MVP Productions wants to see your wedding day go as smoothly as possible, just like you do. To help make this happen, we've put together some helpful hints, tips and advice to get you headed in the right direction. Not only do we get you started, but we want to help you right to the last guest leaving. We want to see your day go as perfectly as you do, and we hope this page helps. Happy planning!
Where do I Start?
Preparation List and Budget Planner
Help with your Budget
What do I do and When do I do it? Event Planner
- Changing your Name and Getting the Marriage License
Last Minute Details
Where do I Start??
Start with the Date
He's finally proposed and now it's time to select a date! A common mistake made in this stage is selecting only one date, especially if you are planning your wedding within a year, as so many do. If a traditional church wedding is in your plans, have your primary date decided upon, but also choose two alternate dates in case your pastor is already booked.
Decide on the Style of Reception you Want
With your budget in mind and a general idea of the number of guests that will be attending, let's begin planning the reception. Do we want a restaurant? Perhaps rent a hall? Maybe an outdoor wedding is more your style. Once you decide on where you want the reception, determine how available your chosen location is.
Videographer and Photographer
Remember, professional, experienced and reputable videographers and photographers are usually booked far in advance. Contact us early to avoid disappointment.
Choose your Attendants
Although many people jump right from, "Yes, I'll marry you!" into asking best friends to honor them as attendants, it's best to keep this detail for when you have a date picked out. Their attire will also depend on the time of year you choose. We wouldn't want anyone to freeze in dresses picked out for summer wear!
When you have finished with these first steps, you are well on your way to that special day! Now you can continue on with more detailed matters, such as deciding on the flowers, music for the church and reception, menu, attendant gifts and those special touches that make all the difference. Be especially attentive to all those little extras!
Plan to have everything ready to go about one week in advance so you can relax and enjoy that special day when it finally arrives.
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Here is just a small list of things you want to consider to help plan for your budget. I'm sure you may even have a much longer one already started, but you might pick up something that slipped your mind.
You may also want to consider copying this to a notebook and adding your own items to the list to get a more thorough list. Then on the eve of the big day, print out your list and highlight all those last minute detail items so nothing gets overlooked and tape it to the door for a quick check before leaving for the ceremony. That may just save your bridesmaids a few last minute errand runs.
Budget for Ceremony
Throw Away Bouquet
Flowers for Guestbook Table
Flowers for Ice Sculpture
Flowers for Cake
Wedding Party Gifts
Wishing Well or Fountain
Wiscks and Sticks
Crystal and China
Extra Video Tapes
Car Rental Service
Health & Fitness
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Help With Trimming the Budget
- Trim that guest list! Invite your closest friends and relatives, not everyone you've met in the past decade.
- Decide on simple eye-popping centerpieces and floral arrangements instead of trying to sprawl tons of decorations all over the place.
- Purchase some craft books and make many of the decorations yourself. Friends or relatives may be happy to help. Hand made items will be more intimate and you'll find a sense of pride and beauty in doing it yourself.
- Plan way ahead. By planning in advance, you can purchase items earlier and one at a time, here and there. This will avoid one monstrous bill at the end.
- Shop around online. You can compare prices, get usefull ideas and money saving tips.
- Consider a different day. While most ceremonies are on Friday and Saturday, they also accompany a larger bill. By considering, for instance, a Sunday wedding, you can cut expenses with your vendors.
- Visit bridal fairs near you. You can compare prices and get special offers.
- Enter drawings for free weddings items and services. One win can save you big$$!
- Make a budget and STICK TO IT!
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I found this check list online a while ago and it's a great reference tool for planning your wedding. I would just add a link, but pages change so often and I don't want you to miss the information.
6 to 24 months ahead
4 to 6 months ahead
- Determine your budget and the kind of wedding (informal, formal, etc.) and decide where the ceremony will take place.
- Visit your officiate with your financee. Select a service and set the date.
- Consider hiring a wedding consultant.
- Plan a reception.
- Choose your attendants
- Draw up your invitation lists and have your fiancee draw up his or hers.
- Enroll with the bridal gift registry of your favorite department or specialty store.
- Select your dress, veil, accessories and bridesmaids dresses.
- Consult a men's formal wear specialist.
- Select a photographer/videographer, florist, musicians.
2 to 4 months ahead
- Order your invitations, personal stationary and notepaper.
- Plan accommodations for your out-of-town guests.
- Arrange for your rehearsal dinner.
