Inspiring Bridesmaid Looks

When it comes to your bridesmaids, there’s so many different items to consider. What type of dress? What color should the dresses be? Should they even wear dresses? Should they match? Should they complement each other? Sometimes it helps to get inspired by what’s been done before. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite bridesmaids looks throughout the years to help you make sure your ladies are well taken care of!

Nicole + Richie

Nicole gave each of her bridesmaids a satin, blush robe and gorgeous floral crowns to wear during their morning hair and makeup. We love the usual floral robes but there’s something about these satin blush tones that feel so feminine and romantic.

Codrean Photography

For their gowns, each dress is a slightly different shade of blush but each have a similar cut and length.

Allison + Dave

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Pen Carlson Photography

Allison went for total glam with these sparkly, sequin dresses for her bridesmaids. While they are all the same short length, each has their own unique color and style. This is perfect for brides who want to give their bridesmaids guidelines but ultimately allow them to choose the fit and color that is best for them!

Eryn + Jim

Julia Fransoza Photo

Instead of switching up the color or style of the dresses, why not switch up the shoes and accessories!? Eryn’s bright, fun, and colorful wedding wouldn’t have been complete without her bridesmaids rocking neon shoes with mis-matched belts.

Jess + Brandon

Amanda Naylor Photo

Another amazing idea for the bride who want their bridesmaids to have more freedom is to choose the color of the dress but let your girls choose their favorite style. This way, each of your bridesmaids feel comfortable and matches the group! Throwing in a different color for your maid of honor is a lovely way to make sure she gets the attention she deserves for being your right-hand gal!

Molly + Timmy

Johnathan Crawford Photography

One of our faves as Team Jayne loves anything bright, bold, and playful. Our bride, Molly, decided to skip the flowers for her bridesmaids and instead gave each of them gold, sparkly pom poms! This is the perfect way to add a fun, unexpected element to your bridal party.

Mary + Hugh

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Studio Finch

Many brides shy away from black dresses but looking at Mary’s bridesmaids has us wondering why anyone ever doubts black. The bold black dresses with small lace details pop so beautifully again those bright white florals and pops of purple. Again, matching dress color with each dress given it’s own bit of flair.

Caitlin + George

Sean Cook Wedding Photography

And sometimes grooms have their very own grooms-woman! A great way to help your groomsman feel like part of the party is to have her wear an awesome (and perfectly tailored) suit to match the other groomsmen. We love the ankle-high tailored pant on George’s groosmwoman and those strappy, sophisticated heels are the perfect feminine touch.

 

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Say Hello to Spring with 6 Fresh Cocktails

With it just starting to feel like spring around here we want to do everything we can to embrace the warm weather and springtime vibes. We can’t think of a better way to get in the spring spirit than with a refreshing cocktail. We’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite fresh drinks infused with delicious combinations of floral, mint, fruit, and, of course, refreshing spirits.

Apple Bee’s Knees

Apple-Bees-Knees-Cocktail

This classic gin cocktail with a honey-apple twist is perfect for those brisk spring afternoons. It’s th eperfect amount of tartness with the sweetness of honey and apple slices.

Ingredients

Honey Syrup:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 springs rosemary
Cocktail:
  • 2 ounces gin
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 1 ounce honey syrup
  • rosemary and/ or apple slices for garnish

The Bordello

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There’s nothing more refreshing thank coconut and lime, but cherry blossom syrup too? This will surely liven up your taste buds and put you in a refreshing, spring mood!

Ingredients

2 oz Vodka
7/8 oz Cherry blossom syrup
1 oz Lime juice
2 coins Cucumber
Cherry Blossom (garnish)

Cherry Blossom

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Maybe you love cherry blossom but cucumber isn’t your thing? Try this cherry blossom cocktail with sparkling lemonade, gin, and grenadine for a sweeter spring drink!

