Tips from real-life brides who planned and executed the big and small details of their dream wedding.
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The Location: The Chapel on Fir Hill, Akron, Ohio
Sara's Story: "I'm pretty much a perfectionist, so having complete control over the wedding outcome was important to me. For my wedding, we made almost everything — the bridal gown, flower girl and bridesmaids' dresses. We also made all the flower arrangements and bouquets. One of my bridesmaids did everyone's makeup and my best friend's sister did everyone's hair. It was a huge undertaking. I would advise other brides to allow six months to a year for planning in order to keep stress levels to a minimum."
DIY only if you dare: "If you don't have really talented people offering to help, don't do-it-yourself! Also, don't feel obligated to accept peoples' offers of help if they aren't qualified. Having something done incorrectly or halfway will stress you out even more than paying to have it done professionally."
Keep the day in perspective: "My maid of honor helped me keep the day in perspective. She reminded me that it was only a one-day event and that in the grand scheme of things, many small decisions were not as huge as I was making them out to be!"
Don't forget to plan the perfect honeymoon: "One of the most important parts of planning a wedding is fully researching your honeymoon. We ensured that our destination would be exactly what we wanted. I have too many friends who ended up with less than beautiful resorts and stressful honeymoons."