Q&A: Staying Within My Wedding Budget

posted by Alex Hamilton

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring some Q&A sessions with the DC area’s best wedding vendors so all of our readers can get some wedding advice from local pros! We have taken some of the best (and most repeated!) questions from our readers so we can better help you to plan your big day. Have additional questions for us? Ask away in the comments and we will help you out!

The biggest takeaway from these fantastic DMV area wedding professionals was that setting priorities is a huge part of planning your wedding budget! Being realistic about your wedding fund sometimes means cutting things that aren’t as important and focusing on things that mean the most to you and your future spouse. Not too worried about fabulous paper goods but really need some killer food? Splurge a little on your caterer with the money you save by ordering your invites online from Wedding Paper Divas. Be smart about your spending in order to make the day special and personalized!

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/submission_twc_birdsofafeatherView More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/submission_twc_birdsofafeather

Birds of a Feather Photography via our Romantic and Colorful Wedding Inspiration

What are your best tips and tricks to stay within my wedding budget?

Before you begin wedding planning, make sure that your budget is as thorough as possible. Ensure that the cost estimates given by wedding vendors include the service charges, taxes and/or delivery fees. And, try to ensure that your budget includes EVERY possible expense you may incur while planning your wedding — this should include insurance, vendor gratuities, travel expenses (if your wedding isn’t local), wedding day and/or honeymoon kennel expenses (if you have a pet), the costs for fittings, etc. Finally, consider adding a “Budget Reserves” line item (typically 10%) for surprise expenses. – Kay, Howerton+Wooten Events

Planning a wedding with a tight budget can be stressful, but it is doable. One way to help with costs is to have a smaller wedding, since the more guests you have the higher the costs will be. While this may not be feasible for everyone, it is the best way to save money. Another option would be to do a lunch or brunch wedding vs. an evening reception with dinner. Food and alcohol costs, which are a large chunk of the overall budget, would typically be less expensive for a daytime affair. I personally love a brunch wedding; you can get really creative with the brunch ideas and still have a beautiful and fun wedding. For couples who still want a nighttime event, choosing any day other than Saturday will also help with costs. Friday night weddings can be a good alternative and then allow a couple to continue to spend time with family and friends over the weekend. – Margo, Bright Occasions

Make a list of priorities and be realistic. You are not going to be able to get everything you want so stick to those things that are at the top of your list! – Amanda, Engaging Affairs

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Almond Photography via our Lovely St. Francis Hall Wedding

Plan ahead. Start with a detailed budget of every element you can think of. Do this before you ask bridesmaids, pick a venue or even a wedding date. This budget will drive a lot of those decisions. And remember that numbers matter. Huge wedding parties, large guest counts and 6 course dinners add up. If you are on a tight budget, pick 2-3 areas that really matter to you and do those very well/make those unique. Don’t try to do everything on a tight budget. You’ll only spread yourself too thin and end up not doing any one thing very well. – Laura, Engaging Affairs

Plan for the worst case scenario. Start with a realistic and comprehensive budget. Prioritize each category of spending – what are must haves and what can you live without. – Vicky, Event Accomplished

Be ruthless. Seriously. Decide what you want to splurge on, what you want to do “standard” and what you want to save on and don’t be swayed by things you see later on Pinterest and in magazines, blogs, etc. – Janice, Bellwether Events

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K. Thompson Photography via our Classic, Timeless Fall DC Wedding

Best tricks to stay with your budget is to listen to your wedding planner and not give in to all the extras that you want along the way. Ask for help from your vendors on packages that will fit within your budget. Don’t do favors and opt for just beer and wine instead of the full bar. If you are not wedded to a wedding cake, go with a dessert station from your caterer. – Katie, Elegance & Simplicity, Inc.

Be realistic from the beginning. You can’t choose your budget out of thin air without some understanding of what things cost. Secondly, focus on prioritizing. If the music matters most to you, spend on your band. If you don’t care as much about paper, be willing to scale back on that part of the wedding. – A. Dominick Events

 

Thank you to all of the amazing local wedding pros who answered our reader’s questions! Looking for more budgeting tips from DC area professionals? Check out our latest budgeting installments, Balancing Your Wedding Flower Budget and Budget Advice: Splurging and Saving! If you are looking for helpful advice that is a little more specific, we have also compiled Wedding Budget Breakdown by Percentages!

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

All About The Dress

There are so many beautiful wedding dress choices! Click here to check out the many local bridal boutiques in the Washington DC area to help you find your dream dress!

