Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds cheering and walking back down the aisle together hand-in-hand, surrounded by confetti.

The 80 Best Expert Wedding Tips We've Ever Heard

Must-Know Advice from Industry Pros
BY HALEY JENA / 10 20 22
Photo by Ashlyn Cathey Photography

Planning a wedding can feel both exciting (yay!) and overwhelming (help!). While you’re probably counting down the days until you say “I do,” it’s understandable—and totally normal—if it feels challenging to navigate things like costs and logistical details during the process. In moments of planning-induced stress, it can help to hear wedding tips from friends and family who’ve been married before, as well as leading industry experts who dole out such advice on the daily.

That’s why we set out to gather the best-of-the-best wedding tips from planners, photographers, florists, makeup artists, and more, all of whom know the ins and outs of what it takes to make the vision for your celebration a reality. We also made sure to gather wedding tips that answer questions that might spring up during the process, as well as game-changing recommendations you might not have previously considered. Not sure how many cameras you’ll want during your ceremony, for instance? We rounded up wedding photography tips to make the decision simple. Curious how you can prep your skin so your big day’s look stays put all night long? We have wedding makeup tips so that your skin is ceremony-to-reception ready.

Long story short? Here, you’ll find expert-sourced wisdom for nearly any question you might face during the planning process. Get inspired by the best wedding tips and tricks we’ve ever heard below.

Wedding Tips: A bride smiling and resting her head on a groom's shoulder in the middle of a quiet city street on a sunny day.
Wedding Tips: A wedding couple, both wearing suits, kissing outside of San Francisco City Hall.
Wedding Tips: Two brides holding up their bouquets and smiling at an outdoor vineyard wedding in Virginia.

Wedding planning tips

Dreaming up your big day becomes easier when you break it down into parts. That’s why one of the biggest wedding planning tips for couples we hear is to start with the basics, from figuring out your celebration’s budget to narrowing down must-have priorities.

Fortunately, hiring a wedding planner can help you and your spouse-to-be navigate some of these major decisions (in addition to hearing non-stop wedding planning tips unique to your event, of course). A planner combines top-notch expertise and industry connections to offer solutions you might not have otherwise thought of, like advice on how to divvy up your budget or helpful intel on a chic new venue that checks all of your boxes. No matter what you’re envisioning for your soirée, with a wedding planner ideas can seamlessly become reality.

However you go about bringing your big day to life, though, we gathered helpful wedding planner ideas and general wedding tips for making the process more enjoyable and less stressful. Check out these tips for planning a wedding.

Wedding Tips: An outdoor ceremony set-up in front of a white mansion. There are wooden chairs set up facing the steps to the mansion.

Interview Wedding Planners First

“If your vendor team will include a wedding planner, start by interviewing planners and hire one as soon as you can. Planning a wedding can feel daunting and it is hard to figure out where to start for many people, so if you begin the journey with a planner you will have a road map to the planning process and assistance for choosing the rest of your vendor team.” —Melanie Zelnick, owner and CEO, Glow Events

Wedding Tips: Bride and groom smiling, embracing, and leaning in about to kiss while standing outside.

Feel All the Feels

“When starting the wedding planning process, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions and that’s okay! Give yourself grace and allow this time to be enjoyable for you and your partner, as well as your family and friends. Don’t compare your wedding to others you’ve been to or those you have seen on Pinterest. Let the day represent you as a couple and what’s most important to you!” —Virginia Frischkorn, principal and founder, Bluebird Productions

Wedding Tips: Photo of a ceremony dinner table set up. There are five white plates, each adorned with a menu and piece of greenery. There are embellished glasses and clear chairs surrounding the plates.

Set Budget Expectations

“Try and be as realistic as you can and start with a budget conversation. If family is assisting, be clear on their contribution and expectations before you begin signing contracts.” —Danielle Dworkowitz, owner, Creative Touch Party Design

Wedding Tips: A three-tiered, super-colorful cake adorned with flowers. The cake is on a white stand atop a table, and there are colorful knives and forks on the table.

Pick Your Priorities

“Every couple is going to have a different set of priorities, so understanding what yours are before you start spending is key. For some couples, it’s a focus on entertainment and for others, it’s a focus on the cake. Make decisions about what’s most important to you and your spouse-to-be first, so your budget doesn’t run out.” —Lori Stephenson, owner and principal consultant, LOLA Event Productions

Wedding Tips: A white and blue reception set-up of tables and chairs in a big, airy white tent. The tent has green florals hanging from the poles.

Delegate Funds Appropriately

“Once you have determined a number you are comfortable spending for the wedding, begin allocating the funds to the key categories of the event. It’s important to go into the process having discussed your ‘must-haves’ and agreed-upon priorities. Always start with fixed costs: venue fees or tenting costs, food and beverage (based on your headcount), and potential requirements like lighting/power, guest logistics, transportation, permits, etc. From there, distribute the remaining funds among the elements that bring your personality and style to the party.” —Lynn Easton, founder and creative director, Easton Events

Wedding Tips: A low-light, autumnal-vibe reception space at Pippin Hill Farm.

Brainstorm Your Big Day’s Vibe

“One of the first things I recommend is having a conversation about how you’d like your wedding day to feel… What words would you use to describe your wedding day (intimate, grand, elegant, bold, classic, alternative, etc.)? This will help inform the design choices you make and will make the decision-making process (when you reach it) that much easier.” —Elisa Bricker, wedding photographer

Wedding Tips: Bridesmaids and guests sitting and watching a wedding ceremony.

Consider the Guest Perspective

“We urge our clients to plan from the guest experience. This means really pulling out the calendar and thinking through what would be best for those traveling. What does the weekend look like in the location you are tying the knot? Is it a holiday weekend? All good questions to ask when it comes to picking the date!” —Jeannette Tavares, president, Evoke Design & Creative

Wedding Tips: A waterfront wedding ceremony set up in Nuevo Vallarta, Nay., Mexico with tons of chairs and palm trees.

Work with Your Planner to Define Your Vision 

“The best way to get my client's vision across is by asking them for examples they might have. Maybe it was a wedding they attended in the past and took something away from the experience, or something they found on Instagram or Pinterest. Or I ask them specific questions about some things they don't like, such as colored uplighting or buffet stations. What they don't like helps to define what they ultimately are looking for. I also love to create mood boards for each event to help express their vision no matter how small the details are! We get specific, down to the color palette or napkin fold or even custom layouts. Visuals are super helpful across all vendor partners, and more importantly, the client!” —Sneh Diwan, founder and creative director, Diwan by Design

Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds standing close together in a field and smiling.

