Part 2

Invitations - Getting Started
Invitations announce your wedding and instantly communicate the style of your wedding. Not a good idea to scrimp on your invitations. Never before have there been
more options for wedding invitations; hundreds of fonts, styles, paper, textures, ribbons, and creativity than ever before. Use a professional invitation house; careful with
ordering online--it's hard to detect typos and the online companies ensure that you are liable for any typing errors. If you decide to make the invitations yourself, be
prepared to spend a lot of time perfecting the style you want and the hours of labor involved. You will need time to find stationery and ribbons, to take them to an copy
center to cut and fold them, purchase outside and inside envelopes, response cards and return envelopes. It can be just as expensive as buying ready-made designs.

The complete ensemble includes:
The invitation to the ceremony, the invitation to the reception, response card (RSVP) and return envelope.

Additional contents may include: map (professionally prepared and verified), information about gift registry ( not recommended ), special pew seating cards, special
parking vouchers). Additionally, you want to purchase/create matching Thank You cards and perhaps a Wedding Day Program.

How Many Invitations to Order?
It’s always best to have a little more than be short, and have to reorder. After you feel comfortable with your guest list, order about 20 more invitations than you need.
Extras are needed to correct writing errors, to add someone else to the originally-planned list, or you may want extras to save for your scrapbook, for your parents and
best friends.

Careful when ordering. Let’s say you set your list to 150 couples and possibly 20 children. Most likely you will need to purchase 75 + 20 extra = 95 invitations. This
assumes that each adult has a spouse/friend and you are sending only one invitation to them. Of course your list will be different from this example.

If you decide to invite some guests to the ceremony and some to the reception, then you want to have a separate reception card from the ceremony invitation. The RSVP
or response card is important for your meal and seat planning. Include a map if you think this is an important piece of information.  The more pieces you have, the more
work it will be to assemble each invitation. Be sure to ask your wedding attendants to help you make this exhausting project a fun one.

Save-the-Date Cards
Do you need to send "save the date" cards? It's all the craze today. Why? Brides want to share their exciting news about their upcoming wedding and because the cards
are fun! Most of all, you want to inform those guests who live out of town about your upcoming event. By sending the cards, you are allowing them plenty of time to make
travel arrangements. Is your wedding on a major holiday weekend? If so, this is another good reason to send the cards so your guests can plan ahead. Are you planning a
destination wedding? If so, then Save-the-Date cards is another way to help your guests prepare their travel plans.

The key about sending these cards is that you are planning to follow-up with a customary wedding invitation. Is it necessary to send the cards? Only if needed. The cards
are an extra expense (cards and postage) you may not have included the cards in your budget. If you decide to send the cards, there are many options available such as
ordering small or large quantities, formal or informal, or, if you're creative, make your own. Save-the-Date cards also come in magnets which can be placed on the
kitchen refrigerator. The cards are very simple - bride and groom's names, the date, city and state. Careful not to confuse your guests; perhaps you can add small print
stating:” wedding invitation to follow".

Invitation Wording
How to address the envelopes depends on formality and who is "hosting" the wedding event. Traditionally, the parents of the bride host the event and the basic invitation
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Adam [next line] request the honors of your presence [ next line ] at the marriage of their daughter [ next line ] Melissa Ann [ next line ] to [ next line]  
Mr. John Mann [ next line ] Saturday, the twentieth of September [ next line ]  at six o'clock in the evening  [ next line ] Little Chapel [ next line ] Seminyak Bali

If parents are not living, can use a guardian, close relative, close friend.

Many brides and grooms are paying for their wedding. In this case, you can use the wording: The honors of your presence [next line] is requested [next line] at the
marriage of  [ next line ] Miss Melissa Ann [ next line ] to [ next line ] Mr. John Mann.

Some couples prefer adults only at their event. The politically correct way to accomplish this is by not addressing the children on the envelope ( if you are using two
envelopes, then the inside envelope ). Another option, why not have a designated area at the reception as a children’s area and hire someone to watch over the children
during the   reception.

Guest List Scope
Work in an office? Word gets around quickly and some workers may believe they will be or should be invited. A safe thing to do is only invite the office friends if they are
your social buddies outside the office. If you feel like inviting your boss, then that’s acceptable. Do your “single” friends need to find a date to attend your wedding? No,
actually you can make them feel comfortable by telling them to show up alone and maybe they can meet other singles at the event.

How Many Guests to Invite
Set a reasonable number of guests you plan to invite. Watch how fast the numbers increase. The number of children is needed to determine the number of plates to
serve and number of seats.

Bride’s Family.
50 adults ( 25 families ) + 15 children ( ages 5-18 )
30 friends ( total )

Groom’s Family.
45 adults ( 20 families ) + 10 children (ages 5-18)
50 friends ( total ) Vendors


Thank You Cards.
Writing thank you cards is a necessity. Let’s face it, writing thank you cards is time consuming and challenging to write-as each one must be personally handwritten. One
of the reasons this task is overwhelming is when you receive so many gifts (if you have a large wedding), there are 90 to 150 cards to write. The best strategy is to write
the card as soon as you receive the gift, or set a plan to write five at a time as the gifts are received. For the majority of the notes, start writing them about five days after
you return from your honeymoon. If you follow the strategy to write about five notes a day for four times a week, it adds up to 20 for the week. Multiply that by five weeks =
100 cards (families).

When to Mail Your Wedding Invitations.
Today’s environment is busier than ever -- everyone has a full calendar. It’s important today to mail your wedding invitations four to six weeks in advance of the event. Not
only is there sufficient time for your guests to reply, but also gives your guests plenty of time to make arrangements around other family and work commitments—and
your guests will appreciate the early invitation.

Calligraphy is such a beautiful touch on your invitation. This is still heavily practiced in 2006. As you know, computerized systems are changing the scene. If you have your
guest list in order and it is still about eight to ten weeks ahead of your wedding, then by all means investigate the cost of the calligraphy service. Rates for calligraphy vary
according to your needs. It can cost from $2.00 to $3.75 per envelope ( depending on number of lines and degree of formality ). Other options if Calligraphy does not fit
your budget: (a) find a personal friend who has beautiful penmanship; (b) type them from a calligraphy software package ( check the Internet ); or (c) have mailing labels
printed. One way to make labels look nice on an envelope is to use clear labels. There are also software packages for you to print each envelope individually ( this takes
practice; just make sure you have extra envelopes ).

The Wedding "Announcement"
You may wish to invite many guests but are financially strapped. If you opt to have a small wedding, then send a formal “Announcement” to your family and friends to let
them know you have wed. The Announcement should be mailed on the day of your wedding. Think you might elope? You can send Announcements to your friends and
family on the day you marry.

The Announcement can be formal from the bride’s family, or it can be informal from the couple. If from the couple, then the wording is simple, such as Jane Smith and
Kim Lie [ next line ] announce their marriage [next line] Saturday, the first of June [next line] Two thousand Five [ next line ] Seminyak Bali.

Place Cards.
Invitation order houses offer place cards that match your wedding invitation. This is a nice touch. Popular today are creative place cards. These cards can be Table
Numbers, or Table Names, Family Names or individual guest names. Many brides have used their imagination with the cards following a theme. They tie ribbons on them,
use tasteful stationery found at the local paper store, place flowers, gift boxes, wine bottles, mini photo frames, you name, and you create it!

If you're planning a seated meal for a large number of people, it's best when your guests can find their seats easily. They will also enjoy dining with compatible and
stimulating people. Here's how to assign pleasant dining companions to all your guests.

Go through your response cards and make sure everyone is accounted for, including those who responded verbally and members of the wedding party, as well as their
spouses and children.

List the names of couples and their small children in groups, so you can seat the family together.

If you are having a bride's (or head) table, list those who will sit there. You will want their spouses or partners seated at a table nearby.

Decide who will sit at the family table or tables: parents, siblings and their families, the officiant and his or her spouse, godparents, etc.

