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Say "I Do" To A Debt Free Wedding!
Date: February 14, 2009 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Budgeting & Engagement & Planning & Unique Ideas & Wedding Blogs

Valentine's Day is the most romantic holiday of the year and because of its association with love it makes it the perfect time to take a big step and propose to the one you love. The popularity of Valentine's Day as the second-biggest time of year (behind Christmas) for wedding proposals is proven in the fact that of the reported 2.3 million couples who get engaged each year in the USA, 10% will actually get engaged on Valentine's Day (Source: Diamond Information Center).

So were you one of them?

If so, let’s start with the good news……Yippee you’re engaged!!!

Without a doubt this will be one of the most exciting moments of your life! You’ve decided that you want to spend the rest of your life with this amazing person and overnight you’ve changed status from being simply a girlfriend/boyfriend yesterday to a fiancé today!

Now the practical bit – you have a wedding to plan!!!!

After the initial excitement (and perhaps shock) of being engaged has settled, after you’ve shared the news with everyone, you will realize that you have the task of organizing a picture perfect wedding whilst taking into consideration your budget and the responsibility which is bestowed on you to entertain, feed and water everyone who you and your fiancé care about most in the world.

Yikes!! Ok, take a deep breath and let me remind you that wedding planning can be easy, fun and manageable on even the smallest of budgets.

After the many highs and lows I faced during my own wedding planning (read more about them here) I discovered how to enjoy the whole experience without going a penny into debt for it too. The most important things I learned whilst planning my wedding were:

♥ easy negotiating methods

♥ tactics for dealing with tricky wedding vendors

♥ solutions to every wedding dilemma I encountered

♥ how what I lacked in money for my wedding I could more than make up for with creative ideas and a bit of elbow grease!

I’ve never professed to be a wedding planning expert but through this blog word got out that I was offering advice which could save other brides-to-be from making the mistakes that I had made during my wedding planning which could drive them into post-wedding debt. I received increasing numbers of emails, questions and cries for help from bride-to-be's and their families in response to my wedding blog hounding me to share my wedding secrets with them.

This was the reason why I created a simple step-by-step "system" in the form of a book that allows ANY bride-to-be to learn how to effortlessly cut their wedding costs in half and keep their wedding budget and planning in check - regardless of whether they have a wedding budget of $1,000 or $100,000! My book is a complete planning guide for brides-to-be, starting at this moment when you are just engaged and finishing with those all important post-wedding tasks. As you journey through your wedding planning, this book will keep you on track and debt free with its:

♥ “Must Ask” questions for wedding vendors;

♥ Creative Money-Saving Tips;

♥ “Top Tips” for dealing with wedding vendors and suppliers;

♥ Practical words of wisdom from real brides; and

♥ General wedding planning advice so you don’t overlook anything in your planning.

The best part for you is that you can benefit from my experiences, my mistakes and ultimately, my successes all for free!

You have nothing to lose – try my book for an entire 2 months and if the information contained in it does not simplify your wedding planning and save you oodles of money then all you have to do is email me and I'll issue you a 100% refund on the spot (no hard feelings and no questions asked!) So go ahead and take the plunge! You could have 2 months to use and gain from all of the unique tips and practical advice contained in my book and at anytime you can ask (and receive) an immediate refund (and if you opt for a refund I still want you to keep the eBook and bonus reports as my free gift just for giving this a shot!)

Finally, congratulations! Remember, that you DO NOT need to be an expert in event planning, decorating and wedding trends and traditions to organize your own wedding without going into debt. I did it, other brides have done it and so can you! So take a look at my book and find out how you can have your decadent hand-decorated chocolate wedding cake, eat it and still have money in the bank!

Good luck with your wedding planning!

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78 Free Wedding Tips And Book

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore. For example tips on wedding djs, getting guests to mingle, giving a great speech and tipping wedding suppliers to name just a few!

To give you a flavour of what to expect I have copied the types of wedding tips you will receive below:

Sample Tip 1 :

At the reception hall, fill baskets in the bathroom with miniature hand lotions, breath mints, hair sprays, and hair gels for emergency touch-ups. You may also want to put out a basket with a few inexpensive pairs of pantyhose and
some clear nail polish.

