Guides & Advice

Where do you begin? How do you choose the wedding party? Who should you invite? Should you have your wedding somewhere exotic? We have more than 100 helpful articles online to help you navigate the coming months. Browse away!
Out of the Box Weddings
Out of the Box Weddings

It’s your wedding and you can do what you want to. So feel free to break the mold and make it everything you’ve ever wished for. Get inspired by a few of our ideas for making your ceremony and reception anything but cookie cutter.

Un-Veiled
Un-Veiled

Not into traditional long veils? No problem. There are plenty of options when it comes to adding a little glamour and grace to your look with a headpiece. Consider your dress and hairstyle, and then pick an elegant alternative to match.

The Best Policy: I Do Or No Thanks?
The Best Policy: I Do Or No Thanks?
Wedding Insurance
'The decision to have wedding insurance is a personal one. And knowing the facts before you decide to get insured or not will help you make a smart decision that’s right for your ceremony and reception.
The Always Appreciated Gift
The Always Appreciated Gift
Giving Gift Cards
'Obviously you’ll check the couples registry first. But if the registry is cleaned out or you don’t know the couple very well, a gift card is a perfectly acceptable alternative. And it’s always appreciated.
The Perfect Guest
The Perfect Guest
Things Guests Should Know
'Attending the ceremony and reception entails certain responsibilities for guests. When to arrive, cell phone etiquette, attire, behavior. And last minute cancellations. All the basics are covered here.
Official Protocol
Official Protocol
Wedding Etiquette
'A wedding is a big event that comes with plenty of traditions to consider. To help you out, here’s a list of the ten basic wedding traditions that you’re sure to encounter.
More Than Flowers
More Than Flowers
Creative Wedding Décor
'Want a one-of-a-kind look and feel for your wedding? Think outside the box and go beyond flowers to add a personal touch to your wedding décor. Get some ideas on how to make your wedding reflect you and the groom as a couple.
Take Your Best Shot
Take Your Best Shot
Photo Tips For Guests
The formal group shots will probably be covered by the couple’s professional photographer. Do what you can do best: candid shots, casual poses, fun crowd pics and guest images.
Regrets
Regrets
Declining an invitation
Busy people have busy schedules. So it’s not always possible to accept every invitation received. It’s an understandable situation and easily handled with a simple, graceful note declining the invitation.
From Online To On Paper
From Online To On Paper
Wedding Stationery
'After the time and date is set, you’re ready to get the invites in the mail. But before you go in search of invites, follow a few simple guidelines that may help avoid some common mistakes when it comes to prepping and sending invites.
Make It Personal
Make It Personal
Personalizing Registry Gifts
'If merely choosing an item from the happy couple’s wedding registry isn’t special enough for you, consider ways to personalize your gift. Monogrammed items and autographed books are good suggestions.
Making Promises
Making Promises
Writing Your Own Vows
'Writing your own vows is one of the ultimate personal touches that can make your ceremony extra special. Follow a few simple words of wisdom and make vow writing a piece of cake.
Dressing Up The Plastic
Dressing Up The Plastic
Gift Cards
'Sure, a gift card is an easy gift option. But there are ways to make it more exciting or intriguing than putting it in a simple envelope. Here are ways to make it more personal and special.
Dress For Success
Dress For Success
Wedding Dress Glossary
'Finding the perfect dress for your happily-ever-after can be overwhelming. But if you know exactly what you’re looking for before you head out to find the perfect dress, it will help make your wedding dress shopping fun and easy.
Consultants Vs. Planners
Consultants Vs. Planners
Getting Professional Help
'Planning a wedding on your own can be time consuming. But before you go in search of backup, think about what kind of help you’re looking for. Then weigh your options and find out if a wedding consultant or wedding planner is the right man or woman for the job.
Bridesmaids 101
Bridesmaids 101
Bridesmaids’ Duties
'Beyond getting a dress and standing at the altar with the happy couple, what else is expected? Overall, she’s there for support. But, there are things she needs to do that go above and beyond just that. So get the full scoop on all the duties needed – and wanted.