Always Do Things Your Way

“In your wedding planning process, you will have many voices in your ear telling you what they think you should do or what they did, but sit with your fiancé and do what makes both of you happy. It’s your wedding, do it your way! As long as there is food and drink, everything else is flexible!” —Jove Meyer, owner and creative director, Jove Meyer Events

Wedding Tips: An array of items for guests, including snacks labeled

Stay Unique Yet On-Theme

“Adding features that are exclusive to you and your couple story is both fun and personal, but don’t lose sight of your overall vision when it comes to your final design. Consider questions like, ‘What do you like to snack on? What do you like to do together? What makes these details unique?’ Answering these questions can help you understand what to include.” —Merilee Hennings, owner and wedding planner, EverAfter Events

Wedding Tip: A smiling bride and groom standing on a balcony with the White House and Washington Monument seen in the background at dusk.

Factor the Sunset Into Your Wedding Day Timeline

“We encourage our clients to look at the sunset schedule when selecting their venue. It is important to consider the sunset schedule, especially if you are in a location with a view or rooftop! Timing is essential in the planning process! Sometimes we encourage guests to work backwards. For example, how long do you want to party for? What is the end-time or noise ordinance at the venue? Do you want guests to enjoy the sunset? Do you want sunset photos with your photographer? Once you have asked yourselves these key questions, you will be able to determine a beautiful timeline and guest experience!” —Jeannette Tavares, president, Evoke Design & Creative

Wedding venue tips

One of the biggest decisions you'll make surrounding your big is the where of it all: Where will you have your ceremony? Host your reception? How about the after-party? Fortunately, there are tons of incredible venues to choose from all around the globe. 

The most challenging part, however, is picking the ideal space for your celebration. Do you want the laid-back, whimsical feel of a beach venue? Or are you dreaming of a unique, modern bash at a museum? Perhaps an elegant, fairy tale-inspired affair in a ballroom? There are endless options, and your vendor team can offer plenty of wedding planning tips to help you figure out the vibe you’re after for your big day. To help you narrow down the search in the meantime, check out these expert wedding tips for picking a venue.

Wedding Tips: An outdoor ceremony set up in front of a cottage at Sea Island.

Think About What Matters Most

"My number one piece of advice for couples as they prepare for touring is to ask themselves the question, 'What means the most to us?' Is it the ceremony space, being outdoor, guest experience, etc.? This question is key because no venue will be perfect or have everything they are looking for in one. I see it happen with couples all the time who are trying to make everything fit when sometimes it just can’t have it all. I think as a couple they have to decide what are the most important elements that they want to look back on and say, 'I’m so happy we had that.' Those are the things that matter most once it’s all over!" —Katie Sweat, wedding manager, Sea Island Resort

Wedding Tips. A bride and groom smiling at one another as they stand on an outdoor balcony.

Try to Be Flexible with Your Timing

“If a couple has a specific date in mind, we always recommend booking early. We always tell our clients to weigh the pros and cons of the selected weekend. You might not get the exact date you have always hoped for, but if that specific weekend is important, we always try to incorporate it. For example, we have had clients do a small church ceremony on a date that was meaningful to them and then party on another weekend with their family and friends! We believe the best approach to wedding planning is flexibility.” —Jeannette Tavares, president, Evoke Design & Creative

Wedding Tips: A reception set-up with a long table for guests with chairs on both sides and greenery hanging above.

Strongly Consider “Shoulder Season”

“When thinking about what time of year you'd like to get married, you might be tempted to book a venue when it's at peak popularity—like a beach wedding during the summer or a mountain wedding during the winter. While those times are great, be sure to consider "shoulder season," which is when a destination isn't at its traditional travel peak. For example, a mountain wedding in the fall could provide a spectacular backdrop of the golden aspens, and you can enjoy competitive room rates, flexibility with food and beverage minimums, and delicious seasonal dishes for your wedding menu—all serious benefits to keep in mind.” —Chris Cofelice, director of sales, Sonnenalp Hotel

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom kissing after their ceremony while guests applaud from above and behind them at their venue.

Factor in Your Venue Deposit

“Venues take up the bulk of the wedding budget (often as much as 50-70%) and will impact the entire planning process and overall wedding cost. You might think you have a year to save up for your wedding, but most venues actually charge a large upfront deposit to lock in a date. That’s why we developed Carats & Cake to provide greater flexibility. So, if your wedding deposit is, say $20,000, and your venue offers Carats & Cake as a payment option, you can break that into four equal, interest-free payments of $5,000, which can make it much more manageable. Definitely ask your venue!” —Jess Levin Conroy, CEO, Carats & Cake

Wedding Tips: An outdoor wedding ceremony set-up made with lush beige fauna with white chairs in the audience area.

Search for Sustainability

“If sustainability is at the core of your wedding day, opt for a venue that focuses on giving back to the environment or embraces its own sustainable practices. Saying ‘I do’ at an eco-conscious venue is one way to make sure this element is at the center of your big day.” —Carolina Moreno, destination weddings manager, Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Two brides smiling and walking hand-in-hand back down the aisle together.

Make Sure Your Venue Is Accessible

“There are a few things to keep in mind when making sure your venue is accessible for your guests and the event movement flow. First: location of the area, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. If each location is in different areas, how easy is it to get to each one? Should you consider golf carts? Second: restrooms. Make sure they are easy to access for all. If you have to bring in additional restroom trailers, make sure one is accessible for guests in wheelchairs. Third: It's important to have a conversation with your venue coordinator and ask how they prioritize accessibility. Consider these same items when making hotel room blocks. When sending out your save-the-dates, request for any special needs from your guests. This will make them feel taken care of and not a burden!” —Chanda Daniels, wedding planner, Chanda Daniels Planning & Design

Wedding Tips:  A person blowing into a conch shell at an outdoor wedding ceremony in Maui, Kapalua.

Celebrate Local Culture

“For a destination wedding, it's important to celebrate the local culture. On Maui, that could be lei making and hula lessons, a Hawaiian chant, or a fireknife dance sendoff. Or, brides and bridesmaids can wear lei po'o (flower crowns) that they made themselves to the wedding, for instance. Incorporating these small touches can be incredibly memorable.” —Akiko Nakazato, director of sales and catering, The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua

Wedding photography tips

If there’s one occasion worthy of photos, it’s getting married to the love of your life. After all, having documented memories of your celebration will allow you and your future spouse (as well as any future kids and grandkids!) to look back on all of the special moments for decades to come.

All of that can create pressure to pick the perfect photographer to lens your event. But worry not: There are ample wedding photography tips to make the whole process easier. We rounded up the best advice from industry pros, from how to figure out your favorite photo styles to how many photographers to have on hand during your bash. We also made sure to include wedding photography tips to help couples feel more comfortable in front of the camera, as well as other wedding day tips to make sure you get all the shots you want.

Ready to say cheese? Get camera-ready with these wedding photography tips from trusted experts. (And if you want even more advice, check out our expanded list of expert-sourced wedding photography tips.)

Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds lying on a rug in opposite directions with their heads and hands are embracing.

Think About Your Vision When Interviewing Photographers

“When deciding what photographer to hire, I would ask them questions like: ‘We aren't a traditional feminine/masculine couple, what pose ideas would you be able to do with us?’ ‘We would love our wedding gallery to feel strong/powerful/intimate/romantic/full of connection [insert whatever descriptors feel most affirming to you]. Could you send us example images with that feeling before we make our decision?’” —Theo Nash, wedding photographer, Theo Nash Photography

Wedding Tips: An overhead night shot of a city wedding venue with a NewYork bridge and skyline in the background.

