Is The Beach Really The Best Wedding Venue For You?

You have most likely contemplated getting married on the beach at some point in your life, with the sun setting in the background and the waves lapping the shore. This is the idyllic view that we have in our minds, but the truth is that this is not quite what you will get if you have a beach wedding. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. Your day can be completely ruined in seconds by so many factors.

Beware Mother Nature

We all know just how volatile mother nature can be, but if you position yourself next to a beach, you are asking for trouble, simply because wherever the sea is, you are sure to find a climate that is unstable.

  • Wind. This is perhaps the biggest factor that can ruin a beach wedding, simply because it can stir so many things up at once. Firstly, the wind can bring about cloud cover that is unnecessary. This means that your sunny day can vanish in a heartbeat. It can also, of course, send tons of sand into your eyes and onto your dress. This is the last thing that you want on your wedding day. It can also make a lot of noise, resulting in the speeches and vows becoming very difficult to hear.
  • Natural elements. Sure, you can try to predict the tide and when it will come in, but we have all seen those wedding fail videos where the tide all but washes the bride and the groom away while they are posing for a romantic photo. You don’t want to be that bride who attends her reception in a wet dress do you? Thought not.
  • Climate. The climate at the sea can be warm the one minute and freezing the next. Sadly, there is no way to prepare yourself for this. On the day of the wedding, you will just have the dress that you picked. The last thing that you want is to be uncomfortable during on your special day, so rather just avoid the beach altogether.

These are just a few of the reasons why you should avoid getting married at the beach at all costs and rather pick a lovely country wedding venue. A country wedding venue can provide you with that same feeling of being ‘one with nature’ as you say your vows. You can also be sure that the surroundings will look amazing in pictures!

Wedding Budget Tips – How to Keep Wedding Expenses Down

Ten practical wedding budget tips that will help brides stay within their budget and keep wedding costs down when planning for their outdoor wedding.

1. Pick a breathtaking location. Wedding by the lake, sunset wedding on a beach, wedding ceremony in a botanical garden — the possibilities are endless. You don’t need to worry about how to decorate the place. Mother nature already did it for you!

2. Determine a set number of guests that you want to invite and keep to your list. Invite only immediate family and intimate friends. This is a big factor in keeping your wedding costs down and stay within your budget.

3. Make your own wedding invitations. Look online and browse for Do-It-Yourself wedding invitations or you can go to your own local craft stores. You can also choose to make your own wedding invitations from scratch. My husband and I did our own. It was very involved and took a lot of time but it was worth it. Our guests were greatly impressed. Most of all,it helped us a lot to stay within our wedding budget.

4. Keep your centerpieces simple but elegant. Make them yourself, it is not hard. You can check for ideas from local craft stores. Look online for great deals, check eBay and other auction sites. Oriental Trading is a great place to start looking. They offer great items for so much less cost.

5. Look for inexpensive wedding favors. If you are getting married during spring or summer, you can have flower seed packets as favors. Another unique idea for favors is a personalized bookmark with a written poem, quotation or Bible verse that has a significant meaning for you and your bridegroom.

6. Buy a wedding gown that is on sale. Get one during off wedding season (usually September to February) when the bridal stores are slashing their prices to make room for new inventories. Another option is to look for wedding gowns at online auctions like eBay. Try looking at classified ads too. Be open and try other avenues. Don’t think that, just because you did not get your wedding gown from a wedding boutique, the quality will be less.

7. Pick the bridesmaids dresses from a retail store as opposed to a wedding boutique or bridal stores, it is a lot less expensive. Your attendants will appreciate it too, since I am sure they have their own budget to consider also.

8. When setting priorities in planning for a budget, wedding pictures and video usually top the list. Most couples do not want to skimp on this. Be wise when choosing your photographer and videographer. Since you are going to have an outdoor wedding, make sure that whoever you choose is very experienced and can work with natural lighting. Ask to see a previous client’s pictures and videos for proof of their work.

However, if pictures are not a priority for you and you don’t want to pay too much for these services, then another option is to go to a local campus or university near you and ask a photography major student if he/she would do the service for you. Students charge a lot less than the professionals. Just be cautious and make sure that you are getting a good one. Ask if they can show you their portfolios.

Placing a disposable camera in each table for the guests to use during reception is another source of wedding photos. Just don’t expect high quality pictures. From my experience, the resulting photos sometimes show poor quality, depending on the lighting available. If used outside with good outdoor lighting, the results are good. Pictures taken indoors show poor quality due to lack of good lighting.
bridal car

9. Rent a classic car or a convertible instead of hiring a limousine for a bridal car. Have a friend or family member have the privilege of chauffeuring you around. This could cut down a lot on your overall wedding costs.

10. Have your wedding events all in one place. Pick a nice country club for the wedding reception, set-up the wedding ceremony in their professionally landscaped lawn (they usually have gazebos too that you could use as a place to exchange vows) and have all the wedding party’s photos in the same place too. This would save you a lot of time and effort, not just for you but also for the guests. After the ceremony, the guests can then proceed to the country club for cocktail while the wedding party can have their professional photos taken. Also, there will be no need to worry about providing transportation for the attendants since everything is done in the same location.

If followed, these wedding budget tips can really cut down your wedding costs significantly. There are a lot more ways that you can do to stay within your wedding budget, especially if you are willing to compromise. Be creative, think outside the box.

