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Planning Your Wedding - A Step By Step Guide

Presented by Living Water Music

Planning Your Wedding can seem overwhelming! Here is a Step By Step Guide to assist you, broken down into a suggested sequence of events. By spreading your planning out over many months, it's not so overwhelming all at once.

This Wedding Guide is not meant to be all-inclusive or inflexible ~ feel free to add anything to your wedding plans that you desire, or omit anything you see suggested here which doesn't fit your needs ~ after all, it's YOUR SPECIAL DAY!


  1. 12 TO 18 MONTHS PRIOR
  14. "Your Wedding Music Specialist"


Choose wedding ring / propose. Equal opportunity for Boys or Girls!

Spread the good news! Family first, then friends. Then newspapers, internet sites are great resources to get the word. Plan to have a picture of the two of you ready, digital print format best (300 dpi).

Engagement party? Either the family of the bride, family of the groom, or other family or friends may host this. Always write thank you notes promptly for any gifts received.

Choose wedding date / time (and Plan B & C dates in the event sites for ceremony & reception are unavailable). Discuss up front with your fiance and family the style of wedding you need. "Simple Elegance or Lavish Extravagance".™

Guest List: Discuss "how many guests" early & up front, and budget. Be willing to be flexible, but be sure you get what you really need. See our Wedding Budget page for more help there. Prioritize your needs from most to least important, and make sure your budget reflects those choices. Speak with family regarding who will pay for which services. A written commitment is peace of mind, and then there will be no misunderstandings. Take your time to make sure you've made the right choices, then stick to them. It's very easy to go overbudget without a plan.

Open a new checking account / credit card for wedding planning only? Great way to track your expenses exclusive to the wedding. Don't overcharge!

Select Officiant & meet them face to face. The internet is your resource for non-traditional / more casual officiants. Discuss ceremony site options & ceremony style.

Select & reserve Ceremony Site / confirm with Officiant.

Select Wedding Attendants. Inform them up front if they will be required to pay for their wedding dress / tux or other expenses. Have Plan B plan if anyone is suddenly unable to attend for any reason.

Request the Assistance of attendants and parents / guardians in helping you carry out the details of your wedding planning. In traditional families, Mother of the Bride and Maid / Matron of Honor usually assist the bride, and Father of the Groom and Best Man usually assist the groom. Request help of anyone you feel can help you, especially in non-traditional family settings. Tell them up front you are counting on them to be there for you.

Reserve your Wedding Reception Site and Wedding Reception Entertainment. Most sites are reserved more than a year in advance, especially prime sites. And the best music entertainment is often booked a year to year-and-a-half in advance. Don't delay. Be sure to request and check references. Every bona fide professional vendor who is worth their weight will have more that ten references for you to check out. The best vendors have dozens of references. Don't take a chance on hiring a friend of the family for the biggest day of your life unless they have a long track record of professional service behind them. National surveys determine that, of all the vendors you will hire, 70% of your guests will remember your Reception Entertainment as the single most memorable part of your wedding, and that's both good and bad. If you hire quality professional entertainment such as a Disc Jockey, you will leave a lasting memory that is positive. Hire entertainment on the cheap, and it won't matter who the caterer was. Nothing will make up for poor entertainment. It's your guests' last impression of your wedding. Do your homework. Make it good, and you'll make it last. Many music entertainers provide savings if you combine ceremony, dinner and dance music.

Outdoor wedding? Reserve a tent or canopy. Entertainers usually require overhead protection in the event of inclement weather. Outdoor power requirements for music equipment are more stringent / particular than standard lighting. Discuss this up front with your entertainment. Hope for the best: prepare for the worst.


Notebooks with pockets & zip-lock compartments are a great way to keep organized. Store all important numbers on two cell phones, yours and a back-up phone. Keep copies of all business cards, receipts, hard copy contact info for your ceremony & reception sites & vendors, contracts in the notebook, and keep the originals in another notebook at home for safe keeping. Update both notebooks simultaneously.

Hard copy or electronic date books, calendars are a great way to record and access all appointments, needs, deadlines. Keep up-to-date record of everything you do all in one place, and a back-up photocopy of everything just in case. The closer it gets to the wedding date, you will be so happy you did this .

Guest List: Request lists of names from bride, groom, families, significant others. Remember that the more guests, the bigger the budget, and plan accordingly. For more helpful hints see Planning Invitations.

