Archive for Planning
Busting the Budget Stigma
Everyday we have clients ask us for tips on how to handle their budget woes. This week’s Blog is going to be all about BUDGETS!…how to make a budget and stick to it!!
Step One: Making A Budget
The biggest problem clients seem to have is coming up with a realistic budget. Things to keep in mind while making a budget:
1. Industry rates range, depending on what state you are getting married in and if it is an urban or rural area. Having a wedding in a city versus a smaller town might end up costing you more in the end.
2. There is a price per guest for food and liquor. Remember to keep your Guest List in line with the budget.
3. Styles of weddings can determine the cost as well. If you want a more formal affair, you may be looking at a higher budget.
Check out the great Budget Builder at Real Simple Weddings Cost Calculator. You will find everything from the average cost of weddings in your area to budget worksheets to help you stay organized!
Step Two: Give Yourself A Cushion!
When creating your budget, be sure to put aside a percentage of your budget for emergencies. At the end of planning, you might want to use the money to upgrade your decor, food, bar or you might want to put it toward your honeymoon. But that little bit of money will ensure you never fully go over your budget!
Step Three: Talking Budget With Your Vendors
Once the budget is created it is all smooth sailing from there. I know talking budget with vendors can be intimidating, but follow these simple tips and it will be a breeze.
1. When picking a vendor, do your homework. Check out their websites or give them a call and ask what their price points are. Most vendors will discuss budgets right away.
“‘Be straight with the vendors and tell them your budget. If you have wiggle room, let them know. For the most part vendors are very honest and will tell you whether they can work within that budget and whether that budget is realistic,’ says Laura Wright of Laura Wright Events. ‘If they can’t work within your budget, ask them if they will give you the name of someone who can.’ You’ll save a ton of back-and-forth time if you’re on the same page from the beginning.”
-Article Planning Basics: How to Talk Money With Your Wedding Vendors, The Knot.com
2. You never know unless you ask! Tell your vendors what you want and ask what it would cost you.
”And trust us: It’s totally normal to experience sticker shock the first time you read through a pricing menu. Once you’ve learned that wooden farm tables are much more expensive than round tables and that even simple draping requires an entire team of pros, then you’ll really be ready to have a conversation. Additionally, when it comes to those intangible talents like photography, videography and design, Chenin Boutwell of Chenin Boutwell Photography points out that you have to remember that in some cases, you’re paying for “‘a unique eye, point of view and experience.’”
-Article Planning Basics: How to Talk Money With Your Wedding Vendors, The Knot.com
3. Make sure you have your vendor walk you through your contract and make sure to ask questions if you don’t understand. There is nothing worse than showing up the day of the event thinking you are getting one thing and really having another. Plus, Vendors are human, there might always be a mistake or adding error….it does happen!
Step Four: Enjoy the Planning Process
Remember with the right vendors and the proper planning, no matter what size your budget, you really can have the wedding of your dreams.
Have questions or additional advice? We would love to hear it!
BRAVO! hosted Kid’s Fest 2012 yesterday and it was a BLAST! We wanted to have a day to give back to the community and to celebrate the start of summer. A lot of great local vendors helped us with this event and through partnership with other local businesses in the Florence community we all grow!
Rachel did a great job making sure that every kid had their checks painted.
Kid’s got to choose from a whole sheet of art work! It was a tough choice even for the staff!
We had several games set up like Bean Bag Toss, Go Fish, Duck Pond and a Hula Hooping Contest
We also had several activities like our Bounce House, Side Walk Chalk, Puppies from the Humane Society and a bubble machine.
After all that playing the kids were ready for some food!
All of the kids and adults enjoyed Rita’s Italian Ice! They brought Mango, Cotton Candy and Bubble Gum!
Freeman’s brought some of their favorite treat! Check out the push pop cake. You can even reuse the container for ice cream or frozen yogurt!
BRAVO! Provided the popcorn and Pepsi provided the drinks!
