Stationery, Gifts and Budget Review

In this episode we discuss wedding stationery such as invitations and anything throughout the reception venue. We also discuss gifts for the guests and bridal party. We also review Emma’s wedding budget to see if she is still on track and some of the issues that you can have with staying on track with your wedding budget.

Emma's Wedding Journey Episode 11 Transcript

Marcus Prentice (00:00):

Hi guys, and welcome to the Partyology Experience. You’re here with Marcus and Emma. We’re here today, talking all things to do with Emma’s wedding, which is coming around pretty quick with lots going on, lots of planning, and lots of things to think about. I’m sure is causing you great anxiety and stress along with everything else that’s going on in the world at the moment. But today we’re going to be talking about stationery, if you’re doing any kind of stationery, gifts for the guests, bonbonniere and budget. So whereabouts are you in regards to stationery? I guess you’re not having a sit-down dinner yours is a cocktail style, so you don’t need to do table names and all that sort of stuff. But is there anything that you’re doing along these, these lines.

Emma De Jong (00:42):

So we don’t really need any of those sort of things, but we do need a little bit. I want lots of signage ,so I need signage for the grazing table which I also want really cute little sayings on it and all that sort of things. I want bar menu and some really cute little sayings on the bar. So we will still have lots of stationery in regards to signage. but nothing really, like, I’m not going to have like table one and table two and people’s names and menus and stuff like that, but lots of signage and that sort of respect. I’ll definitely have a welcome sign and stuff like that as well. So still lots of signage just but not your average table numbers etc.

Marcus Prentice (01:19):

And so have you had to do much research for this or is it you knew somebody already.

Emma De Jong (01:23):

In regards to what I wanted, I found on Pinterest, like there’s lots of cute little sayings you can find on Pinterest. For example, like alcohol made me do it or things like that, like just funny little quirky things or no party started with the salad or something. There’s like cute little saying she can have like that. So I found out to those sort of things that I liked. I do have someone that going to be using to do all my invites and signage. So someone that I know personally, so that person will be doing invites and signage across the board, so everything will match. So the invites and everything like that.

Marcus Prentice (01:54):

And it is good to have that consistency with the coloring. It makes planning everything easier. If, you know, once you’ve picked your color scheme, if it’s in ties in with all your invitations and all that sort of stuff, it makes life heaps easy, doesn’t it? So obviously you don’t really need to do a lot, so it’s not causing you a lot of great stress or anything like that and you’ve already found somebody. Has the cost been more than you thought, or it’s, it’s not a great cost to you.

Emma De Jong (02:17):

It’s not a crazy cost in regards to this sort of thing. I didn’t think this was going to be a massive part of the budget. So it’s not something that I budgeted crazy amounts for. I think to save the cost would be like for example for the invite I’ve cut the save the dates and so everyone writes, if they’re coming on, not on our wedding website. Ive tried to cut down the process a bit than what your traditional wedding would do so that will save costs on postage which can sometimes end up being more expensive than most of the other things.

Marcus Prentice (02:49):

Yes we’ve talked about this in previous episodes about doing the wedding website and stuff like that and it’s going to save you a lot of money if you’re not doing a lot of stationery. If you’re doing lots of printed stuff, then obviously it really starts to add up. And just from a, you know, people are time poor these days. So if it’s convenient to go onto a website and send electronic, yes, I’m coming to your wedding rather than have to go get a stamp and posted it.

Emma De Jong (03:14):

People won’t do that. They’ll forget about it. And I will probably end up chasing everyone at the end.

Marcus Prentice (03:19):

Yes and so it ends up being a lot of work for you and it’s work for them. So electronically these days, it is a lot easier and it is nice to get a written invitation in the mail, but at what expense is it the best experience for everybody involved to have to do all that work to send a yes. I’m coming to your wedding sort of thing.

Emma De Jong (03:38):

Yeah. Yeah. So we’ll just send the invite and that’s it. And that will be the only main thing that we’ll be sent.

Marcus Prentice (03:42):

In your case, if we move on to the bonbonniere or guest gifts and gifts for your bridal party and other important people in your wedding. Have you thought much about that because that’s definitely going to cost a lot more than in stationery in your case, I guess.

