Wedding Planning From the Heart: Outstanding Tips, Ideas, and Guide for Women

Wedding Planning From the Heart: Tips for Keeping the Love in the Wedding Planning, and the Bridezilla at Bay

As women, we all dream a little dream about our big day. Some of us know from the time we are little girls exactly what we want our wedding day to be. On a practical level, planning for a wedding and everything that comes with it can be stressful and unsettling.

Our wish is that you stay positive, organized and peaceful as you go about planning your wedding. The result? A blissful day, and nothing but wonderful memories for years to come.

Setting (and Sticking to) Your Wedding Budget

If you are one of the rare brides for whom money is no object, give gratitude to the abundance in your life and move right along to envisioning the wedding of your dreams. If, like the rest of us, money plays a role in the decisions about your wedding day, let’s talk budget.

First, decide who will contribute to the costs (including yourself, your groom, family and friends) and how much each of you plans to contribute. An open and honest discussion up front will help set a peaceful and cooperative tone.

Next, decide how much you want to spend on each item (find sample wedding budgets in any bridal magazine). Just remember – these magazines are in business to make money from weddings. Determine what makes sense for you. Many of the “must haves” are simply way out of commercial tradition. Embrace the idea that this is YOUR day, and is a reflection of who you are as a couple.

Avoid the temptation to go over budget. Don’t try on that gown if it’s out of your price range; you are only setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and heartbreak. Keep it all in perspective.

Whose Wedding Is It, Anyway?

Before you commit one cent on your wedding, spend some time with your groom and your family, talking about your vision for your wedding… the kind of setting, décor, music, food… then share your dream with the people who will help you plan it.

Write down your vision, answering a few simple questions like:

1. As I look back on our wedding ten years from now, what memories do I hope to have?

2. What are the three most important things I must have at our wedding?

3. What are the three most important things my groom must have at our wedding?

4. What family or cultural traditions would we like to include?

Family and friends can be a huge resource during the wedding planning, but they will always come to the table with their own ideas. Welcome their input, and make it clear that this is your day. By sharing your vision with them, they will be more likely, and able, to help make that vision a reality for you.

Of course, you’ll spend lots of time reading magazines and browsing the Internet. You’ll end up with tons of creative, wonderful ideas that seem just perfect now. Think it through rationally; if you are hosting a wedding for 200 people, and having a big rehearsal dinner the night before, will you really have time to string handmade garlands onto all the guests’ chairs the morning of the event?

Be realistic. Your job is to shine, and to begin your married life with love in your heart, not anxiety attacks. Set limits for yourself, and don’t over-commit. Keep the event sane, loving and warm.

Searching for the Perfect Wedding Attire and Accessories

With a realistic budget, and a clear vision of how you want your day to unfold, it’s time to begin searching for all those wedding accessories.

Finding your wedding dress should be high on your list of priorities. No matter how many magazines you scour, or Internet sites you search, nothing compares to actually trying on those big white wedding gowns. Bring a small group of friends and family with you, and leave your critical friends and relatives at home.

For most brides, it’s true that you’ll know when you put the right dress on. You’ll picture yourself saying your vows, greeting guests, dancing and generally being absolutely fabulous. If you find it, and it’s within your budget, commit to it. Second guessing will only cause confusion and anxiety. Let it flow, and listen to your heart.

Once you have the wedding gown, the rest of the wedding attire – the shoes, headpiece, jewelry, and all the rest – will fall into place. Just remember, you will be the shining star that day, so choose wedding attire that lets you shine, instead of overpowering you.

Calm and Collected Wedding Planning

Ah, so many details! The goal is to keep them all organized, without obsessing over them. Get a wedding binder and set up sections for the guest list, seating, quotes for services and rental facilities, receipts, and so on. This binder will be your wedding encyclopedia. Keep a running “to do” list in the front so you can check your progress.

Do things for yourself during this time to de-stress. Get a massage, take yoga classes, meditate, go for long walks, or do deep-breathing exercises. Journaling can also be very effective in trying to figure out what to do next with your wedding and will help you stay calm and focused. It is also a wonderful gift to yourself to read about what you were thinking and feeling 25 years from now on your wedding anniversary.

If you find yourself getting anxious and upset, talk to your groom or a good friend, and ask them to help you keep it all in perspective. Delegate some of the work. Stay focused on your vision, and remind yourself of what you really want out of this day. This will make it a lot easier to let the little stuff go.

Your Wedding Day: Fully Embrace the Moment with Grace

It’s finally here… your time to shine and show the world just how much you love this amazing man. Put all the rest out of your mind; the wedding planning is done. Now it’s time to relax, enjoy and embrace this wonderful day.