Draw a diagram of your reception venue, indicating the locations of the tables, the band or DJ, the cake, buffet tables and so forth. Keep in mind that elderly people or
those with hearing problems probably won't enjoy sitting next to the speakers; pregnant women may want to be close to the bathrooms; and disabled people will need
appropriate access and accommodations.

Number the tables in a logical order so they'll be easy to locate.

Write down each table number, followed by lines equal to the number of seats available at the table (usually 8 or 10).

List the names of everyone who will be assigned to a particular table. Assign people to tables rather than actual seats, as this system is easier for you and allows for
friendly mingling.

Assign one table where your wedding service providers can eat and rest. This table need not be located among your guest tables.

Arrange for an extra table to accommodate those who respond at the last minute.

Make signs bearing the number for each table and assign someone to place the signs as you have indicated on your diagram. Someone should have the diagram and the
list of assignments at the reception in case there is a question.

Prepare place cards for the head table and the family tables.

Write each guest's or couple's name on an individual card, along with the appropriate table number, and place these cards near the entrance to let people know where
they should sit.

Singles should be seated among couples and families.

Couples should be seated with their spouses or partners.
Mix both sides of the new family at the family and guest tables. This arrangement helps everyone get to know each other.
Small children (up to age 7) should sit with their parents. A children's table might include kids from ages 7 to 14. Older teens should be seated at the regular guest tables,
not necessarily with their parents.

Be sensitive: Divorced people should not be seated with their former spouses, same-sex couples should not be seated with people who may hurt their feelings with
insensitive remarks, and elderly people generally should not be seated with very young children.

Grooms will be surprised by the scores of choices for tuxedos. Take a look at a few sites on the Internet before going to a tuxedo shop. Here are tips for what style of
tuxedo compliments the groom’s body shape.

For the shorter groom, select a single-breasted tuxedo with one button. If the groom prefers a vest, stick with a low vest. Stay away from double-breasted coats and long
tails. The vest should not be worn high.

For the stout groom, similar to the shorter groom, but he may want to stay away from the single-breasted with two or more buttons, and perhaps no vest.

For the tall groom, almost any tuxedo is exceptional.

If the groom is very thin, then wear the tuxedo with two or three buttons, and consider a  double-breasted suit.

If you’re not sure what to select or short on time, or if many of the ushers will arrive from other cities, here’s a tip: all grooms and ushers look great in a classic black
tuxedo—can’t go wrong.

The Trend for the 2006 - Groom.
A wide range of styles -- from extreme casual wear, such as linen pants and button-down silk shirt ( not tucked in )  for an outdoor event, to an upscale, fashionable or
sophisticated business suit. Be different if it feels right to you.

Usher Attire
Isn't great that your friends or relatives will be ushers ( groomsmen ) at your wedding? It's probable that this will be the first time they will wear a tuxedo. Help out by
going with them to the tuxedo shop so they can be measured and suited. A hem here and a tuck there may be required. Make sure they have appropriate shoes to wear.

Review the rental requirements--that is, let them know when the tux must be returned to the shop so that extra fees aren't incurred. Delegate a trusted usher to pickup all
the tuxedos from the shop and have that person call each of the other ushers to pickup their suit. Give that trusted usher full responsibility, such as taking inventory,
paying the rental fee, making sure the other ushers return their suits in time.

Selecting the Ushers
Having ushers in the wedding party is an option and the number of ushers depends on whether or not you want to have a small or large wedding. For a small wedding, you
don't need to have ushers, just the best man, or you can have one or two. Why have them? You are probably planning a grand affair. Use Ushers to help in the planning
and especially on the day of the wedding. Keep in mind, the more ushers, the more effort on your part to keep them organized. You don’t want to add to your stress—you
want help from them. But the only way they can help is if you have a simple list of tasks for them. Some tasks may include seating guests, distributing maps to the
reception, carrying gifts to a designated site, meeting with the band or DJ to review the events, transporting the grandparents, moving flowers to the reception, popping
the champagne bottles if at a hall, preparing the send-off car, and delivering the suitcases to the honeymoon suite.

The 2006 Bride and Groom can chose a disproportionate number of bridesmaids and ushers. The attendants don’t have to walk arm-and-arm as a couple down the aisle.
Some brides select two maids-of-honor, and the groom may also select two best men.

Selecting your ushers can be a challenge. Sometimes a bride wants her brother to be an Usher, but you have never been close to him and you prefer to have your best
buddies on the team. Well, you will have to compromise and determine if any harm is done.

The Toast
Here is a simple guideline for the person who will toast (always the Best Man, but others can contribute if the bride and groom agree).

Here are some tips:

Here’s the don’ts:

This strategy never fails: Be sincere and the speech will be a success.

Preparing for the Wedding Day.
Guys are simple. Shave, shower, and comb your hair. Be aware of the time. Get dressed and go. Just a couple of don’ts.
Don’t party hard the night before --you want to look your best for the photos and your guests. Sure it might make a good story for later, but there’s no need to walk on a
high wire right now. Don’t get overexposed from the sun while at a sporting event. Don’t get a haircut the day before the wedding; maybe one week is just right.

Bride’s Attendants.

New Look for Bridesmaids.
A favorable change from the past Centuries ago, the bride wore colorful elaborate gowns, and the bridesmaids wore similar gowns as the bride to disguise her from
being kidnapped or to protect her from evil spirits. As times changed, brides stood out in the crowd by wearing a white gown (Victorian era), but the bridesmaids did n'’t
change and still wore fancy, frilly colorful dresses. The attire for bridesmaids has taken a dramatic, positive change in the new Millennium. Dressmakers have responded
to the cries of bridesmaids by offering sophisticated styles and colors that mix and match. Many brides request their bridesmaids to select their own dress based on a
color scheme and other guidelines. Today, bridesmaids can enjoy elegant dresses that can be worn to other events, such as a New Year’s party or black-tie event. If you
decide to let the bridesmaids select their dress, schedule a dress rehearsal at least one month before the wedding so any adjustments in taste can be made. At the
same time, if the bride prefers all of the bridesmaids to wear the same dress, then she has every right to say so without objection.

How many bridesmaids to pick. Do we have to have the same number of ushers?
The wedding attendants (both bridesmaids and ushers) are an option depending if you want to have a small or large wedding. Bridesmaids and ushers are not required
for small weddings. Why have them? You want a grand affair with special people represented and sharing your planning process. Use them to help in the planning and on
the day of the wedding. Keep in mind, the more attendants, the more effort on your part to keep them posted with attire, behavior and help. You don’t want to add to your
stress—you want help. The 2006 Bride and Groom can chose a disproportionate number of bridesmaids and ushers. The attendants don’t have to walk arm and arm as a
couple. Some brides even select two maids of honor, and the groom may also select two best men. Many brides are selecting their mother as their matron of honor. You
decide what you like. What are the responsibilities of each of the wedding party? You make the list, but here are some tips that you can delegate.

Children in the wedding party.
Flower girls and ring bearers are a joy to have on your wedding day. Just a couple of things to keep in mind. Select children between the ages of five through seven. Any
younger, and it may be challenging to keep them still and able to follow directions. Also, they may end up with stage fright and cry during the ceremony. Usually the
mother of the children pays for the dress or tuxedo and shoes. The bride normally provides the basket with flowers and pillow for the rings. During a long ceremony, have
the children sit with someone ( parents are best ) in the front row. If the marrying couples have their own children, they don’t have to feel obligated to make them a part of
the wedding party. If older, give them meaningful responsibilities such as greeting the guests at the guest book table, or passing out wedding programs or bubbles for
later. If they are too young, then assign a relative to take your role as mom or dad for the day.

Personal Style.
If you have many bridesmaids, you will have a lot of coordination and communication to do. Ask them to use their best judgment if any of the following becomes an issue:
nail polish color; hair do, makeup, and extra jewelry. Your job is n't’t to micro-manage them! You just want them to help, support and share your special day. Make sure
you approve of the dress style, shoe selection and head piece.

