!

If, however, you’d like to be kept out of this mix, free to spend time with your attendants, your guests and your new husband, then please reconsider. Even if you’re the “Anti-Bride”, there are still lots of things you’ll really want help with and with the cost of an average “Day-Of” coordinator being typically less than approximately 10% of your overall budget; it’s really affordable. We can save you money, too! Ask us how.

amybaconWe will be sure everything runs smoothly, that you are insulated from the stress that transpires on your Wedding day; when it’s all about you, not about everyone and everything else.

Copyright © 2009 – Mrs. Amy Bacon. Reprinted with Permission. You will find Mrs. Hancock’s Wedding Planners and Consultants, kind, professional, knowledgeable, helpful and excited to be of service. They won’t break your budget either! Please contact their office at 602-234-1200 and speak with Mrs. Hancock or Mrs. Amy Bacon for a free consultation. Visit their Website at: www.MrsHancocks.com

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 445 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 for your wedding.

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 written by Larry James listed in this Wedding BLOG 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

Friday, September 25, 2009

$$ Saving Wedding Tip

Filed under: $$$ Tips,Budget — Larry James @ 11:00 am
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Holding your wedding on a day other than a Friday or Saturday can often save you money.

Some halls, caterers, and other wedding service providers will often give you a discount if you hold your wedding on an “off-day”. Ask them about discounts for “off-day” weddings.

If they don’t currently have such a policy, try to negotiate one with them.

Also having your wedding during the less popular months of June through September – the so called Arizona “off season” – can often save you money too.

If your wedding will be in Arizona, March through May and October through December are the busiest wedding months. So call to book your wedding and rehearsal early – six months to a year.

Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. 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 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. 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.

Add Larry James 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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