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Celebrating & Preparing For Your Big Day with OurWeddingDay.com Today is Wednesday, May 24, 2017

8 Reasons to Have a Small Wedding


If you’re on the fence about having a small wedding ceremony, you might like to know that there are a lot of perks to doing so. While a large and lavish wedding may seem like a dream come true, the realities that accompany such a large affair might not be worth the extra dough and energy. Explore the following reasons as to why an intimate wedding might be the best route for you.

1. Large weddings require a lot of energy and time to plan, which equals more stress. If you choose to have a small wedding, then you’re proactively cutting out unneeded stress during the planning process, as well as your wedding day.

2. Are you planning a wedding or a production? Large weddings typically have banquet captains and wedding planners behind the scenes equipped with headsets and walkie-talkies that coordinate each step in the production. Smaller weddings don’t require this type of manpower and reflect that by exuding a more personal and relaxed energy.

3. The most obvious reason to opt for a smaller wedding is because you’ll save money. Weddings, unless you go the extreme minimalist route, are expensive regardless of the size, however you’d be surprised at just how much you can save by cutting down the guest list. Every wedding guest requires an invitation, a meal, drinks, and a designated spot at your wedding; all of which comes at a cost.

4. If you have a smaller wedding, then you’ll be able to allocate more of your budget to your wedding getaways. How nice would it be to schedule a spa day a day or two prior to your wedding? Or going over seas to an exotic destination for your honeymoon instead of having to stay close to home?

5. There are countless romantic wedding destinations to choose from, but if you’re working with a small budget then you’ll most likely need to cut down your guest list in order to have your wedding at one. Destination weddings tend to be on the smaller side anyway, since a lot of wedding guests aren’t able to get away.

6. The fewer guests you have, the more time you’ll have to allocate to each guest. It’s proper wedding etiquette to visit with each guest at some point during your wedding reception and thank him or her for coming. If there are 600 guests at your wedding, then this respectful gesture becomes almost impossible.

7. If you opt to have a smaller guest list, then you can put more money into other aspects of your wedding, for example your wedding dinner. Having fewer guests could give you the opportunity to be choosey about your wedding food.

8. Fewer guests also means you’ll have more venue options to choose from. For example you could hold your wedding at a home, in a backyard, a park, vineyard, restaurant, art gallery, or perhaps an adorable bed and breakfast.

There are two (or more) sides to every aspect of your wedding planning, including the size of your guest list. The most important aspect of this decision is that you know the pro’s and con’s of each, so that you can make the right decision that fits your budget and wedding vision.

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Online Wedding Planner: Check these To-Do’s Off Online


Whether you work a 9 to 5 or not, being able to check wedding tasks off your to do list online saves you time, gas, and energy. You even have the ability to replace a wedding planner/coordinator with an online wedding planner, if you are so inclined.

Before your fiancé even popped the question, I’m sure you, like most women, did a little online wedding planning. Perhaps you perused wedding ring sites? Even women whose engagement may not be anywhere in site tend to find themselves window-shopping on the Tiffany & Co. online store.

With the luxury of elaborate wedding planning websites like OurWeddingDay for almost any business out there, you’re able to search wedding venues and take virtual tours. This allows you to cut down your list of possible venues before even stepping foot on the property.

You can even design your wedding reception décor online. There are countless wedding blogs, wedding photos from the past, present, and future that will give you more ideas than you’ll know what to do with. Even if you hire a wedding décor designer you’ll have an idea of what you want before you even meet with them.

Other aspects of your big day included in online wedding planning:

  • Choose your wedding gown
  • Wedding photographer
  • Wedding supplies
  • Makeup and hair artists
  • Wedding playlist
  • Your honeymoon


Hidden Wedding Expenses: Often Forgotten Fees & "Extras"


As you get closer to your big day, the last thing you’ll want is surprise wedding expenses. Even though the planning process should be fun and exciting, it’s best that you confront any budget issues or possible costs that could pop up out of nowhere before they even materialize. If you’re prepared for the following hidden wedding costs, you won’t be caught off guard right before one of the most special days of your life.

