Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 24: You've Got Mail! Organizing Wedding RSVPs

Days 24: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

You've sent out amazing invitations, now its time to get the responses mailed back to you. Hopefully when you created your guest list, you kept an electronic record of it with which you can use to track RSVP responses. If not, there's a bit of typing in your future!

You can either purchase Wedding RSVP programs that will help you track responses, or you can use excel. Either way, you'll want to be organized enough to keep every response recorded and up to date. Aim to update every time you receive a response in the mail, if makes your life easier, which in the weeks leading up to the wedding, is our optimal goal!

Firstly, you want to track yeses and nos {as well as correct name spelling and any guests that are coming for your escort cards or place cards}. After that, if you are doing a pre-selected dinner entree choice, you'll want to keep track of that. And finally, if you are monitoring their accommodations for the wedding weekend, you'll want to note that as well {helpful if you are delivering welcome bags around town}. Your spreadsheet need not be fancy or elaborate, concise, detail led and to the point wins out here. Being able to give an accurate guest count and meal choice to your venue / caterer on the appropriate day will be incredibly helpful.

{courtesy of myweddingplanningtips.com}

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 23: Details, Details: Wedding Extras

Days 22: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Even though weddings have been happening for ages and ages, no two weddings are the same. Every couple brings their own personalities into the wedding, so don't worry that your guests have seen this or that before. Maybe they have, but not with your unique twist.

As the date rolls closer, you'll want to start working on the little details ~ from guest book ideas to favors to how to number your tables. The creative ideas are endless, so be sure to brainstorm and come up with a big list to narrow down off of. Perhaps you are known for your different travels ~ try to incorporate that into your table names but using postcards from places you've been together. Or, instead of a guest book, use a wishing bucket {take a wish, leave a wish}, or set out a Polaroid camera and have guests take their own Polaroids to add to an album. There are endless ideas. When it comes to your escort card table, use different mediums to hold your escort cards {for example, my husband loves artichokes, so we had each card placed in an artichoke}. There are tons of wedding websites and magazines that showcase thousands of amazing ideas ... just be sure to choose some that have meaning to you both {i.e. if neither of you drink wine, don't give out personalized bottles of wine as favors ~ your guests won't get it}. When it comes to favors though, edible is best, especially since your guests can have it as a late night post wedding snack.

Be sure that during the week leading up to the wedding that you've already got everything you need in place, you don't want to spend your last few single days cutting wine corks in half for the place cards or making labels for your aunt's strawberry jam. Plan in advance so that you can relax before the wedding day.

{courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 22: Deciding On Your Wedding Registry

Days 22: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

One of the first things a couple is inclined to do after getting engaged and setting the date is creating their gift registry. You're spending a ton on your weddings all for you guests sake ... they should repay you, right? Wrong! The wedding registry shouldn't be viewed as a 'tit for tat' spending experience. It should however, be viewed as a place where you can communicate with your guests all the lovely new adult things you'd like to have as your start your life together as Mr. & Mrs.

Before you even consider what you want, consider what you have and what you need. Really take time to go through your kitchen, dining, bedding, bath and general house needs, otherwise you are going to wind up with gift overload and waste a lot of weekends returning presents for store credit and gift cards. If you are starting with a relatively 'unfurnished' kitchen, this is the time and place to ask for all those nifty gizmo's that will turn you into Martha Stewart in mere moments. Seriously though, if you don't cook now, you probably aren't going to cook because someone bought you a $300 mixer in green. Keep your registries realistic. If you've never hosted a dinner party or don't think that china will ever be hand washed in your house, perhaps don't register for some overly expensive plates. But, if you are into cooking and do think that you'll be the go to home for holiday dinners, then by all means, all these items to the list. The same goes for all the bedding / bathroom stuff you ask for: if you are asking for all new stuff, pick a theme and let it run through all the elements.

Remember that despite all the hard work you'll put into scanning items onto your wedding registry, some guests will purchase off list, so be prepared for those one of a kind items ... that you usually can't return.

Lastly, you'll be getting presents long before the wedding and perhaps long after the wedding, but Thank You notes must be sent out immediately!

