Embracing your lifestyle, national origin, gender expression, ability, culture, traditions and values.

Dan Jones, a wedding minister for all genders

Embracing Ceremony Blog

Wedding Planning: 4 Tips to Ease You into This Daunting Task

There’s a stigma about wedding planning. It’s daunting. It certainly can be, but there are innumerable tools and aids available to you. Surely you’ve talked to some close friends to get their take on it. If you’ve been in a wedding party or attended a wedding recently you may have some ideas. Those ideas may be based on things you’ve seen done well. Or you may have observed some mistakes that you’d prefer not to repeat!

But where the heck to start?

Couple posing for photos at SpiriTaos Gardens
This neutral-toned couple fit in perfectly to the very early spring weather at SpiriTaos.

1. Organize, Organize, Organize Your Wedding Planning

A key to wedding planning is being organized. If nothing else, start keeping notes. If you’re not particularly organized, just write. Maybe keep your notes in categories such as Wedding Party, Ceremony, Attire, Flowers, Music, etc. As you engage vendors, take advantage of their expertise. As a wedding officiant in Taos I’m most often asked about venues and other vendors.

A couple getting married in the teepee at Four Seasons Santa Fe.
The Four Seasons in Santa Fe has a beautiful teepee perfect for your intimate wedding.

2. Be Specific When Talking to Vendors

As a wedding minister officiating over 50 weddings a year I see a lot of different approaches. Read enough? Ready to inquire?  I’m always happy to share my observations. Couples are clever and do a lot of things that really add a personal touch to their special day. Vague questions are difficult to answer and frustrating. Specific questions are much easier. For example:

  • Don’t ask me if I’m available next April. Do ask which Saturdays in April are you available?
  • When you ask a vendor for availability we need to know your date, time and location.
  • Don’t ask for a suggestion of a pretty location in Taos. First tell me what you’re looking for and then ask for suggestions. i.e. a garden, streamside, mountaintop, chapel, etc.
  • If you want something outdoors tell me how many guests you’ll have and how willing and able they are to walk. Do you want to walk 2 minutes, 20 or hike for an hour?
  • If you’re going to ask for a unique wedding location in Taos or an outdoor wedding location in Taos give me something to go on. Is it for an elopement, 10 guests, 100, etc.
  • Do ask me to recommend wedding photographers, florists, cake shops, etc. I work with them all many times a year and can probably give you some pointers.

3. Talk To Your Wedding Officiant Before Planning Your Ceremony

When you’re thinking about your ceremony keep notes on what you’d like to see included. But don’t plan your ceremony before you sit down and talk with your officiant. If you’re working with me I’m going to go over all the different possibilities with you. If you want to write your own vows that’s great. But check with me first for some guidelines that’ll help you in the process.

A couple eloping in Taos, New Mexico.
This couple is happy because they wore the right footwear for the hike to their wedding spot.

4. Nail Down Details As Early As Possible

Allow yourself time in the final weeks before your wedding. Many things pop up that you might not expect. Don’t procrastinate. Have as many things lined up as possible well in advance. You don’t want to be worrying about the size of your bouquet right before your wedding. Or how the processional is going to work. Or what song you want played for your walk down the aisle. The vendor professionals you’re working with will not only appreciate these decisions being made well in advance, they’ll enable us to best do our jobs and provide you with a polished wedding ceremony and wedding day.

Contact me today so we can get the ball rolling and plan your wedding ceremony!

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