“What do I need to do to plan my Wedding???”
With an immense agenda of things to arrange and do, it can be very easy for just one piece of the finely tuned puzzle to go missing. Every detail on your wedding day is VERY important!
I have made a list below in no particular order what I feel are the most important details to make your unforgettable day go as smoothly as possible but also go out with a bang which is PRICELESS!!!!!!
Your wedding Rings. The engagement rings and wedding bands are two of the most important investments you will ever get to make in your life. The rings are the symbols of a marriage. They are the beautiful endless circle of love that wraps around your finger and represents that you are Husband and wife for eternity. There are so many things you need to decide when choosing these bands, for example the type of stone and type of Metal as well as the design. Since these bands are going to be displayed on your fingers for life as a sparkling statement of joy you need to get this right. So choose one that is timeless and represents great quality. (We do love to sparkle)!!
The Ceremony. There are a good few things you need to consider when debating where to get married. First of all, you must decide whether you want to be married in a church, at a Registry office, an outside Marquee, a Hotel or anywhere else that suits your budget and style. Secondly, you need to decide is which church, registry office, hotel or location you would like to be married in. You must narrow it down until you find one site that suits you BOTH. Pleasing both parties is very important indeed!!!!! The location of your ceremony may also be the place of your reception, and vice versa. If you choose to use one location for the ceremony and the reception then it will keep the budget to a minimum.
The Location Of The Reception. As I mentioned above, the location of your reception may be the same venue as your ceremony. However, if it’s not, then you need to choose a reception that’s big enough not just for all of your day guests but all of your evening guests as well; the more people attending your wedding means a larger reception area needed.
Brides, Bridesmaids Dresses & Accesories. It’s obvious that a bride wants to look and feel beautiful. A soon to be bride must be uuubbbeeeerrrr confident about the way she looks and feels, especially on this particular day. Men, you may be a little uncomfortable with this bit of advice, but give her the purse strings to buy the dress of her dreams! Women must be in love with their Dress and accessories, trust me, all women adore their wardrobe, and there is absolutely no exception for this dress that she will wear on her wedding day. The day she has dreamt about since she was a little girl. However, the bridesmaid dresses are just as special so allow the Bride and her Bridesmaids to choose the colour, style, and matching shoes that they wish to wear. Because honestly, what do men know as a rule about women’s clothing???????
Tuxedos & Attire. Looking good and feeling good is not just about the Ladies. A groom to be is just as important as a bride to be. The tuxedo, or chosen suit, must fit properly. How many times have I seen a man in a three piece suit where the shoulders of the jacket are too big, the trousers are far too baggy, or the collar of the shirt too tight/loose? However, the colour of the tie and/or waistcoat that the groomsmen wear should be in keeping with the colour scheme agreed on.
Your Guest List. It is never too early to start your guest list. However, remember you need to set your budget first; things can easily get out of hand with guests lists. Once you have reached an agreed budget you can start working on numbers within that budget, also the room available at the ceremony and reception which will govern how many you are able to invite to each part of the wedding. Then you can safely compile your perfect guest list.
“Save the Date” Invitations. These invitations have become more popular these days as they can be sent out early so people know the date you are looking at before booking their holidays etc and they can arrange things around it or let you know early enough that they are not available. Remember though, that this isn’t the wedding invitation; this is just a friendly reminder to keep the date open.
Wedding Planner. A wedding planner is obviously not essential especially if you are on a tight budget, or if you want to do it all yourselves. However if budget isn’t a problem and you can’t face the stress of preparing all the finer details then wouldn’t it be nice to let someone else do it all for you? If your budget doesn’t stretch that far there are still other ways for a planner to help you I.E you can hire them to co-ordinate all the events the day or grab their input regarding location, décor, or attire. A wedding planner, depending on the contract you have both agreed on is your mediator and your facilitator. They work for YOU! However remember you are the ultimate decision maker. Every final decision is yours and the beauty of having a wedding planner is you just have to say yes or no. The planner will do the work and encounter the stress. All you have to do is say I do or I don’t like this.