Maid-of-Honor Role.
There are hundreds of ways the Maid of Honor can help the bride. From helping select the wedding gown, to help writing and assembling the invitations, to throwing a
wedding shower (at least coordinating one), to making menu and favor decisions and decorations. At the wedding, she helps the bride with her gown, hold the bride's
bouquet at the ceremony, helps the bride with the train, and basically offers total support. She can also be in charge of making sure the events of the day are running
smoothly, maintain the emergency kit, and offer a toast (after the Best Man).

Bridesmaid's Role.
The bridesmaids also provide support to the bride, including helping with the bridal shower, writing the gift descriptions, passing out cake to the guests at the shower,
assemble the invitations, and any other tasks the bride wishes to assign. The best thing the attendants can do is be response to the bride's needs, follow-up on any
requests, and be present.

Bride's Hairstyles. Up-dos or down, straight or curly?
How do you know what hair style is best for your wedding? The decision will be based on the type of gown you select, whether or not you will wear a head piece, and
more importantly, the hair style that makes you feel like a princess—whether it’s up or down. If you already know that an “up-do” is n't’t you, then you only need to focus
on how your hair looks best when worn down. For some, their hair looks best when just washed; for others, their hair looks best when washed the day before. If you want
to experiment with curls, try a few different ideas and put on your gown and head piece. This is the only way you will know for sure. If you want to try an up-do, then make
an appointment with a hair dresser and try it out.
Here are some ideas:

Time line for Your Hair.
You made up your mind! You want a new do for your wedding. Don't waste time; try the new do now so make sure it's going to work out. Then mark your calendar and
schedule days to make touch ups and trims so that the right color and length is just the way you want it on the big day. Use this as a guide:

Hair for a Destination Wedding.
If you have a destination wedding, then keep your hair style as simple as possible or confirm an appointment with a specialist that is a good referral by a local wedding
planner or trusted friend. You probably won't be able to have a dress rehearsal and you don't need any surprises on the day of.

Staying Healthy.
A bride’s beauty will come from within. Really. If you’re happy and in control of your wedding plans, you will shine on your wedding day. If you’re exhausted, you will look
exhausted. Now is the time to take extra caring of yourself—we know how crazy that sounds—you already have a full schedule. Time to set up a list of priorities to stay
sane and beautiful. No one wants to break out in hives or have a pimple blooming on the week of the wedding. Again, focus on you. Here are some quick tips:

The following are common sense rules ( unfortunately, Common Sense class is never taught in school ).

Go for a massage one week before the wedding. Take a 30 minute walk every day or stretch for relaxation. You can spend ten minutes each day in total silence while at
the beach, park or in your room alone.

Most importantly, keep a positive attitude—no matter what happens. Everyone has their opinions, suggestions and recommendations for your wedding. The most difficult
decisions are trying not to hurt someone’s feelings and trying to make everyone happy. Don’t stress! Accept their comments with a smile and thank them for mentioning
it and you will consider it. The final decision is yours, remember, it’s your wedding.

Plastic Surgery or Other Nips and Tucks.
Some brides feel this is the time for a serious physical change, such as plastic surgery, lipo suction, new hair cut and color, or cosmetic dentistry. If you think about it for
a second, a special guy has just asked if you could spend the rest of your life with him – just the way you are! Is a change really necessary? Perhaps that front tooth with
a slight space on the left could be cosmetically improved, and maybe a bust enlargement will help fill the wedding dress better, and perhaps removing some fat cells from
the tummy area will make you look better in that fitted gown, or now you have a great excuse to get that nose job you always wanted. If you really think any of these
changes will greatly improve your looks and give you the confidence you need, then that’s okay. Is it necessary? Probably not. Be careful not to compare yourself to the
perfect looking models in the magazines.

First, consider simple changes. You will be smiling all day on your wedding. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, or love to drink red wine, then you may want to consider a
tooth whitening program to really shine on your day. Talk about the plans you have with your maid of honor, mother, and future husband. Since men tend to be visual, he
may agree with your changes, or he may assure you that you are perfect just the way you are. The final decision is yours, just make sure that the change is fully
comfortable for you.

The Week of Your Wedding.
One week to go! Follow through on all of your checklists. Cut them down to 25% and 10% by seven days before the wedding. Stretch to relieve the stress and keep
balanced. Keep a notebook and pen in your bathroom, in your car, and next to your bed. Your mind will think of little details and the best way to handle those thoughts is by
writing it down when you think of it. Sometimes we think we will remember, but how many times have you said, “There was something important I wanted to remember
for my wedding, but now I can’t remember it”?

Although all eyes will be glued to the beauty and symbolism of your wedding ring, other jewelry will round out your bridal look. Depending on your personal preferences,
the cut of your dress and the style of your hair, you may opt for a necklace, bracelet or earrings. Coordination of gemstones is key, as are the jewel tones you choose.

Think about how you can work family jewels into your bridal look. For sentimental reasons you may choose Grandma's pearls, your favorite aunt's diamond earrings or
your mother's charm bracelet instead of buying new pieces.

Opt for a necklace that complements the cut of your dress. A pearl or rhinestone choker works well with a strapless bodice, whereas a diamond solitaire will look
stunning with a V or sweetheart neckline.

Harmonize the gemstones found in your dress or headpiece with those in your jewelry. Pearls will complement beading, whereas diamonds or zirconia goes well with
sequins or crystals.  

Consider a tennis bracelet over long, plain gloves or a rhinestone or pearl cuff over a bare wrist. Wear similar metals so that you don't find your jewelry clashing.

Let your hairstyle, headpiece and necklace dictate the earrings you choose. Chunkier styles and those with a drop look great with upswept hair, whereas simple studs or
small bejeweled hoops may be the perfect addition to a dramatic necklace or decorative veil or tiara.  

If your dress has a lot of beading, rhinestone detailing or lace trim, it's better not to add a necklace because that could cause your look to become too busy.   

Try on all jewelry with your bridal ensemble before you make your final decision. It may look perfect in the catalog or under glass but be less than stunning when you try it

Keep in mind that deep-colored stones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds may be too bold for wedding white. Lighter colors such as aquamarine, citrine and lighter
topaz could offer the perfect hint of color.  

Only purchase jewelry that has a reasonable refund or exchange policy, in case you change your mind after making a purchase.

Gift Registry.
Gone are the days of returning the third or fourth toaster, or the fifth crock pot. Today, guests can go online, find the couple’s registration, select, pay and ship in one
sitting. There is no need to visit the store any longer. The gift can be wrapped [most stores] and delivered straight to the bride and groom’s home. Now is n't’t that nice?
Registering at two or three stores is very common for wedding couples today. Gift Registry has been used since the 1970s, but more so in the 1990s. Today’s 2006
Wedding Registry service provides total service for the guests and total satisfaction for the bride and groom. The bride and groom should register together—physically
visit the store(s) even if the registry will be available online. This includes meeting with the sales person, describing your life style, opening the registry account, and
taking the hand held device to laser tag the items you want. Other shops have you click on a program which displays all their products, while other shops have paper
sheets where you select your items by pencil and your selections are scanned into the computer.

Don’t forget to discuss color themes—you will be surprised how much detail is required. In any event, you will have a list of items that you really want and need and this
makes it easier for you. Selecting each item can be a time-consuming effort but at the same time a pleasurable experience— it’s almost like a free shopping adventure!
Not all guests will purchase according to your registry. Thank them graciously for their gift as usual. Also, keep in mind that you may receive three place settings and you
will want to complete it by purchasing the fourth set yourself.

It’s time to register.
Select one or two stores that work for you and for your guests. For you: find a special store whose products you absolutely love; or select a very practical store (like a
home improvement store if you just purchased a home). The second store should be a national store so that your guests can easily shop there and make their gift
selection. If your wedding is one year away, then visit a gift registry about six months before the wedding. If your wedding is six months away, then register about four
months before the wedding.

