Wedding Planning Essentials: 10 Tips for Successful Wedding Budget Management

wedding budget management tips

I don’t think I’d be the odd woman out if I said that wedding budget management is not fun. In fact, it’s a major pain. But it’s also an absolute necessity, a top priority in the wedding planning process. As difficult as it is to muddle through the business of managing your wedding spend, it would be downright impossible without a guiding framework. And we’re not talking about anything fancy. Just an outline of the total amount you’re able and willing to dish out, and how you want to allocate those dollars. So in the spirit of a fresh week and getting things off on the right foot, we’re sharing our list of top tips for successful wedding budget management.

Tip #1. First Things First

This may seem obvious but it’s so critical that it’s worth the mention, and the top spot. Setting your wedding budget should be the first thing you do when you set out on the wedding planning journey. Before you book anything, before any of the planning stress sets in, before you even set a date, your first task should be to sit down and map out your maximum total spend.

Tip #2. Where to Start

wedding reception venue

You may be in complete agreement that a budget is essential, but theory isn’t worth much unless put to practice. And here’s where most couples get stuck. They want a controllable budget. They just aren’t sure how to set one. The short answer is that there is no magic formula applicable across the board. Every couple’s budget is bound to look different. There is however a pretty solid rule of thumb you can go by: take your projected venue / reception spend, double it, and the result is an estimate for total average spend.

Tip #3. Be Realistic

dove release

When setting your budget, and throughout the entire planning process, remember that everything comes with a price tag and unless you have an infinite budget, you can’t have it all. You may find it helpful to list out your ‘must haves’, the event details that matter most to you, and your ‘nice to haves’, the extras that you can do without if necessary. For example, a dove release is lovely but not an essential element of a meaningful ceremony. Leave the booking of the extras to the tail end of your planning/spend, and be prepared to make compromises if necessary.

Tip #4. Team Work

Tips 1 to 3 make for a solid wedding budget foundation but unless worked through by both bride and groom, cracks are inevitable. Make sure you’re both comfortable with the total spend set out, and that your list of ‘must haves’ is a shared one. If not, you may find yourself in a tough situation later on down the wedding planning road, at a time where changes aren’t easily made.

Tip #5. Less is More

The number one, fail-safe way to stretch your total spend is to reduce your guest count. It’s simple math. The same total spend will do a lot more for a group of 50 versus for an event hosting 150. And although it may seem like common sense, the challenge arises when tradition, culture and overall community are taken into consideration. So although it’s an easy  concept to understand, it’s a lot harder to put into practice, but an important consideration for budget management nonetheless.

Tip #6. Bring on a Pro

Potentially the most challenging aspect of wedding budget management is the time it takes to get it right. The easiest way to ensure you get it right from the get go, and that you stay on track, is to enlist the help of a professional wedding planner. An experienced planner can handle the process on your behalf, based on the parameters you set together.

Tip #7. Cut Backs

 

Next to your reception venue budget (including food and beverage), floral expenses are likely to be next in line for highest potential spend. Depending on your overall budget and your ‘must haves’, you may find you have to make major cut backs to meet your bottom line. One way to make the cut without impacting on overall ambiance is to replace floral arrangements with a flood of pretty candlelight.

Tip #8. The Time Factor

To aid in spend management, don’t be afraid to ask your wedding vendors for  payment plans. Most would be more than willing to accommodate you with a well spaced out schedule that helps to avoid an influx of major spend all at once. But be prepared to make all final payments approximately two weeks prior to your wedding day.

Tip #9. DIY it

diy decor

What’s the easiest way to control the cost of a given aspect of your event? Do it yourself. Granted, not all aspects of a wedding can be DIY’d, but those that can are guaranteed to bring down spend. That said, make sure to leave yourself enough time to manage whatever parts you’re taking on, and never do it alone. Now’s the time to turn to a wedding planner, your bridesmaids, and close family members.

Tip #10. Check In

When it comes to a budget, there’s no such thing as too much checking in. The budget management process is a constant one, which should be updated with every single spend as it happens, so it doesn’t get missed. And always remember that nothing, other than your bottom line, is set in stone. So shuffle around on an as needed basis.

Speaking of DIY’ing it

Join us every Wednesday for our DIY Wedding Wednesday posts, where we show you creative ways to personalize your event while stretching your wedding budget.

xoxo.

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The Roundup: 5 DIYS to Try This Weekend

diy round up

Every Friday and/or Monday I have the pleasure of spending the day in the studio, creating and shooting a DIY for the upcoming Wednesday Blog post. I get to play with fun tools, fresh blooms and of course some great Weddingstar products. And I enjoy pulling together each and every creation. More importantly though, I’m so thrilled to see that all you lovely Details Blog readers seem to enjoy them just as much as I do. We officially launched DIY Wedding Wednesday back in February of this year and ever since then fan engagement with the Blog has only seen upward growth. So thank you for that!

