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WEDDING TIPS – Planning a Wedding

Planning a Wedding

He asked and she said…. YES!  Now what do you do?

After you have climbed out of cloud 9 you suddenly realize there is a wedding to plan.  Planning a wedding may seem like a daunting task, but all it takes is preparation, organization and a little creativity.

Just as each Bride & Groom are unique in their own special way, so is the wedding day they create.  You have been dreaming of your wedding since you were a child and have probably made a few drafts of your special day already.  Whether your wedding will be a small family affair or a large gathering, equipping yourself with wedding basics will make your wedding planning fun and stress free (ok....mostly stress free). 

Below is a general checklist to get you started in the planning of your own unique special day.

Set a Date

Setting the wedding date is the first step in  wedding planning success.  You will not be able to book your venue, photographer, D.J. or any other vendor without it.  It is a good idea to have a couple of dates in mind when talking to your vendors in case one or more of them is not available on one of the dates.

Venue

After your wedding date is set you may want to call a few of your favorite venues to see if they are available.  Remember to book your venue as early as possible as some get booked many months in advance.  This is also a good time to determine where you and your bridal party will be getting ready before the wedding.

If the venue has a bridal room and groomsmen room to use, you may find this may work best for you.  If the venue does not have rooms for this you may look at other options, such as; renting a couple of rooms at a hotel or apartment building,  bride and grooms homes, or you may ask to use the home of your parents, friends, neighbor, etc.  Whichever “getting ready” place you choose for your wedding party, it is a good idea to choose a place close to the wedding venue.

Save the Date & Wedding Invitations

Your wedding date is set and your venue is booked.  Now it’s time to notify all of your friends and loved ones they are invited to witness your nuptials.  Sending “Save the Dates” to your family, friends and co-workers not only notifies them of your recent engagement, it also gives them plenty of notice to make arrangements to attend your wedding.

Wedding invitations should be sent out a couple of months before the wedding.   You may decide to order the invitations from a vendor or have fun making them yourself.  There are many options to choose from so it will not be hard to find something that fits your personality.   You want to be sure to add an RSVP to the invitations, as you will need to know how many will be  in attendance. 

 

Wedding Officiant

Be thinking of who you would like to officiate the ceremony.  This person could be anyone who has a license to marry, such as; a Minister, Notary or Justice of the Peace.  If there is not a set fee established for their service it is proper to give them a monetary gift.

 

Vendors

Selecting vendors for your wedding may be one of the most important decisions you will make in your planning.  Do plenty of research to select each vendor and read reviews.  The greatest reviews you can get is from past brides, grooms, and their attendees.  Selecting your vendors should be done early in the wedding planning, as they get booked way in advance.  Some wedding vendors include a wedding planner, photographer, videographer, disc jokey (DJ) (or other forms of entertainment), hair stylist, make up artist and florist.

 

Wedding Party

The wedding party is made up of a Maid or Matron of Honor, Bridesmaids, Best Man, Goomsmen, Flower Girl, and Ring Bearer.  You can choose to have any number of each or none at all.  The wedding party participants may be your closest friends or family members.  Whomever you choose to fill these positions, make sure they are supportive, helpful, and have great attitudes. 

 

Wedding Attire

Depending on the style and where your wedding dress is from it may take a month or many months to order it.  Have fun shopping at many venues for your wedding dress, but don’t take too long to order it.  You want to be able to try it on, and have any alterations made in plenty of time for your wedding day.  Don’t worry if you don’t have time to order a dress, as there are plenty of gorgeous dresses in the store and you may find “the perfect one” right on the rack! 

After you have found the perfect dress for you, go ahead and shop for attire for your wedding party. You may want to enlist your groom to help with attire for the groomsmen and ring bearer.

Don’t forget to accessorize!  You may want to add a necklace, bracelet, headpiece, etc to compliment your wedding attire, and those of your wedding party.  Think of accessory items and attire you will need for the wedding reception and honeymoon, such as; ballet shoes for dancing (those high heels you have on for the ceremony will make your feet hurt after a while),  makeup for touch ups, and a change of clothes for departure after the reception.

