Make Your I Do’ Last Forever

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(NewsUSA)

In between the guest list, the flowers, and the perfect three-tier cake, it can be hard to find time to shop for your wedding rings. However, it is important to remember that most of the wedding details are fleeting and gone after a few hours of enjoyment, while your rings are enjoyed forever. So, whether you are having a smaller gathering or a more traditional affair, this important to-do on your event checklist should not be overlooked, especially since your rings mark your commitment to one another and will last a lifetime.

Jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor has a few tips that are sure to help you find matrimonial bliss when it comes to ring selection: Continue reading

How to Choose the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

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(NewsUSA)

So, you are engaged and ready to choose that romantic spot for your first getaway as husband and wife. But where should you go?

A lot of couples have difficulty finding the honeymoon destination that is “just right” for them. There are so many things to consider, like the season, accommodations, and types of leisure activities available. But , making  a decision can be simple once you know what you are looking for. The Villa Group – experts in matching clients with their ideal holiday destination – advise couples to consider the following, before they make their choice: Continue reading

Saying I Do’ and Enjoying It Too

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For many brides, the quest to plan the perfect day can quickly turn into a nightmare trip down the aisle. Here are a few tips to keep your wedding day bliss from turning into the honeymoon blues.

* Marriage Planning 101: Once the ring goes on, the race to plan the perfect wedding begins, giving couples little time to think about the marriage itself or how their wedding spending decisions could affect their future. But smart couples are now setting aside time to address pre-wedding issues such as what they will do when it comes to financial planning, spending money, raising children and family politics. Continue reading

Note to Brides and Grooms: Don’t Forget to Buy Each Other a Present

Shap2(NewsUSA) – If you’re reading this story, you’re probably one of the approximately 825,000 couples who’ve just gotten engaged since Thanksgiving and are now planning your wedding. So here’s perhaps the single most important reminder — and grooms do seem to need more reminding than brides — anyone will offer: Tradition holds that you both exchange wedding presents.

(Yes, grooms, even though you just bought her an engagement ring.)

But what to get?

“Gifts should come from the heart,” says WeddingChannel.com.

Well, yeah. But that still leaves a lot of room for error. So here’s some tips to keep in mind whether you two opt for some type of jewelry — the traditional and most popular choice — or something else.

* Practicality can wait. Etiquette dictates that gifts be exchanged at one of three times: the night before the wedding, the morning of the ceremony, or right before you leave on your honeymoon. So you could see where this has the potential for becoming a bigger disaster than Chernobyl if the groom’s idea of “practical” is, say, a toaster.

* Being uniquely personal is appreciated. One of the best examples we’ve heard of is a guy who had a photographer secretly capture the moment he proposed in New York’s Central Park, and then presented the results to his bride on the day of their wedding.

“So cute!” read a typical blog post.

The downside, of course, is that pulling it off requires imagination and — in this instance — a lot of advance planning.

* Jewelry can be “traditional” without being boring. Case in point: the very hot Argyle diamondstrend (www.diamondswithastory.com), which fulfills the quest of even the most eco-minded couples for diamond fashion jewelry since the stones are produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way from the Argyle mine in Australia. And the diamonds, themselves, come in gorgeous neutral shades like champagne, cognac, silver and gray.

“If your bride likes something different from what all her friends have,” says jewelry and style expert Michael O’Connor, “then the Argyle diamond bracelets, necklaces and earrings are perfect and available at many retailers across the country — I’ve even spotted women at gyms wearing the diamond pendants. And the cufflinks for men are truly elegant.”

Perhaps because prices start at as little as a few hundred dollars for some pieces, O’Connor calls them “the ideal gateway gift.” Meaning, you can use other occasions — think birthdays and anniversaries — to add to your collection through the years.

Yes, brides and grooms, you’ll soon have to start planning your next milestone together.

Destination Wedding Countdown Calendar

Planning a destination wedding requires a whole separate timeline. Here, learn how to get everything done for your wedding with time to spare.

