Unlike wedding planners, who have been through the process dozens of times and understand what it takes to create a beautiful wedding, most brides and grooms are new to wedding planning. On the surface, it may seem like a fairly straightforward process, but when you narrow it down to the fine details, there is a lot to do to ensure the whole day goes off without a hitch.

At Woodlawn Gardens, our wedding venue is the perfect place to say “I do.” With a rustic charm and timeless elegance, we offer a space that you can truly make your own. We offer several affordable wedding packages that include exactly what you need to help make your day one to remember. With more than 45 combined years of experience, the staff at Woodlawn Gardens will do everything we can to help you plan your dream “country living” wedding.

Do: Start Early

While the climate in Cleveland, Georgia doesn’t get extremely cold, there is definitely still a distinct wedding season. This means that the best wedding venues book up quickly, sometimes six months or more in advance. If you’re planning on having a May, June, or July wedding, the number of weekends are limited. Get a head start on your planning and book your event venue before anything else.

Don’t: Forget Your Colors and Decor

You probably won’t completely forget to choose colors or plan for how you want to decorate your wedding venue. However, it will be important to keep these things in the back of your mind. The wedding colors you choose will be a foundation for the entire theme of the wedding, from accent colors on bridal party clothing, flowers, lights, ribbons, the cake, and more. Keeping your colors and decor theme in mind will help create a cohesive wedding.

Do: Have a Backup Plan For Bad Weather

The Cleveland, Georgia area doesn’t get too much rain, especially in the summer, but brides should never assume that their wedding day will be the ideal sunny and warm with a slight breeze. Find a wedding venue that offers a backup ceremony and reception location if you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding. Rain on your wedding day won’t ruin everything, but not having a place to go when it rains will definitely cause problems.

Don’t: Stress Over the Little Things

Your guest list is coming up a little shorter than expected? The shade of white table cloth you wanted isn’t available? Things will go wrong throughout the process, some things will take longer than expected, or you’ll have to make compromises. Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, it should be fun and exciting! Go into it knowing that not everything will go as planned and it will be much easier to manage.

Do: Create a Budget

Weddings can cost as little or as much as you plan for. So if you have elegant tastes and may end up spending more than you’d like at the end, start by creating a budget and sticking to it. Start with bigger-ticket items like the wedding venue, dress, catering, and photographer. When you have an idea of what the bigger things will cost, you can make adjustments on the smaller items. The most important thing is to stick with your budget, or be open to being flexible. If you go over budget on the menu, you may need to consider reducing your budget for flowers.

Don’t: Forget Diet Restrictions

When you’re going to catering tastings and trying all of the delicious food they put in front of you, it can be easy to forget about potential diet restrictions. The caterer should ask you about menu restrictions, and you shouldn’t have to inform them until one or two weeks before the wedding, but guests will appreciate having food options at the reception.

Do: Hire a Great Photographer

Capturing your wedding day is so much more than snapping a picture of the first kiss or having the wedding party stand in a straight line during formal portraits. A really good wedding photographer should capture the overall essence of the day, the smiles on guests’ faces, the expression when the groom first sees his bride, and the interactions between people. Hire a photographer who you feel comfortable with, has high-quality equipment and knows how to use it, and can make people laugh. When you’ve been married for 10 years and want to remember your wedding day, make sure you have amazing photographs that capture every detail.

Don’t: Worry About Delegating Tasks

If you’re the “If it’s going to be done right, I need to do it myself” type, planning a wedding will be incredibly time-consuming and challenging. But planning a wedding is a joint effort between the bride, groom, the wedding party, family members, and even the staff at the wedding venue! Learn to trust that those around you want the day to be just as beautiful as you do, and let them take on some responsibility.

Do: Have Fun!

Planning a wedding and the big day itself will contain some of the most memorable times in your life. Sure, there will be difficult times, but remember to give yourself some time to step back and appreciate what’s happening. When you’re walking down the aisle, when you’re taking your first bite of cake, or dancing with your friends, remember to be in the moment! Have fun — it’s your wedding day!

Don’t: Get Hung up on the “Rules”

If you want four bridesmaids and there are only three groomsmen, that’s OK! If you want to see your husband-to-be before the ceremony, do it! If you want untraditional wedding songs, go for it! There are dozens of wedding traditions that you can follow or choose to ignore — it’s your big day, so you can do what you want to make it special and truly yours!

At Woodlawn Gardens, we want you to have a truly beautiful wedding day and we want to help make your vision a reality! Our wedding venue offers indoor and outdoor areas with a garden rustic theme, and we offer a variety of packages to make planning as easy as possible.

View images from our Cleveland, Georgia location, and schedule a tour with Woodlawn Gardens today!