Wedding Budget Tip: Prioritize and Trim

Mother of the Bride, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking of all the expenses coming at you while planning a wedding. The whole process can start to feel like a runaway train you can’t seem to slow down. Soon you can find yourself engulfed in emotions like panic and dread instead of excitement and joy.

Here’s a wedding budget tip that can help: Prioritize and then trim. Talk with the bride and groom and have them decide which elements of the wedding are most important to them and  which elements are the least important. And then plan your spending from there.

Devote the bulk of your budget to the things the couple cares the most about and plan for minimal amounts to be spent on the others, possibly even forgoing some things altogether. If your daughter and her beloved want an amazing venue, a live band, and top notch photography, maybe they would be willing to have an hors d’oeuvres buffet rather than a sit-down dinner and scale back on flowers and favors. They might even decide they don’t need ceremony programs at all. You get the idea.

MOB, take the pressure off a bit—prioritize and trim. The results will be unique to your own situation and will help put the brakes on that runaway train, giving wings to joy instead. Why not give it a try?

*You might also like to read Budget Agreement with the Father of the BrideA Simple Wedding Expense Tip, Wedding Savings Tip: Borrow, Bridal Primping on a Budget, and Christmas Gifts for the Bride.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out this week. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) p.s. It is too late to get in on this issue’s giveaway, but if you subscribe, you will be included in all future Life Notes giveaways.

*Flickr photo by cafecredit, Creative Commons License

Preparation for Decorating Wedding Reception Venue

Mother of the Bride, one vital step in your wedding decor preparation is to visit the reception venue site. You probably visited it early-on with your daughter while selecting a venue, but now you need to go back and carefully survey everything with an eye for decorating.

Here are some things to take to the reception venue when you visit:

*The bride. This is her party, and you definitely need her input. Your job is to help bring her vision to fruition. As you visit the site with your daughter, you’ll both have ideas and can decide together which ideas to implement. Also, two sets of eyes are always better than one in spotting potential problem areas and making sure those are addressed before you arrive to decorate.

*Questions for the venue’s event coordinator. When you make your appointment to visit, make sure the event coordinator will be there so you can ask questions, gain his or her insight, and get advice based on what they’ve seen work well there before. Take time to compile a list of questions before you go so you’re not trying to think off the top of your head. (Lists like this are included in my book Mother of the Bride.) If you see any problems or things you’d like fixed or done differently than their norm, speak up and ask. They will generally try to accommodate if possible.

*Your MOB folder or notebook/journal. As you make your way through wedding planning, you’ll keep a folder and/or notebook of all the info and plans you’re accumulating. You may need some of that info as you talk with the venue’s event coordinator or as you brainstorm decorating ideas with your daughter. Be sure to take this all-important MOB folder/notebook with you. It will also give you a place to make notes during your appointment.

*Camera. Pictures of the site will be invaluable after the appointment since more ideas will come to you and your daughter later on. Pictures of the site will help you carry them out. Also be sure to capture a shot of the two of you during this stop on your wedding-planning journey. You’ll be so glad you documented this once-in-a-lifetime journey together.

*Tape measure. This is the time to record vital statistics like how long banisters or mantles are or how many feet of lights you’ll need. Measure everywhere, even if you’re not sure you’ll decorate a certain area. For example, if you ultimately decide to string lights around the windows, you’ll have the measurements you need.

So MOB, head out for your venue appointment armed with these items. You’ll not only have a successful planning day, but you’ll have fun with your daughter as well. Another win-win on the wedding front!

*You might also like to read Include Venue Signs in the Wedding Photos , Wedding Planning Tip: Ask for Price Breaks, and Get It In Writing.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out in early November. One lucky subscriber (new or current) will receive a $15 gift card to Starbucks and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride check out my Books/My Work page.

*Flickr photo by J. Aaron DelgadoCreative Commons License

Wedding Day Tip: A List for the Photographer

Mother of the Bride, today I have a tip on how to sidestep a potential disappointment with photos from the big day. Since wedding photography is one of the major expenses for the wedding, you definitely want to do anything you can to insure that both you and the happy couple will be satisfied with the once-in-a-lifetime photos from their special day.

One of the best things you can do to avoid disappointment with the photos is to give a list of must-have shots to your professional photographer. Don’t assume he or she will automatically take all the shots you think are standard. Don’t expect him to be a mind-reader, MOB. Some couples and their parents have a very traditional vision of what their photos should include while others want to take a more casual or photo-journalistic approach.

Be specific. Don’t just say family shots. List the specific family shots you want. Also be sure to tell him that in addition to the list, you want him to be as creative as possible and capture unexpected, fun, and tender moments whenever and wherever he can.

As you compile your list, MOB, think outside the box—think of some of the great photo opps that might present themselves at the wedding that are unique to you and your family and friends.The photographer will not magically know to take a photo of you with your very best friends. He won’t know that the newlyweds want a shot of all their college friends together.

Do a little photography preparation, MOB, and you’ll come much closer to being pleasantly surprised with the results instead of unhappy over missed shots. Take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime event—make your list!

*You might also like to read Wedding Weekend Photography Tip and Day Before Wedding Tip: Preview Flowers.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The new issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter with a giveaway in every regularly scheduled issue, came out in early August. It’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Hope this slightly revised encore post from Feb. 2014 has been helpful to you!

*Flickr photo by Elvert Barnes, Creative Commons License

Roundup: Popular Mother of the Bride Blog Posts

*While my husband is on vacation this month, I’ll be taking a blogging break. Hope this post provides you with lots of help, Mother of the Bride. You can also use the blog’s search feature as well as the drop down feature in the Archives to find posts you’re interested in. Will be back on August 7th. See you then!

Mother of the Bride, when I take a look at analytics for my blog visitors, I can tell which posts have proven to be most popular—which ones are clicked on most often as a result of Google searches or of blog links I’ve posted on social media. Very interesting to see what MOBs, brides, and others involved in the wedding planning process are seeking information on.

And what better time than a blogging break to share a round-up of some of the posts clicked on the most over the past few weeks, right? I invite you to drop in from time to time this month and spend a few minutes checking out the popular Mother of the Bride Blog posts listed below. Fingers crossed that some of them meet you at your current point of need. Blessings to you as you plan and prepare!

Introducing the Mother of the Bride Blog! 

Where to Find Your Mother of the Bride Dress

A Prayer for the Bridesmaids’ Luncheon 

Wisdom and Encouragement for the Mother of the Bride 

Savings Tip for Bridal and Bridemaids Bouquets

Wedding Thoughts from Anne Lamott’s Plan B

Mothers of the Bride Need Prayer 

Groom’s Cake Idea: Law Books (or any other books!) 

Wedding Resource: Prayers for the Mother of the Bride

Gift Idea: Prayers for the Mother of the Groom

A Prayer for the Newlyweds

*You might also like to read Bridal Bouquet Roundup, Wedding Cake Roundup, Wedding Registry Roundup, and Wedding Photo Ideas Roundup That Star the Groom.

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out August 1st. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.) 

*Photo by Will Flowers

Preprinted Labels For Use At Bridal Fairs

Mother of the Bride, today I have a tip to pass along to your darling daughter turned bride-to-be. And the sooner you pass it along the better. Why? She needs this tip before attending bridal fairs during the early stages of planning.

When your daughter goes to bridal fairs and wedding expos—and hopefully you’ll get to go with her—she’ll be asked to write down her contact info time and again. Vendors will be offering giveaways and special offers and she will need to list her contact info to qualify for them. Of course, there will also be vendors she leaves her contact info with because of her strong interest in their services.

Instead of repeatedly handwriting her contact info, tell her to bring along a sheet of small pre-printed labels that list her name, address, phone number, and email address. She will be so glad she did—and so will the vendors. From personal experience when signing and selling my books at bridal fairs, many times I can’t make out some of the handwriting that is left for me to decipher.

I actually got this idea from a bride at one of the bridal fairs where I was a vendor. When she whipped out her contact info labels, I saw immediately what a huge help the labels were. I complimented her for being so well prepared and was super excited when she was the one who actually won the giveaway I offered that day. She deserved it for making life easier for both herself and us vendors alike!

So pass along this idea pronto, MOB. It will be one more time your girl thanks her lucky stars for having such a great mom!

*You might also like to read Bridal Shows—Both Fun and Practical!

*For info about my book Mother of the Bride and also my Wedding Inspiration cards, check out my Books/My Work page.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, comes out next week. One lucky subscriber will receive a $15 gift card to Barnes & Noble and a signed copy of my book to use personally, give as a gift, or donate to a library. Sign-up is free and to the right! (If you’re on a mobile device, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click View Full Site to find it.)

*Flickr photo by Aurimas Adomavicius, Creative Commons License