Need wedding advice?
Going through wedding blogs and magazines you often see the same ol’ wedding tips given – and usually that wedding advice is more standard issue than insightful. So I and a few of my wedding planner colleagues have chipped in here with some of our best wedding advice for you.
But hey, it’s my blog so let’s start with one of mine. I promise it’s a good one:
One time when I was photographing a wedding this particular bride had an almost Alice In Wonderland look of awe on her face throughout the day. She was floating on cloud nine. I had to ask her about it.
“I’m really in the moment,” she told me. “I’m taking everything in and enjoying it all.“
When I compare that to those who use time up on their wedding day to fuss or fret about a snag in the plans, there’s no comparison. Glitches will happen in any live event. And so if it’s your wedding day, why not simply have other people assigned who’ll take care of anything that needs attention so you can be fully present and open to every amazing moment of your wedding?
Be in the moment. Enjoy your day. (And you’re going to find those moments make for great photos too.)
– G.E. Masana
NYC Wedding Photographer
For couples who may have guest lists heavy with regards to out of town guests, consider having the ceremony and reception at the same place.
This not only allows for less fuss, not having to pay for shuttles, limos and extra decor, it also gives you maximum time with your friends and family. The hotel option can save you anywhere from 20-30% of your budget. And because a hotel can offer all aspects of the weekend in one location, your guests can save on their out of pocket expenses too.
And for those who don’t want to have the hotel option for the reception:
There are many venues offering less expensive accommodations sometimes right next door to your ceremony/reception. When you give your guests options it not only saves them travel angst, it shows respect and special attention for those needing a less expensive place to stay. Some even include rooms for guests who can’t afford accommodations.
– Samantha Goldberg
Celebrity Event Designer
I have three pieces of wedding planning advice. The first is getting organized with a binder. Place all of your contacts and contracts in there as you add companies involved with the wedding. Secondly, create a timeline the week before the wedding so everyone knows what is happening when and distribute it to all of the key players involved. Thirdly and most importantly, invest in the lighting.
Lighting is the best kept secret to a fun party!
– Tatiana Byron
The Wedding Salon
A unique way to negotiate with local vendors can start by asking which dates a vendor/ venue may still have available. Book your wedding date by finding the most flexible, unbooked vendors for that date. The closer you are to your wedding date the more negotiating power you will have.
– Amanda Goetz
New York City Wedding Planner
In my twenty years as a wedding planner, the best advice I can give to brides and grooms is to create a first-draft guest list a.s.a.p. before looking at locations, creating a budget or telling your friends and coworkers of your impending nuptials.
Go through old address books, Facebook friend list, and phone contacts. Then ask parents to submit their lists. Once you have an approximate count sort out those most likely to attend. Work with that number.
Don’t wait to start gathering all the names and address information. That’s a Herculean task and can hold up the invitation mailing. Have the addresses in an Excel spreadsheet and complete it at least two weeks prior to the mailing date. If you’re sending out save-the-dates, do it even sooner!
– Joe St. Cyr
Joseph Todd Events
On selecting your caterer…
Red Light: Don’t let them subject you to the higher price food items (seafood, filet mignon, lobster, kobe, steak etc.).
Green light: Stick with season farm fresh produce and keep to the simple low cost budget food items (protein-chicken,lean meats, healthy grain-couscous, and vegetables). It’s healthy and keeps you within budget.
– Nisa Lee
Chef and Caterer
Take a second before you plan anything to sit down with your fiancé and talk about how you both envision your wedding.
Make a wish list of all the things you and your partner would like. While you’re doing this you’ll notice this also gives shape to your wedding theme and design.
Then go through the list together, organizing it into three different categories: 1. Must Have, 2. Want, and 3. Willing to Give Up. Once you have your budget this list helps allocate which items you can spend a little more on. And which items you need to cut.
– Terry & Steven Vogel
When shopping for a wedding gown go to a reputable salon, make an appointment – and don’t take an entourage. It’s your day, your dress.
Make sure you ask about alterations.
And when shopping for bridesmaids get all the dresses from one shop. This ensures the dye lot is the same and makes for timely delivery of the gowns.
– Wendy Hartigan
Wendy’s Affairs of Heart
Some advice for couples planning in a hurry:
1. Make a plan. Start with your guest list. Check with family and close friends about any upcoming commitments to avoid scheduling conflicts. Rather than having one date in mind, you might choose a time of year.
2. Make decisions and move on. The biggest mistake couples make is to meet with too many vendors in each category. Once you meet a vendor you like who is available on your date, sign the contract, and don’t look back.
3. Avoid the rabbit hole. It’s easy to be distracted by the overabundance of information online. The more you see, the harder it becomes to stay focused. Stay true to your vision.
4. You don’t know what you don’t know. Ask for help whether it’s from friends, family or a professional. Planning a wedding is stressful and planning in a hurry can lead to costly mistakes. Ask vendors who they like to work with. A team that plays well together makes your planning process and your day smoother.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff. A lot of little details go into planning a wedding. Don’t complicate the process by thinking there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. It’s about style, preference, compromise and communication.
– Leslie Price
In Any Event
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