1. Make a List of things you need for your wedding, they may include Location, Caterer, DJ, Flowers, Photographer, Video Person, Favors, Linens and anything else you may want to have for your wedding day!
2. Your location is probably one of the most important decisions you have to make when planning as this is where all the fun will take place and where you will have memories for the rest of your life. You always want to do your research on reputable websites like Wedding Wire, The Knot, and your local Google search. Definitely visit the places you are going to use as there may be some unforeseen hiccup like construction on your day or in the surrounding area all important things to take into consideration. Also see if your location takes care of Tables, Linens and Chairs which could save you money in the long run compared with a location they may be cheaper but later find out it costs more because of having to rent these items. If your having an outdoor location make sure they have a rain back up or contingency plan and if your having it in Florida you may want to think about bug spray to keep the mosquitoes away something that is often overlooked.
3. Find your DJ as soon as you find your location as this will be the person helping with coordinating your music and event requests. A DJ's importance is sometimes over looked as they are the ones that keep your party going. You can always have a family friend DJ but if that person gets sick you may be stuck with no backup on one of the most important days of your life. When hiring a DJ always make sure to check their reviews and ask any other vendors you have hired if they have ever worked with that company. Find a DJ that will fit your specific needs such as if you want your DJ to be very interactive or low key that is an important thing to keep in mind. See if they have a video online of themselves if they don't have too many reviews so you may see how they are live and most important always either meet or talk to the DJ that will personally be doing your event.
4. Hiring people to capture your memories. There are many different selections in this area. You may have a family friend but you really want someone who is experienced as they will be able to capture the special moments and memories for your big day and you don't want a special moment missed and lost forever. If you are going to hire a Photographer and a Videographer, please make sure they are able to work together as their artistic passion may be different from each other.
5. Flowers- You can try doing flowers yourself by going to the local Publix and making your own bouquet's but hiring a professional Florist will save you time and aggravation of trying to do them yourself and most will deliver everything to your event as well as set up the flowers for your ceremony site. With every Vendor always make sure to check reviews.
6. Favors- These sometimes can be more costly than if you hired someone to do a Photo booth. If you are looking for something inexpensive a Photobooth may be a great option as people have fun and can keep something that they will treasure such as a Photo strip with their picture with your wedding date or design. You may also do other Favors and you may find a cheap resource like Ebay or a wedding resale shop.
7. Lighting- Some events are dimly lit an you may need something to liven up the space. Most DJ's will have lighting options that will change the room a different color to match your Decor which are called Up-lighting. You may also want to do something in lights like a custom wall monogram which may also be placed on the dance floor and it can be customized to your liking.
8. Should I have a Buffet or Sit down dinner? Most of the time a Buffet is going to be less expensive than a plated dinner. Most people prefer Buffet because your guests can normally get additional food if they are still hungry, get as much or as little as to not waste food and it goes quicker and more time for dancing by doing buffet.
9. The Cake- Most brides and grooms can either do a traditional cake and purchase from a cake company but I have seen a new trend where they have a tiny cake to cut and everyone else gets cupcakes which is a great idea and you may incorporate different flavors for the cupcakes and there is less waste when done this way.
10. Your Wedding Officiant- This will be the person that says I know pronounce you husband and wife and can be difficult to find. If you are part of a local church you may ask your reverend or priest to do your wedding and they may have a small fee, you could also have a family friend but they have to go online to become a certified officiant which takes 10 minutes to go online and pay a fee but I would recommend hiring a professional that does this as they will normally be there on time and are very familiar on what needs to be done with the marriage license and will take care of all the details for you.