Thursday, March 01, 2007

Not all celebrities need a huge wedding with custom dresses
in exotic locations when they tie the knot. One recent example was gymnast Dominique Moceanu who married her long-time boyfriend and former coach Michael Canales on November 3, 2006. In fact, Dominique did something else most celebrities would never dream of doing: she planned the wedding herself!

Jumping Through Olympic Hoops!
Dominique, best known for winning a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics, met Michael almost 13 years ago while she was competing in the Junior National Championships. She was 12, and he was 16. When they met again a five years later, they became a couple and Michael, who was also a nationally ranked gymnast, started coaching her.

Their romance culminated in a Saturday afternoon ceremony in front of more than 175 guests which included other Olympic gymnasts, including Nadia Comaneci and Dominique Dawes. Her teammate, Kerri Strug, was even a bridesmaid in the wedding.

Although Dominique's relationship with her parents had been rocky in the past (she became emancipated from her parents at the age of 16), her father was present at the wedding and even proudly walked her down the aisle. Dominique didn't choose to have a dress custom-made for her as other celebrity brides would have, instead she chose an Oleg Cassini off-the-rack. She also handled most of the wedding arrangements herself without the help of a professional wedding planner or public relations team.

Dominique Did It This Way
More brides can learn from Dominique. We all want things to be perfect, but hiring a professional planner to help make the decisions and coordinate the event isn't cheap and it isn't really necessary. Sure, you might save a few hundred dollars here and there because the planner gets special deals from vendors but, in most cases, you're going to be paying that wedding planner more than you're going to save.

Plus, this is your wedding. Traditionally, planning the intricate details of the big day has always been part of the thrill for the bride and sometimes even the groom. When you turn those details over to a stranger, you're missing out on a big part of the event.

Dominique also kept things simple. Even though her wedding party included sports celebrities, the wedding was very traditional and down-to-earth. She knew it was a day to celebrate the love between her and Michael, not a day to attract media attention for having the most attention-getting ceremony.

While you might not expect a lot of media attention for your wedding, lots of brides do forget the real purpose of the wedding at some point between its planning and its execution. We've all heard about these bridezillas who make the ceremony miserable for everyone around them. Those women have simply lost sight of what the big day means.

So how can you prevent that from happening to you. Well, when things get really stressful during the planning process, step away for a moment and take a deep breath. Then remind yourself that the reason you are going through all of the stress is because you want to share this special moment in your relationship with everyone else who matters in your lives. It might even help to have a picture of your spouse-to-be handy as an extra reminder.

Regardless of whether you plan your own wedding like Dominique or you hire a professional to help you, it's important to keep in mind what's most important: each other. 

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