WEDDING PLANNING TIPS THAT CAN SAVE YOU TIME & MONEY

For some time now, I have been wanting to write this blog to help my brides and all the beautiful girls out there who recently got engaged and perhaps don’t really know where to start the planning process. You have probably googled hundreds of "how to plan a wedding", "How to save money on your wedding day", and "how not to ruin your wedding day" and have seen the same tips over and over... Am I right? I probably am :)  I have done a little bit of research, as well as taken from my own experiences, and have gathered some of the most beneficial tips just for you!                                                                                                           


Angela Vallejo Engagement

The day I got engaged I celebrated with my now husband – we talked about how he planned it…I told my friends, and loved my ring… Then I went home & for months I just kept telling everyone how I got engaged. You might be thinking… Isn’t that normal? It Is completely normal but in all the bliss of the engagement we actually forget to start planning the wedding.  In my experience—planning my wedding was one of the most difficult things I had to do. I was not your typical girl, that grew up scrapbooking about her wedding day…. Sounds familiar? Even if it doesn’t – The tips below are some of the major struggles I underwent as well as the most common struggles I hear some of my friends and brides have had while planning their own wedding. 


1. WEDDING PLANNERS

Wedding planners are and will always be one of the most important and major assets you can have on your journey towards your wedding day. I did NOT have one, and trust me friends, I thought about running to a court and just getting married more than once. Planners help you with your budget, they know florists, DJs, catering, décor companies… and so much more! They are a one stop shop where more than a planner, you have almost an advocate who is looking out after you every step of the way. They know the ins and outs of the wedding business! Planners are heaven sent my girls! Having a wedding planner is about the BEST investment you can make for your wedding! 

 

2. BOOK THE LOCATION FIRST

Booking the location first is not only ideal but it is pretty much like laying the foundation for a house – it just has to be done first. After you book your venue, your colors, theme and guest list will come into place, as all these depend or revolve around the venue. 

 

3. HAVE A REALISTIC BUDGET

This one is very important. Many couples get engaged and either have a budget where they will overspend, but most will have a budget that won’t cover half of their wish list for the wedding. Lets be honest – Weddings are expensive – from the flowers to the venues itself costs vary upon seasons, number of guests etc. Make both a budget for your wedding as well as a wish list of the things you truly desire to do or have at your wedding, then google the average costs of “photographer”, “DJ”, etc in your state as well as your city and season. These prices will vary but it is always smart to book around average prices --- too high of a price might not be ideal (Unless is your  DREAM wedding venue, DREAM photographer, etc ) but too little can often mean a poorly done job, and in Miami it can mean someone who can very quickly rip you off. Keep in mind for many vendors like photographers, chefs, planners, and decorators their cost of investment isn’t for the 8 hours of your wedding day…. It is for equipment, and weeks of preparation – for photographers it also means up to a month of work post wedding day.

 

4. VIP LIST

When we plan a wedding, we often want the whole world to be part of such a beautiful moment in our lives, but we often forget that part of our investment goes to having these special people at our wedding, so make a VIP list of the people closest to you as well as your fiancée, then make a list of friends and acquaintances you would like to invite. Ask for quotes for VIPs and another quote adding the rest of the guest list. This will determine who will get the first invitations and if some decline you can start adding more guests to your wedding list.

 

5. USE THE WEB TO SAVE SOME $$

I am a very old school girl. I write out my notes, have a physical calendar… you get the picture, however… Having your 'Save the date', and wedding invitations can save you a couple hundred bucks that can go toward upgrading a photography package, investing on a wedding planner, upgrading on flowers, or perhaps more lingerie and or outfits for your honeymoon ;) You can always print out a few invitations for your family and to have the day of your wedding for your photography album. 

6. ESTABLISH A TIMELINE & STICK TO IT

I cannot stress enough the importance of having a timeline. Think about this: You spend months planning, working, researching and lets be honest -- Stressing over how perfect your wedding day will be -- But when the day comes because of minor setbacks your ceremony is delayed... O.o  Cutting into your wedding portraits, cutting into your reception time, and to top it your ceremony starts as the sun is setting and you did not want to do a first look. Shall I go on? >.< Just writing this makes me cringe because I have seen this happen -- & it's the perfect way to ruin a wedding. Two quick fixes in order to avoid this issue:

  1.        1. Have a first look - Having a first look will assure you the BEST lighting and TIME with your photographer. 
  2.        2. ALWAYS start your ceremony at least 2 hours before sundown. Never jeopardize your photography and videography.  

 

7. LOOK OUT FOR MOTHER NATURE

Unless you're  photographer you normally won't look at the weather, however this can help prepare for your wedding day.                           Most wedding venues will give you a plan B for ceremony and reception in case of rain, or a hurricane, but it is always smart to think ahead for that matter. It you are looking to get married during summer-- but clear umbrellas, look into getting a tent for an outside reception, you can even go as far as looking for a venue with tall trees in order to aid the heat of the summer time. 

8. PREPARE YOUR WALLET AHEAD OF TIME

Most people view vendors as sketchy when wedding vendors ask for %30 or %50 deposit for a wedding happening in a year! While you should always be careful where you invest your money, you should also know that this is completely normal. Deposits are a way to secure your date for said vendor. Weddings are happening every weekend and most vendors will hold up your date for 48 hrs, but waiting more than that can mean they loose out on a client who really wants to work with them. Having said that, find your dream vendors and be ready to make a hefty deposit-- & Make sure they are credible vendors, protect your investment by asking vendors for an agreement or contract, most professional vendors have and use them. 

9. DELEGATE TO YOUR ENTOURAGE 

Most couples on their wedding day have at least 3 bridesmaids and groomsmen. These are your closest friends and most trusted intimate people in your life at this stage. They have waited some time to see you getting married, they love you and most likely want to help you during the journey to the altar. Delegating to your entourage can be very helpful, as these are people that know YOU, and know what you like. You can make a list of things that you need help with for your big day and see who can help you with them -- the point is never to demand them do do anything for you (You don't want to be bridezilla LOL) but to work as a team with whomever wants to work with you. 

10. TAKE IS STEP BY STEP 

We talked about it, wedding planning IS stressful --But it can be done gracefully, so take it step by step. Don't overwhelm yourself with task, and lists-- Organize yourself in the things that need to get done first. Prioritize and spend time everyday on booking your vendors, making appt. etc. If this feels like something you cannot take on because your agenda might be very full -- do yourself a favor and invest in a wedding planner. These planners are professionals dedicated to making your experience a great one, as well as minimizing the stress a wedding can bring.  


This my friends is merely the beginning of the the many tips I have, but I believe these are some of the most useful and important. If you have more tips, or questions concerning the tips above.. Message me, or comment. I am here for you, and If you are in need of a planner I can point you to some wonderful ladies!

Till next post! 

 

XOXO

Angela V