When you are planning the details of your ceremony, it’s common to include personal touches that are unique to you and your fiance! One special-touch that many couples choose to include is a reading. Here’s what you need to know about how to include this into your ceremony!
Incorporating a reading can add an intimate touch to your wedding ceremony and there are many different ways to approach a reading. If you have an important mentor, friend, or family member attending your wedding and you’d like them to speak during the ceremony, then requesting them to read a passage can be quite an honor. If you choose to ask someone special to prepare a reading, then give them enough time to prepare! Ask at least a month or two in advance of the ceremony.
If you’d rather choose a quote from a book, bible verse, or other important work, you can also request someone special to read pre-written item. You and your fiance can sit down and think about words that have impacted your lives, relationship or how you hope your marriage will look. Choosing the reading together will make it incredibly sweet to hear those words again on your wedding day.
Depending on how long your reading is, it can be done towards the beginning of the ceremony, or smaller passages can be read intermittently. If you have other traditions you are including (religious or non-religious) then pairing the reading with these traditions is a good way to continue the flow of the ceremony. Ultimately, it’s up to you and how you want to craft these special moments! Just remember, don’t make the reading incredibly long – this will help your guests follow along without losing interest.
Readings can be chosen from any number of sources – religious or non-religious; they are typically picked with some sentimental meaning to the couple getting married. You and your fiance can read the passage, or you can ask an important friend or family member to do the honors. If you’d like this important person to create their own words for your ceremony, remember to give them enough of a notice so they have time to think through what they want to say!
Want some helpful places to look for these readings?
Here are some tips to get your wedding on time and in style with your bridal party and guests in tow.
Where do I find wedding transportation?
Well friends, a quick search on google or yelp is the first place to start. Then we recommend searching TheKnot and WeddingWire. And if a do-it-yourself search just doesn’t fit in you, ask your wedding planner! She has many resources up her sleeves to help you find just what you need.
Who do I transport?
The first step is to take a headcount for immediate family and VIPs. This typically means the bride and groom, their wedding party, both sets of parents, siblings not in the wedding party, and grandparents. Some couples may also provide transportation for out-of-towners or all guests if there is extensive transportation from the ceremony to the reception. So, how do I decide who to transport? The decision may come down to budget. Just make sure no VIP guests are stranded.
When do I book my transportation?
Book a car company way in advance. Hire your car company about 6 months out (after you’ve settled on your date, party size, ceremony, and reception site. Be aware of any other special events that may be happening around your day such as prom, graduation season, etc. Formal vehicles will be in high demand during this time and it is best to book your transportation event early if possible. Keep in mind, you don’t have to use the first company you find. Research your options and gets quotes from the top contenders.
If you are hosting out-of-towners, or your ceremony and/or reception site are far, consider providing them a ride from a location (i.e. their hotel) to the wedding and back. A charter bus or shuttle which holds up to 60 passengers, will usually do the trick. Or go the extra mile and choose something with character that matches your wedding, like a double decker.
When booking your wedding transportation keep in mind traffic, pictures running late, time of day, etc. Pad in some extra time onto each trip you’ll be making for any unexpected delays. Keep in mind, getting everyone into the vehicle on time can be a task in itself. Another thing to keep in mind when booking your transportation is wait time. Most rental companies will charge by the hour, with a minimum booking time. Be sure to calculate the total hours needed from the ceremony pickup to the end of the reception, to determine whether it’s worth it to pay for the wait.
Making It Official With Your Wedding Transportation
Once you choose your transportation, be sure to get all the details in writing with your rental company. These points should be included in the contract:
Date, time, and location(s) of pickup and drop-off points
Type and number of vehicles rented
Exact hours each vehicle is hired for
Amenities supplied in each vehicle
Total cost included gas and mileage
Overtime fees and gratuities
Cancellation and refund policies
And that’s all folks! If you feel like you need a little further guidance, drop a comment below and we’d be happy to help!
So you have picked out your officiant; CONGRATULATIONS! That is one less vendor to worry about not having. Now that you have an Officiant, you can start talking about the details of the ceremony. Depending on your officiant’s preferences, you and your fiance may meet with him/her multiple times prior to your wedding or only once or twice closer to your wedding date.
Typically, Officiants will have a generic template they use in each ceremony. If you are looking for him/her to customize the ceremony, be sure to discuss what you want included in it.