Ingredients

  • Cherry brandy (Kirsch)
  • Gin
  • Sparkling lemonade
  • Grenadine
  • Cherry or other edible (organic) blossom for decor

Peach & Mint Frappe

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Give us anything peach flavored and we’re in heaven. This peach and mint frozen cocktail is no exception! The mint lifts up the sweetness of the peach for a perfectly sweet, refreshing frozen drink.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces vodka, preferably Tito’s
  • 3 tablespoons light agave nectar
  • 1 pound ripe peaches, sliced and frozen, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons peach nectar
  • 1 tablespoon packed mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving

Sparkling Pomegranate Mimosas

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Pomegranate isn’t only for fall/winter! Give this sparkling pomegranate cocktail and try if you want something a little deeper in flavor but lighter in liquor.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 6-8 sprigs of rosemary
  • pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of champagne

 

Fresh Violet Cocktail

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We think it’s only fitting to include a violet cocktail as the color of the year is Ultra Violet! This cocktail’s beautiful color comes from fresh-picked violets so if you need us,  we’ll be out hunting for some gorgeous fresh violets. :)

Ingredients (makes 8 servings)

  • 1 cup fresh-picked violets, rinsed clean
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar (you can substitute honey or any sweetener of your choice)
  • Club soda
  • Vodka or gin

 

Creative Escort Card Displays

Whether or not you decide you want or need an escort card display is completely up to you and your future parter, but we’re here to share with you a few of our favorite displays throughout the years to hopefully help give you some inspiration to create something truly unique to you! There are always way to infuse a little personality into your display and we’ve compiled just a few for you here.

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Caitlin + George’s wedding was held on New Year’s Eve and we decided to setup this gorgeous display of family photos, mementos, greenery, and escort cards in the empty bookshelf at Chicago Athletic Association. This bookshelf had actually never been utilized for an event before. So you heard it here: Team Jayne was the first! :)

Caitlin + George |Sean Cook Wedding Photography

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Shelly + DJ held their wedding at Chicago’s Navy Pier (Crystal Gardens) and carried their child-like wonder/fairytale theme throughout the entire wedding decor, including the escort card display. We put together this library-inspired escort card filing box for their guests to sift through to find their name—so interactive and fun!

Shelly + DJ | Jeremy Lawson Photography

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Team Jayne custom designed these colorful, geometric escort cards for Eryn + Jim’s colorful wedding years ago but they will always remain one of our favorites. Placed on a table with a bold string heart (another custom Team Jayne creation!) to give the whole table a fun, edgy, colorful display.

Eryn + Jim | Jamie from Greenhouse Loft

Q Avenue Photo // www.qavenuephoto.com

Not all escort displays have to be extremely elaborate. In fact, sometimes simpler is better. White custom calligraphy on black cards gives this display a modern, romantic vibe, while the chocolate stands give your guests a little treat along with their table assignment.

Q Avenue Photo // www.qavenuephoto.com

Jenny + Eamon | Brad & Jen Photo
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Alex + Ryan’s wedding decor was simple. Lots of greenery, personal photos, and delicate blooms. We opted for white on black cards for a more modern feel, while the greenery and photos surrounding the display give it a softer, more personal touch. And we’ll take any opportunity to use those adorable mini clothespins. :)

Alex + Ryan | Iron + Honey

Should We Have a First Look?

Whether you and your future spouse decide to have a First Look or not is entirely up to you, but we wanted to share a few key reasons why we love them that we’ve learned throughout the years of seeing them first-hand. While the obvious reason is of course to have the opportunity to capture those gorgeous photos, we think there are a few other pros to First Looks that may help tip the scale if you’re on the fence.

Blake + Nicole | Janelle Elise Photo

It’s a beautiful, intimate moment between you both.

With all the moving pieces and craziness that comes with your wedding day, you’ll want to embrace any moment you can sneak away and just be together. The First Look is the perfect opportunity to do just that! Once the ceremony starts, the rest of the night will likely be spent running around for photos, socializing with your guests, or dancing so there’s not much time to be alone together once the day gets going.

Nicole + Richie | Codrean Photography

It will calm your nerves.