Gifts from Your Guests.
Receiving wedding gifts from your guests is a common gesture, but gifts should not be required or expected. The wedding invitation you deliver to your guests is merely
to invite them to celebrate the special commitment you are making in their presence. The gift is merely a way that your guests wish to help you in your new life. Are you a
couple who have lived together for more than one year? Then you most likely have the household items you need. If you prefer not to receive gifts from your guests, a
tasteful way to communicate this is for you, or your maid-of-honor and/or mother, call your guests and, during small talk, gracefully mention that the Bride and Groom
prefer not to receive gifts. You may have received an invitation that states “no gifts please”, but that is not a good choice only because it shows there was an expectation
of gifts.

Gift Registry Etiquette.
Once you selected your store(s), call the store's gift registry manager to arrange a date and time to meet. If you don't make an appointment, you may have to wait until the
manager is available, or the store’s gift registry representative is not working on that day.

Take time shopping for ideas on the store's web site and/or from magazines so you have some idea of the items you want. The Bride and Groom may have very different
ideas on china and silverware – don’t forget about compromising.

Tabletop Selections
Pick these pieces with care, as they will reflect you now and in the years ahead.

Flatware ( or silverware ).
A standard set includes one each of knife, dinner fork, salad fork, teaspoon, and soup spoon. Add serving pieces (large forks and spoons) which may or may not match
the flatware.

Types of flatware
Sterling silver: 92.5% silver, 7.5% base metal. Check for the pattern on both sides of the  flatware (less expensive one has pattern on one side); okay in dishwasher, but
not recommended when mixed with stainless steel. Requires polishing if not used often.
Stainless steel: durable metal. 15% chromium and 8% nickel is common.
Silver plate: budget version of sterling silver.

A standard set includes one each of dinner plate, salad/bread plate, soup bowl, coffee cup and saucer. Today’s plates are offered with colorful artistry. You may want to
add extras pieces that match your dinnerware such as rice bowl, cereal bowl and pasta bowl. You may decide to select one pattern for everyday dining, and another
pattern for formal dining.

Stemware  ( or glassware ).
Different shapes are best for different uses.

Types of glasses for special drinks:

These are suggestions for the tabletop. Don’t forget the hundreds of other items you can select such as linen, knife set, cookware (pots and pans), house wares,
bathroom, garden and more.

Gifts for Family and the Wedding Party.

love receiving a special gift that they can cherish forever--give her a small token that expresses your love and thanks. There is no gift that comes closer to this one: a
handwritten note about how special mom has been, that you are so glad she can share this day with you, and...............

are cool. All they want is their daughter to be happy. A gift would be a surprise. There are great watches, tie clips, money clips, custom frames, fine pens, desk
mementos, for starters. Always find something that really interests dad, such as golf, football, chess, music, favorite restaurant. Stay away from anything elaborate.

are the best. They already have everything they need. A good hug would be just wonderful. If you really want to give a gift, then look for a vase that would compliment the
house, a recent photo of you and your spouse, a good book that you heard about, or better yet that you read and loved. Shop around until you spot that perfect gift.

Maid of Honor.
Girls are easy. Jewelry, something feminine for her desk or house, scarf, tote, or a gift certificate for an hour massage or day at the spa. Also, special thank you note for
Maid of Honor (or Matron of Honor) everything she has done to help you through the event.

You can follow the same scheme as for the Maid of Honor, or offer them something different from the Maid of Honor. If you have time, give them each a unique gift that
matches their personality. Gift are easy—earrings, purse, compact mirror, necklace, journal, dinner for two at a favorite restaurant, and more.

Best Man.
This one’s not so hard to think of … a new sports watch, tickets to a game, iPod set, CDs, dinner for two, a bottle of scotch, beer glasses, and the standard tie clip, fine
writing pen, money clip, desk clock, and more. Ideally, the gift shows your appreciation and you really want it to be a reminder of your special day.

The same for the Ushers as for the Best Man. This gifts can be all the same or individual as you see fit.

Flower girl and Ring Bearer.
Don't forget to find a special gift for these players. You may ask their parent for suggestions if you can't find something special. Consider taking them to an entertainment
park for the day ( sometime after you return from your Honeymoon ).

Other Helpers.
What a nice gesture to give a small gift to others who helped you during the planning stages. You will find that many family members and friends will volunteer to help you
assemble the invitations, make table centerpieces, help decorate and contribute in other ways. Show them your appreciation. If extra gifts are not ’t in your planning
budget, a special note of appreciation will beat any tangible gift.

Other Gift Registry Ideas.
One of the best concepts for gift registry is to have your guests’ help you pay for your honeymoon. This is great for couples who have been living together for some time
and already have a comfortable household. The honeymoon gift registry allows your guests to submit $x towards your honeymoon such as the flight, bed and breakfast
stay, massages—anything related to a great honeymoon. What a perfect solution for 2006 couples.

Another trend for couples who already have a household and are financially secure have asked their guests to contribute to a charity on the couple's behalf. The
message to guests should be communicated through telephone calls and is, of course, on a volunteer basis for the guests. The couple should already have contacted the
organization to gather the particulars and be prepared to give the name of the organization, telephone number, street address, email address and instructions to their

Bride and Groom Gift Exchange.
This is a nice gesture for the engaged couple. Perhaps a sweet note about each other is all you would like to give. Or maybe there is something that is very special you
want to give to show your love. The decision to exchange gifts will be very personal between the two of you. It should not be a gift that can be found on the gift registry.

Marriage License
Prenuptial Agreement
What’s all the fuss about signing a prenuptial agreement? First, it sounds as if you are already planning your divorce. Second, it just is not very romantic. There are key
reasons why a prenuptial agreement should be signed in case the uneventful occurs. Of course, the best recommendation is to consult with your attorney for proper
advice. If one or both of the following circumstances fit you, it would be smart to obtain a prenuptial agreement.

One of you expects to receive a great inheritance.
One of you has a great amount of assets

The agreement should list all assets and liabilities, both separately and jointly, both before and after the marriage date. It’s an expression of communication. The pre-
nuptial agreement can include how bills are paid, religion, children, and almost any other issue that you think may be of a concern in the future. In the off-chance you end
up in divorce, at least the two of you decided how to divide the assets instead of having them divided for you in a court of law. There are quite a few legal and non-legal
issues to consider. If you are both young and don’t have many assets, then maybe a pre-nup is n't’t right for you. The thought of such an agreement is very unromantic
and not necessary for many. If this is your second or later marriage and you have collected assets or maybe run a business, you may wish to see your attorney for an
agreement and advice.

Don’t sign a pre-nuptial agreement right before the wedding—make sure it is signed at least one week before the wedding. Otherwise, it appears that the agreement was
signed under pressure and it will not be recognized in a court of law. Actually, just because you have an agreement does n'’t mean a court will recognize it as law. Your
best bet is to hire a professional to help you through this tough assignment. A post-nuptial agreement is, well, like a second thought. As long as it defines the issues, and
both parties agree and sign it with the assistance of an attorney, then it may help the couple work through their issues.
Wedding Insurance

To look at your wedding as a business project (and it really is!), the investment of $5,000 or $30,000 is huge and can be costly if something goes wrong. Have you
wondered what would happen if you paid a $500 deposit for the flowers and the little flower shop just went out of business the week before your wedding? Or the
photographer skipped town one day, along with your proofs? With all the contracts involved with the vendors and deliverables that must all happen on one day, it only
makes sense to have Wedding Insurance. Go to your favorite web search engine and enter the keywords “wedding insurance” for specific information.

Name Change.
Brides who decide to change their last name have quite a task ahead of them. There are several kits available to help the bride through the checklist and legal
documentation. If you have access to the Internet, you may want to type the following “search” terms: name change, wedding name change, bride name change, married
name. The bride may also wish to keep her maiden name – it is the name she has always had and it is acceptable. There may be some confusion when it comes to
naming their children however, and this will be a topic to discuss. Some brides decide to use a “hyphenated” name where they keep their maiden name plus their
husband’s name. The worse thing that can happen here is the length of the last name and minor confusion that can easily be communicated to others. Occasionally, the
groom changes his name to the name of the bride. He may have a complex name or may have other personal reasons to legally change his name.