"Thanks for all the tips..and for making them genuinely "free".... the tips I found most helpful of your's were about etiquette ... it helps to remind brides of other people's feelings when they are getting caught up in their own! And that idea about giving framed pictures to the parents is one I will definately do! Blessings!" - Suzanne, US

Sample Tip 2 :

Don’t forget grandparents and other relatives who may feel “left out” during the preparations before the wedding. Take a camera along when you are shopping for your dress or looking at flowers.

Send pictures with a quick note that says, “Here’s me rubbing my feet after trying on shoes that were murder!” Or “Aunt Joan, the flowers were beautiful, but I wish you could have been there.”

"Just wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful tips! I enjoy reading them every week!! I will use you're advice throughout the planning of my wedding and on the big day! Thanks again" - Dan

Sample Tip 3 :

For bridesmaids' dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

"Dear Emily your tips have been very helpful to me in planning for my wedding thank you for all of your help, looking forward to receiving other tips from you. Best Regards" - Cornelia, US


How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads
Date: March 22, 2007 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Books & Dresses & Favors & Flower & Decorations & Gifts & Invitations & Announcements & Jewelry & Reviews & Stationery & Unique Ideas

I wanted to let you all know about “Beaded Weddings” by Jean Campbell. This book is a fantastic craft guide which is sure to encourage even the most reluctant DIYer to have a go. Not only does the book give you unique and inspirational ideas but it also teaches DIY novices basic craft skills. There are over 75 fabulous ideas for DIY projects which would,

“give your wedding a unique, unforgettable style of its own”.

Please take a look at my 6 minute video review of the book by clicking on the play button below. Alternatively you can visit Google Video or YouTube.com.

This book is very easy to read with friendly narrative and beautiful photos. It is broken down into 6 sections including invitations, thank you notes, reception décor, wedding finery, accessories and gifts.

One thing I like about this book is that there is a real variety of choices for skilled beaders or novice beaders (like myself!). For the braver DIYers amongst you there is a section on wedding dress embellishments, showing you how to jazz up your wedding dress. For the less skilled amongst you (this would include me!) or for those of you that do not have a lot of time on your hands to take on DIY projects in the run up to your wedding, there are things like bridal bobby pins which are so simple to make and yet they look as pretty and sparkly as shop-bought accessories.

One of my favorite DIY projects in the book is the beaded gift bag. You simply slip a pretty bead of your choice onto the end of a drawstring on an organza bag and there you have it – an effortless, yet eye-catching, result! A personalized gift bag which you could use for wedding favors, gifts for your bridal party or for future gift-giving occasions. How about wowing your wedding guests with how creative you are - try the cake stand necklace. It combines India glass and Czech fired polished beads with ivory and crystal seed beads. You could really dress up a plain glass cake stand with this very inexpensively.

Techniques used throughout the book include crimping, wire wrapping, bead embroidery, simple fringe and knotting. This might all sound highly technical to you but you really have nothing to worry about – this book takes you through each technique step by step with clear color pictures and diagrams to guide you along the way. It is all very well laid out. A perfect example is the elegant pearl necklace. There is a list of materials and tools needed so that you can get yourself equipped and organized before you start. The narrative then describes how to put the necklace together with diagrams showing how to tie the specific knots needed and it also gives you a lovely big photo of the end result – a stunning pearl necklace custom made to your own specifications.

Also, in the introductory section of the book it gives you a description of each material you might be using including beads, clasps, pins, wires, fabric, ribbon, glue and tools. Don’t worry though, it’s not like a home maintenance manual (if you’ve other tried to follow one of those!) - this book has easy to understand lingo and the terms used are not too technical.

If you are unsure about where the materials recommended come from then all you have to do is flick to the back of the book where there is a list of suppliers. Most of them have websites through which you can order what you need. When I’ve attempted DIY craft projects myself I’ve discovered that most of the raw materials are far cheaper and much more widely available than I previously thought.

Do bear in mind that there is a vast range of items in this book ranging from straightforward to the more complicated. As you can imagine some projects take more time than others. This book provides you with a list of time estimates. For example a tiara can take up to 3 hours whilst cute table favors can take only 2 minutes each.

I have to admit I was not a huge fan of beads before I read this book but now I am a convert! The designs using semiprecious stones, glass pearls and crystals, amongst other materials, are simple, elegant and most importantly unique.

“Beads can make a gorgeous contribution to wedding-day pieces”.

So what are the advantages to you of reading this book?

♥ You get the chance to learn a new skill which could well prove to be invaluable to you both with your wedding planning and in the future.