Wedding Invitations. Now these are the formal invitations that follow up the “Save the Date” invitations. It’s usually recommended that you order or make the invitations at least 4 weeks before you plan on sending them out. This way it allows you to be able to check everything is correct. It also gives you plenty of time to make amendments if they are wrong. Once you are happy that it’s all correct, be sure to send them out about 6 to 8 weeks before the wedding. 6-8 weeks is plenty of time for guest’s time to RSVP giving you solid numbers for your wedding day. On the flip side!!! If you send them out too early the date may be so far away that people may forget to note it down in their calendars or even lose their invitation. That said you need to find the time that you are comfortable with for sending them out without causing you to stress. You ideally need to get those reply’s back with definite Yes’s and No’s from your friends and family so you can finalises table seating plans.
“Your” Wedding Photographer. Your wedding photographer is an important Person to nail down for your wedding! This is another major detail to where extra money would be money well spent. Your special day will be remembered by the memories that you have made and the photographs taken to show them for years to come. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find a photographer that has proven his/her worth in the past! Make sure you look through physical albums of previous weddings they have done. Remember your wedding album is going to be the most priceless item that you will cherish for the rest of your lives, so make sure that you are completely satisfied with the photographer you hire.
The Videographer. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but a video can also portray a timeless memory. Many people will ask friends or family to try and record bits and pieces from special parts of their wedding day. But remember it’s never going to be as good as a videographer in quality so you may find that you are disappointed in its quality, plus the fact if you ask guests they become more focused on filming your wedding rather than enjoying it.
Florist and Décor. Decorating your venue and reception can be extremely stressful BUT also enjoyable and special, so depending on how your morning or evening before the wedding is fixed for time then run with what best suits your budget and time schedule. When thinking about the décor try to make it unique and have it represent your taste as a couple. Obviously the flowers that you choose will give the wedding a lot of decoration and life, and that’s what many couples use to decorate their wedding and reception areas with. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t add little touches and details of your own. I have been to a lot of weddings and I have noticed a couple of objects and items that I would highly recommend using at yours. Consider having a chocolate or Fondu fountain at your wedding!!!! Bring on the strawberries!!! They are very entertaining as well as delicious! Also ice sculptures are an extremely beautiful object to decorate your reception room but remember not all venues can cater for these so it’s worth asking first.
Hair Stylist. This is mainly for the ladies, unless by any chance one of your groomsmen wants a manicure, his eyebrows plucked (this isn’t a pretty look, they hate the pain involved), or his hair styled by a Hairdresser!!! This makes sure that you can have trial runs and get your hair exactly how you want it to fit around your headwear and removes the stress of you trying to get it right on the day. Also it may require more expertise to get it right that you are capable of doing.
Make-up Artist The benefits of makeup artist’s enable you trial it first to make sure you like it and tell them exactly what you want your make-up to look like. They specialize in what they do with quality products and they know the colours that will photograph well with your skin tone and your complexion, so together it should look stunning. It is the safest route if you are worried about looking your utmost best on your unforgettable day.
Music/Performer/Entertainment. You can’t have a wedding without music that’s a given!!! If there has ever been a wedding with no music, I am dying to know how that panned out? also what the guests did in this time?.
Most weddings have a DJ who is responsible for playing music and trying to get your guests to make some damning shapes on the dance floor. As much as the reception lasts for a good few hours you still may have to gap fill between turnaround times (should this be the case at your reception) or if you want to be different then, you can always hire a singer, magician, or other performer. Think about your average age of your guests before choosing any entertainment. If the wedding couple are in their mid-50’s, maybe you want to look at a cover band. You’re probably not going to hire a rock and roll band that plays heavy metal if the average age of your guests is 50. (Or would you)???
