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1:13 PM Thu, Sept. 20th

Preparing for your wedding: A memorable day in your life

Preparing for your wedding will be the most exciting time of your life and the most important. The time should be memorable for the bride, groom, participants of the wedding and your guests.

Planning and having patience are definite requirements. Considerations to keep in mind are the wedding ceremony, formal or informal, guests to invite and whether this will be a civil or religious wedding. Where will the wedding take place, on land or in the middle of the ocean aboard a cruise ship?

My daughter is getting married this June, and these are some of the considerations that we have in planning for her memorable event.

1. A budget: Setting money aside and planning early are crucial in order to not break the bank. Determine who, if anyone, will be contributing to your wedding. Planning for my daughter's wedding has been exciting and fun. We started early and planned a budget and have put money aside each month for the event, which has been easier on the pocketbook.

2. Wedding planner: Having a wedding planner certainly helps you plan your wedding and relieves some of the stress that comes with that planning. But, this comes with a price. For my wedding, I did have help from a wedding planner, but my daughter, who is on a budget, has gotten a friend to help keep things organized. Of course, a person the bride might consider for this responsibility would need to be very organized.

3. The date and location of the wedding: This is very important to consider carefully. Get ideas or suggestions from friends, and consider that, during the holidays, things are much higher in cost. Perhaps the season for the wedding is most the important question to determine early. Will the wedding be inside or out, spring, summer, fall or winter?

4. The invitations: Once you have planned the wedding date and the location of the ceremony, the wedding invitations can be prepared. You can purchase your greeting cards, make them by hand or even send out e-cards. My daughter chose to send out nice "save the date" greetings, and then she used a website to design an e-card. This not only saved money for other expenses, but it also was earth friendly. My daughter and her fiancé created a website, telling how they met and all the fun things that led up to their engagement. The site is hilarious, filled with fun things about them and other facts, the place and time of the wedding, the registry and much more.

5. The wedding dress: A wedding dress can be very expensive, depending on the material, size and place of purchase. During the preparation for the wedding, a friend/friends or family member may pay for the wedding dress.

6. Matron of honor or bridesmaids: In a formal wedding, the bride decides what the color style will be for the matron of honor's and bridesmaids' dresses. This can cause stress if the matron of honor or the bridesmaids do not like the decision. Members of wedding party are responsible to pay for their dresses. If they would like nails, hair and makeup done professionally, they should be expected to pay for these services.

7. Wedding bands: The exchange of vows and wedding bands is very personal to both the bride and groom. They are committing and devoting their love to each other, and the ring is a symbol of that love.

8. Wedding gift registry: As newlyweds, the couple will surely need things for their new home as husband and wife. The bride and groom will create a registry online or in a department store. Be sure to add this information in your invitation, e-card or web page.

9. The photographer: Research your photographer. I made the mistake of not doing this and to this day, I wish I could change it. The pictures of your wedding and guests last a lifetime.

10. The bridal/

bachelor party: Planning the bridal shower is full of fun. Usually friends or family of the bride or co-workers plan this event. Friends, family or co-workers of the groom typically plan the bachelor party. These events can be organized anywhere and can be lots of fun with imagination.

11. The wedding cake: The wedding cake is a tradition for the event. The bride and groom will select the style and flavor of cake icing and filling. Picking the perfect topper is always a fun way to express yourself and create memories.

Other things to consider and budget for are the flowers and whether you are going to have a flower girl or girls. The ring bearer is typically a young boy in the family. Music for the reception is usually a band, piano, orchestra or DJ. My daughter planned on a DJ to help save money, and with the ability to download music, they created a play list and hired a friend to be their DJ. Wedding vows can be the traditional vows or the bride and groom can write their own or may simply say, "I do." Don't forget the wedding decorations, the application for the wedding license and discuss the bride's name change.

Creating a "to do" list with timelines and directing responsibility with due dates for any and all who are helping plan your special day will keep organizing all the details for the wedding running smoothly.

Last, but not least, you want to look your best for your special day. Remember to plan and make time to complete any personal goals you may have. If it is to lose weight, start on a diet plan that allows you to reach your goal, taking into consideration losing two to three pounds a week.

Those in the wedding party may want facials and makeovers before the big day and to know more about makeup applications and such procedures as medical-grade peels. It's wise to explore these possibilities well in advance of the wedding in order to avoid any adverse reactions.

Written by: Nancy Rothrock, Let's Get Healthy 4 You. Info: www.letsgethealthy4you.com.