Wedding Mistakes To Avoid

Just as with any big show, your wedding day will not be perfect – but that’s okay. While you cannot plan ahead for every little detail or problematic situation that may arise, you can arm yourself with some helpful advice to be prepared at all times for any potential wedding mistakes. But before you begin planning your special day, consider these five biggest wedding preparation and planning mistakes that amateur ‘wedding planners’ often make.

1. Not Budgeting Costs

It’s hard to believe, but true – many couples do not create a budget when it comes to wedding preparation and end up in a deep hole of debt. The very first thing you should do to avoid disastrous (and bankrupting) wedding mistakes is devise an itemized budget, allowing for the necessary requirements, such as a venue for both the ceremony and reception, food and drinks, flowers, favors, decorations, etc. If anything is left over, either use this money for your honeymoon or spend it on something a little more frivolous, like a horse drawn carriage for your departure from the reception.

Budgeting ahead of time also involves your acknowledging the fact that you may surpass the total by at least 10%. Surprises do happen, so cutting back on other needless things will ensure that you don’t go over budget too much. In these initial wedding preparation stages, you and your fiancé need to discuss who will be paying for what. It used to be that the bride’s parents paid for everything, but this ideal is slowly fading away. If you’re still coming up short on funds, there are literally hundreds of ways to cut costs for your wedding day, including having fewer guests, choosing an off-season date, selecting flowers that are in season, and having friends and family play a bigger part by making the wedding cake or trying their hand at photography.

2. Not Giving Yourself Enough Time

The image of the harried bride has been engrained into the psyche through a number of television shows that hype up the combination of little to no time and a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. This is why giving yourself ample wedding preparation time is necessary to ensuring that your wedding flows seamlessly. If you want a large, extravagant wedding, you need to begin planning at least a year and a half in advance; for a smaller, more intimate wedding of about 50 guests, eight months to a year is fine. You need to take into account what your plans are for your wedding and adjust your schedule accordingly to prevent costly wedding mistakes from occurring.

Giving yourself more wedding preparation time allows you to order your cake, dress, wedding favors, flowers, decorations, etc. well in advance so that you don’t come up empty-handed from last minute rushing. Allotting enough time also applies to your wedding ceremony and reception. Don’t keep your guests waiting at the reception venue while you and your wedding party are taking hundreds of photos – consider taking a majority of the pictures before the ceremony and the all-important couple, wedding party, and family pictures after the vows have been exchanged.

3. Not Delegating Responsibilities

Delegating responsibilities, wedding preparation tasks, and roles is vital – you cannot do everything! For brides, their bridesmaids are there to help them with the important duties of the wedding day, so creating a short list of responsibilities for each friend is not unexpected. Mothers, family members, and friends are also glad to help run a few errands or make calls for you if you ask. Just make sure you ask someone you know will get the job done on time.

Part of the wedding experience also relies on a number of people who require detailed wedding preparation directives from you, such as the caterer, photographer, florist, transportation and/or drivers, and DJ. Discussing your ideas with them ensures that you can work together on the same wavelength and avoid embarrassing wedding mistakes during the actual reception. You should also arrange for the wedding party to meet at the church or the wedding ceremony location at a specified time. Corralling so many people at the same time is what leads many couples to pick up the wedding party members at their homes. Late arriving wedding party members is one of the most frequent and sometimes uncontrollable wedding mistakes a bride and groom have to deal with.

4. Not Hiring a Wedding Planner or Someone You Trust

Many brides swear by their wedding planners, and yes, it’s true that they take care of just about everything involved in wedding preparation and planning, preventing a number of the more common wedding mistakes brides make. It’s kind of like you and your fiancé are the stars, while the wedding planner works behind the scenes for your big performance, seeing everything from start to finish. Wedding planners know all the ins and outs of great wedding preparation and planning and can help the couple find reliable caterers, bridal attire and supply stores, transportation, and DJs at lower prices. Before signing any contracts, however, talk with the wedding planner to see if it’s a situation you’re happy with.

While incredibly helpful, wedding planners can also be pricey, unfortunate for the bride who is trying to cut costs. This scenario goes back to delegating responsibilities – ask someone you trust to help you make wedding preparation arrangements and appointments with each wedding supply store and/or vendor. You can even scale back operations and have a simplistic wedding that you plan or DIY completely to save money.

5. Not Fully Considering the Reception Venue and Details

Sending your guests on a wild goose chase to find the reception venue is something that happens more often than you’d think and is one of the biggest wedding mistakes couples overlook. For out-of-town guests, this is confusing; for in-town guests, it’s an annoyance. Choosing a reception venue that’s close to the wedding site is a must, unless you provide the transportation to and from the reception. More than 15 – 20 minutes away is a hassle, and some guests may not even bother going if it’s farther than that.

Otherwise, if your reception venue is outside (or exposed to the elements), rain and windy conditions may appear so you should always have a back up in cases of inclement weather. A rained out wedding reception is one of the more common wedding mistakes brides have neglected to plan for. Part of the wedding preparation necessities should also include your requesting the venue’s landscaper to spray for bugs so your guests aren’t being bitten by mosquitoes and gnats.

Learn to Laugh Off Those Wedding Mistakes

Pre-wedding preparation, while helpful, will inevitably miss some little detail of your big day. These wedding mistakes (or, more likely, minor ‘blips’) are to be expected and may even provide a funny moment for you and your fiancé to laugh about in the future. Wedding mistakes do and will happen, but you shouldn’t be bothered by them. Simply go on with the show and smile – no one will know the difference!

 

Tips To Get Memorable Wedding

He has asked for your hand in marriage and you have finally said, “Yes.” Wow what a fantastic feeling, as this is the start of your new life as a couple. After the celebrations have subsided and all your family and friends have showered you with congratulations and prior to that much awaited big day, both of you have so many decisions to make and wedding related tasks to complete in harmony.

