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Category Archives: wedding planning

Financially Surviving Wedding Season as a Guest

by Laura Gariepy

According to the New York Times, the average wedding guest spends nearly $900 to partake in the festivities. That price tag can make your wallet want to say, “I don’t!” — especially if your wedding season dance card is full.

But don’t worry. Charlie knows a bunch of money-saving hacks so you can catch the bouquet without breaking the bank!

Set a Budget and Prioritize

Take a peek at your finances and determine exactly how much you can spend on the occasion without wreaking havoc on your budget. Once you have a figure in mind, it’s time to create a spending plan.

You can stay near the venue in style, rival the bride for beauty, or be the best gift giver ever — but you may not be able to afford to do it all. If that’s the case, you’ll need to make some trade-offs to stay within your set limits. For example, if you want to give a lavish gift, that could mean forgoing the expensive salon visit the morning of the ceremony.

Tip: Charlie can help you plan ahead by starting a new savings goal called “wedding.”

Pool Resources

Try going in on wedding attendance expenses with family and friends. You can split the cost of lodging, transportation, and even the gift. That way, everyone saves some cash and can still fully take part in the experience.

Beautify Yourself (or Find a Deal)

If you’ve got the skills, skip the pricey salon and do your own hair, makeup, and mani-pedi. DIY’ing your beauty regimen will save you some serious cash. (You may even already have the supplies on hand!) Afraid of looking like Elizabeth Holmes? Ask a friend to help paint your face and braid their hair in trade.

If you really want to be pampered, check Groupon to score a deal on the service. You can also reach out to local beauty schools. Often, their students will gussy you up for much less dough than a pro.

Re-wear or Rent Attire

There is zero shame in wearing a killer dress (or suit) twice. So save your wallet and rock that outfit again! You can also raid a friend’s closet to wear something that’s new to you. But — if you must wear something brand new, consider renting your ensemble for a fraction of the price of buying it off the rack.

Make Your Gift

If you’ve got the talent, why not use it to make something heartfelt and budget friendly? Your newlyweds will appreciate the gesture and will likely cherish it over another set of wine glasses.

Here are some ideas to spark your creativity:

  • Sing a song at the reception
  • Make the centerpieces on the dinner tables
  • Offer to photograph the event
  • Create a scrapbook about their relationship
  • Knit a blanket for their couch or bed
  • Paint their new family portrait

Still feeling uninspired? Pinterest has got you covered!

Just Say No

Although it hurts to check “will not attend” on the RSVP card, remember: an invitation to a wedding is a request, not a requirement. Sometimes your wallet just can’t swing it and that’s OK. If that happens, confidently decline with your regrets and send a little (perhaps homemade) gift in your place.

Final Thoughts

Being a wedding guest can be crazy expensive — but it doesn’t have to be. Every element of the experience can be optimized to fit your budget. So go ahead and feel the love while enjoying your fatter bank account.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent as a wedding guest? Was it worth it?

Please note: We don’t have an affiliation with or personally endorse any of the services linked to in this post. We’re just trying to give you some ideas.

This article was originally published at HiCharlie.com

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10 Things you Need to Know about Wedding Contracts.

You are floating on air that your engaged, now comes the stress… choosing a date, a location, and your vendors.  Of course, we recommend hiring a wedding planner or coordinator to help you through this.  However, even with your wedding planner/coordinator, you will need a contract from them as well.

Here is what you need to look for on your contracts.

1 – If a wedding vendor does not have a contract.  They are not a legitimate wedding vendor as you should have a contract from each of your vendors.

2 – Verify your wedding information.  Is your name spelled correctly? Is the location, time and date correct.  I know it sounds like a simple thing, but there was a case where the contract had a different date than the bride had wanted.  We were able to catch it in time, and make adjustments.

3 – What services is the vendor providing?  It should be spelled out.  For example, is the rehearsal included?  Or if a wedding photographer, engagement photos?  If cake or caterer, is a tasting included?  Make sure you are receiving the services you want.

