Planning a wedding at 20y.o, Help.!?

by DIY wedding planner on February 15, 2014

I am recently engaged and I am currently planning my dream wedding. Im a little nervous and apprehensive because I don’t really know the outline of a wedding. I want it to be a traditional ceremony and reception with a classic theme.

Can anyone help me with the main out line of a wedding? Who does what? Who pays for what (i.e bridesmaid dresses, hotel for family and friends,)

I’m not asking for someone to help plan just the DO’S and DON’S the MUSTS and MUST NOTS??

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

barthebear February 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm

You really do need to either buy or get from the Library an etiquette book. You can either get a general one like Peggy Posts or a wedding one. Go to and look over the reviews. There is simply too much to write here to answer your question. Does your fiance get input? You wrote ‘ I am currently planning,,,,,,’
Best wishes
ps Unsolicited advice: You are too young!


sheloves_dablues February 15, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Ask your mom.


Jack-Charlie XD February 15, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Honestly, I was in the same predicament with my fiance but now with our wedding around the corner im surprised I did this.
Traditionally the bride’s family paid for everything… in most cultures. But now a days, many couple are paying for almost everything. And believe me it CAN be done. But if that scares you. There are sites that allow your family and guest to help you pay for this, but that’s probably not the best thing in the world to do. So what you do is budget.
To me, the main bulk of money will be on venue, rings, and your wedding dress.
The more you start planning and going places the more everything will be clearer. If you don’t know what someone is talking about when you go looking at venues ask questions. Don’t be afraid asking questions will do nothing but help you in the long run. Even if you have to write things down (which you should) Do it!
And Google. Google will be your best friend through out the whole process I promise but if you want to ask me personally anything feel free to message me. I will help you anyway I can.


Alison February 15, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Go to a book store or a library and look for something called a wedding planner. There are many different ones available and they each make slightly different suggestions as far as “style” goes. Some will include etiquette issues and some won’t. You may have to look for a separate book on wedding etiquette.
If you started your research looking through ads in bridal magazines be prepared for “etiquette shock.” The wedding industry has happily bypassed many major “don’ts” to sell expensive ideas to people who really can’t afford to do things properly.
Main example: Destination weddings. Proper etiquette dictates that wedding guests (that’s all guests) do not pay their own way to attend a wedding. Not only are they not supposed to pay travel expenses (outside of maybe a half hour drive across town) but they aren’t supposed to pay for their own lodging and meals that are required during the trip. That’s all supposed to be paid by the host of the wedding.
So, get your wedding planning books and a good etiquette book then start taking a hard look at your budget.


Kari February 15, 2014 at 4:02 pm


I am 19 and planning my entire dream wedding- all DIY. It sounds like you could use a lot of help from a wedding source like Weddings are such a complex day, your question would be much too difficult to answer with one reply on yahoo answers. But theknot has forums, advice columns on traditions by experts, planning services, website and registry services, checklists, budgets, and so on- and all for free. They just have a great community of mostly traditional brides and experts. I would swing by there. And maybe stay. With my wedding 20 days away, I am on there almost every day checking off another checklist item and seeing who is RSVPing. As for being recently engaged, you can make first steps by finding people that you will need for support if you are having a traditional wedding; bridesmaids, an officiant; groomsmen; ushers; possibly a wedding planner. Talk to your fiance and parents about a budget, because that will largely dictate every decision you make.

Here is a great article on what to do right now:

Traditionally, with the above specific questions you listed, the bride’s family take care of almost all of the finances for the wedding. A good way to dampen that is having the grooms family doing the flowers or something smaller but still spendy. The grooms family also traditionally pays for the rehearsal dinner or grooms dinner the night before the wedding. Applying this to modern day, though, you should not expect your parents to pay for anything until they offer. Bringing up “the budget” is how we asked without asking, breaking the ice for them to offer what they could. Your bridal party should all be responsible for their own wardrobe purchases- it is kind to find dress choices in a lower budget for your bridal party just in case they don’t have much to spend on something they will likely wear just once. It is ok to talk to each of them on what they want.

As for hotel rooms, we counted the largest possible amount of hotel rooms we would need, and called our choice hotel in our town to set aside a block of rooms for our wedding guests. They usually offer a discount rate for rooms set aside for weddings. There is usually a minimum amount and a deadline about a month before the wedding night for the reservation and reduced fare. After that, the rooms are open to general public at normal rate. We sent out information on the hotel (phone, address) and the deadline to reserve for discounted rate in our wedding invitation. Guests could just call and mention us when making reservations. Each guest would pay for their own hotel room, but you could offer them a welcome basket in their room for when they check in- with a favor, thanks for coming, and information on restaurants, shopping, and other details in your wedding area.

As for how the wedding ceremony plays out, your officiant will most likely know what to do and what order things will go in. I was kind of clueless about this until we had a ceremony-planning meeting with the pastor that is marrying us. He knew exactly what to do and how things would go- and we just added our own ideas in there. He said the ushers (usually loved ones that were not-quite-groomsmen) would first make sure our grandparents and parents were seated in front for the ceremony, and then the groom and officiant would come to the alter, then the groomsmen escorting the bridesmaids, then flower girl/ring-bearers, then, of course, bride. Then the pastor would lead with declaration of intent, talk, and and then vows, exchange of rings, and presentation, and whatever personal stuff happens between. Afterward, we the bride, groom, and wedding party take pictures while the guests enjoy cocktail hour, and then they all join together for the reception. Where then dinner is eaten, toasts and cake are enjoyed, and then the dancing follows. You can make your party what you want.

I guess, all in all, DON’T expect anyone (not even your parents) to give you anything for your wedding day until they offer- plan conservatively until then. It is ok to accept the help after they offer and have a large wedding at that point if they are able to provide that. That is the most important don’t in my opinion. DO have the wedding day you want- so many people will start to tell you what they think is right and you will not be able to please everyone; learn to turn off the listener and just say “thanks for your opinion” but actually block it from your mental overload you are about to experience.

Also, go dream it up on pinterest if you have one.


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