Just in case you missed out on any DIYs you may want for your wedding day, for today’s post I’m rounding up the Top 5 most popular DIYs of the year. And with the weekend upon us, there is no better time to get to some crafting!

#1. The Fabric Flower Chair Back

Pretty up your bride and groom chairs or line your ceremony aisle with these fabric flower beauties. Get the look here.

diy fabric flower chair back

#2.  Ceremony Confetti Cones

Forgo the rice for your ceremony send off toss and upgrade to preserved petals for the loveliest of ceremony details. Get the look here.

diy confetti cones

#3. Glittered Tealight Holders

Add a touch of glitter and gold to your wedding day with these easy to do decorative accents. Get the look here.

gold glittered tealight holders

#4. Personalized Hand Fans

Pamper your guests with this impressive and inexpensive outdoor wedding must have. Get the look here.

diy personalized hand fans

#5. Prettied Up Paper Table Numbers

Transform simple paper table numbers into customized papier perfection with this budget friendly how-to. Get the look here.

diy paper table numbers

Fresh Thinking

As thrilled as we are that you love our ideas, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear yours. If you have a DIY idea you’d like us to try, don’t be shy, leave us a comment on the blog! We will try our hardest to make them happen.

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Rustic Fall Floral Arrangements

rustic fall floral arrangements

Anytime of year is a good time to have a rustic themed wedding. But Fall may just be the best. With its cool days providing plenty of encouragement for a warm and welcoming reception, and its changing and glorious foliage the perfect inspiration for homespun charms, rustic and Fall simply go hand in hand. Since we had plenty of beautiful Fall blooms laying around the studio from this past Monday’s Fall Floral Guide post, I figured that for today’s DIY Wedding Wednesday feature it only made sense to whip up a few rustic inspired arrangements. From a billy button boutonniere, to a busting with color bouquet, to a radiant and rustic centerpiece, here are three ways to pull together the best of what Fall has to offer.

Look #1: The Billy Button Boutonniere – Supplies

diy boutonniere supplies

  • flowers: yellow spray rose, peach hypericum berry and craspedia (billy button)
  • floral tape, wire and pin
  • satin ribbon in willow green
  • floral shears

The Step by Step

diy boutonniere - steps 1 to 3

Step 1: layer your stems. Using the hypericum berry as your base, arrange your rose and craspedia stems on top, as shown in the image above.

Step 2: evenly trim your stem ends at 2 -3 inches in length.

Step 3: secure your stems together with floral wire. Start your wire as close to the blooms as possible, securing them such that they don’t bend over.

diy boutonniere - steps 4 to 6

Step 4: even out your stem base by wrapping it with floral tape.

Step 5: pretty up the finish by wrapping your floral tape with satin ribbon.

Step 6: on the backside of your boutonniere, secure your ribbon with a floral pin.

The End Result

diy boutonniere

Look #2: The Bursting with Color Bouquet – Supplies

diy bouquet supplies

  • flowers: dahlias (in red, orange and two tone yellow – two stems of each), yellow spray roses (three stems) and sedum (three small bunches)
  • burlap by the roll
  • floral shears and a good pair of scissors

The Step by Step

diy bouquet - steps 1 to 3

Step 1: trim your stems of all excess leaves, leaving just a few for texture

Step 2: roll out your burlap and cut it in half, down the middle.

Step 3: lay out all your stems and supplies, grouping your stems by type.

diy bouquet - steps 4 to 5

Step 4: begin building your bouquet, grouping one dahlia, a stem or two of spray roses and a bunch of sedum.

Step 5: build on your base by adding in additional dahlia stems, paying attention to color distribution when deciding how to bunch them.

diy bouquet - step 6

Step 6: continue to build your bouquet, taking care to maintain an even distribution of floral variety and color. Given the delicate nature of a dahlia’s bloom, use your roses and sedum to prop them up as much as possible.

diy bouquet - steps 7 to 9

Step 7: evenly trim your stem ends.

Step 8: secure your stems together with either floral wire, or if you don’t have any, a rubber band will do.

Step 9: finish the look, and cover your wire or rubber band, by tying on your burlap ribbon.

