How To Plan A Wedding
The sheer logistical effort of planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Hiring a wedding planning expert may be wise when you have the budget but lack the time to handle your ceremony’s preparations, or are looking to acquire services or rent locations which individuals like yourself are not capable of finding. While hiring a planner costs around $2000 on average, the benefits of having someone with connections and know-how assisting you can far outweigh the cost. Make sure that any planner you choose will cooperate with your requests while contributing innovative thought to the process.
Location is an important early consideration. While weddings often take place in chapels or places of worship, there are many less traditional venues available. The relative informality of wedding performed by ULC ministers lends itself particularly well weddings held in unconventional places. Outdoor weddings can provide a backdrop of beautiful scenery, but it is important to consider the time of year when determining whether or not you actually want the wedding to held in the great, potentially-cold-windy-and-rainy, outdoors. Having an outdoor ceremony in the winter or during a rainy month may not be the best idea. If neither a church nor the outdoors appeal to you, check with public venues in the area rent space for events.
You need to invite guests to your ceremony once your time and venue are finalized. It’s a good idea to send your invitations out far enough in advance to minimize scheduling conflicts amongst the people who might attend the wedding. Don’t send them excessively early, though; you want to keep the date fresh in your guests’ minds.
Decorations play a large role in setting the mood and ambiance for your ceremony. Doing it yourself can be fun if you have the time to spare for it; however, if you don’t, you can choose to hire a decorator. A decorator may charge by the hour, in a lump sum, or on a percentage basis. Professional work can certainly lead to impressive results, but using your own design skills and investing the time to set up decorations could lead to significant savings as wedding decorators can charge significant rates.
Receptions can be held in many possible places, including a room adjacent to the ceremony’s room, an outside area, or an entirely different location. You may want the best man and the maid of honor to deliver toasts, so plan for those after everyone is seated. Ask your planner to set up a spacious dancing area if it suits you. Serve food that will please as many of your guests as possible; serving exotic or food that many people have allergies to is may be inadvisable. The cutting of the cake is ideally held once the guests have eaten and are ready for dessert.
Finally, choosing the right wedding officiant is tremendously important. If you don’t already know someone who is ordained to perform a wedding, make sure you find a minister whose methods respect your culture and belief system. If you would prefer someone you know, like a friend or a relative, that person can become legally ordained online through organizations like the Universal Life Church. However, two states (Pennsylvania and Virginia) do not legally recognize marriages performed by those who get ordained online, so be sure to inquire with the county clerk of the county where the marriage ceremony is to take place about whether or not ULC ministers can legally file for marriage licenses there.