Any special religious traditions
Ceremonies are usually 15-20 minutes, however it is important to discuss with your officiant how long you want your ceremony to be. Special traditions and add-ins, may make the ceremony longer. If you are having any special traditions or ceremonies, be sure to discuss with the officiant when you want them in your ceremony and who will be doing what parts.
Another important thing to discuss with your officiant are your vows. Do you plan to write your own vows? If so, be sure to let the officiant know to what extent you would like to write your own vows. Some couples may want to be asked the simple marriage vows as a question first and then they speak their own words. Maybe you want to exchange formal vows and use your own vows as part of your ring exchange.
Some other details that should be discussed are the following:
Will you be exchanging rings? This seems like a strange question to ask, but it’s not. Some people get tattoos instead of rings. Sometimes brides will receive the ring, but the groom won’t because the groom works in an industry where he can’t wear a ring.
Will you be having someone walk you down the aisle? If so, who? While for some brides this question may be easy, but for others not so much. There are some brides who walk themselves down the aisle and there is nothing wrong with that.
Who will be participating in your ceremony? This helps the officiant know who should be in the ceremony and what to expect.
All these little questions and details help the officiant understand what you as a couple are looking for in your ceremony. Be sure to discuss timeline and language of the ceremony so it is exactly what you and your fiance are looking for.
Want more advice on planning your wedding ceremony?
~ Jumping the Broom. ~ Handfasting. ~ Lighting of a Unity Candle. ~ Sand Ceremony. ~ Reading of Scripture or special notes. ~ Signing of the Ketubah. ~ Kneeling on a family prayer rug. ~ Taking your first communion as man and wife. ~ Including family photos as part of a bridal bouquet. ~ A bride wearing coins in her shoes during the wedding. ~ A Rose Presentation. ~ The Mothers’ Kiss. ~ Planting a tree. ~ Washing of feet. ~
As you can see from the simple list started above, wedding ceremony customs and traditions are as countless as they are timeless. Yet, there is also room to add a fresh twist to a tradition that reflects your unique personalities and sharing of your love story.
From the processional and giving of the bride, to exchanging vows, rings and kiss, a traditional American wedding ceremony is so conventional, that many couples do not often find a reason to deviate from the expected outline.
American Wedding Ceremony Traditions
In a usual ceremony, you will also find elements such as the seating of parents with the bride’s mother seated last, welcoming of guests, reading of scripture, the wedding message, declaration of intent, pronouncement as man and wife, and the wedding party recessional. The order of ceremony will be determined by your officiant, with consideration of your desires. You may wish to include special elements, such as lighting a unity candle, taking communion, singing of hymns or special love songs, a family custom or a fresh take on an old custom. — As you firm up plans with your officiant, feel free to ensure the ceremony expresses not only your love and commitment but your style and personality as a new Mr. and Mrs.!
Multi-Cultural Wedding Traditions
Looking beyond your own backyard, into your own family ethnicity or history, you might find other charming ideas to include in your own exceptional ceremony. There are so many ideas to explore and consider of which the following are just a few. For instance, in Sweden, the bride and groom enter down the aisle together, and the bride carries coins in her shoes on her wedding day: one silver coin in her left shoe from her father, and one gold coin in her right from her mother are placed to ensure that she will never go without. Varsågod!The Japanese follow the tradition of san-san-kudo, where the bride and groom take three sips each from three flat sake cups, after which their parents do the same to symbolize bonding the families together. Many modern couples are including Handfasting, a ritual that began in long ago Great Britain as part of their ceremony, in which they bind their hands together with a ribbon, symbolizing the joining of their lives. In addition, many families have special items or traditions that hold special meaning in the family history. One such family has a special prayer rug that has been used in the wedding ceremonies of all their weddings for many generations. Another beautiful idea is to include the memory of a late mother/mother-in-law or grandparents in small photo lockets on the bride’s bouquet. You could also consider honoring your late loved one/s by placing a single flower from your bouquet on the seat they would occupy if they were still among us. (You can find more ceremony ideas from around the world here. https://www.littlechapel.com/marriage-customs-from-around-the-world.html )
Religious Ceremony Traditions
Looking to a few religious ceremony traditions, Indian couples are married under a special canopy called a ‘Mandap’. Each of the four pillars of the bridal canopy represents one of the four parents. In the Jewish faith, couples are joined together under a canopy called a ‘Chuppah’. In the Jewish ceremony, the groom and two witnesses sign a Ketubah, which is a special document outlining his duties and responsibilities toward his wife, after which the bride circles her groom seven times as a symbol of breaking down barriers and more. If you are a couple with an interfaith wedding, you may find it might be appropriate to alternate traditions back and forth, until your ceremony concludes. It’s less jarring for guests and creates a unity to your ceremony that mirrors your marriage. Together, choose traditions that you consider beautiful and add them where appropriate to personalize your wedding.
