Wedding Budget Tips: When to Splurge and When to Purge…

Planning a wedding is all about compromise…usually within yourself! You have to tell the good angel and the bad angel when to break out the checkbook and when to put it away. You have to find the balance of splurging on the things that matter most to you and knowing when to cut back on others. Financial priority should be assigned to the elements that are the most important and representative of you as a couple. However, there are some general guidelines, I believe, that should be used for spending to ensure that your day is not only memorable for you but for your guests as well.

 

WHEN TO SPLURGE: I can pretty much guarantee these are the items your guests will be walking away remembering the most. I an also say with full confidence that the following details are things that you and your beau will be glad you invested extra cash in later!:

 

cartoon courtesy of toonpool.com

1. The Food- Food is everything! That doesn’t mean it has to be overly expensive and fancy though. You don’t have to serve French cuisine at your wedding but you do want to make sure it tastes good! You also don’t need to have enough food to feed a small country. Keep your menu simple if needed but just make sure everything tastes good and that there is enough for the guests to be satisfied. I have been to fancy venues where the food was okay. I have also been to backyard weddings that served the most delicious pulled pork sandwiches and homemade wedding cake! You can have family help out with the food if your budget is strict. Nobody will miss the filet mignon if the food you serve makes them sit back and say, “Man this is good!”. If you are using a venue or a caterer, you MUST have a tasting first! This ensures that our selections are just as tasty as they sound on paper!

cartoon courtesy of Cartoonstack.com

 

2. The Music- Music sets the tone for the night! You will want a DJ (cheaper than a band by far…although bands are awesome!) that can balance a variety of music and keep the crowd hyped and happy. Good music pumps energy into your crowd and keeps them there till the very end. Here you show your personality through song selections (see my previous post about using music to customize your wedding) but you also want to make sure that the music reflects your crowd so that there is something for everyone. You don’t need a DJ with a crazy lighting system and lots of bells and whistles. You do need a DJ with a great song selection and personality!

cartoon courtesy of Cartoonstock.com

3. The Photography- Yes, you can save money and put disposable cameras out on the tables and have guests take pictures but you may be taking a big risk! It will be impossible to use those in digital a;bums plus you are risking a plethora of shots you will never want or need! Your best bet is to find a PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer. Perhaps you can work out a deal where you only get the rights to the digital images and you can create your album yourself using sites such as Shutterfly or Snapfish. It pays to have good pictures though. You want these to be timeless. Wedding photographers can capture the emotion, beauty and subtle important details of one of the most important days of your life. Great pictures are worth every penny!

cartoon courtesy of Cartoonstock.com

 

 

4. Service- Read reviews of your venue! Good service makes a huge difference. Nobody wants to wait for orders, have their tables overcrowded with dishes and use dirty restrooms! You can utilize a buffet or cocktail style dinner but make sure that the food is easily accessible and that you have a plan in mind for getting food on and off the tables. Good service doesn’t have to be expensive but it’s worth paying for a couple of hands to help you out even if you are doing a DYI backyard wedding (and those usually have awesome service!).

 

cartoon courtesy of NewYorkette.com

5. YOUR DRESS!!!!- That’s right! Get selfish! Everyone remembers what the bride looked like, very few remember the groom’s tux, hair…etc.! This is your night to be a princess and feel like a star! You can splurge on a dress that makes you feel beautiful. If you happen to find one for an amazing deal, even better! However, make sure the dress makes you feel confident, romantic and stunning. You deserve it!

 

WHEN TO PURGE: Here are some of the areas I think it is easier to cut back without lessening your experience and the overall guest experience.

1. Invitations- Most pieces wind up in recycling no matter how expensive or fancy! Pick something you like and that is affordable!

2. Centerpieces/Flowers I have attended two weddings recently that used the centerpieces that came in the venue package. Nobody cared! The centerpieces don’t make or break the experience! Save some major money here!

3. Favors- Pick something useful, fun and inexpensive! Most people don’t “need” their favors so don’t think you have to choose something over the top and expensive. One of my favorite weddings favors I received was a one dollar scratch off ticket with a penny!

