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V & Z NYC -A Rainy Summer Wedding in Central Park

Tell us your story… Zac is an actor and he was in a play my friend had tickets for. My friend knew the playwright, so after the show we all went out for food and drinks, which is when Zac sat next to me in our booth and asked how we liked the show. He helped himself to my french fries as we got to know each other. We’ve been together ever since.

Where did you two tie the knot? Central Park. I wanted a place in NYC, since this is the city where we met and fell in love. I also wanted a location that I could always go back and visit, with our kids someday, and when we [grow] old. Central Park will (hopefully) always be there.

Unlike restaurants and event centers in NYC which turnover all the time, Central Park felt right.

It’s an iconic NYC location and a place Zac and I love to go to with our dog, Simon.

Spill the details about your wedding! We wanted a pretty casual, yet elegant NYC wedding. Since [the ceremony] was outside in the park we played with that idea [by] using a food truck as our caterer and paper plates to give it that picnic in the park feel, even though our reception was in a dance studio downtown. I’ve always loved black and white, so those were our colors with a splash of gold. Our flowers were Dahlias since they are big, beautiful, and in season. *I purchased my [gold] veil from Alyson Nicole, [who] I met in college. I remember her talent shining though as a fashion student and I knew she would be the perfect fit to make my wedding look come to life. 

What was your favorite moment? One of my favorite memories was when a student of mine texted me in the morning. It was a complete surprise and reminded me how happy I am in my life, working a job that I love, marrying the man that I love, and surrounded by people that I love. I also loved my daddy/daughter dance, which we started slow and ended with a fun choreographed number to my fav, Taylor Swift. One of our friends surprised us with a limo at the end of the night which was fun surprise that we shared with our close friends and family.

Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding
Central Park Wedding

Vendors:

Photographer – Bryan Sargent Photography
Wedding Planner/Design- Ashley Bostick
Dress – Kitty Chen
Bridal Veil- Alyson Nicole
MUA – Jessica Huish
Hair Stylist – Kirsten from Matthews Salon
Venue – Central Park
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Wedding Budget Breakdown Guide

The Knots Ultimate Wedding Planner- Charts & diagrams

Congratulations you’re engaged! Now what?

Well first things first, you have to have the money talk with your fiancé and BOTH of your families. Ugh, I know. Soooo awkward but believe me, it’s necessary.

Nowadays the financial burden is no longer shoved on the bride’s family. However that doesn’t mean it no longer happens but help from both families is even better. Weddings are expensive. Another strong possibility is that the bride and groom-to-be are handling the bills, either partial or in full. This has become somewhat of the “norm”, my fiancé and myself fall into this category.

 Whatever your financial situation is, find out who is contributing what amount. If you two love birds are putting money in, look at your financials and figure out how much you are able to save and can afford. The absolute worst thing you could do is plan a wedding that puts you in debt at the beginning of your marriage. Yes, it’s fun to dream of all the things you could do for your special day but come back down to reality. You do not want to put financial stress on the beginning of your life together. So, make sure you two sit down together and discuss what you BOTH want the most and what you BOTH could live without. ::Emphasis on ‘both’::

Once that’s all figured out… How much money should be allocated to what part of the wedding? Well, don’t worry. I put together a handy Wedding Budget Guide just for you! This guide is based off of a few sources; Pinterest has a lot of these and my handy-dandy  Knot Wedding Planner has oodles of information on this topic. Each chart varies slightly but looks very similar to my pie chart to the right.

Wedding Budget Breakdown

Now, don’t feel like you HAVE to follow this 100%. It’s a guideline that is meant to help but can definitely be altered to fit your wedding needs. For instance, my fiancé and I are lucky enough to not have a ceremony rental or an officiant charge (thank you MOG ?). Plus, I’ll be saving money (but not time) by making my own wedding dress, AHH (Read about my Kleinfeld experience here)! The money saved will be allocated into the reception budget to accommodate our ever-growing guest list ?.

Here are some other tips to save and or allocate your wedding budget:
  1. Shop around smartly for vendors. There are tons of wedding professionals out there that are high quality AND affordable. Usually these are the vendors that will be new-er to the industry or they are small local businesses. Don’t discredit these vendors, just make sure to do your research! Wedding Wire and The Knot are great places to start looking, not to mention references from previous brides and grooms. I suggest you do this for all of your vendors, big and small.
  2. Discuss all the possibilities with your vendors. Vendors should be able to give you different price point options and explain exactly what that entails. They also should be able to show you ways to save with substitutions; IE. a florist will know different flowers that may look like what you want but are way less expensive.
  3. Be OPEN and flexible to what is available for use. When you won’t budge on the table setting color or shape, then you’ll have to special order/rent them which adds up quickly.

There are a few things that you MUST remember to include: taxes and gratuities. Taxes are usually included in the bill and some vendors (like caterers) will include a set gratuity in their bill. However, if they don’t that means it’s up to you to include it in your final payment. Even though it’s your wedding, these people are busting their butts to make this day everything you want. So make sure to thank them verbally and tip them, well. Here’s a breakdown of who to tip, how much, and when you should.

Also, don’t forget to factor in potential overage charges and miscellaneous expenses. Some vendors will specify these charges in their contracts but if they don’t it’s safer to leave some room for overages. Better to be safe than sorry!

If you’re interested in finding out more information on wedding budgets and planning please follow me on Pinterest, especially my board “Pretty Little Wedding Planning“!

Happy planning! xoxo