Planning in advance of what you need to do for your wedding day is the answer to stress free preparing for your wedding day. As planning your wedding together should be so much fun, enjoyable and equally as memorable as your big day. So your starting point should be both of you putting together a wedding timetable and assigning responsibility for each aspect of this timetable to each other – sharing is caring. What I am going to give you is a short list of wedding related tasks as well as a rough estimate of when the activities should be done. I will present you with tips and guidelines to keep you organized and help you think of everything that you must take into consideration in the course of planning for your wonderful memorable Wedding day. These are mere suggestions which should help you to adapt the correct mindset and get you organised. I find it is always better to have suggestions to work from as opposed to a blank sheet so my suggestions will help you both agree on the perfect schedule of activities that you both need to decide on – depending on your priorities.

Let me start at the Time of the Engagement – What ever you do don’t forget to tell both parents first cause forgetting to do that would get you both off to a slow start. So you must tell your parents the happy news as soon as possible.

– A wedding planner is a great idea and not that expensive, especially when you consider a good experienced wedding planner can find everything you require for your wedding at the right price which could result in saving you lots of money. The wedding planner is also great for helping you keep track of all the appointments, payments and other wedding related activities that you must attend to.

– No doubt you had your photo taken at the time of the engagement well that is a great idea and a great keepsake. If you did not have it taken on the day then go to a professional photographer and get it taken by him/her and yes while you are there check the photographer out for your own wedding day.

6 to 12 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1: Pick your wedding date. First thing to do is to decide what time of the year you wish to get married and pick the wedding date. Bear in mind getting married in the summer time can be more expensive when organising venues etc. I would suggest spring, early autumn or Christmas time are great times for a wedding and would certainly cut the cost considerably.

Step 2: Book the church, registry office, or wherever you decide to have the wedding ceremony. Again remember a church wedding needs to be booked three months in advance. Second thing to be considered is where are you going to get married – chapel, church, registry office, hotel, back garden – the decision is yours. Now that you have the date and the location of your ceremony planned – next step is to decide on where you wish to have your wedding reception.

Step 3: Book the wedding reception. Take your time on this one especially in this climate as most businesses are crying out for weddings so therefore that puts you in the driving seat so shop around and see who can give you the best deals. Don’t be driven by cost remember it is your wedding day and the venue is something that you want everyone in attendance to enjoy and talk about for months afterward. Wouldn’t it be nice to hear people saying that was the best wedding venue I was at, the food was great etc.. Consider your budget when deciding on your wedding venue.

Step 4: Establish your budget and stick to it. Now it is time to consider the size of the wedding you are planning and who must you have at the wedding and who you wish to invite. My advice to you is to start your list with the people you want.

Now we are getting into the detail of what you need to support your day e.g. photographer, florists, musicians, caterer etc.

Step 5: – Look around for a photographer – again they are plentiful and pick one you like.

Step 6: – yes a florist is also important and you must have a good rapport with him/her. Perhaps even consider making your own wedding bouquet.

Step 7: Your music is extremely important as this sets the tone, the mood, the fun, and the enjoyment levels for your wedding so choose carefully, if you are going to have either a DJ or a band make sure that you hear them at another venue in advance and only then decide if this is/are the musician/s for you.

Step 8: Perhaps you are going to organise your own food well then choosing a caterer is an important decision for both of you to make and again find out where they are catering and go and taste the food and get feedback from the guests at this caterer reception. Most important that you obtain estimates for these services. If you are booking your reception at a hotel where the food is provided make sure you go for a taster menu in advance prior to making the booking.

Step 8: To be sure you get the gifts that you want leave a gift list with your favourite department store.

Step 9: Have fun picking the wedding dress just for you, this does not have to be expensive as long it looks fantastic on you to the extent of turning heads when you walk down that aisle, up that garden, or into that registry office. If you are planning on getting your wedding dress made now is a good time to start this process. Once again need I remind you that you must have a good rapport with the seamstress you pick and also make sure that she/he has a good reputation. Find out who they have made dresses for already and go and view them. Remember several fittings may be required for this.

Step 10: Time to consider what colours and style of dresses you wish your bridesmaids to wear. The style should be complimentary to your own wedding dress. Set a date by which these need to be ordered.

4 to 6 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. Now is the time for both of you to consider ordering your wedding invitations, stationery and thank you notes – this is one place that you could save money as you can make these yourself or get someone to make them for you at half the cost of what they are to buy in the shops.

Step 2. At this stage you will have decided on your photographer, your florist, your musician, and choice of food whether it will be complete by a caterer or be part of the venue you have selected. Go over all the details with each of these services to make sure that everything is as agreed upon. I would do this more than once.

Step 3. Grooms have the life, they have two decisions to make when it comes to their attire – do I rent a tuxedo or buy a new suit. I believe it is best to hire a tuxedo for groom, best men, and fathers of both bride and groom as there are great styles out there now and the wedding party looks so much better in the photographs this way.

Step 4. Now for the fun bit arranging the honeymoon, where to go, for how long etc. once this is decided then go ahead and make those reservations. Remember this will be the holiday of your dreams so make it a romantic one.

Step 5. Now it is time to confirm the delivery of the bridal gown and the bridesmaids dresses.

Step 6. What about the mother of the bride and the groom – ask them do they need help in choosing their wedding outfits. It is tradition that the mother of the bride wears the same colour of the bridesmaids.

2 Months In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. Excitement is building the big day is getting closer so it is time to plan your rehearsal dinner.

Step 2. Perhaps you have some guests coming from far and wide – If so you may need to secure accommodation for them or an even better idea is to put suggested accommodation into the invitations and let them book their accommodation themselves.

Step 3. Make an appointment with your photographer to discuss where and when you want him to be on the day to capture the best bridal portraits for you.

Step 4. What about the cake – choose a cake type that you enjoy and make sure that you order the wedding cake right now.

