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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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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


Announcing Eight Free Online Wedding Budget Planner Reviews
Date: July 27, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Checklists & Planning & Reviews & Shopping & Site Reviews

We all know that weddings can be as expensive as they are elaborate. The first step on the wedding trail that all newly engaged couples need to take is deciding on how much they can comfortably afford to spend on their big day. The Knot carried out a survey which showed that 44% of couples admitted that they did not set up a wedding budget before starting planning for their big day. Setting up a wedding budget is the best way to ensure that you do not overspend. You can see what amounts of money need to be allocated to each area of your wedding planning and it will give you an overall estimated cost for your wedding. It is helpful before you actually start spending money on wedding services to have in your possession a sensible estimate of what it is going to cost you to have your dream wedding. Your wedding budget must be realistic to your financial circumstances.

According to a survey carried out by the Condé Nast Bridal Group, which publishes Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride magazines, the average cost of a wedding has nearly doubled in the past 15 years to $27,852. With one third of all weddings now being paid for entirely by the bride and groom, $27,852 is a vast amount of money for the average couple to stump up. This is why I totally recommend you use a wedding budget planner. These calculating tools are not only free (one of the few wedding services you will encounter which can claim this!) but they also take the stress out of managing your wedding finances.

How Interactive Wedding Budget Planners work:

♥ Usually the budget planners provide you with a comprehensive list of all the costs you will encounter when planning your wedding including: Reception, Ceremony, Photography/Videography, Catering, Rings, Attire, Music, Flowers, Honeymoon, and Decoration.

♥ Some of the websites allow you to add your own items which are unique to your wedding planning (e.g. cost of caricature artist, release of doves, firework display or ice sculpture at reception).

♥ With every planner you begin with the overall amount which you can afford to spend on your wedding. You input that figure and the wedding budget planner breaks the amount down and calculates for you what you can afford to spend on each aspect of your wedding.

♥ Most of the interactive budgeting planners offer you estimates and average prices which couples spend on each area of their wedding which help you to work out how much your wedding is likely to cost.

♥ You can enter into some interactive budgeting planners how many guests you are planning to invite (you only have to give a rough approximation at this stage, you don’t have to finalise that decision until you are ready to book your venue, catering and order your stationery) and some of the planners ask how many male and female attendants you plan to have. By inputting this information you enable the interactive planner to divide up the budget accordingly (e.g. catering might be $80 for each guest, so by inputting that you are planning on inviting 100 guests the planner calculates that the estimated catering costs for your wedding will be $8,000). Overall this helps you to work out how much each aspect of your wedding is going to cost.

♥ The interactive budgeting planners range in timescale from the moment you get engaged to after your honeymoon when you are at the “Sending thank you letters” stage.

Advantages of creating your own Wedding Budget Planner

♥ It is better to have a clearly categorized wedding budget set out before you rather than a vague list of wedding services and approximate costs. The more itemized your wedding budget is the better so that you can see clearly where your money is being spent and, if need be, where you are able to cut back.

♥ The budget planner will help you to understand from the outset how much you can realistically spend on each aspect of your wedding (e.g. $700 is too much to spend on a wedding cake if your total wedding budget is $5,000!). You have to know how much money you can afford to spend on your wedding.

♥ By seeing the figures set out in black and white on the budget planner it should help you to keep track of your wedding expenditure and stick to your original budget. You have to have to keep an eye on your wedding spending otherwise you will be paying for your wedding for the next 10 years!

♥ These planners are great because they show the areas you will need to think about when planning your wedding (e.g. you are unlikely to overlook flowers if it is on the list with $150 next to it). They pinpoint areas of your budget you have to consider when planning your wedding and help you create a “to do” list as you realize you have not even considered some of the wedding planning categories yet!

♥ A definite advantage of some of these planners is that if you are on a tight budget the planning tool might well be able to help you decide on what size of wedding you can comfortably afford. For example, if your budget is only $4,000 then you might prefer to have a lavish wedding for 12 guests than a budget wedding for 60 guests. Sometimes a wedding budget can help you to determine the number of wedding guests you invite or sometimes the number of guests you intend to invite help you to determine your budget.

♥ By using a budget planner you can easily choose which aspects of your wedding planning to forego if necessary. You will clearly be able to see where your largest area of spending has been to date and you can also see which “extras” such as favors, lavish centerpieces and extravagant catering can be sacrificed to keep your budget looking healthy. Of course every bride and groom want the wedding of their dreams for an affordable budget but you must use the budget planner to help you prioritize your spending.

There is no need for you to spend lots of money on paper and software wedding planners. I have researched eight of the online wedding budget planners for you and checked what facilities each one has. The interactive wedding planners I have reviewed below are all free to use.

