Money Saving Tools & Tips for a Wedding

Save Money with these Must-Have Creative Online Wedding Tools & Resources 


audio-e-iluminacion-bliss-Technology-Weddings

(Photo Source: Bliss Technology )

 

Technology – who can live without it? We are in a rapidly growing technological era and I am amazed at the amount of different opportunities and uses that technology has created for us – things that 10 years ago we wouldn’t even have imagined doing. It seems now-a-days that nearly everyone has a smartphone and even grandpa & grandma has a IPhone!  Well if you are like me then you are always looking for creative apps, online resources, and anything else technological to make daily tasks and life easier. In this day and age advanced technology is incorporated in almost everything (gaming consoles, 3D TV’s, streaming music, WIFI, etc.) So, for those of you brides & grooms that LOVE using technology, I thought I would recommend 5 online technological resources that you could use for your wedding that may actually save you money.

 

NEW WEDDING TECHNOLOGY

Online Invitations

paperless post

(Photo credit: Paperless Post)

While most couples tend to stick with the traditional paper invitations which can easily cost hundreds of dollars, the truth is that there is a large chance that they are not kept but actually thrown away. (I am not discouraging the use of paper invitations because not only is it traditional but I’ve seen so many amazing, lovely, and creative invitations that I know any guest would be excited to receive in their mailbox.) For those of you that aren’t married to the idea of paper invitations or don’t consider yourself to be the traditional bride and groom, may want to consider sending an online wedding invitation. Why? You save trees, money, and you still get the same beautiful message across with your pertinent wedding day details!  Some people may consider it tacky or a no-no, but I would personally disagree and say that I am noticing that more and more brides and groom’s of today are choosing non-traditional rituals and items over the traditional – which allows them to really personalize their own wedding experience. Plus, the online wedding invitation designs have really improved over the past couple years – giving you the same beautiful details at a lower cost and in a digital format.  If you can’t fully embrace the idea of emailing invitations to your guests or you know you mom would have a panic attack, then consider using it for your save the dates and/or thank you cards! Here are a couple awesome online invitation companies:

Paperless Post – I have really seen this company grow over the past couple years. They have a wonderful variety of invitations and additionally they allow you to select designer cards, envelopes, liners, and logos at reasonable costs.

Greenvelope – Choose from their invitations or upload your own design. You have the option to create your own envelopes and this company donates a percentage of proceeds to a non-profit that maintains trees! Save money, go GREEN, and support trees with this company!

Pingg – This company offers invitations and announcements that cover engagement announcements, wedding save-the-date cards, wedding shower invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, the wedding and many more.

 

Virtual Pinboard

Pinterest

(Photo Source: Pinterest)

The winner in this category without a doubt is Pinterest – an amazing virtual pinboard! While planning your wedding, I recommend that you utilize online pinboards to collect all of your favorite ideas found across the web in one organized place. I would make a virtual story board for everything – Wedding Dress, Wedding Bouquets, Bridesmaid Dresses, Centerpieces, Favors, Escort Cards, Guestbooks, Venues, Wedding Photography & favorite shots, Decor, Invitations, Wedding Ideas, Wedding Resources, etc. As you are doing your online research, make sure to PIN your favorites to you Pinterest boards. This allows you to compile of bunch of ideas and inspiration in one place so that when you meet with your wedding planner and vendors you can use pictures and ideas to explain and show what you are looking for because sometimes sharing your vision and ideas can be one of hardest things to do verbally. Sometimes you know what you want when you see it, but if someone asked you, you have a hard time explaining it so that they can visualize it.

The cool thing about Pinterest is that you can also search their database of pins for certain things you are looking for or follow your favorite people or companies that share amazing wedding inspiration. Also, you can invite your maid of honor, wedding planner, best friend, mom, bridesmaids, and anyone else you choose to pin to your board(s) and help you collect ideas and inspiration for your special day. Pinterest is an awesome gem  – but I caution you – it is VERY addicting!

(If you don’t know what Pinterest is you absolutely have to check it out after you are finished with this post. It definitely needs to be on your must-have list and if you like, feel free to stop by and check out all of my lovely inspiration boards.)

