When you are planning a wedding, there is a lot to consider. From the venue to the dress and everything in between, it can be hard to know where to start. You might have heard of some of these points before but they are worth mentioning again because they could make your life as an engaged couple much easier! This post will give you a general overview and introduction into weddings so that you will feel more prepared for this big step and some of the things you need to plan for your wedding.
What does "marriage" mean?
When should I plan my wedding?
Different types of weddings
Wedding traditions and customs
1) What does "marriage" mean?
Marriage is a legal and social institution that binds two individuals together as husband or wife. Marriage has been around for millennia, but the details of what it means have changed over time to meet with current cultural expectations. The term "marriage" can also refer to different civil status types between other cultures worldwide.
-Same sex marriage
-Marriage before the age of 18
-Polygamous marriages (a man can be married to more than one woman)
The next thing worth thinking about is how much money you want to spend on your wedding and what type of venue would work best for your needs.
-The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £30,000
-Budgeting will be important to help you stay within what you are able to afford
-There are many different types of venues from rustic barns to quaint country churches and everything in between
It is also important to think about what type of dress you want for your wedding. Just like there are many different types of venues, there are also many different styles and colors
-Traditional dresses tend to be white or ivory in color with a full skirt that goes out from the waistline
-Modern bride's may choose any color they would like, or they may opt to wear a dress with no color at all
-The most common type of wedding dress is the short, strapless style and this choice has been popular for decades
You will also need to think about what kind of reception you want. The two options are an informal party (for example, in someone's backyard) or a formal party (at an expensive restaurant or hotel).
-The average cost of a reception can range from £15,000 to over £200,000
-It is important to keep in mind the type of food you would like and what style will work best with your venue
-If you want to have alcoholic drinks at your reception, it is important that you apply for a liquor license
-The cost of hiring a DJ or band can vary widely depending on the type of music and how much time they will be playing
2) When should I plan my wedding?
Before you can start planning your wedding you need to decide on a date that you want to get married and stick with it. The best time is in the months of May, June or September because these are less popular times for weddings.
Remember though, you need time to plan a wedding. How long it takes to organise will depend on your budget and the size of the event, but you should start planning at least 18 months in advance if possible!
Make sure to set a date far enough in advance so that you can avoid potential conflicts like major sports games or holidays. You may want to start by checking your calendar and seeing if any of these will be taking place on the day of your wedding, then mark them as unavailable.
Don't forget! There are also other factors to consider like the availability of your choice venue, which are sometimes booked years in advance.
If you're not sure about what date you want, start by looking for an available weekend and then figure out from there when is best for both families. You may need more than one day so make sure to plan accordingly!
If you're a bride who is looking for more information on the next steps, check out our blog post on Things to Consider After You've Chosen Your Wedding Date.
Another way of deciding when is best for your wedding date in terms of maximizing savings and convenience would be having it during off season months such as November or January.
The best way to start planning wedding is to buy a wedding planner (insert link), these contain all the things you need to arrange and are a great at providing an overview of everything. Do-it yourself isn't for everyone though as wedding planning is a big task and if you like to make life a little bit easier you could hire a wedding planner.
3) Different types of weddings
There are many different types of weddings, but the two most popular ones are traditional and contemporary.
- Traditional weddings have a well-defined structure with ceremonies following specific traditions that stem from ancient customs such as presenting the bride to her groom's family at the wedding feast while wearing an elaborate veil or walking down the aisle on the arm of her father.
- The ceremony typically takes place in a church and includes certain religious elements such as the priest pronouncing them husband and wife or reciting vows that are written out by either one of the bride's parents or by the couple themselves. Traditional marriages tend to be formal, with many guests present at the reception, which is traditionally held after church services have been completed. It usually has three courses (appetizer, main course and dessert) for dinner service during this meal there may also be speeches from both sets of parents followed by traditional dancing between family members or friends.
Traditional weddings can take up to 12+ months to plan depending on how extensive it will be but they're definitely worth all your time because it's a once-in-a-lifetime event.
A contemporary wedding is more relaxed and informal than its traditional counterpart because it's not focused on tradition, but rather the personal wishes of the couple getting married. There are no set rules or restrictions with this type of ceremony which makes them less daunting to plan. A number of couples opt for a bilingual (English/Spanish) ceremony where they celebrate their heritage by including readings from both languages into the service in order to make it more special for themselves, as well as those close to them who speak another language.
The majority of these ceremonies take place outside and include an outdoor cocktail hour before dinner followed by dancing under stars that provide just enough light so everyone can see.
Contemporary weddings are a little more flexible than traditional ones and they typically last around two months from start to finish, depending on how much you want it to be elaborate.
Ultimately though the type of wedding you have is completely flexible and the theme of your big day is entirely up to you.
4) Wedding traditions and customs
In most Western cultures, a bride wears her hair up in an elaborate hairdo and will be dressed from head to toe in white.
The tradition of the groom waiting for his bride at the end of the aisle is also practiced today, with him standing near the altar as she walks down it on her father's arm.
After their wedding ceremony and reception guests are traditionally thanked for attending by leaving their gifts (usually wrapped) outside or inside a designated area that was chosen beforehand while making sure not to wake any sleeping babies!
Wedding traditions vary across different countries but if you want some inspiration then check out this blog post about Wedding Traditions Around The World where we list what they're like around the world so you can decide what you want yours to be like.
Some of the most popular wedding traditons are:
1. The first dance - The bride and groom often dance together as a symbol of their love for one another.
2. Cutting the cake - The bride and groom usually cut the cake together to signify their union.
3. Giving a toast - The bride and groom will often toast the guests with a glass of champagne or sparkling wine.
4. Signing the marriage certificate - As a symbol of their newly wedded status, the bride and groom will sign this certificate.
5. Walking down the aisle together as newlyweds, hand in hand
See all of the classic wedding traditions in our ultimate guide to wedding traditions.
While there are many considerations to make when planning your wedding, the most important thing is that you're ready. There's no one-size-fits-all answer for how long before or after a person should get married, but it’s best to have some time between engagements so everyone can be present and enjoy themselves at both events. Your family members will appreciate the opportunity to celebrate with you on two occasions instead of just once! With regards to tradition and customs, these vary by culture which means they may not align with yours in every way. Take care in selecting those traditions from other cultures that resonate with what matters most to you as an individual couple---your values, beliefs, interests--and use them as guidelines for creating your dream wedding.