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Wedding Advice for the Low-Key Bride

In partnership with our friends at Advertisement

Most brides tend to fall into one of two general categories: The “let’s go to City Hall” types and the “let’s audition the string quartets!” ones. We are now speaking to the former: No matter how chill you think you’ll be, there is a Pinterest rabbit hole that is waiting for you to trip down it. It’s really that easy for the most laid-back among us to lose sight of what’s actually important. You know, the moment. We spoke to nine women who’ve been through that very rabbit hole and come out the other side—with ideas, suggestions, and more than a few warnings.

  • tracy georgiou wedding photo

    TRACY GEORGIOU

    DIRECTOR OF BRAND MARKETING & MERCHANDISING, LOEFFLER RANDALL
    MARRIED IN NEW YORK CITY IN MARCH 2012

    “We were engaged in December and were planning a March wedding from different countries (I was in New York; he was in London), so we knew it had to be easy to execute, but we still wanted something that felt special to us. It was a no-brainer to have the ceremony at city hall—the classic architecture and old New York feel were perfect. We went on a Thursday morning with forty of our family and friends to see us get officially hitched. It was a ‘show up if you can’ invite since it was a weekday (we were both pretty low-key), but it was so moving to see how many people showed up for the ceremony. We had a hilarious justice of the peace who had everyone laughing and crying.”

    DO:
    “A friend had the most brilliant idea that saved our wedding planning from a stressful meltdown: Have your reception somewhere you already go and love. We ended up renting out Cafe Gitane for the night, and it was perfect. We picked all our favorite things to eat and drink, and since we already loved how the space looked we didn’t decorate at all. We just wanted to have a good meal with good people. I can’t imagine our wedding any other way.”

  • ariel kaye wedding photo

    Photo courtesy of Bryan, For the Love of It

    ARIEL KAYE

    FOUNDER AND CEO, PARACHUTE
    MARRIED IN QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO, IN MAY 2018

    DO:
    “A ‘logistics-free wedding’ was important to me. We found a venue that could house almost all of our guests as well as host the majority of our wedding events—ceremony, reception, and a pool party the day after. Staying in one location made it easy, so we could relax and celebrate with all our loved ones. My newly minted husband and I made a pact that we would always have eyes on each other during the reception. We wanted to enjoy both the night and the experience together. While we inevitably got pulled in different directions throughout the evening, we kept coming back to each other to share in the merriment.”

  • Danielle Pergament wedding photo

    DANIELLE PERGAMENT

    EDITOR IN CHIEF, GOOP
    MARRIED IN PIENZA, ITALY, IN JULY 2007

    DO:
    “Serve pizza at midnight. Or maybe a taco truck. Just make sure you have something warm and savory for the late-nighters. I don’t care how big or small or fancy or laid-back your wedding is, a few hours after dinner—especially if there’s dancing—people will get ravenous. And no one will want cake (sorry). At our wedding, it was around 2 a.m. that the elders had all peeled off, the Cam’ron came out, and the night really started…and lasted until about 8 a.m. Eating wood-fired pizza in my wedding dress at sunrise with my closest friends and new husband—it was magical.”

  • Jacqueline Schulze Weitzen wedding photo

    JACQUELINE
    SCHULZE WEITZEN

    DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, GOOP
    MARRIED IN SAN DIEGO IN MAY 2018

    DO:
    “We went through so many iterations of our wedding registry. It was exhausting. I realized after too many rounds of adding and removing china on our registry that we just wanted our guests to contribute to our honeymoon in South Africa. After trying out several registry sites, we ultimately landed on Zola, and the experience was seamless: everything in one place, a cash fund for our honeymoon, and there’s even a gift tracker that makes writing thank-you cards a thousand times easier. Now every time we see Zola as an option for our friends’ weddings, we always contribute.”

    DON’T:
    “I never did a Pinterest board, and I have zero regrets about that. I was constantly overwhelmed by the never-ending options for colors, cuts, fonts, fabrics, papers, designs, etc. I really tried to stick to a less-is-more approach, and I felt like Pinterest was the ultimate rabbit hole.”