Best Friend. Best Man.
Best Friend. Best Man.
Best Man’s Speech
'Your best friend is getting married and he’s given you the honor of being best man and giving the toast. If he wants to win over the crowd, give him these guidelines for giving a heartfelt – and amusing – speech.
Best Bros
Best Bros
Groomsman’s Guide
Generally there should be at least one groomsman for every 50 guests to help manage the crowd. But there’s more involved than just dancing with the bridesmaids and planning the bachelor party. Check this out.
Being a B.F.F.
Being a B.F.F.
Maid of Honor Responsibilities
'Being the maid of honor is quite a coveted position. But there are a host of responsibilities and expenses that accompany the honor. What’s is expected of the role? Here are generally accepted guidelines.
A Weekend Away
A Weekend Away
Destination Weddings
An out-of-town wedding can be great fun filled with adventure. It can also be expensive for both the couple and guests. Make the most of the experience by following these tips.
Something For His Taste
Something For His Taste
The Groom’s Cake
Although not required, the groom’s cake is a tradition originated in the South. And many of these cakes make their way into rehearsal dinners or receptions in various shapes and forms that reflect the groom’s interests.
Wedding Styles
Wedding Styles
Attire Traditions
'You and your fiancé can modify traditions, but when it comes to wedding formalities, here’s the rundown of what to wear for every type of wedding. Whether it’s a black-tie event or beachfront nuptials at sunset, find out what attire is appropriate.
It’s Easier Online
It’s Easier Online
Using Online Resources
Today, everything about wedding planning can be found on the web. Not just picking a dress or engagement ring but also creating a personalized wedding site and managing details and budget.
Set In Stone
Set In Stone
Diamond Shopping
The engagement ring is as unique and beautiful as your relationship. But if you’re confused by the jeweler’s jargon, we’ve got a quick gemology lesson. Just remember your 4Cs.
Inspired By The Stars
Inspired By The Stars
Celebrity Weddings
Celebrity weddings are usually full of glam. What is it about those ceremonies that make them the star-studded events they are? Brides don’t need to spend millions on their wedding like these stars did, but they can use them as sources for inspiration and ideas.
What are You Drinking?
What are You Drinking?
Beverage Basics
Alcohol will be one of the largest line items on your reception budget. What you serve – or don’t serve – is totally your call. You can offer a full bar or limit choices to beer and wine or a few select spirits. It’s your party…it’s your choice.
Here Come The Flower Girls & Junior Bridesmaids
Here Come The Flower Girls & Junior Bridesmaids
Children in the Wedding
Most of the time, kids and teens are excited to be in a wedding and consider it a big deal. It’s important to let them know their roles and make them feel special. It’ll make your big day run much more smoothly.
Make it Official
Make it Official
Your Marriage License
Here’s some helpful advice on how to get a marriage license, where to get it, and what proof of identity will be needed. Requirements vary from state to state, but these tips make it easy.
No Rules For a Marriage Redux
No Rules For a Marriage Redux
Remarriage Etiquette
Remarriages can present a unique set of challenges. Here’s how to incorporate friends, family and children. Most importantly, it reassures you to be comfortable and plan the wedding you want.
Job Juggling
Job Juggling
Balancing Your Work and Wedding
Wow! There’s so much planning to do, it’s practically a full time job. That’s a problem especially if you already have a full time job. Don’t panic. We have some workaround ideas to help.
Just For Fun
Just For Fun
Wedding Trivia and Fun Facts
Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Weddings are ceremonies built on traditions – often centuries old. Here are some fun facts about weddings (they also make a great game for showers.)
Music To Your Ears
Music To Your Ears
'Band vs. D.J. vs. iPod?
You have lots of choices for music depending on your taste and budget. Think of your ceremony and reception separately. The responsiveness of the DJ or band manager while planning is a good indicator how they’ll perform on your wedding day.