4 – Is the deposit refundable?  Industry standard is that the deposit is non-refundable.  For clarity in relation to planners/coordinators, a full refund is not possible because the majority of the Wedding Services (e.g., planning, timelines, bookings and visitations with third-party vendors, etc.) will be performed prior to the wedding date and the company must be compensated for Services that are rendered prior to the cancellation.

5 – What is the cancellation policy?  If you need to cancel or postpone your wedding, what are your options with this vendor.

6 – Is there an “act of nature” clause?  What are your options in the event of a hurricane or other act of nature? If an outdoor wedding, what are your options if it rains?

7 – What if a vendor cancels?  Life happens, if the vendor suddenly has a death in the family the day before your wedding, what is the plan?  We get a least 1 call a month asking for  last minute officiant or coordination due to the vendor backing out at last minute due to life situations.

8 – How is your balance treated?  When is it due?  Can you pay it off early? What happens if your late in paying?

9 – Are there time limits?  Are there exact times on the contract, such as a photographer saying their service is 2 hours, 5-7 pm.  What if the wedding starts late?

10 – Do you understand everything in the contract?  If not, ask the vendor for clarification!  The best method of this is email so you have a hard copy of the answers that you can file with the contract.

Wedding vendors are not out to trick you.  Their contract should be set up to protect both you and them for the services you are needing.  By making sure you understand the answers to these questions for each vendor, it will prevent stress and worry later.  As with any contract, you should read  all of it before signing.

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Charleston Wedding Venues

Charleston Wedding Venues that include Chairs and Tables

When it comes to searching for the perfect wedding venue, you must also keep in mind some of the top expenses you will incur including the venue itself, catering, bar, photographer and rentals.

Many venues nowadays require a day-of coordinator, wedding insurance, food and beverage minimums if using an in-house caterer, as well as rentals such as chairs and tables which many couples overlook.  We have listed a few of our favorite venues that include chairs and tables that will help keep your costs down.

Venue Venue Cost Capacity** Outdoor Space Catering Kitchen Catering Tables/Chairs 

Included

Charleston Harbor Resort $1500-

$11250

500 Yes N/A In-house Chairs

Tables

Charleston County Masonic Temple $1500 170 No Yes Bring Your Own Chairs

Tables

Cooper River Room $500-

$3500

125 Yes Yes Bring Your Own Chairs

Tables

Francis Marion Hotel $5000-

$13000*

300 No N/A In-house Chairs

Tables

I’On Meeting House $1500-

$1750

125 Yes No Bring Your Own Chairs
Merchants Hall $1700-

$3500

200 No Yes Bring Your Own Chairs

Tables

South Carolina Society Hall $1000-

$5500

150 No Yes Bring Your Own Chairs

Tables

The Historic Rice Mill $1500-

$5500

200 Yes N/A In-house Chairs

Tables

Wickliffe House

$2000-

$3500

100 Yes   N/A In-house

Chairs

Tables

*Rental Fee is waived if a minimum amount is spent in food and beverage
**Please note that the capacity is what we recommend and should also include vendors

Make sure to let the venues know that Reynolds Treasures referred you.  Reynolds Treasures Wedding Services is here for your wedding planning and coordination needs.  Contact us today to learn more.

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Achieve Your Dream Wedding with a Wedding Planner

How Wedding Planners Can Help You Achieve Your Dream Wedding

Planning a wedding can be stressful, even overwhelming at times. After all, this will likely be the largest event you’ve ever hosted in your life, and most of us have little to no experience in the matter. If only there was someone out there… anyone that could help. Oh wait, that’s what wedding planners are for! But aren’t wedding planners only for movie stars? Not quite. In fact, a wedding planner is really quite affordable in the grand scheme of things. If you find yourself ready to elope to escape planning stress, read on and see why a wedding planner is your perfect solution.

