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I'm getting married! How to plan the wedding without getting stressed out

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On May 8, 2014, Manalapan health Examiner Stacey Chillemi interviewed several brides-to-be and came up with effective tools and techniques on how to have the wedding of your dreams without being stressed out.

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Have the wedding of your dreams without breaking the budget or getting stressed out. Here's all the necessary tips, techniques and advice, so you can have fun planning the wedding of your dreams without stressing yourself out, breaking the budget or cutting corners.

Imagine this: The man of your dreams has just asked you to marry him. You replied by telling him yes! He slips the ring on your finger and you tell everyone you know about the engagement!

Now the planning begins! One-way not to stress yourself out is by creating a wedding journal, organizing all your ideas, thoughts, plans and most importantly a detailed to-do list that will help your get everything done effectively and cost efficiently.

1. Choose a wedding date: Consider all factors, including location availability, work schedules, family commitments, travel plans of friends and family, holidays and preparation time. Some locations and vendors give discounts for weddings on nontraditional days such as Friday and Sunday. Also, keep in mind about when you want to hold the wedding. Do you want to have the wedding in the morning or afternoon? A reception may be cheaper than the typical Saturday night. Off-peak times of the year, such as after the holidays, may also be discounted.

2. Decide on the size and type of wedding you would like: Your dream wedding may be entirely different from that of your betrothed. Discuss the desire for a formal or casual event, the ideal location, how many people you would like to invite (and who they are), as well as family expectations. If you have an elegant evening wedding in mind and your partner thinks a luau on the beach would be perfect, keep talking until you close the gap.

3. Set a budget: When looking at options and making choices, bear in mind: Who is paying? What can they afford? How formal will it be?

4. Select a location: Find out if there will be another event at the same time as yours. Ask if you can hire an outside caterer.

5. Choose a person: Find someone whose beliefs resonate with yours. Select from a wide range of religious people, a judge or justice of the peace--or have a friend do the honors

6. Decide if you want attendants: Choose them early so they can help you. Let bridesmaids and groomsmen know how much you appreciate their accepting this important and costly role in your wedding.

7. Create the guest list based on the location capacity limit and your budget: Get additional names from both sets of parents and divide the list into must-have people and those you hope to fit in. Get a firm quote from the caterer before the final cut so you can trim names if the budget requires it.

8. Order a cake: Browse bridal magazines, get references from friends and call around. Schedule a complimentary tasting session with your top two choices. Expect to pay $2 to $15 (or more) per slice.

9. Working with your florist: Work with a florist to select your flowers, including centerpieces. Keep in mind that flowers are more expensive and are in limited availability during the winter.

10. Hire someone to capture the big day on film. Whether you want movies or black and white, color or digital pictures, find a professional videographer or photographer.

11. Buying your gown: Buy your wedding gown, either off the rack (with alterations) or from a dressmaker. Expect custom-made gowns to require up to several months for fittings. Coordinate shoes, stockings, veil and headpiece.

12. Saving the date: Send out a "save the date" notice at least six months in advance for people needing to make travel and hotel arrangements, or if it is a holiday weekend. Include a list of contacts for lodging and car rentals.

13. Teamwork and Communication: It is a fact that whoever pays for the wedding exerts a fair amount of control over the process. If that is the bride's parents, the mother of the bride should be included in the decisions. Both the mother and daughters' wishes should be equal in the decisions. You bet.

14. Be Considerate: Be extremely considerate when you are borrowing a house or garden for your wedding--the generous offer adds considerable expense, time and anxiety to the owner's life.

15. Have a backup plan: Put together a solid plan B in case of bad weather. Select a location that has an indoor alternative, like a museum, a hall or even a barn. Look into renting tents or large awnings.

Remember to create a planner and a list to do’s, so you know what needs to completed, such as:

12 to 18 Months Before

• Reserve Church, Temple, Site of Ceremony
• Reserve Photographer
• Reserve Videographer
• Reserve Videographer
• Choose Entertainment
• Contact a Wedding Consultant
• Hire Musicians for Ceremony
• Discuss and Decide on Style and Formality of Your Wedding

6 to 12 Months Before

• Arrange Accommodations for Out of Town Attendants
• Order Gown and Veil
• Select Members of Your Bridal Party
• Shop for Attendants' Gowns
• Schedule Photo for Engagement Announcement
• Arrange Wedding Transportation
• Mail Engagement Information to Newspaper
• Pick a Color Scheme for Your Wedding
• Visit or Call Rental Companies to Review Rental Options
• Discuss Honeymoon Plans
• Visit Florist and Discuss Floral Arrangements

3 to 6 Months Before

• Complete Bridal Registry
• Order Wedding Cake
• Visit Travel Agent and Make Honeymoon Plans
• Send Deposits/Payments for Airline Tickets
• Order Invitations and Thank You Notes
• Plan Rehearsal Dinner
• Order Wedding Band Engravings

2 Months Before

• Order Men's Formal Wear
• Order Favors for Reception
• Meet with Your Function Director
• Buy Attendants' Gifts
• Send Band or DJ a List of Songs You would Like Played
• First Gown Fitting
• Hire a Calligrapher to Address Invitations
• Have a Formal Portrait Taken
• Mail out Invitations

1 Month Before

• Confirm Rehearsal with Church
• Get Physical Examination
• Purchase Final Party Supplies
• Make Appointment to have Wedding Bouquet Preserved
• Mail Thank You Notes for Shower Gifts

1 to 2 Weeks Before

• Apply for Marriage License
• Pick Up Honeymoon Tickets
• Finalize Flowers
• Give Caterer a Final Guest Count
• Plan Seating for Reception
• Write Out Place Cards for Reception
• Pick Up Formal Wear
• Confirm Church, Hall, Band, Photo, Video, Limo, Florist, Etc.

1 Day Before

Relax and Enjoy because you will need all your enjoy for the big wedding day!

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