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Wedding Planning: You’re Engaged! Now What?

You said yes! You’ve announced that you’re getting married to family and friends and they couldn’t be happier for you. But now what? Along with congratulations comes lots of wedding planning advice. Some may be helpful, some not so much and all of this can lead the even the calmest brides to become overwhelmed on where to start.

In addition to finding a groom, one of the largest components to planning a wedding is the location. Will it be a small backyard wedding on the family farm? What about the local event hall? A destination ceremony on an island? There are so many choices and types of venues that research becomes key in this initial planning step. Thankfully, there are a variety of resources to help new brides narrow down a location or type of venue that fits their unique personality and vision. Many turn to Google to look up local Maryland wedding venues or other websites such as the Knot.com or WeddingWire.com for comparisons. It’s also important for newly engaged couples to consider the season in which they’d like to be married and potential venue availability. It is best to keep an open mind to dates in a particular season instead of choosing a specific date prior to visiting any sites. After a date and place have been secured, the rest comes easy! Now the bride and groom can check into photographer, DJ and florist availability based on their newly decided wedding date and specific setting.

Deciding on a venue can also help to determine the budget for the rest of the wedding. If the bride and groom book a place that is all-inclusive, it is likely that they will know total costs and what the venue provides up front. If the wedding is to be held in a tent or hall, some of the rental costs may be unknown until a few weeks before the event when the final number of tables, linens and place settings is determined, based on the final guest count. It takes a lot of diligence to determine the total cost of a wedding. The cost of food and alcohol may impact the number of people invited to the wedding so it’s important to know prior to booking what the worst case scenario could be if everyone shows up! If there are vendors on site or recommended by the venue, they may have better rates than outside photographers or DJs since they work at that particular location often. It’s also important to note what type of décor is provided. Are centerpieces included or available for rent? Are there any extra fees that are hidden? Some places charge extra to cut the cake, switch the ceremony from outside to inside during bad weather or even for choosing colored linens instead of basic white or ivory. All of these things should be considered in the initial planning stages in order to leave room in the overall wedding budget.

Working on all of the fun items with family or bridal party is something that can done in the months leading up to the big day. After the bride has determined where her wedding will be held, everyone can lend a hand with making centerpieces, place cards, favors, photo collages and more, based on the style and décor of the reception site. Other last minute items may include booking a limo or shuttle service, fireworks for after the last dance, or a photo booth to entertain guests. It is important to note that planning an entire wedding doesn’t need to be stressful and that not every decision needs to be made during the first week that a couple is engaged. Sometimes getting caught up in nailing down every detail immediately has the opposite effect and the wedding can become even more overwhelming and unorganized. Brides should remember to relax, breathe and enjoy the time that they’re engaged. It goes by in a blink!

This post was written by Lauren Conklin, Sales Manager.  Morningside Inn is an outdoor wedding venue set in the back of 300 acres of rolling farmland. Guests enjoy the peaceful serenity of nature without sacrificing comfort. Attend our next open house event or schedule a private tour with Lauren today!