Even with all the planning you and your partner do leading up to your big day, sometimes things can go array. Be it gloomy weather, a no-show vendor or heaven forbid, your dream venue suddenly gets flooded, you can still prepare for costly hiccups that may come your way by insuring your wedding. With the average wedding costing roughly $35,000, it could prove to a wise investment for and your partner to insure it with wedding insurance. Click here to read the rest of this post »
If you’re like most brides, you have a wedding budget. It may be a BIG wedding budget, or, especially if you’re footing the bill for your wedding yourselves, it may be somewhat more…modest. No matter the size of your wedding budget, you’ll want to figure out where to allocate bigger dollars, and where you can to hold back a bit. Because, after all, you get what you pay for, darlin.’ With that in mind, here are our top picks in wedding splurges that are truly worth the investment.
Professional lighting can completely transform the look of your venue or space. It’s also easier on your pocketbook than flowers and decor.
Engage your guests with interactive wedding reception activities such as a photo booth or video booth, a cigar roller, or even a live wedding painter. These interactive entertainment options add something extra special to the celebration, and provide you and/or your wedding guests with wonderful take-home tokens
While a wedding cake is essential for most couples, nothing will delight your guests more than a variety of delectable sweets such as a donut wall, a candy table or a color-themed wedding reception display of mini desserts.
Late Night Snacks
If your celebration goes well into the night, guests may start to feel hungry again even after dinner has been served. Satisfy their late night cravings, with sliders, a breakfast bar or street tacos. They will thank you for it!
When it comes to documenting your wedding day, you can not have one without the other. Wedding photos will be great for albums and online posts while wedding videos will capture the speeches, dances and other priceless moments, for generations to come
Shoes & Accessories
A major designer wedding gown not in the budget? Don’t worry. You can still get the designer look you crave, by splurging on beautiful bridal shoes and bridal accessories. Choose designer bridal pumps or wedding sandals with heel bling, crystal toe accents or bows, and an exquisite veil or bridal headpiece that amps up the wattage of your wedding-day ensemble…at a fraction of the cost of a lavish custom wedding dress!
Join us in welcoming Shaun Gray, the wedding planner extraordinaire behind Gray & Associates Events, to the Houston Wedding Blog! Shaun and his team strive to help wedding couples “celebrate well,” sometimes with a grand, traditional wedding in Houston, other times with a beachside-blowout in Galveston… and always with a well-stocked supply of Champagne. We asked Shaun to explain exactly what it means to “celebrate well,” and for his advice to wedding couples who want to do just that!
Photo: Courtesy of Gray & Associates Events
At Gray & Associates Events, we know that you want to host a wedding celebration that your family will cherish and your friends will love, and one that both you and your partner get to enjoy — without having to do excessive work! That’s what we call being able to “celebrate well.”
Here are my five tips to assist you in doing everything you can throughout the planning process to ensure you and your beloved get to celebrate well at your wedding:
1. Do You — Don’t get caught up in what your bridesmaid did at her wedding last year, or pay too much attention to Aunt Linda’s constant reminders that peonies are so beautiful during this time of year. If you don’t want peonies, then it doesn’t matter. If you keep trying to find ways to appease your family and friends, your wedding will look more like a thrown-together version of 50 other people’s weddings, and less like a celebration to honor your new union.
2. Go Big Before You Go Small — Worry about your venue, your wardrobe, your food and your photographer first. If you haven’t selected a venue yet, then stop Pinning “5 Farm Tablescapes Everyone Will Swoon Over,” especially if you aren’t set on having a rustic-style wedding. If you try to force a preconceived theme on a venue that doesn’t lend itself well to your theme, then it’s pointless to book the venue, so keep looking.
Photo: Courtesy of Gray & Associates Events
3. Hire A Planner — Weddings In Houston is a great resource to find our great city’s top event planning experts. Even if you’re not looking to “celebrate well,” any professional planner will assist you with navigating the many tasks, that, without professional help, can get you really stressed out during the months before you say, “I do.”
4. Rest The Night Before — I cannot stress this enough! If you’re a bride, make sure that your makeup and hair team don’t put you in the chair first, and take that time to relax. They’re just going to have to come back and refresh you anyway, so you can afford to have them start on you a little later and knock out some of your bridesmaids first. For guys, make sure not to get tanked the night before your wedding. You’ll wake up groggy (and probably a little sick!) and that isn’t a good look for anyone, especially on the day of your wedding!