♥ You are custom making these items to your own specifications. You can add your own unique twists to the designs in the book and adapt any of the projects to suit your own wedding palette and style. There are no rules to say that you must stick to the same colors and styles of beads used in the book. Let your creativity and your imagination run wild!

♥ One of the most important advantages to you is that you will be saving oodles of money! Rather than buying jewelry, wedding stationary and other wedding items from commercial vendors you are only paying out for the materials which you use.

♥ One of the biggest rewards you should get from reading this book is having fun! The book suggests that you recruit helpers to assist you with making your chosen items, so how about hosting a beading party with your friends.

Without hesitation I totally recommend this book for those of you who are not afraid of getting stuck in to some DIY craft projects either on a small or large scale. Go ahead and get creative! Whether you end up with stunning results or something less than perfect, the most important thing for you to bear in mind in the run up to your wedding is to have lots and lots of fun!

Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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"Thirty To Wife" By Craig Michaels - The Must Read Groom's Guide To Weddings
Date: October 09, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Groom & Planning & Reviews

Craig Michael’s new book “Thirty to Wife”, available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, was born from his very own experiences of getting married. He found he didn’t have many people to turn to for real, honest advice and your average wedding book was simply focused on lists and responsibilities. He was fed up with to do lists and magazines strategically left around the house and wanted to write a book that really went out of its way to educate and advise grooms.

The title “Thirty to Wife” is apt because Craig's book tells the story of the 30 days leading up to his wedding day. It is in effect a countdown where we take the ride along side him, every step of the way - experiencing the highs and the lows. It’s a clever title, though Craig can’t take credit for it as his wife Deb thought of it! Luckily he does deserve much applause for its content! In fact Deb's forward says:

If only CRAIG put a fraction of the effort into our wedding planning that he did writing this book.

If only.

And so the book begins:

From Day 30: Welcome to my world. Seatbelts not required, but strongly encouraged.

Never was I so sure of anything in this world. Buoyed by excessive alcohol, a ticking biological clock (guys get them too), and a natural urge to ensure survival of the fittest (vision impairments aside), I got down on one knee and asked Deb to marry me.

It wasn't the most romantic moment. Or the most graceful. But it was ours to cherish forever. Or at least a few days.

"No planning for two months. Guaranteed," Deb promised as she basked in the glow of her engagement ring.
We didn’t make it two hours.
"Who are your groomsmen?"
"What food should we serve?"
"Where should we honeymoon?"
"When will we register?"
Why, oh why did I start us down this path?

I found “Thirty to Wife” to be all together more superior than anything else I have read in the groom/wedding book category. At the heart of this book is a humorous, real life and in depth pre-wedding narrative that makes it such a joy to read. Through all 263 pages you hear Craig’s voice, providing comfort, guidance and real world experiences that both sexes can relate to. In addition this book packs a massive punch with many comprehensive lists of what every groom needs to know, from proposing to the wedding day.

I loved the way you can follow a really engaging wedding story, yet pick up many useful tips and advice along the way. If you’re a bride you may wonder whether this account of a thirty-something man’s last 30 bachelor days is for you? I have to admit I had the same question. Yes “Thirty to Wife” is groom oriented but nevertheless it is definitely bride friendly. I can see women using this book to assist men in being the grooms they dreamt of marrying and get their favourite “so what are you really thinking” question answered without having to ask their mates!

Equally men will use the book to learn that they’re not alone in their struggle with the pressures and joys of being engaged. Ultimately when you have a book full of love, excitement and humour, told through personal experiences you have a winner for both men and women.

Craig clearly tells grooms:

“Don’t just ‘get through’ your wedding. Help out. Share in the good and bad of planning your big day. It’s something that you’re going to remember for the rest of your life. And something your bride will remind you of for the rest of your life. I looked back and realised I missed out on much of the action. And while my wedding turned out to be an amazing affair, I’ll always know that I put too much of the burden on my better half”

I really wish this book was around when I got married – not that my husband didn’t help with the planning, but more to increase his knowledge of what is involved. I know a story like this is so much better than asking a groom to read through lists of dos and don’ts. Everyone loves a good fun story!

Times have certainly changed. Years ago, the groom’s role was much more about showing up and worrying about life after marriage. It was unusual for grooms to be purposely excluded from planning altogether, as weddings were strictly the domain of the bride and her mother!

