The Basics of Wedding Planning

Now that you are engaged, where do you start? Although many women fantasize about their wedding day, there is a tendency to underestimate just how much time and effort is required to bring their dream to fruition.

The key to great wedding planning is organization. It is important that one is very methodical to ensure a flawless wedding day. No wedding is perfect; however, with careful planning, many mistakes are avoidable.

Firstly, the couple should select a wedding date that is considerate of all parties involved. A realistic date is usually six months to one year in advance. When selecting a date, be cognizant of holidays and pricing (venues for May and June weddings tend to be more expensive than other months).

Secondly, start a wedding binder. A binder is a useful tool to keep planning on schedule. Divide the binder into monthly sections and label each month prior to your wedding date. Search the Internet for a wedding checklist to assist with a basic timeline. To keep plans on track, set a goal to accomplish each month. In addition, keep several folders in the binder for receipts, contracts, etc.

Next, spend some time visualizing your wedding day. Think about color schemes, themes, venues, etc. Then, select a color scheme and/or a theme that embodies your vision and coordinate everything around it. This process will assist in determining the components required to make your wedding day fabulous.

Subsequently, the couple should plan a wedding budget. Establish budgetary parameters for the wedding ceremony and reception. Set priorities and decide which elements of the overall wedding necessitate the most money. When planning your budget, take into account the size of the wedding party and guest list. Create a realistic budget and be sure to allocate enough money for each component: reception, photographer, videographer, floral design, disc jockey, favors, rentals, honeymoon, etc. If considering hiring a wedding planner, this would be the time to do so. Also, include their fee in your budget.

Immediately following, book the place where the wedding ceremony will take place.

Then, book the reception venue. Popular wedding venues are booked months in advance, so be sure to book early. The availability of these two venues will dictate the date of your wedding; be prepared to be flexible. The wedding meal and cake should be the next consideration. Ascertain whether or not the venue will provide the meal and the cake or if an independent caterer will be needed. In any case, take time and schedule several tastings with multiple vendors.

Select the wedding photographer and videographer based on referrals and work samples. Use a similar strategy when selecting a band and/or a disc jockey. Ask for references and sample mixed CDs. If possible, attend an event where the band or disc jockey is performing.

Deciding on a wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, and tuxedos is an enjoyable experience. Browse several different bridal shops or the Internet for online vendors. Pick attire that is complimentary for the entire wedding party. Have multiple fittings to ensure proper tailoring. Following wardrobe selections, visit local florists to choice coordinating floral design.

Look for wedding invitations and favors for your special day online or at a bridal store. If you are creative, make your own. Plan ahead so you have plenty of time for preparation. Send wedding invitations six to eight weeks before the wedding.

Lastly, finalize transportation, schedule hair stylist appointments, register for wedding gifts, make honeymoon arrangements, etc. Refer back to your wedding checklist and use it as your guide. Check off completed tasks to make certain no detail is forgotten. To make sure everything stays on schedule, follow up with vendors throughout your wedding planning.