The Ultimate Wedding Ideas Guide

Are you newly engaged? If so, you are probably starting to wonder about the next steps to take in planning your wedding!

We’ve created this handy wedding ideas guide to help take some of the pressure off of your wedding planning. Remember, you want to enjoy this experience! Your wedding should be a memorable, magical day.

What are the first steps in planning a wedding?

Here’s how to get started on the wedding planning process.

Set a budget

You and your fiancé need to figure out what you have to spend on your wedding and if there will be any contributions from your families. Also, make sure you agree with your fiancé on your priorities for your wedding (where to save and splurge).

Draft the guest list

Once your budget is in place, figure out who you are going to invite to your wedding. Remember, you can scale it back when it comes to the number of guests. If you need help deciding, think about whether you would invite a particular person or couple over to your home for dinner, if not, cut them from the list.

Think about the Big Picture

Envision the type of wedding you both want… perhaps it is the wedding you’ve dreamed about since childhood, or one that reflects more of your current tastes. Do you prefer a formal event, a seaside ceremony, or even a Sunday brunch affair?

Also, think about the time of day and the mood/tone of the wedding you want. If you aren’t sure, sit down with your fiancé and talk through the details of what you both are thinking.

Pick your venue

With your budget and guest list settled, the next step is picking your wedding venue. Where you tie the knot can help settle a lot of other details about the wedding – from the date to the dress code, to the food.

Make sure to look at a variety of different options. You never know what you might wind up liking the most! Be sure to check out the beautiful venues and gardens we have available for you to choose from here at The Inn at Leola Village.

Discuss a date

Once you’ve looked at venues and picked one, it’s time to reserve a date. Keep in mind popular wedding seasons such as June or over a holiday, and that caterers, photographers and DJs can book up fast. When you decide on your venue, reserve a date that works for you, your fiancé, and both of your needs and wants.

Choose your wedding party

Who do you want by your side at the altar when you say “I do?” It’s a great idea to pick your wedding party early so they can also plan accordingly for your upcoming festivities.

How do I plan a fun wedding?

When you think of throwing a party — and this will probably be the biggest party of your life — what word comes to mind?

FUN! Not just for the attendees, but for you and your fiancé as well. Below are a few fun ideas to get you started.

  1. Serve fun food, like burgers and fries, or how about a food truck?
  2. Let your geek side fly!
  3. How about a sweets station?
  4. Have a pet? Get them involved too!
  5. Hire a photographer who makes posing for photos a blast!
  6. Photo booth fun props are a must.
  7. Hire a caricature artist for your reception.
  8. Most importantly, just be yourselves!

How do I plan a simple wedding?

Wanting a relatively fuss-free wedding? Here are 6 suggestions to make it simply so.

  1. Have your wedding at The Inn at Leola Village. We take the stress out of planning your wedding day with our wedding packages! We’d love to make your big day dreams come true.
  2. Shorten the guest list – Fewer people on the guest list makes it not only easier on your budget, but also on you! Go from overwhelming to overwhelmingly manageable in the blink of an eye.
  3. Hire a wedding planner/coordinator – Not using a coordinator can save some money, BUT if you’re looking to simplify the planning process, then trust us, hire a planner! They will handle the smallest details through all the big moments, for a smooth-sailing day.
  4. Decide on a venue that looks perfect as is – If the venue looks great au natural, that means minimal effort when it comes to décor!
  5. Have the ceremony and reception in the same location – Choose a venue that can host your entire event! No shuttling around required.
  6. Welcome “all inclusive” – This means the utmost in simplicity. Everything will be included and done for you, from on-site coordination, catering, guest accommodations, and more (everything we do here at The Inn at Leola Village). Done and done!

What are some wedding themes?

The season and where you have chosen as your wedding venue may factor into the type of wedding theme you are considering. Still searching for theme ideas? Check these out.

Fall wedding ideas

Autumn colors, cooler air — it’s no wonder fall is one of the most popular times to host weddings. Whether it’s the colorful foliage that can make those wedding photos pop or the autumnal details that can make your wedding more memorable, you can include big or small seasonal touches as you see fit. Below are some fall nuptials ideas to help get you inspired.

  • Toss hued leaves (real or paper) as you exit your ceremony.
  • Fall foliage makes for the best wedding photos – take advantage of the color!
  • Rustic bouquet(s) made up of beautiful flowers in fall colors look great.
  • An outdoor ceremony and/or reception captures that colorful and vibrant backdrop, (but consider the outdoor temperatures).

Country wedding ideas

When you think of a country wedding, you don’t necessarily want the details to scream “Yeehaw!” Instead, think classier country wedding ideas like these:

  • DIY dessert bar featuring s’mores (perhaps with fire pit included)
  • Utilizing mason jars in the décor and for centerpieces
  • Using sunflowers in your bouquet(s)
  • Homemade BBQ sauce bottles as wedding favors, with custom labels

Winter wedding ideas

Enhance your winter wedding celebration with one or more of these seasonal ideas. There are plenty of ways to “winterize” your nuptials with more than just décor.

