Monthly Archives: June 2017

Planning the Wedding

Weddings are fun, but anyone who has ever planned a wedding might be happy to tell you about the horror stories of everything that went wrong. Unfortunately, this happens all too often no matter how well you plan or how experienced your resources might be. Planning the wedding doesn’t have to be like that, though.

Of course, trying to cram plans into a tiny timeframe just doesn’t work well. Arranging a reception for 200 people in two weeks is all but impossible if you expect all the bells and whistles to be perfectly in place. One of the most important factors, therefore, in planning any wedding is to make sure the timeframe matches the type of wedding.

Any formal affair that entails hundreds of guests, designer gowns, destination travel plans, a celebrity style caterer, and additional custom touches, will take at least a year of virtual full time planning. For a smaller wedding of perhaps ‘family and friends’ or ‘under 50 people’ you’re still looking at two months, although a month (with lots of help) might be reasonable.

One of the most time consuming aspects is choosing the dress. Women spend weeks and weeks looking for that perfect dress. If this isn’t something you have time for, and perhaps aren’t even interested in, rent one! This is a fast upcoming business aimed solely at women who realize how cost effective this is. One fitting, one payment, and you can wait till a week before the wedding. Bridesmaids? Have them do the same thing.

Delegation is the key to success, no matter what the size the wedding is. Find friends and family whom you can trust, and have them manage one entire process from the start to finish. Tell them exactly what you want and let them handle it. With smart phones that can handle video, photos, voice notes, web browsing, and text and messages, you can be kept up to date with what’s happening.

Instead of spending time at a printer pouring through books and books of invitations, print your own. There are specialty papers and kits made for all types of invitations and they cost a fraction of professional done invites. If time is of the essence, give people your email for RSVPs.

Formal sit down dinners are cumbersome, error prone, and rarely appreciated. With photos, dancing, talking, and catching up with family and friends, many dinners remain untouched. Opt for something just as elegant but easier on the budget and probably more enjoyable. Wine and cheese receptions are quite popular, as are desserts only with a coffee bar set up instead of a full bar.

Double check last minute details 48 hours ahead. If you are hiring a limo service, go over addresses, times, destinations, and pricing. Get cell phone numbers for the drivers if possible. If you are relying on friends and family, make certain that cars are equipped to handle the number of passengers assigned.

Planning the Wedding Menu

Setting a wedding menu can be a daunting task especially for someone who has never planned such an event before. There are many factors to consider when planning the wedding menu. The time and location of your wedding reception, the cost of the meal, the type of foods you want to serve, choice of a caterer, and theme of your wedding are among the most important factors to consider. Many of these decisions will have to be finalized with your fiance.

Time and location – If you’re having a late morning or early afternoon weekend reception, you would probably serve a brunch or lunch menu to your guests. For an evening reception, a dinner either buffet or sit down style can be planned. A cocktail party can even be an option which will shorten your reception time considerably.

Just as important is the location where the wedding reception will be held. Banquet halls, country clubs, reception halls, churches or even outdoor locations, ie. parks, beaches, can serve as your wedding venues. The choice of location will surely affect the type of food you serve.

Cost of the meal – The expenses for your meal will be greater if more options are offered. Dinner menu items such as Filet Mignon, lamb or seafoods will be pricier than if you were to offer chicken. Chicken is a popular menu item and modestly priced so this could be a good option if you have to keep the cost down.

Choice of a caterer – Discuss your wedding menu with your caterers and have them come up with recommendations. Make sure they are aware of the budget you set. Many caterers provide complimentary tasting to the bride and groom. You may also choose to include your favorite foods or those of family and friends. Couples may also want to offer non-red meat fare or vegetarian options.

Theme of your wedding – If a couple is getting married Hawaiian style, it would definitely be appropriate to serve a luau. Suggested menu for a luau includes roasted whole Kahlua pig, sweet and sour chicken, coconut rice, roasted vegetable salad, and tropical fruits. For a backyard wedding, barbecued chicken, ribs or pork or other traditional picnic foods ie burgers, hot dog, cole slaw, corn, potato salad can be included. Your wedding menu can also reflect the season of the year. Example: in the fall, depending on how cold the weather is, your guests will surely enjoy some soup ie Squash or Potato soup. Roasted turkey, cornish hen, or rib roast are all popular main meal items for the fall. Serve it with some form of pumpkin dessert.

Planning a wedding menu can be fun for some but can be overwhelming for others. There are many food ideas to consider for your wedding reception. Make the food you serve memorable. Balance flavor and texture of the food with eye-appeal. Serve popular menu items and plan your menus considering your guests’ preferences. And, let your menu reflect your ideal wedding feast.

Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams

Unless you are a professional wedding planner, the best tip for anyone planning a wedding is to get advice. Yes, it is much easier if you can afford to hire a wedding planner, but if that is not possible, the next best thing is to go online where those in the wedding business have posted information to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.

You will probably be surprised to find all that is available online to help you plan and manage your wedding. These sites are thorough, well thought out and, best of all, they were created by those wedding planners you could not afford to hire!

