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updated 6/22/2000 12:24:49 PM ET 2000-06-22T16:24:49

Weddings today are as unique as the individuals having them. From tying the knot on a tropical island to incorporating cultural customs into the ceremony, to-be-weds are throwing out the rulebook and taking their own twists on tradition. The hardest part is getting started, but not to worry, there is help. Carley Roney is editor-in-chief of TheKnot.com, and throughout the summer, she’ll join the “Today” show to share information and advice about each step of the wedding planning process. Read her advice on how to set the wheels in motion and get more great wedding information by exploring the links below.


Before you open your wallet and start doling out cash left and right — for everything from rings to roses — sit down and really picture what type of wedding you want to have. Whether you see yourself exchanging vows on the beach, holding hand-picked flowers, or dancing in a grand ballroom to the tunes of a 12-piece orchestra, you need to visualize your ideal wedding and then determine the who, what, where, when and how of the event before spending a single dime. Once you’ve settled these priorities, it’s time to find a site, settle on a size, and select a wedding style.


Don’t cram all the planning into too-short a period of time. After you’ve enjoyed your engagement for a while, it’s time to buy a calendar and set that wedding date. Try to do as much as possible in the first few months so that the last few months won’t be too crazy, and don’t forget to set aside time each week to work on wedding details. Sharing duties is the best way to get things done. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. The more you delegate, the less work you’ll have to do yourself. Involving your husband-to-be will make him feel like he’s helping to plan the wedding too, not just showing up to say “I do.”

GET PERSONALToday’s to-be-weds are daring to be different. From throwing theme weddings to writing their own vows, couples are making sure their big day is a reflection of their personality and style. Play up your passions. Draw from cultural customs. Get inspired by your interests. Whether you exchange nuptials on a mountaintop or at an intimate backyard gathering, your wedding should incorporate things that are meaningful to both of you.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive


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