With engagement season upon us, we are elated to be able to share the expert advice of world-renowned event and wedding planner, Colin Cowie. Colin helps couples on any budget create a wedding fit for the stars, with huge amounts of glamour, confidence and ease. Colin is the party planner of choice for celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey and Kim Kardashian.

In the first of a three-part blog series, Colin answers the questions many couples face upon beginning wedding planning: how to host a wedding that truly represents you, and how to best use personal expression to create an experience that embodies your style and taste.

A wedding can often feel as though it is planned by a village. How should couples approach balancing what they want against other opinions and expectations?

Think of your wedding as an opportunity for you to create a distinctive celebration and make your first joint statement of style to your friends and family as you begin your life together as a couple. This is YOUR day! Forget about what society and tradition dictates and make your wedding totally your own.

Are there any do’s, don’ts, or guidelines that you share with couples as far as personal expression?

The comfort of your guests is most important. True style has nothing to do with what you wear or how much money you spend. It’s about how you treat your guests. Your wedding is an opportunity for you and your fiancé to function as the quintessential hosts. How you treat your guests and make them feel welcome is more important than the food you serve or the dress you wear.

Can you share any memorable examples of self-expression in a couple’s wedding celebration? 

Placing a monogram on invitations, menus, and place cards is always an elegant touch, but to really make your mark it’s time to think big. How about projecting your monogram on the venue walls or dance floor, or paved in flowers and floating on a pool?

For a destination wedding, we once traced a couple’s monogram in the sand at the entrance of their beach reception! If you prefer something more personal, try placing your monogram somewhere just for you- like the bottom of your wedding shoes.

If you could give one piece of advice to a couple wondering how to best infuse their personality into their wedding day, what would it be?

Your first dance doesn’t have to be the only song with a meaningful melody. Try sprinkling in more moments throughout the evening’s playlist by incorporating songs that are infused with shared memories. What’s the one song that reminds you of that first summer you shared together? Or, how about your first date or kiss?

Get inspired by even more of Colin’s advice on his website, or get started planning your stationery style with designer save the dates and invitations.