7 BOLD WAYS TO SAVE ON YOUR WEDDING COST

  Here are seven daring ways to save you hundreds and thousands of dollars when planning your wedding. Dare to break the chain and make your own traditions. Even thou the normal is to follow what the Wedding Planners and Vendors, it’s your party and celebration; own it. These are just ideas and not for everyone. It usually cost 70$ to 100$ a guest to have a wedding. Here are seven ways to make it less per guest and save hundreds.

  
1. Book an off day at your Venue. Sometimes Friday and Sundays have lower prices when the Saturday is already booked at that Venue. Also have a lunch or Brunch instead of a five course Dinner meal.

  2. Paperless Invitations – people respond faster and quicker with Evite or an electronic Invitation. People always lose them with their overdue bills pile they get in the mail. Join the twentieth century and make it electronic. Opt out the Sign-in book too and bring a canvas where your wedding photo will go and have them sign it.

  3. Fund Account for Honeymoon – Opt out of gifts or registries and use the money to take your three week Honeymoon to where you want to go.

  4. No Flowers or Cake – use lace or synthetic bouquet with stones to make it shine and keep it forever. Have a Craft day with your bridesmaids and make your own amazing arrangement to use and keep forever. Also have decorative cupcakes instead of a cake or opt for small wedding cake with cupcakes for guests. If you want real flowers tell the Florist what your budget is and they will make it happen.

  5. Plan your own wedding, Planners want 10% of your total cost and with more apps and family members, you can do it all yourself when saving. Stay off Pinterest or you will add up a new expense of wants. Join the Facebook Groups and attend a Wedding Swap event to help recycle items. Stick to your budget and tell everyone what you need. Buy in Bulk if possible. A great DJ will help you with your timeline and get a good photographer that has a partner and they has consistent work. Officiants are ordained for free on line so have your public speaking friend get a license.

  6. Sample or Rented Wedding Dresses are just as amazing as new designer name brand wedding dresses. Go to the big name brand shops first and get a feel of what type of dress looks amazing on your body and then go to the ones that offer Samples or Rentals. The saving is amazing. Also have your bridesmaids and grooms wear what they have. Black – everyone has a black dress and black suit. Just tie them together with pearls and the same tie and your saving for all.

  7. BYOB – Just have them bring their own Bottle and turn it in to the bartender with their name on.

 

Need a venue? Houston Wedding Blog is sponsored by a new Venue “Binders Gardens Venue” the new Shabby Chic Outdoor Wedding Venue within outer City Limits of Houston. Find them at BindersGardens.com

  
 

Wedding Vendor Tipping Cheat Sheet

Wedding Vendor Tipping Cheat Sheet

  
With so many wedding expenses, gratuities can add up. Here are the wedding vendors you need to tip.
When you’re already dipping deep into your (or your parents’) savings for so many wedding expenses, allotting room in your budget for gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. And even though service charges may be spelled out in your contract, tipping—although not mandatory—is always appreciated for a job well done, not to mention a kind and thoughtful gesture.
Since some vendors will expect a gratuity and other gratuities will need to be considered on a case-by-case scenario, there are a few things to consider.
Traditionally, business owners of larger companies don’t get tipped—just their employees—but you can/should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations. Small business owners should never be overlooked either, since their businesses are often run by just one person.
Tip vendors who offer exceptional service; thank-you notes are always appreciated; and assign the responsibility to a trusted deputy such as your wedding planner, a parent or the best man. For a breakdown of what’s customary for each vendor, read on.
    
Wedding Planner
Wedding planners won’t likely expect anything; however, if yours did a great job you can always offer a token of your appreciation. (Note: Non-monetary thank-yous like professional photos of the wedding for the planner’s portfolio can go a long way too.) Approximately 50 percent of couples do tip their planners—typically those with more opulent weddings.
Protocol: Optional
The standard: Up to $500, or a nice gift
When to Tip: The bride should hand off the envelope at the end of the reception, or, she should send a thank-you note with photos or a check after the honeymoon.
    
