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Wedding Planners & Professionals Share Their Secrets and Tips

From bridal fashion advice to the ultimate wedding-planning tips, discover expert wedding advice!

Gather expert wedding-planning tips, trends, and secrets to ensure your wedding is perfect! From shopping for your wedding dress to planning the ultimate celebration, read the advice from these experts in the industry.

real wedding photo at the willard washington dc planned by evoke custom wedding reception table blue white chairs tall greenery centerpieces
Photo: Allan Zepeda Photography

When it comes to shopping for a wedding dress, planning your wedding weekend events, and preparing back-up plans for the big day, you may not know where to start – especially if you haven't hired a planner. While we always recommend hiring a wedding planner to help you organize the details of your big day, we understand that many couples choose to plan their nuptials themselves. 

Whether you hired a planner or not, we consistently strive to share must-have tips from the esteemed members of our Editors Circle, who are some of the nation's top wedding professionals, on Inside Weddings' website and in the magazine. Wedding trends are constantly changing – as are expectations from your wedding guests – and etiquette advice is always necessary to handle uncomfortable situations throughout the planning process and on the day of. Look to the professionals who have been in the industry for years to know what to do and how to prepare for one of the biggest events of your lives.

As you're getting ready to say "I do," we invite you to read the latest trends, secrets, and expert tips from wedding planners, top bridal salon specialists, floral designers, and more on a range of topics to help you make informed decisions leading up to the big day. Take note of this advice featured in our 2022 issues, and make these tips your own to fit your personalities and wedding style. Happy planning!

Hire the Right Photographer

"To find your perfect photographer match, begin with an emotional connection. How do you feel when you see the images, like really, really feel? If the emotions are running and you’re imagining you and your partner in them, then that’s a great start!" - Maya Myers of Maya Myers Photography

Wedding Portrait Kiss by Maya Myers Photography
Photo by Maya Myers Photography

Be Open While Wedding-Dress Shopping

"Ninety percent of brides wear something completely different than what they envisioned themselves in. Don’t be afraid to go outside of your element and try on a gown that you wouldn’t normally see yourself in!" - Cristina DeMarco of Bridal Reflections

Bridal Reflections Bridal Portrait by Amy Anaiz
Photo by Amy Anaiz Photography; Bridal Salon: Bridal Reflections

Trust Your Wedding Design Team

"Everyone you speak to will have ideas for your wedding. That can be so helpful, but also sometimes confusing. Don’t spiral down a tunnel of inspiration. Work with your design team to narrow in on what you love and want to prioritize, and trust them to help you develop it." - Alexandra Rembac of Sterling Engagements

Outdoor Wedding Reception by Sterling Engagements
Photo by Jose Villa; Planning & Design by Sterling Engagements

Must-Haves for a Destination Wedding

"When guests are traveling for a wedding, in addition to hosting events like a welcome dinner and post-wedding brunch, make sure to schedule in some downtime for guests to explore the locale and rest up for the wedding weekend. Be sure to include a hit list of your favorite eateries and activities on your wedding website to assist in their planning." - Allyson Joseph of Bob Gail Events

Custom Wedding Map of Los Angeles, California
Design by Prim & Pixie + Bob Gail Events

Have a Plan B for Bad Weather

"The rain plan shouldn’t wait until the week of or week before the big event. You should map out your rain plan prior to booking any type of outdoor wedding." - Jeannette Tavares of Evoke Design & Creative

Hotel Courtyard Wedding with Clear Tents
Photo by Allan Zepeda Photography; Planning & Design by Evoke Design & Creative; From Real Wedding: A Blue, White & Grey Hotel Courtyard Wedding in Washington, DC

Keep Drinks in Your Guests' Hands

"One of my biggest peeves is to see wedding guests waiting in lines. Consider paying for one more bartender than required and/or butler-passing drinks to alleviate the rush to the bar during the start of the cocktail hour." - Gina Myers of La Cosa Bella Events

Frozen Margaritas with Tajin Rim - La Cosa Bella Events
Photo by Vue Photography; Planning & Design by La Cosa Bella Events; From Real Wedding: Destination Wedding with Chapel Ceremony + Outdoor Reception in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Consider Unique Settings & Venues

"Consider having an intimate celebration in a nontraditional setting, such as a conservatory or greenhouse. The setting, along with a mass grouping of candles, immediately sets a dreamy and romantic tone." - Heather Thomas of HeatherLily

Intimate Wedding Reception in Unique Setting
Photo by Emily Millay Photography; Floral Design by HeatherLily

Add a Personal Touch

"Adding an extra touch to your tabletop, such as a monogram on hemstitch napkins, creates amore dinner-party like and personalized feel at your wedding no matter how large or small your guest list is." - Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties

Monogram Hemstitch Napkin at Posh Parties Wedding
Photo by Jacqui Cole; Planning & Design by Posh Parties

Have a Sentimental Wedding Cake Topper

"If your grandparents, parents, or a family member have saved their cake topper, ask to borrow it to use for your wedding confection. It makes a wonderful memory and unique detail." - Mindy Weiss of Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

Classic Wedding Cake Topper - Mindy Weiss
Photo by John & Joseph Photography; Planning & Design by Mindy Weiss Party Consultants

Bring a Change of Clothes

"For grooms, always pack a second (or even third) dress shirt for your suit. Whether your wedding is outdoors or you spend all night on the dance floor, you’re going to want to freshen up at some point. It will keep you looking great all night." - Hovik Harutyunyan of Harutyunyan Events

Black & White Photo of Groom Getting Ready
Photo by Lin & Jirsa Photography; Planning & Design by Harutyunyan Events

For more wedding ideas, discover more expert tips for your wedding theme, get ideas on how to plan a wedding for your personal style, and learn how to plan like a pro with this virtual wedding-planning series from celebrity event planners! We also encourage you to follow @InsideWeddings on Instagram and Pinterest for daily wedding ideas and inspiration!

Opening photo by Allan Zepeda; Planning & Design by Evoke Design & Creative; From Real Wedding: A Blue, White & Grey Hotel Courtyard Wedding in Washington, DC