Compiled by Marian Amini, Kendall Kostelic and Hayley Woodward



Courtesy iStock

From invitations to bridesmaid gifts to nagging parents, you face a lot of decisions when planning your big day. Don’t let stress overwhelm you. We asked local pros for their best advice on a range of common situations. Here’s what they said:

You’d like to offset some of your honeymoon costs by adding parts of your trip to your registry, but don’t want to just ask for money.

“There are a handful of honeymoon registry sites—my favorites are Honeyfund and Traveler’s Joy—that are a fun alternative to traditional registries,” says Erica Bull, owner of Erica Sarell Weddings & Events. “They allow your guests to purchase the gift of lifelong memories, and allow you and your honey to have a stellar time on your honeymoon. On most, you have the option to break your trip down by specific gifts such as airfare, lodging, sightseeing adventures, activities and meals. And you can share with your guests why you’re asking them to contribute. Spread the word about your honeymoon registry on your wedding website, where it’s easy to add a direct URL—never advertise your registry on your save-the-date or invitation. I would also recommend having a small traditional registry, too, for guests who prefer to give traditional gifts.”

We’re eco-conscious and want to use as little paper as possible. Can we send evites—and what events can we use them for—without seeming too casual?

“First of all, good for you!” says Amy Pobar, a planner with Tandem Events. “Luckily, our technology-driven society makes it OK to send Save the Dates, bachelorette/bachelor party and bridal shower invites via the internet, since these events are a bit less formal. But when it comes to the actual invitation, we suggest a more formal approach: Send those invites and RSVP cards in the mail. It will keep you organized, help your guests remember your big day and give that extra heartwarming touch to all of your loved ones.” And remember to personalize evites, says Linda Hill, director of the Colorado School of Protocol and Etiquette, and keep in mind that “there are many people who are not constantly dialed in to their electronics so you run the risk of them never seeing the evite.”

You and your fiancé are clashing over cake flavors—what to do?

See if you can get multiple fillings: “All of our cakes are three layers of cake with two layers of filling,” says Robyn Bruxvoort, bakery manager at Button Rock Bakery. “Say you both are OK with white cake. Have one filling of chocolate mousse and one filling of raspberry mousse and you each get a little piece of your chosen filling at cake cutting time.” Janusz Zrodlowski, executive pastry chef and owner of Elegant Bakery, suggests thinking a little nontraditional. “What is the flavor you enjoy most from family desserts? Pistachio? Strawberries and champagne? We can match those. The wedding is a big party with your family and friends and this is one way you can share your day with them.”

Together, you have 35 family members coming to the wedding and only an hour to take family pictures. What photos are must-takes?

“The way we usually approach it is pretty simple: We request a family photo list from the bride and groom with their ‘must’ photos—20 at the most—with first names only. Then, when taking pictures, we shout out the names and people file in,” says Adam Houseman, co-owner of Houseman Studios. “It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes, tops. We also encourage people to take additional family photos or extended family pictures during cocktail hour and the reception, rather than chew up an hour and a half of the cocktail hour doing posed family photos. The photos are for the bride and groom first and foremost; if they are getting a lot of pushback from family, we remind family members that we are there all night and they can always ask us to take a photo during a time that is a little bit more appropriate.”