Fun Wedding Photo Ideas

Photo Ideas for Fun Weddings

One of the most important elements in a wedding are the pictures.  Couples can’t wait to get the photos back after the ceremony and photographers work hard and fast to get proofs to them as soon as possible.  There are alot of fun things you might consider adding to your wedding day to add some fun and special memories.

Recently, at a wedding reception I was in attendance at, the couple had provided a box with “props” such as funny hats, boas, scarfs, and beads – you may put anything you want in your box – and the photographer had a backdrop so each table could come and get “dressed up” and have a picture taken.  This provided lots of laughs and at the same time everyone had a picture taken for the memory album of the couple.  You could save money by having someone with a digital camera man the area for you and get those funny moments for your special day.

This is a great idea for entertaining and mixing the guests as they wait on the couple to make their entrance.

You might even expand that idea by having a printer or instant camera on hand and supplies for the guests to create a “page” for a scrapbook ( I would probably make pages alike and a place to put the picture on the page ahead of time.).  Should you not want them distracted by this activity, then by all means just take the photos and save them until you have time at home to make what you want.

Either way, you will see some funny pictures and bring back the fun and memories of your special day including who was there.

Although it is not a “new” idea, many brides will pass out one use cameras for the guests to use.  This may provide some candid shots for your memory book but my past experiences say don’t use them as your only source of wedding photos.  Children often manage to get them and take some really silly pictures and your wedding day memories will be of bugs, floors and little kids faces up close.

A wonderful way for the couple to have the two families work together is to collect pictures of the couple at various ages in thier lives.  I’ve seen slide shows on walls or even a photo album of the pictures and most all enjoy looking at them.  Carrying it a step further, you could have photos of action shots at younger ages.  Like shooting a ball or playing army or the like.  Then place them in frames and provide little pieces of paper for the guests to look at the photos and try and guess the age and activity that was happening in the picture.  A basket or jar with a number on it that matches the number on the photo will keep the answers straight.  The couple can provide the correct answers sometime during the reception and give away the table centerpieces to the one with the closest or correct answer.

Most importantly, just have fun and make sure you get photos of your guests too.  As the wedding couple, you will most likely be very busy and no matter how hard you try, you can’t always meet and talk to every guest in attendance.  These photos may be the last time you see some elderly family so don’t miss the chance to get a good picture of them when you can.

Do I Really Need a Wedding Planner?

Actually that is a good question!  As a Wedding Officiant, I’ve officiated weddings both ways.  In most cases, I suggest you consult a good wedding planner.  Are their exceptions?  Yes!  Let’s talk about both.

If your wedding is less than 10 people, close family and a few friends, then you probably don’t need a wedding planner.  There is little to get ready for the ceremony except setting up a good photographer, choosing your gown and showing up.  A good wedding Officiant should be able to help you with this size wedding.

If your wedding will be more than 30 people, then you should get a good wedding planner.  Why you say?  A good wedding/event planner knows what to expect and how to handle those little things that go wrong at the wrong time.  You don’t want your wedding day or the planning of your wedding day to be a JOB – you want to be able to enjoy getting ready for it without stress.  A bride has enough stress without having to take on the responsibilities of the event too.

So what do you look for in an experienced wedding/event planner?

  • Ask them how they got started in their business and how long have they been a wedding planner.

Sometimes, like wedding photographers, wedding/event planners just “open” their business and let you pay for their training. You don’t need to pay for their education – you need to let them educate you on how to have a stress free wedding day.

  • Ask to see their portfolio/website.

An experienced wedding/event planner will have one or the other – complete with referrals.  They will almost know what you need to know before you ask!

  • Make sure their personality and yours is a match.

You are entrusting them with the details of your dream wedding ceremony – so make sure you can communicate with them and that you BOTH understand what is expected of each other.  The wedding/event planners I have worked with in the past are like night and day.  One very professional planner was on top of everything and actually was available to enjoy the ceremony while keeping everything on time and in place.  Another one was still making decorations in the back while the reception was taking place.  I think you get the picture.