Emma De Jong (03:59):

Yeah, I will. I’m not quite sure on what I’ll decide to do with this. I want to do something that’s like something that people can use. I don’t want to have something that people will just throw out. I want something that will be useful or they can eat.

Marcus Prentice (04:13):

Yep. Fair enough.

Emma De Jong (04:14):

Because people like to eat things. So I have seen little cute, like little water bottles that people have had with like little Panadol and Nurofen on the front saying take one home with you for tomorrow. Or just like funny little quick things like that. I like things like that. Or, you know, some people put succulents in pots and people take a pot home. I don’t know. I haven’t really thought too much into it yet. I want something not over the top, but just something that people can use. I just hate having to take something that you’re probably not gonna use.

Marcus Prentice (04:43):

So have you looked around much for this?

Emma De Jong (04:45):

I haven’t really done much research on how much it’s going to cost yet. I kind of need to sort of work out what I actually want to do and then work out how much it’s going to cost per person.

Marcus Prentice (04:52):

I guess it can add up pretty quickly if you’ve got a hundred plus guests, if you’re buying a gift for everyone, even if it’s a small gift, even if it’s $5, it still adds up pretty quickly. And I’m sure that most gifts are probably at least $10. I’m guessing fairly minimum. It can add up quickly and some people go all out and some people just give them per couple. So depending on your budget and if you’ve got lots of couples there and it’s something they can both use at the end of the day, it’s a token, isn’t it? Yeah. Like everyone understands that weddings are quite expensive. So yeah. It just depends on how much you want to spend. The next thing which then leads into is budget and we’ve talked about budget before. How are you going with budget? Is it becoming painful yet? Are you really starting to get down to the nitty gritties. So where are you at with your budget at the moment?

Emma De Jong (05:46):

Well, I’m the budget queen on the budget queen when it comes to anything. I do, we are a household budget. I do every budget of every single thing that I have in our lives. So I locked doing a budget. It’s just sometimes I don’t like what the end number is.

Marcus Prentice (05:59):

So obviously you’ve done more research in the past weeks and you’re starting to realize what the things are going to cost more than you thought.

Emma De Jong (06:06):

I think in my head, I already knew. And I think I already knew that it was going to be over what I thought originally we would spend. And it’s not until you put things down on a piece of paper or we’ve got an actually I’ve actually got now a full organized wedding budget so I can put in all the pricing and everything like that. So the lady who’s doing our stationery has actually put this together from her own wedding. So it’s a really good thing to use. It’s a great template. So I’m using that at the moment. So I have budgeted what I think most things will cost. I think are gone overboard on some things but I do know that some things may be more. Currently I’m spending about 5,000 over the budget, so that’s not too bad. I had already sort of gauged that was what was going to happen.

Marcus Prentice (06:49):

Have you factored in every cost at this point, or are there still more to go?

Emma De Jong (06:53):


Marcus Prentice (06:53):

So it could be potentially a lot more then.

Emma De Jong (06:55):

Its all the little things that I haven’t accounted for that I need to account for. Like, I haven’t done, you know, presents for the bridal party, like little things that I know that they’ll end up being thousands by the time I’ve added them all together. So I’m trying to cut back on a couple of things. Instead of spending 15 hundred dollars the duo, I spend a thousand, so that saves me 500, just little things like that. Just trying to cut costs on some of the other things. Still not skimming on those things though. I really want to make sure I get what I need for those particular points. Making sure that I don’t spend the top budget I put in there at the moment because I will be going way over.

Marcus Prentice (07:29):

I guess again comes down to what sort of wedding do you want what’s most important to you. Spending the money on the things that are going to make the difference on the day. So as we talked about before entertainment and dancing and all that sort of thing, if that’s super important to you, you got to make sure your budget goes in on that. If florals are your thing and you want it to look really nice in regards to flowers and smells and all that sorts of thing. Then you’ve got to spend the money on important things like that. I know a wedding I did, we did a few years ago for a couple, and they were big on the party side of things. They were having it in a big mansion down on the Mornington Perninsula, and they had hired a great space which had a tennis court, big pool, and the bride wanted to be super fun.