Planners can help make wedding planning stress-free

Weddings require a lot of research, phone calls, negotiations, and so on. When you have a wedding planner, much of this can be done for you. In many cases, it’s easier for vendors to communicate with a planner. Why? Because many are often reluctant to burden couples with last-minute details as the wedding fast approaches. A planner can work out these issues so you can focus on looking forward to and enjoying your big day.

Planners can help make your wedding dreams come true

Once a planner is aware of your wedding dreams, they have one mission: making it come true. That is, after all, what they’re being paid to do. Unlike the average couple who probably doesn’t have a background in wedding planning, most wedding planners take on more than one wedding per day or per weekend. Therefore, they’re able to leverage professional experience and vast pre-established networks to ensure your day goes exactly to your liking. It will take a huge load off your shoulders knowing there is someone out there willing to see your journey through from beginning to end.

Planners can help keep your budget in check

One of the main responsibilities of any planner is being able to do the most with whatever budget is given. Given their extensive experience, a planner knows how to make a dollar stretch and when a vendor’s quote is too high. They’ll also be able to recommend which vendors and services align perfectly with your preferences, making sure you get the best for your money. If you have a lot of time until the big day, consider utilizing mobile banking apps that can expedite your savings each month before the wedding. You’ll be able to explore more possibilities and allow your planner more creative freedom with a larger budget.

Planners can help save your money

Many planners manage to get a vendor discount. Why? Because planners give vendors repeat business. Vendors will want to make sure their services are meeting or exceeding expectations so that they can make sure they’re contacted again. When multiple vendors are giving your planner a better rate, it can amount to huge savings overall!

Contact us today so that we can begin planning the wedding of your dreams.

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A Modern Twist on Wedding Traditions

A Modern Twist on Wedding Traditions

In the 1800’s, wedding ceremonies were mainly conducted in churches followed by a small reception at the bride’s parents home.  In the early 1900’s, sleeveless dresses would have been considered inappropriate, but anything goes today.  Every decade wedding traditions tend to evolve and customization is the key for couples today. This is getting harder with todays busy lifestyle. We have listed a few ways to shop for your wedding online.

The Bling

Reynolds Treasures Ring

Ohhh… the ring shopping!  While this is an exciting time for the ladies (I mean you get to go ring shopping, what is there not to like), you should also consider online shopping too!  Cutting out the middle man, you can get fantastic quality at phenomenal prices. Be sure to check out Blue Nile Wedding Ring Options.

 

Suit and Tux Rentals

Did you know you don’t even have to leave your home to rent your wedding attire?  Yes, you heard me right.  This is a great way to ensure the bridal party has that great look, even when they live all across the country. Be sure to check out Generation Tux and contact us for your discount code.

 

Centerpieces and Décor

Reynolds Treasures Decoration I’ll bet the first place you look to get wedding décor idea’s is Pinterest.  Well, if you haven’t seen the show “Nailed It”, you may want to consider watching!  While many of the decorations look wonderful, implementing them can be a challenge.  In addition, after your wedding, what do you do with your decorations?  Many try to sell them, but that too can be a challenge, not to mention all of the time that went into buying the supplies and making the decorations.  We recommend renting your décor centerpieces or purchasing floral for your big day.  Don’t know what to do with all of the floral after?  Be thoughtful and ask your wedding planner to donate it to a local retirement/nursing home.

 

Let us help you take care of your wedding for you. Be sure to check out our Charleston Wedding Packages that can be customized to fit all of your needs.

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Best Groomsmen Gifts

Best Groomsmen Gifts

As a wedding planner in Charleston, SC, I am often asked to recommend the best groomsmen gifts. I decided that I cannot make recommendations without trying the product.  Since my husband has had his wallet for years (I am shocked it is still intact), I decided to order him a new wallet.

Box with WalletI received the wallet within a week of ordering it!  I love the wooden box that it arrived in along with the name engraved on it.  And when you open the box, you can smell the new leather along with the gorgeous wallet.

The ordering process was easy and the product is of very high quality.  I highly recommend Groovy Groomsmen Gifts for your groomsmen gifts.

