Thursday, August 30, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Gifts and Bridal Registries

Tradition states that if you are invited to a wedding, you should purchase the wedding couple a gift about equivalent in value what the wedding couple will pay for the wedding guests at the wedding reception. If the guests are close family members or very close friends, a little more should be spent. If someone is invited in which their finances are very tight, an inexpensive gift is appropriate but the gift should be one of value to the wedding couple. An example would be coasters, glasses, a serving dish or a toaster.

If wedding guests don't have a good idea what to buy as a wedding gift, often couples are registered to bridal registries and the registry can give a clue of what gifts the couple are looking for. It is a good idea to buy a gift from a couple's bridal registry for when the registry is finally over, the couple can buy a gift they want at a significant discount.

Some well known department stores that have good bridal registries include; Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdales, Crate & Barrel, Kohl's, Macy's, and Pottery Barn.

Here are 10 cost savings tips for wedding gifts and bridal registries.

Tip 1 - Understand How to Run Your Bridal Registry
If the size of the wedding is under 300 wedding guests, a couple should sign up with two bridal registries of their favorite stores, if over 300 wedding guests then they should sign up with three stores. This is done so the wedding couple can gain a significant discount of gifts they want. If the amount of stores is too spread they won't gain the significant discount.

The registry should be signed up for about two to three months before the wedding, gifts should be signed up for all different price ranges because your guests will buy gifts in all different price ranges. On each Thursday or Friday the month before your wedding, the couple should check in with their Bridal Registry to be sure the items they have chosen are still available. If the item has been registered find a replacement item at about the same value. It is much better to check out the status of your bridal registry in person to verify the items are still on display and available.

It is wise to run the bridal registry up to a week after your honeymoon, for a few of your gifts might be picked up after your wedding day and help you to get a bigger discount.

Tip 2 - Give the Wedding Couple a Gift Card
You might consider getting the couple a gift card and better yet, give them a gift card for their favorite store or a store in which they are registered to a bridal registry in order for them to get a bigger discount for a gift they want.

Tip 3 - Make a Homemade Gift
Very often a homemade gift becomes very special, it often is a unique gift that can't be found in any store. Some great homemade wedding gifts could be an oil painting, a woodwork gadget, ceramic pottery, a quilt, a unique sculpture, or a pretty glass blowing. An inscription might be included with the couple's initials or date of the wedding.

Tip 4 - Find a Unique Gift Online
If you look for gifts online or using your smart sphone you can find great gifts from EBay, Amazon, Craigslist, or from a hobbyist's website. Shop around for a good deal.

Tip 5 - Buy a Group Gift
Group gifts sometimes make great gifts. The group can be the high school gang, the sorority sisters, the people you work with. Great group gifts could be a patio set, a dining table set, or living room set. Group gifts are great because a furniture set bought by some special friends will last a long time and often you will be reminded of the old gang when you use the furniture.

Tip 6 - Find Coupons, Coupon Codes, and Store Discount Sales
The latest trend in coupons are the new scanners called QR codes short for "Quick Response" codes, you scan these codes using your smart phones which are in reality mobile coupons. These coupons in reality are little black and white squares with smaller squares within the larger ones.

A new trend is emerging, many couple will create a seperate card in their wedding invitation package and on these cards will show the store's name of their bridal registry and will show QR codes. With wedding guest's smart phones they can scan the code and get information on the couple's bridal registry including URL links, GEO coordinates, text, pictures, and promotional material.

Also, you could search for coupons using your laptop or smart phone. Today their are thousands of coupons that can be found to get discounts on gifts. Some reputable websites that offer coupons include , , , , and .

You also might go to your favorite store in person and ask if that store has an e-newsletter or visit their website. When they have promotions, they may send you their information or send you a coupon or coupon code.

Tip 7 - Find a High Quality Regift
Sometimes you may have received a prior gift that's really not you. A family member may also have gifts they don't won't. Be sure that any regifts are in perfect condition and that nobody at the wedding knows that the gift is a regift. Look around in your apartment, and at your parents house or close relative's house. Look in attics, storage areas, garages, and basements. Good regifts might be china sets, extra unused appliances, furniture, and beautiful artwork.

