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Cut Through the Clutter: Get the Right Advice for Planning Your Wedding

Everyone’s got an opinion when it comes to weddings. Figure out who or what to listen to and how to weed out everything else.

You’re going to get or just got engaged — our hearty congratulations and best wishes to you. Good luck! You’re hearing variations on this constantly now. And that’s great. But it’s inevitably followed by advice, about everything from the rings to the honeymoon. Between well-meaning great aunts, friends and the vast amount of content online, you may go into wedding-advice overload.

Here’s how to cut through the clutter and make the process simpler and happier for you.

The Wedding

Everyone’s got an opinion. But this one’s really pretty easy. Keep in mind what really matters — how you and your significant other want to celebrate it. That can range anywhere between just the two of you or a small group at a courthouse (or Vegas) to a full-blown, formal church wedding rivaling the one in "The Sound of Music". After that, if you’re not slipping away alone, do take into account the wishes of your families. Going against the “it’s MY day” Bridezilla approach, it really is a celebration of and for your families.

As for wedding themes and decorations, there are a lot of reliable places out there to do research. Pinterest is a great — and free — resource. Offline, take advantage of wedding expos, often held in the early part of the year. There’s also a big movement toward DIY weddings, everything from doing your own flowers for the tables to potluck receptions.

When looking for official advice for weddings, The Knot is a terrific resource. You can also get some inside information at Wedding Planner Magazine, a business publication for wedding planners. If you want a little extra help, find and hire a wedding planner. There are several associations that train and certify wedding planners. While membership in any or all of these associations isn’t necessary, their membership lists can help you find the right consultant for you:

The Jewelry

Of course, we’re glad you’re here at JewelryWise — we’ve built this place with you in mind. We’ve got information on engagement rings, wedding bands, choices in metals, diamonds, color gemstones and more. Take a look around. Once you've had a chance to get some ideas, check out all the bridal jewelry Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry has to offer.

But there are other places to get good, solid information about diamonds and gemstones. The Gemological Institute of America has a more scientific bent when it comes to the ins and outs of grading and valuing diamonds and gemstones. The American Gem Trade Association has plenty of detailed and factual information about color gemstones.

The Etiquette

This is where things often go from black and white to the gray area. Choosing to go with a traditional, formal wedding is actually easier when it comes to manners and customs — there’s already a framework out there. If you’re choosing a less-traditional path, you do have to figure out and make your own rules.

You should also realize there are generational divides. While millennials and Gen Xers see crowdfunding their weddings, setting up honeymoon registries or encouraging cash gifts to use on house down payments as logical, practical and meaningful, some folks in older generations find this crass. Keep it in mind as you plan, and maybe create options for those who would prefer to shop a more traditional registry.

Whatever you choose to do, it’s a good idea to know the rules. That way, if you break them, you can at least explain why. You may have heard your mom or grandmother cite Emily Post, who wrote an etiquette book in 1922. She then went on to write a syndicated newspaper column, appear on the radio and publish more books on manners. She was succeeded by her granddaughter-in-law, Elizabeth, and it’s become quite the family business. There’s now the Emily Post Institute, and many of your wedding etiquette (and other) questions can be answered there.

You are now armed with resources from proven experts in their fields. Go forth and have fun!

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