Stay on track with this month-by-month guide:

 

12-10 MONTHS

  • Set a budget. Factor in the number of guests and determine how much you can afford to spend.
  • Decide on a place. Consider your wedding style and choose a first, second and third choice. Consider travel time and distance.
  • Research resorts in your country/location of choice and compare what each offers. Shop for packages and consider all-inclusive packages. Compare prices and inclusiveness as well as recommendations, ratings and references.
  • Research airfare and each resort’s room rates.
  • Look into the marriage legalitiesin the locations you’re considering.
  • Notify family and friends of decision to marry away; select a date.
  • Decide on your wedding attendants.
  • After selecting a resort, make travel arrangements for a visit.
  • Have the location’s on-site wedding coordinator give you a list of preferred local vendors such as the photographer, florist and band.

9 MONTHS

  • Visit the resort and meet with the on-site wedding coordinator and local vendors. Look into a group discounton room rates.
  • Begin your search for your honeymoon locationif you will not be honeymooning at your wedding destination. If you’re getting married during a peak holiday season such as Christmas, you may need to book your honeymoon 9 months in advance.
  • Start gown shoppingand begin registering for gifts.
  • Put together your guest list.
  • Set up your wedding website. Start with your wedding date and location, adding travel info and other relevant logistics as you go.

6 MONTHS

  • Send out save-the-datesto give your guests plenty of time to make travel arrangements.
  • Get a rough head count; reserve a block of rooms.
  • Contact your officiant. For most religious ceremonies, you may be required to attend pre-wedding counseling. Civil ceremonies may require permission to be married in the location.
  • Review and finalize pros’ contracts.
  • Buy travel and wedding insurance.
  • Reserve a block of rooms at two hotels in different price ranges and direct your invitees to your wedding website for the details.
  • If your wedding will take place in another country contact a travel agent to see if you can reserve a block of seats with an airline. Many carriers offer discounts to passengers with groups over ten.
  • Book your own honeymoon/travel
  • Select and order your gown and bridesmaid dresses.
  • Make final selections for your flowers, decor, menu and cake.
  • Select musicfor the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.
  • Make arrangements for any transportationat the location such as a shuttle for guests to and from the airport.

4 MONTHS

3 MONTHS

  • Make sure website is updated with most recent information.
  • Write welcome letterto guests and itinerary of events to include in gift bag. Have both printed and ready to take with you or ship to resort.
  • Order brochures of local activities along with area maps to include in the gift bag.
  • Review documentation for a legal ceremony with your coordinator.

2 MONTHS

  • Set up a seating chart, get all RSVPs from guests.
  • Test a spray tan if you plan on gettiing one for the wedding.

3-6 WEEKS

  • Confirm travel reservations; release any rooms not needed.
  • Finalize detailswith wedding coordinator and local vendors.
  • Determine an order of events schedule with your coordinator.
  • Finalize ceremony details: write vows, finalize music.
  • Ask guests to RSVP for group activities via e-mail.
  • Ship gift bag items, printed materials (programs etc.) to site.

2 WEEKS

  • Finalize guest headcount and confirm group activities.
  • Ensure all paperwork is in order (passports, documents needed for marriage license, wedding and travel insurancepolicies).
  • Print your wedding programsto take with you.
  • Confirm your honeymoonreservation and any speacial requests.
  • Address any wedding announcements, stamp and arrange for mailing on your wedding day.
    • WEEK
  • Finalize the seating plan; give catereryour final guest list count.
  • Pack what you need for the wedding and honeymoon; pick up tuxes.
  • Put together an emergency kit(spot remover, band-aids, asprin, etc).
  • Determine photo schedule and shot listfor your photographer.
  • Confirm final meeting with vendors for when you arrive.

Day Before Departure

  • Go over final details with coordinator; update website.
  • Contact the wedding party and make sure they know how to reach you.

3-4 days

  • Arrive at location and meet with on-site coordinator, officiant, and vendors to review final details.

