10 Secrets Only Wedding Planners Know

Brides Behind the Scenes, Wedding Style & Decor

We asked event pros how to troubleshoot any potential pesky day-of problems—and save yourself from a premarital meltdown.

1) "Know the neighborhood. Drive around the area of your venue before your wedding day," says Nisa Lee, a Pelham, New York, planner. "Be on the lookout for the closest ATM, hardware store, drugstore, liquor store, and stationery store, in case you have any last-minute needs during your party." Make note of the opening and closing times of each one.

2) "Think through the entire event a few weeks before the wedding from the guest's point of view," says New York City's Xochitl Gonzalez. "Every minor detail should be covered, like who will hand out the programs and how to shuttle guests from the church to reception."

3) Make sure you have a few extra seats and dinner setups (plates, flatware, glasses, and napkins) for any surprise guests who show up, suggests Tara Wilson of Fort Worth, Texas. It happens more often than you'd think!

4) Buy a fancy umbrella that you wouldn't mind being seen standing under, just in case it's raining when you're taking outdoor photos, says Lee. Think of it this way: If it pours (or drizzles), you get to pose with a cute prop!

5) "Before you send out the invitations, recruit a friend to drive the MapQuest or venue-provided directions to make sure they really work," says Gonzalez. She should follow the instructions exactly as written. This way, if something's not clear, you'll have time to rewrite them.

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