Vendors: Contact, Quiz, and Contract with key vendors, such as live ceremony musicians & vocalists, caterer, florist, photographer, videographer, decorations, cake, limousine, etc. Ask key questions to determine their level of professionalism & experience. Choose the services which best suit your needs & expectations. Remember that you don't want cheap, you want value. Professionalim doesn't come cheap. Before you agree to hire, make sure you check several professional references. Every bona fide professional vendor who is worth their weight will have more than ten references for you to check out. Top vendors have dozens of references. Don't take a chance on hiring a friend of the family for the biggest day of your life unless they have a long track record of professional service behind them. Usually family friends have more fun attending the wedding than working at it. Make sure your vendors agree to work well together side by side. Make sure the requirements of one vendor don't clash with the needs of another. For examples see Vendor Issues. Also, beware of Videographers / Disc Jockeys or other professionals with no liability insurance. $1 million insurance is the standard for a legitimate, professional vendor. Steer clear of those without it.

Personalize your wedding: Creative encorporation of family or ethnic traditions, special recognitions, theme of the day, color coordination, new traditions. If a special relative has recently passed away, think of ways to recall their memory with thanksgiving. If you settle on a theme of the day, make sure ALL your vendors are aware of this theme, and determine how their service will mirror that theme. If you encorporate ethnic or family traditions, make sure the key family members involved in the tradition are aware of your choice beforehand, to address any issues up front, rather than creating a potentially embarrassing situation on your special day. The key is being prepared.


Bridal gown: choose & order, together with accessories including veil, headpiece. What is the bridal shop's or seamstress's policy if the dress is not what you ordered or late?

Groom's Tuxedo: choose & order, together with accessories including cumberbund, cufflinks, bowtie. Many tux shops offer deals on multiple orders, including the groom's tux free.

Attendants formalware (bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, possibly junior bridesmaids): choose & order, together with accessories. Multiple orders typically lower the price of the individual dress or tux. Be up front with your attendants regarding their financial responsibility for the formalware. Typically each attendant is responsible for paying their own way, but be clear about your intentions up front so there are no misunderstandings. If a special attendant is unable to take on this responsibility, have plan B in place (usually willing family members) so they can still take part. Note: Due to sudden growth spurts, flower girl, ring bearer, possibly younger junior bridesmaids usually wait until 2 months prior for fittings.

Gift Registry: choose & register for items for the home, such as tableware, cookware, dinnerware, linens, practical & decorative items. Choose gifts in a wide variety of price ranges for various gift budgets.Notify friends & relatives where you are registered. Be gentle with your requests, as some guests will choose to give a gift that is not on your gift registry, and they should feel that is okay with you. Many gift registries are available online for everyone's convenience.

Ceremony Music: meet with your musicians, vocalists, organist. Ask to hear them. Choose professional services that meet your needs, fit your style, and have references. Make reservations and select music in person. Inquire of them before you meet with them if they work from a specific repertoire, or if they will entertain your requests. Inquire if they attend the rehearsal or not, and if there is an added fee associated with this. Before you finalize the music selections, check with the officiant to determine if your choices are appropriate in the context of the ceremony and within the traditions of the church, synagogue or site. Inform your providers ASAP if changes need to be made. Require your music providers to provide a typed list of music selections and a correct spelling of their names for your programs. Many live ceremony musicians provide savings if you also contract with them for live dinner music or live dance music.

Honeymoon: discuss, make reservations, purchase tickets. Honeymoon abroad? Inquire whether a passport, visa, birth certificate or inoculations are required. Destination wedding? Inquire about fees, waiting periods, legal documents required for the location. Have plan B ready if plan A doesn't work out.


Rehearsal Dinner: set date, time, location, make reservations. Banquet halls and restaurants have private rooms for these get togethers. Many halls & caterers provide savings if you book both rehearsal dinner and reception in the same facility.

Mothers / Female Guardians: choose Wedding Formalware in harmony with the wedding theme, style, and colors. Tradition says the mother of the bride picks her dress first, and the mother of the groom chooses an appropriately complementary outfit. Remember that it's the bride's special day, and not to overdress for the occasion.

Invitations, announcements, programs, stationery: choose & order.

Caterer or banquet manager: meet and plan serving style and menu. Discuss whether your vendors such as musicians, limo drivers & bartenders are allowed to share the meal.

Rental items: reserve for Ceremony & Reception, such as tent, canopy, tables, chairs, back-drops, staging, risers, generator, especially if either is outdoors.

