Friday, April 22, 2011

Who should be paying for what?

Among the top 10 questions asked by brides is the questions of who pays for what among the wedding expenses. I think the answer is largely dependent on whether you're wedding and situation is traditional or non-traditional. By tradition, the bride/brides family pays for most of the wedding while the groom/grooms family pay for things such as the wedding and engagement ring, rehearsal dinner, honeymoon, gifts for the bride, gifts for the men participating in the wedding ceremony (typically ushers and groomsmen), wedding license, and alcohol. Non-traditionally but among recent trends is that of weddings being paid for in majority by costs being split between the bride and groom. In such cases, it really depends on what each can afford. For our wedding, we paid for many things with contributed gifts from family and family friends on either side to help us out. My grandparents offered to pay for our food and gave us our choice of their time-share for the year to use for our honeymoon. A family friend offered to cater our wedding for free. My husbands parents paid for the rehearsal dinner, made MANY pastries and desserts for our reception and allowed me use of their vast array of antique dining and serving ware for my vintage themed reception. My husbands grandfather offered to pay for a portion our decorations (SUCH a sweet little Italian man!) Aside from that, my husband and I paid for anything else. From the beginning it may be a good idea for both you and your fiance to talk to your own families and get a feel from them if they will be able to/want to contribute to your wedding and what those things are in order to know what will need to be taken care of by the both of you and budget accordingly. Non-traditional weddings, I would say, make a budget even more VITAL as you will need to know what expenses you'll be paying and saving for, when. Make sure you are planning ahead and are giving yourself enough time between your engagement and wedding to make or have saved the money you need to pull your wedding off.

Another thing I think many brides wonder is what the bridesmaids and groomsmen should be paying of their expenses to participate in your wedding. In the beginning I thought to myself, "I'm asking all these people to pay all these expenses to come and support me?! I can't ask them to do that!!!" Here's the thing (which our wedding party practically forced us to comply with) they are your friends and you are asking, and they are accepting to be there to support you on one of the most important days of your life! We paid for our girls bridesmaids dresses and we tried to take care of most of our wedding parties' meals while they were in town as well as a way of taking care of them for being there to take care of us. Heck, you may even decide that paying for their attire or flight is what you'd like to for their gifts but based on simple logic, if they are truly your friends, they will be honored to do whatever it takes to be there for you because that's what they (friends) do.

That said, I will note that in our wedding, we had sleeping accommodations for our party. In 100% of the weddings I've been a part of that had a long distance bridal party, a place to sleep was planned and provided for the entire party until the morning after the wedding. If your wedding party is local, I'd at least consider having them stay with you and the groom the night before the wedding for both moral support and logistical reasons. 

Initially this can feel a bit overwhelming if talking about money with other people is hard for you. I know that it's not fun BUT if you get this kind of stuff done early out, only the fun stuff is left as you get closer to your big day. You've got this!

Hope this helps!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

**DIY time**

For our wedding we had to go low budget but didn't want to skimp on our decor. Luckily i have a knack for making the most low cost things look beautiful and was happy to do so for our wedding. My husband and I really enjoy a mix of rustic and eclectic decor and I think these cotton centerpieces would be gorgeous for a vintage, rustic, eco-friendly, or outdoorsy wedding!

It's as simple as this:
1) Order online or purchase cotton in store
2) Run to your nearest thrift or vintage store and grab a few of your favorite bottles or mason jars
3) Leave as is or decorate according to your taste (could wrap with a ribbon or twine bow dip in paint and dry, whatever your creative mind comes up with)
4) Cut cotton stems to desired length and pop them individually or in groups into the containers you purchased earlier

There are many approaches that could be taken for a diy centerpiece depending on your colors
If doing your own search, your going to want to search for either dried cotton or cotton bolls, you can also check out some of the places I found: (also does cotton boutonnieres and bouquets)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Registry: what to put on it and how to let people know

While I didn't have the slightest preparation for what I'd want in a wedding, if there was one mental picture and thing I had seen in the was pointing that scanner gun at everything one could ever possibly hope for in their new home. Punch bowls, textiles, duvet covers, stock pots, and shower curtains....this was one thing I was pretty much pumped for!

About 15 minutes into this very event, I quickly realized how overwhelming it all could become. We had a wedding representative from the store give us a basic run-down of what to do and even what to consider when comprising your wedding registry (at Bed, Bath, and Beyond). Regardless of the help, the more items we came across in the store, the more we realized how many tiny little things and enormous things we'd actually need. Here are my pointers on how to get the most out of wedding registry(and by most I don't mean quantity, I mean quality.)-If at all possible, make note BEFORE going to begin your registry of necessities that your home-to-be will need. Our apartment did not come with a microwave and for our first month we were reheating everything in the oven, not good or time efficient. If you do not have a washer/dryer you may want to include a sturdy laundry basket/hamper. Basic necessities that you will immediately need for day-to-day, should immediately go on your list, don't miss these things first before you go "kid in a candy store".

-Once you have comprised this list, remove anything that you will probably end up purchasing on your own

-A lot of what you will get will probably be kitchen items. Know the measurements of your oven before adding any bake-ware, drawers before adding any drawer organizers etc.

-Know your storage capabilities. You're going to have a sudden influx of things that will all need a place to go. Look around and see where you've got room, consider whether it may be a good idea to either add some shelving to your registry or maybe plan ahead to make a trip to Ikea(or wherever you prefer) when you get back from your honeymoon.

-Because you probably won't have the option of letting others know which items are most important to you or that you want most, consider registering with two stores one comprised of the things you want most and one of all the other things. I'm pretty sure every bride or groom has that one person in their family who everyone else will call if they have any questions about your wedding, registry, etc.  Always make sure you convey to that person, anything that you want to be the general consensus. If the registry of your "must-haves!" is at Crate & Barrel and your other items are with Target, let the person know that if people ask, a lot of your favorites are at C&B and you are also registered with Target. This would be the same idea if you are hoping to receive mostly cash, let your go to person know that you are hoping for mostly cash but are also registered with (insert store)

-Do not let the registry representative talk you into putting expensive "quality" items on your registry that you really don't care much about. If you don't care if your skillet is $200 or $20 but you'd rather have a Kitchen-Aid mixer over a generic store brand, don't let the sales person also sell you on the skillet. The sales person may tell you that it is important to have a range of prices on items so that those who want to get a larger gift for you aren't stuck buying every utensil on your registry to meet there spending amount. This is true, however, who's to say that person doesn't look at the registry and grab the skillet (that sales person talked you into scanning because of the "quality") instead of the mixer if it's on your list. For that reason, I'd say, keep the more expensive items limited to only things you really want. Remember, most ppl won't ask you which one you want more.

-Get to scannin!!! Have a good range of items with different prices and don't assume you know what others will want to spend on a gift for you. Enjoy yourself!!!
(Also check out this Registry 101 list from The Things We Would Blog)