Tag Archives: Planning Basics

71 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Vendors

By: 
Deborah Witt

You know you need a great venue, cake designer, florist, caterer, DJ and photographer. But other than help you pull off the wedding of your dreams, do you really know what you need each of them to do? Maybe if you’re an event planner by trade, but probably not if you’re like the rest of us. The fact is you’re not only taking on the role of bride-to-be, you’ve just become the operations manager of what will essentially become a small village for a day. Exciting, yes. But also more than a little overwhelming.

Take a deep breath, we’ve done the initial hard work for you. We asked a few of our favorite wedding designers to share the top questions every bride should be asking each of her vendors before signing the dotted line.

vineyard wedding
Photo Credit: Susan Stripling 

Key Questions That Apply to Every Vendor

Put these six important questions at the top of your list:

1. How long have you been in business and how many weddings do you do each year?

2. Can you share recent references and examples of your work? (In the case of your venue, be sure to ask to see recent pictures of weddings in the space you’re considering.)

3. Do you have liability insurance? (If not, you’ll very likely want to take out your own policy to cover unexpected mishaps such as a guest tripping over the photographer's tripod and getting hurt, or to repair or replace rented linens that were scorched by the votives in your floral centerpiece.

4. What’s your payment structure and cancellation policy?

5. What’s your backup plan should you fall ill or otherwise not be available at the time of the wedding? In the case of the venue site, what’s their plan if the weather takes a bad turn or another unforeseeable circumstance occurs?

6. What are your travel and/or overtime fees? (Unexpected travel fees may crop up if your ceremony and reception are in different locations or if you’re hiring out-of-town vendors.)

Next: What to ask your site manager ►

 

What to Ask Your Site Manager

"So many points about your event begin and end with the space or location you choose," says Amy Cagginello, owner of Amy Champagne Events in Milford, Connecticut. "It’s key to know exactly what to expect from your venue."

vineyard wedding
 Photo Credit: Damion Hamilton for Sasha Souza Events

1. How many people can you accommodate and how long will I have use of the event space?

2. What are the per-person charges? And are there additional service charges or other fees such as gratuities or overtime costs? 

3. Do prices differ based on the time of day and/or day of the week? What is your payment and cancellation policy?

4. What time can my vendors arrive to set up/clean up? Can any rentals or decor be dropped off the day before and picked up the day after?

5. Are tables, linens, etc. provided or will I need to rent them elsewhere?

6. Am I able to use an outside caterer and/or cake maker? Is there an extra cost to do so?

7. Can we bring in our own wine, beer, champagne or other alcohol? Is there a corkage fee?

8. Are there any restrictions regarding music? Is there an on-site technician to help with any lighting or sound problems that may crop up?

9. Is there parking on site or do you offer valet parking? If not, where can guests park?

10. Do you offer an on-site coordinator? If so, what services are included and will she/he be there on my wedding day?

For Outdoor Spaces:

11. What’s your weather contingency plan?

12. Can the space be heated or protected, if necessary? And if so, are those supplies on hand or would they need to be rented elsewhere?

13. How do you meet the technical needs of other vendors, such as a DJ, caterer or videographer? (Is there an on-site technician, for example.)

Next: What to ask your florist ►
 

What to Ask Your Florist

"The flowers are often the first thing your guests will notice," says Shawn Rabideau, of Shawn Rabideau Events & Design in New York City (who began his wedding career as a florist). "What florists do impacts the entire look of your event, not to mention your budget."

wedding centerpiece
 Photo Credit: Damion Hamilton for Sasha Souza Events

1. Do you have a signature design style? Will you be doing the arrangements yourself or using another floral designer?

2. Do you offer specific arrangements or can centerpieces, bouquets, etc. be customized?

3. What bloom recommendations can you suggest that fit within my budget and my theme/color story? What flowers will be in season for my wedding?

4. Have you done any weddings at my venue?

5. What can you suggest to help me get the most from my budget? And are there extra fees for containers or other vessels?

6. Is there a price difference between similar blooms? (Ideally you should see an itemized price list of flowers under consideration.)

7. Can you provide other decor, such as trees, arches, votives, and what are the additional costs?

8. Will you work with my cake designer to provide coordinating blooms for my cake? Is there an additional fee for this?

9. How far in advance are the arrangements/bouquets created? How are they stored?

10. Do you charge a delivery and/or set-up fee? Will you pick up any vases, etc. after the ceremony, or is that my responsibility?

Next: What to ask your caterer ►
 

What to Ask Your Caterer

If the caterer’s food tastes great you’re done, right? Not quite, says Napa, California–based event designer Sasha Souza. It’s not enough that they can prepare delicious meals, she says — they also have to be able to handle the size and scope of your event and have fantastic service.

seafood
Photo Credit: Shawna Yarbrough/Studio Seven Photography 

1. What foods do you specialize in? Do you have set menu options or can you create a custom or themed menu?  

2. What would you recommend given my budget, guest count and event theme?

3. How do you handle tastings? (Ideally each dish should be presented as your guests will see them, and you and your groom shouldn’t have to take a bite from the same serving.)

4. What’s the price difference between a buffet and a sit-down meal, and between passed appetizers and appetizer stations? How are your fees broken down?

5. Do you provide linens, utensils, serving table decor, etc.? How about tables and chairs? What colors and styles do you offer?

6. Will you be overseeing the meal service at the reception, or do you have an on-site manager to coordinate these things? (If the caterer won’t be present, it’s always a good idea to ask to meet whomever will be in charge ahead of time.)

7. Is there a cut-off date for making menu changes?

8. Are you licensed to serve alcohol? (If not you may need to hire a separate bar service.)

9. How much do you charge for vendor meals? (Musicians and photographers get hungry, too!) Can leftovers be wrapped for guests or donated?

10. What’s the ratio of servers to guests? How will servers be dressed?

Next: What to ask your cake maker ►
 

What to Ask Your Cake Maker

"You want a ‘wow’ factor here!" says Rabideau. "And that can happen if you’re clear with your cake designer about your wishes, and listen to their ideas, too." Taste and presentation are only part of the equation. You also need to know if they can handle the specifics of your wedding.

wedding cake
 Photo Credit: Damion Hamilton for Sasha Souza Events

1. What are your specialties and/or top flavors and fillings? Can you do gluten-free, organic, or vegan cakes?

2. Can I view examples of cakes you’ve baked and decorated? (Many newer cake makers may have photos in their portfolios of cakes they assisted on, but you want to see what they’ve done from start to finish.)

3. Do you work with set designs or can you design a custom cake to match my theme?

4. Can you outline your pricing fees? For example, do you charge for a cake tasting, are there additional fees for cake stands, cutting knives, toppers, etc.?)

5. Will you work with a recipe I’ve provided? If so, will there be an additional cost?

6. What icing options do you recommend for the cake style I’m looking for?

7. If I want fresh flowers on my cake will you work with my florist to include blooms that coordinate with my floral decor?

8. How far in advance is the cake actually made? How is it stored and transported?

9. Will you preserve the top tier of my wedding cake for my first anniversary?

For Outdoor Spaces:

10. How will my cake hold up to the elements? An unprotected table won’t be able to shield your wedding cake from stiff ocean breezes, high temps or humidity. You’ll want to know how your baker handles outdoor venues.

Next: What to ask your photographer and videographer 
 

What to Ask Your Photographer and Videographer

The images of your special day are so important, "yet many couples only focus on the pricing, or base their choice on portfolio alone," says Cagginello. But there are many more details to focus on.

bridesmaids
Photo Credit: Michelle Vantine Photography

1. Do you specialize in wedding photography? (You don’t need a weddings-only shooter, but you do want someone who’s comfortable with both the ceremony and the reception.)

2. How would you describe your photography style? And can I see a portfolio of your work — beyond what’s on your website?

3. How/when do we go about creating a shot list? What information do you need from me before the event?

4. What is your working style on the day of the wedding? And how many shooters will cover the day?

5. How much time do you need to set up? And for how long will you shoot?

6. What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment on hand?

7. What’s the length of time for delivery of proofs? And what is the ordering process?

8. Can you provide me with a detailed price sheet? What do packages include?

9. Do you have a minimum number of hours? Will you stay if my event is running late and what are your overtime fees?

10. Will my wedding be your only job on that day? If not, what are the hours I can count on and what happens if you can’t make it to my wedding?