With all the planning and preparing for this day, your nerves can really start to show themselves the day-of. One way to help counteract them is to have a First Look and shake out all the nervousness of seeing your future hubby for the first time in front of all of your guests. Instead, you’ll be able to have a quiet moment together to collect your thoughts and get ready for this next big step you’re taking together!

Jess + Brandon | Amanda Naylor Photo

The photos are priceless.

Some of our favorite pictures of our couples have been during their First Look. After your wedding day is over you’ll be so happy you took every opportunity for more photos and trust us, the First Look is full of emotions (and sometimes tears!) and it really is so touching to look back on.

Allison + Dave | Pen Carlson Photography

It’s better for the timeline.

If you’re still on the fence about doing a First Look, maybe we can help sway you by letting you know that couples who do a First Look are much less pressed for time between the ceremony and reception. Usually this time is used for couples photos, bridal party photos, family photos, etc. This can all add up into a lot of time and cause a bit of rushing around on the photographers part. If you do a First Look before the ceremony, that time can also be used for photos together or with your bridal party. Not to mention, the more time spent with your photographer, the more creative they get to be with their shots.

Sarah + George | Let’s Frolic Together

 

 

 

Team Jayne’s Top Picks for Wedding Sweets & Desserts

We’re always looking for ways to incorporate new ideas, creations, and styles into our events and desserts are no different! We absolutely love a classic, gorgeous wedding cake, but sometimes we opt for something a little bit different. From cupcakes to pastries to popsicles, we’ve seen quite a wide variety of sweets and we’d love to share a few of our favorites with you!

Pies

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Instead of cake, many couples are opting for pies instead! You can cater to many more guests tastes by offering multiple flavors and some people even prefer pie to cake! We rented some gorgeous white and gold pie stand to dress up the table a bit and added some air plants to tie into the rest of the decor.

Amy + Ben | Bang Bang Pie | Christian Gideon Photography

Cupcakes + Cake Toppers

Another great option that also allows for multiple flavors is mini cupcakes! Since they’re mini cupcakes guests feel like they can try more than one flavor. You can always include a smaller cake for the cake cutting like we’ve done with Kara + Tommy. Also, how amazing are those cake toppers? The bride, Kara Burke, is an extremely talented designer and created them herself.

Kara + Tommy | Kara Burke | The Colagrossis

Donuts

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We’ve been dying to spell out a word with donuts for a long time and we finally had the space to do so! Donut walls are one of our favorite dessert displays. They’re an adorable photo backdrop and allow your guests to have a wide variety of flavor choices. We topped with a luscious brand of greenery and blooms to dress it up and tie it into the rest of their decor.

Jess + Brandon | Maple Donuts | Amanda Naylor Photo

If you’re not able to pull off a donut wall, try donut holes on cake stands with an adorable couple’s cake on top like we used for Marissa + Will! The groom actually handmade those cake toppers, we’re totally impressed!

Marissa + Will |West Town Bakery | Christian Wilson

Mini Waffle Parfaits

These mini waffle parfaits were the perfect choice for this carnival-themed wedding at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Their entire dessert setup screamed upscale fair sweets! Everything is miniature, which allows for your guests to have a little bit of everything.

Shelly + DJ | Crystal Gardens | Jeremy Lawson Photography

Popsicles/Ice Cream Cart

If you’re having a summer wedding and looking for a unique, quirky idea you should consider having a popsicle/ice cream cart (see above) or truck (see below).

Sara + Martin | Pen Carlson

Katie & Jordan Rcpt-0132

Not only is it fairly cost effective but your guests will get to choose their favorite treat! Not to mention you get some adorable pics with your icy treats.

Katie + Jordan |  Joey Kennedy Photography

Stay Warm With Our Top 7 Hot Winter Cocktails

If you’re anything like us, with the Chicago winter in full force, you’ve been curled up under a blanket wondering when the sunny rays of summer will show themselves again. As we’ve got a bit more of wintertime to get through, we wanted to share a handful of our favorite hot cocktails that get us through those frigid winter nights.

