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Wedding Planning Survival Guide Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
So you've chosen your rings and you set the big date. Now how do you make your wedding happen without ending up in a padded cell?

Many brides do not get the luxury of enjoying their wedding day because of all the stress. We're here to tell you how to get through this so you can "enjoy" your special day.

Here are some important survival steps that you must make before you tie the knot!

Choose a Flexible Location

In an averaged priced wedding, you can expect to pay around $11,000 in location costs. This includes the venue, decorations and food.

Here are some ways to save money when booking a venue:

1. Get married in the off season

2. Getting married on a Thursday or Friday night vs. a Saturday can save a considerable amount of money. You can save 15 to 25% by getting married on a Thursday alone.

Before you choose the location to have the wedding ceremony at, here are some questions that you should ask:

1. Are any special permits needed?

2. Is there a music curfew?

3. Can you light candles?

4. Can you bring your own caterer or do you have to hire theirs?

5. Can you bring your own booze or do you have to buy from the location?

6. Ask about additional and hidden charges! For example, some places will charge for every little last thing, including china, chair covers and in some places, even charge a cake cutting fee.

Even though some of these things may seem minor, they can turn out to be a big problem in the end if not addressed in the beginning.

Be specific about what you want and make sure you are getting what you are paying for.

1. If you are getting married in the summer, are you paying for coat check and is it necessary?

2. Read the fine print.

Don't have a lot of money to spend? Well her's a way to look expensive without spending a lot of money - serve expensive appetizers. Filet minion or lobster tails can be served in bite-sized pieces. This makes guests feel very special and they don't eat very much because its just an appetizer. You can serve something simple like a pasta dish for the main course.

If you are having a cocktail hour, keep in mind that rule of thumb is that you need to have at least three square feet per guest when you are trying to calculate how much room you need.

One thing I must point out that it is very important to check what is going on in the surrounding area from where your reception is. It would be terrible if you were to have a small three piece string band trying to entertain your guests with a major rap party going on next door.

Let Fashion Breathe

If there is one thing that can be more frustrating that choosing a wedding venue, it would be choosing your wedding attire.

Before you start trying on your gown, you should have already made a few choices. When you visit a bridal gown shop for the first time, you should really already have your wedding date planned and your venue selected. Without this, it can be difficult to choose the correct dress for the occasion.

Here are some pointers to help you through choosing your wedding gown:

1. Try on dresses over the course of several days.

2. Don't pick the first one you fall in love with. Come back to it and see it again when you've had a chance to sleep on it.

3. If you can take pictures of the dresses, this would be helpful, but many of the bridal shops don't allow this.

4. Find a bridal shop that is close to home or work. You will be making several trips back and forth and you don't want to be driving miles every time you go.

5. Fittings take time. Allow about 8 months to get the gown made.

Smart shoppers can sometimes get the gown of their dreams without going to the poorhouse. Check with some of the stores as sometimes they have sample sales where you can get some great deals. And don't forget the Internet. You can find many gowns online at reduced prices and then even turn around and sell it later at an online auction site.

What about the bridesmaids? Times have changed from the days where all the bridesmaids wore the exact same gown. You don't necessarily have to go with a one piece gown anymore. Separates have become popular where you can choose your own top and skirt. Another option is to simply choose your color and/or fabric and let the bridesmaids choose their own gowns. This way no matter whether they are short, tall, fat or thin, they will be able to find something that makes them look their best.

Pick Smart Decorations

Like everything else in your wedding, choosing flowers requires you to be organized. After all, if you fall into the category of a $22.000 wedding, you will be spending upwards of $1500 on flowers alone.

The following it what you should bring to the florist:

1. Your inspiration

2. Pictures of your attire

3. Swatches of your dress and bridesmaids dresses

4. Pictures of your location if you have them

Have you ever thought of lemons, oranges or pink champagne grapes as your centerpiece? Or how about your salad, such as an antipasto display laid out as a centerpiece? You can have individual wedding cakes on the tables so when you cut your cake, your guests can cut their cakes. Centerpieces can be anything you like. Keep in mind though to make sure your centerpieces are not so high that your guests have to stand up or peek through to see the person across from them.

Hint: If you are having your wedding outdoors, dryer sheets make a great mosquito repellent. Put them in the bridal bouquet and other arrangements to keep pesky critters away!

Last minute advice:

Great! So you've made it this far and are now ready to take those steps down the aisle. But before you do, here are some ideas that will help you to remember your special day for the rest of your life.

1. Take some time on the day of your wedding, to sit down and write about your thoughts, the smells, what did the food taste like, did your grandmother wink at you during the ceremony. Make this like a little letter to yourself and whenever you read it, the memories will come flooding back.

2. On your wedding day, rather than thinking of all the things that need to be done, get a massage, have lunch with your best friend or have a chat with your mother. The idea is to create an oasis of "calm". Dream about what the day is going to be like, not what you might have forgotten to do because it should be all done by now.

3. Don't have outlandish expectations. Have you ever seen a perfect wedding? No such thing. There's beautiful weddings, outstanding weddings and wonderful weddings, but there are no perfect weddings.

4. Between the wedding and reception, find some time alone with just you and your spouse. It will be your only private moment all day.

5. And the last tip is be prepared for a wedding day crisis. If you are, then it will be much easier to relax. A well stocked emergency kit is a must have. Wedding emergency kits can contain almost everything from jumper cables (incase the limo doesn't start) to black socks (incase one of the groomsmen forgets to bring them - it does happen!). They also contain, aspirin, saline solution, safety pins, nail files, masking tape, super glue and more.

No matter what kind of an event you plan, the goal is to live happily ever after.
About the Author
Evelyn Whitaker writes articles for German Toasting Glasses http://www.german-toasting-glasses.com which specializes in custom engraved wedding gifts.
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