Wedding Wednesday- Biggest Bang for Your Buck

Happy Wedding Wednesday, everyone!

weddingwednesday

 

This week on Wedding, Wednesday, we wanted to offer several ways to stretch your money as far as you can. These ideas are great for any couple, no matter your budget; because who doesn’t want to save money?

  • Uplighting– This morning on our Facebook page, we shared uplighting ideas. In case you aren’t familiar, uplighting is the use of different colored spotlights (or other lighting equipment) to add color to a space and highlight specific areas. Uplighting is also one of the least expensive ways to completely transform a room. If you have a big space to fill, it can get expensive to buy all of the draping or other decor needed to make the room look complete. By utilizing white as a base color for linens and chair covers along with candles, mirrors, and or crystals, you can use uplighting to make to make the space look any way you want. The best part is most DJ’s offer upgraded packages or add-ons to their packages to include uplighting. Often times these packages range between $199 and $299, whereas more decor to fill the space could cost more than double or even triple. Here are some great pictures of uplighting transforming a room:

uplighting 1

Photo From: Superlative Events

uplighting 2Photo From: Seward Park Tech

  • Reusing florals– Flowers can be extremely expensive, especially when you want specific flowers or have a large space to fill. One of our secrets is to work with florists to create floral arrangements for the ceremony that also can be used in the reception space. We recently had a couple who had mason jars filled with flowers hanging from shepherd hooks down the aisle. The flowers and mason jars were then used as centerpieces on the tables along with candles. The same couple also had a floral spray as part of their altar decor that they placed on the escort card table. The couple saved almost $2,000.00 by choosing multi-purpose arrangements!

shepherd hooksPhoto From: Personal Photo

  • Beauty School Hair and Makeup– There are beauty schools across the country and many are looking to give their students additional experience. Right here in Chester County, we have several schools that offer one day a week where you can come in and get your hair cut, colored, and styled for pennies on the dollar. I know it may sound a little scary, but they have expert hairstylists working with them on every move, so you know someone who has truly mastered the art of hair is making sure you leave there looking nothing less than perfect. For your wedding, you can contact the schools to set-up hair and makeup trials and day-of services. For a professional stand-alone company, you might pay over $300.00 for your hair and makeup, whereas going through the school will save you around $200.00.

hair and makeup

Photo From: True Photography

  • Friday or Sunday Dates– If you are open to getting married on a Friday or Sunday, many venues offer packages that cost as much at 30% less!! Not only will you save money on the venue, but many other vendors (DJ’s, Caterers, Photographers, etc) offer discounts for days other than Saturdays as well. While there are some important factors to keep in mind, such as out-of-town guest travel, having a Friday or Sunday wedding may allow you to book your dream venue and stay within or under your budget!

fridayPhoto From: Pinterest

What other ideas do you have to help save money? Contact us today for more great money saving ideas!

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The World of DIY

D.I.Y. This acronym has the ability to delight and terrify even the most experienced and savvy crafter. There is just something about your own wedding that makes D.I.Y projects 100x more overwhelming.

The “Wedding Machine” will show you pictures of miles of handcrafted bunting, perfectly painted mason jars, paper flower bouquets that look so sweet and simple. Pinterest will give you the impression that EVERY couple in the ENTIRE world carefully crafts every little of their wedding and that if you don’t, your wedding isn’t good enough or on their level.

Well, we at Events by Victoria Lee are here to tell you this just isn’t true! There are plenty of couples who turn to Etsy to get special touches or hire/enlist friends and family to complete the tasks. There are also just as many couples who don’t D.I.Y or purchase anything handmade and have a spectacular wedding that everyone talks about!

We previously discussed how important it is for couples to enjoy the planning process. We truly believe it is important to have a realistic conversation and decide what elements are truly important to you as a couple and what actually have the time and resources to tackle on your own. We advise our clients not to take on more than one project per month- and if you are making your own invitations, to allow yourself two months to complete them. If you do finish your project early and have time, then you can start another project, but it alleviates the pressure and the the unknown of what is next.

For each project, ask yourself this simple set of questions to help you determine if you should D.I.Y, Buy, Or Forget it.

