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Top Tips for an
Inspired Wedding
by Jo Gartin

Getting Started:

  • Take a moment to prioritize each element of your wedding in order of importance to you. This will help you to distribute your budget accordingly.
  • Start a wedding scrapbook filled with magazine clippings that catch your eye to serve as a visual reference for your vendors.


  • Even a simple sheet of card stock can make a lasting impression if you simply play around with wording, font combinations, and layouts. Also, incorporating a sense of the setting into the text of the invitation adds a nice personal touch (At sunset on the island of Jamaica . . . Under the willow tree . . . This autumn in the family garden . . . ).
  • Be sure to visit your local post office in advance with a sample of your save the date and invitation to ensure they will be approved to travel through the mail and to see if additional postage is required.

All Dressed Up:

  • Wedding dress designers often have up to two sample sales a year. Call your local boutique to find out the dates and you may just get to walk down the aisle in your dream gown for a fraction of the price.
  • Use your wedding shoes as house slippers for a week or two so you can get used to them before the big day. Having a pair of ballet flats with you at your wedding can also come in handy for tired toes.

Blissful Blooms:

  • If you are trying to save a little money on the cost of flowers, here’s a tip: avoid planning your wedding just before Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.
  • Personalize your bouquet by wrapping it in a photocopied love letter or note written during your courtship. Attaching a family heirloom is also a great personal touch.


  • Bring an intimacy to your cocktail hour by scattering cushions, placing art books from home on coffee tables, and displaying little photo frames housing fun trivia about your relationship . . . how many days you have been together, who said “I love you” first for example.
  • Add a twist to your cocktails by adding a skewer of frozen cranberries as a garnish.

Let's Celebrate:

  • Include the story of how you met into your ceremony. It allows guests to experience part of your love story.
  • Spray your favorite room spray about the dining room just before guests enter for a scented welcome
  • .

  • Offer guests a midnight snack of donut holes and chocolate milk at their good byes.
  • Ask your music company or musicians to compile a CD for you of all the songs they played at your wedding. It makes a great keepsake.

Copyright © 2006 Jo Gartin

Jo Gartin is the author of Jo Gartin's Weddings: An Inspiring Guide for the Stylish Bride. She founded her event-planning company, Love Luck and Angels, in 2002, after discovering her talents while planning her own wedding. She is a regular contributor to InStyle and InStyle Weddings.

Her work has been featured in many magazines, including Self, Lucky, and Women's Wear Daily. Vogue named her their most-recommended wedding coordinator in 2004. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

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