Your Wedding Budget: What to Keep in Mind


After the initial excitement of getting engaged, it’s likely that you’ll want to launch into wedding planning mode immediately. While it’s perfectly normal to be excited about what’s meant to be the best day of your life, if you aren’t careful and allow yourself to get carried away, your budget can get out of control fast. To help keep you on track, here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your wedding planning process.

Be Realistic
Of course you want your wedding to fulfill your wildest dreams, but it’s important to take a step back and make sure you aren’t setting plans in place that you can’t actually handle. Take into consideration your current salary, your monthly bills, any outstanding debts you may have and the future you might be saving toward— while it’s tempting to put all of your spare money towards your wedding, it’s also vital that you keep track of and prioritize the real-world financial obligations that will continue to exist.

Set a Definitive Budget
The sure-fire way to get yourself into financial trouble while planning your wedding is by setting a loosely-structured budget without serious spending caps. To avoid going overboard and to prevent future headache, decide at the beginning of your planning process what your absolute limitations are, and stick to them. When the festivities are over and real life resumes, you (and your wallet) will be extremely grateful that you did.

Determine Your Money Sources
Sit down with your significant other and have an in-depth discussion on how the wedding is going to be funded. Are you going to be paying for it together, out-of-pocket? Would you be willing to consider applying for a wedding loan? Are parents from either party able to contribute anything financially? Could you ask your guests for financial gifts rather than setting up a registry? (Although if you’re going to do that last one, avoid going the route that this woman took!)

There are a number of ways to fund a wedding, but be sure you know exactly where the money for the event is coming from and that you can rely on those financial sources without question before getting too far into the planning process.

Establish Your Priorities
Once you know how much money you’re working with, it can be helpful to decide what components of the ceremony and reception are most essential to you and what things you’re willing to let slide. Have you found a venue that’s too perfect to pass on? Do you need a DJ, or would you be willing to make your own playlist for the reception? Is it important to you that each member of the wedding party receives a beautiful, heartfelt gift from you and your spouse?

While you hopefully won’t have to cut too many things out of your wedding vision to stay on budget, knowing what your priorities are will make it easier to make those cuts without feeling like you’re decreasing the value of the day.

Utilize Your Loved Ones
Do any of your friends or relatives have skills they might be willing to put to use before or during the event? Are any of them talented musicians, photographers or bakers? Is there a certified officiant in your social circle?

Don’t be afraid to ask for their help! It’s more than likely that anyone you’d be willing to put on your guest list would be willing to do their part to make your wedding run more smoothly. Incorporating more of your loved ones into the process will not only save you money, but it will also make the memories all the more meaningful.

Decide On Your Honeymoon
Ask yourself this: do you want to put the majority of your money towards your wedding ceremony and reception, or would you rather splurge on a week-long honeymoon in the destination of your dreams? Economic studies have actually shown a correlation between more money spent on wedding ceremonies and a higher rate of divorce as well as, conversely, a correlation between going on honeymoons and a lower rate of divorce.

While it’s wonderful to spend your wedding day surrounded by your friends and family, it doesn’t have to be an overly extravagant day. Keep in mind what this event is ultimately about: the love that you and your partner share, and celebrating that bond with the people you love most. By placing greater financial focus on your honeymoon, you’ll likely find that it’s much easier to focus on the purpose behind your wedding as you’re planning it and take some of the stress off of your own shoulders.

Congratulations, and happy planning!

You’re Engaged… Now What?


A Mini Timeline To Help You Start Planning

So your significant other popped the question… or maybe you did. Once the shock has worn off it’s time to start thinking of a game plan for the wedding. It may be hard to figure out the best course of action, but luckily we created this mini timeline including essential steps to take to get you started!

Step 1: Make your announcement

Of course, you want to let your close family and friends know the news before anyone else. The last thing you would want is the unnecessary drama of your brother-in-law seeing the announcement on Facebook before you had a chance to tell him yourself. Once you let them know, it’s time to let your extended loved ones know. There are a variety of ways to make your announcement from a simple post on social media to sending formal cards the old fashion way. Once this step is complete, you’ll probably be fielding a bunch of questions about wedding details so, it might be a good idea to have answers to the typical questions someone might ask such as, when and where.

Step 2: Determine a budget

You can’t plan a wedding until you and your significant other determine the budget. The old tradition of the bride’s parents paying for the wedding’s cost is pretty outdated. Sit down with both sets of parents to see if they’d like to contribute, and if so, how much. Or if you’d prefer to cover the costs on your own, look at your finances and where you have the extra money.

Step 3: Start thinking of a date and a location

You probably won’t know the exact date of your wedding until after you get engaged unless you’re a couple that has had a date in mind since you first met. Either way, it’s good to start planning and doing research on the best time and location that will work for both of you. If you’re trying to plan a large, extravagant wedding, giving yourself a year or two is a good idea as trying to plan in a shorter period of time could cause a lot of stress which no one ever wants. If you’re a quick planner and work well under pressure, a smaller more intimate wedding could be planned within a year.

