Trimming Your Wedding List – How to Make the Tough Decisions

Every newly-engaged bride-to-be wants her wedding to be the biggest affair of her life – the more the merrier seems to be the norm. However, inviting every person you’ve ever known since the 10th grade can get costly, especially if you’re planning a full reception with a three-course meal and open bar! When you’re going over the guest list, it’s important to keep in mind that cutting just ten people off your wedding list could save you over a thousand dollars!

When you’re deciding how many people to invite, think about where you’re having your wedding and your reception. First, be sure that the space you’ve chosen is big enough to accommodate your desired number of guests comfortably. If you’re planning a small, intimate service, invite only your family members and your closest friends. Most people will understand, although you need to prepare yourself for the occasional person who may feel slighted.

Now start making your list. The first time through, add everyone you can possibly think of inviting. Co-workers, cousins, college roommates and other will make this first list. Get it all down on paper. Once you start adding names, you may be surprised how quickly the number of guests can add up.

Next take that red marker and cross out exactly half of the names. Go through the list and think about anyone that you could do without at your wedding. If you’re only inviting someone because you feel obligated to do so, take them off the list. At the same time, put an asterisk by anyone you’d really like to have in attendance. This can be close friends, your immediate family members, and etc.

Now, sit down with your partner and decide on a non-negotiable list of people that must be present at your wedding. You’ll probably find that this list includes mostly immediate family members and those close friends who will wind up being your bridesmaids and groomsmen.

For the next step, take some time away from your guest list and work on completing your wedding budget. Find out exactly how much money it will take to cover the cost of the venue, plus your dresses, tuxes, flowers and more, and compare this with the money you have set aside for your wedding. You should also find out the price per person for your reception – including how much each guest’s meal will cost and any extra “per-person” costs for drinks or cake service. Based on your per-person cost, determine exactly how many guests your budget will allow you to invite.

To make a final list, get together with you and your partner’s families, as well as your attendants and have them each make a very short list as well. Try to have them rank each person by priority – now is not the time to invite your third grade teacher, especially if you’re on a tight budget!

Now compare the lists. Take out the duplicate names and put it all together into one list. It’s okay if your list is a little longer than what your guest limit is, since some of the people you invite may not be able to attend the wedding. Now start ranking the names of the people on this final list. Continue to cross off names until you get down to the number of guests you can have.

Now it’s time to get your wedding invitations and mail them out. Keep in mind that you may wind up with a few wedding crashers as well, especially at the reception. People don’t always RSVP as they should, or they may bring unexpected guests at the last minute. For your own sanity’s sake, be sure to have a few extra seats available, just in case someone you didn’t invite or didn’t expect shows up.

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Filed under: Announcements,Inexpensive Weddings,Invitations,Wedding Planning — vicky at 10:22 am on Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shop Local for Your Wedding Flowers

Trying to have a grand affair for a wedding on a very tight budget can be hard, but it can be done. Many people have huge aspirations for their big day, but when it comes to the bottom line, you may have to make some concessions. However, it is possible to have a beautiful wedding on a budget if you know the inside tips and tricks.

One of the best things you can do to lower your flower budget is to buy locally. If you you’re your flowers shipped in, you’ll wind up spending hundreds more – especially if you buy out of season. Your favorite local florist can usually get flowers at a better price than you, but you should also consider your local grocery store or large wholesale shop. These stores can get a big discount on flowers, and – if you’re flexible – you may be able to get most of the savings passed right on to you.

It’s also a good idea to consider silk flowers if you’re on a budget, as they are much cheaper than real flowers. If you’re considering a flower that’s out of season on your wedding day, silk flowers can save you thousands of dollars and you won’t have to worry about trying to find your favorite flower in the middle of winter. Even if you choose to carry real flower bouquets, you can save money by using silk flowers as altar decorations or reception table centerpieces.

If you’re determined to use real flowers, you may also want to visit a local greenhouse. Many times, these places are the ones who supply your local florists anyway, and cutting out the middleman can save you a lot of money on your total flower bill.

When it comes to arranging your flowers, ask your friends and family members if they’d like to help out. You probably already know who in the family has a talent for crafts, and asking these people to help out will help them to feel involved in your big day. Floral arranging isn’t that difficult, but if your friends or relatives need a few pointers, you can check your local library for floral books or search online for flower design tutorials. With a little practice, your guests may not even be able to tell that your floral arrangements are homemade!

You might also want to consider making the flower arrangements yourself. Not only will you get exactly what you want for your arrangements, you’ll have the pride of knowing you’re your arrangements were made by you. Of course, be sure to leave yourself enough time to complete the arrangements – including a little extra time to correct mistakes.

With a little extra work, it is possible to have beautiful wedding flowers, even on a tight budget. All it takes is some research and a hands-on, can-do attitude. It doesn’t matter if you have a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars to spend on your wedding flowers – what matters is that you are happy with the results and proud to carry your wedding flowers down the aisle on your big day.

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Filed under: Inexpensive Weddings,Wedding Planning — vicky at 10:21 am on Saturday, November 22, 2008