Wedding Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist
This is one area where a gratuity is definitely expected. Tip between 15 – 20 percent just as you would in a hair salon, and consider giving a little extra if there’s a crisis, like one of your bridesmaids has a meltdown over her hair updo and it requires a redo at the last minute.
Protocol: Expected
The standard: 15 – 25 percent, depending upon the quality of service
When to Tip: At the end of your service
    
Wedding Delivery and Set-up Staff
Slip a few dollars to anyone delivering important items to the site (wedding cake , flowers, or sound system). And if a lot of gear needs to be brought in and set up (tents, chairs, or port-a-potties), the workers deserve a tip too.
Protocol: Expected
The standard: $5 – $10 per person
When to Tip: Drop off cash envelopes the day before the wedding to the catering manager so the person accepting deliveries can turn the tip.
    
Wedding Ceremony Officiant
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you’re often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you’re a member you’ll probably want to give a larger amount than if you’re not. However, if you’re getting married there and they’re charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.
Protocol: Expected (depending on officiant)
The standard: Donate $500+ to the church or synagogue, and for the officiant, an optional tip of $50 – $100
When to Tip: Most ceremony fees are required prior to the wedding. Otherwise, have the best man pass the cash envelope at the rehearsal dinner if the officiant is in attendance.
    
Wedding Ceremony Musicians
If you worked with a mini orchestra to come up with the perfect score for your service (and they pulled it off flawlessly), consider showing some monetary thanks for their talent. However, you probably don’t have to tip the solo church organist who was required to play.
Protocol: Optional
The standard: $15 – $20 per musician
When to Tip: At the end of the ceremony.
 
Wedding Photographer/Videographer
You’re not expected to give your shutterbugs any dough beyond their normal fees. Yet if the wedding photographer or videographer doesn’t own the studio, consider tipping each person (or give a certain amount with a thank-you note to disperse to staff).
Protocol: Optional
The standard: $50 – $200 per vendor
When to Tip: At the end of the reception.
 
Wedding Reception Staff
This type of staff includes the on-site coordinator, maitre d’, and banquet manager. A service charge (typically 2 percent) is almost always built in to the food and drink fee, so check your contract. If the gratuity is not included, tip as follows.
Protocol: Expected
The standard: 15 – 20 percent of the food and drink fee (based on labor, not the cost), or $200 – $300 for the maitre d’.
When to Tip: If it’s covered in the contract, the final bill is typically due before the reception. Otherwise, have the father of the bride or best man hand the envelope to the maitre d’ at the end of the reception since you will need to know the final tab to calculate the percentage.
 
Wedding Reception Attendants
When it comes to bartenders, waitstaff, parking, bathroom, and coat-room attendants the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it’s not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.
Protocol: Optional, based on contract
The standard: $20 – $25 per bartender or waiter; $1 per guest for coat room and parking attendants; $1 per car
When to Tip: Although tips are traditionally passed out at the end of the event, you could alternately distribute them at the beginning of the evening, to encourage all the workers to give you great service.
 
Wedding Reception Band or DJ
Whether you hire 12-piece swing band or grooving to a DJ, tipping musicians is completely optional. (Depending on the quality of the job and how willing they were to follow your ideal playlist!) And don’t forget about any sound technicians they bring with them.
Protocol: Optional, yet preferred
The standard: $20 – $25 per musician; $50 – $150 for DJs
When to Tip: At the end of the reception, by the best man.
 
Wedding Transportation
Again, check your contract, as gratuity is usually included. If it isn’t, plan to tip provided they show up on time and don’t get lost!
Protocol: Expected
The standard: 15 – 20 percent of the total bill
When to Tip: At the end of the night or after the last ride. If you used a separate company for the guest buses, designate a bus captain to hand the driver a tip, otherwise, this duty falls to the best man.

  

WEDDING ORGANIZING FOLDERS – start list

  We created a list that every Bride should have or start out with for the organizing Wedding Book and what the Folders and sub folder should say.  
A timeline is what you should use to keep you on track.

It’s just a helpful guide to see if you missed something.  Not all apply.