  • Understand what is included in their fee – in other words – make sure you know what you are getting from them and that it is in your budget.

From time to time, I see couples wave off a wedding/event planner as an “un-necessary” expense.  To me that is like waving off the Ob/Gyn as an un-necessary expense to having a baby.

Finally, talk with the professionals you have already chosen and see who they recommend.  I recommend one to all my clients if they don’t have one.  I’ve worked with them and they are fantastic so it makes me job easier and the bride and groom more comfortable on their wedding day when they are used.

Fun Ideas for Destination Weddings

Brides are becoming more and more creative in planning their wedding day and location weddings are becoming increasingly more popular.  This sometimes has a result in a smaller wedding but allows for more opportunities to add some fun too.

Beach wedding venues have become really popular in the past few years, to the point of beach venues being very popular or even planning an exotic wedding location such as the Bahamas or Cancun.  No matter where you plan, there are alot of things you can do to make the wedding alot of fun.

One thing is if you should have a destination wedding that may require guests to be there for the weekend or more, you might plan some activities such as scuba diving, a boat tour or even just a game of volleyball on the beach.

Chartering a boat for a day of fishing or to go tubbing provides for some good fun and relaxation and time to get the pressure off from getting ready for the wedding.

A caribbean wedding might call for a cooking show or planning a luau.  You might plan these before a more formal dinner or a sit-down dinner such as your rehearsal dinner.

A Hawaii venue might be fun with a hula lesson.  One thing to remember though is to allow for some recuperation time for your older guests so they don’t have aching muscles from all that hulaing LOL.

A fun game is also a pass the shell game.  A rather large shell is passed to each guest with a small journal book.  As the “listen” to the shell, they listen for advice for the wedding couple.  (they actually think of some good advice for themselves)  They would then write that advice in the little journal and the couple will be able to read it for years to come.

You could plan a shopping trip, a guided tour or even a wine tasting event but you should remember the couple is expected to pay for these events or the couples family.  Telling guests that the event will be X amount of dollars will likely cause some hard feelings or cause them to not show up at all.

Usually, a destination wedding is for those who plan on having just their closest friends and family in attendance, so for some of your guests, this may also serve as a “vacation” for them.  If so,k you may want to use caution in planning too many activities or things to do and allow them to plan their own activities.  You might want to plan only afternoon or evening joint activities in order to allow them to do their own thing at other times.

Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular today so have fun and see some place you have always wanted to see on your wedding day.

Duties Of The Wedding Party

In our other article, we covered the responsibilities of the families of the bride and groom.  In this article, we will talk about what the bridal party’s responsibilities are.  Some “assume” when they choose their bridal party, they should just pick their best friend or a family member.  What you SHOULD take into consideration is that there are duties of the bridal party that require them to be able to assist the bride and groom as they plan the wedding and on the wedding day.  It is important to choose someone you can rely on to do the things you need them to do so you don’t end up doing it all by yourself.

Best Man

  • Assist the groom with any shopping (wedding ring, honeymoon, tuxs, etc.)
  • Mail or e-mail the tux measurement cards to male attendants, with payment instructions.
  • Plan and schedule the bachelor party.
  • Ensure the other groomsmen know the time and place of the rehearsal.
  • Make sure the tuxs for the groomsmen will be given to you for return after the wedding.
  • Assist the groom with the “get away car”
  • Help the groom get dressed for the wedding and with packing for the honeymoon.
  • Escort or drive the groom to the ceremony.
  • Make sure the groomsmen are aware they need to seat people before the ceremony.
  • Take responsibility for the bride’s ring until the ring exchange in the ceremony.
  • Make sure the Officiant has the marriage license.
  • Give the Officiant their fee in an envelope.
  • Escort the Maid/Matron of Honour in the ceremony and at the reception.
  • Dance with the Maid/Matron of Honour at the reception.
  • Make the first toast to the bride and groom.
  • If tickets are involved for the get-away, keep them for the groom until they leave and give to him.
  • Make sure bride and groom’s luggage is in the get away vehicle.
  • Assist the parent’s in taking the gifts to their home after the reception.
  • Sign the marriage license as a witness.
  • Make sure car is ready for get away or assist with “fake” get away so bride and groom may leave quietly if wanted.