1 Month In Advance Before the Big Day

Step 1. It is getting closer and closer, at this stage you will probably already have decided on your wedding band set so now is the time to collect them and put them away safely.

Step 2. Send out the wedding invitations plus the R.S.V.P. with an self addressed envelope and remember to put a selection of accommodation into them for those guests who wish to stay over.

Step 3. Check the apparel for the wedding party – at this stage everyone should be dressed to perfection with matching accessories, shoes, bags, etc.

Step 4. Assign the role of organising your bachelor and hen’s parties to the bridesmaid/s and bestman/men.

2 Weeks Before the your wonderful Wedding day.

Step 1. Ensure that you have got your marriage license and any other legal documents in order for your wonderful wedding day.

Step 2. If the bride is going to change her name then it is time for you to order a new passport, make the relevant changes to your name and address on bank accounts and any other official documents.

Step 3. It is now time to test what wedding hairstyle and make up you wish to use on the day and have a practise run at this to see how the entire image suits you. Again grooms relax no need for you to do this.

Step 4. Double check with the wedding venue that all is as expected as this point.

Step 5. Go on a pleasure shopping trip to purchase the relevant gifts for your bridemaid/s, bestman/men and attendants. Don’t forget to buy each other a gift for that day too.

1 Week Before your special Wedding day.

Step 1. Ensure you have everything ready that you need to take with you on your honeymoon packed at this stage. Caution – do take the correct amount of kgs in fact take less than you are allowed to leave room to bring back some lovely souvenirs from your honeymoon location.

Step 2. Wrap all gifts for the groom, bride, and attendants. (keep each others gifts as a surprise for the day.

Step 3. Now it is time to schedule the wedding rehearsal – make this a fun day / evening. Relax you are almost there.

Step 4. Make sure everybody knows, especially the wedding party, of the exact time and place for your wonderful occasion on the wedding day.

On your memorable wedding day.

Step 1. Start the day by getting up early and meditating to help you relax. See wedding fitness on my need help with weddings site.

Step 2. Make sure you eat a good breakfast – make the breakfast fun by having your immediate wedding party join you at the breakfast table.

Step 3. Have the hairstylist and make up artist arrive to your house at least 2 and half hours before you are due to leave.

Step 4. Take time out with you Mum or someone close to you to share a special moment.

Step 5. Relax this is your day, which you have well planned, so enjoy every minute of it.

 

How To Arrange Your Wedding Budget

Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life. You would obviously want it to be special and memorable. That however does not imply that you can afford to empty the savings from your bank balance on it. As a smart bride to be, you can plan your wedding in such a way that you cut down on unnecessary expenditure. Presetting a budget will help ensure that you don’t overspend and regret it later. If your folks are paying for a part of the wedding, ask them to specify the budget they have in mind. If you and your fiancé are paying for the wedding without any financial assistance, take a hard look at your savings, and come up with an amount which both of you would feel comfortable spending. Avoiding unrealistic demands and being practical in certain aspects is the key to managing the budget.

It wouldn’t hurt to fix a budget, even if you can afford to spend lavishly. You can gift each other an extended honeymoon or have a holiday with the amount saved. A low cost wedding does not mean compromising on style and comfort. Sticking to a budget requires you to use your imagination and think outside the box. You can always ask friends and family to pitch in with ideas, while you do your own research. With the combined efforts of everyone, your wedding can be an occasion to remember for all.

Ways to be constructive in your spending:.

List the various expenses and assign a priority to each item on the list. Categorise the items in your wedding wish list into what you must have, what would be good to have and what you can do without. Allocate a percentage of your expenses to each important aspect, which should be a defined amount. Be prepared to reallocate funds if you overshoot expense in a category and spread it out over the other categories.

The smartest move would be to start planning early. As an early bird, you can easily get the worm. When you have considerable time at hand, you can browse multiple options, compare shops and negotiate till you get the best deals.

Wedding planner

Right at the beginning, opt for the services of a professional wedding planner. Discuss your wedding budget with them. Planners have contacts and expertise which can prove to be immensely useful in getting you get discounts that will keep your expenses under control. Your planner will help you save effort as well as money by helping you get in touch with a network of service providers within the budget you specify.

Wedding date

The date of your wedding also needs to be factored in as part of your wedding expenditure. A technique that is most commonly used is to get married in an off season. Another option is to get married on a weekday if you choose to get married during the wedding season This will make it easier to book a venue and negotiate prices. The service providers and vendors will also be more attentive and accommodating considering you will be one of their few clients at that time.

Wedding invitations

When selecting wedding invitations look for those which serve the purpose and are cost effective. Alternatively, you can design your own invitations by purchasing blank stationary in the desired colour and personalise the words. Response cards and thank you cards also need to be considered when setting your wedding budget. You can design these along with your invitation cards. It is good manners to acknowledge presents and those who have taken the time to attend your wedding.

Guest list

The number of guests is directly proportional to the expense of your wedding. It is the biggest piece in your wedding expense pie. Cut down on your guest list if you would like to save some costs. Share the day with your nearest and dearest ones. Avoid inviting those who are acquaintances and haven’t spoken to you in a long while. Remember, while you may want everyone to share your happiness, each additional guest adds a definitive figure to your wedding budget.

Travel and Accommodation

Rent all the cars for the wedding from the same individual or company so as to get a good deal. Request your close friends who have cars to pick up family and friends if required, to further curtail costs.

You may have dreams of going in a limousine; however you can consider renting out a slightly smaller car. Still better, you could decorate the most luxurious car available in the family and put it to good use. After all, you will use the car for only about an hour or so and this alone can help release the burden on your wedding budget..

