Guest Blog: Haile Parker McCollum
March 30, 2007

Haile Parker McCollum, owner and creative director of Fontaine Maury, has very sweetly offered to share with us some really great, tried and true tips for planning a successful wedding. Haile is the epitome of style and elegance, and aside from her planning own wedding, she is a pro at hosting fabulous parties. So, listen carefully because she knows her stuff!!! Take it away, Haile!


I have a few simple pieces of advice for anyone planning a wedding. This is not an exhaustive list, just some pointers that come to mind.

First, to avoid any misunderstanding before you entwine yourself for life with your husband’s mother, communicate to her a firm number of guests she can invite. It’s very difficult to undo a list once it’s been created. Not to be unfair, you should also communicate your wishes to whoever is throwing the wedding for you. One of my Aunts informed me that I had to invite “cousins down to her generation that were still living”. The cousin total came to 40.

Second, choose what aspect of the wedding is most important to you and stick to your guns on that point. My stick to my gun point was color. My other, very traditional, Aunt kept offering in a very sweet way to help me choose an ivory invitation with black engraving. Being a stationery and product designer, ivory and black just didn’t fly with me. Our invitation was heavy paper in deep red with white engraving. She called it our paper valentine invitation.

Following the invitations lead, my bridesmaid dresses were shades of pink, red and orange, as were the tablecloths, lanterns and flowers. If you set the tone from the beginning it actually makes your job easier. If you’ve decided to go with reds, you can eliminate with grace the chocolate bridesmaid dress your maid of honor is trying to talk you into.

Third, and this relates to point #2, let some of the decisions that other people (your Mother, or in my case 3 Aunts) insist on making for you wash right on over you. Letting go of some of the decisions can be difficult, but it must be done especially if someone is throwing the wedding for you. That is a diplomatic way of saying whoever is footing the bill needs to have some say. I wanted no part of a veil, but it was important to my traditional Aunt and I decided that it was not one of the details that I was going to get worked up over.


I also originally has chosen a different reception site, The Aunts stepped in and told me it was to be on family property. The result was dramatic as you can see. We were all pleased in the end.

Thank you so much, Haile...such great advice. And I can say from experience, SO true. Check back Monday for a new inspiration...have a great weekend!