Chai Hot Toddy

Chai-Hot-Toddy
Brit + Co

Starting off by giving our classic chai tea a makeover by adding a few special ingredients.  Spiced rum and cinnamon give this classic a kick that will warm you all the way through to the last sip. Oh, and you can even add a shot of espresso if you need an extra boost!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 8 chai tea bags (make your own or use a high quality brand of black tea and spices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a bit more for sprinkling on top
  • 6-8 ounces spiced rum (more or less according to your taste)

Bourbon Spiked Hot Apple Cider

Bourbon-Spiked-Apple-Cider
Vindulge
Another favorite with an exciting twist! Spike your hot apple cider with bourbon, finish it off with a cinnamon stick and orange juice for the perfectly spiced, perfectly spiked, warm apple cider.

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • Bourbon (recommend Bulleit or Basil Hayden’s)

Black Cherry Bourbon Hot Chocolate

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Sugar and Soul

Been looking for a way to step up your hot chocolate game? We may have the answer: Black Cherry bourbon! The deep, oaky bourbon paired with black cherry give this hot chocolate a vibrant flavor that’ll leave your craving this treat every winter.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 5 tbsp Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix Or mix of your choice
  • 2 oz. Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon by Jim Beam
  • Whipped Cream I like homemade
  • Chocolate Shavings

Hot Ward 8 Cocktail

Hot-Ward-8
Serious Eats

If you’ve never had a classic Ward 8 cocktail, just know that it is full of deep notes of pomegranate and a citrus-y after taste. This recipe has everything that’s great about the classic Ward 8 with the twist of making it warm—the perfect end to a day in the cold.

  • 8 ounces (235ml) boiling water, plus more for preheating thermos
  • 16 ounces (475ml) rye whiskey, such as Bulleit 95
  • 4 ounces (120ml) unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces (60ml) dry orange curaçao, such as Pierre Ferrand
  • 8 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 lemon zest strips, for garnish (optional)

 

Cranberry Orange Mulled Wine

Crock-Pot-Mulled-Wine
Kitchen Treaty

Mulled Wine will always be a favorite of ours as it’s just so smooth and drinkable. Did we mention it’s also super easy to make? Throw it all in a slow cooker and forget about it until you’re ready to enjoy your delicious, warm winter treat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Merlot or another fruity (but not too sweet!) red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups orange juice (I either like squeezing my own or buying a 100% pure fresh-squeezed version)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries, rinsed and picked through
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 medium orange (I like to use an organic orange for recipes like this because it will be soaking in the beverage, peel and all)
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • Garnishes, if desired: cinnamon sticks, orange slices, and/or fresh cranberries threaded onto a cocktail pick

Spiked Coconut Vanilla Steamer

Vanilla-Coconut
Sugar and Soul
This steamer is very similar to a latte but with spiced rum in place of espresso. Imagine being curled up under a blanket with a good book on a snowy afternoon. We can’t think of anything better!
Ingredients
  • 3 oz. Spiced rum
  • 1 1/2 whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • Toasted coconut for garnish
  • You will also need a frother.

Spiced Vanilla Pear Apple Cider

Vanilla-Pear-Apple-Cider
My Baking Addiction

Yes, another apple cider! We just couldn’t resist this lovely take on the classic. Pear AND Vanilla? We’re sold. The sweetness from the vanilla and pear make it seem like you’re having dessert. To make this a bit stronger (like for a cocktail party), just add a shot of Rum or Bourbon.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 2 quarts pear juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • Rum or Bourbon (optional)

Introducing Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year: Ultra Violet

Pantone recently announced their pick for 2018 Color of the Year and we’re feeling so inspired by it! Ultra Violet—a rich, bold, and thoughtful purple shade that will give depth to any space or color palette it’s paired with.

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Pantone on their choice of Ultra Violet for 2018: Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own. For more on Ultra Violet, visit Pantone!

As we start incorporating this gorgeous purple into our projects, we thought we’d look back at way we’ve already used it in the past!