Groomsmen

  • Pay for your wedding tux and accessories.
  • Pay for your travel and lodging expenses.
  • Attend the rehearsal.
  • Arrive at the ceremony early to assist best man.
  • Assist with planning and hosting the bachelor party.
  • Seat guests before ceremony if also helping as ushers.
  • Help with ring bearer and keep him busy.

Maid/Matron of Honour

  • Assist the bride with any shopping she has to do. (help find good deals and go with her)
  • Assist bride in addressing the invitations.
  • Assist the bride in making wedding favors.
  • Host bridal shower with the bridesmaids.
  • Notify other bridesmaids of gown delivery or fitting appointments in needed.
  • Follow up with other bridesmaids to make sure all gown fittings are finished and gown is in hand.
  • Make sure all bridesmaids have shoes, gloves and accessories as needed.
  • Notify all bridesmaids of rehearsal date, time and place.
  • Attend rehearsal
  • Be available to the bride as much as possible.
  • Assist the bride in getting ready.
  • Accompany the bride to the ceremony location.
  • Carry the train of the bride’s veil and gown as she walks to the ceremony room
  • Straighten the bride’s veil and train before she walks down the aisle.
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, and return it to her after the “kiss”.
  • Hold the groom’s ring until the ring ceremony.
  • Sign the marriage license as a witness and make a toast to the bride and groom.
  • Dance with the best man.
  • Assist the bride with “bustling” her train if needed.
  • Accompany bride to the restroom during reception to help if needed.
  • Help the bride change clothes after the reception in needed.
  • Gather any momentos of the wedding for the bride to keep. (cake knife and server, guest book and pen, top tier of cake, cake topper, program, favors, and toasting glasses, etc.)

Bridesmaids

  • Pay for their wedding attire and accessories, hair and make-up.
  • Pay their own lodging and travel expenses.
  • Assist Maid/Matron of Honour with bridal shower.
  • Attend the rehearsal.
  • Arrive at the ceremony early.
  • Help with flower girl and keep her busy.

Flower Girl

  • Pay for the own wedding attire and accessories. (parents of course)
  • Pay her own travel and lodging.
  • Attend the rehearsal.
  • Arrive at the ceremony on time.

Ring Bearer

  • Pay for his wedding tux and accessories. (parents of course)
  • Pay for his travel and lodging.
  • Attend the rehearsal.
  • Arrive at the ceremony on time.

Our hopes are that this will help you think of people who will help you with your wedding preparation and ceremony and not feel like you are “hosting” a wedding.

 

Wedding Cake Terms and Information

When planning your wedding, one of the things you will want to think about is what kind of wedding cake you want. This is no easy task when you don’t know what the descriptions mean.

This is my attempt to help you get familiar with those wedding cake terms.

Fondant with Ribbons and Pearls

Wedding Cake Parts and What the Shapes Mean:

Tier: When you talk about how “tall” the cake is, you are talking about tiers. One level is a tier.

Layer: Cakes are usually baked in layers and baked in different size pans. Then, one or more of these layers are joined to make a tier.

Round: I think you know what “round” means. Most wedding cakes, traditionally are round.

Square Fondant

 

Square: A square shaped pan makes for a more modern wedding cake. The layers may even be placed at opposing angles to give it an even more modern look.

Hexagon: This is a six sided wedding cake and is considered very “trendy” and fashionable.

Scalloped: This type wedding cake has tiers that are shaped more like flower petal. This gives a more casual look to the wedding cake.

