CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Congratulations, you’ve just become engaged! You’ve shared your exciting news with family and friends, and now you’re about to begin the thousandand-one preparations for the wedding of your dreams.
According to the editors of Bride’s
magazine, it typically takes between six months to a year to organize “a large wedding in an urban area at a popular site during a peak wedding month.”
May and June, along with September and October, are considered favorite months of the year for couples to take their vows. February is another popular month because of Valentine’s Day, bridal experts say.
Couples generally set the date of their marriage at least a year in advance, due to the myriad of preparations involved. In the 1997 edition of their Wedding Planner, the editors of
Bride’s advise reserving the ceremony and reception site as soon as possible, in order to ensure availability for the date desired.
A year before the nuptials is also the appropriate time, the editors note, to choose members of the bridal party and to begin booking professionals whose services will be vital to making the wedding day a success. These include the caterer, photographer, videographer, florist and musicians, and, if desired, a wedding consultant.
Anthony Pantagis, Manager of Pantagis Renaissance in Scotch Plains, said that once a couple has booked the facility, he provides them several months later with maps to include with their invitations. He said he confers with them again several weeks before the wedding, to review such details as the menu, professional services they will be using, and the room layout.
Mr. Pantagis revealed that in addition to helping couples organize the reception itself, a banquet manager can often recommend the services of vendors with whom the establishment has worked successfully in the past, who are familiar with the layout and policies of the hall.
Nine months before the wedding, the
Bride’s editors say, the engaged couple should meet with the person who will perform their marriage ceremony, since some form of prenuptial counseling may be required.
It is also an ideal time, they maintain, for the couple to begin preparing their guest list, register for gifts, and discuss prospective honeymoon sites.
Six to nine months beforehand is a good time for the bride to shop for and
order her gown, along with accessories such as the veil, shoes and underpinnings, as well as her attendants’ attire, wedding professionals note.
Grace Chetta, store manager of David’s Bridal in Springfield, said this amount of time allows ample opportunity for fittings, alterations and special orders, and frees up the bride to take care of other wedding details.
In its Spring/Summer 1999 edition,
New Jersey Wedding magazine, offers several tips to minimize hassles when shopping for a wedding gown. Prospective brides are encouraged to take no more than two other people along to a bridal salon, since a larger group may have such differing opinions over which dress is best that she may feel overwhelmed.
In addition, brides-to-be are also urged to avoid the Saturday “mob scene” at bridal stores by shopping on a weekday if possible. It is also recommended that they bring magazine pictures featuring preferred styles to the store, and that they try not to fit too much into a single shopping excursion.
During this time, the bridegroom should also choose the attire that will be worn by him, his best man and the ushers. If the bridegroom intends to buy his tuxedo, New Jersey Wedding magazine advises he purchase it far enough before the wedding to allow for alterations.
The Bride’s editors recommend that six months prior to walking down the
aisle, couples should discuss with their vendors such all-important details as specific photographs they want taken and music selections for the bandleader or disk jockey who will entertain at their reception.
According to shop owner Sally Osgood and fellow designers at Cranford Florist, the bride ideally should order her flowers six months before the marriage date. An order typically includes the bride’s bouquet and those for the honor and bridal attendants, as well as boutonnieres for the bridegroom and ushers.
The bride may also want to order corsages for mothers, grandmothers or other special guests, as well as boutonnieres for fathers and grandfathers. They may also be ordered for individuals performing readings during the ceremony.
Flowers to decorate the place where the ceremony will occur — whether it be a house of worship, a private home or elsewhere — would also be ordered at this time, according to the Cranford Florist, plus centerpieces or other flowers for the reception. Floral needs vary, as some banquet halls include table arrangements in their reception packages.
The editors of Bride’s also advise that couples order their wedding invitations and announcements, book limousines, and meet with a travel agent
about honeymoon plans at this time. It is especially important for couples to find out whether they will need passports, visas or inoculations before traveling to their honeymoon site.
Three months before the wedding date, the Bride’s editors maintain, couples should finalize their guest list, shop for and order wedding rings, and check on state requirements for blood tests. Hotel rooms should also be reserved for out-of-town guests, and delivery dates for all dresses and accessories should be verified with the bridal shop.
The editors say this is also the time for the bride to make an appointment with her hairdresser and makeup artist, have her first gown fitting, and select a headpiece.
They also suggest the bride and bridegroom start shopping for honeymoon clothes at this point, and that the bridegroom and/or his family begin making preparations for the rehearsal dinner.
Six to eight weeks before the wedding, the Bride’s editors recommend the couple address and mail their invitations, purchase their gifts for their attendants, submit their announcement to local newspapers, pick up wedding rings from the jeweler, have the bridal photograph taken, and write thank you notes for shower or wedding presents.
The bride-to-be should also have her final fitting around this time, and any
new hair color should be tested at least eight weeks before the wedding, the magazine editors suggest.
During the final month prior to the wedding, the Love & Marriage Bride’s Guide advises that couples touch base with their caterer about the menu and with their florist about church and reception decorations.
The publication also recommends that the bride and bridegroom confirm honeymoon reservations, plan the rehearsal dinner, obtain the marriage license and check that all paperwork is in order, including blood test information and any necessary identification. They should also arrange to have their belongings transferred to their new home.
Two weeks beforehand, bridal experts recommend making transportation arrangements from the reception to the airport or hotel. The bride may also want to visit her hairstylist for a trim or touchup, according to the Bride’s editors.
For the last week, the Bride’s Guide
agenda for about-to-be-married couples includes purchasing traveler’s checks and packing for the honeymoon; giving a final headcount to the caterer or ban
quet hall, and reviewing their seating arrangement for the reception.
The couple is also urged to notify their attendants of the time and place of the rehearsal dinner, if they have not done so already, and to take care of name or address changes on driver’s licenses, Social Security cards, credit cards, bank accounts and the like.
Bride’s magazine’s editors also suggest that couples confirm all pertinent wedding day information with their vendors, including places and times, and to inquire with hotels or banks about the availability of automatic teller machines at their honeymoon location.
The editors also recommend the bridegroom give the officiant’s fee to his best man during the final week, to be paid after the ceremony, and to give any special seating instructions to the ushers.
On the eve of that very special day, with all other preparations taken care of, Bride’s Guide suggests both bride and bridegroom get a good night’s sleep in order to be refreshed and relaxed for what will hopefully be a wonderful day!
Engaged Couples Typically Need a Year to Prepare for That Perfect Day; Attention to Details and Planning in Advance Helps to Eliminate Stress
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