The End Result

diy bouquet two tone dahlia red dahlia

Look #3: The Radiant and Rustic Centerpiece – Supplies

diy centerpiece supplies

  • flowers: queen anne’s lace, peach hypericum berry, craspedia, yellow spray roses, yellow chrysanthemum and orange dahlia. You’ll want to use several stems of each. approximately 4-5, exact number dependent on desired centerpiece fullness.
  • french provencal style pitcher
  • floral shears

The Step by Step

diy centerpiece

Step 1: as we did with the bouquet, trim all excess leaves off of all your stems. Next trim the length of your stems such that they are just slightly taller than the rim of your pitcher.

diy centerpiece - 2

Step 2: start creating your arrangement stem by stem. Keep an even mix of floral variety and color throughout, and ensure your arrangement looks good from all angles.

The End Result

diy fall wedding centerpiece

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Boho Beauties – Mini Brown Bottle Favors

boho mini brown bottle wedding favors

I’m not sure if it’s the delicate pansies, the mix of vibrant colors, or the fact that I adore anything boho, but today’s mini brown bottle favors may now officially be my favorite DIY to date. So much so that I took the liberty to make a few extras, and they now act as this week’s office desk decor. And the most arduous bit to pulling them together was finding the mini bottles, which actually proved to be no more difficult than a 30 minute drive to the local antique market, where I found shelf upon shelf stocked with them. And trust me ladies, it’s worth the trip. These darling favors are certain to get your guests oohing and aahing.

The Supplies

boho brown bottle vase favor supplies

The How-To

boho brown bottle favors - how to

  • use a mix of bottle shapes
  • alternate your personalized sticker colors
  • stamp an “xo” message onto your paper feathers and attach them to your bottles with twine
  • use a mix of dainty flowers to fill your bottles, using no more than two stems per bottle
  • finish off the look with a pretty display

The Details

boho brown bottle favor - 1 paper feather tag wildflowers boho brown bottle favor - 2 personalized sticker pansies boho brown bottle favor - 3 lavender lavender 2 boho brown bottle favor - 4 twine alstroemeria boho brown bottle favor vases

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Fall Wedding Tablescape

fall wedding tablescape

As if the name of the Blog wasn’t a dead giveaway, we’re a bit obsessed with featuring all the details that come together to create an incredible wedding day. It’s what we love to showcase and how we shape the content we bring you every DIY Wedding Wednesday, in hopes it inspires you, our lovely readers, to create your own personalized unique events. But we appreciate the big picture is just as important. And actually seeing how the details come together is critical to deciding on whether a look is right for you. So in the spirit of curating content, today we’re combining the Fall focused DIYs from the past four weeks, putting them where they belong, into a fabulous Fall wedding tablescape. And if you love what you see, learning how to get the look is just a click of a link away!

The Big Picture

fall wedding centerpiece

diy bottle vase centerpiece

get the diy bottle vase look here
stylist tip: put the finishing touch to your fall wedding centerpiece by displaying it on a wooden slab.

faux flowers - wooden roses dried japanese lanterns diy gold shimmer bottle vases diy ivory bottle vase fall wedding decor

burlap wreath backdrop

get the diy burlap backdrop look here
stylist tip: play with varying color combos and wreath sizes to personalize this look and make it perfect for your wedding day design.

baby's breath stuffed mini pumpkin

pumpkin decor

stylist tip: incorporate a few white pumpkins into your centerpiece for an added easy and instant decorative touch

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Burlap Wreath Decor

burlap-wreath-decor

What’s the number one thing Rustic weddings and the Fall season have in common? Burlap, that’s what! Like peach colored garden roses are to a summer affair, you just can’t have a proper Rustic or Fall wedding without a touch of the textured textile. So in the spirit of the season, and the popularity of one of our favorite wedding themes, for today’s DIY we’re taking arguably the most traditional form of burlap, the decorative wreath, and we’re giving it a colorful twist. From an ombre inspired backdrop to a pop of color chair back, burlap possibilities never looked so bright.

The Core Supplies

burlap wreath decor - supplies

Look #1 – Ombre Inspired Burlap Backdrop

diy burlap wreath backdrop

To Get This Look:

  • Use five wreaths, three large and two small.
  • For the large, spray paint one cranberry, one ivory and leave one as it comes, in vintage pink.
  • For the small, spray paint both antique gold.
  • Make sure to spray paint in a well ventilated space, preferably outdoors, and cover your work space with a drop cloth. And remember your painter’s mask. Spray paint in quick and even spurts, keeping your can approximately 10 inches from the wreaths. Avoid a heavy application as the spray paint will pool. But don’t worry about a perfect application. An imperfect finish lends itself to the rustic look.
  • As a finishing touch, tuck a few stems of water picked white lisianthus into your top wreath.
  • For a larger backdrop, increase the number of wreaths and keep with a mix of sizes and colors.

