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A Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

A bridal shower is a much-anticipated pre-wedding event for brides, where she gathers with her bridal party and closest female friends and family members to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Tamer than a bachelorette party, many bridal showers take place during the day (some over a long weekend) and involve light drinking, eating, and sometimes a spa day or other fun event, like shopping. 

The bridal shower that we know today originated in Holland in the 16th Century, an offset of the dowry system, where the family of the bride had to pay her husband to marry her. For poor brides, who couldn’t afford to marry, friends and sometimes distant family members would chip in and pay for her dowry. 

Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

Today, at least in Western society, bridal showers serve a broader purpose. Marriage usually changes the dynamics of friendships and familial relationships, so bridal showers are a great way for her friends and family to spend more time with the bride before her priorities shift towards her husband and their family. Proving that old traditions die hard, brides today are still often showered with expensive gifts or cash that can enhance or contribute to her wedding day. 

Unfortunately, the social landscape is looking a little different right now, due to social distancing guidelines. Many brides aren’t comfortable throwing large, lavish gatherings while Covid-19 ravishes our world, without a vaccine in sight. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to mean that they don’t get to have their bridal shower, they just have to get creative and throw a virtual bridal shower. Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on how to have an online bridal shower. 

What is a Virtual Bridal Shower

A virtual bridal shower is simply a bridal shower that takes place online. Coronavirus is a great excuse to move the festivities into a digital space, but virtual bridal showers didn’t crop up only this year – brides have been going virtual for years. 

Thankfully, it’s super easy and convenient to throw a virtual baby shower. While you’ll have to forgo or modify some of the group activities, it’s still possible to have a fun bridal shower online. 

Bridal Shower online

Why should you throw a bridal shower?

The main reasons that brides went virtual, before 2020, were because of distance and expenses. If a bride had a wedding party that was spread out over the country, they’d have to incur an expense to fly once the wedding date arrived.  It might have been too much to also ask them to come out of pocket to travel to their wedding shower, so the bride just decided to go virtual. This allowed her friends and family to still get in an extra celebration before her big day, without putting more of a financial strain on them.

Right now, limiting the spread of Covid-19 is also an excellent case for any bride who’s considering having an in-person bridal shower. 

What to do if you’re not Tech Savvy

When throwing a virtual bridal showr, it’s crucial that the person in charge knows the in’s and out’s of any platforms they’ll use to facilitate it. The last thing you want is for your video to be cut out or your audio to stop working in the middle of your festivities.  

It will already be a little bit harder to keep everyone’s energy up over video chat, so you don’t want anything to bring down the mood.  Therefore, it’s important for the host to do a test run before the actual shower to make sure everything will run smoothly. Stick to platforms you’re already familiar with using and make sure that all of the attendees also know how they work. 

How to host a Virtual Bridal Shower

Prep

The excitement of a wedding makes planning things like a bridal shower a lot of fun, but don’t be fooled the prep stage is mandatory! The only way that the bridal shower will be successful is if everyone involved is informed of the itinerary and able to coordinate, in advance. 

Key things to plan in advance- 

The Date of the Bridal Shower: 

Choose a date when the majority of the group will be able to give the event their full attention. An online bridal shower might not last quite as long as an in-person one, but attendees should at least have a few hours to set aside for it. 

Video Chat App: 

Make sure it’s easy to use, easy to access, and also make sure you’re prepared to pay whatever fee may come with it (though there are free options). Zoom calls, for example, are only free for the first 40 minutes. After that, there is a fee. You don’t want to run into any hiccups during the bridal shower, so make note of details like this during this phase.

Bridal Registry :

Many brides will want to open her gifts on camera, during the bridal shower, so it’s important that her guests know what store she’s registered at, in plenty of time.

Invitations: 

Make sure to send invitations to each person that the bride wants at her bridal shower. This usually will include every member of her wedding party and certain women from her and the groom’s families.