  
WEDDING ORGANIZING FOLDERS
Guest List:

  • RSVP Database
  • Arrange Seating

Budget:

Wedding Attire:

Décor theme

Wedding Party:

  • Gift Registry
  • Party Favors

Pre-Wedding:

  • Engagement Party
  • Bachelorette Party
  • Announcements
  • Marriage License
  • Jeweler
  • Makeup and Hair
  • Ceremony Readings and Vows
  • Invitations

Post-Wedding:

  • The Dance
  • Delegating List
  • Pack Lists
  • Hotels
  • Thank You Cards
  • Honeymoon

Dates and Venue:

  • Timeline of Day
  • Book Rehearsal and Dinner

Vendors:

  • Wedding Planner
  • Officiant
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Photo Booth
  • Band / DJ
  • The Cake
  • Florist
  • TABC Bartenders and Servers
  • Caterers and Menu
  • Transportation
  • Rental Equipment

Book a Tour with us at BindersGardens.com

Info@Bindersgardens.com

For packages

Marc and Robin Binder

  

10 Things No One Tells You referring; “The Wedding Day”

No matter how many weddings you’ve attended before, or how many times you’ve been a bridesmaid, there are some things you just don’t find out about until your own wedding day.
  

Talk to anyone whose gone through it before and they’ll tell you that your wedding day absolutely flies by. You’ll be so busy going from one thing to the next that before you know it, you’ll be cutting the cake! Any number of wedding planning advice articles will tell you that you need an emergency kit (just in case!), that it can be difficult to use the bathroom in your ball gown and to make sure to pack a stain remover. But also, there are all these intangible, special moments that make up the wedding day itself. Here, 10 truths about the wedding day that no one ever talks about.
1. Ten minutes before the ceremony is the most nerve-wracking part.
The time leading up to the walk down the aisle will be the most anxiety-ridden 10 minutes you’ll ever have. And it makes sense—you’re about to make a life-changing decision in front of all the people you love and care about the most. Just remember that your other half is waiting for you at the end of the journey and you’re going to have a huge party to celebrate (not to mention the reason why you said “yes” in the first place). 
Stop a moment and laugh that your other half may be having the same anxieties. You both will survive if you write him a note or exchange unwritten notes to give each other to open at that 10 minutes before the Ceremony is to begin. You should make it a habit in life to stop and write each other a note that will help you get through the nerve-wracking moments in life.
2. You’ll definitely cry.
Okay, this one might not be such a secret. What is it about weddings that makes everyone so emotional anyway? All we can say is that crying is basically inevitable. And since you already know the waterworks are coming, the best thing to do is just be prepared. Wear waterproof makeup (or even get eyelash extensions), keep some mascara and lipstick readily available for quick touch-ups, and store some tissues nearby—you’ll need them.
3. The ceremony is the best part.
There’s something truly amazing about the wedding ceremony. The traditions, the vows and all your emotional family members combine to make this into one of the most special moments of your life. Take it all in and drink it up. You’ll want these memories to last a lifetime.
4. You’ll be amazed by the love and support of your family and friends.
They all showed up for one reason—you! You and your soon-to-be spouse will get all—and we really mean all—of the attention. You may not even be able to eat dinner, since you’ll have so many people to talk to and so many pictures to take. Between the pinches on the cheek from your grandma and the side-punches from your college pals, you’ll be overcome by the love and support of those around you.
5. Your face will hurt from smiling so much.
Thousands of pictures aside, you’ll be smiling all day because it’s going to be the best day ever. You’re marrying your best friend, after all! Between finally “making it official” with your fiancé and dancing like crazy with all of your close friends and family, there’s literally no reason to frown (even if it rains).
6. You’ll want a little alone time.
In fact, you might be so overcome that you may want to take a few moments just for you, or the two of you. Some of the most special minutes of the day are the few you get to spend alone—preparing for what’s to come—or together with your new spouse, taking it all in.
7. You might be a little exhausted.
Let’s face it; you won’t get too much sleep the night before your wedding. Between stressing over the seating chart, a tiff with your mom, or just overall excitement for the day to come, you’ll be seriously lacking in shut-eye. Pro tip: Under-eye concealer will be your best friend. 
If fact magazines all over are correct in saying that only 9 percent have sex on their wedding night. You have the rest of your life to consummate the wedding. You both might want to plan to wait for the honeymoon.
8. It won’t all go as planned.
Something might end up going wrong. It could be little, or it could be big, but our best advice is to soldier on and try to think of the big picture. Can you solve this problem easily? Does it make a huge difference in the long run? Are your guests still having fun? Are you having fun? If these questions are easily answered, then don’t sweat it—just keep enjoying your celebration, and feel free to delegate tasks to planners and relatives so you don’t have to deal with drama.
9. The most magical moment will be when you least suspect it.
We promise that the most special moment of the day, or weekend, is going to be something you never expected. A stolen minute or two with your soon-to-be spouse, a hug from your dad, or an impromptu speech by your college roommate could end up meaning the world to you.
10. You’ll feel different.
Even if you and your other half have been cohabiting for years, once you’re legally wed, things will feel official. It might just be a slight shift or it could feel like a noticeable change, but it will definitely seem like the real deal.
Remember the moments and start your life knowing that your marriage is like a wedding day. Take it one moment at a time. Stressful – Happy – Crying – Drama – Smiling – Not as Planned – Over-Whelmed – Supportive by Family – Magical and Different, but Together Forever.