The Details

diy cranberry burlap wreath lisianthus cranberry burlap vintage pink burlap wreath diy cream burlap wreath cream colored burlap diy antique gold burlap wreath antique gold burlap

Look #2 – Centerpiece Detail

Give a simple cylinder vase centerpiece a decorative boost by using a burlap wreath as your base. Finish off the Fall look with some dried leaves.

burlap wreath centerpiece rustic centerpiece detail- burlap wreath

Look #3 – Cranberry Chair Charm

Mark your bride and groom chairs with a pop of color. Tie on a couple of cranberry colored burlap wreaths with some twine for the right Rustic touch.

burlap wreath chair back bride and groom burlap chair back twine diy cranberry burlap

The Big Picture

The last few weeks have seen several DIYs dedicated to Fall. Come back for a visit next week when we pull them all together to show you what your big picture could look like.

xoxo.

kasia-signature

 

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Decorative Petite Pumpkins

diy decorative mini pumpkins

The last couple of weeks we’ve been on a bit of a DIY Fall feature roll, and with Fall now officially here we’re continuing the seasonal treats with today’s mini pumpkin post. Because let’s face it, you can’t have a Fall wedding without a mini pumpkin! As per The Details’ DIY M.O., this lovely little accent is a cinch to pull together and packs major decorative punch. Although we’re recommending it as an added rustic touch to your guest place settings, an assortment can be used to accent just about any type of set up. And as you’ll see, even we couldn’t commit to just the one look.

The Supplies

diy decorative mini pumpkins - supplies

The Step by Step

diy decorative mini pumpkin how to - steps 1-2

Step 1: using a very sharp knife, score a round opening to the top of your mini pumpkin.

{Tip: create your pumpkin accents no more than two days before your event, and ideally the day before. After a couple of days the color of the outer skin begins to turn.}

Step 2: using an ice cream scoop, scoop out all the seeds. Scoop slowly and gently to avoid cracking your pumpkin.

diy decorative mini pumpkin how to - steps 3-4

Step 3: fill your pumpkin with baby’s breath that has been cut down to size. We selected this particular floral stem because of its ability to keep out of water for an extended period of time. That said, do not complete this step any earlier than the day before your event. If using a different floral that requires hydration use floral foam instead of water as it will leak through.

Step 4: give the look a sophisticated finish, that doubles as a pretty keepsake favor, by resting your pumpkin in a mini glass bell jar.

The End Result

decorative mini pumpkin pumpkin place setting accent baby's breath glass bell jar

and because we couldn’t resist a group shot…

mini pumpkin accents pumpkin favors favor display

DIY Fall Inspiration Galore.

For more DIY Fall wedding ideas check out our DIY Fall Favors and DIY Fall Decor posts.

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Fall Favor-ites

fall wedding favors

Because the Fall season calls for some serious comfort food, today’s DIY Wedding Wednesday post is serving up an array of yummies. We’re pulling together tried, tested and true Fall treats, by way of the perfect Fall favors. With options that span both the sweet and savory spectrum, your biggest problem will be deciding which one of these five goodies to select for your event. My recommendation, include them all! But not before confirming for yourself that they’re all palette pleasing. Bon appetite!

Fall Favor Idea #1 – Homemade Salsa Goodness

Encourage the release of the inner chef inside each one of your guests by giving them a reason to cook up a storm. Jar your favorite homemade salsa recipe for both a taste of inspiration and a pop of Fall color.

fall favor 1 - homemade salsa

The Supplies

homemade salsa favor supplies

The Details

bakers twine personalized sticker homemade salsa

Fall Favor Idea #2 – Tea Time

Nothing says Fall like getting bundled up in a warm blanket with a good book and a great cup of tea. Give your guests the key aromatic ingredient by bagging some pumpkin spice loose leaf tea in a lovely organza baggie.

fall favor 2 - loose leaf tea

The Supplies

bagged loose leaf tea supplies

The Details

organza drawstring favor bag personalized tag cinnamon stick loose leaf tea

Fall Favor Idea #3 – The Ultimate Comfort Food

Give your wedding guests a bit of the warm and fuzzy by appealing to their inner kid through the ultimate comfort food, the soft and gooey mini doughnut.

fall favor 3 - mini doughnuts

The Supplies

mini doughnut favor supplies

The Details

mini basket baker's twine thank you favor tag mini doughnut

Fall Favor Idea #4 – Take Me to the Fair

Bring the benefits of a Fall favorite pastime, the Fall Fair, to your event through a sweet treat. Package some delicious caramel corn in a natural woven box for added eye appeal.