For Videographers:

11. How long is your editing process?

12. Is there a cost for a video “tease”? (This is typically a 1-minute video short to share on social media.)

Next: What to ask your musicians or DJs ►
 

What to Ask Your Musicians or DJs

"DJs and musicians set the tempo for your party," says Rabideau. "You want to make sure you find the right professionals who can keep your guests entertained."

bride and groom dancing
Photo Credit: Three Nail Photography 

1. What genres can you cover? Do you have any particular specialties?

2. Do you have a DVD from a previous wedding you performed at that I can view? And where can we see you perform live?

3. Can my fiancé and I give you “do play” and “do no-play” lists?

4. Do you have ideas to encourage more guests to dance? (For example, are they willing and able to deviate from their set list to try and energize the crowd?) What’s your game plan if you notice guests aren’t dancing?

5. Do you provide the sound equipment or does it have to be rented elsewhere? And do you have backup equipment should something go wrong?

6. Do you have a technician who stays on site if there’s a problem? (This is especially important if you have an outside event, or are booking a venue that doesn’t typically handle weddings.)

7. Do you provide any lighting design? What kind of space/staging requirements do you have?

8. Does your pricing include set-up and breakdown? How much time do you need for set-up, breaks, breakdown?

9. How many breaks do you need and for how long? Will you play recorded music during breaks?

10. What will you be wearing — can I make specific attire requests?

 

Time Crunch: How to (Quickly!) Plan a Wedding

Although many brides and grooms take up to a year and a half to organize their weddings, other couples want to make it snappy. "I'm getting more calls from brides who would like to get married in a couple of months," says event planner Julie Pryor of Pryor Events in Los Angeles. 

There are plenty of reasons for having a wedding in a hurry-from a job change or military deployment to just plain eagerness to tie the knot. Here, some pros' tips to ensure that even with fast-and-furious planning, your wedding goes off without a hitch.

bride

1. Make the first month count. 
Wedding timelines usually start a year before the big day. So what’s a bride to do when she’s just six months out (or less)? "First, set your budget and make all your major decisions and purchases," recommends Christine Paul of Christine Paul Events in New York City.

"That means booking your ceremony and reception sites, purchasing or ordering your gown and the bridesmaids' dresses, hiring a photographer and deciding on the honeymoon."

You'll also want to sit down with your fiancé and set your priorities. For example, your top three might be great jazz music, authentic Italian food and a first-rate photographer. "Once you’ve done all that, you’ll be right on track with brides who’ve been at it for months," says Paul.

Tip: Enlist the help of your friends. Give them jobs they'll feel comfortable doing, like managing the RSVP list. You'll be glad you did.

2. Be flexible and creative. 
You may find that some of your first choices aren’t available. For example, many popular wedding locations are reserved a year in advance. So learn to be flexible; a fabulous venue could be a place you haven’t yet imagined. "Instead of the more obvious choices, perhaps a friend has a beautiful beach house, or you could get married in a local park," says Paul.

Open your mind to different dates and times as well. Sometimes it’s much easier to find and secure a place for a Friday or Sunday — or earlier in the day. The better able you are to come up with creative alternatives, the happier you’ll be with the end result.

3. Ask for help. 
Event planners may be hired to do the entire wedding, or simply to handle a few tasks you can’t fit in or even just to manage things on the big day itself. Researching vendors to learn who’s right for the job is time consuming, and a good wedding planner with a network of reliable vendors can figure out the logistics quickly and easily.

4. Enjoy yourself!
Remember to take time to soak it all in. Sure, you’ll be in a hurry, but taste-testing dishes and listening to bands is still fun. Luckily, you’re already on top of this. "Brides who’ve gotten their weddings together in six months or less have told me they actually enjoyed the process," says Paul. "They had less time to stress out and found the preparations surprisingly exciting."

5. But will it cost more? 
In many cases, you’ll receive the same treatment — and fees — as any other bride. In other words, giving shorter notice to vendors and other service providers doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a higher fee. And, says Debi Lilly of A Perfect Event in Chicago, "Don’t assume you should refrain from negotiating prices just because you’re on a short timetable. Negotiate whenever and wherever it seems reasonable."

Although there shouldn’t be rush fees for booking your venue, your band, your florist or most other vendors, Lilly notes, "You can expect to pay extra for hurrying your and your bridesmaids’ gowns and maybe the invitations or favors." So try to make quick, smart decisions. You really don’t have time to be fickle about the colors of your bridesmaids’ dresses or about whether to have roses or white orchids for your bouquet. Chances are, you won’t regret your choices — especially when you find you’ve eliminated costly "rush" fees.

Photo Credit: Mango Studios

Your Guide to Planning an Unforgettable Wedding Weekend

By: 
Lynne Kendall Lawson

Whether held in your hometown or a far-flung locale, wedding weekends give you and your guests more quality time to bond and celebrate than the standard one-day affair. You might not have seen some of your guests for years and other family and friends, often but perhaps not often enough. From the welcome party to farewell brunch, a wedding weekend gives you ample opportunities to entertain all of your loved ones with fun, memory-making, personalized events and details.

bride and groom
Photo Credit: Micha and Megan Photographers

What We ❤ About Wedding Weekends:

  • A multiday wedding is more affordable than you might think: Not every meal has to be a formal sit-down, and some events (the rehearsal dinner, for example) may be hosted by parents, which makes them free to you.
  • Guests get more value out of their travel and lodging expenses when there’s more for them to enjoy.
  • There are plenty of photo opportunities with your guests.
  • You get hours of opportunities to infuse family and cultural traditions into your celebration.

Typical Wedding Weekend Timeline:

Friday:
Daytime events for early-arriving guests might include a ladies’ lunch and a guys’ outing to a driving range. If you have wedding planning tasks to handle on this day, arrange for a member of your wedding party to host these events. Rehearsal dinner/welcome buffet: Depending on your budget and number of guests, the rehearsal dinner can include just your bridal party, officiant and immediate family members or you can open it up to your out-of-town guests as well. If you hold a more exclusive dinner, be sure to provide your out-of–town guests with a welcome cocktail party/buffet, generally held at the hotel.

Saturday:
Before the wedding: a buffet breakfast for your bridal party. After the wedding: a fun after-party. You might all gather at the hotel lounge, or take your friends out on the town while parents host their own friends elsewhere. (Added bonus: Your hotel might allow you free use of their shuttle to take your group to the destination.)

Sunday:
The morning-after brunch or breakfast. And if some guests don’t need to depart right away, you might plan an early afternoon outing like a local souvenir shopping trip.

Next: Weekend planning essentials ►

Weekend Planning Essentials

1. “Save-the-dates should be sent out 6-8 months before the big day, and can be sent up to a year in advance for destination weddings. This will give guests plenty of time to plan for any necessary travel and assist in securing competitive rates,” says Amber Harrison, etiquette maven at Wedding Paper Divas. “Details can be confirmed and shared with guests closer to the event or updated through your wedding website.”

2. Make it clear when guests will be expected to pay for their own expenses. The best way to do this is through invitation or wedding website wording. For instance: “On Friday evening, we’ll head out to a country bar for drinks and dancing. See the menu, drinks list and pricing at (website.)” When guests see the word “pricing” mentioned, they’ll know to bring their wallets. When guests see that an event is hosted by you or someone in the wedding party, the message conveys that the hosts are paying.

3. Share dress codes for each event on your wedding website, so that guests will know what to pack.

4. Send guests a weekend itinerary in advance of the big day, whether print or a link to your wedding website. If a new event is planned just a few weeks before the wedding, send guests your itinerary page link with a message of “New Party Added!” or “Even More to Look Forward To!”

5. Print out copies of your itinerary and add one to each welcome basket, so guests have the schedule and details easily on hand.

weekend welcome bag
Photo Credit: Laura Hooper Calligraphy via Lover.ly

6. For a twist on the traditional welcome basket, surprise guests with a different treat in their hotel rooms each night, like a plate of fresh-baked cookies or chocolate candy.

