wedding planning

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First Things First

Wedding Planning Timeline
How Are We Going to Pay for All This?


Spreading the Word

Choosing Wedding Invitations
Wedding Invitation Wording
Wedding Invitation Etiquette


Keeping Your Sanity

Avoiding the Guilt Trap
Advice from the Bride
Top 10 Wedding Stress Busters



Setting the Mood

Finding a Wedding Location
A Guide to Wedding Flowers
Wedding Centerpiece Ideas


Shaping Up

Get in Shape for the Big Day
Online Personal Training


Dressing the Part

Wedding Gown Guide
Proper Groom's Attire
Shop for Wedding Shoes


Oh, Behave!

Wedding Etiquette Tips
Bachelorette Party Ideas
Bachelor Party Ideas


Eat, Drink and Be Married

Wedding Catering Options
A Guide to Wedding Cakes


'Tis Better to Give...

Wedding Favor Ideas
Bridesmaid Gift Ideas
Groomsman Gift Ideas


Making Your Getaway

Destination Weddings
Honeymoon Planning Tips


Beyond the Big Day

Newlywed Cooking Tips
Financial Advice for Newlyweds


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Wedding Gown Shopping Tips


It's easy to get overwhelmed when planning a wedding. Between finding a ceremony location, an officiant, a reception location, a caterer, a photographer, a DJ or a band - AGH! It can all get pretty frustrating.


Fortunately, finding your wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses is not something you have to worry about right away. True, you may need to allow the dress shop several months to order your dress or make custom alterations. However, if you allow yourself at least nine months from the date of your engagement to the date of your wedding, you have a few months before you must order and purchase your wedding gown. This gives you some time to peruse bridal magazines, Web sites and shops to determine what you really want your wedding gown to look like. Here are the basics for choosing a wedding gown that suits your tastes, your figure and your budget.


Basic Wedding Gown Silhouettes:

Ball Gown: Best suited to traditional brides, a ball gown typically consists of a full bodice to the waist and full skirt. This design flatters many body types. Think Cinderella.


Empire: Empire wedding gowns are identified by their high waistline (right below the bust) leading into a slim skirt. This is an attractive option for brides who are with child.


A-line: Flattering for most body types, an A-line wedding gown is made with vertical seams flowing straight down from the shoulders into a slightly flared skirt.


Sheath: Best suited to slim brides, a sheath silhouette follows the line of the body, as opposed to flaring at the skirt.


Keep in Mind When Trying On a Wedding Dresses:

-How does the material fall? Does it bunch up on any part of your body, or does it flow freely and comfortably?

-Does it feel too tight in the waste or the chest? You don't want to spend your entire wedding day "sucking it in." By the same taken, make sure it isn't so loose in the bust that you feel in danger of exposing yourself if you lean over.

-Is all stitching, beading and embroidery fully intact and secure enough to withstand an evening of dancing, hugging and kissing?


After you've chosen a wedding gown and had it altered to your specifications, make sure you know how to get in and out of it (or that your maid of honor knows how to do it for you) and that you know how to clean it in case of mishap.


To get the loveliest wedding gown possible on a strict budget, read Finding the Dress of Your Dreams At a Price You Can Afford.


Also remember that all eyes will be on you on your wedding day, so you want to look simply fabulous in that dress of yours. In addition to getting in shape, you may want to get a body treatment at the spa to ensure that your skin looks healthy and glowing. Read Fitness Tips For Looking Your Best On Your Wedding Day to learn how to set achievable goals for getting in shape.


Top 5 Planning Tips

1. Get a dedicated credit card for all of your wedding expenses so that you can dispute the charge if a deal falls though.

2 Earn miles toward your honeymoon with a frequent flyer miles credit card from

3. Get the best deal on airfare, hotel and rental cars for your honeymoon through any travel site of your choice.

4. Create your own web page at with information about your wedding date, location, gift registries, and hotels for out-of-town guests.

5. If you plan to take your spouse's name, get a Name Change Kit to ensure you cover everything.

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