When you say “I Do” you are agreeing to more than a life time of happiness. The job of preparing for a wedding is more daunting than some people assume. There are many aspects to keep in mind when it comes to planning for your big day and ensure that you nuptials are cozy ones. On top of that there are multiple stages that need to be taken into account. Here is a list of topics you should keep in mind.
- Set a realistic budget for your celebration;
- Decide on a date and book the venue in time;
- Choose a wedding party that will support you;
- Send out invitations;
- Plan the menu based on you RSVPs;
- Choose a photographer;
- Book a band or DJ;
- Pick out a wedding dress;
- Buy your wedding rings;
- Plan your honeymoon!
Set a Reasonable Budget
When it comes to wedding budgeting, there are a few things to keep in mind. They can help you get the most out of your resources and it can help you save in different areas so that you can allocate more money for catering and your venue.
When it comes to this stage it is important to determine how much money you have to work with. Be reasonable when you set your budget. This can be done by creating a spreadsheet or by working with a professional wedding planner. The latter option will cut into your budget because wedding planners can be quite expensive.
Once you have your total budget figured out it is time to start allocating funds to different aspects of the wedding. By far, the largest portion of your budget will likely go towards the venue, food and drink, and entertainment. This is after all pretty much the bulk of the expense no matter what size of reception you may plan. You will also need to factor in the cost of your wedding dress, invitations, flowers, and other decorations. All of which give you a lot of freedom when it comes to fine tuning your allocations.
One of the most important aspects of wedding budgeting is sticking to your budget. It might sound obvious but it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of wedding planning and overspend. This will require you to shift the overspent funds from a different category and in the end may make things feel out of balance. To avoid this, set firm limits on how much you are willing to spend in each category and do your best to stick to them. You can help each other stay on budget by discussing the importance of each item you put on the list.
If you find yourself getting close to your budget limits, there are a few ways to cut costs. One option is to DIY some of the wedding elements, such as some of the decorations or the favors. Another option is to cut back on guest list or forego some of the extras, like limousine service.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your wedding stays within budget and that you don’t end up with any unwanted debt.
Keep These Points in Mind When Choosing a Venue
Location. Location. Location. You hear that that is everything when it comes to the perfect wedding. But the truth is that the location needs to be perfect on a number of different levels. So, when it comes to choosing a wedding venue, there are a few things to keep in mind.
As we have already discussed in-depth, think about your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on the venue. Depending on your location you might be able to find a cheaper alterative that meets most of your expectations, yet, for a more reasonable price. As you know, the venue for the reception will be one of your biggest expenses. You’ll want to consider the size of your wedding. Make sure that you use the total planned number of guests as a gauge when selection the location. How many guests you’ll have? Is the venue too big? This often produces an empty reception. Is it too small? The reception could feel crowded.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the location of the venue and whether it’s convenient for your guests. If most of your guests are coming from out of town, you’ll want to choose a venue that’s close to the airport or major highways. If you have a lot of local guests, you may want to choose a venue that has access to public transportation.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, make sure that you take a tour of the venues you’re interested in and make sure they meet your expectations. This will help you get a feel for what they have to offer while giving your a sense of the space and how it will reflect your wedding reception. If you have any specific requirements, be sure to ask the manager or owner about them when you tour the venue.
If you’re looking for a venue with a limited budget, you can always check with your local community center or church. Many times, these places will allow you to use their facilities for a wedding at a discounted rate. If you’re looking for a larger venue, you may want to consider booking a hotel or banquet hall. They can still be affordable solutions but offer more space for your guests to move around. No matter what you choose be sure to book early, as these places can fill up quickly.
Choosing a wedding venue can be a challenge at times, but if you keep these things in mind, you should be able to find a great place for your big day.
Select Your Wedding Party Wisely
You probably have a good idea of who you want but there are still a couple of things that to take into consideration when you choose a wedding party.
If you haven’t already done so think about who you want by your side on your big day and fill the majority of your wedding photos.
Who is the wedding party? These are the people who will be standing up with you as you exchange your vows, your bridesmaids or groomsmen, so choose wisely!
Friends, family members, and even your fiancé’s friends can make great candidates for your wedding party. And there really aren’t any rules you need to follow when you make a choice. Once you have a list together, even if you only have a few people in mind, start thinking about who will fill what role best. For example, who will be your maid of honor? Who will be your best man?
