How to Get the Wedding You Really Want

Don’t rush into planning mode
Embrace the moment! So many couples rush into planning mode right away without taking the time to bask in the “just engaged glow.” Regardless of whether you're planning a 12-week or 12 month engagement, you have time. The beginnings only happen once, so breathe.
Start with the big-picture questions 
Do you want a big or small wedding? Outdoor or indoor? City or country? These overarching decisions will help drive the overall look and feel of your wedding and make determining your bridal style a little easier.

Set your budget early on
I know finance isn’t exactly the language of love, but when you do start the planning process, it's important that you have a sit-down with all parties involved and discuss the big picture, from budget to responsibilities. The biggest piece of advice I hear from couples every day is that communication and organization are key. Not only does this help everyone get on the same page, but also it avoids future conflicts. And getting all of the nitty gritty out of the way first means you can focus on all the fun stuff, like flowers and cake.

Splurge on the things that matter most to you, and figure out how to save on the things that don’t. Obsessing over a designer dress but don’t really care about tunes? See if a friend can make you an amazing playlist so you don’t have to pay for a DJ, and then head over to Marchesa. Make a list of the items that are important to you, rank them, and adjust your budget accordingly. I am also a big believer in working with your “team” to help trim your budget. For example, speak with your venue to understand what existing décor is available for use, or work with your florist to make your ceremony flowers usable beyond the “I dos.”
One tip I have learned along the way is that photographs last a lifetime, so finding the right person to capture your big day might be worth the splurge.
Focus on the big picture
I think managing expectations becomes one of the biggest challenges when planning a wedding, whether it’s pleasing your family or balancing your budget. There seems to be a disconnect between what is expected and what is realistic (what do you mean that gorgeous bouquet I love on Pinterest is $500?! My budget is $200!). Too many couples say they lose sight of what their big day is really about and get lost in all the details.

Don’t be afraid to break the rules
I love when couples take something that is traditional to weddings and add a twist. We just had this amazing couple share their wedding on Carats & Cake where, instead of covering the tables with floral arrangements, they opted to cover the ceiling. There were white flowers cascading into the room, intermingled with chandeliers to create this incredibly elegant yet whimsical feeling.
My favorite décor style at the moment is bringing the indoors outside. Think chandeliers under the stars and couches on the grass — basically, your traditional indoor design elements being used outside to create the ultimate relaxed, luxury feel.

With wedding gowns, I love the hint of color we are seeing, from blush tones to soft grays — they're still "bridal" but with a modern twist. We are also seeing a transition away from traditional bridesmaid attire, meaning wedding parties are no longer restricted to an identical dress or color palette. Some of the most popular bridesmaid dresses allow for variations on the same dress, and many brides are even letting their leading ladies choose their own dresses entirely. I don’t think the conventional notion of identical bridesmaids will ever disappear, but I do think that in 2014, we are going to see more and more brides opting to change it up.

I'm drawn to weddings that have some element of the unexpected that really captures the couple’s personality, from a black-tie barefoot beach wedding to something as simple as the place cards. But even better are the moments you simply can't plan for — the "stolen moments" that grab the couple in an intimate exchange and show them truly enjoying their wedding day.

Apple-Inspired Wedding Ideas

Nothing says fall quite like a trip to the apple orchard. To celebrate the season, we've pulled together some of our favorite ways to include apples in your wedding.
Create a bouquet out of red apples and fresh greenery, or add a few crab apples to a classic floral bouquet.
Photo Credits (left to right): April and Karen Yu; Mary Banducci Photography/via Apple Brides
Flower Girls & Ring Bearers
Have the smallest member of your wedding party carry an apple down the aisle.


emorable Vows from the Best TV and Movie Weddings : Brides

Who doesn't tear up at a good wedding vow? Centerpieces, stationery, and guest list aside, nothing compares to the giggles and happy tears that surface during a wedding ceremony. And nobody does wedding ceremonies quite like Hollywood.
So, let's all stop and give thanks to Youtube channel Burger Fiction for mashing up the most epic wedding ceremonies the movies have given us. In four minutes flat we go from Night at the Roxbury to one of our absolute favorites Princess Bride (don't tell us you don't think "mawiage" every time you think of that movie). With Hollywood in mind we did a little rounding up of our own. All jokes aside, the video inspired us to rehash our favorite wedding ceremonies from movies and TV that still get us every time.

Friends: Monica and Chandler
Even though the groom's presence at the wedding was touch-and-go the morning of, Monica (Courtney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry)'s wedding vows showed that friendship can easily blossom into something more. Even if it includes a groom panic attack a few minutes before the big reveal.