10 Ways to Have a Perfect Destination Wedding

1. Go On a “Try before you buy” Mission:
If you can afford it, travel to the area and resort you are considering for your destination wedding. It is good to see the exact location and area in person. You can check out the resort to make sure it will meet all of your guests and your needs and wants for your wedding. You can try out the food, check out the service, meet with the wedding coordinator, and possibly view another wedding going on. Once you are there, you may find a different resort you like better. You can always get a day pass, around $150dollars, to other resorts and check those out as well. You may like or not like the local area the resort is in for activities and excursions you want available for your guests to experience. I always recommend using a destination wedding designer in your planning, because they can guide you to a destination and resort that would be perfect for you, arrange the travel, and set the appointment with the wedding coordinator so that you can meet with her, and scope out the venues.

2. Think About Doing a Symbolic Ceremony:
There are a lot of legal requirements when you get married in another country. Usually there is a short window that you have to legally be in the country you are going to get married in. The average is two to three business days, plus all the paper work. You can avoid all the paper work, by getting married at by a JOP, and then all you need to do is bring your marriage license with you to the resort, and you can get married with a “symbolic ceremony” it really still feels like the same thing! I recommend using a destination wedding designer to help you figure out what the legalities are to get married in the countries you are considering. When it comes to anniversaries, you can either pick your legal date, or symbolic date, or some couples celebrate both. Usually they will celebrate small and private for one date, and do something larger for the other anniversary date. Hey, I am always looking for a reason to celebrate!

3.Carry On Your Dress:
Never, never, allow your dress to be put in checked baggage. There are too many things that could go wrong, and have gone wrong when a wedding dress has been put with the checked bags. Your dress should be in a protected garment bag, and may need to be folded. Some airlines will allow you to hang your dress in first class. If you ask you flight attendant, most are very understanding about your needs, especially if you are getting married.

4. Have All Your Attendees Stay at the Same Resort:
If at all possible, try to get everyone to book at the same resort. This will simplify your life so much! When everyone is all in the same locale, it is just easier to do your group activities, enjoy all of your time with family and friends, as well as cut down extra costs for your guests that may be staying elsewhere. Usually, any of your guests that want to be at your resort, but are not staying there will have to pay a day pass fee, plus transportation costs to come to your resort every day. A good destination wedding designer can get you a great group rate, and help you find a resort that will be great for all of you, and work within everyone’s budget.

5. Be Considerate of your wedding party
Remember that your wedding party has paid a good amount of money to be there for your special day. Some wedding packages include hair and makeup for you but for your bridal party, there is an extra charge. Make sure you pick a very affordable package, or better yet, just pay for them to get their hair and makeup done for the wedding.

6. Let Your Hair Down
With a destination wedding, there is supposed to be a more care free, and natural atmosphere to your wedding day. It definitely is more relaxing to hang out on the beach with an endless supply of drinks and food at your beck and call, while getting ready for your wedding. Don’t worry so much about your hair or make up being perfect. After all, you are in a location that usually involves gentle breezes, water, and warm weather.

7. Keep an Open Mind For a Wedding Photographer:
Many times the resort will have their own wedding photographer that they will recommend for your wedding photos. Like all lines of work, there are good and bad photographers. Ask to see some samples of the photographer the resort is recommending. You may need to have your family and friends take some extra pictures of your wedding day, just in case. If you must have a photographer you trust completely, you may need to bring one with you. I have had clients fly their photographer and videographer down with them, so that they will have perfect pictures and video. In general, I have seen great photos from my clients who used the resort photographer, and I have seen great photos from photographers that have been brought in.

8. Give Your Attendees Reason to Explore
When people are traveling all that way, they should get out and do a fun excursion in the area and do some site seeing. There are certain countries and areas where you want to be a part of an organized tour group, because they are licensed, insured, and offer the most safe and usually fun experience. If you organize an activity to do together, you should either pay for your group, or help pay for it. You can send your guest’s website links for things to do in the area, to help get them excited for their getaway.

9. Lighten Your Load:
There is great satisfaction in being able to plan and pull off your own destination wedding, but is it worth all of the organization, phone calls, websites, and amount s of time and stress on your end? I don’t know about you, but I don’t go to a friend to get my teeth cleaned, (my dentist is very nice), I don’t ask the Sephora make -up specialist to help me with the brakes on my car, (she could make them look prettier, but probably not going to stop the car any better). There are so many great destination wedding designers out there that can help you design and pick a great wedding package, perfect resort, and arrange an incredible group rate, along with travel arrangements for you, for not much more money than it would cost you to do on your own.

10. Go With The Flow:
As I mentioned before, a destination wedding has a more care free atmosphere to it! Hopefully all of the planning and attention to detail will make your special day go on without a hitch. Every so often, as with any wedding, there can be things that don’t always go as planned; maybe the floral arrangement looks a little different than you thought, the wedding cake is not the right one you picked, or the minister mispronounces you names. Even if it were to rain, (there is always a plan B for that by the way), try to go with it and have fun. Everyone will be watching you and how you react to everything. If you decide to laugh and shrug it off, when things don’t go as planned, everyone else will do the same, and you will have a fun and relaxing time, no matter what.