Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Congratulations, you're engaged! What next?

Congratulations, You’re Engaged! Start Your Wedding Planning Now, Here’s How:

What could be better during the holidays than to receive a sparkling engagement ring from the man of your dreams? I guess you’ve been good all year…way to go, Santa! Okay, so you’re engaged, now what? Where do you begin with the planning? Not to fear, as long as you are honest about what you want, the planning will be easy and really fun. After you’ve called your girlfriends, emailed a photo of the ring to everyone you know and held your hand out the window while driving, here are some things to think about:

Where to begin:

Talk with your fiancée about his likes/dislikes and what is most important to each of you. Write down all your ideas no matter how grand and decide what you can and cannot live without as you go through the process. Budgets will change as you go so remember to be open to compromise and work with professionals who know how to stretch your budget for maximum impact. Read on for important things to think about and discuss now.

Choosing a Date

Day or night? Winter or Summer? Friday or Saturday? Religions may certainly play a role in this decision, but if you are able, consider all the options as this may save you money and heartache. If you find the ideal location and it’s booked for each Saturday in 2008, you will have to change your day or find a new place. Take it from me, locations are very hard to come by so be flexible with your dates if you can. As for seasons, I am a florist so I would say spring is the best time to get hitched. Your floral choices are amazing in springtime.

The Dress

Ah, the dress. This is the warm and fuzzy part of the planning process. Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of a certain style your whole life and know exactly what you want. Maybe not. This can get expensive so consider all your options. I suggest speaking with married women and getting their advice. Fortunately, you can actually rent a Vera Wang wedding dress these days (if you are in LA check out One Night Affair, they have great deals on couture dresses). Not a bad idea considering your wedding dress will only see the light of one day. If you are looking for a keepsake I also love the look of Claire Pettibone bridal. The key is to be you and be comfortable. Wear color ; choose a dress that’s low key and play up your flowers and accessories; go mini; have an extra long train; sleeveless; backless; strapless or whatever. Just let it reflect your own personal style. You will look uncomfortable in anything else.

Choosing a location

This will likely be based on whether you have your wedding ceremony in a church or temple or if you have the ceremony and reception in one place. Again, discuss what each of you envisions, then make a list of questions for the coordinator at each location you visit. Be sure to ask about any plans for renovation, hidden fees or extras they can throw in to sweeten the deal. If it’s a hotel, be sure to block rooms for out of town guests and try to negotiate a discounted rate.

Local or Destination Wedding

There are great reasons for both but it may come down to number of invited guests and time of year (many locations have peak seasons, rates are higher.) Do your homework on both, weigh the options and compare budgets and then decide. Destination weddings take extra effort, but they provide loved ones with a memorable experience. Always remember to send out save the dates for destination weddings so guests can plan out their trips.

Elopement or big wedding?

This one is very individual. What have you always wanted? Do you envision the two of you on a secluded beach gazing into each other’s eyes or do you see you both atop chairs being thrust high above a crowded dance floor? Talk to each other, talk to your family and make a decision that feels right for you.

Planning Timelines:

Destination Wedding: 12 – 6 Months (depending on how far the destination is)

Elopement: 2 -3 Months

Church Wedding : 12 Months plus (just to ensure that you get the church location you want – as well as the time of ceremony. There are often more than 1 weddings a day at most churches.

Ceremony + Reception/one location: 12 Months plus

How do I decide on Décor?

Visit your floral expert first or email me here (! Flowers are the most important element in wedding décor, but I am a little biased. Your florist can help you decide a color palette and coordinate all your linens to compliment (or even contrast) your flowers. The one thing I always hear from brides is that they were unaware how much the flowers set the tone for the décor of a wedding. Trust me, we can turn your special day into a world class event, thanks to Mother Nature. My suggestion is to start w/ both of your favorite colors and go from there. Sometimes the most unlikely combinations can make a wonderfully unique impact! Check out this blog for an example

It’s great to read magazines and blogs and ask your married friends for advice, but when it comes down to it, be yourself and let your choices tell your love story.
Share this post!

No comments: