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10 Stars Share Their Favorite Wedding Planning Tips With Us

On National Wedding Planning Day, find out what celebrity event planner David Tutera, photographer Nigel Barker, actress Tia Mowry and more have to say about their planning journey.

Wedding planning can be daunting, and these currently engaged and married celebrities can undoubtedly attest to the pressure when it comes to the task. But those who’ve become well versed with the process tell The Knot that this time should be—at its core—focused on the love between two people. On National Wedding Planning Day, find out what stars like wedding planner David Tutera, photographer Nigel Barker, actress Tia Mowry, and Olympians Carli Lloyd, and Nastia Liukin have to share about the journey.

David Tutera, Celebrity Wedding Planner, and Designer

"A wedding isn’t made memorable by the amount of money that is spent," Tutera tells The Knot. "You tell the story of who you are as a couple. Whether it be the food you serve and why you served it. Or is it the infusion of cultures or the infusion of religions? Is it where you came from or where you met one another? All of these things allow guests to become active participants. Instead of [your guests] just sitting, watching and experiencing the same thing everyone does every weekend, it’s about putting your guests first and you as a couple second."

Tia Mowry, Actress, and Cooking Channel Host

"Invite people you know you will be talking to in five years," the Sister, Sister alum, who married Cory Hardrict in 2008, tells The Knot. "Some [brides and grooms] invite people to fill up a room, No, it doesn’t have to be crazy big. [Our wedding] was a huge party, not in the sense of so many people, but huge in the sense that my heart was filled. I was so happy [and] full of joy because all of my close family and my friends were there, and we danced the night away. It’s about letting your hair down and having a great time. It’s a celebration of two people coming together and their love for one another."

Tatyana Ali, Actress

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum had celebrity wedding planner Michael Russo orchestrate her summer 2016 wedding. While our preparation time was limited, "we were fully on the exact same page," Ali says. “He had an innate sense of my taste and was prepared for anything; I didn't even have to specify the colours or flowers I desired. Finally, I said to myself, "That's it!" You must have some sort of inside information.

Ali Fedotowsky, Former Bachelorette and Blogger

"I’m honestly not a great party planner, and I’m just not the type to spend a bunch of time trying to find ways to make our wedding unique," Fedotowsky says. So naturally, she hired someone to do the legwork. "I’m working with an incredible event planner… and I know she's going to make our day absolutely perfect!" the mom of one adds. "We just want to celebrate our love with all the people that matter most to us. I don't need to know any of the details, I just want to show up and marry my best friend." She encourages couples, however, to remember this one piece of advice: "[I was also told] to make sure the food and music are good. Oh, and to have an open bar!"

Nigel Barker, Photographer, and E! Creative Director

"Sometimes just realize it’s not just about you. If it is about the mother who wants to have the big wedding, point the attention on her and let her have a moment," Barker notes. "Realize the importance of why you are there. And then think of what you hope to achieve with the union. And why it’s important to you. What could be more important to have a lifelong friend that you can trust that you can say anything to?" 

Desiree Hartsock, Former Bachelorette, and Author of My Fairytale Wedding

"It really took a lot of listening to each other," Hartsock, who married in 2014, says of planning with Chris Siegfried. "With my personality, I tend to handle everything instead of relying on other people, [but] Chris was great because he was really vocal. He wanted to know what was happening."

When it comes to vendors, the former reality star says it’s good to research and ask questions. "We don’t plan a wedding every day, so we just trust and believe what other people tell us," she says. "You should be asking questions like, 'Do you have a better option or have a better deal?' With flowers, it knows your season. So if a flower is prominent in your area, then there’s a lot more supply, so it will be a little bit cheaper. Maybe just being a little bit open-minded."

BC Jean, Singer-Songwriter

"Don’t blink—it goes by so fast," says Jean, who married Dancing With the Stars’ Mark Ballas in December 2016. "Incorporate all of the things that are you. When you’re planning a wedding, some so many people love you that want to help [and] give their advice on what they want, but people wanna give a little overwhelmingly. It’s definitely overwhelming, so keeping it true to [yourselves] is very important."

Nastia Liukin, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Soon-to-Be Bride

"I wasn’t going to hire a planner or anything," Liukin tells The Knot. However, fellow Olympian Shawn Johnson encouraged her to find someone. "She was like, 'Let me just tell you. That’s the first thing you need.' [Our planner] has been extremely helpful. We’re just trying to do personal touches that are us."

Carli Lloyd, Olympic Soccer Player, and Author

"Enjoy and cherish the day," says Lloyd, who married in 2016. "It goes by in a blink of an eye." As a bonus, her wedding dress designer Matthew Christopher adds: "The thing about being a bride is: Be a bride that day. Let everybody else do what they need to do. I also always say, 'Do you have a planner?' Definitely, have a planner, so you don’t have to worry about anything."