Marcus Prentice (08:13):

She came and saw us and at the time when she happened to come into the showroom, we had a light up dance floor set up and we were just playing around with it. She loved the look of it straightaway. She hadn’t thought of a lot of a light up dancefloor for her wedding and most people don’t. For whatever reason she, she saw it and she got it in her head that she wanted it, but it was whether she could fit it in with her budget. We then talked about different things to do with their wedding and she said at the venue that there was a pool there and she wanted to put flowers in the pool and she’d being quoted, I think couple of grand for flowers, just to float in the pool, which most people wouldn’t really see once it got dark anyway.

Marcus Prentice (08:47):

The bride ended up spending less on the flowers and more on the dance floor. And that’s where everyone was for most of the night and all the photos were people dancing and having fun. The flowers I’m sure would have looked nice, but was it the best spend for her budget, probably not. Speak to her after the wedding, she was so glad she had spent money on that because she wanted that party to be a bit of fun and different at the end of the night for the party side of things. Not taking away from flowers, I think flowers look great but if your budget doesn’t allow for that, then you need to spend the money on the things that are gonna make the difference. So is budget then causing you a lot of anxiety?

Emma De Jong (09:26):

It doesn’t cause me anxiety. I just think I’ll just re shuffle costs. Because I do all the budgets for everything else. I’ll just shuffle costs.

Marcus Prentice (09:34):

Hit your boss up for a raise or something like that or steal from mum and dad or something like that.

Emma De Jong (09:39):

So I think I am not one of those people where I’m not going to be like, this is my budget and I’m not going to go over it and I’m only going to stick to that. I think at the end of the day, if you’re going to spend a large portion of money like we are and I think most people do 5,000, 10,000 over isnt the end of the world. I know that sounds like a lot, but I don’t think in 10 years time, I’m not going to be looking back saying, Oh my God, I spent five or 10,000 over budget. I’ll be like, how awesome was our wedding? And I’m so happy I spent that extra money. So in my headspace its is like that but my partners its not . We’ve decided that we’ve made the decision that we don’t talk budget.

Marcus Prentice (10:16):

So is this how you make it to the wedding.

Emma De Jong (10:18):

Yes. That’s how, that’s how you stay married. I think more for the fact that, because I had more of a reallistic idea on how much things cost I understand. Where because he has no idea how much things cost he freaks out. I tell him how much things cost and he’s like, you’ve gotta be joking. It’s like, it’s one of those things. Like he loves cars and he tells me he’s buying a car part and I’m like, how much? Like, how are you spending that much money on a car part? And he’s like, well, you know how much it is. So, you know, unless you understand how much things cost you cant see the value . It’s not that the wedding’s not important to him, but those things are not important to him in the scheme of things at the moment. I think for our lives and making sure we going to get married, we just don’t talk about budget. I think a lot of people do this. I know girlfriends have done this in the past where they’ve told the partner it’s 15 thousand and it’s ended up being like 18 thousand and you know what? They didn’t know any different. They had a great time and it is what it is.

Marcus Prentice (11:08):

That’s right. If it adds to the overall experience, I’m all for spending extra money.

Emma De Jong (11:13):

On stupid things. I think if, if your wedding budget’s 50,000 and you end up spending 70,000, I think then you need to be really thinking about, are you spending the money on the things that you need. If you spend 50 and it’s getting closer to 57 and you really need to have that particular band or that particular thing, that’s really important to you, then spend the extra money.

Marcus Prentice (11:32):

I’ve done so many weddings, some of them 50 grand and some at 30 grand or whatever, and I can tell you just spending more money, doesn’t always mean it’s going to be a better party.

Emma De Jong (11:42):

Make sure you spend it on the right things and the things that mean the most for you because you, you are the one that’s paying for it. And you’re the ones going to enjoy it with all your family and friends. Be smart about too though as there is things that people I think spend money on, that at the end of the day matter.