 

Wedding Websites

wedding window

(Photo Source: Wedding Window)

Share your love story, wedding details & events, directions, and so much more with a wedding website. When I got married in 2008 I used a wedding website and absolutely LOVED it! I am sure that nearly 5 years later, wedding websites have improved leaps and bounds and would make it a practical option of communicating with your guests. Here are some of my favorites:

Wedding Window – Their tagline- “Your wedding. Your website. Your way.” Create a custom wedding website, add photos of you and your love, add your registry deets, have your guests sign your guestbook, let your guests RSVP to your wedding online, and much more! They have so many customizable options, amazing website themes, a bunch of free features, and great customer support!

(I would definitely recommend this company. I used them for my wedding and LOVED them – the experience, creative & elegant themes, flexibility, ease of use, and plus I was able to buy a CD of our entire site as a forever keepsake.)

Wedding Channel – If you are looking for something a little bit more basic, the wedding channel offers a free wedding website option to their members (it is free to sign-up).

E-Wedding – This FREE wedding tool offers a bunch of features and customizable options and themes for free.

Appy Couple –  This wedding app that allows you to create your very own wedding app and website for a low cost one-time cost of $28! Share your wedding logistics, communicate with your guests, share on social channels, and much more! This app is compatible with the Iphone and Android operating systems.

 

Wedding Apps

wedding app

(Photo Source: Wedding Party)

Let your guests capture all of the beautiful moments, smiles, tears, dance moves, and everything else that your photographer may not be able to catch while he is working on capturing all of your important moments. Plus, it would be great to see photos from your wedding collected from your guests perspective. You can now easily do that with wedding photo apps that allow your guest to take photos, upload, and share instantly. It’s time to ditch the disposable cameras! Here are some of my favorites:

Wedding Party – This FREE wedding photo app allows your guests to instantly collect and share their favorite photos from the wedding in real-time, plus what a fun way to entertain your guests especially before you make your grand entrance and the food is served! (This wedding app is compatible with the Iphone and their Android app is currently in the Beta testing stage.)

WedPics – This FREE wedding photo app for your guests allows them to load photos in real-time and comment or “love” photos and offers lifetime hosting of all content.

Capsule – This wedding photo app offers 3 different pricing package options to choose from based upon your guest count. This wedding photo app is available for the Iphone and Android devices. You can use Instagram or even upload photos from your camera.

 

Wedding Registry

honeymoon registry

(Photo Source: Travelers Joy)

If you were like my hubby and I you had 2 of everything and didn’t need another blender, pot, or microwave on your wedding day. We were going to Hawaii and with all the money going towards the wedding, we didnt have much left over for the honeymoon. So we decided on a honeymoon registry. We shared our honeymoon destination with our guests and picked several honeymoon wish list options, such as a sunset dinner, luau, snorkeling, romantic dinner for two, etc. This gave our guests tangible items that allowed them to feel like they were contributing to an amazing honeymoon for us – a gift they were happy to give. If you are in need of some household items, then a traditional registry would work out perfectly for you two. Here are some cool wedding registry options:

Travelers Joy – My favorite honeymoon registry, but I am biased because I used them for my wedding and had an amazing experience! Low fees, easy to use, thank you options, and easy gift redemption options. Want to see a sample? Here is our honeymoon registry from 2008.

My Registry – This nifty registry allows you to save time by adding registry items from any website into ONE registry! Oh, how convenient! Instead of spending hours in different stores finding a bunch of items to scan, you can surf the web conveniently from home!

Etsy – If you are a lover of handmade, creative, and unique goods, then you will love Etsy! Did you know they offer a wedding registry? With a wide variety of shops and handmade goods, you will be in heaven trying to pick out your favorites for the registry!

 

A lot of information provided today, but I hope that it was helpful and useful information and that you found some awesome resources to use for your wedding to help you save money! I’d LOVE to hear from you, so please check out all the wedding technology resources above and let me know which ones you loved and which ones you decided to use! Please share this post with your friends and social circles and if you would like to receive more awesome posts like this one, please make sure to subscribe to the blog – simply add your email address to the Subscribe Via Email box on the right hand-side or click here.

 

Who is 3D-Memoirs?


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Want to know more about me and the blog? Interested in my event and wedding planning services? See some of my real weddings/DIY projects and hear testimonials from some of my past clients! Have something you are dying to know or have some wedding planning questions you would like answered? I love to hear from my readers, so please send me a note or email me at 3DMemoirs@gmail.com!

