Give Me A Break!
So many of my brides are feeling overwhelmed and a bit shocked at the cost of floral design for their wedding day. If you're in the same boat, I have a few ideas that will cut you a break! The options below are beautiful, stylish and surprisingly affordable.
Problem #1: Tall & Large Arrangements: I'm sure you've realized that for those beautiful images you see on Pinterest (24" trumpet vase arrangements) pricing typically starts at $175, as seen in the photo below. This arrangement was composed of Lilies, Roses, Hydrangeas, Spray Roses and Stock.
Solution: Our suggestion for Brides dreaming of tall and elegant arrangements is to go with Lisianthus, Stock (photo on right) or Snap Dragons, solo in a vase. The image below (on the left) is composed of all White Lisianthus and pricing typically starts at $75! It offers the height and "wow" factor at a table, without breaking the bank! (Lisianthus & Stock come in many different colors - ask your florist!)
Problem #2: For my brides, pricing quickly escalates for centerpieces and the stress sets in. Also, many of my brides want to have stunning flowers at their ceremony, but can't afford the price tag that comes with it. Here's what we suggest to cut down costs in general.
Solution: Repurpose! Repurpose! Repurpose! Ceremony Site - Take the altar arrangements and place them on the tables as centerpieces, next to or on the Sweet Heart Table, at the entrance of your reception site, or in the corners of the dance floor. Also, if you have pew markers, ask your coordinator to transport them to your cocktail hour and place on the tables. Reception Site - After your beautiful bridal party is through with photos, take their Bridesmaids Bouquets and place them in clear cylinder vases on the reception tables, acting as centerpieces. We suggest using a vase that is at least 6" tall. Also, you can use your Bridal Bouquet as a focal point at your head table, or sweet heart table.
Pew markers that can be repurposed on cocktail tables
L: Bouquets to be repurposed as centerpieces R: Cylinder Vase
I hope these tips are helpful, and give your bank a break!
Feel free to contact our office for a full floral quote for your big day: 860-837-4096
Be back soon! xoxo - Sarah
The BEST Caterer! Yum!
Anyone who's walking through the wedding or event planning process learns early on that your largest expense will be your food & bar tab. No way around it! As you begin pricing this aspect out, you may realize that you don't want to hire a caterer with subpar food, and that you may want your meal & bar to be memorable in terms of taste and appearance. If your budget allows it, we advise that you book this incredible, tried & true caterer! They are THE BEST! And no, they don't fall into the "cheap" category. You get what you pay for, and this Boston based rock star company has absolutely scrumptious food, hard working and reliable staff, and their visual presentation of each platter is beautiful to the eye. 5 stars all the way! Guess what? They cover CT too! My Massachusetts & Connecticut clients are in luck!
Here's the scoop:
Blonde on the Run Catering: If you're throwing a party or getting married in or around Massaschusetts or CT, stop setting up tastings with caterers now! I'm telling you, these guys are the Picasso of food. (I'm not exaggerating) My clients continually use the term "blown away"! Not only do they refuse to use anything frozen, but they even go as far as making their own cheese and butter for their meals. Who does that? (Yes, I'm serious. I've seen them in the kitchen, making cheese and butter.) That being said, their food is legit homemade. Their team works tirelessly to create food that is fresh, inovative and to die for! Their presentation is always beautiful, almost visually perfect, and their staff is hard working and pleasant. Here's the owners Instagram. Chef Renee' Scharoff posts inspiring and yummy behind the scenes photos regularly. Impressed? Call them direct at 413-427-5792 and read more about them here: www.blondeontherun.com
Crab Cakes and Lemon Dill Aioli!
Olive crostini with walnut butter and housemade chive cream cheese with balsamic drizzle.
Prosciutto crisp and apple cheddar salad
Be back soon! xoxo - Sarah
If you're currently shopping for wedding venues in the Connecticut or Massachusetts area, I have an amazing deal to share with you!
In the beautiful little town of Granville, Massachusetts lies an incredibly charming and historical building called "The Old Meeting House". It was originally built in 1747, but then replaced in 1802. Yes, updates have been done along the way, but it still has a New England flair that only a true historical building can offer.
Here's the pros: Beautiful and charming on the inside. There's an apple orchard on the property as well, which makes a fun & gorgeous backdrop for photos. Cathedral ceilings, great chandeliers, wide wooden planked floors. Also, some tables & chairs are included. Lastly....(drum roll) it only costs $300 for weddings!!!! Yup. $300 to rent.
Downside: Max capacity for a sit down reception is 95. There's no separate space to hold a ceremony, though they will allow tents to be set up. (Yes, you can rent this as just your ceremony site) There's only 2 bathrooms, no prep area for the Bridal Party, and the kitchen is small. Also, your guests will need to park at the Granville Town Hall (a 5 minute walk), as there isn't any parking on site for large crowds.
