Wedding Planner Reveals Top Tips for Brides

If you’ve ever planned a wedding, you’ll know that it can be quite an undertaking. With the average engagement period being about 15 months in the US, there is a lot to think about during that time––from guest lists to the menu to outfits and decorations.

Elyse and Betsy are the sister team behind The Wedding Planning Guide, a Chicago-based wedding planning business that also creates and shares content online. Working in the industry since 2013, the wedding planning duo share their experiences, top tips and insight on TikTok where they have over 200,000 followers.

We spoke to Elyse about her experience as a wedding planner and asked her for some tips along the way.

“Our favorite thing about wedding planning is to get to see all of the planning, hard work, and attention to detail come together for the big day,” Elyse told Newsweek: “It’s so great to see everything the couple has been dreaming up come to life.”

It has been a tough few years for the wedding industry, and for many couples hoping to tie the knot. According to a survey conducted worldwide by Statista, 82 percent of weddings that were due to take place in April 2020 were postponed.

Another survey published in September 2021 revealed that 62 percent of Americans who got married in 2020 said that the guests had to keep social distancing during the ceremony.

“Experiencing planning weddings through COVID was strange and interesting,” said Elyse. “We saw couples get creative, we saw them modify their weddings to accommodate ever-changing rules and all kinds of interesting venues––backyards, city courtyards, rooftops and home dining rooms turned into ceremony and reception spaces.

“Even though it was stressful, and not what the couples had envisioned their weddings to be, it was cool to see them focus on their love and become more relaxed and fun with what they were planning.”

Sharing their expertise on TikTok and Instagram has forced Elyse and Betsy to boil down advice to short videos and posts, hoping to create easy-to-digest information for couples. The most important things?

“We think the most important tips are to have a solid and detailed timeline to share with your vendors and wedding party,” explained Elyse. “You should start creating your timeline as soon as you book your ceremony and reception. This way you know how your day will likely unfold and how long to book vendors for.”

Another top tip? Keeping things streamlined. Elyse said: “For example, don’t do too many photo stops with your wedding party, or overload yourself with DIY decorations. The more planned out and straightforward your day is, the more calm and happy you’ll be.”

When it comes to planning your big day, Elyse explained that it can be easy to get caught up in everyone else’s opinions. From your future mother-in-law to bridesmaids, everyone feels the need to contribute… The best option is to avoid seeking advice altogether.

“When it comes to weddings everyone has an opinion and would love to have a say in your plans,” said Elyse. “This can quickly become overwhelming. If needed, keep the circle you plan to confide in about wedding stuff small. For example, it might look fun on TV, but keep your dress shopping group small, especially if you already have trouble making big decisions .”

Weddings are also packed with traditions––from who will walk the bride down the aisle to throwing the bouquet. “There are so many traditions when it comes to weddings,” said Elyse. “Many couples feel pressure to follow certain traditions even if they don’t reflect who they are as a couple. Never keep a tradition because you think it’s what you should do at a wedding––pick the traditions you like, and leave the rest behind.”

This week, the internet has slammed a man who suggested that guests should pay to attend a wedding. In another viral clip, a bride and her bridesmaids’ custom wedding crocs gained attention online.

A still from an advice video by wedding planner Elyse (left) and a file photo of a bride and groom (right). A wedding planner has revealed her top tips, from traditions to timelines.
TheWeddingPlanningGuide/Instagram/kkshepel/Getty Images

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