We had a GREAT Day at Kid’s Fest! We want to thank Rita’s Italian Ice, Freeman Bakery, Pepsi, the Florence Area Humane Society and all the volunteers for helping make our first Kid’s Fest a success!
For this week’s post we wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at how we took a concept of Hollywood Knights and created the West Florence Prom.
We knew that there needed to be some key elements when designing a high school Hollywood prom:
- Glitz and Glam
- Setting the Scene
- Current and Trendy
We tied in the glitz and glam with the color and the sequined fabric of the table linens.
For the centerpieces we used three different styles of arrangements.
For the first centerpiece we ordered block buster movie poster that teenagers would love. We used the movie posters inside of the vases and created a floral topper with movie film weaved throughout the arrangement.
To represent the Hollywood feel we used black and white ostrich feathers in Eiffel Tower vases and Oscar statues with film reels on the remaining tables.
To make it feel like the attendees were at a star studded event we incorporated some key props. As the couples walked the red carpet they were made to feel like they were the stars. They were greeted with a scene of paparazzi.
As the couples danced the night away they got a view of the famous Hollywood sign over looking the city.
Nothing says Hollywood like Justin Bieber stepping out of the Bentley onto the red carpet!
What was your favorite design element of the Hollywood Knights Prom?
Coming up with out of the box ideas for your kid’s birthday party may be hard year after year. Here is a list of 5 great ideas you can do for their next birthday bash.
A get messy party is exactly what it sounds like. You set up stations of fun and messy activities. This is one of our favorite ideas for a party because it allows your kids to be kids. It’s a good idea to let the other parents know what kind of party you’re having. That way they will know to send an extra set of clothes.
Ideas for Stations
- Edible Finger Paint
- Shaving Cream Slip and Slide
- Messy Hair Station
- Messy Tarp Art
- Pie Eating Contest
2. Let’s Go Camping
Whether you have a camping party at a camp ground or pretend that your back yard is a camp site, this party theme allows you to be very creative.
Pitch a tent, make a fire and tell some ghost stories. Your child will be sure to remember this party for years to come.
3) A Night at the Movies
Grab some sleeping bags, your child’s favorite movie and come in BRAVO! to rent the projector and screen. You will have all the makings for a fun filled birthday party.
Set up a concession stand in the back yard so everyone has all their favorite movie snacks! Check with BRAVO! on the popcorn machine for that added touch!
4) A Get Crafty Party
What child (or adult) doesn’t like craft time? This fun birthday idea allows children to explore their creative side. They will have tons of projects to take home with them. Imagine all the possibilities and who knows you might have a Picasso on your hands.
5) Mad Scientist Party
For a mad scientist party you can set up stations with kid friendly science experiments. Make sure you have age appropriate experiments. It is also a good idea to have some extra adults on hand at each station for extra support.
Make your own slime
Have a candy station with science type candy. Think Nerds, Atomic Warheads, Pop Rocks, Smarties, and gummy creatures.
- Your child’s birthday is the same day every year so make sure you plan ahead. We suggest you start the planning process three months ahead of time.
- Make sure the theme you choose reflects your child’s personality. Get their opinion on the type of party they would like to have.
- Always have a plan B in case of bad weather.
- Make sure you carry your theme throughout the whole party i.e. the invitations, birthday cake, activities, and favors.
- It is always helpful to prepare other parents with special instructions. For example, to send your child with an extra change of clothes.
No matter what theme you choose make sure you have tons of activities for the children to do. What is your favorite birthday party theme?
With every new season there are always new trends. It is our job to stay on top of all the latest happenings so your event will set the standard among your guests. In 2012 we have some exciting additions at BRAVO! and can’t wait to start working with you.
1) Event Design and Coordination
We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to the BRAVO! Team Rachel Briggs.
Rachel graduated from the College of Charleston with a BA in Corporate and Organization Communications. She has 5+ years of experience in Special Events Marketing and Design in the Charleston event industry. There she specialized in corporate and social event design, production and sales.