4. Videography- Here you can have a friend film the most important parts only (such as the ceremony, cake cutting and toasts). You won’t sit down and watch a 12 hour video of your wedding…EVER.

5. Your Accessories- That means your shoes, hair accessories and jewels! No one is staring at them as much because your dress is the focus! The best accessory for a dress is great hair and make up! Invest in those and consider costume jewelry and sale items for the rest!

Vistaprint and Living Social Deal on Save the Dates and Invitations

 

This is one of my all time favorite deals! It only comes out once in awhile so take advantage! Right now through Living Social (another favorite of mine!) you can get a $75 credit to Vistaprint for only $19!!!! I use Vistaprint for everything! Brides to be can make a cohesive collection of invites, thank you cards, table seating cards and save the dates using the stationary sets on Vistaprint. Plus…have your groom to be sign up so you will get $150 for only $38!!! PLUS if a few family members purchase the deal from your referral link 9maybe purchase it for you?) then your deal is FREE! That is an I DO DEAL!

 

Vistaprint has always sent me quality products. You just have to watch for hidden charges. Photo uploads can be $3 a photo (so choose 1 that you like!) and shipping can range. I always do the most inexpensive shipping option and I have never had a problem. It usually arrives ahead of time. I used Vistaprint for our recent bridal shower and it was so easy to create an inexpensive, fabulous and cohesive look using the stationary on Vistaprint. We made everything from invites, thank yous, table seating cards and even a banner using Vistaprint. There are some adorable options for holiday cards! What are you waiting for?!

Check out the deal here! Remember it is free to sign up for Living Social and to receive daily emails about great deals in your area! I have purchased some awesome offers from them in the past!

 

 

Vistaprint Save The Dates and Thank You Card Sale- 50% off!

Sorry Beer Budget Brides… had a busy last few days! I hope today’s deals make up for it!

 

Right now Vistaprint is offering a 50% off sale on Thank You cards and Save the Dates! You have to buy a set of 50 to score this deal. Save the Dates are not a necessary expense, especially if you are watching your budget, but they are great if you have a wedding during a busy season or if you are expecting many guests to travel. Thank you cards are a must no matter what the budget so this can be a great time to save! Use a picture of you and your partner from before the wedding if you don’t want to take a chance on the dealess thank yous after the big day.

 

As always with Vistaprint, you have to make sure you don’t get your budget shattered by add ons. Photos can sometimes run $3 an upload (go photoless to save money). Also shipping can get expensive if you choose any option other than the regular ground shipping. I always choose ground shipping and I have never waited more than two weeks. I have purchased many things from Vistaprint and been very pleased. I love how designs carry through all the products so it is easy to get a custom designed look with all your wedding stationary and extras. Check out some of the deals starting at $0.43 here!

 

 

This site is not affiliated with Vistaprint. All information is for personal use only.

Michaels Deals for Brides for the week of August 26th!

 

 

Michaels has four coupons this week. There is a coupon for 40% off any one regularly priced item. The rest are coupons for 40% of artist markers, paints, pastels and markers…40% off artist sketchbooks, pads and open stock paper (not including scrapbook paper) and 40% off artist canvas and easels. Not the best week for coupons 🙁 but maybe we will get another great bonus coupon at the end of the week like last week! Fingers crossed! You can find the coupons here.

 

Here are the Michaels Bridal Deals for the Week of August 26th:

  • Ashland Fall Potted Arrangements, 30% off: These can be incorporated into centerpieces (think leaves, gourds and more) if you are shopping for this fall, you could buy now but I think the price will go down (I hope!) The fake mums can be used for decor for a ceremony as well and then in your house for fall!
  • Celebrate It Halloween Decor, 30% off: Okay price if you need to stock up for a 2012 Halloween wedding and you don’t want to make multiple trips to the store with multiplw 40% off coupons!
  • Decorative Storage Paper Boxes, 30% off: These can be great decorative and inexpensive alternatives for the traditional card box (which you will NEVER use again!). After the wedding, you can use these boxes for great, fashionable storage.. I did! These usually go on sale for 40% -50%off so you may want to wait or you can use the 10% off bonus coupon!
  • Ashland Fall and Sunset Field Stems, 99 cents (regularly $1.99): I DO STOCK UP PRICE for Fall 2012…you can wait for the clearance if you are planning for Fall 2013. These can be used to make flower girl headbands and baskets. You can also submerge them in cylinder vases in water for awesome centerpieces!
  • Ashland Natural Storage Baskets, 40% off: These can be used for programs and favors. Personalized Carved Pumpkins $14.99 and up: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! I am not sure if these are real or fake (I am assuming fake which would be even better!) If you can keep them around the $14.99 range, you can score some inexpensive, cool and keepsake centerpieces for an autumn wedding! You can have your design in it or make them into brides and grooms. Light them with LED lights, surround them with inexpensive votives, scattered fall leaves and you have some cool centerpieces that people would love to take home! You cna even have the pumpkins done in colors! AWESOME!
  • Personalized Carved Pumpkins $14.99 and up: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! I am not sure if these are real or fake (I am assuming fake which would be even better!) If you can keep them around the $14.99 range, you can score some inexpensive, cool and keepsake centerpieces for an autumn wedding! You can have your design in it or make them into brides and grooms. Light them with LED lights, surround them with inexpensive votives, scattered fall leaves and you have some cool centerpieces that people would love to take home! You cna even have the pumpkins done in colors! AWESOME!Personalized Carved Pumpkins $14.99 and up: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! I am not sure if these are real or fake (I am assuming fake which would be even better!) If you can keep them around the $14.99 range, you can score some inexpensive, cool and keepsake centerpieces for an autumn wedding! You can have your design in it or make them into brides and grooms. Light them with LED lights, surround them with inexpensive votives, scattered fall leaves and you have some cool centerpieces that people would love to take home! You cna even have the pumpkins done in colors! AWESOME! This is one of my favorites!
  • Glass Vases and Jars, $2.99 each (regularly $3.99-$4.99): For the  higher end vases, this is a good price for a stock up. These can be  used to make your own floral or floating candle centerpieces. They also come in colors and clear…AWESOME!
  • All Brands, Acrylic Paint, 40% off: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!!! These paints can be used for painting table numbers, aisle runners or anything! I have seen non-brand name acrylic paints go for as low as 29 cents before the more expensive brand name acrylic paints are included in this sale which makes this a good deal!
  • Spool O’Ribbon, 3 for $1 (regularly 50 cents each): These go on sale weekly. They can be used for favor tags, invitations, bouquet ribbon and more!
  • Buy 2, Get 1 Free on Recollections Stickers and Embellishments: These are fun for creating memorable and creative embellishments on your invitations. I would wait for the 40% off sale to stock up.
  • Glitter Open Stock Paper, 50% off: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! These can be use for invitations, program backings and more!
  • Celebrate It Mega Ribbon, 30% off: This is an okay price if you need tons of ribbon.
  • Wilton Cany Melts, $1.99: It’s cheaper to use the 40% off coupon each week on these but I don’t know how many trips you will want to make in the future if you are making lollipops or cake pops as favors!
  • Card boxes, Guest Books, Flower Girl Baskets, Ring Bearer Pillows, Unity Sand and Candles…25% off:  If you aren’t in a rush…wait to use your 40% or 50% coupons on nonsale weeks for these items.
  • Brides Invitation Kits, $24.99, (regularly $39.99): I DO STOCK UP PRICE! This is a great price if you need a large amount of invitations!
  • Collage Collection Frames, 40% off: These would be nice gifts for the bridal party or family if you put in your photos! These often go on sale and in past weeks there has been bonus coupons for an additional 20%-25% off…if you can wait for one one of these weeks you will save 65%. This week is NOT a bonus coupon week.
  • Ashland Jar Candles, 2 for $8: I am convinced these are on sale every week! I love these for centerpieces. You can choose a scent or color that goes with your theme and colors. Guests would love to take these home at the end of the night! These have been on sale for over a month so far!
  • Home and Portrait Collections, Tabletop Frames, Display Cases and Shadow Boxes…Buy One, Get One Free : Great price and great gifts for family if you fill them with memories. If you can hold out for the 20% or 25% bonus coupon that appears some sale weeks…wait!
  • Fondant, $14.99 (regularly $15.99-$19,99): You are better off using a 40% coupon on a nonsale day.
  • $10 off custom cards and invitations: This is an okay price but I’ve seen better deals in other weeks.

