planning your wedding

Here Comes the Bride: A Guide to Planning Your Wedding

A wedding means something different to everyone. You might relish the idea of throwing a huge party for all of your loved ones, or you might consider running away to a remote island and eloping.

No matter who you’re marrying or how you want to marry them, wedding planning can be stressful. So keep reading, and we’ll help you get started with a guide to planning your wedding.

Know Your Wedding Budget

In 2019, the average wedding cost almost $30,000. Before you take any steps toward planning your wedding, you must first decide on a realistic budget. Factor in how much you have saved and how much help you might be getting from your family.

Weddings can be expensive. If you need some help paying for your dream wedding, consider looking into loans for weddings.

Decide which parts of the wedding you want to prioritize within your budget.

Maybe you want to go all out on the catering, but you don’t need a fancy venue. On the other hand, maybe you do want a fancy venue, but you know you will inherit your mother’s wedding dress.

Prioritizing your budget will help you have the most cost-efficient wedding that you can.

Start Planning Your Wedding Early

It is never too early to start planning your wedding. Wedding venues, entertainers, and caterers can book up quickly.

To avoid becoming stressed out during the wedding planning process, start as early as possible and take your time with every decision.

Many couples get engaged with the intention of marrying in a couple of years or more. While you may be impatient to celebrate your love, trust us; the longer you have to plan your wedding, the better.

Find the Wedding Venue First

The first thing you secure should be your wedding venue. That is because wedding venues can sometimes have waiting lists that go on for months or years.

If you have your heart set on a specific venue, make sure you are prepared to wait as long as it takes to secure it.

If you are more flexible about your wedding venue, try reaching out to several different places. If you want to save money on your venue, consider having your ceremony outdoors or at your family home.

Secure an Officiant

A wedding cannot be legally binding without an officiant. Therefore, make sure you have an officiant booked soon after you have secured the venue.

You have plenty of options when it comes to who officiates your wedding. If you want to get married in a specific faith, you should follow the wishes of your church and family.

If you don’t want to be married to a religious figure, don’t worry. It is more socially acceptable than ever before to have an unorthodox wedding.

Increased support for same-sex marriage has made it more popular than ever for couples to be married by an ordained friend or a Notary public.

Confirm the Wedding Party

planning your wedding

Before you go any further in your planning, you should decide who will be at your wedding party. Talk to bridesmaids, groomsmen, and other family members.

If you want one of your parents to give you away, talk to them about that. If you have a young child in the family that you’d like to include in the ceremony, ask their parents about making them the ring bearer or flower girl.

Asking one of your loved ones to be at your wedding party should be a special occasion. Make sure these people know how much you value them and the support they will undoubtedly give you as you plan the event.

Hire Caterers

Once your venue is confirmed, you can start looking for a caterer. First, talk with your caterer about what kind of menu options they can provide for you and your guests.

Most wedding caterers will provide one or two entree options as well as appetizers and side dishes. Make sure to consider the dietary restrictions of anyone that you know will be attending.

You can also choose to hire a bartender for your wedding if you would like. Of course, an open-bar wedding reception is pricy, but it is sure to be an experience that your friends and family will (hopefully) never forget.

If you want, you can ask your caterers to provide the wedding cake. You can also get one separately from a bakery that specializes in them.

Finalize Your Guest List

After your venue and caterers are secured, you should send out wedding invitations. Ask your guests to RSVP and, if necessary, select which entree they would like to eat.

The sooner you know exactly how many people are coming, the easier things will be for your venue and caterers.

Once your guest list is finalized, you can start planning a seating chart if that’s something you want to do.

Hire Entertainment

No wedding reception is complete without entertainment. There are several choices you can make here, depending on the tone you would like to set.

If you want your wedding reception to be a fun, loud party, you should consider hiring a DJ to spin some dance music.

If you would like it to be a more traditional affair, you should consider hiring a wedding band.

Don’t wait until the last minute to book your wedding entertainment, but don’t make it your first priority either. Wedding bands and DJs are more common than venues and caterers.

Create Your Registry

Don’t forget the most important part of your wedding; the presents! Talk with your partner and figure out where you would like to register.

Some good choices for a registry include department stores, cooking stores, and home goods stores.

Make sure you include items on your registry that will help you begin your new life with your partner. Ask for home items that you normally would not splurge on yourself.

If you are expecting a child or want to start having children soon, you should also register for some baby-related items. However, these are often not cheap, and you won’t want to buy them all yourself after throwing a wedding.

Find the Perfect Wedding Dress

For many women, the most anticipated part of planning a wedding is finding the perfect dress. However, how you go about getting your wedding dress depends on your budget and personal style.

You can get one from a bridal shop, or you can get one custom-made. Or, if there is a wedding dress in your family that you love, you may be able to inherit that one.

If you are getting a custom-made wedding dress, make sure to have a good idea of what you want ahead of time. Show your designer some reference photos and talk about your personal style with them.

If you are getting your dress from a bridal boutique, you can find bridesmaid dresses there as well!

Rent Tuxedos

Make sure you leave enough time to rent tuxedos for the groom and his groomsmen. Everyone who needs a tuxedo may need to be measured by a tailor and try on a few different styles.

If you have any young boys attending the wedding who do not already own tuxedos, make sure they find one as well.

It is a good idea to rent tuxedos instead of buying them because most people do not wear tuxedos in their daily life. However, if you do, then you probably already own the perfect wedding tuxedo anyway.

Involve Both Families

Weddings are beautiful, but they can also be an emotional minefield. It is important to remember that a wedding joins together not only two people, but two families.

Both families may have strong ideas about how the wedding should go, how it should be paid for, where it should be, and more.

Even if these ideas conflict, make sure you sit down with both sides of the family and find a compromise that makes everyone fairly happy.

The best way to begin your new life with someone is with the full support of both of your families.

Enlist Friends for Help

If planning your wedding is stressing you out, don’t worry! You don’t need to do it alone. Instead, ask your friends and family to help you plan your wedding.

You might be surprised at how happy your loved ones are to help.

Play to the strengths of your friends. If you have one friend who is a huge foodie, ask them to help you choose a caterer. If you have a friend who loves fashion, ask them to come with you to choose a wedding dress.

Plan Your Dream Wedding Today

Now that you know quite a bit about planning your wedding start making those important decisions. Talk with your partner and your families about what the perfect wedding for you might look like.

Remember to keep your budget in mind and make your wedding as cost-efficient as possible.

For more lifestyle and planning tips, check out the rest of our blog!

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