Hints for New Brides
You may be excited to start on this new project, or you may feel overwhelmed at the options available to you. Fear not. Every bride has been there before, and we've all learned a thing or two through the trial by fire. Below are some hints and ideas to make this process a little more painless.
Start LookingIf you haven't already, head to The Knot, Wedding Channel, or Brides.com.
These sites are all geared towards helping you, the new bride, figure out what needs to be done and how you can do it. All these sites have articles, photos and planning features to help you out, but as is always the case, they each have different strengths:
The Knot has some excellent illustrated guides to explain dress terminology, the difference between kinds of cookware in their registry guide, and the name of the bouquet you love. Keep an eye out for the "Getting Started" box on the front page of each section of the Planning area!
The Wedding Channel has lots of great articles, including this one, to help you plan from beginning to end. My personal choice for the free wedding website many sites offer. It has more information options than others and is affiliated with the most stores for registries.
Brides.com has truly inspirational planning photos, including photos of real weddings. Look around to get an idea of the styles you like--and don't like!
Each of these websites also has a commuity or chatboard feature. Joining these conversations can give you great insight and advice from brides who have already been there, but be warned that these are public boards, so sometimes you may not hear what you wanted. It's best to read several posts before you join in, to know what the conversations are about. Great friends can be made here as well!
Books and PlannersDid you have any idea so many books could be written about a subject that (theoretically) happens only once in a person's lifetime? Welcome to the Wedding Industry.
The only book that I strongly recommend new brides get is Bridal Bargains.
Even if you aren't trying to save money on your wedding (can I be your friend?), this book is worth its weight in gold for its sound advice on avoiding scams, getting the best quality for your money and just plain good information. The authors are consumer advocates, which means that unlike the rest of the Bridal-Industrial Complex, they are on your side. When you are married and done with the book, pass it along to another new bride to share the wealth!
I have no knowledge if any of the many "wedding planners" on the market is worth the money, but take a look and see if one would be right for you. I found I did better with electronic organization of budget, guest list and schedules, with a binder my mom made for me to stuff in all the magazine pages I tore out for inspiration. Figure out what will work best for you, but think about your organization style before you buy the first planner you see.
Maintain SanityAfter you've looked at the bridal giants, I think it's helpful to look around at some other sites as well.
Indie Bride Awesome advice, resources, essays, etc. A more "real life" look at weddings and planning than many of the purveyors of lovely fantasies listed above, but also an excellent resource if your wedding deviates from the "norm." Great message boards as well.
Read the Sulla Tips ASAP. Go about your planning bearing this invaluable advice in mind, and return to this article periodically to maintain your perspective. It's a party, it's a party, it's a party.
Feeling a little stressed? Check out Going Bridal and UglyDress.com. These will make you laugh and maybe make you feel a little better about your own bridesmaid dresses.
Final WordsOh! Thre's so much I want to share with you as you begin this exciting, frustrating and rewarding chapter, but these resources will be enough to start you on your way. Each bride has to, to some degree, discover her own way and her own wedding, but I hope the resources on these pages make finding that path a little easier.
Once you have looked over the three major wedding websites, you are ready to move onto the next step. Those sites are wonderful for ideas, but few of us have the means to duplicate those weddings (would we want to have someone else's wedding?). Keep exploring the links on this site to find ways to make your dream wedding a reality!
If you don't find what you are looking for here, Google should always be your first place to look for the answer. If you can't find it easliy there, try the wedding chat boards.