Bridal Showers

Video Platform Options

There are many options available to host the video chat over. Each comes with pros and cons. Here’s a little bit of information about the most popular ones: 

Zoom 

Zoom has skyrocketed in popularity since the pandemic set in, but it’s not just for people working from home. It’s also a great option for bridal showers if you’re willing to pay. The free users can only chat with up to 100 people for 40 minutes. After that, you have to pay. That aside, Zoom allows users to set virtual backgrounds, which might be fun for guests. 

Skype

Skype is a tried and true video chat platform that has been around for years. Most people are already familiar with it and probably have an account. Skype is also free to use, though you should know it only allows 50 participants at a time. 

Facebook

Facebook is also free to use. There’s no limit on participants, but there’s no link for you to share, so everyone will just have to jump on at the same time. It’s not the best choice if you want to keep the event private, because Facebook uploads the video to your timeline once the session ends. 

How to set up the Registry

Some brides might just let their bridal party freestyle their gifts, but for those who want a registry, there are many options out there!

5 Registry Suggestions:

The Knot

The Knot is a  universal registry that lets you add literally any item to your wedding registry from any site. It also lets you create cash funds for everything you can imagine. From puppy adoption to honeymoon contributions, and more. The transaction fee is only 2.5 percent – one of the lowest in the industry.

My Registry 

My Registry allows you to add items from any of your favorite stores. You can add a gift fund for travel experiences and also manage your list with your smartphone. 

Williams Sonoma 

Williams Sonoma allows you to add gifts from Pottery Barn and West Elm. You can make a free, private appointment with one of their registry specialists to get one-on-one guidance. You can also get free gifts and 10%  off for six months! 

Amazon

Amazon is, naturally, one of the most-used registries in the world. Any of its millions of items can be added to the list. Plus, there are some pretty sweet perks too! The bride and guests can both earn up to 5% when using the Amazon Prime Store Card. There are also options for group gifting, gift financing, and more! 

Wayfair 

Wayfair lets brides save 20% for six months on anything that’s still available on the registry. Brides can also receive free gifts when guests purchase qualifying products. There’s also an option to send thank you notes. 

An online platform for having a virtual shower on such as WebBabyShower makes it easy by allowing users to link to registries like Amazon and Target.

Bridal Shower

Gift Ideas

When thinking of gifts for a bridal shower, think of things that will bring the bride comfort. Soft plush robes, bed linens, and scented candles will always be a great option. You can also purchase things that will help to populate her home with her spouse, such as dinnerware, picture frames, and vases. Books and chocolates, which the bride enjoys, are also great gifts. Note: some gifts, such as gag gifts, might not go over as well with a virtual bridal shower. 

Invitations

Invitations are usually a focal point of the planning stage, but the bride may not feel like she needs elaborate, paper invitations for an online bridal shower. Even if she opts for electronic invitations, they should still be formal and relay the tone of the shower (unless it’s informal). A few services that can be used are Evite, Paperless Post, and Canva. Within the invite, be sure to include a link to the bridal shower registry. Platforms such as WebBabyShower have a built-in invitation system. 

Theme Ideas 

By the time it’s time to plan the bridal shower, everything for the wedding ceremony should already be set up. To save time, you can match your bridal shower theme to your wedding theme. 

Or, you can come up with something else entirely. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from the seasons. For example, during Fall you can incorporate lots of oranges, and reds into your decor. Or, you can base the theme on one of the bride’s hobbies, such as traveling. 

Dress Theme 

Attire might not be quite as important at a virtual bridal shower, but the bride can still dress up if she chooses. The Knot compiled a list of styles that are popular among brides of today. 

Food 

Many brides opt to have everyone eat the same foods at the same time to create a sense of togetherness. Things like cupcakes, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and wine are easy items that every guest will be able to acquire, prior to the shower. 

If you have specific food items, like a special cookie with the bride and groom’s initials, then you should make arrangements to have them delivered within a day of the bridal shower. 

Games

Games will be a big focal point of a virtual bridal shower. The point of the gathering is for the bride and the attendees to have fun, and having the shower online shouldn’t cut into that. Be sure to set aside an hour or two just for the games portion. 