  1. How much will this project cost me? (Factor in supplies, tools you may need to purchase, and shipping. For invitations, don’t forget to include postage on for each invitation AND RSVP Card)
  2. How much time will this project take? (This is a question you can ask your Wedding Planner and family and/or friends. Weddingbee is also a great resource as many of the participants are very invested in D.I.Y and they provide tutorials, tips and tricks, and give you a good idea for how long things take to complete. Don’t forget to consider what your time is worth!)
  3. How much would it cost me to buy the item or purchase it partially finished for me to complete? (Sometimes it really is less expensive to purchase the item(s), so don’t just assume that because it is D.I.Y that equals cheaper! You can find great deals on Etsy, Wedding Bee Classifieds, and Tradesy (Formerly Recycled Bride).)
  4. Do I have experience and skills related to the project? (If you are really good with design, but not as good with stamping and embossing, perhaps you could consider designing and printing your invitations, but having a friend or outside source complete the embossing for you.)
  5. Is this a crucial element to the design of the wedding? (For example, the stained jars for the centerpieces may be more important than the homemade frames for the dessert table.)
  6. Is this something we have to have or would we be okay with something else? (Maybe you would really like a homemade origami crane backdrop for the ceremony, but you also love the  idea of a ribbon and lace backdrop. While they both may have similar costs, the amount of time saved doing the ribbon and lace backdrop may allow you the time to complete other projects.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to enjoy every second of being engaged and not feel overwhelmed to the point of wanting it all to be over (believe us, this happens more often than you would think!!!).

With that in mind, here are three great touches you can easily DIY or purchase to add a little touch of homemade to your big day:

1) Custom Monogram Stamp- you can purchase the stamp and add it as a personal touch to your invitations, escort cards, drink napkins, and so much more!  You can change all of the details about the stamp to really make it your own and it truly is a very simple way to add flair to anything for your wedding!

monogramPhoto From: Rubber Stamps

2) Pressed Flowers- Want a design that adds dimension to your paper products, but don’t want to pay a fortune to buy it or spend a ton of time pressing flowers in books? The Microfleur is the perfect solution! It is a microwavable and reusable flower press that allows you to use the flowers the same day you press them. You can even press foliage. Add the pressed flowers to table numbers, programs, ceremony and reception signs, or escort cards for a beautiful look that takes very little time! Available on Amazon for only $27.99, it is definitely well worth the investment!

pressed flowersPhoto From:  Pinterest

3) Olive oil and herb infused favors- These favors are a huge hit at any wedding as men and women both love them. They are thoughtful and simple to whip up. Simply purchase fresh herbs like rosemary, garlic, and thyme and add the herbs and olive oil to a beautiful bottle. Add a ribbon, bakers twine, or a tag and you are all set. Every time the guest uses the oil to cook, they will be brought back to your special day!

olive oil

Photo From: Martha Stewart Weddings

Do you have some great DIY ideas? Let us know! You can also Contact Us to schedule a free consultation so we can help make your dreams come true!

2014 Wedding Trends- Colors

There are so many exciting trends headed to the wedding world in 2014 and we can’t wait to share them all with you! Today, however, we want to focus on the cornerstone of trends, which are the colors.

This season, we have seen blue growing in popularity. Blue is the “color of trust”, so it is no surprise couples love to work blue into their color palettes. In 2013, the shades of blue we have seen have been very light and airy to compliment the ever so popular vintage theme. Next season, however, deeper blues will be taking over in the form of midnight blue and royal blue.  A monochromatic deep blue theme will also be topping the trends list.

midnightblue1Photo From: I Wedding World

Blue is so trendy for next season, it is considered the new black of the menswear world. Many attribute the soaring popularity of blue menswear to the James Bond movie Skyfall that featured Bond himself in blue suits and tuxedos.