Mary + Hugh
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Studio Finch | Fleur Inc.

Gorgeous, lush greenery with accents of light pink and ivory blooms are taken to the next level with a brilliant violet added in.

Alex + Ryan

Iron + Honey | Flowers for Dreams | Italian Court Flowers

Adding in a few deeper tones to complement the violet blooms (like this deep blue-violet) really help elevate this look to create a warm, inviting palette.

Muted Love Woodland Shoot
Woodland Inspiration Shoot 008

Simply Jessie Photography

We love mixing our metals and find that adding in an unexpected twist (like these copper mugs and chargers) really bring this color palette together in the most interesting way.

Allison + Dave

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Pen Carlson Photography | Fleur Inc.

To achieve a bright, bold color palette using Ultra Violet as the focus, consider adding in a few other bold colors to balance it out. In this case, we’ve added pinks, oranges, blues, and peaches to create one of our favorite floral bouquets of all time.

How do you plane to use Pantone’s Color of the Year? Share with us, we’d love to see!

Altars, Backdrops, Donut Walls & More!

One of our most favorite past-times is crafting, which is why most of our events include at least some element of creating. Whether it be a custom altar, photobooth backdrop, or dessert wall, we’ve seen it all! We’re so excited to share with you a few creations that we’ve built throughout the years!

Jess + Brandon – Donut Wall

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Amanda Naylor Photo

Let’s start off with a bang—and donuts! We built this gorgeous donut wall for our baby sis’ wedding this past summer in PA and it has to be one of our favorite creations ever. The greenery, floral, the word love, oh and don’t forget the donuts! Simple but stunning!

Jenna + Phil – Ribbon Tree Altar

JennaPhilTreeJennaPhilTree2Suzi Jacobs Photo

If you’re not getting married in a church (which is a lot of couples these days), creating an altar or backdrop for your ceremony space will definitely be on your to-do list. Remember that sometimes simple is better (and easier!). For Jenna & Phil’s wedding in California a couple years ago we decided to keep it simple and hang delicate strands of ribbon from a gorgeous, and gigantic oak tree. It always pays off to be creative and use what mother nature gives you.

Indie Wed 2013 – Neon Orange Chevron Painted Wall

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Amanda Megan Miller Photography

We loved putting together this Indie Wed setup a few years ago. The mix of the vintage table and chairs with our crazy painted (yep, hand-painted!) backdrop helped to create those awesome layers of character.

Amy + Ben – Geometric Floral Photobooth

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We love the opportunity to collaborate with other talented creatives! We worked with Fleur to create this special hanging geometric & floral backdrop for SmileBooth. So fun!

Marissa + Will – Balloon Wall

Chicago Art Documentary Photography; Christian Wilson PhotographyChicago Art Documentary Photography; Christian Wilson PhotographyChristian Wilson Photography

For those eccentric and indie brides: balloon walls are totally in right now! For our take on the balloon wall craze (which could not have been created without the expertise and creativity of our friend Elaine from Luft Balloons), we went with super fun, summery colors for Marissa & Will’s brunch wedding. Adding in a large gold XO brought the whole wall together to create something memorable and exciting.

Indie Wed 2015 – Smilebooth Backdrop

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We crafted this moroccan themed photobooth (out of hand-cut pieces of cardboard which we them painted) during Indie Wed a couple years ago for our friends over at Smilebooth!

Katie + Jeremy – 1000 Floating Cranes

View More: http://peterwynnthompson.pass.us/jernidowntheaisleView More: http://peterwynnthompson.pass.us/jernidowntheaisle
Peter Wynn Thompson

This incredible ceremony backdrop is one of our favorites to date and was created from 1000 paper cranes with the help of some of our favorite vendors! The cranes were folded by the groom’s sons, measured and strung by us at Jayne Weddings, assembled and hung by Elegant Event Lighting, and topped with a beautiful garland from our favorites at Fleur.