  • Tips: A lot of couples forget to factor tips into their wedding budgets. Make a list of every vendor you’ll use for your wedding and add gratuity to his or her fee if you haven’t already. Include the limousine driver, DJ, space rental, caterer, flower arranger, etc.
  • Tax: The larger the fee, the more tax you’ll have to pay. When you hire wedding vendors make sure to have them give you a service quote that includes the tax. This will allow you to avoid a much larger bill than expected.
  • Marriage License: Every bill adds up, including the marriage license fee which typically costs $75. Also keep in mind that you’ll need to take time off work to get the license—add that and gas money to the final bill.
  • Dress & Tux Alterations: When factoring your wedding dress and tuxedo expenses, don’t forget alteration costs. Most wedding dresses and tuxes require some alterations, so add those costs to your budget before you purchase your wedding attire.
  • Postage: Depending upon how hefty your guest list is, your cost for postage stamps will vary. When factoring postage into your wedding budget, include costs to send save the date announcements, wedding invitation, and thank you notes.
  • Insurance: This is a cost that most couples don’t think of until after disaster strikes. Consider purchasing wedding and honeymoon insurance in case you have to cancel them at the last minute. Emergencies occur and a wedding can be called off unexpectedly. For example, if you are planning to honeymoon in an exotic location, be prepared for a natural disaster that could prevent you from taking your trip.
  • Overtime: Though unexpected, your wedding reception could go overtime. Be prepared to pay extra for DJ services or hall rental.
  • Coat Check: This extra cost is especially imperative for winter wedding budgets. Coat check services require a coat attendant at the beginning and end of the evening which adds to your costs.

When planning your wedding budget, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This will allow you to spend most of your time enjoying your day rather than dealing with unexpected costs that could dampen your wedding mood.

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If You’re Not Working With a Limited Budget…


For those of you who are gearing up to plan the wedding of the century, or something close to it, then buckle your seatbelts because it’s bound to be a wild ride! Planning your wedding is a fun but complicated process regardless of your budget, so let go of the idea that having a hefty amount to spend will make it easier. You will still be faced with all of the same questions and concerns, just on a grander scale. Use the following tips when planning the wedding of your wildest dreams.

  1. Wedding locations are typically dependant on wedding budgets, so why not go big? Since you’re probably planning to invite a lot of friends and family (perhaps in the 300 + range?), choose a location that’s not only spacious but grandiose as well. Choose a space that has a spectacular view, instead of one that is closed in.
  2. Offer a feast! A fabulous way to go above and beyond for your wedding meal is to offer a 5 + course meal with a different wine for each. This goes for the dessert as well. Following the dinner, have servers bring out multiple dessert options, perhaps various types of chocolates, with after-dinner wine. In addition to the sit-down desserts, you could have a separate dessert table or room that would be set up after dinner.
  3. Consider hiring an orchestra for your ceremony and/or reception. Some orchestras are capable of playing various types of music that could knock your guest’s socks off and get their feet on the dance floor.
  4. Work with a wedding cake designer to create the cake of all cakes. Think big, around 7-10 tiers, and don’t hold back with the cake design. An ultra-fabulous cake pattern that would drop jaws is having it appear as though real lace has been placed on top of the entire cake.

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Have a Fabulous Wedding on a Budget


Weddings are expensive and can be difficult to plan on a tight budget. Fortunately there are countless ways to save money without sacrificing quality. Wedding budgets come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t feel alone in your quest to cut costs in as many areas as possible.

Guest List
Only invite your nearest and dearest. If you feel guilty about not inviting certain friends or family, you can hold a non-hosted wedding cocktail hour at a bar or restaurant of your choosing. This way those who weren’t invited to the wedding won’t feel left out and will at least have the opportunity to wish you and your fiancé well. Another option is to hold a potluck wedding dinner for the guests you weren’t able to invite.

Bargain Shopping
Visit your local bargain store, for example the 99 Cent Store, for deals on wedding decorations such as vases, centerpieces, table clothes, glassware, candles etc. You’ll be shocked at what you’re able to find and how much you’ll save. Stay away from department stores and boutiques.

Only stick to two types of flowers and make sure to choose flowers that are in season. Out of season flowers are more difficult for florists to obtain, thus costing them and you more money. By making use of fillers, you can make your centerpieces look full without having to use many flowers. Also, make sure to transport your ceremony flowers over to your reception venue.