fall favor 4 - boxed popcorn

The Supplies

boxed caramel popcorn favor supplies

The Details

woven favor box satin ribbon personalized favor tag

Fall Favor Idea #5 – A Fall Staple

You can’t have Fall without a pumpkin. Box the fruit’s most delicious part for a salty favor treat.

fall favor 5 - pumpkin seeds

The Supplies

pumpkin seed favor supplies

The Details

whimsical favor tag pumpkin seeds

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Faux Fall Flower Decor

fall wedding decor

Whether you’re a DIY expert or it’s something you only dabble in, chances are you’ve used spray paint at some point along your crafting journeys. And that’s probably because spray paint is the number one way to easily transform the look of just about anything. Continuing on our recent Fall wedding inspiration kick, today we’re going to put the DIY wonder to the task of creating some seasonally inspired, simple and lovely wedding decor. Used as Fall wedding centerpieces or side table accents, these budget-friendly arrangements are sure to add a pop of color and a touch of sparkle to your day.

The Supplies

fall bottle vase decor - supplies

  • clear bottle vases (sold in sets of 6 assorted sizes. Only one shown here)
  • 3 types of spray paint – metallic antique gold, flat ivory and gold glitter tinting spray
  • faux flowers – dried baby’s breath, japanese lanterns and wooden roses, in shades fit for the season
  • taper candles
  • mask & gloves

The How-To

fall bottle vase how to

Step 1: set up your working area in a well-ventilated space, preferably outdoors. Use an old cardboard box to create a pod that will keep your spray contained, preventing it from getting onto surrounding objects.

Step 2: place your bottle in the box, shake your paint vigorously and begin spraying in a quick up and down motion creating a thin first coat. Avoid a heavy application as it will cause the paint to run.

Step 3: rotate the bottle continuing your first application to the whole of the bottle. Once the bottle is fully covered leave it to dry as per the paint can directions then come back for a second finishing coat, to pick up on any gaps and to create a nice solid finish.

Step 4 (not shown): repeat steps 1 – 3  on all your bottles using the various spray paint colors and finishes. For the tinting spray only one application of paint should be necessary, to maintain the translucency of the bottles it is applied to.

Step 5 (not shown): once your bottles have dried completely, create your arrangement by filling your vases with the various dried flowers and taper candles.

The End Result

diy fall inspired bottle vases metallic gold bottle vase wooden mini rose gold shimmer bottle vase ivory bottle vase japanese lantern bottle candle holder candlelight diy bottle vases diy bottle taper candle holders

Ready Made

If you like the idea of using colored bottle vases for your wedding day decor but without the work, pick up a set of blue, purple or white bottle vases on weddingstar.com.

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Centerpiece How-To

centerpiece how to

When the idea for this post came up, truth be told, I panicked a little. Although I love flowers (I mean, what girl doesn’t?!) and have pulled together many arrangements in my day, I always advise (where budget allows) to never DIY your florals. But let’s face it, when budgets are factored in not everyone has the luxury of working with a floral designer. So to all you ladies feeling brave and looking to stretch your dollar without compromising an ounce of pretty, this blog’s for you!

The Supplies

centerpiece supplies

  • good pair of shears
  • floral foam (to fit whatever vase you decide to use)
  • flowers, in order of appearance: lisianthus, astilbe, queen anne’s lace, spray roses, seeded eucalyptus and sedum

centerpiece supplies 2

The Step by Step

centerpiece how to - step 1

Step 1: saturate your floral foam with water and place into your vase. Begin to build your floral arrangement creating a starting point for your two front facing corners. Make one over flowing with eucalyptus and the other tighter to the center with queen anne’s lace.

centerpiece how to - step 2

Step 2: continue to build your arrangement by adding another overflow on the opposite corner to the original and begin to fill out your middle with a blend of sedum and lisianthus.

centerpiece how to - step 3

Step 3: continue to fill in your arrangement, adding in astilbe. Start to concentrate on your arrangement as a whole, paying attention to all angles.

centerpiece how to - step 4

Step 4: add in spray roses. as you work on filling your arrangement make sure to fill all gaps and keep a mix of flowers throughout the whole.

The End Result

floral wedding centerpiece floral wedding centerpiece 2 floral wedding centerpiece 3 floral wedding centerpiece 4

You could stop right here but for a fuller table arrangement (and some added decor), finish off the look with a couple of votive holders filled with a few floral stems, as well as some candlelight.

mini vases vintage inspired candle holders diy floral centerpiece

Centerpieces Simplified.

If you’re all about DIY’ing your centerpiece but want something a little less labor intensive, check out our Decorative Bottle Vases and Springtime Centerpieces posts.

xoxo.

kasia-signature