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Thursday, April 8, 2010

We were hoping to get married on this date, but ...

It makes me sad when I hear of a couple who has wanted to get married on a certain date but have had to postpone their wedding, sometimes more than once.  Often it's due to the lack of money or an unfortunate set of circumstances due to changes in their employment status, health or family situations.  It makes me wish I could have spoken with them to see if there would have been some way to help them.  I can't help but wonder if they'd had some tips to cut down the expenses or solutions for saving time, if they could have avoided postponing their wedding.  Time and money, if only they were friends at the same time!  Who hasn't experienced the lack of one or both at some point?  Very few people.

I just read a recent statistic that the average bride-to-be spends 30.4 hours per week planning her wedding.  Does that sound too much like a full-time job to you?  I know right now that this person has no spare time and probably didn't feel like she had spare time even before she started planning her wedding.  She might not be aware of how much of her life she could get back by hiring a Wedding Planner.  If that same bride was to spend 30.4 hours with a Wedding Planner, I am certain that instead of feeling tired and overwhelmed, she would feel a sense of relief and a large portion of her planning would be out of the way. 

Perhaps you ask, aren't Wedding Planners really expensive?  As Wedding Planners, vendors give us discounts because they appreciate us bringing business to them.  I pass these discounts directly to the client.  Most of my discounts range from 5%-20%.  That adds up.  I won't recommend a vendor merely on discounts, however.  I think it's most important that your personalities and visions are a good match.  I love it if I end up saving a client more money than I cost them!  This is before you add in the value of a Wedding Planner's experience and reduced stress that comes with hiring a Wedding Planner.  We are up on trends, on the lookout for problems, and listening to everything you want.  We also act as a liaison or an advocate for you with a vendor, venue or even a family member or friend involved with the wedding.  We definitely can reduce time spent running around, searching on the internet or getting so many people involved in your wedding planning process that your head begins to spin.  

I like to think that we can shorten an engagement period.  Perhaps even by months.  Recently, I had the opportunity to have a video made for my business (one more thing I have to add to my website, but it's on my Facebook page!).  I thought that the best thing I could do was to show how I can coordinate vendors for a wedding.  Within 24 hours I had 14 vendors who wanted to participate, with just a promise of lunch and mentioning their business on the video.  We had 5 days to prepare for a shoot that would last for 2 hours.  The vendors that came forward are quality vendors and are very nice people who are passionate about their professions.  This is just an example of how nice it is to know so many people who would be just as eager to serve a client.

If you don't like long engagements, or you see someone struggling during the planning of their wedding, you might consider an inexpensive consultation with a Wedding Planner.  That might even be a nice engagement gift to give to a friend, or daughter or other family member!

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!

For more wedding tips, visit my Facebook page, Greatest of Days.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bargain Bridal and Bridesmaid's Dresses!

Two years ago I had a bride who had an extremely tight budget and I really wanted to make her dream wedding come true.  She wanted her bridesmaids to wear sage green dresses.  This is when the bargain shopper in me comes alive!  I visited two Nordstrom's Racks over a month's time in the Puget Sound area and found beautiful dresses that were all in the same color and style.  The trick is to match the style numbers on the tags sew into the dresses and to shop often.  The great part was that I found the dresses in every size that we needed for her bridesmaids from sizes 10 on up to 18W.  No, the greatest part was that they only cost $25.00 each and in no way did they look hideous!  We were even able to purchase an extra one in case they would have to have a larger size later on.  She wanted her matron of honor to wear something different than her bridesmaids that she would be comfortable in because she was self-conscious of being very thin.  We found a style that complimented the other dresses nicely, and her matron of honor felt confident that she looked nice in the dress.  Her dress cost $35.00.  So we got 4 dresses for $110.00

The bride did not want to wear a white dress and wanted something unique and found a beautiful satin antique gold skirt with a train and top at a second-hand dress shop.  The top was too tight, but she got such a good deal on the skirt that it was worth purchasing.  We went to one fabric store and found the perfect fabric in a matching color with accents of gold thread in the fabric.  We took that fabric to a dressmaker and the bride got a beautiful top made that laced up in the back.  Her skirt and custom top came to a total of just under $200.00.  This bride needed a larger size which would have been difficult to find at an average bridal shop.  She looked radiant on her wedding day and no one would have guessed she got such good bargains!  The bride and her bridal party were very pleased with their dresses for a grand total of $310.00.

Bargains are to be had if you are willing to shop using unusual methods.  With a slow economy and the fact that people are concerned about the environment, recycling dresses is very popular. A few years ago I noticed that brides would buy more than one wedding dress just in case they changed their mind.  Not many brides have that kind of money now!  There are many ways to find dresses that haven't even been worn.

You can email me through my website if you would like to learn more about ways to find dresses at bargain prices that look fabulous.  Another tip!  Sometimes it is actually less expensive to have someone design and make your dress than buying a dress at a bridal store!  I'm not suggesting that you avoid shopping at bridal stores because I know of some smaller shops that have fabulous prices on custom gowns.  The simple fact is that there are more options that brides are unaware of when it comes to finding that perfect wedding dress or bridesmaids' dresses.

(Above)  One of the $25.00 dresses.
(Below) the $35.00 dress

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!