Planning Advice From a Recent Bride (and BRIDES Staffer!)

Real Weddings

We asked one of our marketing team members, Lauren Gerardi, to look back on her recent wedding and share any nuggets of advice mined from her planning process. With many of her husband's family coming from international destinations, Lauren found that the key to a fuss-free wedding was in securing the major details early on in the process:

"Find your vendors through a reputable source, like a friend, family member, or websites with several positive reviews. Explore a vendor's work, and don't be scared to ask for references," Lauren says. And after you've narrowed down your list of vendors, "try to book them early to cut down on costs. Dave's family was coming from Australia and England, and we needed to have everything buttoned up to send out invites as far in advance as possible. If you book a year or more ahead of time, you can sometimes get that year's rate before it increases and potentially create room to negotiate." Lauren's last bit of advice is the simplest, but, she says, the most important: "Enjoy your day! The few hours of your ceremony and reception go by in an instant. I didn't believe it when people told me, but it's so important to take in every minute before it's over." —Phillip B. Crook

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