As for the games, there are a ton of free trivia games that can be played over a video chat. You can also make a game out of trying to find out who knows the bride the best! Make sure to form this game around questions about her upbringing, college days and the dating stage between her and her groom – just keep the questions PG. Gift Bingo is also a fun option! 

On The Day Of The Bridal Shower

On the morning of the bridal shower, you can decorate the bride’s background with flowers and garland – or anything to make things feel extra festive. The guests can also decorate their own backgrounds, but if things are supposed to be coordinated, make sure their decor was sent to them ahead of time. 

Next, you should set up the video chat and make sure it’s working properly.

 A couple of hours before, ping the guests to remind them to check their own tech.  You should also take this time to prepare any food on the bride’s end that will be involved in the big day. The guests are responsible for preparing their own food. 

 Once the bridal shower kicks off, make sure that the guests are aware of the itinerary. Every bridal shower will include different activities and run at different schedules. Just make sure everyone knows the plan. 

When it’s time to eat, make sure that everyone has options within their own space. If someone forgot or wasn’t able to get the group food, let them eat what they have on hand. What matters most is that everyone is eating together. You can lightly scold them later for not being prepared, but don’t embarrass them in front of the group – or the bride. 

If you’ve scheduled a group activity, like a virtual spa day, then make sure everyone knows that, while generally safe, anything broadcast online can be intercepted – so they may not be able to get as comfortable as they would, if they were relaxing in loungewear in someone’s home or hotel room. 

When it’s time for games, make sure that someone is tasked with keeping score and keeping the game rolling at an acceptable pace. 

If the bridal shower is to have a movie night, make sure everyone knows which platform you’re going to stream from so that everyone can sync up. 

The end of the bridal shower is the time for gifts. If the bride is comfortable, this will be the time when she opens her gifts on camera. It might seem like a small aspect, but her guests being able to see her face as she opens the gifts they bought her will mean a ton!

Afterward, the bride will probably give a sappy speech and thank everyone for gathering with her. Even if it’s not sappy, she should thank them for taking the time out of their schedule to celebrate her big day.  

Next up, the wedding! 

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6 Wedding Planning Hacks That Will Save Your Nerves And Money

vintage wedding dress

Anyone who’s ever planned a full-sized wedding will always tell you one thing: it’s absolutely stressful. There are so many big and small things that require all your focus. From the venue selection to the catering, lighting, dress, florals and more, there’s a ton of stuff that requires your attention.

So, what’s the solution? How can you make your Big Day feel as awesome as possible without succumbing to all the stress and nerves that go with the whole thing? We’ve got some pretty amazing hacks to help you out right here:

  1. Go vintage with the dress
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Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash

Out of all wedding expenses, it’s the dress that costs the most. Logically, every bride knows that you’re only going to wear it once – but! You’ll only wear it once, so why not make it the best dress of your life, right?

However, you can always do splendidly in this regard without actually spending a ton of money. In fact, you can easily get a classic vintage dress and get it altered to your liking by a reputable wedding gown tailor. The classics never fail and if you find one at an affordable price, it can save you a lot of hassle, expenses, and a ton of headache to simply get it professionally outfitted at a wedding gown alterations shop instead of going to an upscale boutique.

  1. Outsource vendors
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Photo by Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

Wedding planning is all about finding the best vendors at reasonable prices, but many couples don’t know where to start. The answer is simple: ask your venue. This is the easy part, because the venue owners usually have preferred vendors and you might not get the best prices. 

But talking to them will give you a baseline on the expenditure, so when you find and meet new ones, you’ll have an idea on the benchmark prices of most services and how they are provided. You’ll also get some great recommendations. Some might even overlap, so you can always prioritize those at the end of the day.

  1. Keeping on top of your expenditure

Wedding preparations can turn into a black hole where you can throw an inordinate amount of money until you end up with nothing. Money management can become really, really hard once you start prepping for the big day. There are vendors asking for money here and there, and no matter how many recipets you try to save, you always end up losing track of where those bucks actually went away.

The best way to manage this problem is to rely on technology. In fact, there’s an app called Honeyfi that lets you manage your savings in the best possible way. It allows you to manage your money in a responsible way while helping you keep track of your spending.

