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Everyone has an idea of what their dream wedding would be like. Even guys! There are all types of ways to design and style the event in addition to choosing a venue, caterer, music, photographer and what else, the guest list. Let’s face it, there are a lot of elements you need to think about when planning a wedding or any event for that matter. Well, here are a few tips to help you along your way.

Who Are You?
First and foremost, your wedding should represent who you are. You and your fiance are together for a reason, right? We all know you love each other, that’s a given. What do you both believe in or stand for? What special morals do you have? What is the reason you both live the lifestyle you have chosen? These are all important questions you should ask yourselves before you even start planning.

Family & Friends
Who do you want to share your special day with? Is it everyone you know or just close family and friends? Some people want a grand affair and others choose to have a more intimate one. One thing to remember, don’t just invite people to get gifts. That’s a little rude. People your hardly talk to really don’t need to be there, unless they are friends of your parents. Once you figure out who you want there, you can move on to the next step.

The Budget Blues
Talk with your parents or others that may help to see what your budget is. Most weddings nowadays are $30,000 and up but don’t freak out if your budget is smaller. You don’t need to spend a fortune to have an awesome event. Work with what you have and know it will all be beautiful in the end.

Choosing the Place
Now that you have a general head count and your budget in check you can research venues. Being organized will make this step a lot easier. I recommend doing a lot of research. I spent 4 months searching for the perfect place and happily I found it. Not only was it totally within our budget but it represents my fiance and I perfectly! Remember, the venue will be a reflection of who you are. Make sure you get all the details you need to make your decision and don’t let places walk all over you. If some of their rates are a little pricey, let them know.

Finding a Caterer
This is one of the most important steps when planning your wedding. In most cases, the caterer handles the rentals, the food and any other elements that need to be taken care of. That is the traditional way of doing things. You don’t have to go that route if you don’t want to or simply can’t afford to.

While I was contacting caterers I wanted to pull my hair out! For what I wanted they were asking way too much and including tons of food that isn’t necessary. They were basically trying to sell me a big fancy wedding. That is what bothered me the most. Not everyone wants that! I felt as if they weren’t listening to me at all. Some of them didn’t even get back to me. How unprofessional. So, if you want the caterer to only take care of the food, that is fine. It will be much cheaper.

This is the fun part! I am choosing a DIY wedding because I can. I understand not everyone has the creative genius to do so. That is why there are plenty of people out there that can help as well as magazines, blogs and books. Research! Maybe you have a talented friend who has been waiting to put together an event, great. Give them the chance to help out even if you are doing it yourself.

A good way to start is to come up with a theme. Depending on your venue this can be just about anything. If you love nature, go for a garden theme or present the affair with lots of flowers. Girly girls can glam it up with a hollywood theme and couples interested in history can go for a vintage look. There are so many things you can do. The possibilities are endless.

Choosing whether you want a band or a dj shouldn’t be that hard. Just make sure you meet with a few people so you know all your options. If you have someone in mind, go for it. Why waste time? It’s the same with the photographer and videographer. Decide on a group or a smaller independent artist. Compare rates and see what works best for your budget. You also want to make sure they produce good work!

Follow these tips and your wedding planning journey will turn out to be a smooth ride. It may be bumpy along the way but what isn’t? Breathe, focus and always stay true to yourself.