Here are some of the wedding planning tools that are available on the worldwide web:

Address Book and RSVP Manager

This online tool can help you gather addresses, time the mailing of your invitations, identify save-the-date tools, and even track RSVPs. It can also track RSVPs for multiple events – such as the wedding, bachelor party, bridal shower and more.

These online tools also let you record gifts, track thank-you notes and even plan the seating arrangements for the reception or shower. Best of all, you can choose to enter the contact information manually, or use the automated system that imports your contacts for you.

Task List Manager

You may think you know all the steps involved in planning a wedding, but that does not mean you will remember all of them at the appropriate time. To keep track of all you have to do, go online to find a wedding task list manager. They sort the tasks starting 9 months or more before the wedding.

With this countdown system, you know what has to get accomplished each month. The tasks start with setting the wedding date. Other reminders include setting the theme of your wedding, choosing your attendants and getting started on the financial budget. The site will prioritize your task list and even send you reminders about what needs to get done. It has the capability of creating notes and to-do lists you can share with others.

Wedding Websites

Wedding websites are probably one of the best ways to communicate your plans to your friends and family members. In one location (on the web), you can tell everyone the story of your courtship, details of the engagement and plans for the big day. Best of all, many wedding websites are free if you are using a vendor’s services. For example, if you are buying your dress from a vendor, that vendor may be able to offer you a free site. It’s definitely something to look into, because these sites are fun and functional. Best of all, visitors to the site can leave you notes of congratulations or encouragement – or even more advice to make your wedding special.

Budget Planners

Budget planners are available on some online wedding sites. These detailed budget planners can make the financial planning easier for you. They start by asking you what you want to spend and how many people you plan to invite. They offer tips for stretching your budget and how to organize and update expenses. They also suggest appropriate allocations of funds. Best of all, these sites combine the expertise of financial managers with the experience of professional wedding planners. What could be a better source of sound financial advice?

Local Resources

Find local resources online. These sites invite vendors to advertise their services. You will find a range of services – from bakers to musicians, photographers, caterers, DJs, limo services and authorities who can perform the ceremony. Most listings are divided by state and further broken down by big cities or regions of the state. Even if you do not live in a city, it is quite possible that you would hire a photographer to come to your area to photograph your wedding. Or you might want to venture into the city for your reception. Geography really is not a big issue when it comes to finding the right services or vendors for your wedding – and these sites are a good place to start.

Etiquette

Learn the etiquette involved in a wedding. While you may not be trying to impress anyone with your nuptials, the point of etiquette is to make sure everyone is comfortable. Wedding websites can help you learn what is expected and where you can change it up and put your own mark on the ceremony. For example, tradition dictates that the father of the bride walks her down the aisle. But what if Dad is no longer in the picture? Etiquette sites will advise brides to invite their mother to make the trip up the aisle, or a favorite brother or uncle. But it will also tell the bride she can go it alone if that is what makes her most comfortable.

Planning The Wedding

The ceremony is a public proclamation or marriage between two people. It usually involves the exchange of wedding vows and the symbolic presentation of gifts to each other in the form of rings.

Though it seems to get the least attention of the lavish affair, it is the most important hour or two of ANY setting; whether it is a small, intimate, medium, large, or extravagant wedding!

Here are a few important elements that you need to remember, or at least have some of them involved in your ceremony.

1. Location – Contrary to beliefs or tradition, the ceremony does not have to be performed in a house of worship. There are outdoor locations and other sites that can make the ceremony both spiritual and memorable.

2. Wedding Programs – Wedding programs may be customized to compliment the color scheme of the wedding location and the theme.

Keep the theme or color scheme in mind when planning the wedding ceremony.

3. Ceremony Decorations – No matter where you decide to have your ceremony, there must be some form of decoration to fit the theme of your wedding and the color scheme. Be sure to make it within reach of your budget or else you will run the risk of under-budgeting another important aspect of the wedding. Some typical decorations include floral arrangements, which can cost a pretty penny! You may choose to go for candles, balloons and bows to reduce the spending on decor.

A simple method to remember the extent of which the location should be decorated is to remember that decorations should be placed at the entry way, along the aisle pews or chairs and at the altar.

4. Aisle Runner – The purpose of the aisle runner in a lightened sense is to make the bride feel like royalty on her special day. However, the practical use is to protect the precious white or ivory wedding gown hem and train from dragging through the dust, dirt and grassy areas.

While the most popular color for runners is white, you may choose to use a color that complements the color scheme and theme.

Here are a few other elements that you may want to check out and be sure to take note of for when you are planning the wedding ceremony!

5. Bridal Party

6. Ring Bearer and Pillow

7. Flower Girl and Basket

8. Wedding Veils

9. Sand or Unity Candle Ceremony

10. Wedding Songs

11. Wedding Vows

12. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

13. Jumping the Broom

14. Guest Book

15. Bubbles, Rice, Grains or Confetti

Emphasis can be placed on the planning the wedding ceremony page.

All the best with your wedding planning!