Lets face it more couples are planning their weddings as a team and if this is the case for you, you will definitely need a guidebook. You may think all the bridal magazines you have laying around your house constitute the necessary foundation to plan the perfect wedding, but for a groom this couldn’t be further from the truth. They need a manual / novel / lads magazine that informs them, yet makes them laugh. This is where Craig has excelled by creating the right mix to relay everything a groom needs to know without boring him. He saw the opportunity to write something truly unique and educate grooms on what to expect from engagement to his wedding day. I can’t recommend “Thirty to Wife” highly enough, though I’m not the only one!

Some Amazing Testimonials:

"Understands the plight of the groom." - Newsday

"Very funny...holds nothing back..." - Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Helpful advice...tell-all style." - Oakand Tribune


Every page is rich in wedding lists, tips and insights but so as you get a real free for its contents I have set out a list of some of my favourites:

Top Pages Every Groom Needs To Read - Sooner Rather Than Later!

* The Guy's Guide To Wedding Responsibilities - pages 16 - 17
* Who Pays What? - Page 32
* Is That A Ruler In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Happy To Get Sized? (Key body measurements for your tuxedo) - Page 40
* A Handy Guide to Tying A Bowtie - Page 41
* Gifts For Your Groomsmen - Show Your Posse That You Care - page 41
* The Bachelor Party - Basic Bachelor Party Rules - pages 75 - 76
* Want To Know The Cut Of A Woman? Look At The Cut Of Her Diamond - pages 116 - 117
* How To Calm Her Nerves - page 157
* Nee To Drop A Few Pounds? A Few Inches? A Few Feet? - pages 174 - 176
* A Handy Emergency Kit For You To Pack To Ensure Smooth Sailing On Your Wedding Day - page 210
* Playing The Wedding Horror Bingo Game - page 223
* Last Night Reminders For Nervous Grooms To Be - page 231

And Finally These Two Absolute Must Reads:

* The Complete Guide To The Groom's Wedding To Do's - pages 246 - 257
* The Complete Guide To The Grooms' Party Responsibilities - pages 258 - 263

See Craig Talk About His Book:

Craig is interviewd on NBC11 San Francisco talking about how a groom should get involved and how he wishes he had been a little bit more supportive.

Book Details:
Thirty to Wife
The Tell-All Groom's Guide to Weddings
How to Get Hitched Without Losing Your Mind or Your Fiancée

Paperback: 263 pages
Publisher: Marlowe & Company (7 Jul 2006)
Language: English
ISBN: 1569242968

More information about "Thirty to Wife" can be found out on Craig's website, Groom411.com

Final Words:

"Thirty to Wife" is simply a Must Read for all grooms. This book will motivate them, guide them and entertain them - for the price of a round of beers turn your husband-to-be into Super Groom! Be sure to check out this podcast where Craig talks to Robert Allen on the Wedding Podcast Network about what every groom can expect at his own wedding.

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How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay and Save a Fortune
Date: October 04, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books

Do you believe it is possible to buy everything for your wedding from eBay?

Well according to a book called “"How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay... and Save a Fortune! at Amazon.com" and Amazon.co.uk written by Dennis L. Prince, and newlyweds Sarah Manongdo and Dan Joya this is definitely possible. You only have to look at table 3-1 on page 52 to see conclusive proof of how Sarah and Dan (pictured below) made a grand saving of 79.8% off retail prices. To be exact they spent $1335.42 (including $285.33 for shipping) on eBay, a saving of $5282.58 compared to retail prices. More importantly they aren’t the only ones making huge saving on their weddings, as verified by the list of eBay bride success stories displayed on page 50. For those couples on a budget (and lets face it, who isn't!), reading this book will definitely save you money.

You may remember that I recently mentioned this great book in an article called "Brand New Wedding Dresses Up For Grabs On eBay", which includes my top ten tips for buying a new wedding dress from eBay’s online wedding store at a discount price. I went onto outline how the book teaches you strategies for searching for and bidding for wedding items on eBay, how to resell items after the wedding and advice from 60 plus eBay wedding Power Sellers on how to bag the best wedding bargains on eBay. Following a second reading, I would now like to express even further why this is definitely a must read.

"How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay and Save a Fortune" doesn’t just stop at how to make savings on your big day, you can also discover such secrets as how to plan a fabulous honeymoon within your means. I was fascinated to read the 14 money saving tips for booking the honeymoon of your dreams on pages 34 – 36. In addition it also carefully explains how you can supplement your wedding registry through eBay after your wedding day and how couples can consolidate joint belongings and sell the rest on eBay. I also loved reading how to deal with duplicate gifts and understanding the etiquette of auctioning unneeded wedding gifts.