A wedding is both physically and emotionally draining at times, so think about who will be the most supportive and helpful on your wedding day. But they are also fun events so it might be nice to choose people based on how much fun they are to have around. After all, your wedding day should be a joyous occasion!
Once you’ve decided on who you want in your wedding party, you need to invite them to take the position. They might not all accept or they may be other wise engage and will be unable to attend. When you know the approximate day of your celebration ask the people you have picked out for the party. This can either be a formal invitation or a asual one depending on the person.
When all of the roles have been filled it’s time to start thinking about what they’ll wear. Will you all match? Will the ladies wear dresses and the men wear suits? Or will you mix it up and have everyone wear something unique that represents their personal style? There is a lot more freedom here than there used to be so feel free to experiment. Have fun with it.
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to choosing your wedding party, so go with what feels right for you and your fiancé. With a little planning and thought, you’re sure to end up with a wedding party that you absolutely love.
Create A Guest List & Choose Your Invitations
Choosing the right wedding invitations can be a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be but for many of us, this is the first impression that our guests will have with the idea of our wedding. There are so many factors to consider: from the formality of your wedding to the overall theme and aesthetic you’re hoping to create. But with a little guidance, you can narrow down your options and choose the perfect wedding invitations for your big day.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing invitations for your wedding:
Formality. This defines the look of the designs you choose. Answer the question: how formal or casual is your wedding going to be? This should be one of your first considerations when choosing invitations, as it will help guide you and set the tone for the rest of your wedding. Formal invitations are usually more traditional in design, while casual invitations can be more playful and creative. There is no right or wrong wedding and the tone is entirely up to the bridal couple.
Budget. Wedding invitations can range in price from very affordable to quite expensive. If you have set your budget, this was the first step in the list you will know what you have to spend. It’s important to set a budget for your invitations and stick to it. While they are not the most expense part of the celebration they can help you calibrate other categories. There’s no need to break the bank on your invitations, but you also don’t want to skimp too much and end up with something you’re not happy with.
Theme. Is there a particular theme or style you’re hoping to capture with your wedding? Many couples today choose to base their celebrate around a specific theme and use that to guide their choices. Your invitations should reflect this as closely as possible. If you’re having a beach-themed wedding, for example, your invitations could feature seashells or other beach themed elements.
Colors. What color scheme are you using for your wedding? Just like the theme, your invitations should coordinate with your wedding colors to best convey your planning. This doesn’t mean they have to match exactly, but they should complement each other in some way.
Paper. The type of paper you choose for your invitations can also make a big difference. Heavier, more luxurious papers will create a more formal feel, while lighter papers can be more fun and whimsical. Most will meet somewhere in the middle, but this is one of the aspects that you can use to meet your budget.
Wording. The word choices you use on your invitations should also reflect the overall tone of your wedding. Formal weddings usually have more traditional wording, while casual weddings can be more creative. Don’t over complicate the wording portion of your invitations. This is one point where many couples have trouble. Instead enjoy the process and write text that you are happy with.
Envelopes. Don’t forget about the envelopes! Your envelopes should compliment your invitations and reflect the overall tone of your wedding. Generally speaking white envelopes are the most elegant, but you can also pick a complimentary color to bring out the tone of your theme. This is also a point which further allows you to fine tune your budget.
Extras. There are lots of little extras you can add to your invitations to make them even more special. Add a personal touch with custom stamps, enclosures, or even calligraphy. Of course any extras you add will need to underline the theme.
Who would have thought that so much thought goes onto a simple piece of paper? With these considerations in mind, however, you’re sure to find the perfect invitations for your big day.
Getting the Invitations Sent
Once you have the invitation selected, printed, and in hand it is time to send them out.
But when,and how many months in advance do you need to send your wedding invitations out? The answer to that question depends on a couple of factors. For starters you will need to decide if you want to mail them yourself or hire a company to do it for you. For example, if it is a local wedding, you may want to send the invitations out a month or two in advance. If it is a destination wedding, you will want to give your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements, so you may want to send the invitations out six months to a year in advance. Furthermore, you will need to decide how many invitations to send out. Generally you will invite about 20% more people to your wedding than will actually attend, as some people will not be able to make it.
