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Wedding Planning Tips for Brides and Grooms

Updated on December 29, 2013

Wedding planning is stressful! Or at least I thought it was initially. My fiancé and I are getting married on October 12, 2013; nine months from today. We became engaged this past sumer and initially told our relatives that we'd get married in a few years. The mere thought of wedding planning was simply overwhelming. So, we neglected to think about it for a couple of months. Then we grew restless and decided to do some wedding planning. In the few months that followed, we were able to take care of a few urgencies, such as claiming our official wedding day, establishing the location for our ceremony and reception, and booking of the wedding photographer and disc jockey.

Luckily for us, we are both low-key individuals and don't live beyond our means. We are looking for a down-to-earth country style wedding with key elements chosen by us to personalize our special day. This hub is basically here to give some ideas on how to plan a stress-free wedding.

Bride's Guide magazine often comes free when submitting your engagement announcement.
Bride's Guide magazine often comes free when submitting your engagement announcement. | Source
Wedding magazines give good ideas for current wedding trends.
Wedding magazines give good ideas for current wedding trends. | Source
Brides Magazine gives valuable information when planning your wedding.
Brides Magazine gives valuable information when planning your wedding. | Source

Wedding Planning

Purchase some wedding planning books and create a checklist for your wedding with everything you want to include. If able, invest in a wedding planner or wedding coordinator who can assist in making your wedding day exactly as you want it by handling any intricacies.

Mail away for a free bridal magazine, or get one by submitting your engagement announcement to the newspaper. Start a wedding notebook and document all of your ideas as well as your progress during the wedding planning process.

On a budget? Well, so are we. Create your personal budget by realistically allocating how much everything costs, making sure to include all the necessities. It is not difficult to create your dream wedding on a budget.

Consider how you envision your wedding day; what theme you prefer, size of wedding, indoor wedding, outdoor wedding, winter wedding, summer wedding, etc.

Our save the date invitations.
Our save the date invitations. | Source
Our wedding save the dates were printed off from Walmart very inexpensively.
Our wedding save the dates were printed off from Walmart very inexpensively. | Source

Wedding Save the Dates and Invitations

Many online sources say to send the wedding save the date about six months prior to the wedding. Well, I say send them when it seems fit for you. In our case, when our families heard the engagement news through the grapevine, they instantly wanted to know the date. We sent our save the dates about four months after we became engaged; 10 months before our wedding day.

The save the date is very important because it lets your guests know you are getting married, to save that designated day, and the general location it will be held at. It however does not give specifics such as a time or exact place.

If you're having a wedding that requires a lengthy drive for your guests, it is recommended to include information on hotels for your guests so they may make proper accommodations for themselves to stay over for your wedding.

There are many sources online where you can order your save the dates. It can get costly. You can also print them yourself or have Walmart print them up inexpensively.

Once that is taken care of, you can relax. The invitations don't need to be mailed until about six weeks before your wedding day.

Pick up invitations at a craft store when they are on sale, and then print from home your wedding invitations.
Pick up invitations at a craft store when they are on sale, and then print from home your wedding invitations. | Source
A venue for a wedding reception.
A venue for a wedding reception. | Source

Wedding Venues

Reach out to possible wedding venues through email or phone and get a feel of their prices, style and what they have to offer. From there, either pursue them further or move on. Visit your favorite possible wedding venues for a live look at the grounds. Take photos and try to envision having your wedding at this location. Is it right for you?

Are you having a large wedding? Is there enough seating for your wedding guests? Where will the food table be? Guest seating? Gift table? Place card table? Will your wedding ceremony be held there also or at a separate location? Think about what elements you want to include and plan them out a bit in your mind, making sure this is the right venue for you.

Wedding and reception venue with the dance floor to the left and tables surrounding it.
Wedding and reception venue with the dance floor to the left and tables surrounding it. | Source

Finding a Wedding Photographer

Do you know of any local wedding photographers? How about any photographers who are just starting out and may offer a discounted rate? Contact them now for some quotes on wedding photographer prices and make sure to tell them what you are looking for. Do you want the most basic, tradiditonal shots or did you have something else in mind? Communicate with them your thoughts and desires. If they are a good fit for you, then book your wedding day with this photographer.

Next, the photographer will write up the wedding contract for your special day and mail/email you it shortly. A deposit will probably be required. Stay in touch with your photographer and closer to the wedding date communicate with them any change of plans, such as the need for them to photograph a little bit earlier in the day to capture some pre-wedding excitement.

Sample Wedding Song List

Song list for our DJ, with more to add.
Song list for our DJ, with more to add. | Source

Finding a Disc Jockey

Do you know any friends who disc jockey for events and weddings part-time? Many DJ's will travel a certain distance at no charge, or else will have a nominal travel fee. Be sure to communicate with any potential DJ's what it is you are looking for for the mood and setting of your wedding. The wedding DJ helps tie everything together, but can be a costly segment of the wedding. The wedding DJ cost can be extensive and maybe out of your budget. Consider your wedding and your needs.

