From prioritizing place to selecting meaningful flowers.

By Sarah Schreiber
February 06, 2020
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If I Made (Maureen M Evans)

If you're in the thick of wedding planning, you've likely already discovered the importance of prioritizing a select few vendors or details. This priority list, of course, varies by couple. The same is true for the vendors who actually bring weddings to life-they have priority lists of their own. The difference? Theirs come backed with years of industry experience. To help you shape up your own big-day musts, we've tapped the biggest names in the wedding sphere-from planners and photographers to florists-to share their three wedding must-haves. Follow along with The Insider to learn which wedding-related details professionals can't live without.

Both Alicia and Adam Rico—the married duo behind Texas-based floral studio Bows and Arrows—have backgrounds in fine arts (they're both painters!), something that becomes very obvious when you look at their intentional, colorful arrangements: Their florals seem to exist on a different type of color wheel. They're known for their over-the-top creations, from sky-high ceremony arches and elaborate aisle runners to overflowing bouquets and centerpieces. Ultimately, these two do it all—and do it hand-in-hand, ever since launching their business together in 2009. Ahead, the couple shares their top wedding essentials, including the details they'd include and the advice they follow if they were tying the knot (again!) tomorrow.

Place is paramount.

"When thinking about your wedding keep in mind the perfect setting or place," say Alicia and Adam. "The place you choose is likely to determine the feel of every other aspect from the landscape, culture, food, florals, and furniture to the entertainment." They also suggest thinking about where you truly want to get married before making any other wedding-related decisions. "Imagine having all of your favorite people celebrating you, the new couple, under the soaring Grand Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming, or in a 300-year-old Caribbean chapel across from the turquoise sea—or maybe it's the sweet family home you grew up in. Place is everything!"

Trust your planner.

Both Alicia and Adam maintain that your wedding planner should feel like your "best friend" during the preparation process—after all, you're trusting them planning "the best day of your life." "They are the professionals who have seen it all, and the best ones know how to troubleshoot any situation, whether it's a severe thunderstorm, a rowdy guest, or the food not showing up," they say. "They always have a plan B, C, and D—and probably more plans of action."

Integrate florals in unexpected ways.

Florals are one of the biggest ways to transform a space, say the duo: "We consistently hear planners say, 'The florals made this wedding perfect!'" But when you're ideating your celebration's floral landscape, think beyond your tablescapes to make the most impact. "Guest tables are not the only place for flowers—hanging flowers and foliage from the ceiling of a tent or garlands throughout the interior of a grand ballroom can create a 'secret garden' within the space, making guests feel warm and welcome."

Think of your event designer as a movie director.

Unsure of how you want those florals to play into your overarching design vision? Hire an event designer, suggests the Ricos—it's just another way "to make your wedding exceptional and tailored" to who you are as a couple. "They oversee every aspect of the visuals and guest experience," they explain. "They know which vendors and artists will match their couples' styles and personalities." Think of it this way: "If a wedding were a movie, the designer would be the director."

Play with meaningful flowers.

Flowers aren't just decorative—they can be meaningful, too, if you give them the power. "I think it would be really fun to note your favorite flowers—or the ones you're most drawn to or love to work with—as well," explain the couple. "Or flowers that are sentimental—maybe you want to carry the same bouquet your mom did in 1970!"

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