The tricks of the trade

Post 1285 of 1734
    Romance Travel Expert + Founder & CEO of Aroos Joon

  • Alain Martinez
    Photography Expert

  • Salma Ismail
    Health & Fitness Expert

  • Cecile Guillemot
    Do It Yourself (DIY)

  • Tiffany Cook
    Wedding Coordination & Event Design Expert

When it comes to planning a wedding, expertise, skill and passion are key. It takes a calm soul and a multi-tasking mind to pull off a celebration that the bridal couple will remember forever. But there are things the bride and groom can do to help. We speak to a few wedding experts to find out how


Romance Travel Expert + Founder & CEO of Aroos Joon

After 10 years with The Knot, Amy decided to venture out on her own to help brides plan their perfect day. Over the many years and even more brides, she has gained invaluable experience and information on how to make it all come to life.

Apart from Amy, the other experts mentioned in the next few pages are also a part of her incredible team at Aroos Joon.


What part of the whole process do you enjoy the most?
The research and discovery! In my line of work, it means traveling, exploring, connecting with locals and tasting the local flavors. As much as I love sharing my great travel finds with viewers and readers, the best part is the experience.

What piece of information do you wish brides would tell you to make your job easier?
I don’t work with brides directly by profession, but am always in touch with them. In order to achieve your dream destination wedding setting and style, I would suggest that brides be as specific and firm on the type of setting and a little more flexible on the exact location. Communicate your vision clearly to the travel agent or ‘on location’ wedding coordinator who you’re working with, and rely on them to deliver you suitable options within your price range. That castle wedding in Italy or a yacht wedding in Greece are completely achievable, but may require a little thinking outside of the box, luckily we have a lot of those solutions on my website.

Give us your tips and tricks that all brides need to know?
There are so many for Romance Travel, but I’ll share a few of my honeymoon packing tips:
• A few pieces of lingerie, whether conservative and classic or sexy and edgy, will make you feel beautiful and confident on your wedding night and honeymoon.

• The groom’s favorite perfume of yours. Since the olfactory sense is connected to memory, this will help those special honeymoon moments be everlasting in your husband’s mind.

• Occilococinum or Vitamin C tablets. The weeks surrounding a wedding can be very stressful for any bride, so take plenty of Vitamin C or Occilococinum prior to your wedding and bring some extra for you and your hubby on the honeymoon. Nobody wants to dampen their honeymoon spirit with a cold or flu.

• At least one simple black dress for that special evening out, whether your feet are in the sand or in a pair of fancy heels, you’ll feel beautiful knowing that you’ve packed a special dress and you’ll be happy years later when you have an elegant picture of you and your husband from your honeymoon.

• Any medications or items that the groom can’t live without, literally…his cholesterol medication, eye drops for his contact lenses, mobile phone charger, etc. This may be your first major trip together but you will soon learn that men are very forgetful when it comes to packing, and there’s no greater buzz kill to a honeymoon vibe than having to urgently search for a 24-hour pharmacy.

Alain Martinez

Photography Expert

Along with his wife, Angela, Alain has set out to capture weddings in beautiful and creative ways that have left him with a large fan following. With rave reviews and a unique skill set, he tells us how important a photograph is.

What is the most challenging aspect?
Providing unique, emotive and creative work every single day regardless of the dynamics of the wedding, my personal energy or what’s going on with my life is challenging. Everything must be put aside to deliver what the clients expect of you, which is the best you can offer.

What part of the whole process do you enjoy the most?
Making every bride look the most beautiful she is ever going to look.

Tell us about a wedding shot that you will always remember?
The first wedding I took photographs for was the biggest one I did for a long time after that. It was the type of wedding that most photographers wish they had in their portfolio. Ad because it was my first wedding, I had no idea what I was doing! It was a 400 person wedding at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami for the daughter of doctors and US Army generals. The pressure was intense but, apparently, we were truly destined to be wedding photographers because the photographs were beautiful.

What piece of information do you wish brides would tell you to make your job easier?
Brides do tell us everything we need to know to make our job easier. If we don’t know something we ask. For a photographer, not having information and failing to deliver because of it is not a choice!

