Sylvia Weinstock Q&A

05/06/2016 By Sylvia Weinstock

Q: I would love any advice on trying to coordinate with wedding planners who are located out of town.  My fiancé and I live in Florida, but are going back to our hometown, in Atlanta, to tie the knot.  Any advice would help! (Jamie K., Westport CT)

A: If you are getting married in Atlanta...I suggest you find a reputable party planner in Atlanta, a city that has many qualified professionals - who know the locals you will need on your special day. One way of finding an experienced planner is to work with the major hotels. They will know and be able to recommend the planners they work with most often. Or, you may find that the hotel itself has a banquet manager who fills this role. Like most other venues, hotels have preferred vendors for Music, Flowers, and Photographers...and these in-house professionals can orchestrate the event for you. However you choose, be sure to talk to couples who have used the planner/manager and make sure they were happy with the attention they received and, of course, had a wonderful wedding with no or little drama!

Q: My MIL offered to pay for the flowers for my wedding. I have tried to refuse her offer, but I feel I am being rude, and need to let her be involved and do this for me.  However, I wanted to spend the bulk of our budget on flowers.  This is where I wanted our décor and theme to come through.  How do I tell her that I appreciate her offer and I am grateful, however I wanted something elaborate, and most likely out of her budget? (Chloe, S., Pacific Palisades CA)

A: Compromise is my advice: it will be the first of many times in your marriage you will have to negotiate some middle ground.  This will prevent feelings from being hurt in your new, extended family. Let her contribute to the flower budget who can’t use a little help? And make it a shared project for the two of you. If your tastes are wildly different, just split the bill, even if her contribution is not a 50/50. While it is “your day” everyone close to you wants to do something special, so let them. Another idea is telling her - the flowers are covered...but would she like to pay for some other important element (which might be more affordable), like your photographer? It may make her feel important to contribute the memories you will keep for a lifetime. It’s all in the way you present these options to her, so do it with love.

Q: I'm hoping you can help me with planning our cruise wedding for this Fall. We are so excited about the simplicity of the cruise idea, but I’m concerned with how much I will be able to bring.  Are there things I can easily do without, that won’t compromise my day? (Brooke R., Houston TX)

A: Wow. Your questions raises a lot more questions!! First get in touch with the cruise line to find out how formal events onboard are likely to be: is there a captain’s dinner? Do you need dresses (and jackets for men) for clubs? What do they recommend for your destination(s)? What’s the climate of where you are and where you are going? How large is your stateroom and are you wearing a full wedding gown? One fun suggestion might be to have the ceremony on the dock or pier, and then board for the party minus the wedding dress and attendants gowns and suits. Someone can be in charge of putting all that in safekeeping, while you and your guests board and start your celebration on the sea. Bon voyage!

Q: My fiancé and I thought it would be a great idea to get married out of town.  We instantly thought of Vegas!  How can I create a memorable wedding in Vegas that isn’t cheesy or cheap feeling, however sticking to a small budget? (Skyler T., Boston MA)

A: Here’s a suggestion that allows you to stick to a budget AND hold the cheese! Why not throw an elegant dinner party in one of the many superb restaurants on the strip? Many celebrity chefs have landmark Vegas outposts, where you can have a sit down dinner with style. Perhaps the restaurant has a “chef’s table” or private dining or wine room. Or you can pay for extras like floral centerpieces for the table, or a special tasting menu with great wine pairings. What could be better than an leisurely, sumptuous meal...before everyone scatters to clubs and casinos?!

Q: We’ve already sent out save the dates for our in-town wedding, but we’ve changed our venue, AND our city.  It’s only a day’s drive, or a short flight, but I know the guests will need to make new arrangements asap! What is the best way to get the word out? We only have 4 months until our day. (Jenny G., Miami FL)

A: The most personal and direct way to deliver the news is on the phone. If you get some unedited, less than excited response from some of your guests who have already made their travel arrangements, remember to be gracious! It is also very important to follow up with a written note that confirms details. While I am a fan of handwritten letters, I realize that emailing is probably the most practical way to go in any event, be very sure to ask for some way of confirming your guests have received all the new details. Good Luck!!


Q: My fiancé and are excited about our destination wedding in Mexico.  However, we are not sure how to explain to our family and friends that we will not be bearing the additional travel expenses for our guests (airfare/hotel…etc) and the topic seems to be awkward.  Do you have any ideas on how to overcome this touchy subject? (Rebecca B., Atlanta GA)

A: As destination weddings become more popular include, in the invitation, an additional card listing air and hotels with the best price points. Arrange, when possible, to have a special rate for your guests and add that information on the card as well. And it would be thoughtful of you and your fiancé, to select a wedding date that is not the peak travel time for your destination -- i.e. April in Paris -- and show your guests that you are mindful of their expenses. What you will probably find is guests who can't afford the trip will politely decline, others may use it as a reason for an overdue vacation. For a group of guests who cannot attend, maybe a post-wedding get together, even in your home, would be a nice way for them to share your happiness and be part of the celebration.


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