Whether your wedding day is fast approaching, or you have a long time ahead of you to prepare, you’ll want everything to be perfect. This special event only happens once in a lifetime, and every single little detail matters from the decorations down to the save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, menu and place cards.
First and foremost, you want to lay out your wedding plans. When you are just beginning the process, wedding planning can feel incredibly overwhelming. There are so many different things to take into consideration, and figuring out how to organize it all in a way that brings your dreams to life without causing you to lose your mind is critical. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
1. Send Out Your Save-the-Date Cards
Before you go into all of the actual wedding planning details, you want to send save-the-date cards to all of your friends and family that you know you want to be at your wedding. As soon as you pick a wedding date, announcing it months or even a year in advance helps everyone make travel preparations, also giving them enough time to buy gifts and send them out or store them away for your special day. These cards can be simple and will often have limited text, as well as your engagement photo.
2. Pick a Location
Now it’s time to get into the actual wedding planning details. It is essential to sit down on your own or with some trusted friends or family and think through your wedding dreams.
Many brides-to-be often start from the location where they would like to to have their wedding, along with the time of year, and then work outward. Doing this can help you get a feel for what kind of clothes you will need to wear and how to dress your entourage.
Starting with a location can also help you come up with the colors and theme you want to go with. You want to decorate and dress in a way that compliments your atmosphere, and being able to picture your layout can get the ball rolling for the most vital details.
3. Pick a Color Scheme and Style
Once you have picked your location and the time of year you would like to get married, you have conquered half of the battle. Now it’s time to start thinking through what colors and styles you want and what would naturally play off the venue and the time of year you have chosen.
If you’re having a winter wedding, you want warm clothes and accessories that bring life to the cold, sometimes white and dreary atmosphere. If it’s a fall wedding, you may want fall-themed décor with earthy tones and hints of pumpkin and spice. There are just so many great options, and it’s all about fitting your style and design taste into the season and space.
Choose two or three interior and exterior styles you like and see which one coordinates best. What you come up with may surprise you.
4. Flesh Out a Menu and Seating Chart
Once you have your color scheme and style and you have planned out a lot of your decorations, you’ll want to come up with a menu that correlates and plan out seating for your guests. The menu should match the season and your theme, and it should include a variety of foods you know the majority of your guests can eat.
A great first step in planning your menu is to send out questionnaire cards to your guests to inquire about any allergies. Provide them with two or three meal options you think they would like, and have them send back feedback.
It is then a good idea to create menu cards for your reception tables. Doing this reminds your guests of what the meal is going to look like, just in case they have forgotten by the day of the wedding or somehow did not receive an RSVP card. These menus should complement the style of your wedding.
Once you figure out how many people you want to invite to your wedding and think through what their relationships are to each other and to you, you’ll want to come up with a seating chart and get place cards for your reception tables. These place cards should match the style of your table menus to maintain a continuity of the classy flow. Place cards help each guest know precisely where they need to sit during your special meal. It also decreases the possible chaos and awkwardness that looking around and choosing your place to sit often creates.
Now that you have everything planned out, it’s time to send out the official invitations. Just like the rest of your wedding décor and your attire, you want your wedding invitations to match your style and the atmosphere you are trying to create so that you can draw your special guests into the dream with you. This is one of the most important parts.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to your wedding invitations:
1. How do you want your guests to feel when they receive it?
The invitations you choose should say something personal about you and your betrothed and make your guests feel special. You are inviting this person because they mean something to you, and you want them to share in one of the happiest moments of your life. Take this into consideration when you write the invite.
2. Does it match your color scheme and theme?
You want your wedding invitations to fit into the event seamlessly. Play off the colors and themes you have in your wedding décor and location without giving too much away. Tease your guests about the mood without spoiling anything and make sure the style of the invitations goes with your menu and place cards.
3. Are you giving your guests enough advanced notice?
Even though you have already sent out save-the-date cards, it is important to send out your official wedding invitations a few months in advance before your actual wedding. These go out much later than your save-the-date cards and provide your guests with a reminder and the details about the time and place that your save-the-date cards did not.
When you get yourself organized and figure out how to coordinate everything, weddings can be incredibly fun to plan. The most important thing is to realize that the day is yours and to have fun.