How to Decide Whose Name to Take When You Get Married.
Tradition dictates that the bride assumes her husband's name at marriage. But traditions change. Today, not only are some women keeping their maiden names, but
some men are taking their wives' family names.
Tradition dictates that the bride assumes her husband's name at marriage. But traditions change. Today, not only are some women keeping their maiden names, but
some men are taking their wives' family names.

Think about how much your name means to you. If you've built a business or reputation that thrives because of name recognition, you might not want to start all over with
a new name.

Listen to how your new name will sound if you change it. Are you willing to be called Mrs. Wong the rest of your life? Will you be taken seriously as Sandy Lane, or are you
tired of being Bill Crosby?   

Ask your partner if people frequently mispronounce his or her name. If so, are you willing to tolerate that? Perhaps Mr. Bing might be content to become Mr. Bottle.   

Talk the name change over with your partner and both of your families. A woman with no brothers may opt to carry on the family name. A son's decision to give up his last
name might offend or hurt his parents.   

Discuss what last name you'd like your children to have. Some couples opt to combine their names, or give daughters their mother's name and sons their father's name.
If your children will all take their father's name, will Mom feel excluded if her name is different?   

Think about the broader social implications, if that's important to you. Do you believe that it's important for everyone in a new family to have the same name? Or do you
feel that relinquishing a name implies inequality or loss of identity?

Consider hyphenation, but be careful. Very long names won't fit on forms with boxes to fill in, and too many syllables can be a real mouthful.   

Some women choose to use their maiden names for business and their married names in their personal lives. This arrangement might be the best of both worlds - but it
also could cause confusion when people know you by different names. So think carefully about the decision.   

Women who change their last names may want to retain their maiden names as their new middle names. And men might consider taking their wives' maiden names as
their own new middle names.   

Don't bow to pressure from your spouse, family or friends. A name is very personal; choose the one that feels right for you.

If you decide to get married abroad, make sure that it'd legally accepted in you country.  Here's how to make sure before you leave.

Out-of-Town Guest Accommodations.
Here’s a big challenge. It’s one week before the wedding, and here come several out-of-town guests. Who should greet them, have dinner with them, and take them to the
city's entertainment centers? Well, if you’re superwoman [ bride ] or superman [ groom ], you can. The challenge is how to make your out-of-town guests feel welcome,
stay entertained and comfortable in a new city while you are running errands and tying up loose ends.

If possible, assign relatives or friends in your wedding party to be personal escorts for your out-of-town guests (delegation is key). Brides and grooms who have a large
budget provide their guests with a "welcome basket" in their hotel room. The basket can include tickets to an entertainment park or a show, or include maps to some of
your favorite spots. Some of the larger hotels who cater to wedding parties already have maps available for you to send, and brochures about the city. Maybe you could
invite your out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner ( they would love that ).

Maybe you could use extra help; ask your guests if they could help you finish up your table centerpieces, or decorating the reception hall.

When you secure the wedding date and site, ask the site manager about reserving a block of rooms, any special rates available, a honeymoon suite, and how long they
will hold the block of rooms for your guests. If the reception is not at a hotel, then research hotels in the area along with the rate and directions, and call your out-of-town
guests with the details--they will greatly appreciate it.

Creative Ideas.
This is the tough topic because the creativity comes from you! First, consider anything special that you remember at a wedding you attended and look at bridal
magazines. Thoughts will come together to create something that's unique to you and your sweetie. If you have a theme, then it is easier to think of fun favors for your
guests. Beach or Hawaiian themes usually provide a lei for each guest. A country western wedding might have dried flowers with engraved ribbons for the guests to take
home. Go to a arts and craft store to see the hundreds of items you can create. The Internet provides hundreds of creative favors and gifts for your guests--the difficulty
might be in selecting one from the many.

Why Favors?
Favors provide a nice memento for your guests. Weddings held in the 16th century included giving favors to their guests; of course, those were reserved for the wealthy
folk only- -royalty, that is. Today, there is a wide selection of favors for your guests, from low cost to richly-priced. Many favors can be ordered from your stationery store
where you purchased your invitations or on the Internet.

The best gifts are those that represent something about you. Maybe you are tennis or golf fans, or love dolphins, or chocolate. Then find a gift that resembles your likes
and have it engraved or add a ribbon with your names and wedding date and a note of thanks. Add humor if it is fitting. Your creativeness is ready to show itself.
Remember, this is just a token of thanks to your guests for sharing their day with you. If you are on a tight budget, then a simple dish of covered almonds on the table next
to a thank you note from you is just fine.

Personalized Chocolate Candy Bars.
There may not be enough of these to give away! Great looking personalized labels with your photo, names and wedding date on the cover of a chocolate bar

Personalized Wine Bottles.
Find a company that places personal labels on wine bottles. You can include the Bride and Groom’s names, wedding date, and maybe a photo or image of your liking. Or
have the bottles delivered to the hotel for your out-of-town guests.

Personalized CDs.
Brides and Grooms are putting together CDs as favors for their guests, produced by professional companies. They have a personal greeting and thanks for you to view in
the comfort of your home.

Personalized Playing Cards.
These playing cards are customized with a photo of you and your sweetie, your names and your wedding date. The cards are professionally create and contains a full

Personalized Baskets for Out-of-Town Guests.
What a nice welcoming for your guests; have these baskets ready for them in their hotel room or at the check-in desk. The basket will include a personal note from you,
includes how to get around town, information about any special lunches or dinners, tickets for a show, snacks and photos -- anything will be appreciated. A company we
found makes personalized hotel key cards with the bride and groom's name and a local map.

Serving the right amount of alcohol at your wedding will take some guesswork. You know your guests best; however, here are some guidelines. An average for many
weddings is one drink per adult guest every 45 minutes. Since most receptions last approximately three hours, you can estimate three drinks per adult (on the high side).
You can use the following guide for the number of bottles of wine or champagne:

Real champagne from France was an astonishing surprise when a monk accidentally fermented white wine accidentally. A sparkling wine is traditionally celebrated at
weddings. You will find a variety of champagnes as there are types of wines. The price range is wide enough to please every budget. Although many guests don’t drink
champagne on a regular basis, most guests participate in the toast of one glass.

If you have a favorite sparkling wine and you are on a budget, you could always have a special bottle just for the bride and groom, and/or the wedding party. You can also
have a bottle chilling in your hotel room.

If you are not ’t a fan of sparkling wine and you believe the same for your guests, then there is no need to spend on an expensive bottle if it’s just for the best man’s toast.

You may prefer not to serve any alcoholic beverages at your reception. If this is the case, then there is nothing wrong with toasting with sparkling cider or other favorite

"Day Of" Tips.
Drink plenty of water when possible ( but not right before the ceremony when you may have to make a bathroom stop during a long mass ). Don’t worry about what’s
supposed to happen. What’s done is done. Everything will go smoothly and, if not, just go with the flow. Don’t expect perfection – no matter how much effort you placed
into planning and coordinating the event. There will be things you can’t control; simply accept them. Smile as much as possible. Your body and soul actually likes smiling.
Remember to thank everyone for spending time to witness your special day.

Week-of Tips.
Follow through on all of your checklists. Cut them down from 25% and 10% completed by seven days before the wedding. Stretch' it relieves the stress and keeps you
balanced. Keep a notebook and pen in your bathroom where you get ready for the day, in your car (but don't write while driving!), and next to your bed. Your mind will think
of little details and the best way to handle those thoughts is by writing them down when you think of it. Sometimes we think we will remember, but how many times have
you said, “There was something important I wanted to do, but now I can’t remember it”?

After-Ceremony "Releases".
Many wedding properties do not allow the guests to throw rice after the ceremony ( it’s an inconvenient chore to clean up ). You have many options to get the same affect.
One option is to give bubble containers to the guests to blow bubbles outside the ceremony. This makes a beautiful scene and its fun to do. Butterfly releases are another
option. Legend has it that butterflies are good luck and they make a spectacular moment! Dove releases are yet another popular option. Doves are released by the Bride
and Groom after the ceremony, or many doves can be released right after the ceremony. Contact the local yellow pages, regional bridal magazines or Internet sites for
the vendors near your wedding site. Your property may already have relationships with these service providers.

