Monday, February 22, 2016

Planning A Wedding? You Might Wanna Read This ...

Planning a wedding is exciting, however, it could be a challenging ordeal. With all the excitement comes many perceptions and expectations. Feel free to add or share your perspectives on this matter. In no specific order:

1. Pray It All Goes Well

Reading the decision to tie the knot is a blessing, and if you and your partner have made this decision, continue to pray and ask for God's guidance. This process could be challenging; in terms of communicating with parties involved, guest list delays, meeting family expectations, choosing a cake, leave requests from your employer, and meeting deadlines. Trust that this is not intended to scare you from walking the isle, however, prayer strengthens all things. 

We were both pursuing further education as we planned our wedding. At times, we could feel the stress involved, however, we were determined to blend the challenges with prayer, and were successful. 

2. Know Who To Invite   

Weddings are expensive, and thats the bottomline. 
This special day is intimate, and honestly, the friends, family and loved ones who will always be there to support you automatically earn invitations to this special day. Some might be upset for not being invited, however, your budget is the deciding factor of who comes or doesn't.  You want to see people who have prayed and sacrificed for you on this day, so make your invitations very classy and mail them out on time. Some friends would come, all they would need is date, time and address, some will not come if they don't get the original invitations in the mail. Others might fail to respond, might need to call to find out if everyone got their invitations in the mail, and keep a headcount. 


2. Set A Budget, and Stick To It

We had a big wedding, best party we've been to by far. Did we invite too many people???? Did we invite less??? Could we have invited more???? Honestly, we went above our budget in excitement of getting married and having a blast. It was fun, everyone had a great time, and that was our goal. Its important that you live within your means, please don't assume people will give you money for throwing a party they didn't plan with you. Some will be generous, don't get us wrong, but we're barely know more than a handful of people who capitalized on their wedding. 

3. Hire A Wedding Planner 

A well knowledgeable and passionate wedding planner will save you from making unnecessary and silly mistakes. Make sure you interview a few before you make your decision on choosing one. Read about them, ask them tough questions and don't be shy. By hiring a planner, we were able to choose from a pool of DJ's, photographers, videographers and florists. In most cases, our planner was decent in negotiating with us. 
The Wedding Wire and The Knot are great resources 


4. Bargain With Vendors

As stated above, do your research and know the average cost of each service you anticipate to utilize in your wedding. Make sure you don't hire someone who does not have the necessary bullets on their resume. Avoid the vendors who scratch their head to give you a price or the the ones who are uncertain about their calendar for the year. Most of them will have packages/deals on well articulated brochures, don't be afraid to bargain through those fonts. Ask questions, what can be taken out or added to bring the price down? 

5. Music Is Everything

A bad DJ will make your wedding day the worst day of your life. This is a day everyone gets loose and dance their hearts and minds out. The DJ has to bring his best to your wedding. All the hits, let's say appropriate wedding music for the sake of kids and other religious figures who might be present at your wedding. Don't be shy to give them a list of the songs and genres of music to play. Look them up also, find out about their last wedding, how did it go? How long have they been doing this? Make sure your DJ is passionate about what he/she does. Lastly negotiate a reasonable, budget conscious price. Lastly agree on an extra incentive if your night turns out the way you anticipated it. Click here to find out a list of best wedding songs. 
6. Food Is Everything

Trust that there would be a lot of empty stomachs at your wedding. When we plan on going to weddings, we eat less to make room to enjoy the "unknown" delicacies. The service might take a little longer than anticipated, the drive to the venue might be delayed (if your venues are different from service & reception sites), people might arrive late; or, not. Most people come to enjoy your big day by enjoying the catering services provided. Therefore, when you are planning your wedding, know what options you have. Its very rare, slim to none that most places would allow you to bring your own food, however, it is possible. If you have the resources to showcase your traditional delicacies, go for it. It's quite a unique entity and will be remembered a lifetime. We chose to use vendors and it worked out well also. It's important to negotiate well at all times, make sure the price per head, includes food services, if you don't choose an outside vendor. Also, make sure the price is discounted for children as well. Brides.com showcases some unique wedding menu's. 

7. Involve Family As Much As Possible, When Necessary

Come to think about it, your wedding is not your wedding. 
Let that sink in for a second. Your wedding is for your families. This is the only and first time both families and friends from each side of the aisle come together to celebrate your union, therefore, they would want to be as involved and helpful as possible, so give them the opportunity to be involved, They will cherish it for a lifetime. They will also serve as a buffer to relieve you of the stress and anxiety which may be awakened due to the demands entailed in planning for your big day. 


8. Plan Ahead of Time

We planned a year or 2 ahead of time, so this allowed us to save and most importantly look at numerous locations before choosing one. Your first asses is a planner. We do advise caution if you decide to use a friend for a wedding planner, we've seen some salty outcomes; however, if you have a genuine pal as a wedding planner, we see the potential for heartwarming outcomes. Planning early allows you to work on your guest list, vendors, and most importantly, your budget. Every step will have something to do with money. The date you choose will have some financial impact. Take for example a Friday wedding date is cheaper than a Saturday, and in some cases a Sunday wedding is cheaper than a Saturday. Cheaper in the sense of price paid per person. Your cake, your invitations, gown, suits, bridesmaid, groomsmen, accessories and more, will all have some financial impact. Still want to get married? Off course! Go for it!!!!


9. Pick The Right Dress/Suit 

There are so many places for wedding suits for men, if you decide to rent, just make sure its the right fit. Talking about the right fit. Get a suit made if you can afford it. Or buy a slim fit suit, one that would make you look your best and own the night. No one should be better dressed than you and your bride, no way Jose'. Try on so many and different locations, and finalize on your fit. Her dress steals the night, be supportive as possible in her decision for her dress. She would have to make a couple of trips to the store as the date nears to make she sweeps you away that special day.  

10. Have A Blast

Dance your heart out. Don't forget to eat. Thank everyone personally for coming. Put on that "you mean so much to me face". Give lots hugs, takes infinite pictures, snap, dance, chat, laugh, cry, celebrate your big day. The night goes by fast, so make every second worthwhile. Thank your families, and everyone involved on your wedding day, put them in the spotlight, they might feel shy for a second, but will be grateful for a lifetime.

In writing all of this, we miss our wedding day, we live to plan another in a few years.
Cheers!

Thank you  For Reading,
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Love,
Dennis & Lilian