Here's a few photos from the town website, as well as images from our beautiful wedding for Sarah & Jonathan. Honestly, it's still one of our favorite transformations to date! This property is unique, romantic and a bit magical. It's worth your time to check it out. Call the town at 413-357-8585 (or our office @ 860-837-4096) for more information. *Wedding Photo Credit: Sparkling Footsteps Photography*
Be back soon! xoxo - Sarah
Finding The Perfect Florist
If you're in the market for a florist and wondering how to choose the perfect designer to handle your day, here's a few shopping tips. Take heed!
#1: Research: Before setting foot into their studio, I strongly encourage scoping out their website, reading reviews and looking through their social media accounts. Smart florists display their best work for future clients to see. Don't waste your time visiting florists who's designs you don't like. Choose 2-3 companies to sit down with in whom you're confident in prior to stepping foot in their door.
#2: Set a budget: I find that about 75% of my brides have no idea how much it costs for this aspect of their day. Sometimes the only way to realistically set your budget, is to present your vision to a few florists, and get quotes. Choosing between low and lush centerpieces or tall statement pieces makes a HUGE difference in price, as well as the type of flowers you pick. At the end of the day, it's important to know what you can and can't afford. After receiving estimates, if you need to cut corners, consider re-purposing your Bridesmaid Bouquets as centerpieces, as well as incorporating the flowers from your ceremony and having them transported to the reception. There are lots of ways to cut corners, and your expert florist should share these tips with you.
#3: Double, Triple Check: Now that you've narrowed down your search and found "the one", here's a few final thoughts before signing the dotted line and paying your deposit.
- When is the last date that you can make changes to your order?
- How much are the delivery & set up fees?
- Do these fees include the placement of the centerpieces on the proper tables and the floral set up at the ceremony site?
- Are they willing to deliver to the prep locations, church and reception for 1 delivery fee, or will it be extra?
- Do they have insurance? *required by many venues*
- When is your final payment due?
- What is their cancellation policy?
Now that I've fed you great information, I'll shamelessly put in a plug for my own company! Besides wedding planning, we offer beautiful floral designs! Take a peek at my site to see our previous work. Also, you should take a few minutes to browse our floral directory. It's a super helpful tool when you're deciding on which flowers to incorporate into your big day!
Be back soon! xoxo - Sarah
My right hand girl, Michelle, is getting married this year and just found a fantastic deal on invitations that I need to share. One of my favorite stores, Costco, (I'm addicted) sells a set of 25 wedding invitations for $17.25, which is $.69 each, AND they are actually aesthetically pleasing! The RSVP card is sold separate for the same price. If you do a quick search online, or call any custom printing store, you'll learn this is a steal! They have a good selection, and also offer custom printing for Save the Dates, etc. Definitely worth your time to look into these further! I hope this helps you bridal bargain shoppers out there.
Be back soon! - xoxo Sarah
Going for broke?
If you're recently engaged or in the beginning stages of planning your wedding, your probably wondering how broke you're going to be the day and months that follow. I'm here to break it down and be realistic about what you can expect to spend on your celebration.
According to a study done by The Knot in 2015, the average CT wedding was $41,692 and the average nation wide was $32,641. As a planner with 11+ years of experience, I completely agree with this poll and can confidently say this should be expected for a headcount of 150-200 guests. And no, this estimate doesn't include your dreamy vacation after the big day.
Here's how much of your budget you should lay aside for each category:
- Dreamy Reception: 45-50% (includes venue, food, drink, wait staff, day of coordinator, rentals, table, chairs, lighting etc)
- Ceremony: 3%-5% (Includes site location, officiant and music)
- Invites & Printed Items: 2-5% (Custom invitation packages can quickly sky rocket to $1,000-$2,000 depending on your desired product. If you're on a budget, stick to affordable options such as www.zazzle.com, www.minted.com, www.paperlesspost.com + many more)
- Floral Design: 8-10% (Have I mentioned we offer gorgeous floral design? )
- Entertainment: 8-10% (If you're in the market for a live band, expect to spend a wee bit more. A popular band with 7-10 members can easily cost $7,000-$10,000)
- Wardrobe: 8-10%
- Photo & Video: 10-15%
- Wedding Bling: 2-3%
- Transportation: 2-3%
- Misc. 10% (Always leave yourself wiggle room. The unexpected costs will arise. Believe me!)
If you're currently hyperventilating and re-considering getting married due to this blog post, I suggest that you sit down with your significant other and talk about what aspects of your day are truly important to the both of you. If you don't care about a fancy limo, scratch it! If you don't need a live band, wonderful. You'll save a few grand! You get the drift, right? Spend your hard earned $ on the areas of your wedding that you'll both remember & cherish most. Final Note: If it's within your budget, absolutely hire a wedding planner or at least Day of Coordinator who can assist with the work load, and save you money with their tips, guidance and connections within the industry.
That's all for now! Be back soon! xo - Sarah
3 wedding vendors you don't know,