When looking to put your own personal stamp on your wedding ceremony, one certain way is to find and incorporate fun and unique rituals that symbolize love and unity. OffBeat Bride has gathered a host of unique and uncommon wedding Unity ceremony ideas to check out here. http://offbeatbride.com/tag/unity-ceremony/ Becoming increasingly popular, Jumping the Broom symbolizes not only a new beginning but a sweeping away of the past as the bride and groom together jump over a decorated broomstick that is laid on the ground. The traditional Sand Ceremony mixes different colored sands, but by ordering and mixing glass crystals instead, you can have it blown into a beautiful commemorative glass work of art to keep for a lifetime. https://www.unityinglass.com/ How about showing your mothers the love with a special last ‘kiss’ for them as singles, just before you are pronounced man and wife, or giving them each a special rose as a symbol of your love as you begin your life as man and wife during the recessional? Or consider going green and planting a tree to symbolize your vow to grow together. Another special feature to consider is to include a foot-washing ceremony, which has roots in Christianity and other ancient religions. What a beautiful way to show your promise to serve one another in love.
As a couple, have fun joining your hearts and minds together in planning a ceremony as specialized and personal as you two are. Whether you use one of the different ideas mentioned above or come up with your own exclusive, adding a special tradition, custom or ritual to your wedding ceremony will make yours a wedding day to remember.
Determining your wedding guest list can be one of those daunting wedding planning tasks but it is a super necessary one for sure. Remember, this is one of the first things you need to do. Your budget, venue, and guest list are all equally important and will help guide the other areas. Below is a simple guest list building ‘funnel’ to help you determine your who you’re inviting!
Step One: Gather The Guest List
Gather the list of closest folks in the 6 categories of wedding guest lists: Couple’s friends, Bride’s friends, Groom’s friends, Bride’s parent’s friends, Groom’s parent’s friends, and family. Just put EVERYBODY in.
Step Two: Narrow It Down
Budget and venue will help to determine this. Perhaps your venue has a maximum guest count. Or perhaps your
the estimated budget only allows for 100 or so guests. With those details in mind, start narrowing down your guests with those MUST have invites and those that you’d LOVE to have but will to be put on the B or even C lists. We recommend making an A-list, B list, and C list if needed.
Step Three: Gather Contacts
Gather all their e-mail addresses, contact numbers, and mailing addresses. Again, this can be tedious and takes a lot of phone calls, direct messaging, and texting but it is well worth it and once you have all that information compiled, you will feel so relieved! Then, once you have your venue + wedding date, you know exactly who you’re sending those #savethedates to.
Now friends, hear me, I KNOW this is a huge and daunting task. But once you get this step all figured out, you’ll be that much farther along on the wedding planning process! We’re a huge fan of #weddingwednesdays, where you and your boo set aside weekly wedding planning dates with each other. Grab a glass of wine or whiskey and tackle those to-dos.
To help make things easier, I’ve got an amazing guest list compiling spreadsheet just for you! Comment below or send me a message to receive yours!
You’re engaged! Congratulations!! It goes without saying you’re probably feeling all the feels that come with engagement season. Excitement, love, elation, and perhaps a bit of overwhelm.
‘We’re engaged to be married. I love you. I’m committed to you. We’ve made it official. Now what?’
Now’s the time to decide three things which are almost holistic to each other. Budget, guest count, and venue.
But the big determining factor which determines the other two is your budget.
How much are we willing to spend on our wedding?
According to costofwedding.com the average cost of a wedding in America is roughly $35K. Now that can vary depending on demographics you’re in and the types of vendors you choose. But know that on average across the U.S. that is what is being spent on a wedding.
So how DO we determine our budget?
Determine Who’s Paying
Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. The bride and groom pay for each other’s wedding bands and the groom pays for the getaway vehicle and honeymoon. The bride and groom also pay for gifts for their bridal party, family, and other significant participants Day of. In our modern era, we often find that brides and grooms are fiscally able to foot the majority of the bill whereas their parents and perhaps grandparents will cover costs of a certain vendor.
