10 Things Wedding Experts Want EVERY Bride to Do

Wedding planning is all about making decisions — but with so many options, especially for the big stuff, how are you supposed to pick and choose?! If you’re torn between things like having an open or cash bar, or an unplugged or social media heavy wedding, we’re here to help. We spoke to wedding experts around the country to get their take on some of the biggest wedding planning decisions couples face. Read on to help you decide!

Destination Wedding vs. Home-based Wedding

“Destination weddings give you an opportunity to have an intimate celebration and to spend quality time with your loved ones. It’s not just a wedding anymore – it’s vacation time for everyone! A typical at-home wedding lasts between 5-6 hours and you might spend the majority of that time rushing between tables to greet all of your guests. A destination celebration will span at least 3 days, allowing you more time to create memories with your loved ones. If you combine your wedding and honeymoon, you can often afford to splurge to a ‘bucket list’ location. It’s an opportunity to explore and experience a new culture together!” – Sherene Hulugalle, Jasmine Vine

Same-Venue vs Two-Venue Weddings

“There’s no question that all-in-one venues are preferred by the vast majority of today’s wedding couples for the obvious reason: It’s so much easier! There are several perks of hosting your wedding ceremony and reception in the same place:

  • One-stop shopping: Booking one location (with one venue manager!) for your entire event versus trying to orchestrate things at two separate venues streamlines so many aspects of your big day.
  • Shorter commute: You don’t have to worry about the logistics (and extra expense) of transporting everyone from the ceremony site to the party. And your guests don’t have to worry about finding parking spots at multiple venues!
  • Seamless cocktail hour: There’s no awkward gap between saying “I do” and getting yo’ cocktails on! And you can relax knowing your nearest and dearest are happily nibbling on apps while you’re posing for newlywed pix.
  • Upcycled décor: It’s way easier to repurpose décor when your ceremony and reception spaces are at the same place. For example, your ceremony arch can double as the background of your sweetheart table!
  • Better attendance: With just one location, guests who may have a problem attending a ceremony and reception at two different venues won’t have to choose between them.” – Jenna Miller, Here Comes the Guide

Online Shopping vs In-Person for Your Bridesmaid Dresses

“We might be a little biased here, but we LOVE the idea of getting all your besties together and shopping AT HOME. Which is why we started Bustle & Veil. A personal stylist brings our exclusive collection of bridesmaid dresses to you, so you just pop the champagne, put on some music, and find the perfect bridesmaid look for your wedding in a fun and familiar environment.”- Lindsay Jones, co-founder of Bustle & Veil

Garlands vs. Centerpieces

“Garlands are more cost effective on long tables. Lush greens will have more impact over sparse bud vases if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking for a pop of color, add in loose blooms, fruit, balloons, or anything that will compliment your theme.” – Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous

Unplugged vs. Social Media Heavy Wedding

“You really don’t have to choose between an unplugged event and socially documented one. We recommend keeping the actual ceremony unplugged (let professional photographers handle those quiet moments and minimize distractions for you and your guests) and letting your guests help capture the magic of the reception. If privacy is an issue, communicate that to your guests well in advance and use a password-controlled wedding app like Ceremony. You’ll always have the option of sharing to social media after the big day.” – Lesley Smith, Ceremony App

Open Bar vs. Cash Bar

“While a cash bar is certainly budget-friendly, I think an open bar is worth the splurge and the best way to give all of your lovely guests a big ‘THANK YOU!’. Some of your family and friends travel a long way for your special day, so this is a great way to show your appreciation without going over the top! – Afeisha James-Kipps, co-founder of Wedspire

White vs. Colored Wedding Dresses

“It has been so exciting and liberating to see brides think outside the box and choose gowns reflective of their personality! One of the ways brides nowadays express their unique flair and personality is by choosing a wedding gown that has a bit of color: whether it’s a blush colored-lining, a dress that has colored flowers embroidered, or anything that has a touch of something different. These brides are confident and excited to showcase their fun outlook on life!” -Ramona Southard, Co-Owner, Love and Lace Bridal Salon

Renting vs. Buying a Tuxedo

“We’re all for renting instead of buying a tuxedo for your wedding. It’s cost-effective, and with the options that are currently on the market, you can receive high-quality and well-fitting garments for the price of a rental. As an added plus, renting allows you to stay versatile. Instead of having only one suit or tux for special occasions, you can have a new look for every event. You’ll never go out of style!” – Nathan Bellah, Director of Marketing at Generation Tux

DIY Florals vs. Traditional Florist

“Obviously there are trade offs when making your own flowers, but with the help of DIY kits, you can get recipes, cleaned flowers, knick knacks and everything else to help you put together arrangements that are beautiful and Instagram worthy. There’s also a sense of accomplishment and bonding with friends and family when you’re making your own flowers!” – Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous

via iStock.com/AYOTOGRAPHY

Selling vs. Preserving Your Wedding Dress

“The trend is rising for brides to sell on their designer wedding dresses after their big day. Planning to sell your wedding dress allows savvy brides to recoup some of their wedding budget, pay for the honeymoon or free up wardrobe space.” – Ingrid Szajer, Co-founder of Stillwhite.com

Hopefully you’ll now have a better idea of which direction you want to take your wedding! There are truly so many ways to customize the experience that the decision-making process can feel impossible, but everything will work out as long as you stay true to what you and your S.O. really want.

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