The perk of planning a modern-day wedding is the endless number of tools that are provided to brides. Yes, there's always advice from your peers and magazines to flip through, but the biggest influence is, by far, the Internet. The number of websites and blogs available to someone who is newly engaged is seemingly limitless, but there is one place in particular that cultivates several ideas all into one, making it the ultimate pit stop to browse all things bridal.
Launched in 2007, Style Me Pretty, founded by Abby Larson, has taken the bridal world by storm, and it only seems to be getting bigger and better by the day. With information about vendors, wedding day fashion and DIY projects, it is a wedding blog that is not only helpful and useful but also inspiring.
I had the pleasure to reach out to Abby and ask for her thoughts on wedding trends, traditions and what she thought about her own wedding:
Q. With so many resources for wedding ideas on the Internet, what makes Style Me Pretty different from the rest?
"Our site is really the best of many worlds. It has the reach and content volume of the more resource-driven sites, with the sense of community that you can only get from a blog. The editors that work on our content are living right in the comments section, chatting with brides, answering questions and starting a conversation. The vendors that we work with are innovating and pushing the boundaries of style. The details that we highlight are the prettiest and most unique that we can get our hands on. Collectively, Style Me Pretty is the kind of place that soon-to-be brides can come to and be truly inspired. Plus, we don't take ourselves too seriously, which makes for a place that isn't just pretty. It's just inviting and warm."
Q. What could make a wedding unlike any other? What is the 'wow' factor at a wedding?
"To me, the 'wow' factor is really different for every couple and should always be tailored to their unique personalities. Foodies could feature a really fun, creative menu or have innovative food stations. Music lovers could put their money towards an incredible DJ, a 12-piece band or another really unique form of musical entertainment. Dessert lovers can blow it out with the dessert table to end all dessert tables. The 'wow' moment should be all about the couple and the one thing that they are excited about more than anything else."
Q. What detail do you think is a splurge-worthy part of the event?
"I feel like every wedding should have three things: good food, great cocktails and music that makes you want to kick off your heels. That said, splurges should be spent only on elements that the couple will remember forever. Sometimes a loud, celebratory party isn't on par with the couple's more intimate tastes -- so a gorgeous five-course dinner would be preferable. Or if a couple really wants to dance the night away, music should be their focus. One splurge that a couple will never regret is hiring a cinematographer to capture the day alongside their photographer. It's money beyond well spent."
Q. What would you say to a bride on a budget?
"Off season, off days, really anything that deviates from Saturday night at 6 o'clock in the early or late summer will save you money. Venue rates are generally seasonal, and so are peak season Saturdays. I'd say work with the vendor to find days that you might be able to score a discount. People don't always remember that winter weddings can be spectacular, and so can Sunday morning affairs with a gorgeous brunch reception."
Q. What do you think is the best wedding trend going on right now?
"That those hard and fast rules of planning a wedding -- white wedding dresses, filet mignon, cheesy playlists -- are becoming a thing of the past. Brides and grooms have officially been given permission to do things their own way. To host a celebration that really reflects who they are and what they love. We've seen couples serving pizza for dinner, hosting old-fashioned hoedowns, trimming their guest list to 20 and tying the knot on a beach in Bali. The ideas are endless."
Q. Any trends bride should ignore?
"Over-trending their wedding. Blogs, Pinterest -- the Internet as a whole have all made trends something that come hard and fast. But when you pool all of those trends together -- ombre'd this, glittered that -- a wedding can feel contrived and impersonal pretty quickly. Stick with one or two trends that you really love, and try to find fun ways to work them in so that your wedding feels cohesive, and not an exact replica of the trends that people are pinning."
Q. Would you have changed anything about your own wedding?
"Oh, so many things -- and nothing at all! Our wedding day was romantic and beautiful -- it was a day that's branded as epic in my memory. But it was too big. I didn't get a chance to really hug the people that I love because I was so busy chatting with all 200 people. I would trim that guest list down, host in a more intimate setting, and I would have done something really creative with our menu. Other than that, I'd still wear that ball gown over and over again."
Q. What advice would you offer a bride when planning her wedding?
"One of the best tips that I give all brides is to hire a wedding planner, because a good planner can save you time and money spent on making uneducated decisions and costly mistakes. If it's not in the cards, try a 'day-of planner' to keep you focused on your big day and help you avoid those last-minute splurges. Second, remember that wedding planning is actually the largest part of your wedding day. Crafting with your girlfriends, cake tastings with your mom -- those are wedding moments that should be treasured."
Q. What is the one wedding tradition that you think should remain?
"I love tradition. It's what a wedding is, really. Even if that tradition is flipped on its head and re-created in a whole new way -- it's still tradition. I love formal vows and white wedding dresses. I love paper invitations and beautiful floral centerpieces. I love when a father or a trusted family member gives a proper welcome at the reception, and I love the first dance. So romantic! For me, it's about retaining a tradition while making things feel fun, personal and unique to the couple."