First Things, First
You’re engaged, you’ve picked the outfits, you’ve agreed on a beach theme, and you’ve invited 500 of your closest friends. And you have $30,000 to spend…Uh-oh.
Before you plan the details of your wedding, you have to have, well, a plan. Here, the Who, What, Where, When, and Why of wedding planning. These are the first questions you need to ask right after “Will you marry me?” Once these elements are solidified, you can start the specific details of wedding planning.
Who: Besides the two of you, get a general idea of who you want at your affair. Start with the must-haves (family, best friends), then move on. If you want work buddies and distant relatives, you’re going to have to re-think the casual at-home wedding you originally thought was a fantastic idea. Quick Tip: Once you have a general idea of how many people you want, prepare to double the list.
What: You can have a long-distance affair or rent out a loft. Thing is, both options are going to involve different planners and different technical elements (a gay wedding in Aruba is going to mean hiring planners from the island and looking into residency requirements and current legal landscape). A loft affair probably means the caterers are not included. Some reception venues will require you use only their staff.
Where: Be specific. Hometown or far away, reception hall or National Park. Every location requires different needs (outside means you have to have a rain plan). A beach wedding involves changing the dress code dramatically, as nylons and heels don’t work well with sand. Likewise, a big mountaintop ski event might sound great until you realize Mom and Dad aren’t going to make the hike.
When: There are four seasons, and seven days a week to choose from. Winter means indoors if you live in a cold climate, and a Friday night affair is going to cost you much more than a Sunday Brunch. Weekday weddings are cheaper, but a lot of friends might not be able to get off of work, and they will leave early. Formality plays a big part in time of day, too.
Why: Because you love each other! And once you get these basic questions out of the way, you can get specific in developing a budget, figuring out a guest list, finding an officiant, creating a timeline, and all the rest of the wonderful details that lead up to the big day.
Photo Credit: f8 Studios via TwoBrightLights
David Toussaint is the author of the Gay Couple's Guide to Wedding Planning, Gay and Lesbian Weddings: Planning the Perfect Same-Sex Ceremony, and TOUSSAINT!.