Come take a tour at Binders Gardens in SW Houston; info@BindersGardens.com

BindersGardens.com

  
 

ENCORE WEDDING ETIQUETTE FOR LOVE AND REMARRIAGE

Encore Wedding Etiquette for Love and Remarriage  
Recently at a Professional networking meeting, David Kallen – the Marketing Specialist at Perfect Wedding Guide here in Houston told me about “Encore Weddings”. As an outdoor wedding venue, this is the most type of bridal couples we get. The term is now my term of the week and I needed an idea to blog about. After looking more into it more, I found a few helpful guidelines to follow and share.

  
When planning an encore wedding there are many questions brides ask. Can you wear white or a veil? Should you keep it small? What about attendants? And registries? What etiquette should be followed when marrying for a second or even third time?

  

 1. Share Your News… But in the right order

· Tell Your Children First – ideally each parent should tell their children privately and in person (or if necessary, over the phone). Sometimes the news is welcome and happy, but sometimes it may cause concern. If your news is not immediately welcomed, be patient. Validate your children’s concerns, and reassure them that you will all work together to build your new family.

· Tell Your Ex Next – If you have children together, your former spouse should be the next to know, whether you have a good relationship or not, and especially if you share custody. You may even feel it’s best to inform your ex first so they are prepared to react appropriately with the children.

· Then Family – Now you can inform your family and close friends, starting with your parents and siblings. Additionally, before you “go public” this is a nice time to inform your previous in-laws, if you are still on good terms, or if you are a widow or widower.

· And Everyone Else – Now is the time to tell your other friends, coworkers, and share it on social media.

  
2. Wear Whatever You Want

For a bride the most important question is what is she going to wear? Years ago it was practically forbidden to wear white for a remarriage, but today anything goes. Literally. Of course, I would encourage being tasteful. Choose a dress or suit that compliments your personality, figure and venue.

  

  3. It’s Fine, Even Helpful, to Create A Gift Registry

While you may feel uncomfortable creating a wedding gift registry for your encore wedding, it may be considerate to do so. Even if you don’t expect gifts, many guests will want to give them. The wedding gift is a representation of love and support for the couple. As a wedding guest, sometimes it’s hard not to want to share in the joy by giving a gift. You may be helping your guests by providing some insight into what you prefer, want or need. It’s fine to create a traditional registry, but if you don’t want or need those types of things, create a registry around any special interests or hobbies you enjoy.

Don’t forget, it is still a major faux pas to include any mention of gifts on your wedding invitation, even to say, “no gifts.” The invitation is always about the event and should never mention gifts. Whether you create a registry or not, you should wait to be asked before discussing gifts, and then state your preference — “Thank you for thinking of us. We are so happy you’re coming and that is gift enough for us.” Or – “For convenience we have created a registry at… , but all we really care about is seeing you at the wedding.”

4. Don’t Ask Your Parents to Pay

If you are young (or relatively so) and your parents offer to contribute to or pay for your wedding, that’s wonderful. The point is that you should wait until they make the offer, don’t just expect them to foot the bill.

5. You May Have Attendants

It’s perfectly fine to have one or two people standing with you during the ceremony, even if they are the same women from your previous marriage. I recommend keeping the number small and their financial obligations low. You may want to cover the cost of their dress or ask them to wear something they already own.

  

 This time around you’re older, hopefully wiser and more confident. Stay true to yourself and use your best judgment. Every encore wedding is different and your decisions will be influenced by your age, family situation and budget.

  

 
Contact us to set up a tour today at BindersGardens.com or email Marc@BindersGardens.com
Here are some contests I found that many might be interested in.

WEDDDING CONTESTS
http://brides.easybrc.com/
http://bridalguide.com/win/contests-sweepstakes/covergown