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Wedding Planning Basics

Planning your wedding is certainly one of the most challenging yet rewarding aspects of life for many reasons. Your wedding, after all, will be the start of your new life as a married couple, thus, your desire to enjoy it from the ceremony to the reception.

Plan and Follow Your Time Frame

There are plenty of good reason why weddings should be planned at least 6 months in advance. Weddings can be complicated in the sense that there are many people involved from the couple themselves to their parents, family and friends as well as many aspects involved from the venue, menu and favors to the rings, gowns and tuxedos, and hen and stag parties. Indeed, weddings are an industry unto themselves because of the dozens of products and services necessary.

As such, you must plan and follow your own time frame – what to do, when and where to do it, and how to do it, among other things. You should also set goals for each activity, which should be specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-bound (i.e., smart).

Here’s an example of a 6-month time frame, which you can add or subtract depending on the scope of your wedding (i.e., with just a few family and friends or with the entire town in attendance).

• 6 months – Decide on the wedding date as well as the venues for the ceremony and reception, the wedding style and theme, and budget. Find the officiant and file for the marriage license.

• 4-5 months – Start searching vendors for the various items on your checklist, as discussed below; book them. Make your initial wedding guest list and entourage. Finalize your wedding style, theme and colors. Buy your wedding rings and book your honeymoon.

• 3-2 months – Finalize arrangements with your vendors including professional caterers brides have recommended. Find and fit your wedding dress as well as the attire of the entourage. Send out the invitations.

• 1 month – Meet with your photographer and videographer, makeup and hair stylist, and officiant for final preparations. Collect marriage license.

In the run-up to your wedding day, you should have ironed out all the details of the ceremony and reception such that the big day itself will be almost-perfect. Be sure to set realistic expectations as every wedding will have a glitch but when you planned for it, you can lessen the risks of everything bogging down.

Make and Check Off Your Checklist

Planning your wedding will be so much easier when you have organizational skills – or at least, you have somebody who possess these skills on your side and you have family and friends for support. Your checklist should have the following items, which you can then break down into sub-items, such as vendor, price and time of delivery, to name a few:

• Gowns for the bride and her entourage

• Formal wear for the groom and his entourage

• Formal attire for the parents

• Hair and makeup professionals

• Photographer and videographer

• Music

• Professional caterers Annapolis area including the wedding cake

• Florist

• Venues and their decorations

• Rings

• Invitations and thank you cards

• Favors

With a checklist, you will have an easier time tracking all of the myriad aspects that make a wedding successful. For example, you will be able keep track about updates on the wedding catering Annapolis professionals will deliver, such as the food and drinks, manner of presentation, time of delivery, and extra charges.

Here are useful tips in getting organized during your wedding planning:

• Make an alphabetized list of all of your guests’ names on Google doc; add relevant information like their contact numbers, relationship to the couple, and seating arrangement.

• Host your wedding document in the cloud, which will make it easier to share information with your fiance as well as everybody concerned with the event. Just be sure to have a hard cope for backup purposes.

• Delegate tasks and take note of their progress. You cannot and must not attempt to do everything but request the assistance of your close family and friends on certain tasks, such as scouting vendors.

While being a bridezilla may not earn brownie points for anybody, least of all you, keep in mind that it pays to be organized while still being nice about it.

Work and Negotiate with Vendors

There’s a good reason why you must set a budget early on during your wedding planning – a budget means that you will not go into deep debt even before you started on your married life. Your budget will also be essential in working and negotiating with the vendors including the professional caterers Annapolis brides have been raving about in their own weddings.

Here are a few tips in doing so:

• Attend wedding industry trade shows and expositions. You can score discounts, enjoy promos, and even get freebies like honeymoon packages during raffles.

• Always get 3-5 vendors for all of your wedding requirements unless, of course you have already set your heart on a vendor within your means. Ask for their written quotations and compare their prices with their packages. Comparison shopping is always a must, even among reliable wedding catering Annapolis professionals.

Request for discounts on the original prices. You will be surprised at the accommodating ways of vendors when asked in a nice way.

• Request for written contracts when you have agreed on the terms and conditions of the products and services.

• Book as many products and services with one vendor as possible. You will then have an easier time planning your wedding since you have lesser vendors to deal with now.

• Be as specific as possible about what you want in your wedding instead of leaving any room for misinterpretation. For example, professional caterers Annapolis area will work with you and your partner in coming up with the best possible combination of entrees, main dishes and desserts with great detail.

Are you intimidated by the complexity of planning you wedding? Well, don’t be because with a positive attitude, a set of organizational skills, and technology including your laptop, mobile phone, and the Internet, you should be good to go.

If not, you can always hire either a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator to take care of the details while you remain captain of the ship.

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