Timing is Everything:

7. Space out activities so your guests don’t feel drained by racing from one event to the next and will have time to get back to the hotel, shower and change into the next event’s appropriate attire.

8. Allow for enough downtime so that guests can make plans amongst themselves, relax by the hotel pool, explore the area or enjoy some alone time.

9. Plan shorter events, not an all-day hike or endless touring excursion. 

Next: Reception locations and themes ►

1. Vineyard
Of course, a winery-hopping tour is a winning idea that guests love, and most vineyard area hotels will likely have fabulous wine-pairing catering options, plus fabulous views for outdoor celebrations. Activities abound: Wine country towns often host festivals, and there are plenty of quaint shops to visits plus notable chef-owned eateries.

vineyard wedding

Menu Ideas:
Chef Brandon Sharp, Executive Chef of Solage Calistoga resort in California, suggests “sweet cherry tomatoes stuffed with fresh ricotta and fino verde basil, petite legumes à la nicoise with marjoram and tempura of baby fava beans with Meyer lemon mayonnaise.” Charcuterie and cheese platters, and locally grown menu items complete the tasty fare. “

A party in the vineyard’s tasting room is a great way to get the weekend off to a fun and energetic start,” says Kim Pennel, director of catering and conference services at CordeValle, A Rosewood Resort in San Martin, California. “At CordeValle, we like to do the welcome party cocktail-style and serve wines from the vineyard with lots of passed hors d’oeuvres that showcase fresh California ingredients. To get people talking to one another, our winemakers mingle with the crowd and share tasting notes and stories about the wines and the winemaking process.”

Welcome Basket Ideas:

  • Bottle stoppers
  • Wine journal
  • Coasters
  • Cheese knife and cheese ID flag sets
  • Bottles of wine or champagne
  • Mini summer sausage trios

Next: Coastal wedding-themed ideas 

2. Coastal Town
Think Cape Cod, Mystic, Newport…those breezy, quaint towns by the shore often hold sweet family memories of sand, salt and sun-filled vacations, sailing and watching sunsets over the ocean. If you’re hosting an intimate wedding, you might consider having guests stay together in a rented beach house or a more traditional bed and breakfast. Beyond the typical water-centric activities such as sailing, water-skiing and paddle boarding, landlubbers can partake in the likes of beach walks, antiquing and museum visits.

coastal wedding

Menu Ideas:
Serve lobsters, clams (quintessential clambake fare), or raise the gourmet level with Chef Sharp’s suggestions of “barbecued oysters, and mini crab rolls with avocado green goddess and salt-and-vinegar chips.”

Shots of clam chowder or lobster bisque warm up a cool evening, as does sitting around a bonfire on the beach or a fire pit on a restaurant or hotel terrace.

Welcome Basket Ideas:

  • Nautical-theme-printed drink cozies
  • Mini jars filled with decorative sea glass
  • Polished seashells
  • Frosted cookies in lobster, crab, seahorse, starfish, sailboat, anchor or other themed shapes
  • Authentic regional fudge or saltwater taffy
  • Container of regional seasonings, like Old Bay

Next: Winter wedding-themed ideas ►

3. Winter Resort:
Spectacular scenery and winter sports add beauty and adventure to your wedding weekend events. Beyond drinks at the lodge, there’s skiing, horseback riding in the snow, hot-tubbing, snowmobiling and the resort’s spa to enjoy.

winter resort

Menu Ideas:
Go full-on gourmet with confit lamb shoulder with caramelized fuji apples, cheesy spaetzle with poached eggs and black truffles, donuts with cinnamon-cardamom sugar, and pistachio ice cream affogato (topped with espresso).

"Add in soup shots and hot spiked toddies for a tasty winter-themed menu," Kristin Polhemus, event planner at Reverie Events in Hamilton New Jersey, says. “For dessert, I love a hot chocolate drinking station. Guests can choose classic hot chocolate, or they can add fun elements like peppermint, cinnamon or chipotle.”

Welcome Basket Ideas:

  • Snowflake-motif mittens
  • Fun knit ski hats or headbands
  • Frosted coasters
  • SPF lip balm
  • Hot chocolate mix packets
  • S’mores package of graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows
  • Locally brewed bottles of beer

Next: "Glamping" wedding-themed ideas 

4. Camping or "Glamping"
Weddings held at breezy rustic sites — some truly camplike, most more luxe interpretations — are becoming popular, whether you or your fiancé were once happy campers or simply love the casual outdoorsy vibe of carefree summer days gone by. “Glamping” adds in glam decor elements like lighting effects, crystals and chandeliers hung from trees, and lush fabric drapings in tents. Guests can join you in kayak races or on nature hikes and horseback trail rides.

glamping wedding

Menu Ideas:
How about adding homemade gourmet marshmallows to s’mores fixings, and a “hobo” dinner of beef short ribs, yellow finn potatoes, and cipollini onions cooked in the coals. Hotdogs, hamburgers, pulled-pork sandwiches, cornbread, popcorn and classic ice cream sandwiches evoke fun camp memories.

Welcome Basket Ideas:

  • “Care packages” with mini pampering items, packaged snacks and a pair of socks for a take on what parents would send to kids at camp
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Citronella travel candle tin
  • Playing cards
  • Bandannas
  • Blackberry jam, paying tribute to berry-picking memories at camp

Next: Dude Ranch-themed ideas 

5. Dude Ranch
Head out to the ranch for western-flair activities like horseback riding, roping lessons, archery, fly fishing and campfire cookouts in breathtaking natural scenery.

ranch wedding

Menu Ideas:
Chef Sharp suggests “bison sliders, empanadas and churros,” and prime rib, southern-fried chicken, roasted pork, sliders and breakfast burritos with slow-cooked beans and cornbread for authentic western flavor. Again, s’mores by the campfire are always a hit with guests.

Lottie Fowler, event planner at Fort Worth, Texas-based Grit and Gold, adds, “For an after-wedding breakfast, we serve southern Texas toast, biscuits with chocolate on top and muffins.”

Welcome Basket Ideas:

  • Packets of barbecue rub
  • Ranch logo drink bottles or cozies
  • Beer bottle openers
  • “Little bottles of whiskey,” says Fowler
  • Sheriff badges or toy horses for kids

The Fun Factor: How to Make Your Wedding More Memorable

By: 
Debra Witt

wedding kissing booth
Photo Credit: Mark Greenmantle

Weddings are fun by definition, but if your goal is to make your big day a memorable moment for your family and friends — not just for you and your groom — you’ll want to focus your attention on your guests.

"If a bride wants to hear, ‘This is the best wedding!’ she has to get out of the ‘It’s my day’ mentality and think about the guest experience," says Sasha Souza, a wedding planner based in Napa, California. "From the moment a couple becomes engaged the classic line that gets repeated is, ‘It’s all about the bride’ — but it’s not! The couple is taking on the role of host for the biggest party they’ll probably ever throw. What’s a host’s main role? To make sure their guests are comfortable and enjoying themselves." Check out more wedding planning myths here ►

"Guests have usually been to countless weddings and can predict what’s coming next," says Jennifer Stiebel of SoCo Events in Washington, D.C. How does a couple set their wedding apart from the sea of other happily-ever-afters? "Inject personality and thought into every aspect of your celebration and friends will be talking about the fun they had for years to come!"

bride and groom on carousel
Photo Credit: Josh Lynn Photography

With that in mind, we asked recent brides and wedding planners from across the country to share some creative ways to send your wedding guests home with a smile and unforgettable memories. What they told us ranged from the oh-so-simple touches — like crafting a signature drink or setting up a photo booth — to the why-didn’t-I-think-of-that ideas (midnight milkshakes on the dance floor, anyone?). Use these four concepts to help you and your groom up the fun factor at your wedding.

