I have been slacking on the wedding planning thing since I got engaged. I'm getting married August 24 2013 And my fiancee works two jobs. I work two jobs and I start my senior year of college in the fall so I think I should start planning now. But I'm 20 and I have one friend who got married but she had a lot of family help and I have no help from my family, or his family. We are paying for everything ourselves. We are setting up a bank account that both of us will be adding to with every paycheck that is specifically for the wedding. So we have an idea of how we are paying for it and I have a 3000 dollar budget in my head but I want it to be as little as possible. I just have no idea where to start planning.
And so many questions but because my parents are unsupportive I cant very well ask them because they just blow up about the fact that I'm engaged.
Like my fiancee is estranged from the bulk of his family. so he is only inviting 10 family members I have a large close family. Is it okay for me to invite significantly more people then him?
Can I do evites for the bulk of our guests and only do mailed traditional invitations to older family members that dont use computers?
I am a Southern Baptist and he is Wiccan but raised Catholic. I found a place that is non-denominational that we can go to, but it is 40 minutes away from where I want to have our reception is that to far to ask people to drive?
How far in advance should I be reserving and looking at these places?
When should I start looking at wedding dresses and getting my bridesmaids together to pick out bridesmaid dresses?
The other thing is my biological father hasnt been in my life, but I want him there. My adoptive father is who I want to give me away and everything but I think my biodad will feel entitled to. How do I handle that?
And I want to have the father/daughter dance but my fiancee lost his mom almost 12 years ago. And traditionally theres a mother/son dance after right? Is it okay for me to still do the father/daughter dance?
Its alot of questions but I am so beyond lost on this stuff. Any advice anyone has would be wonderful
First, I would highly recommend that you meet with a wedding planner. They don't cost a fortune and the time and effort a good planner can save you will be well worth it. You should be able to make payments and you have over a year to do it. Most planners offer a free initial consultation during which you can get a feel for each other's personalities and determine how well you may work together.
Next you need to book a location for both the ceremony and the reception ASAP. Yes, 40 minutes is too far to expect guests to drive. If people must travel that far, many will choose to attend either the ceremony or the reception but not both.
The next most important thing is to choose a good photographer. They book quickly, so don't wait. When the day is over, you will have your memories and your photos, so be sure to get a good photographer. This is where you want to put your money.
It is fine for you to invite more guests than your fiance. The sides don't have to be even. Invite those who are important to the two of you.
As for evites, they usually denote a hastily planned casual wedding. If that is what you want to convey, then go for it. An option would be to print your own invitations. You can find invitations and sometimes templates as well at many office supply stores.
You may want to begin looking at gowns and bridesmaids dresses about a year out.
For your biological father, you might have him seated in the front row, then have your step-father walk you down the aisle. When you reach the front, have your bio-dad stand and both men can respond to the question of who presents you to be married by saying "Her family does."
You do not need to have a mother/son dance. In fact, you don't need to have any first dances. Do what works for your family. I would suggest that for your dance, you begin this time with your bio-dad then have your step-father cut in half way through the song. That way, both men are honored.
You may want to purchase a book such as Weddings for Dummies or The Idiot's Guide to Wedding Planning. Both are down to earth and will provide all the information you need to plan your wedding. The one thing a book cannot do is take care of the details on the wedding day and at the rehearsal. You need a person to do that.
I am also a college student working full time so I can relate to not having enough time. What I do is take an hour every couple of days to think what I want and one thing at a time. First sit with your fiancÚ and make a quest list, then look for a place not too far, I would suggest finding a venue where you can hold both the reception and ceremony at, it makes it a lot easier for you as well as guest. Photographer, videographer then your dress. Think of a color or a theme for the wedding. I have a low budget for my wedding so I started my own wedding organize binder. Just go one step at a time.
While the advice of hiring a wedding planner is good....not on a $3000 budget! You are going to have to DIY this, whether you like it or not! First off, you need to get a place ASAP! You are getting married in peak wedding season and should have had that done awhile ago. We saved a ton of money by having our ceremony and reception at a state park. The rental for the day was $110!!!! Now, that means having to rent tables, chairs, etc...so look into the costs. Limiting you guest list will save a lot too. The average figure for cost per person attending is $80-$110. Also, marrying later in the evening can mean forgoing having to serve dinner to your guests. Instead you just have drinks and dancing at the reception.
Photography is another area where you will spend lots of money. I good way to cut costs on that is to try and hire a student. If your school has a photography department, maybe try talking to the instructor and see if they could recommend someone and talk with them for you. You will be able to get photography work for a small fraction of the cost of a professional (think $350 compared to $3000)!
I am also a big fan for Craigslist and yard sales for finding funky decorations at a fraction of the cost!