The night before your wedding, get a good night’s sleep. Stay hydrated, eat healthy, and avoid overindulging in alcohol, as tempting as it may be to party before the wedding.

Make sure that the women in your bridal party are in tune with what you need. If you need help, ask them. They are your wall of strength, love and support on your wedding day. Let them be there for you, and lovingly accept their help.

Unexpected things will always happen. You can remain calm and relaxed through it all by focusing on what the deal really means. Most of all, have fun and enjoy the first day of the rest of your life being husband and wife!

Wedding Planning Budget – Controlling Your Wedding Costs

The number one issue that many couples fight about is money. Tension around money does not necessarily start after the couple has been married for a few years. There is a great deal of stress that goes with planning a beautiful wedding, and money issues can really add to this tension. It is very important to begin a wedding planning budget right at the start of your wedding plans. It is also equally important that a couple stick to this budget. Failure to do so can result in added stress for years to come.

Planning a wedding without a budget can land you into some serious financial debt. Although a wedding budget does not sound like a glamorous thing, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all. So what is the key to planning a successful budget? As it will be throughout your marriage … honesty, openness and two-way communication are an absolute must.

Newly-engaged couples must discuss how each envisions their special day. It is a wrong assumption for the bride to think that the groom-to-be does not care about the details. It is, after all, the man’s special day as well, and he does have a family to please also.

Getting Started

After the excitement of being engaged wears off, both the bride and groom need to find a quiet place where they can discuss what is important to each other in regards to the wedding day. You not only want to talk to your partner about the wedding plans, but you also want to listen to what they have to say. First make a list of the absolute essentials such as: a caterer, photography, and wedding rings. Then create a list of the extra things that you both want such as: arriving in a limo or horse-drawn carriage, a prime-rib or lobster dinner, a wedding on the beach, flower arrangements and other wants. This information will be useful in helping you create your budget.

Assessing Your Finances

After you have finalized the list of important items, you will now need to do some number crunching. Determining your current financial situation is a very important necessity in helping to create your budget and can be broken down into these important steps:

  • Determine how much you will have to commit to saving from your regular income streams.
  • Assess how much money you currently have access to from various areas such as: stocks/bonds, real estate, trust funds or saving accounts.
  • Determine if you can expect income from other streams such as friends and family.
  • If you’re wedding date is set to occur many months from now then you might want to consider opening a high-interest bearing bank account to get a little extra income.

If you will be getting extra finances from other members of your family, then it is important to not make unrealistic demands on what they will be offering you. Keep an open mind and take whatever others are willing to kindly offer you. It is important to not dwell on how much or little they will be contributing to your wedding. Disappointment and anger can only lead to additional stress that you don’t need.

Make A List

Once you have a better understanding of where your finances are coming from, you will then be able to see how much you can allocate to various costs. You now need to make another list of all the wedding related expenses and place a percentage or dollar amount as to how much you are willing to spend for each item. Some of your expenses may include:

  • Wedding Dress ($2000)
  • Honeymoon ($2000)
  • Wedding Favors ($2000)
  • Wedding Reception ($8000)
  • Tuxedos ($1000)
  • Wedding Invitations ($500)
  • Wedding Cake ($900)
  • Wedding Music ($800)
  • Wedding Flowers ($900)
  • Wedding Photography ($600)
  • Wedding Decorations ($500)
  • Bridesmaids Dresses ($1000)

Laying out each individual item will aid you when it comes time to contracting out various services. You must be aware that if you should exceed you budgeted amount in one category, then you will need to cut back on costs from another item in order to keep the budget in balance.

Finally, to help simplify a number of wedding budget planning tasks, you may want to consider using a wedding budget worksheet, software and the many other automated tools that are available online.

Wedding Planning Services – Plan Your Royal Dream Wedding

Millions of girls swooned and sighed when Kate Middleton (now Duchess of Cambridge) and Prince William exchanged vows. While not all women are destined to marry a prince, this does not mean that you cannot have a royal wedding of your own. In order to achieve the grandeur or the atmosphere of a royal wedding, you need professional wedding planning services.

Planning a Wedding Takes Tons of Organisational Skills

Putting together a regal wedding requires a lot of project management skills. It’s not a walk in the park and quite a stressful process. Add this to pre-wedding jitters and you can easily become a frazzled bride.

Hiring professional wedding planning services frees a bride from the shackles of all the logistics and allows her to focus on the most important thing – and that is to enjoy the journey to the altar and enjoy the most important day in her life.

Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue

Needless to say, not all wedding venues are created equal. There are the obvious choices and there are well kept secrets only professional wedding planners know about. What professional wedding planners put on the table is a perspective in terms of wedding venues. For example, there are certain places that you would not consider as prospective venues if you were doing the planning all by yourself. Experienced wedding planners have creative eyes and you will be awed how they can transform a venue to the perfect place to say “I Do.”

Putting Together the Perfect Menu

Undeniably, food is one of the most crucial elements to the success of a wedding. By hiring professional wedding planning services, you are opening a door to an array of wedding catering options, which otherwise would have been inaccessible to you. One thing you have to understand about professional wedding planning services is that strong relationship with suppliers and vendors plays a central role. A professional wedding planner will have established relationships with the crème de la crème in the catering industry, people who are not readily accessible for everybody.

Finding the Perfect Flower to Make Love Truly Bloom

Contrary to popular belief, selecting wedding flowers is not just about putting together pretty things and that’s it. It’s far more complicated. For example, did you know that there are certain flower species that trigger allergies and there are those that are relatively hypoallergenic? Are you aware that different flower species have different wilting time frames? And do you know how to store and handle different flower species? Putting together beautiful wedding flowers is both an art and a science and those who are professional wedding planning services are experts in both.

Again, not every girl will work out of a church bearing a royal title with a tiara to boot. But definitely, you can have your own royal wedding by employing the right wedding planning services.

Wedding Planning Certification – Know Your Options

The wedding planning industry is growing by leaps and bounds. In all regions of the United States more brides than ever before are hiring wedding planners to assist with the thousands of details that go into planning their wedding. If you are considering a career as a wedding planner it is imperative that you gain proper training before taking your first client. The industry looks very glamorous (and it can be) however, the job requires patience, persistence, long hours, attention to detail and several other skills that will take years to develop. In short, it is not an industry for the faint of heart. If you feel that a career in wedding planning could be right for you or you are already working in the hospitality industry and you would like to gain your wedding planning certification then there are several resources available to make sure you receive the training you need to be successful.

In this article we will explore online programs, event planning courses at universities or community colleges, and Wedding Planning Certification programs offered by independent certification organizations.

A simple internet search will reveal a list of hundreds of online or correspondence programs available for wedding planning certification. To receive your certification through an online course you are required to pay a fee for each section of information which is typically sent to you in electronic format or mailed to you in a booklet. You review each section at your own pace and are given open book quizzes along the way. After completing the quizzes based on the information in the booklet and completing other course assignments you are awarded your wedding planning certification. Receiving the information in this format means that you can complete the program at your own pace. This process can take between six weeks to over a year depending on your study habits. Online or correspondence programs typically cost between $1,000.00 to $1,500.00. Some may charge additional fees to have your certificate printed and mailed. Others require you to pay a yearly fee to maintain your certification.

Some colleges and universities offer event planning courses in conjunction with their hospitality or business management programs or as independent certificates. An event planning course at a college or university will typically focus on the planning of corporate and social events from the perspective of the hotel, resort, or other facility that is hosting the event. The instruction received in this type of course is ideal for an individual who plans to work in the hospitality industry as an employee of a hotel or resort. The course may briefly cover weddings or other social events but the majority of the material will tend to focus on events as they relate to hotel and resort operations. Many hotels, resorts and other venues who host weddings are now requiring that at least one staff member per property receive specialized training and certification in wedding planning.

There are a few independent organizations across the United States and Canada that offer Wedding Planning Certification courses in a classroom setting. Some of these programs can be completed in just one weekend, others can take up to 6 weeks to complete. Any organization offering Wedding Planning Certification does so based on their own criteria and designation and the course material can vary widely. The cost of these types of programs can range between $395.00 to $2,000.00. Some of these organizations will require you to pass a test in order for you to receive your certification. Some also require that you participate in ongoing education in order to maintain your certification. This can end up costing thousands of dollars throughout your career. There are programs available that do not require you to pay for ongoing education to maintain your certification.

Make sure you read reviews from students who have gained their certification from any organization before making a commitment. Also find out who the instructor for your class will be and research the kind of experience they have as a wedding planner. You will want to consider the initial cost of the program and the ongoing cost of maintaining your certification if any. Try to find an organization that offers ongoing education but does not require you to keep paying them year after year in order to maintain your certification. Look for a program that will give you a complete picture of the wedding industry from the perspective of every vendor who is involved in a wedding. In the end you will want to choose a program that best fits your budget and time constraints.