Congratulations! After the exhilaration and excitement of falling in love, proposing and announcing your intention to marry, the plans for the wedding must be made. Unless you run off to Vegas for a drive-through wedding, there will be many deadlines, duties and decisions to make before the big day. Don’t worry, take a deep breath and read on for some useful Wedding Planning Tips.
GET ON THE SAME PAGE
Wedding plans often seem like a doubles match in tennis; two sets of parents and the bride and groom. Unless your parents are footing the entire bill for the big day, the first wedding tip to share is to make it your special day. Often the parents of the couple want to become the wedding planners, consultants and honeymoon guide. Make the decision that your fiancé and you will stay united on your desires and stick to your plans. Wedding couples must continually seek common ground and co-operation in their wedding plans and preparations. Will it be a large wedding or small? Who will be your groomsmen and bridesmaids? Who will be the best man or the maid of honor? Where will the wedding take place and who will perform the ceremony? You both need to agree on a wedding budget, number of guests you will invite, and the type of reception and ceremony you want. Planning a wedding is great practice for learning to compromise, communicate and learn to resolve conflict, and you will learn a great deal about your marriage partner.
SETTING UP A TIMELINE FOR MARRIAGE
There are many resources in bookstores, magazines and online to help you determine the best plan. Many churches have wedding consultants who are willing to help you get things started and give you direction. If you do decide on using a wedding consultant, do not pick blindly from the yellow pages or the internet. Traditionally speaking, the first few duties on your timeline is setting a wedding date, deciding the time and place for your wedding and reception, the people in your wedding party, and the person performing the ceremony. Over the next couple of months you will check out various vendors and eventually choose a florist, musicians, photographer, wedding colors and styles of dresses and tuxedos. Additionally, you will build the guest list and choose the honeymoon location.
WEDDING BELL WARNINGS AND WHAT-NOT-TO-DO!
Do not decide you will out-do your sister Bertha’s wedding cost and proceed to go into great debt for your wedding or bankrupt your parents. Also, do not look for the cheapest vendor in order to save money on your wedding. Alas, you will sadly find out why the flowers were so inexpensive when the dying daffodils make their debut on your big day. The same is true with photographers, caterers and musicians. If something is unusually cheap, there is usually a reason. Do not allow your parents to take over your big day. They may want the wedding in a certain church with a certain minister, in a certain city – but do you?
BUDGET WEDDING TIPS
In case you did not know, approximately 35 – 50 percent of the wedding cost is from the reception costs you have for your wedding. This does not mean buying ‘Top Ramen’ packets to hand out as your guests leave the church, but take some time to set your priorities for your wedding. Some of the items that take much of the budget are exotic locations, designer wedding attire, florists and the ‘baling’ in your ring. Do not find the cheapest photographer, florist or soloist. Usually you get what you pay for. There are some expenses, however, that go into a wedding that would go largely unnoticed by your guests. With some proper planning and preparation, you can make the biggest day of your life…truly special!