We recommend taking the first weeks of engagement to speak with those key players to see who can cover what bill or if you two are able to cover that on your own.
Alright, let’s get real here. If you’ve been pinning a lot of wedding goals and planning your wedding via Instagram, then you should expect a very big budget to achieve that ‘perfect’ look. Chances are that photographer was a higher end photographer, the gorgeous florals were roughly $5K and there was a significant amount spent on draping + decor.
Know that it is totally possible to create a perfectly Pinterest look but it may not have all that decor or it may be with a newer/more affordable photographer.
Once your budget is set, you need to look at what you really can afford and what you should expect to spend on each category.
Now that you’ve got your budget cemented, let’s take a look at who you’d like to invite! The smaller the guest count, the more smaller your wedding bill is. The larger your guest count; the larger your wedding bill is.
Why is that? Well, on average, one should expect to spend about $100/head at least per guest for venue, food, and beverage.
A wedding meal usually begins at $25-$35 depending on your location. Then you need to calculate the beverages which can add to about $10-$15 per head. Table linens, centerpieces, candles, napkins, desserts, favors, etc all add up into that guest count, too.
Often times, the wedding budget will determine the amount of guests you are able to invite. But sometimes the wedding guests will determine the wedding budget because you just can’t leave anyone out.
Now it’s time to look at your venue. Are you wanting to be married in a church? Perhaps you’re more of the gorgeous historic mansion type. Or you’re looking for a rustic mountain venue. Are you wanting to be married in a big urban city or are you okay with getting married in a more rural location?
The venue type and location will play a role on it’s cost and can add some variables to determining your budget.
Also, do you want a venue that provides table, chairs, and linens? Do you want chivari chairs or are you okay with banquet chairs or even plastic folding chairs?
Determine What’s Important
Is that the venue? the photographer? The florals? The food? Some folks will Budget more on a vendor category that is more important to them, and spend less that’s a little less important. However, you may decide that you want EVERYTHING! That’s okay, too, however, know that THAT can place an impact on your overall budget, too.
Date & Time of Year
While this is not the case with every venue, many will offer discounts for off-season wedding dates (roughly November-April) and for less popular days of the week. For example, if you are okay getting married on a Monday in March, you are more likely to get a discount on your venue (and sometimes vendor!) prices. However, if you are wanting to get married on New Year’s Eve, you may be paying a pretty penny.
Most of the time, the overall budget will determine the who, when, + where. But if you’re able to, and decide that one or all of these is more important and finances aren’t an issue, go for your heart! This is, after all, a day about the two of you and we want to create your dream vision!
If you are looking for other information on what to do now that you’re engaged, check out these blog posts!
Today’s Vendor Highlight I am bringing you my friends over at The Gourmet Kitchen. I had the privilege of getting connected with Madhoo Seth of The Gourmet Kitchen last summer. She immediately became a friend to me here in the Colorado Wedding Industry and I was immensely impressed with her talent in literally ANY cuisine. Madhoo not only owns + runs The Gourmet Kitchen but also owns and operates Copper Leaf Gardens and Event Center in Broomfield, CO. Along with her husband, Vipul, Madhoo is a powerhouse who strives to give you exceptional service. When I am not working my own events, you can find me helping out other professionals in the industry, just like The Gourmet Kitchen.
Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Madhoo, highlighting her catering business, The Gourmet Kitchen.
About The Owner:
Madhoo Seth, Owner of The Gourmet KitchenMadhoo Seth, president and executive chef of The Gourmet Kitchen, began experimenting in the kitchen at just 12 years old. Over the years, her passion and dedication to this art form blossomed as she shared her love of food with clients who became friends. As a successful female entrepreneur and pillar of the community, Madhoo inspires her staff each and every day.
Our team has a passion for green living and infuses sustainability into every event. Our event coordinators are experts in green events and can help coordinate recycling, composting, and eco-friendly menu items and decor. Further, we have incorporated green practices into daily living and business practices by recycling, using LED bulbs, consuming local or organic food, and using compostable table settings.
What’s your favorite ice cream?
What’s your go-to song?
Careless whisper ( Time can never have)..Wham
Do you have a favorite quote?
