Groom Pages

Steps To Planning A Wedding

What are some of the steps to planning a wedding?

The Proposal

For some couples there really is no formal proposal, but rather a discussion about getting married, which leads to wedding plans. But, for some men (and, some women), the proposal is an event unto itself.

The Engagement Ring

If you have planned a creative proposal event, you might want to put the engagement ring at number 1 on your list, as some men choose to make the engagement ring part of the proposal event. Some men will ask the future bride’s assistance in picking out an engagement ring.  For more information on engagement rings, visit our pages, cheap engagement ring, antique style engagement ring, and Celtic engagement ring.

Here are a few pointers to help you look for an engagement ring:

1. While some couples go ring shopping together, many men prefer the old-school way of picking out an engagement ring themselves. But you can still get your sweetie's input if you are paying attention. Even if you think you are surprising her, odds are that she knows something is up and has already dropped a few hints as to what kind of ring she'd like.

2. Look at the jewelry she wears. If she wears mostly silver or white gold, that should tell you that she'd prefer a band of white gold or platinum.

3. Ask her girlfriends, sisters, or mom for advice. They might have some useful suggestions. Does she prefer one large solitaire stone or would she like smaller diamonds on each side? What about shape? Does she like round, oval, pear, etc?

4. It's very important to go to a reputable jeweler, and make sure they are certified by the Jewelers of America (JA) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Beware of ring shopping at the mall. The stones are usually lesser quality with inflated prices.

5. Be sure the ring has its paperwork. You should receive a diamond-grading report from the GIA that cleary indicates its size, shape, clarity, and any imperfections it may have.

Enjoy being engaged! Kiss each other a thousand times. Jump up and down saying "We're engaged!" Stare at the engagement ring. Take the time to write down in detail how you got engaged. Contemplate the wonderful things ahead of you. Take pictures of yourselves with the engagement ring. Kiss each other a thousand more times.

Choose a Wedding Date

The wedding date can depend a lot on the wedding venue and whether it’s a destination wedding (away from your hometown) or a wedding in town. If you’re eloping you may have other considerations as well. One of the most important decisions you will make as you plan your wedding. Not only will it be the first question everyone will ask you, but you'd be surprised how difficult it will be to make any progress on planning your wedding without knowing the date.

Set The Budget

Start off by using a printable wedding budget worksheet. Look at your finances and figure out how much you already have in savings, and how much you can save each month. Talk to each of your parents and ask them if they'd like to contribute to your wedding, and either how much they'd like to give you, or what specific things they'd like to pay for. Lastly, decide how much you feel comfortable going into debt. I strongly advise couples to avoid debt as much as possible. Since married couples fight about money more than anything else, why start marriage with debt on your backs? At this time you may consider opening a new credit card just for the wedding that will earn you airline miles, cash back, or other incentives. It's a good way for you to keep track of wedding expenses, and can help you pay for your honeymoon. Just try to pay it off in full each month.

Hire A Maui Hawaii Wedding Coordinator, Tamera Sandvold, owner of Akia Weddings and Events

Your fantasy of a dream wedding in Maui Hawaii will be fulfilled when you trust the professional and friendly staff of Akia Weddings & Events to be there for you in the planning of your wedding. Whether it is a simple ceremony for two or a more elaborate event, we specialize in bringing your vision to reality, Maui style. On this site you'll find everything you need to know about the best Maui Wedding Planners, as well as articles to help you on your way to a perfect Maui Hawaii wedding ceremony. Using professional Maui Wedding Planners and Event Coordinators makes your island destination wedding a breeze. Take your first step toward a stress-free Maui Hawaiian wedding, and call for your personal complimentary consultation.

Choose Your Attendants

As your attendants do a lot more than just stand next to you on the day of the wedding, now is the time to get them involved. While some couples opt not to have any attendants at all, especially if they're having a casual event, most choose between 2 and 12 members of the bridal party. Look over these lists of responsibilities for bridesmaids and groomsmen before you make your final choices. If they live nearby, its nice to ask someone in person, but a phone call is fine for those who live far away. You may also want to read How many bridesmaids and groomsmen should you have? or How many bridesmaids and groomsmen is too many?

Choose a Wedding Ring

For some couples there really is no formal proposal, but rather a discussion about getting married, which leads to wedding plans. But, for some men (and, some women), the proposal is an event unto itself.

You probably already have a good idea of the type of wedding ring you'd like. Do you just want a simple gold band or would you prefer a band with a design. You can also add diamonds or other gemstones, though that will add to the cost.

In terms of color, the basic choices are yellow gold, white gold, and platinum. Yellow gold is the most traditional ring metal, but platinum and white gold are catching up in the popularity department. The average person can not even tell platinum and white gold apart. They have a similar silver color, though the platinum is heavier and the metal is harder and more durable.

Don't feel as though you have to pick out matching wedding bands. Its okay if you and your significant other have different tastes when it comes to jewelry. It's important that you each choose a wedding ring you like and will feel comfortable wearing.

Size of the Wedding/Guest List

Before you choose a venue you need to know how many people you wish to invite to your wedding. Are you eloping just the two of your, having a small destination wedding with family, or a larger affair in town?

