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So You're Engaged! Here’s a quick guide to start planning your wedding

Apr 22, 2015

By Kirsten Ott Palladino for, the world’s leading LGBTQ wedding magazine
Stay organized.
Take a large binder and three-ring hole punch, and categorize all your magazine tear-outs, vendor proposals and contracts, relevant email—anything and everything you’ve got, all in one place.
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Spend some time visualizing your big day. Do you want it to be a three-day affair in the Caribbean? Do you want a brunch or a golf outing? Is your ideal wedding attire a Vera Wang gown or an Armani suit? Do you have a theme you want to incorporate into your wedding, such as your shared love of New York, skiing, zoology or fine wines? Once you have a dream in mind, hold on to it. It will transform as you learn more about what’s available and what your budget can handle, but if you have a vision to tell your vendors about, the communication process will go smoothly, and you’ll be happier for it.
Talk to your fiancée, your wedding party, your vendors, your officiant, your family and friends. If there’s something you want to happen, express it. No one can read your mind, and you don’t want to be disappointed on your big day because Aunt Mae didn’t decide on her own to leave her obnoxious son with a babysitter.
Stay true to you.
This wedding is about you and your love committing to each other for a lifetime before all who is important to you. Sure, you may want to incorporate your mother’s Jewish roots with a chuppah, serve Italian wedding cake cookies to honor Nonna, or make your first dance song the same as your parents’. But these decisions are up to you. This is your day, not anyone else’s. Stand firm on keeping your wedding as a reflection of you as a couple. Making small concessions as you see fit will feel better.
Be gracious.
Throughout your wedding-planning process, people will be giving you a lot. Whether it’s a gift of money for your wedding from your family or your maid of honor or best woman committing the next eight to 18 months of his or her life to you, as well as the funds necessary to buy their outfits, pay for your bachelor(ette) party, and much more. Then there’s the vendor who normally doesn’t offer the services you’ve requested, but you’ve insisted, and they want to make you happy, so they oblige. Yes, you deserve it all and much more, but say thank you often.
Ward off stress.
No matter how hard you try to whittle down that checklist and just keep your eye on the prize (marrying your soul mate, natch), inevitably, there will be stress. Between you two, a family member, a member of the wedding party, or just your own fears of something going wrong … the possibilities for stress are endless. Manage your stress in a healthy manner by taking a yoga class, meditating, going for a run or just hiding under the covers for a weekend with your fiancée with no wedding-planning discussions allowed for a set amount of time. Have fun!
For more tips, inspiration and a plethora of real LGBTQ weddings, visit Follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

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