Your wedding DJ will be in charge of announcements during the wedding reception, such as introductions of the bridal party, and communications to guests such as when dinner is being served. But, DJ's will work with you to make your wedding reception how you want it, so verbalize with them if you want things kept simple or if there are things you would like them to incorporate in for you.

Contact some DJ's, set up appointments via in-person or phone to discuss the general idea of how you want your wedding. Will you be needing the DJ's services for the reception and ceremony? Make sure this is communicated.

Once you've chosen a disc jockey for your wedding, they will set up a contract, mail you it, you'll sign and mail it back to them. A deposit is usually required.

Closer to your wedding day you and your DJ will meet and exchange information. What songs do you want to have played at your wedding reception and ceremony? Write up a comprehensive list of all these songs. Between 70 and 100 songs will be played at the average wedding reception. Is your reception a couple of hours or a whole night long event? Be prepared with the names of the bridal party for the DJ to use during introductions of the bridal party during the reception.

Alright, so the main portions of your wedding have been taken care of: the wedding venue, wedding photographer and wedding disc jockey. Congrats! Now, closer to the wedding day you can take care of the smaller details. The wedding day is months away so little by little you can tackle tasks that need to be done.

Wedding reception food, especially plated entrees, can get expensive.
Wedding reception food, especially plated entrees, can get expensive. | Source

Wedding Food

What do you want to eat at your wedding reception? Would you like a private caterer? Does the venue supply the caterer? There are various wedding reception meal ideas so consider all before making a decision.

Do you want your guests to be served by plated meals or buffet style? Consider the costs of all the options and keep it simple by having different options for varying taste buds and people with allergies. Sometimes a chicken and beef option is most common and keeping away from any seafood is recommended. Just consider your wedding guests and what menu options would please them, and you as the bride and groom.

A few months prior to the wedding day your venue will need a final head count so that they can appropriately prepare enough food for your wedding guests.

Some venues may let you sample some dishes prior to your wedding day to make sure you get the best choice meals.

Wedding cupcakes are an option to consider.
Wedding cupcakes are an option to consider. | Source

Wedding Cake

What type of wedding cake do you want at your wedding reception? There are many different wedding cake designs available. Cupcake wedding cake is another option to consider. Wedding cake prices vary depending on their ingredients, distance the cake will be traveling, and size of the cake. Make sure to sample a few wedding cake options.

It's easier to use a cakery located close to your wedding venue. This eliminates the need to transport it and have any possible accidents with the wedding cake.

Have you spotted any unique cake toppers for your wedding cake? Did you want personalized wedding cake toppers?

Wedding flowers are created with wedding colors in mind.
Wedding flowers are created with wedding colors in mind. | Source

Wedding Ideas

Closer to the wedding day you are able to find and implement creative ideas for either the ceremony or reception. Now is the time to keep your eyes open for gifts for the bridal party, wedding attire for the bride, groom and bridal party.

Wedding expos are open to the public and allow the future bride and groom to meet with wedding professionals, gather information, and make wedding arrangements.

Will you be making your own wedding reception centerpieces? The dollar store sells vases, flowers, and pretty accessories to make simple wedding centerpieces.

Will you be having a wedding florist prepare your wedding floral arrangements? What color flowers do you want used?

Consider all of the small details you would like incorporated into your wedding day.

You can find bridal party pins for little money in the wedding section of most stores.
You can find bridal party pins for little money in the wedding section of most stores. | Source

Wedding Dresses

You've probably been keeping your eyes peeled for the perfect wedding dress by now. Check out different wedding dress styles online and in magazines. Discount wedding dresses are often available at David's Bridal. They often offer under $200 dollar dresses. Wedding dress shops in your town may offer select sales on wedding dresses.

Some sources say to find your dress early, as it can take eight months to complete any needed alterations. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I'm not too worried.

Keep your eyes out for deals on bridal party dresses, too. Stores like JCPenney and Macy's sell bridesmaid dresses in all different sizes and colors, and will be considerably cheaper.

Don't forget the groom; although his attire can be assembled quickly, there are still the best man and the groomsmen who will need mens wedding attire, too.

Choose the wedding rings for your wedding day.
Choose the wedding rings for your wedding day. | Source

Wedding Rings

Sometime before the wedding day the wedding rings will be chosen. Rings may need to be sized which can take a few weeks. Browse in-store the different options and metals available. Do you prefer yellow gold or white gold? Does the groom prefer nontraditional metal such as tungsten or stainless steel? The bride and groom may choose different metals; it's not necessary that they match, but that choice is up to you. Consider your options for wedding rings.

Wedding Planning Checklist

Make use of your wedding planning checklist. Research online and in-person to find your perfect wedding venue, wedding photographer, wedding disc jockey, and all things wedding. Good luck!

© 2013 emilybee


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    • emilybee profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Doug. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very Good Article Thanks!


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