Over the weekend I was able to meet so many great brides and grooms at the Seattle Wedding Show. It was so fun to hear about your wedding plans! Many of you are still working on finding that perfect location and a style that fits you and your budget. After 16 years in the wedding industry I’ve learns a few tips that might help, so I’m here to share!

Tip 1: Do your homework! Wedding blogs are a great place to find fun ideas, DIY info, and get a in depth look at the work of vendors in your area. Here in Seattle Blogs such as Borrowed and Blue feature vendors in your area who work is top notch. National blogs can also give you information. My favorites include: Melissa Hearts Weddings, Bridal Hot List, and Two Bright Lights. A list of vendors for each post is at the bottom with links to help make your search all that more convenient.

Tip 2: Find your own path. Wedding can often be occasions mired in tradition, but don’t let that stop you from creating a celebration that is unique and personal. Add details to your wedding day that speak to your the traditions, people, and things that make up your style. For some examples of this, check out my blog post about personal touches that past clients have used to help make their wedding day memorable.
Tip 3: Your married girlfriends are your best resource. If you know someone who’s been married in the last 5 years (and chances are you do) ask them one simple question, “what would you do differently if you could do it all again?” I promise every lady will have great advice on how to avoid the pitfalls they made, vendors to steer clear of, and the parts of their wedding day they loved most of all.

Tip 4: Don’t skip the engagement session. Engagement photos are a great way to add personal flair to your wedding decor. They can be used for more than just Save-the-Date cards. Images can be displayed as part of centerpieces, table decorations, or added to personalized favors for a whimsical touch. Some of my favorites have been editable image cookies with the couple’s photo printed on them, custom wedding soundtracks with their engagement photos as part of the cover art, and thank you notes. Plus your engagement session will help you feel at ease with your photographer and prepared for the wedding portraits.

Tip 5: Be true to yourself. It’s easy to get wrapped up in wedding planning and try to please everyone. While compromising with your mother and mother in law is important, you won’t be a bridezilla if you stand up for the key components you’ve always dreamed of. My advice, pick your battles. Choose a few very important issues to hold your ground on and leave other options up for debate. Be respectful, especially if you are not footing the bill, and generous in your gratitude always keeping in mind that your relationships are more valuable than any one celebration.
Tip 6: Don’t forget to have fun! Planning early will help alleviate a lot of last minute stress and provide room to enjoy your impending nuptials. Don’t procrastinate and you’re bound to have the wedding you’ve always wanted without the nightmares of reality television.

Congrats to all of the couples planning to tie the knot this year and next!