Family Reserved Seating Signs
Usually the first few rows at the wedding ceremony are reserved for family members. At my wedding, I accidentally created too many signs for the number of people in my small family. I ended up having an overflow of guests standing near the back when there was perfectly good seating at the front!
Learn from my mistake: calculate and create reserved seating signs for your family long before your wedding day.
For Tracking Your Wedding Budget: Mint
While not explicitly made with weddings in mind, Mint is a popular free money management site for a reason: It’s easy to use, syncing with your bank account and credit cards so you can monitor your spending and move funds around as needed. Create a wedding budget and stay on track, thanks to weekly email summaries and text reminders when payments are due.
All The Essentials Wedding Planner
The title doesnt liethis planner truly does contain everything youll need to keep your wedding prep going smoothly, and then some. Author and wedding planner Alison Hotchkiss includes 176 pages of color-tabbed charts, timelines, templates, and more, covering topics like organizing gift registries and setting up your wedding website. Its all contained in a three-ring binder, too, so youll be able to keep track of everything you jot down in the book super easily.
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How To Plan A Courthouse Wedding
Do you fantasize about ditching the traditional wedding plans and saying “I do” in a city hall? Perhaps you’d prefer to fast-forward the engagement period and start your married life adventures together already. It could be that exchanging vows in an intimate, low-key setting appeals more to you than broadcasting your affection in front of 150 guests, some of whom you might not even know that well. Maybe you want to sock away the funds you would have spent on a blowout bash for the honeymoon of your dreams or a down payment on that house you’ve been eyeing. Or, you might be enthusiastically shaking your head “yes” to all of the above, in which casewe’ve got you covered.
Meet the Expert
- Danielle Jeatran is a lawyer turned wedding planner who owns Wild Luxe Weddings in Hawaii.
- Carla Friday is a wedding coordinator and founder of Details Made Simple, which provides services for couples in New Jersey, New York City, Connecticut, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
- is a relationship and etiquette expert who shares lifestyle and relationship tips for women.
You’ll save a lot of money with an intimate courthouse wedding, but it’s still just as important to make it special. Here, wedding pros share their insights on etiquette and how to prep for and plan an unforgettable courthouse ceremony.
Involve Your Significant Other
Whitney Neal Studios
Don’t feel like you’re in this wedding planning process alone. Consult with your partner along the way their opinion is bound to be invaluable andeven if they’re only involved in some aspectsit makes wedding planning that much more fun when you can make decisions together. Working towards a common goal not only further bonds you and your partner but also helps you grow as a couple with every issue you tackle as a team.
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Certain Legal Wording Such As The Following Needs To Be Included:
I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I may not be joined in matrimony to .
I declare that I know of no legal reason why I may not be joined in marriage to .
I call upon these persons, here present, to witness that I do take thee to be my lawful wedded wife/husband.
I , take you to be my wedded wife/husband.
Or, I take thee to be my wedded wife/husband.
What Are The Steps To Planning A Wedding
When it comes to how to plan a wedding, its a good idea to follow a checklistand tackle the listed steps in order. Theres a method to the madness here, and sticking to a wedding-planning checklist will ensure a smooth and relatively stress-free process. For example, theres a reason why you should set a date and book your venue before choosing your attireto make sure your look is comfortable for your events setting and season. And thats just one example of why following the steps to planning a wedding is so important youll find many more in the list below.
If you’re someone who finds a wedding checklist a bit overwhelming, heres a list of the basic steps youll need to complete to ensure your big day is a success. Of course, there are more tasks you may want to tackle, but were just talking the must-dos here. Ready to go into planning mode? Heres how to plan a wedding step by step.
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Finalize Your Wedding Vows
This is something I kept putting off until two weeks before the wedding, and I so wish I gave myself enough time beforehand so I wasnt freaking out at basically the last minute when my vows werent coming together. If youre writing your own vows, consider having them done around a month before your wedding. Its one less thing youll have to worry about! Read our guide to writing your own wedding vows here, or listen to vow expert Tanya Pushkine talk about what to leave OUT of your vows in The Wedding Class.
Appoint Your Wedding Party
Perhaps the most fun part of your wedding planning is choosing and proposing to your wedding party. Depending on who you choose to be in your wedding party, there are lots of roles to be delegated like the best man and maid of honour to the ushers and bridesmaids. Think about who will be the most helpful, and dont ask someone just because they asked you! Once youve decided on your wedding roles, pop the question to them with a fun gift. Check out our round-up of the best bridesmaid proposal gifts here and the greatest best man proposal gifts here.
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Legal Requirements To Solemnize Weddings
Before you perform the ceremony, its essential to ensure that you are in compliance with all legal requirements in your area. Some states, such as Ohio, require ministers to register at the state level. In many other states this process is handled by individual counties. While marriage laws vary from place to place, these are the basic steps youll need to follow to solemnize marriages:
- Become an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church
- Order copies of your legal ministerial credentials
- Present your minister license to local officials
To learn more about the requirements in your area, check out the interactive map on our State Wedding Laws page. Remember that once the ceremony is completed, the marriage license must be signed by both the couple and the officiant.
With these basic legal details covered, lets talk about the wedding ceremony itself.
