On Wedding Planning – Q&A with Kristin Banta

From the Experts

Right now, many couples are gearing up their wedding planning process. Whether you are just getting started, setting sights on next year, or you are finishing up the final details before your nuptials this summer - sh*t is getting real. Which is precisely why I recently sat down with the one and only, tell-it-like-it-is renowned planner & designer, Kristin Banta. We get real on wedding planning - what our couples expect, what their families expect, and whether or not any of it’s even necessary. My friends, Kristin is that fabulous combination of blunt honesty and curated style. She has been innovating the event world for over 15 years and I guarantee you some of the trends you see on Pinterest, she brought into existence. So if you don’t believe me, believe her :) I hope this helps ease some of the stress that can so often creep into what should simply be the two of you enjoying this uniquely exciting moment of your lives. So without further adieu, here are 5 myths to debunk, while planning your wedding. Myth #1: You need to have a wedding party. Most couples want to include their closest friends and family in a special way, but they can still stand up for you without having to buy specific attire and parade around like pageant folk. Fun Fact: Originally bridal parties were created as a decoy for the bride to prevent her from being stolen; they wore exactly the same dress and veiled their faces heavily to confuse pirates, jealous suitors, and evil spirits. Doesn’t really apply now anymore, does it? In reality, most of your friends would rather not spend thousands on festivities, bachelor(ette) parties, travel and matching outfits – they’re there to celebrate you and utilize that open bar. Switch it up by taking the “wedding” out of “party” and simply invite them to your room to get ready together the morning of and then set them free to party like a dove release of beasties wearing something they will actually wear again. If having a formal wedding party is a must on your to-do list, perhaps invite your crew to wear the same general color while allowing them to select a style that best suits them so there are uniformity, individuality and total avoidance of a “Who wore it better” moment. Myth #2: You have to have a cake. If you don’t like cake, then you shouldn’t have one. The cake cutting was once an iconic part of weddings, but can easily be replaced with something more authentic to the couple getting married and believe me, your guests won’t miss seeing you cut a cake – they just want a delicious dessert. If it’s a photo op you are looking for, there will be plenty of others (Rebecca adds: None of us are really all that photogenic when there’s a fork near our mouths anyway!). If this is about the expected offering of a sweet treat, there are plenty of alternatives. If you prefer something a little less traditional or if you just prefer an alternate dessert option, consider creating a pop-up mini pie shoppe – guests can even take their favorite mini pies home as a gift.  Not into pie, a milkshake bar with optional spirits for the spiking might offer an indulgent adult-shake that will surely be a hit. Or if you are looking for something interactive and original, how about a crepe action station featuring customized crepes - mmmmmm, Nutella... Bottom line is, whatever you are serving should be something you love whether that be a cake or your mom’s homemade cookies. You are still married at the end of this regardless of your dessert choice. Myth #3: You. Must. Wear. White. Let’s be honest, the (ahem) symbolism of wearing white may or may not apply anymore, so live a little and consider which colors you love and what flatters your skin tone the most. What shows off your daring style or quirky personality? If white is your jam, then do it as there is absolutely nothing wrong with following tradition; however, don’t feel that you have to wear white if something else speaks to you more. One of the most gorgeous gowns I’ve seen was all black. The bottom line is that you will enjoy your big day most when you look and feel your best. And if your goal is to be memorable, nothing would stand out more than a blushing bride wearing canary yellow, dusty sapphire or deep aubergine. Do you, boo! Myth #4: A bouquet and garter toss must be done. Mmmm nope. Most women do not wish to be 1) called out as single in front of an entire room of people and 2) be called onto the floor to desperately scramble for the bouquet at the idea of being “next” – this isn’t the 1950’s. Modern-day women are working, self-sufficient dynamos – some may even be single mothers slaying at the parenting and work balance every single day.  With or without a spouse, we good. So unless you feel like your girls would be particularly excited about this tradition feel free to skip it. As an alternative, instead of throwing the bouquet to “all the single ladies,” perhaps present the bouquet to a grandmother or the couple who’s been married the longest. Now, as for having your newlywed husband fish for your undergarment from under your dress while your closest friends and family members look on, only to toss it like a prize in a lawsuit-worthy frat moment, I feel like most would be more than happy to not have to witness this. I can’t be the only one who feels this is little Handmaid’s Tail, no? Instead of these two somewhat-antiquated proceedings, consider foregoing them all together in favor of keeping your dance floor rockin’. Myth #5: You must decide on a color palette before anything else. The colors should evolve once you have selected a space and have decided what kind of experience you wish to create for your guests. Color blocking your wedding can make the design feel one dimensional, removing the sophistication from the aesthetic. Think about your wedding design more in terms of textures and patterns with color groupings such as soft pastels, jewel tones or dark moody hues. Do you respond more to a palette of mixed neutrals from gray and beige to cream and blush? Or, perhaps you gravitate more towards an all-white look with an unexpected pop of color (Rebecca says: Imagine an entire room of white - guests included - and you walk in sporting a stunning emerald gown!!). Balance your evolving palette with mixed textures from concrete and copper to rattan, wood and metallics to keep the color story feel balanced and luxe. You want your guests to remember that the room felt good. They don’t need to be able to tell you what Pantone color you picked. Myth #6: You need to host a seated dinner. A cocktail party offering a full tray passed dinner can ensure your guests have had ample delicious food while also serving to be a cost-effective alternative to a seated dinner service, removing the need for line items like centerpieces, chargers and table numbers. There is definitely no obligation to do a formal seated dinner while still being gracious hosts but that doesn’t mean you can’t still include some of the formalities such as the first dance, toasts, and a grand entrance if desired. Consider creating a luxe lounge scene with high and low cocktail tables, sofa vignettes and a stylish bar.  Your guests will socialize in style while experiencing a whole range of cuisine and the freedom to mingle and dance all night. Bonus, if you forgo the sit-down dinner, you may save a lot of time and effort tackling other things on your wedding to-do list. The (Big) Myth #7 Your wedding will go exactly as planned since you spent so much time carefully planning each and every detail. Last, but not least, it is absolutely imperative to expect for the unexpected. Not everything will go exactly as planned, so always have an emergency kit on hand and a Plan B waiting in the wings (Rebecca says: This is always why having an incredible planner like Kristin is imperative!). Have spares of everything you can possibly think of and prep back-up plans as if they were your first choice, i.e. even if it’s an LA wedding in the middle of summer, have the name of a tent vendor on deck in case the impossible happens and it rains. Better safe than sorry. At the end of the day, all that truly matters is that you keep your sense of humor and remember this is about you and your person. Use your wedding to-do list as a place to start, but know that the day will be perfect often because of its imperfections.  

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