Next: How to build excitement, hook your guests and more ►

Build Excitement from the Get-Go

In 2012, a couple of classical music lovers asked Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based planner Rebecca Rose to help them pull together their wedding. When she found out how big a role music played in their romance and their lives (the bride sang in an a capella group and they regularly attended symphony and opera performances), they decided to make that the theme of their celebration. Check out our complete guide to wedding music here ►

Instead of sending out save-the dates, for example, they sent out "note-the-date" cards that were in the shape of music notes. At the ceremony, guests were treated to a mini concert featuring a gospel choir, a chamber orchestra, and various soloists.

first dance
Photo Credit: Meredith Perdue Photography

Your fun-factor assignment: Before you start picking out venues and invitations, think about experiences that are important to you and your fiancé. "Figure out what makes you unique as a couple," says Rose. "Think about what brought you together, what you value, and what you both respond to. Those answers are your starting point."

Hook 'Em Before the First Kiss

Yes, your "I do" will be the highlight of the day, but there’s lots you can do to generate smiles leading up to the big kiss. For a recent destination wedding on preppy-chic Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, Stiebel helped one couple create a weekend itinerary that included a lobster bake, island bike ride, and — most talked about — a bow-tie bar where the male guests could pick out a Nantucket-themed bow-tie to wear to the evening wedding. By the time the ceremony rolled around the guests had truly bonded.

wedding lobster bake
Photo Credit: Justine Ungaro

At the other end of the interest spectrum, Stiebel helped a sportsloving couple incorporate their passion for baseball into the day. "Instead of a standard guest book everyone signed baseballs," she says. "Guests enjoyed delivering their best autograph, and the couple now hangs those baseballs in their home."

Your fun-factor assignment: Once you’ve chosen a theme, brainstorm ways to carry it through to the wedding weekend and ceremony. Keep in mind that "fun" isn’t a nice way of saying break your budget! Fun means unexpected surprises to keep your guests engaged and on their toes.

Think Outside the Ballroom

Many times, the brainstorming can begin and end with your choice of venue. Beth Huxta and Greg Conant, for example, knew they wanted their October 2012 wedding in the Delaware Valley to be relaxed and simple. "We’re an easygoing couple so we didn’t want a fussy wedding," says Beth. So rather than price out ballrooms and reception halls, she and Greg scoured the Internet for summer camps. "What’s more easy-going than summer camp?" she says. Check out "glamping" honeymoon destinations here ►

The couple rented out the campsite and surrounding cabins (total cost, $3,000) for an entire weekend and sent out wreath-shaped invitations giving guests a heads-up that they were going to be heading off to camp. After the ceremony, everyone huddled around a crackling bonfire, sipped apple-cider spiked with whiskey and danced almost until dawn. "We didn’t want to squeeze the whole wedding into five hours," says Beth. “We planned everything out so there was no time for people to wonder what to do next."

bride dancing
Photo Credit: Robin Proctor

What Beth and Greg did was make their wedding authentic to them, a key element to any great wedding, says Allison Laesser-Keck, owner of Viva La Diva events in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "Your wedding doesn’t just need to be beautiful, it should have elements that speak to your personalities so it’s meaningful," says Laesser-Keck.

As you consider different places to hold your ceremony and reception, she says, ask yourselves, ‘Is this us?’ Reception halls, she adds, can really come to life when you think beyond the tables and dance floor. Consider creating different "rooms" so guests can lounge in one area, have fun at a photo booth in one corner, maybe play table games in another and so on.

wedding photo boothwedding photo booth
Photo Credit: Jason & Gina Wedding Photographers/Bluebird Productions (left); Katie Holstein Photographers/Bluebird Productions (right)

Next: How to make your celebration memorable ►

Make Your Party, Well, A Party

Not surprisingly, the planners we talked to had a never-ending stream of memorable reception ideas. Rebecca Rose recalled the Texas couple who surprised everyone with impromptu twostepping lessons. Jennifer Stiebel can’t forget the delightful reaction of guests at a recent wedding who were let loose inside a makeshift sweet shop complete with a caricature artist. Similarly, just when guests of one Colorado couple felt the festivities were winding down, Virginia Edelson of Bluebird Events in Aspen helped the duo lead everyone into a "hidden" tent where they were greeted with fruity shots inspired by the Royal Wedding for a drastically different after-party vibe. 

Sasha Souza had fun helping a tech-savvy California couple surprise guests with several different event stations: "Each station had its own atmosphere and food (sushi, grill, patisserie, etc.), but what really made it nice for guests was that at each one they could scan a QR code to receive a secret surprise, like a beer that wasn’t otherwise being offered at the bar." 

But perhaps the most "wow” idea we heard came from Stephanie Yuhas and Matt Conant, Philadelphia filmmakers who walked their guests out of a small movie theater (where they previewed a documentary of their love story that ended with their live-action red-carpet vows) and down the street to an arcade and go-kart center. There, the guests merged right into the center’s regular crowd. "The caterer packed up the leftovers, including the cake, and brought everything to the arcade,” says Stephanie. "We didn’t know how people would react, but you can see how much fun they had on their faces in the pictures."

wedding go karts
Photo Credit: Mike Licisyn

wedding vintage car
Photo Credit: Justine Ungaro

Your fun-factor assignment: "Make sure there’s always something happening at your reception," says Souza. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, set up some yard games off to the side, or offer hand and foot massages, she suggests. Toward the end of the reception, when the dancing is starting to die down, bring out an ice-cream bar or work with your caterer to have the staff pass out mini-milkshakes right there on the dance floor — one of Rebecca Rose’s brides did this and had the band play K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s “Shake, Shake, Shake” hit classic. "The ideas you come up with don’t need to be complicated or costly, just creative," she says.

alcoholic milkshakes
Photo Credit: Rebecca Bouck Photography

wedding candy bar
Photo Credit: Mark Greenmantle

Next: Record all of the fun with these wedding apps ►

There's an App for That

Google + Gifs: Install the Google+ app on your smartphone, turn on auto backup, and ask a few snap-happy wedding- party members to document things like you getting your hair done, guests arriving or key moments on the dance fl oor. The uploaded shots get stitched into a fun animated clip that’s perfect for sharing.

Instagram: Come up with a hashtag for your wedding (be sure to do a search fi rst to make sure yours is unique) and share the tag with your guests. Decide where you want the photos to go (such as a Flickr or Dropbox account or a Facebook page), link everything through an account with ifttt.com (you’ll need to create a “recipe”) and shots with your tag will automatically upload.

Wedpics: Set up an album and invite guests to sync up and snap away. Every photo taken during your ceremony and reception gets uploaded. (You can control what gets shared on social media.) Later on you can organize and edit the shots.

Check out more wedding photo apps ►

wedding app

200+ Color Combinations for Your Wedding

By: 
Stefania Sainato

Pin (or print out) your favorite swatches below and show them to all of your vendors to ensure that you're speaking the same color language.

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

disney theme engagement photos

the notebook engagement photos

harry potter engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

the notebook engagement photos

harry potter engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos

breakfast at tiffanys engagement photos



 



 



 

Perfect for: 
The couple who likes red but wants to go for a more understated look. "Cranberry works best for fall and winter weddings. It's also the perfect hue to incorporate into a vineyard wedding," says Chrissy. This color pairs well with similar shades like pink and peach. 

Palette we love:
Cranberry, Camel, Ivory & White

cranberry wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Cranberry & Gold
Cranberry & Silver
Cranberry & Taupe
Cranberry & Plum
Cranberry, Pink & Ivory
Cranberry, Light Green & Sage Green
Cranberry, Gold & Chocolate Brown
Cranberry, Gold & Black
Cranberry, Fuschia, Pink & Slate Gray
Cranberry, Slate Gray, Gray & White
Cranberry, Aqua, Black & White
Cranberry, Black, Latte, Mustard & Gray

Get more cranberry wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
The couple who isn't afraid to go bold! "Red is bound to make a huge statement and so for that reason, we advise couples to think about balance when using this color," says Chrissy. This impactful hue works for any season but it lends itself especially well to a modern-themed bash. Pair it with great neutrals like white or ivory.

Palette we love:
Red & White

red wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Red & Gold
Red & Black
Red & Yellow
Red & Aqua
Red, Brown & Ivory
Red, Gray & White
Red, Camel & White
Red, White & Blue
Red, Green & White
Red, Black, Camel, Latte & White

Get more red wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
That instant romance factor. "Fuschia is fabulous for many reasons — it's bursting with feel-good vibes and it works best with glamorously-styled affairs," says Chrissy. This color can be used in any season; pair it with black to really make it pop. 

