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There are weddings….and then there are luxury weddings.

When you opt for luxury, you can transform your wedding event from ordinary to extraordinary, not only for you and your partner but also for your guests.

As you embark on your wedding planning journey, here are seven tips to ensure that your experience is as beautiful and lavish as you’ve dreamed it would be from start to finish.

1. Take Your Time

A long engagement makes wedding planning less stressful. It gives you the luxury of taking your time to research, book, arrange and enjoy the process. Some venues and vendors book out months or years in advance, so there are advantages to having plenty of lead time. When you aren’t in a rush, you can make sure that you’ll be getting help from the best of the best in the industry.

2. Share Your Vision with Your Photographer

Your luxury wedding planner should help you find the best photographer available, but you’ll want to make sure that their vision aligns with yours. Meet with them early on and let them know what you have in mind for your wedding album.

Which wedding-related events do you want them to be present for? The proposal? The bachelor/bachelorette parties? The intimate family dinner the night before the big wedding? Are there any special shots you want of your guests? What about a “first look” photo when your partner sees you in your wedding attire for the very first time?

No matter how good your photographer is, they still need to understand your vision in order to deliver your ideal wedding album.

3. Keep the Time of Day in Mind

You’ve likely invested all kinds of work into selecting the perfect day for your wedding–one that will be most convenient for you and your partner and ensure that as many guests as possible can celebrate with you. But have you considered the time of day? This detail is critical and should not be relegated to “afterthought” status.

An outdoor wedding right at sunset into night time can add a more elegant and romantic feel to your reception. Still, a ceremony in the sunshine can add a lot of natural light and highlight foliage that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see at night. Daytime and nighttime weddings have a completely different feel. Which time of day would work best with the season and your chosen venue and complement the overall theme of your wedding?

4. Design a YOUniquely Luxurious Cake

If you’re investing in a luxury wedding, the last thing you want is a ho-hum, one-size-fits all cake. Talk with your luxury wedding planner to personalize it to your unique style. Consider bringing in a family recipe for the cake or incorporating an ingredient from your country of origin—mangoes from India, pistachios from Turkey, etc.

Crown your cake with flowers from your family garden or a topper designed by a local artist. You can even opt for a totally different kind of cake: a tiered pavlova (meringue) cake, a dainty macaron cake, or a croquembouche (profiterole tower). The cake can be the dazzling finale of your wedding. Don’t settle for the ordinary.

5. Burst into Bloom

One of the best ways to bring a luxurious feel to your wedding is by choosing lavish flowers. Peonies and roses are beautifully elegant as well as calla lilies, dahlias, and tulips. Your luxury wedding planner should match you with an artful florist who can align your desired style and feel with coordinating flowers.

And flowers aren’t just for bouquets. Consider florals lining your wedding aisle, a floral arch or floral wall as a backdrop for your “I do,” and flowering vines cascading from the ceiling. Flowers can turn a standard affair into a lavish one when incorporated with just the right touch.

6. Bring out Your Back Stories

The best weddings cement a strong tie between the wedding couple and their guests. Weddings should showcase your unique life journeys and backgrounds. Do you love golf? Why not incorporate a putting green and tee up with your partner and guests for a little post-dinner entertainment. Have a passion for show tunes? Rather than a DJ, bring in a small choir or acapella group to perform some of your favorites.

Incorporate your family history into the events. Serve a favorite family recipe as an hors d’oeuvres and print the recipe on the cocktail napkins. Kick off the dancing with a dance from your country of origin, be it samba, flamenco, or an Austrian waltz.

7. Find a Planner to Suit your Style

If you have the budget for a luxury wedding, make sure to enlist the help of a luxury wedding planner. Luxury planners live in the world of luxury wedding vendors and can connect you with those people who will deliver a lavish wedding experience. They know how to maximize your wedding spend to achieve a truly over-the-top wedding.

They should also understand the concierge service you deserve for your luxury wedding planning experience. They can deliver the full-service experience that will allow you to sit back and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime ride stress-free.