BridesMagazine.co.uk

♥ This interactive wedding budget planner is simply but attractively laid out and very easy to navigate.

♥ There are two blank columns for you to enter the estimated and final figures spent on each area of your wedding.

♥ The third column contains “average” figures for each different wedding planning category. The planner has calculated these already for you based on a total wedding budget of £17,740 or $27,852 (as mentioned above, Condé Nast Bridal Group who own this magazine carried out a survey and found that this amount is the average wedding cost in the UK and USA). This is really useful as you can use them as a guide price and check whether your own estimate is accurate or over-the-top!

♥ As you click out of each cell it automatically updates the whole budget planning table including the total amount at the bottom.

♥ The wedding categories it gives are quite basic but all areas of wedding planning seem to be covered (except wedding insurance).

♥ An advantage of this wedding budget planner is that you can save it (by becoming a Bride’s member, which is very straightforward and free) which means that you can come back to it and update it on a regular basis as you plan your wedding.

BlissWeddings.com

♥ When you click on this interactive wedding budget planner it asks for your names (which I thought is a nice personal touch) and the total amount of your estimated budget.

♥ The planner then breaks down the total budget you have given into different amounts for each of the categories, giving you their estimates for each area of your wedding planning and what you should expect to spend. This makes up the “estimate” column and alongside it you have the “actual” column for you to enter what you end up paying for each element of your wedding.

♥ The major fault with this planner is that although they call it “interactive” you actually cannot fill in any of the cells, you have to print this budget out and fill it in by hand!

♥ A further disadvantage is that the planner tends to lump things in together in each of the categories – for example “wedding attire” is for the whole wedding party rather than it being separated out into wedding dress, groom’s outfit, attendant’s clothing, veil etc. I think that the categories seem a bit vague as to what is being covered under each of them. It is far better to have as much of your wedding budget itemized as possible so that you can see clearly where your money is being spent and, if need be, where you are able to cut back.

♥ This planner gives you the option to email it to a friend or print it but does not have the function to let you save it and revise it at a later date (not that you would want to really as you cannot alter it online anyway).

ChicagolandWedding.com

♥ This is a great interactive wedding budget worksheet which is not specifically for Illinois residents, it is for anyone (including UK residents - although the figures are in US dollars).

♥ With this planner you enter in your available funds for your budget, add in your actual wedding costs and click on the “Calculate” button which updates your wedding budget and shows you what your overall budget is minus expenses so far.

♥ The only drawback with this interactive planner is that it does not suggest estimates for each wedding planning category and does not even include a column for estimates.

♥ The advice they give is to start by calculating your “ideal” wedding budget. You do this entering in your estimated wedding expenses into each of the categories and the resulting negative number in the "Wedding Budget Totals" is how much your ideal wedding will cost you. If you prefer to calculate how much you spend on your wedding this way then go for it but personally I would rather work out what I could afford to spend on the wedding and have that figure dictate what I spend on each wedding category.

♥ The categories are divided up into wedding planning sub-sections such as “Bridal Trousseau” which encompasses the wedding dress, veil, shoes, wedding dress cleaning fees, wedding night lingerie and more, and “Personal Appointments” which includes the categories hair, make-up, manicures pedicures and even dental appointments. These sub-categories have unambiguous headings and from what I can see they cover all aspects of wedding planning you are likely to encounter. They even include an “Essentials and Extras” category which includes all of the additional costs you might choose to add on to your budget from pre-wedding dance lessons to wedding planning books and software. Even if there are items within the categories which you think are unnecessary for your own wedding budget, they do serve as a reminder of costs to consider.

♥ I like the fact that each category is calculated separately – it makes it easier to see where the varying proportions of your wedding budget are being spent.

♥ An advantage of this wedding budget interactive planner is that the figures you enter will automatically be saved when you exit the website (so long as the cookies are enabled in your browser’s settings). I was able to re-access my wedding budget very easily and update it.

♥ The hints and additional information at the foot of the planner is really helpful and give you reminders for things you might otherwise forget when wedding planning.

WedAlert.com

♥ This is a very basic wedding budget checklist and it is not interactive.

♥ It has estimated and actual wedding cost columns. You can either type your costs into the columns and print this budget out, or just print off the blank budget and fill it in by hand as you go through each stage of your wedding planning.

♥ The categories seem to cover all aspects of wedding planning but they do have some random categories such as postage stamps, calligraphy and wedding parties. Again, this is another planner which overlooks wedding insurance on their wedding budget guide!

♥ It goes without saying that there is no option to save this wedding budget planner and add anything to it or update it in any way. It is only useful as a printable wedding budget checklist.

TheWeddingNetwork.co.uk

♥ This is a really cute interactive wedding budget planner. I think it is one of the best ones available for free on the internet for UK residents.

♥ You do have to register and log in to access the planner but this means that you are able to save your budget and come back to update it regularly.

♥ Each section has a link to local suppliers in your area (you give them your postcode when you register) so this is helpful if you need contact details and ideas for your reception entertainment, caterers and even addresses of local wedding dress boutiques.

♥ It has two columns, one with reasonable estimates and the other for the actual cost you pay for that aspect of your wedding planning.

♥ It is easy to remove items from the budget planner which are not required and you can update the whole planner with the click of a button – very user-friendly!

♥ One of the things I love about this wedding budget planner is that each sub-category has a little clickable information symbol next to it, which provides you with a helpful hint or piece of friendly advice relating to that area of your wedding planning (e.g. next to wedding dress it tells you that national average in the UK is £750 but that £300 can get you nice dress too).
♥ An advantage of this planner is that each planning category (such as “For the Bride”, “For the Groom” and “Fun Stuff”) breaks down into easy-to-read sub-categories and at the end of each section you can calculate the total amount you have spent solely on that section.

♥ At the bottom of the planner you have a “Total Estimate” figure and (my favorite) an “Under-budget by £xxxx” figure – what a great idea! Every bride wants her a dream wedding which does not break the bank so it adds a bit of excitement to your wedding planning as you see how long you can maintain that “Under-budget” figure for!

Hitched.co.uk

♥ This is another great interactive wedding budget planner aimed at couples planning weddings in the UK.

♥ It has four columns alongside each wedding planning category. One for “who pays”, “hitched estimates”, “your budget” and “actual cost”.

♥ Hitched’s estimate for an average UK wedding is £13,875 and they have broken down this figure and calculated the average amount of money which should be spent on each area of your wedding planning. The estimates seem quite low to me to be honest but they are serving only as guide price for you.

♥ You have to register at Hitched and log in to access your wedding budget planner but it does save your budget and allows you to amend and update it as often as necessary. It updates the figures very easily.

♥ You might find the “Who Pays” column useful to keep track of who is paying for a certain aspect of the wedding, particularly if your families are contributing towards the wedding costs.

♥ With this planner you cannot add in other categories of your own which is a disadvantage if you have your own wedding planning ideas which are not covered by Hitched’s various categories. However, you can easily delete the categories which you will not be utilizing for your wedding. I recommend that you do delete any unnecessary categories as it will make the planner totally personalized for your wedding and also easier to read.

♥ To be honest this is quite a basic wedding budget planner. Whereas some of the other wedding budget planners available online are slick in their design and add your name and sometimes even your wedding date to the top of the planner, this one is average but it does serve its purpose!

UtahBrides.com

♥ This is quite a basic interactive wedding budget planner. You enter the amount of your total wedding budget, how many guests you are inviting, how many male and female attendants you intend on having and the planner then calculates an estimate of how much should be spent in each area.

♥ The planner has two columns, an estimated amount and a column for you to insert the actual amount spent. There are sub-totals for each section, and at the bottom is a reminder of your total budget amount and a tally of what you have spent so far – all very clear to read.

♥ The categories are straightforward but seem to cover most areas of wedding planning. However you are not able to add in your own wedding planning category and if you deselect one of the existing categories, rather than deleting it the planner simply enters a “$000” value into the column for it.

♥ You can update the planner easily by simply hitting the “update” button.

♥ I like the fact that if your spending has gone up in one area (way over their estimate of how much you should spend on this area of your wedding planning) the budget automatically re-calculates all of the other areas which you have not yet spent in so that you can see where you will have to make recommended cut-backs. That could prove invaluable to brides who pay double what they expect to for that dream wedding dress!

♥ A disadvantage of this planner is that you can print it but not save it, despite the fact that you have to register and log in to access the tool.

TheKnot.com

♥ This is the most polished and thorough of the free interactive wedding budget planners I have looked at and it is definitely my favorite of the bunch.

♥ You have to register on The Knot and log in to access your interactive planner but it does add your name and wedding date to the top of the page, as well a countdown counter to your wedding date which automatically updates every time you log in to your budget planner - I think that is a nice touch!

♥ They have laid out a sample budget which you can have a look at to see how it is done, which is helpful.

♥ The budget planner has two columns, the first is the estimated cost of each category and sub-category and the other is the actual cost you pay for each area of your wedding planning. The estimates are based on whatever you insert into the budget planner as your overall total wedding budget. In my personal dummy budget, which I have linked to above, I inserted a budget of $18,000. The planner breaks the total sum down for you - it couldn’t be easier!

