The Essential Wedding Advice Every Engaged Couple Needs To Know
After scrolling through Instagram and seeing plenty of engagement posts, we started pondering on how to make the next steps of wedding planning easy for you. And for us, it matters that you set the foot on the right note, and what better way (rather who) to take you to your special day other than pros from the wedding world?
We reached out to experts from across the globe in this $300-billion destination and luxury wedding industry to share tips and tricks to make your wedding planning process a breeze.
From money-saving tricks to stress-reducing tips, read on as some of the world’s top wedding pros reveal the secrets their clients pay to hear!
1. Think Outside The Box
Of course, there are stressors that act as challenges when we try to bring our dream wedding into reality. But Heather Jerue, Founder of Rendez-vous in Paris, one of the top wedding planners from France and DWP Powerlister suggests NOT to! She says- “We can create something spectacular almost anywhere! We can construct the wedding of your dreams in the middle of the desert or in a countryside location, where we create your vision from scratch! So don’t limit yourself in anyways!”
2. Trust The People Around You
TRUST! This a very important sentiment that plays a key role in making or breaking your wedding. Yes, it has to be earned, but once you establish it with your wedding planner, don’t let it go!
Muriel Saldalamacchia, Founder of The International Wedding Planner and DWP Powerlister, a renowned wedding industry specialist from France says- “You know what? I’m not going to lie; planning a wedding can be really stressful. It takes up all your time, and sometimes it feels like there are never enough hours in the day! But as with everything else in life- if you are having fun then that means everything will work itself out eventually too. My main advice for making sure this happens throughout every step of preparing for an event such as yours would be: to have faith & trust those who care about seeing both sides happy (including yourself). And remember why we’re doing things differently than everyone else–it should always bring excitement instead.”
“Stop acting alone! Hire a pro and let him/her do the job. Your time is valuable and his time is dedicated to your love.” Adds DWP Powerlister Fabrice Orlando, CEO, Cocoon Events, Morocco.
“Surround yourself with trusted people and ENJOY, it happens just once in a lifetime (hopefully!)! Let’s not rush into vendor hunting, there’s always a solution for every taste!” Says Olivia Sodi, Founder, Olivia Sodi Weddings and Events, Italy.
3. Do It Your Way!
Take inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, websites, and blogs like DWP Insider. But be sure to make it your own rather than create a carbon copy of something you’ve seen someone else do.
“Always remember that it’s YOUR day. Don´t let others interfere with your plans for your wedding. Create a wedding that perfectly fits both of you. You should have the best day of your life! Ask a wedding planner or a person you trust to take care of everything during the wedding day itself, so you can simply enjoy the time with your loved ones.” Tells Marie Alsleben, Founder, Marie Alseben Wedding Planning & Design, Germany.
“One piece of advice I would give couples for 2023 is to do it your way. Make sure your wedding reflects who you are as a couple.” Adds Kia Marie, Founder, Kia Marie Events, USA.
“A wedding is a lifetime commitment that should last throughout your life. When planning a wedding, it is very important to listen to either the bride and the groom. Implement the ideas you both want to see in your wedding and please do not take the other for granted. Remember to keep loving each other like the first time you said those words “I Love You.” Suggests Doris Wakini Njroge from Dorothy Humphrey’s Weddings, Kenya.
4. Start Early
2023 is a busy year. With ‘Wedding boom’ already in, late planning will cost you in all ways! Tara Fay, Founder, Tara Fay Evets, Ireland and DWP Powerlister advices- “Make a plan, stick to it and book well in advance, it’s a busy year.”
“Plan way ahead of time. With the surge of destination weddings, venues are running out fast and the better ones get booked up to 18 months in advance. Hence, we suggest scouting for venues the soonest as you can to ensure you book your dream destination or venue for your preferred dates.” Suggests Rahul Kumar, DWP Powerlister, and Founder of Vivaah Celebrations, United Arab Emirates.
“Start planning early! Weddings in 2023 may be more complex than before, so planning and giving yourself plenty of time is important. Make sure you research and find the perfect venue that suits your style and budget – this will make all the difference on your big day! Also, don’t forget to have fun! Weddings should be a celebration of love and joy – don’t let the stress get in the way. Enjoy every moment leading up to your special day!” Advices Jacqueline Vizcaino, Tinted Event Design and Planning, United States.
“Plan as early in advance as possible, there are a lot of couples planning their wedding who have been waiting over the last few years and that means vendors and venues are booked early, so do not hesitate and go forward with your bookings. Vendors that are new in the market are less booked and equally talented if you know where to look for quality – that is best supported by an expert wedding planner on your side.” Tells Daniela Erni, Create Your Story, Singapore.
“Book services well in advance as the world of weddings has started off again and it is very difficult to find suppliers at the last minute.” Adds Michela Lupu, Miky Events, Italy.
