Friday, February 26, 2010

The #1 Way to Save Money on Your Wedding

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It's no secret, weddings are expensive. Actually, they are beyond expensive. Weddings equal expensive no matter which way you go about it.

When you're just starting to plan your wedding, the very first decision that should be made is what your total budget is. Knowing this will later determine a variety of decisions for you later on down the road. For example, what your venue will be, what type of meals you'll serve, etc.

What is the next best decision you can make after determining your budget that will actually help you stay on budget?

Your total number of guests.

The fact is, no matter which way you put it the less guests you have the less expensive your wedding will be. It's all a numbers game. The less guests you have, the less meals, invitations, centerpieces, favors, etc. you'll be needing. Knowing this gives you a much better and more realistic chance of actually staying within your budget.

After determining your budget and your total number of guests you'll be inviting, it's then a bit easier to figure out where you can splurge and where you'll have to cut back. It also gives you a better perspective in determining the sort of event you want to have and realistically what you can afford. This method not only helps you save money and be budget focused, it can also help you actually afford higher end items should they be important to you.

For example, let's say you have an average bridal budget of $29,000. Let's also pretend you have crazy, expensive tastes. According to this budget your catering should fall in the $4,000 range not including the cake (depending on which calculation tool you use). So if you wanted to have your wedding at the Creme de la Creme wedding venue which charges $200/head for catering, you could still afford this on your budget granted you have a small wedding of around 20 people. Having only 20 people will also keep your other costs down as well. As another example with the $29,000 average bridal budget your invitations should be around $400. Guess what? If you only invite 20 people you can have those crazy silk box invitations that cost $20 each and still fit in your budget.

But then again if Mom and Dad insist that you'll actually need to be inviting 200 guests, that means you'll have to keep your catering costs at around $20 a plate. Your invitations would then have to come to only $2 each. You'll have to produce more invitations, centerpieces, etc and therefore might have to reconsider what style and quality of the items you are looking for to best fit within your budget.

So overall, when starting to plan your wedding, always remember that the easiest way to save money and get the quality items you are looking for is to consider the number of guests you invite. After all it's just a numbers game.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bridal Showcase Spotlight: OHEKA Bridal Showcase

If you are a bride planning your wedding in the NYC/Long Island NY area, I highly recommend attending the OHEKA Bridal Show.

Back in '08 when I was planning my own wedding, I found most all of my vendors at this show and every last one of them did the most phenomenal job making my wedding the spectacular event I imagined it to be. The level of professionalism of the vendors who exhibit at this show can't be matched.

As an added bonus, the complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres makes for a great "girls" evening if you want to take your bridesmaids and the mom's with you. If you head out to this show, let me know what you think!


March 4, 2010

5:00pm - 9:00pm

ENJOY complimentary champagne & hors d'oeuvres prepared by OHEKA's Executive Chef, Chris Cappello.

MEET some of the most sought after professional bridal vendors on the East Coast.

TOUR the historic estate & gardens of OHEKA CASTLE.

VIEW magnificently designed wedding gowns and perfectly tailored tuxedos.

WIN a pearl tier wedding cake designed by OHEKA's Executive Pastry Chef, Daniel Andreotti.

Tickets: (Tickets are non-refundable)

$35 ADVANCE TICKETS (Purchase February 13 - March 3, 2010)


To Purchase Tickets:

Phone/Email: Contact Jennifer at 631-659-1400 x264 or


Monday, February 22, 2010

My Wedding Concierge

Congratulations to all you soon to be brides and grooms who were engaged over Valentine's weekend!

Now that you've said "yes" and the realization that you are now getting married is setting in, what's a girl to do to plan your wedding? I must say that since I was married in '08, there is now a wealth of information available on the Internet that wasn't there even a year ago. Bridal Blogs (like the Invite Couture Blog) provide brides with a wealth of up to date wedding trends and information that's totally tailored to bride's individual tastes. If you have a rocker style, there are rocker bridal blogs. If vintage is your thing there are vintage bridal blogs. You just have to know where to find them.

With the hundreds of wedding blogs out there, where does one start? One newer service to check out is My Wedding Concierge. My Wedding Concierge is a wedding blog search engine. It works kind of like Google but without having a bunch of non-wedding stuff pop up that you're not interested in. Creator Phyllis Cheung created My Wedding Concierge to be a weddings specific source for brides to find area vendors.