♥ This planner is easy to navigate and clearly shows you their recommendations of how your wedding budget should be divided up.

♥ I think that the average costs it gave me for my dummy budget looked very realistic. However, even when I inserted a budget of $5,000 the planner still gave me achievable wedding cost estimates. I think that whether your wedding budget is $5,000 or $50,000 this planner is perfect for you as it will take the total of whatever funds are available to you to spend on your wedding and distribute it in appropriate proportions to each area of your wedding planning.

♥ In order to calculate your budget this planner asks how many male or female attendants you are planning on having. This is so that the planner can calculate the cost of dressing your attendants and how much you can spend on their thank you gifts.

♥ It also asks you to insert how many guests you intend to invite so that it can divide the catering and favor costs by this amount of guests to get a “per head” cost for you.

♥ I like the way this wedding budget planner breaks each section down (e.g. music - ceremony music, cocktail hour music, reception music). The details within each section help to remind you of costs you might not have thought about yet or might remind you of things you have yet to plan (notoriously you forget to include pre-wedding pampering costs for yourselves!).

♥ It looks to me like every wedding planning category is covered in this wedding budget planner. This planner also gives you the option to click on the categories which are required, unlike some of the other planners where you have to just leave the category blank. You are also able to add your own categories too, which is great if you have something which is not a traditional cost in a wedding budget (e.g. cost of wedding attire for your pet!). The items you add in can be inserted into a category which already exists on the planner rather than having to add random items in to the bottom of the planner. This is brilliant as it keeps your budget planner organized and allows you to modify the budget planner to your specific needs by deleting unnecessary categories and adding in your own wedding budget items.

♥ This planner give you the option to click a “View Advice” button which gives you advice and tips for each category (e.g. for the wedding gown category it reminds you to include the costs of possible dress alterations, cleaning costs, shipping costs etc). I think most couples will find these reminders and information invaluable when they are planning their wedding.

♥ At the foot of the planner it sets out the “total budget”, “spent to date” and “amount left to spend”. Each category gives you a sub-total too so you can clearly see where might be overspending. It is easy to add or delete wedding costs, you simply click on the “update” button.

♥ Additionally, The Knot provide you with a payment tracker which was a unique idea. There are several columns spread across the worksheet. As you enter figures into the wedding budget planner, the costs will also automatically appear in the appropriate columns on the payment tracker; “Deposit”, “Second Payment”, “Final Payment”, “Amount Paid” and “Balance Due”. You can insert additional details such as method of payment and diarize the payment due date which is fantastic news for busy couples planning their weddings. I speak from experience when I say that it is all too easy to overlook paying one of your wedding suppliers! You can add calendar reminders so that this does not happen to you. This worksheet, like the wedding budget planner, is printable and you are also able to save it.

Now remember, setting your wedding budget is the unpleasant bit - now you can move on to the fun planning stage!

Good luck!

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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

Related Posts :
CLICK HERE & GRAB WITH BOTH HANDS Your 273 Page Book To Planning The Perfect Wedding - No Catch - No Hassle - Simply Click For Your Secret To A Perfect Wedding
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How To Customize Your Wedding With Beads
"Thirty To Wife" By Craig Michaels - The Must Read Groom's Guide To Weddings
How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay and Save a Fortune
Wedding Book Review - "The Engaged Groom" by Doug Gordon


A Less Than Perfect White Wedding!
Date: May 21, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Checklists & Funny

A message to all grooms:

The last few days before your wedding can be particularly stressful, but nevertheless it is vitally important you check everything before the big day.

Play the video for a reminder of what can happen if you don't!

Pass this link:

http://www.wedaholic.com/archives/a_less_than_perfect_white_wedding.php

on to a groom near you!

x

P.S. Check out this other critical video tip

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When And How To Invite Guests To An Out Of State Wedding
Date: April 26, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Ask The Planner & Checklists & Guests & Invitations & Announcements & Planning & Traditions & Customs

Hi Everyone,

This morning I had this question relating to sending out wedding invitations:

" I am having an out of state wedding, 9 hours away. When is the best time to send out my save a date cards for my October wedding, I have put inside my cards, hotels that are giving my guest's a discount on their rooms. I want my guests to have enough time to plan in advance. Aso when should i send out my wedding invitations?"

This was my reply:

- Thank you for your question.

I have always thought that the traditional 8 weeks before a wedding to send out invitation cards was a little short. I guess in times gone by people may have had less choice and commitments in their lives, who knows, but it does seem we are all so much more busy nowadays and people can go on holiday all times of the year.

