There are many details to planning a wedding even if it's a small one. Below you will find tips that I hope will cover just about everything for an average wedding; you can then fine-tune by eliminating things you don't need or by adding things you do need for your own special event.
- Church or ceremony locations often get booked a year in advance or more, so once you know the date of the wedding, you should book your ceremony. If the date is taken, try a different time of that day, if none is available, you can look elsewhere or change your date.
- The location of your reception comes next. Again, the most popular places get booked at least one year in advance. You want to keep in mind that there are family and some guests who will be at the three major locations that day; the first is the place the bride will be getting ready, the second is the ceremony location, and the third is the reception. You need to make sure that there is plenty of time for driving to each location without being late. Also the less distance between each, the better.
- If there is a specific band or disc jockey that you want, you need to book them as soon as your reception is set. Again, at least one year in advance.
- Your photographer and/or videographer should be booked next. They also get filled six months to a year in advance.
- Your wedding gown also can take a while. Most brides make this their first stop. You want to give the dress shop or maker, plenty of time to make alterations; in fact, your last fitting might be a week or two before the wedding.
- Since all other styles will follow the bride's style of gown, you and your bridesmaids can start looking for their dresses.
- Flowers usually don't require as much advance notice as the above. Remember that you will need to be set on the bridesmaids' dresses before ordering the flowers for the color scheme. Try to get a swatch of the material to bring to the florist with you.
- The groom and his groomsmen should be fitted for their tuxes about three months before the wedding. The groom should select what he wants, but it's a good idea for the bride to go with him to ensure that their outfits match properly.
- If there is a lot of time between the ceremony and the reception, you will need to decide if there is a place to go for special outdoor pictures, or back to a family member's house for a drink and snack. Some couples and their bridal parties go to the hospital or nursing home to visit a sick parent who they still want to include in their special day. Others go to visit places that they work, such as a zoo or firehouse.
- Don't forget your cake! Just about all bakeries do wedding cakes and will deliver and set them up for you at the reception site.
- If you choose to, you can then reserve a limo or carriage to transport you to your locations.
- There are many smaller details that can be handled by the best man and maid of honor and/or family members such as decorations and centerpieces, announcing couples entering the reception, favors, etc.
- Don't forget to order the invitations once you know for sure where and when everything takes place, and after your colors are definite.
- Remember to pick out gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Wedding planning is exhausting, exciting, and worth the trouble; don't forget to have some fun!