Ceremony Seating.
Usually, the bride's family sits on the bride’s side (usually on the left), and the groom’s family on the right. At a ceremony where it is standing room only, the guests may
not have a choice as to which side to sit or stand. Neither guests nor family should feel offended by sitting on the wrong side. The first row is reserved for immediate
family, normally the parents or primary guardian and the couple’s children. The second row is reserved for the couple’s siblings and grandparents. The third row is for
other close family members ( such as step mother or step father ).

Emergency Kit.
An emergency kit is a must. Prepare one for the bride, and one for the groom, or one big one. An emergency kit for the bride will include any personal items the bride may
need on the day of the wedding. Many of these items are normally packed in her purse, but the bride won’t be carrying around a purse on her wedding day, a bride’s
emergency kit also makes a great gift for the bridal shower.

Here are some items to put together in an emergency kit: Tissues, mirror, mints, lipstick or lip-gloss, makeup, blush, sewing kit, clear nail polish, wipes, face powder,
tampons, extra hair pins, extra pair of panty hose, deodorant, hair spray, safety pins, contact lenses holder and eye solution, $1 bills, writing pad and pen, scissors,
bandages, hair iron, hair gel, sunglasses, glasses case, bottled water and over-the-counter aspirin, any prescription drugs. Add any other items that could come in handy.

Other items that may be needed for anyone at the wedding event: Extra buttons and cuff links, sewing kit, bandages, spot remover, anti-static spray, combs or brushes,
chap stick, sun block, $5 bills, pen and note paper. Maybe the best man can maintain these items in a small box.

An extensive emergency kit includes cotton balls, pins, Alka Selzer tablets, Panadol tablets, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, snacks such as candy bars or crackers
scotch tape.

The Send-Off. The Last Big Event of the Day.
Making your grand exit can be just as fun as the grand entrance. Have a limousine waiting outside the front door, or a decorated horse and carriage. Maybe a special car
is already decorated by the ushers and your friends. If the bride has n'’t thrown her bouquet, then this is the time to do it. Fireworks? Well, only if it’s appropriate and in
your budget. Helicopter? Okay, some weddings are extravagant! Is the entire hoop-rah necessary? The guests are cheering and wishing the newlyweds the best. The
alternative is to allow guests to leave quietly as they please. Of course, if this is your wish, then it’s perfectly acceptable.

Some brides and grooms want to continue celebrating at their reception/dinner with the guests until the wee hours of the morning. If this is the case, then they can have
the formal send-off, and mention that they will return within the hour to continue socializing. The couple returns in casual clothes and continue their celebration. Some of
the guests feel better about leaving the event after the official send-off.

You're about to take the big plunge, so it's only natural to get cold feet. Think about why you're feeling this way, but keep in mind that many brides and grooms experience
the pre-wedding jitters - and that there's a reason you said yes in the first place.

Go to a quiet place to get in touch with your feelings whenever the pressures of the pending marriage get to you.

Look to couples who have survived and celebrated many years of marriage. They can be a good source of support and great role models.

Talk with your intended about your doubts and fears. You don't have to wait until after the marriage to communicate.
Limit the time you spend with those who may be doing the doubting for you. Make sure your fears are really your own and not those of your friends or your parents.

Set aside some time before the wedding to spend a romantic evening with your partner, away from all the wedding talk and plans.
Consider going to a couple's counselor to talk out your doubts.

Determine what it is you are really questioning - whether it's the relationship itself or simply the daunting idea of marriage. If your answer is the latter, just know that
many couples go through the same fears - after all, you are about to take a huge step in your life.

Ask yourself some questions about any possible changes that may have taken place or that you have discovered since the engagement. Is your partner exhibiting a
different behavior or engaging in activities you disapprove of? These are things that should be addressed before you proceed with the wedding plans.

The big day has arrived - you've planned the perfect wedding and are about to share the day with your loved ones. If there was ever a time to sit back, relax and enjoy the
moment, this is it.

Start the day with a nice, long bubble bath.   

Eat a good breakfast, even if it's a small one. Be sure it includes both carbohydrates and protein.

Draw up a schedule a few days prior to the big day, showing exactly what's going to happen when. Make copies and hand them around to all of the vendors and the
wedding party. The more organized you are, the less you'll have to stress about.

Prepare an emergency kit for those unforeseen disasters. Include a sewing kit, safety pins, extra hosiery, bottled water, saltines, breath mints, sanitary napkins and so

Count on your wedding consultant (whether it's a hired one or your own dear mother) - he or she can get the gowns to the chapel on time, as well as transport any
necessary personal belongings from the ceremony to the reception site.
Leave for the ceremony with plenty of time to spare.   

Allow yourself more than enough time to get dressed - relish it. How about a last pre-wedding indulgence? Invite a makeup artist or professional hairstylist to the wedding

Expect the unexpected. Yes, things may go wrong, but if you face the day with a cool head, a sense of humor and a positive attitude, you can pull it off without a

Enjoy the day - it does, after all, belong to you!  

Take lots of deep breaths.   

If you start to get nervous, just let the feeling pass through you and realize that you're supposed to feel a little anxious - it's natural. Once you've accepted this truth, move
on and think about how nice it will be to sit on a beach or mountaintop with your new spouse and tell him or her that you weren't nervous at all.   

No warnings, nothing to worry about, no problems in sight.

The significance of the wedding cake has been loaded with symbolism - whether the bride and groom's first cut represents fertility, the first meal of a married couple or
the beginning of a shared life - or simply the end of the wedding reception. (Note: The smashing of cake in faces is entirely optional!)

Time the cake cutting as appropriate to the type of reception. If you are having a cocktail or tea reception, serve the cake after the guests shuffle through the receiving
line; if you plan to throw a lunch or dinner reception, present the cake after the meal. Gather the crowd and announce your intention to cut the cake, either verbally or with
a reprise of the song that accompanied the couple in their first dance.

Cut with the groom's right hand over the bride's. Slice through the bottom layer of the cake together.

Feed one another from the slice. Traditionally, the groom feeds the bride first, then the bride serves the groom.

Serve slices to your in-laws - with the bride serving the groom's parents, then the groom serving the bride's.

Have a preordained friend or the catering staff serves the rest of the guests.

Check that the photographer and videographer are in place before you begin cutting.

Use a special silver cake knife if possible, such as one used by the groom's parents in their wedding, or a knife just received from the bridal registry.

Wedding programs are wonderful keepsakes for your guests, and they fulfill practical needs as well. They show the order of your service and songs, introduce the
participants in the wedding, and thank your guests for celebrating with you.

Make use of scrap booking materials and tools when creating your programs, such as acid-free papers, decorative punches, decorative-edge scissors, etc. The use of
archival-grade materials will ensure that your programs last through the years.

Don't worry if your handmade programs have slight differences. The handcrafting makes them even better keepsakes.

Avoid listing paid vendors and service providers.

Avoid all references to gifts, money trees, etc.

Be careful not to over decorate your programs, as that can raise the cost per program, as well as being too labor-intensive to be practical.

Handmade papers and vellum may not be acid-free, and may deteriorate over the years.

If you take as much care in preserving your dress as you did in choosing it, it can be enjoyed as a family heirloom for generations to come.

Save the bag your dress came in, or bring along a plastic bag to protect the dress en route to the cleaner.  

Select a professional dry cleaner, preferably one that specializes in formal gowns. Ask for recommendations from friends and your bridal shop or seamstress.

Get the dress to the cleaner as soon as possible after your wedding.   

Alert the cleaner to any stains - a drop of bubbly, a smudge of lipstick from that first kiss - as well as to any ornaments that were glued rather than sewn on (these pieces
are prone to fall off during the cleaning process) and to loose stitches. This information will ensure that your cleaner can give your dress the best care possible.

Ask your cleaner for a special acid-free box to store your dress in, and pack it in acid-free tissue paper. You can also hang the dress by the bodice by sewing straps that
are a bit shorter than the bodice onto the waist, placing on a padded hanger and wrapping in a clean white cotton sheet.   

