Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Where to start your wedding planning process

Two weeks ago officially started the Engagement season and with that, the wedding planning season. There are thousands of brides currently planning their Spring and Summer 2010 weddings and the reality is setting in; this is a HUGE process! Brides today are completely overwhelmed with the amount of information available to them in print and online. Here are a few suggestions to help get you started in a calm and organized manner. Enjoy!

1) Decide on your budget

As I've mentioned in previous posts, the average wedding in Northwest Arkansas ranges from $16,000 to $25,000. This is a large amount of money to plan this one "perfect" day and it is not recommended that you come home from your glorious honeymoon to mounds of wedding debt. According to the December 2009 issue of Brides, 59% of today's brides and grooms are paying for their wedding themselves. Decide who is contributing to the wedding and how much they are contributing. Are your parents covering 100% of the bill or are they willing to just cover certain categories (attire, catering and venues). Make sure that you set your expectations in line with your budget and decide which items are the most important to you and what other items are negotiable.
  • Remember that the easiest way to control your budget is to control your guest list.

2) Selecting your Venue(s)

Many brides tend to pick their wedding date because they desire a June or October wedding, their parents were married on the selected date, etc. only to find out that the venue they desperately want is booked. If you begin planning early enough you might get lucky and get both! Keep in mind when selecting your ceremony and reception venues the type of event you want for your wedding. Does the modern museum help with your sailing theme? Does the Celtic church help with your chic modern theme?

  • Keep in mind the number of invited guests

  • The season

  • The time of day your ceremony and reception begin

3) Selecting your date

Be cautious when selecting your wedding date that you are not booking on a major holiday or on a three day weekend. You can schedule your date, but this may affect your guest's attendance. Make sure that you give your guests plenty of notice (four to six months in advance) if you plan to marry on a holiday or long weekend so that they can make arrangements. Also make sure that your venue is suitable for your wedding season. Your guests will appreciate the proper venue and accommodations in the rainy and cooler seasons

4) Selecting your Style/Theme

This is where the fun begins! This is where you and your bridegroom get to personalize YOUR wedding day. You can choose a color scheme, theme, style, favorite hobby, favorite city/state/country, whatever you want and have fun. Once again, make sure that your venue is suitable for the style of wedding you are wanting.

5) Guest list

Begin compiling your guest list early. The best way to approach the guest list is to have you and your fiance compile your own lists and then have both sets of your parents compile their lists. Bring all four lists together, cross off any duplicate names and start from there.


  • If you have never met nor seen someone in twenty years, it might be best to send them a Wedding Announcement after the event.
  • When it comes to co-workers you are not obligated to invite your entire office. You can invite those that you are truly close to and send an Announcement to the rest of the office staff.
  • Make sure that your guest count is in line with your budget and venue capacity

6) Vendors

Wedding vendors are all vying for your business! You should research all vendors; check out their websites, blogs, Facebook pages, portfolios, testimonials, etc. Make sure that the vendor is someone credible and legitimate. Once you have selected your venue(s), wedding date and budget schedule an appointment with your top vendors. Be prepared with names of other vendors in case your top vendor(s) is booked for your wedding date. This isn't the case with all vendors, but photographers and wedding coordinators may only book one wedding a weekend.

There are plenty of details that need to be addressed when planning a wedding, but these are the biggest issues that should be handled promptly. Once these have been secured the rest of the planning should begin.

Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your wedding needs!

(479) 422-1697

Book your event before December 31st to receive $50 off of your package price!

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