Event Caterers. Depending on what time of year your wedding is, may increase or decrease the amount of equipment you need to rent. Tables, chairs, place settings, and a dance floor are the most common items needed for weddings. If you’re having an outdoor reception in the winter, you might want to rent some outdoor heaters. If you are having a summer wedding and want to rent a marquee, you may want to hire some air conditioning units or some big fans. There are lots of things to consider when hiring a catering company, ask for recommendations and images of their previous work or sample tasters.
Food and Drink Caterers. What you serve at your wedding will probably depend on your budget and location. Obviously the more guests you have, the more expensive the catering bill is going to be. Also, the more elegant the food is that you offer, will ultimately make the bill more expensive as well. Children under the age of 16 at your wedding also means providing non-alcoholic drinks as well as water. If the catering company that is providing your food also provides non-alcoholic drinks, then great so it’s not another bill you have to tally up. Otherwise buying in can be cost effective tally. Any sparkling drinks can also be used for them to toast the happy couple and still feel part of the wedding as well as everyone else.
Hire a Bar. If you are having an outdoor wedding reception you will most definitely need to hire a Bar. This should also include the licence to sell alcohol.
Ring Bearer and Flower Girl. If you have children you wish to include into your wedding, I would definitely do so. Normally flower girls are between the ages of 4 and 10 but there is no real age limit of how old they can be. If you decide to have a flower girl, then a little boy ring bearer would really finish it off and make it look gorgeous. The two would create a lovely, cute and tear jerking entrance to your ceremony. AAAAAHHHHHHH
The Cake. Traditionally cakes used to be very over the top with decoration and a huge mound of tiers. However, these days they are more modest and the size pending on total number of guests. The more simple the cake the better these days. There is no right or wrong flavour, size, or shape, but it is crucial to get the cake to represent the actual wedding theme and colour scheme.
Wedding Gift Lists. A gift list service from large retail stores can make it a much simpler way to receive gifts you actually would like and need especially if you are making a new home together. Make sure you give your guests and family the details on where you have made your gift lists, you can do this either in your save the date cards or in person or by email. After the couple has selected the items, guests can go online or go in person to select what they would like to order and give the happy couple. Remember to give your guests options and price ranges to choose from. Once someone has purchased a gift it’s removed from your list altogether so they can’t buy duplicates.
Wedding Cars or transportation services. Having private transport to and from the ceremony and the reception will be paramount if you are not having your wedding all at one Hotel venue. On a wedding day there is such a massive agenda and such a strict time slot for every little detail you want to be able to leave it to someone who knows how to get there on time believe me.!!!! Just like other services, you should shop around and ask others for recommendations. Simple questions such as were they on time? Were they polite? Were they cooperative? These will help you determine which company you should hire and who will make your beautiful day as relaxing and enjoyable as it should be.
Vicar. If you are being married in a church, most parishes will provide you a Vicar that they are affiliated with. You need to ensure it’s a Vicar that you feel comfortable with, an individual that you connect with, and someone who wants to perform the services of your wedding. If you are getting married at an outside location that does not contain a church, you will also have to go through the process of hiring a Registrar. Make sure that you discuss before you hire him/her what you expect from them and what they expect from you.
Wedding Favors. Anything goes here for favours but the ones that are thought out really do tend to be remembered. I have seen some nice ideas such as a custom shot glasses made with the Bride and Grooms names on, the date, and two interlocking hearts. Key rings, bottle openers, candle jars. Mini lanterns, you get the idea, something that can be kept or used again is always a better approach and more intimate especially if you don’t let your 1 year old get gold of it first lol!!!!.
Honeymoon. First off, decide on how much the budget allows before choosing your honeymoon location. Try to find a reasonably priced location that leaves you with enough spending money for you to experience some trips out, as well as pamper yourselves! It should be a place you can’t wait to get to. Just to relax after months/years of planning to make your wedding day PERFECT, after all it’s your first Holiday together as Mr & Mrs.