Store the dress in a temperate, dry place, out of direct sunlight.   

Inspect your dress on each anniversary to check for any discolored areas or missed stains and to allow your dress to "breathe."   

Find a dependable dry cleaner by calling an haute couture shop in your area and asking which cleaner the shop uses. Or contact the International Fabricare Institute (see
Related Sites).   

Make arrangements prior to the big day for a friend, family member or someone from the wedding party to drop off the dress for you while you're on your honeymoon.   

Check inside the dress when you search for stains - makeup can rub off on the inside when you pull the dress on and off.   

Avoid boxes with cellophane windows, as they can cause damage to your dress by allowing light to discolor it.  

A scrapbook makes a wonderful gift, preserving special wedding memories that will last a lifetime. This project will require a lot of work, but you can bet it will be one of
the happy couple's most prized wedding gifts.

Try to attend every event and visit every place related to the wedding. Take photos, gather mementos and document everything.   

Get second copies of photos from other people, especially if their shots are better than yours.   
Take a class on scrapbook making, if necessary, before you begin laying out pages.   

Buy the best materials. Acid-free papers, die-cut shapes, craft punches and scissors, stickers, mats, permanent ink pens and rubber stamps are the tools of crafty
scrapbook makers.  

Lay out the pages in chronological order, beginning with the couple when they were first dating. Proceed with the engagement, showers, wedding and honeymoon.
Include photos, mementos, invitations, party favors, newspaper announcements and brochures of the honeymoon destination.  

Wrap your gift and present it to the bride and groom after the honeymoon.  

Consider making a video scrapbook if you've mastered the video camera and can both videotape and edit. Include both photographs and video clips for complete
documentation of every aspect of the wedding festivities.

You might let the bride and groom know you're planning a special surprise - to explain why you haven't given a gift at the wedding.     

Putting a scrapbook together is going to be especially difficult if you don't have access to the photos and mementos that will make it meaningful. Close friends and family
members are therefore the best ones to make a wedding scrapbook.

It's your sister's big day, but your role is essential. Help smooth the transition to married life by reaching out to your new brother-in-law.

Send him e-mail or a card - or make that phone call - as soon as you hear the news. Tell him exactly why you're delighted he's joining your family.   

Consider an engagement gift just for him. Find out about his interests, hobbies and tastes so that you can settle on something suitable.   

Make time for a one-on-one activity - or at least a good conversation - before the big day.   

Put together old videos of your sister or make him a photo album with pictures of her as a little girl. Include some present-day footage or photos (with him of course).  

Make sure he feels included when your family gets together: introduce him to obscure relatives and explain your family's inside jokes.   

Get to know his friends and relatives. It's not just your sister who's got a new family - you do too.  

Hand him a card or token gift the day of the big event. Of all days, that's the one he'll need to know he's welcome.

Prepare a toast that talks about his qualities as an individual as well as why he's just the man for your sister.  

Having a brother-in-law is (you hope) a lifelong project, so don't slack off after the wedding day goes by.  

If there are things about your sister's chosen one that you just can't abide, try to focus on the positive. Everyone's lives will be easier if you can find common ground and
get along.

The exotic beauty of Bali's people and landscape transport visitors to another time and place, where tradition is treasure. Enjoy artist mountain villages, manicured rice
terraces, cleansing rivers, world-class diving, surfing and golf, and the amazing Balinese furniture and architecture.

Be prepared, Bali is sheltered from the turmoil other parts of Indonesia can experience. Rich in natural and cultural beauty, the island offers myriad outdoor activities - but
luxury and relaxation don't come cheap.

Fly Garuda Indonesia to Denpasar.

Stay in one of the deluxe  villas in Ubud, Bali's famous artist and crafts person town in the rice-terraced mountainous interior.

Enjoy the world-class golf and surfing beaches while renting an authentic Balinese villa, through Spectrum Bali.   

Prepare for heat, humidity and mosquitoes (mostly at night). Wear light clothing and a bathing suit where appropriate, and long-sleeved shirts and long cotton pants at
night to ward off possible malaria-infested mosquitoes.

Drink Bintang (Star) beer, Indonesia's own brew. Cool down in the shade and rehydrate with some bottled water whenever possible.

Hire a day boat from Sanur to take you to the tiny island of Nusa Lembongan for fantastic snorkeling in the shallow bay.

Hire a car and visit the lake and volcano regions and their many temples.

Getting to Bali is usually your major expense, so eat and drink well as long as the U.S. Dollar is strong against the Rupiah.

Get a massage often.  

Wear reef shoes/booties if you plan to surf or walk over the reef. Sea snakes live there, and cuts and scrapes can become infected if not scrubbed and kept clean.      

Your wedding bouquet can be kept for decades to come. The preservation method you choose will depend on the type of flowers in the bouquet and the look you want for
your preserved bouquet.

Preserve the bouquet yourself or let a professional do it for you. Make this decision well in advance of the wedding date as all methods of preservation require that the
treatment begin no later than one to four days after the wedding.

Keep in mind that some home methods of flower preservation can take days or weeks to complete. Will you have the time to monitor the process yourself? Will you be
able to begin the preservation process immediately after the wedding?

Choose to have your bouquet professionally freeze-dried if you want the resulting bouquet to look as realistic as possible. The elements of the bouquet are taken apart,
freeze-dried if possible, and then put back into the original arrangement. This method will take three to four weeks to complete.

Choose to have your bouquet professionally pressed. The bouquet is taken apart, the flowers are pressed, and then they are rearranged and framed. Even though the
flowers will be flattened, the original silhouette of the bouquet can be achieved. This method takes 8 to 10 weeks.

Make bouquet preservation arrangements in advance of the wedding date. The preservationist will give you instructions on how to care for and transport your bouquet.

Expect to pay $250 and up to have your bouquet professionally preserved. The price will depend on the size of the bouquet and any additional services, such as special
frames or glass enclosures. If there is no professional in your area, you will also have to pay to have the bouquet shipped overnight.

Use drying agents such as sand, silica gel or borax to preserve your own bouquet at home. The process involves covering each flower completely with the chosen
substance to draw out moisture.

Press the flowers from your bouquet at home. Frame your own pressed arrangement.

Create your own dried flower bouquet. This is perhaps the simplest preservation method to accomplish at home. Take the bouquet apart and hang the individual flowers
to dry. Reassemble the bouquet. Take care with the resulting brittle petals and stems.

Look for professionals in bouquet preservation on the Internet or in the yellow pages. Your florist will also be able to make a recommendation.

Ask your florist which method of preservation will work best with your chosen flowers. Some flower types cannot be successfully freeze-dried.

Look for preservation price packages. Some companies will preserve corsages and boutonnières free when you have the bride's bouquet preserved.

Keep flowers in a cooler until they are ready to be transported or preserved at home. Put ice in the cooler, cover it with plastic and then set the bouquet on top. Keep the
bouquet from being submerged in water. If your flowers are arranged in floral foam, keep the foam saturated.

Keep in mind that no method of preservation can keep the look of fresh flowers. Freeze-drying and pressing will alter the flower colors the least of all preservation

Have your wedding invitation, wedding program or an elegantly written copy of your wedding vows framed along with a pressed arrangement.

They say that location is everything, but how do you choose the perfect place to exchange your vows? The key is in knowing what you're looking for - the more details you
have while looking, the better you can choose a site that meets all of your needs.

Figure out the guest list - how many, who you can't live without and who may not be able to travel.

Take a look at your budget. How important is it to you to have your wedding in that enchanted castle off the coast? You may have to compromise by cutting the guest list

Consider the overall style of the wedding - are you planning an intimate family affair or a wild dance party extravaganza?

Take into account the wedding date that you have chosen.

Decide if you want to wed inside or outdoors - under the stars or in a historic cathedral.

Remember the needs of your guests and entertainment - do any of them require any special arrangements? For instance, can that tiny church house an entire orchestra?
Is there enough parking for 300 of your closest friends?

