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EXPERT ADVICE

advice from a

planner

besides hiring a planner, what are the first three things all couples should do immediately after getting engaged? I always advise couples to enjoy the feeling of excitement for this next chapter in your life, and don’t feel rushed to make any quick decisions just because people ask. And don’t forget to celebrate—pop some champagne! MEET

Eric Cmar Cmart Celebrations ABOUT

This wedding planner and designer works triple-duty as a dream maker, stress reliever and optional best friend. ON THE WEB

CmartCelebrations.com

@cmartcelebrations PRO TIPS

If the idea of a garter toss makes you uncomfortable, have the groom toss his boutonniere instead. If you need extra budget for additional flowers or cute favors, review your overall living expenses. Taking a few months off from Netflix, Hulu or gym memberships can help you put that money toward your wish list items.

what’s the one thing you’ve always wanted to incorporate into a wedding but have yet to do? I’ve always wanted to plan a hot air balloon exit. It would be so romantic to go up with your new spouse and look down and reflect on the night and your future ahead. what red flags should couples consider when searching for their venue? Consider the reliability and competence of the venue’s staff, excessive additional fees and 20-page contracts. is there one planning tip you wish all to-be-weds knew? Don’t order cake for every person on your guest list. Not everyone eats cake, especially when there’s a groom’s cake or additional dessert available. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to send about 50 servings of leftover cake home with the couple’s parents.

Discover more tips and trends from your area at TheKnot.com/chicago

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FROM LEFT: LUXE PHOTOGR APHY; LAURIE PEREZ PHOTOGR APHY; KELLY HORNBERGER PHOTOGR APHY

do you have any décor pet peeves? If I never saw burlap, lace and mason jars together again, I could die a happy man.

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is planning a wedding in less than six months really doable? Yes, if you’re decisive right from the start, have time to dedicate to planning and focus on the details that are most important to you. Keep in mind that the vendors you want may already be booked, so be open to alternatives.

6/26/17 11:48 AM

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The Knot Chicago Fall/Winter 2017  

From the #1 wedding website: TheKnot.com. Check out The Knot Chicago online magazine to make wedding planning easier. Find all you need to k...

The Knot Chicago Fall/Winter 2017  

From the #1 wedding website: TheKnot.com. Check out The Knot Chicago online magazine to make wedding planning easier. Find all you need to k...