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Lace Wedding Dresses

Is there any fabric more romantic than lace? It’s no accident that so many wedding dresses have lace accents and overlay. Lace wedding dresses can have subtle accents of delicate lace, thick, textured lace, or a combination of lace varieties. Here are some tips for choosing a lace wedding dress.

Several designers are creating wedding gowns that are completely covered in lace as part of their latest collections. The dresses may have a simple, sheath silhouette, a gown with a flared skirt, or form-fitting dresses. Since lace wedding dresses come in the full array of available wedding dress styles, the bride may want to begin her selection by deciding which wedding dress styles would be most flattering for her body type. If she can choose whether she wants a sheath, mermaid, ball gown,  or A-line dress, she can focus her search for the perfect wedding dress.

Traditionally, lace is delicate and flowery. Bold lace makes a statement. Claire Pettibone designed such a dress. The Guipure lace sheath dress has thick lines and a large lace design that covers the entire dress. It’s a sophisticated mix of the striking lines and flowing fabric.

Sheath dresses are a common style for lace wedding gowns. Sheath dresses that have a full lace overlay have an outer layer of lace over the entire dress. The underlying fabric keeps the dress from being too transparent. The intricate design of the lace can be a nice balance with the simple silhouette of the sheath dress.

Mermaid wedding dresses fit snuggly at the top with a skirt that flares outward from thighs. Lace lends itself well for creating beautiful effects for both an overlay over the form-fitting top or as part of the flared, flowing skirt.

Most lace wedding gowns have a layer of lace over a more substantial fabric. This helps with durability as well as preventing the gown from being revealing. Some designers embrace the transparent nature of lace to create cutouts that show the skin through the lace.

Risqué wedding dresses might have designs where part of the gown is only lace. An example of this are the wedding dresses that have a bodice that resembles a bustier. A few modern bustier wedding dresses use lace as the primary fabric for the bodice.

With the DIY trend, some brides use lace appliqués to create their own cutouts. This commonly is done on the sleeves if the sleeves are plain. Brides should take care when adding appliqués to other portions of the dress. A misplaced cutout can render the gown too revealing. She may need to rush to find a seamstress who can fix her blunder or be uncomfortable during the big day.

The disadvantages of lace is it’s delicate nature. The lace can get snagged and tear. It’s an important consideration when choosing a dress that has a full layer of lace. The bride may want to restrict her bridal jewelry to earrings and necklaces and forego the bracelets that might catch on the fabric.

For more helpful information about choosing the perfect wedding dress, please visit the Best for Bride blog.

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String Lights for Weddings

A single strand of little white lights may not give the impression that it can be an amazing wedding lighting option. This affordable lighting can transform a wedding venue or reception in remarkable ways. You can achieve a variety of lighting effects by using string lights in different ways.

String lights can be used to create a wedding ceremony backdrop. A panel of string lights in gradually decreasing lengths forms a backdrop of cascading light. The cascading effect frequently is used on trees around outdoor weddings and the ceilings of tents and rooms used for receptions. For outdoor weddings, the lights are best used for evening or sunset weddings.

These lights are wonderful for complementing other lights. For a fun twist to the cascading string lights, hang them from chandeliers or lanterns. One couple had a backdrop of old-fashioned light bulbs strung together and hanging from the ceiling floor with string lights hanging between them.

Other types of ceremony backgrounds can be enhanced with twinkle lights. The lights can be used to cover the wall behind the couple or around a gazebo or pergola. Arches decorated in lights can be a great touch for an evening outdoor wedding.

Instead of a cascading line of lights or a covered panel, clusters of lights descending from the ceiling can have an interesting effect. Take a couple strands of lights and hang them from the ceiling so that they fall to the floor. Then, wrap the lights loosely in white tulle. This simple lighting has a unique effect. They could be used as part of the reception lighting or for the ceremony.

Random strands of lights across the ceiling can have the appearance of a starry night sky. Some couples use clear tents outdoors and string the lights across the ceiling for added nighttime sparkle. When used against white tents, the lights can be surprisingly elegant.

