One of our favorite vendors in the Quad Cities is Hotel Blackhawk. They recently hosted us for our 2016 catalog photo shoot, and we were reminded once again of the professionalism, gorgeous setting, and amazing service they offer couples planning a wedding. So, we enlisted their help! Here, Lindsay Thul, Director of Sales and Marketing at Hotel Blackhawk, shares what she has learned in her years of planning fabulous weddings. Watch for one tip a day throughout the week!
So you’re getting ready to plan the biggest day of your life. No pressure, right? One thing that I’ve noticed over the past 4 years that I’ve been involved with event planning at Hotel Blackhawk is that couples get anxious about not knowing where to start. Usually, this is the first wedding that they’ve ever planned, so they feel like they’re unfamiliar with what things cost, what’s normal, and how exactly to go about it. I’ve put together some of the most important things to remember as you’re preparing for your wedding planning journey. Hopefully these tips and recommendations will be helpful and will help ease your mind a little bit.
1. Prioritize & Budget
What’s most important to you: the dress, the venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding planner? Let’s face it ladies- we all want the fairytale wedding, but most brides don’t have unlimited expenses. Figure out what you’re willing to spend a big chunk of your budget on first. This is the biggest day of your life. You want to have at least ONE thing that you’re obsessed with. Once you eliminate that cost from your overall budget, you will need to decide what’s the next most important thing.
Also, figure out what you can get discounts on. You can get a beautiful dress that is inexpensive, if you look hard enough and keep your eye open for sales. At Hope’s you can always find a large selection of one-of-a-kind designer dresses on sale for just $350! Plus, they often offer savings at trunk shows or sample sales. You just have to keep an eye out for upcoming events on their website and social media. With the swap websites, Pinterest and Etsy; many people are making their own invitations, decorations and centerpieces now.
The average wedding at Hotel Blackhawk for 200-300 guests is about $15,000-$18,000 total. Of course, some are higher and some are lower. The average total bar sales for that same amount of people is anywhere from $2,000-$5,000. Split your remaining budget into sections and prioritize! Get folders, make spreadsheets, set limits, give yourself a deadline, and bring out your inner control freak. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of awesome websites to help you make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything.
Watch for Lindsay’s next tip tomorrow!
Faith, Hope & Love,