I am super amped for today’s post. We are going to get the inside scoop on wedding planning from two totally amazing planners, Nick and Aleah Valley of Valley & Co. Plus this is just the first of many visits from the two experts!  They’ll be gracing our blog on a monthly basis to answer your wedding questions.  We’ll kick it off with a little introduction from the duo plus their top nine planning tips of all time.  These aren’t the same old tips you hear over and over again either so make sure you are taking notes!  After you’re done cramming put together a list of your ultimate wedding planning questions and leave them in the comment section below.  Aleah and Nick will pick three questions to answer next month!

We are Nick and Aleah Valley of Valley & Co., the award-winning husband and wife wedding + event planning and design duo™ since 2003. We’re just thrilled to offer our planning tips and advice that we’ve found invaluable over our years to Style Me Pretty readers!

In no particular order of importance, these are some of our most cherished tips that we encourage our couples to incorporate into their big day and planning process:

1. Delight in the simplest of ways. Greeting your guests with tray passed wine and cocktails is a wonderful way to start off your celebration, but don’t forget simple things like tray passed iced water. Dress it up by infusing with lemon or cucumber or garnish with frozen grape skewers. Welcome your guests to their place settings with a fresh fruit plate or gourmetcheese board. It’s all about unexpected {simple} ways to delight your guests.

2. Give thanks. Thanking your guests for coming to show their love and support is such a sweet and important thing to do. It can be as simple as printing up {or hand-writing} thank you notes that you slip into each place setting. If friends or family have traveled from afar, give thanks to them in your toast.

3. Divide and conquer. Talk to your fiancé about what’s most important to each of you during the wedding planning process and on your big day. Divvy up tasks based on what you both love and enjoy and come together for duties like your cake tasting, menu planning, and logistics. Spice up the planning and let each other plan one surprise for the big day.

4. Appease the senses. When designing the flow and ambiance of your wedding, bring inunexpected textures, flavors, and scents in subtle ways to create a true experience. Ta pinto the senses: an abundance of candlelight is always aesthetically appeasing. Enhance taste with fresh seasonal dishes and a palate cleanser like a basil lemon sorbet before your entrees. Bring in beautifully textured linens and napkins and incorporate natural elements in your centerpieces.

5. Break the rules. While some wedding traditions should always be, break the rules and go with what you enjoy and love.

6. Entertain. Surprise your guests with entertaining elements like a steel drummer during cocktail hour, a raspy jazz singer during dinner, or fire or hula dancers to kick off your dance floor. Tie in a fun and funky piece of entertainment based on your hobbies, places you love to travel, or something quirky you both enjoy. If you’re on a tighter budget, source local schools for musicians or tap into your neighborhood community center.

7. Roll with the elements. Sometimes the most wonderfully planned weddings are thrown a curveball with the weather. Plan ahead as best as you can: for chilly or windy evening celebrations, gift the ladies in attendance rolled up shawls cinched with fanciful ribbon or place vintage blankets stowed in oversized wicker baskets to encourage cozying up to enjoy the night. For hot summer soirees, stage galvanized tubs with Limonata drinks and sparkling water to keep guests cool. Provide paper parasols for them to use while they wait for you to sashay down the aisle.

8. Bond with your team. Bring on talented, experienced wedding artists who understand your vision and whom you click with. You’ll be spending a lot of time with each vendor so developing a comfortable relationship will ensure a fun planning process and a smooth,beautiful day. We typically spend up to a year with our marvelous clients and know how important it is for them to click with us and for us to enjoy them as well. These relationships will play an important role in your big day.

9. Savor every moment. Enjoy the planning process and document it! Take photos, keep menus and swatches, and have fun! The planning process is an experience in itself and,when done properly, you’ll be left excited for your big day! This is the start of your new adventure together so savoring and enjoying the planning process is a key to kicking off your marriage on the right foot.

I certainly could have used some advice like that when I was engaged!  I especially love the tip about enjoying the engagement and planning process.  It all goes by so fast!  You know what else went by too fast?  This month’s segment with Nick and Aleah.  But don’t dispair!  Leave a comment with your ultimate wedding planning question and Valley & Co. will be back in October to give you the lowdown!

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