Consider Hiring Additional Photographers

“Depending on the location, your venue’s natural landscape may offer overhead angels or additional floors with balconies that are perfect for overhead shots or drones. This is a great reason to have a second or even a third photographer that can be in these different positions or operate the drone while your main photographer can be on the ground. Having two photographers on-site [from the same team] can lend to different images from different angles and solve the problem that your photographer can’t be in two places at once.” —Edward Winter, wedding photographer, READYLUCK

Wedding Tips: Close-up tablescape of a reception table set up with tall candles and pastel florals lining the middle.

Invite Your Photographer to Dinner (Your Rehearsal Dinner, That Is)

“As photographers, a rehearsal dinner gives us greater insight into the relationships between you and your guests. As well as the benefit of a more complete wedding story, including snapshots of your families and friends leading up to your ceremony and reception. The more time your family spends in front of the camera, the more comfortable they will feel on the actual wedding day and great photos will result from this!” —Melani Lust, photographer and owner, Melani Lust Photography

Wedding Tips: A bride with two bridesmaids smiling and posing for a photo.

Remember the (Many) Benefits of Pre-Ceremony Pics

“Having your photographer accompany you and your wedding party pre-ceremony is a great way to start the day and guarantee you have captured moments with your closest friends. This will also give your wedding party (as well as yourself!) extra time to become comfortable in front of the camera and establish a closer relationship with your photographer.” —Victoria Holland, owner, Victoria Ann Events

Wedding Tips: A woman who appears to be the bride's mom helping the bride zip into her wedding dress in a room.

Loop Your Photographer In on Your Wedding Day Timeline

“To be on the same page as your photographer, we set up a touch base call with the client and the planner two months prior to the wedding. Here, we go over the timeline and look for certain things such as, ‘What time is the bride finished with makeup?’ We prefer them to have a buffer time between makeup and getting in their dress. That way we can capture genuine moments that tell the story of the anticipation of the day, as opposed to the bride just sitting in the makeup chair.” —Abby Jiu, owner and principal, Abby Jiu Photography

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom facing away from the camera and walking toward their wedding reception set-up.

Schedule Time for Special Shots

“One of my favorite times to capture intimate moments between the couple getting married is to pull the newlyweds out of cocktail hour, just a few minutes before the guests are all seated for dinner and have the couple see the reception space in private before everyone else. To see your reception space come together in an intimate private setting with just the two of you is so special and an incredible moment to capture.” —Adriana Klas, photographer and owner, Adriana Klas Photography

Wedding Tips: A bride standing outside looking at a countryside view from a grand terrace.

Don’t Forget About the Backdrop

“If you picked a venue with a view, showcase that with an epic entrance shot that will ‘wow.’ The photographer will have seen your venue in advance (either online or with a location scouting) and will be able to advise if this is a feasible option (such as: if there is a balcony, a terrace, or a staircase where the photographer can stand). Alternatively, you can have a big group photo with that view and your photographer can use different vantage points from above to capture both your breathtaking backdrop and your day-of portraits.” —Roberta Facchini, wedding photographer, Roberta Facchini Photography

Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds holding hands, smiling, and looking at each other lovingly.

Share What Compliments Feel Best

“You deserve to feel seen in your photos the way you see yourself. I recommend sharing your pronouns and what compliments feel best for you. Many photographers default to calling our clients ‘adorable,’ ‘beautiful,’ and/or ‘handsome’ but that might feel dysphoric to you. You can ask your photographer to use feminine, masculine, or gender-neutral terms and compliments when working for you. It might seem small, but it can make a huge difference in your experiences. That’s what being affirming is all about—moving beyond an inclusivity checklist to giving your clients meaningful experiences in which they feel seen.”—Theo Nash, wedding photographer, Theo Nash Photography

Wedding videographer tips

After your big day comes and goes, you’ll probably find yourself wishing you could relive it all over again. But with the help of a videographer, you actually can! A videographer captures the most cherished, special moments and skillfully crafts a video that blends them all together

Once you hire a videographer, you’ll need to work out a few details with them before the camera starts rolling. That’s why we gathered a couple of our favorite wedding tips from videographers, from how camera-shy couples can feel more comfortable on film to communicating your vision ahead of time. Check out their must-know wedding tips below.

Wedding Tips: A newly married bride and groom kissing outside at their outdoor ceremony while confetti rains down around them and loved ones cheer.

Know the Value of Videography

“I’m no stranger to hearing ‘not having a video from our wedding day is my biggest regret.’ Video of yourself and your loved ones is truly something that becomes more valuable each year and decade that passes. Being able to rewatch the beginning of this beautiful new chapter in your life, surrounded by the people who love you most, is a priceless gift to give yourself and your future generations. It’s an investment you don’t want to regret not making. If you’re struggling to find a cinematographer whose style feels authentic to you, keep looking or reach out for recommendations. There are infinite ways to capture and tell the story of your wedding day, so be sure to take the time to find one that feels right for you.” —Peyton Frank, videographer, Peyton Frank Films

Wedding Tips: A bride pouring champagne over a tour of coupe glasses with rosemary garnishes.

Ask About Collaboration

 “A great question to ask your potential wedding videographer is, ‘Are you open to collaborating?’ To prepare for your first call with a videographer I would not only watch the videos but also listen to them. Are you the type of person who likes to hear speeches and sentimental moments played over the video or do you like something more upbeat and focused on having fun?” —Alex Clayton, videographer, Clayton Film Co.

Wedding Tips: Long, large tables with white tablecloths and wooden chairs set up for an outdoor wedding reception under string lights.

Align on the Videography Vision

“Your wedding videographer, along with your photographer, will be with you throughout the entirety of your wedding day. Selecting someone who you trust to provide you with a seamless day-of experience and to capture your memories for generations to come is a big decision. You can learn a lot by asking about a cinematographer's approach to filming the wedding day. Also, ensure that the storytelling and visual style of your cinematographer aligns with your wedding vision. Just like with any other vendor, when you find an artist that you can fully trust to capture and tell your story, you can step back, relax, and simply enjoy the process!” —Peyton Frank, videographer, Peyton Frank Films

Wedding Tips: Drone footage of a bride being walked down the aisle at an outdoor venue near the water while guests watch.

Communicate Footage Requests Ahead of Time

“If you have a vision for an overhead shot for your wedding, it’s best not to assume the photographer is going to have a drone ready to capture that for you without any notice. If drone photos are a priority, consider enlisting the help of your video teams who are shooting with a drone to get a still shot or two that your photographer can include in your gallery.” —Rich Lander, wedding photographer, Chard Photographer

Wedding Tips: A groom looking at a bride and grinning while the two hold hands in an outdoor setting.

