Sixteen-year wedding-industry veteran Julian Leaver is the owner of Julian Leaver Events, a luxury wedding and events planning company based in Dallas. But for the first time in his career, he’s also a groom-to-be! Having now experienced the industry from both sides of the aisle, Julian will be walking D Weddings readers step by step through his wedding-planning process—from his delights, pain points, and decision-making factors as a client to his expertise and know-how as a seasoned professional.
Welcome back, friends! And thank you for following along on our wedding planning journey. So far, I’ve covered selecting a venue, choosing a photographer, deciding on entertainment, and creating your stationery suite.
In this installment of Everything Before “I Do,” I’m spilling the tea on attire and registry. Not literally, of course. It would be an absolute shame to spill tea all over a perfectly pressed tux or gorgeous white gown. Which brings me to my first point: choosing your wedding attire.
Saying yes to the ideal outfit may sound like an activity you can check off in a day. And perhaps it can be if you really know what you want. But for most couples, I recommend taking a step back and putting intention behind what you’ll be wearing down the aisle. Not only you but what your wedding party will wear as well.
Attire is such a personal thing. And you’ll probably only wear your wedding-day outfit once. So make it count! Let yourselves shine through your clothing and accessories.
My tips for grooms: It doesn’t just have to be about the tuxedo or suit. You can express yourself through the accessories you wear, like your socks, cufflinks, tie, etc. For those trying to decide between renting suits or going custom, I recommend weighing out the pros and cons of each.
For example, the pro of renting suits for the groomsmen is that it provides a cohesive look. The con is that it’s not custom-made.
The pro of purchasing custom suits is that they are tailored specifically to the person wearing them. The con is that they are more costly and will take up a bigger chunk of your budget.
My tips for brides: Limit the number of people who go dress shopping with you. The fewer opinions you have in the room, the better.
Francisco and I created a fashion mood board to help us see everything in one place. It helped us understand our style direction and gave us a place to start. It was also important for us to choose everything intentionally. Each piece of clothing or jewelry has meaning and is special to us.
I recommend couples consider what holds meaning for them and incorporate things they love into their wedding-day attire. For instance, we love traveling, so we’ve been buying pieces of our outfits throughout our travels.
Now, let’s talk registry. I always tell couples to go ahead and make a registry regardless of whether or not they think they need one. People will buy you things no matter what, so you might as well give them a list of things you actually want and need.
Even if you’ve shared a home with your partner for years and have acquired all the things, you can still create a registry for items that need upgrading. And don’t dismiss things that match the way you want to live. If you love entertaining and have plans to invite friends over for a cocktail night, register for cocktail party items like elegant plate sets, glasses, and monogrammed napkins. Allow yourself to dream!
For our registry items, Francisco and I chose Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, and Williams Sonoma. Each of these stores makes ordering gifts online super easy for guests. This is an important factor since people will be traveling in and may be unable to visit the store.
As the engaged couple, I highly recommend going to the store to create your registry rather than curating it online. This provides an interactive experience that makes the process less overwhelming and intimidating, especially if you’re unsure of what you want or need. Some stores will have registry experts on-site who can give you information on items and help you create a wishlist that works for the two of you.
And always put more on your registry than you think you need. You can then refine your list at home.
That’s a wrap for this month, but stay tuned. In August, I’ll be dishing out the details on food, beverage, and cake.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about your own wedding planning process, I’d love to hear from you.