Wedding Planning 101 Part 1

Photo: Retna Ltd.

by Mariela Rosario

Did you know that more proposals happen between Christmas and Valentine's Day than at any other time of the year? That means that we have a lot of newly minted brides to be in our midst. So, now you are realizing dios mio planning a boda is hard work! Olga Fagundo of Caribbean Wedding Planning shares some tips with Latina.Com on how to get started in part one of a special Wedding Planning 101 series we are starting. Check out the best ways to get organized for your big day so you don’t find yourself stumbling down that aisle in exhaustion, and be sure to keep checking in to our website series over the next few months for the best tips and tricks on wedding planning!

First off, you have to think about the Big Picture before you get into the planning the details. Fagundo says the biggest mistake that brides make when they start talking to her is to jump right into what colors and flowers they want without considering the 2 most important pieces of the wedding planning puzzle: budget and the number of guests you will have. These two factors will then determine the rest of your planning options. Here, we break it down for you in the simplest way possible.

Who?
If you’re Latina, this probably means all 1,500 of your nearest and dearest! Seriously, you need to come to a decision on the size of your wedding and start a preliminary guest list for the wedding. Don’t let family push you around, if you don’t want a huge party, then let your wishes be known. In the end, the day is about you two, but also about family so you want to strike a compromise you can live with.

What?
Obviously, it is your wedding, this one was too easy. But there areother things you should consider. A big fancy wedding, complete with mariachi band, bolero singer and a 12 person entourage to carry the train of your dress? Or, a small intimate dinner party? Is it a five-course, sit down meal type of wedding or a cocktail party, hor d'oeuvre affair? Remember that at a wedding, catering services (food and beverages) usually wind up being the biggest expense. These are huge decisions, but once they are made you can move forward and begin determining the themes and color schemes for your wedding and reception.

Where?
Yes, you always dreamed of a dramatic walk down the aisle of a Victorian church with some sexy Spanish lace covering your face just so. But, have you asked your man about it? Maybe he’s always dreamed of a laid-back beachy affair. The point is, you gotta talk it out! Another important thing to keep in mind is that the venue must be large enough to accommodate all of the guests you expect. Once you decide you should call your place of worship (if you choose to go the religious route) and ask to schedule an an appointment which will help you determine…

When?
This explains itself, you gotta pick a date m'ija! Don’t let everyone tell you when they are free either. Just pick a date that works for you and your most immediate family and then don’t deviate from your plan. If they care enough, friends and family will rearrange their schedules to be with you guys on your special day. Also, many times this part of the equation will be determined by forces completely out of your control such as availability for the ceremony and reception location.

How?
Mainly by spending a lot of dinero, chica! Many times this is left up to the families of the bride and groom but it needs to be decided who will pay for what and how expenses will be shared. It is better to just have an upfront conversation of what you and your family can realistically afford so that you are not disillusioned to find out that perhaps that $5,000 Carolina Herrera gown is a bit out of your league. Plus, this takes a lot of the pressure off early on in the planning process.

Once you get the details above settled, you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner. If not make sure to wrangle your mom, sisters, aunts and his mom. You're going to need all the help you can get! Together you ladies should work out a system of organization and make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for.

Be sure to keep checking in with Latina.Com as we break down the Wedding Planning process and help you to be sure your day is as special as you deserve without all the stress! Please let us know if there are specific topics you would like to see covered by leaving comments below and stay tuned for our wedding dress special... coming soon!

For more info on Olga Fagundo's Carribean Planning click here

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