Wedding Wednesday: Q & A #002

Welcome back to the series on the blog today where I answer wedding planning questions from real brides! I pulled today's questions from Facebook and Reddit, but in the future, if you have a wedding planning question you'd like me to tackle leave it as a comment or send me an email at with WW Q&A in the subject line.

In your opinion, who should I bring to try on dresses? TBH I would love to go solo and not bring anyone.

Trying on dresses can be more difficult and emotional than people realize. It can be really fun, but it can also bring up a lot of insecurities, so I do think it is important to be selective when you are deciding on whom to bring. I typically recommend bringing no more than three people, because having more than that can really become overwhelming. I would suggest bringing people whose opinions you value, but no one who is too harsh or overbearing.

You mentioned that you’d love to go solo. I would encourage you to book a couple of your dress appointments solo. Don’t feel like you have to have an entourage because that’s what you see on Say Yes to the Dress! You could also do an initial appointment solo, and then bring some people to help you make your final decision at a later date. At the end of the day, make sure you are doing what feels the best for you!

When is the appropriate time to ask bridesmaids to be in the bridal party? (Aka how soon after you got engaged should you ask?)

I recommend asking your bridal party at least six months before your wedding day, so they have time to make all the necessary travel arrangements and purchase dresses. You can certainly ask them earlier, though I’d advise you not to ask them more than a year prior to your wedding day, because relationships can shift and you don’t want to regret asking or not asking anyone to be part of your wedding day.

My bridal party and I are getting ready at my mom's house the morning of but what should my dad, brothers, groom, and groomsmen do the morning of? I don’t want to kick them out of my mom’s at 7 am.

If you are starting to get ready earlier in the morning, I would see if there is a space a little more out of the way that you can use for the first couple hours, until the boys are awake and out of the house. I do think that it important to have an activity planned for them to do during the wedding morning and early afternoon, so they aren’t just sitting around waiting (and often drinking). What does your groom like to do? Golf, laser tag, bowling, a movie, a hike? Send them all off to do an organized activity and then make sure they have lunch scheduled! The boys tend to drink quite a bit before the wedding since their getting ready routine is pretty minimal, so make sure they eat a good lunch, so they aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.

Is planning a wedding reception using a blank wedding venue typically cheaper than comparable full-service venues? Will I be pulling my hair out trying to plan this?

I wish there was a solid answer to this question, but it totally depends! I think selecting a blank slate venue gives you a lot more flexibility in the budget, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cheaper. You can certainly put together a wedding that is significantly less than what you pay at an all-inclusive venue, but you also could end up spending way more! It will almost certainly be more work, especially if keeping your costs low is a top priority. I find for most things around wedding planning that the less the money you want to spend, the more time you will need to invest.

I’m looking for hair and make-up artists for my evening wedding and I’m feeling a little lost. When I reach out most of them just send me their pricing list and to their Instagram to check out their work. I’ll respond saying that I like their work, but do they have experience working with my type of hair (thin, fine, and blonde). I typically don’t get a reply. Is this typical?

I’m also conflicted about whether or not I should have someone come on-site or whether it will be okay to go to a local salon.

Don’t book any vendors who you don’t feel communicate well during your initial conversations! Vendors tend to put their best foot forward during those initial emails or calls since they are trying to get your business. The lack of communication now may be annoying, but as your wedding day approaches it can quickly move from annoying to problematic. It is a very reasonable request to see their work on someone with a similar hair type to you. I’d encourage you to keep looking!

As far as the second part, I think either can be a good option. I think there are two things you should consider when making this choice. One will be getting hair and make-up done off-site drastically shift your timing for the morning. You don’t want to spend a long time in a car going to and from your hair and make-up appointment, so if it is a considerable distance from your venue or if there is often a lot of traffic in the area, I would advise going with someone who can come to you. Another thing to consider is the environment. If you get ready at your venue, your hotel room, or any other private space, you will have more control over the atmosphere. You’ll get to pick the music, the snacks, who will be there, and overall vibe. You can create a space that calming and zen or create something a little more lively to get you pumped up. Whereas in the salon, to some extent the atmosphere (while it can be amazing!) is more or less out of your control.