 

Some other awesome options available that my past grooms have recommended:

Groomsmen Bobblehead Doll

Stonecold Whiskey Cubes

Stogie Snipper

Leonarbo Decapry-Off

And best of all, their prices are very reasonable.

 

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5 Do’s and Don’ts for a Charleston Beach Wedding

5 Do’s and Don’ts of a Charleston Beach Wedding

Charleston Beach Wedding Dos:

Do hire a wedding coordinator.

Not only will the coordinator be available to setup your Charleston Beach Ceremony, he/she will know and understand the tides, lighting, permit requirements, along with all other technicalities that come along with a beach wedding. Not hiring a coordinator will leave your setup crew hot and tired as dragging decorations and setting up in the sand is no easy task.  It’s really a lot of work.

Do provide transportation for your guests.

With many beaches, parking is at a minimum or a premium price.  Providing transportation for your guests cuts any worries out and ensures everyone will be there on-time.

Beach Wedding

Do prepare for wind.

Beaches typically have wind!  Take this into account with your hair style, veil, and dress unless you want to recreate the all so known famous Marylin Monroe pose!

Do hire business professionals.

Did you know that anyone getting compensated must have a business license to be able to conduct business! So if you find a great photographer at a discounted price, make sure they are licensed to conduct business where your wedding ceremony will take place.  If not, they may be asked to stop conducting business which would leave you without services or getting hit with a hefty fine.

Do let the guys go informal.

The beach is just too hot for tuxedos and heavy suites.  Opt for light weight fabrics such as cotton pants or even Bermuda shorts.

Charleston Beach Wedding Don’ts:

X Don’t have your beach wedding in the middle of the day in the summer.

Not only will the sun be beating down on you and your guests, there will be many beach-goers around that may make it into your wedding album or worse, cheering for you like their favorite team just won the Superbowl.

X Don’t wear heels.

Heels and sand do not go well together. I recommend wearing flat sole sandals or even no shoes.  Having on heels will make your strut down the aisle look quite funny.

X Don’t bring glass on the beach.

Think about it.  Can you have glass at your neighborhood pool?  Same applies to the beach as it wouldn’t be fair if it broke and was left for someone to get cut or worse, an animal to eat it.

X Don’t use a runner on the beach. Charleston Beach Wedding

It does not work out well at all!  No matter how even the sand is prior to its placement, sand moves and thus so does the runner.

 

X Don’t use artificial flower petals

Artificial (faux) floral is bad for the environment and not allowed on Charleston beaches.  Remember earlier we mentioned wind at the beach, well the flower petals will eventually blow around or be taken out to sea by the tides.  If using flower petals, real petals will have to be utilized.

Be sure to check out our Beach Package and let us help you plan your dream beach wedding.

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Will Rain Ruin Your Wedding Day?

You have taken the time to plan a beautiful outdoor ceremony, whether in a park, plantation, courtyard, or the beach…it is your vision, to be married under a clear blue sky with a couple puffs of friendly white clouds…

Over 90% of the time this happens!! However, I always recommend having a Plan B, in case of bad weather!! This Spring, we have skirted a couple of storms, we had to move a wedding from a 4pm time to a 1pm time to avoid the storms, and we had rain at the end of one wedding. We are as flexible as possible with the weather.

We watch the weather very closely, and 1 week prior to your ceremony, we discuss the weather, and if we need a potential Plan B. If the weather is questionable, 2 days prior to the wedding, we will again discuss the options as well as a deadline for when the decision needs to be made by.

So what do we do if it rains?

First thing we check is when is the rain. The general weather may say 60% chance of rain, but if that is in the morning and you have an afternoon wedding, no problem! Next we check the where. It could be pouring in Mount Pleasant, and not a drop in Charleston, or Folly Beach. How flexible are we with timing? If it is an elopement it is easier to say afternoon storms, so let’s do the wedding at 2pm instead of 6pm. If we have 30 guests, it is harder to change time.In most locations, there is a covered area close by. We also check with where the reception is being held to see if we can use the space, or if there is an area at your accommodations.