Jenny + Eamon – Hand-painted Altar

Q Avenue Photo // www.qavenuephoto.comBrad & Jen Photo 

We are always blown away by how creative our brides (and grooms!) are and Jenny & Eamon are not exception. Jenny (a super talented artist and designer) created almost everything for her wedding day with her own two hands. That includes this beautiful hand-painted altar-piece. Just perfect for their loft wedding in Chicago.

 

Keith + Jenine – White Palms Altar

KeithJeninePamsTuan B and Co

For Keith & Jenine’s 60’s inspired, Bossa Nova celebration, we brought in these incredible white leather palm trees to frame their ceremony space. Those large leaves really bring depth and dimension to the space and make a bold statement.

Travel-Themed Styled Shoot – Gold Backdrop

TravelBackdropTravelbackdrop2Megan Saul Photography

We built this gold geometric backdrop for one of our very favorite travel-inspired styled shoots. Paired with trinkets, gorgeous florals, and that one-of-a-kind cake, this backdrop adds another layer of texture and excitement to this shoot.

 

 

Wedding Budgeting | Do’s & Don’ts

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Sean Cook Photography

When working with couple’s one thing we frequently notice is that the biggest concern they have is their budget; how much it should be, when to save, when to splurge, etc. We can totally understand the hesitancy as weddings are not cheap! It can be stressful determining how much to spend, but even if your budget is on the lower side, you don’t have to settle for less than your perfect dream wedding. Having a smaller budget just means you need to be a little smarter with your funds. We’ve put together some of the biggest Wedding Budgeting Do’s & Don’ts and some tips on where you should save and where you should splurge when it comes to allocating your funds.

Do’s & Don’ts

DO: Talk about it

Before finalizing your budget, make sure that you communicate with everyone who will be contributing so that everyone is on the same page from the get go. This will save you (and your contributors) a lot of headaches later on.

DO: Break it down

After finalizing your overall wedding budget, it’s important to start thinking about how you will allocate all of your funds. Discussing what is important to you vs. what you could do without will help you determine what percentage of your budget should be put towards each vendor.

DON’T: Assume others will contribute

Assumptions can cause a lot of anxiety later down the line, especially when it comes to paying for your wedding. Be clear and direct with those who may be contributing to your budget and don’t put down any deposits or sign any contracts without knowing 100% what your overall budget will be, contributions and all!

DO: Ask lots of questions

When selecting your vendors be sure you ask them a lot of questions. Make sure you understand what is included in your package, if there are any hidden fees, or if there are any additional items that could tack on to the overall cost.

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Where to Splurge

Photography

Don’t skimp on the photographer! While you may not be able to afford your dream photographer, you shouldn’t settle for much less. After your wedding day is over, you’ll be looking at these photos for years to come and you want to really love your photographs. This is not to say that a “budget” photographer will bring you sub-par photos, but be realistic when determining your photography budget.

Venue

One of your biggest expenses will be your wedding venue. Save costs by having the ceremony and reception in the same location, but choose a place you love that will set the mood for your big day! By choosing the right venue, you could turn around and save costs on your decor and rentals depending on what is included in the package.

DJ

You’ll notice that most of our “splurge” items have to do with creating the perfect setting. Choosing a good DJ is crucial to creating the right atmosphere for your day. Read reviews before booking and make sure they come highly recommended. It’s hard to save a reception with a bad DJ, so go ahead and splurge!

Where to Save:

Skip the Saturday

Many venues charge a much lower price to have your wedding on a Friday or Sunday and we’ve been noticing a trend of Friday weddings recently. Always check with your immediate family and important guests before booking, but you can really save on your costs if you don’t nail yourself down to having a Saturday wedding.

Guest List

If all of your bills are starting to add up and you’re worried about accommodating all of your wedding expenses, consider lowering the guest count. This will not only save on food/beverage costs the day of, it will also shave off some money from Invitations, Favors, Save the Dates, etc.

Menu

Opt for a simpler menu to save on food costs. Try two courses instead of three, serve family style, or even go for a buffet-style if your event is more casual. Simplifying your menu will help your cost-per-guest decrease drastically!