Planning a Wedding

Avoid feeling overwhelmed by wedding planning and instead enjoy the process. This can be done by approaching wedding planning tasks in a strategic way, working from the largest decisions to the smaller details. Staring as early as possible is the best way to avoid the stress of a last-minute time crunch.

Envision the Big Day

The first step to planning a wedding is to picture the event. Deciding on factors such as the general size, time of year, level of formality and theme will help make all other wedding day choices. For example, if an intimate ceremony of 20 guests is the aim, a small venue will be better than a large ballroom. Similarly, couples wishing for a Spring wedding in an outdoor garden can rule out several months of the year for the event as well as venue options.

Book Vendors

After deciding on the wedding month, estimating the size and considering the theme, the next necessary step is to secure the major wedding-day vendors. The ceremony and reception sites should be booked first. Many venues are booked well in advance, so start there to ensure availability for the wedding date.

With locations secured, the next choices involve selecting a caterer, musicians or a DJ, cake baker, florist and ordering invitations. All of these decisions should be made with at least eight months before the wedding. This will secure availability and help reduce the stress of searching for vendors at the last minute.

Order the Dress

With many of the largest planning decisions already finished, choosing a wedding gown is the next major order of business. It is never too early to start visiting bridal shops and trying on gowns. Once the right gown is found, it may take months to arrive from the time it is ordered. This is because it may be custom made, and it may need to be shipped from a distance. Then, allow ample time for fittings throughout the months leading up to the wedding.

Wedding Party

Next, choose people to be in the wedding party. It is important to ask these individuals with plenty of time before the big day. Traditionally, a best man, maid of honor, groomsmen, bridesmaids and ushers are selected. The number of people in the wedding party should be proportional to the overall size of the wedding. However, these decisions are totally up to the couple.

Last Touches

Lastly, there are a variety of wedding planning tasks to complete in the last weeks before the wedding. These include mailing the invitations, getting the marriage license, ordering favors and buying any remaining wedding day accessories.

When it comes to wedding planning, the key is to start early.