Starting to save a fortune

The book begins by running through the basics of planning a wedding and in particular there is one of the most comprehensive wedding calendars I have seen on pages 15 to 18. Key sections include “Setting a wedding budget and sticking to it” on page 19 and “Planning a beautiful ceremony on a budget” on page 21. The latter gives easy tips on how to decrease your ceremony expenses, including ceremony site fees, officiant fees / donations to the church, the fee for ceremony musicians, ceremony decorations and flowers, personal flowers, ceremony programs, photography, videography and transportation.

Planning your reception without breaking the bank

The reception is a large percentage of any couple’s budget and therefore the section named “Planning an elegant reception without breaking the bank” is thoroughly recommended. This is broken down into the specific pros and of hotels, country clubs, church hall, cathedral, your home, public parks, restaurant and definitely worth a read!

Learning from the eBay power sellers

Everyone wants to get the best value for your wedding dollar and for this I recommend you take time reading the chapter titled “The eBay Approach to an Affordably Elegant Wedding: Lessons from the Power Sellers". This is an excellent read where eBay wedding sellers offer specific advice to brides on wedding gowns, veils, jewelry, flowers, and honeymoons.

The pros and cons of shopping online

Sarah and Dan clearly show us that shopping online isn't a bed of roses, there are of course ups and downs to buying wedding goods online. The authors allow you to weigh up the benefits, there are 10 listed on page 54 and 5 tips on the cons of online shopping on page 56.

At over 230 pages and 15 chapters there are so many sections in this book that offer real money saving advice. Unfortuantely I can't list them all here! I have though made a small list of pages I loved reading and return to often and I'm sure you will too - just to whet your appetite!

* A great list of Recommended Power sellers. Pages 62 – 64
* General resources for Wedding Research. Page 67
* How to find the eBay “Wedding Dresses Finder”. Page 112
* eBay Tips on Using the “Vacations Packages Finder” Page 153
* Anniversary Year List – fun eBay gift ideas for each year. Page 159

Final words

The book quite rightly says:

“The key to successful wedding planning and shopping is creating a realistic wedding budget, and then sticking to it.”

Without doubt if you have this book by your side you stand an excellent chance of ensuring your wedding is on budget! Buy it today!

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Wedding Book Review - "The Engaged Groom" by Doug Gordon

Wedding planning is not the exclusive domain of the bride - that is Doug Gordon's point in his new book "The Engaged Groom". He takes the stance that no groom need be left out in the cold when it comes to the decision making. In fact there is plenty of scope for the groom to take charge of certain tasks and responsibilities. Indeed this book is a revelation, grooms now have the chance to get active with their very own wedding planning guide. It can be bought from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

"The Engaged Groom" all started with Doug's blog called PlanetGordon.com with the first entry on the 2nd September 2003 at 6:17pm.

It read:

A Decent Proposal

I got engaged on Wednesday. Actually, that statement is a little too passive. Makes it seem like I picked up something on the way home from work or dropped a subscription card in the mailbox or developed some sort of temporary condition for which medication or a topical ointment is available from my doctor.

Let's start over.

I proposed to my girlfriend on Wednesday night.

To continue reading this blog entry please take a look at this page and scroll to the bottom.

I divulge, having read all 279 pages I can confidently hold my hand up and say that "The Engaged Groom" is a must read for all grooms that want to get involved in their wedding. Doug's funny style of writing makes it a real joy to read. Grooms will quickly learn a whole array of tips and practical information. In fact if they take all of his advice on board they will be heading to their local beauty salon for a manicure - it makes sense really when you think of how many people will want to see the groom's ring on the big day!

Whether they have just a few questions or many this is definitely the book for all grooms. As a bride, if your groom is worried about how to minimize the risk of his best man forgetting the rings (page 237) or how he can ensure he won't say the wrong thing during the speeches (page 251) - this is the book for him.

I practicularly liked the following sections, for their excellent overviews and useful tips :

Paying for the Wedding - Doug gives a good review of the various costs associated with planning a wedding. Interestingly he picks up on the how often couples forget to budget for gratuities, something I have extensively written about here.

Picking a Date and Venue - I quickly learnt the pros and cons of having your wedding on a holiday three day weekend and in addition the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a destination wedding.

