Tips and Advice for Newly Engaged Couples Planning Their Wedding Day
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Tips and Advice for Newly Engaged Couples Planning Their Wedding Day
By Ray Miller

Recently engaged and not sure what to do next? My Wedding Reception Ideas offers tips and advice on where to start as you begin to plan your wedding day.

couple planning weddingFirst, congratulations to you and your fiancé and welcome to the wonderful world of Wedding Planning. National statistics show that wedding couples will spend between $2,000.00 and $50,000.00 (per couple) on their wedding this year. Here are some tips on where to start. Your budget will ultimately determine how extravagant your wedding day will be. Oh, and one other thing, no matter how large or small your wedding, always, always remember this is your day. Don't settle for someone else's ideas or suggestions if they do not fit in with your wedding day dreams. Here is a list of 'To Do's' to help you get started.

Set a wedding date - This is the most important step because just about everything else you do will be affected by your wedding date. Most couples choose their wedding date based upon local seasons with spring and summer being the most popular. Spring symbolizes new beginnings while summer offers the most favorable weather in most parts of the country. Couples may also set their wedding date based upon the location of their honeymoon. Weather, seasonally priced packages, vacation and work schedules all may affect the date you choose for your wedding day. You may want to contact family and close friends when setting your wedding date to get an idea of their upcoming schedules, especially when it comes to wedding attendants including the maid of honor and best man.

Determine How Many Guests You Intend to Invite to Your Wedding and Wedding Reception - This second 'To Do' will also affect many decisions you will make in the months preceding your wedding day including a church or wedding hall, reception hall, catering, favors, wedding attendants, etc. Not only do you need to determine how many guests you plan to invite, you also need to decide how many wedding attendants (family and friends) will be included in your wedding and wedding reception. The average wedding attendant party consists of one to ten attendants. This list should include the maid of honor, bridesmaids, flower girl, best man, groomsmen and ring bearer. Couples may choose to have close family and friends attend their wedding and invite a broader list of guests to their wedding reception.

Let Everyone Know About Your Engagement - Once you have a tentative list of guests, you will want to let them know about your upcoming wedding date as soon as possible so they can keep their calendar open. A very popular and creative way of letting everyone on your guest list know about your engagement and upcoming wedding is save the date magnets. Save the date wedding magnets are also called refrigerator magnets because of their popularity on the refrigerator where they are used as decoration or handy holders for important dates, reminders, phone number and favorite pictures. Every time family and friends go to the fridge they will be reminded of the most important day this year...your wedding. Please visit our save the date magnets category for more creative ideas and products.

Reserve Your Church or Wedding Hall and Wedding Reception Hall - It is very important that you and your fiancé reserve the church or wedding hall and reception center of your choice early. It is not uncommon for couples to reserve their favorite site one to two years in advance. Too often, couples find themselves scrambling the find a wedding reception hall even six months before their wedding because all the area halls have already been reserved. This can be stressful for a couple of reasons. First, many couples end up settling for a wedding or reception hall that is not exactly what they wanted or is too large or too small. Second, it's about supply and demand. The closer your wedding day, the more you are likely to pay for your wedding hall rental. I cannot stress enough how important it is to reserve you wedding hall early!

When choosing a wedding or wedding reception hall, talk to friends and family who have recently been married. Also ask any wedding hall you are considering to supply you with references of couples who have contracted their services. Family, friends and referrals will be happy to share their experience with the wedding and reception hall owners. Ask them about deposits, cleanup, services provided, privacy, cleanliness and how cooperative the hall owners were before, during and after the wedding and wedding reception.

Consider Contracting a Professional Wedding Planner - If your budget allows, considering contracting a professional wedding planner. Most brides and grooms are getting married for the first time and don't have a clue where to start. Professional wedding planners plan and coordinate weddings for a living. They have been through this hundreds of times (if they are veteran planners) and will help you plan every single detail of your wedding from pre-wedding details to sending 'thank you' cards once you return from your honeymoon.

When choosing a professional wedding planner, ask them to provide references. Ask couples who have used a particular planner's services questions like 'were you happy with the planners overall performance in helping you plan your wedding?', 'was the planner courteous and accommodating in help you plan your wedding?', 'did you encounter any problems with your wedding planning?' and 'how were any difficulties or issues resolved?'

Intend on planning and coordinating your own wedding? Then I strongly recommend that you purchase a good wedding planner/scrapbook to walk you step-by-step through the wedding planning process. Many excellent wedding planner books can be found at your local wedding boutique or online.

Choose a Wedding Theme - Let's be honest, the wedding day is the bride's day! From the time they are pre-teenagers, girls dream of their perfect man and their perfect wedding day. While men are becoming more involved in the wedding planning process, the majority of the decisions and details will be considered and implemented by the bride and maid of honor. Your wedding theme will include wedding colors, favors, attire, catering, music wedding accessories and even locations. Again, family and close friends will be a valuable resource in helping you decide on your wedding theme. Through this entire process remember one thing, this is your wedding. Don't make a final decision unless it is absolutely what you want. Many books, boutiques and online wedding resources offer hundreds of ideas for your wedding theme.

Now that you have a basic outline of where to start planning your wedding day, schedule some time to set down with your fiancé, family and close friends and start talking about your wedding day ideas and desires. It's never too early to start planning one of the most important days of your life.