Bar Options
Although not traditional wedding etiquette, some couples opt to have a cash bar versus an open bar at the reception. Offer free soda and juice and have a cash bar that serves cocktails, wine, and beer at a reasonable cost. If you do go this route, be sure to notify your guests in advance so it does not come as a surprise. Another option is to offer a champagne toast and a certain number of bottles of wine per table, and once those bottles run out to offer your guests a cash bar. A third option is to not offer any alcohol at all. There are certain religious couples that do not condone alcohol consumption, and therefore don’t offer it at their wedding. This choice is entirely up to you and your fiancé, but guests must be informed of such decisions in advance.

Destination Wedding
There are countless destination wedding locations to choose from that will fit your bill. For example Mexico has gorgeous resorts that cost much less than resorts in the U.S. or abroad. Inexpensive destination weddings are ubiquitous because they tend to cost much less than traditional weddings. Weddings that take place at an exotic destination can double as the bride and groom's honeymoon, and tend to be much smaller than traditional weddings.

Go Green
Instead of spending money on fancy wedding invitations, go the eco-friendly email route. You can design paperless invitations online and have your guests r.s.v.p. online as well. Put this practice in motion with your thank you notes and name cards as well. Prior to the wedding send out an email to each individual guest informing them of their table number at the wedding, cutting the cost of paper, supplies, and not to mention man power.

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Wedding Cake Prices: How Much is Too Much?


If you don’t know how to find the right wedding cake that fits your budget, it could leave you with a bill much larger than expected. Wedding cake prices vary widely, costing anywhere from $165-$2,450. Most of the cost comes from icing, size, and design you choose, so make sure you know what your options are before signing on the dotted line.

All About Icing
The icing you choose is crucial. The most expensive icing is rolled fondant because of the smooth texture and perfect foundation it provides for intricate decorations and levels. Fondant is flawless; however you should expect to pay a little extra for it. Another pricey icing is marzipan. The least expensive icing choices you have include flavored butter cream, chocolate ganache, royal icing, and real white or chocolate icing.

If you choose a less expensive icing, consider using real flowers as decorations because they’ll look cleaner than flowers created with icing. Remember—in-season varieties are cheaper than out of season. In fact, this is a good tip to keep in mind when choosing all of your wedding flowers.

Tiers and Structure Design
Clearly, the more intricate the structure of your wedding cake, the more your cake is going to cost. The more tiers on the cake, the bigger the bill. The bigger the cake, the more ingredients and man power it will call for. Wedding cakes are usually on the large side, meaning they have a good chance of collapsing if they aren’t made correctly. The shapes you have to choose from are usually either round or square and you can choose to have up to five tiers.

Each slice will cost a certain amount. Once you go up a tier the price per slice typically increases by approximately 50 cents. Make sure to go over the exact serving size with the cake designer to ensure you’re on the same page.

Cake Toppers
Don’t forget about the toppers! If you do choose to have a topper you’ll be happy to know that you have a plethora of options. There are initial toppers, crystallized toppers, customized toppers, monogram toppers, and of course the classic bride and groom topper.

You Have Options!
Who says you have to have a cake? More and more couples are opting for adorable and decorative wedding cupcakes instead of traditional wedding cakes. Another option is to make your own. Look online for unique wedding cakes that fit your own style and taste and go for it! A third option is to have an exquisite small cake made for the cake cutting ceremony. Then use a large sheet cake to serve guests during dessert. Chances are they won’t even notice. Another option that is growing in popularity is offering your guests a dessert station. Dessert stations usually consist of ice-cream sundaes, various cookies, pastries, lollipops, and fruit.

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Finding High Quality, Wisely-Priced Platinum Engagement and Wedding Bands


by Alison Rowe, Bridal and Jewelry Expert

There is a common misconception that platinum is more expensive because its of higher quality than other precious metals – in fact, platinum is actually more cost effective over time.  Unlike white gold, platinum’s durability and natural white color means it will retain its beauty, never have to be replated, and actually hold your diamond more securely – all with minimum maintenance.  Platinum is available at a variety of price points too.  Engagement ring mountings begin at about $800 and wedding bands at about $500—and, as with anything rare, platinum will retain its value over time.

