The day is finally here. You said yes and now its time to start planning for your big day, but where do you start? An average of 2.4 million weddings are preformed every year just in the U.S alone. The first thing that comes to mind during the excitement is to tell everybody, but you may want to hold off for just a bit. If you haven’t made the announcement yet, it’s best if you and your fiancé just enjoy that special moment and come up with a plan together to tell everyone you’re getting married. You should start with your parents and close family. If you can get everyone out for a surprise announcement dinner that would be awesome but it’s not necessary. Next get on the phone and call any other close family and friends. They will appreciate getting the call before they see it all over social media. Once all of your close friends and family have been told you can take it to your Facebook and Instagram friends and the local newspapers. You can also google I Said Yes photos for some awesome ideas.
1. Set your budget Weddings costs can vary from as low as $15,000 and up to $300,000 depending on the type of wedding, the number of guest and the city and state you plan on getting married in. You can try a few wedding budget calculators to give you an idea. The average traditional American wedding is around $25,000 to $35,000. A Indian Wedding in the United States is about $100,000 for a 300 guest wedding.
2. Set your Date The average couple is engaged for about 13 months. Choosing a date may feel overwhelming, so think of a special or symbolic day that you and you significant other share. The most common way is to choose by the season, what time of year do you envision your wedding in?
3. Start making out your guest list
First determine a good ballpark figure. Do you plan on having a small intimate wedding with just close friends and family? Or are you planning a huge wedding. An average wedding has typically 150 guest. Get on your computer or smart phone and create a priority list of your family, friends and guest.
4. Decide your wedding style How do you picture your wedding? Is it a Modern wedding, a vintage wedding or are you having a bohemian style wedding? There are so many themes to choose from, maybe choosing a color scheme might make it easier. Is your wedding outdoor or is it a indoor wedding? Keep a few of your favorite wedding venues in mind to give you ideas.
5. Find your wedding venue and reserve your date First figure out the location, like the city or town you’re getting married in. Next keep in mind your budget, date and how many guest will be attending. See if the venues you like have online tours, if not you can make an appointment to see them in person and work with your venue to create a seating chart.
6. Book your officiant A few things to consider when searching for an officiant, is your ceremony religious and is the officiant representing another faith other then your own? Your officiant should be someone you both are comfortable with, with good energy and a well spoken confident speaker.
7. Find your reception hall and reserve your date Search for reception venues with your attendee list in mind. Usually most halls list their accommodations size on their site so find one that’s a perfect size for you and your guest. Finding a reception hall that has great food options is also a must. Some of your guest may have specific dietary needs.
8. Choose your Wedding party This is your team. They should be there for you and cheering you on. The average wedding party is around 10 bridesmaids and groomsmen with 1 to 6 on each side of the bridal party plus a ring bearer and flower girl. Take your time when thinking this one through and stick to your list.
9. Find your Dresses and suits Go with your best friend that you trust. You need someone to give you honest feedback. Make sure it feels comfortable and most important make sure you feel good in it. Have your friends take photos of you in different styles and give it a few days before you pick one.
10. Pick your Vendors
look for vendors that share the same visions as you and your fiancé and stay in your budget. Next prioritize your list. If your wedding is in 12 months, brake down hiring vendors in groups so when you are 4 to 6 months into your engagement, everything is in place and all contracts are signed and paid.
Everyone invited should receive an invitation and invitations should be mailed out six to eight weeks before your wedding. If you opt for an online wedding invitation service most sites send out your invitations and collect RSVPs for you. Going paperless can be cost effective and a healthier option for mother nature.
12. Wedding Vows
This one should be more at the top of the list but I guess I saved the best for last. This is where you share your thoughts of who you guys are and how you feel about each other to everyone. Think of how you met and how you felt when you first met. Think of a funny story you can share. Let the world know why you are so special for each other. Take your time and make sure it flows out from your heart.
Some final thoughts. Remember you’re not alone so don’t feel to overwhelmed when planning for your special day. There are plenty of online groups you can join to ease some of your stress and to help answer any of your questions during your planning process. The last and most important tip is to obtain your marriage license. The officiant is responsible for filing the marriage license within 10 days after the wedding. In some states you have to secure your marriage license, at least 72 hours before your wedding and in some states your license can expire in 30 days if not filed. Once it has been filed you should receive your marriage certificate shortly after your wedding.