  1. Get smart with communications
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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

The biggest hassle you’ll encounter before your Big Day will come in the form of communications. Once you’ve decided on all your vendors, venue, and more, you’ll have to keep in contact with all of them. Most days, your email is going to get spammed with a massive amount of queries and coordination messages. This is why it’s always smart to create a separate email ID for your wedding plans. This way, you’ll always have all your wedding-related correspondence, quotes, and important messages in one place.

Secondly, you can also invest on a wedding website, which is an excellent way to coordinate and communicate with all of your guests. These websites are a great way to feature all the important details that your guests need to know about – i.e. gift registries, venue directions, dress code, etc. – all at the same time. No one can fall prey to bad communication this way.

  1. Rely on backup plans
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Photo by Shardayyy Photography on Unsplash

Outdoor weddings and unreliable vendors are a dime a dozen in this market, so you always need to have a backup plan. If you’re getting married during the rainy season, then you need to make sure that your venue is covered. Even if you’re hosting outdoors, make sure that your marquee is water-proof and able to withstand the elements.

You also need to have a second DJ option, and if you’re able to hold some backup in catering, then you need to get that as well. This way, you’ll be truly stress free on your big day, in case any of your original plans fall through.

  1. Do everything in advance
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Photo by Photos by Lanty on Unsplash

The one thing that always hits like a curveball from the left field when it comes to wedding is this: unpredictability. You just never know when you might hit an unexpected speedbump, which is why it’s always best to be prepared in advance.

Now, you might be wondering how you can do that, and it basically entails taking care of all the major stuff beforehand. Summers are busy wedding seasons, so you need to order all your things in advance. As far as dresses are concerned, find a good custom tailoring service and get them altered a few months ahead so there aren’t any mishaps and you’re able to shop for shoes and jewelry accordingly. 

The only thing that needs to be last minute is catering and floral arrangement. Anything that can be done in advance should be done that way.

So these are some wedding planning hacks that you can use to save a ton of time, money, and stress. They’ll definitely help you out in the long run and keep your groove going as the Big Day comes closer and closer!

Tony Kantzavelos is the owner of LoveYourDress and Love Your Tailor Toronto. Specializing in dress cleaning, clothing alterations and tailoring since 1986. Tony loves sharing tips and trade secrets for customizing and taking care of almost any kind of dress, and especially helping women look their best no matter the occasion.

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Complete Wedding Venues Guide & How to Choose the Perfect One

wedding venue with a married couple

Your wedding venue is probably the first big decision you’ll make when planning a wedding. There’s a lot to think about, so this can be a tough decision. Here’s how to find and choose the perfect one.

wedding venue with a married couple

Types of Wedding Venue

The most traditional wedding venue is a house of worship, such as a church or mosque. These are usually available for the wedding only, but some also offer reception space. Hotel weddings are also popular, as you can usually have the whole day in one place. For large weddings, banquet halls work well. Looking for a rustic venue? Choose a barn. You could also get married at a vineyard, winery, garden, country house, restaurant, city hall, or even at home. No one type of wedding venue is better than another. It all depends on your tastes and needs for your wedding venue.

What To Look For When Choosing A Wedding Venue

When you start looking, dozens of venues are bound to come up. Narrowing down which ones are worth visiting can be tough. Start by considering some important factors.

  • Budget. What is your budget? If you’re on a tighter budget, look for packages, as these are often cheaper. Many venues don’t list their prices on the website, so you may have to call to enquire. Don’t look at a venue that you can’t afford, or you’re sure to feel disappointed when you can’t book it.
  • Location. Where do you want to get married? Is the venue easy to travel to? Is there enough parking for those who will drive? What public transport is available to those who won’t? Are there enough hotels nearby for all your guests/
  • Space. How many people will the venue hold? It’s no good falling for a huge country manor for 500 guests if you only want 50, and it’s equally troublesome to view an intimate public garden with room for 50 if you want 500.
  • Personality. Does the venue suit your style? If you’re a modern couple, is that church really for you? If you’ve always dreamed of a classic white wedding, is a funky downtown restaurant the best pick?

wedding rep with an arrangement of flowers

When Is The Right Time Book A Venue?

