Planning a wedding … it’s the most wonderful time of your life, but it can also be the most stressful. It’s not easy planning all the components that will go into your wedding, especially since you want that day to be as near perfect as possible. To begin with, budgeting can be tough enough. You don’t want to go overboard, and yet at the same time, you want the day to be, well, perfect! Then you have to decide where you’re the ceremony and the reception will take place. You have to hire the caterer, the florist, the band or DJ, your wedding officiator, and the list goes on and on. All of this alone constitutes a full-time job. On top of all of that, you have to juggle family members with egos, emotions, and situations that started long before your wedding, and will likely continue long after. Following are some helpful tips on planning your dream wedding without falling into financial and family ruin doing it.

Set a date

The first thing you need to do is to nail down, at the very least, a season and a month. Many brides like to design their wedding themes, styles, and colors around the season they’ve chosen for their weddings. If you’re not certain yet of the exact date, don’t worry about it. You may need to change it anyway, depending upon what’s happening with the venue you choose for the ceremony and the reception. Try to include parents and other important family members and friends in this decision. You won’t be able to please everyone, but you also don’t want to make people, especially your parents, angry. It’s important to remember that you’re not just marrying your spouse, but oftentimes family members are included in the deal.

Devise a realistic budget

Coming up with a budget that you truly can work with is perhaps the most vital component of your wedding. You don’t want to start your life off together in debt, but you also don’t want to gloss over important elements of your wedding either. Consider that venue, honeymoon, food, photographer, and bride’s dress likely will be some of the most costly items. If you know you have a certain amount of money to spend, set a limit on each and every line item included in the wedding. If you find later that you need more for one item, try to shave some off something that you deem less important. Finally, never kid yourself about how much anything is going to cost. For instance, if you only allow $50 for a cake, you’re going to very surprised when you find out how much wedding cakes really cost. Then you’ll have to either spend money you shouldn’t be spending or take money away from another important item in your wedding.

Choose locales

Choosing a location can be time consuming, but it’s worth it to put the necessary time into it. Decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor wedding. If you choose an outdoor theme, consider having either a backup plan in case of bad weather, or choosing the best wedding venue in New Jersey that can accommodate indoor weddings, outdoor weddings, as well as indoor weddings that feel like outdoor weddings.

Hire the personnel

The right officiator, caterer, florist, photographer, videographer, band, etc. … these are all key personnel of your big day. Ask friends and family for referrals, attend wedding shows, ask questions, and get samples from all professionals such as videographers and photographers. Additionally, be sure to get written estimates as well as written contracts with all professionals contracting to be a paid part of your wedding. Be as specific as possible in all contracts, and always make sure every cost is included. The last thing you need is to have a surprise expense sprung on you at the last minute.

Choose a theme/colors

Choosing theme and colors is a big part of the design of your wedding. Once you’ve decided on colors, style, and potential theme, you can design all of your additional items around these, such as cake, flowers, decor, linens, etc. This is also a good time to choose invitations, now that you have a theme and a color scheme.

Choose the attire

Choose the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and gentlemen’s attire after you’ve chosen the theme and colors of your wedding. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for necessary fittings. Give your bridesmaids’ and groomsmen enough time to have all of their necessary fittings as well. Remember that other peoples’ schedules are not the same as yours. Give all the ladies and gentlemen in your wedding plenty of wiggle room when it comes to setting dates for their own fittings.

Send invitations

Send out invitations one to two months before your wedding. Two months is preferable to one month, since some people will need to take time off work. Additionally, those who are out of town or even out of state will need driving or flying time, and some may need to book flights and hotel accommodations.

Follow up

Follow up with your wedding personnel on a regular basis, but remember that they also have other weddings and plans in the works. Don’t overburden them with calls every day or every other day. You just need to know that they’re on the same page as you when it comes to plans and progress.

Your wedding … it’s something you’ve dreamed about since you were little. That’s why it’s important that you plan it well. You want the day to be as close to perfect as possible, but you don’t want it to cost you your first-born’s college tuition. Contact a New Jersey wedding venue for more information on how booking a top wedding venue can help you achieve the wedding of your dreams.

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