My Wedding Concierge also has an iPhone app! How awesome is that?! Now you can easily take your wedding planning with you wherever you find yourself on the go!

I wish wedding planning was this easy back when I planned my own.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Wedding Inspiration Board

I love that Valentine's Day this year falls on a weekend, giving us all more quality time to spend with our sweeties. Let's get this weekend off to a Valentine's Day state of mind with a Valentine's Inspired Wedding Inspiration Board!

Though I'm not usually a gal to migrate towards pink. In fact it's personally probably my most hated color choice, but I do think pink for valentine's day is a softer, more romantic color to bring in the holiday than red which just seems vampy to me. Pair it with lots of crystal, gorgeous handwritten calligraphy, satin ribbon accents and lots of candles and you have the recipe for a perfectly romantic evening.

Valentine's Inspiration

What are your plans this Valentine's Day? Not sure what my husband has planned for me, but he's never been one to disappoint or not surprise me in some crazy unique way. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wedding Trend: Proposal Photo Shoots

Sure, it's standard for couples to hire photographers to cover weddings. Always have and probably always will. Then, back not to long ago engagement photo shoots were all the rage and a trend that's here to stay. Now it's pretty standard for couples to book an engagement session in addition to their wedding.

I absolutely LOVE this new trend I'm starting to see all of my photographer friends do... proposal photo shoots!

Grooms to be, if you're about to ask your girl to share her life with you this coming Valentine's Day, definitely consider this option. Lots of photographers are now offering packages where they will document you popping the question. They document the before, during and after. The results are a lovely memory of one of the most special moments of a couple's life.

A special thanks to Alecia Lauren and Sharon Bushman for sharing these fantastic images of their client's most special moment.

So what do you think? Is this trend a keeper?

Name three important things to consider when starting a stationary/paper goods business :)Also: What is the best part of being your own boss

Wow, what an awesome first question to receive! Here would be my top 3 tips when first starting out in the stationery business.

First, would be (and I was guilty of this myself) is it's actually spelled "stationery" and not "stationary". I had even myself designed my entire website with the incorrect spelling, and am thankful a well respected stationer I was following on Twitter pointed it out to me. As she told me if you want to be considered a professional in the business you have to spell what you create correctly. Initially I took offense to her pointing that out to me but now in hindsight I'm very thankful she did and consider it the best piece of advice given to me while building my business.

Second, is to do your research and create a relationship with a really great printer (granted you are not purchasing your own equipment and doing it yourself). I tried a few different professional printers before I found one who's work makes my designs look amazing and who provides me with great customer service. Remember when building a relationship with a printer that you will be bringing them repeat business, so really developing a good professional relationship is key.

Third is not to send out or produce any designs you create that you are not 100% in love with. It's not fair to your clients and it's not fair to you. Kind of like how chef's in a kitchen will not put out a dish that isn't 100% up to their standards I feel the same goes with stationery design (or any kind of design for that matter). Adhering to this will allow you to put out designs that max your creativity and build a fantastic portfolio.

What's the best part about being my own boss? I love that I know that I am accountable for my own actions. That as long as I put the time and effort into it, it will pay out for me. Another thing that's special to me about now being a business owner is I'm 3rd generation in my family to be one. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and it feels great to me to do the same in a business that reflects my passions and personality.

Ask me anything

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meat Free Mondays

OK, so I'll preface this post with stating I'm 100% aware this has absolutely nothing to do with weddings, events or any kind of stationery or paper product. I did want to post about it though considering my own personal stance on global warming, as well as how it's an important part of Invite Couture's business model to be as green as humanly possible.

I love Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop newsletter and the one that went out this past week really interested me, so I wanted to share it. It talked about a new initiative called Meat Free Mondays. Meat Free Mondays is a movement to educate people about the environmental, climate-changing impacts of the factory farming industry, specifically with meat production. A quote from the organization's website notes:

"Many people are unaware that livestock production is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than the entire transport sector."

The thought is if everyone chose to eat at least one meat free meal a week, it could make a huge impact on global warming. I love that this approach doesn't preach that everyone should become a vegetarian, which I honestly do not believe is for everyone, but instead give the idea of how one small sacrifice a week can make such a huge difference in our lives and future generations.

If you still don't think you could give up meat even just for that one day a week, I highly recommend watching the now Oscar nominated documentary Food Inc. At minimum it helps to know where you're food comes from (both livestock and produce) so you can make the choices right for yourself and your family.

What do you think of Meat Free Mondays? Will you and your family participate?

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