Real Brides Share: “How I Knew He Was The One”

Was there an instantaneous connection when you met, or did you grow to love each other after years of friendship? We asked our Facebook followers to tell us about how they knew they’d found their perfect match. Read their sweet stories!

By: Kristen Klein

Love at First Sight

“I knew he was special the moment I saw him. We instantly clicked like we were very old friends. After four months, we were engaged! I always thought people in my situation were nuts — I mean, how could you meet someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with them in such a short amount of time? Well, I just knew! I know I’m the lucky one. He surprises me everyday with his kindness, acts of selflessness, and his huge heart.” —Emily B. Continue reading

Wedding Countdown Calendar

Get everything done for your wedding with time to spare.

12+ Months

11 Months Continue reading

Top Conversations to Have With Your Wedding Planner

Perfect planning starts with the right questions. Here, the star of WEtv’s David Tutera’s CELEBrations shares the scoop.

By: David Tutera

Wedding Planner’s Questions

 

  1. What kind of wedding would you like to have?
    A. The answer I often get is “I want a unique, different, creative wedding” — which is not the answer I am looking for. Every bride wants something unique; I want to see how far outside the box the couple wants to go. The style and personality they want to come through are important, but I need to understand how far they’re willing to venture — and how much they’re willing to break with the formula of a traditional wedding.
  2. What’s your color scheme?
    A. Surprise: A lot of my brides don’t have a ready answer. Think about specific colors, preferably bringing in fabric swatches, paint chip colors, magazine tear sheets — anything that depicts what you’re envisioning. Ideally, I like to see three color choices per palette: a primary color (your main color), a secondary color (your accent color) and a third color (what I call the finish color: silver, crystal, copper or gold).
  3. How would you like to infuse your personalities into your celebration?
    A. I hope the couple answers by telling me more about who they are — the types of foods they love, their cultural backgrounds, stories about their relationship, where they met, etc. The reason I ask this is because I want to tell the couple’s story. The more personality and detail in your wedding, the more your wedding becomes your wedding, instead of the cookie-cutter format so many people tend to follow.
  4. What style do you live your life in?
    A. Are you Modern? Classic? Eclectic? Traditional? Retro? I ask this question because the answer gives me a sense of who you are as a couple, as well as the way you like to live.
  5. What style would you like your wedding to be executed in?
    A. The style a couple wants for their weddingmay not be the style they live their lives by. It’s often more of a fantasy they want to live out for that day.

Continue reading

What’s Your Signature Wedding Style?

In my book, The Big White Book of Weddings, I discuss style in detail. Here, in a nutshell, are four bridal styles to consider. Happy self-discovery!

 

By: David Tutera

One of my first questions to any bride is, “What kind of bride are you and what is your wedding style?” Now, I’m not trying to find out what kind of person you are at work or at home, or what kind of style you’ve followed until now — the fact is, you as a bride may end up learning that you are entirely different from your everyday persona.

The Classic Bride: Traditional Elegance

Your wedding is exactly what every little girl dreams of. The classic bride has a style that is timeless, elegant, rich, ethereal and romantic, and chooses décor that speaks to that. Opulence is a must here. I love filling the room with dripping crystals and florals hung from chandeliers, tall taper candles mixed into luxurious and overabundant floral arrangements, crystal or precious-metal containers that create a focal point for your tablescapes and candles of all sizes clustered on luxurious linens. Continue reading

5 Tips for Perfect Wedding Photos

 (NewsUSA) – Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime occasion — something to be celebrated and cherished. Planning it, on the other hand, can feel as if you’re preparing for war — between ensuring that Uncle Sal isn’t sitting next to his brother, who owes him money, to budgeting for everything you want and need. The one thing you don’t want to skimp on is the memories.

Which is why choosing your photographer is one of the biggest decisions you will make. To help ensure that you get the most romantic photos of your fairytale day, Professional Photographers of America, a 29,000-plus-member association, offers these suggestions: Continue reading