10 Ways to Splurge/10 Ways to Cut Costs

Erin Lindeman of Lindeman Weddings has some fantastic ideas on way to save and splurge for you wedding. Frankly I like the splurge part because you only do this once right!!! She has graciously let Alante Photography to share this with all of our clients and friends.

A little more on Erin: Elegant, stylish and intelligent come to mind. She is not at a loss for the right words that keeps your plan in line and on schedule for your wedding or event. She will always let you know what is reasonable and what you want to skip. She is a fantastic consultant.

10 Ways to Cut Costs

1. Trim the guest list. Your cost per head is your biggest expense!

2. Choose a venue that is already beautiful. An outdoor garden setting or a view of the water will offset having to have a larger budget for floral or other decorations.

3. Skip an off-site location (such as a park or private residence) and choose a venue that already has tables and chairs included. Often people do not realize how expensive it is to rent a tent, tables, chairs, linens, etc…

4. Have your wedding earlier in the day. A brunch or light lunch is easier on the pocket book than a dinner will be. Your guests will drink less which will cut back on your liquor bill too.

5. Consider moving your wedding to Sunday or Friday night. Venues usually charge less for their rental fee, and a Sunday morning buffet will be much less expensive than an evening buffet. Be aware that you will be fighting traffic on Friday night weddings and vendors will still charge the same price regardless what day of the week it is.

6. Limit your alcohol offerings to beer, wine and a signature cocktail. You can also eliminate the champagne toast. Most of the champagne will be thrown out anyway, so just have guests toast with whatever they are drinking already.

7. Opt for a less expensive printing method for your invitations and put the invitations together yourself. There are plenty of already pre-cut paper invitation selections out there. Visit Paper Source in Lincoln Square in Bellevue. It will save you hundreds of dollars. If you do decide to assemble the invitations yourself, save yourself the some extra time and have Kinkos print and cut any paper that needs to be customized. Always ask them what the most cost effective way is to cut and print your invitations. It is far less expensive than you might think.

8. Skip the elaborate favors and write a hand written note instead.

9. Limit your rehearsal dinner to just family and close friends.

10. Instead of having an elaborate cake, have an elaborate fake cake! There are many companies that design these artificial cakes with real frosting. They look like cake, smell like cake and the bottom layer is usually real cake for the purpose of cake cutting. They are beautiful! After the cake cutting is done, the cake is taken back into the kitchen where a sheet cake has been already cut up and prepared to go out to your guests. No one will ever know the difference. This is perfect for a smaller wedding especially because you don’t need that much cake anyway. Brides and grooms are always surprised at how little people eat cake at their wedding. This option can save you hundreds! All you have to do is rent the cake and purchase a sheet cake!

People will never know that the cake was artificial or that there were no monogrammed napkins or elaborate favors. Implementing any of these money saving tips will not compromise your event and it could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

10 Ways to Splurge

1. Professional Lighting! Lighting can make any setting come alive with up lighting or adding color lighting. There are so many options for lighting and doing this will ensure to evoke whatever feeling you are looking to implement for your wedding reception. This will assist with better lighting for your photographer as well!

2. Linens, Table Top and Chairs! Do away with the plain white table linen! Stylish linens, fabulous table settings and brilliant centerpieces will be sure to wow every guest in attendance. Having a different color or patterned linen can make all the difference when it comes to the how your reception space looks. But why have such a beautiful table setting and keep the “less than attractive” banquet chairs!? This has been a major concern with our brides this year. Many of our brides are doing away with the “ugly” chair and renting Chiavari chairs or other alternatives to compliment their beautiful tables! This will be sure to transform your reception space.

3. Videographer! So often I see and hear of brides doing away with the videographer. Please don’t! You will be so overwhelmed with emotion the day of your wedding by the time the reception comes to a close you are going to wonder where the time went! So much happens at a wedding, make sure to document it! Videographers have come a long way with regards to amazing video editing and production. Have your ceremony and reception on a DVD that you can enjoy forever.

4. Enjoy the arts? Have a professional artist paint your wedding reception on any size canvas. There are quite a few artists that paint wedding receptions for a living and they do an amazing job. Starting around $1500, you can have your first painting to hang on the wall of your new home together. This will make for a nice piece of entertainment at your reception too.

5. Have a Band and a DJ! This makes for such a nice balance at your reception. It is nice to have a band play through dinner and your first dance, while the DJ can take care of the band’s breaks and finish out the night with a party. Having both will set different moods for different parts of your reception.

6. Host an After Party! After the reception follow your guests to dance the night away at another location. Serve breakfast food or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Continue the party at someone’s home or at a local bar. Just make sure to arrange for transportation for the ride home or have the after party within walking distance of hotel where your guests are staying.

7. Have a Photobooth at your wedding. You can have guests at the reception take pictures in the photobooth for your guest book and it is something they can take home with them. This will double as entertainment for you reading through your guest book later and something that they will be able to take with them to put on the fridge.

8. Customize! Water bottle labels with a picture of the bride and groom, M&M’s with your names on them or customized Jone’s soda labels. There are so many ways to make your wedding unique besides the monogrammed napkin. These ideas are usually are not as expensive as you might think.

9. Umbrellas and Parasols! For a Seattle wedding, rain or shine, renting these for your guests or wedding party will make for fun and unique photographs as well as keep people out the sun or rain. They come in any color, pattern, style or fabric.

10. Opt for the Photo Book! Many photographers offer a customized photo book. They are usually expensive, but you will have it forever. This makes for a great thank you gift for your parents as well. All you will have left of your wedding is your dress and your photographs. This is a special way to keep all of your photographs in one place and in an easy to view fashion.

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