We Asked 11 Experts for Their Best Wedding Advice

Here’s the thing about planning your wedding: if all goes well, you’ll only do it once. And while there’s plenty of advice out there for the newly engaged, it’s best to trust the experts—the people who actually do the work and, trust us, have seen it all—when it comes to planning your big day. Here’s a roundup of some of the best wedding advice you’ll ever get:


Wedding Planning

“The biggest three things that need to happen in the beginning are setting a budget, determining a guest list, and coming up with the priorities.”

-Brigid Horne-Nestor, i-do Weddings & Events

Read Ask the Expert: Brigid Horne-Nestor


Premarital Counseling

“What we’re trying to do is get everybody’s expectations on the table so that they don’t come flying out of the dark six months into the marriage.”

– Thomas Thompson, Thompson and Associates

Read Ask the Expert: Thomas Thompson


Photography

“A professional photographer will give you a preliminary timeline. I don’t want you to stress about “Oh my god, what time should I do hair and makeup? Or what time do we need the limo?” You don’t want to have those worries. You don’t want your mom to have those worries.”

– Michael Bambino, Michael Bambino&Co Photography

Read Ask the Expert: Michael Bambino


Videography

“Decades from now, [your wedding] film becomes a family heirloom.”

– Steve Zugelter, Studio Z Videography

Read Ask the Expert: Steve Zugelter


LocalWeddingsWedding Dresses

“You’ve got to be a little open-minded. Trust the sales associates. They really do know what’s out there. This is what they do on a day-to-day basis versus this being your once-in-a-lifetime thing.”

Claire Pettibone, Designer

Read Ask the Expert: Claire Pettibone


Bridal Accessories

“Picking out jewelry is just like picking out a dress. You need to try it on. The accessories should really take it up a level. They should reflect you, but a little more, and not be your usual everyday look.”

– Debra Moreland, PARIS

Read Ask the Expert: Debra Moreland


Wedding Makeup

“I think a really good thing to do is to try to get your makeup done for your engagement session. That way you can get a good sense of how much makeup you really need to pop in a photo.”

– Nancy Dawson, BRIDEface

Read Ask the Expert: Nancy Dawson


Wedding Flowers

“Using what’s in season is always best. It’s fresh. It’s less expensive. One of the best questions to ask is: What are the best flowers in the season of my wedding?”

-Robin Wood, Robin Wood Flowers

Read Ask the Expert: Robin Wood


Custom Signage

“We personally like when monograms are subtle yet present. For example, on the Instagram signs, menus, guest books, and escort boards we make, we love to use the couple’s monogram (either one that we’ve created or that they’ve used on their save-the-dates or invitations) and incorporate that into the sign.”

-Michele, Christine, and Melyssa Kirn, Olivia Lane Designs

Read Ask the Expert: Michele, Christine, and Melyssa Kirn


Wedding Planning

“Listen to each others’ wedding vision—it is your day above all else!”

– Patti Davis and Melinda Strobehn, Elegant Whims Wedding Planning

Read Ask the Expert: Patti Davis and Melinda Strobehn


Catering & Alcohol

“Offer wine & beer. If you cannot afford a full open bar, consider having one or two signature drinks. Offer a craft beer, along with the standard domestic light beer. Cash bar on liquor is fine, if you host beer & wine.”

– Jill Heltman of Village Pantry Catering

Read Ask the Expert: Jill Heltman

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