A Short Guide to Wedding Planning

Planning a wedding can be a stressful time for many couples. However, planning the wedding does not have to be. With a bit of advanced planning and a well thought out plan on how to organize your to do list, planning a wedding can be fun and easy. The key is not to get too wrapped up in every minute detail, be calm cool and confident when talking with vendors, and to read every contract in detail.

It takes approximately a year to plan a wedding, especially if you are planning to have your ceremony and/or location at a popular venue, or during a popular time of the year. After announcing your engagement the first step is to plan your budget, and determine who is paying for which expenses. Once you know your budget, you can then decide how this budget will work for your wedding plan.

Decide on location, theme, number of guests, formality, day of week, time of day. Make your preliminary guest list. Approximately half of your budget will go toward catering and the reception venue, the more people attending, the more expensive the reception will be. With the remaining funds think of general budget estimates on how much you want to spend on flowers, wedding attire, entertainment, photography, videography, transportation, invitations, stationary, favors and gifts.

It is also important at this time to who the wedding attendants will be, as they will also take a vital role in planning your wedding.

Your major planning issues that need to be addressed during the planning process are:

1) Formality of the wedding

2) Date and time

3) Setting – indoors or outdoors

4) Ceremony – location, minister or clergy

5) Location venue for ceremony and reception

6) Guests – how many and who should attend, seating plans

7) Caterer, food choices, wedding cake & dessert

8) Entertainment – Ceremony Music, DJ or Band for Reception

9) Florist and floral decorations

10) Photographer – Where and what type of (black and white, journalistic, etc)

11) Videographer

12) Transportation

13) Wedding Attire for the bride, groom and wedding party (including shoes and lingerie)

14) Wedding Accessories (guest book, flower girl basket, ring pillow, garter, etc…)

15) Jewelry for your wedding (including rings)

16) Gift Registry

17) Wedding invitations and stationary

18) Wedding favors

19) Gifts for the wedding party and parents

20) Trial runs for hair and makeup

21) Permits, marriage licenses, passport documentation, religious requirements

22) Honeymoon location

23) Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner

Get the terms of every service or sales agreement in writing. You will be able to refer to your contracts later if you have a question on what was decided on. Have a beautiful wedding and happy planning!