A Note from Dana

The diamond ring is followed promptly by questions from eager family and friends: When is the wedding? What is your color scheme? Where is your reception?

Their excitement is well-meaning, of course. But you've barely had time to toast your engagement when the decision-making begins.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of planning, you're in good company.

Within days of my husband's proposal, my elation turned to near panic.

We got engaged before Christmas and wanted to marry the following summer, meaning choices had to be made quickly. Church secretaries and venue coordinators informed us that the short planning window wasn't nearly enough. But that didn't deter us (or my mom, our volunteer wedding planner), and in a handful of months we managed to plan a memorable July wedding in my hometown.

Looking back, though, I wish we'd allowed ourselves more time to celebrate our engagement before diving into wedding details. More time to reflect on the meaningful milestone. And more time to relax.

As I interviewed wedding professionals for this inaugural issue of Capital Style Bride, I realized that I would have benefited from even just a taste of their knowledge. The most relevant piece of advice I gathered was simple: Slow down.

That's what event planner Jo Panarello often warns the frazzled brides-to-be who call her at their breaking point. "This is an important occasion in your life," she tells them. "Why would you try to make all the decisions in a week?"

We have spent months compiling advice from her and dozens of others to give you the ultimate guide in planning a stunning, unforgettable event-and to enjoy the process, too. We also hope to introduce you to some of Central Ohio's most talented wedding professionals who can help make that happen. (The creativity and care these folks put into their work is phenomenal!)

In "30 Tips to Plan Like a Pro," you'll find help with maximizing your budget and prioritizing the checklist of ingredients for your big day.

In "Bliss in Bloom," you'll find a dozen pages of fabulous fashion, glorious flowers and delectable cakes.

In "Love Stories," you'll find the heart of our romantic coverage: Brides and grooms shared their wedding albums-and personal tales-with us. We browsed thousands of beautiful photos before choosing a dozen local couples to showcase (and we'll be posting fresh ones throughout the year at Capital-Style.com).

In these pages, you'll also find ideas on choosing your ideal gown, your groom's tux, your bridesmaids' dresses and your mother's look. And there's plenty more to ogle, too, from dazzling rings to chic venues.

So pour yourself some bubbly, settle in, turn these pages and be inspired.

Because your big day shouldn't be the only one that's fun; all the days leading to it should be, too.

Enjoy.

Dana Wilson,
Assistant Editor