The rule of thumb when buying an engagement ring is that he should spend the equivalent of about 2 months of his salary. 80% of that goes to the center stone and the remaining 20% is for the setting.  

Ideally, you should start shopping for wedding bands about 6 months before the wedding. This allows enough time to find the perfect rings and for any personalization, such as engraving.  A great place to start your research is at PreciousPlatinum.com. The site offers user-friendly advice, information, and budgeting tips, as well as a design gallery of engagement rings, wedding bands and jewelry options for your big day.  Once you’ve done your homework, the next best thing to do is visit your local jeweler and ask to try on a variety of rings.  Make sure to ask to see platinum first since it’s the preferred metal for brides and grooms to-be.  By choosing platinum, you’ll get a ring that not only mirrors the qualities you’re looking for in your marriage — durability, strength and purity — but something that retains its beauty and integrity for a lifetime, no matter how active your lifestyle.

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Top 4 Simple Ways to Plan a Low Budget Wedding


Most women have a vision of their wedding day, and it isn’t until the time comes to start planning that the word "budget" even comes to mind. But having a low budget wedding is much easier than you might think. The key is knowing how to cut costs in every aspect of your wedding, and not letting your final product reflect that. Learn how to make your day extra-special by using more creativity and resources than those with twice your budget. These four simple budge-friendly strategies will get you started.

  1. Shop Like a Bargain Hunter
    Serious bargain hunters know that the secret to finding a great deal is a numbers game. The more wedding vendors, locations, dresses, etc. you find, the more likely you are to find great deals. For example, if you have a specific wedding dress budget, then don’t stop until you find your wedding gown that fits the bill. Don’t discount the option of checking out garage sales, flee markets, and thrift stores for everything you’ll need such as candles and lights to wedding attire. Also be on the lookout for bridal gowns on clearance when perusing the bridal boutique scene.

  2. Pick the Right Date
    Believe it or not, when budgets are concerned there is a right and wrong date for your wedding. Wedding budgets are greatly affected by the date because certain rental fees, venue costs, and honeymoon travel are usually less expensive during fall and winter. The perk to having a fall or winter wedding is you can allow the beauty of the season to hand you a gorgeous backdrop for an outdoor wedding, which could also cut decorating costs. If you choose to have an indoor fall or winter wedding, bring the gifts of the season inside such as fall leaves and branches and use them as decoration for the centerpieces. If you end up getting married after Thanksgiving, wait until just after the holiday and snatch up thanksgiving tableware, which should be marked down to 50-75% off.

  3. Get by With a Little Help from Your Friends
    Turn to your fabulous friends
    for anything from wedding photography and cake baking, to help with hair and makeup. It will make your friends feel loved and included in such a special occasion. If you have any musician friends, ask them to provide the music either during the ceremony, reception, or both. If you can’t find any friends who are up to the wedding cake challenge then consider having them bake cupcakes instead and create a multi-tiered cupcake display.

  4. Don’t Show Your Cards
    When you’re making calls to vendors and visiting potential locations, don’t let them know you’re getting married. Believe it or not some people will pounce on the opportunity to take advantage of a vulnerable bride. You will naturally be more susceptible to taking a not-so-great deal considering that you probably don’t have much experience with planning a wedding. Play it slow and safe and confident when dealing with any businesses throughout the term of your wedding planning process.

Read more:

  1. Is It a Good Idea for Friends to "Work" Your Wedding?
  2. DIY Wedding Planning 101
  3. 4 Wedding Trends Making a Comeback

Budget Wedding Ideas for Your Reception


Let’s face it. Your wedding is probably the most expensive party you’ll ever throw. Fortunately for you, your hubby-to-be, and your wedding guests, there are so many great ways to cut costs without compromising the beauty, taste, or overall vibe of your special day. The following budget wedding ideas will help you save money in ways that won’t be apparent to anyone except Mr. Bank Account.

