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Wedding Planning and The First Steps
Author: James Auld

How long does it take to plan a wedding? Medium (50 guests) to large (100 guests) size weddings take about a year to plan. The larger churches, popular reception sites, and caterers usually need to be booked a year in advance. Bridal shows are a good way to find a reception hall and many of the vendors you may need. Most bridal shows are listed in local newspapers or can be found on the web. Just type bridal shows and your town in google search and you should find many good results. The longer you wait the less the chance you can find the place that you really like.

The first steps in planning weddings are to tell both sets of parents and start spreading the news to the rest of your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. You can also have have an engagement announcement placed in local newspaper to spread the happy news.

After all the important people have been informed the first decisions you and your fiancι should decide on are a wedding date, formality of the wedding, number of guests, and location for the ceremony and reception.

It is also important to decide whom the wedding attendants will be (maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, and ushers) since they will have an active role in helping to plan the wedding. Somewhere along the way you should have an engagement photo taken and send it into local newspapers to publicly announce your engagement.

Some important decisions that need to be made are the following:
• Formality of the wedding: formal/semiformal/informal wedding
• Setting: inside/outside
• Rural/suburban/urban setting
• Date and time
• Location – ceremony and reception
• Wedding cake
• Guests – how many and who
• Music – live performers or DJ
• Caterer
• Florist
• Photographer and videographer
• Wedding invitations
• Wedding vows
• Wedding favors
• Wedding centerpieces
• Dress
• Honeymoon- location, date and duration
There are many services and software products that can make planning weddings a whole lot easier. Microsoft Excel is a great program for keeping your guest list and addresses. Organization is the key to a successful wedding!

It is very important to get the terms of every service or sales agreement in writing! You will be able to refer to them later if you have a question on what was decided on. You will also be able to hold the services accountable.

If you don't have the time for planning all of this you may want to hire an event or wedding planner. Wedding planners or consultants can make the process easier and save a lot of time in the end, but remember this is going to be one of the most important days of your life and you will need to be involved to make it special.

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James Auld webmaster and president of Wrapwithus.com provides expert wedding advice and other services. www.wrapwithus.com/ - Wrapwithus wedding favors

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