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Save Big on Your DC Area Wedding with these Great Tips!

There is so much to do when planning your wedding and so many facets of planning that can be overwhelming to anyone. Here are some tips for how being flexible can help you to save money on your wedding. Budget

The first step in the process is to determine your budget. Without a defined budget, the planning can become a little chaotic. As a standard guide, food and drink will be approximately 45 percent of your budget; the venue will be approximately 20 percent; floral and décor approximately 15 percent; photography approximately 10 percent; and so forth. Statistics for the wedding industry indicate that the average wedding cost in the Washington DC is around $37,500. Be realistic and wise with your budget, and do not go into debt to have a wedding; invest in what you can actually afford.

Also keep in mind these eleven unexpected wedding costs.

1 – Gratuity  If your wedding vendors do an outstanding job, you can and should feel free to tip them. With around 40 different vendors (Yes, 40!) all contributing to your wedding, tips can add up! Be sure to read our post about tipping wedding vendors in the Washington DC area. This post has more information about how much to tip and who you should tip in the DC area.

2 – Rain Plans Let’s face it, the weather in the Washington DC area is unpredictable. (As I’m writing this I’m looking out my window at nearly a foot of snow in downtown Washington DC!) If you are having any part of your wedding outside, you should have an indoor or alternative option. Sometimes  ”plan b” options include wedding-day rentals like a tent, heaters, and additional space – these things cost money. In most cases, you’ll need to reserve the items or at the very least put a deposit down to hold them.

3 – Albums There are all types of ways to compile and cherish your wedding photographs. Many photographers charge an additional fee to design and produce a wedding album. Be sure to ask about it in advance, if that is something you might want after your wedding. Also, think about albums for others in your family like parents and grandparents.

4 – Gifts It is true that you will be getting the bulk of the gifts on your wedding day. However, there are some gifts that you might be giving. There are not set prices for these types of gifts, but certainly something you’ll want to budget for. It is very nice to give a gift to everyone in your wedding party and your wedding ceremony participants. You might also want to think about gifts for each other. Gifts are also nice for friends and family members who helped with the wedding. Other gifts include wedding favors and welcome bags for your guests.

5 – Dress Alterations In addition to the cost of your wedding dress, you will most likely need to have alternations done. Wedding dress alterations include hemming it so that it doesn’t drag on the ground and fixing the sleeves and straps. Alternations will ensure that your dress fits you perfectly, like a glove!

6 – Extra Guests The more guests you add to your list, the more money it will cost. Adding a few extra guests can really add up, especially in the Washington DC area. More guests means more food, more staff to serve the food, more linens, more centerpieces, more drinks, more escort cards, more drinks and more, more, more! Just as by cutting 10 guests from your guest list, you can save some money, you can contribute to budget over-runs just by adding 10 guests. (Be sure to read my list of 5 ways to save money on a DC area wedding!)

7 – Postage The design and production of wedding invitations are one cost, and the cost to mail them out to your guests is an additional cost. If you are doing a typical invitation suite, you’ll need two stamps per set: One for the invitation and one for the RSVP card. A USPS first class stamp is currently $0.49 and for two stamps for 200 invitations that is $196. However, most wedding invitations are too heavy for a first class stamp and sometimes the envelop is an odd shape, so these stamps will cost more. Be sure to factor in postage to your final invitation costs.

8 – Hotel Rooms for Yourself You will need a place to stay for your wedding and if you aren’t staying at home, that means a hotel. You might need the hotel room for a few nights throughout the weekend. Hotel rooms in the Washington DC area aren’t cheap and hotels do book up during peak tourist season, so planning advance for this is key. Think about where you want to stay during your wedding weekend and then factor in hotel rooms for yourself into your overall budget. (For more on hotels, be sure to read our post on hotel room blocks for weddings in the Washington DC area.)

9 – Vendor Needs There are a few little things that you might need to pay for your vendors such as parking and meals. Your vendors will be working a long day for you, and you’ll need to feed them. Your caterer should take care of feeding them, but the meals can cost anywhere from $15 to $60 per person. You might also be on the hook to pay for the parking for your wedding vendors, including your vendors like hair and make up artists and entertainment. These are typical costs, but maybe not costs you were expecting. These is probably the last things you want to deal with at the end of the night, so just ask about it in advance so you can be prepared.

