Couples Who Trusted the Pros

Real-life brides share their practical tips for painlessly planning your wedding with the help of professional wedding planners and vendors.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe Couple: Gabe and Delcie Hynes; The Location: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Flower Garden at California State University, Long Beach, Calif.

All About

Delcie's Story: "My husband is a huge fan of classic cars. As a tribute to our dads, a special uncle and a close family friend who are all 'Ford' guys, we had a classic car processional of Fords from the ceremony to the reception. There were five total with us leading the parade in a convertible T-bird. We were followed by three convertible Sun-liners for the bridal party and the parents at the end in my Dad’s hard-top 1960 T-bird, which he finished in time for the big day. What a special memory! Even though my first reaction to his request was, 'Old cars smell like exhaust!' All-in-all there was nothing like cruising up Second Street with the tops down and people spilling out of bars and restaurants to yell, 'Congratulations!' and cheer us on."


Her Tips:

Pick a theme, it can be anything, what's important is that it shares a little part of you with your guests: "I used a photo theme for our wedding. I love to take pictures and scrapbook so I made my own table numbers using photos from our travels. I made photo save-the-date cards and used a photo for the cover of our wedding program and for our CD favors. We placed photos from our engagement shoot on the candy buffet table and used a photo mat as our guest book. At the reception, we showed a slideshow of my husband and me from childhood until our engagement. I received so many complements on all the personal touches; it was great to know that my hard work didn’t go unnoticed."

Hire a "day of" coordinator: "The last thing you need to worry about on your wedding day is the little details. Spend the money and hire someone to take care of it all for you. You’ll be glad you did! And when your day arrives, the planning is over. If something has been forgotten, there is nothing you can do about it. You have done all you can and the most important thing is that you are marrying the love of your life. None of the rest of it matters! Have fun because it only happens once and it goes by so fast, when it’s over you’ll wonder how you missed it!"

Select your photographer carefully: "When the ceremony is over, all you have are the photos to go with your precious memories. So, do a lot of research and interview several photographers before selecting the perfect one for your special day. Also, be sure that a bridesmaid has a list of 'must have' poses so that one is forgotten, someone, who isn’t you, will remember it. Also, ask your bridesmaids to help organize family members for photos so they go quickly and smoothly."