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.
You can check your state's license requirements online, but confirm with a call to the county clerk's office to see when they're open. Even if it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they may issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mom or your maid of honor (just in case you lose yours during the final days before your wedding).

Our printing processes are art forms that are only as good as their canvas - the paper itself. This is why we are pleased to have the finest quality paper stocks that you absolutely will not find anywhere else. We offer an assortment of paper to choose from. We have our signature stock and our signature smooth stock. Both with a creamy, soft texture and off-white hue. Our pearlescent stock adds a subtle shimmer to your design. For the eco-conscious brides, we offer a recycled stock that does not compromise quality. Finally, for the brides looking to make a statement, we have double-thick paper, and for an even heavier statement, we have triple-thick.

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.

"I thought I was planning a simple event, but in retrospect, there is still a lot I could have done without. Despite all of my preparations in advance, because I did so much myself, there was so much I had to think about that I didn't get to enjoy the time leading up to the wedding as much as I would have liked. If I could go back, I would have traded a thing or two for some added peace of mind.


In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone. For on-the-go planning that keeps everything in one place, download the The Knot All-In-One Wedding Planner app to keep all of your planning info digitally on-hand at all times.
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.
"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
Choosing the right wedding invitation is almost as important as choosing Mr. or Ms. Right. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s darn close! Before you can start your ‘Happily Ever After,’ you have one heck of a party to plan -- your wedding! Set the tone for your big day by choosing invitations that fit your unique style as a couple. Traditional to eclectic, or whatever your style, Zazzle will inspire you to find the perfect suite of wedding stationery -- from clever save-the-dates to bridal shower invites and wedding invitations complete with custom envelopes and labels. Your wedding invitation is essential because it provides your guests with all of the essential information (check out our wedding invitation wording tips & etiquette blog post) they need to know for your celebration. It’s something that you will have for years to come as a reminder of your magical day.
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.

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.


Shopping for a wedding dress can be overwhelming. While some brides launch the process with their dream dress in mind, finding 'the one' is still a challenge. We've compiled some of our best tips and tricks for narrowing down your bridal gown selections. Finding a bridal dress is about personal style and trends, season included, whether they are affordable or expensive, it’s your big day, so make sure to have fun and never settle.
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.

When you're already digging deep into your (or your parents') pockets for wedding expenses, allotting room in your budget for gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. And even though service charges may be spelled out in your contract, tipping—although not mandatory—is always appreciated for a job well done, not to mention a kind and thoughtful gesture. So don't forget to factor in tips when making your wedding budget.


As soon as you've picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no—you don't want to be responsible for rooms you can't fill.
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