Make Your Escape In Style
Make Your Escape In Style
The Getaway Car
Driving off into the sunset as newlyweds is a key moment on your big day—so do it up right! Get a few tips on how to keep the car decorations safe and fun as guests cheer you on after the ceremony.
Don’t End Up On YouTube
Don’t End Up On YouTube
Wedding Mistakes To Avoid
Every bride and groom has one of those “should have/would have” moments or thoughts (and that’s completely natural). So get the rundown from couples who have “been there, done that.”
Fair Weather Weddings
Fair Weather Weddings
Outdoor Weddings
An outdoor wedding may not be right for a control freak. But if you’re a little more laid back, there’s nothing as beautiful as nups on the beach, in a lovely garden or a green glade. Before you commit, think outside the church.
Well Hello, Mr. Smooth
Well Hello, Mr. Smooth
Formalwear Tips
'Just because the groom doesn’t make his grand entrance doesn’t mean he shouldn’t look or feel his best. Get tips on finding a suit or tux that makes your man (and his best buds) look sharp and sophisticated.
The Right Man For The Job
The Right Man For The Job
The Best Man
'The groom should be honored to be standing next to his best friend on one of the biggest days of his life. The following guidelines should keep you on top of the best man’s duties.
One Year‘ til Your First Anniversary
One Year‘ til Your First Anniversary
Anniversary Gift Guide
Your big day isn’t over when it’s over. Rekindle the memories each year on your anniversary with a special celebration. An intimate dinner, a party with the wedding party or a family event. Fall in love all over again.
Well Received
Well Received
The Receiving Line
Many of your guests may have traveled long distances and they will appreciate even a few minutes of “face time.” A receiving line is a perfect way to be sure you don’t overlook anyone.
Boys Will Be Boys
Boys Will Be Boys
Bachelor Parties
There are as many types of parties as there are types of grooms. The traditional “last fling” might be centered on a live sporting event, a weekend in Las Vegas or an informal bash at a club. Do it well in advance to permit “recovery time.”
Girls Will Be Girls
Girls Will Be Girls
Bachelorette Parties
While the happy bride-to-be is likely to have several bridal showers, this is a more casual event. No gifts, just a fun night out with your besties. You should time your party well in advance of your wedding day to allow recovery time.
When It’s Time to Toss
When It’s Time to Toss
The Bouquet Toss
The traditional bouquet toss has passed from favor for many brides. While some still think it’s a fun part of the reception, many people now see it as an anachronism that makes many singles feel awkward.
Bridal Browsing
Bridal Browsing
Bridal Shows
Bridal shows are like shopping centers for your wedding. You’ll find them in every area of the country so there’s sure to be one nearby. It’s a great way to shop for vendors, get ideas and look for registry ideas.
Cheers to The Happy Couple
Cheers to The Happy Couple
Dessert and Champagne Receptions
Guests look forward to toasting to newlyweds at the reception. Here are some great, money saving options for having a champagne toast and desserts other than the wedding cake (and how to present them).
Capture Every Moment
Capture Every Moment
Choosing a Videographer
When everything is captured digitally these days, it’s important to hire an experienced videographer. Here are some things to help you decide what you want out of a videographer, so you’re confident with your decision.
Cater to Your Guests
Cater to Your Guests
Catering Checklist
Often times, the dinner menu is the most expensive item in a wedding budget. To ensure brides get the most from a caterer and the most for their guests, be sure to ask all the right questions. Here are some.
Don't Try This at Home
Don't Try This at Home
Professional Wedding Planners
It’s easy to be overwhelmed with choices, options and budgeting. This is when a professional wedding planner can be useful. Here’s how they can help make the wedding planning process a little less stressful.
Create Your Playlist
Create Your Playlist
Music Suggestions
Whether you’re planning a chamber group, rock band or MP3s to provide the music for your big day, choose song selections wisely. Create separate playlists for your ceremony, recessional, first dance and reception.