Often we hear from brides, “we don’t care if it’s raining, we are going ahead with the ceremony!”

We understand that thinking, however, if it is thunder and lightning, for safety, Reynolds Treasures and any vendor contracted under Reynolds Treasures will not be out in the weather. If it is a soft rain, the officiant can still perform the ceremony, but most photographers and musicians will not allow their equipment in the damaging weather. Each vendor has the right to make a judgement call with their equipment or instruments.

We don’t want to scare you away from your dream outdoor wedding! We just want you to have a plan just incase!!! We perform over 250 weddings a year, and rain may affect 10% of the weddings, and we need to make changes to about 1%, while the others the storms dissipate. As always Reynolds Treasures will always work with you and help you along the way to avoid any last minute worries!!

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Wedding Planner or No Planner? That IS the Question……

After the question is popped; what’s next? Many Brides don’t even think about hiring a planner. Why would I do that? Great question. Why wouldn’t you! A wedding planner can make your life, at least during the process of planning a wedding a lot easier. Let’s think about the whole picture. A professional planner knows the venues and vendors. The planner’s job is to help you in the decision making process that will best suit your vision and budget. Many times Brides are NOT aware of costs associated with weddings; it can be a real wake up call once you start factoring in all the elements such as venue, decor, rentals, floral, photographer, music, caterer, and cake to mention a few.

Wedding Planners Save you Money!

Did you know that your planner works with these wedding professionals all the time and may be able to save you money$$$? Yes a planner can be a great investment for your wedding. A wedding planner can help with those details you may have not thought about. Its our job to help create your vision. How do they do that? Simply by getting to know the Bride and understanding her vision. During the planning meeting; its the planner’s responsibility to ask questions and get started working with and for YOU. Its during this time, both the wedding planner and Bride should be clear about what is expected from each other. Know what you are getting and if you need something specific, ask. Don’t expect your planner to know that you had your heart set on a certain element if you did not tell her. On a brief side note: A wedding planner should be a professional that you hire. They should work with and for you; seeing your vision come together for your special day.

They should shield the Bride from all the unnecessary questions, especially on the wedding day! Your wedding planner should handle all vendors and set up/break down; by providing a timeline and staying in contact with everyone. A planner needs to be someone who is NOT in the wedding party, a family member or your hair dresser. The planner should be outside those perimeters.

All to often a Bride will have someone other than a professional to help them plan the wedding and things happen. What could happen, you ask? Lots! The first thing I have seen is punctuality. Your friend my not be on time and this can cause an issue especially if they are in charge of set up or a rehearsal. Then everyone starts looking at Bride to answer questions (don’t forget its the planner’s job shield the Bride). Its the planner’s job to be there before the Bride and her wedding party; to prepare for whatever is needed. The Bride should NEVER be waiting on her planner!!! Or any other vendor for that matter.

Secondly, will your friend take the planning seriously? Meaning are you going to be their top priority? Maybe but maybe NOT. Will your friend be able to separate them self from friend to hired professional planner? Can they not partake in the festivities? No drinking or partying on the job, remember they are now your planner and not your friend. Many times by the reception they believe their part is done. That is not the case most times. You still have to break down the venue and walk through to make sure everything is put up, clean and picked up by the rental company; this could last until 1 or 2 a.m. (depending on what time the ceremony started). Is your friend going to want to stay and finish the job or are they going to want to partake in the after party? If you hire a professional planner; they do events all the time and its their job as a professional to keep everything running smoothly. They are able to have enough separation from a friend to manage vendors, family and rowdy friends without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Your planner should also be able to handle family and friends that can be over bearing. We all know they mean well but sometimes friends and family can just be too much; opinions and all. A professional planner is a great diplomat! Hiring a wedding planner is a great investment. Why not hire someone who is looking out for you and your vision. Hire a professional and protect your investment; after all this is one of the most important days of your life!

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