 

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Real Wedding: Gaby Ruiz & Jorge Marquez

I was hired by Gaby & Jorge to coordinate their wedding and make sure that all the details that this DIY bride and groom wanted were carried out seamlessly on their wedding day! I would definitely say that this was the most challenging wedding that I have coordinated simply because when they hired me, less than 2 months from their wedding date, they only had the venue secured. I assisted this couple in locating and securing their vendors, provided timelines and checklists to stay on schedule, listened to their vision of the wedding and provided additional inspiration, expertise, and ideas on how to best bring their wishes to reality on their wedding day within the short time frame and tight budget we had to work with. In order to make this the dream wedding that my clients wanted,  a lot of time and effort went into planning and coordinating this wedding prior to the day of, and I am happy to share that on September 2, 2012, this lovely couple shared wedding vows and expressed their love for each other in front of 170 of their family and friends at the Red Horse Barn!

This outdoor wedding turned out beautifully and I received many amazing compliments from the venue, vendors, guests, and the bride and groom regarding how lovely it turned out and how perfectly the day went! (Actually the venue and one of the resident vendors said that out of all the hundreds of weddings they had witnessed at the venue, this one was the best coordinated and planned, and that I was a pleasure to work with.Yay!) I can easily smile along with these two love birds because I was able to plan and coordinate a beautiful wedding for 170 people in less than 6 weeks!  Please take a look at this shabby-chic vintage-styled outdoor wedding held in Huntington Beach, CA.

 

The Bride & her Bridesmaids

 

Bride & her Bridesmaids
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Wedding Ceremony & Gazebo at Red Horse Barn

 

Bride – down the wedding aisle

 

Wedding Ceremony
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Mr. & Mrs. Marquez
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Bridal Bouquet

 

“Thank You” Personalized Mason Jar Favors

Personalized Mason Jar Favors

 

Wedding Centerpiece
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Reception
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

Centerpiece on the reception table

 

Bride & Groom Photo & Guestbook
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Outdoor wedding reception at Red Horse Barn

 

Bride & Groom’s First Dance

 

Wedding Cake
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

Wedding Cake

 

Bride & Groom Grooving on the dance floor

 

The love birds
Photographer: Pavonne Photography (www.pavonne.com)

 

I hope you enjoyed my labor of love! What did you think of this shabby-chic vintage outdoor wedding? How did I do with only 6 weeks to plan and coordinate this wedding?

Are you or someone you know newly engaged or planning a wedding? If so, I can help you plan your wedding! I offer 3 unique wedding planning packages and can easily tailor my packages to fit your wedding planning needs. Do you have any wedding planning questions? I invite you to review my wedding planning services and contact me for an initial free consultation!

COPYRIGHT © ELVIRA DECUIR

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Weddings on a Budget

Dear Brides & Grooms on a budget:

After you have answered, “YES!” and all the excitement has died down, your mind becomes flooded with questions regarding the details of your wedding day. This journey to the altar that you are about to embark on requires a lot of research, decisions, planning, and money—whether you choose to hire a planner (which I highly suggest) or you decide to be a “DIY Bride & Groom”, the most important question to kick off your planning is “what is your budget?” You may already have a dollar figure in mind or an idea of what you can afford when faced with the reality of what it will actually cost to invite your closest friends and family to witness your exchange of marriage vows. If you have done any research then you know that a wedding is a major financial obligation and not a cheap one, but you don’t have to spend $20,000+ to have a beautiful wedding. I am confident that a couple can have a beautiful wedding on a budget, but it will take some sacrifice or what I like to call, “opportunity costs”, which basically means the value of what you are losing in choosing an alternative option. So how does this Economics term come into play during your wedding planning process? You and your fiancé will have to determine, what is a “must-have” that you are willing to pay more for vs. an item that you are willing to go with the basic option or forego.    

 WHAT IS YOUR WEDDING BUDGET?

*Blank Stare* “Good question”, you say to yourself. First I recommend that you and your fiancé sit down and discuss two questions when it comes to your wedding budget—what would you like to spend? And, what is the absolute max amount that you can afford to spend? — This will give you a budget range to work with, which will provide some flexibility for an extra item that you may want and didn’t budget for or an unanticipated cost that may take you by surprise. You should plan for hitting your initial budget, but it’s nice to know that you have the flexibility to go beyond, if need be.

WHAT IMPACTS YOUR WEDDING COSTS?