The Guest List - Planning a guest list is never easy, as Lesley Anne recently wrote about here, but Doug gives some great insights. This is your chance to learn who definitely does need to be invited. You can also get the lowdown on inviting the President of the United States or The Pope!

Food and Music - This is your chance to have your cake and eat it! Doug recounts the day he ate no fewer than ten pieces of cake at three different bakeries. If you have a sweet tooth you definitely want to be involved with choosing the wedding cake - especially when prices at soar to as high as $10 or $15 a slice.

Turn to page 65 for an entertaining list of inappropriate songs. It is highly advisable that you always listen to the lyrics first, especially for the all important first dance. The list doesn't just stop at slow dances, some well known disco classics should be placed on your DJ's "Do Not Play List".

Photography - Here I agree with Doug, disposable cameras definitely belong to the "Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" file. Today most guests have digital cameras and are more than happy to share their photographs with you.

On the subject of videographers, page 75 neatly sums up why this isn't an area to get too stressed about. Also check out the tips on how to make signifcant savings on this aspect of the wedding.

Best man Duties - Doug answers your questions on whether you can have two best men, or even have a female one! More importantly he gives his opinion on what groomsmens and bridesmaids should wear - it's a refreshingly honest approach that many more couples should adopt (Page 92).

What to Wear and How to Look Your Best - Expert advice on which tuxedo to wear, along with helpful hints on whether your build is best suited to a single-breasted jacket, double-breasted jacket, tailcoat or morning coat. You can also take advantage of the "How to Tie a Bow Tie" page which has been deliberately reversed so as you can tie your bow tie looking in the mirror!

Save-the-Date, Announcements, Invitations, and Getting the Word Out - "The Engaged Groom" is full of valuable tips, such as the one called "The Separation of Church and Crate (& Barrel) on page 122. Doug makes it clear that in no circumstances should you send the invitation and the registry information together. This is a massive faux pas, but unfortunately it has to be said many couples still do it. Reading other tips on getting the assembly of invitations right (page 126), the value of using wedding planning software (page 130) and why B-list wedding guest lists are more trouble than they are worth (page 133) is highly recommended.

Registries, Wedding Showers, and Thank You Notes - I really enjoyed reading the section on what things you want to register for, but shouldn't on page 150. It is both humorous and informative - a great reminder that you aren't bound to the traditional registry list of kitchen and dinnerware! Doug dicusses the whole art of getting your Thank You notes written with thought and appreciation, with particular reference to what you should and shouldn't say.

Planning the Honeymoon - Traditionally this is the groom's responsibility and though he is expected to pay for it, it really should be a joint decision as to where you go. Discover the benefits of delaying your honeymoon and why a "minimoon" might be just right for you!

The Bachelor Party - This is one of the most entertaining sections of the book. I love Doug's humour, neatly summed up in this quote:

You'll have plenty of chances to party with your friends in the future, and if you're worried that your marriage will mean a loss of your freedom. I suggest you talk to a therapist and not a stripper.

The book is full of practical advice and some common sense reminders, for example:

Never, never, never be hungover on your wedding day.

Doug leaves the debate on whether strip clubs on a bachelor party are a good idea to others, by including a random sampling of quotes from eight different women. Definitely worth reading.

A Groom's Checklist - Emergency Provisions - Turn to page 230 for a list of things that every groom should have packed in a small bag on their wedding list. Items range from personal care prodcuts, spare clothing to miscellanous essentials that are all to easy to forget.

You might not catch your groom browsing through all your wedding magazines, but I can guarantee he will find "The Engaged Groom" of real interest. Buy it today.

Doug has been interviewed and featured on TV and radio stations across the country, including this appearance on the "Today Show". You can check out the book's official website at EngagedGroom.com and the MySpace site at MySpace.com/engagedgroom

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28 Reasons Why I Love Google!
Date: July 28, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Coupons & Destination Weddings & Directories & Dresses & Honeymoon & Magazines & Miscellaneous & Planning & Reception & Reviews & Shopping & Unique Ideas & Venues & Videography

Yes it's true - I love Google in so many ways.

Let me explain why. Most of us have a friendship with Google and meet up most days, either at work or home! It's just so easy to find exactly what you want, just type in your query and Google delivers. To be honest though my friendship turned into a full on love affair when I started to learn ways that Google could help me even futher. There really is so much more to Google than just a simple search.