Create Genuine Moments

“Camera-shy couples should focus on creating authentic moments. Filling their wedding with activities that reflect who they are as a couple, activities that will allow them to get caught in the moment and forget all about the cameras will give the video and photo teams the opportunity to capture beautiful and real moments. For example, if slow dancing feels awkward for the couple, maybe opt for a group line dance. If kissing in the camera doesn’t come naturally, laugh together instead. Genuine moments that reflect the natural essence of a couple is the best way to capture a camera shy couple or any couple for that matter!” —Erin and Steve Sok, videographers and owners, Sok Vision

Wedding website tips

One of the earliest things you’ll set up for your big day is your wedding website. In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, these sites are custom places to house all of the information your guests need to know. That includes when and where you’re getting married, registry details, and hotel blocks, as well as fun extras, like photos of you and your spouse-to-be or your wedding party line-up. You can also include wedding tips unique to your big day, like your favorite spots to dine or drink in the area, nearby attractions for out-of-town loved ones to explore, and more.

While setting up a website might sound complicated, they’re actually pretty simple to get going, and having an online platform your guests can visit is one of the biggest wedding tips you might hear from friends who’ve been married recently. But it’s understandable if you have questions on exactly what you need to get started or what your website should include. Check out these wedding tips from experts who work closely with custom sites to help the process along.

Wedding Tips: A smartphone with a wedding website pulled up that says

Build Your Website Early

“Your wedding website is the digital hub for you and your guests, so we always recommend starting your website as early as possible in your planning process. Even if your wedding website only has the basic weekend event and travel information, and is two or three pages long, your guests will still visit and find it helpful for their planning! Remember, a website can be updated at any time, so get a simple version of your website live for your save-the-date, and then update it over time as you continue to plan your wedding weekend.” —Carl and Cindy Skanderup, owners, Bliss & Bone

Wedding Tips: A bride walking down the aisle.

Include Key Info

“I think it's so important to include a dress code on a wedding website. It seems like it's not that big of a deal but more often than not, guests are looking for guidance on what to wear. Working predominantly in the South Asian wedding market, this question comes up quite a bit, especially if it is their first time attending an Indian wedding. Another important factor is to include any transportation details such as shuttle times and local taxi companies if Uber is not available. Simply how to get from point A to point B can go a long way and help the guest be there on time! Lastly, it’s helpful to note what kind of food will be served. Many people have dietary restrictions and food allergies that might not align with what is being served at the event. It will allow for the guest to plan ahead or know what to expect when attending.” —Sneh Diwan, founder and creative director, Diwan by Design

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom looking at each other and holding hands while standing in the crosswalk in front of New York Public Library.

Use Your Site to Communicate with Guests

"Guests are always so excited to be sharing in the big day with our couple, but they may have a million and one things going on before the wedding and would be quite distracted if there is an overwhelming group chat about some details. Please skip the mass group text option for any form of actual communication. We really love to have the wedding website do the automated reminders to fill in RSVP and meal preferences. For those last remaining few guests we always suggest giving them a call and catch up briefly upon asking the important details needed to complete planning." —Xin Huang, leader designer and proprietor, Le Petite Privé

Wedding Tips: People laughing and holding drinks at an outdoor wedding celebration.

Finalize Details Before Sharing Your Site

“Before sharing your wedding website with guests, you'll want to make sure you have certain elements of your celebration totally ironed. First, make sure your wedding venue date is booked (not just selected) so that you have a firm, official date listed. Have a solid guest list too, not just a first draft—you don't want to send the site to anyone who won't for sure be invited. You should have also decided on any pre- and post-wedding events (like a welcome party or farewell brunch) so guests book the correct flights and nights in the hotel. I also recommend having a general color palette and design so that the website is cohesive with the rest of the wedding. And finally, it's nice to have any engagement photos complete, should you want to include an updated photo of yourselves!” —Aneesa Glines, owner and lead planner, Harmony Weddings & Events

Wedding invitation tips

Your invitation suite gives guests their first glimpse into your big day. That, of course, includes need-to-know information like where the ceremony is happening and when, but it also gives loved ones a hint as to what your soirée’s vibe will be. For instance, if you’re planning to host a classic, elegant celebration, your stationer might suggest an invite filled with beautiful script fonts and sophisticated design details. And for a more edgy, modern affair, your invites could utilize a more playful font with carefully placed pops of color. 

It can feel difficult to nail down the details, but your stationer and planner can provide an abundance of wedding tips to make your invites both helpful resources for guests and a quintessential reflection of what your event will look and feel like. Check out some of those expert wedding tips below.

Wedding Tips: An invitation suite flay-lay surrounded by greenery.

Set the Stage with Stationery

“Stationery can allow the couple to show off their personality and introduce their specific tastes to their guests. It’s a way to communicate and get guests excited about their special wedding day that is to come. Stationery can become keepsake items that you will cherish and remember for the rest of your life.” —Leslie Mastin, wedding planner and designer, Leslie Mastin Events

Wedding Tips: A piece of an invitation suite with an illustration of two brides holding hands while a dog sits between them.

Voice Your Ideas to Your Stationer

"The better we know you, the better we can serve you. Whether you're working directly with your planner or stationer, use the time to tell them about your vision for your invitation suite and share beyond the surface level. This will allow your design team to create a truly meaningful design you're guaranteed to love. In addition, your family and friends will recognize the details that make your stationery personal to you and your partner." —Nikisha King, founder and chief business officer, Nikisha King Design House

Wedding Tips: A save the date flat-lay that says

Let Your Venue Spark Invitation Creativity 

“Take inspiration from your venue by including a drawing or sketch on your invitation suite and day-of stationery, like ceremony programs or cocktail napkins. Use the venue as a backdrop for your ceremony or cocktail hour to bring the design full circle.” —Diana Chouinard, owner and creative director, Jubilee Events

Wedding makeup tips

You want to look and feel your best on your big day, from the very start of the ceremony all the way through the after-party. If your getting-married glam includes wearing makeup, you’ll want to make certain it stays put for hours (and hours). You’ll also want to ensure your skin is prepped and ready to go, and that there are no surprises once the celebration begins. (It’s probably not surprising that those are two of the most common wedding tips we hear related to your day-of look.) A professional makeup artist can help your makeup outlast the length of your soirée—combatting sweat or happy tears along the way—and make sure it's styled exactly how you envisioned, plus provide you with helpful beauty wedding tips in case you need a touch-up mid-day. 

In the meantime, here are a handful of wedding makeup tips from the pros on everything from preparing your skin to making sure your getting-ready process is as smooth as possible.

Wedding Tips: A bride with her hair and makeup done sitting in front of red curtains and looking to her right.

