So you’re going to get married, well getting married might be the easy part, planning your wedding can be the most difficult and stressful part. If affordable you may consider hiring a wedding planner. If you want to tackle the job yourself, the following things you should consider….
(A) Choosing a ceremonial site
Wedding ceremony venues come in many types. You may want to consider traditional, (church, chapel) outdoor, (mountain tops, parks, beaches, ect.) casual ( courthouse, Las Vegas chapel ect.) Whatever your choice, make arrangements well in advance to secure your date.
Before you make all of your plans you need to know how much money have to work with and how much money you want to commit toward your wedding. The first thing to do is make a financial blueprint of everything you have to pay for. Try not to leave anything out. Always allow for things you may have forgotten or any additional expenses.
(C) Choosing Your Reception Venue
Choosing your reception venue may very well depend on your budget. Knowing your budget you can start contacting venues in your chosen area. Check availability first to see if it fits your plans. Talk with family, friends, co-workers and ask if they have attended or participated in any recent wedding receptions. Make an appointment with a banquet manager to get an understanding of venue capabilities. Ask for wedding packages that include venue rental, food and beverage packages, taxes, gratuities, decorations, etcetera.
You need to know the exact price of your reception accounting for you and your number of guests. Depending on what package you choose or if you customize a package, have it all documented in a contract. Read your contract carefully and double check that everything is included that you will be expected to pay for.
(D) Different packages, Different Pricing
- Sit down dinner with beverage package
- Buffet dinner with beverage package
- Hors D’ oeuvres and cocktail package
- Grazing and beverage package
Note: All packages may have different pricing within their category considering the choice of entrees and beverage packages. Some banquet venues may offer more extensive packages that may include such things as floral décor, entertainment, videography, photography, cakes, gift baskets, etc. If not offered in their package they may offer a list of purveyors. This may cut down your time spent and stress with this information, this list also assures you that these suppliers are familiar with the banquet facility. For more detailed information about reception venue, refer to our Banquet/Catering sections.
Planning Your Wedding Ceremony
Wherever you decide to exchange wedding vows will have an impact on your budget. There are many types to choose from, remember you want this to be as special as possible. These can be chosen in churches or chapels, (very traditional) and or outdoor ceremonies, this list is countless from mountaintops to beaches to yachts ect. Cost can vary considerably depending on your choice.
Types of Reception Venues
Today wedding reception venues can be just about anywhere. Following is a list of some that may fit your location or you might consider if you can afford to travel.
- Banquet Halls or Facilities
- Hotel Banquet Facility
- Country Club Banquet Facility
- Historic Theaters
Destination weddings can actually be much cheaper than conventional weddings. Use a professional travel agent to arrange a package for you and your guests. They can arrange a competitive and affordable rate. Usually destination weddings are smaller in size and thus less output. Generally the guests pay for their travel and lodging. This becomes a mini vacation for your guests and a honeymoon for you, not to mention the memories you will cherish. Some popular destination venues are, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bahamas, Hawaii and South Pacific and Europe.
When choosing music you want to keep the music in line with the theme of your wedding. You need to make choices in both the ceremonial music and the reception music. Ceremonial music is generally quite different from reception music. Reception music may be more festive. Ceremonial music could be prerecorded or live. You could make a choice of prerecorded music from vocal or instrumental selections or a combination of both. If you choose live music you may consider a vocalist, singers, choir or instrumental. Whether you choose prerecorded or live music for your ceremony, there are many wedding songs to choose from.