In Terms Of A Final Wedding Checklist If Youve Completed The Items Below You Are Golden And Ready To Go:
- Vows printed
- Wedding dress hanging wrinkle-free in your closet, as well as your veil, shoes, and other accessories nearby.
- Rings safe and secure and given to your Best Man and/or Maid of Honor
- Gifts handed out to bridesmaids/groomsmen
- Wedding tips prepared and ready to hand out
- Wedding day emergency kit in your bag
- Timeline distributed
- Favors dropped off at venue as well as any additional decor items or seating cards and displays
- Wedding rehearsal and dinner successfully finished
- Confirm with friends that wedding toasts and readings are ready to go
- Packed if you are leaving for your honeymoon the day after
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Host Your Stag/hen/fox/sten Parties
After all that wedding planning, you totally deserve to let your hair down. The two-month mark is a great time to host your stag or hen parties, your sten party or fox party which will get everyone even more excited for the big day.
Theres not much you need to do here, since your chief wedding attendants are in charge of sorting everything out. Just turn up, have a wonderful time and forget about wedding planning for the night.
Etiquette On Asking Your Pastor To Officiate
Wondering how to ask a pastor to officiate your wedding? There might be some etiquette involved in the process, depending on your parish or ministry. The process is usually simple.
A first time wedding officiant would need to practice the wedding ceremony script to be able to perform the wedding without a hitch. A typical wedding ceremony script usually involves:
The Welcome: This is usually at the end of the processional. The officiant asks the guests to be seated and welcomes them to the wedding/joining of the couple.
A Reading: This can be a reading agreed upon by the couple and the officiant or decided on by the officiant alone. It can also be a religious verse read by any one of the guests.
The Vows: At this point, the officiant makes a short speech on wedding vows which prompt the reading of the vows by the couple.
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Set The Date & Book A Venue
These two points come hand in hand. You dont want to be setting a date and then finding that your dream venue is booked already and that you have to compromise. Perhaps have a few dates in mind or just a general season that youd be happy with, so you can ensure getting your dream venue booked. If you do have a set date that you really want to get married on, it might be that you need to be more flexible on venue.
FAQ: Do I Need A Wedding Planner? Does your venue include this service? If not, its very much down to personal preference. Would you rather be hands on, dealing with suppliers and organising all the finer details or would you rather oversee the process, sit back and enjoy choosing elements without the stress of needing to provide the creative ideas? Another option is to consider using a wedding planning website like Wedding Well.
Register Your Intention To Marry
12 months before your wedding you should book and attend a meeting with your registrar. These can be booked for any time between one year and three months before your wedding date, but its best to get it out the way. On the day, youll register your intention to marry, pay for your marriage certificate and be given a form which asks for all of your wedding ceremony details. You will then have up until six weeks before the wedding to return your ceremony details, so dont stress if you havent sorted it already.
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Buy Or Rent The Grooms Tuxedo
The groom walks out first, remember? Make sure that first impression on your guests is a good one. Step one is choosing between a tux or suit, based on the formality of your wedding, and then deciding whether to buy or rent. When selecting the actual ensemble, focus on fit and function. A well-made outfit will be flattering, but also allow your groom to show off any and all embarrassing dance moves without fear of splitting any seams. Finally, if youre going the renting route, avoid these five mistakes groomsmen make when renting a tux or suit.
Buy Your Wedding Rings
With six months to go, youll want to purchase your wedding rings. Take your time to make the decision, because youll be wearing it every day forever! Also, make sure you choose something which complements your engagement ring , and set a firm budget. Designing a bespoke ring is a lovely alternative idea to choosing something in a ready-to-wear collection, but it might take a little longer. Wed recommended starting the process a little earlier on if this is the route you choose to go down.
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Who Should Attend A Wedding Rehearsal
There is no hard and fast rule who should be at the rehearsal, and it does depend on whos doing what during your ceremony.
As a minimum, these people should attend a wedding rehearsal
- Whoever is giving the bride away
- Whoever is holding the wedding rings
- At least one bridesmaid , but ideally all of them so they can plan their entrance and exit
It can be helpful if readers are able to attend too so they can view where they are reading from. You may also want to consider the ushers so you can brief them on how you want the seating to work and any reserved places.
From The Little Stuff To The Big Stuff
Our free wedding planning checklist guides you through 12+ months of the planning process, helping you to manage your time and to-do listright up until your big day and beyond.
Mark off your to-dos and write-in your own. If youre organized, youll have more time to enjoy the process and each other!
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Pressures From Friends And Family
Of course, its easy to say that $44,000 is too much to spend on one day when you aren’t the one getting married. However, that oversimplifies a complex issue underlying the reason couples spend such large sums of money in the first place.
Depending on a couple’s family and values, they may see the wedding as a chance to gather everyone together as a sort of reunion, especially if people have moved away or become busier. This may be the only chance they have to catch up with everyone.
Unfortunately, the larger your guest list, the more expensive your wedding becomes. To some couples, the price tag is worth it if it means getting to see their loved ones.
With more guests also comes more expectations. A couple may feel pressured to have a beautiful, lavish wedding if their friends who had a beautiful wedding will attend. Or, a couple may want to impress family members. People have a habit of comparing weddings, especially when theres a string of them happening, so that adds to a couple’s wedding pressure.