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5 Tips For Planning Your Wedding

Author: Gabriel Adams | Posted: 20-02-2007

Perhaps the most exciting time of your life will be your wedding, the one perfect day that every young girl dreams of. The best chance of having that storybook wedding become a grown-up reality is with plenty of proper planning.

If you are that grown-up little girl, are getting married to one or just happen to know one, this simple guide will outline helpful tips for planning what can be one of life's most stressful, although joyous occasions.

Date, Time and Location
First decide on the date, or at least narrow it down to the season, then the month, and where you want the nuptials and the reception to take place. Choose the time for the ceremony to begin, which should coincide with the available time of the reception site.

Decide on a Budget
This is the biggie, perhaps the most important decision you'll make when planning your wedding, after saying yes, of course. A budget, one that's strictly adhered to, will keep your wedding plans in check, and with a little creativity, allow you to have exactly what you want without breaking the bank. If parents are contributing or even footing the bill, everyone should be a part of the budgeting process, if possible.

Be realistic when planning the budget and with your expectations. Is it really wise to go into debt for the first five years of your married lives for that one day, albeit an important one? You must both decide what you can comfortably afford long before the final colors, flowers and cookies are chosen.

Who to Invite and How Many
This depends on a few factors, such as your budget and the location of your ceremony and reception. Planning your guest list after deciding on a budget amount and sticking to it will help everything else fall into place. Nothing is worse than being seated like sardines and not being able to move for an entire wedding. People like to mingle and socialize at weddings, make sure you give them ample room to do so.

Another important factor when deciding on your guest list is whether to invite children or not. If you choose to invite them, are there going to be any age restrictions? If space and cost are an issue, don't feel guilty about opting for an adult only reception, and this is how it should be worded on the invitation, by the way.

Food & Drinks
If your reception site offers on-site catering, you'll have to decide what you want served and if you'd prefer a sit-down dinner or a buffet. Does the facility have wedding cakes as well? If you're getting an outside caterer or enlisting the help of friends and family to prepare the foods and desserts, you'll also have to decide on the menu and what you can or can't afford.

Is there room in your budget for alcohol and if so what kind? Does the reception site provide it and at what cost? Is there a full bar or an open bar? How many drinks will you realistically need per person?

Flowers & Entertainment
For flowers and decorations that won't take up a huge part of your budget, always use flowers that are in season because they cost less. Use plenty of greenery, which is considerably cheaper and looks flattering as well. Opt for fewer attendants, reducing the number of bouquets and boutonnieres and use the flowers from your ceremony at your reception.

Hiring an experienced DJ as opposed to a band will keep your entertainment costs down, but if you must have one, opt for a smaller ensemble as opposed to a full band.

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