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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. “Even in the short amount of planning time we had, we were totally on the same page,” Ali says. “He just knew my style, and he anticipated everything—I hadn’t even told him what I wanted my colors or flowers to be, but he totally anticipated it. I was like, ‘That’s it! How did you know?’ ”

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!”

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