Twinkle lights can be used like lighted streamers. Consider hanging the ends of a group of string lights placed closely together at one end of the room. Hang the other ends farther apart on the other side of the room. The effect is a spreading, draped light.

The string lights can have practical applications as well. If the reception or areas of the building are dim, carefully placed string lights can help guide guests. For a darkened reception indoors, string lights have been used to show where guests can find coffee refills or lead them to the restrooms. A dimly lit stairwell may get a boost with string lights tied along the underside of the banister.

Some couples have added mason jars to their string lights. The lights might be hung with a portion of the lights hanging inside the mason jar. This gives the illusion that the jars are like light fixtures. String lights also can be used with table runners or centerpieces.

For more wedding lighting and wedding decor ideas, please visit the Best for Bride blog.

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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With 86% of brides wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue, it could be fun to see a variety of ways brides fulfill this wedding tradition. One of the most common ways to incorporate old, new, borrowed, and blue items into the mix is to wear jewelry that fits those descriptions. However, many brides have found creative ways to embrace the old, new, borrowed, and blue.

The wedding tradition started with a nineteenth-century British rhyme that described what a bride should wear for good luck. The rhyme includes a sixpence in the shoe. A sixpence was kept in the bride’s left shoe. “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” has been included in weddings occurring on television shows such as How I Met Your Mother and Friends.

Old

Although antique jewelry can be a beautiful way to wear something old, you might want to consider the ingenious ways some brides have included the old in their wedding day garb. One bride added pearl beads from on old dress. If you want to honor a deceased friend or family member with something old, you could use a locket with an old photograph of the loved one. A locket can dangle from the bouquet or be worn on a necklace.

New

Having a new item is probably the easiest part of the rhyme to accomplish. The wedding dress is often considered the new item for a bride. The bouquet typically could be considered the new item as well.

Borrowed

Some families have a tradition of borrowing veils from past brides in the family. Sisters, mothers, even grandmothers may be willing to share their veils with a new bride. Other creative options are to add a charm or cufflink from a family member to the wedding bouquet, borrow a purse or hair comb, or wrap a family member’s handkerchief around the bottom of the bouquet.

Blue

Before the Victorian era, blue was a popular color for wedding dresses. Blue signified constancy, faithfulness, and was considered good luck. There is an old rhyme about wearing blue: ” Marry in blue, always be true.” Though a blue wedding dress is not a popular way to wear something blue, some brides add blue ribbon to their gowns. A blue temporary tattoo is an unconventional way a bride can wear blue.

If blue doesn’t exactly blend with your wedding colors, you may want a hidden blue item such as a blue stitched monogram inside the dress. One fun option for women with floor-length dresses with full skirts is to wear blue shoes. One bride wore bold, blue sneakers hidden under her gown. Blue on the bride’s lingerie is another hidden option.

These are just some of the numerous ways brides can carry the old, new, borrowed, and blue items on their day. As with any wedding traditions, you choose whether you want to follow it and how you want to include it in your wedding. Choosing something personal can make this a special part of preparing for the wedding. For more tips on making the wedding truly special, visit the Best for Bride blog for helpful articles.

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How to Write Your Own Vows

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Any writer can tell you that facing the blank page can be intimidating. It’s no different when writing your own wedding vows. How can you begin to describe your love for the person with whom you want to share your life? Here are some helpful tips for how to write your own vows.

Before actually writing the vows, talk to your fiance about the tone of the vows. If one of you writes very serious, traditional vows and the other’s are humorous, the humorous vows can seem disrespectful even if there was absolutely no intent to be portrayed that way. You might decide that you will both include a mix of serious and funny. Discuss the options as a couple. Also, decide on a general length. Vows usually are between one and two minutes long.

