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Tips to start the wedding planning process

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Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:37 am | Updated: 7:03 am, Thu Feb 24, 2011.

They proposed. You said yes. Now what?

The planning process can be daunting. So where do you begin?

Inspiration for your perfect wedding day is more abundant than ever. Blogs are everywhere showing brides examples of do-it-yourself weddings, brides telling of their ceremonies and photographers showing what they can do to capture your special day.

A trend now is “save the date” cards notifying family and friends of the date of the weddings. Some are even emailing them as a “green” alternative. Ask your photographer if he or she provides them as an add-on to your package. Otherwise, there are “self-serve” sites to create the perfect save the date cards. Today, they are referring guests to the bride and grooms wedding website. Some websites are free, while with others you pay for customization. They give the guests directions to the wedding and reception site(s). They tell the story of how the couple met. They provide images of the couple and all the major players in the wedding party and “staff” including the photographer, videographer, caterer, wedding planner, etc.

After you have decided on the budget, you can begin the shopping for sites, caterers, photographers and more. If you cannot afford a wedding planner, designate a person to be in control. Arm them with the schedule of the day according to you. They can serve as an “ambassador” for you. It is a terrible thing if you lose time with the photographer because you had to check yourselves into a hotel. Do not be afraid to delegate to friends and family before your big day.

Some reception sites require you to use their vendors. Others do not. Read contracts carefully. Sometimes they change, and if you don’t have the contract you agreed to you, can be left paying for more than you originally believed.

Wedding magazines/guides are a great resource, especially for local resources. Some include the check-off sheet and countdown to the big day, making it easier to know what to do when. Whatever you decide, remember that it is about the two of you and your commitment to each other. The rest is just icing on the cake.

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