Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Forget about Traditional Wedding Gifts

Forget about Traditional Wedding Gifts! Create a Down Payment Wedding Registry Instead

gifts wedding.jpg
Are you heading to the altar soon? Nobody likes to think about it, but as a bride and groom, it’s your job to make sure you get the best wedding gifts to set up your life as you head into the future as a happy married couple.

Truthfully, many of us already have a home filled with dishes, pots, pans, and every other traditional gift that friends and loved ones give. Since you do not need any of this stuff, wouldn’t it make more sense to raise money for a down payment on your future home instead?

Many of today’s soon to be married couples need to rethink creating a traditional retail wedding registry, or in many cases, multiple registries. And the couples that are using their heads are thinking clearly and creating down payment wedding registries and pointing their loved ones and wedding guests in that direction.

Why Create a Down Payment Wedding Registry As Opposed to a Traditional Gift Registry?

There are a number of great reasons to go this route. Some of the most simple and straightforward explanations are as follows:
  • The couple realizes that they are going to need additional funding in order to achieve their down payment goals.
  • Couples already have their future home picked out, but lack a plan to get the money for a down payment.
  • Instead of working for the next five years to save up enough money for a down payment on their future home, couples are getting creative and using Plumfund to create a down payment wedding registry.
  • Couples are looking for better ways to involve their friends and family members in this huge, life altering purchasing decision. Friends and family are always willing to help those in need, and this is especially true when it comes to one of the most important couples in their life.

How Much Money Should Couples Expect to Receive When Creating a Down Payment Wedding Registry?

At the end of the day, there are going to be a number of different factors that play into the amount of money that you’ll receive. But the average estimate from one crowdfunding website specializing in down payments says that the average registry brings in between $8000-$8500.
As you can clearly see, this is a huge benefit for the future married couple.

And the down payment registry can pay for other home related expenses as well. It’s not limited to paying a down payment. In fact, if there is additional money available after the down payment is covered, the couple can also use this money to pay real estate agents and other closing costs.

Creating a down payment wedding registry might seem like a crazy thing to do, and some of you might not feel comfortable asking for money in lieu of traditional wedding presents. If you’re serious about buying a home after you‘re married, this might be the easiest and fastest way to come up with cash for a down payment on your future home. Please keep this in mind when creating your wedding registry.

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10 Budget Friendly Ideas for Your Wedding

  1. Limit your guest count
    Photo by JoeyPhoto
    Opt for a smaller, more intimate wedding with your closest friends and family. Organize your invite list into different categories such as family, college friends, friends from home, co-workers, teammates, and acquaintances. Consider sending out invitations in different waves.

  2. Pick a date
    Photo by JoeyPhoto
    Instead of choosing a Saturday in the middle of wedding season, save some money by considering having your wedding on another day of the week like a Friday or a Sunday. Also, the winter months are considered the off-season, but you can still have a fantastic wedding if your venue is indoors.

  3. Hire a wedding coordinator
    Angie and John-14 Cake and Cutting-0002.jpg
    Photo by France Photographers
    These professionals have already done the research and have relationships with local vendors that can help you save on costs. Their experience in the industry and their connections will save you a lot of time and hassle. A wedding coordinator knows what works and what doesn’t and can brainstorm ways to work with your budget.

  4. Photo Booth pictures are fun favors
    Photo by XOXO Wedding Studio
    Everyone loves taking fun photos! Guests can take their photos home as a keepsake and you can enjoy looking back at an album of all the funny pictures your guests took. You can look into hiring a photo booth or if you are tech savvy, you could create your own photo booth station too! Get imaginative with backgrounds, signage, and accessories!

  5. Save Trees and Save Money
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    Instead of sending out traditional Save The Dates and Invitations, consider sending your invites electronically. You save on the cost of paper goods and stamps, and you’ll also likely get a quicker response. Paperless Post has elegant templates for online invitations and can also collect and organize RSVP’s and addresses.

  6. Enlist your florist or rental company for help with decor elements
    Photo by XOXO Wedding Studio
    Love those mason jars or sparkling chandeliers that you saw on Pinterest? You don’t need to buy those items yourself, florists and rental companies already have an inventory of these items. Let the professionals set up the decor for you so that you don’t need to stress about any DIY projects on your big day.

  7. Choose a Venue that has it all
    Photo by XOXO Wedding Studio
    Having the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all at one venue moving from space to space allows for a nice flow for the evening. You’ll save on transportation costs and time that vendors need to set up in multiple locations. When you are searching for the perfect venue, be sure to inquire about whether they already have tables, chairs, and linens included in the price. Be sure to choose a venue that matches the style of wedding you are going for.

  8. Homemade Desserts
    Photo by JoeyPhoto
    See if your talented family and bridal party can help bake goodies for dessert. You can have a variety of homemade cookies, brownies, and cake at a more affordable price! These delicious goodies can also double as favors for your guests. Prepare some cute goody bags for any leftovers to be taken home.

  9. Be a savvy shopper
    Photo by JoeyPhoto
    Brides often post wedding decorations such as table runners, signage, and centerpieces on sites like craiglist.org at a discounted price. Sometimes you can even negotiate and bargain for the best price. Another great way to save is to shop for your wedding dress at a resale shop such as Dahlia Bridal where dresses can be found for 40-70% off!

  10. Create a registry at Honeyfund

    Don’t have a use for any more toasters and toasting flutes? Ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund if they would like to gift something to the newlyweds. Your wedding guests will be happy to send you off on an unforgettable honeymoon.