{courtesy of Martha Stewart}

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 21: Bling! Wedding Jewelry

Days 21: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

One of the vendors that you shouldn't leave to the last minute is your jeweller. Rings can take several weeks to personalize, customize and make their way to your hands. You want to ensure that you have ample time to search for the appropriate ring to complement your newly married self. Take time to try all sorts of bands on {both you & the husband to be ~ for the men that have never worn a ring, this is a big step in life ~ comfort is key!} and be open to trying on anything, as you never know how it will look & feel. If you want to incorporate some part of an heirloom or family jewel, take time to meet with several artisans before selecting a design. These rings are forever {or until an upgrade!}, so you want to be sure that it is a design that is timeless.

Make sure that once you've received the rings that you add them to your insurance and keep them safe until their big debut!

{courtesy of Kathleen Doran}

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 20: Let Them Eat Cake

Days 20: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Wedding Cakes have come a long way since they were very traditional in look and taste. Now you can practically get any size / shape / design / taste that you desire. When researching your cake baking options, this can be terrible for your waistline, but so amazing for your taste buds. You want to sample enough cake that you are confident that it tastes amazing, but more importantly, you want to do enough research to find a baker that can bake what you envision. Some bakers are better for more classic & elegant design, some for more funky & edgy. Decide which baker fits your needs.

Be sure when you go in for a meeting / tasting that you bring your ideas and possibly some images in. Bring swatches of your dress, bridal party outfits, linens etc. This is so helpful to the baker. Anything you can tell them about what the design of the day is going to be, can help them ensure that your cake fits in with the overall scheme of things. Keep in mind that cakes are priced per slice and that sheet cake should cost less than your regular cake. The only time doing the smaller tiered cake + sheet cake situation gets sticky is if you are doing a multi flavored cake. More in depth designs will cost more {because of hirer labor} than something more simple in design. Also, if you are bringing your cake into your venue make sure to ask if there is a slicing fee ~ some have this and some don't {same goes with caterers, check first}. Sometimes the slicing fee can make bringing an outside cake in not worth it.

Happy Caking!

{courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings}

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 19: Looking Good ... Being the Gorgeous Bride

Days 19: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Pregnant women hear this all the time: "you're glowing!". I think the same applies to brides on their wedding day. Its one of the few days in life when our natural, inner beauty takes over and seeps to the exterior in a warm glow. I haven't met a bride who wasn't just simply stunning when the big day arrived. Which is why you want to be sure you hire the best hair and make up people to enhance your look.

Just like every day life, you don't want to look overdone or unlike yourself, so be sure to do lots of research when it comes to hiring a hair stylist and make up specialist. I find that brides leave this to the last minute, but please don't! Out of all the wedding planning, hiring a fantastic hair / make up vendor should be up there with scoring an incredible wedding gown. So, look online for reputable artists and check out their portfolio's. If you use a particular brand of make up that has a make up counter, go and ask if anyone there does bridal make up. More often then not, someone there does. Ask your former bride friends for recommendations {particularly if you thought they looked amazing on the wedding day}, talk to your salon for recommendations.

Be sure to schedule a trial with your appointment hair and make up artist{s}, this is non - negotiable! This is the time to experiment with different looks and decide what suits your face, gown style and overall wedding day. Discuss your gown and goals for the wedding. Share details on the wedding design. These are all very helpful to your artist! Once you've decided to go ahead with this particular person, sign a simple contract with them {this ensures that they will come and provide services on the wedding day}. I am a huge fan of having the artists come to wherever you and the bridal party will be getting ready {its fun + practical, easier for 1 - 2 people to come to you instead of moving way more than 2 people to a salon}. You can also get your photog to stop by and take some fun getting ready shots as well.

As far as a beauty regime goes prior to the wedding {which helps your skin look amazing}: eat healthy and drink a ton of water. If you are going to hit up the spa the week of the wedding, be sure to test out whatever facial / procedure you are going to have months before to ensure a smooth run.

