When you are planning one of the most important and memorable days of your life, it is always a good idea to get solid advice from experienced Wedding planners, professionals in the industry and "Real" Brides who have first-hand knowledge of "The Big Day".
My advice would be to listen to all of the positive experiences as well as some of the "not so positive" and weigh all the information very carefully. Do your homework and research areas that are not at all familiar to you, such as "is a destination Wedding less expensive than having a small but intimate reception locally" or "are the special flowers you want "in season" for your December Wedding"?
With that being said, take a look at this video that Alliance Video Productions, in Tabernacle, NJ put together. Tom interviewed "Real" Brides and Grooms and let them speak candidly about their Wedding planning experiences. I love the mannequin idea and ESPECIALLY the handcrafted quilt that was personalized by the Wedding guests. How creative!!!