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Alexis Bryan Morgan, Executive Fashion Director

"I think people often don’t take time to find a great wedding photographer and give them the required direction. I attended a wedding recently and the bride was crushed when she got the photos because the photographer took  only took pictures of the wedding party or “atmosphere” photos (i.e. bouquets of flowers). The bride should take some time before the wedding to give direction to the photographer and identify people in the family and close friends who they would like to be photographed, and other general direction—like to photograph people dancing or arriving. OK, I obsess over making beautiful photographs for a living—but I think the wedding album is almost as important as the event itself! You want it to be perfect for your grandchildren."

Deb Schwartz, Executive Editor

"If you are a human and you consort with other humans, at some point in your life you will either host or attend a wedding. And for these occasions, I love Emily Post's Etiquette not only for the un-stuffy, succinct way she takes on every exigency (she will tell you what to do if you got plastered and acted like a pig at your friend's Most Special Day Ever and how to play nice at third weddings), but also for her myth-debunking skills. No, you do not have up to a year to send a wedding gift. No, you are not required to spend as much on the gift as the hosts are spending on you. No (hallelujah!), your children are not invited unless their names are on the invitation. All hail Emily Post. Buy the book and you'll know not only exactly what to do at a wedding, but what to do the next time you—well, do anything, really."

Lauren Sherman, Executive Digital Editor

"If you can’t find exactly what you want dress-wise, go the custom route. I had a very specific idea in my head—a below-the-knee lace cocktail dress with three quarter-length sleeves—so I met with designer Andra Gabrielle. She did exactly what I wanted, and at a price that was incredibly reasonable."

Laura Morgan, Special Projects Director

"I did a weird thing where I made my place cards out of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume strips! The fragrance ladies at Bloomingdale's were giving them out, so I got them to give me about 200 of them and glued the daisy part onto yellow place cards. Daisies were our centerpiece, so it worked perfectly."

Amy Elliott, Senior Editor, Special Sections

"As a former bridal editor, I've seen lots of inspiring ideas over the years. One recent favorite? Using a hollowed-out favorite hardcover book (preferably one with a beautiful cover and binding), lining it in satin, and using it as a ring bearer pillow."

Natalie Matthews, Digital Fashion Writer

"I just put a deposit down for my best friend's bachelorette party, but instead of a ticket to Vegas, eight hot pink tiaras or an oiled-up Chippendale in a shiny nylon speedo, the money's for skydiving. A little more special than wine tasting, painting pottery or yelling into each other's ears in a crowded nightclub, it's the first bachelorette party I'm actually looking forward to."

Julia Finch, Photo Research Associate

"One of my best friends just got married. Since it was an outdoor wedding, the bride and groom had baskets of Havaianas for all the women who showed up in non-grass-friendly heels. It was a huge lifesaver and a cute gift, too."

Alison Syrett, Digital Writer

"For brides-to-be, I suggest putting money into your shoes and buying a pair you'll wear again. It's pretty hard to re-wear your wedding dress (everyone says they will and NO ONE does) but you can easily mix a pair of amazing designer shoes into your wardrobe without anyone knowing they are from your wedding—so long as you don't buy something white and satin. Plus, every time you look at them, you'll associate them with a really happy memory."

Liz Kiernan, Special Sections Director

"Somehow I've become the go-to friend for "pimping out the bathroom" at weddings. I put together a fancy assortment of high-end beauty products instead of the usual amenity basket—i.e., individual lip glosses, luxe candles, Molton Brown soaps and lotions—and it's always a huge hit."

Fawnia Soo Hoo, Lucky Breaks Contributor

"Skip the veil. They're shockingly expensive, it's hard to take it off before the reception without messing up your hair and if it's an outdoor wedding and the wind picks up, things can get awkward. While I was considering a tiara (hey, you only live once), I came across a now-defunct website that sold really pretty headbands. My delicate faux pearl and garnet embellished piece worked perfectly for an outdoor winery wedding and I really should wear it again."