Planning the "Almost" Perfect Wedding
The first thing you have to accept is that no
wedding day ever is perfect. No matter how much
planning goes into the event, something will either
go wrong or not quite as you wanted. Even the
Hollywood star's weddings, that are planned by the
top Professionals have a glitch happen during the
day. That said, let's go over some of the things
that need to be done to reach near perfection.
After you, the new Bride-To-Be, accept the
engagement ring, it's time to consult with both
families, and decide on a tentative time and place
for the wedding and reception. You should also start
to make up a guest list to have an idea of how large
your reception hall should be. Then it's time to
talk to your priest, minister or Rabbi to choose a
firm date and time for the ceremony. You also want
to check on any restrictions that may apply to your
Then it's time to start the actual planning. You
really should allow at least a year in advance to do
this, if at all possible. Many churches/synagogues,
caterers, entertainment and halls are booked that
far in advance during the peak wedding season which
normally runs between Mid-April to mid-October,
depending on the part of the country you live. Some
Brides will seek out a wedding planner/coordinator
to help with suggestions and a lot of the leg work.
That is another option. Whether you plan this
yourself or hire a coordinator, it would be a good
idea to make an outline, on paper, of all the things
you want to accomplish and put a tentative date for
completion next to each one. Go to an office supply
store and get a couple of legal pads and an
expandable file folder that has at least 5-6 pockets
in it. This way you can label each pocket with the
major items and keep them all separate and
organized. Label the pockets for things like the
Gown Shop, reception hall, caterer, entertainment,
accessories and miscellaneous. Use more if you need
it. This way when you need to find a contract, notes
you made, etc., they are right there. Believe me,
this one step will save you so much time and
headaches in the future.
Next, start budgeting for the various things you
will need, such as the reception location, food,
clothes, honeymoon, flowers, music for the ceremony,
entertainment, photographer, limousine, wedding
cake, etc. See our "Budget How To" page for more
help with this. Also, check out "Who Pays For What"
for additional help.
As soon as you have set the wedding date, start
reserving your restaurant for the rehearsal dinner,
your hall for the reception, your entertainment,
etc. For a group of two hundred people or more,
reservations should be made at least a year in
advance. For a smaller wedding the hall should be
reserved eight months to a year in advance depending
on the time of year.
Your computer is an invaluable tool to find a lot of
what you are going to want. With a few clicks of
your mouse, you can find passages for wedding vows,
wording for your invitations, wedding gown,
bridesmaids gowns, tuxedos, limousines, flowers,
caterer, DJ, and any other needed service, from the
comfort of your home or office. When you find a site
you like (like ours), save it in your “favorites”
list. This will enable you to remember what you saw
and take you back to it.
Naturally, some items require an in-person visit,
such as the venue for the reception, wedding gown
alterations and tuxedo fittings. However a great
deal of the time and effort can be saved by finding
the styles and colors of gowns, tuxes, the types of
invitations and more in the on-line world.
Take your time with all the planning and try to
relax by taking a break, even for a day or two, in
the process. Involve your families, the Groom-to-be,
your bridal party members in helping with certain
tasks. Don't try to do it all yourself. It's
guaranteed to drive you nuts if you do.
Here are a few insider tips you may not think of to
help make the day go more smoothly...
Practice wearing your wedding shoes before the big
Select a pretty handkerchief to tuck into your
bouquet for those sentimental moments.
Pack a small emergency bag for those unexpected
needs-- a small travel iron, needle and thread, hair
spray, aspirin, nail polish, safety pins, extra
panty hose, etc.
If you're having an outdoor wedding, have a colorful
supply of umbrellas on hand to help ward off the
possibility of inclement weather
Arrange in advance for a relative to transport gifts
that are brought to the reception.
If you're planning on having candles, be sure to
appoint someone to light them.
Send a romantic note to your fiancÚ just before the
The morning of the wedding, allow time to take a
warm bubble BATH. Soak for at least 15 minutes.
You'll be amazed at how smoothly the rest of the day
It's important to have a light snack before leaving
for the ceremony to keep your energy level up.
And try to get a good nights sleep before the
wedding. You'll be glad you did!
If you have a cell phone, make sure the battery is
charged AND you have it with you on your wedding
day. Give it to the Best man or Maid of Honor before
you leave for the church. Make sure you have
programmed in the phone numbers of ALL the vendors,
the reception hall, parents, etc. If the vendors
have cell phones (and most of them do for their own
emergencies) ask them for that number so if there is
a problem on the day, you can reach the necessary
person. Use the cell phone only in an emergency, car
breakdown, running late to/from the church, etc.
Also, be sure to give YOUR phone number to the
caterer and DJ so you can be reached if they need
you in an emergency at your reception site.
Be sure you or your Groom-To-Be has extra cash on
them for little things that might crop up, such as a
quick stop at a drug store on the way, extra last
minute fees that might come up, overtime for the
With the cost of a wedding today, many brides
consider buying wedding insurance. Most policies
range in cost from around $150.00 to $400.00 but the
peace of mind they offer can be priceless. Wedding
policies normally reimburse all non-refundable
deposits if you have to cancel or postpone the
wedding due to illness, damage to the wedding or
reception site, weather catastrophes or if a vendor
is a no show. To find out about wedding insurance
call WedSafe at 877-723-3933 or visit them on line
Most important, do not let little things grow into
big ones. Try to handle each one individually and
don't be afraid to ask for advice and help from your
family, friends and especially the professionals you
hire. They are a great resource for problem solving
because they do their work on a day to day basis.
You are doing this once so take advantage of their
expertise. Which brings up another point. You may
have decided exactly what you want and how you want
things to go on your big day. Just remember, not
everything is doable from the standpoint of how it
will be perceived by your guests. Let your
professionals make alternate suggestions to
accomplish what you want but perhaps in a different
order or look. Be somewhat flexible with your ideas.
Go for MEMORABLE rather than perfection!
Be sure to look over all the topics here on our
site. That's why we are here, to help you. If you
have any questions about the things you see here,
don't hesitate to contact us by email. We'll get an
answer for you if at all possible.
Remember, it’s only the single most important day of
your life. RELAX! Thousands have made it through
without a gray hair
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