Planning a Wedding

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming and stressful process.  Everything needs to be perfect, and you only get one shot at your special day.  Often you will find yourself attacked from all sides by well meaning friends and family trying to offer their advice, but sometimes you just need to close the door, turn off your phone, and just get some planning done on your own.  These tips will help you with planning a wedding you can be proud of and remember for years to come.

The most important first step in planning a wedding is to plan your budget as early as possible.  Working within a reasonable and well thought out budget from the beginning can help set realistic expectations and ensure you are devoting the proper amount of time, money, and energy to planning the most important parts of your wedding.  Some good rules of thumb for spending – 50% of the cost should go to the reception.  10% each should go to flowers, attire, entertainment, and photography or video.  Finally, allocate about 3% of your budget for invitations, party favors and gifts, and planning help such as a professional wedding planner.

Take the process one step at a time!  There is no use planning a beautiful floral arrangement if you haven’t decided on your overall color scheme.  First, set the date so you can be aware of space restrictions at the local hotels, or any major events or conventions in town.  Once you know the date of the wedding, it’s time to select a venue.  Select your space based on the size of the guest list.   Having the date and venue pinned down early will make it much easier to hire the rest of your vendors, such as the live entertainment, caterers, and florist because you will know exactly how much area you are working with.

It is very important to manage the stress of planning a wedding properly, because no matter how calm and collected you normally are, there will be some stressful times.  Avoid discussing the planning process and details with people who seem jealous or want to bring you down.  This is your event, and you have a right to be excited about it!  There are always going to be people who can’t bear other people’s happiness and will try to sabotage your joy.  You don’t have to discuss the wedding with everyone, or endure the teasing remarks about how much you are spending or what a micromanager you are.

Planning a wedding can be amazingly expensive if you are not careful from the beginning about costs.  Be realistic about luxuries.  Do you really need that ultra fancy caviar tasting at the rehearsal dinner?  There are hundreds of ways to add nice little touches to your wedding, but be sure that they truly do add to the experience.  Often you will have a better time by cutting out some of the extravagance and spending that extra money on hiring a better band or expanding the menu.  If costs are beginning to spin out of control, then it may be time to reconsider the size of your guest list.

There are a few good tricks for planning a wedding and managing the size of your guest list.  First, list every possible guest in order of priority.  Start with your immediate family at the top, followed by extended family and the closest friends who you couldn’t live without.  After that, begin adding friends of your parents and other people who you would like to see, until you have gotten every possible guest listed.  When it’s time to cut the list down, start at the bottom and work your way up.  That way, no matter how small you need to cut your list you can be confident that you have selected the very most important attendees for your special day.

When you first start planning a wedding, the process will seem very overwhelming.  With so many large projects to manage, differing opinions from all sides, and budget constraints, it can almost seem not worth it.  If you can slow down and just tackle the process one step at a time, you will be rewarded with a wonderful time that you will remember for many years.

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