Venues are the first thing that gets booked in advance a year or two earlier. So if you have your eyes set on a particular venue, consider booking it soon.
“Book the wedding venues well in advance at least 6 months before the wedding date.” Suggests John Ali Raza, Dusit Thani Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Hanan Ali fron Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Hotel, UAE.
Similar sentiments were shared by Kiran Mansharamani, Warq Events, Spain. “Try and plan enough in advance (at least 6 months prior). Demand is extremely high, all postponed weddings since 2020 are taking place and there is a huge interest in exotic locations for destination weddings.”
“Secure their vendors as soon as possible as vendors get booked up really quickly!” Adds Steffie Lee, I Do For You, Singapore.
“Brides and grooms, the time to start planning your weddings is as soon as possible, you must choose your destination and destination wedding planner at least one year before the big day.” Concludes Cassia Thomas, Founder, Cassia Thomas Weddings, France.
5. Save Yourself The Heartache, Hire A Planner
You might think you can handle everything on your own, but don’t you want to actually enjoy your wedding planning process?
That’s why Mandy Delve, Owner, Now Destinations from Canada advises hiring a destination wedding planner! “Have them be there on the wedding day for added support and to ensure a smooth & stress-free experience. Many couples don’t realize that the on-site coordinator is usually only available for an on-site meeting to go over the event details, and there from the start of the ceremony to the start of the reception. Having an experienced planner with you will ensure everything runs on time, and smoothly, and you have a personal concierge for anything from spa appointments to helping guests with any issues during their stay.”
Vithika Agarwal, Co-Founder, Divya Vithika Wedding Planners, India and DWP Powerlister advises to stop micro-managing your wedding – and let the experts do their jobs. “It’s your wedding and you can do whatever feels best for your partner & yourself. You don’t need to conform to norms & traditions if it’s not something you resonate with.”
“My advice is always to listen to a professional. If you’re undecided about things in general a wedding planner with sound knowledge of her or his craft is an absolute asset. They are your guide, your personal assistant to your wedding, and your confidant and they will make everything run smoothly and effortlessly.” Adds Jane Magnus, Director, Byron Bay Luxury Weddings, Australia.
6. Choose The Destination That Speaks To You
“Be adventurous in choosing your wedding destination now that the world has opened up again – and chose a top planner to work with on the ground who brings a solid network and expertise to the table.” Says Christina Holt, Founder, Wedding Concepts and DWP Powerlister from South Africa.
“Make sure that the city you decide where to get married is a city that reflects who you are as a couple.” Adds Guadalupe Alvarez, DWP Powerlister and CEO of Penzi Weddings, Mexico.
“Be yourself. Look for locations that are unseen. Respect your wedding planners and support them with their ideas. In 2023 you can search for undiscovered places and new wedding trends, that are only yours. The uniqueness is not in copying.” Tells Benjamin Kracun, DWP Premium member, Luka & Ben Weddings, Slovenia.
“I recommend exploring more authentic places and thinking of a day that is a very pleasant experience. In this way, you go straight to the emotions. I think that luxury is in authentic things.” Says Marilena Gizzi, G-Eventi di Marilena Gizzi, Italy.
“Always follow your dreams and choose a venue that you absolutely love but must be mindful of the real budget! Every guest cost money- so the larger the celebration the more it will cost.” Adds Anne Marie Kleis, AMK Events, Puerto Rico.
7. Set Your Budget
“Inflation is affecting everything, including small wedding business owners. It’s important you maintain realistic expectations of how far your budget will go. So please, before you start planning, sit down and set a comfortable figure you’re going to work towards. And if you’re not sure how far it will go, pay an experienced planner to have a budget consultation with you, so she can help you break down your budget and avoid expensive mistakes if you decide to plan your wedding on your own.” Shares Elisabetta White, Founder, Elisabetta White | Intimately Inspired Events, UK.
8. Take Time To Make Important Decisions
In the rush of planning, don’t lose sight of the big picture. “Find time to make important decisions. As wedding planners, we know that the couples time is precious and sometimes we need to make decisions on their behalf but at the end of the day, this is your wedding, so please find the time.” Tells Thelma Morales, Founder, Sparks Wedding, Guatemala.
9. Decide Your Priorities
Always remember what is most important to you and your partner. And make sure all your decisions reflect that.
“The key to using your budget well, in the places that matter to you and your beau, is choosing your priorities early on. Make a list of priorities and draft the guest list! Intimate weddings it’s a trend and it’s going to grow fast!” Adds Romina Ferraretto, Founder, Romina Ferraretto Events Planners, Argentina.
10. Think Guest Experience
In modern weddings, guest experience plays a big role. It’s all about keeping it chic and luxurious where you can bond with each other in an intimate and more personalized way.
