I came across this article at {http://www.onewed.com/workbook/article/can-i-afford-a-wedding-planner} it is right on, I had to share. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. 

Wedding-Budget

Can I Afford a Wedding Planner?
Can you afford to hire a planner for your wedding? In our opinion, you can’t afford NOT to hire one; it’s simply a matter of how much help you want from them, and when during the planning process you decide to secure their services.

At minimum, you’ll want someone there for the day to help orchestrate and coordinate the décor, greet and direct vendors, circle up the family and bridal party before the ceremony, pictures and the toasts, to make sure guests know when to be where, and most importantly, to help clean up at the end of the night. We’ve known many brides and grooms who have decided to forgo this expense, and almost every single one of them say that’s one of the things they definitely would have done differently if they could. DIY brides will often try to take care of this stuff on their own, or will ask family and friends to pitch in. If you can afford a profession who does this regularly it’s always best, but if your budget is too tight find a thrifty alternative! Find a local college girl who wants to be a wedding planner when she grows up (you’d be surprised how many of them are out there). Inquire with your friends, family and coworkers if they know of someone who could fit the bill and be willing to do it for you. Just remember that professionals can charge upwards towards $1000 for this service; if you aren’t hiring a professional, you shouldn’t pay professional prices, but a $100 gift card to Target for a day’s worth of work isn’t really enough unless you’re budget is really strapped.

If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, a wedding planner can be a fantastic resource for you! They can help secure some of the most talented and reputable vendors, and will also be knowledgeable on the latest trends and styles of the season. Not to mention all of the time they save and stress they alleviate for you! Many brides fear that a planner will steal the show and try to take over. On one hand, remember that the reason you’re hiring them is so they CAN run the show! But you want to make sure he or she won’t step on your toes too much, and will only step in when you really want them to. If you’re the kind of bride that likes to hold the reins and long as possible, then meet with your potential planner once or twice before signing a contract, and even spring for a consultation meeting. If they’re insistent that you just HAVE to hire such-and-such photographer because they’re FABULOUS, and they wouldn’t DREAM of having anyone other than so-and-so design your bridal bouquet…well, they probably aren’t the right match for you. Just make sure that you guys connect on a personality level as well as monetary one; when stuff hits the fan, they’re the one that you’re going to go to first to save the day, and if you’re not comfortable with who they are as a person, you’re not going to want to turn to them when you actually need them.

So how does a wedding planner benefit those that aren’t on a super-tight budget, but don’t have a ton of money to spend? One of the best things they can help you with is to find vendors and décor to keep you in your budget, and in theory he or she will save you enough money to cover their fees. Think of it this way; if you’ve budgeting $20,000 for your wedding, your planner should be able to save cut enough corners and find enough deals to save you $1,000-$1,500, which is about what the fee can be.

Regardless of your budget, wedding planners can help you in so many ways!

• Vendors are more likely to get referrals for new business from wedding planners than brides, so their incentive to do a fantastic job at your wedding is increased when there’s a wedding planner preset.
• They ensure that your family, bridal party and friends have a good time. Sure, these people love you and would do anything to help you out. But after a long day of dancing, drinking and celebrating, sticking around until midnight gathering up table numbers and pulling linens off of the table is probably not their ideal way to end the night. These people are, after all, your most important guests; make sure you take care of them and let them have as much fun as they can!
• They can help you with the wedding day timeline. Oftentimes vendors are happy to help with this, but remember this isn’t what they do professionally. A DJ may do a great job of helping time out the reception, and photographers can do a pretty good job of helping your orchestrate the day, but neither of them will be able to help with the timing of the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, nor will they be able to assist you in having your hair and makeup artist arrive at the hotel at the right time.
• Something will ALWAYS go wrong at your wedding! It could be as simple as a broken strap on a bridesmaid’s dress, or as overwhelming as a vendor that no-shows. Having a planner there means that you don’t have to deal with these problems when they arise; and if your planner is really good, chances are you won’t ever know that anything went wrong!