JCrewNavyTux-600Photo From: GQ– Tuxedo from J. Crew

Warm-toned fall colors, such as yellow-undertoned reds, sunflower yellows, and tangerine, will be huge in 2014. Because of their warm undertones, the colors will easily be adapted for use during any season. Using any of these sunbaked colors will add warmth and depth to any color palette.

stellar-events-pic-sunbaked-colors

Photo From: Pinterest

2014 will be the year of clashing colors and patterns, and simplest way to bring it all together is to utilize grey as an anchor color. Grey allows you to use bright pinks, warm reds, rusty yellows, carrot oranges, and deep greens, all together without it looking mismatched.

greyPhoto From: Pinterest

2013 showed some serious love for the avocado shade of green, and it will continue to maintain popularity going into the 2014 wedding season. What we love about avocado green is it’s rich and earthy tones- lending itself perfectly to the vintage theme that continue to gain in popularity in 2014. Mix avocado green with goldenrod and you have a very ethereal and rich color palette.

Avacado

Photo From: Elizabeth Anne Designs

2014 is going to be a year of rich warm colors and amazing patterns, which we will feature a preview of later this week. What do you think of the 2014 color trends?

Interested in finding out more about the upcoming trends? Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation!

Celebration Friday!- Bridal Showers

Happy Friday, everyone! You know what that means,

friday-i-love-you1

Last weekend was a beautiful bridal shower for my best friend and it was simple and beautiful. Sometimes, the best parties are not focused on over-the-top decor and themes, but rather on capturing the moment and the love.

So today, we thought we would showcase some sweet and simple Bridal Shower ideas!

Simple Bridal Shower 1

Photo From: We Heart Parties

This Bridal Shower is so warm and inviting; it is easy to picture a room full of family and friends celebrating a special day. We love the multi-colored bunting and touches of yellow and green that make the otherwise neutral palette pop! The babys breath is fresh, light, and adds a touch of whimsy to the display.

Washi Tape Tea LightsPhoto From: Something Turquoise

Finding a unique, simple, and inexpensive favor is always difficult, but these DIY washi tape tea lights are a great choice! Simply buy tea lights and various colors and/or patterns of washi tape then, cut, apply tape, fold the edges, place in a tulle circle, tie-off with some matching baker’s twine, and voila! These would also be great decor items for the shower itself.

Cupcake toppers

Photo From: Joyful Weddings and Events

If you want to serve cupcakes, but are looking for a simple way to add some pizzaz, cut out the first initial of the first name of the happy couple and a “plus” sign, glue to toothpicks and stick into cupcakes. You could also purchase the letters at a local craft store. This is a great place to add some removable color and sparkle to the cupcakes that won’t leave the guests with a multi-colored tongue!

Food DisplayPhoto From: Pinterest

The food display is an opportunity to make a beautiful statement at the shower. We just love how the vegetables have been cut up in long strips and placed in different glasses with the dip in a big martini glass. Finger-sandwiches are perfect for a bridal shower; you can make several varieties without adding too much cost. The candy display is also a great addition to the table.

InvitationPhoto From: Etsy

Sometimes simple is better, and these invitations definitely say classic and sophisticated! You want to make sure the invitation matches the feel and tone of the shower, so it is important to shop around for the perfect invitation. We absolutely love Etsy (for so many reasons!) for their designers that allow you to print your invitation from home. You pay a small fee for them to design it and once it is exactly how you want it, they e-mail you the file, and you can finish them at home! This saves on the cost and allows you to add a personalized touch before sending them out.

Looking for more great Bridal Shower ideas? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!

Weekly Feature- August 1st- August 8th- Venues

Over on our Main Page, we are featuring venues from around Southeastern, PA that we think are unique and offer amazing options for couples planning their wedding.

Here is the weekly feature!

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This week on “Weekly Feature” :

Venues!

We are already working on several beautiful weddings for next year and all of our couples are very focused on the venue. Over on our Blog, we gave you 10 great tips for selecting the perfect venue, so we thought we would showcase some of our favorites from around the area on our Weekly Feature.