Wedding Gift Registry

If you are not familiar with them, a gift registry is a tool that allows you to select all of the times within a particular store to add to a wish list so to speak. Most bride and grooms will do this at several locations so that there is plenty for their guests to select from. It is not to say that they are requesting all of these things, but rather that you are requesting this style, color, size and type instead.

As a bride or a groom, you may be thinking that it is rude for you to walk around a store and pick out all sorts of things that you would like to have in your new home. A wedding gift registry is still something you should do and is not considered to go against any etiquette laws that are out there. If you feel bad about doing it, you can always have your mom or someone else close to you go with you to suggest items. The bottom line here is that those who you invite to your wedding want to give you something you'll like. A wedding registry allows them to do that.

Giving gifts to the bride and groom is a very old and respected tradition. But, as with all traditions, it has evolved over the centuries. Those changes are coming ever quicker in the Internet age, which is a great benefit to the happy couple.

Couples can register anywhere they want to receive gifts from. Department stores, Amazon and many more businesses all offer wedding registration. Couples then simply mark items that they would like to encourage friends, family and wedding guests to give.

But registering in a dozen or so separate spots is rapidly becoming a thing of the past in the Internet age. Now there are several sites, such as Wedding Channel ( that offer registration in one spot. It's still necessary to select individual items from the business listed. But it does save both the couple and the givers from having to visit a dozen different places. Even with the Internet, it can be tiresome to go to multiple locations to find out what the couple wants.

Of course, given that only a few years ago it meant actually going to (potentially) a dozen or so real locations, one can't complain too much.

Since the practice has opened up to the Internet, the range of possible gifts has expanded, too. Glassware, dinnerware, and other small household items used to be the expected gifts. Occasionally, parents would give the couple a down payment on a house, which still happens today, of course. But, now, wedding gift giving has really expanded to include almost anything.

Pre-paid honeymoon cruises to Hawaii are one option. Or several nights in a hotel where the couple will be spending their honeymoon. Even a nice dinner at the honeymoon hotel is now part of the wedding and honeymoon registry.

Physical gifts have expanded as well. While many couples still receive toasters and other small appliances, today the gifts can be used outside the house. Golf clubs can be listed on the wedding gift registry. Clothing, cars, computers, or cameras can be found listed today. The range of prices and types is all over the map.

Part of the reason behind the explosion of choices is simple: information. A wedding gift registry now includes information about the couple and their interests. And, with the internet, gift givers can find out much more than the item and price. They can go through recommendations ala Amazon or read comments by the couple themselves. That way, both sides have improved the odds of getting something that will genuinely be appreciated.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with getting those traditional wine glasses or dishware. They're still needed and many couples list them as desired items. Fortunately, it's now possible to give your guests many options, so that they know they're gifts will be appreciated, and not just one of many toasters given.

Choose the Wedding Ceremony Venue

If you’re having a destination wedding you might have in mind places like the beach, a volcano in Hawaii or a hot air balloon ride over wine country in Napa. If you’re having your wedding in town you have many choices as well, from a church, lodge, hotel, creative venues like a hot air balloon, or something simple like your own back yard. Make sure your venue can accommodate your guest list. Many venues are booked a year in advance, so the further in advance you start looking, the more likely you are to get the time, date, and cost that you've planned for

Choose the Reception Venue

If your reception is at a different location than the ceremony you need to coordinate the time so that the venue is available after the ceremony. Again, it needs to accommodate your guest list. Also, take into consideration the comfort of the place that will host your reception. When you want your wedding reception party to be held in a garden or outdoors, always consider these factors: wind, rain and humidity. Require the hotel to put up tents attractively decorated with flowers and lighting to solve the problems of rain as it also adds to the mood of the party.

You might want to check out our page on reception ideas and choosing a wedding catering service. 

Choose the Honeymoon Location

If you chose a destination wedding, your honeymoon is probably in your wedding location.  Popular honeymoon destinations include the Bahamas, Hawaii, the Poconos, Gatlinburg, Niagara Falls.

Plan/Write Your Wedding Vows

So you thought it'd be great to write your own wedding vows, but now a healthy dose of writer's block (not to mention fear of embarrassing yourself) has hit you squarely on the head. Don't know how to transform your heavy, life-altering, feelings into a string of coherent words? You're not alone -- but don't worry, your goal is within reach: Just take it one word at a time. Here's the homework you need to do (and the questions you should ask) to make your wedding vows perfect.

Plan/Purchase the Wedding Dress

There are many styles of wedding dresses to fit all budgets, including purchasing a used wedding dress to a designer dress.  If you're having a beach wedding, a casual Hawaiian print dress will do. 

Plan the Menu

You need to take into consideration the number of guests and your budget. If you’re having an informal wedding in your backyard you can go with something informal like a barbecue. You can choose a caterer or ask friends to pitch in and make dishes for the event. If you’re having your reception at a hotel or restaurant you would coordinate with the kitchen staff to plan the menu. If choosing an outside caterer, make sure that you know what type of food you want before selecting a caterer. Some caterers might specialize in certain types of cuisine. The caterer should understand all that you are envisioning in your wedding party reception. When the caterer easily understands, it means that you both can work easily together, with peace!