This site is not affiliated with Michaels. All information is for personal use only.

 

 

Michaels Bridal Deals for the Week of August 5th!

 

Michaels has some pretty decent coupons this week. There is a coupon for 40% off one regularly priced item. There is a coupon for an additional 20% off tabletop frames, wall frames and display cases. This coupon  can be used on sale but not clearance items…nice! There is also a coupon for an additional 25% off your entire regular purchase of ribbon (it does not appear to include sale items). The coupons can be found here.

 

Here are the Michaels Bridal Deals for the Week of August 5th:

  • New Styles Baskets, 40% off: There are some really fun prints included in this sale! These can be used as toiletry baskets for the restrooms, baskets of programs and favors plus more! Bonus is that you can reuse them in your home after the wedding!
  • Open Stock Paper, 6 for $1 (regularly 59 cents, now 16 cents): I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! These can be used to make inexpensive napkin rings, table seating cards, invitation decorations and more. GREAT PRICE! I will be buying some this week for my stepsister’s bridal shower!
  • Decorative Storage Paper Boxes, 40% off: These can be great decorative and inexpensive alternatives for the traditional card box (which you will NEVER use again!). After the wedding, you can use these boxes for great, fashionable storage.. I did!
  • Recollections Stickers and Embellishments, 50% off: I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!!! These are great as embellishments for invitations and table seating cards. This is an awesome price and will save you multiple coupon trips!
  • American Craft Paint, 77 cents (regularly $1.19): These paints can be used for painting table numbers, aisle runners or anything! I am not sure of the difference in quality but A.C. Moore has a different brand of acrylic paints on sale this week for 33 cents.
  • T-Shirts. 2 for $6 (regularly $3.99): These are great for making personalized shirts for the rehearsal. The sale includes multiple colors. HOWEVER, A.C. Moore has plain white shirts on sale for $1.99 this week.
  • Tabletop Frames, Wall Frames, Collage Frames, Display Cases and Shadow Boxes…40% off: Now if you pair this with the coupon mentioned above…you are saving 60%!!!! I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!!! These make great gifts for family or the bridal party if you fill them with pictures of memories. You can also create a collage display of you and your partner to be to display at the wedding!
  • Craft punches, 40% off: These are great if you are customizing favor tags, invitations or seating cards. They add a little extra pizzazz!
  • Ashland Natural Inspirations, 40% off: There is an awesome table number idea pictured in the flyer (painted numbers on burlap attached to steel pails). These are great accents for decor and centerpieces!
  • Trees, 40%: Maybe you were looking for some trees for decor!
  • Ashland Fall Vegetables, Fruits, Garlands, Berries and Craft Pumpkins: If you need these items for a fall 2012 item and you need multiple, this is an okay price. If you can wait for the price to drop for an end of fall or fall 2013 wedding…wait! These would be great for centerpiece decor!
  • Value Pack Paper, 3 for $10 (regularly $3.99): This is an okay price. These can be used to back invitations and programs.
  • Ashland Jar Candles and Warmers, 2 for $8: I am convinced these are on sale every week! I love these for centerpieces. You can choose a scent or color that goes with your theme and colors. Guests would love to take these home at the end of the night!
  • 10% off your entire order of Custom Photo Books, Cards and Calendars: Not much of a sale but if you are in a pinch…it helps!
  • Adhesive Refills and Runners, 40% off: These make making your own invites, table seating cards and more…a whole lot easier!
  • Wedding Invitation Close Out Buys, $9.99 (regularly $14.9 9 and up): If you can find enough boxes in the style you want…what a deal! These are most likely spring and summer wedding invitations so if you are looking for invitations for next year…I DO STOCK UP PRICE!!! You may be able to find some appropriate for winter and fall. Hey if you can’t find complete sets, you can always send one set to the groom’s side and another to the bride’s…who would know! 😛

This site is not affiliated with Michaels. All information is for personal use only.