Wedding Tips from Local Pros

• “Have a budget! Expenses can get way out of hand when it comes to wedding planning. Flowers can be really expensive, but if you have it in your budget, my advice would be to use a good florist for your special day. Also, lighting is a key element to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.”
—Amber Lanier, wedding/event stylist

• “Advice… Oh, where do I begin? Let your wedding be just that—your wedding. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not: If you are a beer-and-BBQ kind of couple, don’t serve champagne and filet. You will be uncomfortable and so will your guests! Your budget will probably be happy with you, too.

Use all the crazy resources out there! I Pinterest’d my fool head off for months—I had to scale myself down on more than a few occasions (thanks, Mom)—because you can get ahead of yourself. With all the DIY websites and wedding info out there, you really can plan a great wedding. Just be willing to think outside the box.

Be different. Your guests may enjoy a wedding at a park or back yard more than a ballroom or your typical venue. I really think you can make a wedding anywhere as long as you have a place to sit and a place to dance!

Be OK with putting down the planning. I used to take weeks off just to keep my sanity. (I run a business for Provision’s and am a full-time mother—it got a little crazy at times). Let yourself get excited about it all over again!

Most importantly: Love each other. It’s about the marriage and not the wedding. If your relationship thrives while planning a wedding on a budget, then you guys will probably be OK!  The ‘dog and pony show’ is nowhere near as important as understanding and applying the vows you are about to take to each other everyday. The wedding will be fabulous no matter what—don’t forget you still have a fiancé that’s about to be your husband.”
—Maryah Smith, recent bride

• “Being engaged and planning your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most joyous times of your life. If you opt to not hire a wedding planner, make sure on your wedding day you designate a friend or family member to handle any issues that may arise. My advice would be to, at the very least, hire a wedding planner for the day of the wedding. This would ensure that no unnecessary stress is placed on you or any of your guests.

And, don’t sweat the small stuff. If you don’t bring attention to a problem, usually no one else even realizes something didn’t go exactly how you planned it!”
—Jody Britton, owner of Weddings by the Sea, Oak Island

• “Remember what’s important. Your wedding is an incredibly special day that you are choosing to share with your friends and family, to celebrate your love for each other. Love is why you are there, and why everyone else is there, too. They love you and want to support you in your marriage. Don’t let cake, flowers, food, or anything else that doesn’t last get in the way of that. Also, remember to have fun! Stay lighthearted; stay true to yourselves and your vision for the day.” —Jessica Scully, owner of A Day at the Beach, Bald Head Island

• “Wedding planning is stressful, even for the most organized person with tons of help, and it can be especially stressful on a relationship as planning ends up consuming your life. My advice would be to set time aside with your fiancé (or friend or family member) to talk about wedding stuff. Try not to let it consume your relationships. By dedicating a particular time, however often, you have whoever is helping you at that moment fully committed rather than your entire engagement slightly committed.

Also, don’t let making hundreds of little decisions make you lose sight of the fact that you’re planning your wedding and every decision you make will make the wedding your perfect day.

Be fluid and willing to alter your vision. There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want your wedding to look like or knowing that some things you want are non-negotiable, but be open to other ideas, suggestions and your own creativity. Looking back at my wedding now, I would not have changed a single thing, but if I had put together some of the ideas I came up with without willingness to change, I don’t think my wedding would have been as beautiful.

Lastly, just remember—just because you’re excited that you found the perfect napkin color, don’t expect your best friend (or fiancé) to show that same excitement. Don’t be afraid to talk to your close ones about decisions and wedding stuff, but don’t inundate their lives!”
—Virginia Thompson, recent bride

• “Don’t get caught up in the details. Make a decision and stick to it. Get someone you trust to help you ‘move forward’—such as Amber [Lanier, our friend and designer].

Don’t forget: When it’s time to get married, the only things you should remember are your vows and why you are there.”
—Kim Waack, recent bride

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Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine