wedding Costs
How Much Does A Wedding Really Cost?

How much does a wedding really cost?? The number one question my couples ask me! During our very first phone call we discuss wedding budget. Majority of the time this is when my couples say, “well, I’m not really sure how much these things cost!” or “we were thinking about a $30,000 wedding budget, do you think that is enough for a tented wedding?”

Determining your wedding budget is extremely important, it really comes down to how much you can or are willing to spend on your wedding. Whether you have $20,000 or $60,000 it is still a budget but, you also have to be realistic and understand that some of your wedding dreams might not happen depending on your set budget. With the world of Pinterest and all the ideas and imagery out there it can really get your heart set on something but you may not have any clue how much it would cost to do 150 place settings like the ones you love. This is where hiring a wedding planner can be the best investment because we can maximize your budget while still making sure your day is what you have dreamed of.

wedding Costs

So, to answer the question, How much do weddings really cost? My answer is, they cost a lot, a lot more than you think especially when you determine your absolute musts. And, once you start making decisions and signing contracts your money goes very quickly. Your biggest expense will be the venue, food and beverage, which is roughly 45% of your budget. For example, meals range from $80 – $200 per person just to give you an idea and multiply that by the number of guests you plan on inviting. If food is super important to you, this is when you decide to have a smaller wedding. You will realize as you go through the planning process that you will have to make many compromises and as a wedding planner we will help guide you in the right direction and give you plenty of options for you to chose from that will ensure you will have a magnificent wedding day!

Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner
Tented Weddings vs. Venue Weddings!

There was a question I shared in last week’s post, “We were thinking about a $30,000 wedding budget, do you think that is enough for a tented wedding?” Remember this?! Well, today I wanted to chat more about Tented Weddings vs. Venue Weddings because there can be a huge cost difference depending on a few things, such as the location of the venue and type of venue.

I think every bride should hire a planner all the time but especially for tented weddings! Tented weddings have a lot of moving parts and so much planning and execution goes into them. Think of it like this… with a tented wedding you are literally bringing in every component a venue has to the property, kitchens for caterers, the structure, tables, chairs, glassware, silverware, linens, sometimes even restrooms and electricity (just to name a few!). And, when you are bringing in every component that can get extremely costly depending on your wedding design, details and musts! You really need to think hard before signing a venue or tent contract because you need to weigh all the pros, cons, costs and number of guests you plan on inviting. Always remember, the more guests you invite the higher the cost!!

Here’s a few planning facts about Tented Weddings and Venue Weddings:

Tented Weddings

  • These types of weddings can be extremely costly and depending on your guest count, wedding style, needs and must-have details a starting budget is roughly $40,000-$50,000. Like I said above you need to bring in every component of a venue but this could also depend on the location of the tent. If it is a property you have to rent they may or may not have restrooms, kitchens, tables, etc for you to use. If you are having the tented wedding at your property or a family member’s property, are they going to allow 150 guests to use the only two restrooms in the house, is their kitchen large enough for a catering team, do they have enough electricity to power everything? You need to ask these questions before settling for a tented wedding. Having a planner to guide you and plan the logistics for you can be extremely worth your while because we know all the questions to ask and the answers!
  • Coordinating the tent arrival along with all deliveries and pick-ups! With tented weddings all vendors and deliveries have to be coordinated properly according to when the tent actually goes up and is coming down. That’s a whole bunch of people you need to prepare logistics for.
  • Weather!!! When will you be having your tented wedding?! If it is during hurricane season or late fall you have to think of plan B situations and products you may have to put on hold in case it is colder out than expected like heaters. You will never know the weather and as planner’s we always have a solution to any tented wedding.
  • Permits! Did you even know that?? Yes, you have to pull a tent permit and every town has different rules and regulations. Some towns are tougher and stricter than others so make sure you plan for this and have all the proper paperwork.
  • Lighting, you can’t be eating in the dark!!! Remember every component which also includes lighting for the tent. Tent companies will have their own inventory of lighting but then there are also specialty lighting companies that will come in and hang gorgeous chandeliers! And, guess what… That was my very first job out of college, I worked for a tent decor company in Newport, RI designing and decorating tents! So, I have probably done about 150 tented weddings as a decorator, designer and planner to date!!
  • Trash Disposal, I bet you didn’t think of that either! Depending on the location of the tent you may have to hire an outside source to come and collect all that wedding garbage because what couple wants to be cleaning up and throwing away trash at the dump the following day of their wedding!! Gross!
  • Liquor! Depending on your caterer they will supply the liquor for your wedding or you will have to hire a liquor company to deliver on the day of your wedding. If you don’t have a caterer to figure out roughly the quantity you will need for your guests then you will have to figure that out. I typically average 1.5 drinks per hour per guest!

Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner

Venue Weddings

  • Depending on the type of venue and location of the venue the cost can range from $1,000 – $60,000!! There are some gorgeous venues out there!! So, in some cases maybe a tented wedding could potentially be less expensive than a Newport Mansion wedding. Again, the cost all depends on your guest count, wedding style, needs and must-have details. The venue typically, but not all cases, has tables, chairs, linens and tableware but you may not like the chairs or linens and want to rent your own.
  • If you use all the tables, chairs, linens and tableware a venue wedding may be the way to go budget wise because they also may already have an in-house catering team, kitchens, restrooms, lighting, trash disposal, etc. that a tent doesn’t have.
  • Weather!! You have less to worry about other than not being able to take pictures outside if it is downpouring but you will have a roof over you and your guest’s heads without the wind swept rain coming in through the sides.
  • Venue weddings seem to have a little less logistic planning than a tented wedding which can be less stressful if you are planning your own wedding without a planner. But, depending on the venue you may be bringing in all your own rentals and may need the help of a planner to coordinate and set up.
  • Venues will have enough room to have cocktail hour in a separate room where a tented reception you would have to either pray for good weather and have an al fresco cocktail hour or rent another tent which comes at additional cost.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit better now how involved tented weddings can be and even venue weddings depending on a lot of various factors. I also hope that this post got you thinking about hiring a wedding planner and how beneficial we can actually be to you and your wedding!! I mean, I could go on and on with more planning facts but if I gave all my secrets away I wouldn’t be in business!! Haha! 🙂

All Photography is by my fabulously talented friend, Annmarie Swift Photography!

Some other amazing vendors we love featured in the images:

Nectar, Newport Tent, and Rentals Unlimited

Cocktail Friday – Jalapeño Peach Margaritas!!

Happy Friday!! TGIF everyone!! I am not a huge tequila fan except if it’s Milagro Silver mixed into a tasty margarita and then I am definitely a fan! I crafted up these Jalapeño Peach Margaritas today and boy, oh boy were they yummy! It was the perfect hint of heat and the fresh peach puree was just lovely and refreshing.

So, here is the recipe:

Jalapeño Peach Margaritas

makes one delicious cocktail! 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of frozen/fresh peaches sliced
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 lime wedges (3 if you want one for a garnish)
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper sliced
  • 2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce peach liqueur
  • club soda
  • ice & a muddler

Directions

Place the peaches and water in a blender and liquify. Place your sliced jalapeños and lime wedges in your glass and muddle until you can smell the flavors.

Fill glasses with ice, then add in your tequila, peach puree, peach liqueur and top off with club soda and give it a quick stir. Garnish with another lime wedge and jalapeño slice

Enjoy!!

 

Ten of the BIGGEST Wedding Planning Mistakes You Must Avoid!

Let’s face it — Wedding planning can be quite overwhelming, stressful and flat out crazy for brides and grooms! There are SO many mistakes that you could make during the planning process and I have compiled my top 10 biggest mistakes that must be avoided!!

Planning weddings probably is not your full time job and certainly not your part time job, so it’s hard for you to understand the in’s and out’s of the industry! There is a reason why wedding planners exist, you just have to find the right one that clicks with you because we all have different styles of planning, design and personalities. Go on a consultation and find out more information on us before you just assume you can’t afford one or you don’t want anyone involved in planning your own wedding because you think you can plan it yourself however, we love to keep our couples involved in all the “fun” parts of the planning process. We are a huge asset to you and your wedding (which I will explain more on another post!!).

1. Not Hiring a Wedding Planner or Coordinator!!

We do a lot behind the scenes especially the day-of your wedding!! We not only ensure a smooth and fun wedding planning process and create a wedding that is perfectly tailored to you as a couple. But, we also are quite the powerhouses on the day-of your wedding so you won’t have to worry about one thing because this is your day and we want you to enjoy every moment!!! We take care of set-up, make sure everything is on schedule throughout the day, problem shoot any issues that arise, breakdown and cleanup too! And, if you think your venue coordinator is going to be as detailed as us, your wrong (and that is another mistake you are making from the start!! Check out this post for a little information on the difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator!).

2. Not Setting a Budget!

You absolutely need some idea of how much you are willing to spend on your wedding even before purchasing that gorgeous white dress, the venue, a planner and your photographer! Everything adds up so quickly and if you don’t have a planner managing your budget you can easily go over board!!

3. Booking a Venue Before Creating your Guest List!

What if you book a venue that has a max capacity of 100 people and you then create a guest list of 200!!! That won’t work and you can’t back out of that contract because you most likely put down a non-refundable deposit!!  Create your guest list first my friends!!

4. Booking Vendors Based on Price Only!!

This could end up in a disaster! If you think your going to get amazing photos from a photographer that costs $500 for the entire day, think again!! Or your going to work with an amazing wedding planner and eat delicious food that costs $500, think again!! If you are looking for cheap you will get cheap results, it is just the way it is! There are areas where you can spend less and then you can add more to other important categories but if you don’t have money for a wedding my suggestion is to keep it very small and intimate or elope but make it beautiful, it’s your wedding day!