{My own hair and make up on my wedding day! Hair and Make Up done by the ultra amazing Jodi + Heidi of Damali, Photos by Kathleen Doran}

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 18: Stylish Ride: Transportation

Days 18: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

One of the last-ish details that any couple should be thinking about is transportation. If you are all in one place {getting ready, ceremony, reception etc} that this detail isn't for you, but if you have to travel from place to place on the wedding day, you need some mode of transportation.

Firstly, write down everyone that is going to need a lift {I've included ALL possibilities, some may not be applicable to all}:

Photographer / Videographer

Once you've compiled your list, be sure to add everyone up to determine numbers.

Then decide your pick up and drop off locations for everyone on the list. By doing this, you are figuring out exactly who needs transportation and where they are coming and going. Think of where you can re-use limos/cars so save money. Also, think about your guests: are they at a central hotel or staying all over the place? If they are all over the place you may actually be better off letting them drive or providing telephone numbers to taxi's rather than trying to get numerous shuttles/buses organized. Know your group of guests: are they the type to want to drive themselves, or take a group bus?

Once you've got the details down, contact local transportation companies to get pricing. Keep in mind that most have a set minimum of hours and that anything beyond those hours is considered over time. Also, find out how you communicate with the drivers {is there a central dispatch, or do you get a drivers cell #?}. Are you allowed to celebrate in the car with a little bubbly or not? When would you need to supply directions? When you've found the appropriate service: GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! Pick Up / Drop Off locations, pricing + overtime, times and what the waiting policy is.

{courtesy of christopherlimousine.com}

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 17: The Written Word: Wedding Invitations

Days 17: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

When compiling your wedding budget, please do keep all your printed items in mind! Printing Save the Dates, Invitations, Direction cards, Reception cards, RSVP cards, Menus, Programs, Escort Cards / Place cards, Thank You Notes does add up, so make sure you've left some room in the budget for them all.

Keep in mind that the first bit of insight into the wedding that your guests will encounter is your Save the Date or Invitation. It sets the tone for the actual wedding and gives your guests a glimpse into the style/theme of the wedding. Whatever you've thought up for the printed items that get mailed, remember to keep the same style/tone in the printed items to be used on the wedding day.

Whether you prefer custom or pre-designed items, there are literally 1000s of choices to choose from! Cruise around the web looking at different stationers sites and save images (or clip from mag's) of materials, styles, wording, ideas that you love. Bring all of these with you when you meet with a stationer ~ it gives them great insight into what you are looking to create. Once you've picked a stationer or stationery company to work with, be honest with your feedback.

Lastly, keep in mind that you'll need to put postage on your Save the Dates and Invitation Suites + postage on your RSVP cards (this is a non negotiable {sorry} it must be done!) ~ these costs certainly do add up, so keep in mind when you are designing the size and weight of your suites.

{courtesy of the fantastically amazing ABCD Designs}

Day 16: Memories Forever: Wedding Videography

Days 16: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

It seems that brides and grooms have very firm opinions when it comes to hiring a wedding videographer ~ some are adamant that they want the video {"for their kids"} and some are adamant that they don't want any video. Personally, I fall into a different camp: while I don't necessarily want the whole wedding on DVD, I would love to be able to relive the vows, toasts and speeches. That said, hiring a wedding videographer is much the same as hiring a wedding photographer: do your research, meet in person and view lots and lots of past clients work. You want a videographer that isn't going to be too intrusive, but someone who gets the best 'scenes' and does fantastic editing.

When it comes to pricing, similarly to photog's, videographer's price is normally dependent on the final products that you receive from them plus how much editing goes into creating those final products. Decide on what you actual want / need and then discuss this with your videographer. Be sure that you are getting what you want and most importantly, will watch in the future!

{courtesy of bridalbuds.com}

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 15: Capturing The Details: Wedding Photography

Days 15: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

The wedding day will fly by in a blur (seriously, I felt like my day was 5 minutes long!) but you'll have all these amazing images that will last a lifetime, so please, choose wisely. Photographs, video's and memories are all that you will physically walk away from the wedding with, so make sure you do plenty of research on your photographer and *try* to not skimp on the budget here. You want to look back at your images years later and fall in love with the whole day over and over again.