Popular wedding venues often book up well in advance, so most people book their venue at least a year in advance of their wedding. From first-hand experience with managing Davenport House, a large country house wedding venue in Shropshire, this is when most of our couples tend to book the venue.

If you want to get married on a weekday or a less popular time of year, then you might be able to leave it a little longer, but booking too close to your preferred date is generally not a good idea. Sometimes, if you book really far in advance, you may be able to get a bit of a discount too.

Where Do You Find Wedding Venues?

Google is the place where most couples start when they start looking for their wedding venue. Search for ‘wedding venues near me’ or search for wedding venues in the area you want to get married. You should find plenty of options this way and will find both venues’ own websites and listing sites.

Wedding fairs can also be a good place to find a venue. Many venues hold their own wedding fairs, so you can see how the venue might look when dressed for a wedding, look around the venue and find some local wedding vendors at the same time.

Wedding Venues On A Budget

If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. There are some great options for wedding venues.

  • Family property. Does a family member have a large, beautiful garden? Maybe you could get married there? Garden weddings at home are very popular and can make for beautiful, relaxed ceremonies, with no money spent.
  • Small venues. Small restaurants, local bars, and town halls often have space for weddings that will be much cheaper than larger venues. If you’re planning a smaller wedding, one of these could be ideal.
  • Book early. Many venues offer deals for those willing to book well in advance.
  • Choose an unpopular time. Most people want to get married in the Spring or Summer, on a Saturday. These make those days much more expensive, thanks to the increased demand. If you don’t mind when you get married, you can save a lot by choosing a weekday, or getting married in the Winter or Fall.
  • Book a package. Lots of venues offer package deals, where you get venue, food, and items like flowers all included. These can often be cheaper and mean you know exactly what everything will cost from very early on, so you know how much you need to save.

Couple Choosing a wedding venue

Questions To Ask A Wedding Venue Rep

When you go to look at a wedding venue, you should ask the person who shows you round lots of questions, so you can find out as much as you can to help you make the right choice. When you’re looking, it can be hard to remember all those questions, so it might be useful to write them down before you go. You could also email over all your questions before the appointment, so your rep can find out the answers to anything they’re not sure about before you arrive.

Start with the basics to make sure the venue has everything you need. Ask questions about the space, and the practicalities, like setting up for the ceremony, and how the reception will work. If you need something specific, like wheelchair access, a quiet space for people to get away, or unisex toilets, your viewing is the time to ask.

  • Is the venue available on the date that you need it?
  • How many guests can the venue accommodate?
  • What are their wedding packages and what is included in those packages?
  • Will there be other events at the same time as your wedding, or will the venue be yours exclusively?
  • Is there somewhere that you can get ready at the venue?
  • Can you bring in outside food if you don’t want to use their catering?
  • How long can you have the room for? Can you drop things off the day before, set up the night before, and leave things to collect the next day if you need to?
  • Who will decorate the venue? When will you be able to get in to decorate if the venues don’t set up themselves?
  • Is there a smoking area?
  • Is the venue accessible to wheelchair users?
  • Is there a cloakroom?
  • Is there a bar? What sort of bar?
  • Is there a secure area to store gifts?

Ask some questions about how the venue is set up for weddings. Usually, you have to view venues empty (although you may be lucky and be able to see it set up for someone else’s wedding if the venue is ready in advance). If you can’t see your venue dressed for a wedding, these questions can help you to picture what it will look like.

wedding venue during summer

  • How is the room usually laid out for a wedding? What layout options are there?
  • Do they have photos of past weddings at the venue?
  • Can you see it dressed for a wedding?
  • Who will be the contact on the day of the wedding?
  • What will you need to bring yourself? Ask about things like stands for signage, cake stands, a cake knife, and any other practical and decorative items that you aren’t sure who will provide.