5. Taking Too Much Time to Make a Decision!

You fell in love with a venue, a photographer, a planner but took 2 or more weeks to make a decision… they may have already booked your date in that time you hesitated!! If you love your vendors right from the start and you have a great feeling about it just do it! Sign the contract and put that deposit in other wise we will not reserve your date and can book someone else and we book up fairly quickly. In New England there are some coastal venues that are fully booked for 2016 and are already booking for 2017… Crazy I know, but you need to be quick with your decisions!

6. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time for Planning!

Just like my statement above — vendors book up quickly and can already be booked a year out… if you decide you want to get married in a 3 months or 1 month it may be very difficult to book the vendors you love. Take your time, and plan the wedding you want and dream of.  There really isn’t a rush, enjoy your engagement and the planning process, if you love each other now you will love each other a year from now; Well, I would hope so! 🙂

7. Not Having a Rain Plan!

You are having an outdoor ceremony, al fresco dining under the stars and the forecast shows rain on your wedding day… What’s your plan B?? You need to have one already in place months prior to your wedding day!!

8. Not Letting Your Vendors Do Their Jobs!

You paid these vendors good money to do their jobs — just let them do it!! They are professionals, right?! They know what they are doing especially if you hired them for their portfolio and expertise!

9. Not Really Reading Over Those Contracts!

If you don’t have a wedding planner to read over your contracts before you see them to ensure they are correct and there isn’t anything there you shouldn’t be signing, then the both of you need to read them over and make sure you understand what you are signing!! You are paying a lot of money for vendors and rentals, you need to know the facts.

10. Not Feeding Your Hardworking Vendors!

Basically, you need to feed the vendors that are there during your wedding, the wedding planner and their team, photographer/s, DJ/Band, etc. We all work very hard and long hours during your wedding and it is proper etiquette that you feed us one meal!

Seaside Nautical Bliss Inspiration

I am beyond excited to share some news!!! Captivatingly Chic is finally (after a few months break) planning and designing another editorial shoot with two fabulous ladies, Annmarie of Annmarie Swift Photography and Shannon of Shannon Cronin Photography! This will be a collaborative effort and our friends, Leslye of Sparkling Occasions and Kendal of Kendal Beard Photography will be helping out too!

I met these wonderful ladies through the recently created group, Rising Tide Society! I am so glad I joined in on all the fun because I now not only get to work with these amazingly talented ladies but I am happy to say they are new found friends!

So, we are in the beginning stages of planning even though this shoot is practically around the corner but I am confident we can pull together a stunning and dreamy work of art! I am eager to get things started and put together a powerhouse team! We all decided on an stylized engagement shoot and a wedding design around the classic nautical style on the North Shore of Massachusetts, so I put together this inspirational board, calling it a Seaside Nautical Bliss wedding!

How to Make Your Out-of-Town Wedding Guests Welcome!

I was recently asked about how to welcome out-of-town wedding guests and what the proper etiquette is… It is your job, as the couple to welcome your visiting guests because they are spending time and money traveling to attend your wedding, it is just “plain, old” proper etiquette, my friends! And, it isn’t very difficult to do either. You want to make sure your guests are as comfortable as possible for them to have an enjoyable visit.Majority of the time you will have some, if not all wedding guests (depending on the wedding destination) traveling from out-of-town and you need to welcome these guests with a few essential details that I am going to share with you today!

1. One of the simplest and useful things you could do for your guests is to provide a wedding itinerary!! Let them know everything that’s going on, locations, times, what to wear, who is hosting the events, etc. You can either send this out on an adorably designed card after the invitation is mailed out and/or provide this information on your wedding website. Let them know hotel details, car rentals, suggest things to do or see in their spare time in between events… And, if these guests are hopping on a flight to get to your wedding location, they probably will make a mini-vacation out of it, so it is even nice to give them a little travel guide!

2. Welcome Bags!!! These welcome gifts can be put together easily and can fit into any couple’s wedding budget! You will need to get a list from your hotel of how many guests have booked rooms in your room block and/or find out from your guests where they are staying so you can drop-off your welcome bags for the hotel management to place in each room. These welcome bags should coincide with the location or your wedding style… find fun items that come from the surrounding area, for example a wedding in Rhode Island you may place some Del’s Lemonade in your welcome bags. Items should consist of another copy of your wedding itinerary, travel guide/map, a couple of beverages (non-alcoholic or alcoholic), a snack or treat, recovery kit (Advil, Emergen-c, etc.), a welcome or thank you note and lastly any important phone numbers, this is where you can give guests a family member’s and/or the wedding planner’s phone number for wedding related questions.

3. The night of the rehearsal dinner… It is typical that you would invite your out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner even though it isn’t obligatory. If you do not have it in the budget to invite your out-of-town guests to dinner you still need to plan some kind gathering or cocktail party while you and your wedding party are rehearsing or at dinner, a friend or family member might offer to host this.

4. A post-wedding brunch is definitely a must!! A brunch is the perfect send-off before everyone bids farewell and a more relaxed way to spend those last moments and reminisce of last night’s wedding festivities.

I hope these tips help you understand the importance of welcoming your out-of-town guests!!