We all know that weddings can be very expensive! Many couples will consider doing  DIY projects to save them money. Now, I am a DIY fan, in fact at my own wedding I did just about everything myself. I made my own cake…4 tiers!! Made my bouquet , boutonnieres, & centerpieces, all before I became a certified floral designer. And I coordinated my wedding day, it was easy……or was it?

I am sharing my experiences with you as both a DIY bride & a professional wedding coordinator & florist

Now I am not a professional baker, nor do I ever want to be, but I did enjoy making my own wedding cake! It was a project that my father was involved with ( he took up baking as a hobby) & it was a special moment between the two of us. We made a lemon poppy seed cake & it was delicious! We prepared it a month prior to the wedding, we froze it until the day before the wedding. It was covered in yummy butter cream icing & decorated with fresh flowers. Now truth be told, I forgot to buy flowers for the cake & was forced to go to a local convenience store to buy flowers. Of course their selection was horrible & expensive!

Speaking of flowers, as I mentioned I made my own bouquet & boutonnieres. I woke up very early on the day of my wedding, ran accross the street to Loblaws to purchase flowers for my bouquet. I had the flowers I wanted in mind, of course what I wanted, they did not have. With no time to look elsewhere, I had to make do with what they had. I used beautiful blue hydrangea for my boutonnieres, not knowing (as I was not trained at that time) that hydrangeas was a bad choice for boutonnieres. They didn’t even make it to the ceremony  :(

My centerpieces were flower pots that I planted early in Spring, by the time my wedding day rolled around, they were all fully bloomed & lush….thank goodness! They made for a great centerpiece giveaway  ;)

I didn’t hire a professional photographer, as I didn’t want to spend all that money on pictures. So I hired a “friend” who was a “so-called” photographer…..worst decision ever!!! The pictures were HORRIBLE & I don’t even have any pictures of my wedding day on display. You know that old saying “you get what you pay for”, so true!

I didn’t hire a professional wedding coordinator…why, I can do it myself! Why pay to have someone do what I can do? It’s your Wedding Day….enjoy it, Do Not Work through it! I didn’t relax or enjoy my wedding day at all. In fact, I don’t remember most of it. So sad!

It will be 7 years this June that I was married. I have decided that on our 10th wedding anniversary we will renew our wedding vows & this time I will enjoy every minute of it!

After my wedding, that’s when I realized I wanted to be a part of the wedding industry. I became a certified wedding planner & certified floral designer. Now I can help other couples on their Special day, allowing them to enjoy a stress free day that they worked so hard on & spent a lot of money on

DIY projects is a great way to save money on your wedding. Choosing them wisely is key. Their are many things you can “DIY” but their are certin things you should not attempt yourself & should hire a professional to do

 

Here is a great blog post from “The Knot” about choosing the right DIY projects to do & which ones NOT to do!

http://wedding.theknot.com/live-tv.aspx?bf=http%3a%2f%2fwedding.theknot.com%2fwedding-planning%2fdiy-do-it-yourself-weddings%2farticles%2fdiy-wedding-dos-and-donts.aspx%3fMsdVisit%3d1

Happy Planning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you heard the news? Did you see that report on 20/20 last week, about the Wedding Industry, “Wedding Confidential”  that you will be scammed by us vendors?!?!

It’s all over Facebook & Twitter at this very moment! It has become THE Blog subject of many  wedding professionals, all who are down right angry & on the defensive.

I saw the 20/20 report & I too was a ‘lil upset at what they were saying. If you haven’t seen the report, I suggest doing a search on Youtube, I’m sure you’ll find it.

But unlike most of the wedding profesional blogs, I’m not going to disagree with 20/20 so fast.

As in EVERY Industry, there are always un-professional businesses out there, looking to take advantage of people! Whether it be providing poor service and/or products, mis-representing themselves, or simply scamming you out of your hard earned $$, unfortunately they do exsist!

