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Prioritizing Your Wedding Budget

One of the most important aspects of the wedding planning process is deciding what your wedding budget will be. How much “should” a wedding cost, you ask? Well there is no right answer. The wedding budget is as individual as the couple themselves. That being said, the average cost of a 150-person wedding is $25,000-30,000. According to The Knot.com the budget is typically broken down with the following percentages:

Reception: 48-50%

Ceremony: 2%-3%

Attire: 8%-10%

Flowers: 8-10%

Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%

Photography/Videography:10%-12%

Stationary: 2%-3%

Wedding Rings: 2%-3%

Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%

Gifts: 2%-3%

Miscellaneous: 8%

To avoid stress, allot about 5% of your budget for a “just-in-case” fund.

If you are paying for your honeymoon yourselves, remember to budget for that as well!

Once you have decided on your total budget number, the next step is determining your priorities. Both the bride and groom should make a list of their top three priorities for their wedding, for example photography, cake and flowers. Once your top three are decided, allocate a little bit more to them; then do the opposite for your bottom three choices.

Once you have your budget drafted, start making phone calls for your top three priorities to see if they are close to your budget. Before you start attending lots of meetings and signing contracts, get estimates on a few things to make sure your budget is realistic. If not, go back to the drawing board before moving forward!

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Taking Care of Your Engagement and Wedding Rings

Often considered one of the most valuable pieces of jewelry a women will ever wear, your engagement and wedding ring should be cared for carefully and properly.  Most women, however, don’t know how to take care of their rings. Use the following tips to ensure that your ring maintains its beauty and luster for many years to come.

  • Make sure to have an accurate appraisal of your wedding ring set in case it gets lost.
  • Put your rings in the same place everyday in order to avoid misplacing it.
  • Store your ring in soft cloth or in a jewelry box away from exposure to dirt or chemicals.
  • Take off your rings before cleaning with harsh chemicals to avoid possible dissolve or damage your stone.
  • Clean your rings in a solution of water and mild liquid detergent.
  • Don’t be afraid to take your rings off. This is especially true when playing sports, working out at the gym and gardening.
  • Have the stone in your ring checked at least every 6 months by a jeweler to make sure that the stone has not come loose in the setting.

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Alternatives to the Traditional Ring Bearer Pillow

Who says ring pillows are the only way to go?? There are many other unexpected options for couples who are seeking something different. Just check out some of these creative ideas:

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Ideas for Non-floral Wedding Centerpieces

Traditionally wedding centerpieces are comprised of different types and sizes of floral arrangements. However, there may be some brides out there who don’t like flowers or are allergic to them. Or some couples may want something different from traditional centerpieces or are looking for ways to save money. For those brides there are a variety of different nonfloral wedding centerpieces that are possible. For example:

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Bell Jars fill with twigs, moss and bird nests are a wonderful option for those brides seeking a rustic look for their wedding.

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Fruit such as lemons is a nice colorful alternative to flowers. They look great in a decorate bowl or large glass vase.

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Candles are a great way to add ambiance and warmth to your reception without breaking the bank.

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Cake centerpieces are another cost effective way to get more bang for buck by serving as both decoration and dessert for your guests.

For couples who want to forgo floral centerpieces they are many options available, it is just a matter of being creative and thinking outside the box. Don’t be afraid to be different!!

Wedding Send Off Ideas

The send off is a traditionally part of the wedding reception that occurs at the end of the night. The send off gives family and friends of the newly married couple to gather and wish the bride and groom goodbye and good luck. There are many different ways to send off the happy couple. For example:

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Ribbon wands are a popular choice for many couples. They come in variety of colors and make an easy DIY project for the bride who is looking to save some money.

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Falling leaves in various colors is a festive and eco-friendly option for couples who choose to get married in the Autumn months. This option also requires no cost and is a great way to stay in budget!

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Using Sparklers as a send off is a dramatic and memorable way to end a fabulous evening.  Before purchasing your sparklers make sure to check with your venue because some venues don’t allow them and they are illegal in some states.

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Bubbles are great option for a wedding send off. They are fun and require little to no clean up compared with the classic wedding send off of confetti.

There are many options for fabulous ways to send off the bride and groom at the end of their wedding. The send off is no different from other parts of your wedding that can be personalized, so use this as an opportunity to express your style as a couple!