Bouquet: Ask the Pros: Problem Solved!

Wish you could call up Philly’s wedding mavens every time you run into a Big Day-planning roadblock? We can — and we’re happy to do it for you. Here’s what some of our helpful friends had to say about your questions.

I’m getting facials and working out regularly to get ready for my wedding, but I still feel wound-up and stressed all the time. What else can I do?

We know dropping a few lbs and toning up for the Big Day are first and foremost on your get-ready list, but to really look (and feel) your best, you can’t just sculpt those biceps and call it a day. “There’s this huge pressure to be perfect on that day,” says June Bretz, owner of Philadelphia-based Bridal Body, “and to get there, it’s all about general wellness.” That means instead of only working to shave inches off your hips, you should be working to achieve balance: Overhaul your pantry, make an effort to buy healthy food — and cook it. Take time out of your planning tizzy to tend to the non-wedding aspects of your life, such as relationships and career. And relax, says Bretz: “I know brides who learned how to meditate, and loved it enough to keep doing it way after their wedding.” And if you need a little help, Bretz’s team — personal trainers and chefs, yoga instructors and massage therapists — is more than happy to swoop in, offer guidance and leave you with an allover glow for your walk down the aisle.


Why do so many photography packages include an engagement or pre-­wedding photo session? My fiancé and I don’t feel like we need those photos.

This particular photo shoot is not all about the resulting pictures, says Philadelphia photographer Sofia Negron; it’s more like a warm-up for the Big Day. Negron usually does this “get to know you” session after dinner or drinks with the couple. “I get to see how they work, how comfortable they are in front of a camera, what angles they each look best from, if they’re big PDA-ers or not,” she says. Then, when the wedding day comes around, not only does she have the answers to all those questions from the moment she arrives on-site, but the couple is already relaxed around her (an especially good benefit for the oft camera-shy groom) and reassured they’re going to love their wedding pictures. And, on the contrary, says Negron, “If they’re really unhappy with the photographer’s work, at least they’re finding out then.”


I’ve seen a lot of invitations recently that mention the groom’s parents — not as hosts, but just naming them as the parents of the groom. I didn’t do that; I used traditional wording with just my parents names, and now I’m terrified my future mother-in-law is going to be mad. Is mentioning both sets of parents, regardless of who’s hosting, the general practice now?

It’s not the general practice, says Melissa Paul, wedding and event planner with Philadelphia’s Evantine Design, but rather a decision that should be made together, with the hosts of the wedding (i.e., the ones footing the bill) having the lead voice of opinion.

If you, your fiancé and your parents (assuming they are your sole, gracious financiers) decide your invitation wording should only reflect who is hosting the event, perhaps you’ll stick to traditional wording, which has only the parents of the bride inviting guests to the celebration. If you decide you’d like to honor both sets of parents, it’s perfectly fine to mention his with a “son of Jane and John Smith” line after the groom’s name. “It’s a lovely way to pay tribute to where you come from and who is supporting your decision to marry,” says Paul. Ultimately, the decision comes down to the comfort level of the ones hosting the event — but whatever you decide, just make sure there are no surprises for anyone cutting open that satin-lined envelope. Says Paul: “As with any decision made throughout this process, it’s best to hear everyone’s concerns and note their expectations, so that there are minimal misunderstandings later.”