Wedding Planning 101: a Stress-Free Way to your Big Day

You asked; our expert answered. If the wedding planning blues have got you down, cheer up (and de-stress) with helpful responses to your most burning questions, courtesy of Burgh Brides.

photo: shutterstock

What are some ways to reduce waste at our wedding?
Skip the traditional response card and accept RSVPs on your wedding website, or go completely electronic with evites from Paperless Post or Greenvelope. Ask for gifts to not be gift-wrapped. Rent or buy upcycled decor instead of purchasing new. Use china or compostable dishware and collect used alcohol bottles for recycling. In lieu of favors, make a donation to your favorite charity. After the wedding, donate your centerpieces to an organization such as Scent with Love or Centerpieces 4 Seniors.

How do I go about choosing a wedding photographer?
Your photos will be one of the few things that live on after the celebration is over. Choose a photographer carefully and I beg of you, not based on price alone! Photographers base their pricing on their experience, and a once-in-a-lifetime event is not the time to take a chance on someone new.

Consider whether you like posed portraits or more candid moments. Are you more drawn to photos with a lighter, airier feel; those that are darker and moodier; or somewhere in between? Find photographers whose work aligns with those answers. Review their websites and social media to see their latest work. Ask to view a full gallery to see how they approach an entire wedding day.

Finally, ask to meet in person to see if your personalities jive. You’ll be spending a lot of up close and personal time with your photographer. For images that showcase you at your best, it’s important you feel and act like yourself around them.

What is the deal with hotel room blocks?
A “block” is a set of rooms a hotel will hold, making them available to reserve only by members of a specific party or group. They are a helpful way to ensure out-of-town guests have a place to stay, as well as keeping them in close proximity to wedding events. You can easily set one up with the sales or reservations department of your chosen hotel(s). But be sure to read the fine print. Some contracts require a specific number of nights to be booked, and the rates may not always be as good as those found online.

Do I have to invite my co-workers?
Not if you don’t want to! It’s YOUR wedding. You should be surrounded by those you hold nearest and dearest. If that includes all or just a few of your colleagues, congrats to them for making the cut. If not, that’s OK too. However, if you decide not to invite all or any of your co-workers, try to limit wedding talk at the office.

Victoria Deardorff is the owner and editor of Pittsburgh’s wedding blog, Burgh Brides ( Look for her “Ask the Expert” column in each issue of Pittsburgh Magazine Weddings.

Categories: Bridal Buzz, Weddings