Before sharing some cost-saving tips, I want to talk about one of the biggest cost driver for your wedding. Can you guess what will have the biggest impact on your wedding costs? Surprise, it’s your guest count! Your guest count will impact your budget the most because the costs of the following items are typically based per person: invitations, favors, food, drinks/cocktails, tables, linens, wedding cake/cupcakes, etc. Therefore the more guests you have the higher the costs.  I know that it’s easy to want to invite all of your family, even if you haven’t seen them in 10 years, or a friend from college that you keep up with on Facebook. Your parents might even want you to invite all your cousins you have never met or their co-workers, but if they are not contributing to the wedding, you will have to take control of the guest list. If you are on a budget then you and your fiancé will want to scrutinize your guest list and determine the “must invite” guests versus the “maybes”. How do you do that? Well, start with adding close family and friends to your list. You may want to limit your list to people who you have talked to and seen within the last year, that have at least met your fiancé, close co-workers (the whole office does not need an invitation), and choose to have an adults-only wedding. Do not go for sympathy invitations, inviting people because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Remember this is an intimate affair that you picking up the check on, so you want to be surrounded by close friends and family.  (Keep in mind that not all of the guests you invite will not be able to make it, so for example if  you would like a guest count of 150, then you can get away with inviting 170 guests.)  Make sure to have a guest count in mind when visiting venues so that you can estimate costs.  If you end up with a sizable guest count, but you are trying to stay within a tight budget, then you will likely have to sacrifice or compromise in another area to stay within budget.

 

HOW CAN YOU SAVE MONEY?

Besides the guest count there are several other cost-saving ways to save money on your wedding without compromising a beautiful wedding. Below I have shared 4 tips on how you can save money on your wedding.

Save Money on the Wedding Venue

You and your fiancé will want to determine how flexible you are when it comes to the season, month, day of the week, and date that you want to get married. You can typically save some money by having a wedding during the off-peak season (typically Nov-March, varies by venue), or having a wedding during the week, Friday, or Sunday. Some venues will offer discounts for day weddings vs. evening weddings. If you have a sizeable guest list, another cost-saving option is to sacrifice location (select a venue farther out) or venue prestige (a venue that may be a little outdated or you have to spend money to decorate it) to save money and remain within budget.

When doing your venue search, try to find one that is all-inclusive or very close to it, this will save you money in the long-run. It is best to find a venue that will include food, drinks (open bar, cocktail hour, signature drink, or BYO option), tables, chairs, & linens in their packages. There are venues that will even include your cake and offer discounted options to rent additional items (centerpieces, upgraded linens & chairs, chargers, lighting, etc).  The more that is included in your package the less you will have to spend out-of-pocket for these items with other vendors.  (Before adding additional items to your package, I always recommend doing a little research to see if in fact you are getting a reasonable deal or if you could save money by utilizing an outside vendor.) (Feel free to use this Venue Analyzer that I developed to help me analyze costs and inclusions between venues to determine which one was offering the most bang for our buck!)

 

Cut Costs on the Wedding Bar Tab

A lot of brides and grooms like to offer their guests cocktails during their wedding, but for most venues this is an expensive additional cost, which may send your budget overboard. A couple alternatives to a hosted bar for the entire evening is to offer a partially hosted bar (set amount of hours), cocktail hour, signature drink, non-hosted bar, or offer wine/beer with dinner and champagne for the toast.  Another option is to find a venue that allows you to bring your own alcohol. These options will be dependent upon what your venue offers, but it is definitely something you should inquire about when searching for your venue.

 

Save Money on Wedding Invitations

I’ve seen so many beautiful invitations that make you fall in LOVE with them, but if you are on a tight budget, you may want to cut your costs on your invitation suite. (Keep in mind that a majority of your guests may throw these in the trash, $500+ on paper to be thrown in the trash?) I recommend that you look at ETSY for invitation options. Although there are pricey invitation options on ETSY, among them you will find economical options to pay for a PDF file of the invitation suite customized with your special wedding details. The great thing about this is that you can print it on your own. You can use a company like Overnight Prints or Vista Prints (they always have print deals, plus you can sign-up to receive emails for their specials), upload your PDF and pay to have them professionally printed. For the “DIY” couple, you have the option to print them at home or go to local print shop.

Another option to save on invitations is if you or one of your close friends is a crafty person, you can always make them yourself! You just want to make sure that the costs involved in making the invitations yourself is actually cheaper than purchasing them, or you have just given yourself more work that doesn’t save you money, which is the last thing you need when planning a wedding!

