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Bridal Shower Prep: Do’s and Don’ts

You’ve taken on the (oh so important!) task of celebrating the bride with a shower. Honoring the bride is an exciting responsibility to have, but of course, planning the perfect party is no easy feat. Between the food, decorations and activities, there is a slew of factors to consider. To boot, you have to pick a date, time and a place, and of course, give those guests plenty of notice by sending out the invitations.

While putting together a memorable shower may come with some challenges, a little preparation can go a long way in making sure all goes smoothly. Keep in mind these do’s and don’ts and you’re sure to throw a bash that makes the bride feel super special.

Do’s

  • Do get a feel for the bride’s preferences.

Before you do any planning whatsoever, the most important thing you can do is get a sense of what the bride is hoping for. Some brides have a really specific vision, and others might be a tad more carefree. Either way, it’s her big day, so you’ll want to find out what’s most important to her. Does she have a particular theme in mind? Is she imagining a more intimate get-together, or would she like to include all the women invited to the wedding from both sides of the family? Is she more comfortable with a casual affair, or is she dreaming about a more glamorous gathering? Has she been toying with the idea of a Jack and Jill shower that includes the men? Once you have a feel for her preferences, you can start working out the details.

  • Do plan a separate lingerie shower.

These days, it’s become more and more common to have multiple showers. Why? Well, hardly any bride wants to open sexy underpinnings in front of grandma or the mother-in-law. Keep it PG with a traditional bridal shower, and if you get the feeling the bride would appreciate some luxurious loungewear or lacy underthings to kick off this new phase of newlywed life, then plan a separate lingerie shower with just the bridesmaids and other close girlfriends. If the bridesmaids have to come from out of town for the shower, you might even plan the lingerie shower to be part of the bachelorette weekend in order to minimize travel. That way, she can unwrap her gorgeous bridal lingerie in the company of just her besties.

  • Do give guests some gift guidance.
    It’s a good idea to give attendees some tips on what to buy the bride. The easiest way to go about this is to offer the couple’s registry info. But rather than include that directly in the invitation, add an insert with a link to the wedding website or registry. You can also come up with a cute theme for the gifts. For example, a foodie bride will no doubt appreciate a fête where guests give culinary-themed presents.

If you’re planning a separate lingerie shower, you’ll want to include the bride’s sizes to ensure that her gifts fit flawlessly. If you don’t know her sizes — or aren’t 100 percent sure — just ask! Or if the lingerie shower is a surprise, you can ask her fiancée, who can also sneak a peek at some size tags in her collection if he’s not certain. The bride can certainly put together a lingerie wish list for guests to shop from, but even providing guests with the names of a few of her favorite stores will be immensely helpful.

Don’ts

  • Don’t delay on choosing a date.
    Typically, the bridal shower will happen about two or three months before the wedding. And it’s crucial to give guests plenty of notice so they can make travel plans, request to take time off work if need be and purchase a gift. So, the first order of business should be to send out those invites as early as possible — at least two months before the shower is taking place if lots of people will be coming from out of town, and at least four to six weeks if most attendees are local. Choosing the date as early as possible means you’ll have more options if you plan to book a venue rather than hosting it at someone’s house. Also, you’ll have far more time to plan the perfect menu, get creative with the decor and add those special touches that will make it a standout shower.
  • Don’t try to do it alone.

Just because you’re the one in charge of planning the shower, that doesn’t mean you have to take responsibility for every single aspect of the event. It’s a lot to take on for one person — and odds are, if you ask the other bridesmaids or family members to help, they’ll be happy to contribute. Better yet, delegate specific tasks rather than just vaguely asking for assistance. For example, you might enlist the bridesmaids to take on the duty of assembling gift bags or hunting down some fun games to play and ask the mother of the bride or future mother-in-law to call some venues for pricing information.

