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Weddings are a big part of life and can be very tough to plan. Most people spend a fortune on a wedding planner who takes care of everything. But, is it possible to plan a wedding without a wedding planner?
Personally, I think it is, and you can save a lot of money not hiring one. All you have to do is split the day into two main parts and plan each part separately. Here are some tips:
The ceremony is important as it has a lot of significance on this special day, particularly if you’re from a religious background. You’ll want to ensure everything runs smoothly, and all of your guests know where to go and when to arrive. Here are some things you need to think about regarding the ceremony:
Naturally, the location of your ceremony is a big deal. Traditionally, most people look for a church to host theirs in. Of course, this differs if you’re not from a Christian or Catholic background. More often than not, you need a church setting as you must recite vows and be pronounced man and wife by a priest. However, some people have outdoor weddings where they set everything up and hire a priest for the ceremony. No matter what, ensure you choose a location that suits your wants and needs.
The length of your ceremony is also something that divides opinions. Again, religious couples will like a full ceremony that can last an hour or so. Others may want a shortened version to save on time. It’s entirely up to you, but you need to decide early on so you can create a schedule for your wedding day and alert guests of the length.
Depending on the length of your ceremony, guests could be sitting for long periods. If you’re holding yours in a church, then you should ensure the seating is comfortable for everyone. If you’re holding a ceremony outside of the church, then you can get your hands on some church chairs that people can sit on too. The important thing is to ensure everyone is comfortable and no one feels the need to get up and leave because they’re in pain.
The timing of your ceremony is very important to plan too. By this I mean the time it starts and finishes. Obviously, this will be influenced by the length of your ceremony, plus additional photo time afterward. Most importantly, you need to set a good starting time to get everyone in the same place at once. My advice is to aim for just before midday as it gives people plenty of time to get ready in the morning and they shouldn’t be in a big rush!
Ironically, the ceremony is the most important part of a wedding, but the reception is where most people focus all of their efforts. I guess this is because you spend more time at the reception and if you’ve chosen a church ceremony there’s not a lot you can plan with regards to decorations, etc. However, there’s plenty to plan at the reception, and here are some things to look out for:
Once again the location is your primary concern. Your options are wide open when it comes to picking a location for your wedding reception. Some people choose a restaurant, others choose a hotel, then there are people that do things differently and create their own location outside using a marquee. What you need to do is ensure you pick a location that’s easy for people to get to and can hold all of your guests. The last thing you want is for everyone to be bunched together in tables feeling cramped. Generally speaking, life is a lot easier for you and your guests when you pick a location fairly close to the ceremony. This just means everyone can get to it a lot quicker and with less fuss.
One of the biggest things on your mind will be the decor. You want to ensure your reception location is decorated exactly how you want, using colors and themes that suit your wedding day. Traditionally, this includes lots of white, silver and gold. However, if you have a specific theme for your wedding, then the color scheme will be different. Everything from the balloons to the table mats needs to be thought through precisely and has to match the decor theme.
The layout of your wedding reception is always a tricky thing to plan. Typically, you have the main table which includes the married couple and their immediate family. Then, you have a series of other tables that include your other guests. The hardest part is allocating people to their tables as you want to try and keep people next to people they know. For example, you want relatives and friends on one side of the family to be on tables together. Of course, you also have to ensure there’s a big open space for dancing once the eating is over!
Food & drink is of the utmost importance at your wedding reception. You must ensure you feed your guests with top quality food that everyone will enjoy. Include different meal options and send out the menu in advance so everything can be prepared and ordered ready to be cooked on the day. You can either hire a private catering service or use the caterers at your reception location.
Finally, you have to think about the entertainment at your wedding. Once the meal is over, people like to let their hair down and relax. This is where people hit the dance floor and party the night away. The main things to consider are your first dance song and the musical entertainment. You and your spouse should discuss which song you want to play during your first dance as a married couple, it’s a very important decision! Then, think about whether you want a DJ or a live band to play.
After reading this, you will know how to plan your wedding day without hiring a wedding planner. You’ll save a lot of money, which can be put towards making your honeymoon even better!