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Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Budget Wedding Tips from a Wedding Planner

    budget-wedding-adviceThere are many different ways to go about planning a wedding on a budget. Before you even get engaged, you should be certain that you are taking steps to start a life together on the right financial footing. I talked to wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out more.

    What are the best signs that a couple is ready to get engaged?

    The easiest way to answer this question is with a question: are you ready to plan a wedding, or are you ready to plan a marriage? Often in preparation for an engagement or even in the actual wedding planning process, couples lose sight of what this monumental occasion really means. Would you be just as happy eloping as planning a huge affair with 200 of your closest friends and family? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably heading in the right direction.

    It also probably helps if you’ve had the occasionally awkward but absolutely necessary conversation of finances. Let’s be real here: everything costs money. An engagement, wedding, and future cost money, and costs can escalate quicker than you think. If your financial priorities are parallel—with everything from home furnishings to future children’s college savings—you’re on the right path to getting hitched!

    What do couples need to know about planning a wedding on a budget?

    In a nutshell:
    The guest list is a direct correlation to how much you’ll spend for the big day. Now I’m not telling you to dwindle your list of friends or go burn a bridge with that coworker of five years before you get engaged, but I am telling you that one of the best budget wedding tips is to be practical about who you invite.

    In more detail:

    With an engagement comes the overly excited Aunt Sally who will ask every question under the sun: “When’s the big day? Where will you have it? Who will you invite? I’ll send you my list—we can’t forget your great uncle’s best friend’s daughter, you know!” My advice to you is: prepare for the hot seat. Have a pow-wow with the people involved in the wedding, and I don’t mean just you and your fiancé. If Mom, Dad, or even Aunt Sally are helping pay for this affair, they are in on the action as well. This is a good chance to hash out wedding budget, as well as discuss ideas and expectations for the planning months ahead.

    What are the most important budget wedding tips you share with couples?

    It is critical that you make a list of priorities when planning a wedding. Would you rather have custom linens or an amazing photographer? Do you want your guests to eat, drink and be merry or must you have that one-of-a-kind designer gown? From your highest priority to the least important item on your wedding planning checklist, it’s vital to map out where you’ll spend your hard earned cash.

    Once you’ve mapped out your budget, STICK TO IT. It is incredibly easy to let the excitement of planning a wedding reflect in your budget. Next thing you know, you’ve spent $400 on gorgeous matte satin linens, when your original plan was to stick with the linens included in your catering package.

    Lindsay owns and operates LK Events & Design, a wedding and event planning company in Richmond, Virginia. Stay tuned for more insider tips from Lindsay in the coming weeks!

  • 4 Ways Google Can Help You Plan For Your Wedding

    budget-weddingEarlier this month Google made the headlines yet again announcing Google Wedding.  This new service is aimed to help couples in planning a wedding on a budget even easier with their online tools. You can make good use of these tools by:

    1. Creating a Free Wedding Website

    Google Sites makes it easy to create a wedding website to share all of the important information about your big day with your guests. Choose from designer themes, upload engagement photos, and link to the reception site to create an all-inclusive resource for your wedding guests. Best of all, this service is free, so it is an unbeatable bargain for your budget wedding.

    2. Designing Announcements

    Google’s service Picnik allows couples to create designer engagement announcements, save the date cards, and more with a variety of beautiful themes and easy photo uploads. Choose to print your design from your home computer or order inexpensive prints online. Or, if you’re planning a wedding on a budget, you can even email your save the date cards to all of your family and friends for free.

    3. Planning a Wedding on a Budget

    Google Docs
    offers a variety of very useful templates for planning a budget wedding. Create seating charts, a guest list, an address book, a list of songs for the reception, an overall to-do list, and even a comprehensive estimated budget. Best of all, you can access these free tools from any computer with an Internet connection.

    4. Sharing Your Wedding Memories

    Google’s Picasa photo sharing site offers easy photo uploads and sharing. You can use it as a place to gather ideas for wedding dresses, cake designs, or flower arrangements in a private online album before the wedding. You can also use it to create public albums to share engagement photos or special wedding memories after the big day.