Wedding dress

Dresses can cost you a bomb, if you don’t take care in making a choice keeping your wedding budget in mind. Keep an eye out for clearance sales, which will help you pick stuff that you like at discounted prices. You can purchase a plain gown and use your ideas to accessorise it with lace, sequins, beads, etc. If you have your heart set on being draped in the most gorgeous looking designer wedding gown, consider renting one of these. If you are working with a budget and don’t wish to settle on an off the rack dress, this option could work out well for you. Even if you do not have a budget in mind, don’t purchase a dress instantly after trying it on. Visit different stores to get a better idea and compare the dress styles, fabrics and prices before selecting one. A little extra effort taken here will ensure that you look like a princess without burning a hole through your pocket.

The Venue

The ceremony and reception venue is the second vital factor, after the guest list, which contributes to your wedding expense. The venue is usually chosen depending on the number of guests invited to your wedding. A home wedding can be the key driver in lowering the cost of your wedding. So, make sure you use the space if you have it. Select a venue after ensuring it has all the necessary facilities such as tables, chairs, in house venue decorator, etc. Having everything under one roof will save the cost of searching for each of these separately and negotiating their hire cost. Make sure you are not paying more for the venue because it is in demand on a particular date or during a season. Consider an alternative date, if the venue is available at a more cost effective rate.

Floral Decoration

A grandiose entrance, fancy table centrepieces, a beautiful backdrop for the couple, the bouquets carried by the bride and bridesmaids; all contribute to the cost of decoration. Using flowers that are in season and purchasing them in bulk will help to save a chunk of your expense. Alternatively consider using balloons which are just as colourful and look festive as well.

Theme

Wedding themes are designed to stand out and add a personal touch to the event. This in turn means it would add to your expenses. However, that does not mean your wedding would be any less memorable if you do not have a theme.

Food and Drinks

Along with the venue, comes the expense of the wedding meal and drinks. The meal servings should be adequate in quantity and sumptuous in nature. It is not essential to have an elaborate layout of multi-cuisine delicacies; a meal served gracefully with the right combination of delicacies will by and large be appreciated if it suits the taste buds of your guests. When it comes to the wedding alcohol, you need to make sure that the guests have adequate options; look at a combination of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Arrange for a mix of beer, wine and champagne for toasting. Consider serving limited number of drinks, instead of having a full bar at the wedding. You can include a personalised cocktail to match the wedding theme, which will be highly appreciated.

Wedding cake

The type of cake, the number of tiers, its base and icing; all determine the cost of the cake and must be taken into consideration when choosing your wedding cake. You can have a customized or readymade cake for your wedding, depending on the funds you have set aside for it. It is possible that someone from your friends and family would not mind making one for you as a wedding present.

Photographer

Finding a videographer and photographer, who will capture your moments for you at a cost that fits your budget shouldn’t be a difficult task. Get references from recently married family and friends. Do not make hasty decisions about on getting frames and extravagantly designed wedding albums; there is plenty of time for these later. A photographer who will include a DVD of all photos in their price is well worth considering as you can do what you wish with them, then.

Entertainment

Entertainment is an optional aspect, when it comes to completing your wedding arrangements. Include it only if you have an amount to allocate to it after budgeting for the more essential aspects. If entertainment is a must have for you, look at cost effective options. You do not essentially need a live band or a DJ to play music that soothes or entertains your guests. Ask a friend to help you put together a collection of favourite music that would suit the occasion. You can stream it using your own player or use the sound system if the venue has one to offer.

Wedding Favours

Wedding favours are another aspect that needs to be considered. Extravagant gifts will make a dent in your wedding budget. You can skip this expense completely or choose gifts which are not too lavish yet serve the purpose.

Miscellaneous

Another expense would be the fee paid to the priest/clergy/celebrant who conducts the wedding ceremony. Instead of the priest, you can choose a person close to both of you, (who is a marriage celebrant) from within your circle of family and friends to do the honours. Being pronounced ‘man and wife’ by someone dear to you, will not only reduce costs, it will make the moment eternally special for you as well as your guests.

You should have written contracts/ agreements for huge expenses and read the fine print on refund, delay and cancellation policies. After the wedding; take care to return the rented stuff at the appropriate time. Fines and penalties imposed due to delay add to the expenditure and can be avoided.

A wedding is a joyous occasion to celebrate the union of two people in love. Your near and dear ones are present to bless you and wish you the best in life. Your wedding will not be judged based on how much you spend on it; it will be memorable if your guests feel special and well taken care of. Remember you two are beginning a new chapter of your life; spend only what is necessary and save the rest for your future.

 

Guide For Planning Your Wedding

Some might say that one’s wedding day is the most important day of their lives. It is a union that is only surpassed by the birth of one’s children. The key to a happy and well organized wedding is preparation and organization. That is the goal of this step by step wedding planning guide. Some may think that all the hype about wedding planning is just overplay; however that is not the case. Planning your wedding can be one of the most complicated things to do; especially if you don’t prepare yourself for the long list of things that need to be done. This quick little wedding checklist should help you get all aspects of your wedding moving in the right direction.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- The Breakdown

Let’s break down planning your wedding into 3 sections. First we will talk about the budget, location, guest list and theme for the wedding. Once we have a direction on the where; we will move to the when. Those are the first and foremost things that need to be considered and decided before any further steps are taken.

Then we will move over to all the booking and reservations that are involved with wedding planning. This would include aspects like catering, the band and the photographer. The last thing that we will cover in this wedding checklist will be the maid of honor and the bridesmaids; the best man and the groomsmen; the ushers, the ring bearer and the flower girls.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section One

The first thing to consider when you begin planning your wedding is the budget. This is usually a touchy subject; as it is traditionally the parents of the bride who will foot the bill. However; now that we have entered the 21st century; just like many other common traditions; the parents are no longer expected to carry all of the financial weight. The funds can come from anywhere; but the most important thing is getting a realistic estimate of what you will have to spend. Once you know how much you can spend; you know how much you can afford.