There are 2 Industries that come to mind when I think of buinesses that will use your emotions to get you to spend more money, & they are Weddings & Funerals. I’m sorry, but I have to be honest here!

WEDDINGS: Some vendors will tap into your “Dream Wedding” not your budget first. Knowing that the bride-to-be, more than likely has been dreaming of her wedding day since she was a little girl. “Tell me what your dream wedding looks like” instead of “what is your budget for your wedding” & showing them what they can actually afford.

I had a client meeting just the other day, where the bride-to-be told me that the other decor co. they were talking with spent almost 2 hrs with them discussing their wedding decor, showing them pictures, telling them what they should have to complete their vision. The couple was delighted with the decor co.’s suggestions & LOVED what they were shown. She was excited…….then she asked, “what is the cost of all this?”

Gulp! Major disappointment, as she learned, after 2 hrs, that they could NOT afford it! she felt like her dream was squashed & left the meeting feeling very upset & frustrated!

I know there a vendors out there that use this sales tactic to try & upsale their clients. It’s not illeagal, in fact, many businesses try & upsale you everyday. “Would you like fries with that”, “can I interest you in the extended warranty”, “buy 2, get 1 free”, etc, etc, etc.

When bussinesses hear the word “Wedding” they know that you will be spending a lot of money. They will try & sell you the dream. Take a wedding magazine for example, many of the weddings you see in those magazines are not real, they are stagged photo shoots. What they advertise is way out of most of our budgets! It’s a fantasy, unless you are a celebrity and/or rich & budget is unlimited

So, how do you avoid this from happening to you? Simple, as you meet with each vendor, tell them up-front, what your budget is. Don’t let them show you anything that is not in your price range, & if they do, move on! A good vendor will work within your budget & make suggestions to help you with your vision

Get referrences! If someone you know has worked with them, & have good things to say about them & you trust their judgement, take it! Many vendors have reviews, read them! Inquire with other vendors about vendors. Your photographer can recommend a great florist, or decor co. They do work with many vendors, so they know who the good ones are.

Stop the competition! Trying to out-do your cousin Stephanie’s wedding, will only lead you to the poor house. This is where a vendor can upsale you! Make your wedding special & a refelection of yourselves. If you enjoy the simplier things in life, your wedding should reflect that. Unless of course you are competing to win a luxury honeymoon!

Hire a Certified Wedding Planner/ Coordinator! He/She will only refer you to vendors who are professional, trusted, & most of all, in your budget!! They will keep you both focussed & in-line. Keeping you from getting caught up in all the hoopla & extra costs.

 

 

 

Mmmmmmm, cake! That pretty much sums it up. Who doesn’t like cake? The most common flavours for a wedding cake are chocolate, carrot, lemon, rum & white cake. Some cakes have fillings such as custard, strawberry (fruit,)  or ganache. The can come in different shapes- round, square and even heart shaped.

What ever your style, traditional or non-traditional, a wedding cake can be made into any flavour, shape and/or style to suit your taste & decor.

Cakes can range in price from $300-$1500+ depending on size, flavour(s), labor & level of dificulty. Most cake designers will have a delivery & set-up charge. Other fees to consider are cake stand, flowers & cake-cutting knife.

**If having fresh flowers on your cake, make sure they are organic, as flowers may contain chemicals/pesticides** If not organic, make sure the flower stems are wrapped or are sitting on a plate.

How much cake will you need? Here is a chart to help you figure out just how much cake is needed. Keep in mind that the top tier is traditionally saved for your first anniversary

**The top tier is removed, wrapped in several layers of plastic wrap & kept frozen**

 

Check with your venue, as most venues will have a “cake cutting” fee. Price Range: $0.75- $2.50 per person

*Many venues offer dessert in their dinner packages. Ask if you were to  use your wedding cake as the dessert instead, they may be willing to waive the cake-cutting fee*

MONEY SAVING TIPS

Consider having a “fake cake” This is a great $$ saver! The cake itself will be less expensive- just have the top tier real for freezing & maybe a second tier for the  cake cutting & feeding to each other. Have a “slab” cake in the back with the same icing for the guests. They will never know the difference, but your wallet will

bride.ca

Consider having cupcakes instead of the traditional wedding cake. You can still have a small cake to save for your first wedding anniversary & no cake-cutting fees. Cupcakes are great for a late night sweet table or can be used on a Candy Buffet, that can also dub as your wedding favors, again saving you money.

