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Not sure what to do! advice please!

My fiancé and I are doing everything on our own for our wedding. I am having such a hard time deciding where we should get married and how I want it all to go. Have a small intimate ceremony and a big reception or have all guest come to both the ceremony and reception? Colors or theme? Or both? Any brides out there have any advice?

Re: Not sure what to do! advice please!

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    KatWAGKatWAG member
    First Anniversary First Answer First Comment 5 Love Its
    edited April 2015

    My fiancé and I are doing everything on our own for our wedding. I am having such a hard time deciding where we should get married and how I want it all to go. Have a small intimate ceremony and a big reception or have all guest come to both the ceremony and reception? Colors or theme? Or both? Any brides out there have any advice?


    Start with figuring out a budget and a guest list. That will filter out a lot of options.
    BabyFruit Ticker
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    FYI the reception typically costs about 60% of your overall budget, so if you are thinking that having a smaller ceremony will save you money, it won't.

    But like PP said, you need to determine how much money you are willing to spend and then determine a tentative guest list.  This will help you to narrow down if you can afford a full blown black tie wedding or a nice afternoon cake and punch wedding (and everything in between). In the end you need to plan a wedding that is fully hosted for your guests.

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    Yup, budget first, then guest list. Then find the wedding that will fit your allowances.

    All guests invited to the wedding ceremony MUST be invited to the reception. I've seen around here, if you choose to have a small ceremony (rule of thumb here is 10% of your total guest list) then it's okay to not invite everybody to the ceremony then the reception. But overall, it is expected that all guests are invited to both.


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    Ditto others - figure out how much you're willing to spend. Then figure out who you want to invite.

    FYI though, everyone should be invited to everything. A wedding is one event - ceremony + reception.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
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    CMGragainCMGragain member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    edited April 2015
    1.  Budget

    2.  Guest list

    3.  What time of day?  This is very important, and depends on #'s 1 and 2.  There are four basic kinds of weddings

        A.  Private wedding.  This can be at the courthouse, a church, or some romantic destination.  No guests.  No reception.  You can have a party to celebrate the same day or at a later time.
        B.  Afternoon wedding:  This can be in a church, or anywhere.  Guests are invited.  You serve cake, punch and possibly tea sandwiches immediately after the ceremony.  Very traditional and budget friendly.  The cake does not need to be a fancy tiered wedding style cake.
        C.  Morning wedding.  Your reception will be a brunch, which is half the cost of a dinner reception.  You can have dancing if you wish.  If you feel casual, have this in a  park with picnic style food.
        D.  Full dinner reception.  Very expensive! 
       Private ceremony with full reception?  This does not make sense to me, since the reception will be 80% of your cost.  You won't save much money.  Many guests will be disappointed to miss your ceremony.  It seems gift grabby, to me.

    NOW you can start looking at venues.  Churches, parks, fire stations (Yes!) fraternal lodges (Moose, Elks, etc.) are budget friendly.  If you have a small guest list, a restaurant might be a nice idea. 

    Hope all this helps.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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    I agree with Maggie, the reception is the most expensive portion when it comes to hosting your guests. The only expenses are programs and bubbles, both are optional. Of course you need seating, which if the venue you pick doesn't provide, you'll need to rent. First figure out how much you can budget for on your own. Then talk to FI and ask him what he would like to see and what you want. Do you want a church wedding, an outdoor wedding, a ceremony at the same location at the reception? Then if you don't know what type of reception you want, make appointments at different venues that interest you to see what the costs are and what you get for the price. Make sure to asks if they have any off season pricing or if the pricing is different for a Friday versus Saturday wedding. In the mean time, start working on your guest list. I would recommend ranking your guests. Basically your VIPS (people who you really want there and would be bummed if they couldn't make it), then people you really want to invite, but if the budget isn't there for them, they're getting cut. Then your final list of, it would be nice if we can invite them after everyone else has been accomodated. Your colors will probably be impacted by the time of year you get married in. Pastel colors seem to be more spring/summer colors, while bright colors lend more to summer, earth tones lend itself to fall and jewel tones lend themselves to fall. That being said, that doesn't mean you can't have whatever color you want at any time of year. What colors work in a winter wedding in Vermont, can be totally different then a winter wedding in Florida. Go with your favorite colors.

