Photo by Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES
DON'T shell out big bucks for a hair accessory you'll wear just once. If you've admired a headpiece or hair accent worn by a friend, ask if she'll lend it to you.
DO stop by a few different department-store makeup counters before the wedding. Schedule a time with a makeup artist whose style you like, and buy only what you love.
DON'T hire a stylist to make a house call—it costs a lot less to go to the salon yourself.
DO ask a talented friend to do your hair and/or makeup, especially if you're low-maintenance. Make sure she understands your wedding-day vision, and have a trial run a few weeks ahead.
DON'T feel obligated to pay to have your stylist take care of your attendants' hair and makeup. The exception: Mom.
What vendors are you supposed to tip? How much? And how, exactly, do you hand off the cash without feeling like a mobster? BRIDES magazine brings you a guide on whom to tip, how much, and when.
OFFICIANT: $75 to $100 for a clergy member. (It's a donation to the house of worship.) A civil employee, such as a judge or clerk, often can't accept a tip. The best man offers the tip after the ceremony.
CEREMONY MUSICIANS: $20 to $25 each, unless tips are included in a house of worship's rental fee. The best man offers the tips after the ceremony.
ALTAR BOYS AND GIRLS: $5 to $10 each. The best man offers the tips to the kids after the ceremony.
DELIVERY PEOPLE (flowers, rentals, cake): $5 to $25 each, depending on the time and toil. Whoever (Mom, planner) is supervising wedding-day deliveries offers the tips on the spot.
COAT-CHECK AND RESTROOM ATTENDANTS: $0.50 to $1 per guest. Post a sign that gratuities have been taken care of. The host (i.e., you or your parents) pays in advance, based on the number of guests.
VALETS OR PARKING ATTENDANT: $1 per car. Post a sign telling guests that gratuities have been taken care of. The host pays in advance, based on the number of guests.
HOTEL WEDDING COORDINATOR: $200 to $400. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.
WAITSTAFF: 15 to 20 percent of the total catering bill, to be split among the waiters, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.
BARTENDERS: 10 percent of the total liquor bill, to be split among the bar staff, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.
DJ OR BAND: $50 to $100 for a DJ, or $20 to $25 for each band member, if they work for an agency; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.
PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER: $50 to $100, if they're working for a studio; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.
INDEPENDENT WEDDING PLANNER: None expected. But if your planner went out of her way, you can thank her with cash ($100 to $1,000, depending on your budget) or a gift, sent after the wedding.
LIMO OR BUS DRIVER:15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip after the final drop-off.
HAIRSTYLISTS AND MAKEUP ARTISTS: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if you go to a salon; at your discretion if they come to you.
—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine
Brides Daily • Budget • Travel
Courtesy of Anacaona Boutique Hotel
Courtesy of Nonsuch Bay
Courtesy of Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort
Photo by John Runnin/Courtesy of A Stone's Throw Away
Courtesy of Little Arches Barbados
Courtesy of Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of Rockhouse
Courtesy of Errol Pemberton
Courtesy of Mago Estate Hotel
Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
Photo by Tara Donne/BRIDES
BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of seven essential do's and don'ts for considering flowers and decorations for your wedding day.
DO reuse the bridesmaid's bouquets at the reception—they can be slipped into vases to decorate the escort-card table and the entrance.
DON'T limit yourself to classic floral arrangements for the centerpieces. A glass bowl filled with water, rose petals, and floating candles is a luminous, low-cost alternative.
DO take advantage of seasonal sales to buy items like candles.
DON'T order out-of-season flowers that need to be flown in, since that will most likely incur big shipping costs.
DO weave herbs and branches into arrangements—you'll need fewer flowers that way.
DON'T spend money decorating reception areas that won't be heavily trafficked, such as staircases and hallways. Put your money where guests will see it: the entrance, the dining tables, and the bar.
DO use masses of candles bought in bulk.
Brides Daily • Budget • DIY
We asked real brides to share their best budget-trimming tricks. Here's what they said!
We called a local art college and asked the staff to recommend a photography student for our wedding. The guy we chose had won awards, was eager to please, and charged thousands less than many of the professionals we considered.
—KIRI W., 44, ORLANDO, FL
We got married in a villa in the Dominican Republic. The villa chef prepared the meal—a resort would have charged far more. And since it was a destination bash, the guest list filtered itself. Brilliant!
