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From wedding rings to wedding cakes

Getting married is a special time in the life of a couple. While potentially nerve-wracking to plan, having a wedding can become a cherished memory for the rest of your life.

Wedding Planning

Planning your wedding can be overwhelming when you realize how many decisions need to be made. Everything thing from the location, clothes, food, flowers and rings, to who to invite and where to have the honeymoon will have to be decided. When confronted with all these choices, it's easy to see why many opt to have a Las Vegas wedding or a resort wedding rather than work out the details for themselves.

While getting away is an attractive option, you may also want to enlist the help of a close friend or family member to make planning your wedding less daunting. The size of the wedding is a big factor; smaller weddings can be manageable, but large weddings with hundreds of guests can be difficult to tackle on your own. If all else fails you can look into hiring a wedding planner to help relieve the stress, but it'll cost you!

Wedding Attire

Many women consider their wedding dress to be the most important outfit they will ever wear, and though many grooms opt for rented suits, they too will likely dress more formally and carefully than they ever will again. Given the symbolism of weddings and wedding attire, it's no surprise that one of the first aspects many couples consider is the way they will dress and what the bridal party and other VIPs will wear.

In the case of the bridal gown, there's another reason to begin the search early: it is often one of the most expensive elements of a wedding, and it can put a very big dent in the overall budget. However, brides today have many stylish options that range from very affordable (vintage dresses are becoming more and more chic) to incredibly luxurious (there is always a large market for designer gowns).

Although brides-to-be may have their ideal wedding dress in mind, it's always a good idea to consider all avenues before making such a purchase. You never know -- you could find a vintage gem, meet a fantastic dress maker or seek out an unbelievable sale to help you get the perfect gown for much less than you thought you'd pay!

Wedding Customs

Exchanging rings between the bride and groom is a universal wedding theme across all cultures. The circular shape of the wedding rings is said to represent perfection and everlasting love.

Wedding gowns and their color are steeped in tradition for many cultures around the world. North Americans often hold to the idea that the bride should wear white only for her first wedding. This comes from the Victorian era and represented purity, not virginity (which was represented by a face veil). There is also the custom of the bride wearing "something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue." In some cases, a wedding gown handed down from a mother or grandmother may be worn.

The wedding ceremony is followed by the wedding reception where friends and family members celebrate the marriage of the new bride and groom. Other wedding traditions such as the first dance of the bride and groom in wedlock, the cutting of the cake and the wedding bouquet toss usually occur at this time. Wedding gifts are also given, but generally remain unopened until after the festivities.

Some pre-wedding traditions include the bachelor party and the bridal shower. The bachelor party is a rite of passage from adolescent-like bachelorhood to responsible married life and is organized by the best man or a brother of the groom. The bride-to-be, for her part, may be the guest of honor at a bachelorette or hen party organized by her bridesmaids and girlfriends. The bridal shower is a more formal event, usually planned by the maid of honor as a party to give gifts for the household of the bride and groom prior to the wedding.

These are just a few of the events involved in a typical wedding. You can personalize everything from the wedding accessories to your wedding vows to make the day even more meaningful to you. Though it may take more time to plan, the lasting memories will be well worth the extra effort.

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