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Tips For Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding is certainly exciting. It can also be overwhelming for many couples. Even the prospect of planning a small wedding can entail a number of details. Organization is the key to ensuring that everything flows smoothly.

Where should you start first? The first detail that must be decided upon is the date. This is essential because it may help you to determine other details, such as the availability of venues for the reception and the ceremony.

After you have determined the date for the wedding, you may be tempted to begin booking sites for the ceremony and the reception. Before you do this, you will need an idea of how many people to expect. This means that you will need to begin planning the guest list. While you should not expect everyone on the guest list to attend, you should plan for approximately two-thirds of your guest list to be present.

Once you have settled on a date and you have a basic idea of the number of guests to expect, you will need to give some thought to location. Just as with anything else, location can be critically important. Consider the time of the year when the wedding will be held as well as the number of people the venue is able to accommodate. You should also consider whether it will be possible to hold the wedding ceremony and the reception at the same site or whether you will need to book separate locations.

At this point you may wish to give some consideration as to whether you will hire a wedding planning or a wedding coordinator. A full wedding planner is another expense to consider, but you may be surprised to learn that you can actually save money through hiring a professional wedding planner due to the fact that they are typically knowledgeable out different venues, vendors, pricing, etc. In addition, hiring a wedding coordinator can help to ensure that everything goes smoothly and relieve some of the stress during this important time of your life. If you feel that your budget really cannot extend far enough to hire a full wedding coordinator, then do consider hiring a day of the wedding coordinator to oversee things on the all important day. Even a close friend who is well organized, but not part of the actual wedding party, can fulfill this role.

After you have settled upon reception and ceremony venues, if you have not already given thought to who will be in your wedding, it is time to address this matter. Even if you are planning a small wedding, you will generally need a maid or matron of honor and a best man. You may also wish to have additional bridesmaids and groomsmen. Other possible wedding party members include flower girl(s), ring bearer(s) and candle lighters. If the wedding is to be large you might also consider ushers. Larger weddings may also include junior bridesmaids.

Contact each individual personally and allow sufficient time for them to check their schedule and ensure they will be available not only for the wedding but also for any other additional functions that may be associated with the event, such as the rehearsal dinner. You should also be prepared to provide them with an approximate amount of money they will need to spend for clothing, etc. This matter becomes even more important if you are planning a destination wedding or if it will be an out of town wedding and they may need to travel to the wedding location. If you are able to do so, you might consider assisting financially with these costs.

Another important matter that will need to be attended to is the catering. Consider your budget in this matter and the time of day when you are planning to schedule the wedding because this may impact your catering budget. For example, if you plan to hold your wedding in the evening then you may need to set aside a larger budget for a sit-down dinner. On the other hand, if you plan a mid-afternoon wedding then you may be able to save money by holding only a light buffet.

Once you have reserved the sites for the ceremony and reception, chosen your bridal party and handled the catering, there will still be several other tasks that will need to be addressed, depending on the complexity of your wedding. These tasks may include:

• Selecting music

• Selecting wedding dress

• Choosing bridesmaids’ dresses and tuxes

• Lining up a photographer

• Choose and order invitations

• Book venue for rehearsal dinner

• Choose and order wedding cake

• Order decorations-flowers, ribbons, etc.

Remember that although planning a wedding can take a lot of time and energy, it can also be a lot of fun. Rely on anyone who is willing to help and do not be afraid to delegate tasks to others. There is no need to do it all on your own. By carefully organizing the planning of your wedding, you can be confident that everything will turn out just as you have planned.

david beart runs the professors house. the site contains articles that cover wedding advice, raising children and relationships.

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Listed: October 9, 2008 4:08 pm