Some brides will not have any cocktail hour flowers and some brides will have more flowers here than at their ceremony. Typically your cocktail hour flower budget should be anywhere from 5%-15% of your total budget, depending on how many tables are out, how many bars you have, if there are any stationary hors d’oeuvres, and if your place card table is a part of our cocktail hour. Some venues allow brides to re-use the cocktail hour as a late night lounge for guests to get away from the music, so that might affect how much attention you’d like to spend in this area.
You should expect to spend about 5% - 15% of your flower budget on your cocktail hour flowers.
Here is a list of places you might want to include flowers in your cocktail hour:
Low-top tables for guest seating
High-top tables for guests standing and chatting, putting their drinks down, etc
Stationary hors d’oeuvres table(s)
Place card table
Guest book table
You might also have lounge furniture, or a special photo booth area, and many of these items might be in your reception area. This just gives you a comprehensive list of your options as every venue is different and every bride’s vision is different as well.
image by Melissa Koren Photography
I can think of any reason to put together a fabulous ensemble, but this time there really was a reason, my big 6 month anniversary! We are talking long term here folks. My dinner date was upon me, and I certainly did not feel like getting a whole new get-up (the economic state is killing me), so it was time to dig. I wanted to look pretty and sweet, not usually my M.O. Funky sexy was for another time because that night I was playing the role of the sweet and doting girlfriend. My outfit had to match my “classy” act, I had to make it believable.
I went straight for a dress that I bought at Salvation Army in Chicago around 4 years ago. Four years is already considered an older piece, now add in how many years it must have been loved by someone else prior to me. I was going vintage here. It was pretty, it was sweet, it was perfect. Plus my boyfriend seemed to like it!
I didn’t stop there. I went for one of my favorite 50’s style clutches which quite possibly is from the 50’s. I bought it at Salvation Army as well. I am crazy. I think it cost me $4. It is not in perfect condition, but it has literally seen the light of day (and night) so many times while I have owned it. Talk about cost per wear!
Now you ask, “Where did you get that amazing necklace!?!”. Yup, that’s right, Salvation Army. I have gone full-on inexpensive second hand thrift store fab for almost this entire date night look. Who says you can’t find anything at Salvation Army? What’s that saying? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure? I think I have proved this theory without a doubt. Search at your local Salvation Army, your next great treasure is waiting there for you for the bargain basement price of $5!
Do you like to shop at thrift stores? Is any part of your wedding ensemble or decor from a thrift store?
Image by McNamara Photography
In a recent post I briefly explained many of the aspects of floral and event design. I am going to break down the more traditional floral budget today, starting with your personal flowers. I will explain how much you should budget for each portion of your design and what items you should be considering. Typically flowers in general will be around 8%-10% of your overall wedding budget. That would break down to the following amounts:
$2,000.00-$2,500.00 8%-10% of an under 25k overall wedding budget (based on 25k)
$3,000.00-$3,750.00 8%-10% of a 25k-50k overall wedding budget (based on 37.5k)
$5,200.00-$6,500.00 8%-10% of a 50k-80k overall wedding budget (based on 65k)
$8,000.00-$10,000.00 8%-10% of an 80k and up overall wedding budget (based on 100k)
Your flower budget will most likely be broken up into the following parts:
10-20% Personal Flowers - greatly depending on the number of attendants
10% Ceremony Flowers
5% Cocktail Hour Flowers
50% Reception Flowers
5% Special Extras
These are very approximate percentages as some brides will have one bridesmaid in her wedding party but will want a lavish place card table arrangement which would in a sense reverse her % for personal flowers and cocktail hour flowers. Use the above breakdown as a guideline, but don’t worry about it at all if your amounts fall outside of these parameters.
If you’re having a tented wedding, be prepared for additional costs and additional vendors. A tented wedding costs more money since you have to bring everything on site, and there’s no way to really get around that. Here’s a list of items you need to consider when working with a tented event that you wouldn’t need to deal with if you had your wedding at an existing venue. You don’t need all of these items but it gives you a pretty complete list to work off:
If you want to learn more about tents, check out one of our past blog posts here: What you need to know about tented weddings.
Reception Tent: So this is pretty obvious. The size of your tent depends on the number of guests you’re having. If you are planning on an outdoor ceremony and/or cocktail hour, make sure you consider getting the next size up for your main tent as a rain plan. Better yet, consider a cocktail tent if your budget and space allows. In addition to your tent, you need to consider tent sides- clear, mesh, white, windows, a dance floor if you’re not having a complete tent floor, and maybe even a stage for your reception entertainment. Depending on the size and style of your tent, this will vary from $500-$10,000.