Any day it is, “Be the change if you wish to see in the world.” by Mahatma Gandhi.
About The Gourmet Kitchen:
How did you get started in your business?
My background is fashion and design actually. Food was more of a hobby and passion actually and became my profession in no time. I started with corporate lunches, small Indian hors-d’oeuvres and street food or friends and family and here we are today. We cook for 25 to 2000 Guests. I daily religiously spend one hour to date learning new stuff, trends and styles and experimenting recipes. We call ourselves experts in multicultural weddings. We cater to very diverse crowds and offer unique flavors to please everyone’s palate. We are very knowledgeable in vegan, GF and Vegetarian foods and a lot of happy clients.
How long has your business been established for?
What makes you stand out from the rest?
We are experts in custom, multi-cuisine and multicultural weddings and we can cook in your language! Our goal is to provide you ONLY what you need to realize the vision of your dream wedding.
Your food is what will make your wedding spectacular!
A perfect blend of sensational food, inspiring ideas, and professional staff – The Gourmet Kitchen has been offering custom menu design and event services throughout the Front Range since 2002.
With plenty of vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, dairy free, nut free, kosher, and ethnic options, we can guarantee an experience that your guests will cherish.
What do you love about your field?
Food, Fashion, Glamour, and happy people. What else do you want?
What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?
A lot of emerald, jewel tones, gold, and beads. And next year it is going to be about feathers as the accent in your centerpieces, Asian bold prints. Bling will be there. Modern and contemporary designs for displays are in for 2018 along with food Stations and fusion foods.
If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?
I have 4 actually:
Trust your Gut first thing.
Today’s bride wants more than steak and Potatoes so offer a great variety and food stations, action station, Dessert bar and we are experts in that.
Food is what your guests will talk about even after years of your event. Invest in a well-seasoned caterer like us who has in-depth knowledge of Spices and cuisines around the world. In addition to American fare, TGK provides a large variety of ethnic gourmet food from around the globe, giving its customers an exceptional variety of menu choices. TGK custom designs its menus and services and works closely with its customers to make sure they can enjoy their day to the fullest – worry and stress-free.
We also provide event coordinators to manage your event so your event is seamless. Our Coordinators go above and beyond to make sure your event is executed in a timely manner.
How to Book The Gourmet Kitchen:
Visit their website here learn more about The Gourmet Kitchen or to contact them about catering YOUR wedding OR call (303) 768-8970
Trying to decide on your officiant for the wedding? There are many different types of officiants you can use for a wedding. Below are some helpful ideas to guide you in choosing the wedding officiant that’s right for you.
The Different Types of Wedding Officiants
Religious Official: Priests, ministers, rabbis, Muslim qadis, and Hindu priests all perform weddings
Ordained Minister: If you want a friend or family member to do the honors, he or she will have to get ordained.
Justice of the Peace or Notary: Appointed on the state level, these officials are authorized to perform civil marriages.
Civil Officiant: In some states, a person can petition for a one-time pass to perform a marriage. Most require the would-be celebrant to take an oath in a local court and pay a small fee.
Questions To Ask Your Potential Officiant:
Once you have decided what kind of officiant you would like to have, contact them and meet with them. When meeting with your potential officiant, it is important that they connect with you and will give you the ceremony you and your fiance are looking for. Keep in mind, while you are trying to decide if the officiant is a good fit for you, the officiant is trying to decide if they are a good fit for you as well.
Here are some questions to ask:
What is your fee?
How long have you been performing weddings?
Why do you like to do weddings?
Are you willing to customize your ceremony or let us do so?
Can you incorporate X (any special ceremony, unity candle, sand ceremony, etc)?
Questions Your Officiant May Ask:
The officiant may come back with questions of his or her own to get to know the two of you as a couple. Some of the questions are the following:
How did you two meet?
What made you fall in love with each other?
How did you know that you were The One for each other?
What are the values that are important to you in your marriage?
Where do you see your life as a couple in ten years?
By sharing some of these details, the officiant can get a better understanding of the two of you as the couple, as well as personalize your ceremony with special details. Once you and your officiant feel like this would be a good fit, you can start to get into the details of the ceremony.
Keep in mind, a good officiant will not insist on specific requirements and will give you every consideration for your special day. It’s your wedding! Shop around and listen to your gut. If there is someone who is making you uncomfortable, remember you have other options. Lastly, it is great to go with someone you are comfortable with and have a great connection with. Feeling like you and your officiant are on the same page will put your mind at ease and give you one less thing to stress over!
