If you're engaged, your daily routine likely includes logging on to Style Me Pretty (www.stylemepretty.com) about five times a day and pinning your favorite shots to your painstakingly curated Pinterest boards in hopes of creating the most gorgeous, talked-about affair -- which will hopefully one day appear on the site and be the source of some other bride-to-be's obsession.
We talked to Abby Larson, founder and editor of the immensely popular wedding site, for tips on making your big day as swoon-worthy as the ones she features.
These days, decor is almost as important as a bride’s look. What is the new striped paper straw craze of the wedding world?
The biggest thing is that people are really taking trends and are putting their own unique style on them. Using really interesting prints in your wedding day decor is really big right now, so it’s not just all one-note colors.
I’m also seeing a lot of ombre, which is the fading of light to dark in color. We’re seeing it a lot in wedding cakes with the top tier being a lighter shade and going all the way into a darker pink or a darker blue. But the best is ombred bridesmaids dresses. The bride gives each bridesmaid a little color swatch and they choose a gown of their choice and when they come back they have this beautiful spectrum of colors.
Think back to some of your favorite weddings. What are ideas or tips you discovered from them?
My favorite weddings of all time all have a very layered, textural approach to design. All the brides and grooms and the designers they chose to help them, if they did, approach their wedding style like they would their home decor. They brought in pieces, moments, ideas and colors that they really love and they wove them together to create a more intimate experience for their guests. I also really love the weddings of the couples who don’t take themselves too seriously. Everyone should have a little bit of a smile at the wedding. It could be as simple as a hand-written note from the bride and groom thanking everyone for coming or it could be milk and cookies at the end of the night.
What are the coolest favors you have seen?
The best favors are the ones that really mean something and reflect who you are as a couple. I love when couples give small potted plants or succulents with a note telling people "Go home and start a garden and spread the love." A CD is always a great idea or replanting an herb with a favorite family recipe. If you can’t find a meaningful favor — skip it.
Photo Credit: Eric Laurits
According to Larson, hiring a wedding planner might be the best decision you can make after saying "yes."
"If I were to narrow it down to one tip I would give brides forever, it would be: Hire a wedding planner. They have long-standing relationships with vendors so they can get better deals for you. They know the best person to get things like ribbon and to rent your table linens and the person who does the best cupcakes. That information may not be online; it may be more privy to those who are in the industry."
"If you can’t afford a wedding planner, at least bring on a day-of person who you meet with three or four times prior to the event so that they really know what’s going on and what your goals are."
"DIY is still very important. So weddings — whether they are half-a-million-dollar affairs or $5,000 backyard weddings — are all having this sense of that personal touch. Ultimately, that’s what sets weddings apart on SMP — knowing that there’s a person behind this design, no matter what the budget is."
"One of the big trends right now is to reinfuse the ‘you’ back into your design. Couples are becoming more comfortable with bucking tradition and doing things their way. You’re seeing a lot less cookie-cutter weddings."
"The bride is still the dominant player, but the weddings that really stand out have both the bride and the groom behind the wheel."
The best photos
"You have to understand the kind of photography that you like and choose the photographer that meshes with that. It’s important that both of you know what you’re expecting from each other. If you want to get your wedding published, make sure they get all those detail shots."
"Also, try really hard to relax. No one has a camera following them around all day except on their wedding, so it can be unnerving. One way is to invite the photographer to get to know you a little bit before the big day. An engagement session is a great way for you to feel comfortable around the camera."