Sponsor Content

25 Years, 25 Wedding Tips

Since the first Philadelphia Wedding published a quarter-century ago, the magazine has inspired local couples with expert advice, dreamy photography, and insider tips for throwing a memorable Philly wedding. Here, some of the industry pros who have graced those pages offer advice for grooms- and brides-to-be.

1. Trust your instincts. After all, you know what you love—each other! Following your heart will ensure your wedding’s style and vibe exude an authentic, effortless look.  – Gregory Stone, Carl Alan Floral Artistry

2. Cooler months bring cool color palettes that offer plenty of pretty options! The key to ensuring a blue or jewel-tone petal-palette appears soft, rather than stark though, is to accent with warm hues, like gold. – Gregory Stone

3. Ask lots of your questions. Your team of professionals is a resource. You’re not expected to know the ins and outs of executing every detail, that’s why you partner with pros who know. – Gregory Stone

4. In love, marriage, and wedding design it’s all about the ‘right fit.’ Just as you confidently said ‘yes’ to your fiancé, you want to confidently say ‘yes’ to professional partners who’ll bring your day’s vision to fruition.  – Gregory Stone

5. Revel in the culmination of your choices. Each one has meaning to you and that’s what matters. Celebrating your love, with loved ones, in a fashion that has meaning for you is what wedding memories are made of. – Gregory Stone

6. The most memorable weddings have something personal that the guests have not seen before. At my wedding, my husband and I walked around with a tray of fresh, warm cookies for the guests, allowing us one-on-one time with each guest. – Michele Leff, 12th Street Catering

7. Don’t take menus at face value. Tell us about your favorite foods and a recipe that holds sentimental value. We want your catering to represent who you are, and leave your guests wanting more. – Michele Leff

8. Partner with who chefs can create entirely plant-based meals. Environmentally conscious wedding hosts and guests are paying more attention to healthy and more sustainable eating practices. – Michele Leff

9. When choosing your vendors, communication is everything. Choose vendors who will make your life easier, and who you trust to get the job done. – Michele Leff

10. Having a green wedding will never go out of style. Find a caterer with green practices like composting and working with food vendors to get food locally. – Michele Leff

11. Know what time the sun will set on your big day. Golden hour is the perfect time for a photo op. – Samantha Gorman, Garces Events

12. Stick to your budget. Only you know what you can and cannot afford. – Samantha Gorman

13. Hire a day-of coordinator. Not only are they an enormous help to you, but to your vendors and venue as well. – Samantha Gorman

14. Decide on a theme or aesthetic. If the venue your touring doesn’t fit your vision, then it’s probably not the one. – Samantha Gorman

15. Embrace the Philly spirit. In addition to the amazing food scene, Philadelphia has some of the greatest historical sites and architecture where the city can literally decorate your wedding in some venues. – Samantha Gorman

16.. Shop for your wedding dress at least 10-12 months before your special day. A wedding gown is made to order and can take about six to eight months to come in. Remember to leave time for alterations, too. Fittings start about eight weeks before your wedding. – Gabriella Pagano, La Bella Moda

17. Remember to have fun and enjoy all of the little memories. The wedding planning process goes by so fast, especially on your special day. Yes, there will be some stressful times, but enjoy it. Soon you will be lounging on your honeymoon thinking about how fast it all went. – Gabriella Pagano

18. Find vendors you enjoy working and communicating with. If you feel like you are not vibing with someone, that is totally okay. Move on and find someone else. – Gabriella Pagano

19. Remember to keep in mind alterations and accessories. Alterations are separate and they can range from $300-$600. Keep in mind the cost of shoes, jewelry, and other accessories you may want to wear that day. – Gabriella Pagano

20. Go into your bridal appointment prepared but with an open mind. Often times brides end up falling in love with a dress completely different than what they said they wanted. – Gabriella Pagano

21. Consider your timeline and how long your event will last. Dying to hit the dance floor or more of a traditionalist? If you are planning for a more traditional wedding flow, consider the timing for things like introductions, first dance, parent dances, speeches, bouquet toss, and beyond. – Catering Sales Team at Brûlée Catering

22. Consider the time of year and what days you would/wouldn’t want to get married. Talk budget…and plan for what would happen if something is over your budget. How will you decide together what is worth spending? – Catering Sales Team

23. Discuss the price structure of a wedding. That includes things like linen color and chairs, to what kind of late-night snacks to serve. – Catering Sales Team

24. Repurpose, Repurpose. We love to see decor elements repurposed from space to space during a wedding and it’s a brilliant way to keep costs lower. – Catering Sales Team

25. The history in Philadelphia is incredible, and the photo ops are endless. For those guests traveling in from other cities, what a perfect place to make an excuse to stay an extra day! – Catering Sales Team