Give us your tips and tricks that all brides need to know?
Amazing photographs don’t just happen so when planning your wedding day, slot in time for them. They require time, a team and preparation. Invest time for your photographs to be taken because you have invested a large sum of money in them. In the end, it all depends on how much the pictures matter to you.

Salma Ismail

Health & Fitness Expert

Having helped clients reach their personal fitness goals since 2009, Salma focuses on strength training and body recomposition. Having worked with royalty and local celebrities, she is a well-known member of the female fitness community.

One year before the big day, what sort of diet plan and exercise would you recommend?
A year out from the wedding date, a bride should begin changing unhealthy lifestyle choices such as binge eating, alcohol, fried foods and excessive sugars. She should gradually become more mindful of physical activity as the weeks go by and within a month or two have her exercise routine feel as though it has always been a part of her life.

How can brides up the ante six months before her wedding?
Hire a personal trainer. It’s normal to think that buying a gym membership is the key to change, but that just isn’t the case. Everyone needs professional guidance when beginning their fitness journey in order to be productive in the gym. Find a reputable trainer, with a great track record and don’t hesitate to hire them, you won’t regret it.

Suppose a bride slips up with her routine three months before, how can she get back on track?
Don’t dwell on the slip up or use it as an excuse to continue making bad choices. Forget about it, refocus and get back on track immediately. If you really want to look your best on your big day, there is no more time to waste. Whether you are training with a personal trainer or on your own, you should be exercising up to six days a week, minimum four. This three-month period is the most important time to be following your meal plan strictly. Keep that beautiful wedding dress hung up in your room and look at it everyday to use it as your motivation.

What is a good detox plan to follow a month before her big day?
A detox will be unnecessary if you have made the correct choices over the past three months. Detoxes simply mask the problem and don’t actually fix anything. I don’t recommend anything that claims to be a quick fix remedy.

Are there specific food items a bride should stay away from to help her skin and health?
Yes, I would definitely stay away fried food, excessive sugars, high sodium and starches.

Maggie Jensen

Floral Design Expert

Specializing in custom designs, Maggie has been credited as being ‘creative and in-tune with her bride’. Bringing to life every bride’s floral dreams has been her passion for years and with one satisfied newlywed after another, it’ll be a while before she turns in her pruning shears.

What is the most challenging aspect?
Budgets versus social media is my challenge. Brides and their families have a budget set. But they also have ideas based on items and designs they see on various social media platforms. What they don’t realize is that what they have their heart set on may not be in their budget. Social media is dominated by colour enhanced and staged floral photos and many of these designs do not look good once scaled back to fit their budget which leads to disappointment because the end result looks nothing like the pictures they first saw.

What part of the whole process do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy forming a relationship with the client and learning what she really wants for her style of her wedding and bringing it to fruition the best way that I can. It is the best feeling when they tell me I’ve nailed it! I also really enjoy installing the wedding and seeing everything come together after months of work. Choosing linen, lighting, and samples of florals that make the bride happy is really an amazing feeling. We are usually very involved (at the client’s request) in linen choices and ambient lighting, as its very important that the flowers they’ve chosen look good against certain linens and lighting in the event space.

What piece of information do you wish brides would tell you to make your job easier?
A client being honest with their budgets is the best way to make our job easier. Months can be spent on proposals and samples and if they need to cut back, then we have to start over. A clear budget and the ‘yes or no’ as far as wiggle room is always appreciated.

What are your tips and tricks for brides to be?
They are:

• If flowers really matter to you on your wedding day, you should never attempt to do them on your own or go to flower marts because they usually use old flowers. Most good florists special order and have their florals purchased for them direct from farms to ensure they can deliver the freshest flowers.

• Make sure you have ideas in mind that range from lower end, mid range and high end on the spectrum concept in florals.

• Make sure you go to a florist that creates florals that you like. If you don’t see anything coming from their shop that you like, you probably won’t like your wedding flowers either.

• Make sure you like their flowers in general. Try and see one of their weddings in person, or through a personal recommendation from friends, because, unfortunately, pictures and portfolios can be tweaked via the power of the computer.