Remember, if you decide to mail them out yourself, you will need to factor in the cost of postage. So make a category for that in your budget spreadsheet.
Picky eaters in the family? How about food allergies? When it comes time to plan your wedding menu, there are a few things to keep in mind so that everyone is take care of. Again, think about the overall style of your wedding and see how the food will compliment your theme. Is it formal or casual? What time of day is it going to be held? These factors will help you decide what type of food to serve your guests.
Next, consider your budget. You’ll want to find a balance between serving good quality food that your guests will love, without exceeding the budget you set aside for the catering.
As I already mentioned, think about any dietary restrictions or food allergies your guests may have. There are a few things you can do to avoid potential problems. The easiest way it to find out if any of your guests have any food allergies. This can be done by sending out a survey with the wedding invitations or by asking guests during the RSVP process. Once you have a list of guests with food allergies, you can work with your caterer to create a menu that accommodates their needs. Additionally, be sure to have a variety of alternatives available for guests with food allergies, such as fruit or vegetable platters, cheese plates, or a chocolate fountain.
Of course you can’t know everyone you invite well enough to meet all needs, but use your best judgment and ask around to get a feel for the kinds of food you can serve. You’ll want to make sure there are options for everyone to enjoy.
Now that you’ve considered all of these factors, it’s time to start planning your menu. Here are a few ideas to get you started. For example if you will be hosting a formal dinner, you could serve a starter, like a soup or salad, followed by a main course, like chicken or fish, and then finish with a dessert.
For couples who would prefer a more casual affair, you could do a buffet style meal with a variety of dishes for your guests to choose from.
Time of day is also important. If you will be celebrating a daytime wedding, you might want to serve lighter fare, like finger foods or sandwiches.
And for a late night reception, you could do a dessert bar or serve late night snacks like mini pizzas or chicken wings.
No matter what you choose, make sure to keep your guests’ tastes in mind and you’ll be sure to create a menu that everyone will love.
Find a Photographer Who Can Help You Realize Your Goals
There are plenty of people offering wedding photography, but they are not all experienced or understand what it takes to make great photos. There is more to being a wedding photographer than being able to take a good photograph. Choosing a wedding photographer who can give you what you want can be a challenge, and a wrong choice can leave you with disappointing results. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you reach out to potential photographers. Before you contact them take a look at their portfolio, make sure their style aligns with what you’re looking for and has the quality you want. You will want to read reviews and get a feel for their personality to see if they’re a good fit for your wedding.
The cost is also an important factor to consider when choosing a photographer. While you can find amazing photographers for reasonable prices they can be quite expensive. Don’t be afraid to ask for pricing information up front so you can compare rates and make sure it fits into your budget.
It is also important to communicate your vision for your wedding day with your photographer. This will help them understand what kind of shots you are looking for and ensure they capture the memories you’ll want to cherish for a lifetime.
Band or DJ,Which is Better?
Music is an ever important part of a fun and lively wedding reception. But there are a couple of considerations here as well.
When planning a wedding, one of the key decisions you will make is who to hire as your band or DJ. This is a decision that will have a big impact on the overall feel and atmosphere of your wedding, so it is important to choose wisely. Keep these things in mind when making your decision:
Consider your budget for music. Bands and DJs can range in price, so it is important to have a realistic budget in mind before beginning your search. Also be aware that price does not depend on one or the other. A live band can be more affordable than a specific DJ. It all depends on who you choose.
Decide what style of music you want to play. Do you want a live band or a DJ? Can you get a live band that plays your style of music or is a DJ better suited? Do you want a specific genre of music, or a mix of genres? Knowing what you want ahead of time will help you narrow down your options. Usually if you want a mix of genres a DJ will be able to handle the task better than a band.
Check out reviews regardless of entertainer. If you know anyone who has recently gotten married, ask them for any recommendations they might have. You can also read online reviews to get an idea of what others have thought about the bands and DJs in your area.
Meet with potential candidates in person. Once you have a few options in mind, set up meetings or if all else fails phone calls to get to know them better. Ask about their experience, what type of music they specialize in, and if they have any reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask, if they are serious they will be more than happy to accommodate your inquires.
Make your decision and forget about everything else. After meeting with potential candidates and getting quotes, it is time to make your decision. Trust your gut and choose the band or DJ that you feel will best fit your wedding. Then forget about it. Like catering, these are professionals who know their job. Don’t try and micro manage the playlist. If you have done your research properly you will be satisfied with the results.
Choose a Wedding Gown
For the bride, the wedding dress is one of the most important aspects of the celebration. After all, you’ll be wearing it for the ceremony, the reception, and all those photos! So how do you go about choosing the perfect gown? This can be tricky, but there are some guidelines you can use to make it a perfect fit.
Here are a few tips:
Define your personal style. Are you a classic, a romantic, a little boho, or something else entirely? Once you’ve decided on a general look and feel, you can start narrowing down your options.
Consider your body type. Every bride is beautiful, but certain dress silhouettes will flatter your figure more than others. For example, if you’re pear-shaped, an A-line dress will look gorgeous on you. The style that you choose will help make narrowing down this aspect of the dress even easier.
Set a budget for the gown. Wedding dresses can be expensive, they don’t have to be but they can, so it’s important to have a figure in mind before you start shopping. Make sure that you stick to it since you will probably need to spend a little extra on alterations.
Start shopping early. For some brides it can take months to find the perfect dress, so don’t wait until the last minute! It also gives you a chance to have alterations made.
There is no shame in asking for help and that is what your bridesmaids are there for. Your friends and family can give you insight that you might not have, so they may be able to give you some great advice when dress shopping.
This is one of the most stressful parts for many brides but by following these tips, you’re sure to find the wedding dress of your dreams!
When Picking Your Wedding Bands
Everyone has a different idea of what makes the wedding band special. When you start shopping for wedding rings, it is important to find a set that is both beautiful and well-made. Well-made bands will last you a lifetime so choose wisely.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when shopping for the perfect set of wedding rings.
Consider the style of your engagement ring. If you have a very ornate engagement ring, you may want to choose simpler wedding bands. Conversely, if your engagement ring is quite simple, you may want to choose a more elaborate wedding band set. With that, think about the type metal you want. There are plenty of different types when it comes to wedding rings. There is: platinum, white gold, and yellow gold, all of which are popular choices. To further help you decide, consider what will look best with your engagement ring and your skin tone.
Make sure the rings are comfortable since you will be wearing them all day, everyday, from your wedding day forward. Many couples do not consider that it is important that they are comfortable. But it is. Try on different styles and widths to see what feels best on your finger.
Don’t be afraid to shop around. Don’t feel like you have to buy your wedding rings from the same place you got your engagement ring. Shop around to find the best prices and the most satisfactory rings.
Make sure that you get your rings engraved. Add a personal touch to your wedding rings by having them engraved with your wedding date, your initials, or a special message. This adds to the meaning and gives it that personalized touch. Most jewelers will offer this for free.
With these tips in mind, you are sure to find the perfect set of wedding rings that you and your spouse will cherish forever.
Time for the Honeymoon
We’re almost done. Now it is time for the fun part of planning a wedding, the honeymoon.
As you know a honeymoon is a special trip that you take with your new spouse to celebrate your marriage. Many see it as a reward for all of the work that goes into getting married. It is a time to relax and enjoy each other’s company without the stress of work or the months leading up to your union. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect honeymoon:
Again decide on a budget in advance. This will help you narrow down your options and find a honeymoon that fits both your needs and your resources.
Choose a destination that you always wanted to visit. Consider your interests and what kind of experience you want to have while you are there.
Book your travel and accommodation in advance. Make sure to research your options and get the best deals on the flights and hotel.
Plan activities while you are there. Whether you want to spend your days exploring or relaxing, make sure you have a plan so you can make the most of your time together.
Pack your bags in advance. Be sure to pack for the weather and activities you have planned.
Don’t forget to enjoy your honeymoon! This is a once in a lifetime experience, so make sure to savor every moment.
Now that you have an idea of what it takes to plan for a wedding you can start making some thoughts about the different aspects. Don’t feel intimidated by the amount of work involved. The nice thing about a wedding is that there are many hands willing and able to help you get things worked out. These can be in the form of the wedding party or your family and friends.
A wedding is a special event and one that should be savored. Don’t rush the planning process or you might miss out on some of the fun.