(Closed) Help! Don’t know where and how to start planning a wedding.

posted 10 years ago in Logistics
Post # 3
Member
18 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2008

My husband and I are renewing our vows this October, after 14 years of marriage.  I did look at the online sites but found purchasing a Target Wedding Organizer the most helpful. 

After that we went to a few places that we saw online, settled with a package and went from there.

Oh, don’t forget your budget.  We aren’t putting anything on credit – even our mini honeymoon has been paid for. 

Congratulations. 

 

Post # 4
Member
45 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2018

With time being so short your options are probably limited as far as dress (mine took 4-6 mo to order) and vendors (they tend to book up early).  This should be fine since you want simple.  I would recommend looking up ceremony and reception sites, caterers and dresses first.  A site like http://www.theknot.com has a checklist of things to do but don’t get too frazzled you don’t have to do them all!  You’ll just have to pare down on a lot of items.  Places like target and j crew carry wedding dresses and you can also get them pretty quick from David’s Bridal.  Caterer/Recepton location – go with a restaraunt that can block off a larger area for groups. If you try to do everything in such a short time you are going to go crazy so just keep it simple and good luck!

Post # 5
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

I’ve been using weddingwire.com to plan my wedding. It’s a GREAT site that has a lot of tools including a checklist. I would start there. They also allow you to search for vendors based on your criteria and see reviews from past brides. That’s how I’ve been finding my vendors and quickly. Good luck!

 

Post # 6
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Congratulations! Yep, being a list-lover myself, I would start by going to either theknot.com or Martha Stewart Weddings  and find a checklist.  Then I would go to work customizing it (ie, we have our rings already because we bought them for our civil ceremony, take it off the list!).  Then I’d probably prioritize things by urgency (is it more important to find your dress or invite your guests first/ I’d say guests if you are having the ceremony in a month!  But then again, you might not know what to put on the invites unless you’ve booked a venue…) and go to it! I agree, vendor reviews are life-saving and a really quick way to narrow it down! Good luck and have a great wedding!

Post # 7
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2007

It’s pretty easy to get your hands on free or cheap wedding planning books, or online lists of things to consider, so that wouldn’t be a bad place to start.  Read through the list to see what you want to include from it.  Since you’re getting married in church, I’d check with them first about available dates and meeting with them to find out what they’ll need from you.  If their calendar is wide open, you can think about your reception venue first (assuming you’re having one) and book that, but if it’s tight, book the church!  I mean, the ceremony is what you need to get done at the end of the day even if you drop every other ball, right? 😀

Anyway, once you have the venues, I’m sure you’ll feel a lot more set and ready to get into the details.

 

 

Post # 8
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

My 21 year old niece planned a gorgeous wedding in three or four weeks.  She did have the advantage of family nearby – I was all to happy to help her with anything she needed to get done!  She too was getting married in a church, so the ceremony location was a no-brainer.  You may want to look into whether the church has an area appropriate for the reception that you’d be able to use as well – some Protestant churches refer to this a fellowship hall or something similar.  Of course, some churches have rules against alcohol so that’s something to think about.  For her wedding dress, we first looked at the major department stores for white "prom" dresses but when that didn’t work out for her, we visited a couple of consignment shops, one which had a LOT of wedding dresses.  She was lucky in that she found one she loved that fit her perfectly – it didn’t even have to be hemmed.  

I baked the wedding cake & groom’s cake.  Her Future Mother-In-Law was a huge help in finding a photographer, DJ, etc.  The family catered the reception themselves, and some of the ladies from the church helped out too.  Perhaps your husband’s family could be of some assistance if they’re nearby?  

 If you’re trying to do this quickly and on a budget, I’d suggest searching for art schools & culinary schools in your area.  Photographers just starting out are often very talented and willing to shoot your wedding for much less than a seasoned professional – and they’re less likely to be booked for your wedding date.  The same thing goes for students at a culinary school.  

I definitely agree with MsPopcorn – venues first.  Once you have that very large piece of the puzzle nailed down, I hope some of the ideas I gave you can help.   

Post # 10
Member
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Definitely think about your guest list now, too. If anybody needs to come from out of town, give them a heads-up now so they can make travel arrangements. 