Snap It
Snap It
Capture Every Treasured Moment
Now it’s time to bring your vision to life, and it’s your photographer’s job to capture every moment. How do you ensure your photographer won’t miss a shot? All it takes is a little pre-planning.
Tux Redux
Tux Redux
Dressing the Groom
The groom should look his best, too, which doesn’t always mean the traditional tuxedo. Here’s a few ideas to craft a groom’s look he’ll love, no matter what kind of wedding you’re hosting.
We Predict Showers
We Predict Showers
Advice For The Bridal Shower
It’s time to gather the ladies for the bridal shower. It may be it a luncheon, brunch, backyard barbecue or day at the spa. Be ready to be showered with love and gifts.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearsal Dinner
This is an intimate evening spent with family and friends who are part of your special day. Many have been there for you throughout the planning process. Let’s create an evening everyone will enjoy.
A Perfect Pair
A Perfect Pair
Planning With Your Partner
It takes two to create a marriage…and to plan a wedding. Discuss what you both want and be willing to compromise. Remember, the day is about both of you. Here’s some advice on being a successful dynamic duo.
Ring Leaders
Ring Leaders
Rings, Pillows and Bearers
The ring bearer is part of the wedding processional. Traditionally they carry the small symbols of unity – the rings. If you decide to include a ring bearer here’s what you need to know.
Register For Success
Register For Success
Create the Perfect Wedding Registry
Your wedding registry may be the best part of your wedding. But creating your perfect registry can get a bit tricky. Don’t worry. We’ve got the answers to all your worries.
Mother Knows Best
Mother Knows Best
Mother-Of-The-Bride
She’s the mother-of-the-bride (or commonly shortened to the MOB). She’s been part of your life since the beginning, and chances are she’ll be a huge part of your wedding day, too.
Perfect Date
Perfect Date
Setting Your Wedding Date
Questions from curious family and friends are about to fly at you. The first one you’ll likely hear: “Have you set the date?” There’s more to picking a great date than circling it on your calendar.
Old, Meet New
Old, Meet New
Blending Wedding Traditions
The traditional may love the mere custom, but most brides appreciate its symbolism. The bride’s custom of carrying something old and something new is a wonderful tradition.
Maiden Voyage
Maiden Voyage
To Change Your Name or Not
Your last name is a part of who you are. But as you say “so long” to singlehood, you may need to prepare to part ways with the latter half of your signature.
Mail Call
Mail Call
Save-The-Date and At-Home Cards
As a courtesy, you need to give your guests ample time before your big day. You’ll also need to let friends and family know if you’ve moved or changed your name. We can help.
Girl Power
Girl Power
Choosing Your Bridal Party
Don’t forget those special girlfriends who’ve been with you through your life. It only makes sense that you want them to share in every moment. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts.
Honored Guests
Honored Guests
Paying Tribute to A Deceased Loved One
You can still take a moment out of your special day to honor a special person who has passed away and show how special they are to you. Here are a few ideas to incorporate their memory into your ceremony and reception.
Get With The Program
Get With The Program
Plan Your Program
While you know the ins and outs of your day, it’s all new to your guests. The program is their ceremony cheat sheet, so give them all the answers to who’s who and what’s next.
Fly Away
Fly Away
Destination Weddings
Destination weddings aren’t just for eloping couples and a few family members. They are elaborate affairs that can be as costly as a hometown gathering. But the vacation-esque setting and days-long celebration could be well worth it.
Appreciation Noted
Appreciation Noted
Thank You Notes
'You’ll be receiving china settings, kitchen appliances, towels and more. So thank guests for the time and money spent with a thoughtful, appreciative note.
Your Appreciation is Showing
Your Appreciation is Showing
Wedding Party Gifts
The wedding party will consist of your close friends. They’ll spend a lot of their own money and time to be in the wedding. There are endless gift ideas in this article, as well as advice on how to pick the ones right for your party.