10 – Taxes For all things, you’ll have to pay taxes. For big-ticket wedding items like your venue, food and beverage, the taxes can be quite a bit of money. Taxes in Washington DC are up to 10%, so if you are on a super tight budget you might save some money with a wedding in Maryland and Virginia where the taxes are 4-5%. Be very aware of initial proposals that don’t include taxes. You will be charged taxes in the end, but sometimes the first few proposals don’t include tax to make the overall cost look lower.

11 – Last Minute Items It is the week or two before your wedding and this is the time that you are paying for rush shipping to ensure that everything arrives on time. Or, even worse, this is the time that you are panicking and adding things onto your wedding day. This can be little things like your wedding garter or jewelry or craft supplies to complete any DIY projects you are working on. It can even be the last minute “I think I want a wedding video!” Either way, do your best to think of everything you’ll need for your wedding in advance to avoid last minute scrambling and extra costs.

 

Now that we have established guidelines for the budget process, let’s discuss five avenues in which you can save money on your wedding day by focusing on timing and flexibility.

The Venue

To reduce cost in the venue area of your wedding, be flexible with your date in regards to the time of year and day of the week. Most venues have peak periods when the negotiation for cost will be very minimal, so ask your venue coordinator what are the non-peak periods in which the cost of hosting an event will fit into your budget. Most non-peak periods in the DC area are in the winter months. Scheduling your wedding during a non-peak time could reduce the cost anywhere from 15-20 percent.

If you are flexible on the day of the week, you can save money as well. Traditional weddings occur on Saturdays (the most popular day). However, if you are open to a non-traditional day, consider hosting your wedding on a Wednesday through Sunday. The savings for a weekday wedding range from anywhere from 20-40 percent a huge savings!

When speaking with your venue coordinator, acknowledge your budget in the beginning of the conversation, and ask how and where you can save so that hosting your wedding at their location fits within your established budget.

Here are a list of some reasonably priced local venues to keep in mind.

The Mount Vernon Inn in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard, Maryland.

Oxon Hill Manor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The Bolger Conference Center in Potomac, Maryland

The Middleburg Community Center in Middleburg, VA.

Washington Navy Yard Catering and Conference Center

The Feast

To save money by considering time and flexibility, think non-traditional when it comes to your wedding meal. The traditional wedding reception is the standard evening dinner that contains a beef, chicken, or a fish entrée, preceded with the traditional hors d’oeuvre selections. Now think, non-traditional.

Consider hosting a brunch-style reception starting around late morning or early afternoon. The style of service for brunch receptions can either be served, buffet, or interactive stations (omelet station, waffle station, potato bar). The excitement around the brunch is that your guests that commonly attend events or weddings, have the opportunity to taste something different and have fun with some of their favorite breakfast treats.

Brunch receptions that I have hosted in the Washington DC area average around $85 to $100 per person versus a dinner reception around $175 to $200 per person. If you are flexible with the time of day for your reception, you can ultimately save, save, save!

Drinks

Your beverage selection is another route to consider cost reducing alternatives on your special day. One suggestion is to limit your beverage selection from a full bar to just wine and beer. To add a little spice to your selection, create two specialty cocktails from one type of alcohol.

Another suggestion is to eliminate alcoholic beverages from the bar completely and have mocktails. There are many flavorful and interesting mocktails. Have your venue or caterer be creative with various types of punches, teas and lemonades.

If you are hiring an outside caterer, an option is to purchase the alcohol yourself from a beverage company in which you can return bottles/cases that have not been opened. You can save as much as 50 percent by purchasing the alcohol yourself rather than having the caterer to purchase the alcohol for you. This method only works with an outside caterer. Unfortunately, you would not be able to purchase alcohol yourself when hosting your wedding at a hotel or a venue that does its own catering.

Floral Décor

To help preserve your financial resources during your wedding, you can also focus on timing and flexibility with your floral selection. Time is significant when selecting flowers. Select flowers that are in season year round, such as baby’s breath, calla lilies and roses. For example, although orchids are in season year round, phalaenopsis orchids are more expensive than dendrodium orchids. It is the same scenario with hydrangeas; your typical white or blue hydrangea is less expensive than a purple or pink hydrangea.

When discussing flowers with your floral designer, inquire with them about what is in season and how you can achieve the same look that is cost effective for you by being flexible with your flower selection.

Be flexible with your floral design style as well. You may want tall floral arrangements on every table, however, to reduce cost consider alternating high and low centerpieces for your tables. You can also alternate floral centerpieces with non-floral centerpieces like trio of cylinder vases with floating candles. Implementing some of these options can save anywhere from 10-20 percent off of your floral budget. Be sure to work closely with your floral designer and be open to alternative design concepts

If you are flexible with considering alternatives and flexible with time, you can plan the perfect wedding with the perfect budget!

