Monday, April 28, 2008

Planning and Preparing a Dream Wedding

A wedding is one of the happiest and most special occasions in life. Every bride-to-be dreams of a joyous, momentous, and blissful wedding day. But a successful wedding doesn’t just come out of dreaming.

Planning and preparation are essential keys that must never be overlooked. Here is a checklist to help you plan the wedding of your dreams:

Schedule Preparations. Set specific tasks for certain dates and see to it that these tasks are completed as planned. Don't forget to schedule a rehearsal prior to the wedding. Check the schedules of everyone involved, particularly the whole entourage to make sure that no one will be absent for the rehearsal.

Allowing sufficient time to plan and prepare is very important. It will give you enough space to breathe so you do not get too overwhelmed with the wedding preparations.

The Budget. Your budget will determine almost every aspect of your wedding plan. Set a realistic budget and stick with it. How much can you afford to spend? Will there be enough money left for both of you to start with after the wedding?

A wedding is a one-day event, but your marriage will last a lifetime. Be careful not to get into debt or overspend on your big day just to end up broke and miserable the next day. A wedding can be happy, special, and memorable even with a limited budget.

That special day. Give yourself enough time to prepare and execute your plans without rushing. What about your family and guests? Will they be able to make it on the date you’ve chosen?

Perhaps you may want to choose a month that has a special meaning for both of you. But you’ll also want to consider the time of the year particularly if you’re on a limited budget. Will it be a holiday season? Hotels and mostly everything you need to buy will tend to be more expensive during holiday seasons.

Invitations. Are you going to have your wedding invitations customized or do you prefer to make them yourself?

Making your own wedding invitations can save you a great deal. If you have the time or if you have friends or family who are willing to help, it will be a fun and exciting project to do. Still, before you decide to make things on your own, make sure that you have the time, skills, and assistance to finish it on time.

The wedding venue. What is your ideal venue for your wedding? Would you like two separate locations or just one location for the ceremony and reception? Of course, your choice will also depend on how much your budget is.

If you want your wedding to be in a hotel, start calling up hotels to inquire about their rates and availability. If you want a garden wedding, you can check out public and privately-owned parks for lease. If you have a friend who owns a huge lawn or garden and you only want a small number of guests, you may also consider it as a venue for your wedding. (Read On Choosing Your Wedding Venue).

The entourage. Plan your entourage as early as possible. Who will be your best man, maid of honor, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, ushers/usherettes and most importantly, your sponsors?

What about their gowns and suits? Would you be the one to provide for them or will each one be in charge of his/her own attire? Don’t forget to advice the people you chose to be part of your entourage about your plans.

Reception. The wedding reception is all about your guests and the food. Are you going to hire a catering service? How much do you plan to spend on food? What type of dishes do you plan to serve? Who will make your wedding cake? If you know friends or relatives who are into catering services, perhaps you can hire their service at a discounted rate.

The dress. For a bride-to-be, finding the right wedding dress is as important as the occasion itself. Are you going to order a custom-made gown or would you buy a ready-made wedding gown? Preparing early gives you the option to shop around first and compare prices.

The ring. Finding a beautiful wedding ring at reasonable price should be your goal. Be careful not to spend a big part of your budget on the ring alone just because it’s stunning. Be practical. You have more expenses to take care of besides the wedding ring.

Photo and video. Setting aside a portion of your budget to preserve those memories by hiring a professional wedding photographer and video coverage is a wise move.

A friend or relative may volunteer to be the official photographer or videographer on that day, but if your budget allows you to hire professionals to do this important task, then it is definitely worth the expense.

Guest list. What is your estimated number of guests? It’s a good idea to start writing down everyone you want to invite on your wedding. DO this early to make sure that you won’t miss anyone important.

If you want to limit the number of guests, you don’t have to invite everyone you know, only those who are closest and dearest to you. If you’re worried about hurting anyone’s feeling, ask yourself, “Would I be offended if he/she didn’t invite me on his/her own wedding?” If your answer is no, then most likely, the person would not feel bad for not being invited.

Wedding officiator. To be sure, the wedding officiator should be advised at least 6 months before the wedding. If not, you may find that the officiator you want has already been booked for another wedding on that same day.

Legalese. Secure your requirements and apply for you marriage license at least a few weeks before your wedding day. The exact prerequisites and process may depend on your State or country's laws. In case you are planning to tie the knot in a foreign country, don't forget to check out the laws you must comply with.

Designate tasks. Are you going to hire a wedding planner? If not, you can seek the help of your friends and family by designating specific tasks for each person. Performing duties and being assigned tasks are the roles of your ushers and usherettes so choose people that you can rely on.

For instance, you may have someone call up all possible venues for your wedding to inquire about the prices and availabilities and list them down for you. Afterwards, you and your fiance can personally check the list and pick the most promising options before you start contacting the companies yourself.

This and That. Your wedding day is all about the two of you. Other things you want to prepare for as early as possible are your wedding vows, your motif, bridal bouquet, the music for your wedding, the flowers that will be used, among other things.

Do you have other wedding preparation tips to share? 
We'd love to hear it! Leave a comment :)
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