Some general thoughts:
Stick to your budget. You'll make things a great deal easier on yourself and you
won't waste time pursuing options that you can't afford.
Get everything in writing. Get every aspect of your agreements in writing,
including things like song selections, food selections and pre-arranged photos.
references from every place you are considering doing business with. Remember
that you should get three positive references and one negative one. Ask a lot of
questions. Don't turn a solid company down because they have had a negative
reference or two. There are people who will give a negative reference
because an MC mispronounced a name. If that is all that goes wrong on your
wedding day, consider yourself very fortunate!
Your wedding date:
What season do you prefer? Take the climate into consideration. Do you want a
country garden wedding in the spring? A seaport wedding in the summer? A
celebration at a refurbished farmhouse in the fall? Does the season matter at
Is there a time of year that your family or the groom's family finds meaningful?
Does the availability of the ceremony and reception site coincide with your
desired date or season?
Are there conflicts that exist for you, your family, the groom, his family or
the attendants (such as graduations, vacations, military commitments, another
wedding, pregnancy/birth)? Your matron of honor would probably not enjoy
standing next to you and getting photos taken in her eighth or ninth month in a
dress that could double as a tent!
Your wedding party:
When deciding who to cast in the roles of wedding attendant, consider the
responsibilities that go along with the job. It is best to make copies of the
lists of responsibilities and hand them out to clear up any confusions.
As soon as you figure out who you want in your wedding party, go and ask them.
You will need to know if there are any conflicting schedules and they need
advance notice to prepare for the extensive financial and time commitments.
The guest list:
This is the biggest problem for most couples. Generally the best idea is to
divide up the guest list three ways; the bride's parents, the groom's parents
and the couple. Each get to invite approximately a third of all the guests.
Start out by listing everyone you'd ideally like to have and spread out from
there. Remember to keep your budget in mind!
Set up boundaries and restrictions if the list is too long. You may have to
restrict children, for instance. If so, you have to set a cut-off point. 16 or
18 are common. You may have to set the boundary at co-workers or distant
relatives. Be consistent. As long as your third cousins don't have to hear that
your second cousins twice removed have been invited, they should understand.
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