Accomodations for out-of-town guests: make arrangements. Hotels, motels, casinos and resorts can reserve blocks of rooms at a discount. Determine if the family is taking on this financial responsibility, or if your guests are required to pay for lodging. Consider giving a gift or creating a gift basket for your out-of-town guests to show your appreciation and hospitality. For people with special needs, give the lodging staff heads up to prepare accordingly. Consider providing group transportation (bus, limo) for them to the church and reception. This limits traffic congestion and provides safe travel for partygoers afterward.

Wedding rings: choose & order. Tradition says the bride's wedding ring represents three months of the groom's income. Choose according to your needs, desires, tastes, and budget.

Pre-marital Counseling: Recommended to get to know your fiance's views on sensitive issues, such as having children, traditions & values, religion, and financial management. Attend if desired or required by your, officiant, church or synagogue.


Guest list: Finalize. Utilize your computer spreadsheet to keep track of everyone's name, address, telephone number, RSVP. The key at this point is to be maintaining or trimming the list, not adding to it.

Invitations: Address them. Have the post office weigh & determine postage for one completed invitation for you. Inquire of the postmaster about pictorial or special edition stamps that will complement your invitation, and not make it so business-like. RSVP cards should be pre-stamped by you for convenience.

Honeymoon: choose & purchase your going-away outfits, honeymoon attire, and luggage.

Florist: meet & finalize wedding flower arrangements. Bring with you all of the following: color samples of your color scheme, fabric swatches, photo of your wedding dress. Discuss accessories such as decorations on church pews, cake, extra (smaller) bouquet for tossing to the bridesmaids, musicians' corsages, etc.

Bakery: choose & order wedding cake, and possibly, a groom's cake for the rehearsal dinner. Arrange to taste samples of the cake, to ensure you are ordering what you desire. Bring photos of wedding dress, fabric swatches, color samples.

Transportation: make arrangements for wedding party, family, guests of honor. Busses, limos, airport vans, and valet service make for a safe and much worry-free day, especially if parking is at a premium near your site, or if you are concerned for the safety of your guests after the party.

Wedding favors: Choose & order.

Fittings: Schedule for bride's attendants (bridesmaids & maid or matron of honor).


Invitations: Mail them to allow time for RSVPs. Set deadline for RSVPs for approximately three (3) weeks prior, which gives time for filling openings from your extended list. Remember that return postage on the RSVPs, and also including your phone and e-mail address makes it convenient for your guests to reach you easily.

Marriage License: Check local requirements. For laws in Your State, Click Here.

Portrait: Make Appointment for approximately two to four (2-4) weeks prior.

Dress Delivery: Confirm with bridal shop of seamstress.

Vendors & other Wedding Professionals you've hired: Finalize plans, including specific details, dates, times, special needs or arrangements.

Ceremony & Reception Sites: Confirm time & date.

Tuxedos: Confirm that all groomsmen, fathers / guardians, ushers, ring bearer, and other significant males have been fitted for their tuxedos.

Fittings: Schedule flower girl, ring bearer and junior bridesmaids if quite young, due to sudden growth spurts common among youth and toddlers.

Make-up: Initial consultation for hair stylist and / or make-up artist. Plan to bring your veil / headpiece with you to the hair appointment.


Photographer: Meet / discuss details. Provide a list of photos you want taken. Discuss whether or not you wish for family members to be permitted to take photos while the photographer is posing the shots. Some photographers are touchy about this. Discuss that ceremony pictures are being taken as ceremony music is being set-up / rehearsed, to make the photographer aware of the need to work side by side with other vendors.

Videographer: Meet / discuss details. Provide a list of video you want taken. Be aware that many Officiants / Pastors / Celebrants do not approve of videography in church. Many Musicians / Vocalists also do not approve of videography of their live performances. Unless your contract with your Musicians / Vocalists specifically states that videography of their performance is permitted, you are not allowed to have your videographer tape them. In this day and age of rampant copyright infringement, it is also of interest to note that videographers are known to make use of copyrighted music for their videos, which is also in violation of federal copyright laws unless the videographer has paid a licensing fee for the use of those recordings. Licensing music legally for videos is very expensive, so if your videographer tells you it's not a problem to use any song you like for your video or love story presentation, they are not being honest with you, and they could be breaking the law and charging you for it. Now that you have read this information, you are aware. Steer clear of any videographers who produce these kinds of videos.Be sure to inquire of your videographer whether or not thay have the required licensing for the songs they intend to utilize on you video / love story / presentation.

