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Rules for every Bride to follow

1. Donít give yourself unrealistic weight expectations: if youíre a size 10 donít expect to fit into a size 4 before your wedding day. Losing a few pounds to slim down is okay but starving yourself to fit in to a smaller dress size is not a good idea. Losing weight takes time and starving your self will just make you cranky and could make your life miserable.

2. Every good friend knows that along with the honor of being a bridesmaid comes the obligation to wear a dress in a color and style that's not of her choosing. So your girls accept that, but it doesn't mean they'll submit happily if you force them to wear identical shoes, jewelry, wraps, and hairstyles. In order to have a great time at your wedding, your bridesmaids need to feel attractive too -- something that's impossible if you've micromanaged their looks down to the lipstick hue. Your bridesmaids will look even better if you give them leeway to let their individual styles shine through the blush-colored chiffon gowns you've dressed them in. So let them choose their hair and makeup styles; give them more than one option with accessories like shoes, jewelry, and cover-ups.

3. As a bride, it's pretty much your inalienable right to micromanage every aspect of the wedding if you choose to. The rehearsal dinner, not so much. If you're lucky enough to have the night-before celebration thrown for you by the groom's family or somebody similar, everything will go most smoothly if you offer your input only when asked and on a few issues that are super-important to you. If your future mother-in-law sends out invitations you find unbearably tacky or fills the centerpieces with your least favorite flower, keep in mind that everybody in attendance will understand that the rehearsal isn't reflective of your style.

4. Do not, we repeat, do not sit at home watching the clock and wondering what he's doing at his bachelor party. Make plans of your own, get out of the house, and go have a good time! He wouldn't be marrying you if he didn't vastly prefer being by your side instead of being surrounded by 10 intoxicated buddies and expensive entertainment named Bambi.

5. As you've no doubt already noticed, there are people out there who seem determined to make you feel bad about your wedding planning excitement. Maybe they're single and jealous, or not-so-happily married and bitter, or just the types who can't bear to witness other people's joy without trying to chip away at it. It can be hard to ID these people because their negativity is often backhanded and disguised as advice ("Don't stress about the details so much -- it's just a party that will be over in five hours!"), or because they might ask you lots of questions about your wedding day details only to teasingly call you "Bridezilla" when you answer. But once you've noticed that discussing your plans with certain people leaves you feeling defensive or deflated, cross them off your list of conversation partners. You have plenty of others in your life who are genuinely excited for you and eager to hear about (almost) every aspect of the planning process.