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Planning for your wedding will likely be one of the most enjoyable times of your life. It can also, however, be quite stressful. Getting organized and planning ahead is crucial for making sure you have a beautiful wedding and that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Understanding your options and knowing how to choose wedding vendors is one of the most important aspects of planning a wedding. The following are tips and ideas for selecting the best wedding vendors, caterers, and officiants.

wedding venueChoosing the Best Venue
Where you have your wedding is one of the first decisions that needs to be made during the planning process. It’s important to decide this as early as possible since many venues are booked a year or more in advance. These are the questions you need to keep in mind when selecting a venue.

  • Where Will the Ceremony Be Held? – Will the ceremony will be held at the same place as the reception or will there be two separate locations?
  • What Are the Driving Considerations? – If the ceremony will be in another location you won’t want guests to have to drive more than 10 or 15 minutes to the reception.
  • How Many Guests Are You Having? – Some venues may be gorgeous but won’t be able to accommodate more than a few dozen people.
  • What Style Are You Looking For? – Do you want a glamorous reception held in a country club or glitzy hotel? If you’re looking for something more rustic an outdoor location may be a good choice.
  • Are There Special Accommodations? – Special accommodations can include everything from being wheelchair accessible to being able to provide special equipment for lighting.
  • Are There Catering Restrictions? – A lot of venues will require you to use their catering staff.
  • What is the Cost? – Make sure you have a budget before you even begin looking for venues. It’s a good idea to ask about cost up front.

wedding officiantDeciding Who Will Officiate the Wedding
There are several choices when deciding who will preside over your wedding. These choices generally fall into three categories.

  • Religious Ceremony – A religious ceremony can be provided by an ordained minister or any other type of clergy.
  • Civil Ceremony – There are several types of individuals who can officiate over a civil ceremony. These include judges, magistrates, or a justice of the peace.
  • Friend or Family Member – This choice has been gaining in popularity in recent years. With quick, online ordination classes you can have basically anyone perform your wedding service. It’s important to make sure, however, that the state you’re getting married in recognizes the online credentials of the person who was ordained.

wedding catererProviding Fantastic Catering
Your menu is one of the things that people will remember most about your wedding. If you’re required to use the services provided by the venue you have selected there may be fewer decisions to make. The following are a few things to consider when choosing your food and drink selections.

  • What Type of Style Do You Want? – Do you want a buffet, a formal sit-down dinner, or stations with individual chefs?
  • What Type of Food? – Everything from steak and seafood to finger-foods and sandwiches are options. You can also choose ethnic foods, gluten-free, and organically grown.
  • What Is Included? – Make sure to ask if the catering team provides full service. This would include table settings, all set up and clean up.

What About a Wedding Planner?
wedding plannerMany people now use a wedding planner to help them put together their special event. If you do decide to use the services of a planner the following are some tips for choosing wisely.

  • Full Service Planner? – Decide what type of service you want. Full service, partial assisting, or day-of coordinator.
  • Availability – It’s not only important for a planner to be available the day of your wedding, but you need to ask how many other weddings he or she is handling that same day.
  • Specialties – Does this planner specialize in any particular areas?
  • Involve Family – Make sure your fiance and closest family members meet the planner.
  • Discuss Budget – Costs must be discussed during the first meeting.

Following each of the guidelines in this list will help you plan and put together a gorgeous wedding that fits your individual needs. Whether you have a wedding planner or not, remember to enlist the help of bridesmaids and family to make sure your special day goes as planned.

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