From Bride to Wedding Planner
Tips from Ambrosia Event Services Wedding Planning Team (Part 1)
I had a sneaking suspicion something was up when my then boyfriend told me he had hired a photographer to do a photo shoot as my birthday present. Little did I know that I was going to be an engaged woman by the end of that “photo shoot”!! It is hard to describe, but after I said yes, I immediately felt a deeper connection to my man – my fiancé. I was engaged, and on cloud nine; however, life isn’t always fairy tales and endless bliss. I had a lot of reality checks to go along with the tender, romantic visions dancing in my mind’s eye. There were the hours spent driving to locate and interview vendors and venues, along with how all of the tiniest of details can pile up into what can seem like mission impossible. Let’s stop here and take a deep, cleansing breath! Breath in….deeply, slowly and then release! I am here to help, and I have a whole team just waiting to make your big day spectacular! When I help a bride not only streamline all the details in creating a dream wedding, but save her from the stress I had gone through in planning mine, I feel fulfilled. Well, here I am, bride to event planner using my expertise of wedding do’s, don’ts, and should do’s to facilitate your special event.
The reason I am confident in my team is because I was fortunate enough to come upon Ambrosia Event Services for my own videography needs. Not only were they professional and friendly, but they were able to capture my fiancé and my vision in a cinematic way that we were able to show on our wedding day, same day edit! What I found out after the fact is, Videography is only one of twenty-five award winning services that Ambrosia has to offer. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of time, grief, and money bundling most of the services I needed for my wedding! They have it all! If I had known more about Ambrosia sooner, it definitely would have made my wedding planning experience so much more smoother and streamlined. We are here to help, and I have a whole team just waiting to make your big day amazing and memorable!! So, now it’s YOUR turn to be the bell of the ball!!!! You’re engaged!!! Cheers to you with my wholehearted congratulations! I am sure you are bursting with joy, anticipation, and maybe a little anxious for everything to go perfectly. Well, what next and where to start?
From one bride (turned wedding planner) to another, here are some tips to staying organized while planning your wedding. After setting your date, the first order of business is to set your budget. Your budget will be your compass by which you navigate along the wedding planning process. When setting your budget keep in mind who is going to contribute to it. Will you and your fiancé be sponsoring the entire event, or will your parents/grandparents be investing in your day as well? Another question to ask is: will family offer to pay for specific things (i.e. wedding dress, honeymoon, etc.), or are they donating funds to be used at your discretion? Once the wedding sponsors are sorted out, you can begin to divide and conquer! By this, I mean you can choose how much of your budget will go towards each vendor, venue, attire and decor. Think about what will be most important to you and your fiancé on that day. Flowers were very important to me as a bride, so I allotted a bit more in our budget for them. Flowers not your thing? Other areas you could splurge are the reception, entertainment or bar.
ALWAYS have a contingency plan. It is almost inevitable you will most likely go over your budget. That’s ok, just be prepared to save in other areas. The key is to not splurge on everything. Take a few key elements that are the most important and splurge on those. Take the remaining budget and find the best deal for the quality you desire. In terms of best deal, I recommend checking out Ambrosia because they offer DJ services, live entertainment, photo booths, and expert lighting services and more all in one convenient package. They have so many services they could custom tailor to your needs! (http://eventsbyambrosia.com/our-services/professional-dj/ http://eventsbyambrosia.com/our-services/photo-booth/ )
Here are a few ways to save and get the most out of your budget:
1. Have a smaller wedding party
Bridesmaid bouquets, and groomsmen boutonnieres add up as do the traditional bridal party gifts! Keep in mind that bouquets can cost anywhere from $ 80 upwards to $700 (depending on your floral taste and budget), so having three to five bridesmaid’s vs. ten will save you a pretty penny that you can put towards other areas of your wedding. However, if having a large bridal party is as important to you as it was to my husband and myself, then have your florist design small, simple, yet lovely bridesmaid bouquets with seasonal flowers. My eleven (yes eleven!) bridesmaids carried a small bouquet of 3 roses surrounded by baby’s breath per bouquet. It was simple, affordable and fit our budget. Our Ambrosia team can work with any floral budget and inspiration be it classic elegance, country chic or anything in between (Insert Ambrosia floral picture and link here).
2. Trim your guest list
The majority of a wedding budget will be going to your caterer and/or reception venue. If you are working with a smaller budget, the best way to save is to have a small intimate wedding. When you sit down to write that guest list with your fiancé start out with your fantasy. Include every third cousin, great uncle, and childhood friend; then, whittle down that list to the people that are most important in your life NOW. A good way to help you whittle down the guest list is to remember if you haven’t talked to someone in a year, then they should be taken off the guest list. There are not many experiences sweeter than sharing the celebration of your love for each other than with your most valued family and friends!!! Ambrosia Event Services has got you covered in that department as well, as they have a host of the top rated caterers in Southern California to wow your guests at your wedding reception. http://eventsbyambrosia.com/our-services/decor-services/ http://eventsbyambrosia.com/#clients
3. Have a cash bar or only one complimentary signature cocktail
This may go against traditional etiquette, but eliminating the open bar is a big money saver! Another option is offering one complementary signature cocktail that embodies you as a couple, and/or your wedding theme. This is a cute way to honor your guests who have spent time and money to attend, and yet keep some cash in your pocket for the honeymoon!
4. Buying can be more economical than renting
If I can offer the groom one piece of advice it would be to buy his tux vs. renting. Most tuxedo shops charge between $200 and $300 for a tux or suit rental. There are many men’s wholesale suit stores that offer full three-piece suits that include the tie and pocket square for $130 to $180!! One such store that offers this type of deal is Three Day Suit Broker (www.3daysuitbroker.com ). The best part (other than more money in your savings account) is that your groom will have a great suit he can keep for other special occasions! Another purchase vs. buying option is with your reception table linen. My reception venue was a hotel ballroom, and the reception package included plain cloth linens in various colors. I chose white, as it suited my color scheme the most; however, it was lacking the elegance I was looking for. I hit the internet, and after a lot of research I found that buying linen from a linen wholesaler was the route to go. I saved approximately $2300 by purchasing my linen overlay (a linen overlay is laid over the top of a table cloth to add color and texture to your tablescape) instead of renting. But, you may ask, what do I do with all those linens after my wedding? A couple of options include reselling them, or giving them away as mementos to wedding guests! I understand that there are brides of all kinds, and schedules vary. If you need help with the research and planning, come meet our team of experienced, professional wedding planners here at Ambrosia Event Services. It would be our pleasure to help design, plan, and achieve the wedding of your dreams! (Part 2 coming soon). http://eventsbyambrosia.com/our-services/event-planning/