1. Do take advantage of Internet technology. Plan your wedding using search engines and e-mail to create your special celebration. There are several Internet sites dedicated to wedding planning that allow you to take advantage of the wealth of information at your fingertips.  Coordinate with vendors, make and confirm reservations, select flowers and review menus online.
  2. Don’t seat older guests near the band or the speakers as it may be hard for them to hear anything else.
  3. Don’t forget to pamper yourself. Treat your mom and maids the day before the wedding with an afternoon at the spa. You’ll have the time of your life enjoying facials, massages, manicures and pedicures. It will make you feel more relaxed and beautiful.
  4. Do contact the church or synagogue where you will perform your ceremony and ask about any rules or guidelines regarding music. Some churches require that you use their organist.
  5. Do remember your guests with small children. Instead of putting “no children” or “adults-only reception” on invitations, ask your reception site manager if there is a small room or play area near the festivities that you can rent. Then hire a professional babysitting service to take care of the kids. Parents will appreciate your consideration and be able to relax and enjoy your reception knowing they are close to their children.
  6. Do remember when purchasing a gown to be realistic about your expectations for losing weight. A gown can always be taken in, but rarely can it be let out without leaving stitch marks for all to see.
  7. Don’t forget to involve stepparents in your ceremony in some way, perhaps a reading during your ceremony or an invocation before dinner.
  8. Do consider table visits during your reception. It is a grand display of appreciation and respect when the bride and groom spend a few moments visiting their guests at each table.
  9. Looking for a gift for your wedding party? Do consider a monogrammed piece of estate silver, such as a flask for the groomsmen or make-up compacts for the maids.
  10. Do consider decorating chairs in a new way such as black, silver, white or traditional gold. Transform an ordinary room or site into a ballroom. Chair covers completely change the look of your reception.
  11. When discussing photo packages, don’t forget black and white and sepia tones. This classic style of photography continues to gain in popularity.
  12. Do remember that the hour of the ceremony is an indicator of the formality of the reception.
  13. Do consider having your entire wedding at a full-service hotel. The convenience of having the ceremony, reception and guest lodging in one place is incomparable, especially for a complicated event.
  14. To get your skin in shape for your wedding day, don’t forget to start six months prior to your wedding and practice make-up techniques.
  15. When renting a stretch limo, do remember that it can usually seat up to 10 people, but fewer when the bride’s gown and train and the bridesmaid’s dresses are factored in to the equation.
  16. Do remember to return rental items on time and undamaged.
  17. Don’t forget that the best way to let people know where you are registered is to have family and friends spread the word. Although it’s impolite to mention the registry on wedding invitations, a hostess may do so on shower invitations.
  18. Do select the ceremony and reception locations nine to 12 months before your wedding. If you’re getting married in popular months like May or June, select these locations as soon as possible.
  19. Do make finding the right caterer and baker a priority. Great food is critical to the wedding celebration. Interviews and tastings are a must.
  20. Don’t waste time getting to your reception. Have photos of the wedding party taken before the ceremony.
  21. Do reserve your photographer nine to 12 months before your wedding. Decide which shots you definitely want and which ones you can live without.
  22. Don’t forget to send an invitation to your officiant and to all of your wedding party.
  23. Do pick up your invitation envelopes as soon as possible so that you can begin addressing them.
  24. Do consider having two bouquets, one to keep and one to throw.
  25. Do check with your church or temple about their policies, especially regarding alcohol.
  26. If children will be attending your reception, do arrange a children’s menu with the caterer.
  27. Don’t be intimidated by terms such as “off-premises caterer” or “outside caterer.” These terms simply refer to catering companies that operate out of an independent kitchen and travel to different venues to provide their services.
  28. Do consider a seating scroll, a beautiful alternative to the more common seating cards. The large scroll sits on an easel and has the names of each couple written in calligraphy, along with the table number where they are seated.
  29. Don’t dismiss the idea of preserving your bridal gown. You may want to give it to your daughter 25 years from now, and you’ll want it to be in good condition when you do.
  30. Don’t forget about the vegetarians on your guest list. Fortunately, it is easy to accommodate virtually all dining preferences and restrictions with a little planning.
  31. Do burn candle wicks slightly before the ceremony to ensure they will be easy to light during the event.
  32. Do arm your guest-book attendants with Scotch tape and instructions to make sure every card is securely taped to the appropriate gift. After all the handling and transporting your gifts will get, you can rest assured the cards will remain attached.
  33. Do take advantage of a wedding consultant’s experience in wedding decision making. His or her ability to keep you sane during the planning process is well worth the expense.
  34. Do be prompt with your thank-you notes. You may have heard that brides are allotted up to a year to express gratitude for their gifts. It is better to show your appreciation immediately, signing, sealing and sending them within three months.
  35. If possible, do invite all guests to both the ceremony and reception.
  36. Don’t seat divorced parents at the same table. Let them each host their own table to avoid any uncomfortable situations.
  37. If you want to continue your festivities into the early morning hours, do consider chartering a transportation company to shuttle you and your bridal party to some of the hot nightspots.
  38. Don’t forget to confirm that tax and gratuities are included in all vendor prices. If they’re not, find out how much they are.
  39. Do find out the deadline for the menu selection.
  40. Do begin searching for your musical group or DJ six to 12 months prior to your wedding.
  41. Don’t ignore the details. After your first dance, have the band play the song your parents chose for their first dance as husband and wife.
  42. Do find a special pearl-edged or silver container to place your ceremony program in. This same bowl may be used to hold gift cards at the reception.
  43. Don’t forget to apply for a passport at least three months in advance if you are planning on traveling abroad for your honeymoon. For travel in some countries you may need certain vaccinations, so be sure to ask your travel agent.
  44. Do consider a handmade guest book and photo album made with fine paper and bound in specialty ribbons.
  45. Don’t restrict your taste buds to the common white wedding cake. Chocolate-frosted wedding cakes are perfect for the bride who is a little more daring.
  46. Do consider the white bar when planning your beverage menu. Gin, vodka, champagne, water and wine, which is just enough to keep each guest smiling.
  47. Don’t go over three minutes when delivering a toast.
  48. If the healthy glow of a tan is a must, do consider a safe and reliable self-tanning lotion, available at beauty counters across the country.
  49. Do store your wedding photos carefully, as well as any video or audio samples from the ceremony and reception.
  50. Do force yourself to stop a couple of times throughout your reception and take it all in. This is what you have worked and planned for so enjoy yourself. B

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