Honeymoons are big business in the United States. With an average of 2.4 million weddings occurring each year, those happy couples spend $8 billion a year on their honeymoon. With that kind of serious money going into a great honeymoon, it’s no wonder that brides spend a considerable amount of time and effort planning what to pack.

It was the wedding of your dreams and the honeymoon of a lifetime. Now you’re settling down to enjoy married life. You’ll probably do a lot of things to nurture your marital bliss – from slipping little love notes into each other’s brief cases or lunch bags, to learning the “right” way to argue. But don’t forget the more mundane things you need to do to protect your life together – including updating your homeowners insurance.

Forget the mystic power of perfect pecs -- when a woman is looking for her guy, smart and funny beats a hot bod, hands down. Sure there are other pitfalls ahead, like married and/or gay men, unseemly body odor, cheap cologne, overly demanding sexual partners, witless first dates, and the timeless allure of the “bad boy.” But at the end of the day, none of this matters because if George Clooney or Patrick Dempsey come a’ knocking on her door…

You’re finalizing wedding plans and are eager to sip champagne with your guests. But are you and your fiance prepared to marry your financial lives together once the "I do’s" are said, and you've returned home from your honeymoon in paradise?

You may find yourself cringing with shame when you look at your album years down the road if you choose trendy over traditional style for the look of your wedding. Today's smart bride mimics the grace and elegance of the classic era to ensure she’ll love the look of her wedding as much in 20 years as she does the day she walks down the aisle.

Smart brides are saving thousands by taking over wedding tasks usually handled by the professionals, from printing invitations to creating their own bouquets. “Making key elements of your wedding yourself, such as favors, centerpieces and even headpieces, is rewarding on many levels,” says Cheryl Galvez, editor of Pashweddings.com, a Web site that specializes in information and products for do-it-yourselfer brides.

Once the excitement of the proposal settles, most couples get started planning their wedding. While the to-do checklist can be huge – depending on how large the wedding is – there are some list items you'll want to take care of early in the planning process.