This is part 2 of a multipart series on weddings. In my last post, I discussed bridal registries.
Planning a wedding is so exciting, yet it can be very stressful. It is the beginning of a new life with the one you love, and although the ceremony and reception last only a short time, the planning of a successful event takes many months.
Some wedding traditions have stayed the same over the last century; however, many elements are evolving and changing to accommodate today’s modern couples. While a contemporary bride will still search for the perfect dress, she may break from tradition and opt for a unique setting or destination to begin her new life. And today, more grooms are becoming involved in the decisions.
In the middle of all the excitement there are several important things the happy couple must consider before they move forward: budget, date, location and size. To help with these decisions, many couples hire a professional wedding coordinator.
I had a lovely visit with Savannah’s premier wedding planner, Tricia Windom, to discuss the benefits of hiring a coordinator for one of the biggest events of a young lady’s life. Windom has 23 years of experience and helped Paula plan her big day. She is also the author of “Planning a Wedding When Your Parents are Divorced,” which is published by Father and Son.
There is an upfront cost for a wedding planner, but the benefits are quickly realized. Windom has a wealth of knowledge and shares those pearls—and pricing discounts—with her brides. Her relationships with floral designers, reception halls, caterers, cake bakers and entertainers do not just pay off financially, though: They also eliminate a lot of headaches for a bride that has no experience in event planning.
First things first
This is big. You cannot plan an event without money. Discussing the reality of a budget will set limitations and minimize disappointments as things progress in the planning. While the bride’s family has traditionally picked up the cost, today things have changed. Many brides are waiting until they are older, established and have moved away from home. Some couples split the cost of the wedding. Windom cites the slumped economy as a reason for more destination weddings. “Destination weddings decrease the numbers tremendously,” Windom says. “Only family or really close friends are likely to attend a wedding that involves travel.”
Date and Time
You must select a date that works for your close family and friends. The date and time will also help you set the tone, style and feel of your wedding. A simple wedding held on an afternoon in a park will probably be easier to plan than an evening event held in a church with a reception at a country club.
This is so important. While the church may not be costly, the hall for a reception can get very expensive. Windom advises her brides to book the location as early as possible and understand its limitations. “Some churches have restrictions on the number of people that can be in the front of the church,” she points out. “I once had a bride that immediately called all of her friends to ask them to be bridesmaids and then found out that she could not have them all at her church.”
Determining the size of your wedding will affect the expense and the location.
Unless you have an unlimited budget, you just cannot invite everyone. If your parents are footing the bill, they will want to invite a certain amount of their friends, and of course the groom’s family will also have a list. As with the budget, it is best to settle on the numbers early in the planning so that no one is disappointed.
Building a Life
With this excitement comes a bit of stress and anxiety. It is important to remember that while this is probably the biggest event that you will plan, and certainly one of the most expensive, it is about the marriage. Choosing the perfect mate far outweighs any wedding decisions. Long after the flowers fade and the cake is cut, you will build a home with the groom. Make a good choice and have a happy life!
Do not miss my next post in this series on weddings. I will focus on being the perfect wedding guest!!
As always, thanks for reading.