Congratulations to everyone who got engaged over this holiday season!  I have been planning weddings at the Inn for the past 10 years and have some tips that may be helpful in the beginning of your wedding planning journey. 

What is the first thing that every bride wants to do once engaged?  Tell everyone she knows!  While your parents and immediate family should be the first to know, telling them in person is the best way to share your news.  Once your family knows your good news it is time to share with everyone else.  There are numerous ways to get the news out quickly.  Making phone calls is definitely one way to start, but you can also consider noting your engagement on Facebook and sending an e-mail to everyone you want to share with.  There is also the traditional route in throwing an engagement party and posting your engagement in your local newspaper.

After the excitement of getting engaged starts to wear off it is time to officially start planning your wedding and reception.  The first thing that every couple should determine is your budget and how much will be allotted to each segment of your wedding which can include the church, reception, flowers, entertainment, photography, favors, honeymoon, etc…  

Prince William Ballroom at the Nassau Inn.

Your next step is picking your wedding date by seeing what dates your ceremony and reception venues are both available.   Be open when considering dates especially if on a tight budget as most venues will offer a discount for a Friday evening or Sunday wedding.  When looking at reception venues it is best to research all that you are interested in and then narrowing down your list to 3 – 5 and making appointments to check the ones that you are really interested in.  Keep in mind that you will love and not love something about every venue you look at and should make your decision on what is most important to you. 

Once your date, ceremony and reception venues are selected it’s now time to start thinking about the different vendors that you will need for your important day.  I am sure everyone has heard that the food and music make a wedding.  With this in mind it is time to book either a band or a DJ. 

Good entertainment makes your wedding memorable.

Choosing between the band and DJ is really a personal preference as to which you prefer as well as what your budget will allow.  Bands are going to definitely cost you more.  Currently, I am not seeing too many bands and feel the main reason is because of budgets.

Selecting your photographer is another big step.  You will find a variety of different photo styles ranging from posed, photojournalist and candid.  Make sure you have a good rapport with the photographer as this will be helpful to them understanding the style of pictures that you want and you will be comfortable with them the day of the wedding.  You can splurge a little on the photographer because these pictures will last a lifetime and can be shared with your children and their children.  Pictures will remind you of the perfect wedding that you had and lovely memories for generations to come.

Make sure your florist understands your vision.

One of the last major vendors to look into is your florist.  Normally, you have a little more leeway with the timing of the florist and do not need to contract this immediately.  Florists can do multiple weddings in a day where your photographer and entertainment may not have the flexibility.  The florist that you select can help you transform any space into your magical reception and work with any theme that you have in mind.

For the bride who has dreamed of her wedding since she was little, looking at wedding gowns will be a lot of fun.  If you have pictures of dresses definitely bring them to the bridal salon to help find the perfect gown.  There are many different styles of dresses from a mermaid to a traditional Cinderella ball gown.  You will know in an instant when you have the right dress the minute you try it on.  Be mindful that it can take up to 8 months for the dress to be ready for you plus time for fittings.  If you are planning a short term wedding make sure the dress can be ready in time.

These are a few things that I think are important in starting wedding planning.  You can find our recommended vendors by visiting us at  Check back soon on tips to plan the perfect reception.

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