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Christmas engagements set the stage for whirlwind of wedding planning

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Christmas Day is the most popular day of the year for wedding proposals. In fact, according to the Fairchild Wedding Group, publisher of Brides Magazine, nationally, more than 20% of all proposals take place on that one day. Wedding vendors are well aware of this fact, so top professionals participate in the largest and most popular bridal shows in January, February and March to meet the newly engaged.

Since 1983, Houston brides have looked forward to the Bridal Extravaganza held at the George R Brown Convention Center. Mark your 2012 calendar for January 7th and 8th for an eye-popping array of vendor exhibits and style shows. Weddings in Houston Magazine sponsors their 2012 ‘I Do’ Bridal Soiree, focused on the luxury bride, at the Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday afternoon, January 15th. If brides can’t make either of these shows, or if you are newly engaged on Valentine’s Day – the second most popular day to become engaged -- The Perfect Wedding Guide sponsors Dream Weddings Bridal Shows at The Woodlands Waterway Marriot on February 26th and at the Galveston Convention Center on March 25th. Each website offers more details and sells tickets on-line. Watch for special offers for grooms and other important members of the wedding party.

Bridal shows are a great way to get ideas for the wedding. Keep in mind, each vendor typically showcases their most attention-grabbing décor. In many cases, the display represents one-of-a-kind items not available in rentable quantities until the first bride places her order. That may translate into higher prices, so brides are advised to get pricing before they fall in love with the display. The best vendors will help brides create a similar look on a more modest scale if the display items start to blow the budget.

When planning the wedding, typically the first booking needs to be the place where the ceremony takes place, then the venue for the reception. Once the venue is secured, brides can have a better understanding of what is provided, the size and colors at the venue and any special considerations. In addition, vendors need to know the wedding date so they can check availability of supplies and staff. Trying to plan the reception décor in too much detail before securing the locale is a little like buying furniture before choosing a place to live. The fit, color and look of the wedding décor should complement the style of the venue and the bride.

Below are links to a series of articles and checklists that provide insider tips to help brides and their families save time and money while planning their wedding day.

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