By Carrie Stadtmueller, Content Conductor
Ok, now that you have said “Yes” - what’s the next step?
Of course, everyone really wants to fast forward to all of the fun stuff – cake tastings, Pinterest surfing for reception decor, finding the perfect dress - but the best and smartest next step should be setting and sticking to your wedding budget.
We know. This next step can be a real B.
Whether you’re working with $100 or $100,000 (wow, wouldn’t that be a dream??), the general guidelines are the same.
First Things First – Think about what kind of wedding you want
This might be the easiest part of the whole process. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming about your wedding day since you were a little girl. But, if not - it’s time to get to work.
Now is the time to have those conversations with your partner and see if you are both on the same page when it comes to the kind of wedding that you both want. There are so many different kinds of weddings out there - do you both want the same kind of wedding?
Perhaps your dream wedding is traditional, but theirs is a destination elopement. Or would you prefer low key and relaxed instead of their formal and high class?
This is where you need to start. Planning a wedding can put a lot of stress on a relationship. Make sure you are both on the same page before moving forward. This may mean making some compromises.
Figure Out Who Will Be Contributing
Once you have decided what kind of wedding you will be planning, now decide how you plan to pay for it. Will you and your partner be covering most of the cost? Or will your families be helping?
Whatever the case, finding out who might be contributing to your wedding is a good first step when you’re calculating your overall budget.
It’s most helpful if you can get a handle on a nice “round” number or perhaps what aspect of the event the party will be covering. For example - will the groom’s family be paying for the rehearsal dinner as is tradition? Or perhaps you have a devoted Aunt who really wants to help cover the retainer for the photographer as part of her wedding gift.
These conversations can be awkward, but they will be helpful in the long run as you make large financial decisions.
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch the Numbers - Including Your Number of Guests
Now is where the the math comes in and where you need to get serious about figuring out how much you have to actually spend.
Figure out how much you can realistically and comfortably spend.
This is also the time where you will want to start making your guest list. The number of guests you intend to invite will ultimately have an effect on your budget’s bottom line. Looking at your wedding as a “per-person” expenditure will help with this process.
Take this number and begin negotiations
By now, you and your partner will be pros at compromising and negotiating - especially if you had differing opinions on what your “dream wedding” looked like. Use those skills to negotiate what items to prioritize when it comes to staying within your budget.
Make it an exercise - each of you can pick two things that are at the top of your wedding priority list. Budget for those items. Everything else is extra until the budget is maxxed out.
Savvy Brides Do Their Research
There are a lot of hidden costs when it comes to weddings. Savvy brides do their research and find ways to save money. Even smarter brides realize that hiring a wedding planner can ultimately help you save money in the long run. (see this link on why you should hire a wedding planner). Wedding planners provide so much business to vendors, they are often able to negotiate discounts for their clients. They are also well versed at helping couples set budgets and are masters at sticking to them.
At the end of the day…..
One thing to remember - at the end of the day, the most important thing is that you will be married to the love of your life. It won’t matter if you have steak and shrimp or the most expensive dress. What matters is that you will be together.
Don’t start out your new life together drawing in debt. You can still plan a beautiful and memorable wedding on a much smaller and affordable scale. There are ways to plan a champagne wedding on a beer budget - you just have to get creative. You focus on the feeling of the event, instead of the price tag.
Here are some practical tips as you start planning:
Again, remember - its who you’re marrying and the memories you make together that are important, not the wedding and the money you spend.
Contact MBD Marketing & Events
Small Business. Big Impact.
Phone: 970-613-1455 or 303-886-3068
We serve the entire Front Range; Denver, Southern Wyoming, the CO Mountains, and Northern Colorado: Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, Berthoud, Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Wellington, Johnstown, Evans, Severance, Timnath, Mead, Frederick, Firestone, Milliken
Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now what?
Before you dive head-first into wedding planning, here are some of My Big Day’s to-dos immediately after you get engaged.
5. Discuss engagement length – Make sure you and your fiancé are on the same page about the length of your engagement and the timing of your wedding. For some people, a few months sounds just right. Others wouldn’t dream of an engagement lasting less than two years. You don’t have to pick a date yet, but make sure you and your future spouse’s priorities and timelines are in harmony.
6. Spend time together, alone – Celebrating your engagement can be great fun, but it can also be an overwhelming time that invites everyone’s opinions and advice – whether you ask for it or not. Take some time as a couple to have some fun dates and relax before throwing yourselves into wedding planning.