One of the easiest ways to cut flower costs is by choosing flowers that are in season. Obviously the more difficult it is to get a specific flower, the higher it likely costs. This also goes for the type of flower; the more exotic the flower, the higher the cost. When you meet with your florist, ask them to stick to common flowers versus exotic flowers. Another way to cut the cost of your centerpieces is by using a lot of filler greenery and fewer actual flowers in the arrangements. Ferns and ivy make arrangements look full without the need to usem many flowers.

If you want to cut the costs of your wedding flowers down to practically nothing, consider reaching out to friends who have gardens. This will make your green-thumbed friends feel included in your wedding, and the natural spontaneity of their flowers will give your wedding a homegrown feel.

And who says you have to buy flowers for both the ceremony and reception? Transport your ceremony flowers to the reception instead of buying two sets of flowers. This trick takes a little bit of planning, but it will keep you on track with your wedding budget plan.

Food & Drink
The best way to cut food costs is by having a daytime wedding. It’s more appropriate to offer finger food and appetizers at a daytime wedding versus an evening wedding. Offer your guests an assortment of tapas and they’ll be delighted at the opportunity to try different dishes. Put your personality into the dishes and choose favorite recipes that have been handed down through the generations.

The cost of liquor can be terrifying, so instead of having an open bar just offer your guests a glass of champagne for the toast along with a cash bar. This is not uncommon, and it will cut down the risks that too much alcohol can induce.

Find a fantastic park or backyard to hold your wedding at instead of a fancy hotel. Your wedding will feel more personal and warm and you won’t have to worry about getting kicked out at a certain time.

Cut down on costs by finding a photographer who is new to the game and looking to expand his or her portfolio. This will keep your budget wedding photography to a minimum. Budding artists are aplenty, especially if you live in a city that is home to art colleges or photography schools. You’ll find that you have enough options to still be picky when choosing the photographer who best suits your needs and vision.

Read more: Your Reception Hors D'œuvres, What to Do When Vendors are Late on Your Wedding Day and 5 Reception Dessert Alternatives

Solutions to Wedding Planning Problems


If your wedding planning has turned into a chore, it’s time to step back and re-assess how you’re going about it. Even though the days and weeks leading up to your big day can get stress-filled, they should also be fun. Make sure you’re not creating problems where none exist.

Scale back.
A big problem for many brides is aiming too high. There are variations on this issue, the most common being trying to fit more into your wedding than your budget can handle. Once you’ve decided on how much money you can spend, stick to it. There are ways to deal with disappointment, however. Should you be dead-set on an extravagant, six-tiered cake, get it, and nix the favors or the calligraphy. Make sure, too, that you spend money on the things you love and desire, not what other people insist you purchase.

Fantasy vs. reality.
Many brides get disappointed because something isn’t perfect. This can be a bridesmaid who cancels, a site that isn’t available, even a fight with Mom over the guest list. Part of the problem arises from “fairy tale” syndrome: that dream you always had of the perfect wedding. Now that you’re a big girl, you need to remember that, no matter how hard you try, not every aspect of the wedding will go off without a hitch. If you get depressed about that last-minute acne breakout, take a breath and remember why you’re getting married. Once you realize this is the day you’re taking the hand of the man you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with, the smaller things seem insignificant. Always look at the big picture.

This is not a democracy!
Another way for wedding glory to turn sour is when you allow too many people to make decisions for you. Between your mom, his mom, dads, bridesmaids, vendors, and pretty much anyone you ask, your wedding planning can easily turn into a focus group affair. Luckily, you’re the one who possesses the skills to keep that from happening. For every aspect of your wedding, rely on one person you trust to give you advice. It can be your husband for the food, your best friend for the flowers, mom for the dress, etc. Keep in mind that if you ask 10 people’s opinion on how you should wear your hair, you’re very likely to get 10 different responses. Trust yourself first and foremost, and remember that it’s your day.

Who’s wedding is this, anyway?
On a related note, know that no matter how hard you try to please everyone who’s invited to your wedding, some people will be disappointed (and may behave rudely!). Whether it’s their seats, being left out of the wedding party, not wanting to walk down to a beach in their shoes, or anything else, there will always be people who’d prefer you organized your affair differently. The only way to handle this problem is to remember that it is your affair, and you are allowed to handle it any way you like. Try and accommodate people, and listen to their complaints. In the end, however, it’s only the two of you who need to be satisfied.