When she's not throwing celeb-studded Oscar after-parties, NYC-based Annie Lee, founder of Daughter of Design, is working on her first love: weddings. She sat down with us to discuss wedding planning, planners and bending those wedding rules. Here, she preps you for your day by sharing her tips!
Are you hiring a wedding planner?
Book her first. You want her on board as early as possible to help you with big decisions — like the venue. A lot of brides come to us later in the process, and I think, "Oh, gosh, why did they pick that place and hire that person?"
When interviewing planners, make sure to ask...
"Have you worked at my venue before? How many staff will be working on the day of? How do you prefer to communicate, and how often will we talk?" And finally, "What duties are included in your fee?"
Limit the social-media reveals.
If you're going to your florist, post a teaser photo of the storefront, not the mock-up of your wedding table. And make your Pinterest page private or you may get feedback you're not looking for.
Feel free to break some rules.
I love bridesmaids in white dresses, like Pippa Middleton in her Alexander McQueen. And it's really OK to do the first look before the actual wedding. It will help calm your nerves, and you'll have more time for photos.
One of my biggest pet peeves?
People who take photos with iPads at weddings. It's intrusive, and it blocks other guests and the photographer. It's even worse if they use it at dinner. I don't care what game is on!
Also, guests who switch tables.
It can cause crowding at some tables and leave others looking empty. Plus, the caterer will have to change her service plans. Sit at the one you're assigned to, please.
Avoid the reception-as-banquet thing.
Try creating a restaurant vibe with tables in different shapes and sizes and a handful of banquettes. At a recent wedding, I added a raised space along the back, so even though those tables were farthest from the dance floor, they almost felt more VIP.
Don't hang out with your friends all night.
Make a point of greeting your parents' friends too, as well as all the other guests who've taken time out of their lives to come to your party.