18 Insider Wedding Tips For A Stress-Free Day, From Invites To The Open Bar

Here is a general set of tips we found by Debbie Carlson that can make the big day be as problem free as possible. Everything is covered except the wedding tent, tables and chairs. That is where we come into play. Give us a call we would love to be apart of your big day. We service Maine, New Hampshire, and North Shore of Massachusetts.

By Debbie Carlson of the Chicago Tribune

Planning your wedding should be fun and fabulous, but for many people, it’s one of the most stressful things they’ve done. Don’t get frazzled — we’re here for you. We rounded up some top wedding specialists to give you insider tips that are on trend, with real advice to help you decide what to do and what not to worry about, so you can focus on a wedding that will be the talk of the town for years to come.


White is no longer mandatory. Subtle colors like blush and champagne are trending and give gowns a vintage feel, said Lori Conley, senior vice president of merchandising, product development and design for David’s Bridal. The minimalist bride may choose a gown whose silhouette, draping and unique details are the stars. Necklines are changing this season to show more shoulder. Nontraditional brides are choosing short dresses and jumpsuits, Conley said.


Keep it short, 30 seconds to one minute, and speak slowly. Write it out ahead of time, and practice speaking in front of a friend, to give you feedback on delivery, said Sayjal Joshi, a cast member at The Second City e.t.c. Theater, Chicago.


When compiling the guest list, think about people as part of groups. If you invite one person from the group, you must invite everyone to avoid hurt feelings, since invitees are likely to talk about the coming wedding. “Ask yourself: am I going to invite my second cousins, or just first cousins? My sorority friends or not? People from work? That’s the best way to manage it,” said Marcy Blum, owner of New York-based Marcy Blum Associates, named one of the world’s best event planners by Vogue and Martha Stewart Weddings.


For a fresh look all day, keep a sharp lip liner close. “This will be your best friend. Not only does it literally resize and reshape your lips, but you can also use it as a stencil to make your lipstick last longer,” said Charlotte Tilbury, superstar British makeup artist. Modernize your look with a matte texture lipstick. For Amal Clooney’s bridal makeup, she used Matte Revolution in Amazing Grace, a vintage tea-rose shade.


One decor trend is bringing the outdoors in, with lots of festoon lighting, greenery and garlands evoking a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” feel, said Christine Picerno, director of sales for Cafe Brauer in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.


Couples are choosing healthier, clean food over heavily fried or foods with thick gravies, say Hilary Saurer, director of sales, Levy Restaurants at River Roast restaurant in Chicago. Caterers may be open to customizing menus, too, especially if you have a favorite recipe, said New York party planner Marcy Blum.


For a pre-dinner cocktail, consider a pre-batched drink. Measure and dilute all ingredients, pour in clear serving bottles and place on a serving tray with glasses for individual servings, said Justin Pasha, founder and president of cocktail catering service The Cup Bearer in Fairfield, Conn., who has worked with Bride’s magazine and Town and Country magazine. Also, open bars are unnecessary. All you really need is beer, wine, and Champagne or prosecco.


Engagement sessions are critical to memorable wedding photographs since they can help couples relax around the photographer, said Candice C. Cusic of Candice C. Cusic Photography, an award-wining international wedding photojournalist. She likes to shoot at the couple’s favorite places. “We do things that make clients feel comfortable. That way they can ignore the camera,” she said.


Avoid heartaches and headaches by not buying it online. “You want to touch the fabric to make sure you’re getting what you actually pay for. You can’t return a dress online, like you can shoes,” said Ivy Jacobson, senior digital editor for wedding website The Knot.


Make sure to ask for the maximum guest count for a seated dinner, if you want to have a formal sit-down reception, said Debi Lilly, chief eventeur for A Perfect Event in Chicago. If you plan to have a band, make sure to ask for space for a dance floor, and the band space or stage space, as well. So many times this is not included in creating maximum guest counts and floor plans.


To avoid dress-disappointment, don’t try on a dress outside of your budget, said Jennifer Spector, director of marketing for wedding-registry site Zola.com.


Simple chocolate squares with the couple’s name on them are popular. For her wedding, Annie Rupani, owner, of Houston-based high-end chocolatier Cacao & Cardamom, whose work was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, bought book boxes at a craft store. The cover page showed anecdotes about the bride and groom, and it hid the chocolates underneath. “It was a really cool reveal because no one knew that they were getting chocolates.”


Mike Hines, owner of Epoch Floral in Chicago, said he does a lot of sculpted and architectural flower designs for weddings. These are simple designs using two or three elements, such as bowl made of branches on the table with a perfect ball of white flowers in it or upon it.


Look at photographs from a full wedding day, and not just a few photos on the photographer’s website or Instagram page. “If you’re doing a ballroom wedding, you’re not going to hire someone who only shoots barn weddings. You need someone with the experience to do the wedding from start to finish,” said Kristin La Voie of Kristin La Voie Photography, named one of Chicago’s best wedding photographers by Brides magazine.


If your dream venue is a little out of your price range, ask about offseason rates, budget menus or other ways to manage costs. “Be savvy and ask. The worst they can say is no,” Picerno of Cafe Brauer said.


Have a wedding website, but still send paper invites. Thick or unusually shaped invites can cost more money to mail, Zola’s Spector said.


Timeless style with soft romantic edges is growing popular, and it avoids eventually dating the design, said Collin Duwe, event producer at Kehoe designs. Achieve that look by using lush, monochromatic flowers and adding accents like textured linens or plates. Finish it with an accessory like a tall vase.


This year monograms and sugared flowers are trending, including flowers to match the bride’s dress or bouquet, said Nancy Drogosz, director of sales at Bittersweet Pastry Shop.