Bio: Sonya’s organization, attention to detail, and passion for helping others is what makes her an excellent wedding coordinator. She enjoys getting to know each couple and learning each unique love story. Sonya loves that every wedding and event is unique and she works hard to bring out each couple’s personality and style. Sonya plans and coordinates weddings in Southern California. Please visit www.eventsbysonya.com for more inspiration!

10 “Ways to WOW” Wedding Details

When thinking of standing out in a sea of similar weddings, look no further.  We’ve surely got you covered with the top 10 “ways to wow” wedding details, guaranteed to knock the socks off your guests.

1.  Arrival Cocktails

I know it sounds silly, but even an infused water beverage (think spa water), a mimosa (for brunch style weddings), a champagne (for evening weddings) or a nice glass of sparkling cider is sure to be a hit.   As guests arrive via valet, or walking into the venue, a greeting with a butler passed cocktail makes your guests feel special, and gets them in the mood for a relaxed ceremony.

2.  Beverage “Station” Bars

While on the topic of cocktails, why not “wow” your guests with something different than the standard open bar.  These beverage bar ideas are starting to become trendy for weddings and bridal showers alike.  They can include alcohol or an option for those who would rather stick to a non-alcoholic beverage.  Below are our top 10 ideas!
·      Mimosa Bar
·      Bourbon Bar
·      Craft Beer Bar
·      Bloody Mary Bar
·      Sangria/Prosecco Bar
·      Lemonade Bar
·      Iced Tea Bar
·      Infused Water Bar
·      Juice Bar
·      Hot Cocoa Bar

3.  Midnight Snacks

Surprise your guests with a midnight snack or “aftertizer”.  Here are some great ideas for options, sweet and savory!
·      Food trucks
·      Donuts in a bag
·      Mini sliders, pizzas, grilled cheese points, hot dogs and fry shooters
·      Cookies and milk
·      Pancakes and syrup
·      Popcorn
·      Chicken and waffle bites

4.  Fun Transportation

Offer your guest some local fun transportation in style.  Trolleys, electronic carts, charter boats, buses, horse and carriage.  The options are endless!  Keep them on their toes, and arriving on time and in fashion.

5.  Social-ize

Bring your social media to life, and invite your guests in to take photos and capture fun memories from their eyes.  Place your social media hashtag at fun spots like the bar, the candy buffet, the DJ booth, the gift or guestbook table.  You can even have your band or DJ announce it in the opening announcements.  Always fun to spend your honeymoon looking through all the fun photos that your family and friends took.

6.  Hospitality Boxes

Welcoming guests to your wedding is of utmost importance, as most travel from other states/countries to attend your event.  It is only proper to greet them accordingly.  A kit full of some decent sized waters, custom soaps, a few snacks, a bride and groom favorite, along with a personalized welcome note and itinerary would be practical and perfect!

7.  To-go parting gifts

Instead of a typical inexpensive wedding favor like a bell or a glass coaster, why not send your guests away with a fun, memorable treat like a mini emergency or hangover kit?  Here are some ideas to place inside of them:
·      Visine
·      Mini bottles of Advil
·      Airborne packets
·      Emergen-C packets
·      Band aids
·      Bloody mary mix
·      Small vodka bottle
·      Personalized sunglasses
·      Hangover pills
·      Ginger ale
·      Tums
·      Gatorade
·      Pepto Bismol
·      Protein Bars

8.  Hire a babysitter/host games for the kids

Hire a few babysitters based on your guest count of those with children. Utilize a room close to the reception space so that parents can pop in on their children often throughout the long evening.  Make sure you have a cute basket of snacks, a few fun DVD’s or portable DVD player, some board games, and crafts.  If you have an outdoor space, you can even host a fun relay of games for the kids (tiring them out), and then have a back up room for them to relax.  Parents will love you!

9.  Secret singers/musician

Have you ever been to a ceremony where random secret musicians or singers popped up in the crowd of guests and sang to the bride and groom; awed the people?  This is an ideal surprise for large weddings.  Think of the movie Love Actually--having a group of musicians/singers serenade you and your new spouse to the tune of your most favorite songs.  You can even have them seated in the reception as guests and secretly have them pop up during a silent time, possibly during first or main course and croon for your crowd.  What a memorable small secret suggestion that will be spoken about for years to come!
(personal photo, Simply Couture Weddings)

10. Setup reception with pre-planned necessities

Forecasted rain?  Have umbrellas ready on site. Forecasted swell of heat? Have fans and parasols ready. Forecasted freezing temps?  Have pashminas ready.  Always prepare early, and wow your guests with items already thought of to ease their minds, and make you the superstar couple.  Here are some great details guaranteed to impress:
  • Bug wipes
  • Sunscreen bottles
  • Restroom emergency kits
  • Flip flops for the dance floor
  • Slippers upon exiting
  • Tissue packets for ceremony
  • Mini water bottles for warm ceremony locations

Simply Couture Weddings is an award-winning boutique event planning firm located in Palm Beach, Florida, specializing in the art of detail.  Their premium featured work has been published in many publications and online blogs, including the popular Style Me Pretty blog, Munaluchi Bride and Trendy Bride magazines, and Grace Ormonde Wedding Style.  They have been awarded for The Knot’s Best Of Weddings in 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Their genuine devotion for their clients is something that sets them apart in the overwhelming wedding industry.