I would like to show you specific Google services and queries that can help you plan your wedding.


Google Services:

♥ Google Answers

Type in your wedding related question and have an expert reply to it, or alternatively, as I do, just browse existing wedding questions at your leisure. There is a non-refundable listing fee of $0.50 per question plus an additional 'price' you set for your question that reflects how much you're willing to pay for an answer. I recommend you review some of the wedding questions to get an idea of how much information you will receive for any given amount. The lowest you can pay for a question is $2. Google Answers is a great resource and an excellent opportunity to get your wedding question answered.

♥ Google Blog Search

Using Google Blog Search you can search for content on many wedding blogs - either informational sites like Wedaholic.com or personal blogs set up by engaged couples. Additionally you can review wedding related references made on other blog sites. Quite often the information found on a blog is much more current than a major wedding portal.

♥ Google Book Search

Use Google Book Search to find the full text taken from wedding books and also discover new ones at the same time. Most wedding books are on “Limited Preview”, but nevertheless this gives you an idea of what the book is like before you buy it.

♥ Google Calendar

Google allows you to set up a special “Wedding Calendar” so that you can record all of your key dates leading up to the big day. This is great tool for sharing with your parents, bridesmaids, best man etc. If you already have a Google Mail you can toggle between your email and calendar with ease.

♥ Google Catalogs

This is a fantastic way to shop for wedding favors, gifts and so much more. Simply by using Google Catalogs you can see all the references made to weddings in the top shopping catalogs. Just flick through the catalogs as if they had been delivered to your door!

♥ Google Desktop

All the Google information and functionality you ever wanted, right on your desktop.

♥ Google Directory

Use Google Directory to search the web organized by topics into categories. This way you can really find the wedding site you want - you defintely won't find any fluff or spam sites here.

♥ Google Earth

Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to enable you to review potential wedding venues and honeymoon possibilities without moving from your desk - a very powerful tool. Before you know it you will have spent an hour circling the globe in amazement!

♥ Google Groups

Google Groups is a free service which allows groups of people to communicate effectively with each other using email and the internet. I recommend you take a look at the alt.wedding and alt.wedding.marketplace groups.

♥ Google Images

This is a brilliant resource for searching for images of your dream wedding dress or the type of reception you desire. Additionally it is a great place to catch up with all the celebrity wedding pictures!

♥ Google Maps

Invaluable as a way to find the exact location of a wedding supplier or get precise directions to a possible wedding reception. One of the most powerful time saving Google tools.

♥ Google Notebook

As you browse the internet searching for wedding ideas don't you wish you had somewhere to save all the scraps of information you come across? Well look no further! Using Google Notebook you can add clippings of text, images and links from web pages to your own notebook without ever leaving your browser window.

♥ Google Movies

When the wedding planning gets too much, treat yourself to a movie. Google Movies gives you the latest information and times before you book online. Is there anything Google doesn't do!

♥ Google News

When you're addicted to weddings you just have to have the latest wedding news - I know the feeling! Keep track with all the celebrity wedding gossip by visiting Google News.

♥ Google Pages

Use Google Pages to easily and quickly create your own wedding web pages. This free online tool makes it easy for anyone to create and publish attractive pages in minutes. If you want a simple page announcing your wedding then this is the tool for you. As you edit your page, you will see exactly what it will look like when your wedding guests see it. There are definitely no complex tools to learn and no web designers to hire.

♥ Google Suggest

I love Google Suggest, just start to enter your query and you are presented with a number of alternatives you will have probably never thought of.

♥ Google Video

It would take you a lifetime to view every movie on Google Video, such is the array of varied content. Search on "wedding dress" for example and begin to see the many options you have.


Google Operators:

Next time you search in Google I recommend you use some of the following operators for a more precise search.

define:wedding

Use this to get the exact defination of a keyword. For example Wikipedia states that "A wedding is a civil or religious ceremony at which the beginning of a marriage is celebrated". No suprises there, but try defining the internet in one sentence!

link:theknot.com

This operator enables you to find a list of websites that link to your favourite wedding site. In this case I'm able to find other wedding sites simply by asking Google for a list of those ones that link to TheKnot.com.

related:hitched.co.uk

You can use the related operator to find sites similar and related to any of your favourite wedding sites. Click on the link to see web sites related to Hitched.co.uk

site:weddingchannel.com

Ever wondered how many pages there are in a web site? Use the site operator to get links to every page on the site. If you have the time you can read all 275,000 pages at WeddingChannel.com!