The next thing on the wedding checklist in this step by step wedding planning guide is the guest list. Many think that this is the hardest part of wedding planning because it has to be based around the budget. Deciding how many are going to be on your guest list does take presentence, to most people, over the location and theme. This is because of how special this day is. It all revolves around how many close friends and family members you want to share your special day with. Some may want to decide the location, theme and guest list all at once; as these will be the major contributors to the overall expense. Either way; the guest list is a crucial factor when considering the realistic budget you have to divvy up for the other aspects of your wedding.

Now the wedding checklist comes to the location and theme. The further ahead that you book the place in which you want to have the wedding ceremony; the cheaper it will be. Some people are very traditional and want to be married in a church; but for those who want to choose another special place; there are many alternate locations to consider when planning your wedding.

Here are some ideas for planning your wedding location:

  • The Park
  • The Beach
  • A Place of Historical Significance
  • A Place of Personal Significance
  • At A Family or Friends Home
  • Overseas

Once you have decided on the location; the theme is next on the wedding checklist. The theme and location sometimes go hand in hand. For example; if you choose to have a beach wedding; then the theme will most likely be based around a luau of some sort. After choosing a theme to match your budget, location and guest list; you can move onto the more intricate pieces of planning your wedding; like the actual reservations and bookings. (See section two of this step by step wedding planning guide)

The final aspect covered in this wedding planning section is all about the when. Ask yourself: When do I want to have my wedding? There are 12 months every year. Some are warm; some are cool; some are hot; some are cold. You may want to choose a special time of year that is significant to you both when planning your wedding date. This could be a reminder of when you met, based around a special holiday that you shared, or just simply your favorite time of the year.

People come in all different likes and dislikes; meaning the groom may want to have the wedding in the dead of winter; while the bride may want the flowers to be blooming while she walks down the aisle. Coming to a compromise on the time of year to have the wedding is only one of the many compromises that will need to be made throughout the wedding planning stages.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Two

This part of the wedding checklist covers the reservations and booking of all the fine details of a wedding; this includes everything from the caterer to the band; from the wedding location to the photographer.

When planning your wedding; if one thing is not reserved or booked correctly it could throw the whole wedding off course. Double checking and then triple checking again can never hurt. The last thing anyone would want is to show up at their wedding location and there be nothing there set up. For the most part; booking and scheduling your wedding activities months prior to the actual wedding will save lots of money. Last minute weddings always tend to cost more than ones that are scheduled way ahead of time.

This next section basically consists of the more intricate and detailed tasks that are outlined in this step by step wedding planning guide. This is instrumental to the overall flow of the wedding in general. You will need to choose a caterer for the reception meal. The catering company needs to be reliable, professional at what they do and most importantly offer quality of service and great food. Caterers can provide testing samples during your decision stages to assure that the proposed menu will meet the tastes of the bride and groom.

Coordinating the music is usually a pretty easy aspect of planning your wedding. All that is really needed is a musician, band or DJ that can be versatile enough to meet the music likings of the bride and groom. It is important to seek out a semi professional band; as one of the worst things would be if they never even showed up. You would also want to look for someone who has experience with weddings; as they will need to entertain the guests and keep the mood and events of the reception flowing; leading your guests through a series of predesigned reception events.

So at this point of the wedding checklist; one must first look at the type of music that the married to be couple enjoys together. This same logic applies to choosing your photographer; as this is an important decision because the pictures taken will be wedding keepsakes forever.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- Section Three

This is the final section in this wedding checklist and it covers the wedding party. This part of wedding planning may just be the toughest. Choosing the actual wedding party is very important; not only to the bride and groom; but to the ones who are chosen.

It is a great honor for most to be chosen as a best man or maid of honor; that’s a given; but it is also an honor to just be chosen to participate as a bridesmaid, groomsmen, flower girl and/or ring bearer. This is usually what makes up the wedding party; though additional roles and positions can be added or removed depending on the bride and grooms wishes.

Step By Step Wedding Planning Guide- In Review

Though there are other aspects of planning your wedding that should be on your wedding checklist; this Step By Step Wedding Planning Guideshould get you well on your way to making the appropriate arrangements and decisions. The key thing to remember when planning your wedding is the budget. Once you know how much you have to spend; everything else will fall into place!

We here at EtcTrade.com wish you and your loved one good luck in planning your wedding and all the best on your long journey of marital bliss.

 

Tips For Choosing Wedding Venue

Is the wedding venue available on our wedding day?

Sounds like an obvious first question doesn’t it, but you really need to ask it first. There is no point visiting a potential wedding venue, falling in love with the idea of getting married there and not being able to make your dreams happen because another bride and groom got there first.

If you’ve already chosen your special date, then we suggest you telephone the wedding venue ahead of the visit and state you can only make that date, if they are already booked up then get back to the list and find another fantastic wedding venue.

How many guests can be seated for a meal at the wedding venue?

This is fairly crucial, you don’t want to book a wedding venue that have a seating area for 250 people if you’re only inviting 60 to a sit down meal.

In turn you also want to ensure your guests can sit comfortably without being crammed into a small venue, or even worse, being left to feel as if they’re shoved in at the back, and can barely see the top table. Once you’ve got a rough idea of how many wedding guests are being invited, you need to make sure your chosen wedding venue suits your requirements.

Request to see a sample seating plan, ask about whether they have round tables, maybe even ask to see photos of previous wedding meals and how the tables are laid out. This will give you a good indication of whether you can seat your wedding party and ensure everyone is happy.

How many guests can the wedding venue accommodate for the wedding reception?

Some couples prefer to have a small and intimate wedding ceremony, and then follow that with the mother of all parties in the evening. If this is your plan, be sure that the wedding venue can accommodate this. You don’t want to have 200 evening guests descend on your wedding and find them all squeezed in, or unable to get to the bar. Again, the flip-side is that you don’t want to find out your wedding venue has a separate dance floor and bar area that resembles a barn – the single easiest way to have zero-atmosphere at your wedding reception is to find the wedding DJ or band playing to a half empty hall, with your wedding guests sitting around the edges not mingling.

What time can we access the wedding venue?

“Exclusively yours for the entire day!”… says their website. But what does that mean exactly? Each wedding venue will have their own rules of when you can access the building on your wedding day.

Simply confirm what time you can arrive ahead of the wedding, you don’t want to be left standing outside waiting for the cleaner to turn up.

Can the bridal party get ready at the wedding venue?

Maybe this is something the bride would prefer, instead of rushing around in the morning, why not ask the venue if they have the facilities for the bride to prepare for her wedding day in the comfort of her wedding venue.

Obviously you’ll want something nicer then a conference room, or a ladies changing room at a golf club, but if the wedding venue has a nice quiet comfortable room for the bride to arrive and perhaps have her hairdresser, make-up artist and the rest of her entourage help her prepare for her wedding day then all the easier.

Can we give you a CD of our wedding music for the bride’s entrance?

If you’re having a civil ceremony performed in an approved premises you won’t be able to use any music that has religious references in the song at all. By this we mean, terms like: Angels, Heaven, God etc etc. So no Robbie Williams ballads. The wedding venue will be fully aware of this and may have a CD of acceptable music, which is fine. However, if you want to make your wedding entrance to music of your choice you need to ensure that the wedding venue does actually allow this.

Assuming they are OK with you bringing along your own CD with your favourite song on it to play at the bridal entrance, it’s well worth dropping it off a day or two in advance to the wedding venue and asking them to test the CD on their player. You don’t want for them to try and play it as you’re nervously standing there only to find out your old CD is scratched or your CD-R won’t work on their machine.

The registrar will have to approve the songs you’ve chosen ahead of the wedding, but they should clarify all of this when you meet them.

Can we agree a timetable of the day, or are we set to your times?

Obviously a good wedding venue will suggest times to you, they’ll know how long each stage of the day will take. Ensure you can discuss the day’s timetable, agree when the ceremony will start (you’ll also need to approve that time with the registrar), plan how long the photos will take, agree the start time of the meal, decide what time to invite the evening wedding guests, and when the cutting of the cake and first dance will take place.

Can we bring our own drinks to the wedding venue, if not can we see the bar prices?

This is an interesting one, and well worth asking the question. Even if a wedding venue has a licensed bar available they still may agree that you could bring your own drinks along – even if it’s just fruit juices for the kids, it could save you money.

If you’re hiring a marquee at a venue, they will have a temporary bar for your guests – ask if you can stock the bar yourself, maybe even do a deal with someone who’ll buy all the booze for you and manage the bar for the night.

Should the wedding venue insist that you must use their bar facilities, ensure you ask to see the bar prices first, whether you or your guests are paying, no one wants a huge bar bill. Also check about wine served at the meal, and champagne for toasts.

Do we have to use your caterers, or can we instruct our own?

Some wedding venues insist that you must use their caters. This may be a restriction, however their own caters obviously have the knowledge of the venue and their kitchens, and would of catered for many weddings before – so maybe it’s not a bad thing.

However, it’s worth asking the question as if you are not committed to their caters you can shop around, and enjoy plenty of food tasting along the way.

If it’s raining, where would be the best spot to take our photos?

It won’t rain on your wedding day, surely not. Hopefully not. Maybe.

If the sun lets you down on the most important day of your life, you need a back-up plan. Have a good look around the wedding venue and ask where photos are normally taken during rainy days.

You really want to avoid having an awful backdrop indoors, when you were planning lovely photos out on the lawn. Most wedding venues are beautiful places anyhow, so they’ll be used to the British weather letting down brides before, and no doubt have a proffered beauty spot indoors to act as the back-drop for your wedding photographers to take your photos.

Is there a sound limiter on our wedding DJ or band?

Not a question most brides or grooms would consider asking, hence we threw it in the mix.

The thought is that if you’ve paid up to £500 for a wedding DJ, or potentially even more for a wedding band, then you want to be able to hear them at the back.

Unfortunately a lot of wedding venues in residential areas will be restricted to acceptable noise levels – this may mean your live entertainment loses some atmosphere on the dance floor. If you are planning a huge party for your wedding – check this first.

Do we need to order the full amount of guests for the buffet?

If you have 100 wedding guests in the evening, do you need to book a buffet for 100 people? You know that your mates will be more interested in the bar, most people who ate the wedding breakfast won’t be too hungry, so why not ask the wedding venue if you can just pay for 80% of the expected guests.

This way you’re saving some more money, and potentially saving wasted food at the end of the night.

Is there accommodation available at the wedding venue?

Maybe the wedding venue has a honeymoon suite available? A lot of weddings have visiting relatives from far afield, this means they’ll need somewhere to stay. You need to check in advance where you are going to spend your first night as a married couple, and if the venue has accommodation available then this could be your best option.

Even if you chosen wedding venue happens to be part of a hotel complex, you’ll still need to book accommodation for those who need it, so get your bookings in early.

Do you have a wedding cake stand we can use?

Your wedding cake needs to sit on something, it’s a focal point of your wedding day, and will set you back a fair few quid. No doubt the wedding cake maker will offer you a cake stand and knife for hire, but quite often the wedding venue will have a top quality cake stand ready for you.

If they do, it’s another little saving and one less thing to worry about.

Will there be any other weddings on at the same venue?

Why have we left this one so late? Well, it’s a personal choice whether you want a wedding venue entirely to yourself for the day, or whether you mind having another wedding party on the same day.

Whether it makes much difference or not depends on the size of the wedding venue. A small wedding venue may not have the space, or the different rooms for two large weddings.

You may find yourself sharing facilities, do you mind bumping into another bride?

Large hotels or golf clubs or private manor houses are often designed in a way that they can easily accommodate more then one wedding. Lets face it, weddings are big business so they want to attract as many as possible. If your chosen wedding venue will be playing host to more then one wedding on YOUR wedding day, ask to see where the two parties take place and ensure you’re comfortable with the idea.