The Oaks Romantic Wedding: Nicole and Chad

posted by Tabitha

Welcome back for another wonderful week of DC area wedding inspiration and real weddings! We are kicking off the week with a beautiful nautical wedding at The Oaks Waterfront Inn with one of our DC area wedding vendor guide members, Mike B Photography. Nicole and Chad’s wedding mixed a touch of rustic with the venue’s more nautical theme by pairing blush and navy with accents of mercury glass and wood signage. Their engagement began at the spot of their first date nearly three years later when Nicole opened a fortune cookie predicting she would make a wonderful wife one day. Little did she know that “one day” was really right then as Chad got down on one knee and popped the question. Inspired by her love of all things vintage, their wedding took place at The Oaks Waterfront Inn where the old school soft and elegant tone they were looking for would be a perfect fit. Light pink, cream and shimmery gold décor accents mixed perfectly with the vintage furniture and books placed around the ceremony and reception. The couple says the real highlight of the day was their first look when they were able to have a few minutes to take it all in together, just the two of them. Looking back, Nicole says that when planning your wedding make sure to “enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! It is so much planning for one day, but it is so worth everything leading up to the big day!” She also encourages couples to always remember “not to get wrapped up in the small things. Only you will know the things that don’t go perfect. Just love each other and and tell one another that!” Thank you to Mike B Photography for sharing this lovely wedding with us today!

 

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Congratulations to Nicole and Chad! Thank you for sharing your waterfront Maryland wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Mike B Photography
Videography: Ryan Serio Films
Venue: The Oaks Waterfront Inn
Ceremony Musicians: Classical Guitar Ceremonies
Floral Designer: Seasonal Flowers
Wedding Cake : The Main Ingredient
Band: Mike Hines and The Look
Rentals: 2 Hands Studios
Makeup Artist: Happily Ever After LLC
Hair Stylist : The Blushing Bride
Officiant: Ceremony Officiants

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

Photo Credits: Mike B Photography

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Happy Weekend!

posted by Tabitha

I can’t believe how fast we are flying through the summer! We hope everyone had a great July 4th long weekend and enjoyed having a shortened work week! We shared some beautiful new inspiration and real weddings on the blog this week, and continue to be amazed by all of the talent in the DC area week after week! Enjoy your weekend and make sure to come back next week for even more wedding awesomeness!

DC wedding inspiration- katy murray photography7505Credit: Katy Murray Photography from our Riverfront Inspiration

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

 

Mmmmmm!

Give your guests a meal they won’t forget! Click here to find the best wedding caterers in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

Riverfront Wedding Inspiration

posted by Tabitha

Is there anything cuter than these two in a boat? And the beautiful flowers spilling out of the boat just adds a little something! We love the floral details involved in today’s inspirational shoot, especially the reception flower chandelier. The beautifully soft colors made for a dreamy story for DC wedding photographer Katy Murray Photography to work with and we love the creative element of the Potomac River as the setting. Thank you to Katy Murray Photography for sharing this with us today.

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The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Katy Murray Photography
Bridal Attire: Couture by Posh Bridal
Furnishings: Bella Villa 
Calligraphy: Julie Ha Designs
Stationery: Baylee Hart
Hair and Makeup: Beauty by Sue
Gift Baskets : Velvet Grown Gift Co.
Florals: Petals by the Shore

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

 

 

 

Details, Details!

From forks to chairs, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find a rental company to complete your wedding day.

Glam Newseum Wedding: Meghan + Stewart

posted by Tabitha

We hope you had a fun filled July 4th holiday weekend! Today we are back with a glamorous Washington DC wedding at the Newseum. We love the sleek lines of the bride’s Carolina Herrera gown, paired perfectly with her textured, all white bridal bouquet. The Newseum is one of the best DC wedding venues with a view, and the couple took advantage of it during a reception that overlooked the cityscape.  Their planning team at Cherry Blossom Events mixed the white reception textures in the orchid centerpieces with glowing candlelight against the venue’s floor to ceiling windows; the entire reception looked like something out of a dream! Candles are the perfect addition to any centerpiece to add in a sparkling element to the décor while also creating dimension on the tabletop setting. Congratulations to the newlyweds and thank you to Procopio Photography for sharing this glam wedding with us!

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Congratulations to Meghan and Stewart! Thank you for sharing your DC Newseum wedding with us!

The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Procopio Photography
Wedding Planner: Cherry Blossom Events
Venue: Newseum
Makeup Artist: Carl Ray / Hair Stylist: Ismail Tekin
Invitations: The Dandelion Patch
Floral Designer: Toulies en Fleur
Bridal Gown : Carolina Herrera
Day of Paper/Calligraphy: Allison Barnhill Designs 
Ceremony Entertainment: Music by Anthem
Officiant: Say I Do Your Way / Joyce Cochran
Reception Band: Sound Nation
Pipe and Drape: Drape Kings
Hotel Block: Hotel Monaco DC
Rentals: Party Rental LTD

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

Photo Credits: Procopio Photography

Details, Details!

From forks to chairs, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find a rental company to complete your wedding day.

How To: Engagement Session Prep

posted by Alex Hamilton

Want some wedding photos with that iconic Washington DC feel but don’t want to be running around town on your wedding day? Opt for engagement session photos at all of your favorite monuments and spots around the city! Not only will this save time on the big day but it will also allow for outfit changes that fit the ambiance, and who doesn’t love a good outfit change? We know that a lot of brides and grooms can get a little anxious when thinking about taking these photos, but we promise that wedding engagement sessions can be one of the best parts of wedding planning! We have compiled advice on how to make this a smooth process!

