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Step 1: Informing your family and friends
While this may seem like a daunting task for some grooms to be, especially when approaching the father of the bride, this is something that must be done immediately. The last thing you want is to get a frantic phone call from the parents saying that they heard from unimportant person that you were getting married. The parents, siblings, direct family and close friends should all be notified in the next day after you get engaged.
You and your fianc?e must have decided on date, or at least a month or year, because that is the first thing that everyone will ask. If you have decided on an exact date then you can tell everyone now so that it sticks in their minds, even though you will be sending invites. People like to know have an idea of weather and so that they can keep the day open in their diaries.
Step 2: Wedding ceremony locations
Once you have got the announcement out of the way, you and your fianc?e can sit down over a lovely dinner or picnic and discuss the other details. First of all you will need to decide on a date if you do not have one and then call around to view wedding venues. Bear in mind that the place you love may not be available on the day you want it.
Now you will have to make the tough decision of moving the wedding date or choosing another venue. There are so many types of venues that can be perfect for weddings and the best thing will be to keep an open mind. If you want a specific theme then that can also be brought into where you have your wedding.
There are churches, gardens, forests, beaches, marquees, parks, houses, and if you dare to be different then there have been underwater wedding ceremonies or skydiving ones. If this is you, then make sure you find a priest or marriage officer who isn?t afraid of heights and has a scuba license! The weather will obviously also play a role in having an indoor or outdoor wedding and the size of your guest list will play a huge part. When you call any venue for a quote they will ask you for these important details, so have them handy:
? How many people
? Catering needs if any
Step 3: Reception choices
The next thing to do is to decide on what type of reception you want to have. This will probably have to be done in conjunction with the venue decision. Do you want a dinner with candles and dancing until late into the evening? Or do you want a champagne breakfast which can be fresh and fun, especially if you have a lot of guests with children. Remember that it is all up to you and your fianc?e, so make the choice based on what you want, not on what is easier for other people.
You can also be different and have cake and tea for everyone and then those who want to can all join the family for dinner at a restaurant. Snacks and drinks can go down well, and if your reception is in a garden or forest, or on the beach, it can also be much less hassle when it comes to catering, tables, chairs and cutlery.
Step 4: The food as an important part of the wedding
Decisions, decisions? you will be overcome with decisions. One of them will be about your food, and it will be the majority of your budget. It would probably be easy if you have an international palate, meaning you are not that choosy with what you eat as long as it is prepared properly and looks mouth watering. If you and your husband-to-be have a favorite dish or type of cuisine, you can concentrate the type of food to serve on this line. If you have guests who are rather particular with the type of food that they eat, you may have one or two dishes exclusively made just for them, especially if they are close friends or relatives of yours.
Sometimes, you have several friends who would like to pitch in with the menu, to help ease the expenses that you may incur for just the food. As long as you give them the go-signal to bring food, then they can provide you with their specialty.
Sometimes, your friends would even volunteer to cook or prepare their own specialty to be brought in for your reception. Or if you would like to make your reception a very informal family affair, you can ask each family or relative to bring along a favorite dish for them to share with each other. This not only lowers down the expenses in food, but creates a very homey atmosphere during the reception, with everyone doing their thing to make it a wonderful event.
Step 5: He who holds the money makes the decisions
Ah? the big debate that arises at every wedding in almost every culture. Who must pay for what at the wedding? In many cultures, it has been a long standing tradition for the bride?s family to pay for the wedding and the groom must then pay for the honeymoon and the house that they move into upon return.
The bulk of the budget usually goes into the reception rather than the ceremony itself. There are several things that you can do to cut corners:
? Let the bridesmaid choose and make their own gowns
? Have a brunch potluck reception instead of a sit down dinner
? Hold the wedding ceremony at a park or if your backyard is big enough, then you can do it there
? Alter an old wedding gown instead of buying a new one.
? Think homemade rather than store made.
? Choose flowers that are in season rather than the exotic ones.
? Ask the help of friends and family to handle the video and photographs of the wedding and reception, to take over the program during the reception, and to serve the reception instead of hiring waiters and other servers.
Step 6: A wedding or a reunion?
On the special occasions in your life, your family is ever present to celebrate it with you, and your wedding is no exception. A wedding may fast become the grand reunion of your clan if the number of guests are not controlled and limited to a certain number. Inasmuch as you would like to include all your relatives, both close and distant, it is frequently budget constraints that do not permit us to do so. Here are some tips to help you tackle this problem.
? To be able to get an accurate estimate as to how many guests you are expecting for your wedding, make an inventory first of all immediate relatives, especially those you are close to. This will set a base for you on how many more people you are allowed to add to your list.
? Include an RSVP in your invitation so as to know who and what to expect. Although still unpopular in some countries, it is quite helpful in determining the number of guests who will be attending your wedding.
? Decide whether you would like children to be present during this event. This may be quite hard to accept with relatives who take it personally if their children are not invited to attend. It should be explained properly that you would like the ceremony to be as solemn as possible, and that the presence of kids may prevent this from happening.