When you want someone to care
                          as much as you do.....
 Rev. Judith L. Guasch, M.Div.
                          Wedding Officiant

Serving S. Central PA, MD DC
                           (717) 222-9173 
Your Subtitle text

Engaged? Now What

       Most couples don’t have any idea how or where to start planning their wedding once they get engaged.    Planning a wedding is a lot like expecting a baby…everyone will have some kind of advice for you, but you don’t have to take all of it.  Just smile, and say “Thank you.”  Then, use what you want, and discard the rest.


        Some people will tell you the first thing you have to do is to set a date.  However, that is not always the case.  Some couples know WHERE they want to get married, and the date is less important.  They book their venue according to availability.  But, either way you go, you should have your DATE and VENUE set before you go any further.  For some couples, they will need to coordinate with their house of worship for the ceremony, and also find a reception site, while others have their ceremony and reception in one location.  This has many advantages, especially if you are inviting a lot of out of town guests. 


        Then what do you do?  Well, start a notebook or file with all your wedding details and information in one place, and start looking into vendors.  It’s important that you know your priorities and set your budget.  It is easy to want “The Best” of everything, after all, who doesn’t?  However, you also have to be realistic.  Since you don’t necessarily know the costs of services and products, you need to allow your budget to be fluid.  If “X” costs more than you thought, you will need to take some money from “Y”, or vice versa when things come in lower than estimated.


        Next on the list should be the OFFICIANT and the Wedding Coordinator/PLANNER.  Too often people get all the details of their wedding in place, and forget that the most important part of the day is the ceremony, and they have no Officiant.   Also, you should look into hiring a planner/coordinator.  They can be invaluable to you in handling the details and making sure everything runs smoothly.


        After that, then you need to decide what other vendors you will need.  If you are getting married in a park on a summer day, you may not want the traditional white fluffy dress and formal tuxedo, so will not need a bridal boutique.  Instead perhaps a sundress and khaki’s are the attire of the day.  If you are having a small wedding with no dancing, perhaps a string quartet is more in order for dinner music, than a DJ specializing in dance music. 


        For the most part, once you have your DATE, VENUE, OFFICIANT and PLANNER (if needed) should go something like this:

ATTIRE

CATERER (if not with your venue)

PHOTOGRAPHER

MUSIC/DJ

FLORIST

INVITATIONS

CAKE

VIDEOGRAPHER

HAIR/MAKE-UP

and the remaining details such as:

                    Dance Lessons, Favors, Programs, Limo, (or handsome cab in the case of this couple), Chocolate Fountain, Attendant Gifts, Etc.


        When you are planning ask yourself what items and services you really need to make your day, and what things are simply “niceities” that may be eliminated if need be.    Remember this… a small and elegant wedding can be every bit as beautiful as a large and elaborate one.  Keep the focus on you, your relationship, and making your wedding day the first step into your marriage.