- Plan your honeymoon
- Shop for your trousseau.
- Have mothers choose their dresses.
- Visit your doctor for a complete physical examination, set date for blood test (valid time periods vary from state to state and Wisconsin doesn't require blood tests).
1 to 2 weeks ahead
- Address wedding invitations.
- Select your wedding reception music.
- Choose gifts for your attendants.
- Buy wedding ring; order engraving.
- Make a date with your fiancee to get the marriage license. (Check your state's law to see how many days a license is valid. I believe Wisconsin is 2 weeks, but double check).
2 weeks ahead
- Buy wedding gift for your groom/bride.
- Make appointment with hair stylist.
- Consider hiring a professional makeup artist for your wedding day.
- Have final dress fittings.
- Plan how to handle traffic, parking.
- Mail your invitations.
- Have a formal wedding portrait taken.
- Attend parties in your honor.
- Plan bridesmaids' party.
- Record each gift as received and write a thank-you note promptly.
- Make a household "check" for your home furnishings that are still needed.
- Pick up wedding rings.
1 week ahead
- Send your wedding announcement to the newspaper.
- Draw up a seating plan for reception; make cards for the bride's table.
- Go over your personal trousseau and take care of any last minute items.
- If you plan to change your name on Social Security, driver's license, credit cards, bank accounts, contact the necessary offices to obtain the required forms.
- Arrange to move your belongings to your new home.
- Have final consultation with caterer, florist and photographer/videographer.
- Give bridesmaids' party.
- Confirm Rehearsal plans with clergy and attendants.
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Changing Names and Obtaining a Marriage License
Obtaining a Marriage License
In order to get the marriage license, the bride and groom must both go to the Marriage License Bureau either at the county courthouse or department of motor vehicles to request one. Blood tests are sometimes required so ask your representative for details. This is usually not required in the state of Wisconsin. Both parties must be at least 18 years old, or have a guardian's consent. Bring the following:
If you have been married before, you will need to show your exact dates of marriage and you will be asked to list all previous marriages. Proof of divorce will be necessary.
- Birth certificates for valid I.D.
- Driver's license, if you have one
- Social security card
Your wedding must take place within 60 days of application. You will receive your marriage license sometime during that time frame. Some churches ask for this on your wedding day so be prepared. The marriage license is not valid until 24 hours after you have received it.
Changing Your Name
In most cases it is the bride that is changing her name. Here are a few tips to help through the process. The bride will need to contact the following agencies:
Here are the questions you will be asked when changing your name and applying for a marriage license:
- Department of Motor Vehciels: Change your driver's license. Ask for a document in reference to your name change.
- State Department of Social Security: Contact your local Social Security Office and set up an appointment to fill out the necessary forms. Ask fo copies before you leave their office.
- Federal Income Tax Department: Your income tax return will be filled out with your new name. Social Security should forward their information to the Internal Revenue Service, but you should make sure the IRS received this information.
- Name of groom
- Residence of groom
- Maiden name of bride
- Residence of bride
- Last names of previous marriage
- Age and date of birth for both parties
- Place where drivers license was issued
- Address, old and new
- Attorney, if required
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Last Minute Details
Here are a few tips for the last minute details on the big day.
- On the night of the rehearsal, light all the candles and let them burn for a few minutes. This will assure they light and burn correctly the day of the wedding.
- Tell the wedding party to be at the church at least 20 minutes before you really need them there, just to give a little extra time for those people who are always late.
- Bring a snack to the church, perhaps fruit or finger sandwhiches. It's a long haul until your dinner and breakfast just won't hold you over.
- Use waterproof mascara.
- Since those high heels usually never last through all the dancing, bring along a pair of white footy socks or dressed up ballet slippers. They're so much more comfortable, will keep nylons from snagging and nobody will see them under the gown.
- Keep your wedding day simple. Try to keep your running to a minimum; the hairdresser, makeup and church. Leave the rest of the running to someone else. It will help to keep your stress level down.
- Don't go to a tanning bed the day before the big day! Lobster red never looked good on a bride. Schedule tanning weeks in advance so you can have a natural looking tan and no burn.
- Make a checklist several weeks in advance and on the day of your wedding, give a copy of it to your maid of honor so she can double check everything for you.
- Relax and Enjoy!!
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Now you're ready, right?
No? So what do we do if you still have questions? Fear not! I've compiled a wonderfully thorough list of great links that cover everything from etiquette to how to handle that in-law-to-be. Just check out the Links page!