“Think more about the wedding experience you’d love to get and share with your guests, rather than the number of them assisting at your wedding.” Shares Evelyn Paz, Founder, Event Flow by Evelyn Paz from Mexico.
“Take time alone to really discuss what is most important to you at your celebration, beyond the band and good food! How do you want to feel and how do you want your guests to feel? What do you want to take away? If you could never celebrate with these people again, what would be the most important thing to you?” Explains Cathleen O’Connell, COJ Events, USA.
11. Take Environment-Conscious Decisions
Go-green is indeed the mantra not just for the wedding industry but for all sectors. Couples are increasingly becoming aware of reducing wastage and are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
“Keep in mind your environmental footprint and search for environmentally friendly wedding planners. A lot of needless waste is generated from weddings but try operating by the “leave no trace” principle with green weddings at your heart. There are so many beautiful places outdoors for weddings, there is no need to decorate nature with plastic.” Advices Lena Hansen, Nordic Adventure Weddings, Denmark.
“Don’t order so many tchotchkes that need to be repacked and taken home. Especially if you are traveling to your destination wedding location. Ask your wedding planner or decor company if they have rentals available so it is one less thing to worry about during your travels. Favors are another expense that is really unnecessary. If you want to give your guest a gift then I would suggest mailing it with a thank you card. This way it is more meaningful and it’s not left behind at reception.” Highlights Felicia Gantar, CEO, Felicia Events, USA.
12. Be Aware Of The Market Situation
“Have a hard look at your budget and understand that supply chain issues, inflation, etc. are happening globally. Be definitive about what your financial comfort zone is and well-versed on what that can actually provide.” Tells Terrica Skaggs, industry educator and CEO of Terrica Inc., USA.
“Due to the pandemic, a lot has changed in the wedding industry and its suppliers. During the wedding season, suppliers are under great pressure from clients who make late decisions. Order materials on time. It creates a lot of rest for all parties.” Describes Michel van Dolderen, Chandelier Rental, Netherlands
13. Participate In The Planning Process
“Every year my advice to couples is, to fully participate in the planning of the wedding, especially in the decoration. It’s essential that the couple provides all their information so the wedding planner can pass that profile on to their wedding day.” Adds Petra Simões, Apoema Events, Portugal.
14. Create A Planning Timeline
Kelly A McWilliams, Kelly McWilliams Celebrations Weddings & Parties, USA suggests doing these 2 things:
1. Spend a few weeks celebrating your engagement before you begin planning the wedding.
2. Create a planning timeline you feel like you can commit to (and not be overwhelmed by) and then decide your budget. Create a spending plan for the budget before you make a single decision.
15. Dont Compromise On Suppliers & Establish Personal Relations With Them
When you’re doing your supplier research, be guided by the work you see and their style. This doesn’t mean you have to go for a cookie-cutter version of something they’ve done before. Their style should complement your vision.
“Don’t compromise on general suppliers, who will deliver the services and book them as much in advance as you are able, as the season seems to be fully blooming. Discuss with your wedding planner how to build your supplier list basing it on a strong team and finding ways to cut corners in less essential positions.” Tells Alise Mihimana, Boutique Event Planning, Latvia.
“Choose vendors who are willing to think outside the box to create a personal and tailored experience that reflects exactly what you both love! Cookie-cutter ceremonies and celebrations are just not exciting and if it’s a one-size fits all model- it won’t be special to you!” Highlights Yvonne Wolf, Founder, Yvonne Wolf Events, USA.
“Surround yourself with a team of professionals that will help to create real moments and mind-blow your imagination. This way you can be more present in every moment. The sky is the limit, but never doubt to trust your planning team on each creative side. Allow them to create an epic wedding that you could not even imagine.” Tells Eunice Bravo, Founder, Eunice Bravo Weddings, Mexico.
“Make sure you don’t cut corners and that you research all suppliers before you book them, this will ensure you will have a rapport with them on the day and prior. Don’t forget to book a professional toastmaster and MC, as this service will add a lot of value, in more ways than one, and can ensure you’re day will be perfect and memorable for a lifetime.” Aptly puts Jonathan Waterman, The Complete Toastmaster & Celebrant & Officiant & MC, UK.
16. Research Is The Key
As they say- “Imagine and you shall manifest!” Look around social media and envision the mood board of your D-day. Picture the smallest details in your head and how you feel about them.
“Research how you want your celebration to look as there is a variety of options available and then choose the right fit! As your planner is the turnkey to bring your dreams into reality and with the right fit, the wedding chaos just gets streamlined. Be specific, know what you’re asking, and work with gratitude.” Adds Nikhil Jetha, Events & Wedding Experiences, India.