Establish a Routine Months in Advance

“Beyond the many amazing products available right now that promise to keep makeup in place (including primers, long-lasting foundation formulas, and setting sprays), the best way to ensure that your bridal makeup stays put all day is to invest time and money months before in a proper skin regimen. Taking the time to establish a routine early will properly prep your skin to be evenly hydrated and free from dead skin cells. This will allow all of the products used to do what they claim to do to provide the long lasting bridal glow that you’re looking for.  My clients who have gone this route provide me with the perfect canvas to paint and I know that they are guaranteed to look gorgeous all night!” —Nikki Fraser, makeup artist and owner, Beauty ‘n The Bride

Wedding Tips: Two newly weds leaning in to kiss outdoors.

Do Trial Runs

“I recommend my brides do all of their testing and trials at least six months in advance. That means tanning, lash extensions, last lifts, facials, botox, etc.” —Vanessa Vieni, makeup artist

Wedding Tips: A bride smiling and walking with her wedding party.

Book Plenty of Makeup Artists

“For brides with larger bridal parties, we suggest booking additional makeup artists and hairstylists. This can cut getting ready time in half, so the hair and makeup process do not have to begin in the early hours of the morning. We usually suggest one hairstylist/makeup artist for every seven people, but for very large parties we prefer sending in a few extras.” —Linsey Snyder Wachalter, founder and owner, Face Time Beauty Concierge

Wedding Tips: A makeup artist applying a lip color to a bride.

Cleanse, Hydrate, and Compress Right Before the Big Day

“Skincare preparations the evening before and the morning of your wedding are essential. Proper cleansing and hydration are key and will make the difference in your makeup and its lasting power. I personally recommend gentle cleansing with an enzyme mask or oil to remove dead surface skin and flakiness. For puffiness, a simple hydrating eye serum and a cold compress for 10 to 15 minutes work wonders.” —Dani Wagener, makeup artist and owner, Dani Wagener Beauty

Wedding hair tips

Love is in the hair (that’s how the old adage goes, right?). A lot of factors come into play when it comes to your wedding hairstyle. For instance, some brides may want an updo to better showcase their gowns, while others may want a long, flowy style to pair with a veil. Meanwhile, grooms or any guys in the wedding party may want to consider a haircut before the big day, a hot shave at a barber shop, or full-on styling the day-of. All in all, everyone involved in your celebration should look and feel their best on the big day. 

Your big-day hairstyle is, of course, unique to you, and a stylist can share wedding tips that’ll work best for you and your specific vision. But there are some general wedding tips that can be helpful to picking the perfect hairstyle for you, as well as wedding planning tips to make sure your getting-ready schedule goes according to schedule. 

Wedding Tips: Close-up photo of a bride's makeup. The bride is looking down and is wearing a pearl necklace, with a dark maroon/red lip color.

Prep Your Hair

“I recommend that brides have their hair cut and colored two weeks prior to their wedding day to let the color and cut settle in. I also recommend that brides have their hair clean and dry on the day of the wedding prior to having it styled. This will save time on the day of, unless you are getting a blow out. The stylist can always add texture to the hair, but having oily roots and scalp is hard to correct with products, and the oils can weigh the hair down and dull shine. For grooms I recommend that they have their hair cut one week prior to their wedding day. I encourage a neck trim and a clean shave on the day of the wedding to look crisp and avoid a ‘five o'clock shadow’ for the first look and ceremony photos.” —Ashley Smith, stylist and makeup artist, Ashley Smith Beauty

Wedding Tips: A bride in her wedding gown adjusting her hair in a three-way mirror.

Prepare with a Professional for a Destination Wedding

“Bringing a professional with you to create your bridal hairstyle will always be my biggest piece of advice, but I also believe the right tools can help keep the destination's outdoor elements at bay. Schedule a consultation with a professional before your destination wedding to get advice for your hair type and texture, like how to best manage it with products and tools. For instance, bringing a product like Color Wow Dream Coat for a smooth blowout in the tropics or a carbon comb to stop static in cold climates can help maintain picture-perfect hair throughout your wedding weekend.” —Margaret Snider, destination makeup and hair artist, Margaret Snider & Co

Wedding Tips: A bride sitting gracefully on a window ledge smiling softly.

Pick a Familiar Style

“I always tell my brides to choose a hairstyle they are comfortable in and feel and look their best. For example if you normally wear your hair down, I’d go for a hairstyle that is down—it could be all down or a half-up hairstyle. I wouldn’t recommend you choosing an updo if you normally don’t wear your hair up. You want to feel yourself and be comfortable on your wedding day.” —Janet Villa, wedding hair and makeup artist

Wedding Tips:  A bride posing with her wedding party outside with the water in the background.

Set a Timeline—and Stick to It

“It’s easy to get lost in the fun of getting ready when there is a room full of all your best friends. I always recommend a timeline that maps out how long it will take each person to get their hair and makeup done, so that you aren’t rushing to get everyone ready last minute. With a schedule in place, you can focus on staying in the moment and enjoy the getting ready process.” —Mary Wright Shah, owner and creative director, Diamond Affairs Weddings & Special Events

Wedding Tips: Stylist Ashley Smith looking at a bride's hair and reaching to adjust it with herhands.

Factor in the Weather Forecast

“Brides should know that weather can affect the hairstyle on the day of. For example, wedding ceremonies held on the top of a mountain in Vail can experience high winds and sudden rain storms. A style that is secure and put in an updo is best for ceremonies held outside if there's a chance of rain, wind, or high humidity. A trial run is very important because it gives you and your stylist a chance to try various products for your hair type to ensure that the style lasts all day!” —Ashley Smith, stylist and makeup artist, Ashley Smith Beauty

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom smiling at each other while holding hands and walking down a tree-lined path outdoors together.

Align Your Hairstyle with Your Wedding Vibe

“When creating your dream wedding day beauty vision, it's important to consider the elements of your wedding weekend. This includes the destination, gown, and design. My advice is to lean into those key elements for a cohesive, effortless look that compliments the details of your wedding day. For example, I recommend flowing, soft curls to coastal bridal clients getting married outside. Lean into the environment and let your hair flow with the wind!” —Margaret Snider, destination makeup and hair artist, Margaret Snider & Co

Wedding dress, suit, & tuxedo tips

Whether you’ve been dreaming of your wedding day look for decades or you’re shopping with a completely open mind, finding the perfect outfit (or outfits!) for your fête is often one of the most exciting decisions you’ll make.

At the same time, it’s important to put careful thought into which 'fit you land on. (This outfit may very well be your most documented look ever.) That’s why when buying a suit, tux, or wedding dress, tips from experts will help narrow down the quintessential style for you. What’s more, a stylist can offer tried-and-true advice for finding the right style, from wedding tips for the bride about gown styles to how to pick the best suit color or material for your big day.

Wedding Tips: A bride in a yellow dress with a groom walking by in a tux. They are both standing by an outdoor in-ground pool and there are mountains and trees in the background.

Gather Inspiration to Find Your Vibe

“We always recommend a mood board or saving images from Instagram to start defining what vibe you're going for and what would suit the venue and your vision. Definitely giving as much information to your stylist as possible (we require a questionnaire) so that they can point you in the right direction or inform you of upcoming trunk shows that might have what you're looking for. Research is always going to go far when it comes to your wedding looks, so if you can do that before your appointment, it's always going to be more successful!" —Christy Baird, founder and creative director, LOHO Bride

Wedding Tips: A bride in a white, strapless gown with a lace overlay smiling and holding her veil and a bouquet of white flowers.