  • Charlotte Ross Canet Wedding photograph

    CHARLOTTE
    ROSS CANET

    CREATIVE COPYWRITER, GOOP
    MARRIED IN PALM BEACH IN 2017

    DO:
    “Once you get engaged, there’s no shortage of advice thrown your way. One piece I wish I had listened to was to plan a shot list—or even a semblance of one—for the photographer (who by the way was amazing). There’s so much going on leading up to the wedding: plotting seating charts, landing a marriage certificate, smudging pedicures (sometimes even three times in a row because, well, you’ve got places to be). In the end, it’s the marriage—but, also the pictures—that matter. My husband and I went to the same college, and we didn’t end up with a single group shot of our alumni friends in attendance, and there were a lot of them. I guess it’s a sign of a fun party if no one remembered to orchestrate one. The other shot I wish I had: my veil trailing the terra-cotta stones in front of my house where everything took place. Luckily, one of the bridesmaids saved the day with her iPhone.”

  • Noora Raj Brown

    NOORA RAJ BROWN

    SVP OF COMMUNICATIONS, GOOP
    MARRIED IN NEW YORK CITY IN SEPTEMBER 2015

    DON’T/DO:
    “We were planning a fancy wedding in Italy with lots of logistics. But we didn’t want to go through the legalities of getting an Italian marriage license, so we had to go to the courthouse in New York to get legally married first. We found out that both his parents and mine, who have all been happily married more than thirty-five years, happened to have gotten married on September 9—such a coincidence. We decided to do our courthouse wedding on that day, which fell on a Wednesday, and celebrate with an intimate dinner afterward with our families and some close friends. Because we were planning on the official celebration in Capri, I was uncharacteristically chill. I had my favorite florist (Putnam & Putnam) do the florals and the tablescape, bought a Valentino cocktail dress off the rack the day before, and had a friend of a friend calligraph menus and place cards, and that was it. It felt much more like an intimate New York dinner party than a wedding, but…it was weirdly perfect. The next day, my (new) husband and I looked at each other and called off the big, elaborate wedding. Maybe we’ll save it for the ten-year.”

  • Alyssa Nelsen Geiger wedding photo

    ALYSSA NELSEN GEIGER

    Creative copywriter, goop
    MARRIED IN ASPEN IN SEPTEMBER 2018

    DO:
    “I was pretty set on going the whole DIY-invitation route for our Western-y ranch wedding in Aspen. And while, yes, collaborating on the design, fonts, paper, and vintage Colorado stamps for our save the dates was fun, that plus the printing turned out to be one hell of a project. When it was time to get the actual invites out, we decided to spare ourselves the stress, late nights, and maybe even a few meltdowns (on my part), and streamline the process with Zola. Not only do they have an extensive library of templates to choose from; each one is totally customizable, so we tailored our choice to fit our mountain vibe. They even handled the envelope addressing and matching website for all the little weekend details…for free.”

  • Katie Reppert

    KATIE REPPERT

    PR DIRECTOR, J.CREW
    MARRIED IN BROOKLYN IN JUNE 2014

    DO:
    “We got married at city hall and threw a big party in Brooklyn Bridge Park, so I wasn’t interested in finding a traditional wedding gown. Rather than shopping the bridal collections, I wore a Wes Gordon slip dress and a J.Crew Men’s Ludlow dinner jacket. To this day, that jacket is the first thing people mention to me when my wedding comes up. My advice: Skip the bridal boutiques and wear whatever you love that makes you feel like yourself.”

  • Nancy Matz

    NANCY MATZ

    VP OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS & SALES, GOOP
    MARRIED IN BROOKLYN IN MARCH 2018

    DON’T/DO:
    “We decided to skip the whole traditional hotel brunch the day after our wedding. Instead, we had all of our families, the wedding party, and out-of-towners meet us at our favorite guilty-pleasure spot in the city—Katz’s Delicatessen—because nothing says ‘I love you’ like sharing a pastrami sandwich and French fries for your first meal as Mr. and Mrs. It was much more ‘us’ and a fun way to end the weekend. And now it will become an anniversary tradition.”

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