What time does the bar shut, and what time do we have to leave?

Surely the most important question, what time can we party until? A good wedding venue will not go around at the end of the night throwing guests out of the door, however they will expect your wedding guests to leave at an appropriate time. Clarify with the venue what time is last orders at the bar, and what time does the music have to be finished by.

You’ll want one big farewell and send-off at the end of the night, so ensure your DJ is aware of the closing time and that he is prepared for the last dance and farewell to the new Mr & Mrs!

 

Guide To Planning Your Wedding

  • A is for Atmosphere

Setting the scene for the perfect wedding can be a daunting task and with wedding trends changing rapidly over time, it can mean decision making is hard. Often the best place to start is by thinking about the formality of the event and how you would like your guests to feel on your wedding day! Whether you choose a relaxed garden wedding with subtle coloring and natural tones or a themed wedding at a wild venue with bold wedding colors and outlandish wedding decorations, whichever way you go it is the wedding atmosphere that you create that will generate the most memories!

  • B is for Bachelorette Party & Bridal Shower

Second to choosing your bridesmaids, this is often the next stage in the planning of your pre-wedding activities! This is the event, other than the wedding itself, that the girls look forward to most! Renowned as the tamer of the two, a bridal shower is a gift-giving party held for a bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding, it is a time for the females in your life to get to know each other and to share advice before your big day.

The Bachelorette Party also known as a hens night, hens party or hens do on the other hand is deemed “an evening of debauchery,” a girls night out in honor of the bride-to-be in the style that is common to that social circle. This is when the bridesmaids take control, organising silly outfits for the bride, dares and games along with gifts for the girls including name tags, fun drinking straws along with personalised bachelorette koozies for a unique gift idea!

  • C is for Ceremony

Ultimately your ceremony, the moment where two people are united in marriage, is the reason you are planning this special day. The way that you choose to perform your ceremony and the wedding reception that follows are often linked in formality and theme and the options are endless.

For the ceremony you will have to give some thought to the location, a church or temple, beach, garden or formal venue often this is driven by the choice for a civil or religious ceremony. Most ceremonies have a similar structure, with your vows, readings and music making a personal service.

  • D is for Destination Wedding

More and more couples are escaping the traditional big celebration wedding in favor of a smaller more intimate ceremony in an exotic location. Whether your destination wedding is overseas or interstate it can still take a lot of organization, not only for the couple and the wedding day itself but in making it fabulous for the guests that have gone that extra mile to share in your special day!

  • E is for Engagement

Congratulations on your Engagement, let the fun begin. Start with your engagement announcements, maybe a notice in the newspaper to inform the community or an item that you can send in the mail to let your friends and family know the good news! If you are moving fast you could even add your wedding save the date to your engagement announcement to help with your planning budget.

Some couples will choose to have an engagement party, an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends and for future guests to get to know each other before the big day. Engagement party favors are often handed out to the guests as a thank you for attending, such as candy treats or custom beer koozies to take home as a memento.

  • F is for Favors

Wedding favors also known as bonbonniere are small gifts given as a gesture of thanks to guests from the bride and groom. Wedding favor ideas have become a major part of wedding planning, with modern gift trends including: CDs with the favorite music of the bride and groom, candy jars, picture frames and wedding koozies. Gifts may also be personalized with the couple’s names, initials or wedding date and even an individual guest name to create a gift and place card.

If you choose wedding Koozies as your wedding favors then it is a great idea to start browsing the designs a few weeks before you need them to be delivered. There is an extensive range of designs available to help you create the perfect match to your wedding color scheme, theme and more. Please read a previous article to help with your design; Personalized Wedding Favors on a Budget – Inspiration for Wedding Koozies to Wow Your Guests!

  • G is for Gift

A wedding present is a gift taken by a guest to congratulate the couple on their marriage. There is usually some etiquette when it comes to gift giving, some couples may choose to take the hard work out of this for their guests and have a gift registry with a wish list to choose from. Others may have a wishing well, this is where guests can anonymously drop cards and monetary gifts into a box known as a wishing well to help the couple on their way to starting a new life together.

  • H is for Honeymoon

A honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion. Jetting off to somewhere exotic and romantic is not uncommon although the holiday should be something of choice that suits the couple’s outlook and interests. For couples on a budget a destination wedding can be a great way to spread the cost making the addition of a few days for a honeymoon easy.

  • I is for Invitations

Wedding invitations are a great way to set the scene for your guests. As a follow on from your wedding announcement or save the dates, your wedding invitations can be fun or formal but should be informative and hold an RSVP date so that you can keep to a deadline in your wedding planning.

In modern times the way an invitation arrives is becoming more and more imaginative, you might choose a link to an online wedding website where guests can respond electronically or include a link to a video message. Items sent in the mail can also be creative and unique such as origami style folded gifts, printing a message on a balloon that can only be read once blown up or sending custom wedding koozies for your guests to enjoy at home and on bring on the day!

  • J is for Jewellery

Wedding jewellery can be simple and sophisticated or bold and colorful. This is a very personal choice that that bride will make when choosing her wedding dress and bridal party attire.

Sometimes traditional jewellery will be passed down the generations within a family, bridal accessories can include earrings, bracelets, tiaras and hair combs to name a few.

  • K is for Kiss

“You may now kiss the bride”… the words that the groom has been waiting for all day! Many couples will have a discussion prior to the wedding about the kiss, some even finding this the moment that makes them most nervous! Questions like, how long should it be? Should it be a full-on smooch? Or just a peck? What is the etiquette in wedding kisses? The answer to which is that there is not really an etiquette, just show each other how happy you are to be making this promise to each other and show this off to your guests, just bear in mind that you might be in front of your parents, grandparents and young children.

  • L is for Love

LOVE. An intense feeling of deep affection and the reason you have been ploughing all of your time into planning the ultimate wedding celebration. Say no more.