Party Time
Party Time
Wedding Events
'It’s one thing to know there will be bridal showers, bachelor parties and rehearsal dinners, yet it’s another thing to make the most of each celebration. Here’s how to do each party right.
Make a Place for Kids
Make a Place for Kids
Kid Friendly Reception
Who doesn’t love watching the ring bearer busting a little move? But at an event that mainly caters to adults (especially after dinner), it can’t hurt to give the kiddies a place of their own. The parents will love you for it.
Make Your Mark
Make Your Mark
How to Use a Monogram
'Today's monograms aren't the same-old stuffy swooshes and flourishes you've seen. They are an illustration of your style and can be as personal as your signature.
Blending Tradition
Blending Tradition
Multi-Cultural Weddings
'For many couples, the wedding is the beginning of a multi-cultural life. Embrace the uniqueness of dress, décor, food and music to celebrate the happy couple’s traditions.
Go Pro
Go Pro
Hiring a Wedding Planner
'Wedding planners are not just for those with a money-is-no-object attitude. They’re also not all control freaks who will take over, leaving little room for your style. Here’s how you find a good one.
Put a Little You in Your Day
Put a Little You in Your Day
Non-Traditional Ideas
'Feel free to follow creative themes, letting them dictate the design of the day. Earthy nups in a barn or garden. Maybe classic Hollywood. Or a unique color scheme that speaks to you.
Take The Cake
Take The Cake
Cake Checklist
After the bride, your wedding cake is likely to be the star of the show. If you want yours to be a standout, we have a few suggestions. With so many specialty bakers in your area, this is not a job for your caterer. Go to the experts.
Thank Your Bridesmaids
Thank Your Bridesmaids
The Bridesmaids’ Luncheon
Your wedding party shoulders much of the burden for making your event a success. A bridal luncheon – hosted by you – is a wonderful way to thank them for all of their hard work. It’s the least you can do.
The Ring's The Thing
The Ring's The Thing
Your Diamond Ring
Aside from its sentimental value, your engagement ring is likely to be one of your largest jewelry purchases for many years. While diamonds may be forever, the proper care and cleaning of your ring requires some periodic maintenance.
Passing Your Bar Exam
Passing Your Bar Exam
Beverage Planning
While liquor is traditionally served at wedding receptions, the final choice is yours. Usually your decisions will be based on your budget, your venue and your religious preferences. The good news is this is a good place to get creative.
Love has No Boundaries
Love has No Boundaries
Interfaith Ceremonies
Planning for an interfaith ceremony is hardly any different from planning for any other wedding ceremony. The bride and groom still need an officiant, a location and a guest list, but this article shares that communication is the key when planning.
Ride in Style
Ride in Style
Choosing Transportation
Virtually nothing is ruled out when it comes to transportation for the happy couple. It’s all about your style and how fancy (or not fancy), your wedding is. Depending on your budget and style, we have several creative options.
Something For Them to Remember Your Day
Something For Them to Remember Your Day
Wedding Favors
Whether you make your own favors or buy them, they’re a chance for you to be creative. Here are some great ways to budget, brainstorm and present favors for your family and friends.
Spectacular Stems
Spectacular Stems
Flowers For Your Day
'Beautiful fresh flowers set the tone for guests as soon as they walk in. What’s your style? Large floral displays? Small bouquets? Colors that match? Or simple spring bouquets? Be sure to be clear and direct with your floral planner.
First Things First
First Things First
Invitations
Invitations give a glimpse into your big day. When picking the style, keep this in mind and think about the kind of event you are trying to create. Uber-formal affair or casual rustic-style…invitations come first.
Finding the Right Words
Finding the Right Words
Invitation Wording
If you want guests to come in black tie or cocktail attire, consider the etiquette guidelines we've outlined here. If planning a more casual-style day, we give you a few thoughts on how to loosen the rules.
Sleep On It
Sleep On It
Choosing Bed Linens
Start your married life together on new bed linens. Of course you’ll use the bedding you choose for a long time so you deserve a beautiful bed.
