Wedding Planning – Where to Start

The holidays are a popular time for couples to get engaged. And if you were lucky enough to find an engagement ring under the Christmas tree, you may be starting the New Year with visions of wedding planning dancing in your head.

idylwyld-inn-wedding-photography-linda-jamie_0002
If Santa brought you an engagement ring, you may be busy planning your dream wedding! Photo credit: HRM Photography. Location: Idlewyld Inn & Spa 

Although you may have been dreaming about your big day for years, organizing such an important celebration can seem like a daunting task.

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, our wedding coordinators have helped thousands of Brides plan their dream wedding.

So if  wedding plans have you feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and read our advice on where to start:

Set the date(ish)
There’s nothing like having a deadline to make you focus! Choosing a date will help you build a wedding planning timeline, and will make it easier to make concrete plans like choosing a venue, booking a photographer, and buying your dress.

Of course, it’s not as easy as simply picking a day out of thin air.

Is your heart set on an outdoor ceremony? Then you’ll probably want a summer wedding. Are you working with a tight budget? Then you may want to consider a winter wedding to take advantage of off-season pricing.

erika-and-chris-hill-dudek-photography
A Winter Wedding can be a beautiful and budget-friendly choice. Photo credit: Dudek Photography. Location: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.

If you’re planning a large event, you’ll need to leave ample time for preparation – and you may want to check with important out-of-town guests to see what dates might work best for any travel plans.

Remember, no matter how hard you try to choose a date that will be convenient for family and friends, it may be impossible to please everyone. In the end, remember that it’s your day so choose a date that works best for you.

Make your guest list
Many of your most important planning decisions will be influenced by the size of your guest list. You can’t host 120 people in a venue that only holds 60!

The number of guests will also be the most important factor in setting your budget.

And even though not everyone who receives an invitation will be able to attend, we recommend choosing a venue that can comfortably accommodated most of your guest list.

Book your venue
Once you know when you’d like to get married, and how many people you’d like to invite, it’s time to start looking for a suitable venue. More than any other decision, your choice of venue will set the tone for the big day.

A formal ballroom will create a different atmosphere than a rustic barn, urban restaurant, or chic wine cellar.

carriage-house-dudek
Your venue choice will set the tone for your celebration. Photo credit: Dudek Photography. Location: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa, Carriage House.

Save time by doing preliminary research online.

You should be able to narrow down your choices based on location, venue size, food and beverage options, and price. Then, it’s time to contact your top picks to find out about availability and to book a tour.

Once the date is set, the guest list is determined, and the venue is booked, other details – like the style of your dress, flowers, venue decor, and menu selection – should start falling into place.

Happy planning!

At Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa, we are pleased to offer all-inclusive Wedding Packages to suit any budget. 

8 tips for a perfect outdoor wedding

Summer wedding season is almost here, which means many Brides are busy putting the final touches on their upcoming outdoor ceremony.

Summer wedding tips from Elm Hurst Inn and Idlewyld Inn
Keep cool with these summer wedding tips!

While blue skies and Mother Nature provide a magical backdrop for any wedding, we asked our Wedding Coordinator, Erin Lister, for some professional advice on how to ensure the day goes smoothly for you and your guests:

Let guests know they’ll be outside
Friends and family will appreciate being able to plan for the occasion with appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hats, and even insect repellent.

Elm Hurst Inn, Idlewyld Inn weddings
Let guests know they’ll be outside, so they can plan for the occasion.

Power up
The great outdoors doesn’t always have the best acoustics. Rent audio equipment to ensure that your vows will be heard. Don’t forget to ask if your site has access to power!

Banish the bugs
Did you know that some flowers actually attract insects? Your florist should know which blooms won’t be a fragrant invitation for every bug in the area.

Consider an aisle runner
If you want to keep your dress absolutely pristine, consider using an aisle runner.

Elm Hurst Inn Idlewyld Inn outdoor wedding ceremony
An aisle runner can be a beautiful way to keep your gown pristine.

Know the area
Is there an airport nearby? Or a busy soccer field? You don’t want your ceremony disturbed by surprise interruptions, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Keep them cool
It’s especially important to be on time for an outdoor ceremony, as nobody likes to be kept waiting in the hot summer sun.If your celebration is mid-summer, supply water, fans, and / or sun umbrellas. Get creative and use your fan as a program!

Keep your cool
Summer weddings call for summer wedding gowns. Think light and airy!  Your Bridesmaids will also appreciate dresses that are wind and weather appropriate.
Remember that stiletto heels can sink into the grass. And waterproof make-up should be a must.

Idlwyld Inn and Elm Hurst Inn summer weddings
Keep them smiling by choosing weather-appropriate gowns.

 

Have a Plan B
Mother Nature won’t always cooperate with your outdoor wedding dreams. Have a Plan B in place in case of bad weather, and decide in advance who will make the final decision about moving your ceremony indoors. Then relax, and enjoy your day regardless!

Learn more about the all-inclusive Wedding Packages at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa – designed to suit any wedding and any budget. 

Do you have any tips for an outdoor wedding?