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By Emily Howald Sefton
By Real Brides-to-Be
Finding Success in a Six-Month Planning Frenzy
By: Emily Howald Sefton | Posted: 08/11/2014
There were a few tidbits I learned about weddings in 2001 that stuck with me: teal, the color of gangrene, is not a bridesmaid color that screams wedded bliss and "I Honestly Love You" by Olivia Newton John is matrimonial suicide.
Either you know what I'm referring to or you've never seen The Wedding Planner. If it's the latter, and you're engaged, you may want to snuggle in for a night on a couch for a mediocre (yet phenomenal) rom com starring Jennifer Lopez.
Though her advice may not have much credibility in the real wedding world, wedding planners, in general, do have the best advice in the industry. Here five local planners share the inside scoop on what you need to know as you plan your way to wedded bliss.
“Start with the big picture first: Figure out your guest count, budget, venue locations, and book a reliable wedding planner. Then hire your other major vendors as follows: attire, music, caterer (if separate from venue), photographer, videographer, stationer, hotel room blocks, transportation, dessert/cake designer, and florist/designer. Then comes the fun stuff. Too many clients stress about the small details early on and don’t complete the necessary steps in order. Don’t obsess over Pinterest for 12+ months.”
—Amy Fuerstenberg (aka Amy Red), Mi Mi Design
"The most practical piece of advice I give to my brides is to decide on the top must-haves. Pick three priorities whether it be the dress, food, or photography and stick to it. Once you've centered your budget on the more important elements to your day, you can prioritize your planning to help best spend your money. You also won't feel the need to accommodate the latest trends over your wedding weekend if it's not of highest importance.”
—Faith O. Folayan, Urbane Montage Events
"Switch up your shoes! Heels for the wedding, ballet flats for dancing. Or wedges for your outdoor ceremony, and flip flops for your tented reception. We've had brides mix it up with white sequined Sperrys, sparkly Toms, and custom made ShoeDazzle wedges. Changing the style and the heel height at least once during the day will save your feet and your back and let you focus on the important stuff!”
—Stephanie Johnson, Park Place Planning
"Right before you walk down the aisle, put it all in slow motion because it flies by. Also, hold your bouquet uncomfortably low for the best bridal silhouette.”
—Nicolle Sellers, Mother of the Bride Wedding Planning + Events
"My advice early on to brides and grooms is to think long and hard about those guests being invited, because guest count affects practically every other aspect of the wedding. When putting together a guest list, think to yourself, would I be heartbroken if this person isn’t there? Gone are the days of reciprocal invitations. Just because you were invited to someones wedding, doesn’t mean you are obligated to invite them. Try to put yourselves in the shoes of the potential guest. When that person opens your invitation will they jump with joy for having been invited or roll their eyes and think of ways to get out of attending.”
—Amy Rubins, Fete Perfection
"Stay on time, arrive early and don't rush or short yourself on timing schedule on your wedding day! (even have a hair & makeup timing schedule for bride and all her ladies :) ) This allow the bride and groom to enjoy their day in being as relaxed as possible without rushing and missing special moments!"
—Joan Nilsen, Ambiente
Emily Howald Sefton is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s deputy features editor and Mpls.St.Paul Weddings’ editor. See bio
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