The cause of a lot of confusion, brides are looking for more than just table centerpieces theses days. Lighting, linens, lounge furniture, specialty candles, outdoor decor, the list goes on and on. Because of the growing complexity of wedding design I think there should be some clarity to how much should be spent on your flowers vs. your floral and event design. In general I would still allocate 8%-10% of your total budget to your flowers. This should include:
You don’t need to include all of these flowers on your wish list, but it shows you all of the possibilities. In terms of your budget, expect to spend around 50% of your total flower budget on your centerpieces. Depending on the number of members of your bridal party, your personal flowers can really eat into your budget as well.
Here are a few photos of examples of the more classic flower proposal and what you should expect for services:
Photo by Blush Imagery
Want to open a can of worms? Tell people you want a “no children wedding”. You’ll get a few supporters, but others will secretly scorn you. Namely, the ones on your guest list who can’t imagine leaving their little ones with a babysitter.
Having a kid-free wedding is one way to scale back the guest list for a small wedding, but be prepared for criticism. Judging by the comments on some bridal forums, there are some pretty strong opinions about kids and weddings. Some can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t allow kids. They argue that it’s anti-family not to invite children and that weddings are all about family. Others can’t comprehend why anyone would want little ones underfoot at such an “adult” event.
We had kids at our wedding. Mind you, there were only three – but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That said, I understand why some couples opt for a “no children wedding”. Couples generally spend months orchestrating their weddings – not to mention saving for them. Along comes one tantrum throwing toddler, and “kaboom!” perfection is destroyed – especially if it happens during the vows.
Kids are unpredictable. They cry. They make messes. They bump into things and are known to stick their fingers into places that they shouldn’t (e.g. cake, nose, you get the picture.) But oftentimes, they’re also surprisingly well-behaved during special occasions and can add a lot to your big day.
If you are sure you want a “no children wedding”, how do you ensure that your adult guests won’t bring their offspring?
Let’s talk recession proof wedding style. Is there any better way to look fantastic and give a shout out to your mom than with her borrowed veil? I think not! You have covered three bases in one, something borrowed, acquiring a headpiece and spending no money! I love innovative styling!
Many women have nothing to do with their beautiful gown and veil after the big day. They pack it up and tuck it nicely underneath the bed hoping that one day they will have a daughter who will wear it proudly. One huge problem, the likely hood that your daughter will not only be the same size, but actually like the dress is next to impossible! Styles come and go and trying to don a dress exactly as it was around 30 years after its original wear is a difficult task.
So, what better way to show off your mother’s beautiful wedding taste than to re-wear her veil and skip over the dress. There are options to re-work it in order to modernize it without taking away the heartfelt sentiment. Adding in a new head piece such as a broach, comb or crown is the simple way to make it your own and still show mommy that you love her.
Everyone is trying to cut corners no matter where the spending is happening, so why not think outside of the box for your wedding day as well. There are plenty of vintage pieces lurking around your grandmother and mother’s closets so jump on them fast! Work them not only into your wedding look, but your everyday look as well!
Photo courtesy of Queensofvintage.com
Many brides will splurge more on their photography budget than any other aspect of their wedding. It’s actually difficult to give an average percentage spent, but the industry standard is 10% so I would generalize that to around 8-12%. That being said, some brides will spend 20-30% of their budget on their dream photographer, knowing they will have to make some major cut backs in other areas of their overall budget. The cost of a photographer varies greatly and depends on quite a few conditions:
Creative Fee/Coverage: Many photographers are not creating packages for brides these days. Instead they are offering their services a la carte, starting with their creative fee or coverage of your event(s). This allows the bride to choose their own post-production services: albums, proof magazines, digital negatives, online coverage for guests to view and purchase their own images, prints etc. What’s great about the creative fee/coverage option is it allows the couple to spend their entire photography budget on the photographer, not on all the add ons that come after the wedding. Many brides are waiting a full year or longer to purchase their wedding album to help offset the cost of a more expensive photographer. Some are even foregoing any albums and are purchasing their negatives and printing their own images. To these couples it seems to be more about the quality and relationship with the photographer than all the bells and whistles that a more traditional package will offer.
Leah, 34 & Scott, 33
Wedding Date: January 12, 2008
Number of Guests: 35
Wedding Cost: $5,000 including 7 day honeymoon backpacking in Cuba
Wedding Ceremony Location: Scandia Lutheran Church, Armena, Alberta
Wedding Reception Location: Ramada Inn, Camrose, Alberta
How much money should you spend on your wedding, and how should you spend it? Probably two of the biggest and most stressful questions a bride has to answer when it comes to planning her wedding. I often educate my clients about how much things cost today, so I thought it would be a good idea to share my advice with everyone.
Everyone will spend their money differently because each bride has different priorities. Some will splurge on their photographer and cut back on their paper products. There’s no right or wrong in this department, you just need to be aware of the costs involved and to always be prepared for extra expenses which always come up.
So on to the first to topic: Venue/Caterer Budget