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As well as looking forward to a future with the partner you love, it’s said that there are other advantages for couples choosing to tie the knot. Studies suggest that married people tend to live longer, and (though unromantic) married couples enjoy better financial benefits, thanks to tax breaks for wedded couples. A wedding day is a much anticipated, enjoyable event that hopefully runs smoothly for all guests.

But planning the perfect wedding takes time and effort. Here are a few things that you will need to think about:

venue

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Venue

These days you have plenty of options for where to hold you ceremony. Garden ceremonies can be stunning, but are easily spoiled if the weather turns against you. Traditional church weddings have a magnetism all their own and a solemnity that is fitting for the occasion but you will need to liaise closely with the minister or priest to ensure that you get the type of ceremony you want. Wherever you decide to marry, it is a good idea to try to hold your reception nearby – this saves on transport and makes it very convenient for guests.

You may even consider having your wedding overseas; many agents will organise a tropical island paradise wedding for you. But remember that they can prove quite expensive if you add in all the trimmings and many of your family and friends may not be able to attend.

dress

Photo credit: seanmolin

Your Dress

Only you know what type of dress you want to wear. The important point is that it is what you want. Try several dresses before making a final decision and don’t forget that you will need shoes to match. If you are a traditionalist, you’ll want to include something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue in your outfit.

brides

Photo credit: BPI Multimedia

Bridesmaids

You will need to make sure that your bridesmaids have appropriate outfits; they should be attractive but they mustn’t outshine the bridal gown. Also, don’t forget that it is usual to give them a small gift afterwards – jewellery is a good choice.

rings

Photo credit: PhotKing

Rings

Much importance is placed on the ring – and for good reason. The circle has been long considered a symbol of eternity and the exchange signified a never-ending commitment. Although for many years it has been tradition to have a simple gold band as a wedding ring, there are many more elaborate and wonderful designs as the current range at Goldsmiths shows.

decor

Credit: cabbit

Decorations

Huge floral arrangements can be beautiful and striking but keeping things simple is often just as elegant and eye-catching. To keep costs down, try to choose flowers that are in season and, where possible, source them locally. A stunning centrepiece with simple arrangements strategically placed usually works better than a lot of complex arrangements dotted around – and is cost-effective.

catering

Credit: davem.com

Food

Choosing between a buffet-style and sit-down meal can be problematic, as both have advantages. A less formal buffet often works well allowing guests to eat more at leisure and mingle. A meal served at table gives you a little more control over timing, you will be sure that there is enough for everyone and there will be none of the queuing that sometimes accompanies a buffet.

photo

Credit: epSos.de

Photography

Videos and photographs are your record of the most important day in your life. Don’t take a chance on family and friends producing great pictures of your wedding. Go to a professional. Check out several – get advice from friends who have used them, look over their portfolios, see how you get along with them and choose the one who you think will suit you best. Discuss your requirements before the big day so that there are no mistakes. Your photographer should be personable, work unobtrusively and, of course, produce super images.

Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and effort but the results are well worth it. There may be frustration and tears as you go through the process but all will be well in the end. Of course, you can always get the help of a professional wedding planner to take away the stress. But no matter how you plan your day, once that wedding ring goes on your finger, all that has gone before will fade into a happy memory as your new life begins.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”