Molded (shaped): When you shape the wedding cake to be more like an object; say like a heart or a football, then it is

Molded (shaped) Wedding Cake

considered a molded wedding cake. More often than not, this type wedding cake is used as the groom’s cake.

Frosting and Filling:

Fondant and Royal Icing

Fondant: This type frosting is used mainly for outdoor wedding cakes because it will not melt. It has a very smooth texture and can be used in three forms: rolled out into sheets, poured over the top, or sculped into shapes. It is a sheet like sugar “doug” that hardens with time. Fondant is used most often on elaborate couture style cakes. Fondant is rolled into a sheet and then laid over the cake for a very smooth finish. It makes an excellent base for decorations. Fondant is chosen more for looks than flavor; you might want another layer of more delicious frosting underneath it

Buttercream: Traditional wedding cakes are usually iced with buttercream frosting. This is mainly butter, cream and eggs. The texture is very light and rich while being soft, and also very easy to color or flavor. Buttercream wedding cakes are recommended to be used only indoors as it requires refrideration.

Ganache: Some wedding cakes have a fillling in them. This particular filling is made of chocolate, butter and cream sauce and will melt in heat.

Chocopan: This is a better tasting, chocolate form of fondant.

Marzipan: Should you want to have colored shapes on your wedding cake, this almond based mixture will work for that or for a filling.

Royal Icing and Gum Paste: Wedding cakes that have a lace-like trim uses royal icing. It is very hard. These are used to create the decorations on the cake. Royal icing is good for delicate decorations, like a monogram, and pliable gum paste is ideal for making exquisite frosting flowers.

Decorations:

Basket Weave and Fresh Flowers

 

Basket Weave: Wedding cakes that look like a basket have this type decoration on them.

Swiss Dotted: There is a material called “Dotted Swiss” and the wedding cake has randomly placed dots to replicate this material.

Piping: Using a pastry bag, the wedding cake has a design drawn on it that looks like lines.

Now that we know the terms used in wedding cakes, let’s talk about the cake itself. Although the wedding cake is an important part of the reception, some brides are using the design of the wedding cake to plan their entire wedding. Below is a description of some wedding cakes and frostings most likely to be found at weddings:

White Cake: Traditionally, a white wedding cake is used. Should you want more pazazz, you should consider using something like a raspberry buttercream frosting or even apricot preserves between the layers.

Chocolate Dotted Swiss Wedding Cake

 

Chocolate Cake: Most any guest at your reception will love chocolate cake! It is easily hidden under white frosting so you have the traditional appearance, or some brides really show thier personality and use chocolate icing. This is also very popular to use as a groom’s cake.

Marble Cake: If making a decision as to have a white wedding cake or a chocolate wedding cake, this is the simplest solution!

Lemon Cake: A lemon wedding cake is a wonderful choice for a summer wedding.

Carrot Cake: An autumn wedding is a good time to consider a carrot cake. You should be prepared for the icing, usually cream cheese icing, to be more off white than white.

Cup Cake Tower

Ribbon Wedding Cake

 

Cupcake Wedding Tower: You can still have your cake cutting pictures as the top is a tier of cake decorated as the top of a wedding cake.  Below are cupcakes for each of the guests.  This is an excellent way to stretch your wedding budget and is a hot new trend in weddings today.

Deciding on the wedding cake for your wedding will be just the first step in the planning. Now you need to decide on what decorations you want on your wedding cake. Fresh flowers may be used if you are on a budget as they are beautiful and very affordable. Don’t forget to have the baker and the florist plan together so you wedding cake comes together at the right time. Satin ribbons around the bottom tier works very well also.

