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planning a wedding... yaaaargh!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I got engaged on the 7th, and we are starting to think "wedding". My fiance told me I was in charge of planning this thing, since he "has no input"... meaning he's afraid of the challenge and decided to dump it on me! This will be my first (and only) wedding, and just the *thought* of all that needs to be planned scares the living daylights out of me! Neither of us are religious, so the ceremony doesn't need to be in a church, and his side of the family is very big (300 people attended each of his 2 sisters' weddings!!).

Any ideas of what I should tackle first? I'm going to swing by a book store after work and pick up a planning book, but any input I could get would really help! I don't want to be a bald bride from ripping my hair out from the stress!
post #2 of 11
You definitely have to schedule the reception and ceremony site first, then DJ or band and photographer. Then I would say cake and flowers.
post #3 of 11
The first thing you should do is to decide on a budget. That will guide all your other decisions. The second thing you should do is figure out which things are most important to you and what you want the feel of the wedding to be. Like, do you just HAVE to have that ice sculpture of kissing swans and a carriage ride to the reception? Or are you more of a hometown, backyard BBQ-reception type of girl? Once you decide that stuff, get busy and get the details figured out as early as you can.

Finally, just remember that no matter what you do, not everything will go perfectly. As long as your families and friends feel welcomed and relaxed, and no one ends up at the emergency room, and you actually do end the day as husband and wife, then it's gone pretty well. The really important thing is all the days afterward.
post #4 of 11
I would set a date, or at least a time of year first. A lady I met while she was planning her wedding had the most beautiful outdoor wedding in the fall. The leaves were at peak color, and it made for some of the most beautiful wedding pics I have ever seen. I worked in the wedding/floral department of a Hobby Lobby, and brides seemed to really like the seasonal themes. The fall one was by far the most original and made the best use of the natural surroundings. They were not religious, and did not want a church wedding, so they got married in a park somewhere around Kansas City, MO. The bride wore a traditional white gown, and her bouquet was of white chrysanthemums, and the bridesmaids wore burgundy velvet with fall blooming flowers and a few fallen leaves in their bouquets. I did not attend the wedding, but the pics were breathtaking!
post #5 of 11
I agree with first setting a budget. Then the reception place. Dress, food, flowers, photographer lots of stuff. I think the bridal magazines really help too!!
My hubby did not lhave lots of input into our wedding day which was okay just as long as you have advice from siblings or parents!!
post #6 of 11
I see you are from Toronto - firstly find a Reception location. If you plan on having as many people as his 2 sisters you will need a fairly large location and in Toronto you may need to book your space more than 1 year in advance (just ask anyone who books Christmas parties - you book 1 year in advance or you never get the date you want).

Definitely set a budget and shop around as some people really take advantage and overprice bridal and wedding needs.

Get references from anyone you are thinking of using, i.e., florists, photographers, etc. I've heard some horror stories of brides being very disappointed that the photographer they used took terrible pictures.

My last suggestion - do what I did, save the wedding money to put a down payment on a house and elope!
post #7 of 11
Congratulations! It must be so exciting and fun to plan a wedding!! A website I hear a lot about on The View when they do wedding segments is http://www.theknot.com/ so you might be able to get a lot of info there as well. I just skimmed it, but I saw a planning section.

Best of luck!
post #8 of 11
Also, try www.weddingchannel.com ! It was a great website for me. I had to plan a wedding in 8 months, so I did a lot of work in a very short time. Pick a date, ceremony spot, your party, and work down the list. Also, make sure to get a Name Change kit to make your life a lot easier when you go and get your named changed!! You have great advice from the above!! Happy planning!!
post #9 of 11
I got married a year ago- unbelievable the anniversary just passed! I don't know if you have any family members to help w/planning or if they are going to help pay. Definitely talk to them! My mom was the contact person. If they are you have to make sure its something they want too and you can agree on it. The reason I picked where I got my married was b/c we could agree on it!!!! It was really nice though. You should get an idea of how many people will be there 50 vs 100 vs 200. That will help w/ the place, which should come first. DJ, then Photo are next. Find someone to marry you, judge, JP or whatever. Pick out your wedding party. Decide on color theme. Find dress for you. Pick dresses for the party and tux's. Flowers are last- I think. I used a grocery store- they did a nice job and were reasonable. Centerpieces and giveaways were next. A wedding book will help. Ask friends for recommendations on vendors.
post #10 of 11
OK...I disagree about what to do first...

FIRST...take a deep breath and a little while to ENJOY the thrill of being newly engaged. CONGRATULATIONS!!

I got married myself a little over two years ago. I had so much fun planning my wedding! I actually miss it...(Of course, I plan large social events as part of my job, so it didn't seem so overwhelming to me.)

THEN...before you do anything else...figure out how much money you have to spend for your wedding. (Don't worry about the specifics of how much to spend for what at this point...just figure out the big lump sum.) That number will drive everything else, and don't even start to look at stuff until you know what it is. (You'll just get disappointed later if you find out something you fell in love with now isn't possible.)

THEN...start thinking about the general time of year you want to get married. If you can, avoid setting an actual date, just look at a time of year. The more flexible you can be on the date, the better. Some times of year tend to be more cost-effective than others (eg, June tends to be more $$$), but you should be able to find something in your price range at any time of year.

Only then, start looking at locations. Your location will probably drive a lot of the other decisions, so that's a good first place to start. (Like I had my heart set on black bridesmaid dresses...then we decided that we were getting married in an outdoor garden, so black didn't work so well.)

Most of all, try to relax and have fun!! This is going to be one of the most exciting times of your life. Remember, whatever you decide will be perfect if you love it and it makes you happy. Just try to keep some perspective and rest assured that the world won't spin off its axis if you pick the wrong color napkins.

If you need some help or advice or have questions or anything, feel free to PM me. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by Tari
Some times of year tend to be more cost-effective than others (eg, June tends to be more $$$),
Having worked in the Business, I noticed June AND October were both extremely popular months. Also, instead of going with traditional Staurday, try Sunday... or Friday evening. rates for halls and other places tend to run less for a non-Saturday date.

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