allintitle:wedding ipod

The allintitle operator restricts the results to those with all the query words in the title. So, for example, if you are looking for specific articles on the use of ipods at weddings you could use the query above, as this would only return documents that have both "wedding" and "ipod" in the title.

intitle:wedding budget

The intitle operator restricts the results to documents containing that word in the title. For instance the query above will return documents that mention the word "wedding" in their title, and mention the word "budget" anywhere in the document.

allinurl:wedding songs

If you start a query with allinurl, Google will restrict the results to those with all of the query words in the url. For instance, my example will return only documents that have both "wedding" and "songs" in the url.

inurl:wedding tips

If you include inurl: in your wedding query, Google will restrict the results to documents containing that word in the url. For instance, my example will return documents that mention the word "wedding" in their url, and mention the word "tips" anywhere in the document.

wedding * dress

This query will return documents that contain wedding and dress separated by exactly one word.

-inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:"index of" mp3 "wedding"

Use this query string to search for wedding mp3s. Alternatively you can just replace the word "wedding" with the name of any music artist.

I hope these links help with your wedding planning and with your other Google searches. Undoubtedly the major reason I love Google is because of Google Romance - how else would I have met my husband!

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"Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding" - A Fantastic Guide For All Brides!
Date: June 01, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Books & Checklists & Planning & Shopping

With so many wedding planning books out there, it really isn’t easy for a bride to find one that will reliably hold her hand through the 12 months prior to her wedding. If you search on the term “wedding planning” in Amazon.com you are presented with nearly 700 book titles!

Thus I am pleased to recommend a book that is definitely a cut above the rest, meaning you can buy with complete confidence.

The book is called “Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding”,, written by Joyce Scardina Becker and published by St. Martin's Press. I first came across Joyce on the expert panel at the blog Herecomestheblog.com whilst writing a recent review of four top wedding blogs. Joyce runs a wedding planning and design company based in San Francisco called Events of Distinction, catering for the Who’s Who list of influential luminaries.

I continually receive questions from brides on checklists and wedding planning advice and from now on I will always be advising the purchase of this superb 310 page book!

The beauty of "Countdown to Your Perfect Wedding” is that it is arranged on a 52 week timeline, thus guiding you through the all important milestones. Each task is broken down into a manageable chunks of information, ensurung you won't miss anything as you approach your big day.

Joyce has received many excellent reviews, including this one from Diane Forden, Editor in Chief of Bridal Guide magazine:

"Joyce Scardina Becker's experience as a wedding consultant is obvious on every page of this book. Her insight, invaluable advice and smart ideas are sure to ease the wedding planning process for help engaged couples everywhere."

And also this review from Antonia van der Meer, Editor in Chief of Elegant Bride and Modern Bride magazines.

“Today’s bride faces so many important decisions, from selecting the dress of her dreams to making sure every last detail of her big day is picture perfect. Joyce Scardina Becker’s book is a well-organized, thoughtful and enormously helpful guide to the modern bride seeking thorough and creative solutions to wedding planning.”
Available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

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Stuck For A Wedding Dress Idea?
Date: October 09, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Books & Dresses

Get some ideas with this free ebook

The Internet provides a wonderful way to explore the possibilities of wedding dress styles. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that offer you endless possibilities. It’s enough to make you feel completely overwhelmed so I suggest that you pace yourself and take several sessions to peruse the possibilities. The first link I’ve listed within my free downloaded "Wedding Dress Ideas eBook" is a great place to start. It gives you dozens of starting points. You can just click through and follow your whims. Be sure to bookmark or print the dress or designer’s page so you can return to your favourites. After a while all the dresses begin to look the same, so it’s important that you give yourself a way to review and organize the information you’ve collected.

The bridal dress websites I’ve listed offer a variety of styles (classical, traditional, designer – and more) to give you lots of ideas of what might be possible for you. Once you’ve started defining your preferences, you can conduct special searches for the designer or style that you’ve picked.

I’ve also provided a selection of websites to help you with exploring the possibility of buying your dress online. Many of the articles give you step-by-step instructions so that you can avoid any disappointments and pitfalls.

Have a wonderful time exploring the possibilities for your perfect wedding dress and may you fulfil all your picture perfect wedding dreams.

Enjoy!

~ ~

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As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore.
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