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Who knows about the best eating habits better than our loyal dieticians or personal trainers? Who has the best money tips other than marketing gurus and tax lawyers? And who would you want tips from about planning your upcoming summer wedding or big 30th birthday bash other than an experienced event planner? That’s right, these experts are not only masters in their fields, but they also have pockets filled with tips and hints on how to live your best life. Each month, we will sit down with a specialist and ask them to give us 5 of the most common, disregarded, unique or even never heard before tips related to their field, and keep you guys as healthy, informed and aware as possible. PS: Please let us know if there are any experts you’re particularly interested in reading about, and we’ll make sure to add them on to our newest “Ask the Expert” column for our next chat.

Planning your wedding is probably one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, for fun. You’ve been seeing the woman or man of your dreams for years, been through difficult times and think them popping the big question means the hard part is over? Think again, because the term *bridezilla* definitely comes from somewhere but don’t worry, our expert this week has got years of experience in planning the best weddings to the last detail.

“Think about what you want to do”

One of the most common mistake a bride can do is not putting herself first. “You should always have an idea of what type of wedding would make you happy before you start asking for advice. Don’t get influenced by your friends and what they would like to do at your wedding.” says Margaux, a professional wedding planner from Paris. There are actually a few things you can figure out yourself before looking around for advice. Ask yourself questions like how you would like your guests to dress, whether you want to focus on food and drinks or music, etc.

“The best advice I give to the bride and groom on our first meeting is to make a list of their priorities so that we can focus on them before we look into any more details” explains Margaux. “This type of pre-thinking will make both choosing the venue and setting the budget much more straightforward.”

“Don’t focus too much of your attention on the dress”

“One of the most common issues I see when helping couples figure out their wedding is how much time and money brides think they should spend on their dresses” tells us Margaux. Some brides even tend to buy their dresses before they pick the venue she tells us, which is apparently a big no-no in wedding planning rules. You should always make sure you know what type of wedding you’re going to have before you say yes to the dress. Buying your outfit with the venue in mind will make everything much easier, promises Margaux.

“Adapt a healthy yet achievable diet plan”

I was actually very surprised to hear that many brides and grooms (and even mothers of the bride), tend to drastically reduce their calorie intake before the big day, making them extremely weak making it therefore harder for them to manage their stress levels. “Instead of taking on a very drastic diet, I usually tell my clients to adopt a healthy 6-month plan to keep their mental health balanced and reach their ideal weight by the time everything is planned out.” Margaux even says she has seen future brides and grooms faint the day before their wedding because of the lack of food intake, which is never a good idea!

“Time your wedding well, don’t make your guests wait around”

And finally, one common tip Margaux makes sure all her clients know before the big day is to not have too large of a break between the ceremony and the reception. “People will get tired and bored, and will not know what to do with themselves if there is too much of a gap, so make sure they have the option of being entertained by planning something for them in the hotel lounge for instance, or organise an activity” says Margaux. The best idea is to make sure they have somewhere to go before the reception where they can have some snacks, a drink or two and be comfortable and warm/refreshed depending on the season of your wedding. “I can’t think of anything worse than being cold outside or much too hot whilst waiting for the couple to take their photos.”

Margaux has got so many other tricks under her sleeve which she wanted to share with you today:

– Make sure you always organize parking – it might not sound like a priority but you surely don’t want your guests to walk miles in their high heels.

– Remember to have enough ice if it’s a summer wedding, or heat if it’s in the winter. Nobody wants their guest to fall ill on their big day.

– It’s your wedding, so make sure you have enough help in order to enjoy it as much as possible. Don’t think you’ll be helping out with the canapés and drinks on your own wedding, hire some help and you’ll feel much more relaxed.

– And finally, don’t serve all the canapés at once. Believe it or not, your friends and family will be hungry, so make sure you don’t let them eat all the snacks all at once, pace it out.

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