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The Perfect Wedding
  1. A large factor in determining how formal your wedding will be is deciding how many guests you want to invite. Start with a number you can comfortably entertain at the reception, and divide that number by four. This process can vary depending on your personal family situation, but normally the bride's parents, the groom's parents, the bridge and the groom all submit guest lists. There may be duplicates on the lists, so check for that. If that number is too high, begin eliminating names by whatever means you can determine. Many families invite only those friends who know the bridge or groom well, leaving out business associates. Many couples want those in attendance to be only people who are special to them.

  2. Determining the level of formality early on lets you decide what's important. It also enables you to establish a realistic budget.

  3. Select a ceremony site that best suits your needs. Check out the number of guests it will hold, its location, the size of its altar area, and parking.

  4. Use good judgment and common sense when you choose to include children in your wedding party. Remember, children will almost always act like children. That can make for some unpredictable moments. '

  5. Unless there is a tight budget for the rehearsal dinner, out-of-town family-[em]especially close family member such as aunts and uncles[em]should be invited to the rehearsal dinner.

  6. Never simply assume that you can change any part of your wedding service, including the vows segment. Always clear service changes with the officiant.

  7. Never guess at numbers for your reception count. Guessing can destroy your food budget and leave your feeling angry, disappointed, or even embarrassed. Even the best caterers cannot afford to supply your reception with unlimited amounts of food.

  8. Before you sit down to discuss your floral needs, ask the florist to visit the ceremony and reception sites if she isn't already familiar with them.

  9. If at all possible, try to see the musicians at work before you put down a deposit.

  10. Try to allow at least six months for ordering and receiving your wedding gown. If you don't have that much time, you may find that it will cost you a bit more.

  11. Make sure you feel comfortable with the photographer who will be taking your wedding pictures. You will be spending a significant amount of time together and need to have a good rapport.

  12. If your parents are divorced and not on friendly terms, never assume that they will put aside their differences long enough for you to walk down the aisle. Always use caution, courtesy, and compassion when you discuss your wedding plans with them and how you see their individual roles.

  13. Seasonal weddings are a natural idea if you want to give your wedding a theme. You can have some fun picking a date to plan your wedding around.

  14. The rehearsal is a very important part of the wedding activities. Just as an actress wouldn't go onstage without rehearsing her lines, don't show up for your wedding day unprepared.

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