 

Wedding Party Gifts

Generally, when a Bride and Groom get married, they are “setting up” a household for the first time and may not have all of the items they need.  The wedding guests show their appreciation and love for the happy couple by buying them gifts to get them started on their long life together.  To make the gift buying easier, the Bride and Groom generally “register” at a couple of stores for items they feel they may need for their home.  These gifts are usually given to the Bride at her wedding shower or placed on a designated gift table at the wedding reception.

It is common, but not necessary, to give gifts to your wedding party, and a tip to your wedding vendors.  This act of kindness lets your wedding party and vendors know how much you appreciate them taking their time (and most likely money), to invest in your special day.  You may also include a gift such as, a special crafted handkerchief for the mothers and fathers of the bride and groom, and a box of chocolates for anyone that has helped with serving, decorating, singing, etc.

 

Wedding Decorations

Decorating your wedding venue can be as simple as a table cloth and centerpiece or an elaborate assortment of vases of flowers, runners, candelabras, etc.  Your wedding theme will determine how you will decorate your wedding venue and reception venue.  For example, if you have a beach themed wedding, you may choose to have seashells, sand dollars, and blue under-toned colors added to your décor.

If you have enlisted the services of a wedding planner they will assist you in deciding what kind of decorations will compliment your wedding.  You may also decide to handle the decorations yourself, and be responsible for choosing all of the décor.  If you go this route it is not a good idea to take on the actual decorating yourself, or involve your parents or wedding party, but rather enlist the help of friends to do the decorating for you.  Most venues will let you decorate the building and/or grounds a day or two before the wedding.  If you do not have a wedding planner or do not want to take on the task of  enlisting help for decorations, ask the coordinator of your wedding venue if you can use the decorations they already have.  Most venues offer the use of items they have on hand or are already displayed at the venue.  

 

Responsibilities of the Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man

The Maid/Matron of Honor offers the Bride support and time during the wedding planning.  She may be available to go shopping for decorations, wedding dress, or just out to lunch to unwind.   She may help with picking up items from the store, cleaners, etc.  She is generally the one who throws, and pays for, the wedding shower and/or bridal luncheon.  She may enlist the bridesmaid to help with these things.

The Best Man offers the Groom support and time during the wedding planning.  He may be available to help with picking out attire for the Groom and Groomsmen, or picking items up from the store., etc.  During the Reception, the Best Man enlists the help of the Groomsmen to decorate the “get away” car for the Bride and Groom.  Usually, a place is designated for the car to be parked for the Bride and Groom’s departure.  It’s a good idea to leave the keys in the car (only if the car is in a secure place) so the car will be ready to go.

 

Who Pays for What?

There is no hard fast rule about “who will pay for what?”, however, there are traditions set in place based on what part of the world you live in.  You may choose to follow the traditions set forth for your culture or you may choose to follow your own way which fits best for both sets of families.    In the western culture part of the world there are some parts of a wedding that are traditionally followed in the “who pays for what?” category of planning a wedding.  Keep in mind these are only traditions, and not necessarily the rules that have to be followed.

WEDDING TIPS – Planning a Wedding

Enjoy & Relax

Planning a wedding can be a very special time for the bride and her mother and a groom and his father to spend a lot of very happy moments together.  Planning a wedding, whether big or small, can also be very stressful at times because of all of the time and attention wedding planning brings.   Even though you feel like it sometimes, there is no need to be a “bridezilla” or “groomzilla”  while planning your wedding.  Instead, use the days leading up to your wedding looking for ways to spend quality time as a “single” person with your parents, siblings, friends, etc.  Think of ways to be a “stress free” bride or groom such as, writing lists of things to do, getting help with the preparations, having a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest and relaxation.  Create happy memories of your wedding planning and special day that will be with you forever.