Ask about decorations. Some venues have some basic decorations that they will put up for you, while others expect you to bring in everything. Some will have rules about things like lit candles or confetti, so ask first.

  • When can you start decorating?
  • Are there any restrictions on decorations that you can bring in?
  • Can you have candles?
  • Can guests throw confetti?
  • What decorations does the venue provide?
  • How many people can sit at each table?
  • Will they provide items like menus or place cards?
  • Are there high chairs available for children?

Ask plenty of questions about the food, especially if you have dietary requirements.

  • What are the different ways that the venue can serve food, such as buffet, family, or silver service?
  • Do they have in-house catering or preferred caterers?
  • Can you arrange a menu tasting? Is there a cost for this?
  • Are any drinks provided with the meal or for the toast?
  • Can they accommodate dietary needs?
  • How many menu choices can you offer your guests?

If you plan to serve alcohol, either via the venue’s bar or by bringing in your own, you should ask a few questions about this.

  • Does the venue have a liquor license/
  • Does the venue provide the alcohol and the bar service?
  • Are any drinks included in the price of your bookings, such as a welcome drink, wine with the meal, and a drink for toasting during the speeches?
  • Is there a cash or an open bar?
  • Is there a charge per bartender, or will the venue hire them?
  • What happens to any unopened bottles after the reception has finished? Will you be charged for these?
  • Can you bring in your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee for this?
  • Are there any restrictions on their alcohol service?

For your reception, ask plenty of questions about music, dancing, or any other entertainment that you think you might like to have.

  • Does the venue have their own band or DJ? Do they have ones they recommend? Can you bring in your own?
  • What kind of sound system do they have? If you need microphones for speeches, do they have those?
  • When can the band, DJ, or other entertainers set up?
  • What time do they allow you to play music until?
  • Can you bring in things like a photo booth? What are the rules for this?
  • Are there any photography or video restrictions?

Don’t forget to ask about the money too. Even if you know the overall cost or cost per head, you may have more questions.

  • Can you set up a payment plan?
  • What deposit is required, and when by?
  • When must the balance be paid?
  • What payment options are available?
  • What is the cancellation policy?

If you’re getting married outdoors, you should plan for the weather turning out badly for you. Nobody likes to think about it, but you should make sure that your venue has a back-up option available, just in case.

  • Are there any covered areas outdoors in case of rain?
  • Is there an indoor space you could move to?
  • Is there a generator for power outages?

Married Couple

Don’t forget to talk about some of the practical points that your guests will need to know too.

  • Is there overnight accommodation at the venue? Do they have deals with local hotels? Is there anywhere that they recommend?
  • What are the room rates for overnight stays for guests?
  • Is there a discount available for a block of rooms or rooms for guests?
  • Is there parking at the venue? How many spots? Where else can guests park if there aren’t enough?
  • Is there a valet service?
  • Is there a cost to park?
  • Is there anything else going on nearby on the same date that may make it hard for guests to find somewhere to park?
  • Is there a local taxi firm that they partner with to offer discounted rides to guests staying elsewhere?

It can feel like you’re asking endless questions, but it’s important to get all the information you need. As well as being beautiful, you want to make sure that your venue can cater for all your needs, whether that’s plenty of parking for all your guests, a safe, nut-free menu for your cousin with allergies, rooms for out-of-town guests, or a payment plan to spread out the costs. Much of this information can often be found on the venue’s websites or in their wedding brochures, so spend some time looking through these. Make notes, and don’t be afraid to make notes during your viewing to help you remember everything.

Start your research early, so you have plenty of time to find your dream venue, at the right price and with everything that you might need.

And if you need wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, bridal accessories and more, check out Best for Bride website.

 

Author Bio – Lizzie Adams

Lizzie Adams is the owner of the wedding business Davenport House which is a luxurious wedding venue located in the heart of Shropshire. Lizzie’s background as an international wedding planner and the stunning weddings created at Davenport means that couples get access to the very best wedding planning at the gorgeous Stately home and estate. From progressive, modern weddings to the more traditional country house affairs, Lizzie has seen it and planned it all. Lizzie is active on Facebook and Instagram and she’s happy to answer all of your wedding-related questions.

