Archive for the 'Wedding Planning' Category

Downloadable Wedding Planner and Budget Calculator Spreadsheet

Weddings are expensive, and keeping up with your expenses is no easy task. I designed a wedding budget spreadsheet for my cousin a couple of years ago and have been fine tuning it ever since. It’s not a full fletch wedding budget tracking program by any means, but many people find it a good tool for establishing a realistic budget. You could also use this calculator to track budget vs. actual. I will continue to refine this calculator as needed, so feedback will be greatly appreciated. It’s an MS Excel spreadsheet that you can download and save on your computer.

Go to Wedding Budget Calculator. Once you are on that page, click on “Downloadable the Bella Wedding Budget Planner” for the budget spreadsheet.

There is also a wedding planner under that same page, with planning timeline and tasks.
Click on “Download the Bella Wedding Planner

Cut the Expense, Not the Party

Weddings are expensive, no question about it. To be able to afford that fabulous gown, you may have to make cuts somewhere else in your wedding budget.

When it comes to the budget, you don’t always have to sacrifice style. Instead, think outside the box. For instance, to be able to afford the gown of your dreams, you may choose to have a cocktail wedding party instead of a sit down dinner reception.

Another budget saving idea is to limit the drinks served to four or five. Speak to your venue to discover popular cocktails that would cover a wide range of tastes and ensure that the knowledge and ingredients are present to make your desired choices.

To simplify things, you may want to choose just one signature cocktail and wrap the wedding theme around it. Some fun cocktails to choose from include: a Wedding Belle, Sealed With a Kiss, Hot Romance, and Love is in the Air.

For that personal touch, design it yourself, and give it a fun frothy name to go along with that princess dress. A perfect task for you and your bridesmaids at your stagette or bridal shower.

While a full menu is not required, appetizers and tidbits will still be required to offset the alcohol being served. This is one event where a bowl of chips simply will not do.

For appetizers, choose bite-sized items that easily fit on a cocktail napkin. These can be items you make yourself, items you have catered or items provided by your reception venue. Appetizers can be served by formal waiters or provided at stations around the room, the general rule of thumb is usually three of each kind of appetizer for every invited guest.

When planning your cocktail wedding party, make sure to include music as a backdrop to guests’ conversations and as a possible lead in for some dancing. A jazz ensemble, string quartet, or even a piano bar styled accompaniment to your party makes sure that guests continue to mingle without any awkward silences.

As a wedding favor for the cocktail wedding party, you can choose from the many different cocktail mixes on the market that come in single packages. Create a small gift bag with mini bottles of all the ingredients complete with a shaker engraved with your wedding details to make a wedding favor and ultimately a party that will be remembered for years to come.

I came across a couple of wedding and budget planners. These checklists are pretty general, you may want to use these as templates and break down each category in detail as needed.

wedding planner

budget planner

Wedding 101 – getting started

I am one of those who almost always cry at weddings. There is something about weddings that move me. Big or small, formal or causal. Perhaps it’s the fact that weddings celebrate love and love is beautiful.

According to Wikipedia, A wedding is a ceremony that celebrates the beginning of a marriage or civil union. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. In some countries, cultures and religions, the actual act of marriage begins during the wedding ceremony. In others, the legal act of marriage occurs at the time of signing a marriage license or other legal document, and the wedding is then an opportunity to perform a traditional ceremony and celebrate with friends and family. A woman being married is called a bride, a man called a bridegroom, and after the ceremony they become a wife or a husband, respectively.

Over 2 million couples in the United States get married every year. Through the years I have had the pleasure of contributing to weddings of family and friends in making the dream day become a reality. As overwhelming as wedding planning may be , there is hope. Just put one foot in front of the other, and the rest will fall into place.

The first things to consider once you’re engaged should be:

  • Set a date. This will determine how much time you have to plan your wedding. It also help to secure venue and vendors.¬† (Edit – when I say set a date I really mean to identify possible dates, as the date¬† will influence your budget.)
  • Conceptualize your dream wedding, then break it down into list of items. Sample item would be the size of the wedding, the venue, the perfect dress, etc.. Talk to your fiance about them. Time and budget will drive how much you can accomplish. Prioritizing your wish list will be an ongoing effort.
  • Assemble a team of helpers. Talk to your fiance, your parents and future in-laws, and get a sense of how much they would like to be involved, especially if they are footing part of the bill.

Once you have your timeline established, start talking to vendors to getting a better idea of what’s available on the market and how much they cost.

I will be sharing some checklists, ideas, and favorite wedding things in the near future.