Planning your wedding?  Congratulations!  If you’re just getting started, you’ll need to prioritize.  Did you set the date?  Do you have a budget?  What about the guest list? Wedding planning tips are guidelines to get started. You can adjust your planning to suit your particular needs and desires.
Here is a wedding timeline to help you get organized.  Some important steps in the process include choosing your venue, selecting just the right wedding invitation, finding the perfect wedding photography package PLUS so much more. Find Vendor Resources so you can begin planning.



One of the top wedding trends for the upcoming year is vintage and retro-inspired with a modern twist. What’s old is new again. We’ll see vintage wedding dresses with cap sleeves, beautiful textures, ornate details.

Check out, Bella Bridal Gallery and Maria’s Bridal Couture for wedding dresses

Photography is taking a vintage spin as well, with wedding albums that are reminiscent of the ’70s. Draped textiles as backgrounds in a relaxed setting are a big trend, as well as photo booths (actual and set areas) with draped-cloth backdrops.

Check out, Elayne Gross Photography Gary Miller  and  Intel Bill Photography

Natural settings, including outdoor and backyard weddings are big this year as well.

Infinity and Ovation Yacht Charters

 Eco-friendly weddings

In 2011, we’ll continue to see more green, environmentally friendly weddings. Think second-hand and vintage wedding dresses, LED lighting, recycled paper invitations and programs,electronic save-the-dates and rehearsal dinner invitations. Food from local farms and providers. Give your guests green wedding favors, like locally harvested honey, candles, preserves, organic chocolate bars from Endangered Species Chocolate, or locally grown seed packets. Charity donations will continue to be a popular option instead of traditional wedding favors, and more couples will be asking for donations to their favorite charity instead of wedding gifts.

Check out local farmers for great products Michigan Farmer’s Markets

 Modern choices

The contemporary, modern wedding will still be big in 2011. Brides are opting for non-traditional dress choices, such as beautiful hues instead of the usual white or ivory, over one shoulder instead of strapless; and short cocktail dresses (the little white dress) instead of a long gown. Letting bridesmaids choose different styles of dresses all in one color. Wedding color choices ranging from metallics to bold, bright colors.This trend will continue through decor, as well, with couples steering away from the customary 10-person round table and opting to mix table shapes and sizes. They are also incorporating bright and bold colors, cool lounge settings, and after parties. Choosing cupcakes instead of a wedding cake.

Innovation Decor and Design   For alternatives to a wedding cake,  Just Baked  Sweet Thing and Cookies by Design

Wedding Bouguets

The trend is one type of flower hand tied. Brides wanting more glamorous bouquets choose beads, brooches, jewel pins, pearls, crystal/rhinestone picks, and monogrammed ribbon to dress up plain ribbon-wrapped stems and blooms. With the continuing popularity of the beach and garden themes, brides wanting a more rustic and natural look to their bouquet add elements such as shells/starfish, feathers, berries and pinecones.

The rose continues to be the most popular and elegant bouquet flower. Lilies, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and orchids represent the trendier choices. Arrangements with a just-picked and looser casual look have replaced the more tightly-bound bouquet shapes of previous seasons. Vivid flower colors will continue in popularity.

 DIY Weddings

“Do it yourself” is another wedding trend that we’ll see this year. Originally brought on by the economy, this trend is here to stay because it not only saves money, but also adds a special something to the big day. Personalized touches and little details are very important; couples are incorporating their favorite interests, hobbies, places and even sports.

Social Media Influence

Social media is playing a big part in the wedding planning process. Couples will keep guests informed through wedding websites and posting updates about their plans on Facebook and Twitter. Posts such as “We booked the band today!”allow friends and family to feel like they are part of the planning.

“Like” Party Planning Plus on Facebook for daily tips, tricks and trends

Video Guest Books

Building on the idea of wedding photo booths, take it up a notch and create a confessional-style video booth for your guests to say a few words about you to the camera. You could even dress up your iPad as a guest book as the newest way for guests to “write” you well wishes.  Post wedding, you can easily share your guest book online via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Vimeo.

Check out, Videoburst Tone-e Films and Video Tape It Productions


“One of the most fun (and often easiest) parts of developing a theme wedding is deciding the menu. From a traditional New England clambake to a spicy Southern barbecue, theme-wedding menus create a fun, exciting, and memorable event. It might even be the way you eat the food that stays in your guests’ minds — cracking crabs at a Maryland riverside wedding, or nibbling satay at a Thai-inspired city garden reception.

Gourmet Everyday Mozzarella and tomato salad

Gourmet Everyday

A Rat Pack cocktail reception is a cool new way to show your style. Couples can skip the sit-down dinner and go for more of a supper club-style cocktail party instead. Think big band music, heavy appetizers, and old-fashioned cocktails, like Manhattans, sidecars and martinis.


“Blame it on the popularity of Top Chef: Just Desserts, Amazing Cakes and Cake Boss, but cake bakers and pastry chefs are churning out incredible desserts and wedding cakes with gourmet flavors and haute style.

Olga’s Creation’s   Patisserie Parmentier and  Nancy’s Fancy Shmansy Cakes


Your entertainment doesn’t only have to come in human form. Firework displays can be another tremendous example of entertainment, especially near the end of the festivities. If you’re having an outdoor reception,  pass out sparklers to all the guests. Ice sculptures are another popular form of wedding entertainment. While they basically just sit and melt, guests can become mesmerized by the beauty and intricate details of these sculptures, and  they double as decorations.

Check out, Star Trax

A few new trends that are catching on…

Wedding Man Caves
Blackjack tables, brandy bars, XBOX and stogies. The man cave has officially moved from the home to the wedding, so create your own and don’t be surprised if you see all the male wedding guests in the new “groom’s corner” at the reception.

Food Truck Fun

Waffles, tacos and dumplings — oh yes! If you have a hunger for gourmet food trucks, embrace it wholeheartedly by requesting makeshift sidewalk carts during the cocktail hour or food trucks for the wedding after-party

Sources: The Knot, She Knows Weddings, Kori Ellis, Josh Gurvitz