Wedding Planning Advice From Recently Married Vendors

If you've been reading wedding magazines and blogs, you're probably feeling overwhelmed by the possibilities. But what if weddings were your job? Knowing all the options—and how to execute them well—could be paralyzing. But instead of panicking, these recently married experts focused their efforts and ultimately made great decisions. Hopefully, their stories will help you do the same.


Lisa "Ceci" Johnson, Ceci New York, New York, NY

"I'm constantly creating art for others, and Alan, my fiancÚ, would always ask me to create a piece of art for him. So this was my chance: I'd create a painting to commemorate our lives together. Alan is into history and Old World style, so in addition to 15th-century Spanish tapestries, my biggest influence for the painting was a mural on the wall of the ballroom at our venue, the Hotel el Convento in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.

"My goal with any invite is to communicate to guests what's to come—to suggest the location, style, and theme. I wanted our reception to feel warm, inviting, and a little exotic. To accomplish this, I used the painting I created on the envelope liner and the back of the invitation. The other design details were inspired by my dress, and by photos I took around Old San Juan, which showed the city's architecture and iron fences.

"I chose the red and gold color scheme because it fit the wedding's vibe—glamorous and passionate. But every choice I made along the way I ran by Alan to make sure I was on the right track, as I would with a client. But I also tried to trust my instincts and not let the pressure of what the guests would think take over. It's important to stick to what's going to make you happy. It's okay to do something that may be considered different if it represents you and is done tastefully."

Photos: Mel Barlow Photography

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