—MELISSA M., 31, PALO ALTO, CA
Instead of hiring a DJ, we asked five musically inclined friends to do it in shifts. I sent them a list of must-plays and do-not-plays, and the rest was up to them. We used Google Docs so they could submit proposed playlists, and bought inexpensive DJ software to ensure that the music sounded professional. They were a hit—and they totally felt like rock stars!
—SYLVIA D., 35, LOS ANGELES
We did my bouquet, my bridesmaids' bouquets, and all the boutonnieres with flowers I got at Costco—they cost a third of the lowest quote I got from a florist. My mother, aunts, bridesmaids, future mother-in-law, and I all sat around my grandmother's dining-room table and put the flowers together. I saved money, my friends and family bonded, and we have great memories from our afternoon of floral design. With all the DIY instructions available online, it was really easy!
—BAYLEE Y., 28, SANTA MONICA, CA
Instead of buying an expensive wedding cake and floral centerpieces, I bought a bunch of small cakes from the local bakery for about $12 each. They were beautifully decorated with flowers, so we used them as table centerpieces. Since they were all different flavors, everyone had a blast sampling different cakes at different tables and chatting with other guests in the process!
—LESLEY G., 39, SAN FRANCISCO
Courtesy of Alexandra Breckenridge
1. Bride-share! Find a like-minded bride-to-be, and go in with her on bulk purchases like favors and paper (for invites).
2. As an alternative to floral centerpieces, decorate with unusual items like fabric poms and paper flowers. Collect something fun, like vintage creamers? Show it off at the bash.
3. Don't rent or buy new tableware. Go to a flea market and pick up mismatched china, flatware, and Mason jars (for glasses). After the wedding, you'll be set for dinner parties!
4. Forgo expensive linen rentals. Opt for money-saving fabrics like burlap, muslin, or gingham. Cut them to measure with pinking shears to dress tables on the cheap.
5. Not wedded to linen? Use inexpensive kraft paper for tablecloths. Place crayons and markers in jam jars so your guests can doodle during dinner.
6. Skip table numbers by assigning each table a color, then covering it with DIY cloths (see #4) in that shade.
7. Veto traditional wedding flowers (roses, orchids), and try inexpensive picks like moss, cotton, baby's breath, or herbs.
8. Go picnic-chic: Make a dinner care package for your guests, featuring gourmet sandwiches and yummy sides--you'll save big on catering and waitstaff bills.
9. Nix printed menus at every place setting in favor of a few large chalkboard menus in the dining area. To save even more, create your own using plywood and chalkboard paint.
10. Edit your wedding wish list. Prioritize what you and your fiance really want (e.g., small-batch bourbon) instead of what other people say you need (a string quartet).
—Dana LaRue, The Broke Ass Bride
Brides Daily • Budget • Fashion • Runway
- Photos, from left: John Aquino and Robert Mitra
- Photos, from left: John Aquino and Kyle Ericksen
- Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and Robert Mitra
- Photos by John Aquino
- Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and Kyle Ericksen
- Photos, from left: Thomas Iannaccone and John Aquino
Brides Daily • Budget • DIY
Clockwise from top left: Buttons, box lid, tissue paper, box base, bone folder, ribbon, double-sided tape
Materials For The Box:• 6-by-6 inch origami paper, scrapbooking paper, or any paper that you desire
• Square boxes with lids—either flat-packed and premade (as shown in the photo above) or as a kit
• Bone folder or metal ruler
• Hot-glue gun or double-sided tape
• Assortment of buttons
• Tissue paper
Licorice ribbon and fondant
Materials For The Cookies:
• Cookie dough, with extra flour for dusting your surface
• Ready-to-use fondant
• Icing sugar
• Licorice strips, plus assorted candy or cachous (if using)
• Rolling pin
• Wooden skewer, other assorted items for making patterns on fondant
• Sharp knife for trimming
Beauty • Brides Daily • Budget • DIY • Flowers • Food • Travel • Wedding Style
Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES
Hidden costs can throw even the most organized bride for a loop. BRIDES magazine details what charges are legitimate and which you should question.
Are they included in the gown's price?
What's real: They're usually an additional charge determined at the first fitting, when the seamstress sees exactly what work needs to be done. To avoid a big shock, ask for an alterations estimate in writing at the time of the purchase. A major change, like remaking a dress should you lose 30 pounds, will cost you big bucks.
What's a rip-off: Being charged per fitting rather than for the actual work, or paying fees that are based on the price of the gown.
Should moving the ceremony flowers to the reception site cost extra?
