Wedding Planning Strategy
1. Take It Easy
The first step in planning a wedding is to take it one step at a time. Brides should sit down and make a schedule of everything that needs to be done to prepare for the wedding. The schedule should go in a logical order; the date comes before the vendors, the flowers come before the cake, and the place comes before the band. This schedule may have some adjustments along the way, but having a starting schedule can make all the difference when it comes to stress levels.
2. Think About Guests
Right after the schedule is written out, brides need to decide on the number of guests to invite to the wedding. The number of people invited should include any vendors that will be staying on the grounds, such as servers and the disk jockey. And remember, the guests are the most expensive part of the wedding. If a meal is $50 a person, a table of ten seats $500 worth of guests. When expenses are a problem, the guest list may need to be cut.
3. The Wedding Date
The date is the most important part of wedding planning, of course. It's the day when everything comes together and the bride and groom have their moment. The day needs to be picked right off, and when choosing a day, brides need to look to the weather. A wedding in the heat of July with ten million mosquitoes around does not make for the perfect day. Knowing the weather and conditions beforehand can make all the difference.
4. A Strong Budget
Weddings can become very costly very fast, and without a solid budget, brides can get a little carried away. Brides may also want to use a credit card with a good rewards program behind it for big purchases. The reward points can build up and be used for flight miles or shopping sprees on the honeymoon.
5. Vendor Hop
When looking for photographers, florists, bands, and caterers, people in the business know other people in the business. A photographer may now a great catering business with good deals, and the receptionist may know a good band for weddings. Letting one vendor lead you to another can end up in a well put together entourage.
6. Be Organized
Brides can grab a binder and pen and keep up with vendors, notes, and photos without any hassle. Having everything all in one place makes magazine pictures for the florist and that other photographer's number equally easy to find.
7. Budget Check
After talking to vendors and looking at ceremony locations, brides should recheck the budget to make sure it's working. Half of the budget should go straight to the reception, and the remaining money should be split between flowers, attire, entertainment, and photos with a little left over for the random expenses that come up.
Crystal Vandegrift is a wedding photographer covering Virginia, D.C. NC and Maryland.