Do I need to give party favors to my wedding guests?

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The tradition of giving a gift to partygoers dates back centuries. Way back when, these wedding favors might have been silver, candied almonds, or lace love knots. A wedding was considered a lucky occasion, so these gifts were symbolic of the hosts passing their good luck on to their guests. (Source)

Party favors can seem like such a waste of money, especially when you look at your total wedding budget. In comparison to other, high-ticket wedding items, a party favor can seem like the easy item to cross off the list. So, do you really need to give party favors to your wedding guests?

The short answer is: No, you don’t. The longer answer: Party favors are a nice gesture, allows you to tell a bit more about your love story, and can create an extra element of fun to the party!

Party favors are a nice gesture.

When you take into account all that your guest had to do to attend your wedding…buy an outfit, devote almost an entire day to your event, possible time off work, travel time and expenses, buying a wedding gift and possible babysitter expenses…a party favor doesn’t seem like such a waste of money after all.

Tell your love story.

A party favor is a great way to extend your wedding theme or tell more of your love story! Choose a favor that represents a key moment in your relationship. Tell this story on a tag attached to the favor or in a beautiful frame on the favor table.

An extra element of fun.

Your party favor doesn’t have to be in a tiny cardboard box! Hire a photo booth and give photo strips to your guests. Or have a full dessert buffet to offer your guests a sweet ending to the evening!

Will people be upset if you don’t give them a wedding favor? Probably not. Will they appreciate the extra special touch if you do? Absolutely! So, if you can squeeze it into your budget, spring for it. But, if your budget needs some extra wiggle room, forget it and have a great time with your guests!!


Want me at your disposal to answer the tough questions like this? Send me a message!

Deciding your wedding budget

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Deciding your wedding budget and how to adjust for new items

Congratulations on your engagement! Deciding your wedding budget is one of the first decisions you should make after telling the most important people in your life that you are engaged. If you work through it and make some tough decisions in the beginning, then making decisions along the way will become more rational and less emotional. Whether it is just you and your fiance, or a third party added to the mix, it’s important to establish the ground rules from the start. Consider this practice for your marriage! My husband and I have budget meetings every 2 weeks and it has transformed how we speak and think about our money.

Who is contributing to your wedding budget?

If someone else (like a parent) is contributing to your wedding financially, it would be beneficial they can give you details of the offer. Details how much? Lump sum or installments? Will they give you the money or will they pay directly?

Who will be responsible for the decisions?

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

Will it be 50/50 between the two of you on everything? Will you have more input in design choices and your fiance on the menu? Let your experience and your expertise guide you here. For example, if you are naturally good at numbers, offer to keep an eye on the budget. It would be a nice gesture to ask any third parties contributing to the budget if they would like input on any decisions. They can also be the tie-breaker in case you two can’t agree on something. (Just make sure they are really able to make a neutral decision!)

What is important to you?

When you decide your budget, you should also rank the budget items in order of which are most important to you. This will help you make decisions if you need to adjust the budget as you start spending. Let’s imagine you’ve budgeted $4000 for your wedding dress, but the dress you fall in love with is $7000. The only wiggle room in your budget is to pull funds from catering. If you’ve ranked these things in order of importance from the beginning, you should have no problem making the decision whether to buy the dress or not!

Include some padding.

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

There is always something unexpected that comes up with a big project like planning a wedding. A budget item might be a lot more than you expected or you see a new fabulous idea for your reception and just have to include it! My suggestion is to include 5-10% of your budget as a buffer or padding. The larger your initial budget is, the higher the percentage should be. This padding will make those unexpected items much less stressful! And, if you don’t need it, then, yay you for coming in under budget!

Hire someone to help.

Deciding your wedding budget | Christa Graham Weddings & Events| Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

Of course, the easiest thing to do is hire a wedding planner that will help you determine your budget and allocate those funds. A wedding planner can also help you make decisions and be a neutral tie-breaker. With Christa Graham Weddings & Events, you have full control of your money paid to vendors. You never have to worry about handing over your entire budget to me. But, I will help you make decisions and remind you when vendor payments are due!

For a price list and more wedding planning and budgeting tips, click here!

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Wedding Budget | Wedding Budget Tips | Ann Arbor Detroit Michigan Wedding Planner

When someone else is paying for your wedding

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It is such a blessing to have someone contribute monetarily to your wedding! Chances are, it’s a parent or grandparent who has set aside a chunk of money just for this occasion. As happy as they are to contribute, things can become weird and awkward when money is involved. There are some things you can do to prevent any tension or guilt creeping into your relationship because of money. Before you spend a dime of it, here are 3 questions to answer when someone else is paying for your wedding.

 

1. What does this money pay for?

Does Grandma really want to buy your wedding dress? Is she not too happy about the open bar at the reception? Maybe she doesn’t care and doesn’t want a say at all in what her money pays for. In that case, great! As long as that is established at the beginning of budget planning, you’ll avoid any frustrating conversations later.

 

2. Who makes the decisions?

Does the person contributing to the budget also get to contribute the decision making? Does he get to make any decisions regarding your wedding? If not, consider asking him to be a third, tie-breaking vote in the case of a disagreement between you and your fiance. He might appreciate you including him, even in this small way, in appreciation of the gift.

 

3. Is it a gift or a loan?

Speaking of gift…don’t assume it is one. When someone contributes money to your wedding budget, make sure the terms and conditions are clear from the start. You don’t want to enter your marriage with unexpected debt! If you do decide to take a loan from someone for your wedding, decide on the repayment terms right away. Write them up and have the involved parties sign so the repayment terms are clear to everyone. Even if it comes from family, taking a loan is a business transaction and should be treated as such. (And remember, you can always politely decline to accept a loan!)

Answering these three questions ahead of time will hopefully put a stop to any awkward conversations later…after you’ve spent the money! Hiring a professional wedding planner that can help you navigate your unique scenario is also a good idea. If you are in the Detroit or Ann Arbor, MI area, I would love to speak with you and see how I can help plan your wedding!

 

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