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

I'm getting married in one month and I'm starting to freak out.

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, and I know that mine will be. I'm marrying a wonderful man. We have calm, generous and helpful family and friends. All the major arrangements have been made with experienced professionals.

But they don't call it the Big Day for nothing.

Whether you're having an intimate ceremony for close friends and family, an exotic destination affair or a hometown church wedding, like me, planning the happiest day of your life seems to take on a life of its own.

I'm far from being a Bridezilla, but no one would ever describe me as laid-back, either. I have lots of last-minute questions, and if the message boards and blogs on countless wedding-themed Web sites are any indication, I'm not alone. A Google search for "wedding questions" returns 122 million results.

Luckily, celebrity wedding planner and author of "The Wedding Book" Mindy Weiss has 122 million answers.

Weiss, who has orchestrated the weddings of stars such as Heidi Klum and Seal, Tony Parker and Eva Longoria Parker and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi, agreed to coach me through the homestretch leading up to my wedding May 15. She'll also answer some of your questions, so click here to submit one.

At the end of the day, it is a Big Day, and you want everyone there to enjoy it. But first you have to know who "everyone" is.

Day 30: The Favour of a Response Is Required?

Today was the deadline … for filing your taxes, and for replying to my wedding invitation. One month ago we addressed 115 invitations and took them to the post office. Then I waited impatiently, fully expecting the responses to start flooding in, so I could start getting organized.

To B-List or Not to B-List?

As it turned out, not everyone sends back reply cards immediately … or ever, in fact. We haven't heard back from approximately 10 percent of our list.

Weiss says that's to be expected, and that there's no need to give guests a grace period after the deadline.

"You can contact them the day after the response date," she said. "I would call, but the modern version allows you to e-mail."

She also warned that I shouldn't be surprised if people say out of embarrassment that they didn't receive the invitation. Which, given how difficult it was to compile all the addresses, is entirely possible.

My fiance and I didn't have a B-list for guests (a group of people you would invite based on the response rate to your initial invitations), but Weiss says having a B-list is common and completely acceptable.

"No one will know if you have a B-list except you and the family," she said. "Most of my clients do have a B-list because they truly want to invite everyone, but usually there is not enough room. Hey, we have had C-lists."

Smile and Keep Your Eye on the Aisle

Over the next month, Weiss will answer questions about seating charts, receiving lines, gifts for attendants, the first dance and much more. But as the countdown kicks off, I wanted to know her No. 1 piece of advice for the next 30 days. Weiss says that in the last month before the big day, it's important for the bride and groom to keep things in perspective, support one another ... and smile.

"Make an agreement between the two of you," she said, "that you will be a great support team for each other during the month countdown. This month can be a stressful time but also a very exciting time, and that is what you should focus on."

Organizing everything can be overwhelming, she said, but "at some point you just have to remember that the main reason for all this planning is the ultimate goal of saying, 'I do.' Keep your eye on the aisle ... and leave all the craziness behind you."

And don't underestimate the power of one simple thing.

"The more you smile," she said, "the more the people around you will pick up all your great energy."

Continue Reading:
CLICK HERE for Day 29, Weiss' Top 10 list of things to do in the last month if you don't have a wedding planner.

CLICK HERE to visit Mindy's Web site.

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