April and I had the privilege of working together on a styled shoot a year and a half ago. I was so impressed with her professionalism and passion that flowed through her hands. Styled shoots (just like weddings!) begin early, and I was wowed when I learned she had been up since 4:30 am to make sure she arrived in time for the dark o’clock start time. This chick’s got talent, friends.
April Foster Bridal is a luxury onsite beauty team that services the San Francisco Bay Area. April and her team enhance natural beauty by providing clients with soft, romantic, loose and modern looks that bring out their inner glow. From City Hall to larger events her crafted wedding packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity-like experience. April and her team are obsessed with all things beauty and are inspired with each opportunity to make someone look and feel like their beautiful inner self.
A Little About You
Favorite Ice Cream: So Delicious Coconut Milk “Ice cream” in Cold Brew!
Go-To Song: Something by Mariah Carey or Britney Spears. 😉
About Your Business
How did you get started in your business?
A lot of sweat, tears and lipsticks. Lots of lipsticks.
How long has your business been established for?
I’ve been in business for 3 years
What’s the process like when someone books with you?
After a Bride reserves her date with 50% date retainer and signed contract, we get down with the fun! Gathering inspiration photos, from everything to hair and makeup to their florals, to their gowns! I want to see it all! We review it during our preview consultation and then co create a look that’s perfect for my Bride’s personality, face shape and hair texture.
Why Should I Pick You?
What makes you different from the rest?
My Brides are my top priority! My crafted hair and makeup packages provides brides and bridal parties a celebrity like experience. With our ‘Classic Day Experience’ which enables me to be behind the scenes of your bridal portraits ensuring every photo that your photographer clicks is absolutely picture perfect.
What are some popular trends you’ve seen this year that you think will be big next year?
Things are moving away from super organic borderline messy into more sleek and polished looks. I’m seeing a lot more simple and understated looks.
If you could give three pieces of advice for couples who are looking to hire a vendor like you, what would those be?
Best advice is once you find someone that you love their portfolio, BOOK them! We often book up to a year in advance. To avoid disappointment, lock your favorite artist in.
Just as you have insurance for your home, for your car, for your health, and possibly even your cell (if you’re one of those who constantly drops theirs in the water or cracks the screen), it’s not a bad idea to have special event insurance for your wedding or event.
Now that we know why Wedding Insurance is important, find out how to purchase it and which ones we recommend.
How do I get wedding/event insurance?
Purchasing your wedding/event insurance policy is super easy!
There are many different online wedding insurance companies to choose from (I’ll provide them below). Most allow you to simply fill out your wedding/event details such as date, location, guest count, coverage needed, and policy holder’s name and contact info, venue’s name and info and you can then purchase and print that day.
Below are some of my favorite wedding/event insurance providers with example policies covering just general aggregate liability insurance and then a second example policy showing general aggregate liability insurance with event cancellation.
Interested in learning more about special event insurance for your wedding/event? You can learn more about special event insurance by visiting any of the insurance websites or by visiting this comprehensive review on wedding insurance companies by .
He popped the question and you said yes! You’ve made all the phone calls, done all the celebrations and you still can’t stop looking at that gorgeous sparkling ring. Yes, you are engaged!
And yes- that does mean you now have a wedding to plan! 🙂
But WHERE to start??
Below are 10 key steps to take when you first get engaged!
Hire A Wedding Planner or Consultant:
There are a few different ways a wedding planner can help you. You may just need to hire someone for a few hours who can connect you with recommended vendors and help to make sure you are on the right way. This would be hiring for Consultation Services. Or perhaps you have family and friends who can help you determine all the details but you don’t want to burden any of them with the day-of logistics. This service is for Month-of/Day-of
Coordination. Or perhaps it would be better to hire a professional who can literally do all the ground work for you and collaborate with you all along the way. This service would be considered Full Planning. At the very least, I recommend hiring a Day-of Coordinator who can handle all set-up and logistical concerns for you. This will guarantee a relaxing and enjoying day for you and your loved ones to fully engage in all the wonderful day’s activities. Believe me hiring the right wedding planner is well worth it!
Determine your budget.