7. Brainstorm themes, budget, and guest list – Before you really start planning, have some casual conversations about your future wedding. Will it be an elopement, or a blowout event with 500 guests? Do you want to spend your savings on the wedding of your dreams, or would you rather have a small event and save the money for a honeymoon or down payment?
8. Hire a planner! – If we didn’t already help you plan your ideal engagement party, then this is where we come in. We offer packages tailored to large weddings or small weddings, full-service or day-of only, and everything in-between. Learn more about My Big Day’s wedding packages HERE.
Contact My Big Day
Marketing & Events
Phone: 970-613-1455 or 303-886-3068
As event planners, we serve the entire Front Range; Southern Wyoming, the CO Mountains, and Northern Colorado: Loveland, Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, Berthoud, Estes Park, Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Wellington, Johnstown, Evans, Severance, Timnath, Mead, Frederick, Firestone, Milliken
Choosing the right wedding venue is all about finding the destination that strikes the right note. Your ceremony location should speak to your story, personality and even your passions. If the two of you love the outdoors, consider hosting your nuptials at a park or on the beach. Some museums and historic sites also may be open for wedding events. Know your budget before exploring sites, and always read reviews of venues before committing. No matter where you plan your big day, just remember that the vows matter most…not the location.
Of course, My Big Day has worked with many more of the wonderful florists in Colorado!
If you need planning advice, you know who to call!
Have Fun. Be Young. Let us know how we can help!
Original Ideas, superior strategies, your own private party planner...
Christine Kovacs Forster, Owner/ Party Planner
My Big Day llc
Phone: 970-613-1455 or 303-886-3068
Located in Loveland, CO
As event planners, we serve the entire front range; Northern Colorado, Southern Wyoming and mountain venues.
-by Jessica Weimer, My Big Day
Keeping your wedding memento’s or selling them is a tough decision. If you’re sentimental you will most likely keep most or your décor, but is it worth the space it takes up in your home/garage? If you sell everything most likely you will regret it when that special occasion comes up and you are missing the cake knives you didn’t think you’d need. Here is a list of must keep items and some items you need to sell.
Toasting Glasses: While this might not have been the item you spent days deciding on, it is still something that could come in handy in the future! If you are fond of traditions this could be something worth saving for future anniversaries. They are a great conversation piece when people admire your glass cabinet; it could remind you of that great toast your brother gave. These are also something that may be hard to sell, especially if they are engraved or have a personal touch.
Cake Knives: Cake knives are something that can be sold or kept. If you are an entertainer then they may be a must to keep, since you will probably need something to cut a cake in the future. In that case they are also a great conversation piece, every time you pull them out you can reminisce of the cake at your wedding. Or maybe you really want to store them in a shadow box and show off the amazing detail or engraving you chose. They can be used as a tradition you hand down to your child when they get married. If you aren’t attached to them they could be sold or even give them to another friend who is getting married soon!
Wedding Gown: This is definitely a personal choice by the bride, some brides really don’t put much sentimental value into their bridal gown but to others it is the most important dress you will ever wear. There are some businesses who will preserve it in a box for you, or even a more unique idea is to get it preserved in a shadow box and hang it in your closet one day, depending if your closet is big enough! If you don’t mind changing up your dress, you could alter it into a different dress you could wear for a vow renewal or a significant anniversary! These are great ways to keep the dress looking good and the sentimental value intact.
If you don’t mind selling your wedding gown, there are always re-sale shops you can go to. (My Big Day recommends Wed Wisely in Loveland, CO.) Or even donating your dress to be given to a woman less fortunate who needs the help and would love her dream wedding!
Décor: When your wedding is over you are left with great memories and tons of the décor you spent many hours perusing and then purchasing! If like most people, you don’t have use for 50 cylinder vases, there is hope to still sell some of it. Recycle Your Wedding is a great website that lets you list your wedding goods and the suggested price and people can look through and buy. It also has a wanted section in which people describe what they’re looking for and the amount they would like to pay. This will at least let you hopefully sell the majority of your things. There is no good or bad time to sell your wedding goods, as brides look year round for the perfect find! Though if your wedding was trendy it is best to try to sell as soon as possible, because chevron may have been the cutest thing ever this year but next year it may be out. Craigslist is also a good site that can help you unload your wedding decor, but don't expect to get even half of what you paid. The site is best for re-homing your goods, but not making money.
Some décor is worth keeping such as the gorgeous arch you may have constructed to get married under. If you and your new husband are moving into a home and have a backyard, it would be the perfect garden accent and be a really good conversation piece.
