Photo Credit: Michael Anthony Photography
Hours on Pinterest. Stacks of glossy bridal magazines. Tried-and-true advice from your BFFs. #WeddingDecor becoming your surrogate BFF on instagram. Let’s be real — there’s no shortage of places to look when it comes to getting inspiration for your nuptials. But who better to scoop up stellar info and insight than wedding planners themselves? We tapped top wedding planners to spill their favorite nuggets of wisdom they wish they knew for their own special day.
1. Don’t go overboard on DIY projects.
“Try to limit the number of DIY projects you take on for your own wedding. While I certainly realize that doing things yourself can help to save costs, and every bride has good intentions when it comes to this, I also think we forget just how much work goes into them!” offers Christina Saldaña, Senior Manager, Wedding Specialist at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island in Amelia Island, Florida. “There is so much to do the weeks leading up to your wedding day, and the little projects simply become a burden. If you are a crafty person and truly want to add your own personal touch, by all means, you should. However, I would choose one or two thoughtful and impactful touches and leave the rest for others to take care of for you. Weigh out the options and costs to having someone else do your welcome bags or favors, and if it is reasonably priced, let them do it for you.”
2. Remember your guest list when considering venues.
A simple reminder, but it's very important to keep this in mind as you narrow down your venue selection process: “When looking at your guest list, make sure that your venue is the right fit for the number of people you are inviting. We chose a wedding venue that relied on only a certain amount of RSVPs; however, we had more RSVPs than expected,” shares David M. Handy, Preferred Planner, at The Nantucket Hotel + Resort in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Need some more help deciding on the perfect place to tie the knot? Here are 35 tips for choosing your perfect wedding venue.
3. Give family members a card to help organize photo-taking.
Make family photos less stressful with this smart tip: “For your family photos, create a ‘card’ for your [friends and] family members that you would like to have in your photos,” advises Melissa Woodley, Director of Events at Andaz Maui in Wailea, Hawaii. “There tends to be confusion about who you would like to have in your pictures, and if you are able to give them a small card (business card size) or token to let them know you would like them to stay around for pictures, it helps your photographer organize your family photos more quickly and lets your guests get to your cocktail reception sooner!”
4. Consider hiring a videographer.
It may seem like a splurge or unnecessary, but it could very well be worth it. “Being recently married just two years ago, planning our wedding was fun and easy. I work on multiple weddings every weekend, so what's the big deal?” jokes Enza Anastasi Sorbara, Event Designer at Enza Events. “The one thing that still bugs me today was thinking that video wasn't ‘that important.’ If I could give brides one piece of advice, [it would be to] hire a great videographer. They're going to capture emotions, funny moments, and record loved ones that may not be in your life one day.”
5. If you’re having a destination wedding, think local.
“It's amazing to explore the local traditions and culture and incorporate it into the wedding events, such as local cuisine, florals, or décor when having a destination wedding,” offer Erendira Carrillo, Manager, Weddings and Nancy Garcia at Hilton Los Cabos in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “For example, peonies and hydrangeas are very popular bridal bouquet options, but these flowers need to be imported to Mexico and cost brides much more than traditional flowers, such as dahlias.”
“It is really helpful when doing a destination wedding to have all your events in the same resort to keep track of guests, like your welcome party, rehearsal dinner, and wedding reception,” advise Carrillo and Garcia. “This saves money on transportation and lots of craziness on the logistics of coordinating everyone arriving at the same time.” Want to get off the property? See if the resort or hotel can work with you to arrange special group excursions to keep things organized and easy for guests.