Tuesday, July 6, 2010

10 Steps for Planning Your Northern California Wedding

We suggest that you sit down with your fiancé and discuss the date, time, size, formality and style of your wedding -- things that really reflect your tastes as a couple. 

Before you announce to the entire world that you are engaged and everyone assumes that they are invited to your wedding, we suggest that you sit down with your fiancé and discuss the date, time, size, formality and style of your wedding -- things that really reflect your tastes as a couple.

What's a party without the guests? Remember that many of your guests will have a spouse or significant other and will count for two people. Also keep in mind that the more people you invite, the more expensive your wedding will be.
One smart planning tip is to have a "must-have" A-list, and a "would-like-to-include" B-list, and mail your invitations early. If A-list guests can't make it, you can then mail out invitations to B-list guests and they won't feel like last minute additions.

The fact is, all that wedding glamour and glitter costs money, and setting a realistic wedding budget now is going to save you from a nasty shock on your wedding day. So take out that calculator, call up your folks and decide on a realistic budget. Before you start number crunching, set your priorities. Are your guests more important, or the location? Once you know what elements you can't live without, you'll have a much clearer idea of how to allocate your money.

Remember, pictures tell a thousand words. The best gift you can give yourself is a Polaroid camera with plenty of film. You never know what item may inspire you for flowers, favors or any other wedding accessories.
Also purchase a three ring binder, dividers and plastic business card holders to create a planning notebook. We suggest including the following sections: Vendor Contact Information, Guests List, Bridal Ensemble, Bridesmaids' Attire, Beauty, Groomsmen's Attire, Ceremony, Reception, Invitations and Stationery, Menus and Beverages, Flowers and Décor, Guest Favors and Gifts, Rentals, Music and Entertainment, Photo and Video, Transportation and Parking, Miscellaneous, Checklists and Schedules, Budget/Payment Schedules, Invoices/Receipts, Out-Of-Town Information and Notes. Don't forget an empty folder for photos and magazine clippings.

Do you envision a thick blanket of snow outside as you snuggle close to your new husband on the way to the reception? Or a warm summer's night as you dance with your groom under the stars? Decide what time of year you want to get married and select two tentative wedding dates -- it's important to have a backup in case your first choice isn't available. Don't forget to check your city calendar to make sure there's not a holiday or major sporting event on your desired date - otherwise you and your guests may be competing with fans for scare, or more expensive, hotel rooms and services.

Wineries, zoos, botanical gardens -- let your imagination run wild when selecting a wedding location. But remember, the best spot may be one that is nearby and can accommodate your guest count. You'll want to find out how many events each site hosts per day, and whether there are hidden fees and charges. Visit our step-by-step guides to finding reception locations for a complete list of questions to ask, and then search our Local Vendor Directory for a list of ceremony and reception sites in your area.

She's been your best friend since kindergarten; it's a no-brainer that you want her to stand up with you on your big day. But what about everybody else? Ask valued friends or family to do a reading, be an usher or oversee your guest book/escort card table. The point is, don't worry, there is a role to play for everyone, and a way out of any awkward situation.

Browse our Vendor Directory for a bridal salon near you. Be aware that most dress shops require at least six months to order your dress. Don't forget to bring stockings, shoes, a strapless bra and a hair clip to your appointments. Also bring any tear sheets or printouts from our fashion section of those dresses you adore, so that the sales staff can get a sense of your style. And now's the time to start a fitness program and get in shape to look your best in that dream dress.

Top wedding locations and vendors are booked as much as a year in advance, so as soon as you've agreed on the type of wedding you would like to have, use our comprehensive Vendor Directory and run to make your reservations in the following order: ceremony and reception locations, ceremony officiant, caterer, reception band, photographer, florist, cake designer, videographer, stationer and finally, the rental company.
Reception sites go particularly fast, but many places will allow you to put a courtesy "pencil hold" on the date for two weeks with no deposit. Finding your ideal spot isn't easy, so if a site meets 80% of your requirements, reserve it!

In this shopping frenzy, remember that your guests are going to want to buy presents for YOU. You'll enjoy the convenience of viewing your registry and making changes any time, day or night. And, your guests will be thrilled to have one place where they can find all your gift choices. You can also create your own wedding website to share your engagement stories, last-minute wedding details and get the word out about your registry. It's fast and easy! Simply answer a few questions, pick a pattern and we'll handle all the technical details.

Finally, get a little help from your friends.

With all the excitement ahead of you, it's important to know that WeddingsNorthValley.com has all the ideas, advice and tools you need to make planning as simple as possible. Let our experts guide you through your wedding planning -- sign up for a FREE WeddingsNorthValley.com membership now.

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