Music: meet with Disc Jockey, Emcee, Ceremony Musicians / Vocalists, Dinner Music Musicians,
Band Leader to cover music requests / playlists / request policies for ceremony, dinner / cocktail music, and dance. Important: inform the musicians not only what special songs you want played, but also songs you DON'T want played, so there are no misunderstandings. Disc Jockeys and live musicians typically have a request list, repertoire list, or playlist to choose from, and they are usually willing to take requests / learn new music not found on the list, as long as it doesn't get too carried away. Remember, regarding the reception music, that you are hiring professional entertainers. You job is to check their references. Their job to read the crowd and play the best music to motivate your partygoers to dance. There is no reason to choose EVERY song. A sampling of what you like and don't like, together with your special dance requests, should suffice. When deciding whether or not to have special dances with parents / guardians, make sure you are sure THEY will be comfortable dancing with all eyes on them. Good rule of thumb is to discuss this with them up front, so there are no misunderstandings.

Honeymoon Plans: Finalize & confirm. Purchase traveler's checks.

Documents: Make sure all official / civil documents are in order, including baptismal, communion & confirmation certificates, citizenship papers, proof of divorce, and so forth.

Wedding Rehearsal: Make arrangements & inform wedding party and significant others involved of time / date / location / directions. A nice polite touch for long distance relatives / friends is to send / e-mail a map with directions to the Ceremony Site & from the Ceremony Site to the Reception Site, along with approximate anticipated driving times. Making transportation arrangements for these folks beforehand (bus / limo / airport van) can alleviate this need altogether.

Rehearsal Dinner: Finalize plans (traditionally taken care of by the groom's family, but today anyone close to the bride & groom can take care of this).

RSVPs & Gifts Received: Begin to record & send thank you notes promptly.


Marriage License: Bride & Groom go & obtain this together. For Your State Laws / time frame Click Here.

Bridal Portraits: Taken at this time.

Hair & Make-up Appointments: Schedule for Bride & Bridesmaids.

Manicure / Pedicure: Schedule for Bride & Groom for the day before the wedding.

Gifts: Choose for your Fiance, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids.

Bridal Shower: Planned by Maid / Matron of Honor & Bridesmaids.

Bridesmaids Luncheon / Party: Nice way of saying thank you to the attendants.

Bachelor / Bachlorette Parties: Attendants should begin to plan these.

PreNuptial Agreement: Consult an attorney if desired.

Final Fittings: Schedule for all wedding party members.

Ceremony Accessories: Purchase / make arrangements for ring bearer's pillow, aisle runner, candles, Unity Candle, etc.

Guest Book / Gift Attendants: Ask family members / friends to take care of these for you.


Accomodations: Confirm for out-of-town guests / assist with babysitting arrangements. Many feel that a Wedding Ceremony is not the place for babies / toddlers, who may disrupt the service. For this reason, providing these arrangments makes the day fun for everyone. Finalize your gift package for out-of-town guests. Perhaps include a Schedule of Events for the wedding day, a map, and a list of area events / tourist attractions. FYI, there is nothing more upsetting to out-of-town guests than to not know when they should be at the Ceremony Site or Reception Site, or how to get there.

Announcements: Address them, so they can be mailed immediately following the wedding.

Schedule of Events:  Important to provide one for all attendants, vendors, and professionals you have contracted. The Schedule of Events should include things like (1) Wedding Rehearsal time & location, (2) Rehearsal Dinner time & location, (3) time to arrive at Ceremony Site, (4) room to utilize for changing, (5) time to be dressed ready for pictures, (6) Ceremony start time, (7) time to be at Reception Site, (8) Dinner / Cocktail Hour time, (9) Dance start time & end time, (10) Maps to & from Ceremony site, and to & from Reception Site, (11) Explanation of Transportation provided (pick-up times & locations for busses, limousines, van transportation), and (12) indication whether the party is smoking or non-smoking.

Change of Name / Change of Address / Change of Beneficiary: Arrange for Driver's license, Social Security Card, Insurance Policies, Will, and so forth.

Change of Residence: It is suggested to begin moving furniture & belongings to the new residence so it is ready the day after you are married.

Transportation Arrangements: Confirm for bride & groom, all attendants, immediate family for ceremony, reception, and after the reception.

Wedding Gown / Tuxedo: Arrange for Maid of Honor, Personal Attendant or Mother / Guardian to take the wedding gown to the cleaners after the wedding to preserve it, and for Best Man or Father / Guardian to take groom's tuxedo to the tux shop, if it is rented.