Think About the Location

“Location is one of the main things to consider when it comes to your wedding looks, because you want to feel comfortable and appropriate in the setting of your celebration. For example, if we have a bride getting married in Montana, she'll probably have a very different look than what she would be wearing in New York City. With that said, accessories play a big role and can make the same dress look appropriate in different settings. For a Montana wedding, we might put on a suede jacket and a cowboy boot, but for New York, we might put on a chic heel and a sparkly necklace. So in a lot of cases, it’s more about finding a dress that you love and feel good in and then accessorizing appropriately for the venue.” —Julie Sabatino, stylist and founder, The Stylish Bride

Wedding Tips: A bride in a pleated green Andrew Kwon wedding dress smiling next to a groom in a navy suit in front of a brick wall with greenery on it.

Come Prepared for Your Appointment

 “I tell my brides to wear their nude undergarments, and if they have an idea of what shoe they are planning to wear, to bring those as well.” —Andrew Kwon, designer

Wedding Tips: A laughing bride and groom standing close together outside of Lotte New York Palace.

Express Your Wedding 'Fit Priorities

“You know your body better than anyone. Be honest with your sales consultant about what areas of your figure you want to play up or down, and your style comfort level.” —Mark Ingram, wedding designer and owner, Mark Ingram Atelier

Wedding Tips: Micaela Erlanger in a white two-piece after party look standing and smiling while surrounded by wedding guests.

Consider How Long You’ll Be in Your Outfit

“A lot of people change, so thinking about how long you're going to be in your gown, where you're wearing it after the ceremony, if you're staying in it for cocktails, or are you doing your first dance and making sure that you can move and be comfortable, too, is all really important.” —Micaela Erlanger, celebrity stylist

Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds holding each other and grinning.

Pick a Style True to You

“Don’t choose something because you think you should, because someone else thinks you should, or because you saw someone else wear it. This day is, in part, a celebration of you living and loving authentically, so stay true to yourself through the whole planning process, but especially when choosing what you’re going to wear. Feeling fabulous and looking gorgeous flows naturally when you’re radiating from within.” —Emily Meyer, designer

Wedding Tips: A bride standing and smiling outside while holding her bouquet and wearing a floral-patterned white wedding gown.

Choose Cohesive Wedding Looks

“If you’re a bride shopping for multiple wedding outfits, we always recommend that you start with the wedding dress because it's the most important (and takes the longest to make), and go from there. We like to combine the bride’s personal style with the venue, the setting, and the formality of each event to create looks that go in conjunction with those different factors. From there, it's really up to the individual woman if she wants to have elements that foreshadow her wedding dress in the other outifits (e.g. lace details in all of the looks) or if she wants to express completely different parts of her personality for the other events (e.g. a clean simple dress for the rehearsal dinner and a lace or embroidered gown for the wedding). We have had clients do it both ways, and as long as your outfits make you feel amazing, then it doesn't really matter which way you choose to go.” —Julie Sabatino, stylist and founder, The Stylish Bride

Two grooms in colorful, floral jackets and suits holding hands outside.

Don’t Shy Away from Bold Styles

“When choosing your tux, go outside the box, as long as it highlights and elevates your look. Classic colors are black and blue; however, some grooms just don’t fit in the ‘classic’ box. For these grooms, a jewel-tone tuxedo may do the trick. For a beach or tropical wedding, a patterned suit may work. The most important thing is what looks best on you and what makes you feel your absolute best on your big day.” —Pejy Kash, founder and event director, Pejy Kash Events

A close-up shot of a bride and groom walking away in a grassy area.

Keep Your Shopping Circle Tight-Knit

“I always say the best people to bring with you when shopping are the one or two—at most—whose opinions you trust and that mean the most. These appointments should be all about you and what you want and how you feel—no hidden agendas or ulterior motives wanted or needed here.” —Mark Ingram, wedding designer and owner, Mark Ingram Atelier

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom walking arm-in-arm, smiling, and walking down a sidewalk.

Understand the Importance of Tailoring

“What does every dapper gentleman have in common? The answer is good tailoring. For a perfect wedding day fit, make sure that you get your garment tailored. Nowadays, you don’t have to go outside of your budget to look expensive, you just need to find an experienced tailor. Finding a skilled technician to help you achieve the perfect fit may take some time and investigation, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time leading up to your big day to vet the ideal professional.” —Kristen Griffith-VanderYacht, owner and creative director, Wild Bloom Floral Studio

Wedding florals tips

In one word, florals are transformative. They can set the tone for your ceremony, give your reception space the “wow” factor, and elevate anything from an escort card table to your down-the-aisle attire. They help unify your event’s overall aesthetic and make your theme flow seamlessly from one area to another, which is why including florals in some way is one of the most popular wedding planning tips we hear.

Choosing how you’d like to incorporate florals, however, is a more complex decision than simply picking your fave blooms. Check out these wedding florist tips to help you think through all of your key decor decisions.

Wedding Tips: A reception set-up with a long table under a tent in a private residence. There are flowers lining the table and greenery hanging from the roof of the tent.

Make Sure You Vibe with Your Florist

“We recommend choosing a florist who you personally connect with. Your flowers are an important investment and can completely transform the space, so you want to make sure you love working with the floral designer during the planning process. Also, take note of how responsive they are and their overall design aesthetic. While many florists can do multiple styles of work, it’s best not to veer away from their specialty and passion!” —Virginia Frischkorn, principal and founder, Bluebird Productions

Wedding Tips: Two newlyweds smiling at each other.

Use Florals Exactly How You Want

“I ask really open-ended questions. The one that I love the most is, ‘How do you envision florals on your wedding day?’ I’m not asking, ‘Are you carrying a bouquet?’ I’m not asking ‘Do you want a boutonniere?’ I’m just asking, ‘How do you envision florals?’ so then they can walk me through whoever wants to hold the bouquet, whoever wants the boutonniere, two bouquets, what have you.” —Chanda Daniels, wedding planner, Chanda Daniels Planning & Design

Wedding Tips: An outdoor forrest ceremony set-up with simple white flowers lining the aisle and wooden bench seats.

Ensure Florals Complement Their Surroundings

“Consult with your florist on the location of your wedding (venue, surroundings, backdrop, etc.) and the aesthetic of your environment. Keep in mind that you want to work with the existing surroundings and architecture to accentuate your environment. Are you marrying in the mountains, on the beach, or in the middle of a forest? For example, keep in mind that a beach wedding is different than a ballroom wedding, and tall centerpieces may not be appropriately placed there.” —Isabella Sikaffy, owner, Florabella

Wedding Tips: A large vase of flowers sitting in the middle of a table card escort table.