Palette we love:
Fuschia, Gold & Beige

fuschia wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Fuschia & Light Pink
Fuschia & Latte
Fuschia, Light Pink & Navy Blue
Fuschia, Gold & Beige
Fuschia, Fluorescent Purple, Lavender & White
Fuschia, Lavender, Gold, Blush Pink & Ivory
Fuschia, Navy Blue, Powder Blue, Camel & Ivory
Fuschia, Coral, Pink, Taupe & Ivory
Fuschia, Light Gray, Black, Blush Pink & Antique Gold
Fuschia, Dusty Pink, Fig, Blush Pink, Beige & Latte

Fuschia, Pink, Light Pink, Light Yellow, Antique Gold & Ivory

Get more fuschia wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Channeling a celebratory vibe. "Coral is one of our favorite colors this year and it's easy to see why! We love to see it used for destination weddings and seaside affairs," says Chrissy. This shade works best for spring and summer but when styled the right way, it could also be used in the colder weather months.

Palette we love:
Coral, Peach, Gold & Ivory

coral wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Coral & Gold
Coral & Yellow
Coral & Aqua
Coral & Navy Blue
Coral & Lime
Coral, Peach & Lemon
Coral, Peach & Gray
Coral, Peach & Pink
Coral, Antique Gold & Navy Blue
Coral, Fuschia, Pink, Taupe & Ivory
Coral, Chocolate Brown & Ivory
Coral, Burnt Orange, Gray & White
Coral, Aqua, Orange & Light Sage
Coral, Peach, Pink, Tangerine & Taupe

Get more coral wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Vintage-inspired styling. "Traditional pink is pretty, but it can appear feminine to some, so this dusty, muted shade is a great alternative for couples who want to use a bit of pink while avoiding that 'cotton candy explosion' effect," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Dusty Rose, Chocolate Brown, Taupe, Camel & White

rose wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Dusty Rose & Ivory
Dusty Rose & Blush Pink
Dusty Rose, Blush Pink, Peach & Antique Gold
Dusty Rose, Blush Pink, Peach, Light Yellow, Aqua & Lavender

Get more dusty rose wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A garden wedding or even somewhere tropical like the beach. "Light coral is truly a beautiful color. And for many reasons, we're excited to see where it will pop up this season!" says Chrissy. This hue works best for spring and summer fêtes.

Palette we love:
Light Coral, Fuschia, Peach, Blush Pink & White

coral wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Light Coral & Navy Blue
Light Coral, Peach & Lemon
Light Coral, Turquoise & Muted Lavender
Light Coral, Orange, Yellow, Blush Pink & Light Yellow
Light Coral, Blush Pink, Light Green, Mint & White
Light Coral, Blush Pink, Peach, Yellow, Taupe & Ivory

Get more light coral wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A sweet and feminine wedding look. "Pink has always been a favorite for weddings and it's easy to see why! It's a great color to use because it's associated with all of the things that weddings are about, like love and romance," says Chrissy. Our favorite way to use pink is to pair it with strong colors like navy blue or even glittery gold. 

Palette we love:
Pink & Navy Blue

pink wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Pink & Ivory
Pink & Black
Pink & Green
Pink, Blush Pink & Chocolate Brown
Pink, Lavender & Gold
Pink, Mauve & Gray
Pink, Beige & Gray
Pink, Slate Gray & Black
Pink, Teal, Light Coral & Ivory
Pink, Copper, Gold & Ivory
Pink, Mint, Copper & Ivory
Pink, Peach, Coral & White
Pink, Coral, Peach, Tangerine & White
Pink, Peach, Yellow, Taupe & Ivory

Get more inspiring pink wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A vintage-inspired wedding with an ethereal vibe. "Blush is the newest pink on the block and we're excited to announce that it's here to stay! It's a sophisticated shade and one that is easily paired with colors like gold, ivory or even taupe," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Blush Pink, Rose Gold, Silver & White

blush pink wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Blush Pink & Black
Blush Pink & Brown
Blush Pink, Peach, Light Pink & White
Blush Pink, Light Yellow, Gray & Light Pink
Blush Pink, Fuschia, Gold, Black & Gray
Blush Pink, Mauve, Copper Rose, Antique Gold, Peach & Ivory
Blush Pink, Dusty Rose, Peach, Light Yellow, Aqua & Lavender

Get more inspiring blush wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A romantic and timeless feel. "Mauve is a shade that I wish we would see more of in weddings. It's a really great, muted color that works well in any season," says Chrissy. Pair it with other pink hues like blush or dusty rose.

Palette we love:
Mauve, Peach, Blush Pink, Ivory, Copper Rose & Antique Gold

mauve wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Mauve, Fuschia & Latte
Mauve, Plum, Fuschia & White
Mauve, Plum, Fuschia & Light Pink
Mauve, Fluorescent Purple, Lavender & White
Mauve, Light Pink, Antique Gold, Blush Pink & Ivory
Mauve, Cranberry, Light Pink, Blush Pink, Taupe & Ivory

Get more inspiring mauve wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A couple who is attracted to shades of pink but is looking for something more unique. "Copper rose combines two of my favorite shades. The metallic quality makes it great for fall or winter weddings," says Chrissy. Copper rose looks great when paired with other shades of pink or even metallics.

Palette we love:
Copper Rose, Pink, Blush Pink, Antique Gold & Ivory

copper wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Copper Rose & Pink
Copper Rose & Silver
Copper Rose & Peach
Copper Rose, Antique Gold & Silver
Copper Rose, Antique Gold, Mauve, Peach, Blush Pink & Ivory

Get more copper rose wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Fall weddings. "As a former fall bride myself, I know a thing or two about wanting to capture a beautiful autumnal feel. I personally like to see burnt orange mixed with other warm colors like chocolate brown or antique gold," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Burnt Orange, Ivory, Chocolate Brown & Orange

orange wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Burnt Orange, Camel, Brown & Ivory
Burnt Orange, Aqua, Dusty Aqua & Orange
Burnt Orange, Light Gray, Orange & White
Burnt Orange, Slate Gray, Orange & Gray
Burnt Orange, Peach, Light Green & White
Burnt Orange, Fig, Gold, Light Plum & Orange
Burnt Orange, Light Blue, Light Gray, Light Yellow, Orange

Get more burnt orange wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A fun and carefree vibe. "I love to see orange incorporated into spring or summer weddings in a very playful way. But then come fall, this color takes on more of a warm and cozy vibe," says Chrissy. 

Palette we love:
Orange & White

orange wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Orange, Coral, Light Gray & Yellow
Orange, Aqua, Coral Rose & Light Sage
Orange, Coral, Light Sage & Peach
Orange, Gold, Gray & Lavender
Orange, Burnt Orange, Aqua & Dusty Aqua 
Orange, Burnt Orange, Light Gray & White
Orange, Burnt Orange, Slate Gray & Gray
Orange, Burnt Orange, Fig, Gold & Light Plum
Orange, Mustard, Pink, Light Sage, Coral & Blush Pink
Orange, Burnt Orange, Light Blue, Light Gray & Light Yellow

Get more orange wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A garden or church wedding. "Peach is the perfect springtime shade. It's sweet and communicates a beautiful simplicity," says Chrissy. Pair this hue with classic white.

Palette we love:
Peach, Gray & Latte

peach wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Peach, White & Ivory
Peach, Orange & Ivory
Peach, Coral, Pink & White
Peach, Brown, Camel & Latte
Peach, Coral, Pink, Tangerine & White
Peach, Coral, Pink, Ivory & Black
Peach, Dusty Rose, Blush Pink & Antique Gold
Peach, Light Pink, Powder Blue & Dusty Blue
Peach, Jade, Ivory & Light Sage
Peach, Chartreuse, Light Green & Green
Peach, Coral, Light Coral & Lemon Yellow
Peach, Light Yellow, Light Sage & Antique Gold
Peach, Mint, Light Coral, Jade & Aqua
Peach, Olive, Antique Gold, Camel & White

Get more peach wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Happy-go-lucky types. "Yellow is the happiest color in the world. If you want people to walk into your reception and feel that 'kick off your shoes and dance' vibe, then this is the color for you!" says Chrissy. This hue works best with modern-themed summer or spring weddings.

Palette we love:
Yellow, Gray, Slate Gray & Mustard

yellow wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Yellow & Gray
Yellow & White
Yellow & Orange
Yellow, Gray & Orange
Yellow, Gold & Slate Gray
Yellow, Gray & White
Yellow, Red, Navy Blue, Chartreuse & Gray

Get more yellow wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
An earthy feel. "Mustard has an intensity that always captures my eye. I love to see it paired with other fall colors like burnt orange or even shades of green," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Mustard, Latte & Sage

mustard yellow wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Mustard & Chocolate Brown
Mustard, Latte & Sage Green
Mustard, Black & White
Mustard, Chocolate Brown & White
Mustard, Antique Gold, Yellow & Ivory
Mustard, Cranberry, Latte & White
Mustard, Cranberry, Black, Latte & Gray
Mustard, Brown, Camel, Latte & White
Mustard, Orange, Chocolate Brown, Green & Latte
Mustard, Latte, Powder Blue, Camel, Antique Gold & White

Get more mustard wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Evoking an upscale atmosphere. "Gold evokes elegance, luxury, warmth and tradition. It's a rich, intense color that definitely gives off that Old-World vibe." This hue works especially well for winter and fall weddings.

Palette we love:
Gold, Black & White

gold wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Gold & Mint
Gold & Cranberry
Gold, Ivory & White
Gold, Lavender & White
Gold, Cranberry & Chocolate Brown
Gold, Green & White
Gold, Champagne, Pewter & White
Gold, Latte, Orange & White
Gold, Hot Pink, Black & White
Gold, Lavender, Berry, Blush Pink & Ivory

Get more gold wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Vintage-styled weddings. "Antique gold has recently taken center stage as the newest 'it' color for neutrals. Couples no longer have to choose between black or brown as their foundation shade — they can now select antique gold to do the job," says Chrissy. We prefer to see it paired with romantic shades like pinks or lavenders.

Palette we love:
Antique Gold, Latte, Silver & Ivory

gold wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Antique Gold, Lavender & White
Antique Gold, Lavender & Mint
Antique Gold, Navy Blue & Coral
Antique Gold, Mustard, Yellow & Ivory
Antique Gold, Fig, Camel & White
Antique Gold, Copper, Brown & White
Antique Gold, Cerulean, Latte, Silver & White
Antique Gold, Black, Taupe & White
Antique Gold, Olive, Peach, Camel & White
Antique Gold, Teal, Light Green, Aqua & White
Antique Gold, Copper Rose, Mauve, Peach, Blush Pink & Ivory
Antique Gold, Fluorescent Purple, Fuschia, Lavender & Purple

Get more antique gold wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Spring or summer weddings. "Optimistic, cheery, and packed full of happy thoughts, yellow has endless possibilities, but one thing is for sure: It's 100% fun!" says Chrissy. This hue looks especially lovely when paired with navy, latte, red, or even orange.

Palette we love:
Light Yellow, Peach, Light Sage & Antique Gold

yellow wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Light Yellow, Blush Pink, Gray & Light Pink
Light Yellow, Dusty Rose, Blush Pink, Peach, Aqua & Lavender
Light Yellow, Light Coral, Orange, Yellow & Blush Pink
Light Yellow, Burnt Orange, Light Blue, Light Gray & Orange
Light Yellow, Coral, Peach, Ivory & Latte
Light Yellow, Coral, Watermelon, Latte & Sage
Light Yellow, Yellow, Gray & Slate Gray
Light Yellow, Yellow, Mint, Green, Aqua

Get more light yellow wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
An effortless and natural look. "Sage green is a very beautiful hue that works well with neutrals like beige or brown," says Chrissy. If you're throwing an autumn wedding, then you've met the perfect match.

Palette we love:
Sage Green, Latte, Chocolate Brown & Ivory

sage green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Sage Green & Cranberry
Sage Green, Mustard & Latte
Sage Green, Chartreuse & Light Green
Sage Green, Cranberry & Light Green
Sage Green, Peach & Orange
Sage Green, Orange, Aqua & Coral Rose

Get more sage green wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Fall weddings. "Olive is a very rich and dynamic hue that works well with other rich colors like purple, cranberry, or even mustard," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Olive, Peach, Antique Gold, Camel & White

olive green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Olive & Sage Green
Olive, Plum & Sage Green
Olive, Sage Green & White
Olive, Light Green, Chartreuse & White

Get more olive wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Channeling nature and communicating an earthy elegance. "In weddings, green is like a breath of fresh air. Thanks to the increasing volume of eco-talk, green's also a prominent hue at environmentally-conscious weddings," says Chrissy. Pair this color with blues, yellows, pinks or neutrals.

Palette we love:
Green, Light Green, Sage & Ivory

green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Green & Ivory
Green & Coral
Green & Pink
Green & Navy Blue
Green, Gold & White
Green, Blue & Yellow
Green, Peach & Yellow
Green, Red & White

Get more green wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A couple who is searching for a more unique color palette. "I like to see lime green used most often for summer weddings. It works well with other vibrant hues like yellows or pinks," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Lime Green & Coral

lime green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Lime Green & Navy Blue
Lime Green, Coral & Sage
Lime Green, Navy Blue, Blue & Chartreuse
Lime Green, Chartreuse, Chocolate Brown, Cranberry, Latte & Mustard

Get more lime green wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Spring or summer weddings. "Light green represents growth, new life and positive energy," says Chrissy. If you want to use this shade for a fall or winter affair, pair it with a more subdued or rustic hue to make it seasonally appropriate.

Palette we love:
Light Green, Light Pink, Green, Blush Pink

green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Light Green, Gold & White
Light Green, Light Yellow & Silver
Light Green, Cranberry & Sage Green
Light Green, Aqua & Antique Gold
Light Green, Chocolate Brown, Ivory & White
Light Green, Chartreuse, Yellow & Gold
Light Green, Kelly Green, Chartreuse & White
Light Green, Orange, Peach, Gold & Chartreuse

Get more light green wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A rustic and down-to-earth vibe. "This shade is earthy, natural and all kinds of pretty. It works best when paired with neutrals like beige, shades of brown, or even yellow," says Chrissy. Light sage can be used for any season, but it works especially well for summer and spring celebrations. 

Palette we love:
Light Sage, Light Yellow, Sage, Yellow & Gold

sage green wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Light Sage, Cranberry & Sage Green
Light Sage, Camel, Silver & White
Light Sage, Coral, Aqua & Orange 
Light Sage, Light Yellow, Peach & Antique Gold
Light Sage, Orange, Coral & Peach
Light Sage, Orange, Mustard, Pink, Coral & Blush Pink

Get more light sage wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Couples with modern style. "Chartreuse is the kind of color we don't see enough of in weddings. It's a fun new twist on the traditional green shades," says Chrissy. Chartreuse pairs effortlessly with gray.

Palette we love:
Chartreuse, Gray & White

chartreuse wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Chartreuse, Mustard & White
Chartreuse, Teal & Brown
Chartreuse, Teal & Black
Chartreuse, Fuschia & Light Pink
Chartreuse, Chocolate Brown & Ivory
Chartreuse, Light Green, Yellow & Gold
Chartreuse, Peach, Light Green & Green
 Chartreuse, Yellow, Red, Navy Blue & Gray

Get more chartreuse wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A youthful and fun vibe. "Mint is one of my all-time favorite colors. It has this sort of uniqueness that newlyweds can't get enough of. It's a relatively new shade to hit the wedding industry, becoming an increasingly popular choice in the past few years," says Chrissy. Pair mint with shades of pink or even gold. 

Palette we love:
Mint & Gold

mint wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Mint & Navy Blue
Mint & Yellow
Mint & Lilac
Mint, Aqua & Yellow
Mint, Aqua, Sea Foam & Yellow
Mint, Pink, Copper & Ivory
Mint, Peach, Light Coral, Jade & Aqua
Mint Green, Light Coral, Blush Pink, Light Green & White

Get more mint wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Fall or winter weddings. "Teal has an elegance and an intensity that is unmatched," says Chrissy. This hue works best when paired with other shades of blue, jewel tones or metallics.