 

Wedding Flowers & Centerpieces

Flowers are very popular for weddings and with good reason–they make such a beautiful statement. However, the reality is that unfortunately they die, typically only days after your wedding.  Flowers are very expensive due to the materials and labor that goes into making the beautiful finished product. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on centerpieces, do some research (online or in a magazine), find a few centerpieces & bouquets that you like, then find a local florist/floral shop and see what they would charge to make something similar—make sure you give them an idea of what budget you are working with for flowers. (When looking for a florist, keep in mind that there is a good chance that a floral vendor that you see on TV or is widely known is probably very expensive—you are paying a markup for their brand and prestige. It doesn’t hurt to reach out to them, advising of your budget and seeing if they can work with you–just don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out.) During your consultation ask the florist to advise which flowers will be available around your wedding date that fit within your color scheme as well as cheaper alternatives, if available. If you are flexible with your flower options, you can definitely save money.

Another cost-saving idea is to use flower alternatives such as fillers, succulents, plants & herbs, candles, or something that combines minimal flowers along with fruit, stones, sand, or any of the other flower alternatives mentioned. You can find a lot of inspiration by searching Google, Pinterest, and wedding blogs.

 

KEY TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGING A WEDDING BUDGET

During the wedding planning process, the important thing is to have a plan and some flexibility when planning your wedding. Know what you want and must-have versus what you are willing to sacrifice and scale back on. Be realistic and honest with yourselves–the beautiful weddings you see in magazines and on blogs cost money–you may not be able to get everything that you want if you are working on a tight budget. Make sure that you keep track of every expense and use a budget worksheet to forecast your spending.  If you have a wedding planner, it is important to communicate your priorities.

Research is the key to knowing your options and alternatives, as well as knowing if you are getting a reasonable price from a particular vendor. Also, don’t expect to haggle vendors down to the bare minimum, there may be room for negotiation but that is not the case for everyone. Just as you work for a living, these vendors have to make a living too by charging according to their vested interest and time. Lastly, an important thing to remember is that you do not want to sacrifice quality for cost, just because it is cheap doesn’t mean that it is the best option for you.

The journey to the altar that you are about to embark on will require money, time, decisions, research, and can be stressful. It is important for you to remember that this journey to the altar is just a stepping stone to what is ahead and what is important, which is the exchange of your wedding vows and the life that you two will create together going forward. The little details–navy vs turquoise napkins, steak vs chicken, cake vs cupcakes, etc–do not matter in the grand scheme of things. Work together as a team and have fun in reaching your ultimate goal: marriage!

COPYRIGHT © ELVIRA DECUIR

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Monday Deals….

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Deals & Steals – The Week’s Best Deals Online for Your Event Needs

Who doesn’t love to save money?  I definitely love a good deal and saving money whenever possible! Going forward, every Monday 3D-Memoirs will provide you with the best online deals that we can find to suit your event needs (wedding, baby shower, bridal shower, dinner party, birthday party, etc.)!! Check out these awesome deals, hand-picked just for you!

 

BHLDN:  SALE – Save 25 – 65% on over 400 items

DAVID’S BRIDAL: Designer Gown Sale until 7/23/2012. Free Shipping on Online Orders over $99 until 7/17/2012. Use code: DRESS4YOU

MICHAELS (MiDesign): 25% off personalized stationary and thank you notes & FREE Shipping on orders over $30! | ends July 21, 2012. Use Code: 25STAT25

PARTY CITY: $1 Clearance Event–select tableware, favors, birthday items, and more! | Summer Markdown Event –summer tableware, decorations, invitations, drink ware, serveware, & BOGO lights.

SAVE-ON-CRAFTS: 20 – 50% off burlap table cloths, candle holders, vases, blackboard signs, favor bags and much more.

WEDDING PAPER DIVAS: up to 25% off all wedding invite orders! 15% off $149+ or 25% off $249+ | code: 25julwed | ends 7/17/2012

SHARE WITH US: Over time we expect this list to grow with amazing deals from our favorite online vendors. If you have a favorite online vendor or know of an amazing deal that our readers can benefit from, please LEAVE A COMMENT below or CONTACT US!

VENDORS:  Want to see your deal here? If you are offering a special deal and would like to share with our readers for FREE, please email me at 3DMemoirs@gmail.com for details!

 

Note: This is a free service 3D-Memoirs offers to it’s readers. 3D-Memoirs is not affiliated with the vendors mentioned above. Please contact the vendor directly in regards to their promotion or offer.   
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ETSY THURSDAY!!

Thought I forgot huh? Nope, a little late but its still ETSY THURSDAYS!! So I found this cute and helpful wedding planner.

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