Sunday, March 4, 2012
10 Cost Savings Tips For Wedding Planning
Tip 1 - Have a "DIY" Wedding
DIY stands for a "Do It Yourself" Wedding. This kicks back to old school of planning your wedding, on how weddings were planned a generation ago, you start out by buying a very inexpensive three ring binder and load it with lots of loose leaf paper and a good amount of dividers and some pocket folders and staple or paper clip some baggies that holds pictures and fabrics. In front of the binder create yourself a wedding checklist of wedding steps and create a section for wedding guests and the next sections are created for wedding vendors and maybe in the back a section for seating.
Next up, you start gathering information on who your wedding guests will be, there first is the bride's family, then the bride's friends, then the bride's work and clubs, then there is the groom's family, the groom's friends, and the grooms' work and finally eventually a list of wedding vendors that will be part of your special day.
Now you need to start researching wedding vendors and create a tab and sheets for each of them. Your goal is to interview at least 3 wedding vendors before deciding on one. Look for wedding vendors from wedding directories, family and friends, from other wedding vendors, Google them if you have a computer using the town name and wedding category and from the yellow pages. The vendors you find, first make a preliminary call to check on availability, expense, and professional they are and if they pass the phone test make an appointment with them, prepare interview questions to ask them before the appointment and each time you meet bring along a friend.
Tip 2 - Buy Yourself a Mobile Device and Download a Wedding App
Just hitting the market and keep your eyes open for the newest sensation, wedding planning apps. Brides love these new little devices and they make wedding planning fun, easy, and always at your fingertips. Wedding planning apps are available on IPhones, IPads, Blackberries, IPods, and Android Phones and with new technology in no time there will be new devices coming out. Find and check out devices that most fits your wedding planning needs. Many of these apps organize your guest list, organize your wedding vendors, may allocate your budget expenditures, create seating plans, keep a diary, provide seating plans, have inspiration boards and do many things more.
Reputable Companies Offering Wedding Planning Apps
Tip 3 - Wedding Planning Online
Over the last decade, many companies have put products online. You have to be a little comfortable with computers, but you don't have to be wiz, many products are relatively easy. Many of these products are free but some sophisticated ones do cost some money. Many products create spreadsheets or databases to help you plan your wedding and makes wedding planning easy and allows you to quickly printout reports. A wedding couple can even create a website, or put their wedding plans on Facebook, they can have fun with putting out a daily diary using Twitter which allows small bursts of information out called Tweets, so family and friends can follow their wedding planning activities. Pinterest is another online social system which is great at creating inspiration boards. Some reputable companies are listed below.
Wedding Planning Websites
Google Docs also has a number of planning tools, in your browser put "Google Docs Wedding" and click one of the links of the type of tool you are looking for.
Create a Website for a Wedding Couple
Tip 4 - Find a Really Good Wedding Planner
Focus on the wedding planner interview process. A handful of wedding planners are really good at their job. The really good wedding planner knows the wedding business really well, they tend to have a lot of experience, are very personable, are thorough, understands your budget, has connections, and gets discounts from many of the wedding vendors and passes savings onto the wedding couple. These wedding planners are often a little hard to find, but when you find one, they leave an impression on you in your interview with them. Interview a number of wedding planners and sometimes you might find a good wedding planner.
Tip 5 - Use a Wedding Coordinator
Often brides, want to plan their own wedding, but don't have very many contacts and don't have a lot of time for research. For this type of bride a wedding coordinate is great and costs a lot less money than a wedding planner. A wedding coordinator sets one or two meetings with the bride. Often the wedding coordinator leaves a wedding organizer with the bride which includes a wedding plan checklist, how to create a wedding guest list, seating plans, and how to allocate budgets to vendors, and how to do many other things. The coordinator also leaves all sorts of contacts in the organizer such as many wedding vendors with their name, address and phone number. The wedding coordinator sometimes will even set up a meeting between the bride and some of the wedding vendors and these vendors are provided a little information on the wedding couple such as the date of the wedding, and guest count, so upon the interview meeting a package of information will be waiting for the couple.
Tip 6 - Use a Day of Wedding Coordinator
A day of wedding coordinator is basically an assistant for your wedding day. This individual is basically responsible for pulling together all the elements and details of your wedding day. They make sure the ceremony site is properly decorated and oversee the wedding reception. They organize all the deliveries such as the wedding cake, flowers, and wedding decorations are set up properly. They make sure the reception tables with centerpieces, place settings and wedding favors are set up right. They tell the wedding guests when it's time for sit down dinner, organizes the food flow from the caterer, what waitresses covers which tables, when to cut the cake, and provides the cue for toasts and when the musicians can start playing. The wedding coordinator is the eyes and ears of the wedding couple for their wedding day. Typically around the month before the wedding the wedding couple meets with the wedding coordinator and gets all the contacts and receive marching orders from the wedding couple of how the wedding day should be run, so the couple can focus on their duties for their wedding day without any distractions.
Tip 7 - Use a Wedding Coordinator from a Hotel, Resort, Club, or Restaurant
Many wedding reception venues have their own wedding coordinator and offers many of the services that are part of weddings. The wedding couple or bride might have some less vendors that they have to find for their wedding. Many of these places provide bundling of services with discounts as part of pricing plans. Besides offering catered food for the wedding, these facilities have all the seating taken care of, they have all the linens and dishes needed, they have all the decorations and flowers provided, they provide the wedding cake and desserts, they have in-house photographers, they may have in-house disc jockeys, they may have in-house musicians, they usually have outstanding chefs, have bartenders and waitstaff. Usually the bride has a lot less to do when planning her wedding with this type of venue, she just has to focus on her wedding dress and bridal party outfits. Maybe she has a little wedding invitation work and work involved with wedding favors.
Also over the last decade, many of these venues have a ceremony site on premise, saving the wedding ceremony costs, they even have wedding officiants.
Tip 8 - Find a Student from a Local Community College or University
The secret in finding a student from a local community college or university is first find a teacher that teaches wedding planning. Ask for their best student but it's got to be either later in the semester or around when they have finished the course. Make sure you interview the student before contracting with them, you may want to interview a few students before deciding. Find a student that's charming and has good organization skills. Usually you can't go wrong with the best students, usually you can get a big discount from them, you are offering them a tremendous opportunity by getting their foot in the door for wedding planning that will look good on their resume. Just be sure you meet with them regularly so they know what you need done and the communication between you is good.
Tip 9 - Pick a Wedding Planner Who Charges By The Hour
Choose a wedding planner who charges by the hour over the one who charges a flat fee or one who charges percent of total. Interview a dozen wedding planners and you might find they all do and charge for the wedding planning services different. Studies have shown, the wedding planners who charge by the hour often gives better service. Once a wedding planner is paid or has a set fee they tend to not work as hard on providing service sometimes putting a little more focus on reeling in more clients. If all is equal in the hiring process, pick the wedding planner who charges by the hour over the others.
Tip 10 - Enlist an Organized Family Member or Friend
You might find a sister or good friend to help you with your wedding chores and especially help out as your assistant for your wedding day. Your sister or friend must not be part of your bridal party though, they cannot break away from their duties. Make sure the person you choose as your assistant for your wedding day is organized and is a person good at dealing with other people, does not get frazzled should there be a conflict.
That's 10 Cost Saving Tips for your wedding planning. See you on the other side!