The best part about cupcakes, is that they are easier to box up the left overs….if there are any

 
  1. More often than not, venues now have their own wedding coordinator to assist couples on their wedding day. If that’s the case, why hire a Wedding Planner?

Let me set the record straight about this burning question!

It takes approx. 250 hrs to plan a wedding. Brides & grooms usually start to feel like they are in over their heads soon after starting to plan their own wedding. All of their weekends & evenings start becoming devoted to their wedding & can feel like a second job to them. Hiring a “certified” wedding coordinator can save them time, stress & money.

The 4 main reasons couples hire a “certified” wedding coordinator:

They are too busy/overwhelmed to properley plan their wedding

They are planning their wedding from a distance

They want a professional to handle all the leg work involved in planning a wedding

They prefer to take pleasure in their wedding day, not work through it.

CERTIFIED WEDDING COORDINATOR VS ON-SITE WEDDING CONSULTANT:

The on-site wedding consultant’s primary focus & responsibility is the Venue. The relationship between them & the couple remains a professional one. The on-site coordinator will assist in the creation of a timeline for the wedding in regards to the venue’s role & responsibilities. If the ceremony is also taking place on-site the venue coordinator will usually run the rehearsal for the wedding & direct the ceremony on the wedding day. The on-site coordinator is usually on-site on the wedding day & generally leaves before dinner turning the event over to the banquet manager or “Captian”

A “certified” wedding planner’s primary focus & responsibility is the Bride & Groom. They work closely with the couple, building a personal & professional relationship right from the beginning of their engagement. From selecting vendors & venues, budget management, theme development & decor, managing & seeing to the finest details & supervising the event itself. They keep everyone organized by setting up a clear plan for the event & following up to make sure all flows well.

They will be present at the wedding to direct the ceremony & reception & make sure all goes according to plan. On the wedding day, the “certified” wedding coordinator will be with the couple from before the ceremony until the end of the reception.

 

 

Choosing your wedding flowers can be a daunting task! How do you choose, when there are so many options? Going with your favorite flower(s), can  seem the way to go, but those gorgeous blooms can be very expensive! Here are some tips on how to choose your wedding flowers….without breaking the bank

First, set a realistic flower budget. You are kidding yourself, if you think a $500 floral budget is going to give you the look you saw in that bridal magazine. So what is a realistic budget for flowers? Consider approx. $1000-$1500 as a moderate budget. That should get you flowers for  the Bride & Groom, bridal party,  parents, ceremony, reception & centrepieces

Second, keep an open mind, when choosing your flowers. You should choose your colors, then look at all your options within that theme. If you have your heart set on orchids & calla lilly’s, you may want to bump up that budget.

Trust & allow your floral designer to  make suggestions on using other (gorgeous) flowers, to create that “look” you want. Think about using seasonal flowers, as they would be less expensive. If you do insist on a certin  bloom, use it sparingly. You can still create that lush bouquet, using less of the “feature” flower, by adding in “filler” flowers & greens.

Also, think about your flowers doing double duty. Use your ceremony flowers at your reception. Lining the aisle with floral designs, for that dramatic look, then using them as your centrepieces & the larger designs can be used to flank the head table.

And last…..have a consultation! Don’t ask your floral designer to give you a quote over the phone or via email. If you simply email them, asking for a quote on your flowers, giving them only basic information, you will not get an acurate quote, nor will you get suggestions on how to keep  within your budget. You are doing yourself a dis-service.

I want your Wedding Day to be as beautiful as your are going to be!

If you have a question or comment, please respond below….Happy Planning!

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