Personalized Wedding Cake

 

A very hot trend in wedding cakes today is to coordinate the decorations of your wedding cake to the design in your wedding gown or wedding jewelry. Lace or embroidery piped onto the wedding cake to mimic the design in the wedding gown or even faux pearls or crystals on the cake to tie into the wedding jewelry. The nice thing about doing one of these ideas on your wedding cake is this type of design makes your wedding cake unique and very personal. No one else will have a wedding cake like yours.

Wedding cakes can eat up your wedding budget very quickly. Some run into the hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you want a “fancy” cake and you are on a limited budget, you might consider having a smaller, more elaborate cake for decoration and use a sheet cake with your colors to be served to your guests. This can be sliced in the kitchen and no one will ever know.

Now that you know the language of wedding cakes, it should be easier for you to choose the cake and design that fits the personality of your wedding.

What to Expect on Your Wedding Day

Your wedding day will be one of the most important days you will ever experience as a human.  People have many different beliefs and there are too many different denominations to even begin to talk about all of them here.  After choosing the venue and setting the date and time, you should decide what type ceremony you really want.  What wedding ceremony best fits your personalities?  Are you quite religious?  Are you more towards the civil wedding ceremony?  Are you looking more at a ethnic or themed type of wedding ceremony?  When choosing your wedding officiant, you will want to make sure they fit  in with the theme or style of wedding ceremony you have in mind.

Your special day will start with your family and friends waiting at your venue for the brides appearance at the entrance.  The groom is with the wedding officiant  at the front.  Once the bride gives the cue, the wedding ceremony can then begin.  If the bride is being escorted down the aisle to be given away, the groom must wait until after the introductions a introductions are made by the wedding officiant to accept his bride.

Once the groom takes the brides hand, he will then brine will then bring her to the front, facing the wedding officiant, so they may t, so they may begin taking the steps to join as husband and wife.

The wedding ceremony itself, usually has a short amount of time that the wedding officiant gives the “sermon” or advice for the bride and groom.  Once this is finished, The wedding ceremony will have vows for the bride s for the bride and groom to accept.  These wedding vows may be written by the wedding officiant or by the bride and groom or a combination of both.

The “sermon” and the wedding vows are what g vows are what the family and guests will remember the most from your wedding ceremony.  Your wedding officiant should help you ensure you have the ceremony YOU are comfortable with and not one you are stuck with.

Once the wedding vows are finished, the wedding ceremony may have a blessing of the rings.  The wedding officiant will hold the rings in their hand and offer a blessing over them.  The wedding rings are then held out one at a time for the bride and groom to take and place take and place on each others finger, saying, “With this ring, I thee wed.”.

There may also be some special elements in your wedding ceremony, such as a sand ceremony, untity candle ceremony or hand fasting ceremony.
Once those aspects are completed in your wedding ceremony, the wedding officiant will  officiant will pronounce you husband and wife.  The wedding officiant will then have the couple kiss, sealing their vows to etheir vows to each other.

The wedding officiant will then introduce the couple, as husband and, as husband and wife the guests and family in attendance.

Having a custom made wedding ceremony is a must for you to have the day of your dreams so make sure you choose a wedding officiant flexible enough and creative enough to make yours a day to remember.

Wedding Centerpiece

What wedding centerpiece to use may be a couples most difficult thing to decide on as it sets the tone for the reception.

As a couple, I’m sure you want everyone to go “WOW!” when the enter the reception room.

Using a floral arrangement as a wedding centerpiece is what most choose to use as they can make a table pop when guests enter the room.  Flowers also are very easy to match your color theme.

Be creative when you are thinking about your wedding centerpiece.  It should be a reflection of your personality and may even be humorous or very serious.

Some couples will use flowers in a non-traditional way.  Traditionally, your wedding centerpiece would be a formal floral arrangement.  You may also choose to use floating candles with flower petals scattered on the table around the candle.  A simple hourglass vase with stones or sand and a single flower works well also as a wedding centerpiece.  Remember, it makes no difference if you use real flowers or artificial flowers for any of your arrangements.  Some beautiful keepsake arrangements may be made of artificial flowers and names placed on them for special people involved in your wedding as gifts to them on your special day.  Even using fruit in a container makes a great wedding centerpiece.