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Before The ‘I Do’s’ Checklist

wedding bride black and white

The proposal has happened, the happy tears have flowed, you have the ring on your finer, so now what? As you begin to prepare for one of the best days of your life, there are several areas that brides must consider in order to ensure their dreams come true! The decisions leading up to the wedding can feel overwhelming and time-pressing, so make sure you are looking and thinking long-term in your planning as you embark on your new married life as a couple.  

On top of the traditional to-do items, you can find advice surrounding some of the bigger picture pre-wedding decisions you will need to make.  Learn how you can ease some of that bridal stress and feel confident in locking down plans.

Life insurance

Although your life insurance needs may not seem like the most exciting part of your pre-wedding planning, it is nonetheless a vital part of your long-term financial wellness. As a couple, it is important that you have the proper coverage in the unfortunate event that there is an unexpected passing. As this type of insurance functions as an income replacement, make sure to take the proper steps in obtaining a reliable life insurance plan. There are many different companies and ways to shop for this type of insurance, so review your options and research what is right for you as a couple.

While you may feel inclined to neglect this expense as a result of upcoming wedding costs, it is important for couples to remember that your life insurance rates take into consideration factors such as your age and health. Therefore, it can be beneficial to look into getting a policy earlier rather than later in order to lock down more affordable rates to help save money down the road, even after the wedding.

Nutrition and fitness 

Feeling your best on the day of your wedding includes more than just your hair and makeup. For many brides, this will also involve setting health goals. As stress can build up in the days leading up to the wedding, finding ways to channel and release some of this stress in a healthy way can reduce anxiety and keep you feeling energized to prepare for the big day.

The months leading up to your wedding will most likely leave you with little room in your schedule, so consider planning out your meals ahead of time with healthy meal prep recipes. Not only is this an efficient use of your time, but it can help you reach your goals, so you look and feel amazing when it’s time to say ‘I do.” Different foods provide different benefits and can act as a motivation to stay on track for your health goals. For example, foods like tomatoes and avocados help skin glow⁠—so find the perks within your favorite nutritious foods!

Similarly, your fitness goals might be something you want to include on your pre-wedding to-dos. Whether your goals are weight-loss related or you simply want to get a good sweat in, working out before your wedding can help combat jitters and relieve some of the pressures associated with planning a wedding. There are even special ‘bridal boot camps’ that are aimed to specifically help brides get in shape and toned for the big day.

Self-care

It might seem unnecessary to incorporate this into your bigger picture pre-wedding checklist, but your mental health is something that everyone should make time for. It can be stressful just trying to keep up with the many mundane tasks that your wedding will call for, make sure to set aside time to show yourself some love. When you are the best version of yourself, you are able to give more love—and what a great mindset to begin your new life as a married couple.

There are several ways you can practice self-care, and what methods or practices work best will vary from bride to bride. Spa visits and massages are great ways to reduce stress, but as a soon to be bride—you might be looking for a more affordable option to include in your daily routine.

Practicing meditation has many benefits, including lengthening your attention span, which can come in handy as you discuss with your partner the smaller wedding details. There are meditations that can be completed under twenty minutes, so even finding a small window to work this in can help boost your mood and help you feel refreshed.

Vibe of the wedding

Anything from the bridal dress you select to the color scheme you decide, every little detail of your wedding will contribute to the overall vibe you are looking to achieve as you lock in your commitment to your forever person. When you start to make big decisions, like the venue or the wedding date, be sure you have a clear vision and mutual understanding with your partner on how you are picturing this day. Try to consider each other’s wants and needs on this special day and enjoy making these decisions as a couple. 

Whether you are hoping for a luxurious, glamorous, whimsical, unconventional, or anything in between, the feel of your wedding will be something that you will feel long after the day is over. The season you pick to get married in, the people you invite, and how you decorate and celebrate all play a part in making your idea come to life, so be thoughtful and selective when making these decisions.

