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Wedding Planning Advice From Newlyweds
May 09, 2014

Wedding season is shifting into high gear, and the CMWA is busier than ever helping future married couples arrange their dream wedding days. On April 29th, The Crown Room in Rogers filled up with CMWA vendors, ready to listen to and learn from a three-person bride panel on their recent weddings, what they learned, and advice they’d give to others planning their wedding day.

The average cost of a wedding in Minnesota tops out at $22,884, a number on the low end when it comes to our panel. The exception is newlywed Kendell - she came in a little under the average with a $20,000 wedding. Fellow panelist Joy says her wedding expenses landed at about $30,000. And, Becca says her wedding costs cleared $37,000.

Each one of these panelists attended multiple wedding expos to get a handle on what they wanted the big day to be like, and who was the best fit for them in making that wedding dream a reality.

When it comes to what to look for in a vendor, Kendall suggests finding those who will bring lots of ideas to the table, and “make the process of navigating through the planning easier.” Joy says it’s crucial to open up and be personable; make an impression on potential vendors so that they get a feel for you and your personal style and tastes. Becca values vendors who are decisive and full of ideas. She says, when she’s not sure about something, it’s nice to have a vendor give their opinion or provide options.

The panelists came to consensus when discussing what makes certain vendors ideal. With regard to hair and make-up, the group says one thing that makes a huge difference is finding stylists that can come to you and be flexible with your schedule.

Photographers are an integral part of your wedding day, so hiring someone who fits your style and personality is key. The panel adds, your photographer also needs to be flexible; you may want some edgier shots, but don’t forget about the more “classic” poses and group photos that will appease parents and grandparents. They also recommend looking into hiring a pair of shutterbugs; that way, you can get multiple angles of your wedding, all at the same time, to really capture each moment.

When it comes to formalwear, all of our panelists agree - find a trusted consultant and listen to them. Be completely open about your style and what you’re looking for to guide the process, but these guys are pros. If you’re set on one particular dress style, and they suggest something slightly different, give it a shot. One panelist says she walked out of the store with a dress she never would have picked out on her own.

And finally, our brides offered advice you can only get from someone who’s been involved in planning their own wedding; don’t stress, consider the little things, and have fun.

Kendall says she pushed herself to take everything day by day in order to enjoy all the little moments. She recommends taking a step back to soak it all in, because “you’ll miss it once it’s over.”

Joy says she reminded herself to really listen to family and friends when it came to referrals for wedding vendors.

And, Becca advises brides-to-be to be extra cognizant of everything involved in wedding planning. She says, while DIY projects can be fun, they can also be time-consuming and expensive. Becca also suggests making a list of three “must-haves” for your big day - the things that you absolutely cannot do without. Finally, be open to the idea of a wedding planner; they’ll be able to look after the minutiae and take away a lot of your stress.

The CMWA is a community of professionals and businesses who provide products and services relating to the wedding industry - we’re always here to answer your questions, point you toward amazing professionals, and make your big day the stuff of wedding dreams!