How to start your wedding planning
It feels like there are a million things to do before planning the wedding, but if you focus on the big tasks the little details will begin to fall into place. There are 7 things you need to do before saying “I do” to keep your families, your partner, and yourself happy and well-prepared for the marriage road ahead. Plan to do them all to keep the rest of the wedding plans going smoothly.
1. Call your families
It’s perfectly acceptable, and even advisable, to notify your close family members by phone that you’ve become engaged. Notify your parents and immediate family members right away, then notify other close family and friends you wish to tell. The mother of the bride will have lots of planning to do as the wedding approaches, so traditionally she is notified first.
2. Set a Date
The day you get married has a huge amount of significance. Not only will the date appear on your invitations and wedding announcements, it may also be used in wedding day décor. Because the day you get married also represents your wedding anniversary, you may even have it engraved on your wedding rings.
Setting the date is, in effect, setting a deadline for the wedding planning, so give yourself as much time as possible. Choose a date that has some special significance, base it around you and your partner’s schedules, and plan for a day that’s most comfortable for guests. Every little detail is important.
Pick several dates that may work, and narrow down the options as you learn more about venues and guest availability. Take time to set a date that will be just perfect, but don’t put this off too long. It’s very important to get your venues booked as early as possible so you will be able to secure the day you really want.
3. Set a Budget
Don’t make any plans until you know how much you can spend. It’s easy to get carried away thinking about dresses, venues, and food, but is that really all you’re going to have? Remember that you may also want music, flowers, favors, a wedding cake, champagne, and table cloths. There’s a long list of wedding items that go with the big day. Talk to your parents and talk to your partner to figure out exactly how much you have to spend in round figures. Once you know how much you can spend, you can start making a comprehensive budget to follow while you make all the rest of your wedding plans.
4. Start the Guest List
Your guest list determines the size of your wedding, an important consideration when you’re picking venues and thinking about planning costs. Start with wedding party members and their partners, close family and friends and go from there. Will you include young children at the wedding? Should you invite your third grade teacher who inspired you? Writing the guest list often means making a lot of tough decisions. Think about who you want to be a part of your big day, and why, and go from there.
5. Book the Venues
Where do you want to get married? Some couples choose their wedding venue for sentimental reasons, perhaps getting married in the same place as their parents or grandparents. The decision may be based on proximity. What’s close to the two of you and your family members? Booking the venues for your wedding is a huge decision. Remember, where you’re getting married will be featured in every single picture.
a. Wedding ceremony
Traditional venues for wedding ceremonies include hotels, churches, beaches and outdoor gardens. Some couples may choose a more unique location, such as a museum or even a yacht. Choose a wedding ceremony venue based on affordability, guest seating, beauty and convenience.
You may not always book your wedding and reception in the same place. When looking for a reception venue, you need something that’s accessible to your various vendors, especially caterers. In addition to seating, you’ll want information about serving liquor and food in the reception venue.
6. Select an Officiant
Choosing an officiant is an important aspect of the wedding planning. If one member of the couple has a family member who is a member of the clergy or a justice of the peace, this choice may be easy. Church-going couples may choose an officiant who is already part of their religious community. But other couples who have no strong religious ties have to go in search of an officiant who will be right for them. Consider religious concerns for both members of the future marriage when making this decision, as well as cost.
Before walking down the aisle and saying “I do,” take a break! It’s so easy to get stressed out during wedding planning, and both of you may need to relax for a few days before taking the big plunge. Spending time apart is perfectly healthy at this time. Spend at least a few hours away from wedding planning. Don’t even think about the wedding! For brides, it’s a good idea to schedule a spa day or a movie night with the girls. The groom may want to enjoy a round of golf or go fishing with his close friends.
Settling on engagement rings is the easy part, because there’s a host of things to consider. If you plan the important things well, though, and take time in between to give yourself a little TLC, the wedding itself can go off without a hitch!
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.