All in all, a wedding planner is something every couple needs for their wedding, and it really is something to factor in to your budget from day one. Trust us, it’ll be one of the best decisions you make about your wedding, aside from choosing the groom!

 

Check out the average cost of a wedding in these two charts by the knot.

average wedding cost

WEDDING-COST-wedding_infographic-copy

Tips to Throwing a good Party

Throw a Successful Party!

url

So you want to throw a party, you have most things in order but you have that gut feeling that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. What is it you need to do, fellow these step in your planning process and you will for sure have a party to remember.

Step 1. Guest

Invite a mix group of friends,  be creative with your guest list, I like to invite a few new friends, a few old. and a few grown-up friends.  depending on the mood I am looking for at the party I like to add a wild card. Bringing in another aspect into the familiar, it gets people stimulated and put them on their toes, creating a more fun and interesting party.

Step 2. Don’t Follow Orders

Many guest and hostess get hung up on doing the right things, that they forget the point of a party, which is to have fun.  Let your guest experience something different; play games, have a tournament before dinner, make something surprising happen, Life do not follow a particular order so what do our party have to.

Step 3.  Alcohol

As long as you are over the drinking age, then having a bar is a great choice, for some guest a lil drink could relax them if that are coming over right after work to been home with kids all day and need a little adult time.  Setting up a bar of two gets your guest moving around the room allowing them to talk and meet new people. It’s been suggested that setting you bars in different areas of the room helps the flow of the party, you can try having a wine bar, vodka bar and a cosmopolitan bar.

I like to serve up a pitcher of a novelty drink or set up a table of a diy cocktail with all the glasses, mix, garnishes and instructions on how to put the drink together properly.

Step 4.  Music 

Good music makes a party, by playing the right music you are setting the tone and flow of the party. If your collection is not really everyone’s cup of tea, why not ask your guest to bring their own iPods of cd’s? Hire a DJ or find an online station like Pandor.com (if you don’t mind the commercial ) or download a playlist from iTunes. Remember to choose a diverse playlist that connects with each guest.

Step 5. More is Better

This is simple enough that there’s no way to go wrong here, just make sure you stock up on everything. You don’t want to run to of anything  during the middle of your party. Making  sure you have lots of food, drinks, ice and garnishes are key. If you can’t  afford a full bar stick with red and white wines and a specialty drink. Unless you opt to have a byob make sure you provide all the mixers and glasses. ( there is an alternative to this rule, if you want your guest to fill up on dinner then you might want o consider serving less hors d’oeuvre  and drinks before dinner and opt to have an after dinner drink with dessert(s)).

Step 6. Allow your guest to help

We all have that one or two friend that just need to get involved in helping, so what not let them. Assign them to do something, like giving them someone to meet or take care of.  By giving them an active role at the party you are freeing up some of your time to doing things and enjoying the party.

Step 7. Seating

If your party is a dinner party, the key to seating is to know your guest; your best friend husband is not a big sports fan try seating him next to your friend from work who is a movie buff, your best friend is really into fashion but enjoys talking politics, try seating her next to your childhood friend who studied political economics in college.  Don’t be afraid of mixing it up, maybe after each course you rearrange your guest, having them sit next to someone different each time. Try not to put couples and best friends together, placing your guest in the right seat can really make an impact on what makes the party a success.

Step 8. Staging the Right Mood

Lighting and decor my favorite part of any party, it sets the stage for what I will get out of the party. From the moment I walk in I know if I am going to be delighted in fun conversation or something more intimate. Lighting helps create the mood it you want something more intimate, than low lighting and candles are perfect, for something more upbeat and fun like if you were to play a few games overhead lighting would work just fine. When staging the decor, consider the centerpiece, place-setting, lounge area, scent, and the bathroom. Many host forget to incorporate decorating the bathroom as it to is part of your party that guest will see and use.