Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Destination Wedding

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be a GUEST at a destination wedding.  I don't remember the last time I was a "just a guest".  It was a blast.  The wedding took place in Carmel, California at the Highlands hotel.  I took one look a the place and said, "Why wouldn't you get married here?". 

It is set on the hillside amongs cypress trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean crashing into the cliffs.  The hotel was deocrated for the holidays with garland and poinsettias everywhere.  Oh yeah - and a GIANT tree in the lobby. 

The couple mimicked this look on the gazebo where they got married.  Intertwined in the gazebo structure was pine garland with white roses.  Also, hanging from the sides of the gazebo were cylinders with floating peonies.  It was a beautiful frame for the ocean backdrop for the ceremony. The rest of the flowers for the ceremony were stunning.  Take a close look at the bouquet bottom right.  Each of the daughters in the wedding had a cute bouquet of flowers, but cleverly tucked in was a Christmas Sucker.  Fantastic!

After the ceremony we headed indoors for a cocktail hour followed by an amazing meal in the wine room.  Yep, I said wine room.  Two walls are glass cabinets filled with wine [can you say heaven?].  The couple opted out of the traditional wedding cake for a fabulous dessert.  Peanut Butter + Chocolate.....yummmmmm!

Congrats to my cousin and his new wife!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How much does a wedding cost?

I love my job, and I really love it when I find information that makes my job easier!  I get the question all the time of what does a wedding cost.  Where I can see in my head and know what each item costs, it is nice to have backup and resources.

Today I was on a website that I heard about on and online forum.  It is  Because I live in Woodbury, MN I typed in our zip code and here is the result.

"On average, couples that live in Woodbury, MN 55125 spend between $31,821 and $53,035 for their wedding. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring."

So, where does that money go? Keep reading....

Wedding Planners
Even though there are many levels of service provided by veiled events, a good rule of thumb is to plan for 5% - 15% of your budget to go toward your wedding planners. Our packages run begin at  $500 {day-of coordinator} to $3,000 and up for full service.

5% - 10% of your budget.  O yes, the lovely and important wedding dress.  But what about the groom?  If renting a tux is part of your wedding, the groom usually receives his rental complimentary if the rest of the wedding party rents their tux from the same company.

{Krzystyna Harber Photography}
Food & Venue
50% of your budget.  This varies depends on the complexity of your menu and the location you pick.  Remember, time of year can impact the price of venue rental and having your event on a Friday or Sunday and save you significant money on your venue.

{Harriet Island Pavilion}

10% - 15% of your budget. This amount depends on both the total budget and what the bride wants. Some brides want a TON of flowers, others really don’t care for them, or if you don't really need decor flowers becuase your wedding/reception are in a garden location. Keep in mind that this accounts for all the bouquets, corsages, and centerpieces.

{Krzystyna Harber Photography}

15%-20% of your budget.  This is an area that is near and dear to our hearts.  You can't redo your photos and you can't recreate events so your photographer can "get a second chance".  Professional photography is priceless! You can hire a  cheapter photographer,  but what you may end up getting, grainy images, out of focus, no album. Photography, good, professional photography, should start about $3000-$3500 (and could go up to more than $5500). And you will have amazing images and priceless moments caputered for you to cherish for forever.

 {sara-jayne photography}
2% - 5%  This would be the entertainment. The band or DJ would come out of this percentage. A DJ, on average, is about $100+ per hour per person attending the job, so if you have 2 DJ’s then the price would typically be $175-$200 per hour.

And really, the rest is cake, and some miscellaneous items, invitations, really an extra 20%-25% of miscellaneous stuff.
Now you math people out there, I realize these aren't hard numbers, and don't totally equal 100%, but with all the variables, this is a really good guideline for your wedding.
Happy Planning!!!