First Suggestion of Ten: Revisit your flower requirements.
Do you really need to go the traditional route and have everyone carry bouquets? Remember... flowers wilt soon after the wedding. More often than not, the bouquet holders will toss them... not during your bouquet toss, rather into their waste baskets when they get home (or a few days after, when the bouquet starts looking brown and mushy). Total waste of hard-earned money, if you ask me.
So, if you're not so into flowers or if your entourage members aren't particular with them, give them a small purse or a pouch to go with their dresses instead. They can reuse the small purse, they'll appreciate and keep the pouch, and you won't have to spend for a bouquet and a thank you gift for each of them. :)
|From Blogger Pictures
Second Suggestion of Ten: Check out what you have at home.
Instead of buying everything (candles, Bible, rosaries, arrhae, etc.), check what you have at home. You may have gotten a really beautiful set of candles two years ago -- still unused and in the box; therefore, more than useful for your ceremony. You may have also won small raffle prizes or gotten freebies from various suppliers during wedding fairs. They give away designed matchboxes, candles, arrhae, and the like.
Some have reused their parents'/ grandparents' arrhae. At least, they have their arrhae, they have their "something old", and they don't have to spend much (maybe just for cleaning). Others have gotten free arrhae from the provider of their wedding rings or gown. Speaking of gown designers, they usually provide free accessories, so before buying your own, check out what they will give you as inclusions. You may also ask for them ahead, for instance, if you'd like to personalize your pillows or your cord, you can ask your designer to give them to you before the gown delivery date. :)
|From Perfect 10 Weddings
Third Suggestion of Ten: DIY Necessary Items
As you wind up the process of brainstorming, you will inevitably have elements you need to make your theme come alive. If some elements are too expensive or if some elements require you to spend much for raw materials, you can choose to DIY the process -- at least you only spent for materials and not labor.
However, before you launching into a "raw-material-buying-spree"... think of the following:
a) Do I have the ability to come up with my "imagined" finished product? (you can make a prototype to test your skills, at least, that means you only spend for raw materials of one item, not the 20 you envisioned on top of your reception tables)
b) Do I have the patience and the time to come up with the finished products?
AND THIS IS CRUCIAL...
c) Will these products really do a lot to make my theme come alive? They might be too small to even be noticeable. They might be used for just a few minutes; thus, the time, effort, and resources can't really be justified.
Emman chose to spend a lot on invitations. Darlene chose to allot the same amount for souvenirs. Why invitations? Why souvenirs?
Well, invitations give your "chosen guests" a glimpse of what kind of wedding ceremony and reception you prepared. It tells them to either dress casually or dress to the nines, in more ways than "one line at the bottom together with the RSVP numbers". A well-crafted invitation (from content to packaging) tells guests that you consider them special, that's why you thought long and hard to come up with an enticing invitation.
Souvenirs, on the other hand, communicate your gratitude as a couple that your guests prepared for your event (for girls, that includes buying a dress, going to the parlor, etc.) and actually went out of their way to attend -- no matter how difficult the circumstances are. Spending a little more for a souvenir that's useful is better than spending a few pesos for a souvenir that will be lobbed to the waste can soon after the last reception song is performed by the band. That would have been a real waste of hard-earned money. (Oh, and if you will DIY your souvenir, try not to come up with figurines and "other dust magnets". Put yourself in the shoes of your guests. What would you like to get if you were a guest at a wedding?)
|From Perfect 10 Weddings
Fourth Suggestion of Ten: It never hurts to ask for add-ons.
If you wish to have a certain centerpiece or a particular stage design, your usual option is to hire a stylist. In the case of Emman and Darlene, they decided to ask their caterer for assistance. She agreed to lend her stuff (sofa, table, lamps, notecards,glasses for the notecards, bamboo accents), while they provided the rest (encyclopedias, feather quills, pictures and frames). The flowers are really part of the package.
While the quills weren't cheap because they were sourced in Eastwood, the frames cost so little because they chanced upon these these at a local bazaar. The printing of pictures was not expensive either. Of course, they DIYed the pictures and quotes, but those were easy to do.
Over all, it never really hurts to ask for assistance. Who knows the person on the other end might be willing to oblige? (You may have to provide some stuff, but that's still going to cost you a lot less than going for a separate supplier.)
In the case of Perfect 10 Weddings, the slideshows, layout assistance, composition and editing assistance, kiddie activity packs, games to entertain the crowd, hosting, and even styling assistance come as gifts to the couple. Why? Because we believe a hassle-free, personalized wedding doesn't have to come with such a hefty price tag.
Fifth Suggestion of Ten: Ask a supplier to handle several tasks for you.
Chances are, if you're dealing with one supplier for lots of things, you will be able to get a better price than if you would get each item from a separate supplier. Try to inquire about prices separately then compare the package price. We are certain the package would come out cheaper.
There are lights and sounds providers who can also handle the projector, the generator set, the drapes, and even the crew meals. That means, it will be easier on the bride because the instructions will be given to just one person and everything that will happen in the program from the sound of the band to the lights and the projected AVPs will be synchronized.
Another example concerns flowers. If you get your bouquets from the same provider as the church flowers, he/she can probably throw in the boutonnieres, the flower girls' headdresses, and even the car bouquet for free.
Sixth Suggestion of Ten: Ask for help from friends, godparents, and your parents.
Friends are usually willing to lend a helping hand. Some can lend their car, others can offer to buy their suits or dresses. For as long as the colors are not too difficult to find at the mall, and the costs are not too prohibitive, you can ask them to buy their own stuff -- it's going to be their contribution to your personalized wedding. (If you want to have a black wedding, you can ask them to just wear any black dress or a black coat and tie. You will have your theme without spending a single cent.)
Darlene and Emman got their open bar as a gift from friends... :)
Since you will conceptualize the ingredients (or ask help from your caterer) and buy the cocktail food on your own, you will undoubtedly have savings. Just make sure you set a budget and stick to it. It's easy to get carried away when you're facing the cheeses in the grocery or the endless jars of dried fruits, nuts... :)
Guests take time to prepare for your wedding; thus, it is safe to assume that they also forego snacks, breakfast, or lunch just to be with you. It is really most considerate to provide cocktails so they have something to tide them over till the main meal. You are after all, busy with your photo-ops after the wedding, and you can't expect them to find ways to entertain themselves or to pass by Mc Do in their long gowns, and coats and ties... :)
Eighth Suggestion of Ten: Tweak packages.
Sometimes, the best way to save is to ask for exactly what you need. Take away all the stuff you don't need. Who knows, the provider might be willing to give you a lower price?
In the case of Perfect 10 Weddings, the package provisions aren't set in stone. That way, we can really be true to our word when we said we'd personalize for our couples. :)
Ninth Suggestion of Ten: Decorate as needed.
Avoid getting a lot of add-ons. Anyway, you're the star of the show. Your decor will add to how the guests will see your theme, that's true, but go for decorative elements which really have an impact on the big picture. Really small items on the tables won't be seen much. Elaborate drapes that will cover a really nice ceiling will hurt your pocket but will not add to the beauty of the place. Big flower arrangements will end up on the floor because the photographer can't get a good shot. So... when decorating, combine functionality with impact. :)
Tenth Suggestion (this is the last... whew): Get a coordinator who will help you stick to your budget.
There are so many coordinators out there, but try to get one who will not really suggest out of this world, expensive stuff. Go for the one who seems practical to begin with or in our case, who stayed practical despite the lure of wedding stuff. If she stayed practical for her own wedding, she will most likely be able to help you stay practical for yours. :)