Tips for Tying the Knot

How to avoid wedding day jitters

Story by Jane MacLeod | Photos by Living Radiant Photography

The rain didn’t spoil Tiffany Mui and William Jacobs’ wedding day at Belmont Manor. The couple had two ceremonies, one in traditional Chinese wedding garb.

On the day Tiffany Mui and William Jacobs (who were featured in the 2019 issue of Her Mind Weddings) held their outdoor nuptials at Belmont Manor in Elkridge, it poured. The rain started in the morning. “And it didn’t stop till we’d loaded everything back in the van,” recalls the couple’s wedding planner, Stacey Cameron, of Events by Stace. “It was beyond crazy.”

Otherwise the event went off without a hitch. Cameron gives a great deal of credit to the bride. “Her wedding party started out the day together,” she says. “They were having fun before they got there.”

The lesson, Cameron points out, is that having fun on your wedding day can largely depend on your attitude. 

But careful planning can help. She remembers a wedding where nobody was assigned to look after the pooch of honor, and she found herself walking the dog—and picking up after it—when she might have been checking in with vendors or helping the band find electrical outlets. 

Along with its status as the best day in the lives of many, a wedding day can also be among the most stressful. We talked to a few local wedding planners who offered advice on how to make sure your day is the former—and not the latter. 


  • First step, select your venue immediately and then take a breather. Peyton Craig—who with his wife Karen Craig owns the event company Encounters—points out that prime locations might be booked up to a year or more in advance, so the venue may determine your date. 
  • Second, book services that can only do one event on a single day. “If you have your heart set on a particular photographer, nail her down,” Craig says. Caterers, florists, and cake bakers can do multiple events at the same time, so scheduling them isn’t as urgent.
  • Book one vendor at a time. “Let your mind wrap itself around a particular service,” be it flowers, catering, or photographer before moving on to the next, Craig advises.
  • Pick one or two priorities to spend money on. “Don’t skimp on the thing that is important to you,” Craig says. At the same time, don’t go crazy on every element.
  • Don’t lowball on catering. Better to ask for the prime rib and crab cakes right off the bat and whittle down from there, Craig counsels. The vendor will be more inclined to throw in extras once they have met their minimum required fee for the event—a number that is sometimes internal.
  • Be guest friendly. Accommodate attendees who may have food restrictions. At the same time, be aware that not everyone loves tofu.


  • Write down everything you need for the day. Pooja Patel, owner of the Columbia-based planning company Envie Wedding and Events, says making a list will ensure you don’t forget anything. 
  • Turn off your phone. Have all communications on your wedding day directed to a wedding planner or designated member of the wedding party, Patel suggests.
  • Don’t let anyone steal the mood. “Surround yourself with people who are mindful,” says Cameron of Events by Stace. If you have a competitive cousin or a pushy aunt, keep your distance.
  • Stay hydrated. “It’ll help calm your nerves,” says Patel. 

Patel’s advice to her own friends and clients on their wedding day is this: “Committing to spending the rest of your life with someone is a big deal. But at the end of the day, don’t forget, you’re marrying your best friend.”

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