An Excerpt from "The Big White Book of Weddings"

A wedding planning book by planner, designer and wedding style expert David Tutera

The Planning Process: Think, Organize, Do (and Don't!)

He proposed!

This is a huge moment! Before we start on the details of your wedding, make sure you have taken time to enjoy your engagement! You will never get another chance to enjoy the rush and elation of being engaged more than once, so revel in the moment of being excited about your dream come true. I understand how exciting it can be, when nothing else matters or is on your mind except thoughts of how happy you are and questions of how you can ensure that your day will go perfectly once it's finally here. I once had a bride who was so thrilled about being engaged that she drove right off the road because she was so preoccupied by staring at her engagement ring. (Sound familiar? Don't be embarrassed. You're in love!) If you've taken the first key step of appreciating each and every moment of this process, you have set a great tone to starting to plan your wedding. This is not a task list, this is an exciting list of experiences, each a celebration in itself!

This first chapter is about preparing yourself for the process: a crash course in planning. I am here to break it down for you in the easiest way possible so you can have both the wedding of your dreams and the wedding-planning process of your dreams!

The biggest mistake I see brides make is when they jump right into the details, the plans, and the purchasing before even pausing to think about the overall picture. It's like running a marathon without pacing yourself, and on top of that, it's like not stretching before you take off!

First, think about what you want to end up with in the end. Then organize those thoughts. Last, do exactly what you need to do to achieve your perfect wedding.


I start with all my brides, even the celebrities, by sitting down with them to discuss what they want their entire wedding outcome to be. It's so important to take a moment for just you and your fiancé (no friends, no family, no coworkers or neighbors or celebrity influencers on your TV) to envision your perfect day. Write down all you have dreamed of or have seen that you remember wanting. Also write down things you like—colors, styles of music, eras of time, scenes in movies, and anything artistic that speaks to you. Dream big and get it all out there; this is your brainstorming list! The sky is the limit; even your wildest and least practical ideas can turn into inspiration down the line.

Ask yourself the most important question of all: What feeling do I want my guests to have when they leave? What emotions do I want them to take away with them? For example, if you answer with emotions like love, joy, faith, warmth, and serenity, this might help you discover you want an intimate, secluded celebration. If you want your guests to feel awe, excitement, and energy, this might guide you toward a lively party!

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from