  • How to Care for Your Wedding Ring Set

    Real diamonds are an excellent investment for couples to make. Conflict-free diamonds are both beautiful and long-lasting. Imitation wedding jewelry, on the other hand, can tarnish, cause skin problems, or simply not last as long as your marriage. Fortunately, it is easy to budget for affordable wedding jewelry made with conflict-free diamonds. With proper care, your diamond wedding ring set will last a lifetime, and you may choose to pass your wedding jewelry on to your children or grandchildren.

    1. Remove Your Wedding Ring Set

    Most jewelers recommend that you remove your rings before you dig around in the garden or go swimming. Others also recommend that you also remove your rings before exercising, showering, and washing the dishes in order to keep it safe from dirt, scratches, chemicals, and the like. When you temporarily remove your wedding ring set, be certain to put it in a safe place where it won’t get lost or get scratched by other jewelry.

    2. Clean Your Wedding Ring Set

    Residue from personal care products such as soap and lotion can build up and make your ring less shiny. Clean your wedding ring with a mild soap and water using a soft toothbrush to loosen dirt under or around your diamonds. For dirtier rings, mix a solution of half ammonia and half water to gently scrub your ring. Many local jewelers will also professionally clean your ring for free, even if you did not purchase the ring from their store.

    3. Inspect Your Wedding Ring Set

    At least once a year, take your wedding ring set to a jeweler to have it professionally cleaned and inspected. You may not be able to see loose stones or other problems with the setting of your wedding ring set, but the jeweler has special tools to inspect the security of your diamonds.

    What are your best tips for caring for your wedding jewelry?

    Photo Credit: Pat David

  • 4 Green Wedding Tips

    Some couples choose to plan a green wedding that is better for the environment. Fortunately, opting for a more eco-friendly wedding is not incompatible with planning a wedding on a budget.  Choosing to serve local food, use online invitations, and buy conflict-free diamonds can help preserve the earth as well as save you money.

    1. Green Wedding Decorations

    Choose wedding decorations that have a lower impact on the environment. Conventionally grown flowers use a lot of pesticides, which are harmful to the environment as well as to the people who grow the flowers. Consider choosing organic flowers instead of conventional florist fare. Organic flowers are more expensive, so choose to carry a more simple, classic bouquet and decorate with fewer flowers or with live plants. Many garden centers will loan live plants to decorate a wedding, or perhaps you would like to purchase live plants as wedding table decorations that could then be planted in your yard as a special souvenir of your wedding.

    2. Green Wedding Favors

    Instead of buying candies or matchbooks or other wedding favors that your guests may or may not use and appreciate, think about choosing green wedding favors such as flower seeds for your guests to plant or reusable tote bags. Some couples also choose to give a charitable gift as a wedding favor, such as purchasing carbon offsets for each guest’s travel or donating money to an environmental organization in honor of their guests. Print a little card for each guest on recycled paper that describes the charitable gift.

    3. Green Wedding Gifts

    Create a green wedding registry by registering for well-made gifts that will last you and your spouse a long time. Choose environmentally friendly materials such as recycled glass, organic cotton, and bamboo. For the best selection of green wedding gifts from different companies, choose to register online with a universal gift registry (http://myregistry.com/) service.

    4. Green Honeymoons

    Planning a green honeymoon is actually very important to planning a wedding on a budget. The greenest honeymoons minimize the distance you travel. It is better for the environment to rent a low-mileage vehicle to drive to a cabin at a nearby state park than to fly to Europe, and it is also a significantly less expensive honeymoon destination. Train travel, bus travel, or car travel to a city with a good mass transit system are also more environmentally friendly than plane travel. Another good green honeymoon option is to find an eco-tourist spot that is within reasonable driving distance. Eco-tourist destinations will typically make eco-friendly choices for you, so you can relax and know that your vacation of a lifetime is helping to protect the earth.

    What are your favorite tips on planning a green wedding?