Ask About Oft-Overlooked Areas

“When meeting with your florist, don’t forget to ask about what is possible for the areas that aren’t as obvious as the ceremony and dinner tables. Often overlooked areas such as welcome tables, gift tables, dessert stations, and escort card tables always look more dynamic with some added floral elements.” —Linda Stripp, director, Mezze Catering & Events

Wedding Tips: A wedding band performing with flowers lining the stage in front of them.

Have Florals Do Double Duty

“Repurpose what you can from ceremony to reception, so those arrangements don’t go to waste after what is typically a much shorter ceremony these days. For example, use aisle planters to line the entertainment stage or large ceremony urns as a focal point at the tent entry. It’s a great way to get the most out of your ceremony flowers.” —Yumiko Fletcher, owner and creative director, Hana Floral Design

Wedding Tips: A close-up photo of a bride holding her bouquet, which is filled with an array of colorful blooms.

Assess Seasonal Availability

“Inquire as to what flowers are in season during your wedding month, and decide if you are willing to spend more to get something you absolutely must have that is out of season, such as a peony in August or September.” —Jennifer Zukovsky, co-owner, Fionna Floral

Wedding Tips: A small bouquet centerpiece next to a candle.

Don’t Let Florals Go to Waste—Literally

“We love giving flowers another life by repurposing them into another weekend event (such as a farewell brunch) or donating them as a way to reduce waste. Consider also donating leftover comfort items such as blankets and wraps to pet and homeless shelters.” —Brandi Reiland, owner and creative director, Soiree Weddings & Events

Wedding catering tips

To put it very simply, your reception is probably the biggest dinner party you’ll ever host. It can feel nerve-wracking to decide on a meal that’ll satisfy every guest, but your caterer can walk you through wedding planning tips to make your menu not only delicious, but also reflective of you and your spouse-to-be’s tastes. Your vendor team can also help you establish any confusing logistics, like how many hors d’oeuvres to serve (and when), what meals your venue can accommodate, how to handle special dietary or allergy requests, and more.

No matter what your event’s meal ends up looking—and more importantly, tasting—like, know that your family and friends will just be happy to celebrate you. Read on for wedding tips on all things catering.

Wedding Tips: A dinner place setting with a menu on top of the plate at a wedding reception.

Let Your Meal Reflect Your Tastes

“It is important that your wedding meal reflects who you are as a couple. If you are a couple that doesn’t eat a lot of red meat, you shouldn’t feel like you have to serve surf and turf at your wedding. If you are a vegetarian, make sure that the vegetarian option is delicious. If you hate cake, serve donuts. We often see couples incorporate preferences into speciality cocktails, but the overall wedding meal should also represent you as a couple.” —Aimee Dominick, president, A. Dominick Events

Wedding Tips: A menu on a stand listing a first course and three entree selections: seared beef tenderloin, miso glazed sea bass, or hodo soy yoba

Make Sure There’s an Option for Everyone

“From your entree to your dessert to your after-party bites, it’s always considerate to include allergy-friendly ingredients/meals that can benefit all of your attendees. Gluten-free, meat-free, seafood-free, vegan, and dairy-free are all alternatives that you can offer guests to make sure that everyone who comes to celebrate your big day is comfortable.” —Melissa Panico, director of marketing, Taste Catering

Wedding Tips: A server holding out a tray of hors d’oeuvres.

Don’t Disregard Cocktail Hour Bites

“Cocktail hour is one of the best events to personalize the experience to the couple. Feature the couples’ favorite foods in hors d’oeuvre sizes with custom signage designating why it is important to them! This is a great way to get creative and personalize your menu.” —Lisa Ware, president, Catering by Michaels

Wedding Tips: A clear cocktail over ice in a rocks glass with a sprig of rosemary as a garnish.

Tell a Story with Your Drinks

“We believe a wedding should be an expression of you, your story, your love, and your tastes. Whether it's design, music, or bar offerings, show off what you love and don't hold back. The bar is the heart and soul of the party. Think about what you want to drink and share your preferences with your guests. If you're the adventurous type, be bold with your love for amaros, mezcals, funky natural wines, or local craft beers and choose beverages that help tell your story or show off your personalities. We guarantee this level of passion and detail, along with a few skilled bartenders, will absolutely delight your guests.” —Lindsey Chronert, brand manager, Miho Catering Co

Wedding Tips: A beautiful, airy reception set-up with water and palm trees in the background.

Contemplate How You’d Like Dinner Served

“In a traditional destination wedding weekend, we see one to three different dinner services being used throughout. For a more casual welcome party, a good option is a buffet to get guests up and mingling. For a slightly more formal feel for your rehearsal dinner, family style is a great option. This allows your guests to mingle and share their meal. For the big day, most couples prefer a traditional plated or coursed dinner. With thoughtfully designed courses and more waitstaff, this elevates your event and ups the formality.” —Caroline Montondon, wedding and social sales manager, Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Wedding lighting & decor tips

Love is in the details—and that's also true when it comes to your big day’s decor and lighting. After you have all of the basics like your venue and guest list down, you can turn your attention to the all-important decorative details that embellish your event. There’s no shortage of ways to make your venue unique to your celebration, from jaw-dropping light installations to custom decor that reflects you and your spouse-to-be’s journey. To help couples navigate this area, here are some of the top wedding planning tips for choosing your fête’s decor, lighting, and more.

Wedding Tips: Newlyweds dancing under a hanging light installation while guests stand around them.

Think Outside the Box

“Think beyond the list of traditional wedding decor and traditions, and create an event that is memorable for you and your loved ones! Use your venue’s strengths to decorate in a fun and unique way that goes beyond table settings.” —Jove Meyer, owner and creative director, Jove Meyer Events

Wedding Tips: Light installations and wicker features hanging from the ceiling in a reception space.

Use Purposeful Lighting

“Your event lighting sets the scene, literally and figuratively. A neon sign of the couple’s custom monogram makes for a great photo back-drop, residential lamps on the bar bring in a sense of coziness and hospitality, clever pin spots really make the groom’s cake pop… The options are endless and bring a cohesive feel and a personalized touch to any event.” —Melissa Fike, catering sales manager, The Broadmoor

Wedding tips: A long reception table set-up, lit up by strings of delicate fairy lights above.

Choose Lighting That Enhances Your Space

“Consider lighting as a design tool to make your space feel grand (or more intimate!) no matter the party size. We love using light in a larger open-air space to create a more intimate setting for dinner with a smaller guest list.” —Meghan Cox, owner and creative director, Mil Besos

Wedding Tips: A cocktail napkin surrounded by floral blooms. The cocktail napkin has illustrations of three dogs with words that say,

Let Personal Details Shine Through

“Tell your story as a couple through the items your guests are given to hold onto during your wedding day, such as cocktail napkins, programs, menus, escort cards, and party props. These items are all great places to bring out your personality and character. Guests will either laugh because it is something that ‘is so you’ or learn something special about you.” —Keely Thorne, owner, Keely Thorne Events

Wedding Tips: An arch made with greenery sitting in front of green and white curtains that lead into a reception space.

