This may be your first time down the aisle, but it’s not ours. We polled our edi­tors and other top in­dus­try pros for be­hind-the-scenes se­crets that will help you make the most of your big day.

Martha Stewart Weddings - - THE PLANNER - TEXT BY JAIME BUERGER

“If you’re go­ing with an ex­pen­sive print­ing process, use it for the in­vite, and have the sup­port­ing pieces flat-printed.” —Elis­a­beth En­gel­hart, as­so­ciate art di­rec­tor “Flow­ers cost a lot, so skip them on the bar and along the aisle. No­body will miss them.”— Brooke Porter Katz, se­nior edi­tor “Have a logo de­signed (seek out af­ford­able de­sign web­sites) and a stamp made. Use it on fa­vors, bar signs, and menus for chic brand­ing on the cheap.” —Cara Sul­li­van, con­tribut­ing edi­tor, and owner of Wild Flo­ral De­sign, Chicago

Trust Your­self

“Once you have a blue­print for your day, stop ob­ses­sive Pin­ter­est-brows­ing! See­ing all the op­tions out there will make you sec­ond-guess your­self.” —Brooke Porter Katz


“Over­staff the bar! You can’t have too many bar­tenders. It’s a sure­fire way to keep guests happy—no one wants to wait at a party.”— Kristin Newman, founder and owner, Kristin Newman De­signs, Charleston, South Carolina Rough per­cent­age of guests likely to skip pre­poured Cham­pagne at the cock­tail hour. Ask servers not to over­pour.

Tasty Takeaway

“Go for edi­ble fa­vors at a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding, so guests don’t have to squeeze them into a suit­case.” —Calder Clark, owner and cre­ative di­rec­tor of event de­sign firm Calder Clark, Charleston, South Carolina, and Raleigh, North Carolina


“Af­ter the first cut, have your caterer slice and gar­nish the cake out of sight. There’s noth­ing worse than watch­ing a sous chef hack away at your beau­ti­ful, tow­er­ing cake.” —Calder Clark “Num­ber R.S.V.P. cards be­fore mail­ing (on the back, in pen­cil) to keep track of any­one who doesn’t re­spond or for­gets to write his or her name.” —Jamie Moore, co-owner, Sin­clair & Moore Events, Seat­tle “Write vows in pretty note­books, or tape them into a vin­tage book. A folded piece of paper is not su­perel­e­gant.” —Cara Sul­li­van

Clever Cost-Cut­ting

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