Bride's Guide: Q&A for the Big Day

I wonder if it bothers people that all I want to talk about these days is my wedding.

When I say people, I of course mean my family, friends and co-workers, but I also mean the gentlemen who run the coffee cart outside my office, salespeople in clothing stores and the hygienist at my dentist's office.

I'm incredibly excited -- almost giddy -- at this point. I've taken Mindy Weiss' advice and have (mostly) stopped stressing about the little things. It's dawning on me that I get to go on an amazing vacation for my honeymoon in less than two weeks. And that in only nine days I'll be celebrating with the people who are nearest and dearest to me.

And meeting with the band leader of our amazing band last night only made me more excited.

He had one piece of advice I thought was very helpful. Most bands, including ours, give you the option of deciding on the wedding night whether or not to go into a half-hour of "overtime" at the end of the reception. Our band leader told us that the band was always happy to keep playing, but he also reminded us that you want things to end on a high note.

The band will play on with only six people on the dance floor -- especially if one of them is the mother of the bride, he said, although that's highly unlikely in my case. But, he said, you really do want your guests to leave wanting more.

Weiss' Tips on Your Wedding Budget

Hiring a great, live band was one element of our wedding that was important to us, and celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss said you should make room in your budget for things that would make a difference to you on your Big Day.

"I always say splurge on what's the most important to you!" she said.

"For some its music, others, the wine or flowers," she said. "This is how you personalize your event."

When considering where you want to splurge, Weiss said to also think about where you can save.

In "The Wedding Book," which includes detailed budgeting advice, charts and Weiss' 10 Best Ways to Cut Costs, she writes, "Always keep in mind the comfort of your guests. Don't skimp on areas that will leave them hungry, tired, cold or waiting in a long line for the bathroom. The little niceties -- monogrammed cocktail napkins, favors -- should be the first thing to go, because nobody but you will ever know they were in the picture."

"Forget splurging on items you think everyone will notice," she said. "Maybe two guests will notice, and you will wake up the next day and regret it."

"If Champagne is not important to you, that is a good pass," she said. "As I always say, they can lift their glasses to anything they are already drinking."

I tend to drink Champagne exclusively at weddings, so eliminating it from my own wasn't ever on the table. But we did find other places to save on money and stress.

"Most of all," Weiss said, "splurge on each other the entire night. If your guests leave remembering the way you two felt, then you can consider the evening a great success! And that doesn't cost anything."

Continue Reading:

CLICK HERE for Day 8, Happy Mother's Day, Mother of the Bride.

The 30-Day Wedding Countdown

Day 30: What's the proper invitation response etiquette? CLICK HERE to find out.

Day 29: What are Mindy Weiss' top 10 tips for the final month before your wedding?CLICK HERE for more.

Day 26: Great gift ideas for bridesmaids, groomsmen and other attendants, and how much you should spend. CLICK HERE to read.

Day 25: Seating chart strategy. CLICK HERE to read.

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