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Bridal Q&A: Sally McBride

A bride gives wedding tips from firsthand experience


It’s hard to determine where to spend your time and money on your wedding, everything can seem like a priority and you only get one shot at creating the day you may have spent many years thinking about. 

“My wedding was very detail-oriented and DIY,” says Sally, who works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “I designed my own save-the-dates, postage stamps and custom motif featuring a birch wreath with a bow. I also did illustrations for our wedding website.”

Though not every bride has artistic skills to personalize their wedding in that way, you can add your own special touch in other ways. Here are Sally’s tips to help any bride who wants to create her perfect day and keep the focus on what really counts.

Splurges: The band and the dress. These should be the highest priorities as they are the most visible and audible aspects of the day.

Save: Wedding shoes. Don’t be wooed by the wedding blogs inevitable ‘shoe shot’ of a perfect pair of Louboutins or Jimmy Choos, these are not practical for the wedding day, and no one notices them anyway! I proudly wore a $49 pair of Nina shoes to my wedding, and was grateful not to give a single thought to aching feet or walking in sky-high heels in the ceremony or on the dance floor. If you absolutely must wear designer, do it for the rehearsal dinner and make sure they are shoes you can wear again.

Stamps hand-drawn by Sally.

Take Advice From a Fellow Bride: The best advice I got and took? Wear false eyelashes, even 2-3 individual lashes on the sides of the eyes — they make an eye-popping difference in person and in photos.

Triple Check Written Materials: Get an outside source with an objective eye — your mom’s best friend or your studious cousin — to do a final review of any of the written material in the wedding. We avoided a major mishap when our family friend noticed that there was no start-time printed on the wedding invitation! We now refer to it as our timeless blunder.

Homemade save the date
A homemade save-the-date

Consider a Signature Motif or Monogram: This will provide consistency in your design scheme. If you’re uninspired by the online plethora and don’t have the skills to create your own, work with your stationer to come up with one. It really tidies up the whole look of the wedding, and can make a lovely keepsake. One thoughtful guest of our wedding had the motif engraved into a silver plate for us.

Do Make Gift Bags: A must for your out-of-town guests. Even it’s nothing more than a toothbrush and a bar of dark chocolate, they’ll appreciate it.

Write it Down: This was a treasured piece of advice from a dear friend, who said she was glad she took the time the day after the wedding to write down everything she remembered about the day. 

Get it on Video: Even if you ask one of your family members to walk around with his iPad, by all means get the day (or at least the first dance!) on video.

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