From the Proposal to the Honeymoon
Steps to Planning a Wedding
Welcome to Wedding Planning 411, where we hope to share with you all the steps there are to planning a wedding, from wedding proposal ideas all the way to the honeymoon, with all the steps in between.

What, are some of the steps to planning a wedding?

1. The Proposal: For some couples there really is no formal proposal, but rather a discussion about getting married, which leads to wedding plans. But, for some men (and, some women), the proposal is an event unto itself.  Read our pages on how to propose marriage and wedding proposal tips for some ideas. 

2. The Engagement Ring: If you have planned a creative proposal event, you might want to put the engagement ring at number 1 on your list, as some men choose to make the engagement ring part of the proposal event. Some men will ask the future bride’s assistance in picking out an engagement ring.  For more information on engagement rings, visit our pages, cheap engagement ring, antique style engagement ring, and Celtic engagement ring

3. Choose a Wedding Date: The wedding date can depend a lot on the wedding venue and whether it’s a destination wedding (away from your hometown) or a wedding in town. If you’re eloping you may have other considerations as well.

4.  Choose a Wedding Ring:  Here you have many options, maybe too many opitions.  You can design your own wedding ring, and choose from many different types of materials, from gold to platinum to titanium.  You can even opt to go with a family heirloom, or other antique ring.

5. Size of the Wedding/Guest List: Before you choose a venue you need to know how many people you wish to invite to your wedding. Are you eloping just the two of your, having a small destination wedding with family, or a larger affair in town?

6. Choose the Wedding Ceremony Venue: If you’re having a destination wedding you might have in mind places like the beach, a volcano in Hawaii or a hot air balloon ride over wine country in Napa. If you’re having your wedding in town you have many choices as well, from a church, lodge, hotel, creative venues like a hot air balloon, or something simple like your own back yard. Make sure your venue can accommodate your guest list.

Be sure to check out our page on Ceremony Ideas

7. Choose the Reception Venue: If your reception is at a different location than the ceremony you need to coordinate the time so that the venue is available after the ceremony. Again, it needs to accommodate your guest list. Also, take into consideration the comfort of the place that will host your reception. When you want your wedding reception party to be held in a garden or outdoors, always consider these factors: wind, rain and humidity. Require the hotel to put up tents attractively decorated with flowers and lighting to solve the problems of rain as it also adds to the mood of the party.

You might want to check out our page on reception ideas and choosing a wedding catering service

8.  Choose the Honeymoon Location:  If you chose a destination wedding, your honeymoon is probably in your wedding location.  Popular honeymoon destinations include the Bahamas, Hawaii, the Poconos, Gatlinburg, Niagara Falls.

9.  Plan/Purchase the Wedding Dress:  There are many styles of wedding dresses to fit all budgets, including purchasing a used wedding dress to a designer dress.  If you're having a beach wedding, a casual Hawaiian print dress will do. 

See some of our inside pages for information on:

Cheap Wedding Gowns
Hawaiian Wedding Dresses
Second Wedding Dresses
Used Wedding Dresses

10. Plan the Menu: You need to take into consideration the number of guests and your budget. If you’re having an informal wedding in your backyard you can go with something informal like a barbecue. You can choose a caterer or ask friends to pitch in and make dishes for the event. If you’re having your reception at a hotel or restaurant you would coordinate with the kitchen staff to plan the menu. If choosing an outside caterer, make sure that you know what type of food you want before selecting a caterer. Some caterers might specialize in certain types of cuisine. The caterer should understand all that you are envisioning in your wedding party reception. When the caterer easily understands, it means that you both can work easily together, with peace!

11. Choose the Decorations and Flowers: Talk to the florist of your choice about what you want, where you want it, how you want it and what kind of atmosphere you wish to create in your wedding reception. Make sure that aside from decorating the place, the florist must work together and coordinate with your food caterer so both can complement each other.

Decorations can also include wedding favor keepsakes, or gifts you can give your guests to take home with them.  Check out our inside pages on such wedding favor ideas as:

Cheap Wedding Favors
Coffee Wedding Favors
Homemade Wedding Favors
Cookie Wedding Favors
Golf Wedding Favors

12. Choose the Wedding Cake: When selecting a wedding cake, make certain that it goes with the motif of your wedding reception. Consider your color motif as well as the style of your wedding. Choose it well, as the cake often is the center of attraction of the reception, aside from you (the bride) of course. If possible, ask for samples of the wedding cake before you decide.

13. Decide on the Wedding Music: Select the style of music that best conforms to the style and again, the motif of your wedding reception. Decide whether you wish to have a DJ or a live band. Book the DJ or live band well in advance so there are no disappointments. If you’re on a budget, a pre-recorded, random-play selection of songs would be fine. Normally, the music begins as background music, slow and soft as the beat picks up encouraging everybody to dance after the meal. Decreasing the music speed as well as slowing down the volume usually signals the conclusion of the celebration.

14. Choose and Send Out Wedding Invitations: Once your guest list is finalized, as well as the date and venue, it’s time to decide on wedding invitations. It’s a good idea to order your invitations at least four weeks prior to mailing them out to your guests. This will give you time to correct any mistakes that might have been made, as well as order reprints if you add to your guest list. It will also give you time to address all the envelopes. The invitations should be mailed out so that your guests receive them at least six to eight weeks prior to the wedding. This will allow your guest enough time to make travel plans and return the respond card you included. Make the respond by date at least two weeks prior to the date of the wedding so that you can finalize the menu with the caterer.

Please see our other pages for more information on:

Engagement Party Ideas
Bridesmaid Gifts

Wedding Gift Registry
Black and White Wedding Theme

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