7 Tips For Planning a Second Wedding

A bride and groom kissing outside while the bride holds a pink floral bouquet.
Photo: Mustard Seed Photography | Registry: Bering’s

First of all, congratulations on your engagement! Planning a second wedding might feel overwhelming, but remember, a second chance at love is a beautiful thing to celebrate.

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My Life As An Engaged & Confused Bride: Starting The Wedding Planning Journey

wedding planning, bride, engaged, tips, tricks, planning, pinterest
Photo: Libby Neder Photography

My name is Tara and I am the Production Manager here at Weddings in Houston. In October 2019, I got engaged to my best friend after over four years together. I was ecstatic, finally all of my “wedding industry knowledge” could be put to use in planning my own wedding! I quickly found out that being on the bride’s side of things is entirely different from the wedding media and marketing side.

Engaged couples have their own set of challenges—challenges that I, myself, have now been experiencing throughout my own wedding planning journey. In addition, with everything going on in the world, we engaged couples are having to navigate wedding planning in an unprecedented way. We are having to utilize virtual venue tours, video calls with potential vendors, and more to plan our upcoming weddings during a pandemic. – All while trying to remain hopeful that everything will be able to go as “planned”.  I found that getting started was the hardest part of my own wedding planning process.

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Guest Post: Gray & Associates Events on How to ‘Celebrate Well’ on Your Wedding Day

Join us in welcoming Shaun Gray, the wedding planner extraordinaire behind Gray & Associates Events, to the Houston Wedding Blog! Shaun and his team strive to help wedding couples “celebrate well,” sometimes with a grand, traditional wedding in Houston, other times with a beachside-blowout in Galveston… and always with a well-stocked supply of Champagne. We asked Shaun to explain exactly what it means to “celebrate well,” and for his advice to wedding couples who want to do just that!

5-25088302 copy  Photo: Courtesy of Gray & Associates Events

At Gray & Associates Events, we know that you want to host a wedding celebration that your family will cherish and your friends will love, and one that both you and your partner get to enjoy — without having to do excessive work! That’s what we call being able to “celebrate well.”

Here are my five tips to assist you in doing everything you can throughout the planning process to ensure you and your beloved get to celebrate well at your wedding:

1. Do You — Don’t get caught up in what your bridesmaid did at her wedding last year, or pay too much attention to Aunt Linda’s constant reminders that peonies are so beautiful during this time of year. If you don’t want peonies, then it doesn’t matter. If you keep trying to find ways to appease your family and friends, your wedding will look more like a thrown-together version of 50 other people’s weddings, and less like a celebration to honor your new union.

2. Go Big Before You Go Small — Worry about your venue, your wardrobe, your food and your photographer first. If you haven’t selected a venue yet, then stop Pinning “5 Farm Tablescapes Everyone Will Swoon Over,” especially if you aren’t set on having a rustic-style wedding. If you try to force a preconceived theme on a venue that doesn’t lend itself well to your theme, then it’s pointless to book the venue, so keep looking. 

abbienathansparklers copy Photo: Courtesy of Gray & Associates Events

3. Hire A Planner — Weddings In Houston is a great resource to find our great city’s top event planning experts. Even if you’re not looking to “celebrate well,” any professional planner will assist you with navigating the many tasks, that, without professional help, can get you really stressed out during the months before you say, “I do.”

4. Rest The Night Before — I cannot stress this enough! If you’re a bride, make sure that your makeup and hair team don’t put you in the chair first, and take that time to relax. They’re just going to have to come back and refresh you anyway, so you can afford to have them start on you a little later and knock out some of your bridesmaids first. For guys, make sure not to get tanked the night before your wedding. You’ll wake up groggy (and probably a little sick!) and that isn’t a good look for anyone, especially on the day of your wedding!

