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Planning for 2012

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Congratulations to all future brides who have recently become engaged.  This is an exciting time full of anticipation about how your dream wedding will come to fruition.  Consider these top things to do after getting engaged:

1) Announce your Engagement
Share the exciting news with your family and friends.  This is the first thing you will want to do upon getting engaged.  After speaking with friends and family, call your local newspaper and anywhere else you want your engagement announcement to appear. There may be a publication fee.  You can check with the newspaper about writing guidelines and/or standardized forms. 

2) Set a Wedding Timeline
Decide how long your engagement will be. This is typically based upon your ideal wedding date and the amount of time it will take to prepare.  Most engagements last anywhere from six months to a year.  Be sure to give yourself enough time to plan also keeping in mind most reception sites and vendors book a year or more in advance. 

3) Determine your Wedding Reception Style
Your location will ultimately help to shape your wedding style, whether an outdoor nature setting or luxurious ballroom setting.  Take this time to also think about wedding colors and/or wedding theme.

4) Set your Budget
The following items will play a major roll in your budget.  Be sure your wedding venue and selected vendors fit within your overall budget:

Date / time: Saturdays, summer months, and evenings tend to be the most costly time of year to have a reception.

Decor: Floral, Linen, Lighting, Ceremony Decor

Entertainment: Band vs. DJ

Transportation: Shuttle Bus / Trolley / Limo

5) Organize
Get an iPad or iPhone app, a datebook or calendar to help create a timeline for wedding-related tasks. .

6) Choose your Attendants
This is a great time to honor friends/family by selecting them to be a part of the big day.  Your attendants are a great resource to help with wedding details.  Be sure to ask early and inform them about your plans. 

7) Make a Guest List
Develop a potential guest list and also ask parents about their ideal guest list.  This will help to keep you on track with your wedding budget.  You may have to scale down the guest list if costs exceed the budget or you may find that if your guest list is smaller than expected, you know have additional money in the budget to spend on wedding decor or food for the wedding reception.

8) Start Gown Shopping
It's never too early. Start by figuring out which style will look best on you.  Bridal Magazines provide a great tool to get you started.  You can view different dresses and determine which dress may fit your personal style.  When selecting your dress, keep in mind the weather conditions at the time of your wedding.  Shantung, satin, silk and tulle are perfect year round.  If you are getting married in the winter, brocade and velvet fabrics will keep you warm.  For the summer, lightweight fabrics such as organza, chiffon or linen work best.

9) Create a Wedding Website
This is a great way to communicate important information to your wedding guests.  Make it fun by including Trivia about the way you met or how he proposed.  Also include pictures and wedding details as they are finalized.

10) Start a Wedding Savings Account
Start a savings account for the big day.  Check on deposit amounts required by vendors as well as time frames that additional payments will be due for the wedding.

Davina Arceneaux
Director of Catering / Wedding Specialist


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