5. Stick To Your Budget — We always make sure that we don’t put a bride in a $10,000 gown when she only wanted to spend $6,500, because, knowing all of our luck, she’d get emotionally attached to the higher-priced gown, and then be disappointed when it was too far outside of her budget. The same thing goes for your overall wedding budget. If you’re spending $50,000 on your wedding, don’t let your floral designer work you up a proposal for $25,000. But for Champagne, now, that’s a different story…
Shaun Gray (middle) and two of his associates | Photo: Karie Marie Photography
Shaun and his team really know how to make the magic happen. Interested in getting his tips and expertise throughout your entire wedding planning process? Set up a consultation with Gray & Associates Events today! Be sure to mention you heard his tips first on the Houston Wedding Blog!
For those brides among you who may find themselves on a rather tight wedding budget during these rather tough economic times, we recently ran this post with great budget-maximizing tips from top Houston wedding planner Karen Brown.
Well, we’re at it again, this time with input from the delightful and gracious Heather George of picturesque Conroe wedding venue Heather’s Glen.
Here’s Heather’s advice for the budget-watching bride:
On FAVORS: “Brides can save a lot by not purchasing cheap tchotchkes that really add up! Rather than purchasing personalized knick-knacks as favors for everyone, provide a
candy buffet or a coffee bar. Your guests are likely to eat candy, but not likely to save a coaster with your picture and wedding date on it.”
On LINEN: “See what your facility already provides; many have standard linens and centerpieces that you can spruce up with your colors in rose petals or a runner, rather than renting expensive linens.”
On VENUE RENTAL: “Another excellent way to save is to have a wedding on a Friday night, Saturday morning or Sunday evening. Most facilities have lower minimums for those hours.”
On PHOTOGRAPHERS: “NEVER skimp on a photographer. The pictures will last a lifetime. If you find a gorgeous facility, you want to have quality pictures of your special day there. It would be a shame to look back and say, ‘The pictures just don’t do it justice!’”
Amen to that, Heather. And thanks a million for the free advice—now we’ve got more to spend on that yummy candy buffet!
We had so much great advice we just couldn’t squeeze into our upcoming Weddings in Houston magazine story on maximizing the impact of your wedding budget, we decided a blog post was in order. Let’s face it: These are tough times. Now more than ever, Houston’s style-savvy brides are searching for ways to get the most bang—whether in decor, fashion, food, etc.—for their wedding budget buck.
Lucky for us, hometown wedding coordinator extraordinaire Karen Brown of Karen For Your Memories has these 7 essential tips for getting the most for your wedding money, however much you plan to spend. Don’t event THINK about planning your big day without reading this first!
1. Cut back on the number of people invited. This gives you a chance to spend more on food, décor, entertainment, or whatever will make you happy.
2. Order invitations from a reputable dealer…but create your own save-the-dates and programs.
3. If you are searching for a location that is different, but generally less expensive, check out small art galleries. Just be sure that the art on display during your wedding/reception is something you want to be included in your décor. Another lower cost venue is a garden club where you have beautiful grounds to work with. Just make sure there is an indoor area for backup, in case of bad weather.
4. Find magazine photos of things that you love and work with your consultant to try and adapt them to your wedding and budget. I had one bride who fell in love with a hand-painted aisle runner of black-and-white paisley. We started searching wallpaper stores and found a similar pattern that could be used, but for less cost. One double roll provided the runner all the way down the aisle. We taped it directly to the wooden floor with tape the color of her green accents.
5. Add dummy layers to the bottom of your cake. We try to arrange to have the cake moved into the back before being cut and served to the guests, so sometimes all but one layer of the cake is a dummy, and sheet cakes are already cut and plated in the back and ready to be served. You still have a beautiful display cake that is a great focal point, but you spend less money. The guests won’t know unless you tell them!
6. Never sacrifice memories for other areas that seem to be important to you at the moment. Photography and videography are probably the most valuable things you will take with you from your wedding—besides your new mate, that is.
7. Always go for quality, not quantity.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Thanks, Karen!