Wedding Industry Experts Share Top Advice for Planning the Big Day

From choosing a dress to booking a honeymoon, pro-tips for all couples


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by well-meaning advice when you and yours start planning your special day, but where better to start than with tips straight from the source? We asked professionals across the wedding industry what the couples they’ve worked with wished they would have known when turning their vision into a reality. From ordering the invitations to chartering a honeymoon voyage, and everything in between, here’s what they had to say. 


Timing the Invitations

“We most commonly get asked ‘When should I send my invitations out?’ The answer to that question can vary depending on your venue requirements, catering deadlines, or hotel room blocks, but in general, once save-the-dates have gone out, we tell our clients that a good mail date for invitations is 10 weeks prior to your wedding date, with a RSVP date that is six weeks prior to your wedding date. This schedule gives your invitations time to reach their destination, time for your guests to review hotel and travel options, and reply. A six-week RSVP date gives your vendors enough time with your final headcount to make all the necessary arrangements and allows you ample time to create your seating chart.”

—Danielle McCarthy and Ellen PJ Kelly,

owners, Champagne and Ink



Budgeting for Florals and More

“Start with a base budget and color scheme, allowing the consultation process to guide you toward a design you truly love. By doing so, you can create a stunning and memorable wedding that reflects your unique style and stays within your budget. Leading with the fear of cost often leads to misconceptions about what is actually less expensive. For example, we have seen couples ask for ‘greens only’ thinking they’re saving money. In reality, certain greens, especially eucalyptus, can be quite expensive.”

—Susan Falso,
owner, Cherryhill Flowers

Johnston, Smithfield, and Coventry,


Finding the Dream Dress

“Wedding gowns can take anywhere from 12 weeks to six months to come in, so plan in advance. By a year out, you should be looking at the options and by nine months, you want to be ready to select “the one.” Before your appointments, do your homework: know what designers a boutique carries, their price points, and have some photos of gowns you love. This will help guide the conversations with your stylist and act as a jumping-off point. Once you’re there, keep an open mind. Try on at least one dress of each silhouette and style. You might be surprised by what you love! This day is really supposed to be about you and your partner so don’t lose that in the process. What brings you joy and makes you smile is what you should go with. There aren’t any rules.”

—Katie Wadhams, owner, Lovely Bride



Trusting Your Venue Event Team

“Be comfortable with the event team at your selected venue, so that you feel confident explaining what you do and do not want at your wedding. Each couple has an individual aspect that is most important to them, such as outdoor facilities, a large dance floor, great food, reasonable pricing, and memorable scenery for photography. The venue team should prioritize their specific needs to ensure that their wedding will be one to remember.”

—Michele Heroux,
business manager, Twelve Acres



Bidding Bon Voyage

“The most common piece of advice I offer is to prioritize what you and your partner really want to experience and enjoy on your honeymoon, instead of getting too caught up in what other people are doing or what you think you ‘should’ do. It’s your honeymoon, after all, and you want it to be a memorable and meaningful experience for both of you. Additionally, many couples wish they knew how important it is to plan and book things early, as popular honeymoon destinations and accommodations can fill up quickly, especially during the peak travel season.”

—Don Fuchs Jr., travel advisor,
Smooth Sailings Cruise Planners




No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here