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Wedding Resource Guide

Planning a wedding is possibly the hardest event to plan, save for the Olympics (maybe). To the average human being (not those fantastic wedding planners), wedding planning can put added stress into a relationship, making it harder to tie the knot instead of easier. Believe me, I want all the weddings in the world to go off without a hitch. But even with all the information laid out in front of me, I am overwhelmed (and I'm not even getting married). If you are here and starting to panic, take a deep breath. There are steps and research which must take place prior to walking down the aisle. And please, if your fiancé(e) is not currently sitting next to you and ready to plan, do yourself a favour and go get him or her. As much as planning may be one partner's forte and not the other, it will all go easier in the long run if everyone (except your mother or mother-in-law-to-be) is involved.

Step 1: Date

Before you even move another muscle, have a discussion with your fiancé about choosing the date. Someone has an engagement ring  on her finger, and that is half the battle, but you want to make it to the altar. If there are unsolved arguments about commitment or how long the engagement will be, you won't be getting very far. After this step, if you are ready for a wedding, continue reading. Things to consider about the date:

  • Season
  • Guests (if you are inviting school age children)
  • Necessary travel arrangements

Step 2: Budget

Making a budget could help you to stay stress-free throughout the wedding planning. Without discussing the wedding cost, you may not get through the planning alive. While we all dream of a platinum wedding, try to think of what is practical for you and your fiancé(e).

Step 3: Theme or Style

After date comes Theme, and it is equally important. If you don't like themes, a formal classic wedding is perfect.

Themes and styles to consider:

  • Eloping is not the most popular of wedding styles, and they most often result in the American Vegas wedding, but they do have their advantages.
  • At-Home Weddings can be a very classic and classy choice.
  • Destination Weddings are probably the hardest to coordinate unless you have a planner.
  • Formal Weddings are classic and popular.
  • Interfaith Marriages are becoming more and more frequent, but for your guests (depending on their faith), they can be colourful and exciting.
  • Military Weddings are formal but honourable.
  • Organic Weddings are definitely unique.
  • Outdoor Weddings are most dependent on the weather (which is unfortunate).
  • Same-Sex Weddings are controversial, but certainly do-able! Share your love with everyone.
  • Seasonal Weddings can allow for some unique decorating choices.
  • Second Weddings should be just as special as the first. Don't skip the pomp and circumstance just because you have been through the ceremony once before.
  • Colour Schemes can help you decide what dinner jackets and dresses to get for the wedding party, and what linens and table decorations to get for the reception.

Step 4: Ceremony and Reception

Before you plan for your ceremony and reception, please make sure you have your marriage licenses, as well as any prenuptial agreements. With these in place and ready to go, you won't need to worry about them on the day of the ceremony. All you want to think about is walking down the aisle and saying "I do." Any more than that can make you seriously frustrated.

Ceremony:

Reception:

Etiquette:

Step 5: Invitations

So you have set the date, and now you need to get people to your wedding. The invitation process is very important. When you create a guest list you want to make sure you include all the people with whom you absolutely want to celebrate, and make sure your fiancé(e) is on the same page. Discuss how many guests are in the budget and how many family members must come. Then start working on your friends.

Step 6: Food, Flowers and Vendors

Getting into contracts with vendors can be stressful. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you are getting and what you are paying for it. If it seems like an extreme price, shop around. You do not need to put a down payment down unless it is the service you want.

Vendors:

Food:

Cake:

Flowers:

Step 7: The Wedding Party

If you think everything has been stressful so far, then you are going to be in for a surprise during this next step. Now you are adding the opinions of multiple people. Don't be cruel to your bridesmaids--they are there for you.  However, this doesn't mean you have to listen to everything they say. If you like a dress, then choose it.

Bride and Groom:

The Women:

The Men:

Step 8: Accessories

If you thought your wedding was all about you, it isn't. Don't get me wrong--you are certainly the centre of attention, but you still need to recognize the help of your family and closest friends. Some people believe in favours and small gifts for the bridal party and parents of the bride and groom, but it is all up to you.

Step 9: Extra Parties

Some women prefer not to have hen nights or bachelorette parties, but they are always fun, and they are of course tradition. If you or your friend isn't a fan of these types of parties, make sure if you do throw one, that it is low-key. There is nothing that says you need a wild night out, or a super serious bridal shower.

Step 10: Honeymoon

So you have finally made it to the finish line. Your wedding rings are on, and you are completely in love, and now you just want to be with each other. Don't forget to take a vacation or go on a honeymoon! It is essential to get away. You spent all this time and energy and went through a lot of hoops just to get married. Sit back and relax--you deserve it!

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see:
FR: Mariages
DE: Hochzeit
NL: Trouwen Shopgids
BE: Trouwen Shopgids
AU: Weddings