Whether you’re newly-engaged and just beginning the wedding planning process or mere days away from your nuptials—or somewhere in between, like our cover stars Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert—you’ve probably heard time and time again that wedding planning is hard work. While that’s certainly true, it’s also important to remember that dreaming up your ceremony and reception can be incredibly fun and exciting. Yes, there are what feels like an endless number of tasks on your to-do list and organizing all of the little details (with or without the help of a professional wedding planner) can feel overwhelming, but the end result is always worth it. When all is said and done, every decision made and dollar spent brings you closer to the moment when you and your partner officially become a married pair.
Keeping your eyes on the prize—marriage—can certainly help make the planning process feel more tenable, but being prepared for what’s ahead is what will ultimately make the journey most seamless. And that’s exactly where our brand-new Wedding Planning Issue, created in partnership with our friends at Men’s Wearhouse, comes into play. For anyone in the thick of it, know that Derek and Hayley are right there with you, and their candid interview about how they’re approaching wedding planning might just help you work through your own process. If you need practical planning tips that you can apply right now, we’re here to help on that front, too. Our latest issue features everything from tips for budgeting for the big day (Derek’s biggest pain point) and finalizing your guest list (something Hayley has very good advice around) to attire guides, beauty prep timelines, and the easiest ways to prioritize your guests. Simply put, we crafted a guide that every engaged couple can follow from the moment you say “Yes!” to the day you say “I do!”
If there’s one piece of advice you take away from this issue, let it be this: Remember that this is your wedding, so celebrate however you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s a black-tie wedding with a four-course seated dinner or a barefoot party on your favorite beach, it’s important that you and your partner remain true to yourselves and plan the day you’ve envisioned—not the one you think anyone else expects of you. And, as our cover stars tell us, don’t be afraid to be stubborn about the pieces of the celebration that you really care about. “It’s your day,” Hayley said during our interview. “Do what you want to do.”
— Gabriella Rello Duffy, Editorial Director