Wedding Gifts: Arrange for a close friend or family member to bring them from the reception to your home.

Wedding Vendors / Professionals: Confirm all arrangements in writing.

Seating Arrangements: Plan for Reception Site, taking into account family & other relationships that have been strained in the past, or divorced parents, re-married parents / guardians, and seating these people in different areas.


Honeymoon: Begin packing. Items to remember: passport, luggage, camera, video camera, video cassettes, film, batteries, nightwear & lingerie, personal items, contact numbers of family, rental car, travel agent, & lodging places or tourist attractions you've where you've made reservations.

Transportation Home: Arrange to be picked up after the honeymoon.

Caterer: Provide a final guest count. Remember that you pay for these guests, even if they don't attend. Plan wisely. Perhaps your personal attendant or Maid / Matron of Honor can assist you in following up on any loose ends regarding RSVPs, in order to have a better idea.

Vendors / Professionals: Last minute details & re-confirm dates / times / locations with all whom you've hired, such as Disc Jockey, Musician, Vocal Soloist, Officiant, Florist, Photographer, Videographer, Baker, Decorator, Limousine, Rental Service (tents, canopies, etc.), and so forth. Determine which vendors, if any, need to be set-up prior to a certain timeline at the Ceremony Site or the Reception Site, and if there are any extra charges for early arrival. For example, Disc Jockeys have different policies regarding set-up: some will come early for no extra charge, and some charge for every extra hour they are there. A good rule of thumb for all vendors is to request that they be all set up and ready to go one fulll hour before the event they are to provide services for begins. It can be embarrassing to have your DJ show up late and be setting up in the middle of your dinnertime, so it is good to discuss this with them beforehand.

Ushers: instruct them about seating requirements for guests & family members at Ceremony Site. Tradition says that, when facing the altar, the family & friends of the bride are seated on the left, while the family & friends of the groom are seated on the right. The ushers should inquire of guests when they arrive whether they are family or friends of the bride or the groom. Ushers also perform the lighting of the candles, and roll out the aisle runner. There are three traditions with regard to the aisle runner: Some traditions prefer that the aisle runner be rolled out immediately before the processional, while some some traditions prefer that the aisle runner be rolled out after the bridesmaids / ring bearer / flower girl but before the bride. Some brides also opt for the runner to come down after the bridesmaids but before the flower girl, who oftentimes tosses rose petals on the aisle runner as she walks down the aisle. Whichever the bride prefers or officiant allows is best.

Wedding Attendants: Remind them to pick up their formalwear.

Snacks & Non-alcoholic Beverages: Arrange to have these in dressing areas for the bridesmaids' area and the groomsmen's area.

Hairstylist: Visit for a run-through if needed. Remember to bring veil / headpiece.

Wedding Emergency Kit: Important lifesaver. Includes but is not limited to: Extra stockings, safety pins, hairspray, band-aids, aspirin / tylenol / ibuprofin, bobby pins, deodorant, makeup, personal hygiene products, needle & thread, and so forth.  Maid / Matron of Honor brings this to the wedding just in case.

Pets: Arrange for their care / house-sitting while you are at the wedding, and while you are away  on your honeymoon.

House-Sitter: Due to safety / security reasons, it is advisable to have a good friend house-sit for you on your wedding day. Your wedding date is public knowledge, and anyone with less than admirable intentions will know you are away at that time.

Gifts for Attandants: Wrap them, to be presented at the rehearsal dinner.


Manicure / Pedicure: For both bride & groom.

Wedding Rehearsal: Attend. Although the officiant sometimes has a great deal to say regarding what is or is not permissable in the Ceremony, remember that the Wedding Rehearsal is the last opportunity to speak up if anything is unclear or not to your liking. Either speak up, or accept that, as you have rehearsed, so will the Ceremony go. Be certain that you inform all wedding party members of the exact meeting time and location for the wedding day. Your Schedule of Events should include all this information. Have plenty of copies on hand to pass out at the Wedding rehearsal, and take some time at the end of the rehearsal to remind everyone what the plan and timeline is.

Ceremony Musician's Fee, Organists Fee, Vocalists Fee, Officiant's Fee: appoint the Best Man, Maid / Matron of Honor, or the Mother or Father of the Bride or Groom to handle these payments right before the prelude music at the Ceremony begins. Have all these checks / thank you cards all prepared beforehand, and give to your assistant the morning of the wedding. It is much better and more appreciated to take care of this just before the wedding ceremony starts, than to wait until afterward, when everyone is rushing out of the church, and this task can easily be forgotten.

Photographer: Confirm the times, locations, desired shots. Confirm that the photographer will be prompt and efficient, for the whole day begins (usually) with the photos, and delays / problems can affect the entire day.

Videographer: Confirm the times, locations, desired shots. Confirm that the videographer will follow the policies of the Ceremony Site / church and the professional musicians you have hired. While you have contracted with a professional musician for their public performance, you have typically not contracted for the video rights to their performance. Make sure that the videographer makes contact with the musician(s) you have hired before the ceremony begins to see if videoing their performance is permitted. Be aware that it is the musician's decision whether or not to allow their performance to be videotaped, according to federal law. FYI, for insurance purposes, videographers are often not allowed behind the DJ booth at the reception, too. Each Disc Jockey sets their own protocol, according to their own insurance policy requirements.

Receiving Line: Discuss the procedure with wedding attendants & parents. Attendants who will not be part of the receiving line should plan to see if the Officiant, Musician / Vocalist or other vendor needs help at the end of the service with anything.

Personal Attendant: Keeps a copy of all contracts & information to assist in any issues which may develop on the wedding day.

Luggage: Place it in the car you will use to drive when you depart for your honeymoon destination.

Rehearsal Dinner: Attend, relax, and enjoy yourself! This is time to unwind and share your appreciation to all those in attendance, your wedding party, your family, your close friends. Remember to take it easy on the alcohol, food or caffeine. Remember that you need a good night's sleep!

Dress Preparation: In one place at home or at the Ceremony Site, depending upon where you choose to dress for your special day, lay out everything you will need to dress for the ceremony. Be prepared the night before, and double check that everything is there. Make sure the Ceremony Site facility is locked overnight if you choose to set your things there.


Breakfast: You will need a good breakfast, but don't overindulge. remember that this may be the only time you are able to actually sit down peacefully and eat on your wedding day. So enjoy the time to sit & eat, and to get mentally prepared for your day. Whatever you do, don't skip breakfast!

Bubble Bath: Start by taking a relaxing bubble bath for just fifteen (15) minutes. This "you" time will bring benefits all day long. Allow yourself more time than usual for all your personal care. Preferably, have your hair & make-up professionally done right at the Ceremony Site.

Transporting Personal Items: Your Personal Attendant should be responsible to bring your items from the Ceremony Site to the Reception Site.

Wedding Rings: Give the groom's ring (the one he will wear) to the Maid / Matron of Honor, and the bride's ring (the one she will wear) to the Best Man.

Enjoy!  With so many things going on, and so many vendors involved, it is exceedingly rare that nothing goes wrong on a wedding day. So rest assured, something is bound to happen that will disappoint you somewhere along the line. So put it in your mind that, no matter what happens, this is YOUR day, and that you will not stress about it. In fact, unexpected events on your special day can actually make it more special & memorable. So relax & have the time of your life!!! Congratulations from all of us at Living Water Music to the both of you!!!


Thank You Notes: Write them PROMPTLY, write them by hand, and personalize them. Tell the giver how the gift helps meet your needs, and how you plan to utilize it in your new home or in your marriage. Many people mistakenly put off the prospect of dealing with Thank You Notes. Don't procrastinate. Take care of this ASAP, one, two or three each day in your spare time, and then send them off all at once, so no recipient will get theirs earlier than any other. You'll be glad you did.

Name Changes / Address Changes / Beneficiary Changes / Document Changes: Do all of these ASAP. If either or both of the bride or groom are changing their name(s), don't forget to pay a visit to both the Social Security Office and the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). When you go, don't forget to have your Marriage Certificate on hand.

Extra Time Together: Enjoy your time together, and your time off. Don't be in a hurry to return to work. Take time before returning to work to get settled in your new home, and in your new relationship! You are MARRIED! It's official!

Continue growing together, learning from each other, being there for each other in good times and bad, in sorrow and in joy, in weakness and strength. Share the little things and the big things. Share the victories, so they're twice as sweet. Share the defeats, so they're half as bitter. Take time to listen, and not just to speak. Take time each day to say "I Love You". Take time to invest in your spiritual growth, for the happiest marriages are those who continue to grow together. Above all, be grateful for your new partner, your new life together. Express that thanksgiving through the way you live your lives ~ with faith, with hope, and with love.

This article draws heavily on the work of Charles Snyder, to whom this Wedding Guide is humbly dedicated.

For more information, please visit Living Water Music, Inc.