Source: United with Love (Unitedwithlove.com)

Recap: Chrysis Showcase

   

This past Wednesday, Chrysis Entertainment hosted a Vendor Showcase in Washington D.C. The event took place at The Loft on 600F. The Loft at 600 F is a versatile space, available for whatever your event needs may be. The light-filled, modern space can be set in various layouts ranging from a comfy lounge to a formal conference table or from a engaging lecture to an inviting happy hour. Drinks were catered by Mixology. Mixology caters private parties, weddings, corporate events, and birthdays. Their available staff includes Bartenders, Banquet Servers, Buffet Servers, Wait Staff, Party Assistants and Coat Check Attendants. The frozen Pina Colada I had from them was delicious! The showcase decor was designed by N4 Weddings. The Chrysis Entertainments band got the party started its jazzy music complete with a live saxophone player!

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Source: theloftat600f.com

 

OWN & Tyler Perry D.C. Preview Party at B.Smith's

OWN Preview Party3 Last month I had the pleasure of working with one of my favorite D.C. Publicists, Candice Nicole PR and 135 St Agency for the D.C. preview party for Tyler Perry’s new scripted series “The Haves & Have Nots” and “Love Thy Neighbor,” on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

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Favored by Yodit Events coordinated the floral decor for the event. The client wanted something simple and fresh within a reasonable budget and thanks to my good friends at Fluer we were able to make it happen just in time for Actresses Tika Sumpter (HHN) and Patrice Lovely (LTN) to sign autographs and meet and greet with guests.

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The evening was filled with wine and cocktails and a quick Q&A at one of my favorite D.C. landmark establishments, B. Smith’s Restaurant located in The Union Station (Great place for weddings and large private events too!).

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Loved watching the full episodes!

Press Info:

http://www.oprah.com/own-the-haves-and-have-nots/First-Look-The-Haves-and-the-Have-Nots-Video http://www.oprah.com/own-love-thy-neighbor/First-Look-Love-Thy-Neighbor-Video http://www.oprah.com/own/First-Look-Tyler-Perrys-Two-Night-Two-Series-Premiere-Video

Photos by: Surpass Visuals

Wedding Wednesday: Check out #FavoredVendor @DaVincisFlorist

cover3[1] As an event planner I get to work with alot of great vendors in the field. Monday night I had a floral design meeting with my client at the Da Vinci Florist offices in Silver Spring. This Maryland based event company has a huge warehouse filled with an assortment of wedding/ event rentals, bridal bouquet/ floral and lighting needs for any type of special party, corporate event, wedding ceremony & reception. Needless to say I was in awe and posted many of our design options on my instagram.  Cant wait to see the finished product in October at our client's #FavoredWedding. For more information visit http://www.davinciflorist.com and tell them Favored by Yodit Events sent you!

Here is a snapshot of their inventory and work:

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Trending: Custom Cookies!

custom cookies

Move over gourmet cupcakes, custom cookies are the new hot desert item at events! While cakes are always a nice stable item, they are difficult to transfer and are sometimes messy. Cookies are perfect because they can be wrapped up and taken away as nice party favors.

Bakeries have taken this trend to the next level by making custom cookies available. If you can imagine the design, there is a company out there that can put it on a delicious sugar cookie. My personal favorites are company logo cookies which are great for branding, bridal cookies for showers and sport team logo cookies for viewing parties. Below are just a few companies in the greater Washington metro area that sell custom cookies:

  1. Kalorama Cookie Company
  2. The Cookie Cutter
  3. Cakes by Chris Furin
  4. Bundles of Cookies
  5. Rae Bakes

Favored by Yodit hasn’t worked with all of the companies, but I was VERY impressed with their photo galleries and decided to share. Have you worked with any of these companies or know of another custom cookie company in the area? Share with us, we would love to hear from you!

You're Invited: Broccoli City Festival

Yogobcrpomo

We are 9 days away from making history with the Inaugural Broccoli City Festival! Join us Sunday, April 21st as we celebrate Earthday weekend, and living a healthy more environmentally sustainable lifestyle, at Broccoli City Festival!