Monica says, "Then three years ago, at another wedding, I turned to a friend for comfort. And instead, I found everything that I'd ever been looking for my whole life. And now here we are with our future before us, and I only want to spend it with you, my prince, my soul mate, my friend. Unless you don't want to. You go!"
Chandler says, "Monica, I thought this was going to be the most difficult thing I ever had to do. But when I saw you walking down that aisle, I realized how simple it was. I love you. You are the person I was meant to spend the rest of my life with."
Runaway Bride: Maggie & Ike
Having a history of escaping the final moments before she was due down the aisle, Maggie (Julia Roberts)'s heartfelt vows were kept sacred during her final trip down the alter to Ike (Richard Gere).
Maggie says, "Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee...at some point one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But, I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart...you're the only one for me."
See More: How to Find an Officiant That's Right for You.
Sex and the City 2: Anthony & Stanford
If opposites attract, these two couldn't be more different (but perfect) for each other. The gentlemen tied the knot in a glam wedding ceremony, complete with white swans, a choir, and Liza Minnelli of course. And their vows were nothing short of endearing.
Anthony says, "It was not exactly love at first sight. But it turns out, it was love. You are the first man to accept me...for the man that I actually am."
The Vow: Leo & Paige
The Vow is a tear jerker in its own right, but Paige (Rachel McAdams)'s and Leo (Channing Tatum)'s messages to each other are enough to make any romantic swoon.
Paige: "I vow to help you love life, to always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands, to speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not, to agree to disagree on red velvet cake, and to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home."
Leo: "I vow to fiercely love you in all your forms, now and forever. I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love. And to always know in the deepest part of my soul that no matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find our way back to each other."
If those words don't have you reaching for the tissues, consider yourself a wedding Scrooge! If you're planning on writing your own, check out our tips to writing unforgettable vows.

Just Engaged? The First 5 Things You Should Do When You Start Wedding Planning : Brides

Planning a wedding is a huge task, and it's easy to get intimidated about all that needs to be done before you've even started. On the other hand, maybe you've been dreaming about this day for years and want to jump right in? Either way, the best way to set yourself up for success is to be smart about what you do first. So... where should you start? We asked wedding planner Danielle Ehrlich of Danielle Evans Events and Design about the first five things you should do when you start planning your wedding (after popping some champagne and spreading the news, of course!).
1. Discuss what type of wedding you both want.
Do you want to get married at a far-flung destination or somewhere local? Will it be small or large? In your backyard or a big ballroom? Do you want a ceremony in your childhood church, or to have a close friend officiate? Says Ehrlich, "All of these things will come up throughout the planning process, so it is good to start discussing your priorities beforehand. This way you'll both have input — and hopefully a few less surprises along the way!"
2. Figure out your budget.
"This is the hard part, but it will create a framework for everything else down the line," says Ehrlich. "It will determine which venues you look at, how many people you can invite, which vendors you'll hire. As a wedding planner, I don't encourage my clients to look at any venues or vendors until the budget is made. I know the excitement is high, but the last thing you want is to fall in love with something you can't afford!" She says to ask the following questions: Do you have an overall budget? Is it firm, or is there wiggle room? What does the budget include? (The dress, other wedding-weekend events, a planner, etc.)
See more: 5 Things You Should Know Before Committing to a Big Wedding
3. Draw up your guest list (including an A List and a B List).
It's hard to come up with a guest count until you start writing down names — you'll quickly realize there are people you want or need to invite who didn't immediately come to mind. On the A List, put people who will absolutely be invited. On the B List, put guests you would love to have, but who might not make the cut depending on budget and venue size. "Make sure to ask your parents for their A and B lists, as well — especially if they are footing the bill," says Ehrlich. Something to keep in mind: the best way to cut your budget is to cut your guest list. "It will affect everything from the catering cost to chair and glassware rentals. Having guests divided into an A and B list will make it easier to know where to draw the line. And as you get closer to the wedding, whether you have extra funds available or there's space for additional guests because some can't attend, you can send out a few extra invitations," Ehrlich says. She tells couples who plan to do this to have two RSVP cards made — one for the A list, with an earlier RSVP date, and one for the B list, with a later date closer to the wedding.

4. Pick a venue, then a date — in that order!
"I love when couples come to me without a date, because it means we'll have much more flexibility when it comes to looking at venues and booking one they really love," Ehrlich reveals. If you're hoping to give immediate family members a heads-up before the date is set, select a range of 4-8 weeks (say, June and July or October and November). This will also be helpful when you're looking at venues so that you can narrow down the season and see which dates are available.
5. Breathe.
"Have fun, relax, and enjoy being engaged," says Ehrlich. "The next few months are going to be stressful, exciting, and full of emotions, so try not to lose track of why you're doing this: because you're in love and are making a big, romantic commitment to one another!"