Post # 12
Member
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

I figured my wedding out (7 months planning time) in this order:

1. The when: We wanted fall. I picked a few dates that I would be happy with.

2. The who: I made a list of all the guests I knew I definitely wanted there (closer family). I checked out the proposed dates with them to make sure their schedules would work with my dates. Less guests = easier to plan.

3. The date: Combine the when and the who to choose a date. Or two possible dates. Call guests to let them know the date so they can have more time to buy plane tickets (since you’ll have not yet sent out invitations). Again, I think a more limited guest list is key given the time frame, desire for simplicity, and budget.

4. The reception venue: Since your family is coming from far away, aim for close by. It would be easiest if the church has a reception hall. Also, look for places that have in-house catering, tables, linens, etc.. One (or more) less vendor to hire makes your life easier. It will be harder to coordinate the set up if you have to rent tables, chairs, linens, and have the food brought in to boot. Consider an hors d’oeuvres reception in the afternoon to cut costs.

5. The invitations: Consider ordering something off a site like weddingpaperdivas. I ordered my save the date cards off of there and they were affordable, beautiful, and quick. Or for even cheaper, order an invitation kit from Target (about $25 for a set of 50) and print them off on a laser printer at home or work. My friend did this and they are very cute.

6. The photographer: If you have the money for a pro but can’t find one available, ask them for recommendations. Often they will know who is just starting out and would give you a good rate. Also, consider not hiring a professional photographer but instead creating a flickr pro site for guests to upload photos to. (You can designate someone to take the standard portraits with a nice camera).

7. The cake: Grocery store bakeries can often create beautiful cakes on a limited time frame and budget. Or consider having a cake spread out of grocery store cakes—that will be much more affordable and is very in right now.

8. The dress: Really this step is simultaneous with everything else. You’re going to have to get something off-the-rack or used from another bride, since there’s no time to get anything custom ordered. Try on dresses at a salon that lets you know what the dresses are (not all of them do—some cut tags out!). Find a few that you love and see if you can find the same one or something similar on ebay, craigslist, or weddingbee classifieds. Wedding consignment shops are another good option. Check out bridesmaids dresses in white too.

9. Flowers/decorations: Consider DIYing your bouquet and bridesmaids flowers if you’re having them (or having a relative do them). Non-floral decorations are cheaper than flowers. Potted plants or flowers are cheaper and won’t die on you :).

10. The DJ: Consider an iPod reception in lieu of a DJ or band. There’s tons of information and stories on here about doing that.

Finally, don’t let the lists on Martha Stewart and The Knot scare you! I hated logging into those sites because they constantly told me I had like 200 unfinished tasks. They are good to see that you aren’t forgetting anything but otherwise I found them overwhelming for planning on a relatively short time scale. Hope this helps!

Post # 13
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

Ummm…maybe this sounds like a stupid question, but what kind of church is it?  Some churches(ie Catholics) require pre-marriage counseling – even for people who are doing renewal of their civil ceremony vows.  Make sure to check with your church on any requirements that they have prior to being able to book them for a date.  You may find out that you can’t do it in 1-2 months just from that point of view.

If that’s not an issue, then I think everyone else’s recommendations are great!  I just got engaged and am in the midst of planning my church wedding as well, but I’m WAY ahead of the game(projected date is October 2009). 

Still, I’ve definitely already looked at dresses(it’s the most fun part of the whole planning process!).  I know that the photographer and reception venues(if you want to do that) are the next most important things to secure.  They typically book so far in advance.  Until you have a reception venue in mind, you won’t know what else you may need to take care of(food, beverages, decor, etc.)

Good luck!  For details, I definitely think chelseamorning did a great job with her response(above mine)!

Post # 15
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

I finally went to the Wedding Wire website.  Wow!!!  I can’t recommend it enough.  The planning tools are soooo much better than anything on the knot or martha stewart or any other place I’ve been on the internet.  The graphs, the statistics the sorting capabilites.  Thanks msglily!!!

We now have a totally killer website with a simple url — they give you tons of space.  It looks pretty damn professional even for a couple of amateurs.  And for free!

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