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A Wedding in Thirty Days Let’s Break it Down

Fall Bridal Bouquet

Gorgeous Bride with her Fall Bouquet of Burgundy Callas, Roses, Dahlias


So you are getting married.  Word of Advice!  Keep it in perspective. 

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The most important thing about this whole experience is the fact that you have found a love so great that you want to make it your life.  This is about two families joining together.  As the years go by the anxiety of the guest list, cost of the decor you want, the disagreement with your maid of honor or your new sister in  law will all fade into the past.  You will learn so much about your spouse, things you love and things you hate.  It is the combination of these things that made you fall in love in the first place.  You won’t change each other but hopefully you will polish each other, so that twenty years from now your love literally is so much brighter than the day you were married. 

Ok I will get off my soapbox.  Let’s get started.  I posted a general overview of what to do.  You can find tons of wedding sites like

You can check out our Reviews on Wedding Wire

The list goes on forever…  I personally like Wedding Wire as it includes Central Illinois.  We are sometimes forgotten out here in the cornfields.  We are not Chicago and We are not St. Louis but we are somebody…  You can build your own personal wedding website.  They have all kinds of tools to keep you on track.  If you are planning this yorself, my advice is use one of these!

There are also quite a few really nice local websites that you can gather information on vendors, here are the links check them out.

Ok let’s break this down to doable things. 

You’re Engaged Now what?

  • Talk with your fiancé and all parents or family members.  I would suggest meeting with your family members seperate and asking them what they think and how they can help.   
  • Talk about budget, style, size of event, location, time of year and attendees. Our Budget planner can help you decide how to allocate your expenses.

You need to talk things over with all who are involved in the wedding.  Budget will be the most important and the most volitile.  It is so important to be realistic.  You do not want to start out your life in debt!  So find out how your are going to pay for this.  

The fact is that today’s weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $25,000-30,000!

Who pays for what?  You can find so much information on wedding etiquette by a simple Google Search.

The following is a list of wedding costs customarily paid by the Bride’s parents:

Tradition holds that the Bride’s parents pay for the reception but today’s wedding trends are changing, it is important to be aware of long-lasting trends, especially those in the area of paying for a wedding.

Why did the Bride’s parents get stuck with  the expense?   It probably originated from the ancient tradition of paying a large dowry to attract a good husband, hopefully this is not true and you are a match made in heaven not the bank. 

Over the years, this tradition transformed into a more “updated” version, but the concept remained, the bride’s parents paid for the wedding.

The following is a list of wedding costs customarily paid by the groom’s parents:

  • Rehearsal dinner

The rehearsal dinner is customarily paid for by the parents of the groom. Typically everyone who was at the rehearsal should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. This includes, but is not limited to, the bride, groom, parents of both, grandparents of both, the officiant and his/her spouse, siblings and their spouses or partners, etc. It might also include out of town guests or close friends but this is discretionary

  • Reception Beverages (i.e. alcohol at the bar)

The bride’s parents cover the expense of the reception which includes food and drinks, however, the groom’s parents are expected to pay for the drinks at the bar.

Once you have talked things over and you see where you are finacially it is time to set a budget.  Yes I said B U D G E T, budget!  If you go at this blindly you will spend so much more than you ever thought possible.  It is painful but JUST DO IT! 

Ok yes we are planners I am not just bringing this up to get you to hire us.  It is an important factor in your day.  If you can do it great, if not that is fine.  Do realize you must have help during the process and especially the rehearsal and day of!  The last thing you want to do on the day of your wedding is run around trying to figure out how to lay the aisle runner…….  You can visit our Services page and see if this is something you would like to do.  There are quite a few planners here in Central Illinois.  Here are a few links,  Yes I am going to tell you about my competition.    These are the ones I know have a great reputation like us.  Here are their links

Nuptiae in the Champaign area

So Chic  in Peoria

  • Determine whether or not you would like to hire an event planner to assist in all the research and planning details. (your other option is a partial, or day–of coordinator—which can be hired at a later date)
  • Why hire a planner-yes there is an expense but let me tell you you will save time and money.  Planners can do wonders.  They can get you things you never thought you would have at your wedding.  They can ask the questions you won’t ask, like what can you do for me…. can you include….  Wheeling and dealing that is the job of the planner.  So you think it over.  Weigh the options the pros and cons and then make your decision.  


  • Start thinking about the overall style and theme of your reception. Browse our Begin researching and visiting reception sites. Our Local Wedding Resources section will help you determine the local facilities that meet your needs.

This is where the dreaming comes in… since you were three years old you have thought about this day.  Now you can go through thousands of books, websites, blogs  (this is a great site ) pretty soon it is like looking at wallpaper books..  Try not to go crazy.

Think about what appeals to you.  On our first meeting with our brides we have a few questions to help them find out who they are as a couple and what is their vision.  Here are the secret questions 

Describe Your Personal Style In 3 Words Or Less. 

Describe the vision for your Wedding Day.

How would your Guests describe it?

Describe your personality.

How would you describe your Fiancé’s personality?

What are your Hobbies and Interests? 

Describe Your Personal Style In 3 Words Or Less This is a Big One!  It says alot about you.

Describe the vision for your Wedding Day?


How would your Guests describe it?  



These questions will help you see where you want to go.   You will say things like simple, elegant.  Some will say I want bling and more bling!  Traditional, non traditional. 

It will influence the theme of your wedding and the atmosphere you want to create.   I am not saying have a theme wedding.  I am saying that your wedding should tell a story about you and your fiance.  The things that you include should reflect you as a couple but also your past.  You know a wedding is a story of two lives becoming one.  How do want that story to play out?  By getting a focal point it will help you in so many decisions, from table cloths, invitations, favors and yes the B word Budget!

So Call your family and talk Money!

Well Until Tomorrow!

Wedding Plans Making you Crazy? Not Sure What to Do? Schedule your Complimentary Consultation

Enter you email receive a Special Issue and Complimentary Consultation Availability:

2010 Margaret Moore,
Want to use this article in your E-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete statement:

Event Planning entrepreneur Margaret Moore with Simple Elegance Events and Wedding Designs publishes this weekly e-zine. Get your FREE  “My Dream Wedding without the Nightmare”  at

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