According to costofwedding.com, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $26,645.00. But the good news is this varies depending on where you live and hiring a wedding coordinator can actually help you to save costs in the long run
Determine Your Preferred Date/Months:
If you’re planning on an 18+ month engagement, odds are you’ll be able to get the date of your choosing. If your engagement is 18 months or shorter, you may have to open your preferences to a particular month or months. When determining your preferred date or dates, I recommend considering a few things:
The Important People: Who are the important people in your lives you are willing
to work your date around? This could be your fiance’s grandparent’s in another state who would have a hard time traveling during the winter months OR perhaps you have siblings with only certain weeks during the school year they could attend your wedding.
Annual Holidays/ Cultural Events: Are their annual holidays or cultural festivities that could make it hard for guests to attend? For example, the first two weeks of June are the popular graduation celebrations. December is plush with annual festive holidays. Do you mind having your wedding on one or near one of those celebrations?
Book Your Venue:
On average, most couples book their venue 18 months to one year out. (Check out this article from Huffington Post) Crazy, I know. I spent nearly two years as the wedding coordinator for a local wedding venue and I found those stats to be true. With that knowledge I definitely recommend getting on top of the venue search fast! Check out websites like theknot.com, weddingwire.com or wedding.com to help you find venues that fit your budget and your style.
Choose Your Bridal & Groomal Party:
Who are the people in your life who have genuinely been there for you? Who has supported your relationship together? Which of your friends can you envision being a #lifer? Larger wedding parties of 6+ are quite popular nowadays but it is just as fine to have only a best man and maid of honor. The important decision factors here are choosing those people who genuinely love you and have been and are willing to support you two day of and the rest of your lives.
Create Your Guest List:
A lot of this determines on your pre-determined budget. What’s your food & beverage budget goal? Most likely, you will have people from different seasons of life being invited. Both sets of parents will have guests they’d like to invite and it is very likely that you may have friends from your life and your fiance may have friends from theirs. Then you will also have friends you know collectively you’ll want to invite. Many couples consider this one of the hardest parts. If possible, get together with whomever is financially contributing to the wedding and determine your guest list there. Also, don’t forget to write your A-List and B-List. 🙂
Book Your Vendors!
Yep- you guessed it. Just as your preferred venue and date of choice can book up fast, so can your vendors. So it’s important to book those shortly after engagement, too. But who do you need and how do you find them? You can also visit websites like weddingwire.com, the knot.com, or wedding.com if you’ve got the time and ready to take that task on BUT a good wedding planner will have a whole slew of wedding professionals in her network she can recommend to you. I love being able to connect some of my favorite industry professionals with my couples. Vendor Must Haves are: Caterer (if not included with the venue), Photographer, Florist, Dessert/Baker, DJ/Emcee, Officiant. Some other vendors that would come in handy: Calligraphist/Typographer, Wedding Design, Decor/Rentals, Videographer, Food Truck, Photobooth.
Create Your Design:
Hop on Pinterest! Your design and theme may change a little
from your initial pins but it is SO helpful to create a board labelled Our Wedding, The Best Day Ever, or Wedding Inspiration to help you two start to solidify the color palette and type of decor/feel you both want. It’s a fun way to build the day that is strictly about you and your love. Perhaps you have a hobby that you both really enjoy or there’s a certain era you both wish you grew up in, maybe you both love Telenovelas… Whatever it is that speaks to you both, start pinning those things and you’ll start to see a clear vision of how you want your special day to aesthetically look. Note: Having a Pinterest board is also super helpful to share with your wedding planner, florist, and any other vendor who is helping with the aesthetic design.
Select Your Gowns:
Brides, the process of getting your gown may take quite a while. So gather your gals, a bottle of champagne, book some appointments and start trying on bridal gowns! It’s also a good idea to determine the bridesmaids attire now, too. It can take a few months for the gowns to be delivered and then alterations. So you want to allow plenty of time to have those ordered. If you’re lucky-the dress will be the perfect fit. Don’t forget to order your veil and belt if wearing those, too!
Make Honeymoon Plans:
Traditionally, this is the groom’s responsibility to make sure all the travel arrangements have been met. Whether you are deciding on the plans together or not, it’s a good idea to make sure your travel documents (like your passport, visa, birth certificate) are up-to-date and ready to go.
There are many more details that go with each one of the items mentioned above and no doubt weddings take a lot of work but they are also a LOT of fun! So don’t forget to be present, relish the process, and take time to enjoy the season of being engaged!