First Up:

Chester County’s: Downingtown Country Club

The Downingtown Country Club is tucked into the woods in Downingtown, PA, and while it is close to everything, it feels like it is in it’s own world. Everything about the Country Club is beautiful- from the grounds, to the building, to the layout of the ballroom, to the landscaping in the outdoor ceremony area. One of the best things about Downingtown Country Club, besides the service, is that they offer all-inclusive packages for your planning convenience. Their packages include; food, alcohol, ceremony site options, cocktail hour site options, reception, linens, cake, centerpieces, discounted hotel rooms and transportation through a nearby hotel, and amazing service. Victoria Lee can personally attest to the fantastic experience you receive at DCC as she and her husband were married there. They have packages to accommodate all budgets and are willing to work with you throughout the entire process to ensure a perfect day. Check out their website here: Downingtown Country Club

Downingtown CCPhoto From: Weddingbee

Delaware County’s “The Old Mill”

Speaking of gorgeous places that feel like they are in their own world, The Old Mill  in Rose Valley is a hidden gem. Not only does The Old Mill offer an indoor ceremony option, but they also have 3 unique outdoor ceremony locations. They have a gorgeous ballroom and tented courtyards that are heated and cooled for year round use. There are so many couples who would love to have an outdoor ceremony but are nervous that in the event of inclement weather, they won’t have an indoor option that is as beautiful as the outdoor. The Old Mill has made sure everything about the property, both inside and out, is equally breathtaking and it can be customized to fit any theme or wish. They also work with award-winning Conner Catering for food, so you know you will not be disappointed. Check out The Old Mill here: The Old Mill  and Conner Catering here: Conner Catering.

The Old MillPhoto From: Main Line Events

Philadelphia County’s: “The TRUST Venue”

Another incredibly unique location, The TRUST Venue is elegant, historic, and modern, rolled into one. The building was originally constructed as a bank in 1902. Eventually, it was sold in the ’70′s to a church to act as housing for people visiting from all over the world. Perhaps most notable in recent memory, this building was home to the MTV reality show “The Real World” in 2004. Since then, several million dollars in renovations have made this venue one of the premier choices for couples getting married. Another huge plus is the in-house catering, making this the perfect venue for couples who want to have everything in one place.

TrustPhoto From: TRUST Twitter

 Lancaster County’s: Drumore Estates

We all know The Great Gatsby theme is spreading like wildfire, and hidden in rustic Lancaster County is the Drumore Estates. This home is truly something out of The Great Gatsby. The 70-acre Estate features numerous mature gardens, fountain gardens, beautiful views of the Susquehanna Valley, and a 16,000 sq. ft. home. The back of the home is tented for the reception and you have numerous options for ceremony location. If you can dream it, you can make it happen at the Drumore Estates! Their full-service, in-house catering makes this one of the premier wedding venues. Check out their website: Drumore Estates

Drumore EstatesPhoto From: Leslie Gilbert Photography

Montgomery County’s: Normandy Farm and Hotel

If you love history, you will absolutely love the Normandy Farm and Hotel. Originally started in 1730 on 68 acres, the land and  property structures have grown through the years while being bought and sold by various families until it was bought in the early 90′s by the current owners, Hansen Properties, Inc. The historic buildings and barn have been restored to their former glory. The property includes the hotel, the barn, a country club, and a beautiful golf course, among other structures. Offering both indoor and outdoor options with all-inclusive packages, the Normandy Farm and Hotel is a very special link to the area’s rich history.

Normandy Farm HotelPhoto From: Candid Moments Photography

Bucks County’s: Holly Hedge Estate

There are so many things to love about Holly Hedge Estate, but one of our top reasons to love HHE is the true ability to customize your ceremony and reception to fit your needs. Indoor or outdoor, Holly Hedge offers multiple options for ceremony and reception locations. Their all-inclusive packages can fit any need and their 15 private guest rooms give bridal party and family members easy access to the events. You and your guests are treated like royalty with valet parking the moment you set foot on the beautiful grounds. HHE feels like a secret garden, which is perfect for one of the most important days of your lives. The old English Charm of Holly Hedge Estate is sure to please, so check out their website: Holly Hedge Estate

Holly HedgePhoto From: Rebecca Barger

Interested in learning more about any of these venues or having us help you make your dreams come true? contact us today for a complimentary consultation!

Finding a Venue- Wedding Wednesday (on Thursday!)

I apologize for our silence the last few days! We have been having an issue with our posts, but it was finally corrected this morning.

