First, set your wedding budget. The wedding budget may include; the rings, stationary, ceremony, reception, music, floral, favors, theme accessories, photographs, video, attire, rehearsal, venue locations, caterer, cake and pre-wedding parties. Make sure to adhere to your budget and set aside extra for unexpected fees. After setting the budget select the wedding rings. Current buying patterns show that couples often choose the wedding rings together. Once that process is complete, send an announcement or save the date cards to; family, relatives, friends, and other significant others. Wedding announcements or save the date cards are given out via mail or in person. Many newly engaged couples send an official announcement to local newspaper.
We recommend that the groom’s mother take the initiative to communicate with the bride’s mother during this time. Usually, a dinner is set up for the families of both parties to get acquainted before wedding planning begins. This is often helpful for the future wedding preparations.
Then, prepare the guest list. This list usually affects several aspects of the wedding. Dividing the guest list into five categories will sort out the list: bride’s list, the groom’s, couple’s common friends, groom’s parents’ list and bride’s parents’ list. During this phase of planning the couple makes a decision on their style of invitation card designs and packages. These details match the over-all tone of the wedding creating the theme.
Tip: proofreading of the invitations must be done and is a very important task.
Next, start the ceremony and reception planning. This phase includes; attire, venues, officiant, music, accessories, floral, caterer, favors and cake. These things should match together to express the style and theme of the wedding. Note: the wedding gown, bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen and groom’s attire are usually decided based on the theme. The ceremony site sets the tone of the wedding. Traditionally, weddings are celebrated at venues such as; a church, a garden, beach or destination wedding site.
Tip: make sure to have a wedding rehearsal; this will reduce the risk of ceremony disappointments. Rehearsal parties or a rehearsal dinner immediately follows the rehearsal.
Last, you could include a bachelor party and wedding shower for the weekend before the actual wedding day. These are fun and classic wedding traditions. Note: photographs and videos should not be forgotten for they will immortalize memorable wedding and party moments that go by so quickly. Some photographers suggest taking the formal wedding photos a week before the actual wedding day and have candid photos taken on the day of the big event.
Melissa Reed, Cloud Nine Wedding Officiants
August 5, 2013