5. Stick To Your Budget — We always make sure that we don’t put a bride in a $10,000 gown when she only wanted to spend $6,500, because, knowing all of our luck, she’d get emotionally attached to the higher-priced gown, and then be disappointed when it was too far outside of her budget. The same thing goes for your overall wedding budget. If you’re spending $50,000 on your wedding, don’t let your floral designer work you up a proposal for $25,000. But for Champagne, now, that’s a different story…

image1 Shaun Gray (middle) and two of his associates | Photo: Karie Marie Photography 

Shaun and his team really know how to make the magic happen. Interested in getting his tips and expertise throughout your entire wedding planning process? Set up a consultation with Gray & Associates Events today! Be sure to mention you heard his tips first on the Houston Wedding Blog!

Joe Knows Weddings: Photographer Joe Cogliandro on How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors

Joe Knows Weddings: Photographer Joe Cogliandro on How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors

Photo: J. Cogliandro Photography

Today you’re in for a special Houston Wedding Blog treat, darlings! Renowned fine-art, portrait, wedding and boudoir photographer Joe Cogliandro joins us for the first in a series of guest posts we’re calling “Joe Knows Weddings.” Why? Because, with 14 years of experience shooting many of the most magnificent nuptial celebrations in Texas (and across the country), the founder of J. Cogliandro Photography does know weddings—and the brides and grooms having them–incredibly well.

For our first installment, Joe responds to a recently engaged friend who’s having difficulty deciding on vendors—and offers his thoughts on the power of personal connection:

Bride-to-be, Leah: “Joe…. Did you get the message I sent you on Facebook a few days ago? I know it was sorta out of the blue since we had not talked in a while but I wanted to let you know that I recently got engaged! Yes…yes, I know, pretty crazy and super unexpected, since we have only been dating two months. But you know how things happen… one day you don’t have a clue what life is going to bring you then suddenly everything is clear.


Greg and I met at yoga class a few months ago and have pretty much been inseparable since. I wanted to let you know personally since you have been such a good friend through the years and (of course) I wanted your opinion on a couple of vendors. We are getting married in six months and I only have the location and coordinator picked out, and I have had tons of advice from everyone on who to use for all the other things.


The problem is…they all seem pretty good, they all have such good recommendations and many have been used by my friends. I know you are in the industry and thought I would get your professional opinion. We are currently looking for a florist, DJ/band, photographer and videographer. My mom and a few of my bridesmaids just attended a big bridal show and though it was helpful and answered a ton of questions, I feel like it left us with many more questions unanswered. We have already met with about three or four vendors in each category, but I am at a loss on how to choose. Some of them seem the clear choice but others seem like they can go either way… so…clarity…I need some clarity!”


Joe Cogliandro: “Leah! So good to hear from you and so excited for this craziness happening in your life! I have the simplest advice for you regarding your vendors. I am going to assume since you are not bringing up finances that all of these vendors pretty much fall into your budget, and that since you have met with them and you still have a few for each category, that they are all good at what they do. You also said that each one has been recommended by someone you know, right? If all of these factors have already checked out, then all that is left is for you to choose the people that are going to make you the happiest. If you are certain of their professionalism and you trust they will all follow through with what they say they can deliver, then it’s just about relationship at this point.


Over the next few months, each of your vendors will play a pivotal role in your life. Now, they may not be your best buds, they may not meet up with you for drinks after work or attend your Christmas party… but the energy they bring into your life will either positively or negatively affect much of what is happening in the rest of your personal life. These people are helping you plan the biggest day in your life, so it’s only natural that the relationship you have with them will be an emotional one, to an extent.


Pick the people that you would have share this time with you. Which florist made you smile the most? Which photographer could you actually see holding a conversation with you (or more importantly your friends and family)? Which DJ do you believe will help project the environment that you want for your friends and family to share? Which of these people, given other circumstances, could possibly be your friends? Which have shown you that they care about you and your needs, not just about what they do and have done? You want people on your team… that are working together for your sake, not for their own individually. Here’s my advice in a nutshell:


  • Pick people that will add energy not take it away… life is too busy to hire someone negative.
  • Pick People that will LOVE you and your family.
  • Pick people that you want to do life with for the next few months because they will bring more joy into an already joyful occasion.
  • Pick people that will make you happy.


So, Leah my answer is simple pick the person, not the vendor.

Joe Knows Weddings: Photographer Joe Cogliandro on How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors

Photo: J. Cogliandro Photography