Luckily, with the Internet most photographers have a wealth of images for you to check out online. But, don't hire site unseen (this is applicable to all your vendors, meet in person first, if circumstance allows), since this person will be following your every move on the day of, you want to make sure that you are comfortable not only with their images, but with them as well. Decide what elements of photographs you want: more candid, more details, more 'artsy' angles/poses etc. Do you want 1,2, or 3 shooters? How long do you want your photog on the wedding day? Standard packages are 8 hours which would include getting ready through the reception (either end or close to ... I suggest close to, pictures of drunk guests are not pretty). Do you care more about the actual images or albums? Do you want an online gallery that friends and family can purchase images through? Or, would you prefer to get all the proofs? What kind of album do you prefer? Make sure that the package you decide on holds everything in it that you want. Some photographers will negotiate, and some will not. Keep in mind that you want QUALITY over QUANTITY in this case. These are images you get to look at for years and years.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fantastic Tips from Cocktails & Details

Thought this was a very helpful post written by Fabuluxe Today! Its the 20 Things to Never Do When Planning Your Wedding List!

Happy Reading!

Days 12, 13, 14: Taking a Break from the Wedding Planning Process

Days 12,13,14: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

You've been on such a productive and awesome roll getting venues and vendors lined up, doing research on fantastic design, its time to take a break everything wedding related. The key to stress free wedding planning is to make sure that you take breaks and timeouts along the way. Don't worry about things not getting done on time ~ they will. Everything will come together as you've imagined and your wedding day will be incredible. But, if you don't stop to smell the proverbial roses along the way, by the time you get to the wedding day, you'll be wedding'd out and we don't want that at all.

Make sure during your planning process that you and your soon to be are spending time together and NOT talking about the wedding. Make sure you get some relaxing and fun beauty treatments, go and take some exhilarating exercise classes and spend time with your gals NOT discussing the bridesmaids' shoes/hair/accessories. Make sure you tell your parents that certain nights/weekends whatever are designated wedding free so they know that its not the time to discuss whether or not some long lost uncle gets to bring a date. By giving yourself some breathing room from the wedding planning, you're ensuring that you will have a relaxed approach to the entire day and process.

(courtesy of Grand Hyatt & Tap Natural Remedies)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 11: Whose Your Insurance Policy: The Wedding Planner

Day 11: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

I will start this post off with a disclaimer: I am biased towards hiring some version of a wedding planner, simply because I am one! But, I will try to hit on key points to prove how valuable a planner is in your wedding planning process.

Regardless of when in your wedding planning you are, hiring a wedding planner can simply be one of the best investments made in your budget. Even if you want to plan your big wedding singlehandedly, please do entertain the idea of hiring a Day Of Coordinator, merely so you can actually be a bride on your wedding day (and your mother can actually be a mother on the wedding day etc). On one of the most incredible days of your entire life, I doubt you want to be getting phone calls while you are trying to get ready from the officiant saying "I am stuck in traffic, I am not sure when I will be there" ... why add to your stress when you don't have to.

Take your time when looking for a wedding planner/coordinator. Read wedding blogs, check out wedding directories, get friend referrals, read wedding magazines ~ wedding planners are listed everywhere. Check out their websites, read their blogs, follow them on Twitter. By doing so, you'll get a very good sense of who they are and whether or not they are someone you'd like to work with. Arrange consultations with a select few and bring as much information to the meeting regarding the wedding as possible. Be open to what the planner has to say and keep in mind (this applies to all vendors) that the wedding planner is interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. Your relationship with your wedding planner should be a positive experience ~ you want to mesh well with them and look forward to communicating with them. You want a planner that will listen and understand your every desire and then find a way to make it happen.

Most planners are willing to negotiate (within reason) on pricing/services. The number one thing I hear all the time is that services are too pricey and clients can't understand why a wedding planner is so expensive. Trust me, regardless of what your planner charges you, the value of your planner is basically priceless. They are your insurance policy that your wedding will be the best that it can be.

