Wedding Planning? Check!
The big question has been popped. The word “YES!” has been shouted. It’s now time to celebrate your engagement and plan your wedding, but where do you begin? Follow this easy checklist to make your upcoming nuptials an experience you will treasure forever.
Step 1: Throw a party! Use this bash to announce your engagement and celebrate with friends and family. Think of this as a mini version of the reception to come. Think appetizers, desserts, or a whole buffet to feed your guests. Don’t forget the champagne for a toast to your future together. Need help with making food suggestions or don’t have time to cook? No problem. The Cottage has an in house catering team, Z Catering, to address all of your food needs. You can check out our online menu, schedule a tasting, or ask for our most requested menu items. We are happy to help in every step of the way. Pro tip — be sure to keep your party guest list to help you with creating your invitation list for your special day.
Step 2: Narrow down a date. When touring potential venues, it is important to be ﬂexible. Start by picking the season and day of the week that matters the most. If you are on a budget, shop around for killer weekday and non-peak season offers. At The Cottage, we have very competitive pricing, and we are always having specials and doing giveaways to help you stick to your budget. We also go above and beyond to accommodate each couple with choosing their date.
Step 3: Find your venue. This is a top priority before any planning has truly begun. Your dream location might have everything you need — a “one stop shop,” from food to photographers. If you are a DIYer, this is a great time to save a lot of money by enlisting friends and family. Seek out what hidden talents they possess. Which aunt has mad ﬂower skills? Which cousin is an ordained minister? What about the uncle who has that $1000 Nikon just lying around collecting dust from last Christmas?
At The Cottage, our options meet the needs of every couple. For example, if you are type of person who breaks out in hives just hearing the word “planning,” we have a solution! Our all inclusive packages provide everything you need for a perfect event. Choosing this option is like buying a spec home; you just need to pick the colors, add your personal touches, and enjoy your special day.
On the other hand, if you dream of being your own wedding planner, here is your chance. The A la Carte package allows you to choose and bring in all of your own vendors. You could bring in your favorite musician instead of a DJ or even turn your reception into a potluck style dinner! If you have the time and organizational skills, they sky really is the limit with this package!
Step 4: Order THE dress of your dreams. First, start your search by looking in bridal magazines, online (hello, Pinterest!), or spend a day binge watching “Say Yes to the Dress” to see what dress styles catch your eye. Jot down a list or collect pictures in your phone or tablet of what you like. Call and schedule appointments at a few bridal shops in town. Don’t know which ones to choose? We can help! We have preferred vendors for each step of your planning process. On the day of your appointment, gather up your squad — best girlfriends, mom, sisters, cousins, nieces, whoever is going to cheer you on and help you find YOUR dress. Make sure to try on a few dresses that may seem a little out of your comfort zone, you never know how it is going to look once it is on. Don’t forget to look at accessories that highlight details in your dress, from your veil to jewelry and shoes. Once you find your dress, schedule a future appointment for a fitting. Make sure you have plenty of time for last minute alterations. You want that dress to fit like a glove! Make a separate appointment to outfit your bridal party. Before you go, have some ideas of colors and styles in mind. Let your bridal party help in the decision making so everyone feels comfortable and happy with their attire.
Step 5: Personalize your ceremony. This is your day. Look for inspiration in your favorite song lyrics, poems, quotes, or bible verses . . . whatever feels right to you. Feeling extra romantic? Speak your heart by writing your own vows. Invite your priest, minister, rabbi, or ordained friend to help incorporate your ideas into your ceremony. Don’t have anyone in mind? No problem! Our in house officiant, April Braddock, is happy to personalize your vows, for either a religious or non-religious ceremony. She takes the time to reach out to each couple at The Cottage to make sure every little detail matches your vision of a perfect day. Of course, you can also make your ceremony yours by picking out music that really speaks to you. Think traditional wedding march or have fun with a rockin’ 80’s song that helps everyone in your bridal party feel the excitement of the celebration. Be creative, have fun, and most importantly, stay true to your personality.