Palette we love:
Shades of Teal & Aqua

teal wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Teal & Mint
Teal & Pink
Teal & Yellow
Teal & Chocolate Brown
Teal, Green, Gold & White
Teal, Plum & Orange
Teal, Gold, Red & Orange
Teal, Chocolate, Copper, Latte & Ivory
Teal, Aqua, Dusty Aqua, Gold & White

Get more teal wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for:
A fun and modern color palette. "Aqua is a favorite of beach brides, especially tropical ones, but it also shows up in plenty of other places, too. Lately, we're seeing this hue paired with red, which makes for a very dynamic duo," says Chrissy. Chocolate brown and hot pink can also serve as complementary shades.

Palette we love:
Peach, aqua and ivory.

aqua wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Aqua & Fuschia
Aqua & Emerald
Aqua & Navy
Aqua & Red
Aqua, Tiffany Blue & White
Aqua, Orange & White
Aqua, Mint & Yellow
Aqua, Light Green & Antique Gold
Aqua, Orange, Coral Rose & Light Sage
Aqua, Sea Foam, Mint & Yellow
Aqua, Chocolate Brown, Camel & White

Get more inspiring aqua wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A slightly preppy feel. "This shade is a beautiful blue tone that has a lot of party planning potential. Mix it with silver, white, or even shades of pink and you're sure to have a color palette that will excite your guests!" says Chrissy. 

Palette we love:
Tiffany Blue, Aqua & White

tiffany blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Tiffany Blue & Light Pink
Tiffany Blue & Navy Blue
Tiffany Blue, Light Pink & Fuschia
Tiffany Blue, Silver & White
Tiffany Blue, Chartreuse & White

Get more tiffany blue wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Spring or summer weddings. "This color is lighter than your traditional aqua and I love it because there's a lot of styling ideas that you can use to bring it to life," says Chrissy. Pair it with shades of blue or classic white.

Palette we love:
Dusty Aqua, Blue, Powder Blue & Mint

aqua wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Dusty Aqua & Purple
Dusty Aqua, Latte & Ivory
Dusty Aqua, Shades of Orange & White
Dusty Aqua, Dusty Teal, Antique Gold & White

Get more dusty aqua wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A couple who is attracted to other shades of blue, purple, or even gold. "Dusty teal is a muted version of your traditional teal. It's a beautiful color that you don't see every day, especially at a wedding," says Chrissy. 

Palette we love:
Dusty Teal, Dusty Aqua, Antique Gold & White 

teal wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Dusty Teal & Ivory
Dusty Teal & Light Pink
Dusty Teal & Silver
Dusty Teal, Orange & White
Dusty Teal, Dusty Aqua, Silver & White

Get more dusty teal wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
An ultra-preppy couple. "Navy is the perfect color for a nautical theme or yacht club setting. Usually paired with chartreuse or classic white, this color puts tradition first, and it adds a certain masculinity to the palette," says Chrissy. Navy serves as a fabulous alternative to black. 

Palette we love:
Navy Blue & White

navy blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Navy Blue & Kelly Green
Navy Blue & Chartreuse
Navy Blue & Pink
Navy Blue & Coral 
Navy Blue, Powder Blue & Light Yellow
Navy Blue, Coral & Antique Gold 
Navy Blue, Yellow, Red, Chartreuse & Gray

Get more navy wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
All seasons and themes. "Blue will always be a fan favorite when it comes to wedding colors — what's not to love?" says Chrissy. Blue looks pretty with white, green, fuschia, or even lavender.

Palette we love:
Shades of Blue, Ivory & White

blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette
 

More color combinations:
Blue & Purple
Blue & Pink
Blue & Brown
Blue & Peach
Blue & Coral
Blue & Chartreuse
Blue & Beige
Blue & Silver
Blue, Yellow & Green
Blue, Red & White
Blue, Orange, Yellow & Gray
Blue, Mint, Aqua & Teal

Get more blue wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A dreamy and ethereal feel. "This muted shade of blue is great for any season and it works well with understated neutrals," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Slate Blue, Powder Blue, Camel, Chocolate Brown, Gray & White

slate blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Slate Blue & Chocolate Brown
Slate Blue & Latte
Slate Blue, Powder Blue & White
Slate Blue, Navy Blue & White

Get more slate blue wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A couple who loves blue but wants something more unique. "This shade is one we don't see a lot of in weddings and I'm wishing this would change!" says Chrissy. Cerulean can work for any season, but it looks especially nice in the summer months.

Palette we love:
Cerulean, Latte, Antique Gold, Silver & White

cerulean wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Cerulean & White
Cerulean & Silver
Cerulean & Fuschia
Cerulean & Chocolate Brown

Get more cerulean wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Winter weddings. "Powder blue is great for the couple who wants a winter wonderland-themed wedding," says Chrissy. Pair it with other shades of blue, gray, silver or white.

Palette we love:
Powder Blue, Mint, Latter & Silver

powder blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Powder Blue, Sky Blue, Gray & White
Powder Blue, Navy Blue & Light Yellow
Powder Blue, Chocolate Brown, Camel & White
Powder Blue, Peach, Light Pink & Dusty Blue
Powder Blue, Mustard, Latte, Camel, Antique Gold & White
Powder Blue, Dusty Aqua, Blue & Mint

Get more powder blue wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Summer beach weddings or even winter weddings. "Sky blue is a pretty shade and one that I wish we would see more of. It's great for the couple who wants their wedding to feel almost dreamlike," says Chrissy. Pair it with other blue hues or white.

Palette we love:
Sky Blue, Blue, Navy Blue & White

sky blue wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Sky Blue, Teal, Dusty Aqua & White
Sky Blue, Powder Blue, Gray & White
Sky Blue, Camel & Ivory
Sky Blue, Orange, Yellow & Gray

Get more sky blue wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Fall or winter weddings. Purple has always had a strong, historical association with royalty, but thanks to the fashion world, it's taken on a whole new life: "It's become challenging and mysterious, glamorous, and ever-so-slightly chic, especially when accented with other complex colors like charcoal or gray," says Chrissy. 

Palette we love:
Plum, Fuschia, Light Pink & Gold

plum wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Plum & Cranberry
Plum & Silver
Plum & Lavender
Plum, Powder Blue & Gray
Plum, Lavender & Antique Gold
Plum, Mauve, Fuschia & White
Plum, Blue, Gold & Chartreuse
Plum, Lavender, Camel, Copper & White

Get more plum wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A slightly feminine look. "Purple is big for weddings this year and it's easy to see why! Light plum is full of party planning possibilities," says Chrissy. This shade works nicely for any season, but we really love it for spring or summer. Pair it with ivory or beige.

Palette we love:
Light Plum, Fig, Antique Gold, Ivory & White

plum wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Light Plum, Silver & White
Light Plum, Powder Blue & Gray
Light Plum, Pink, Mauve & Fuschia
Light Plum, Slate Gray, Pink & Black
Light Plum, Lavender, Light Yellow, Camel, Ivory & White

Get more light plum wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
An outdoor venue, such as a vineyard. "This beautiful cross between purple and fuschia works well in any season, but we mostly love to see fig used for fall or winter weddings," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Fig & Gray

fig wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Fig, Camel, Antique Gold & White
Fig, Fuschia, Camel & Blush Pink
Fig, Gray, Camel, Blush Pink & White

Get more fig wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
The brave at heart! "A vibrant and exciting hue, fluorescent purple mixes well with other 'hot' colors like pinks or even neon shades," says Chrissy. This color is fantastic for summer weddings, modern receptions, and/or tropical locales.

Palette we love:
Fluorescent Purple, Lavender, Fuschia & White

purple wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Fluorescent Purple & Pink
Fluorescent Purple, Fuschia, Lavender, Fig & Antique Gold
Fluorescent Purple, Lavender, Mauve & White

Get more fluorescent purple wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A garden setting. "Soft, dainty and ladylike, lavender is often used in spring and summer weddings. It's nice with chartreuse, classic black, or even crisp white," says Chrissy. Bonus: This shade looks incredible in patterns like paisley and gingham. 