Spreading The Word
Spreading The Word
Engagement Announcements
There’s more than one way to announce your engagement. While Facebook and Twitter will get the word out quickly and easily, there’s something truly special about a finely engraved, mailed announcement.
Meet & Greet
Meet & Greet
Receiving Lines
Should you greet every guest even if you don’t have a receiving line? It’s really up to the couple to decide the best method to say hello to guests.
Everything You Need
Everything You Need
Kitchen Basics
There are a few things every kitchen needs to function. Here’s a handy checklist to ensure your culinary tool pantry is well-stocked.
Stand Up. Sit Down.
Stand Up. Sit Down.
Seating Arrangements
Creating your seating plan can be as complex as negotiating a peace treaty. Eccentric Aunt Rachel sitting next to your boss? Yikes! The key is getting your RSVPs returned in plenty of time to arrange and rearrange as much as necessary.
You're Invited
You're Invited
The Invitation List
'Before the invitations can be addressed, an invite list has to be made. This can often be a long and sometimes difficult process, but this article offers clear advice and etiquette on making (and trimming down) your guest list.
Everlasting Love, Not Debt
Everlasting Love, Not Debt
Budgeting Help
Budgeting is often the most stressful part of wedding planning. But you don’t have to take out loans, rack up credit cards or spend your life savings if you read these tips on how to cut back expenses for things no one will notice.
You Said ‘Yes’!
You Said ‘Yes’!
Great Proposal Stories
Read others' proposal stories then share your own. See how others turned ordinary events into a walk down the aisle. This collection of stories will amuse you, enchant you or touch you.
Make Honeymoon Memories
Make Honeymoon Memories
Honeymoon Planning
You will find more than 30 money saving tips when it comes to planning the perfect honeymoon. Whether you’re on a budget or not, there are some things every bride should know when it comes to booking a romantic getaway.
The Culture of Flowers
The Culture of Flowers
Floral Customs
Use flowers to display your cultural backgrounds. It’s not uncommon to blend the bride and groom’s flowers together to make floral displays, if they’re different. Find out which flowers represent what countries.
Tell Your Story in Pictures
Tell Your Story in Pictures
Choosing a Photographer
Pictures taken on the wedding day are what will hang on walls and be displayed in albums on coffee tables for generations. Choosing a photographer with a similar style to yours is important to getting photographs you know you’ll love.
Who Will Marry You?
Who Will Marry You?
Choosing the Officiant
Whether you have an officiant in mind immediately, or are considering several people to conduct the ceremony, there are some pretty important questions to ask and details to review before the big day. Here are important questions to ask before you say “I do.”
The Best Cake You'll Ever Eat
The Best Cake You'll Ever Eat
Bakery Glossary
A fabulous dessert is the perfect end to your perfect day. But a white butter cream tower isn’t for everyone. Imaginative designs, colors, shapes or even – gasp! – cupcakes may be more to your taste. Whatever you choose, flavor rules!
You're Welcome
You’re Welcome
Being A Good Guest
There's more than just showing up on time. It's important to do your part to help make the happy couple's special day perfect. Here's advice on sending your RSVP, adding guests, sending regrets, attire and more.
Wedding Day 911
Wedding Day 911
Emergency Kit
'Mishaps happen, and when they do, be prepared. Check out this list of quick fixes for life’s little emergencies that may happen on your big day. Even better, print out the list and assign a bridesmaid to make sure everything is there, if – and when – you need it.
Toasting The Bride
Toasting The Bride
Maid of Honor’s Speech
'Today, not only is the best man asked to give a speech, but the maid of honor typically gives one as well. So here are a few tips that will help her deliver your toast with elegance and style.
Tie It Up With A Bow
Tie It Up With A Bow
Selecting The Perfect Gift
You’ll certainly want to purchase a gift for the happy couple when you receive your invitation. What to buy? How much to spend? Send it or bring it to the reception? Everyone asks. Here are the answers.