Looking at the whole project of writing your own vows may be too overwhelming. Try breaking the vows into the sections that you want. Many people start with a very basic statement addressing their loved one. They typically start with the fiancé’s name and a few sentences talking about the person’s strengths, lovable qualities, and caring nature. Close the beginning of the vows with a declaration of love.

An example of the beginning of vows:

“Daniel, you are my one true love. You have an amazing balance of being strong, yet being affectionate, and being focused, yet making me laugh. You have always accepted me for who I am while challenging me to reach my potential. I love you with all my heart, forever and always.”

Traditionally, the second part of the wedding vows include promises. These promises can be statements about how you will show your love and commitment every day. The promises can be general statements such as, “I will always do everything I can to make you happy.” Or, the promises can be more personal and specific.

Wedding vows typically end with statements about future hopes or what you will do together. For example, this part can be summarized as “I will love you through good times and bad.” You may want something more poetic or personal. The ending of the vows usually includes a sentiment about the bond being eternal, such as “as long as we both shall live.”

Take a cue from writers of dialogue. Practice saying the vows aloud. Sometimes, we write things that look good on paper but are awkward when spoken. Hearing it will help you know what they will sound like to your fiancé and wedding guests. This will also give you a chance to time how long it takes to say the vows.

Start writing vows early. You may want to make changes along the way. After you think you’re finished, you might think of something else you want to say or want to change the wording. When you are completely finished, make a fresh copy to practice if you have been writing and changing things on paper.

For more tips for conquering challenges associated with planning your wedding, please browse the Best for Bride blog.

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How to Choose Wedding Rings

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Flickr

Gold? Silver? Modern or vintage? With or without diamonds? The multitude of choices that a bride and groom face when choosing their wedding rings can get overwhelming. Here are some quick tips for how to choose wedding rings without losing your mind first.

Before considering different types of wedding rings, think about your lifestyle. Are you active? Are you likely to get your ring snagged on something or dented? In addition to these lifestyle questions that might require a more durable ring, are there other considerations that could impact your ring selection? Do you tend to be drawn to trendy fashions which eventually fade?

Perhaps the easiest decision to make when buying a wedding ring is the metal. Making this first decision can help the bride and groom narrow their choices and make the decision easier. Silver is the least expensive, but it’s not as durable as some of the others. Gold is the most popular choice. Women often chose either white gold or yellow gold to match their engagement rings. In the past, many men picked a wedding ring that was the same metal as their bride’s. However, more and more men are selecting rings based on what they can see themselves wearing regardless of their bride’s selection.

When choosing a style, think about what you will love to wear now and thirty years from now. Maybe you would like something elaborate now, but would feel uncomfortable with it while playing sports or at the office. Take your time trying on different styles of wedding rings. It may be helpful to discuss the things you like about wedding rings that you have seen at other stores or online and get suggestions.

If you like the idea of having an antique or vintage wedding ring, consider checking antique dealers and estate sales. Due to a limited selection of available rings, you might want to opt for a new ring that is designed to look like an antique ring. Many jewelers can craft a ring that is inspired by antiques. You can print photographs of antique rings that you love, and show them to the jeweler. Some couples purchase antique rings that may not be exactly what the couple wants. However, the jeweler may be able to use the materials to adapt the antique rings or create new rings that will be everything the couple wants.

Many engaged couples are turning to the internet to buy wedding rings. Some are reluctant to trust online retailers for a wedding ring purchase. It can be difficult to get a real sense of the quality of a ring online. That’s why it’s extremely important to read the online jeweler’s return policy. The couple may feel more comfortable dealing with a trusted online jeweler rather than an individual through an online auction or Craigslist listing. With proper precautions and dealing with only reputable online retailers, couples can save a significant amount of money by purchasing a ring online.

For more tips about saving money while planning the perfect wedding, visit the Best for Bride blog. There you will find many helpful articles that can show you how to plan a wedding on a budget.

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Unique Wedding Receptions

Will Diana and Drew win a thousand-dollar gift certificate for a wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses?
Will Diana and Drew win a thousand-dollar gift certificate for a wedding gown and bridesmaid dresses?

