How to plan your own wedding?

So you just engaged, and you like to plan your own wedding? And you wonder what needs to be done first? Generally, you should get your wedding planning started about 10 to 13 months before your actual wedding date. When you inform your friends and family about your engagement, they will ask when is your wedding date. However, you won't be able to tell the date until you made some key decisions, such as searching and booking your desired venue.  Here is the list of some common top questions you should consider first in wedding planning. 

1. Budget  Find out how much you want to spend for your wedding. The rule of thumb is the less formal, the more affordable. Many couples love to pick a specific theme, color or style for their weddings, while others just want to go for minimalist style and like to keep everything simple. Click here for more references on how to plan your wedding day budget. 

2. Guest List  Who do you want to invite? or not to invite? do you want to have more intimate, close friends and family-only gathering? or you want to have a more than 250 people on your guest list? Keep in mind that many venues have a limitation on how many it can accommodate.

3. Selecting a Wedding Venue Once you know your budget and number of guests, you can start looking for your venue. Booking a venue usually need 12 months in advance; some popular venues probably even need more time for advanced booking. There are few factors you should consider for selecting the right location: Is the venue going to be large enough to accommodate your guests? Is there plenty of parking available? Logistically, is the venue too far away for most guests? Is it difficult to find? Is the wedding reception venue pretty close to the ceremony site? Remember, have some idea what dates you like to get married, so make sure check your calendar. For more information on comparing wedding venue costs, click here

4. Shopping List Draw a list of what you need to buy or rent; there should be plenty of items you need to shop around: wedding gown, undergarment, bridal accessories, bridesmaids dresses. 

5. Select the right wedding date How to pick a wedding date? It sounds pretty easy, but it requires some planning. If your wedding is going to be local, it is recommended to give your guests at least 7-8 months' notice. You may want to consider which date you want to get married before you booked the venue. The earlier you booked your venue, the more available dates you will have to select for booking. Also, keep in mind that which months tend to have warmer weather and which months are likely to be cold. 

6. Get the party started You can start looking for all the vendors you need: officiant, DJ service, photographer, videographer, caterer, florist, hair stylist and makeup artists. Other important things you need to take care are gift registry, wedding invitations, wedding favors and personalized accessories, all necessary decorations for wedding and reception sites. If necessary, you may need to rent tents, chairs and tables for your wedding or reception. Do not forget to obtain the marriage license and order the wedding rings in advance.

If you need comprehensive online wedding planning tools to help yourself plan your wedding day, here are some links I can recommend to you:

1. wedding wire

2. bride's DIY wedding blog 

3. the knot's checklist

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Wedding Venues

Here is the list of the some venues that I have photographed before:

Pacific Palm Resort Hotel, City of Industry  CA

Hilton San Gabriel, San Gabriel  CA

Fullerton Arboretum, Fullerton CA

Westin South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa CA

Brand Library Park, Glendale  CA

Tustin Ranch golf course, Tustin CA

Diamond Bar Event Center, Diamond Bar  CA

Huntington Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach CA

Cerritos Center Performing Art, Cerritos CA

Historic Cree Estate, Palm Springs CA

Coyote Hills Golf Club, Fullerton CA 

Cerritos Library, Cerritos CA

Anaheim Marriott Hotel, Anaheim CA

For clients reviews, you can visit my yelp account

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