Marcus Prentice (11:59):

I know people have borrowed money and gone into debt for their wedding and lots have been paying it off 10 years later. The sad thing is the the money that they borrowed to spend on the extra stuff didn’t even make a difference.

Emma De Jong (12:10):

So there’s a fine line and I think don’t get too over the top and stick to what you think you’re comfortable with spending. At the end of the day, it’s not it’s not a massive show. I understand there are lots of different type of brides. There’s brides that want to just do really casual. Some that it’s just a show for them and they have hundreds of hundred family members that they’re going to invite, and this is what they do. So this is the biggest thing they do in their whole lives. It really depends on where you’re in the scale, but you need to be calm and not turn into a bridezilla and this is meant to be happy, not aggressive or nasty.

Marcus Prentice (12:44):

The budget’s usually the thing that causes the most stress. I guess if you can take anything out of all this, it’s doing your research, isn’t it? Because this is where you’re getting the shocks where you’re going, Oh, I didn’t realize that photographer was 10 grand or I didn’t realize that the venue is going to cost me 20. And I thought it was only gonna be 10.

Emma De Jong (13:02):

Dont do your budget unless you have worked out how much, these things cost

Marcus Prentice (13:04):

Do a lot of research first. Work out what’s most important to you be it flowers or photographers or bands or whatever it is. Pick those things first, make sure then you can afford those things and then work out everything else from there. If you don’t do your research, how do you know? We get it from our business at feel good events. We quite often give quotes to people for decor and styling and they just don’t realize the amount of labor and time and equipment. And so they do get a bit of a shock sometimes, and then they cut it back or, or whatever. But yeah, again, it’s, what’s important to them.

Emma De Jong (13:37):

Pinterest kills it. Pinterest and Instagram and stuff like that. It’s, it’s a great resource to find inspiration, but you also need to understand that a lot of those things that they post on there like those grand, set ups, they cost a lot of money and time to install. Don’t get for example I want that particular fairy light installation unti you get quotes. The amount of times we’ve had people send frozen at one particular fairy, lot installation that I want this. And I’m like, that’s probably a $40,000 custom installation. You know, you can do things but scale them back and do something that would be within your budget. You’ve got to be realistic about some of these things as well.

Marcus Prentice (14:12):

So have you worked out then, I mean, you talked about a little bit there about cost cutting. Is there certain things that you would cut out altogether or you’re just not sure at this stage because you’re still doing research.

Emma De Jong (14:21):

There’s nothing I’d cut out at this stage. I think that the thing is, that I’m not going overboard. We’re not spending, hundreds of thousand dollars on our wedding. So I think we’re already doing it on a, quite a decent budget already. I think if I was to start cutting things out, I’d be leaving big chunks out. I’d be taking away things that I really want to spend money on. I don’t want to cut back on florists because I think that the budget I’ve given her is going to get what I need and what I want to achieve for me personally. I would be upset taking budget away from that.

Marcus Prentice (15:02):

And from what you’ve said, to be honest, most of the things you’ve said are at the lower end of the budget.You’re not being excessive or anything, $3,000 say on flowers or something like that is very low. I’m sure that Natalie will tell you from Foxy Evergreen that she would get say six, seven, eight, 10, 20, 30,000 dollars or way more than that. So a few thousand dollars is really quite minimum. Entertainment your not spending crazy amounts. Some people will spend 10 grand on a band depending on what they want.

Emma De Jong (15:31):

Im very low scale compared to what some people are spending. So it’s just moving pricing around. But I think the budget will definitely go over and I’ve accepted the fact. It was more the fact that the other day I was like, I’m already sitting at the budget. I thought it would be over. And I haven’t even done every little thing in there. So I’m like, okay, what am I going to start with?

Marcus Prentice (15:46):

You might have to start selling things from your house or spend less than your renovation. Silly girl trying to do renovations and plan a wedding at the same time. So obviously we’ll be talking a lot more about budget beause I think this is a big thing and as we say can cause a lot of stress for brides and grooms. So we’ll be talking about that in future podcasts, but thanks Emma for sharing all that insight today and thanks everyone for listening and we hope you tune in again soon.

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