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Five Quick Wedding Planning Tips from Carolyn Gerin, Creator of Anti-Bride

Wedding Planning Tips

Photo credit: Laurent G

Carolyn Gerin is the the creator and co-author of the bestselling 3-book Anti-Bride seriesThe Anti-Bride Guide — Tying the Knot Outside of the Box, The Anti-Bride Planner — Hip Tips and Tools for Getting Hitched, and The Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide — The Rules and How to Bend Them.

Spotlighting the alternative side of weddings, along with the diversity of brides, budgets and wedding styles, Anti-Bride.com is a one-stop plethora of information for brides who want to go outside the “norm” when planning their wedding!

Here are Carolyn’s five quick tips:

1.  Wear the colors and fabrics that make you feel gorgeous. Your comfort will be reflected in how you look, and how the day goes…If you are not comfortable, it will show up in photos and you will come across as stiff….not to mention you will not have as much fun on your big day….

2.  On W-day, eat a Bacon Cheeseburger as soon as you wake up….Brides forget to eat, have not slept sometimes, and have frazzled nerves…pour champagne on that (and a 12 hour day) you’ll be lucky to get to the wedding night. If you are a vegetarian, eat something comparable: lots of protein, lots of bulk. You need to coat your stomach with lipids, the hamburger, cheese and bacon gives you the protein, and the bun gives you the carbs. Steel yourself against that champagne induced headache from an empty stomach, and low blood sugar.

3. Drink gallons of water the week before your wedding. It will show up in your skin and help you look rested.

4. Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, get your doctor to write you a small scrip to help you sleep, (that is, if Melatonin doesn’t work, the week before the wedding). Your brain is one big TO DO list and won’t turn off. It won’t kill you to force it to temporarily. Melatonin and Roobiboos sleepy tea works for me. But Lunesta might be a good backup plan if insomnia kicks in (which can cause breakouts and stress) for 3-5 days before….I could say, try meditation, but if you are anything like me, you’ll start meditating and then you’ll run through your To Do list…Don’t schedule too many pre-events before the big day. No hen parties or bachelor parties the night before. And although it may be tempting to relive old times with your out of town friends the night before the wedding, resist the urge to imbibe and stay up late. You need all the rest you can get.

5. Use EVERNOTE as a ubiquitous capture tool to grab every little scrap of info, menu concepts, photo of cool flower arrangement, or random passing thought. Use the DOXIE Scanner to scan all wedding related documents (contracts, concepts, photos, vendors) into Evernote. The program is free, but I have the Premium version which is under $50/year and allows you to store PDFS that are word searchable. It changes how you capture information and allows your brain to get free of the “stuff” – it’s all handled and captured in your IN BOX ready for processing, and scrubs your mind down into a perfect state of zen (that is, until you see your IN BOX!). Evernote has changed the way I run my business, write magazine articles, develop iPhone applications, and organize vast amounts of information that need to be slotted into buckets for processing…. It truly rocks…..

Carolyn shares some unique aspects of her big day…

What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
The quality time I was able to spend with my family and friends because we didn’t have a monster truck show, rather, a wedding tour! We had three very fun, curated, intimate, quirky, dress up cocktail parties which allowed for plenty of quality time:

One reception was on the outskirts of Washington, DC my home (college friends, immediate family, my parents best friends, my best friends). My husband is French, so many of his friends were in Paris, and SF. We had a fabulous, intimate little cocktail party at my parents’ home for immediate family and friends..it was catered with passed hors d’ouevres, two bartenders, and cocktail attire… I got to talk to everyone, and the size was very manageable. The people I really wanted there were there…

One was in Paris, where I got to meet Laurent’s amazing, funny, and very large French family at their gorgeous flat in the 7th District with a view of the Eiffel tower. It was on Halloween night, and very misty and spooky, almost like a Goddard film. Although the French don’t really celebrate Halloween, Laurent’s mother, (who is the epitome of French glamour and humor) plopped a pumpkin right next to the Louvre-sized pâté on the main serving table, right after she gave me two solid gold engraved pendants from Russia.


One was in SF at a tony little cocktail lounge in North Beach, lots of homemade treats, some from Trader Joe’s, some from the Italian bakery up the street, wine from my friends vineyard, 2 DJ friends who have radio shows at KUSF, flowers from the flower mart. I wore a gorgeous couture 60s-inspired cocktail dress and silk swing coat with faux fur. Laurent’s bespoke suit and huge smile… Hand mixed cocktails, lots of laughter, not a lot of to do’s on the list…. easy and breezy…

NOTE: the way we did our wedding was the impetus for the Anti-Bride series for Chronicle Books… not a lot of people were really injecting a lot of personality into their weddings in the late 90s. Even in California, it’s either a wine country wedding or something urban and hotel oriented. My mother didn’t understand why I didn’t want to have a reception at the Naval Officers Club in Bethesda. But we weren’t about dragging everyone to one location, it made more sense for us to travel to them.

Also, a collateral upside (although we did not ask for it) was that we were mobile, so couldn’t drag a lot of gifts around. A lot of gifts came in envelopes… just what you want, but can’t exactly request. So we bought surf boards, wet suits, a couch, some very “us” vintage Steelcase furniture from the 40s (we’re both trained art directors, so have a great love for good industrial design). We went on a honeymoon in Morocco…and didn’t have to return anything….

If you could change one thing about your wedding, what would it be?
Nothing, we really did what we wanted, didn’t compromise, didn’t overspend, everyone was happy, and after we did it, everyone thought what we did was a great idea…We are happy that people responded positively, and because there wasn’t a lot of hyperbole and stress, everyone enjoyed themselves more. Moving forward, it turned into a book series that made sense to people as well….It’s not revolutionary, it’s not even that novel of an approach, but it does take a bit of moxie to go up against tradition. And this is where you need to be the change agent….

Thank you, Carolyn, for those wonderful tips! 

If you would like to be featured in our Five Quick Tips column, please contact me at info AT amynichols DOT com.

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