Her passion lies with special event floral and event design focusing on custom production. Rachel will be heading the Event Design Department at BRAVO!
By working with BRAVO! you will have a full service experience. Not only can we handle your rentals but your event design, coordination and floral as well.
2) S’mores Bar
We have all seen the candy bar or cookie bar trend pop up at weddings the past couple of years but nothing compares to the comfort of the S’mores bar. It made its debut at the BRAVO! Bridal Expo in January and it was an immediate hit!
You can even mix it up by offering Kit-Kat, Reese’s or Snickers s’mores.
3) Colored Chiarvari- This new trend is popping up everywhere and BRAVO! is the first in the area to rent these brightly covered chiarvaris.
4) Bounce Houses
Now at BRAVO! you can rent a bounce house for your next birthday party, festival, or family reunion.
5) Farm Benches
These benches are a great seating option that flows well with our recently added farm tables. They also make a great look for the ceremony.
Lighting is an important part of setting the mood at your next event. BRAVO! now offers a variety of options no matter what your style or theme may be.
We took our out of date brass chandeliers and transformed them to funky, one of a kind lighting for your next shindig!
7) Mason jars
No need to go out and buy a ton of mason jars for your special rustic themed event BRAVO! now rents mason jars! Use them for that specialty drink, as table decor or use them as lighting and hang them from trees.
What trends are you thinking of incorporating into your event this year?
January means bridal shows. With all the vendors, food and fashion shows, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. Here are a few tips to get everything you need from the expo:
Know who will be there
Most expos will have a list of vendors available on the website. Review the list ahead of time, and create a list of vendors that you would like to speak with. Make sure to speak with these vendors first to avoid the rush.
Check the rules for giveaways
Prizes are often given throughout the show. Find out how to qualify for the prizes and if you need to be present to win a prize. If so, try and stay throughout the entire show to increase your chances of winning.
Know your budget
Before planning a wedding, it’s important to know your budget and how much you can spend on each category. Ask vendors about pricing and how they can work within your budget.
Bring a camera
Bridal shows are great for getting ideas. There will be dresses, centerpieces, and much more. When you see something you like, take a picture. Later you can compile the ideas and see how they can work together.
Bring address labels
Most vendors will want your contact information for drawings, mailings, etc. Having your information printed on stickers will save you from writer’s cramp and you will have more time to explore the expo.
Many vendors will offer discounts to brides who schedule appointments at the bridal expo. Schedule appointments with vendors you are interested in working with. This could save you money and will keep you on track for planning your wedding.
Bring your maid of honor or someone equally excited about your wedding. It helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of and someone to laugh with. Keep in mind that inviting too many people can be overwhelming with the contradicting opinions. Bridal shows are intended to provide a fun, easy way to meet with many vendors in one afternoon.
First and foremost Congratulations!
Enjoy your engagement! Take time to let everything sink in before you make any decisions. This is a time to celebrate being with your fiancé, so be sure to enjoy it!
Once you have taken time to enjoy this special time in your life sit down with your fiancé and everyone who will be helping financially and determine a budget and the guest list. This may be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important to be upfront and honest with everyone involved. Find out what everyone is willing to chip in and determine a dollar amount for the budget and stick to it. This makes things so much easier while planning!
Once you determine the wedding budget, you can calculate how much can be spent on the dress, decorations, etc. An easy-to-follow worksheet is available here. This is not a strict number. You can move money between categories, but it should give you a good place to start.
Determine what ideas you are willing to spend extra money on and what you are not. Come up with a list of non-negotiable, negotiable, and unimportant ideas for your wedding. This will help you decide how to prioritize your budget.
Now that you have a dollar amount in mind start a notebook full of ideas, pictures, etc. that you want to incorporate into your wedding. Begin to price your ideas with different vendors. Meet with several different vendors and ask for references!
Deciding on a budget and sticking to it is the first step to planning a wedding that is both beautiful and stress free.
For more information on planning a wedding, plan on attending the BRAVO! Bridal Expo on Jan. 8th.