Tip 8 - Find a Unique Gift from an Estate Sale or Moving Sale
Great gifts can often be found at estate sales, moving sales, yard sales, and garage sales. Look for upcoming sales in newspapers, and on online resources. Sometimes beautiful heirlooms can be found or a beautiful living room, dining room, or bedroom set. Also you may come across beautiful jewelry. Situations arise where people need to downsize, need to find money quickly or there is a death in the family. Great deals can be found at some of these estate sales and you can pick up a great gift thats a bargain, sometimes even at a great discount such as 80% off what the item is worth, quick money may be needed.

Tip 9 - Buy Gifts Out of Their Season
Study the gift you are interested in buying using Google Trend. Certain times of the year you will see a significant drop in the search for a product. Many outdoor products show a significant drop after the summer season such as a patio set, televisions show a significant drop after the Super Bowl, many items drop in price after the Christmas Holidays. At certain times of the year when demand is less, the prices of products are lowered to stimulate demand.

Tip 10 - Offer Your Services and Time Instead
If you don't have much money to buy a wedding gift, offer your services. You could bake a cake, help wrap wedding favors, paint a room in the wedding couple's new home, be a handyman or handywoman, offer your services for a day, be available for landscaping, help the wedding couple move, do the lawn while the couple are on their honeymoon, help create a photo album, ask how you can help the couple.

The important thing about buying wedding gifts, formulate a budget and keep to your budget, you can buy a special gift another time when you have some extra money.

Also it's important for the wedding couple to buy a special meaningful gift for each other, it could be jewelry, a gadget, or a picture of you framed. Buy something that has meaning.

Other gifts that are good is a gift of special wine, liquor that you know the couple likes and for the out-of-towners buy them a local area gift basket of specialties in your area, as a token of your appreciation for coming to your wedding.

See you on the other side!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Cost Saving Tips for Wedding Invitations

Wedding tradition states that wedding invitation features hand-engraved and fine calligraphy to create a rich, elegant look. The paper you should use should last a lifetime so the newlyweds have them as keepsakes to show to future generations.

When deciding on a calligrapher make sure you have checked out their training and ask for examples of their work and make sure you like their calligraphy style. You will need to decide on size and style of paper and envelopes, what type of ink to use, what type of font to go with, the amount of invitations that will be needed, by what date the invitations will be needed by and finally the total costs.

The following are 10 cost saving tips for wedding invitations.

Tip 1 - Use a Great Calligrapher Just for the Design
You want to create your beautiful wedding invitation and possibly other items such as thank-you notes, directional maps, place cards, and wedding programs. A great way to save on costs is have a professional calligrapher create a master copy of all the printing needs you want for your wedding. Then take the master copies and have all your wedding printing needs handled by a print shop at less cost. Make sure you talk to both parties before proceeding. For example, gain ideas for designer artwork and that the printer can match the work to your wedding theme or color scheme. The only part that will have to be handled by the wedding couple is the recipients address which will need to be written out on each of the envelopes one by one. Make sure you use ink appropriate for wedding invitations.

Tip 2 - Pick Up a Major Retailer Wedding Invitation Box Kit
Today some major retailers sell wedding invitation box kits that allow you to print your own wedding invitations at home. There are many styles to choose from to suit your tastes. You can find kits in a number of places, at gift shops, at office supply stores, at Kinkos, at Staples, at Costco, and other discount and warehouse stores. Invitation kits can also be ordered online, here are some reputable websites , , , , and . Many of these kits include ribbon and other extras. You also might consider purchasing a custom embosser to add initials, names, or custom designs embeeded into the invitations.

Tip 3 - Have Your RSVPs Responded to using Social Media
Over the last few years there are many more ways to respond to your wedding invite. RSVPs can be done many different ways then snail mail. RSVPs can be done over your IPhone (some wedding apps can directly put your guests into a wedding list) (check out or RSVPs can be gathered on a couple's wedding website, on a couple's Facebook page, a blog, a twitter tweet, or with a response using text message. Use the Social Media device that you are into and leave instructions to your guests how to respond with what you are using.

