It seems like years ago, since we started making plans for my daughter, Cassie's, wedding. Actually, it was about 9 months ago.
There are so many steps to preparing for this big event and it can become quite overwhelming at times. There were several times when we would have to put it away for a few days.
Just knowing where to start and how to go about it can help, so I have made a list of the things we did to get ready for that big day.
Step 1: How big of a wedding will you have? Find out how many groomsmen their will be and how many bridesmaids you are looking at. What will your budget be? Cassie had 4 bridesmaids and a maid of honor. There were 6 groomsmen, which worked out well, since her two daughters were in it too. Also, start working on your guest list. This will help to decided where this great event will take place and will also help in determining what your budget will be.
Step 2: You will need to decide on where the wedding and reception will be. You need to reserve your date as soon as you can, in order to make sure that date will be open. Venues are booked way ahead, so if you want to have a guarantee on your date, you need to do this at least 6 months in advance. Prices vary so much, so try and find the one that will fit with your budget best and that you will be happy with.
Step 3: Once that is out of the way, the dress is next. Everything else revolves around the dress and the venue. Here is the dress Cassie picked out. Wait till you see her at the wedding. She was so beautiful!
Step 4 - Choose your colors. What color will your bridesmaid dresses be? Cassie chose silver, purple and pink for her colors. She decided on purple for the bridesmaid's dresses. We had a palette of her colors and added this to our notebook.
Step 5 - Pick out your bridesmaids dresses. Give your bridesmaids plenty of time to order their dresses and have them altered. (Not that this always helps. You might have a few that will need to place rush orders, but just stay on top of them or have your Maid of Honor do this).
Step 6 - Pick out the caterer. Decide if you want to have a buffet or a sit down dinner. Check out several places and see if you can try their food before deciding.
Step 7 - Think of who else you will need to hire. You may not know all of this yet, but at least you will have it written down and be reminded to check on it. Here was our list:
DJ - Jose'
Flowers and tablecloths - Ashley
Cake - Creations Cake
Caterer - We Got it Covered
Photo Booth -
Photographer - Dunks Photography
Cassie's Hair - Johnny
Makeup and Hair - Stefanie
Groom's Cake - Stephanie
Step 8 - The Planning. We both put together a notebook with ideas in it. We went on pinterest for ideas and some I copied over and placed in our notebooks. This will be for the ceremony and reception. Good thing about this step is you can always add or take away. Trust me, you will change things.
We first went thru the tables she would have at the reception and ceremony. Here are the tables we had ( I had a page for each one in the notebook):
2) Photo Booth Table
4) Candy Table;
6)Bride and Groom Table
We broke each one of the tables down:
1) GIFT TABLE - The gift table would need a card box and a centerpiece. She wanted the kids to have something to do during the wedding and had an activity pail for them (This changed several times). The gift table was outside at first during the ceremony. When it was brought in, the kids pails were placed on the table, along with a sign for kids 10 and under to take one. We also had a sign added to let guest know we would be sending them off at 11:30, with sparklers. The sparklers were then placed next to the table in a big purple, glittered pail that had sand in it. The sand was for after the sparklers had been lit. The used sparklers would be placed in the sand, so we wouldn't have to worry about trashcans catching on fire.
We found small silver pails. I spray painted them with silver glitter. We put suckers, and neon necklaces in them. We made an Activity Book, which had their name and date on it. There are plenty of coloring pages you can google and print.
We ended up not putting the book out, but just the pages for them to glue their pictures on and sign. And yes, those silver and purple things are glue sticks. I painted the tops of them with purple paint and spray painted the other have with silver glitter paint.
3) Cake Table - We needed to buy the cake cutter and server for this table. We went to a bridal show and decided on which cake company we liked the best. By signing up with them then, we got a discount on the cake. We had to make the cake stand. You can see the tutorial of that here.
The cake was so beautiful and tasted great!
4) CANDY TABLE - This was one of the more difficult tables. I have a POST just for setting this table up. I also have another POST for measuring candy to vases.
5) GUEST TABLES - Centerpieces are a big part of the planning. Cassie changed this a few times, I think. We were going to rent them, but then with the Christmas sales, it was cheaper to do it ourselves. She had a wintery feel to her wedding, so she used wreaths that were 70% off for centerpieces and hot glued the flowers and pine cones on, which were also on sale. We placed mirrors underneath them. I bought vases at thrift stores and we had branches in them with crystals hanging from them. We bought the crystals from Hobby Lobby when they were 50% off.
6) BRIDE AND GROOM TABLE - Cassie wanted a smaller rectangle table for them. We put smaller centerpieces on each side, with two candles on each. We also made signs for the Bride and Groom chairs.
Keep coming back for more post on preparing for the wedding. Go here for Part 2.