4 Item(s)

Monthly Archives: February 2011

  • Budget Wedding Tips from a Wedding Planner

    budget-wedding-adviceThere are many different ways to go about planning a wedding on a budget. Before you even get engaged, you should be certain that you are taking steps to start a life together on the right financial footing. I talked to wedding planner Lindsay Averette to find out more.

    What are the best signs that a couple is ready to get engaged?

    The easiest way to answer this question is with a question: are you ready to plan a wedding, or are you ready to plan a marriage? Often in preparation for an engagement or even in the actual wedding planning process, couples lose sight of what this monumental occasion really means. Would you be just as happy eloping as planning a huge affair with 200 of your closest friends and family? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably heading in the right direction.

    It also probably helps if you’ve had the occasionally awkward but absolutely necessary conversation of finances. Let’s be real here: everything costs money. An engagement, wedding, and future cost money, and costs can escalate quicker than you think. If your financial priorities are parallel—with everything from home furnishings to future children’s college savings—you’re on the right path to getting hitched!

    What do couples need to know about planning a wedding on a budget?

    In a nutshell:
    The guest list is a direct correlation to how much you’ll spend for the big day. Now I’m not telling you to dwindle your list of friends or go burn a bridge with that coworker of five years before you get engaged, but I am telling you that one of the best budget wedding tips is to be practical about who you invite.

    In more detail:

    With an engagement comes the overly excited Aunt Sally who will ask every question under the sun: “When’s the big day? Where will you have it? Who will you invite? I’ll send you my list—we can’t forget your great uncle’s best friend’s daughter, you know!” My advice to you is: prepare for the hot seat. Have a pow-wow with the people involved in the wedding, and I don’t mean just you and your fiancé. If Mom, Dad, or even Aunt Sally are helping pay for this affair, they are in on the action as well. This is a good chance to hash out wedding budget, as well as discuss ideas and expectations for the planning months ahead.

    What are the most important budget wedding tips you share with couples?

    It is critical that you make a list of priorities when planning a wedding. Would you rather have custom linens or an amazing photographer? Do you want your guests to eat, drink and be merry or must you have that one-of-a-kind designer gown? From your highest priority to the least important item on your wedding planning checklist, it’s vital to map out where you’ll spend your hard earned cash.

    Once you’ve mapped out your budget, STICK TO IT. It is incredibly easy to let the excitement of planning a wedding reflect in your budget. Next thing you know, you’ve spent $400 on gorgeous matte satin linens, when your original plan was to stick with the linens included in your catering package.

    Lindsay owns and operates LK Events & Design, a wedding and event planning company in Richmond, Virginia. Stay tuned for more insider tips from Lindsay in the coming weeks!

  • 4 Ways Google Can Help You Plan For Your Wedding

    budget-weddingEarlier this month Google made the headlines yet again announcing Google Wedding.  This new service is aimed to help couples in planning a wedding on a budget even easier with their online tools. You can make good use of these tools by:

    1. Creating a Free Wedding Website

    Google Sites makes it easy to create a wedding website to share all of the important information about your big day with your guests. Choose from designer themes, upload engagement photos, and link to the reception site to create an all-inclusive resource for your wedding guests. Best of all, this service is free, so it is an unbeatable bargain for your budget wedding.

    2. Designing Announcements

    Google’s service Picnik allows couples to create designer engagement announcements, save the date cards, and more with a variety of beautiful themes and easy photo uploads. Choose to print your design from your home computer or order inexpensive prints online. Or, if you’re planning a wedding on a budget, you can even email your save the date cards to all of your family and friends for free.

    3. Planning a Wedding on a Budget

    Google Docs
    offers a variety of very useful templates for planning a budget wedding. Create seating charts, a guest list, an address book, a list of songs for the reception, an overall to-do list, and even a comprehensive estimated budget. Best of all, you can access these free tools from any computer with an Internet connection.

    4. Sharing Your Wedding Memories

    Google’s Picasa photo sharing site offers easy photo uploads and sharing. You can use it as a place to gather ideas for wedding dresses, cake designs, or flower arrangements in a private online album before the wedding. You can also use it to create public albums to share engagement photos or special wedding memories after the big day.

