"No matter how well-intentioned, friends and family will undoubtedly lend advice, opinions, and even objections to your decisions. It's easy for you two to become divided. But in the end, this is a celebration of your love and future together, and so every choice should be yours alone. Keep your focus on what matters most, forget what you think you should or shouldn't do, and go with your heart. If you keep you two at the center of every decision, it will be the most memorable day of your life." —Kendahl and Nick

Sometimes, last-minute planning can work in your favor. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Since most people book their wedding venues at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.


Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don't take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don't hire any vendors before you've confirmed your date; don't design your cake before you've envisioned your flowers; and don't book a band before you've settled on a space.
When it comes to bartenders and waitstaff, and parking, bathroom and coatroom attendants, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.

As you start your search for the perfect wedding dress, first decide on the silhouette. Ballgown wedding dresses, with their dramatic full skirts and waist-cinching bodices, are one of the most popular styles. If you’re looking for something a little sexier, look for a mermaid wedding dress, which hugs your figure and flares out at the mid-thigh. A-line wedding dresses are universally flattering! With the same waist-cinching effect as a ballgown and a flowy, dance-floor-ready skirt, it’s easy to see why brides love this effortless look. Courthouse brides and brides looking for something a little different often reach for short wedding dresses. We especially love tea-length dresses for their elongating effect and nod to vintage wedding dresses.


From bridal bouquets to bridesmaid bouquets, find the perfect flowers and colors to fit your wedding theme. Whether looking for fall wedding bouquets with purple flowers for a vineyard wedding, winter wedding bouquets with classic white wedding flowers, colorful summer flowers for a tropical wedding, or some other unique theme , our floral experts can put together the bouquet of your dreams. Our beautiful wedding flower combinations incorporate some of the most popular wedding flowers including peonies, roses, lilies, gerbera daisies and hydrangeas.
What should wedding invitations say? Be sure to include the date you’re getting married, the location of the wedding and reception, the time of the wedding, and the names of the people being married. If it applies, you might also want to mention who is hosting the wedding and what the dress code will be. Don’t forget to include an RSVP card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deer flies and mosquitos) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests' gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking SunriseSunset.com. Oh—and always, always have a Plan B for unexpected weather snafus.
Guest blogger: Allison Silber, founder and creative director for engagedandinspired.com. Engaged & Inspired is a wedding publication for crafty brides who strive to fill their wedding day with loads of personality. The team of real brides post about the highs and lows of wedding planning and what it takes to pull off their big day. Aside from running Engaged & Inspired, Allison also offers planning and design services to the Carmel Valley area.
Your (amazing!) invitations should arrive in mailboxes six to eight weeks before your wedding, again allowing extra if guests will need to arrange time off and air travel. Set your RSVP date three to four weeks prior to your wedding so you’ll have time to follow up on missing responses before you have to give final numbers to your vendors. A great tip is to use an invisible ink UV pen to mark your response cards with numbers corresponding to your guest list. It’s common to receive back several RSVP’s with no name, and the number system allows you to identify the responders. The UV part keeps it all discreet and the envelope pristine.
Of course you want the perfect stamps for your wedding invitations. But not all stamps are widely available at every post office, especially in large quantities. Save yourself scouting time by ordering them online at USPS.com. And be sure to weigh your invitation and all the additional paper products before you send them out so you can attach the right amount of postage. Ask your stationer about the need for additional postage for oddly shaped envelopes.

Wedding budgets are all about balance. Start your budget planning by making a checklist of the crucial details, like the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers and the photographer, and assign a number to each—one being the most important and three being the least. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes. (But everything can't fall into the number one category!) For example, if a designer gown and fabulous food are what really matter, you may have to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements.
When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and there are things you need to know—advice so essential any bride who's lucky enough to hear it thinks, "I'm so glad someone told me that!" If you're wondering whether there's something you may have missed (or even if you've got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below. 
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.