Instead of a formal dinner or buffet, why not go for a whole new type of wedding reception? Many couples want the traditional church wedding, but not the same expected wedding reception. They want something unusual and deeply personal.

A campfire reception is not only unique and fun but also helps the bride and groom save money. The menu should be pure childhood fun. Consider burger sliders and grilled cheese sandwiches. S’mores make the perfect dessert for campfire receptions. Actually, s’mores bars are a hot new trend for Indian wedding receptions. You can be cutting edge with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

Believe it or not, another hot trend is the barn reception. With the rise in rustic chic wedding, the barn is the perfect venue to create a setting defined as country elegance. You can retain the country, down-home feel or merge glamour and rustic appeal. One couple draped white fabric from the roof and hung crystal chandeliers in the barn. The clashing styles of country rustic and romantic elegance somehow merges into an amazingly beautiful venue.

Are you and your betrothed wine aficionados? A wine tasting reception may be the ideal twist for your special day. Offer each guest samples of three or more wines. You may want to provide note cards with information about each wine. The guests may really appreciate being invited to share your interests and learn more about wine.

Wedding food trucks are a popular alternative or addition to regular catering. Instead of having a sit down dinner, you may want to create a street fair party. Include fair foods like funnel cakes and cotton candy. You might want to set up game booths and a photo booth to reflect the street fair atmosphere.

Do you love horses? Have you always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon? Would you want your reception surrounded by animals such as renting a venue at a zoo or aquarium? You can make your wedding reception to be the perfect complement to your big day. Share an adventure with your guest. Depending on the activities, you may want to urge people to dress casually for the reception. You’ll want to encourage everyone to participate and enjoy the day with you.

There are so many ways to make a truly memorable wedding reception. If you are looking for ideas, create a list of your favorite hobbies, activities, and interests. Have you and your beloved been more likely to watch football together than go dancing? If your wedding reception resembles a huge Superbowl party, it become more meaningful and special for you and your guests than the traditional wedding reception that is just like every other wedding reception.

For more ways to create the perfect wedding reception, visit the Best for Bride blog. There you will find many great tips for making your dreams come true on your special day.

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Winter Wedding Flowers

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When planning a wedding, choosing flowers in season is a well-known strategy for saving money. What if you are having a winter wedding? Are there flowers in season even when the ground is covered in snow? What are the options for winter wedding flowers? Should couples use trendy alternatives to flowers in order to save money when planning a winter wedding?

Winter wedding flowers can be economical or break the bank. If you have your heart set on having flowers that are not in season during the winter, your floral budget can suffer. You may have to pay more or have fewer flowers to accommodate the extra cost associated with off-season flowers.

Some flowers are available year-round at very reasonable prices. Roses, carnations, Gerbera daisies, and some types of lilies are a few of the flowers that are generally available any time of year. Remember, if your wedding is close to Valentine’s Day, the price of roses may be much higher than usual. Narcissus are an economical winter flower.

When choosing the types of flowers that you want for your winter wedding, you could ask florists what flowers would be easiest on your budget. If you want a particular flower to be the highlight of your wedding flowers, you can call local florists and ask for pricing for what you want on the date of your wedding. You may find a florist who has your favorite flower for a significantly lower price than the others.

Many types of filler flowers in a variety of colors are available throughout the year. Don’t be discouraged if there aren’t any economical choices for flowers that would show off the wedding colors. A white flower like white roses or white lilies could be used along with filler flowers and accents that match the wedding colors. Dried flowers and eucalyptus are another option for bouquets and wedding flowers.

Winter brides often get creative with alternatives to flowers. They may have fewer flowers and supplement the wedding flowers with handmade accents. Paper and burlap flowers are a popular DIY wedding decoration. One couple made burlap roses for their groomsmen’s boutonnieres. Modern bouquets can be crafted from fabric, feathers, colorful buttons, beads, strings of pearls, vintage brooches, or photocopies of pages from the couple’s favorite book. Even white, black, and gray leather has been used to make a rose bouquet.

