Wedding Planning involves so many more steps than those you will take down the aisle. You need to pick the location, venue, colors, theme, wedding attire, music, and numerous other details about your ceremony and celebration to follow. Beyond your actual wedding day, you will plan events prior to and following your wedding. There are countless things to consider, and this little guide to help you put all the details of your wedding planning together.
Finding the Perfect Location
The perfect location will mean something different for everyone. You have all your expectations for your dream wedding and all your needs to balance on a scale with the reality of logistics and a budget. Beginning with your vision for your wedding day, consider all the things you want. Think about what is important to you. Do you envision a location with culture, history and art? Do you dream of a ballroom with a second story that overlooks a downtown square in the horse capital of the world? Your entire wedding will begin with location. Where do you envision your wedding?
Wedding Planning for the Setting
Once you imagine the perfect location, you will need to think about other elements. You need to plan the setting. You might consider the countryside wedding in an outdoor space with tranquility and elements of nature. You could seat your guests in a courtyard and plan the bride’s entrance on a white horse-drawn carriage. If you are considering a countryside affair, think about the transportation, parking and distance of the reception ballroom from the outdoors ceremony location. It can work to your advantage to find a wedding venue that has that outdoors space and can accommodate a rustic theme, rather than holding a ceremony in the woods. It can provide an advantage when the reception ballroom is just across the street.
Booking Your Wedding Venue
The vision is just the inception of the idea, but booking the wedding venue is actually the very first step to committing to wedding planning. This sets everything in stone and puts a wedding planning timeline in motion. Before booking your wedding venue, you should have your guest count. You will need to know the size of your wedding and need to make sure the venue can handle the seating capacity. If you want a live band and variety acts, it will be important to survey the space to determine whether your event will fit within the walls. Create a list of what is important to you, such as a VIP suite to dress and do hair and makeup onsite. Since the most sought after venues fill their calendar quickly, you should not hesitate to book the venue. Taking tours of wedding venues is the best way to experience the atmosphere within the venue and find the right fit.
Negotiating the Best Packages
Wedding venues usually provide wedding packages. Some venues will offer nothing but the empty space. Other venues will provide furnishings, such as the tables and chairs, and include designs and décor. All-inclusive wedding venues usually include furnishings, designs, décor, chinaware, bartenders, banquet staff services, and the entire event on a silver platter. Choose a wedding venue that can provide the entire package and provide the most savings. Many venues have preferred vendors that can help you build your entire wedding team at a lower cost. Open vendor polices can also be important. You might want to bring in an outside vendor.
The Budget is Part of Wedding Planning
Your budget is essential to the entire wedding planning process. You will need an idea about how much you can spend on the dress, the venue and the flowers. A budget must be flexible. You might begin with a $1,200 budget for the dress, and discover an all-inclusive venue that saves you thousands of dollars in another category. This could give you more money for the dress and the flowers you really want. A budget should be creative. You might decide to make your own wedding favors and place cards to be able to spend more on the wedding invitations. Bring imagination to the table and make a list of all the things you want and the cost of having them. Your budget should encourage creativity, not sacrifice.
The Wedding Planning Timeline
Once you have found the perfect location and booked the venue, you must map out a wedding planning timeline. Most couples take one year to plan their wedding. Immediately after booking your venue, you should begin building your wedding team of vendors to bring your dream wedding to life. During the first few months of wedding planning, you should hire your caterer, florist, photographer, cake designer, live band or DJ, and shop for the wedding dress you will wear on your magical day. This is also the time to reserve a hotel block for guests and the wedding party. Have fun creating your gift registry, and a wedding website that will keep your guests and wedding party in the loop.
Six Months Before Your Wedding
About six months prior to your wedding day, you should purchase invitations, start planning the honeymoon, shop for the wedding party gifts, hire your limos and transportation, create your day of event timeline, and if you have not already, make sure that you have hired your wedding officiant. The wedding officiant is sometimes forgotten until the end; however, the officiant is the most important part of creating the wedding ceremony.
The Last Few Months of Wedding Planning
The last few months of wedding planning is extremely busy and exciting. This is when you will provide your bridal shower host with your guest list, create a music playlist for your deejay or band, and finalize the catering, cake and floral arrangements. You will be busy making or purchasing wedding favors and place cards. This is the time to request that your special people make speeches at your rehearsal dinner and on your wedding day. You will purchase lingerie for the honeymoon, schedule a fitting for your wedding dress and purchase wedding rings. During the last couple months, you will follow up will all of your vendors, review the details and timeline with vendors, make sure your band or deejay has your playlist, and communicate important details with your videographer and photographer.
About six weeks prior to your ceremony, you will mail out wedding invitations to guests and start arranging for the events just before your wedding day. The last few weeks involves obtaining a marriage license, purchasing beverages to stock the bar, a last dress fitting, a final confirmation with all of your vendors, a bridal shower, a rehearsal dinner, a rehearsal ceremony, a bachelor party, a bachelorette party, counting every RSVP, planning seating arrangements, providing that final headcount with the caterer and packing for the honeymoon.
Crystal Ballroom Ocala
Crystal Ballroom Ocala is an all-inclusive wedding venue with an in-house design team that is dedicated to creating every element of your wedding day. Host your ceremony in the downtown square across the street or inside of the elegant ballroom. Beyond making the picturesque venue and elegant designs affordable, the all-inclusive packages include all of the furnishings, décor, bartender services, banquet staff and an in-house design team to decorate the entire ceremony space and reception ballroom. Relationships with vendors provide access to professional services at reduced rates to save couples even more. Contact Crystal Ballroom Ocala to speak to the designers and begin wedding planning.