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Wedding Planning, Planning your wedding - Click to enlarge

Wedding Planning, Planning your wedding

Wedding Planning, Planning your wedding

Wedding Planning

Setting the date and time
Booking your ceremony and reception site
Guest List
Announcements and Photos for Newspapers
Printing Needs- Invitations, Announcements, Programs, Thank You's
Legal Details
Photographer /Video of Ceremony
Wedding Cake(s)

Wedding Planning

Every bride wants to create a beautiful, unique and  memorable wedding day.

She wants to look her best, have all the essential details of the ceremony and reception covered and walk down the aisle with a feeling of inner confidence, beauty and happiness. Organizing and planning your wedding is a way to replace any pre-nuptial jitters with laughter and joy.

You will need to decide on a date, the size of the wedding, and the style that you both envision, as a couple, before you do anything else. Think about your wedding day and ask yourself what's most important. Once your priorities have been defined, you can plan the rest of your wedding accordingly, compromising on the things that are less important to you and your fiancé. Then announce the engagement.



Setting the Date and Time
June is still the most popular wedding month, then August, July, May, September, October, April and December. Since spring is a highly favored season to marry, locations and services will probably need to be booked well in advance. Give yourself a full year to prepare for a large, formal wedding and at least three months for a smaller, informal one. Big budget or small, you'll need to stay organized.
Talk to friends, family, bridal consultants or wedding coordinators to get the direction Decide who will pay for what, where you’ll get married and how expenses will be shared

Booking Wedding Ceremony and Reception Site
Don't delay searching for your ceremony and reception site. As soon as you have booked your ceremony site, start looking for a place for your reception. Most cities have a shortage of reception sites, and they go quickly, especially in June & July. You need to book nine months to a year in advance.

Ceremony and Reception Locations 

(Questions to Ask)
o Do you have to belong to the church or synagogue to be married there?
o How much are the fees and how long can the ceremony last?
o Do they have facilities for the reception. Is there an additional charge?
o How many people will the church or synagogue accommodate.
o Are there any restrictions concerning decorations.
o May rice, birdseed or flower petals be tossed.
o Can you change the wording of the marriage ceremony.
o Are there any music restrictions.
o Do they have dressing rooms for the bride and groom.

Reception Food 

Start off by asking friends and family for referrals.  (Questions to Ask-If your reception is held at an inn or a hotel, ask about their catering services.) 

o How does the cost-per-person of a buffet compare to that of a sit-down dinner?
o What is their cancellation policy.
o Is there a delivery fee and is the gratuity included in their price.
o Will you need to hire waiters or do they supply dining service.
o Will the waiters cut and serve the wedding cake.
o Will the waiters serve the champagne for toasting the bride and groom.
o Are there any additional fees.


Guest List -If you mail your invitations early you can make two lists. One for the people who must be there (family etc). And the second list for people you would like to include if you only had the money for all of them to come. Observe good etiquette in wording your invitations.


Announcements for the Newspapers

Engagement  - Send a black and white photo of you and your fiancée with your name, address and "please return" on the back to the society editors of all the papers you want your announcement to appear. Provide the details you want to share and specify the date you want it to be printed. Send a self addressed, stamped envelope to ensure the return of your photo.

Wedding Photo-  Have studio pictures taken in your wedding attire before the wedding. Prepare your announcement before the wedding and ask your maid of honor to send out the information while you are away on your honeymoon. Ask her to get copies of the paper for you too.


Printing Needs

Wedding Invitations- Order or make your own wedding invitations and get them out about three months in advance. This allows time for delivery, addressing and mailing. It is customary to mail them from four to six weeks before the wedding.

You can create your own professional looking invitations easily by using seed embedded paper and envelopes. Not only can you recycle this paper, you can compost it or even plant it and watch flowers bloom. The seeds inbedded in the paper includes 15 flower and herbs that tolerate partial shade. .And do all this on your printer at home. Seal each envelope with a pressed flower sticker.

