Ways to save on your wedding


We are still in the heart of engagement season (that's right, Valentine's Day is coming up). Which means many new couples will begin their wedding planning early this year. With wedding costs on the rise (the average wedding is now between $20-30k depending on the area) it is good to know some ways to cut costs in general. Here are a few tips we think are noteworthy: 1. Cut down. Have 100 guests instead of 150. Have a buffet instead of a 5 course meal. Have 3 bridesmaids instead of 7.

2. Loosen up. The less formal the affair, the more affordable. Instead of a sit down hotel dinner, go for a casual brunch or appetizer only event.

3. Pick and choose. Go for a designer dress but skip the expensive shoes and accessories, serve cake but skip the candy/dessert bar. Have an amazing photographer but settle on having cousin Doug in film school videotaping the event.

4. Hire a wedding planner! Wedding planners are professionals and know even more ways to save and cut costs, they even get discounts with many of the wedding vendors who would normally charge you full price. (Hey, I think I know a planner...)

Stay tuned for more tips on getting started with planning your wedding!

Going Green-One of the Hottest Trends in Weddings

It's no surprise that one of the hottest wedding trends the past couples years has been going green, not just in the color palette, but from everything from using sustainable local fair trade and organic products to reusable linens and china to wearing a rented or used wedding gown.

If you are interested in hopping on the green band wagon, whether it be your every day lifestyle, or you just feel like its the kind of statement you would love to make at your upcoming nuptials, here are six tips that you may find helpful:

1. Make sure you choose a great caterer! Catering plays a huge aspect in your wedding from making sure you use re-usable linens, silverware, china, glassware etc. Also, talk to your catering company to make sure they use local, fair trade sustainable products. You can even take the trend deeper to make sure they are doing their part in the office. For example, Green Apple Catering of Kirkland, WA teams up with Puget Sound Energy to install energy efficient, high performance, reduced wattage lighting & fixtures throughout their offices, tasting room and kitchen. They also recycle their old fixtures & bulbs as outlined by the Federal Energy Consortium, as well as their used vegetable oil by giving it to a BIO-DIESEL home-brewer.

2. Organize carpools for your guests, especially using hybrid vehicles. Or if the location is far for guests to drive or if you have a lot of out of town guests who will be with out a vehicle, arrange an economical shuttle. Even book your wedding night limo with companies that reduce their carbon footprint such as Seattle Green Limo.

3. When printing out any papers that have to do with your wedding such as itineraries, copies of contracts and even your programs- opt for recycled paper. Many couples these days are completely skipping out on programs feeling the paper is a waste, even skipping out on favors as well- or at least the kind that come in all the little paper bags or boxes--

4. Instead of giving out over 100 little paper boxes filled with candy to your guests as favor, try going green in a different way. Give out little plants, herbs, or even seeds as guest favors. These can all be put right back into the the environment and guests can use them later on and having something to remember the day by. You can even use herbs or plants as your centerpieces and opt to have guests take them home at the end of the evening.

5. Going green is not only a concept that can be good for the environment, but as you may have noticed, it can be good on your pocket book as well. One way is to purchase a used, yes used bridal gown. Blue Sky Bridal, in the Phinney/Greenwood Neighborhood of Seattle offers recycled and reconstructed wedding gowns, organic wedding dresses, and green wedding accessories.

6. Lastly, invitations...takes up a lot of paper-and can be costly if you want them to look nice! However a new local company, Greenvelope, created by Seattle founder Sam Franklin has put a new spin on on-line invitations and the going green aspect. Greenvelopes invites can be customed designed or you can use one of their templates, making invites that look just as alluring as the paper ones. As the guest receives the e-mailed invitation the envelope actually opens up and presents itself to you like opening an invite and allows you to RSVP now or later. You can even keep track of your guest RSVP's on the Greenvelope site.