Friday, July 1, 2011

Planning Ahead in Uncertain Times

The stationery stores and card shops all have beautiful wedding planning notebooks. There are books galore that would imply that every bride sits in a candle-scented room for months and plans each and every detail of a wedding that knows no bounds except her romantic imagination. This only happens in a parallel universe.

The simple fact is that brides -- even royal brides -- are real women living real lives. And right now, times are hard all over the world, and the only thing that can be counted on is that something is bound to happen that a bride hasn't counted on.

Does this mean that today's bride should abandon her favorite daydreams of ribbons and flowers (or feathers and beads -- whatever)? Absolutely not. When it comes to weddings, compromise and a willingness to be flexible are the keys to happy memories after a day that is thought back on for all the right reasons.

Taking reasonable precautions is also essential. When selecting a venue, be certain that it is one that will still be in business when your big day arrives. Do not select a venue strictly for its looks and the seemingly unbelievable deal you can get for no apparent reason. Ask the proprietor outright, "Do you own this location, or lease it?" And if the answer is lease, ask another hard question, "Is there any chance at all that you won't be in operation when it is time for my wedding?"

Slight variations to these two questions -- depending on the service being contracted for -- are a good hedge against heartbreak later on. Google the name of the florist, photographer, officiant, dress shop, etc. -- and see what may have been posted online.

But most of all, don't get yourself into situations that could break your heart along with your budget later on.

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