{me in action on a wedding day, shot by Sarah DiCicco}

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 10: Entertaining Elements: Wedding Bands & Wedding DJ's

Day 10: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Firstly, let's dispel a myth. Wedding Bands aren't necessarily more expensive than Wedding DJs. I've seen fantastic DJs that cost lots more than a Band. So, before the pricing scares you from one end of the entertainment spectrum to another, decide which appeals to you more. Do you prefer live music or do you prefer hearing the actual artist singing? Do you want an Emcee for the evening? Once you've narrowed down those factors, get pricing from both sides. Also, talk to your venue about what sounds better in the space - some acoustics work better for bands not DJs and vice versa. Whomever you hire, you obviously want them to sound incredible.

When interviewing your entertainment, ask the following:

What is their speciality?
If you have specific songs, will they play them?
Do they allow guests to make requests or not? (also, is this something you want?)
Can you give them must play and do not play lists?

You want to hire entertainment that you enjoy and that plays great music ... whatever the form.

(courtesy of beatlesagain.com)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Photog Love: Tory Williams Photography

I will do a much bigger post on Tory in the coming days, but I had the fantastic pleasure of meeting with her today and she's a doll. Love her work, love her style. She was awesome enough to do a post on me, check it out: Une Petite Madeleine

Day 9: Décor, Details & Design: Wedding Florists

Day 9: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Once you've gotten your venue booked and your wedding style decided, its time to fuse those two and decide on your décor design. The optimal goal in design is to encapsulate elements from many sources:

Venue ~ what does the room look like? What elements should you play to? Is it formal/informal? Is it light and airy or dark and romantic? How does the location play into the venue? Is there a ton of history or something that the area is well known for?

Wedding Dress ~ is your wedding dress modern or vintage? Beaded or not? Is it body hugging or more princessy?

Bridesmaid Dresses ~ what color is their dress? Are the girls all wearing the same outfit, or different?

Couple Wedding Style ~ are you really into flowers or not? Do you want something sophisticated, elegant, modern or over the top? Do you prefer non floral elements like berries & fruits? Are you more ethereal and into candles to set the mood?

These are all questions that will come into play as you decide on your décor design. Weddings are meant to be cohesive (i.e. have some element that runs throughout from your Save the Dates/Invites through to the end of the wedding evening), therefore, what can you do in the design concept to run throughout the wedding experience?

Amass your inspiration boards, cut outs and other items that you love into a large collection. Spend time with each image ~ what do you love about it? When you start to meet with Florists, bring a list of Flowers you love (and that are hopefully in season when you are getting married) as well as a list of flowers you dislike. Bring your images to show what you like ... even if it's a simple detail like the color of a ribbon ~ your florist can find inspiration in that. Remember that you have time and you can change the elements if you find something better for your taste.

(sorry ~ i scanned these in and forgot to tag where I found them. If you know, PLEASE tell me so I can give full credit ~ thanks!)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 8: The Art of Negotiation: Catering

Day 8: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Depending on the type of venue you have chosen, you may need to find a caterer for your wedding. If that is the case, also keep in mind that no costs are fixed. A good catering company will be willing to give you multiple options in food, beverages and pricing to try and work within your budget. Optimally meet with three caterers: you'll get a wide variety of menu choices and pricing. Then choose two that you would like to have a tasting with (always ask beforehand if there are charges for tastings). Once you've had your tastings, you'll be able to negotiate on a full stomach. Choose the elements most important to you: presentation, quality of food, inventiveness of food, whatever it is. Let the caterer know what you liked about the tasting/menu and what you didn't (perhaps nothing!). Ask where to trim to save. Perhaps you can change the style of dinner service which will free up some serving staff or if you know that your crowd just wants alcohol and doesn't care about top shelf drinks, perhaps moving away from pricier bottles is a smart move for you. Or ask if you bring in your own cake is there a cutting fee. Or, if you just do stations and nothing passed during the cocktail hour, how would that affect the overall price per head. Don't be afraid to think outside of the 'traditional' catering box, be adventurous!

