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Walking Down the Aisle in Style : Planning is everything when it comes to weddings, and there are plenty of experts in the county who will help make your day.


Birds do it. Bees do it. Even oysters down in Oyster Bay do it. But, Cole Porter songs aside, nobody falls in love with as much fanfare as we do it.

In Ventura County, approximately 5,000 love-struck duos will tie the knot this year--600 in June, always the No. 1 month for weddings. Brides will walk down the aisle to the strains of "Here Comes the Bride" and to the tune of $15,000--the estimated cost of a traditional wedding with all the trimmings, say county experts.

With this much money and emotion invested, couples are under intense pressure for the hitching to come off without a hitch. Today's Centerpiece explores the best ways to make that happen.

A successful wedding is the culmination of months of sweating the details and battling over the bride's dress, the bridesmaids' dresses, the deejay, the flowers, the cake, the guest list, the invitations, the photographer, the limo, the music, the rehearsal dinner, the caterer and, most crucial to a fairy-tale wedding, the site.

Fortunately, the county is filled with breathtaking wedding spots, both indoor and out. There is also a corps of experienced wedding consultants who can answer your questions and guide you--from choosing a menu to cutting the cake--through the experience.

The best advice for the bride-to-be: relax.

"Don't overwhelm yourself," says Bonnie Weigel of Bridal Traditions in Oxnard. "Don't let the wedding be the focus of your engagement. I tell my brides to promise themselves to talk about it only once a week."

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