relationships: A wedding planner answers 4 burning questions from couples, from dealing with dietary preferences to doing their own makeup

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Planning a wedding can be stressful, but make sure you're still at the center of it. Wedding and lifestyle/Shutterstock © Provided by INSIDER Planning a wedding can be stressful, but make sure you're still at the center of it. Wedding and lifestyle/Shutterstock
  • I'm a wedding planner giving advice about things that can be difficult for couples to navigate.
  • There are ways to be mindful of health and safety without ruffling any feathers on your big day.
  • It can be difficult to accommodate for everyone's food preferences but don't forget about yours.

Q: Can I ask to only be seated with people who are vaccinated?

A: Yes. This is your health and safety we're talking about. Seating charts are already one of the most political tasks a couple has to manage for their wedding, and that's before adding in everyone's feelings about vaccines.

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  These are the 12 Best Charlotte Tilbury Products Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow is a must-try. © Provided by Instyle Sephora When I was in high school three hundred years ago, I remember religiously watching Charlotte Tilbury’s YouTube makeup videos every night — my few Charlotte Tilbury beauty products were sacred, her makeup videos were my nightly prayer, and Charlotte was my god. When I met Charlotte in 2016, I was blown away by how kind, warm, and gorgeous she was IRL.

But when handled with empathy, this conversation can happen successfully.

Get ahead of potential issues by creating a COVID safety policy. It can be a one- to two-sentence statement informing guests and vendors what to expect if they attend the wedding in person.

This gives everyone involved time and space to decide if the boundaries of your wedding align with the boundaries for their household's health and safety.

Proceeding down the aisle is a special moment for the couple. Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock © Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock Proceeding down the aisle is a special moment for the couple. Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Q: I don't want to be walked down the aisle, what are my other options?

A: Enter your ceremony in whatever way gives you the most joy. Some couples like entering together, and others come in on their own or alongside a loved one.

I also generally encourage using the phrase "proceed down the aisle" instead of "walk down the aisle" to use less ableist language.

Regardless, I've seen tons of combinations outside of a father and the bride.

It's easy for certain loved ones to assume they'll be proceeding down the aisle because that's what we've all been told happens a million times. To avoid hurt feelings and undue awkwardness, communicate with those people ahead of time, ideally before any kind of rehearsal.


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If you're having a hard time letting certain loved ones know, consider giving them a different spot in the processional.

You could also acknowledge them by giving them a special reserved seat for the ceremony or letting them give a toast at the reception.

You don't have to hire a makeup artist. Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock © Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock You don't have to hire a makeup artist. Andrii Kobryn/Shutterstock

Q: Will I look weird if I do my own makeup?

A: No. Do whatever works best for you on your day.

This is not to belittle the work of the professionals but affording a makeup artist simply isn't in the cards for everyone. Previous negative experiences can also be a deterrent.

In my experience, when someone does their own makeup, it doesn't look weird in photos because they know what they like. Plus, the photographer has the skills, equipment, and lighting to help them along.

A nice middle ground: Hire a makeup artist to give you a lesson in the months leading up to your wedding. I did this for my own wedding and left with tools and recommendations I still use today.

It's important to consider your guest when it comes to food at the wedding, but don't disregard your likes. LElik83/Shutterstock © LElik83/Shutterstock It's important to consider your guest when it comes to food at the wedding, but don't disregard your likes. LElik83/Shutterstock

Q: How can we keep everyone's dietary preferences in mind when picking the food for our wedding?

A: There are a couple of different directions you could go in to make sure that everyone's needs are taken care of.

Trying to accommodate for your guests shows you're thinking deeply about their needs. But feeding a large group of people is always a challenge.

If you know the preferences and needs of your VIP guests (family and/or close friends), start there. For example, if a lot of loved ones are vegetarian, you may want to build a menu with plant-based options.

But sometimes — particularly with groups of 100 or more guests — we don't know this.

If that's the case, you could have a buffet-style dinner, which allows guests to pick what they want.

If you choose a traditional plated dinner, provide whoever is handling the meal with a list of allergies and food preferences from your guests and your vendors (since you should be offering them a plate, too). If it's a caterer who regularly works events, chances are they're going to have a strong go-to list for a variety of needs.

With both options, ask whoever is providing the food if they can also highlight information about each dish detailing any potential allergies or dietary preferences.

All this said, don't be afraid to incorporate you and your partner's preferences. I often see couples deprioritize their own needs, but they should also be excited about the food.

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These are the 12 Best Charlotte Tilbury Products .
Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow is a must-try. © Provided by Instyle Sephora When I was in high school three hundred years ago, I remember religiously watching Charlotte Tilbury’s YouTube makeup videos every night — my few Charlotte Tilbury beauty products were sacred, her makeup videos were my nightly prayer, and Charlotte was my god. When I met Charlotte in 2016, I was blown away by how kind, warm, and gorgeous she was IRL.

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