  • Incorporate cashmere, velour or faux-fur shawl(s) for you and your wedding party
  • Consider using muffs instead of bouquet(s)
  • If it snows, don’t let that get your down, embrace it! Snowy backgrounds make for some beautiful photos
  • Think warming food dishes such as soups, braised meat, etc.

Small wedding ideas

Perhaps a big extravaganza is not for you, and you prefer a more intimate affair. Or this may not be your first time getting married, but you want it to be your best time.

Check out some of the ideas below for throwing a small wedding:

  • Skip what isn’t important or a priority to you
  • Splurge on a few big things (example: hire your favorite live band), but skip others
  • Plan a destination wedding with a small guest list
  • When it comes to décor, make it detail-oriented

Reception ideas

No matter your wedding style, you will want some things to stand out on your big day. Here are a few wedding reception ideas to help spark some inspiration!

Funny wedding idea

Have hangover kits (light blocking mask, aspirin, tums and water) available for guests to grab when leaving the reception.

Spruce up your cocktail hour

You can have a bubbly bar where guests can add their own fruit to their champagne, or have waiters with drinks in hand as guests enter the reception area.

Include a photo booth

Having a photo booth is always a blast at any reception. Be sure to include tons of fun props for your guests to choose from!

Late night snacks

Just when your guests think the party is coming to an end, liven it up with some awesome snacks! French fries, a loaded taco bar or an ice cream bar, for example. These treats will be sure to get everyone ready for the after-party.

Ceremony ideas

Planning your wedding ceremony can seem almost operational at times. We want to provide you with some wedding ceremony ideas to help get you started and make the process fun!

Water station

Whether it’s a summer, fall, winter or spring ceremony, your guests will appreciate a cool refresher while they wait for things to get underway.

The pet-friendly wedding

Include your pet(s) in your ceremony! They can assist as the ring bearer or flower girl or perhaps be cute ushers!

Unique ceremony entrance

Be ushered in by horse, flown in by hot air balloon, whatever grand entrance you want to make – do it with flair!

Flower girl twist

Instead of having her throw petals, have her blow bubbles!

Guest book ideas

Looking for some unique wedding guest book ideas? Consider these.

Tip jar

While your guests are arriving, have a creative “tip jar” available for collecting advice to the newlyweds.

Thumbprint tree

A very fun wedding idea to consider, this allows your guest to assist in creating a piece of art for your home.

Custom canvas

Have a custom piece of art that reflects you as a couple on a canvas for your guests to all sign.

Centerpiece ideas


Need to decide if you are going for flowers or other, non-floral decor in your centerpiece arrangements? Here are some different centerpiece ideas to get you started.

Candles

Choose long tapered candlesticks or floating candles — whatever you decide, candles make a beautiful accent to any centerpiece idea.

Lanterns

There are many lantern styles to choose from. Not only do they make for a gorgeous centerpiece, but they help set the ambiance too.

Fruit

No matter what type of fruit you decide, it will immediately bring intrigue to your tables.

Wedding cake ideas

Your wedding cake should be a reflection of your taste and style for the wedding. Think of it as the exclamation point of your reception! Check out these tasty and tasteful ideas.

Cake and cupcakes galore

Want to add a bit of variety to your wedding cake? Have a smaller cake for you and your fiancé, and then do a variety of flavors of cupcakes for your guests to choose from.

Not a cake person?

Opt for alternative-type tiers for your cake instead! These can be anything from stacked donuts to waffles or even cheese wheels!

Naked cake

A new trend of unfrosted tiers is becoming popular among wedding cakes. This option may be right for the couple who prefer something less traditional.

Invitation ideas

You want to make sure your wedding invitations have your own personal stamp on them, of course. It will give your guests a glimpse into the wedding that is about to come. Here are some examples to get the creative mind revved up.

Include illustrations

Whether it’s DIY or you have it crafted for you, a custom illustration can be something meaningful to you.

Photos

Utilize those engagement photos you had done by incorporating those into your invitations.

Colorful

Get creative with your use of color on your invites. It can add a gorgeous sheen to even the most traditional of invitations.

We hope that this compiled wedding ideas guide was helpful in getting you started on planning your big day and has provided you with ideas for inspiration! Here at the Inn at Leola Village, hosting and planning your wedding is our specialty.

Over the years, we have gained an exceptional reputation that we are proud of and we have earned amazing reviews from our wedding parties. Through our experienced team of wedding specialists and our venues, we have been able to give our wedding couples the phenomenal wedding day of their dreams.

See what couples have had to say about us through our online reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire!