Wedding Planning Basics
Wedding Planning Basics
Carol Rosen (Professional Wedding Coordinator) gives expert video advice on: What are the most important considerations when planning my wedding?; What is the one thing most couples regret about their wedding experience? and more...
What are the most important considerations when planning my wedding?
When you start to plan a wedding, one of the very first things you need to do, importantly, is sit down with your fiance, his family, your family, and get an idea of how many people you think you're going to have at the wedding. The first thing you're going to do is look for a venue, and you want to book a space. If you don't start out by figuring out how many people you're going to have, you could book a space that's way too big, or way too small. You have to make sure that the space you're booking and the fee they're going to charge is commensurate with where you think your budget will be and with the number of people you're going to have.
What should I consider when deciding where to stage my wedding?
When you decide where to stage the wedding, you want to think about all the factors that are involved in that. Part of it is going to be whether you are in a religious institution, like a church or synagogue. Part of that is thinking whether you'll be in a hotel. It's about how much space you have. What month is your wedding going to be? Is this an outdoor venue? If it is, don't plan it for December; that could be a problem. Likewise, if you're in an area where it's horribly hot in July, you don't want an outdoor space in July either. You need to take venue factors into consideration, along with what time of year you are going to be having your wedding and how many people are going to be attending your wedding.
What are the pros and cons of a destination wedding?
Destination weddings are great; they're so much fun. The pro could be that not that many people will attend, so it could actually cut the budget. On occasion, people tell me that's one of the reasons they picked a destination wedding. The con, likewise, is not that many people will attend, because they cannot always make the trip, or the expense, or the timing, etc. If your goal is to really include family and friends in the city where you live, you might want to keep your wedding in a home territory. If you love and adore Hawaii, you go for it, and whoever can make it will make it.
What is the one thing most couples regret about their wedding experience?
When I meet somebody after the wedding, and we're just in casual conversation, and they ask, “What do you do?” and I say that I'm a wedding coordinator/ planner, they say, “I wish I had known you when I was planning my wedding.” Couples end up regretting not having a wedding coordinator.
What is an 'extremely formal' wedding?
An extremely formal wedding, as you can imagine, is going to start with an invitation that says 'black tie'. This is a wedding where every single point of etiquette is going to be observed. The invitations are going to be engraved, you're going to have centerpieces on every single table, you'll probably have a multi-course menu for your wedding dinner and there may even be 4 or 5 courses as opposed to a traditional 3-course meal. The location of a formal wedding reception will certainly be a fancy ballroom, in a private club or in a hotel. The bride and the groom will have formal attire. They'll have a large wedding party; ushers, attendants, flower girls, ring bearers; all of those elements that create a very formal setting for a wedding.
What is a 'formal' wedding?
A formal wedding is almost as formal as an extremely formal wedding. However, it does not necessarily have all of the same elements. The ceremony location might not be as formal. You could have a private home. You might be using an outdoor venue; that's very lovely. Most of the traditional elements of the bridal gown, the florals, the invitations and the attendance are very similar to an extremely formal wedding. The guests wear formal attire; however, it won't be black tie. You might say, “Black tie preferred” or “Black tie welcome.” You might say, “Semi-formal attire,” or something like that. A formal wedding would still have all of the same elements, but at the same time it should gave you enough space for your own personalization. You would want to bring in your own personal elements to this wedding.
What is a 'semiformal' wedding?
A semi-formal wedding does not have as many elements as a formal wedding, and leaves room for more personalization for the bride and groom to bring in the elements that they really like. The guest invitations are still printed. They're sent out to the guests and there should be an RSVP response card.
What does an 'informal' wedding mean?
An informal wedding is when anything goes. The bride and groom can plan whatever they want. I have one couple right now who want to be married in a park, just with all of their friends and family surrounding them, and then have a picnic afterwards. That's lovely. I think she's going to end up in a wedding gown anyway, but probably something without a big long train; it'll be simple, but still wedding attire because that's nice for her. He'll wear a suit. Sometimes we do informal weddings where the bride and groom are far more casual - they can be barefoot in the sand. It's whatever they want; it's whatever feels good to them. The vital goal of a wedding is that you're celebrating this special time with your family and friends, and it should really be a reflection of your personalities: what you like and what speaks to your friends about you as a couple.