We are back and ready to go with several posts for you! Today, we wanted to add another post to our series on about finding the right vendors, so we are going to be talking about selecting a venue. Let’s pretend it’s Wedding Wednesday for a moment, shall we?

weddingwednesday

Selecting a venue is one of the most important wedding decisions you and your significant other will make. The venue sets the tone for the entire celebration and is therefore the foundation for every other decision you will make. We know just how frustrating finding the perfect venue can be, so we wanted to share a few tips with you.

1) The very first thing you should do is determine what your budget is for a venue. The average cost in our area (Southeastern, PA) is close to $14,500.00. We want to stress that there are numerous venues for less! It is just important to set a significant portion of your budget aside for a venue. Whether it’s $1,000.00 or $20,000.00, you should be setting aside about 30%-35% of your total budget for a venue.

2) Once you have your budget figured out, you and your significant other need to decide if you want to have your ceremony and reception in the same place, or if you want to utilize 2 different locations. Many couples are choosing to have their entire event at one location as it saves on costs for transportation, décor (you can use florals or elements from ceremony decoration at the reception), photography (less time spent traveling = fewer hours you need a photographer), and overall venue cost (many venues discount or give you the ceremony location and chairs for free when you book an inclusive package).

3) Next, you should determine what you want from a venue. We recommend our clients consider the following points and rank their importance:

  • All-inclusive package (florals, cake, food, alcohol, linens, chairs, ceremony space, etc)
  • Ability to bring in outside vendors
  • Freedom to decorate
  • Location
  • On-site caterer
  • Aesthetics
  • Parking
  • Price
  • On-site contact person
  • Who handles set-up (do you want the venue to do it or would you rather you or your Wedding Planner decorate)
  • Who handles tear-down (do you want the venue to do it or would you rather you or your Wedding Planner tear-down)
  • Time-limit on site use
  • Ability to customize package

4) Once you know your budget, how many venues you need, and what is most important to you and your significant other, it will be simple for your Wedding Planner to give you a list of venues that fit your criteria. If you do not have a Wedding Planner, you can use sites like The KnotWeddingbee, and Wedding Wire to help you narrow down your search.

5) If you are going to have two different venues, we recommend you plot your various options on a map to help you determine the logistics of choosing a certain venue. You want to consider proximity to the ceremony location, the time of day (think traffic), cost of the venue vs. additional cost (for example- it may be better to pick the venue that costs $6,500.00 instead of the of $5,000.00 venue if you will have to spend an extra $2,500.00 on transportation to shuttle guests and the Bridal Party around), and proximity to the hotel (if you won’t be providing transportation to the hotel, you will want to consider guests’ ability to get back safely).

6) Do a lot of online research! Read reviews, extensively review their websites, and look for albums from photographers who have photographed weddings there.

7) We recommend only contacting 5 potential venues via e-mail to start with. If you contact too many venues, it may get too overwhelming and potentially make your decision difficult. Ask the venues to provide details about what their packages include and the items you ranked as most important to you (bringing in outside vendors, onsite catering, set-up/tear-down, etc).

8) Keep an eye on how quickly the venue responds, how willing they are to give you information, and if you get an automated response or an actual e-mail from an employee. While there is nothing wrong with an automated response, you may be looking for one-on-one interaction and how a venue handles the initial contact is typically a good indicator as to how helpful they will be during the planning process. Also, it is our experience that a venue that is unwilling to give you any information via e-mail before you come take a tour either is going to be very expensive or has a lot of restrictions on events they allow. While neither one of these things may pose an issue for your wedding, it is something to keep in mind.

9) Select three venues to set up tours with. If possible, try to set up a tour the morning of another wedding, so you can see the venue in action. A lot of times it can be difficult to imagine the full-potential of a space when it is empty. Take note of how receptive they are to you and how many questions they ask you. Venues that are committed to their clients will want to get to know them and their wedding well. Also, take a list of important questions with you so you don’t forget anything and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions! If they won’t give you specific answers to your questions, don’t be afraid to push for answers. After all, this is your wedding and you need to have all of the facts to make the best decision. Make sure you get anything additional they offer, like free ceremony space and chair rental or an additional hour of reception time at no additional cost, in writing! We have had clients who have had venues make promises, but never written it down, and then not follow through.

10) Once you have toured the venues and gotten all of their package information, you Wedding Planner can help you narrow down your options even further. Don’t forget, Wedding Planners may also be able to negotiate add-ons at no additional cost or discounts, so it is absolutely worth having a Wedding Planner! Once you have made your decision, be sure you sign a detailed contract as soon as possible so you don’t lose the date.

We want close out this post with 3 of our favorite all-inclusive venues in the area:

1) The Downingtown Country Club in beautiful Chester County- Their packages include; food, alcohol, ceremony site options, cocktail hour site options, reception, linens, cake, centerpieces, discount and transportation with a nearby hotel, and amazing service. Victoria Lee can personally attest to the fantastic experience you receive at DCC as she and her husband were married there. They have packages to accommodate all budgets and are willing to work with you throughout the entire process to ensure a perfect day. Check out their website here: Downingtown Country Club

100_0335Photo From: Personal Photo

2) In Delaware County, we love The Old Mill in Rose Valley at Ridley Creek State Park. They have numerous options, with 3 unique outdoor ceremony locations, a gorgeous ballroom, and tented courtyards, this venue can be customized to fit any theme or wish. They also work with award-winning Conner Catering for food, so you know you will not be disappointed. Check out The Old Mill here: The Old Mill  and Conner Catering here: Conner Catering.

The Old Mill

Photo From: Main Line Events

3) In Philadelphia, there is nothing quiet as unique as The TRUST Venue. Located on Arch Street, this venue offers unique, elegant, breathtaking, and classic all in one place. They have so many options that you can truly turn this venue into anything you can dream of. We highly recommend you check out The TRUST Venue if you are planning a wedding in Philadelphia at: The TRUST Venue

TrustPhoto From: TRUST Twitter

Need some help finding your dream venue? Contact us today for a complimentary consultation!

Last Week’s Weekly Feature

In order to archive our weekly features over on our Main Page, we will be posting them here as well.

Here is last week’s weekly feature:

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This week on “Weekly Feature” I wanted to showcase my Sister-in-Law’s gorgeous wedding. Lauren & Mo are a beautiful couple who wanted to have a fun backyard wedding with a pig roast. The wedding was held June 22nd, 2013 in her parents’ backyard in Downingtown, PA. The Photographer was High Image Photography and all of the pictures below are compliments of HIP, unless otherwise noted.

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All of the simple details made their big day sparkle and shine. Some of my favorite details were the homemade olive oil and herb favor bottles, the mismatched China, and all of the signs around my in-laws’ property that made it special.

What I love most about this wedding, besides the gorgeous couple, is that there was no real “theme”. The whole day fell under the “Backyard BBQ Wedding” umbrella, but it was everything the couple and family loved all put together into one fabulous event. This just goes to prove that a  traditional or trendy theme is not at all necessary to have a beautiful wedding.

A lot of people think “backyard” equals easy, but I think anyone involved in this wedding would tell you it was truly a labor of love and a lot of (fun) work! What made this wedding so unique and special was all of the love and little details that went into every part of this wedding. Family, friends, and neighbors all came together to make this day a success and it was spectacular.

Another huge hit at this wedding was the band. A lot of times, it is difficult to book a wedding band that will keep people on the dance floor all night long. Sometimes everything they sing sounds the same and it gets boring or sometimes their repertoire isn’t deep enough to please the crowd. Lauren and Mo hit the nail on the head when they booked The Fair Trade for their wedding. The Fair Trade is an Irish Rock Band, but don’t let the label of “Irish Rock Band” fool you. These guys played the Beatles, Mumford & Sons, Elvis, Flogging Molly, Men at Work, Rolling Stones, John Mayer, and everything in between. Once the party started, the dance floor was packed all night. In fact, the band stayed longer than expected because everyone was having so much fun. When you are looking for a great wedding band, go to several of the band’s events to get a feel for their style and variety before you book!

Thank you to Lauren and Mo for allowing me to feature their gorgeous wedding this week. If you have any questions about the vendors they used,  or are interested in planning your own backyard wedding, contact us today for a complimentary consultation!