Often, it can seem harder to organize and plan all the small details yourself, so keep in mind the different resources you have available to help seal the deal. Wedding planners are great resources for something looking to take many tasks off their plates, and with their expertise in the industry, they can help offer special tips and tricks. While this might be out of the price range for you, also don’t forget about the free information available as well. Pinterest boards and online influencers can offer inspiration and can be a great place to reference when it comes time to make some of your own plans.

Your relationship

Isn’t this obvious? While the entire point of wedding ceremonies and receptions are about coming together and celebrating finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, ironically, the wedding planning process can cause unwanted tension within relationships. As statistics show that the average American engagement lasts 15 months, which leaves over a year of time you could spend during this engagement period.

Setting aside quality time to focus on your partner and getting closer to them during your engagement can help prepare you as you take your relationship to the next level. Although you might find yourself disagreeing about certain aspects of the wedding, learning to overcome these challenges and effectively communicate with one another can be an important skill to take with you in the years to come.

Discover what type of bonding experiences work best for you as a couple, and try not to sacrifice this time despite your busy schedules. While you may have to cut back on costs while you save for the big day, there are still ways you can get creative in showing your love to your fiance, continuing to grow closer. For example, spending an evening reminiscing about the journey that has brought you to this point is a sweet and simple reminder of what truly matters.

Name change

If this is not something you and your partner have previously discussed, it is most definitely something you will want to talk about earlier rather than later in your planning process. It’s becoming more common for individuals to keep their maiden name, having an open and honest discussion with your fiance on your stance on this subject is significant. Since this can influence your save the dates, invitations, and, more importantly, your upcoming legal documents that will need to be changed, spend time reflecting on what the right decision is for you and your partner. 

If you choose to take your partner’s last name, remember that several items will need to be updated, including your passports, loans, your employer documentation, driver’s license, and more. This can be a time-consuming process, so starting to make these changes ahead of time will reduce stress as the actual day of the wedding approaches.

On the other hand, if you or your partner are hesitant about changing last names, there are different options and discussions you can have so that you are both comfortable with the outcome you choose. You can discuss last-name change alternatives or see if there is room for compromise. No couple is the same, so how you navigate this in your relationship can be just as unique as the love you share for one another.

Honeymoon plans

Possibly just as important as your actual wedding day itself is what you have planned right after! The honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to enjoy your new spouse with uninterrupted alone time and decompress from months of hard work and planning.

The reason behind looking into these travel plans upfront is because of how you will need to incorporate them into your wedding budget. In order to make the most financially responsible decisions to ensure your long-term financial wellbeing, you will need to decide how much you will prioritize your honeymoon and allocate funds accordingly.

With couples spending an average of $4,466, it is still something that couples need to factor into the costs. Whether you opt for a beach trip or sailing the seas, the opportunities are endless. Another consideration to think about is when you want to take your honeymoon. Some couples choose to postpone their honeymoon to a little after the wedding to alleviate some financial pressures, so this could be a discussion to have with your partner to see what works best for your situation.

Wedding song

Finding your wedding song can be a lovely break from some of the other grueling tasks you are trying to accomplish. While there is no right or wrong way to go about this, there are certainly a few tips you can follow to help you select the perfect first dance song.  From reflecting on your love story to actually deciding how it will be played at the reception, these are all factors that brides shouldn’t neglect. A wedding song is also a great way to have a piece of that day to relive in the long years to come in your marriage, so opting for something timeless and representative to you as a couple can have a meaningful impact. 

Similarly, if you are planning for other dances with moms or dads of the married couple, including the relatives in the process can be a touching experience. As your options can vary from genre to different versions of songs, your options are endless.

On top of the actual song, how it will be performed is another area to consider. If you have a live band or musician booked, going through a dry-run of how it will sound on the big day can help you better make your selection. Furthermore, this provides the perfect opportunity to practice your first dance and release any jitters you both might have about your performance!  

With these many considerations and areas to take into account, you’ll have lots to think about as you prepare for your big day. Although it may seem slightly overwhelming now, rest assured that you have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and at the end of the day, this comes first. 

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