Heather Dubrow knows a thing or two about weddings. The Real Housewives of Orange County star is a happily married mother of four. And a few years back, she had her own fantasy ceremony to husband Terry Dubrow, which she says was so great that “there’s very little I’d change.” Most recently, she served as a bridesmaid at Tamra Barney’s ultra chic nuptials to Eddie Judge.
So who better to share tips for a successful ceremony than Heather? And in her latest column for OK! magazine, she shares worthwhile pointers, which we've helpfully distilled into a Top 10 list. (You're welcome!)
10. There are no rules—even if it's your second (or fifth!) wedding.
"People will tell you what they think all the time," she says. "But at the end of the day every situation is different and the celebration of love and marriage is such a beautiful thing."
9. Delegate authority and hire a wedding planner...
“When [Terry and I] got engaged, I knew where I wanted to get married, and wedding locations book up far in advance, so my thing is always book your location first. However, if you have no idea or you’re scattered, I’d hire a wedding planner first. A wedding planner has all the best vendors and can really focus you on what works.”
8. ...unless you're on a budget.
“[But] you can absolutely do it yourself. It’s all about organization, and there are amazing sites online you can go to and get lists and get organized. As far as the day-of goes, most venues have someone who is your coordinator, the liaison with the venue. And listen, you have to be very sweet to that person! I’d bring them a gift."
7. Seating is the secret to a fun reception.
“I think it’s acceptable to sprinkle family around. At the end of the day, the reception is a party and great seating makes a great party. And if two sides of the family don’t get along that well, separate them.”
6. Gifts are important—but shouldn't break the bank.
When you go to bridal events, you do bring gifts to all the events. Not every gift has to be incredibly expensive. Think about what your budget is for gifts for the wedding and spread it out. Divvy it up. There are a lot of great things you can do that don’t cost a lot of money. Someone gave us a whole photo collage of when we were dating, and it was really sweet."
5. Memorable speeches should be light on the jokes.
“It’s about the couple, and your personal relationship with them. Throwing in a few private, personal references that only they’ll enjoy is totally acceptable. Keep it brief, make it personal, and don’t try to be funny. That never ever works!”
4. Gifts from the registry are preferred.
“My thing is, if people have a registry, buy off the registry because this is what they need, what they want. The only time I buy a gift card is if a lot of things on the registry are taken. Buying odds and end is clunky to me, so I’ll buy a gift card to the store where they’re registered.”
3. When it comes to her outfit, your mother-in-law is always right.
“This is a battle you can’t win. What you can do, what I did, is suggest to your future mother-in-law what the color palette is, so when you take photos it all looks really pretty together. You can say, 'Let’s have a special day where we go shopping together.' It’s really a lose-lose."
2. Bridesmaids should always be enthusiastic.
“Being a bridesmaid for Tamra was so fun, and I was so honored. What makes a great bridesmaid is someone who wants to be there. Think about who you want to be there when you look at the pictures twenty years from now, people who will be genuinely happy for you.”
1. Stock up on subcriptions to bridal magazines.
“It’s all about reading [and] ripping out pictures in magazines and getting ideas watching wedding shows. Then once you’ve picked everything, stop looking!”