(courtesy of cnib.ca)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 7: The Art of Negotiation: Wedding Venues

Day 7: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

After all your hard work and research, you've picked a few venues that fit the bill for your wedding. Perhaps you've already narrowed it down to the most fantastic place for your wedding. How do you go about negotiating with the venue to ensure that you are getting the best pricing and deal for you? Firstly, ask. Even if its the most outrageous request in the world, just ask. The worst that can happen is the venue says no. If that happens, ask for something else. Aim to be reasonable though in your request (i.e. if its $195 per person for Food + Top Shelf open bar, don't say, our budget only allows for $50 per person. Rather, ask where you can trim off the menu + bar to bring costs down). Go into your negotiations with a game plan. What are your must haves (top shelf, lobster, outside cocktails, whatever it is) and work around your must haves with things you care less for (bathroom attendants etc). Once you've gotten a contract that you can live with, take time to read the contract that the venue provides (this is applicable to all vendors), the contract spells out the can do's and the cannot do's of the place and any other requirements that you must be aware of. You want to make sure you are comfortable with the venue's policies. If you don't understand any clause or term, just ask. I read contracts all the time and still ask lots of questions when I don't understand anything. You won't know until you ask. When you eventually sign the venue's contract, you want to be 100% aware of everything related to that location.

(courtesy of saweddingvenues.com)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 6: Sophisticated, Elegant, Classy, Fun, Casual ... What's Your Wedding Style?

Day 6: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Style is an individual experience. Your personal style and your soon to be's personal style may be similar and it may be very different. The one thing that is a definite though, is that you need to find YOUR wedding style. Something that captures and embodies what you want the wedding to be. Whether it is a traditional or modern feeling, a specific theme, something beachy, fun, city like or rustic and charming, spend time with your soon to be and put thought into your wedding style. Start by defining your personal couple style. Next, start to think about how you visualize the wedding day. What does the alter look like? How do you feel when you walk into the reception? What is the goal for the evening? Does the venue or area you've chosen elude to a specific style or theme? Once you've picked a style, start researching that style on blogs, in magazines and in life. Clip images of things you like. All this information will help your vendors enormously when it comes time to design the wedding day.

(courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Day 5: The Chosen Few ... Creating your Wedding Guest List

Day 5: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Another important factor into your wedding budget and location is how many of your nearest and dearest will be coming to celebrate your vows. Creating your master guest list takes time, so don't expect to finalize the list overnight. There are essentially three sides (more if you involve Step Parents) to the guest list:

Bride / Groom
Bride's Parents
Groom's Parents

Traditional conventions say that whomever is paying for the wedding gets the larger portion of the guest list. I disagree as the lines of who pays for what are getting blurred in this modern age and while your Father may think that inviting his first boss who has never met you is appropriate, turns out, it may not be. Have an honest conversation with all the parents about what the goal of the wedding is. Is it just family? Is it just family and close friends? Is it not all family, just close family? Or, is it everyone you've ever encountered in your entire life? Once you've created a general "acceptable to invite" list, set a date (within a month) for all parties that get to invite people to give the Bride and Groom their lists. Once the three+ lists are merged, you will get a better sense of numbers. Please keep in mind that you'll probably trim the 'fat' off the list before it is truly final, but this number will be a large indicator on what is a suitable venue for you.

(courtesy of ancestry.com)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 4: The Money Matters ... Wedding Budgets

Day 4: 30 Days: A Guide to Stress Free Wedding Planning

Its no hidden secret: weddings cost money. Once you've gotten engaged, you'll need to figure out two large aspects of your wedding planning: whose paying for the wedding and how much you want to spend on the wedding. Keep in mind the following factors when determining your wedding number:

time of year
# of anticipated guests

Read as many wedding planning sites and blogs to get a feel for what "things" cost in your wedding destination. Food in Kansas is bound to be a much different cost to Food in New York City. I know that talking about money can make people uncomfortable, but don't let it. Its good to have your wedding budget out in the open ~ it will help hone in and make decisions on every other aspect of your wedding.

Regardless of what your wedding budget is, you will have a fantastic wedding, you and your fiancé are in it and that is, at the end of the day, all that matters to your friends and family.

(Courtesy of MIT libraries)

***TIP: If you are able to, try and pay for your wedding related expenses with a credit card that amasses miles, hotel points etc - you may just rack up enough points for a free honeymoon!***