10 Recent Pittsburgh Brides Share their Top Planning Tips

Who better to ask for wedding-planning guidance than the people who have just been through it all? These recent brides offer words of wisdom.

When it comes to wedding experts, no one knows more about the planning process than the people who stand at the altar on the big day. They navigated all of the confusion, all the way from “Yes” to “I do,” and they lived to tell the tale. We turned to 10 Pittsburgh brides who recently completed the planning madness and asked: “What’s the No. 1 piece of advice for brides-to-be?” Here’s what they had to say, from one bride to another.

On vendor selection…

photo by Lyndsey piccolino


1. Do your research! Read wedding websites, meet with vendors, go to at least one bridal show, and look into word-of-mouth recommendations. If you aren't impressed with initial communication between yourself and a potential vendor, go with your gut and don’t use [that vendor]. There are other vendors who could be a better fit. There will be times when planning feels like a part-time job, but know that all of the research and time you put in will be worth it on your wedding day!
—Amy (Baumann) Faith, married Christopher Faith on July 11, 2015

photo by aaron varga


2. Research your vendors. By researching, you can compare prices and see all of the vendors’ different styles as well as costs. I also read a lot of the reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire. The other brides’ reviews were super-helpful. Another thing I looked for when booking a vendor was if they responded to my email or call quickly. Some vendors never responded at all, and the ones who were quick to respond were the best vendors I dealt with. If you are trying to save on your wedding, look at the portfolios of any new, up-and-coming vendors such as florists and photographers. You could book a new vendor for a lot less than those who have been in the business for a while, save a lot of money and get the same great quality. 
—Laura (Lukasik) Polinski, married Max Polinski on July 26, 2014

On guest lists and RSVPs…

photo by palermo photo


3. In my opinion, a wedding is supposed to celebrate the love two people share for each other and to share it only with your closest friends and family. We decided we only wanted people who meant the most to us [to be] present, and we didn’t want to have to introduce ourselves to people at our own wedding. The guest list is the first thing that can get out of control and make planning a struggle. If people are offended they didn’t get invited, they will eventually get over it.
—Allison (Dehner) Mattioli, married Daniel Mattioli on Sept. 26, 2014



4. Don’t worry about the people who can’t come to your wedding. Chances are, you won’t notice them missing anyway. Also, stay away from Pinterest! It’s awesome to get ideas from, but to try and model your wedding after a Pinterest wedding is going to lead to disappointment.
—Erin (Hackworth) Curran, married Andrew Curran on Sept. 12, 2015

On dealing with the peanut gallery…

photo by Lee Ann Freeman of Generations photography


5. Wedding planning can be overwhelming when everybody starts to give their opinions. From guest lists to location to music, everyone has an opinion. Try to put yourself and your fiancé at the forefront of every decision, and don't worry about pleasing everyone else. Listen politely as people give advice, but make your own choices.
—Kristen (Dloughy) Stojakovich, married Jason Stojakovich on June 7, 2014

photo by heather krah photography


6. Focus on what you and your fiancé want, not what family members or friends may want. During planning, I was so stressed about choosing bridesmaids — who to pick, who not to pick, whose feelings would get hurt — and I eventually decided to not have any bridesmaids at all. Minimizing stress about the little things is crucial.
—Lauren (Selvaggio) Lesko, married William Lesko on Oct. 3, 2014

On keeping things in perspective…

photo by leeann-Marie photography


7. Focus on your future husband or wife and this memorable day together. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day and stressing about the details, wanting everything to be perfect. Even as I give this advice, I know there were times when I missed wonderful, happy moments because I was too worried about people stepping on my gown. So focus on the love of your life: take in each look, smile and gesture, because those are memories you’ll have the rest of your life.
—Sarah (Cruikshank) Jasiota, married Greg Jasiota on April 25, 2015

On day-of disasters…



8. Once I walked down the aisle to my husband, it didn’t matter that it was raining, or that I got my eyebrows waxed off the week before my wedding, or that the caterer was not on time, or that I forgot to make placement cards for two guests. Sometimes, as a bride, you just have to take a second, breathe and remember that your wedding day is solely about your love for your groom and his love for you. There is grace for everything else that will go wrong on your perfect day!”
—Brittany (Darby) Puskar, married Jorden Puskar on June 20, 2015

photo by sky's the limit photography


9. As someone who not only recently planned my wedding but [also] plans quite a large number of events as part of my career (in public relations), I can say definitively that it's important to understand and accept that not everything will go perfectly. Remember that — more than likely — you will be the only one to notice when something does go awry. Even if the catering company serves carrots instead of green beans or the candles on table 12 don't get lit. If you can afford it, ALWAYS hire a coordinator for the day of your event (someone in addition to your venue contact) who can be in charge of sweating the little things, so you never have to know they happened. Don’t let stress ruin the most beautiful day of your life. Love comes first.
—Meredith (Blake) Amoroso, married Sean Amoroso on May 31, 2014

On remembering to have fun…

photo by willa j. photography


10. Planning a wedding is like planning your own Christmas (or favorite holiday). It is really the only day you'll ever have that is all about celebrating you, your groom, and your love for each other. If you don't like something, don't have it. If you love something, have the best — and lots of it! My husband and I decided early in the planning stages what was important to us and budgeted accordingly. At the end of the day, your guests won't leave your wedding thinking, ‘I really wish they had X, Y, Z.’ Your guests are there because they love you, and they’re going to leave filled with beautiful memories of your day. My husband and I didn't have a cake, liquor, or traditional ceremony seating, and no one is talking about any of that. What they are talking about (still) is the food, the band and our insane love for our friends, family and each other. We wouldn't change a thing about our wedding day. It was a perfect beginning to our forever.
—Heather (Farmer) Condeluci, married Dante Condeluci on Sept. 13, 2014


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