Helpful Tips To Decide How To Spend Your Wedding Budget

The average price of a wedding in 2016 in the United States, according to various sources online, was between $32,00-$35,000. The numbers vary from state to state, some closer to $20,000, but don't let any of those numbers scare you. If you go into your wedding planning with a budget in mind and a good plan, you can keep the cost of your celebration at a comfortable price point. 



Divvy Up The Budget
Knowing an approximate amount of what different services cost ahead of time will help you to know where you need to focus your funds. There are some things associated with weddings that you may have your heart set on, while other things may not matter to you at all. 

The first step in deciding where you should spend your money is to name the 3 most important things for each of you, such as catering, flowers, the music, the venue, etc.. These are the places where it is worth it to spend your money. You can cut costs on the other items that don't mean as much to you. 

WhereBridesGo.com has put together a guide showing what percentage of your budget you can expect to spend on each wedding planning task. These are guidelines, and no, the numbers don't add up to 100%. These are just starting points, and you will adjust the percentages according to what's most important to you to equal 100%. Then plug in your proposed budget and do the math for a good idea of where your money will be going. Don't skip the emergency fund! You'll be thrilled it's there if you need it, and you'll have spare money left over for the honeymoon if you don't!

  • 50% - Reception
  • 2-3% - Ceremony
  • 10-15% - Wedding Planner
  • 2% - Stationery
  • 10% - Attire
  • 10-15% - Photos & Video
  • 10% - Flowers
  • 10% - Music
  • 1-2% - Transportation
  • 2% - Wedding Rings
  • 2-3% - Thank You Gifts
  • 8% - Miscellaneous
  • 8-10% - Emergency Fund


Cut Costs Where You Can
There are a variety of ways that you can cut your costs in certain areas, leaving extra money for the ones that are more important to you and your fiance. The following ideas will be helpful if that particular wedding item is on your "take it or leave it" list. 

  • Stationery
    There are many places online that offer wedding website templates to couples that are absolutely free. All of the information that you would normally put on various inserts in the invitation envelope can be shared with everyone on your website. This will cut down on the size and weight of your invite, cutting down on postage. You'll can save even more by skipping RSVP envelope stamps and having everyone RSVP online or by calling you directly.
  • Flowers
    If you aren't a huge flower fan, you don't have to use a lot of them in your wedding, or even at all if your are particularly creative. Candles are less expensive and look beautiful all around the room. Bridesmaids can carry a single long-stemmed flower instead of an entire bouquet, and boutonnieres can be made out of non-floral items that fit in with the theme of your wedding. Another great idea is to have your florist put together arrangements for the ceremony that can be moved over and used again at the reception.
  • Food 
    If you don't mind holding your wedding on a weekday evening or early in the day instead of at night, then your caterer will probably have less expensive food options to offer you. Brunch, lunch, and cocktail foods are less expensive than full dinners. Hosting your celebration at a time other than a Saturday night may also save you money on the venue rental, and if it's early enough that you don't include a reception with dancing, you can cut down on your music budget too.   

Budgeting every penny may seem like a daunting task, but you'll be grateful that you did once the wedding is over and you've stayed within your budget. You can find lots of affordable wedding accessories online when you shop at WhereBridesGo.com. There are many wonderful items for your wedding to pick from, as well as excellent gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen, without breaking the bank.        



Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!



~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with WhereBridesGo.com online!

Our Fully Customizable DIY Wedding Fan Program Kits

There are lots of DIY brides out there that want to do everything themselves. This takes up a lot of time, and for some people it's a lot harder than they realize after they get started. A great way to make things a lot easier on yourself is to accept help where you can get it. Wedding DIY help from WhereBridesGo.com is available in the form of kits that do some of the work for you. Our Wedding Fan Program Kits are a great example of this. 



Turning the program for your wedding into a fan is perfect for outdoor ceremonies taking place in hot weather, plus it doubles as a cute favor for guests to take home. Our kits offer a wide variety of shapes and designs, allowing you to completely customize the final look and personalize it with your own touches. 

Easy-To-Follow Instructions
Every kit comes with a CD of pre-designed templates, letting you choose from many different looks to find the one that's perfect for your wedding. After you pick your favorite, you can fill in all of the details and adjust the wording exactly the way you like it. Simply print them out on the high quality cardstock provided and assemble them using the sticks and adhesive glue dots that come with your kit. 
A Wide Variety Of Styles
The DIY Scroll Fan Program Kit has a rectangular fan, offering simple yet elegant designs for you to choose from. It features 9 different color schemes. If you want something a little fancier, you may prefer the graphics available with our DIY Designer Fan Program Paper Kit.      





For the romantic bride who loves to see hearts everywhere, the DIY Heart Fan Program Paper Kit lets you get creative with both the wording and the shape. If you prefer a more traditional type of fan for your wedding programs, we also have the DIY 3-piece Fan Program Kit made from high quality cardstock and tied together with elegant satin ribbon.  





Your Creativity In Action
There are lots of different ways that you can show off your creativity and personality by "doing it yourself," but there's no need to take on more than you can handle. Using kits from our online wedding accessory store for programs, favors, invitations, and more will take some of the pressure off of you and save you precious time. These wedding fan programs are just the beginning of what WhereBridesGo.com has in store for you. Head on over to the website and take a look around. It's where brides go... for what brides love! 



Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!



~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with WhereBridesGo.com online!

How To Successfully Survive A Bridal Show

Bridal Shows are an excellent tool for getting a lot of wedding related tasks tackled all at once, plus an amazing source of wedding inspiration. On the other hand, there is so much to see and so many vendors vying for your attention, they can be a bit overwhelming. WhereBridesGo.com has a few tips and tricks for you to try that will help to make your bridal show experience both pleasant and successful. 

photo courtesy of Events DEE-signed

Get your name on the list.
If the bridal show you will be attending offers pre-registration, do it! Instead of filling out paperwork when you first get there, you can get into the show faster and get to the main event. You might even be eligible for additional giveaways by getting your name on the list early.  

Do some homework.
A bridal show is the perfect time to get a close-up look at what your local wedding vendors can really do, plus find out if their personality and wedding planning philosophy will gel well with yours. If it is a very large show, you could be in for a long day. 

Research the vendors that will be there, and plan to visit the ones that you are most interested in first. Also, if you already have some of your vendors booked, those booths can be skipped, giving you more time to find the vendors that you still need. The other booths will still be there to browse at the end if you have extra time.

Gather your "Team Bride."
Team Bride Repositionable Cling
Take friends or family along with you that will enjoy this type of event and can also help you accomplish everything that you need to get done. It can be a really fun girls' afternoon for you and your entire wedding party, or you can simply go with only your maid of honor. Some brides bring along their mom and future mother-in-law, and a few even persuade their groom-to-be to join them.  

Having helpers means that you can cover more ground. Send them out scouting for you if necessary, let them help you carry all of that swag the vendors will be giving away, and use them to fend off any pushy vendors that you want to get away from. Most importantly though, only take team members that you can have fun with.   

Designate a wedding email address.
You'll be meeting a lot of wedding vendors, and every time you sign up for giveaways at their booths, you'll most likely be giving out your email address. Rather than trying to separate all of the emails that you'll be getting about the wedding (both wanted and unwanted,) set up a temporary email address specifically to handle wedding information. 

Once the wedding planning is over, you can shut down that address and never have to get an email from those vendors again. If there are some that you believe you may use in the future for other events, you can send them your permanent email address.  

Save your writing hand.
Nearly every booth will have giveaways, so there will be a lot of signing up to do. Even with your "Team Bride" helping you out, all of that writing can get old. Instead, print out all of the information that may be needed on sticky address labels. All you will have to do then is put that label on the giveaway sheet, no writing involved, plus it takes up a lot less of your time. Information that you should include is: 
  • Bride's name
  • Groom's name
  • Wedding date
  • Email Address
  • Phone number (Only if you are okay with them calling you.)
  • Home address (Optional, but you should at least include your city & state.) 
Photo courtesy of Events DEE-signed.com 

Be prepared.
Once bridal show day arrives, there are a few things to keep in mind before you head out. There is really no dress code, but you will be doing a LOT of walking, so comfortable shoes are extremely important. 

Be sure to eat a light meal before you attend the show. There will most likely be samples from caterers and bakeries, but all of that sweet cake won't sit well on your stomach after multiple samples if you don't have some solid food in there already. 

Taking the following items along will help you stay organized and have a more successful experience.
  • Datebook
    You won't get a lot of quality time with vendors with all of the other people trying to talk to them too. Have your calendar handy to schedule one-on-one meetings with the best ones that you want to get to know better and possibly hire.
  • Checkbook / Credit Card
    If you happen to find a wedding vendor that you absolutely have to have, put a deposit down right away before someone else books your date. Also, many vendors may be offering "bridal show only" discounts that you won't want to miss.
  • Spending Money
    Even with all of those samples being given away, you may get hungry or thirsty. There should be stands to buy meals or snacks, and possibly a bar. Have cash handy in case that is all the smaller stands accept.
  • An Extra Bag
    You may be given a bag to hold all of the goodies that you will be collecting at different booths (fliers, business cards, promo items, etc...) but it's always better to be safe than sorry. An added bonus if you end up having more than one bag is that you can put your VIP information in one and extra items from vendors that you don't like as much in the other. Don't throw away anything until you have for sure booked your vendors though. That way, if you don't go with your first choice for some reason, you'll still have contact information for your second choice .
  • Your Bridal Binder
    Whether you keep track of your wedding planning with an actual in-hand binder or you catalog everything digitally on your computer or mobile device, have it close by. You can add important information to it while everything is still fresh in your mind. Have a pen and paper in there to take notes about things that you see and want to remember. A great trick is to write those notes directly on the flier or business card from the vendor that you are writing about.
     
Gold Foil Canvas Tote
Good luck!
The tips above should help you to get the best possible information out of every bridal show that you attend. Visit with the other brides that you meet while you are there and compare notes with each other. 

If you use the bridal show to find as many vendors as possible, that task can be checked off of your to-do list and you can move on to the fun stuff, like searching our online wedding accessory store for the details, like table decorations, bridesmaid gifts, unique guest books, gorgeous cake toppers, and so much more. The bridal show is a great place to get everything started, and WhereBridesGo.com can help you to pull all of the pieces together for an unforgettable wedding.  



Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!



~ The WhereBridesGo.com Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with WhereBridesGo.com online!