Visit various wedding and reception locations and get a feel for how cooperative or restrictive the site management is.

Schedule meetings with potential or actual vendors and get their input on the site you are considering.

Book your site and get all business arrangements in writing.

Once you've found a site you're happy with, jump on it. The good ones get booked up far in advance.

Weddings in China are cause for great celebration, since they mark the joining together of two families. Many rituals are performed to shower the bride and groom with
happiness and good luck, and to keep evil spirits away.

Distribute customary bridal cakes to friends and relatives to announce the upcoming wedding and invite them to attend. (These cakes are originally given by the groom's
family to the bride's to send out.)

Expect everyone who receives a bridal cake to reciprocate with congratulatory gifts for the bride's family.

Select a red bridal dress to symbolize love and joy.

Prepare a cleansing bath for the bride to take the night before the wedding. Infuse the water with pomelo, a type of grapefruit, to chase away evil spirits.

Plan an eight-course meal for the reception, plus dessert. Include such foods as roasted suckling pig, shark's fin soup, deep-fried crab claws, and fish. Be prepared for
the meal to last as long as three hours or more.

Have the bride serve tea (holding the teacup with both hands) to her parents at home on the wedding day before the groom arrives. This is her way of paying her respect
and thanking her parents for raising her.

Ask a lion dance team to perform at the wedding to bring good luck and to ward off evil spirits. The lion presents a scroll with a calligraphy message wishing the couple
good luck.

Plan a tea ceremony during the wedding, in which the newlyweds serve tea together to the groom's parents as a sign of respect.

Include lotus seeds and two red dates in the tea. The ancient Chinese believed that these items would help the newlyweds produce children early in their marriage, and
the sweetness of the special tea also ensures sweet relations between the bride and her new family.

Set off firecrackers during the wedding celebration to keep evil spirits at bay.

Arrange for both of you to have your hair combed out by a good luck person(someone who in the Chinese tradition is said to bring you good luck) the night before the
wedding, as is traditionally done. The combing should be done for each of you four times. Remember that each combing has a special meaning. These are: from the
beginning to the end, harmony, sons, wealth and a long-lasting marriage.

Much thought goes into planning a Chinese wedding banquet. The foods that the bridal couple serves convey deep meaning, such as happiness, longevity and fertility.
Serve an eight-course meal, plus dessert. The word "eight" in Chinese sounds like "good luck."   

Begin with appetizers such as dragon phoenix plates. These are cold plates with sliced meats, jelly fish, and chilled nuts.

Follow with sharkskin soup. This expensive delicacy is a sign of wealth.

Offer lobster and chicken as choices, since this combination represents the balance between male and female.
Serve roast suckling pig, since pork is a symbol for virginity.

Provide Peking duck, since the red color signifies happiness. Consider serving this dish with the legs and head intact to represent completeness. (The same is true of the

Bring out pigeons or squab as a sign of peace as you begin your new marriage.   

Prepare vegetables with sea cucumber to represent selflessness. The words "sea cucumber" sound like "good heart" in Chinese, which will help you and your spouse to
think similarly and avoid conflict.

Consider serving fish since the word sounds like "plentiful" in Chinese.

Bring out noodles at the end of the meal as an additional course. The long noodle strands represent longevity.

Remember to include dessert because this will help to ensure a sweet life for you and your spouse. Offer the following choices: hot sweet red bean soup with lotus seeds
and bak hop (a bark-like vegetable) to ensure that your marriage lasts for 100 years, and steamed bread sweetened with lotus paste as a sign of fertility.   

Ask the waiters to bring around take-out boxes so the guests can bring the leftovers home. This is expected at a Chinese Wedding because it signifies abundance and
also avoids wasting good food.   

Serve 7-Up, which sounds like "seven happiness" in Chinese, along with tea and alcohol for guests to drink.

Serving tea, China's national drink, is a sign of respect at a Chinese wedding. That's why many couples include this tradition as an important part of their special day.

Prepare tea with lotus seeds and two red dates to serve after the ceremony. The reason for this is that "lotus" and "year" sound alike in Chinese, as do "seed" and
"child," and "date" and "early." Chinese tradition holds that adding the items to the tea helps to encourage fertility.

Remember that serving sweet tea to the groom's family during the wedding ceremony also helps bring about sweet relations between the bride and her new family.

Allow time at the wedding for you and your spouse to serve tea together to the groom's family.

Invite the groom's elders to join in. Address them by their formal names, such as First Aunt and Third Uncle.

Offer chairs for the guests.

Arrange the seating with the women to the left and the men to the right.

Kneel down with your spouse on the floor.

Remember that the bride is positioned in front of her father-in-law, the groom in front of his mother.

Arrange for lucky women, or ones who will bring you good luck, to help you serve.

Hold the teacup in both hands when you present it to each person.

Serve the tea to the groom's parents first, then proceed in order from the oldest participant to the youngest.

Expect to receive lucky red envelopes, called lai see, containing money or jewelry, from the groom's family.

Look for these envelopes to be placed on the platter on which the tea is served.

While the wedding tea ceremony is only for the groom's family, the bride serves tea earlier in the day to her own parents. In this way, she thanks them for raising her.

In the past, many marriages were arranged by the families of the bride and groom. In the spirit of such a union, traditional Italian weddings are lengthy and elaborate
feasts that celebrate the coming together of the bride's and groom's families.

Include in the bride's wedding ensemble a white dress for purity, a veil to guard against the bad luck that could result should the groom see her face before the
ceremony, and a satin purse that the bride can carry during the reception (as the bride comes by, guests can fill the purse with money gifts).

Plan a mass before the reception if you are having a Catholic wedding.

Arrange to release a pair of white doves into the air following the ceremony to represent your love and happiness.  

Welcome your guests to the reception with alcoholic beverages with which they can toast the newlywed couple.

Arrange a band that can play traditional Italian songs for dancing, since this is an important part of the day - be sure to include the customary dance for the bride and her

Astound your guests with a traditional multi-course meal, accompanied by wine. The feast begins with the antipasto, which can consist of olives, stuffed mushrooms,
cheeses, salami, mortadella, calamari and prosciutto. Follow with a dinner of pasta, chicken, veal, soup, and vegetables.

Serve other light foods that will bring you good luck. These include twists of fried dough with powdered sugar and Italian wedding candy.

Provide your guests with mesh bags, each filled with an odd number of sugar-coated almonds. The guests toss the bags at the newlyweds, a practice said to represent
the bitter-sweetness of life.

At the end of the day, shatter a vase or glass into many pieces - each piece is said to signify a happy year of marriage.

A contemporary Japanese wedding is an elaborate and colorful affair that combines ancient Japanese rituals with modern Western touches.

Determine your wedding day according to the old Japanese calendar.

Exchange Yui-No gifts.

Find a place for a short ceremony, with only family present. Shinto shrines are the most traditional choice, and today can be found in the hotel where you hold the
announcement party (similar to a Western-style reception).

Drink nine sips of sake with your partner, and set your cups down at the exact same time. Tradition says the last one to put the cup down will die first.

The bride often wears a colorful kimono, along with a Tsuno Kakushi, or big hood, to cover her hair. This is said to hide her Horns and show her Obedience.

Prepare for the bride to change into a new wedding kimono following the ceremony. A combination of Japanese and Western dress is also acceptable today.

Hold an announcement party following the ceremony. Invite your bosses, former teachers, close friends and relatives.

Serve a full-course meal of Japanese, Chinese or French food.

Include red and white in your color scheme, since these are colors of happiness.

Present each guest with a souvenir, such as tableware or confectioneries.

Plan a traditional tea ceremony to honor and thank your parents at the wedding.

Adopt the Western tradition of cutting a large wedding cake. Some couples use a huge plastic cake and have the real one in the kitchen ready to serve to guests.

An accepted practice in Japan is Mi-Ai, in which a Nakodo, also known as a go-between, brings together a prospective bride and groom to meet and consider marriage.
This is still common today among some young couples

The fabric from the bride's kimono can be made into futon bedding or a mattress to be passed down to future generations
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