What's real: That depends. If there's a considerable amount of time involved, some florists will charge a fee. A crew has to stay at the first location, clean up after the ceremony, travel to the second site, and reinstall the flowers. If the arrangements are elaborate, this can take hours.
What's a rip-off: If a florist wants to charge you for moving a couple of simple baskets from one site to the next, ask a guest with a minivan to do the transporting instead.
You've rented the hall—should you pay for parking, too?
What's real: Generally, sites that own their parking lots free and clear don't charge for self-parking. Valet parking, however, will cost you extra, unless it's included in the catering package. If a venue doesn't have its own on-site parking, it may have an arrangement with a nearby garage where you and your guests will receive a discounted rate.
What's a rip-off: Being charged for self-parking if your reception facility owns its own lot. Honk if that makes you mad—then look into other sites.
CORKAGE AND CAKE-CUTTING FEES
Should a caterer charge you for serving wine or wedding cake that you provide?
What's real: In some states, caterers are required by law to have additional insurance for serving alcohol; a corkage fee (usually about $3 per guest) helps offset the expense. A cake-cutting fee (typically $1 to $2 per person) is pretty standard when your caterer can provide a cake but you choose to purchase your frosted tiers elsewhere.
What's a rip-off: Paying a steep corkage fee ($15 per bottle in some venues!). Don't be afraid to question such charges and to try to negotiate.
—Hillary Quinn, BRIDES magazine
Brides Daily • Budget • DIY • Flowers • Guest Blogger • Wedding Style
Hello, lovely readers—I'm Katie from WeddingFanatic.com and so excited to share this project with you on BRIDES Daily! Not only because it involves fresh flowers that pop with color and smell delicious, but because BRIDES is one of my absolute favorite wedding publications of all time. It's a bridal blogger's dream come true. ;) And as a lover of all things wedding, handmade, and pretty, I thought this DIY project was the perfect way to share some crafty wedding love and help you get your creative juices flowing!
When you think of wedding flowers, the mind first jumps to the bouquet, reception centerpieces, and ceremony decorations. But sometimes we forget about flowers for the guys! If you're a DIY gal (or have crafty friends helping you with your handmade wedding), consider making boutonnieres for the guys in your bridal party. Here are a few simple steps to help you make your own hand-tied arrangements!
Courtesy of Katie Olson
You don't need much to make these! Grab some shears (or scissors) and floral tape. If any of your stems are flimsy, get some floral wire, too. Pick out the flowers you want to use. Here we are using green trick, pink and white ranunculus, and myrtle branches.
Courtesy of Katie Olson
STEP 1 - Prep your flowers. Remove any leaves on their stems. Remove the lower portion of the leaves on your foliage. If you are using single leaves rather than branches, as we're doing here, use your floral wire to create a longer stem. To do this, take a four-inch piece of wire and feed it though the leaf toward the bottom, close to the stem. Twist it around the existing stem to create a longer stem. The wire will be hidden when you wrap everything together in step 2.
Courtesy of Katie Olson
STEP 2 - Build your boutonniere. Take your larger leaves or branches and group a few together. Add one flower at a time, placing each at a different level and in a slightly different direction. If you see any holes in the front, fill them in with more foliage. Rearrange as you feel necessary, then wrap the stems with floral tape to hold everything in place.
Courtesy of Katie Olson
STEP 3 - The finishing touch. Wrap the stems (over the floral tape) with ribbon that coordinates with your wedding colors and flowers. Start at the bottom and wrap your way up. Just below the flowers, tie the ribbon in a knot or a bow.
Courtesy of Katie Olson
Add a pin or two and it's ready to be placed on a lapel!
Brides Daily • Budget • DIY
When the BRIDES editorial staff was sent packages of multicolored Post-it craft paper to test out, we knew we'd love it—our office desks and walls are already covered in the square sticky notes. We resolved to have a friendly competition to see how many ideas we could come up with for using the paper for...you guessed it, weddings.
Managing editor Joyce Bautista, photo assistant Luigi Menduni, and online coordinator Jackie Lebowitz entered the ring and put their creative skills to work. (After all, it's not every day that you get to do arts and crafts at the office.)
With just over an hour allotted to them, they created table numbers, flags and banners, escort cards, candle votives, book centerpieces, even a boutonniere—all made out of little more than the paper (and absolutely no messy glue!).
These are just a few of the ideas we had for creating simple, budget-friendly crafts and accessories for your wedding. Now we want to hear from you! What paper DIY projects are you incorporating into your special day?