 

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE

As the inaugural urban Earth Day celebration taking place at the DC Fairgrounds, BC Fest promises to become the premiere annual event showcasing cool, sustainable lifestyle choices for residents of the Washington, D.C. metro area. This fun-filled event, hosted by Va$htie and Rock Creek Social Club, will feature:

Live performances by locally and nationally recognized Hip Hop, EDM, Alternative Bands, including headliners Big Krit, JMSN, and Tittsworth

  • Nutritional food demonstrations and vendors, including DC’s top healthy food trucks

  • Group Yoga and Fitness instruction (Hip Hop, Vinyasa, Power and Restorative Yoga)

  • Oversized games including Twister, Jenga, Checkers, etc.

  • Nutrition and environmental education provided by local organizations

  • Onsite acupuncture and massage wellness center

  • Pop-up marketplace with environmentally conscious vendors and shops

  • Live art from notable street artists

  • Sneaker recycling/upcycling center by Suite Nation

  • Craft Beer & Spirits available, featuring USDA organic juices for adults 21+

 

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As the Earth Day event debuts in Washington, D.C. this year, organizers anticipate ample opportunities to engage and educate a crowd of more than 4,000 members of the urban community on strategies that lead toward living a more environmentally conscious and healthy lifestyle. The inaugural festival, taking place at the DC Fairgrounds, promises to become the premiere annual event showcasing what it looks like to “go green” in an urban environment.

“Washington, D.C. is already making great strides on the forefront of the green movement,” said Founder Brandon McEachern. “However, there are large pockets of areas, specifically in parts of Southeast and Northeast D.C., that still lack local, affordable and healthy food options or access to them. We are here to echo the message of sustainable living throughout the entire city.”

Prior to the BC Fest, the team will work alongside Green Scheme and Dreaming Out Loud to increase access to healthy, affordable food within underprivileged neighborhoods with an Earthday of Action on Saturday, April 20th. "We are helping build urban farms and markets in food deserts to create oases of healthy food," said Darryl Perkins, Director of Community Engagement. "Not only are we talking about raising awareness, we are on the ground working.”

Broccoli City Organic Lifestyle, a health and wellness national media platform, established the BC Fest to maximize the impact of their commitment to overcoming the barriers associated with affordable and healthy food options or access in urban areas. Residents in urban communities, particularly minorities, experience disproportionately higher rates of preventable disease; most of which can be averted by maintaining a healthy weight and keeping up with a healthy diet.

“We want to encourage more dialogue about building healthy communities, and hope to promote the economic growth potential in urban farming,” said Co-Founder Marcus Allen. “We are giving all people a chance to hear, experience or taste something that many have not been able to easily access before.”

The BC Fest will commence rain or shine in an innovative, open-air, mixed-use entertainment destination. Tickets, which can be purchased online for a reduced rate and on site, will grant access to the festival. Learn more about the festival and how to adopt a healthier lifestyle to share with their community by visiting www.bcfestival.com.

BC Fest Flyer

You're Invited: Truckeroo is Back on Friday April 19th! Hire a Food Truck for Your Wedding!

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Food trucks have been the latest hit in food trends in cities all over. And it seems that DC couples love the idea of a food truck at their weddings too! Truckeroo is a monthly festival held at Half and M Street, SE across from Navy Yard Metro Station. Over 20 food trucks take part of the event, so its the perfect place for a new couple to scout out some possible caterers for their upcoming wedding. Its also a great date night in the midst of the the stressful wedding planning process (when you don't hire Favored team lol!) with plenty of drinks at the bullpen, cornhole, and live music for the first truckeroo of the season.

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If youre thinking of having something fresh instead of traditional catering, a food truck can provide another food option for your wedding – whether it’s as the main meal, some fun bites between the ceremony and reception or as a late night snack. Any foodie couple will love the idea of local, gourmet food options for their wedding. Who needs banquet food when you can have mobile grilled cheeses, tacos, burgers, ice cream and more delivered right to your wedding?

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Food trucks might not be suitable for a traditional wedding, as guests might be expecting a sit-down meal, but they’re ideal for casual, outdoor celebrations. Some would say a food truck at a wedding is tacky, but I think not. You have so many gourmet options nowadays. Because many trucks are small businesses, they can personalize menus and customize the service, usually at a less expensive cost than traditional catering.

Yodit Signature

Holiday Fun: Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt As we all know, Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion at Calvary. Celebrated worldwide, Easter is a time for self-reflection, renewal, rebirth, spreading love and forgiveness. It's also a time to eat good, spend quality time with family/loved ones and even take the kids on a Easter Egg Hunt.