Tip 4 - Learn the Art of Calligraphy and Create Invitations Yourself
If you've really got good handwriting and steady hands and plenty of time, you might consider learning calligraphy and create your own wedding invitations. Make sure you take a calligraphy class or learn how to stroke Calligraphy characters from Videos or Youtube. It is very helpful to watch somebody, how they stroke characters visually. Make sure you find good paper to use and a good ink set. Also order about 20% of extra papers for oops mistakes, and for late additions. Some websites you might check out include , , , , and .

Tip 5 - Send a Wedding CD Invitation
With today's technology, impress your guests with a wedding invitation CD. Not only are CDs easy to make and very affordable these days, they also provide an interactive multimedia experience that goes well beyond a paper invitation. Start off with you and your honey inviting important people in your lives to your wedding. Next inform them of all the details of the wedding ceremony and how to get there and to the wedding reception location, next include a slideshow of the each of you growing up and a little about how each of you came together, include some favorite music, and lastly how to RSVP.

Tip 6 - Go Vintage Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitations can be made of non-traditional materials that can give your wedding a vintage appeal. You might consider printing wedding details on vintage scarfs, handkerchiefs, scraps of silk, or on Chinese fans. Pick up an inkset fabric printer which will allow you to print details on many of these products using your computer at home and providing significant savings. Use lace dollies, old photographs, vintage pictures and stamps to complete the vintage look.

Tip 7 - Create a Video Wedding Invitation
You can create a video wedding invitation using a webcam or camcorder. You can create of video of both of you inviting guests to your wedding. You again want to state that you would be privileged to have invited guests to come to your wedding. Provide specifics of the date, time and important venue locations of your wedding day, make sure in your video you dress up or dress down similar to what people should be wearing for your wedding day whether formal or beach wear. You could send a video to each invite using email or create a CD to send in the mail. Make sure you have all guests email addresses and home addresses. Make sure you include how guests should respond RSVP.

Tip 8 - Use a Post Card for RSVP and Save the Date Magnet
When you ask to respond using RSVP use a post card instead of a return stamped envelope and you will save on postage especially if you have hundreds of respondents, a post card stamp is a little cheaper. Also a Save the Date Magnet is great to send for wedding guests could keep the magnet on their refrigerator, give your guests plenty of advance notice so they don't forget the weekend of your wedding and act as reminders. A business card sized magnet will do.

Tip 9 - Destination Based Wedding Invitation
Maps are a perfect choice if you are planning a destination wedding. Look for vintage maps for your wedding locale online or buy modern folding maps with attractive printing. You also might consider using maps or landmark sites as a border to frame your written invitation details. Cut and paste appropriate map sections to accent a standard invitation. Create a map highlighting the bride's preparation location, the ceremony site, a photo shoot spot, the wedding reception location and directions to hotels and the airport. Create pictures of landmarks on appropriate locations on the maps. Find someone with strong drawing skills to create your map.

Tip 10 - Create Wedding Invitations Using a Home Computer
Creating wedding invitations is so much easier these days. You do need to shop around for good deals on paper. Look for inexpensive off white paper such as ecru. Check out translucent, metallic paper, and linen paper. You might check out thermography and laser printing. Avoid expensive extras such as bows, embellishments, jackets, and multiple layers of paper. Make sure you proof read all your printing for proper english and spelling mistakes. Some websites to check out to create wedding invitations using your home computer include , , and .
Lastly when working with a calligrapher add in some extra time. Don't rush a calligrapher, their work is meticulous. Also, a calligrapher might not tell you about other clients that they have, and they don't want to lose extra business that comes their way. You also don't want to rush them for oops or alignment or spelling mistakes. Add an extra week in your head from a quoted date. Many calligraphers will tell you for every 100 invitations they work on might take a week. If the calligrapher is not too far away, arrange for pickup in person and double check all invitations for spelling. It is also wise to bring along a second pair of eyes to check spelling and all recipients names are spelled correctly and with the proper Mr., Mrs., Ms and other titles such as Doctor or Judge.

See you on the other side!