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    Yeah pretty much figure out your budget first, you can't do anything else without that. Then create your guest list. Everyone should be invited to everything. The point of a reception is to thank people for witnessing your wedding.

    Colours are up to you, usually picking 2-3 is good to start with. Do you like bright and colourful? Or soft pastels? Neutral colours? Sparkles? 

    Theme-wise, you don't HAVE to have a theme. 

    You have so many options here it's hard to narrow a lot down for you, being that you're starting from scratch. Grab some wedding magazines, get some inspiration that way. It definitely helped me. You'll figure out quickly what decorative things, colour schemes, etc, you do and don't like. 

    The time of year is also going to effect what you do and where you hold your wedding.
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    My fiance and I have about $1,000 for everything, dress included
    1.  We rented a wedding chapel that is housed in an former church. 
    2.  I ordered a white quinceanera dress that looks just like a wedding gown.
    3.  We also found a family friend to do our cake (and yes, it is coming from a professional)
    4.  His grandmother volunteered to make most of the food. 
    5.  We have kept our guest list around 50-60 people which consists only of close relatives and friends. 
    6.  Due to personal situations, we decided not to have a bridal party except flower girl and ring bearer (read: save money on gifts). 
    7.  Don't waste money on a veil at a bridal salon. You can get pretty veils, ring pillows, and flower baskets at craft stores and even Wal-Mart for so much less. 
    8.  Our music is pre-recorded (save money on a band or DJ). I know a lot of people are going to knock this suggestion but when you're short on funds, it's a good option. Besides, you don't have to worry about the musicians making mistakes.

    As for color, my personal selection was turquoise and purple but there are a lot of colors that can work well with each other. I could go on all day but I won't.
    *Coral and slate
    *Sage and lilac
    *Lime and navy
    *Maroon and gold

    Daisypath Wedding tickers
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    Does anyone have a nice yard that you can do both the ceremony and reception at? We're literally doing everything ourselves---even my gown! Ceremony and reception are in my dad's yard. My family and us are cooking all the food. Thankfully, we're doing a BBQ, so most of the stuff can be done prior to the wedding. But you really need to make a budget before making plans.
    image
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    My fiance and I have about $1,000 for everything, dress included

    1.  We rented a wedding chapel that is housed in an former church. 
    2.  I ordered a white quinceanera dress that looks just like a wedding gown.
    3.  We also found a family friend to do our cake (and yes, it is coming from a professional)
    4.  His grandmother volunteered to make most of the food. 
    5.  We have kept our guest list around 50-60 people which consists only of close relatives and friends. 
    6.  Due to personal situations, we decided not to have a bridal party except flower girl and ring bearer (read: save money on gifts). 
    7.  Don't waste money on a veil at a bridal salon. You can get pretty veils, ring pillows, and flower baskets at craft stores and even Wal-Mart for so much less. 
    8.  Our music is pre-recorded (save money on a band or DJ). I know a lot of people are going to knock this suggestion but when you're short on funds, it's a good option. Besides, you don't have to worry about the musicians making mistakes.

    As for color, my personal selection was turquoise and purple but there are a lot of colors that can work well with each other. I could go on all day but I won't.
    *Coral and slate
    *Sage and lilac
    *Lime and navy
    *Maroon and gold

    I am fine with your plans, except for #4.  Poor Grandma!  Will she even be able to witness the ceremony, or will she be too busy in the kitchen?  How are you going to keep the food at a safe temperature?  I once saw a wedding where the MOG missed the ceremony (which was delayed an HOUR for her) because she was so busy making the reception food!  The guests were not happy with the delay.
    I would recommend cake and punch with little tea sandwiches.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
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    8.  Our music is pre-recorded (save money on a band or DJ). I know a lot of people are going to knock this suggestion but when you're short on funds, it's a good option. Besides, you don't have to worry about the musicians making mistakes.

    This is a pretty common thing, especially with how iPod-friendly many place are! We had some live music for the pre-ceremony cocktail hour and the ceremony, but for the reception we just used an iPod. It was super easy, convenient, and inexpensive!
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