Tomorrow starting at noon, Gilt Groupe will feature its semi-annual bridal sale with up to 60 percent off items ranging from wedding gowns to party dresses to Gilt City deals to gifts. Curating the site's offerings this year is famed event planner Colin Cowie, who recently sat down with Gilt's editorial director (and recent bride) Melissa Liebling-Goldberg to dish out a little of his expert planning advice:
Melissa: What are the five things that you should always splurge on for a wedding?
Colin: Beautiful invitations, stunning flowers, delicious food, tasty cocktails, and fabulous music.
Melissa: What are the five things you shouldn't feel bad about saving on?
Colin: 1) Instead of expensive imported champagne, think of a sparkling wine or well-crafted cocktail; 2) Instead of a large orchestra or live band have a great DJ. Todays DJ's are tomorrow's rock stars; 3) Instead of a cocktail hour, have your pictures taken prior to the wedding and then proceed directly from the ceremony to the reception; 4) Forget the party favors or tchotchkes—instead upgrade the chicken stuffed with a-la-something to a succulent rack of lamb; 5) Instead of serving dessert followed by wedding cake, make your wedding cake the dessert feature.
Melissa: What's the secret to pulling together a chic wedding on a short timeline of three months or less?
Colin: As long as you can confirm the venue and officiate of your choice, you can very easily plan a wedding in 3 months or less. Think about it, even though the average length of engagement is 12-18 months, most of the work is done in the last 3 months.
Melissa: What is your favorite recommendation for a bridesmaid gift? Favors?
Colin: Anything personalized that becomes a keepsake. If it is embroidered, foil stamped or engraved, a personal gift goes a long way. From bathrobes, to make-up bags, silver jewelry cases or personal stationery, you can't go wrong.
—Phillip B. Crook