Easter Egg Hunt

In an Egg Hunt, whether indoors or outdoors, decorated eggs (real hard-boiled ones or artificial) are filled with or made of chocolate candies of various sizes and are hidden in various places for children to find. When the hunt is over, prizes may be given out for various achievements, such as the largest number of eggs collected, the largest or smallest egg, or for the most eggs of a specific color.

Easter Egg Hunt

Here is a list of Egg Hunts right here in the DC Metropolitan area you can attend. Make this Easter an adventurous and fun-filled day for you and the kids. HAPPY EASTER!!

Washington, DC :

1. Easter Egg Hunt at Madame Tussauds

March 30, 2013, 7:30am - 9:45 a.m. 1025 F Street, NW Washington DC. The wax museum is hosting a fun and educational "eggs-ploration" through American history and pop culture, with more than one thousand eggs hidden throughout the Presidents Gallery. Various trinkets and prizes will be contained in every egg. Live bunnies will be on-hand for special Easter photo-ops in the attraction’s replica Oval Office. The event is free for ages 12 and under, $10 ages 13 and up.

2. Eggstravaganza at Tudor Place

March 29-30, 2013, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 1644 31st Street NW Washington, DC. Children of all ages enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt and a thrilling Egg Roll Contest. After the exciting games, spend the morning decorating festive eggs and building a spring basket. Visitors also enjoy a self-guided tour of Tudor Place’s gardens. Bring your own basket, spoon, and one hard-boiled egg per child. Admission: Member Children: $7, Nonmember Children: $10, Adult Chaperones: $3.

3. Easter Monday

April 1, 2013, 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. National Zoo 3001 Connecticut Ave NW  Washington, DC. Since 1891, Easter Monday at the National Zoo has been a tradition in the African American community. Enjoy family activities, including an egg hunt, animal demonstrations and live entertainment. This event is free.

Maryland:

1. Bunnyland at Butler's Orchard

March 23, 24, 28, 29, 30 and April 1,6, and 7, 2013. (Closed Easter Sunday), 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, Maryland (301) 428- 0444. Welcome spring with a hayride down the Bunny Trail, hunt for colorful eggs, Visit with the farm’s very own Country Bunny, ride a pedal tractor, play in Kiddie Hayromp and Castle, see live bunnies, lambs and chicks. Admission: $8.50 per child and $6.50 per adult.

Northern Virginia:

1. Easter Egg Hunt at Reston Zoo

March 23, 24, 30, and 31, 2013, 9 a.m - 4 p.m. 1228 Hunter Mill Rd., Vienna, Virginia (703)757-6222 . Visit this small family friendly zoo and enjoy an Easter egg hunt with pony rides, raffle tickets, candy, face painting, Easter pictures, and more!

*Visit http://dc.about.com/od/hoildaysseasonalevents/a/EasterEggHunts.htm for more Easter ideas and events*

 

 

 

 

 

You're Invited: Capital Bridal Affair and Fashion Show

capital bridal affair
As every engaged couple knows, there is much to be done between “I will!” and “I do!” Kick your wedding planning into high gear at Capital Bridal Affair and Fashion Show, happening Sunday, March 24 at The Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington. With today's deal, you'll receive two (2) admissions to this amazing event for just $19 (a $38 value)!
The Capital Bridal Affair and Fashion Show offers you the opportunity to meet the Washington area's best wedding vendors so you can ask questions, taste/see/touch their products, get inspired and even book their services at the show! With help from Prepare to see the newest trends of the wedding industry, from bridal gowns to invitations and much more! Hear the music (with live performances!). Taste the cake. Smell the flowers. Touch the invitations. See the photos… Everything you need to plan your perfect day – It's all under one roof!
Purchase your tickets at the link below:
http://www.thecapitoldeal.com/engine/SplashDetails.aspxLID=4&contestid=21722&productid=8750230&p=12&p=2
 

Touchdown Space: Everyone's Private Office, On-Demand

touchdown space

As a Small Business Owner, I am always looking for new and creative ways to become more efficient and effective. Working from home is great, but not perfect for every event planner or entrepreneur.

Thats why I love the idea behind TouchdownSpace, a new platform to book a professional office or meeting space for entrepreneurs of all sizes, scales, and budgets. Check them out and browse their map and find great spaces close to you. Just remember not having an office is great… until you need one. If I ever need a meeting space for Favored Im definitely going to contact TouchdownSpace.

Source: Touchdown Space