Let’s face it: wedding planning can be stressful…but it can also be a lot of fun! We were recently editing one of our featured real weddings, Rachel & Sara, and started giggling about a quote from Sara, “We had a ‘safe word’ that we’d say any time one of us needed a break from wedding planning conversation. So if one of us said ‘artichoke,’ that was it for the day.” Wedding planning provides a great opportunity to grow your relationship with your beloved, to experience new things and to, well, have some fun! Our suggestions for stress-free and enjoyable planning are always the same: select talented wedding pros for your dream team and do what you want. Wedding pros are there to help you plan your perfect day and alleviate stress, and, in our opinion, traditions are mere suggestions. Pick what makes sense for you as a couple and go from there; maybe make up a new tradition just for you two. And, we love Rachel & Sara’s suggestion of having a safe word…ours would be WINE!
It’s time to get started on your wedding planning! We begin with 31 fabulous real weddings—starting on page 137. We’re so lucky that we get to be flies on the wall at all of these weddings, and we hand-select each one of them specifically to inspire you! Can’t get enough of weddings? Yeah, neither can we. That’s why we feature a real wedding on our website every Wednesday in our “Real Weddings Wednesday.” Don’t miss it!
Let’s talk photo shoots: each issue we assemble teams of talented wedding professionals to inspire your wedding style from décor and cuisine to attire and accessories and beyond, and this issue is no exception! Here, we have four distinctly different styled shoot vignettes: “Amore al Fresco,” “This is Me,” “Picnic in Provence,” and “Tropical Paradise.” We had a lot of fun putting them together for you and we hope you enjoy them and are inspired.
Then, check out our cover model contest finalist features: “Glamour on the Ranch” and “Grand Dames.” Like all of our cover model finalist feature photo shoots, we had a great time playing dress up—with gorgeous hair, makeup, accessories, bouquets and dresses, along with fabulous décor sets. Oh, and if you want to see more photos from any of our shoots, be sure to tune into our website for each photo shoot’s blog series—we’ll overwhelm you with more gorgeousness!
Next up: Our resident “Always a Bridesmaid” columnist Darren Elms talks trends starting on page 28; our “For Your Review” columnist Sharon Penny presents you with a plethora of planning tools starting on page 36 (with even more on our website); our “Gift Guide” will help you check everyone off of your gift list (including a few gifts for you!); and so much more packed into the pages of this issue.
And a bazillion-times-infinity thanks to all of this issue’s contributing partners—you’re so giving with your knowledge and your talents, and we cannot thank you enough for sharing it with us and our readers!
As always, dear readers, happy planning!