  • How to Care for Your Wedding Ring Set

    Real diamonds are an excellent investment for couples to make. Conflict-free diamonds are both beautiful and long-lasting. Imitation wedding jewelry, on the other hand, can tarnish, cause skin problems, or simply not last as long as your marriage. Fortunately, it is easy to budget for affordable wedding jewelry made with conflict-free diamonds. With proper care, your diamond wedding ring set will last a lifetime, and you may choose to pass your wedding jewelry on to your children or grandchildren.

    1. Remove Your Wedding Ring Set

    Most jewelers recommend that you remove your rings before you dig around in the garden or go swimming. Others also recommend that you also remove your rings before exercising, showering, and washing the dishes in order to keep it safe from dirt, scratches, chemicals, and the like. When you temporarily remove your wedding ring set, be certain to put it in a safe place where it won’t get lost or get scratched by other jewelry.

    2. Clean Your Wedding Ring Set

    Residue from personal care products such as soap and lotion can build up and make your ring less shiny. Clean your wedding ring with a mild soap and water using a soft toothbrush to loosen dirt under or around your diamonds. For dirtier rings, mix a solution of half ammonia and half water to gently scrub your ring. Many local jewelers will also professionally clean your ring for free, even if you did not purchase the ring from their store.

    3. Inspect Your Wedding Ring Set

    At least once a year, take your wedding ring set to a jeweler to have it professionally cleaned and inspected. You may not be able to see loose stones or other problems with the setting of your wedding ring set, but the jeweler has special tools to inspect the security of your diamonds.

    What are your best tips for caring for your wedding jewelry?

    Photo Credit: Pat David

  • 4 Green Wedding Tips

    Some couples choose to plan a green wedding that is better for the environment. Fortunately, opting for a more eco-friendly wedding is not incompatible with planning a wedding on a budget.  Choosing to serve local food, use online invitations, and buy conflict-free diamonds can help preserve the earth as well as save you money.

    1. Green Wedding Decorations

    Choose wedding decorations that have a lower impact on the environment. Conventionally grown flowers use a lot of pesticides, which are harmful to the environment as well as to the people who grow the flowers. Consider choosing organic flowers instead of conventional florist fare. Organic flowers are more expensive, so choose to carry a more simple, classic bouquet and decorate with fewer flowers or with live plants. Many garden centers will loan live plants to decorate a wedding, or perhaps you would like to purchase live plants as wedding table decorations that could then be planted in your yard as a special souvenir of your wedding.

    2. Green Wedding Favors

    Instead of buying candies or matchbooks or other wedding favors that your guests may or may not use and appreciate, think about choosing green wedding favors such as flower seeds for your guests to plant or reusable tote bags. Some couples also choose to give a charitable gift as a wedding favor, such as purchasing carbon offsets for each guest’s travel or donating money to an environmental organization in honor of their guests. Print a little card for each guest on recycled paper that describes the charitable gift.

    3. Green Wedding Gifts

    Create a green wedding registry by registering for well-made gifts that will last you and your spouse a long time. Choose environmentally friendly materials such as recycled glass, organic cotton, and bamboo. For the best selection of green wedding gifts from different companies, choose to register online with a universal gift registry (http://myregistry.com/) service.

    4. Green Honeymoons

    Planning a green honeymoon is actually very important to planning a wedding on a budget. The greenest honeymoons minimize the distance you travel. It is better for the environment to rent a low-mileage vehicle to drive to a cabin at a nearby state park than to fly to Europe, and it is also a significantly less expensive honeymoon destination. Train travel, bus travel, or car travel to a city with a good mass transit system are also more environmentally friendly than plane travel. Another good green honeymoon option is to find an eco-tourist spot that is within reasonable driving distance. Eco-tourist destinations will typically make eco-friendly choices for you, so you can relax and know that your vacation of a lifetime is helping to protect the earth.

    What are your favorite tips on planning a green wedding?

4 Item(s)