The wedding centerpiece should reflect the personality of the couple and set the tone of the room as guests arrive.  An inexpensive way to do this is with small candle lamps and petals scattered over the table.

Candles add that feeling of romance to your reception and have an unlimited number of ways to be creative using them as a wedding centerpiece.  One way is to use candles of varying sizes or floating candles in different size glass bowls with glass stones, small jewels or even small stones in the bottom.  Pearls work very well too and can be found at most any craft store and give a more traditional look to your wedding centerpiece.

Going green is very popular with many couples today for making a natural wedding centerpiece .  You may use potted plants in inexpensive baskets with ribbons matching your bridal colors.  Couples put a number on the bottom of the baskets and put numbers on the place cards at each table.  After all the toasts have been made, one of the speakers will have someone at each table pick up the plant and match the number to the number on the place cards.  The lucky guest will get to take the plant, your wedding centerpiece, home with them as a reminder of your special day.

Beach Themed Weddings

A good wedding centerpiece idea for this type wedding would be little buckets filled with sand and seashells and maybe a pinwheel or small sailboat.  Using vases with seashells in the bottom or simply filling a small bowl with seashells makes for  a great tie in to your beach theme.

Placing a small goldfish in a little fish bowl with colored rocks in it matching your wedding color theme is very pretty also. Placing numbers on the bottom as with the potted plants to send them home with one of your guests or you may have a fish tank of your own to take them home to.

Balloons as a Wedding Centerpiece

Balloons are relatively easy to find in your color theme and work well as a wedding centerpiece.  Just remember to use an odd number for each table and ensure the balloons do not interfere with people trying to talk to each other during the reception.  If children are at the reception, you have to be prepared for them to “play” with your centerpiece.

A wedding centerpiece guaranteed to have a huge “wow factor” is ice sculptures.  Ice sculptures are considered very elegant and when done correctly will have your guests talking about your wedding centerpiece the entire evening.  One way I’ve seen them done was a single rose frozen inside a cube and place on every table.  The flower color will tie into the wedding color theme easily and it certainly adds a touch of romance when placed between two floating candles.

Once you start to use your creativity, there is no limit to the items you could use as your wedding centerpiece.  Having said that, it is easy to blow your wedding budget on a wedding centerpiece.  My hope here is to show you that there are ways to cut those costs and save your wedding budget for the things you really want and not on the wedding centerpiece.

Here are a few do-it-yourself ideas for a wedding centerpiece you could use with most any wedding theme.

1. Tie three helium filled balloons to a small box filled with sand or stone, covered with metallic paper or paper to match your color theme to act as the weight to hold them in place.  Use ribbon matching your color theme to tie them to your weight.

2. Use potted plants and add artificial flowers in you color theme in inexpensive baskets or clay pots you have painted to match your colors.

3. Use floating candles in larger bowls and add floating flowers matching your color theme.

4. Build balloon topiary trees by inflating up to six balloons and tying them together making a round ball of balloons.  Tie them to a long wooden dowel  and then place the wooden dowel in clay pots filled with sand, stones or even plaster to make them stand upright.  Decorate the pots to match your wedding color theme and tie ribbons of different lengths to hand from the balloons.

5. Place one large candle and place it on a plate or piece of wood.  Tie ribbon onto candle and add a small artificial flower in your wedding theme color and then scatter flower petals around the base.

The point here is for you to use your imagination and design your wedding centerpiece to show your personality and your love for each other.