“Do your research. Start early. Know what realistic costs are so you are not wasting time in the planning process. Identify and prioritize your wedding day must-haves. Make it personal and be present on your wedding day.” Adds Dee Lee, Owner, Dee Lee Designs, USA.
“Book early! We’re seeing many resorts’ inventory fill up faster than ever, so large groups need to start their research ASAP and book their venues and room blocks as soon as possible. To help alleviate this pressure, it’s wise to consider having a weekday wedding as opposed to a weekend, or even celebrating in the off-season, as opposed to peak season.” Adds Jen Avey, Destination Weddings Travel Group, USA.
17. Keep Saying Yes To New Adventures!
“You don’t have to stop having new adventures just because you’re married now. Keep the love alive by recreating your first date, taking skydiving together, or taking an impromptu trip. The memories you make early on in your marriage will stay with you forever.” Beautifully describes Nancy Barkley, Founder, Honeymoons and Get-A-Ways, USA.
18. Have a Plan B
“One thing that we learned post-pandemic is, no matter how well you’ve laid your plans, it’s important that you always have contingency plans in place should things go awry.” Suggests Eric Sugiono, Founder of Poetyque Events from Indonesia.
19. Get Organized
Stay organized! Keep a list of all of your to-dos and make a game plan for tackling them.
“Aside from booking the venue first as Mindy Weiss always says- book your creative folks asap! In 2022 we turn down 218 weddings. Brides booking 6 to 12 months in advance for things like beauty and photography are a must. Know who your bridal party will be and be sure to start thinking about who will be in your wedding photos. For anyone being photographed with the bride it’s best to have hair and makeup done for the continuity of the images. After all wedding photos last forever!
Oh, and the minute you book your photographer, book an engagement session with your hair and makeup team. This is an excellent way to get to know the photographer and see how your beauty ideas translate into your photos.” Advices Mar Romero, Territory Manager, TEAM Hair and Makeup Inc, USA.
20. Be Timeless
“You can feel inspired by trends, but keep in mind that it’s your wedding, so it’s important to create something that truly reflects your personality. Go beyond all the images you find on Pinterest, and focus on a narrative that is personal and distinctive.” Concludes Sofia Ferreira, Owner, Brancoprata, Portugal.
21. Don’t Leave Vow Renewal For Last Minute
Wedding vows are important and sometimes, in the flow of things, that’s something couples remember at the very last minute. To combat that, Brian Franklin, Co-Founder of Vows & Speeches, USA advises- “Treat the content with the same attention as you do the optics. You wouldn’t dare plan the visuals last minute but too many are sitting down to write their vows at the last second. Likewise, the wedding toast section is a significant chunk of time – there’s no reason for it to be boring or worse, destructive to people’s feelings or the timeline.”
22. Enjoy The Process & Feel The Vibes
“I encourage my couples to express themselves happily in who they are and their love together. The expectations all around them will try to influence them overall, but I advise them to stay true to their desires, wishes and dreams so they can ENJOY their day instead of wishing later they said too many yeses and not enough nos.” Tells Jen Sulak, Weirdo Weddings Photography, USA.
“Wedding preparation is stressful and takes a lot of energy, especially for the bride, for that you need to find someone who will listen and understand during the process and at the same time you are having fun.” Says Lorna Nambatac, Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis, UAE.
“Give yourself time in your day to enjoy special moments alone.” Adds Donna Gibb, Wedding Painting with Donna Gibb, Australia.
“Enjoy this path in serenity, entrusting your day to an expert in the field nothing will be out of place and if something is not exactly as you will not care. The unexpected is always there and can be solved but love is RARE and should be celebrated 100%! Enjoy the process, and make sure your family and friends are a priority. This goes for the length of travel for those with physical challenges, including group activities, and ensuring that a wedding planner is a priority.” Beautifully describes Tracey Manailescu, Founder, Tracey M Events from Canada.
“Whether you hired a wedding planner or not, enjoy your wedding planning process. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be cherished. Don’t forget to have fun.” Points out Christian Yaacoub, CEO, Christian Yaacoub Events, Lebanon.
23. Stay Positive
Flowers got delayed? Are people not getting along? No problem. Don’t stress over small details. Things will settle by themselves.
Dalia Taha, CEO of by.daliataha Events from Qatar who was also DWP 2023 Welcome Reception Partner shares a beautiful message inspiring couples. “Dear bride and groom, stay positive for this coming year. Both of you are the luckiest people to have found love. More happiness, more excitement and luxury experiences are waiting for you both ahead at your wedding.”
“Plan your wedding being true to yourself, reflect your identity.” Adds Ami Bojang, CEO Ami Bojang Weddings.
Always remember, you’re making dreams come true through your wedding planning process. Really! And as long as you do your best and follow tips like these, your wedding will be a success. Check out our incredible suppliers on www.dwpinsider.com to make your dream wedding into a reality.