One of the most talked about aspects of any wedding reception is the menu. People love to eat and if they are invited to a wedding reception, one of the things they will usually be most excited about is the food.

If your wedding reception is large, hiring a wedding planner might be in your best interest. Wedding planners generally have an outstanding relationship with caterers. They know who is good, who serves what and which catering company will satisfy all of your dining needs.

A benefit to hiring a catering company is that they handle all aspects of beverages and food. All you need to do is sit down with the person planning your event and decide on a menu that will fit into both the appetites of your guests and your budget. The wedding planner will then contact several caterers, get a quote , then come back to you with a few finalists. You'll be able to not only meet with the caterers, but generally you can also get a taste test of what they have to offer.

If your reception is a smaller affair, then you might decide to handle the event planning details of it yourself, either preparing the food yourself, in the event of a smaller, more casual reception, or hiring a caterer for a more formal wedding reception. You'll have to consider whether a lunch, cocktail party, sit-down dinner or a buffet might be in order.

Choosing a theme for your wedding can sometimes come in handy when it comes to the food. For example, if you choose a western theme, then an outdoor barbecue would be a simple, and somewhat easy meal to prepare. If you choose to hire a caterer on your own, we have some tips for you at choosing a wedding catering service.

If you're strapped for cash, a buffet can be a great idea, especially if relatives and close friends bring some of the dishes. Again, a wedding theme here helps as well to tie everything in together. (You might want to check out our pages on wedding themes for some ideas.)

Or, maybe you want a Formal, Sit-Down Dinner

If you choose a more formal, sit-down dinner, here is how a typical wedding reception might progress:

**The evening will start with a cocktail hour where the guests can mingle and serve themselves buffet style. Popular items to serve at this time include fresh fruit, assorted cheeses, fried calamari, and various butler served appetizers. There may also be sous chefs manning pasta stations or meat-carving stations, and the bar will open for the guests.

**Once the cocktail hour ends, the guests will find their seats so the bride and groom can make their entrance. After the standard first dances, the best man (and sometimes the maid of honor) will make a champagne toast. Children are usually given some sparkling cider so they can participate too.

**After the toast soup or salad is served. Often this will be followed by Intermezzo, which a small serving of sorbet that is meant to cleanse the palate before the entree is served.

**Up next is the main course, in which it is customary to give guests a choice of entrees.

**Following dinner, coffee is served and the wedding cake is cut. Some couples also choose to have a Venetian Hour. This is an extended dessert that includes all sorts of cakes, pastries, and fresh fruit. You can even add specialty items such as a zeppole station or an ice-cream station. Alcoholic beverages may or may not be served during dessert. Read more about our preferred Maui Hawaii Wedding Caterers.

Choose the Decorations and Flowers

Talk to the florist of your choice about what you want, where you want it, how you want it and what kind of atmosphere you wish to create in your wedding reception. Make sure that aside from decorating the place, the florist must work together and coordinate with your food caterer so both can complement each other. Decorations can also include wedding favor keepsakes, or gifts you can give your guests to take home with them.

Choosing wedding flowers that fit your style and petals that match your color palette isn't always easy -- especially if you don't know a dahlia from a daisy. Here's everything you need to know about the most popular wedding flowers (cost, season, meanings, and color choices), plus hundreds of photos of each bloom in bouquets, centerpieces, and boutonnieres from real weddings.

Choose the Wedding Cake

When selecting a wedding cake, make certain that it goes with the motif of your wedding reception. Consider your color motif as well as the style of your wedding. Choose it well, as the cake often is the center of attraction of the reception, aside from you (the bride) of course. If possible, ask for samples of the wedding cake before you decide.

Decide on the Wedding Music

Select the style of music that best conforms to the style and again, the motif of your wedding reception. Decide whether you wish to have a DJ or a live band. Book the DJ or live band well in advance so there are no disappointments. If you’re on a budget, a pre-recorded, random-play selection of songs would be fine. Normally, the music begins as background music, slow and soft as the beat picks up encouraging everybody to dance after the meal. Decreasing the music speed as well as slowing down the volume usually signals the conclusion of the celebration.

Decide on a Wedding Photographer/Videographer

Maui is the paradise destination for your wedding and honeymoon. Photographs must be memorable and unforgettable. Read more about our Maui Hawaii Wedding Photographers.

Choose and Send Out Wedding Invitations

Once your guest list is finalized, as well as the date and venue, it’s time to decide on wedding invitations. It’s a good idea to order your invitations at least four weeks prior to mailing them out to your guests. This will give you time to correct any mistakes that might have been made, as well as order reprints if you add to your guest list. It will also give you time to address all the envelopes. The invitations should be mailed out so that your guests receive them at least six to eight weeks prior to the wedding. This will allow your guest enough time to make travel plans and return the respond card you included. Make the respond by date at least two weeks prior to the date of the wedding so that you can finalize the menu with the caterer.

Akia Weddings & Events, Maui Hawaii Wedding Planners
PO Box 2099 Kihei, 96753
Phone: 808.870.5525