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A Six-Part Primer For Getting Hitched

This week's series addresses how to ensure your wedding process is as smooth, seamless and happy as possible.

Vintage photo of man and woman sharing a float with two straws.

Planning a wedding is no small responsibility. When you factor in the cost, the countless moving parts and the hundreds of decisions large and small, the idea of running off to a Las Vegas chapel becomes more appealing by the second.

While wedding planning can tax you physically, financially and emotionally, it doesn't have to be a stressful experience. If you get started early, make informed decisions, and break the process down into smaller achievable goals, the journey can be nearly as enjoyable as the destination.

This week, we're going to help you plan and plot that journey. We're going to help you navigate every step of the wedding planning process, so you can feel confident about assuming this responsibility.

We'll talk about basics like formulating a wedding budget and how to prioritize your expenses. We'll teach you some of the most useful tricks and tips you can use to lower costs without cutting corners.

If you haven't settled on the type of wedding celebration you'd like, we'll provide you with an overview of some of the most popular options -- everything from "traditional with a twist" to a one-of-a-kind "kitschy wedding celebration."

We'll touch on honeymoons, too, by outlining alternatives for every budget and inclination. Whether you prefer the traditional island resort or a more singular experience, we've got ideas for you to consider.

Finally, no wedding prep series would be complete without a comprehensive, step-by-step chronological wedding planning checklist. Our list will help you know what to do and when to do it on a month-by-month basis.

Weddings are one of the most significant events most of us will experience. It's a milestone and a major life transition. It's a pure expression of love and a gesture of optimism toward a shared future.

It can also, however, be quite intimidating. The stakes are high, and the amount of preparation required is deep.

We hope you'll use the information in this week's series to ensure your wedding process is as smooth, seamless and happy as possible.