Wedding planning is all about making decisions — but with so many options, especially for the big stuff, how are you supposed to know the right way to go?! Ultimately, everyone has a different vision for their big day so there is truly no “wrong” choice, but if you’re stuck between things like catering style, or where you should have your wedding, we’ve got you covered!
We spoke to some of the best wedding experts in the biz and got their take on some of the biggest wedding planning decisions couples have to make. Scroll on to help you decide!
Plated Dinners vs. Food Stations
“We believe that plated dinners are the way to go, as the meal is beautifully presented with a more chef-driven dining experience. The elevated guest perception is wonderfully paired with perfectly executed service.”
– Sarah Kulhberg, Creative Director of Colette’s Catering
In-Store Shopping vs. Online Rentals
“To store or not to store. Most couples do not realize that when you rent from a store you have to pick your suit or tux up the day before the wedding. Not with online rental. We deliver the suit or tux to every party member 14 days before the big day ensuring everyone is looking on point and, most importantly, minimizing stress on the bride and groom.”
- Nathan Bellah, Director of Marketing at Generation Tux
Renting vs. Buying a Tux
“The fact is, a relaxed work environment has minimized the need for most guys to fill their closet with suits; and a proper suit can cost hundreds of dollars depending on style and quality. Paying hundreds of dollars for a one-time wear can be hard on your groomsmen. With this in mind, renting can be a beneficial decision for you and your party.”
- Nathan Bellah, Director of Marketing at Generation Tux
Professional vs. DIY Wedding Flowers
“It’s no secret that choosing to DIY a few elements of your big day can majorly save your budget. However, you don’t have to choose between DIY style and professional designs. Compromise with a professionally designed kit that has step-by-step instructions. Trust us, your Aunt Margaret will feel like a seasoned floral designer in no time!”
- Euri Wong, Lead Designer at Bloominous
In-Store vs Online Shopping For Your Wedding Dress
“I can sympathize with the ease of online shopping but nothing compares with finding your dress IRL with your closest friends and a seasoned stylist who is a pro at dress matchmaking! At Lovely Bride, we list most of our inventory and have a wish list feature, so that our brides can take their time, see prices and details, and “favorite" styles that they like in advance. This helps take the mystery out of what you will see in a Lovely Bride shop, and lets you have the confidence of knowledge that you can feel with online shopping. But when it’s time to take the plunge, you get the celebration, the in-store Instagram moment, and all of the goosebumps you deserve in making this momentous decision.”
– Lanie List, Founder, Lovely Bride
Pre-Picks vs Choose Your Own Bridesmaid Dresses
“Giving your bridesmaids the option to pick their own dresses carte blanche sounds like a great idea in theory, but can easily backfire. Chances are, your bridesmaids will opt for styles that they think you'll like, and in the absence of any direction from you, the whole process could end up being more complicated or frustrating than you intended.
Instead, picking bridesmaid dresses should be a collaborative process. You as the bride should provide clear guidelines on the look you're envisioning, in terms of color palette, seasonality, and overall vibe. (For example, are you getting married on the beach in high summer? Make sure the girls stick to a lighter color palette in a breathable fabric, such as chiffon. Or, is it a winter wedding? Have them opt for darker, moodier shades that will complement the surroundings.)
Once you've established some ground rules (the most important being color) give your girls the freedom to choose a silhouette they feel most comfortable in and flatters their body type. At Birdy Grey, every single bridesmaid gown is under $100 and ready to ship immediately. We offer 15 versatile styles in 10 of the season's most popular colors. All you have to do is pick the color palette, and have your girls choose a style they love--it's as simple as that!”
– Grace Lee Founder & CEO, Birdy Grey
Destination Wedding vs. Local Wedding
“For a more well-rounded wedding experience, we say elope, elope, elope! Because destination weddings are normally a smaller & intimate gathering, it allows you to cut down and make firmer decisions– like how many guests you’re inviting– on things that you probably would’ve succumb to having at a wedding that was more accessible to people you know. This not only cuts down on costs in certain areas of your wedding but usually, destination weddings follow 2-3 days of vacay and celebrating! This creates an unforgettable experience stepping into a new chapter of your life with your closest friends and family.”
– Charlie Foster, The Cabo Wedding Co.
Giving Wedding Gifts for the Couple to Enjoy Now vs. Giving Wedding Gifts for the Couple to Enjoy Later
“We have all heard the expression ‘The best things come to those who wait.’
There is something about the anticipation of things that makes the day the reward comes to pass so much sweeter. Weddings are a perfect example of that. Months or even years of anticipation and preparation that culminate in one big event. Why shouldn’t your gift do the same? A gift they enjoy now gets lost in the after-wedding fog and piles of other gifts they received. Try to find them a gift they can enjoy years later and celebrates them as a couple - they will think of you, ‘the great gift giver,’ each time they use it. If you need some ideas check out our anniversary wine boxes 😉.”
– Marc Stitzlein, Artificer Woodworks
Indoor vs. Outdoor Receptions
“An indoor event space really can't compete with the beauty and splendor of Mother Nature! From towering redwood groves to sparkling beaches and lush gardens, the great outdoors provides an unbeatable backdrop that will take your wedding photos to the next level. And although there are inherent risks to having your reception outside, if you and your fiancé are the adventurous one-with-nature types, there's simply no substitute. And hey, you may even get a little thrill from the unknown—and will certainly have some good stories to tell if elements outside your control do occur! As long as you've got a solid contingency plan in place, your wedding will be fabulous no matter what Mother Nature's got up her sleeve. Our recommendation? If you can swing it, rent a clear tent for your outdoor reception! It truly is the best of both worlds. The open-air feeling of an al fresco reception along with an elegant enclosure that protects you and your guests from the elements. Talk about sending the romance factor through the (transparent) roof!”
– Jenna Miller, Creative Director, Here Comes the Guide
Print vs. Solid Color Bridesmaid Dresses
“Printed bridesmaids dresses always help in setting the theme and mood for the occasion! For some weddings, it can even emphasize the season and sometimes the culture as well as style preference of the bride (and groom). While they are definitely unique and draw attention, it can be tricky to wear a printed dress again because it is so easy to recall prints. A plain dress can easily be worn again to a gala or event when styled properly! Not to mention, some people aren’t comfortable with wearing prints, and we always choose comfort over everything!
– Pia Perey, Founder & Creative Director, Pia Gladys Perey
Custom vs. Standard Engagement Rings
“Always custom! No matter if you are designing a solitaire or very elaborate engagement ring, I always recommend having the ring made custom. There are so many ways to design even the simplest solitaire, having it made custom ensures that it is what you imagined at every angle, the setting will fit the diamond you choose perfectly, and custom made prongs versus stock are prongs are made with much less metal.”
- Kaeleigh Testwuide, The Diamond Reserve