Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where To Begin - 5 Tips to Jump Start the Planning Process

Congratulations, you’re engaged! So, what happens next? Here are 5 great tips to get you started on the path to planning the wedding of your dreams.

1.) Think about it. If you’re like a lot of newly engaged women, you’ve planned your wedding many times in your head. You’ve dreamed of the gown you’ll wear, the colors of your bridesmaid’s dresses, the flowers in your bouquet, the linens on the table and the song that will play during your first dance. With that vision dancing in your head, consider the basics: Is it formal or informal? A grand production or intimately elegant? Is snow covering the ground or has Spring officially sprung?

2.) Set a budget. This is where your dream meets reality. It’s time to have an honest conversation with those who will assist you in writing the checks. Are your parents generously covering the tab? Are you and your fiancée paying the cost to be the boss? Sit down with the key players and decide upfront exactly what each party is comfortable with contributing to your big day. Once you’ve created the outline, you’ll be able to fill in the blanks.

3.) Hire a wedding planner. I can’t stress this enough. Qualified wedding planners know the ins and outs of coordinating events and will be able to steer you away from any missteps and pitfalls. Whether you decide to bring someone aboard at the beginning of the process or 2 to 3 months to make sure all of the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed, your planner’s advice will prove invaluable.

4.) Reserve the ceremony and reception sites. Have a 2 to 3 possible dates in mind when visiting sites. Have an idea of how many people you’re potentially inviting and if your preferred sites can accommodate those numbers. Popular venues can book up to a year in advance in most major cities.

5.) Compile guest list and double check addresses. Creating a guest list is probably one of the hardest parts about planning a wedding. My recommendation? Once you’ve assembled all the names and addresses; take your total guest count, equally divide it amongst both sets of parents, the groom-to-be and yourself. You may even find yourself giving a seat or two over to Mom and Dad.

Happy Planning!

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