1. Very important that both of you try to attend all meetings with vendors. Come
prepared with a notebook and plenty of questions.
2. Concierge for the next day. Get someone to return your wedding gown to your
choice location and return the Groomís tuxedo to the store.
3. Choose your wedding site and reception hall before setting your wedding date
to ensure that date will be available at both facilities. Consider when
selecting a wedding date around a Holiday that it could cost you more and create
traveling problems for your guests. Always check with your community to see what
major events may be scheduled around the date you are choosing. This could cause
problematic traffic, flights and parking issues. Winter weddings that are not
around the Holidays can be cost effective and set a special and romantic mood.
Winter weddings are warm and beautiful with the fall through New Year color
schemes. Save this date cards help to alert family and friends that your Special
Day is coming and they should be expecting an invitation soon. This creates a
better opportunity for those who have busy schedules and set dates way in
advance for flight discounts and additional expenses.
4. When choosing your wedding site there are several things to consider:
♥ Time of year especially if you are planning an outdoor wedding
♥ Public Parks & Gardens can be used for no charge by obtaining a
permit/ licenses this is a savings and gives a great atmosphere providing the
weather permits. The reception can be held there as well
during the day. Makes for great photos and a huge savings on a significantly
♥ Holiday weddings can be more expensive
♥ Destination wedding
♥ Church, Hall or Special location to hold the ceremony
♥ How many guests
♥ The ambiance of the location to your feelings for the ceremony
5. When choosing you reception site here are some items to consider:
♥ Parking for guests
♥ Cost of site includes what?
♥ Menu or can you choose your own caterer
♥ Park districts have very nice halls where you control the liquor &
catering this aspect can save you thousands if you are working with a smaller
budget as the park districts have very few restrictions. (A
wedding coordinator becomes affordable for this type reception). You may need to
provide chairs, luxury portable bathrooms and garbage removal
if you are hosting the reception on site.
♥ Some Auditoriums have a theatre atmosphere that makes for a nice
ceremony versus a church setting
♥ Club houses can be nice for small weddings
♥ Country Clubs or Lodges
♥ Garden weddings
♥ Some churches will allow you to use their hall provided no liquor is
♥ Mansions & Museums
♥ Be sure to ask if there are any renovations planned for the hall around
the date of you wedding. This way you can make a solid decision if you want
to risk the renovations not being completed by your Special
♥ Back Yard Receptions at a relatives home or your own can save thousands
Of dollars and you can make all your own choices from top to bottom with
absolutely no restrictions. You would need to check with your city hall to if
any permits or licenses are required. You can hire valet people to park the
guests cars to avoid neighborhood issues.
Make sure you obtain business cards and names of any individuals that you will
be working with. Brochures or information guides that explain what will be
provided, excluded, options, additional fees along with the contracts for each
NOTE: This is extremely important to remember: On any contract you sign make
sure you read it completely for every detail before you sign. Ask all questions
in relation to what will be provided, excluded in the agreement with all
guarantees, restrictions and concerns you are unclear about. You commonly have 3
days after you sign a contract to cancel an agreement without penalty, make sure
you specifically question this. Do not assume anything in an agreement always
make sure you have the correct information in writing before you sign the
6. Set a realistic budget and stick to it. It is very easy to go overboard in
wedding. Incidentals can add up quickly and put you over budget. This can create
problems where money is an issue. Take time to write down what is most important
to both of you then compare notes. By knowing ahead of time what you both value
the most and what are the highest priorities, you should be able to avoid
conflicts. Feel free to delete some traditional items from your budget if they
are not something That is important to you. Examples would be: Fancy SUV Limo
for the entire wedding party. These are very pricey and your bridal party is
totally capable of driving themselves to the reception. Perhaps you would like
the limo for just both of you that it is more affordable. Groom cake/dessert
table not necessary. High end favors like personalized bottles of wine can be
tapered down to a token gift under $5.00 each. Whether your budget is $5,000 or
$100,000 there will be some services you can live without and add money to the
things that are better suited for your needs. Consider making a contest between
both of you to see who can save the most money on the planning and use the
savings for a Honeymoon upgrade or a deposit on a home. In the end you will both
benefit from the savings and maybe will be able to afford coming back to a new
home. How exciting that could be!
7. In selecting a Photographer make sure you will be serviced by the one you
meet with. Some Photography studios have multiple Photographers. You may be
assigned an alternate person and you will want to see their work. Many
photographers use purchased photos to enhance their portfolio so you should ask
for references. Make it clear what photos you are expecting to be taken at all
the different locations. For instance: Where the bride is dressing, arrival at
the wedding site, parents, relatives, close friends, specially posed photos,
ceremony photos, cake, garter removal, bouquet throwing, reception hall before
guests arrive etcÖNote: It is extremely important that the photo sessions
after the wedding ceremony stay on a strict schedule. You caterer will be
counting on you arriving to the reception on schedule in order to serve the food
at its optimum time to your guests.
