Guerdy Abraira, 'RHOM' Star and Famed Wedding Planner, on the Biggest Mistake Every Bride Makes

The Real Housewives of Miami star tells PEOPLE "what brides always forget"

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 12: Guerdy Abraira, The Real Housewives of Miami cast member, attends Retreat Magazine Issue 25 "Islands Issue" Launch With Cover Star Guerdy Abraira at Villa Azur on October 12, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)
Photo: Jason Koerner/Getty

Guerdy Abraira knows a thing or two about putting on a good wedding.

The Real Housewives of Miami star, 44, has thrown many a glamorous "I do" over her years as founder of Guerdy Design, an event business that has earned Abraira praise as the best wedding planner in the world by both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.

With that experience comes a keen awareness of the pitfalls brides most often make. And while Abraira typically charges for that advice, she's says there's one common mistake that could save people a whole lot of time and money.

"You'd think, when you're planning a wedding, that'd you start by figuring out the type of party you want to plan and then get the dress. But no, that's not what happens," Abraira says. "These women go out and they buy their dress first without knowing where they're getting married. If you're getting married on the beach, what the hell are you wearing a Cinderella dress? What are we doing? Shouldn't it be more like a mermaidy, flowy, Gone with the Wind fabulous dress?"

"So really, the first thing you need to do is pick a venue," she explains. "That's the thing. That's what brides always forget; start with where the wedding is going to be, what month it's going to be in, how many people it'll be, etc. — then go dress shopping. Are you having a fall wedding in a barn? A tropical destination wedding on the water? A wedding in some grand hotel? You gotta know."

She continues, "I know getting a dress feels more fun — and every bride dreams about how they're going to look walking down the aisle — but until you know where that aisle is, girl, you really can't make an informed decision. You can't send a save the date if you don't even know where the hell you're getting married!"

She adds, "Have patience. A lot of brides get too excited and work backwards, and then they gave to rework that because it's not right. I love to make sure that we understand theme and concept and what that vision is first, then venue first, then dress. All that stuff trickles down."

After the venue is selected, Abraira says there's plenty of work to do — and notes that every bride should choose exactly what they want to splurge on.

"Everyone has their different priorities," Abraira says. "For someone, it could be the most luxurious flower arrangements. For someone else, it could be music and they want to fly in Justin Timberlake and spend their money on that and have three candles on the table. Another person could be like, 'I need to make sure I have the best photographer' because they're more visual and they want to just frame something amazing and they don't care about anything else. Some people are foodies — there's really no right answer."

"You just have to think about what you care the most about and put your budget towards those things," she continues. "Everything has its priority, but not everything can be a priority, unless you have a boundless budget." Just think about what you care the most about and put your budget towards those things."

There's only one thing Abraira says every couple getting married should pay for — a wedding planner.

"Duh, obviously you need to hire a wedding planner before all that, honey! That's implied!" she quips, adding, "Try Geurdy Abraira — if you can afford her!"

Abraira made her RHOM debut when Peacock rebooted the franchise for its fourth season in December 2020.

Born in Haiti, she grew up in Paris before relocating to Miami with her parents when she was just 9 years old.

Event planning and hosting became a passion for Abraira not long after college. "I always was just someone who loved hosting," she tells PEOPLE. "I love a good party. I love seeing everyone enjoy themselves. So it all came very naturally to me. I had the vision to put on these grand events and the drive, the attention to detail and organization to make them happen."

It didn't take long for Guerdy Design to take off, thanks to the mother of two building a loyal and diverse client base with her range of eclectic and extravagant events of all shapes and sizes. And though she's scaled her own time back recently at the request of husband Russell — to spent more time with their young boys — Abraira says she doesn't see a future where she's not involved in the business.

"I consider myself very lucky in life," Abraira says. "I get to be a part of so many people's happiness. And I'm do it being myself; being the fabulous Guerdy. It's really rewarding."

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The Real Housewives of Miami drops new episodes dropping Thursdays on Peacock.

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