Ideas & Trends for Every Stage of Wedding Planning

From your engagement shoot to dancing at the reception, discover expert advice from some of the nation's top professionals.

No matter what stage of wedding planning you're in, discover helpful tips and trends on everything from your engagement shoot and gifts for groomsmen, to your wedding ceremony music and reception ideas!

real wedding photo at four seasons los angeles at beverly hills planned by international event company wedding table mirror grey candles white composite flowers
Photo: Jessica Claire Photography

Happy New Year! Whether you're just starting to plan your 2021 or 2022 wedding, or you had to postpone your 2020 wedding to this year or even the following, we can't wait to help you plan your wedding day – big or small. With so many decisions to make leading up to the nuptials, many couples choose to hire a wedding planner to help organize the entire celebration (which we highly recommend!).

However, regardless of whether or not you'll be hiring a professional coordinator or event designer, we always strive to share the advice of our esteemed Editors Circle members from across the country to help you throughout the wedding-planning process. To inspire both your ceremony and reception, we've gathered some expert advice, tips, and trends from top wedding planners, floral and event designers, entertainment specialists, and registry experts to share their must-have tips. 

Read on for ideas to spark your wedding celebration – you'll see advice on everything from the latest trends in floral centerpieces and ceremony music, to unique engagement shoot themes, groomsmen gift ideas, and fun ways to engage guests at your wedding reception. Happy planning!

Engagement Session Inspiration: Home Sweet Home

"Laid-back is the new black! Consider having an in-home engagement session. There’s no better way to document your love than in the space you spend the most time together." - Amy Genao of Amy Anaiz Photography

The Perfect Groomsmen Gifts

"As you approach your wedding day, there will be several people to thank, including your groomsmen. For their continuous support through it all, you will want to express your utmost gratitude. Discover a few luxurious groomsmen gift ideas under $150." - Thomas J. Blumenthal of Gearys

Baccarat Poker Set from Gearys

Baccarat poker card game (set of 2), $95; shop here at Gearys

Mary Jurek "Cosmo" Barware from Gearys

Mary Jurek “Cosmo” 4-piece bar set with wood base, $85; Gearys

Non-Traditional Ceremony Music

"Don’t be afraid to incorporate nontraditional instruments in your ceremony. I love using multiple synth players combined with atmospheric electric guitars and percussion to create super tasteful, movie soundtrack-like vibes. Even using these elements with live strings can help create a magically surreal, unforgettable scene." - Danny Chaimson of Gold Coast Events

Live Unique Ceremony Music

Photo by Averyhouse; Music & Entertainment by Gold Coast Events

Reception Trend: Floral Fantasy

"Achieve the look of a grand tablescape for your intimate gathering by mixing vases of varying heights filled with different blooms within the same color scheme. The cohesive tones paired with candlelight will create an elegant vibe for your small-scale, yet big celebration." - Melissa McGowan for Flowers by Cina

Floral Centerpiece at Wedding Table

Photo by Cotton Love Studios

Dance the Night Away

"For those who are worried about guests who are single or for couples concerned about social distancing, a fun idea is to hire a professional dance guide to provide easy free-form dance moves to follow along with in a new form of line dancing." - Jonathan Reeves for International Event Company

Dance Instructor at Wedding Reception

Photo by Joanne Distaso; Planning & Design by International Event Company

Opening photo by Jessica Claire Photography; Linens by Luxe Linen; Planning & Design by International Event Company. See the full real wedding here: An Event Planner's Dream Wedding with Luxury Décor in Los Angeles