Palette we love:
Lavender, Antique Gold & White

lavender wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Lavender & Mint
Lavender & Silver
Lavender & Light Green
Lavender, Gold & Silver
Lavender, Orange, Gold & Gray
Lavender, Berry, Camel & White
Lavender, Plum, Copper, Camel & White
Lavender, Dusty Rose, Peach, Blush Pink & Light Yellow

Get more lavender wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Couples who have strong opinions about design. "This sophisticated, intense, and mysterious color can lend a clean and graphic look to a wedding, or it can sometimes serve as a nice accent color," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Black, Gold, Gray & White

black wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Black & White
Black & Yellow
Black & Blush Pink
Black & Gold
Black, Blush Pink & Slate Gray
Black, Taupe, Antique Gold & White

Get more black wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Rustic settings like a farm. "Chocolate brown is rich and rustic. Brown paired with burnt orange, copper or even colors like pink or red really do create unique and beautiful palettes," says Chrissy. Lighter shades like pinks or ivory also work with chocolate.

Palette we love:
Chocolate Brown, Blush Pink, Ivory & Peach

chocolate brown wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Chocolate Brown & Ivory
Chocolate Brown, Cranberry & Gold
Chocolate Brown, Pink & Blush Pink 
Chocolate Brown, Coral & Ivory
Chocolate Brown, Dusty Rose, Taupe, Camel & White
Chocolate Brown, Latte, Caramel, Mustard & Ivory

Get more chocolate brown wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Capturing a glamorous, Old World feel. "Copper is making a name for itself in the world of wedding colors. A bold metallic with elegant and vintage connotations, it can be used just as you might use gold or silver in your wedding," says Chrissy.

Palette we love:
Copper, Rust, Latte & Antique Gold

copper wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Copper & Pink
Copper & Mint
Copper & Navy Blue
Copper, Antique Gold, Gray, Silver & White
Copper, Chocolate, Teal, Ivory & Chocolate Brown

Get more copper wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Summer or fall weddings. "Latte is a shade that instantly warms up any palette. This bold neutral works well with rustic styling and is great for rounding out a couple's color scheme," says Chrissy. Pair latte with other shades of brown or ivory.

Palette we love:
Latte, Camel, Chocolate Brown & Ivory

latte wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Latte & Cranberry
Latte & Ivory
Latte, Cranberry & Ivory
Latte, Mustard & Sage
Latte, Yellow & Ivory
Latte, Cranberry, Black, Mustard & Gray
Latte, Red, Black, Camel & White
Latte, Peach, Brown & Camel

Get more latte wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Any season or theme. "Camel is known for its ability to warm up a palette. Pair it with cranberry, fig, pink or even blue tones — the choice is up to you!" Bonus: It's a great alternative to black.

Palette we love:
Camel, Sky Blue & White

camel wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Camel, Sky Blue & Ivory
Camel, Red & White
Camel, Brown, Latte, Mustard & White
Camel, Light Sage, Silver & White
Camel, Plum, Lavender, Copper & White
Camel, Red, Black & Latte
Camel, Fig, Antique Gold & White

Get more camel wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Couples with a sophisticated sense of style. "Ivory is refined and elegant, rich and conservative, and it also has a slightly vintage feel. Sometimes you'll find a slight shimmer to this shade, which evokes a certain elegance that is unmatched," says Chrissy. Ivory is the perfect counterpoint to more intense hues like red, plum or gold.

Palette we love:
Ivory, Antique Gold & Silver

ivory wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
The options are endless!

Get more ivory wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
A couple who wants to opt out of using traditional neutrals like black or brown. "Slate green is modern, understated, retro and sleek. It's the perfect color for groomsmen to wear since it complements many other hues," says Chrissy. We love to combine slate gray with orange.

Palette we love:
Slate Gray, Gray, Orange & Burnt Orange

slate gray wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Slate Gray, Pink & Black
Slate Gray, Cranberry, Fuschia & Pink 
Slate Gray, Cranberry, Gray & White
Slate Gray, Yellow & Gold

Get more slate gray wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Any wedding season or theme. "Gray is the new black! Modern, understated, retro and sleek, this color is popping up everywhere in the world of weddings," says Chrissy. It's a great counterpoint to bold hues like yellow, red or plum.

Palette we love:
Gray, Burnt Orange, Light Yellow, Orange & Powder Blue

gray wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Gray & Yellow
Gray & Orange
Gray & Coral
Gray & Mint
Gray, Orange & Yellow
Gray, Mauve & Pink
Gray, Red & White
Gray, Orange, Gold & Lavender

Get more gray wedding ideas ►

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Perfect for: 
Winter weddings. "Silver is upscale and elegant — it's a color that speaks to all things antique," says Chrissy. This shade looks gorgeous with blue, pink or purple tones. 

Palette we love:
Silver, Gray & White

silver wedding ideas
Photo Credit: The Perfect Palette

More color combinations:
Silver & Dusty Blue
Silver & Cranberry
Silver, Lavender & White
Silver, Plum & Gold
Silver, Navy Blue & White
Silver, Yellow & Light Green

Get more silver wedding ideas ►

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10 Ways to Keep Your Sanity While Planning a Wedding

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Amid the whirlwind of those seemingly endless last-minute preparations, take time to relax and reflect on what matters most: friends, family, and of course, fun! Whether it’s a moment of Zen by your lonesome or happy hour with the girls, every bride needs a few strategies to step out of the spotlight and enjoy the moment.

stressed bride
Photo Credit: iStockphoto

1. Load up your iPod with a “Wedding Countdown” playlist to keep you energized and positive. Think of this as your emotional pacifier—it’s basically impossible to be in a bad mood while lipsyncing to “Call Me Maybe.” If all else fails, break out the heavy artillery: ABBA and old-school Britney Spears.

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Quick Solutions for the Most Common Wedding-Day Mishaps

By: 
Kristen Finello
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The Oops: You or a sloppy guest spills red wine on your gown.

The Fix: In a pinch, stain-removal wipes will work wonders on most dresses, says Mindy Weiss, a California-based event planner who has coordinated weddings for celebrity brides like Trista Rehn, Jessica Simpson and Gwen Stefani. "If you address the problem quickly, you'll have a better chance of getting the spot out completely," advises John Mahdessian, President of Madame Paulette, a fabric-care specialist in New York City. He recommends the Madame Paulette Professional Stain Removal Kit (purchase it for $6 at madamepaulette.com), and swears it will remove any stain — from oil-based foundation makeup to red wine to tomato sauce — on any fabric within minutes.

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What to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Vendors

Booked your wedding venue? Congrats! The next major step is to select all of the pros who will help make your dream wedding-day vision a reality: your photographer, your florist, and more.
By: 
Stefania Sainato
Mobile Slider: 
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Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there's chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say. We asked top wedding experts to break down the most important questions that you should ask, to help you find the right vendor for your needs and budget.

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What to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Vendors

By: 
Stefania Sainato
what-to-ask-vendors_th.jpg

Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there's chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say. We asked top wedding experts to break down the most important questions that you should ask, to help you find the right vendor for your needs and budget.

But first, there's a few pointers you can follow to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. Before you schedule vendor meetings, determine a ballpark budget of what you're willing to spend and discuss your vision with your fiancé, including likes and dislikes. Some vendors, like photographers, list the starting price of their services on their website or you can call to inquire, while others, like florists, need to meet with you and get in-depth information before they can give you a price quote.

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Two Weeks and Counting: Your Last-Minute Checklist

It's crunch time — just days before the wedding. Here's how to cross everything off your to-do-list without losing your mind.
By: 
Denise Schipani
two-weeks-tn.jpg

bride and groom with bridal party in the backround
Photo Credit: Embrace Life Photography

I spent seven months planning my wedding. My cousin Julia spent nearly a year. When my brother got married, he and his fiancé had been engaged only a couple of months. Yet all three of us had one crucial thing in common: a two-week prewedding countdown time, crammed with unanticipated planning tasks, lots of stress and moments of pure panic.

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