A wedding is a ceremony that brings two people together in marriage. It often involves the exchange of vows and can include many different cultural or religious traditions. This may be followed by a reception and/or honeymoon.

The purpose of a wedding is to unite two individuals in a loving, lifelong commitment to each other. The ceremony can be quite elaborate or as simple as a few words in a private location. The cost of a wedding is usually the result of the number of guests invited, food and beverages served, and other related expenses. It is not uncommon for a couple to ask their loved ones for help with wedding costs. Some choose to ask for a cash gift, while others prefer to have their family and friends cover specific items or services that they want included in their celebration.

Begin the planning process by determining your budget and guest list. This is important because many wedding costs are based on the number of guests, including food and beverage, venue capacity, and the amount of invitations and favors needed to send out. It’s also a good time to start searching for and hiring vendors. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, or check online reviews and references for potential service providers. Be sure to read contracts carefully before signing and be aware of any hidden fees or charges that may be buried in the fine print.

Once you have a date and your venue secured, create a wedding planning timeline that helps you keep track of the tasks ahead of time. This will make the overall task of organizing and planning your wedding feel less overwhelming. It’s also a great way to ensure that all of the major milestones are completed in a timely manner.

During the ceremony, it’s customary to have readings and music, but you can customize your wedding to reflect your unique love story. The most meaningful part of the ceremony is when you and your partner recite your vows. You can write your own, or use traditional phrasing that is symbolic of your relationship. Following the vows, you will exchange your wedding rings.

Some couples choose to have their bridal party enter the reception area to an upbeat song as a celebratory gesture. If you choose to do this, be sure to give the DJ or bandleader a copy of your song selection in advance. This will help avoid any last-minute mix-ups or misunderstandings. If you’re having a large reception, consider designating a separate cocktail area and closing off the entrance to early arrivals. This will help to keep the dance floor from becoming overcrowded and will give your photographer a chance to capture beautiful candid shots without anyone interrupting the flow of your evening. Stylish tokens aren’t necessarily expensive. This bride’s stepmother made rose-petal jelly and packaged it in small canning jars that were dressed up with twine to match the wedding’s shabby chic theme.

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