As a wedding planner for some thirteen years, I'd recommend the first thing you and your fiancee do is determine is the type and size of the ceremony and reception you both desire and can afford. A big mistake I see is assuming that the groom has no ideas. Often the groom's input is not expected - or accepted. Times have changed - more grooms are taking an active role in wedding planning.
Set a time to sit down and discuss these key preliminary items:
- The Timing: How long of an engagement will you have? When do you want to get married?
- The Budget: What can you realistically afford -- without going into debt? Note from the Editor: Check back next week for step-by-step budget creation!
- The Tab: Who is actually going to pay for what? It's no longer considered to be the parents of the bride's sole responsibility; although, they do often contribute along with the groom's family.
- The List: Who is really important to you that you must have as a part of your day? Make a physical list of names.
- The Must-Haves: What are must-haves for your wedding day? Are there specific flowers? Perhaps a certain type of limousine? Remember: This day is all about you two!
After the financial aspect is agreed upon and your budget is set, it's time to meet with a wedding planner. Of course, you can do much of the task on your own; however, most wedding planners often have connections for discounts on venues and many other vendors and can assure you of quality products and services. Even more, keeping you as stress-free as possible is a top priority! Honestly, while a wedding seems simple and easy to plan the details, coordination of vendors & TIMING is everything.
Keep in mind your "perfect day" is about your declaration of love and your expressions in front of those honored loved ones you desire to share the day with!