If your wedding is fast approaching and you are feeling a bit clueless about how to organize everything in time, you are not alone. The vast majority of brides-to-be have no clue how to get everything in place. Most of us don’t know where to begin when it comes to budgeting, and very few of us even know what we have to do legally to tie the knot. Don’t panic! We give you the ultimate guide to your own wedding. Once you have checked this out, you should be fully informed to work out your entire wedding budget.
Wedding Venue - This is the place where you legally get married in front of an officiating celebrant. The place to marry and the celebrant need to be booked and paid for separately usually. Start with your local Government offices for legal requirements in your area. They will also have a list of local places that are licensed to hold ceremonies of this nature. You may even get to meet your celebrant at the office too.
Reception Venue - Your choice of venue for the ‘after-ceremony’ party is down to you. Choose a place for the views, or choose a place for the food. Think about how many guests you need to cater for as well. Do you want a three-course meal or just a buffet? Do you want a dance floor for the first dance? Will you require a DJ? Will the room be decorated as part of the price? Ask all the questions you can at the time of booking to ensure everything you need is included in the price. If this venue caters, check what is on the menu and what alternatives can be provided. Once this is booked, and your ceremony is booked, you have your wedding date.
Invitations - Now you have a date and venue addresses, you can send out the invitations. Use a service like Love vs Design to get the stationery you want. Be sure to triple check for any mistakes. There may be a disaster if anything is wrong! If your ceremony is booked for 2pm, put 1:45pm on the invite. It is better people are early than miss your big event. You may not want all your reception guests to come to the ceremony due to insufficient seating. Draw up two piles and two versions of your invitation to cater for this.
Photographer - Not all photographers are the same. Many will only let you have a handful of prints for the price. Reprints or additional prints will cost extra, and you will never have access to a clean copy of the image to print for yourself. Shop around for a photographer that suits you. Book them early though as they can only cope with one wedding a day. If you would like some additional studio shots in case the weather is bad, book those in now too.
Wedding Car - You will need a car to take you from your parent's house to the wedding venue and then on to the reception. Be sure your hire car company is aware of the venues and has the full address details and timings. When it comes to picking a car, it is up to you what you fancy. Make sure you are happy with what the driver is going to wear if you are after any wedding car photographs.
Florist - Book your flowers in nice and early, especially if you are after specific blooms. Your bouquet may well influence your choice of dress or vice versa. If you have a color scheme in mind for your wedding, you will want the flowers to pick that up. Talk in depth about the choices open to you and the types of bouquet she can do. Find out if they will deliver the flowers to you and to the venue, or if you have to find someone to come and pick it all up during business hours the day before. Remember you may want button holes, centerpieces, and garland decorations too.
Music - You and your husband-to-be need to pick a favorite song to have your first dance to. Keep a copy of it to hand for your DJ. You will also need to decide what music you would like to walk up the aisle to. This will need to be given to the celebrant. Some ceremonies state you are not allowed any religious or sacred music, so think about your choices carefully. You may also want to choose music to walk out of the church or wedding venue with your husband. Some people love the effect of having live musicians. This is a wonderful although very expensive option. If musicians are playing at your reception, they may require a meal break.
Dresses - You have undoubtedly been window shopping for your dress, but now is the time to try some on. It can take a few months to get a dress ready for you, so pick one early. You will also need to coordinate your bridesmaids. Your husband to be should be selecting his outfit for the day and will hopefully be coordinating with his Best Man and Dad. You will need shoes, a veil, and, possibly a tiara. If it is winter time, you can wear a wrap or other accessory to keep you warm without taking away from the dress. The Dress Matters has plenty of options for weddings.
Hair and Makeup - Most brides have their hair professionally done on their wedding day, but some also have their makeup done too. This ensures the close-up photography doesn’t pick up any blemishes. You may want an appointment at the same time as your bridesmaids and Mom. Some salons will bring out champagne for these appointments, but you don’t have to drink anything if you are worried how it will affect you. In some places, it is illegal to get married if you have had alcohol.
Vows - Your celebrant can offer you some poems, or you can write your own vows for the day. Just say what you love about your partner.
Top Photo by: Lindsay Hite / READYLUCK
Middle Photo by: Elisabeth Millay
Bottom Photo by: Sara Richardson Photography
The Dress Matters Blog
Blog of the elegant bridal boutique located in Media, Pennsylvania (Suburban Philadelphia). The owner of the boutique was selected 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. We carry bridal, bridesmaid and prom dresses. Special services include Girls Night Out, Bridal Assistant and On-Site Alterations.