Where to Start?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from clm77. Show clm77's posts

    Where to Start?

    First, Congratulations!!

    The things I'm going to tell you to do first have not too much to do with your questions :)

    1. If you haven't done it yet, the #1 most important things to do is to BUDGET. Make a realistic budget of how much you can and are willing to spend. Try to stick to it. If you are having any outside financial contribution (eg. from parents) be clear from the beginning what, if any, strings are attached- what are they expecting other than to write a check?

    2. Make sure you, your fiance, and your families are on the same page about what the wedding will be. At a minimum, you and your fiance (but also parents, etc. if you want) should each make a list of your top few MOST important aspects and LEAST important aspects for the wedding. Plan to splurge on the most important; scrimp on or skip entirely the least.

    3. MOCK UP A GUEST LIST. Categorize it by VIP, MUST HAVES, Like/Want to Haves, and Courtesy Invites. Doing so will give you a good idea of the scale of your wedding and will also give you ideas on cost when you're looking at venues. If you find a place you love but can only afford VIPs and MUST HAVES, then you know in advance.

    Okay, once you've done those things, go for it! I planned my wedding from out of state as well. We took 2 or maybe 3 trips to the area total in the year. I did a lot of online research and when we liked something and were happy with the price we went with it. No second guessing. Really, decision making was much easier because I didn't have the time to stress about meeting 5 florists or searching for the very very very best deal. (Wedding rule #1- You can always pay less- or more!- for whatever you want, but it doesn't mean you should... time is money; if you're spending hours upon hours trying to find the very best deal, you're not actually saving anything.) We visited 1 reception site, 1 florist, 1 baker, 1 DJ, 1 salon, and 1 photographer. Actually, I booked my photographers and DJ without even meeting them- just talking on the phone/emailing. I didn't meet them until our engagement shoot. All of our vendors were brilliant. We spent one afternoon driving around looking at the area churches and researching a rehearsal dinner site.

    I got my dress near my home, as did all my bridesmaids (got their dresses near their home). My dad, a printer, did my invitations but then just shipped them to me. Basically everything that's not a vendor can be bought wherever and whenever. However, just remember that any physical items you buy at home will have to be transported to the wedding somehow. Be prepared. I'm not joking when I say this- we took a small trailer along with my Jeep to haul all of our stuff to the wedding.

    Good luck, and most importantly of all, ENJOY this time!

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from laryan. Show laryan's posts

    Where to Start?


    Your 1st priority is to set up a budget. Then get an idea as to what kind of wedding you want, and price vendors (ceremony & reception venues, band/dj, etc). you also want to draw up a preliminary guest list. then book "the biggies"...i consider the ceremony & reception venues, as well as the music.

    you may have a hard time trying to find a venue for a fall 2008 wedding. its a very popular season to get married.

    you're going to be shellshocked as to the prices of things, so brace yourself

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Where to Start?

    (ahem, I don't notice any reference to our fabulous afternoon of wedding shoe shopping during your March visit, missy!!!)

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Where to Start?


    Congratulations!!!! Hope you spend some time just enjoying being engaged!

    I agree with clm's and CT.DC's advice (of course)!

    The budget is definitely the biggest thing....and keep in mind that reception prices are quoted as $x per person but do not include the service fee and/or taxes (which can add up to 25% to your total) as well as other fees for having the ceremony there and upgrades.

    Once you know what you can spendm, that will make your guest list choice easier. If you are paying for the wedding yourselves, you don't want to give your parents and his parents carte blanche with the guest list or you're going to have trouble. Depending on what your future in-laws are like, you may have to manage this carefully. For example, you'll of course include his relatives, but his idea of "his relatives" and your FMIL's idea may be a few dozen different. So, rather than ask them for their guest list and risk getting a list of 200 back, maybe you could meet with them and talk it over....

    Best wishes and welcome to the boards!

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from wendy98. Show wendy98's posts

    Where to Start?

    Things that I added to my budget included postage for stamps for the invites, the rsvps and thank yous. Also I budgeted for buying thank you cards for the showers and wedding gifts and the license. Things that I didn't budget for were gifts for our readers (silly mistake) and pre cana. I have added them to my budget but as items that I forgot so I can see how close I was to my original budget etc. If you would like a copy email via the boards and I will send it to you. I haven't gotten married yet so there may have been other things that I forgot.

    Edited to add : I like the approace of showing the budget and seeing if that is what your Mom was thinking. My ILs were generous in offering us money for the wedding but wouldn't say how much. I had my FI work with his parents and explain that we did not expect anything from them but if they felt that they were able and wanted to contribute we would need to know if they wanted the money spent on specific things. My FMIL came back and said we will pay for flowers, I sent him back with a range of quotes and said nicely this is what we are looking at and it is hard to make a buget based on "I'll pay for the flowers", she immediately understood and came back with a firm number and said use it where you need it. I think it took the spread sheet showing her how varied it could be and then she remembered making a budget for her daughter and it was much easier after that.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Where to Start?

    I think Martha's 50% figure is off the mark for the majority of us regular people. It sounds appropriate for what I would consider a very lavish wedding, where a lot of $$ is spent on the "Martha-esque" things such as invites, chair covers, big flower budget, lots of upgrades, etc.

    But, I just ran my numbers very roughly and came out with:

    reception and open bar: 77%

    invites, attire, wedding rings, flowers, DJ, favors, etc. = 22%

    I'd be interested to see what other brides' numbers were.

    (And for those of you who are math-challenged, here is mine:

    Reception and bar: $12,000

    Other: $ 3,500

    Total $15,500

    $12,000 / $15,500 = 0.77

    $ 3,500 / $15,500 = 0.22)