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Planning Your Wedding Day

Updated on May 9, 2011

Choose a Date!

Congratulations! You are getting married! Now that you have decided to take the plunge, you need to get down planning your big day.

 The very first thing you need to do is to choose THE DATE. It is suggested that you choose a date that is at least one year away. That way, you will have time to book everything needed in plenty of time and to avoid disappointment. Have you decided on where you want to get married? If you have your heart set on a specific place, you may want to check the availability of it and plan around that. Get yourself a good checklist from any of the many wedding planning sites.

 After you have decided on your budget, you need to decide where you will hold your reception. If you have some ideas, call around and see if you can get the reception locale for your wedding date. If not, you may have to consider other venues or change your wedding date. You may know someone who has a large home with a big yard in a country setting. This would be an ideal way to save some money.


Make a List and Check it Twice

Now what you need to do is to sit down with your partner and make guest lists.  You make a list of everyone you want to invite, your partner does the same.  If your parents want to invite people, have them make a list as well.  Once you have your venue for the reception, you need to find out how many people it holds.  The maximum number of that venue is the maximum number of guests you can invite.  After you have all of the lists finished, tally them up.  If you have too many guests, decide on what the ideal number is, and all of you can then start to pare down your lists accordingly.

Food - The Second Most Important Thing


Another factor is catering.  Does your venue include catering or do you have to hire a caterer?  Phone around for best prices and menus.  Usually a caterer will meet with you to provide you with their menu and price list and any extras.  Sometimes they provide things like the dishes, decorations, ice sculptures, etc.  How much do you want to spend per person?  The average cost is about $30.00 per plate from dinner to dessert.  Make sure you sample their food.  You want to make sure it is good.


Wine and beer are, of course, extra.  This is where you may wish to speak to your parents about hosting the bar if you would like the drinks to be free for the guests, or you can have a cash bar.  Generally, a cash bar is preferable as it stops people from over drinking on your special day, although there will always be one person who overdoes it.  Another option would be to provide wine for your tables, free of charge.  If anyone wants something other than wine, they can buy a drink at the bar.  Make sure you have a phone available and the number for a taxi service.

Choose Your Key People

Choose your wedding party – maid of honour, best man, etc., you can enlist them to help you with various things as well. Your maid of honour traditionally helps out with choosing your dress and accessories, wedding favours, cake, flowers. When you choose your key people, try to keep in mind if they are going to be in your life three years from now. If not, skip them and stick to people who you are close to. Remember, you will have to look at them in your wedding pictures for years to come.  You will also need a great Emcee.  Don't choose someone who is softspoken or doesn't like to speak to crowds. 

Do you want to arrive in style in a limosine? This is another service you need to book well in advance because they book up quickly. A lot of the services you choose will require deposits too.


Pictures are the Record of Your Special Day

A photographer is another key factor and probably one of the most expensive items on your checklist.  Don’t “cheap out” on this one, these are the most valuable memories you will have for the rest of your life.  Interview many of them, and if possible, get recommendations.  Speak to other people who have used their services.  Look at their work.  If you know someone who is a good photographer, you may consider hiring them to do your pictures, but keep in mind it should not be someone who would rather “enjoy” your day with you instead of having to work.  Another really great idea is to put a disposable camera on each guest's table so that you can get a view of your wedding from their eyes.

Enjoy Your Special Day!

 A wonderful wedding day takes plenty of planning, but if you are organized and plan well in advance, this should not be a problem.  Make sure you ask friends and family for help, they will be more than happy to chip in, everyone loves weddings.  Don’t forget to write a small speech thanking everyone for coming, and last but not least, enjoy your day, it goes by in a heartbeat!!


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