Many brides don't know where to start when they become engaged. The decisions they have to make can be overwhelming. Weddings should be a happy time and not frustrate anyone involved. Your wedding day should be memorable and reflect your style and personality. Use a list to keep your basic wedding needs organized.
Attire and Rings
To help you decide what to wear, think of the time of day you are having the ceremony. For an informal or formal daytime wedding, wear a short or long dress with minimal detailing or a suit. For an informal or formal evening wedding, wear a short cocktail dress, long gown with beading or lace, or a suit. For a formal evening wedding, wear a long gown with many accessories like a tiara, wrap, diamond jewels or a tuxedo. Even if you have an engagement ring, consider purchasing wedding bands to exchange during the ceremony.
There are many varieties of flowers to consider. Roses are a traditional wedding flower, but you are not limited to using one flower type. Try a mixture of your favorite flowers. You may wish to carry a bouquet of a few flowers to a few hundred flowers. Using flowers that are in season is a cost-effective choice. Work with your florist to design bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and decorative arrangements that reflect your ideas.
To make your union legal, you must obtain a marriage license. Marriage laws vary from state to state. Some require waiting periods, fees and proof of vaccinations. Many states require you have witnesses sign the license and have an ordained or licensed officiant to perform the ceremony. Call your local government for specific state and city legal information.
Guests and Invitations
After deciding the formality of your wedding, you need to decide the number of guests. If you are planning your wedding alone, create a list of family and friends you will invite. If you are planning your wedding with your parents, discuss whom they will invite and add it to your list. Inviting many guests will increase your wedding budget. Purchase invitations and save-the-date cards once your list is final. Be sure to include RSVP cards for a precise idea of how many guests will attend. Send out save-the-date cards immediately and send the formal invitation four to six weeks in advance of the event. If you know you will have many out-of-town guests, send invitations six to eight weeks in advance so they can make travel arrangements.
Many weddings have receptions following the ceremony. If you want to have food at the reception, hire a caterer. Discuss the type of food and beverages and how much you need. Know if they will provide table-wear or if you provide it. If you want a cake, hire a cake designer. Work with the designer to plan a cake that will feed the number of people attending. Determine if you want a groom's cake, different flavors and fillings and if you want to save the top tier for your anniversary. A photographer can capture moments you miss during your busy day. Hire one to attend the ceremony and the reception. Hire someone who can provide examples of her work so you know her artistic style. For guests to remember your day, purchase wedding favors. Give a personalized box of Jordan almonds in your wedding colors, a picture frame that could double as a place card or a personalized candle.