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Evelyn Alas Photography

Location, location, location! If you and your honey have a site that is particularly meaningful to your story as a couple, that is a great place to start! It could be your first date spot, the location of your first kiss, or it could be an area that you love exploring together such as wineries or national parks. Maybe you two live together and your neighborhood is very much a part of you two as a couple! There are so many different places to choose from! If nowhere significant comes to mind it is always good to draw from personal aesthetic and where you two think you may be the most comfortable in front of the camera. Keep in mind that some of your chosen locations may require a permit or payment of a fee before you can legally start shooting.

What should you wear? First of all, wear something that reflects who you are. If you wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress, don’t wear a dress! If you’re uncomfortable in your outfit it will come across in your photos. Be cognizant of the weather and where you are planning on taking the photos. If there is snow on the ground, you might look a little silly in a sleeveless dress – not to mention you will be freezing! Try to complement your other half, too. Don’t wear the exact same color or the exact same outfit. You definitely don’t need to be matchy matchy! Also, outfit changes are usually welcome! Speak with your photographer beforehand so you can plan out what to model, where, and when!

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Hieu Pham Photography

Strike a pose! Or don’t! Some couples get stressed about taking the “perfect photo” but it’s not something to worry about. Your photographer does this for a living so they will help you look your best. Not every picture needs to be a serious high fashion shot; if you are just laughing and flirting with your partner, your photos will come across as natural and your love is bound to shine through. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Communication is key. Not only should you communicate with your fiancé on what you want to get out of these photos, but you should also be on the same page as your photographer as well. When choosing your photographer, make sure that you feel comfortable and trust the person that you hire. Make sure that the look you are going for vibes with their aesthetic and they are aware of what is important to you. Having a great rapport with your personal paparazzi could be the difference between images you like and images you love! If there are specific shots that you are looking for, speak up! We’re sure they’ll be up for your thoughts and ideas.

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Saperstone Studios

Have fun! If you two are enjoying yourself, your photos will be fun and fluid. We know you aren’t looking for stiff or stuffy in your engagement photos, so just be yourselves! These are oftentimes an announcement to the world that you are getting married! Remember why you’re there, pretend you’re on a date, and no amount of googly eyes is too much!

Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros. If that isn’t enough, check out our collection of local DMV weddings from the real world!

Say Cheese!

With many incredible wedding photographers in the DC area, click here to use United With Love’s local guide to find the right one.

Happy Weekend!

posted by Alex Hamilton

We are so excited that it is finally July! Summer weddings can be so vibrant, colorful, and fun! We’ve got some great inspiration for you this week on the blog so be sure to check it all out, and have an amazing holiday weekend. Happy 4th of July, everyone!

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Rachel May Photography via Grey Likes Weddings

Some links for your weekend from our favorite blogs…

…what you missed right here!

…and oldies but still useful goodies!

Carriages & Coaches

From trollies to classic cars, click here to find local DC area wedding transportation companies for your wedding.

Oatlands Garden Engagement Session: Brian and Rebekah

posted by Tabitha

The gardens at Oatlands House are the perfect setting for today’s romantic Virginia Engagement Session with Candace Nicole Photography. The couple met with their photographer for their session in the most beautiful spring light. They wandered the gardens until the sun began to fade, in a day that Candace said was filled with love and laughter with the newly engaged pair. We love the bride-to-be’s choices in engagement session attire with her vibrant red gown and contrasting sage dress that paired so perfectly with the surroundings. Thank you to the couple for sharing their engagement session with us today and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Credit: Candace Nicole Photography

 

Deals & Discounts

Looking for a little price break? Click here to check out United With Love’s list of local discounts for your wedding day.

Patriotic Wedding Inspiration

posted by Tabitha

As we gear up for a long holiday weekend, we want to share a patriotic inspired wedding shoot from Perfect Planning Events and Rafa Cruz Photography. We love the use of vibrant red roses against crisp white textured linens to really make the table arrangements pop! The team paired with DC wedding cake baker Catherine George Cakes for a fun gold and white starry cake. Hands down, the cake was our favorite part about this shoot as we love when couples take risks with their confections on the wedding day. Thank you to the team for sharing today’s July 4th wedding inspiration, and stay safe over the holiday weekend!

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The following Washington DC area wedding professionals contributed to their wedding:
Photography: Rafa Cruz
Planning and Design: Perfect Planning Events
Venue: Airlie
Rentals: DC Rental
Stationery: Fingers in Ink
Floral Designer: Edge Floral Event Design
Makeup : Dawn Newsome
Rentals: DC Rental
Cake/Dessert: Catherine George Cakes 
Bridal Attire: Soliloquy Bridal
Groom Attire: House of Jonlei

For more wedding vendors, please visit our Washington DC area wedding vendor guide and for even more amazing local ideas, check out our wedding inspiration galleries and other Washington DC area real weddings.

 

These vendors are member of United With Love's local guide. Click here for membership info.

  • Catherine George Cakes

    wedding cake design, wedding cakes

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Details & Design

Hiring a wedding planner just might be the best decision you’ll make! Click here to find your perfect wedding planning match.