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Here are some of Colin Cowie’s wedding planning tips, from his book Wedding Planner & Keepsake Organizer (Sterling Signature; $60).
➊ There is nothing wrong with negotiating; it’s about the spirit in which you do it.
➋ Always ask for suggestions on how to reduce vendor costs.
➌ Before committing to a vendor, schedule a face-to-face meeting and bring along materials to articulate what you want.
➍ Never pay anything until you see a contract, and read every contract thoroughly.
➎ Schedule production meetings with all vendors involved, and go over every detail of the wedding.
➏ Your wedding is actually a collection of events, and each one should be special.
➐ Never feel as though you have to invite everyone to everything. Just be sure that no one is invited to related parties unless also invited to the wedding itself (one exception is the office shower).
➑ Remember the contribution all of your guests have made to your big day and try to thank them appropriately. This may mean handwritten thank-you notes or gifts at the bridal shower.
➒ Plan your honeymoon well in advance. It will keep costs down and will prevent you from having a nervous breakdown if you end up honeymooning in your apartment because your favorite resort in Playa del Carmen had no availability. Let an expert handle it if it becomes too much; the reward is peace of mind.
➓ Traditions are kept for good reason, but you can ditch them now and then. Feel free to invent your own traditions.