What to do ... what to do

OK. So it isn’t Paris. But what can you do? Home is home – no matter the population size. What’s more? A wedding in a rural setting can be just as exotic, romantic and classy as any ol’ big city. Whether you grew up in a bucolic neighborhood or just wish to escape the city for your big day, this site offers a little help in planning your hometown-feel event. After all, there’s nothing better than the charm of a small town.

Enjoy being a fiancee by searching online for different style gowns. This bridal fashion show footage was provided with permission by fashionstock.com. Go to Fashion Stock to purchase the entire footage or to look at other previews for free.

The appeal, as any country-raised girl (or boy) can attest, is in the people. According to the spring 2006 Receptions issue of BRIDES magazine, “heartfelt camaraderie” and “a bevy of local folks who want guests to love their hometown as much as they do” can enchant any wedding. Good thing too. More than likely you’ll be working closely with local venues … and, hey, knowing the town florist since first grade can’t hurt either.

So with all this hype, where do you begin? The first step is easy: enjoy life as a fiancée (or fiancé), says TheKnot.com, a wedding planning site that boasts 2.1 million unique visits a month and has brand extensions in magazines, books and television. The site lists gown browsing online and “sticking with the fun stuff” (considering colors, seasons, themes, etc.) as its first two planning steps. Not bad, eh? After that, it’s time for a checklist

The "To Dos" Before the "I Dos"

flowers and country club
First Step: Find your reception site, says the Perfect Wedding Guide. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Creating a to-do checklist and wedding budgeter are the next steps in crafting your pastoral fairytale, according to Modern Bride magazine and The Knot. Many magazines, books and store-bought planners can act as guides, but online lists have the added benefit of sending e-mail alerts. For interactive checklists and budgeters visit: The Knot, The Perfect Wedding Guide and Wedding Details.

Next, choose and book your sites. Even small-town reception and ceremony venues book up fast and often determining the exact date of your wedding. Some alternative ideas: try museums, small resorts, boats, country estates and private clubs, says the February/March 2006 edition of Modern Bride.

The booking doesn’t stop there, though. Don’t forget officiants, florists, caterers, calligraphers/printers, photographers and videographers … breathe … musicians/DJs, cake bakers and tailors. True, it all seems daunting now, but with adequate organization and checklists, says Weddings InStyle magazine, you’ll be “planning like a pro” in no time.