When in Doubt, Go Green

“Using the natural textures of green foliage in your wedding decor can create a seasonless look. This can range from a beautiful wild garden soirée to a more elegant formal affair. The greenery looks modern, yet timeless—and adding metallics, pops of color, or unusual applications will allow your personality to shine through.” —Tom Kehoe, president, Kehoe Designs

Wedding entertainment tips

At its core, your wedding is a celebration—and what’s a celebration (especially one of this magnitude!) without some entertainment? You might already be familiar with wedding tips related to music, like deciding which songs you’d like to play throughout the day or what you’d like to walk down the aisle to, for instance. Something you might not have realized, however, is that there are plenty of additional ways to entertain your guests beyond music. Anything from photo booths to tarot card readings are great features that can really amp up the party. Check out a few of our favorite wedding tips for ensuring your bash is bold and totally unforgettable.

Wedding Tips: A bride and groom slow dancing in the middle of the dance floor while guests watch from the background.

Curate a Strategic Playlist

“Collectively, couples want a killer band and packed dance floor so they can enjoy a huge dance party with all of their friends and family. The best parties are the ones where relatives ‘who never dance’ won’t get off the dance floor. This is not a random outcome. There are ways to work very closely with your band to achieve music selections and timelines that lend themselves to that dance party atmosphere. For example, sending them a few of your favorite songs that you know will get your guests going is a great starting point.” —Candace DeBartolo, co-founder, The Storytellers of New York City

Wedding Tips: A packed dance floor at a lit-up reception with lights hanging overhead.

Consider Your Wedding Day Music Priorities

“When it comes to selecting music for your big day, think about what's most important to you and what's realistic within your budget. If music is a priority, a small ensemble for the ceremony and a band for the reception is always the way to go. If it's not a huge priority, think about what moments you want to prioritize and go from there. For example, if the ceremony is going to be the main focus, consider focusing on beautiful live music for the ceremony and cocktail hour with a great DJ for the reception. If you'd rather keep the ceremony short and sweet and focus on a lively dance floor, I recommend investing in a good band for the reception instead.” —Claire Durán, owner, creative director, and principal planner, Claire Durán Weddings & Events

Wedding Tips: Two Carnival performers.

Go Beyond Musical Entertainment

“Movement is the most basic and beautiful form of entertainment in my opinion. A wonderful complement to the more traditional musical entertainment is dance. You’ll find this to be a perfect addition to your band or other musical performance. It not only adds the perfect visual element to the sound that’s being delivered, but it also provides a nice layer to the sensory experience. Lea Stafford Events has arranged carnival dancers who delivered a stellar performance alongside our traditional live and brass bands beachside in Aruba—this also offered a nice cultural element to the evening. Persian silk dancing led by drummers has also been another fun and exciting form of entertainment that we have had the honor to produce for a San Francisco-based bride and groom on their special day.” —Lea Stafford, wedding planner and owner, Lea Stafford Events

Wedding officiant tips

There are a lot of important roles during your ceremony, and your officiant—aka the person who marries you and your spouse-to-be—is certainly one of them. No matter who you tap as your officiant, there are some general wedding tips that can make your ceremony go over smoothly. For instance, if you elect a loved one to officiate your wedding, communicate well in advance how much of the script you’d like to write versus what you’d like your officiant to contribute. For more wedding planning tips on how to prepare for your ceremony, check out the expert advice below.

Wedding Tips: A newlywed couple surrounded by confetti, smiling and walking back down the aisle together.

Save the Words for Your Big Day

“At a rehearsal, instead of practicing the actual ceremony, practice how everyone gets into the ceremony space, and preserve the words of your ceremony for when it’s real.” —Alisa Tongg, celebrant and ordained minister

Wedding Tips: Alisa Tongg officiating a ceremony.

Optimize Your Ceremony

“During the ceremony, have your officiant acknowledge parents, remember those who are no longer with us, shout out the fur babies, and give thanks for friends who helped along the way to the aisle. It is impossible for people to be bored if you keep talking about all their favorite people. Personal vows are another natural place where humor, quirks, and sentiments can be shared in the ceremony. If you want people to laugh and cry, you’ll need to make sure that everyone can hear the ceremony. A microphone on a stand is the best tool to use for not only delivering the ceremony but also amplifying the couple when they exchange their vows. It’s difficult to remember to project one’s voice when emotions are high and exchanging vows is probably the most emotional moment of the whole day for couples.” —Alisa Tongg, celebrant and ordained minister

The wedding planning process can feel equally exciting and overwhelming, but combing through wedding tips from the experts who’ve “been there, done that” can be incredibly helpful. 

Reading tips for planning a wedding can make your decisions easier across categories, from florals to catering. For instance, reading up on wedding photography tips from veteran photographers can help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera and confident you’ll get the shots you’re dreaming of. Wedding day tips like following your hair and makeup artist’s getting-ready schedule are also key to helping you feel less rushed before your ceremony.  Meanwhile, tips for planning a wedding, like always doing things your way and prioritizing communication with everyone involved, are timeless pieces of advice.

And oh, one final, crucial wedding tip: have fun! ​​​​​​

Glow Events
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Chanda Daniels Planning + Design
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Theo Nash
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Victoria Ann Events
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Adriana Klas Photography
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Roberta Facchini Photography
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Le Petite Privé
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New York City, New York
Harmony Weddings
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Hair & Makeup
Beauty ‘n The Bride
Baltimore, Maryland
Vanessa Vieni
Hair & Makeup
Vanessa Vieni
Aspen, Colorado
Ashley Smith Beauty
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Ashley Smith Beauty
Denver, Colorado
Hair & Makeup
Janet Villa
Santa Barbara, California
Margaret Snider & Co
Hair & Makeup
Margaret Snider & Co
Atlanta, Georgia
Loho Bride
Los Angeles, California
The Stylish Bride
The Stylish Bride
New York City, New York
Mark Ingram Atelier
Mark Ingram Atelier
New York City, New York
Micaela Erlanger
New York City, New York
Emily Meyer
Suits & Tuxedos
Emily Meyer
Santa Barbara, California
Wild Bloom Floral Studio
Seattle, Washington
San Francisco, California
Fionna Floral
Fionna Floral
Monterey, California
Soiree Weddings & Events
Planner / Designer
Soiree Weddings & Events
Boise, Idaho
A. Dominick Events
Planner / Designer
A. Dominick Events
Washington DC
Taste Catering
Taste Catering
San Francisco, California
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Lanai City, Hawaii
The Broadmoor
The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Keely Thorne Events
Planner / Designer
Keely Thorne Events
Houston, Texas
Kehoe Designs
Kehoe Designs
Chicago, Illinois
The Storytellers Of New York City
New York City, New York
Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
Alisa Tongg, Celebrant
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Chard Photographer
Orange County, California
Sok Vision
Washington DC
Peyton Anne Frank
Peyton Anne Frank
Dallas, Texas