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Creating Your Wedding Vision
Expert Author Kathy A. Miller
Having a vision of what your wedding day will be is the first step in planning that special day. It's a good idea for you and the groom to sit down and get the basic details outlined before you announce your engagement. Once you make your announcement, you will find that family and friends all have suggestions for how you should do things. Knowing the basic details of what you want will allow you to say "thanks, we already know how we want to do that."
Remember that you may not both agree initially on what you would like to see here. It's important to be willing to compromise so that you create a day that will be special for both of you.
Style
In discussing style, think about how formal you want your wedding ceremony to be. Do you want a very formal wedding or something that is informal? Elegant or simple? Will your ceremony be traditional or nontraditional? What theme will you have? Do you plan to have a religious ceremony? What about any ethnic themes to include? It's important to try to define the style of wedding you wish to have.
Location
If you are both from the same hometown, will you have the wedding there? If not, will you choose the bride's hometown or the groom's hometown? Some couples may opt for a destination wedding. Weddings done in the Caribbean are quite popular. When thinking about this, remember if you select a destination wedding, it might impact who will be able to attend.
Size
How many people do you envision attending your wedding? Will it be small and intimate with less than 50? Or maybe you dream of something that's average size (50-100), large (100-250) or even a very large wedding (with over 250 attendees). The size of your wedding impacts your choice of location as well as your budget.
Season
Think about what season you want to be married in. Perhaps you dream of a summer wedding and being a June bride. Maybe your favorite seasons is fall with all the beautiful fall colors. Spring is also a great time for a wedding as everything is starting to bloom. Winter weddings are also beautiful. Select the season that best fits when you'd like to be married.
Time of Day
Weddings can take place any time of the day. Some may opt for a sunrise wedding, others for something in the middle of the day. Perhaps your dream is to be married at sunset or in the evening. Some may even choose a late night wedding. One note to consider here is if you are planning a destination wedding, be sure you know if they have any special requirements. When we married in Barbados, they had a rule that the ceremony must be completed before sundown.
Time and Date
Give yourself a couple of choices here. What are your top two choices for the date of your wedding? You may need some flexibility with that depending on where you hold your wedding. Do the same thing with the time. Pick your top two choices for time of day. Remember at this point, you're creating a vision, it doesn't have to be exact!
Colors
What colors will you have for your wedding? Maybe you prefer all white. Perhaps pastels, maybe black and white. Some brides will have strong, bold colors. Have a general idea and then list any specific colors you want to be sure to include.
Make a List of Priorities
This is a broad list of items, with you numbering them in order of your highest priority. What's the most important thing for you to have just as you want? Some suggested items for this list include specific time and date, location, reception facility, flowers and decorations, officiant, food and drink, guest availability, and music. Knowing which items are the most important will help you make decisions when you need to compromise on something.
Events
What things will you have in addition to the actual wedding? Will you plan to do an engagement party to announce your engagement? Do you plan to have a bridal shower? Will you have a rehearsal dinner? Then right before the wedding, do you plan to have a bachelor or bachelorette party?
Who Helps Make Decisions?
Another good thing to include in your vision planning is who will help you make decisions. Clearly the bride and groom are on this list. Will one or both sets of parents also be involved? Perhaps you will also allow your attendants to help with making some of the decisions. Maybe you have friends who you'd like to call on for that help as well.
Planning committee
It's good to have a list of a planning committee to be sure everything gets done. It should include the bride and groom and both sets of parents. You may also want to include your attendants and some friends. If you are using a wedding coordinator, this person also needs to be on this list. With this list, it's important to select ONE person who is the one in charge. This will make coordinating things much easier.
You may also want to list any special memories or interests that may inspire you for ideas to make your wedding unique to you. If so, this is a good place to write down those ideas.
Now you have a start! Creating your wedding vision gives you a beginning to planning a day that will be filled with special memories.

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