Embrace the white, snowy look. While one option is to go bold with red roses and other red flowers that are in season, consider echoing the pristine winter with your flowers. Some gorgeous wedding bouquets and arrangements have been made with white peonies and dusty miller for a white winter look. The dusty miller provides a silvery-gray accent. Within the context of winter, they can look as if they are ferns dusted with snow.

For more information about planning an incredible wedding any time of year, please take a look at the Best for Bride blog.

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Wedding Dress Necklines

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The neckline of a wedding dress is one of the most noticeable features. The designer may choose to use a particular neckline for a dress to reflect the overall style. Occasionally, a dramatic neckline is used to make a bold statement and transcend a style. For example, otherwise simple, classic ball gowns may have an illusion neckline that might draw more attention to the bride’s face and create a balanced look as opposed to a wildly designed dress that gets all the attention. Consider these wedding dress necklines and what they may do to enhance the bride’s appearance or jeopardize the look

A V-neck is a neckline that dips significantly lower in the middle to resemble the letter V. The V-neck is one of the most popular wedding dress necklines. Some women do not like how low the V-neck plummets in their favorite dress. If the bride has her heart set on a dress but is not in love with the deep V-neck, she might want to have a modesty piece sewn into the dress. A modesty pieces is used to cover the lower portion of a V-neck neckline to make it less revealing.

The sweetheart neckline is also very popular. A sweetheart neckline is lower in the front like a V-neck, but the sides arc upwards to form a heart shape.

Square necklines fall straight or almost straight across the bust. As the name indicates, they would form a square shape with straps. A boatneck or bateau has a similar shape to the square neck, but the boatneck is high, often right below the neck and features a very wide opening to the shoulders.

Traditional strapless necklines also fall straight across the bust. While the strapless neckline is rather square in appearance, many strapless gowns have a variety of necklines including V-neck or sweetheart necklines.

Scoop necklines are rounded necklines. Halter necklines typically tie around the back of the neck. The halter neckline for a wedding dress may have the shape of a halter top without the actual tie at the back of the neck.

Asymmetrical necklines have sides that are vastly different. The neckline might appear like a traditional strapless neckline at one side but then rise to the one shoulder on the other side. This one shoulder look is a common asymmetrical pattern.

Illusion necklines have become more popular this year. The illusion neckline uses fabric, lace, or embellishments over a strapless neckline. The crystals, lace, or other material used to create the illusion neckline offers more coverage and interest than a plain strapless neckline.

Queen Anne necklines are high on the neck and drop to a lower neckline in the front like a V-neck. High necklines and cowl necklines are less common wedding dress necklines. The high neckline resembles a turtleneck. A cowl neckline has a loosely draping middle. Cowl necklines may have a straight modesty piece of lace or fabric under them if the loose fabric creates a low neckline.

Shopping for the perfect wedding dress can be overwhelming. For more helpful information about the differences between wedding dress styles and what can be most flattering for you, please visit the Best for Bride blog.

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Rustic Wedding Chic

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Rustic wedding chic is the careful use of country accents combined with romantic decor. Imagine white lace over weathered wood or a white candle set on top of pond rocks. Rustic chic is the pairing of the elegant and refined with the simple, down home elements. Here are some tips for creating a rustic chic wedding.

The rustic chic wedding has to have that theme carried throughout the wedding. Adding one rustic chic element to a traditional classic wedding may look out of place. If the wedding has a country or rustic theme, the rustic chic elements should blend beautifully.

Rustic chic accents include organic props which are things found in nature as well as things associated with country living. Nostalgic accents like antiques are popular for rustic weddings.

Barn weddings and receptions are becoming increasingly popular. A barn wedding can be purely country if no elegant elements are added. The barn wedding can be rustic chic with the use of romantic and classical accents. One couple installed chandeliers in a barn and draped white fabric from the ceiling for their rustic chic wedding decor.

