After the excitement of announcing your engagement, it’s the business of planning the wedding.

Decisions that need to be made are:

1) How many guests will be invited;

2) What your budget is;

3) When you want to get married;

4) What area you want the wedding to take place – close to home, in a nearby city or at a distant destination.

When you’ve decided on numbers, the next decision is where to have it. Demand for the perfect spot is so great that unless you’re getting married in a private home, be prepared to plan your wedding a year ahead if you want a Saturday wedding.

“Destination weddings” are exciting and fashionable. They are a big travel expense for participants and guests, so unless you want a particularly small wedding or if you are fortunate enough to have unlimited funds, think carefully before opting for a faraway place.

It is much easier to co-ordinate if you are operating locally, but if your heart is set on a destination wedding, the internet makes anything possible. A local coordinator can help you with on the spot needs. If you are choosing a foreign country as your destination, check that country’s residence requirements for a marriage to take place there. Embassies are able to give this information.

If a firm date has been fixed for the wedding, you will have to simply see what venues are available and make your selection accordingly. It pays to be flexible about the date as there will be a much greater choice.

Sometimes there are unexpected cancellations that you can get, and sometimes concert venues will first schedule their concerts for the season and then release any leftover dates. Places like this often provide a one stop shop for weddings, as they cater and co-ordinate as well as provide the venue for ceremonies and receptions. Many hotels offer this same advantage, as well as offering all-important parking.

Churches and other places of worship, have great emotional appeal for weddings. When the music and bridal procession start there is seldom a dry eye around. If this is your choice, try to find a location in close proximity for the reception and be sure to provide maps to both the service and the reception. A shuttle would also be helpful in certain instances. Transport and parking are important considerations when planning.

Weddings on the beach are romantic and fun – and there is no expense for the venue. However, it is a public place so you will have to contend with onlookers and it would be advisable to check with the local authorities about permission to hold a ceremony there. It would also prevent someone else having the same plans at the same time! You can hire chairs, or simply have guests sit on the sand. The party can take place in the same spot, or you can move to a nearby hotel or function room.

If you have a private garden available to you, you will probably have greatest flexibility with dates, but you might be more restricted with numbers. Weather is a consideration if you plan an outdoor wedding, and there should be provision for inclement weather.

A marquis tent will set your mind at rest, even in places that you would expect to be dry. Most of all, be flexible. Whatever location you choose, spend time figuring out the logistics of adequate parking, transport to and from ceremony and reception, and convenience for both you and your guests. These factors contribute to success as much as the beauty of the location.