Witney Carson, Dancing With the Stars Professional

Carson says couples should enjoy the creative aspect of the planning process. "I loved getting to pick the décor and the flowers," she recalls. "I think that’s what makes a wedding, and I got to use my creativity, which I love to do!"


David Tutera, a renowned event planner, stresses the need of sharing the couple's backstory. Tatyana Ali's wedding, which took place in the summer of 2016, was planned by celebrity wedding planner Michael Russo. Carli Lloyd and Nastia Liukin, two Olympic medalists, assisted with the nuptials. "Enjoy and treasure the day," says Lloyd, who tied the knot in 2016. "It passes by in a blink of an eye," says Jean, who married Mark Ballas in the winter of 2016.

Content Summary

  1. Read what famous people like David Tutera, Nigel Barker, Tia Mowry, and more had to say about their wedding preparations on National Wedding Planning Day.
  2. Those who have experience with weddings, though, tell The Knot that the emphasis should be on the couple's love.
  3. Wedding expert and fashion designer David Tutera Tutera tells The Knot, "A wedding isn't made memorable by the amount of money that is spent." You give an account of your history together.
  4. Cooking Channel Host and Actress Tia Mowry The Sister, Sister star, who wed Cory Hardrict in 2008, advises future brides and grooms to invite friends they would still keep in touch with in five years. A wedding is a joyous occasion that honours the union and love between two individuals.
  5. Actress Tatyana Ali The wedding of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum, which took place in the summer of 2016, was planned by celebrity wedding planner Michael Russo.
  6. A Conversation with Ali Fedotowsky, Blogger and One-Time Bachelorette "I'm honestly not a fantastic party planner, and I'm simply not the kind to spend a bunch of time trying to find ways to make our wedding distinctive," Fedotowsky admits.
  7. She had someone else do the groundwork since that was the logical thing to do. I just want to show up and marry my best buddy without knowing anything about it.
  8. However, she does stress the importance of the following to the happy couple: "[I was also urged] to make sure the food and music are fantastic."
  9. "If it's the mum who wants the huge wedding, that's the story," Barker says. "Turn the spotlight on her and give her a second to shine."
  10. Published by Desiree Hartsock, the Former Bachelorette and Author of "My Fairytale Wedding." Hartsock, who married Chris Siegfried in 2014, adds, "It really took a lot of listening to each other." "
  11. The ex-reality star recommends doing background checks and asking plenty of questions before committing to any vendor. She explains that the couple relies on the word of others when planning the wedding because "we don't arrange a wedding every day." "
  12. Jean, who wed Mark Ballas from Dancing With the Stars in December 2016, warns, "Don't blink—it goes by so fast." Put yourself in it by including all of your unique qualities.
  13. Olympic Champion Nastia Liukin to Have Baby
  14. In the role of the Bride "I wasn't planning to employ a planner or anything," Liukin says to The Knot.
  15. Athlete Shawn Johnson, though, urged her to go out and find love.
  16. Olympian and published author Carli Lloyd "Enjoy and treasure the day," says Lloyd, who tied the knot in 2016. It's over in the wink of an eye.
  17. Extra credit: "The thing about being a bride is: Be a bride that day," said her wedding dress designer Matthew Christopher.
  18. Be sure to keep a planner handy to eliminate stress.
  19. Dancing with the Stars Pro Witney Carson Carson advises that the two people in a relationship take pleasure in "the creative side of planning."

About a third of newlyweds choose the reception as the high point of their big day. This is typically the first vendor a couple books since it represents the greatest portion of their money. Still, when it comes to the number of guests invited and the amount of money spent on the reception, many couples continue to choose quality over quantity.

Unique Ideas to Make Your Wedding Memorable

  • Weddings are not one-size-fits-all: Your big day should be as unique as your love!
  • Say “I Do” to Color.
  • Pre-Party It Up.
  • Lean In to Local.
  • Start a Cocktail Hour Conversation. 
  • Incorporate a Ring Warming Ceremony.
  • The Clock Strikes Snacktime.
  • Dream – get the vision for your big day.
  • Determine what's most important to you.
  • Set a wedding budget.
  • Form your wedding party.
  • Create your guest list.
  • Determine dates.
  • Start looking for your dream venue.
  • Begin looking into the vendors you want for your wedding day.

Another way to make your wedding unique and unforgettable is to incorporate a unity ceremony. A unity ceremony is a symbolic ritual. In place of vows, you and your groom-to-be may choose to light a unity candle. The unity candle will symbolically show the blend of two lives.

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