You've been dreaming about the day for years. You waited for the right man or woman, and when the two of you came together, you both knew your love was the real thing. Now, with the question popped and the "yes" given, it's time to plan that glorious day when you and your loved one become partners for life.   All of us at FTD congratulate you on your engagement, and we want to do whatever we can to help you plan that magnificent day. We know it can be as daunting as it is exciting to bring your dream wedding into reality, and that's why we've worked hard to make FTD something of a one-stop shop when it comes to flowers for weddings. We can offer expert guidance on the wedding flowers you'll need, from the wedding boutonnieres to the bridesmaid bouquets and any other wedding flower arrangements you desire. We only use flowers of the highest quality, and only those loveliest to behold. It is your wedding day after all; only the best wedding bouquets will do!   These flowers will simply take your breath away, notto mention your wedding bouquet will be something you will feel proud to throw into the hands of a future bride-to-be. And when it comes to our wedding flower centerpieces, our staff will work with you and your chosen colors to produce stunning centerpieces that will be the talk of every table. Speaking of color, whether it's wreaths, centerpieces, or bouquets, and whether you want elegant whites to match your wedding dress or the deep red of long stemmed roses to signify your love (or any color in between), we at FTD work tirelessly to make the vision for your wedding become a reality. Find delicate lilies, exotic orchids or beautiful tulips to complete your vision of walking down the aisle.   That's ultimately what FTD is all about: helping you make the wedding of your dreams the wedding you actually receive. Whether you’re looking for lily flower arrangements or centerpieces for the rehearsal dinner, trust FTD to make your day extra special. You can even order your wedding flowers online! But if you prefer to see our mixed bouquets in person, our attentive staff will offer you our years of knowledge and experience in producing the best wedding flower arrangements for your special day. With FTD by your side, your wedding flowers will be something you never forget. Have top rated flower delivery year-round to make each event all the more special.
When it comes to bartenders and waitstaff, and parking, bathroom and coatroom attendants, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.
"Remember why you are getting married, and try to truly make it be an event about (and for) the both of you. Have faith in your vendors and photographer, and trust that they will do their job well! And once it's happening, just go with it. One of my favorite memories is calling my dad after he walked me to the dock to meet Jim because he had my vows in his jacket pocket! Everyone laughed, and so did I.
"Before my wedding, I remember my coworker telling me that her wedding day was the BEST day of her life, and she was so excited that I would soon be able to experience mine. When I was in the midst of planning my wedding, the long, daily to-do lists and the stress made me feel as if that day would never come. However, it eventually did! When it came, I tried my best to savor every moment of the wedding day—from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I walked out of my wedding venue as a married woman— and I'd advise brides and grooms out there to do the same." —Jamie and Daniel
"It was one of the best decisions we made during our wedding planning. Our photographer and videographer collaborated and found a secluded area, away from all the madness that was going on that morning; we got a moment to see each other for the first time. It allowed us to take a deep breath, let the moment sink in, feel all the emotion we were about to feel all day. No matter what you decide, the important thing is choosing what's right for you as a couple." —Leah and Kevin

Figuring out how much to tip wedding pros can be tricky, but tipping wedding vendors is an important way to show your appreciation for their hard work. To avoid scrambling on the day of, we recommend creating a list of who you tip at your wedding and organizing the cash tips into envelopes well in advance of your big day. While it’s extra-nice if you are able to hand the tips to your vendors on your wedding day, it might not be possible (you’re going to be super-busy!). Instead, have your wedding planner or a member of your wedding party be responsible for handing out the tips, which should be handed out after the service is rendered. Another great way to thank your vendors? Write them a review on a site like WeddingWire!

It’s easy to design your invitation, download the image or PDF file, and have it printed at your local print shop on specialty paper. Our print-at-home option is entirely free, too. Or go totally tech and share your invites via email, WhatsApp or SMS, also free of charge. For a full event management service with RSVP, reminders, registry and more features, choose the ‘send online’ option.


Make sure guests know where they're going. As easy as online map programs are to use, sometimes the directions are wrong or there's a quicker, less traffic-prone route to take. Ask your ceremony and reception sites for printouts or digital copies of recommended driving directions and even test out the routes yourself. Then include the best directions on your wedding website or email them to your guests to print out if they'd like.
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you're a member, you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.

Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.
The biggest thing is that when your wedding day finally arrives, it literally flies by in the blink of an eye. All of the planning, stress, money, and time put in over the entire year comes and goes in a flash the day of your wedding, so try to enjoy the whole process. At times, you'll be stressed and overwhelmed, but just enjoy the entire engagement and planning period, because when it's all over, you'll miss it and want to do it all over again!" —Malia and Brandon

"We wanted the whole day to be a celebration of the rest of our lives. We wanted people to walk away saying, 'That was so much fun.' And we were able to accomplish that. Choose the few things that are really important to you, like the photographer and DJ were to us, and then go from there. Be flexible on the other details and remember to have fun." —Jeanae and Scott
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you're a member, you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.
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