You can save on the postage if you use a postcard for the RSVP( rather than a card and envelope).

Formal invitations are not necessary for a  small, informal wedding. A brief note on a card or a piece of stationery can take the place of a printed invitation when fewer than fifty guests are invited.


Wedding Announcements- Wedding announcements are sent to acquaintances, business associates and people you know who are not able to attend. An announcement does not obligate them to give you a gift. And again printing your own is more personal and creative that ordering them to be printed up for you. It simply lets them know of your marriage. Mail them soon after the wedding.

Ceremony Programs  The program is a detail that can communicate a lot of love. You can share how you met, quotes on marriage that express your ideas and feelings. It’s a chance to be with your guests in a very intimate, personal way. Show the order in which things take place: songs, prayers, scriptures to be read and the names of the ushers and attendants.

Thank you Cards and Personal Stationery - If you have some personal stationery printed on half sheets, you can use it for both personal letters and thank you notes. Also, if you are sending out a lot of thank you notes having a letterhead makes it a convenient way to remind people of your new name and address. A wonderful thank you card can be made using pressed flowers from the wedding.



Legal Details

o Marriage license
o Blood tests
o Changing your name on your drivers license, car registration, voters registration, social security card, passport, stocks & bonds, property titles, leases, employee records, medical insurance, taxes, bank accounts, bank cards and at your post office.
o Are your belongings adequately insured? Does it cover your wedding gifts and rings.
o Plan the future custody of children either of you may be bringing into the marriage.
o Wills, changing beneficiaries

  Photography - decide early on the best way to capture your special day’s cherished memories.

Today's wedding albums bear little resemblance to the cherished ones belonging to your grandparents and parents which probably had page after page of the same size and posed photos. Today's photo albums will capture the feel of the entire day with candid shots that show spontaniaty and timeless. Digital prints black white and color create a wonderful contemporary look. Decide if you want  high-fashion wedding imagery that resembles the style of couture bridal magazines or more the black and white timeless art school look. 

Start looking for a good photographer months before the wedding. Ask to see sample wedding albums or a set of proofs from a recent wedding. Clarify your expectations by specifying the time of arrival, the number and kinds of pictures to be taken and the time of departure. Ask about the cost of duplicate albums for your parents and how long they hold onto the negatives in case you want to purchase more pictures in the future. Have a written contract or signed agreement.


Wedding Cake -  Your wedding cake is an important focal point at your wedding ... it should be beautiful and a gastronomic delight. The wedding cake table will be used for lots of the wedding photos so invest in a nice display including tulle draping, garlands and most importantly a cake stand or plateau. Even if you have to rent one, you will glad you did when you see the photos.It is a good idea to begin thinking about what kind of cake you want at about the same time that you are deciding upon your budget. Think of weddings you have attended, and collect pictures of cakes you like. Do you want a traditional or a contemporary design?

Look at cakes available from your local bakeries, cake specialists, and your caterer. Check to  see if there are any culinary schools near you. If there is a baking class you might find students creating wedding cakes as part of the course. The price for your cake would be considerably less than if you ordered it from a professional.  The easiest option is to order the cake from your caterer our  your favorite restaurant's  pastry chef. But if you are wanting a tiered cake -you will probably have to go to a bakery or professional baker. If so, find out if the price of the cake includes transporting it to the reception. 

Plan and order your cake in plenty of time. Start interviewing bakers about 6 months out, but place your order no less than 3 months before your wedding.  Or you can have a friend or relative bake it for you. If you want to use fresh flowers to adorn you cake, be sure to check which are safe to use. A great way to keep expenses down is to order a small wedding cake for the cake table display. Then have a large sheet cake to cut and serve from the kitchen. 

You may consider ordering grooms cakes, a standard size cake in his favorite flavor.
It is placed next to the wedding cake and small portions are served at the same time or given to the guests in small boxes to take home as favors.