Wooden accents are a backbone to rustic chic decor. Worn wooden chairs, cross-sections of logs serving under plates of food, weathered wood walls and tables, and small wooden touches like wooden tags on the centerpieces are examples of ways that rustic wedding can incorporate wood throughout the decor.

Other natural materials like dried flowers, stone, and sand can be used in the rustic theme. Also, materials associated with country living like burlap and mason jars are often used in rustic weddings. People can have different ideas of what should be included as country decor. The choices can be personal such as items reminiscent of memories of living in the country.

You don’t have to go to the extreme of hanging chandeliers in a barn to have an incredible rustic chic wedding. Carry the rustic decor theme to the wedding reception lighting. You can use LED lights in mason jars hung for the ceiling for rustic wedding lighting that creates a romantic glow.

The photo booths at wedding receptions have been way overdone. Many couples are looking for fun alternatives. For a rustic chic wedding, consider creating a photo backdrop with an old fashioned arm chair and some antiques. You might use an antique desk or table to display some of the antiques.

A rustic reception can feature food and drink that reflects the theme. Iced tea and lemonade in glass pitchers may be the perfect drinks to serve. The meal might be something that would be associated with down home cooking rather than something elegant. A common trend among weddings of all styles is to offer milk and cookies towards the end of a lengthy reception. This practice would reflect the down home feel, especially if the glasses reflect country living rather than the champagne flutes used for milk at some weddings.

For more great tips about creating a wedding that suits your style, visit the Best for Bride blog.

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Best Groomsmen Gift Ideas

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Wedding planning demands a lot of time and attention to details. Sometimes, certain things don’t get as much thought as they should. Groomsmen gifts may be one of those things that don’t benefit from careful planning. In some cases, they are forgotten completely! Eek! Don’t skimp on showing these special men how much you value their time and participation.

The groomsmen gifts don’t have to be expensive to be meaningful. Traditional groomsmen gifts have gotten a bit cliché. The personalized beer glasses, alcohol, shaving kits, watches, and cuff links have become so common that they may have lost their meaning. Unless one of those things truly connects with the groomsmen on a personal level, it seems like a thoughtless token. Consider these trendy groomsmen gift ideas.

Consider the hobbies and interests of the groomsmen. If the groomsmen are football fans, perhaps football jerseys would be the best gifts. One couple got personalized Louisville Slugger baseball bats for each of the groomsmen. Golf-themed gifts are also popular.

Is the backyard barbeque the favorite pastime of your groomsmen? Maybe a grill set with authentic Koko charcoal, spice rubs, grill tools, and personalized grilling apron would be the perfect gifts. If your groomsmen are the DIY gurus of our day, they probably already have the basic tools that they use to complete projects. However, if you know of an upcoming project, you might want to give a special tool that may be useful for that project.

Food and drinks are always a hit. Instead of buying everyone the same gift basket, why not make your own with snacks that you know they love? Some people have given small, personalized coolers to each groomsman filled with their favorite snacks. One couple tied a small bottle of each groomsman’s favorite alcohol on top of the boxes that held their gifts.

Clothing can be a great gift. A graphic t-shirt with great design can be something all the groomsmen would love. One couple gave each of their groomsmen a pair of personalized sneakers. Some personalized sneakers that have been used as gifts for groomsmen have the groomsman’s name vertically on the back of the shoe. This gives the shoe a personal touch without being too garish. Pocket watches are becoming wildly popular groomsmen gifts.

Homemade objects tend to indicate that a great deal of time and thought was put into the gift. Mosaics, garden accents, or wall art can be incredible groomsman gifts. If you’re not the creative crafter, you can get some help with a website that sells handcrafted items like Etsy or Scoutmob.com. There are vast possibilities on these sites from personalized pocket knives to upcycled pallet wall art to messenger bags with vintage graphics.

For more ways to make your wedding a remarkable success for everyone involved, please visit the Best for Bride blog.