Weddings: When to Spend & Where You Can Save

miami day of wedding coordinator

Let’s talk about the elephant in the chapel: money. Weddings are expensive! There, I said it. Every bride I’ve met, myself included, walked into the wedding planning process resolved to spend efficiently and not waste a cent. But as expenses accumulate, many brides start looking for ways to cut corners. This is natural!

As an experienced Miami day-of wedding coordinator, I’ve helped dozens of brides around South Florida and have a few tips on must-have wedding investments as well as some ways to curb your costs.

Where Should a Bride Never Skimp?

  1. The Floral Test: Flowers are the backdrop to your wedding and likely to appear in just about every picture. Once you’ve selected your florist, be very specific about what you want. Talk with him or her at length about your taste, style and inspirations, and have a floral test built into the budget. This will give you a chance to see your flowers in person and be sure they’re exactly what you want.
  1. Hair & Makeup Test: Do a test run of your hair and makeup plans with the actual stylist and makeup artist you hired for the wedding. The last thing you want is to be sitting in a chair hours before the ceremony and realize that the up-do or eye shadow you envisioned just aren’t working!
  1. Your Pictures: As a Miami day-of wedding coordinator, I tell all my brides that great photography is a must-have, and that they should invest in the best possible photographer they can afford. Oh, and pick a timeless photo style – one that will look fresh for decades to come!

 

How Can Brides Save Money?

  1. Party Favors: You made them cry. You fed them. You got them drunk and now they’re dancing the night away. Chances are, a parting gift for every guest won’t have a big impact on anything except your wallet. Give them a hug and a wave!
  1. Printed Menus & Programs: Printing is critical for things like invitations and place cards, but printed programs and menus can be a needless expense unless you’re having a five-part royal wedding or a seven-course meal. Your guests don’t need to know what’s in store; let them sit back and see what’s next.
  1. Liquor & Food Upgrades: Caterers price their packages very strategically. The gap between basic and middle is significant, and no bride wants to feel like she’s giving family and loved ones the minimum. But the step from middle to premium is smaller, so it feels doable – but just a little more per person can put a lot of stress on your budget. Top-shelf liquor, a better entrée, fancy coffee – these all sound great, but if they’re just out of reach, leave them there. Your guests will still have a wonderful time!

 


 

Danielle Ondarza CiprianiDanielle Ondarza Cipriani is a day-of wedding coordinator in Miami and the owner of A Love for Detail. Need assistance or have wedding questions? Email alovefordetail@gmail.com.

 
 

5 Reasons You Need a Day-Of Wedding Coordinator

There’s that moment in the mind of every bride-to-be where she thinks, “I can just do all of this myself!” From organizing her vendors to cueing the DJ, she imagines that she can do it all while looking fabulous on one of the most overwhelming and important days of her life.

If you’re newly engaged and having this thought, I’ll bet it’s either early in the planning process and you’re still buzzing with wide-eyed enthusiasm, or late in the planning stages and mounting expenses are making you think DIY is the answer to everything. Trust me: one of the best investments you can make in your wedding day is a day-of wedding coordinator.

5 Reasons You Needs a Day-Of Coordinator

 

Calendar

1. IT’S MORE THAN JUST DAY-OF

“You cost how much for a day’s work?” In reality, a good day-of wedding coordinator starts working about a month before your event. She gets to know you, your plans, taste and style, and ensures that all of this comes to life on the day of your wedding. She can help with vendors, contracts and more, so that by “I Do” Day, she knows exactly what’s supposed to happen at every minute.

 

2. WHO’S RUNNING THE SHOW?light

A wedding isn’t just a party. It’s a choreographed event. Think of it as a day-long stage production with sets, music, lighting, sound, and a cast of sometimes hundreds, all of whom have lines to remember, cues to take and marks to hit. A good day-of coordinator is a live action producer who knows how to keep everyone organized and on their mark, so each scene flows effortlessly into the next.

 

3. EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING

Your day-of coordinator will be the only person involved in every aspect of your wedding day who’s been through this many times before. The DJ isn’t worried about whether the caterer started on time, and the florist can’t line people up for the procession. Friends and relatives will offer to help, but don’t let them! Free assistance always comes at a cost. Tell them to go have fun and leave the work to a professional.

 

kit4. AVOIDING MURPHY’S LAW

An experienced day-of coordinator will have seen it all. Personally, my “day-of emergency kit” keeps growing. It’s filled with a million little tools and tricks in anticipation of the little things that can go wrong on your wedding day. From thread to stain remover, bandages to aspirin, being prepared for everything is the name of the game.

 

5. IT’S YOUR DAY, SO ENJOY IT!

Beyond any other reason, a day-of coordinator buys you mental freedom on your wedding day. You turn the dance over to an experienced leader, close your eyes and go with the flow. You should be utterly relaxed and confident on your wedding day, certain that everything will go perfectly, and that if something does happen to go wrong, your professional day-of coordinator is there to solve the problem before you even notice. The only things you should be DIY-ing on your special day are laughing, dancing and making memories for life.

 
 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for. 2013 was a very good year to me. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful set of parents, a funny and supportive husband, and the type of best friend who will go out of her way to help you succeed. (Thank you so very much, Melina)

That being said, as I started to envision our Thanksgiving table, my mind wandered to Thanksgiving Weddings. What a wonderful day to have a wedding! You could have a traditional, big, Thanksgiving meal. Have all your loved ones who you are thankful for around you… it just seems perfect.

Take a peek at some of my favorite Thanksgiving Wedding ideas on my Pinterest Board.lace pumpkin

 
 

Say “yes” to Proposal Photography

In the last few years, proposal photography has become pretty big! For those of you who may not know (and for any one who might be proposing soon, ehm, ehm) this is where the “asker” hires a photographer to take photos of the actual proposal taking place. It takes a lot of coordination to pull this off correctly.  (See what I mean?) My one disclaimer – do not do this if you are not 100% sure the other will say “yes”, can you imagine the heart break otherwise? Eeekk.  Its also very nice to do it when the proposal isn’t expected. I personally think this is a great idea, you catch the true surprise, emotion, joy, and love in a moment that can never be recreated.  It’s not essential to have, but its a nice bonus if possible. Below are two pictures of a dear friend Jeremy asking his girlfriend (now fiance) Carina to marry him. He asked her on March 29th at City Dock (pier) in Annapolis, MD. I can’t help but smile when I see the pictures, they truly are beautiful. It’s like peeking into a moment of pure happiness. Carina1 Carina2

Photography by: Mike B Photography

 
 

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