Chicago Wedding Officiant, Rev Pamela has married hundreds of couple over a five state area. She opened her home Pine Manor as a wedding venue, and In 2014 she married 300 couples there. With this kind of experience, she has learned how to plan all aspects of weddings in as little as a few days notice. And now she wants to pass along these tips to the frugal bride planning an intimate wedding and reception for under 30 guests.
Small wedding checklist - How to save Time & Money
Getting deals for a small guest list is almost impossible these days. And planning for 30 or less guests is the same amount of work as planning a wedding for 300. Budget prices are often reserved for large numbers, unless you know where to look. Follow this wedding check list to help you stay organized and find the wedding deals.
1. Buy a journal. Get Organized. Write it down. It's important for any engaged couple to decide what elements of a wedding are the most important. And Make a list of the must haves and a second list of the would be nice to have. Cut back on flower order and printed materials. Plan a digital wedding invitation online instead of printing and mailing them.
2. Budget. Establish a budget before the guest list, and what type of events you hope will be included. Just the ceremony, and cake reception or did you want buffet or a sit down dinner? Do this together as a couple and make a savings plan when you would have that amount of money saved up. This will help you choose your wedding date. Most plans are 6 months to a year.
3. Wedding Date. Choose several dates that you would be good with. Fridays are often cheaper then Saturdays. Seasons will change the price too. Plan a morning wedding with eggs and bacon instead of the cost of a full dinner for the guests. Look for venues that have a wedding officiant included in house. These types of venues tend to cater to a small guests lists
4. One Stop Shop Party Planning. Planning your own or hiring a Party coordinator / planner. Time is money and also a ton of headache, expecially if its the first wedding that you're planning. A professional can save you time, and hopefully with vendor referrals money but also the headaches associated with the coordination. You need to weigh to pros and cons with your future spouse and decide.
1) Small unique venues often have a one stop shop approach to party planning using the same vendors and passing along discounts. Or doing all the work in-house themselves. Do your research, bed and breakfasts, and vineyards, beer gardens all plan parties too. When you're talking to these people, ask if they have contacts with officiant's photographers and musicians who will give you a discount for the referral.
2) Check prices - call more than a few to get comparisons on prices. Go back and negotiate asking your favorite vendors to come down to meet the lowest price quote your received. Business is hard to find and most vendors will negotiate to win your business.
5. Once you have decided if you're going to use a planner or do the work yourself, you need to finalize the venue. You can work with the venue by getting vendor referrals from them. Don't be afraid to say that you want a discount because they were recommended.
1) Local Landmarks, Libraries, Museums, Public Parks and Community Gardens can be beautiful backdrops for your ceremony or reception, but your rental fee goes towards maintaining the facility as well, so you can feel good about the expense.
2) Find a private home or vacation rental. Particularly for a smaller wedding, renting a manor can solve the problem of not only where the wedding is, but where guests will stay
6. Keep it local, small business, get referrals, and read reviews.
1) Use resources that you already have available to you. Everyone knows someone. Call local shops for ideas and referrals.
2) Be creative Inquire about rental costs at unexpected venues, such as local universities
7. Make Your Guests a Meaningful Part of Your Wedding Ceremony. When all is said and done, you and your guests will remember the experience more than the decorations.
1) Ring warming. Pass the rings to each guest who warms the ring with their love
2) Candle ceremony. Have the guests encircle you while you light the unity candle. At dusk they could all hold up a candle lit from your candles
3) Ask people to bring their favorite appetizer to share during the cocktail hour or ask them to bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share.
4) Have a computer set up for guests to share their photos
5) Get a friend to play DJ. download the music you want and spin away
6) Skype the ceremony to friends and family who can't make it. Don't forget to take a family photo
Source : http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/arlington-heights/community/chi-ugc-article-small-wedding-planning-tips-and-budget-weddi-2015-10-04-story.html