My Big Day offers affordable rentals for clients looking to have the latest trends with decorations, but who don't want to purchase 25 centerpieces that will never see the light of day again.
When it comes to selling things from your wedding, it can be a tough decision to part with things that have so many memories, but also it could save you the headache of having to store it and then just throwing it out eventually.
by Randi Juric, My Big Day
Being a good hostess doesn’t take a lot of skill. Being a good hostess is all about the timing and the come one come all attitude. All you need to remember is smiles, full drinks, full plates, great atmosphere. Here are a few structure points to being the best hostess you can be. As a hostess you are the greeter, server, entertainer, problem solver, and cleanup crew unless of course you hire someone for any of these jobs. Even if you hire someone a super hostess still eyeballs the help to make sure it’s getting done right. A great hostess can super charge the room just by their smile and presentation as you greet a guest. Be infectious and make the crowd happy and go lucky with a smile! We call that a Super Hospi Hostess, hospi stands for hospitality.
1. Set a clear start and end:
When you send out an invite be sure you list time, place, start and end dates. This will allow people to plan for the event accordingly. This will also ensure your party loving friends don’t overstay their welcome. Be sure to add an RSVP due date for a better had count for your event.
Be prepared to make confirmation calls to those who haven’t RSVP yet. Always be sure to ask if you think you may need to make special accommodations for some one.
When guests start to arrive be sure to make the rules clear “take your shoes off and head on in” or “There is/is not a smoking area out back”. Be sure you keep the environment comfortable for all guests and you too! Welcome them in and shoe them the layout. Everyone loves snacks and drinks, it’s the best part of the party!! Remember as your walking around mingling and welcoming new guests it’s OK to eyeball everyone’s plates and drinks. Be sure to ask in passing if they need a refill on any food or drink or if you can take their plate. Remember to SMILE SMILE SMILE!
4. Mingle, Mingle, Mingle:
It is very important to mingle and mix things up. Walk around and talk with your guests, catch up and maybe get people who may not know each other to start a conversation. Keep your background music in mind should you decide to play some.
Always put together a playlist that fits your crowd and don’t play it too loud. We want the music to entertain but not blast away!
5. Clean up:
Clean as you go! It makes things so much easier as you go to pick up and clean as your walking around mingling. Offer to take some ones trash for them. A hostess never leaves their guest with their hands full.
6. The wind down and long good bye:
Read your crowd! Timing is everything on the wind down. About an hour to thirty minutes before your scheduled end time take the time to look around and see if your guests seem to be winding down or going strong. If they are winding down you can turn your music down in the background more and start cleaning up a little more heavily as you mingle and say your goodbyes to those leaving. You can also thank people for coming as you’re cleaning up in their area before you move on, this will give the guest the impression the party is coming to an end politely. On the other hand if your guests seem to still be going strong and you don’t have to be out by a specific time start asking for refills again or if you can get them anything else. You can also turn the music up just a smidge. Mingle and ask your guests if they have met so and so yet and see if you can make some new connections.
7. The morning after:
Give some of your guests’ calls over the next week and thank them for coming again and see if they have any feedback for you good or bad, just listen to what they have to say there is always room for improvement. This helps you refine your hosting skills and see what works and doesn’t so well. This also gives you an opportunity to give more invites if you have other events you want to have some guests to join. Your guests will love the follow up and the time you took to say thank you again. It leaves a great impression that you cared to call them and ask if they had a good time.
These hostess tips have been brought to you by My Big Day Events!
Serving the Front Range, Mountains and S. Wyoming.
Parties - Planning - Weddings & More!
Many factors should be weighed when deciding on the right amount of food for your event. Of course, first you must know the number of people attending. However, the length of the event is also very important, as is the type of event and the type of food you plan to serve.
For example, an evening cocktail party requires considerably less food than an entire afternoon or all-day event. The longer guests remain, the more they’ll consume. It’s funny, but over time people get hungry and thirsty over and over again.
When estimating, always round up to be on the safe side. Some will eat more, others less. It will all balance out in the end. Try to anticipate which foods/drinks are most popular and will disappear quickly. Order more of these selections.
When planning for your Big Day, a big part of the prep can be the bachelor party, the bachelorette party, and the honeymoon.
Travel costs money, of course, but if you are looking for a fun time with your guys, gals, or a creative budget honeymoon destination, My Big Day can help.
Below are some links to articles we found on great places to celebrate, while trying not to break the bank!
-My Big Day
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