An exclusive sit-down interview with bridal consultant and blogger, Lexi Masur, of Wish I Knew Before I Do
If you’re engaged, you need to read this blog post. Heck, even if you’re married or single AF, you need to read this blog post, just for fun! It’s that good, and jam-packed with SO many tips, tricks, and solid advice. I had the pleasure of sitting down (for about three hours, with some red wine and prosecco) with Lexi Masur of Wish I Knew Before I Do.
A fellow resident of Charlotte, NC and originally from Connecticut, Lexi recently got married and experienced lots of highs, lows, and all sorts of everything in between during her wedding planning experience. She created the Wish I Knew Before I Do blog (and Instagram account!) to document the hard truths, realistic tips, and things she wished she had known, leading up to the big day.
Keep on reading to hear our conversation on dos, don’ts, and things Lexi *wished she knew* before the big dream day. Enjoy!
What is your goal in blogging and becoming a bridal consultant?
Even with an amazing wedding planner, as a bride, you’re still responsible for telling the planner what your vision is, bringing them ideas for what decor and details you want, if you want a band or a DJ, etc. The planner can help guide you and your fiance on some of those decisions, but for couples (brides) who don’t have a clear cut vision on what they want for their wedding day, time to focus on it, or even too much time. My goal is to be able to help them sift through all of the BS and help them hone in on what their vision is.
You must get so many questions from brides-to-be. What are some of the messages you repeatedly get on asked Instagram?
I get everything! Normal questions and some questions I had never even thought of. But I get a lot of questions around destination weddings, such as how to find good vendors. One tip is once you secure your venue, which is likely the first thing you will book, the venue typically has a list of preferred vendors that you can use as a starting point. I’m not sure if these relationships they have with vendors are genuine or paid – so TBD on that – but it’s at least a good place to start. Also, stalk the crap out of Instagram. Not only for vendor accounts, but also search for previous brides who got married at the same venue that you will be getting married at, and reach out to them. Just send a DM and ask who they used for a vendor team, what they liked and didn’t like, and they will be super honest with you (bride to bride).
You did a destination wedding. Thoughts on that?
They’re my favorite for so many reasons, but it’s such a good excuse to get all of your guests away, basically on a vacation, all in one spot together. It’s more than just one day. As great as a one-day wedding is, if you’re going to spend all that money, time, and energy, why not make it a weekend event?! Or in my case – a week event! I can’t imagine only having one day or night and spending a good chunk of it just walking around from table to table saying “hello” to everyone. I’m all about a destination wedding.
Plated dinner or stations/buffet – what’s best?
If you’re waiting to do all of your toasts and speeches for the reception, versus the rehearsal dinner, which is what I did, then a plated dinner might make sense. If you want a super formal event, and want everyone sitting down for an hour and a half, listening to speeches, then sure. But for everyone else that wants dinner to be more fun and relaxed, and focus on getting everyone on the dance floor, then I say do stations. Weddings go by in the blink of an eye, so spending a big chunk of time sitting down eating is, in my opinion, a waste of time. You also will typically have more food options with stations (versus the standard steak, chicken, fish, lasagna plated options). And it can still be fancy. I think there’s a stigma around stations and buffets being informal, cheap, etc. but that’s not true.
Alright, another this or that. Band or DJ?
Okay, so this was something we initially fought our parents on. My husband and I both wanted a DJ because our goal was to make our wedding one huge party. The weddings we’ve attended in the past that had bands were always not as fun, but we decided to let our parents win and chose to go with a band, and I am so glad we did. I think if you can find a band that is amazing and listens to you on what kinds of songs you want and the vibe you’re going for, then it can really make the night. A band can get people to get up out of their seats and get dancing. Oh, and one tip: be sure to read the contract with your band or DJ and understand how many breaks they need, for how long, and when they plan on taking them.
I know you hired a videographer because I watched the video on your website! So many people have a hard time deciding whether to hire one or not. What’s your take?
This is a question that I get weekly: “Do I need a videographer? I’m trying to save money. Is it necessary?” Here’s my take. A video is so much different than photos. Of course, photos are necessary and amazing. However, getting a video back where you get to hear speeches, see people crying, witness your emotions, see reactions, and basically re-live the night – those are things that are only captured in still moments with photos, but the video takes it to an entirely different level. Also, you get to see moments that you might not have been able to see in person. For example, watching Adam (my husband) get ready with his guys. You’re not there for those moments, but with the video, I was able to watch him open the gift I got for him. The other part of doing a video that I loved was being able to watch guests as they were seated for the ceremony and the groom waiting for me at the alter as the bridal party walks down. I think a video of the rehearsal dinner is also something you should do if you can swing it financially.
First look or wait to see each other when you walk down the aisle?
First look, hands down. I have a strong opinion on this. There are so many reasons to do a first look, including getting your nerves out of the way before you walk down the aisle, getting to enjoy cocktail hour, etc. Also, my photographer told me, “if you want to see all of those emotions that your partner might have when seeing you in your gown for the first time, then do a first look. A lot of times, when you don’t do a first look, everyone (your guests) are staring at the groom to see if he’s going to get emotional or not, and it makes it awkward for him. A first look allows that genuine reaction, just between the two of you, seeing each other for the first time.”
Did you try on several gowns before you found “the one?”
No, and it was my biggest regret. I had three stores lined up. My mom, Adam’s mom, and his sister all came in from out of town, so the four of us went to look together. I had an idea stuck in my head that I wanted the ball gown look, but I also wanted to try on a lot of dresses. When we got there to start trying on the dresses, my mom (love her to death!) was very opinionated. “No, that style won’t look good on you,” etc. so I really only tried on the same style of dresses. Which was what I knew I wanted, but when else do you have the chance to try on fabulous dresses?! Take advantage of it and try on lots of different styles that you think you might not like because you never know. I ended up choosing the very first one I looked at, and it was honestly perfect. But I always had a second thought in my mind, “what if I tried on something with a different neckline, or something more form-fitting?” I wish I had tried everything on and not given as much weight to other people’s opinions.
Did you find this Q&A helpful?! We hope so! If you have any of your own questions for Lexi, just leave a comment!