Step 4: Who will be in your wedding party?

Some of us have known who our maid of honour will be since we were little kids, but others may not. The maximum number of people in your wedding party realistically should be no more than five, however, if you can physically and mentally handle more than that then more power to you. A large wedding party can sometimes be overwhelming and expensive. If you’re having trouble choosing who should be your maid of honour, it’s become more common to actually have two maids of honour or a maid of honour and matron of honour. Choose a wedding party based off of what works for you personally.

Step 5: Who do you want at your wedding?

Figuring out your guest list might be the hardest part of the wedding planning process. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but you also want to make sure that your wedding is personal to you and your significant other. Think about what’s best for the two of you. Does the friend of your work friend who you just met a month ago need to be invited? Probably not. Start by each of you making a list of who you need to be there. Come together and compare lists, then go from there.

Step 6: Register

Once you’ve sent out your guest invites, it’s time to register for wedding gifts! This will make it easier for your guests to find what you need as a couple and to ensure you don’t receive any duplicates. Wedding registries have changed over the years with more couples living together before marriage, and luckily there are plenty of nontraditional registry options and custom wedding gifts to choose from.

Step 7: Order your dress

It can take months for your wedding dress alterations to be complete. It’s important to go dress shopping early to find the right one and assure that it’s ready in time. If you don’t have enough time to wait for a dress to be made, try buying a sample from a retailer or off the rack. Regardless of where you get it from, make sure you give yourself enough time to find the dress that fits your style and have fun doing it!

Step 8: Book the caterer, photographer and music

These three details are a few of the most important wedding essentials. Finding the right caterer, photographer and music choice will take some time and attention. Designate specific time during the early months of your engagement to do the research and find the right choices for you. Once these are booked, you’ll have a weight lifted off your shoulders and be able to focus on the finer wedding details (like the decor).

Step 9: Order wedding bands

A fun step in the wedding planning process is shopping for wedding bands. Many couples shop together to pick out what kind of band they would like. Many brides now actually send their engagement ring out before the wedding to be fused with their wedding band.

Step 10: Nail down a beauty regimen

It’s important to solidify a beauty routine that works for you to ensure that you feel and look your best by your wedding day. Many brides-to-be get monthly facials leading up to their wedding to give themselves beautiful, clear skin. If you’re looking to introduce new products into your skincare routine, be sure to try them well before your wedding in case of a negative reaction. As for hair, it’s important to begin taking care of it early on. Doing hair masks, taking biotin supplements, and getting regular haircuts will give you the healthiest hair result.

Step 11: Book your honeymoon

A great part of weddings is the honeymoon to follow! Make sure you arrange with work early enough to get the time off and book a place in advance. Going through a travel agent might be helpful for this part, as they can help determine the best places to go to and things to do!

5 Changes for a Happier, Healthier You


Welcome back to Wellness Wednesday! With every New Year comes the expectation of renewed excitement and reignited passion for the things we gradually forgot we cared about over the course of the year before.

The most common resolutions seen every January focus on healthy eating, losing weight and being a more productive person in general as soon as the 1st comes along. The fads are everywhere: Dry January, No-spend January, New Year New Me, and the list goes on.

Fact is, it doesn’t matter the time of year, switching your habits cold turkey is simply not the most efficient way to create an effective and lasting lifestyle change. Instead, try these simple alterations to your daily routine that will put you on the right track this year.

Here are 5 small changes you can make today to become a happier, healthier you:

  1. Drink more water
    Next time you’re feeling the need to refresh, take a pass on the pop or juice and reach for water instead. I recommend purchasing a reusable water bottle that can fit in your bag and be with you at all times.
  2. Keep a food journal
    If one of your goals this year is to start eating healthier, don’t just throw out all your junk food and rush to the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veg. A better way to eat healthily is to be aware of what and how much you consume on a daily basis. Once you have an understanding of your typical eating habits, it’s much easier to see where adjustments and improvements should be made.
  3. Save spare change
    Spending zero money for an entire month sounds pretty fantastic but is it actually reasonable? What happens when you’re faced with an unexpected charge? Do you start over or give up? Disappoint yourself or lie to yourself? Instead, I suggest you switch tactics. Anytime you get change back from a purchase, save it! At the end of the month or year, crack open your money box and see how much you have!
    Tip: you can do this electronically as well by transferring spare dollars and cents to a savings account.
  4. Take short walking breaks
    Getting exercise in the winter is hard. The urge to hibernate under a pile of warm blankets and not move until spring is almost too much to resist. Still, physical activity is vital to our overall health. If you sit at a desk most days, be sure to stretch your legs for at least 5 minutes every hour.
  5. Meditate
    Your mental state is just as important as your physical health so make sure you’re focused on both! If you’ve never tried meditating before, there’s no better time to get started than right now. There are even a few handy apps that will make the process seamless for beginners.

1 2 3 4 5 91