Suggested Guideline for Wedding Planning

This wedding planning guide will help you prepare to meet the dates and time frames for the vendors and ceremony elements you desire for your wedding day.
Suggested Planning Guide

12 to 18 Months Prior to Wedding Day

___ Select an Engagement Ring
___ Choose and Book a Photographer and/or Videographer
___ Choose and Book Reception Facility
___ Choose a Venue for Your Wedding
___ Choose Your DJ or Entertainment
___ Contact and Book a Wedding Planner (unless your venue provides one)
___ Decide if You Want a Theme to Your Wedding

6 to 12 Months Before

___ Organize Lodging for any out of town Guests
___ Choose your Wedding Dress
___ Choose Who will be in Your Wedding Party
___ Make Appointment for your Photo for Announcing Your Engagement
___ Choose Your Wedding Colors
___ Select a Photo for Announcing Your Engagement
___ Make arrangements for Your Wedding Transportation
___ Select Gowns for Your Brides Maids
___ Publish Engagement Announcement in the Newspapers
___ Select and Book Your Honeymoon Trip
___ Contact a Florist and Select Your Flowers
___ Book Officiant for Your Ceremony

3 to 6 Months Before

___ Put the Final Touches on Your Bridal Registry
___ Select Baker for the Wedding Cake
___ Confirm Honeymoon Plans
___ Choose/Make Your Invitations and Thank You Notes
___ Book Rehearsal Dinner Location

2 Months Before

___ Confirm Reservations of Men’s Formal Wear
___ Order/Make Decorations for Table at Reception
___ Make appointment with Your Wedding Planner
___ Determine the Preferred Music for Your Wedding
___ Purchase/Make Attendants’ Gifts
___ Have Wedding Dress Fitted and get Alterations
___ Address and Mail Invitations
___ Book Your Formal Portrait

1 Month Before

___ Verify all Locations and Times
___ Make/Party Supplies
___ Write and Send Thank You Notes for Shower Gifts

1 to 2 Weeks Before

___ Obtain Your Marriage License
___ Confirm Florist has Selected Flowers
___ Confirm Arrangements with Caterer
___ Verify Honeymoon Travel Arrangements
___ Draw Up Seating Arrangements for Reception
___ Confirm Formal Wear
___ Verify all Arrangements with all Vendors

1 Day Before

___ RELAX and Prepare for the BIG DAY!

Wedding with an Average Budget

Preparing for your Big Day should be enjoyable, but if you’re not aware of your needs, your Big Day could cause undue stress and ruin your memories. There are several things you need to take into consideration if you are on a limited budget: first, your ceremony does not need all those frilly things that cost you a lot of time and money as in a large wedding; second, make sure you are planning a wedding and not a party; and third, your budget is your budget and you need to stay inside that envelope of funds.

Deciding what funds you have available could be the hardest to determine out of all the plans you are trying to make.

In order to remain inside your set amount of funds, you need to determine what things are important to you first. Making a list from both the bride and groom is a good way to see what elements of your Big Day are Important to you and gives you both a good place to start with making your arrangements.

At the beginning of your planning, it’s a good thing to try and work below your budget in all things.  Doing this early will help prevent you from going overboard on something later that is just not that important or was not that important to you when you sat down and made your list of important elements.  Hopefully, doing this will help you save some money so you can enjoy more after the wedding.

Another factor for remaining in your budget is to know how many people each of you will be inviting.  Although this is your Big Day you are planning, you have to remain aware that the more guests you have, the higher the reception costs and the more likely you will be to order frills and do-dads to enhance the look and feel of your ceremony.  Simplicity remains the guiding factor for remaining in your allotted funds.  How you determine the number of people attending can be done in many ways.  Equal guests for both the bride and groom or a set number and both of you sitting down to make the list fit into those numbers are easy ways to accomplish a list you can afford.

OMG the reception! Planning a reception on a budget can be a nightmare.  Usually, the reception will include a modest meal and something for the guests to do, such as dancing with live music, a DJ or even a boom box.  One way to save is to have your wedding in the evening around 6pm.  Most will eat before they attend giving you the opportunity to have light Hors d’œuvres. Finger foods are generally well accepted for later in the evening ceremonies and receptions.

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