  • M is for is for Music

One big question for your wedding reception, DJ or Band? Often the answer to which is dependent on budget, formality of your event and location. There is also the decision of which music you should be walking down the aisle to, creating an amazing playlist that will get your guests on their feet and of course the first dance! Here are our choices for a first dance song;

Top 5 First Dance Wedding Songs

  1. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  2. You Are The Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne
  3. Kiss Me – Ed Sheeran
  4. The Way You Look Tonight – Michael Bublé
  5. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • N is for New

If you are following tradition in the sense of the rhyme “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue” then this is your something NEW! You can include your wedding dress as your something new if it is made to order, or perhaps one of your bridal accessories or a fancy new pair of shoes. Let’s face it when it comes to your wedding there will be a whole heap of items that you can consider using to tick this box!

  • O is for Outdoor Wedding Venue

Weddings are often planned for the perfect weather, the most popular seasons for a wedding are spring and summer so that you can have great light for your wedding photographs and that you have the best chance of enjoying sunny spells outdoors with your guests over welcome drinks.

Your outdoor wedding venue might be in a national park, flower garden, winery or a beautiful beach, whichever you choose for your outdoor wedding be sure to have a wet weather plan on hand, just in case!

  • P is for Photographer

Wedding photography for a lot of couples is a big box to tick. It is lovely to be able to capture your big day and all of that hard work into images that you can cherish for years to come. Choosing a photographer can be a daunting task, be sure to ask around for recommendations, view portfolios of previous work and get to know your photographer so that they learn to capture what is important to you. Looking at your photographs together as a family is a beautiful way to connect after the event, each image will tell its own story and each story will be a memory captured for life!

  • Q is for Quiz

The Mr & Mrs Quiz, the ultimate quiz that any bachelorette should have to complete on their ‘last night of freedom’..! It is a fun way for the maid of honor to connect with and get to know the groom before the event. She will prepare a series of questions that the groom will answer, things can of course get a little cheeky depending on the formality of the bridal shower or bachelorette party, the bride will then need to see how many answers she can match to the groom’s responses, often followed by a forfeit for every wrong answer.

  • R is for Reception

Wedding reception, this is the fun part, after you have nervously said your vows in front of your family and friends you can relax with food, drinks and dancing at your wedding reception. Wedding reception ideas include a formal sit-down meal, cocktail reception or a casual beach BBQ. You can usually leave this up to your wedding planner or venue to organise, that way you can enjoy the celebration and spending time with your guests.

  • S is for Save the Dates & Stationery

Your wedding announcement and first item of wedding stationery is your Save the Date! An ideal gift used for long engagements this is designed to be sent out to your guests well in advance of the formal invitation, once you have your date set you can mail these out so that your guests can save the date in their diary. Some popular methods of sending a save the date include; postcards, calendars, tickets, magnets, custom beer koozies and more.

  • T is for Table Plan

T is also for troublesome, often considered one of the most controversial parts of the wedding planning process, the dreaded table plan! Great aunt Joan cannot be near second cousin John and really you’d like to sit with your pals rather than follow the traditional top table style with your parents… at the end of the day this is your wedding and as a couple you should be able to choose a seating plan to suit your wedding formality and your guests.

  • U is for Ushers

An usher, also known as a groomsman is normally a friend of the groom that has been recruited to direct guests at the ceremony, and generally be available to the bride and groom for assistance throughout the whole wedding event. The ushers would generally be dressed in the same wedding attire as the groom and best man and would feature in the formal wedding photographs alongside the bridesmaids.

  • V is for Vows

The exchange of wedding vows is an important part of your wedding ceremony. It can be a very romantic moment and often the perfect place to express your feelings for each other. Vows can be modern or traditional, led by a minister or celebrant, written for you or by you and can be tailored to your individual personalities.

  • W is for Wedding Dress

Almost every girls wedding dream begins with the dress! There are so many gorgeous styles available and all designed to suit different shapes and sizes… you can find the perfect wedding dress style amongst these… Ball gown, mermaid, A-line, Sheath. Strapless, V-neck, halter-neck, one-shoulder, illusion and more!

Once you have found the perfect style, you can start to create a unique look through the color and density of the material, heavier fabrics such as brocade and jacquard or lighter materials like silk and chiffon, traditionally a wedding dress would be predominantly white or ivory in color, but these days anything goes!

  • X is for X -rated (entertainment at bachelor party)

Although it is not necessarily the way every groom will spend their last night of ‘freedom’, the bachelor party, as portrayed in the movie The Hangover, certainly has a reputation for being a night or indeed a weekend of debauchery! Some will go all out with a weekend in Vegas, but generally the party vibe will include trendy bars, nightclubs and, most importantly, strip clubs!

Much like the bachelorette party, this is where the best man and other members of the bridal party will shine with ideas, organising embarrassing outfits for the groom, along with drinking games and dares! Gifts for the guys might include matching t-shirts, shot glasses, beer horns or custom beer koozies personalised for each of the guys!

  • Y is for Years

The number of years spent together, number of years engaged and then number of years married. Once your wedding day becomes a wonderful memory you have the many years of wedding anniversaries to look forward to and to celebrate. Each anniversary that passes will have a symbolic gift that is presented, there is both a traditional and modern gift here is the traditional list;

  • 1st Paper
  • 2nd Cotton
  • 3rd Leather
  • 4th Fruit/Flowers
  • 5th Wood
  • 10th Tin/Aluminium
  • 15th Crystal
  • 20th China
  • 25th Silver
  • 30th Pearl
  • 35th Coral
  • 40th Ruby
  • 45th Sapphire
  • 50th Gold
  • 60th Diamond
  • Z is for Zero Regrets

In a perfect world, every bride and groom would have the perfect wedding with absolutely no mishaps. However, this is not the perfect world and every turn makes for a new story! Our only advice is to enjoy every minute of your special day, spend as much time with each guest as you possibly, and have zero regrets!