When I got married 6 years ago in Scotland, I was living in England and the majority of people were traveling up from there. I know it isn’t another state but even with 7 hours driving to a place most had never been to I wanted to take as much stress out of the situation as possible. Thus when I sent the invitations I included a map of the town and a list of the different places they could stay. I also included my own descriptions (tried to make it funny!) and my review of places to eat in the town as many were making their stay in Scotland part of a week’s holiday.

I had a lot of good positive feedback on this, because it showed I cared and though I couldn’t make the bookings (nor would I want to get involved) I outlined everything they might need as well as I could. For example many guests were bringing children and thus I had a section on where they might take them for an afternoon. I felt like I was working for the Scottish Tourist Board !

I would imagine if people are traveling to your wedding they will be staying more than the one day and thus the help and advice you can give will be very much welcomed. I never sent save the date cards because I had spoken to everyone I really wanted at the wedding to ensure they had nothing booked on that date – I just sent the invitations and my booklet 4 months before the wedding. I know this isn’t traditional but as they say in the UK – “horses for courses” – maybe you also have that expression in the States.

In your case I would send out the save a date cards with your hotel info during May or June, I always think the earlier the better because this gives guests the opportunity to shop on the internet for cheap flights etc. You can then send your invitations out 8 weeks before the wedding.

I hope this helps.

Ultimately go with what feels best for you, modern weddings vary so much from traditions and customs set hundreds of years ago!

Good Luck

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How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children Part I
How To Organise The Perfect Wedding Including Children - Part IV
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Free Wedding Tips That Will Guarantee A Hugely Successful Wedding
Date: April 05, 2006 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Checklists & Miscellaneous & Planning

The other day I was in our local WHSmith shop in Fife and I counted more than 11 wedding magazines. It seems online and offline there is all the advice you could ever want! In fact I quickly started counting the number of magazines for popular sports and hobbies like golf, computers and digital photography and none of them came close to the popularity of weddings.

I guess the great thing about the internet is the amount of free advice online. When I married in April 2000 the Net was certainly well established but it still seems there are a lot more quality wedding sites. With so many resources out there it may seem crazy that I’m about to mention another one, but I truly believe the following 78 wedding tips will really help you in your wedding day planning. First of all they are free and secondly they are short and get right to the point. Certainly the testimonials prove that many brides are finding them very helpful.

You will also receive a free "Wedding Dress Ideas" report you can download and read at your leisure.

Pop over to here and discover 78 free wedding tips that will make a real difference!

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When And How To Invite Guests To An Out Of State Wedding


How To Avoid Wedding Chaos - Maybe!
Date: October 28, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Checklists & Miscellaneous & Planning & Stress & Unique Ideas

I came across the following today that could certainly help out some brides when it comes to avoiding total wedding chaos...

Just imagine for a second a place where:

♥ Bridesmaids can find out their latest color selections and shoe styles.

♥ Groomsmen can find where and when to show up for their fittings.

♥ Guests can easily download maps to rehearsals and wedding showers.

♥ You as the bride can quickly find phone numbers to all of your suppliers.

♥ Where you can share pictures taken throughout the build up, during the wedding and after.

♥ Where family members can be introduced to the members of the other family all before running into them at a reception, shower or fitting.

♥ Where family and friends living out of town can get the latest information and feel connected to the wedding. Where also they can be directed to any lodging arrangements made for their visit.

Well all this and a lot more can be possible if you invest in "The Wedding Web Book". This ia a place for engaged couples offering them a single location for everyone involved to stay coordinated.

Outstanding features include:

♥ The ability to save on printing and postage costs by letting your guests R.S.V.P.

♥ To make menu selections online.

♥ To ability to enable guests to sign the guestbook and leave a personal message to the soon to be bride and groom.

Even after the wedding:

♥ This product can change as happy couple blossoms and grows.

♥ It evens allows you to have a joint database for holiday, birthday, anniversary and special occasion greetings as a couple.

So what exactly is "The Wedding Wed Book", I hear you ask?

In a nutshell it's:

♥ your very own wedding website,

with the following benefits:

♥ registration of your chosen domain name,

♥ a press release,

♥ email addresses for the wedding party,

♥ web-based email access,

♥ 24x7 helpdesk,

♥ updates throughout the ramp-up to the wedding,

♥ and the posting of digital photos before and after the nuptials.

Well for the techie ones amoungst you this could be the perfect vehicle for planning your wedding, certainly worth a look at Engraft.net. It could just be the answer to wedding chaos as we know it!

Would love to hear from anyone that uses this service and particularly if it really did save you time and effort.

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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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