• Be careful of florists promising to copy something off of Pinterest or social media. It’s best to pay for a sample and have a mini version of the arrangement/ bouquet, etc. made so you can see and photograph it in person before your big day

Historically, flowers have special meaning to each. Does this play a part when you create the design?
The bride’s today generally don’t pick flowers due to their meaning. They may want a flower that is representative of what their mother or grandmother carried, which is a beautiful and sentimental touch that I love to add to a wedding. If you design for international clients of different cultures, you will find that the same floral means various things to them, so always beware of the meaning for their specific culture.

Cecile Guillemot

Do It Yourself (DIY)

As a self proclaimed, DIY enthusiast, Cecile thrives on providing innovative and on-trend craft ideas for the modern bride. She is a living proof that anything can be done DIY. With having made pretty much everything, from rustic wooden tables to customized wall murals, for her own two weddings, one is Sydney and one in Dubai, that found a way to intertwine three cultures.

Give us your tips and tricks that all brides need to know?
• Keep it simple and think about what your strengths are. Don’t take on too many projects and overload yourself to the point of a near mental breakdown.

• Get onto Pinterest, check out the Aroos Joon inspiration boards and start looking at what other brides or industry professionals are posting. There are a wealth of ideas that are very DIY achievable. Once you have your theme worked out it will be easier to see what elements you can take on yourself.

•My other big tip is delegate as much as you can to others – your bridesmaids, family friends and keep a documented planner to stay on track.

•If you can’t afford a wedding planner you can still hire one for the day, that way there is someone else on the day coordinating all your DIY elements. You need to allow time to relax and enjoy the process.

How does the DIY process help brides make their wedding special to them? Does it make their life easier or more difficult?
That’s a difficult question and it is a doubleedged sword. The DIY process is fantastic and very rewarding but it all depends on how many elements you want to take on. Take it from me; a lot goes on behind the scenes to give a wedding those little details that make a wedding look simple, charming and elegant.

If you’re going to take on DIY and do away with a stylist of wedding planner, you need to have a good support system of friends and family to help you. And it helps if you have creative and practical people around you. If you don’t have a creative bone in your body then bring someone in and focus on areas where you are naturally strong, rather then teach yourself at the last minute. It will save you a lot of stress.

Weddings should be done together by a family, and you will be surprised how much you can save once you start picking up the phone and calling loved ones and those who owe you favours!

Tiffany Cook

Wedding Coordination & Event Design Expert

Known to transform ordinary ideas into extraordinary events, Tiffany is usually seen in the background. Quietly bustling around to make sure the celebration runs smoothly. The support system to the bride and the vision behind many grand weddings, she has set the standard for weddings and events.

What is the most challenging aspect of your specialty?
I would say scheduling is the most challenging aspect. Not my schedule but my clients. With the nature of my clientele they travel constantly, getting my brides to keep their ‘bride hat’ on can be a challenge. I have learned to get an enormous amount of planning done in condensed time period that would give most planners a nervous breakdown.

What part of the whole process do you enjoy the most?
This answer is two fold for me. I love the design and decor aspect of what I do. Being able to take a couples abstract thoughts and ideas and make them a reality is exhilarating for me. Taking the impossible and making it possible visually is a blast. From creating and building custom pieces and designing elements never seen before for our couples is one of the best parts of my job. The second part of this is being able to share this with the client in an intimate impactful way with our signature room reveal. Getting to experience the couples reaction to walking in to their reception prior to the guests and enabling them to enjoy this moment just the two of them is unbelievably rewarding.

Give us your tips and tricks that all brides need to know?
Be realistic with how many elements/activities/formalities you can reasonably achieve during your wedding reception. I say this because the sky is the limit to what you can schedule for yourself and your guests however, if you schedule too many elements that pull you in 100 directions the entire evening, it is difficult to take it all in and enjoy your wedding. In theory they are all amazing but they each take time to execute and time away from your reception. There is nothing worse that a bride that didn’t get to enjoy her wedding reception at the end of the night. Decide on your wedding wish list early on and stick to it, the internet will flood you with vast amounts of ideas, you can’t use them all so chose your favorites and work to make them amazing.