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Ask The Wedding Experts

02/20/2015 08:08AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

Gallery: Ask The Wedding Experts [8 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Nicole LaCour | Submitted Photos

Planning a wedding is a juggling act of timetables, budgets, logistics, choices, styles and personalities. Each of the wedding professionals you encounter is passionate about their business and craft. Drawing on years of combined experience, local wedding experts provide words of wisdom and answers to commonly asked questions.

The Timing Of It All

With every expert advising to make your decisions at least a year in advance, the logistics of choosing professional can be dizzying. Everything depends on the budget so it makes sense to lock down the size and scope of your blessed day first. After that, staying inside the budget is where the magic is. The next step is: who will be in the wedding, who is invited to the wedding and most importantly when is the wedding. 

Deciding On A Venue

Ask the Expert: What should I look for in a venue? What information do I need before deciding on a venue?

The cost of renting a venue and what is included is often the priority. Linda Freyou of Antique Roseville in New Iberia gauges her rates by the size and scope of the event, and a place like City Club in New Iberia has set rates for a set number of hours. It’s important to know how much time you might need and have a plan for staying within those time constraints. But most of all get a feel for the place. Imagine yourself there on the day of wedding. Can you picture your family and friends laughing and celebrating?

Extra Bonus Tip: Watch the light! What time will you be at the venue? Where will the sun be at that time, in the month of your wedding or reception? If you can, bring your photographer to the venue. A photographer can look at a scene and know what the photos will look like, what the obstacles or background impediments will be. 

Should I use the venue’s caterer or hire a separate one?

Many places will not allow outside caterers. Freyou says having your reception with her includes the catering. Her experience has proven that in-house catering means a smoother, predictable event. Other venues, like Lafayette’s City Club don’t offer an in-house caterer but are equipped to handle full catering services.

Extra Bonus Tip: Things can go wrong at weddings and receptions. A friendly disposition and willingness to help is an important asset to look for in your venue staff.

Picking A Photographer

Ask the Expert: When should I book a photographer?

Some guides say about nine months out but Lafayette photographer Catherine Guidry books her weddings a year or more in advance. Once the venue is set, the photographer should be booked. 

What should I look for in a photographer?

Guidry encourages brides to find their photographer based on two primary factors: the style and personality of the photographer. When looking through their portfolio, you should be able to envision yourself and feel confident in knowing that’s how you would want to look in your images.

Guidry spends hours with her clients even before the wedding. Remember, your photographer is the one person who will be at your side the entire day. Your photographer will be in your space, directing you, sneaking pictures of unguarded moments, laughing with you and moving all around. “It’s important to like the person, to ‘vibe’ with them,” says Guidry. “You’re going to be together for hours!”


Choosing A Floral Designer

Mia Sandberg of Root Floral Design books her clients a year in advance though a typical time frame may be as late as six months before your ceremony. 

Ask the Expert: What information should I have when I visit my florist?

The size of the wedding party, the venue, the size, shape and quantity of tables, a color palette and sense of the style of the wedding are the keys to choosing your floral choices.

Why can’t I have a bouquet just like the one I saw on Pinterest?

Pinterest can be the friend and foe of wedding professionals. It’s great to have examples of what you want but the flowers in a picture may not be available for your wedding. Remember, flowers are subject to climate, season and region. 

When should the flowers arrive?

As a floral designer who puts her heart into her work Sandberg can’t stress enough the importance of having the flowers in place before photographs are taken. “Flowers make the photographs,” she says. 

Saying Yes To The Dress

What about the dress? Shouldn’t that be a priority? Yes, it should. Natalie Broussard at Lemon Drop Bridal Shop in Broussard warned that some dresses require as much as 12 months to be created. If you’re lucky, the off-the-rack sample dress will fit you like a glove and you can take it home unless of course alterations are needed, which can take a month or more. And don’t forget to plan for pre-wedding portraits. 

Ask the Expert: How many people should I bring with me to shop for my dream dress?

Less is more, advises Broussard. The scenes from the reality shows can come true and a bride’s voice can be lost in the pressure of well-meaning family and friends. “Hand-pick who you bring with you. “I’d say no more than three or four people,” she says. “It’s about the bride and at the end of the day, it’s your wedding and everyone is going to think you look beautiful.” 

How do I know what the best shape or style is for me?

“Be open-minded and try, try, try” is Broussard’s advice. Brides often come in with tunnel vision about one style they saw on Pinterest. Their favorite shape may not be what’s right for their body shape. Being willing to let go of the idea of a “dream dress,” makes for happier brides and easier selections. 

Is wearing a veil still “in style?”

Ashley Thibodeaux at A-Net’s in Lafayette hears this question often. Her answer, an emphatic “yes!” “Wearing a veil completes the bride’s look from couture to romantic styles.” And don’t underplay your accessories, she advises. 

Styling Your Hair

Ask the Expert: What’s the best style for “wedding day” hair? 

Up, down, loose curls or a formal bun? Ryan at Ryan Michael Salon in New Iberia advises making your wedding day appointment six months in advance, with the practice run a week or two prior. As with all other style choices, Ryan says pictures are great but be flexible. Not everything will work with a person’s hair type and facial structure. 

Selecting Your Wedding Cake

Ask the Expert: Should I choose a cake with icing or fondant?

Fondant is a type of icing that makes decorating cakes easier and results in a clean, polished look. However, Cimi Faunier of Guidry’s Cake Shop in New Iberia is not a fan. Cimi uses a home recipe handed down to her by her mother. Her cakes are moist and soft and don’t hold up under the weight of a nice rolled out fondant. So, she uses her own icing to decorate and can match the popular fondant-styles that her clients bring her. 

Points To Remember

These words of wisdom only touch the surface of the complicated art of wedding planning. Remember these important points, repeated by most experts:

• Pinterest is your friend and your enemy. Pictures are great for ideas and your professionals want that guidance. However, not everything can be just like the picture. Be flexible.

• It’s your day. Make decisions for yourself, not others.

• It’s a wedding, it’s supposed to be fun. Keep things in perspective. 

• If you want to make God laugh, make a plan. Things are going to go wrong. Something is going to be different then you imagined. It’s ok. That’s the beauty of life. Roll with it.

• Have fun!

Life+Leisure, Today Ask The Wedding Experts Answers To Popular Wedding Questions

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