Dos and Don’ts of Thank-You Notes

In the afterglow of a wedding or honeymoon, sitting down to write personalized thank-you notes can be a daunting, and often dreaded, task for most couples, especially those couples who have had large weddings.

But do not fret. Etiquette experts and professional card writers have some advise for making the process a little easier.

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Let the Wedding Games Begin

Meredith and Andrew Shackleford didn’t want their wedding to have an ordinary cocktail hour. Instead of having their guests sip drinks and eat canapés, the couple divided everyone into six teams to compete in a series of games that included croquet, ladder ball, and blindfolded wine tastings. The winning team took home bottles of champagne and a trophy.

“The games were a way to prevent people from staying glued to their phones,” said Ms. Shackleford, 34. “We wanted to create something where people could really get involved and interact with each other.”

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How to Handle Wedding-Planning Disputes With Parents

Wedding planning can stir up conflict between marrying couples and their parents. Some squabbles are minor. Should the table linens be white or ivory? What should go inside the welcome bags for out-of-town guests? But disagreements can turn into a wedge between families.

Insecurity, said Dr. Tamar Blank, a psychologist in the Bronx, is largely to blame. “Parents may feel insecure or vulnerable due to the fact that they are ‘losing’ their child,” she said. “They may want to feel more appreciation. Or they may have insecurities of their own that are impacting the way in which they treat their children.”

“Similarly,” she added, “children may experience insecurity as their parents may be paying for the wedding, while the child yearns for more power and control.”

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Tips for Building a Wedding Website

For many engaged couples, a personal website is an important part of the wedding-planning process. Often, it’s where guests go to find gift registry information, directions to the reception, preferred attire suggestions, and other useful information about the upcoming nuptials.

Seventy-four percent of couples who married in 2018 created a wedding site, up from 59 percent in 2015, according to the WeddingWire’s latest Newlywed Report.

Of course, not all wedding websites are created equally. What sets great web pages apart from so-so ones?

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How to Capture the Perfect First Look

The “first look” has become a special part of many weddings. This is when brides and grooms see each other just before the ceremony, typically in full, formal attire.

A recent survey by the Knot found that 44 percent of American couples who married in 2017 did a first look, with a majority of them choosing to have a private reveal, between just the two of them (and usually a photographer).

“It’s a very intimate experience,” said Rylee Hitchner, a destination wedding photographer based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., who has captured many of these moments. “Personally, the first look is one of my favorite moments of a wedding.”

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9 Ways to Plan an Affordable (and Amazing) Honeymoon

Honeymoons are romantic, but they can also be expensive. On average, couples are shelling out $5,342 on their honeymoon, according to a recent report from The Knot, an online registry and wedding planning site. That’s on top of what they’re spending on their wedding, which costs, on average, $33,931 nationally. But, there are ways to trim your honeymoon budget without taking away from the romance of this special trip.

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7 Smart Ways to Stay Organized While Wedding Planning

Staying organized while planning a wedding is no small feat. Forty-seven percent of engaged and newlywed couples said the process was so stressful they considered eloping or getting married at city hall, according to a 2018 survey of 500 engaged and newlywed couples by Zola, a wedding planning and registry website. Fifty-six percent reported elevated anxiety, 37 percent difficulty sleeping, and 10 percent loss of sex drive because of wedding planning stress.

Clearly, wedding planning can be a mentally and physically taxing job, which may explain why one in three couples (29 percent) who married in 2018 hired a professional wedding planner, according to The Knot.

Of course, not everyone can afford a professional planner, whose services cost, on average, $2,002. But by implementing a few smart organization strategies, you can plan your own wedding without losing too much sleep.

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