by Tami Zachman
I want to start with a few facts about proposals;
*The top time to get engaged is Christmas. A round 16% of couples get engaged at Christmas.
*Another big engagement time is Valentine’s Day, 10% of couples get engaged at this time
Other popular engagement times are New Year’s Eve, a birthday, Thanksgiving and an anniversary of your dating life.
One word of advice, if you want to propose over the holidays, I would avoid doing it in front of family or a large group, for obvious reasons.
OKAY, now on to the important things to do once you are engaged, no matter if it’s in 5 months or 2 years, get that VENUE locked in and also your CHURCH.
One of my favorite venue’s is going to be opening around April, The Cotillion Room at the Marriott Peoria Pere Marquette, to me it is by far the most romantic room in the city. Saying that there are many other fabulous venues in and around Peoria. Also keep in mind that many of the venues have in house catering, but there are a few places where you can bring in your own caterer.
Please keep in mind that if you are having an outdoor wedding and/or reception, you need a plan B, you just don’t know what mother nature is going to throw your way.
Next what I think is important is get out and look and try on dresses. This can change your whole idea of what you want your reception to look like. One of the hardest part of planning a wedding is the guest list, you need to come to an agreement of how many guest you are going to invite. Now, if you haven’t seen or heard from a friend or distant family member in 10 years, don’t feel as if you need to invite them. One thing you can do is to send notes out telling them that you got married and just wanted to let them know.
Selection of the Bridal party, you can send a little poem and gift to the ladies you want to join you in the bridal party, this is very cute idea. And for the guys, you can do the same, but the note obviously is going to be much different and you can give them a gift of cuff links, scotch, etc. You can do a search for great ways to ask your friends to be a part of your wedding party
Another situation is the flower girl and ring bearer, if they are young think of having a doll or teddy bear being held by on of the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Save the Dates, if you are going to use these go ahead and get them out. Use your engagement pictures along with it if you want.
Picking your DJ or Band, go see them!!!!! See if they fit your personalities. One thing I would not do,,,, is use a friend unless they are a PROFESSIONAL, many times people use their friends and are not happy with the way it turns out. From personal experience, it’s not a good thing to do. I ended up running the special dances and announcements for the DJ because he just didn’t know what he was doing for a wedding. It’s not just playing music, so much goes into this part, you want to get it right.
The Photographer is another big decision to be made, talk to at least 4 photographers look at their work and make sure your personalities fit. That they understand what you want in your pictures.
Same goes with a Videographer, check out a few. Watch their videos, is this the person for you.
I am going to talk about photo booths, most people think this should be simple, cost being a big factor. With photo booths, you want to make sure you get a disk and rights to all the pictures taken. You also want them to have a large supply of
props. Here’s the thing, as the night goes on the pictures can get a bit ahem, risque. There are other photo booths out there that can hold large groups of people in them, or you can go with the open concept like Smilebooth.com out of Chicago where there is a backdrop, everyone can see, the camera, has a sensor to let it know to take the picture, they have props, people jump in and photo bomb, lots of fun. I still feel that any and all photo booths are a great addition to give great memories of your big day.
Your reception and church decorations, are next on this list for me. Please come into the rental and floral vendors with a budget. It makes it much easier for them to help you pick your look. Bring color swatches and pictures so the vendor has an idea of your wedding style. Close to 40% of your budget can go towards the reception. This includes, the venue, food, the bar and how you handle that, linens, chairs or chair covers, centerpieces, your band or DJ, cake, photo booth etc.
Invitations need to be out at the latest, 3 months in advance, and your other paper supplies should be done so after. This will also be up to your invitation company. We have some great ones here in Peoria.
Also ladies don’t forget about your man’s wedding ring.
I am partial to a wedding planning book called “Wedology, plenty of places to write your information, and lots of extra advice. The writer Desiree Moore Dent of Dejane Events, is out of Chicago. I find this planning book easy to use, and she also has a toolkit with more information on her Facebook page.
This is not all of the details that going into planning a wedding but a start with the most important parts. For more information I can be contacted at 309-256-4950 or order the Wedology book of Amazon.com.
HAPPY VALENTINES MONTH TO ALL!