8. Bride and Groom should each have a separate bag packed for the
church/reception. This bag will include everything for preparing for the
ceremony/reception such as:
Clothing& toiletries for the overnight stay before leaving on the honeymoon,
Out wipes/Tide pens for any mishaps, safety pins, bobby pins, needle &
scissors, hairspray, extra nylons, Velcro has come in handy many a time, cash
unforeseen emergencies, checkbook for any incidentals that require balance due,
steam iron, anything else they may need for the day and that night.
9. Bridesmaids each should bring their own supplies in a bag to ensure any
emergencies will be covered.
10. Never assume anything. Check your list again to make sure all items are
complete. Have an assigned person if you are not using The Day Of Wedding
coordinator, to Be following the items of importance to have been completed and
handle any unforeseen emergencies. This person can make sure all deliveries are
on schedule and make last minute calls to ensure everything will be completed on
time. This will put the Bride and Groom at ease to know everything is handled
without them being involved.
11. If you are having a Professional Stationer create your invitations have them
give you all the envelopes in advance for addressing and postage. This will help
get the preparations done in increments of time. Also, some Stationers are able
to address your invitations in Calligraphy by computer software. This could save
lots of time and may be very affordable. Be sure to ask for this service. When
you begin to address your invitations here is a great suggestion for the reply
cards. Number each reply card and place that number by the guests name on your
list in case they forget to include their names. This way you will have a count
and know exactly who is planning to attend without having to make phone calls.
This happens often.
12. There are hundreds of caterers to choose from. If you must choose one be
aware of all the items they do not cover. They will charge you for samples and
some will not even offer samples of their creations. You are to just trust them.
This could be devastating if the food is not up to par. You want all your guests
to remember how delicious the food was. Some caterers make wedding cakes, this
could be a savings on two separate delivery charges. Read your contract
thoroughly before signing. Lots of surprises can occur when you donít read the
agreement and know exactly what they will be providing.
13. Weather you select a DJ or a Live Band it is important to realize they will
also be handling your Master of Ceremonies details as well. It is always good to
get recommendations from others of who they used and how did they fair with the
entire reception. I canít repeat myself enough with this: READ THE CONTRACT!
Many a DJ / Band have overbooked themselves and have been known to not show up.
Make sure whom ever you use will have a concession incase of an emergency. If
you have a seriously low budget and cannot afford a DJ service. You can go to
your local library and select all the music you desire and copy each song to a
disc to play in sequential order and bring your own sound system or rent one and
young person to operate it for you. You can also have someone volunteer to MC
for the reception. This is a lot of work on your part but can turn out to be
fun. Itís your wedding and you can be as creative as you wish.
14. Mannerís are key in planning and fulfilling a wedding. Make sure you thank
everyone who played a role of any kind in making things go smoothly. A token
gift is always appropriate more so than just a thank you note. Try not to be a
Bridezilla, even though everyone already realizes how important all the details
are to you, donít act like a spoiled child being rude to anyone you feel like.
Everyone involved with your preparations are trying their best to make you
happy. Be a lady grateful, gracious and considerate to everyone it will go over
15. Checklist before you leave on your Honeymoon. Ask someone to check the list
to make sure everything is accounted for before you depart. It is really easy to
be Caught up in your Special day and be very exhausted the day after and forget
to Have someone feed your pets, return items, returning chair covers or other
rented items etc.
16. Selecting a Florist. This is not a difficult task as most brides know what
flowers they want for their wedding. Every girl dreams about this from when they
were a child. Make sure that you stick to your budget as this is a place where
you can easily go over board. Here are the important factors to address:
∑ Bridal Bouquet
∑ Bridesmaid Bouquets
∑ BoutonniŤreís including ushers and additional important family members
∑ Corsages including additional important family members
∑ Presentation flowers for the mothers during the ceremony
∑ Flower girl
∑ Church Alter Decorations, Pews & Aisle
∑ Reception centerpieces, Head table, Cake table, guest book and any additional
Areas you wish to decorate
It will be more cost effective if you use flowers that are in season. If you
select flowers that are out of season they can double in price to get them.
There is such a vast selection of flowers there are so many options you can use
for alternate choices. Consider if you are having an outdoor wedding and
reception to choose a garden to cut down on the cost of the flowers. Many
locations such as Arboretums & Botanical Garden have an abundance of flowers
in bloom in the Spring and Summer months. If you are on a small budget there are
many ways to save cost on flowers by having the Bridesmaids only carry 1 to 3
flowers and keep your reception centerpieces on a smaller scale with fewer
flowers. You can also use individual bud vases for each place setting as your
favors for your guests to take with them. This takes care of 2 items, the table
decorations and favors.