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Having your reception start immediately after the ceremony is ideal In most ceremonies, the ring bearer and flower girl make their entrance (either single file or together) right after the groomsmen and bridesmaids. Then it's your turn. If you feel they're mature enough to stay still for the whole ceremony, they can stand directly in front of the wedding party at the altar. Otherwise, have them sit with their parents after their duties are completed. Just be sure that Mom and Dad are seated up front for easy access!

It is your wedding, and you should be escorted down the aisle by whomever you want. If your heart is set on your biological father, by all means extend the offer. But if you simply want to avoid walking with your mother or stepfather, you may want to consider other, less complicated options: a brother, a sister, a mentor, the groom—or no one at all. Whatever you decide, inform your mother and stepfather of the plan well ahead of time to prevent any surprise drama at your wedding rehearsal.

Having your reception start immediately after the ceremony is ideal, which is possible if you're holding both at the same place. If not, don't let guests languish for more than an hour between events. Try to choose venues that are no more than half an hour's drive apart, and take as many formal photos before the ceremony as possible. You could even have the receiving line at the reception [during the cocktail hour], so guests can start enjoying drinks and hors d'oeuvres once you greet them. If, however, a long wait is truly unavoidable, arrange to have a hospitality suite with refreshments at a nearby hotel, or ask a family member or close friend who lives in the vicinity to host a pre-party,

No matter they are joy or nerves, many brides (and grooms!) sob throughout

the ceremony. Rather than ruining their time, they report it makes the experience more real and emotional for everyone. So I advise going with the flow. But I also realize crying can leave your face far from photo-ready. So here are some tips. Number one: waterproof mascara. Number two: Enlist your bridesmaids to keep you laughing during hair and makeup, and then repeat the punch lines to yourself on your walk to the altar. Number three: Calm your nerves pre-ceremony with five rounds of nadi sodhana breathing (used in yoga; Google it)—or half a glass of champagne. Number four: As you walk down the aisle, pick a spot just above you officiate and keep your eye on it. (Dancers do something similar to keep their focus.)

Having your reception start immediately after the ceremony is ideal