We've just stepped into
summer, a season that's filled with wedding bells and
the sound of panicked couples shrieking, "Is it too late
to elope?" Have no fear! If you have a wedding to plan,
let me talk you through it. I'm an expert.
| Organizing the big day
fact, as I write this, it's been seven months since I
married my wife
Judy. As we made plans for our wedding last
November, the idea of eloping popped up several times.
Yes, wedding planning can be traumatic: What type
of bridal gown do you buy? How do you choose the right
photographer? If you invite the cousin that you do like,
must you invite that one that you don't?
Certainly, you can call upon your friends and
relatives for suggestions. On the other hand, that's not
always a good thing! Many brides-to-be have become
addicted to Mylanta and Advil, thanks to non-stop
"advice" from nosy relatives. If you want help from
those who have been through this before, but you don't
want the emotional baggage that may come with it, turn
to the Web. From invitations to thank-you notes, it's
full of tips by and for brides and grooms.
Tacky Ice Sculpture Award for sheer size goes to The Ultimate Internet Wedding Guide. It's
a multi-layered chocolate wedding cake of information
(pardon my drool), with articles on dozens of topics.
Browse through its section on bridal showers, get
"financial basics" for newlyweds, learn how to find the
right price quote on a gown, and search online for a DJ
in your area. What's especially useful are the community
sections, where you can read comments from past and
present brides on topics like "Children in the Wedding"
and "Wedding Advice to Ignore." Hi, Mom!
to this site is the Ultimate Online Wedding Mall, a shopping
site where you can buy gifts for your bridesmaids,
groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. Friends can
also find great items for your bridal shower. (Feel free
to give them hints.) For even more "insider trading"
from other brides, visit the Ultimate Wedding Guide's
sister site, PlanningPotpourri.com, which lists
newsgroups and mailing lists for engaged and married
Another good source of wedding
gifts and articles is Wedding
World. Use the online gift registry and look at its
frankly huge wedding directory, with national listings
for caterers, bands, ministers, tuxedo stores, and just
about everything else. Similarly, the official site of
Modern Bride magazine has a
drop-down list of sections like honeymoon, fashion, and
money and legal issues, and its personalized planning
calendar will help you organize the arrangements. Most
sources say you need at least 12 months to safely plan a
wedding; Judy and I had everything ready within
eight months. So there!
engagement, we did do a lot of preparation and research
online. Once Judy found good choices for her gown and
the bridesmaids' dresses on sites like The Knot,
she got her friends' advice by sending them e-mails with
the Web links. On my end, I went to Tux on the
Net and other sites to learn what the well-dressed
groom was wearing in the 90s. (I had a feeling that my
1981 red satin tie and ska slacks wouldn't cut it.)
The most time-consuming decision was what to
have as our "first dance" song. Since Judy's shoes were
designed by the Marquis de Sade, she wanted something
with an easy pace, so my original idea of a tune by Madness
was out of the question. After we flipped through our CD
collections and lists of wedding day music, we selected Sting's
rendition of "You Were Meant for Me (New York version)"
from the soundtrack of The Object of My Affection. It ended
up being an excellent choice. Here's to the Stingmeister! (Never choose "Every Breath
You Take," however. Listen to the lyrics!)
Web also helped us find the perfect wedding favors.
Don't you hate the standard favors that just collect
dust or sit in a box after the wedding? Then go to Here She
Is. This company takes Hershey's chocolate bars and
gives them new, personalized wrappings. Finally, a wedding favor that's yummy!
advice to you: Don't elope. Planning a wedding is
expensive, no doubt about it. When done right, though, a
wedding and the reception are a blast! These sites and
the ones listed below can help you plan a wedding
sensibly and with little stress. (Hey, let's be frank;
there's no way to completely remove stress from a
wedding!) No matter what you do, remember that the
wedding is YOUR day, designed especially for the bride
and groom. As long as the two of you are happy and
comfortable with your decisions, that's all that
--Ken Hart, who made sure the
DJ played lots of B-52s
Other wedding sites:
UnGroom'd: "the men's perspective"
Wedding Music Information Source
Massachusetts Wedding Guide
RadioPro Mobile DeeJays' Event Planner
John Christian wedding bands
Wedding Orders HQ
"Apocalypse Vow": true tales of woe and