  • Don’t be too loose (or too strict) in your itinerary

Most showers follow the same general outline: Guests mingle with some snacks and beverages, they play a game or three and watch the bride open her gifts. That doesn’t mean you have to follow this itinerary, but you do need to have one in place to avoid having people feel aimless or uncomfortable. After all, there might be guests at the shower who don’t know anyone, so expecting them to socialize and make conversation for an entire afternoon or evening may be unrealistic. Have a general idea of how you’d like to kick off the shower, what will happen in the middle and how you’d like it to end. Drawing up a plan will help to maintain momentum and keep guests entertained. Keep in mind, however, that your schedule should be flexible. If guests are having a ball at the DIY mimosa station, let them linger and enjoy without forcing them to participate in a particular activity. Conversely, if there’s a lull in the celebration at any point, it’s good to have a backup plan to bust out, like some classic bridal bingo.

It’s next to impossible to over plan or prepare for a bridal shower, but it is possible to overthink it. Remember: The bride chose you to put together this special day for a reason — because she trusts you.

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The definitive step-by-step guide to preparing for your wedding dress shopping

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. We like to think of it as a wonderful and unique journey where brides explore diverse options and finally find a magical dress that transforms them into the beautiful brides they always wanted to be.

However, the path to finding this one and the only perfect wedding dress is not simple. It is fraught with challenges and the options are endless. So, it is essential to plan for the task and avoid drowning in the endless variety of dresses presented to you.

This is where we will help you!

This step-by-step guide will prepare you for your impending wedding dress shopping and the task will not overwhelm you.

Over the next chapters, we will tell you what to expect at each stage leading to wedding dress shopping. We will also tell you how to navigate potential issues so you can enjoy the shopping experience, just like you deserve to.

Let us begin!

Step 1: Factors to consider when shopping for your wedding dress

Are you unsure of how to begin planning for wedding dress shopping?

Don’t worry, for we know exactly what will help you set your shopping criteria. These are practical factors or constraints, that directly affect your dress decision. Start by considering these factors and you will be able to narrow down your search. So, here they are!

Venue and theme 

Have you decided on a wedding theme yet? Your chosen theme will determine your venue choice and directly impact your wedding dress selection. We’ll tell you how.

Imagine you have your heart set on a beach wedding in summer. Would it be practical to wear a heavy satin gown with an elaborate train to this venue?

No!

Continue reading The definitive step-by-step guide to preparing for your wedding dress shopping

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15 Important things to do in the week of your wedding

The last week leading up to your wedding will be a whirlwind of activity. This is the time when you have to complete every last detail on your wedding checklist. Since there will be plenty of work to do at this time, it is easy to forget one or more things in all the hurry.

Having seen so many brides over the years, we can understand how exhausting it is when you should finish it all and also get everything right. Fortunately, we know how to make the task easy. Here is a checklist of all the important things you should complete in the week leading up to your wedding.

Use this list to finish your tasks in a planned manner and without hassle.

1.Pick up your wedding dress

Plan your final wedding dress fitting early in the week during your wedding. This will help you ensure that the dress fits perfectly. You needn’t worry about any size changes following this session, and hence can enjoy the best possible fit. In case your dress fitting is over before this, don’t forget to try on your dress during the last week. You can do any necessary alteration if there is any change in measurement at the time. Also try the dress on with the accessories you intend to wear. This will let you see how the overall look comes together, and you can make any necessary changes.

2.Pack or prep your wedding dress

If you plan to get dressed at home, set your wedding dress on a hanger. Steam or iron the belt or sash that comes with the dress, so it looks crisp and clean. In case you should transport your wedding dress, zip it into a garment bag after ensuring all parts are perfectly packed. Check with your wedding dress boutique to find whether there are any likely issues with transporting the dress. Follow their suggestions, if any.

3.Break in your wedding shoes

Don’t wait till your wedding day to first wear your wedding shoes. Unless you break them in, wearing them on the very day can be painful. Brand new shoes pinch, cause blisters or may feel too tight. If the heel height is more than what you usually wear, it won’t be easy to dance in them. So, start using it the month before your wedding and your feet will get accustomed to the fit. In the last week, wear it for a short while every day. Wearing them in short spurts will help you break it in gradually. Get used to the heel height. Also try to dance in them. For more tips and advice on how to break your shoes in effectively, take a look at this article on the Bustle. 

4.Practice your vows

You may have written your vows already. So, now start practicing it as well. Even if you will be reading it off a piece of paper, try it out in advance. This will allow you to modulate your voice and pace your lines for the right effect. Another benefit of doing this is that it will alleviate some stress. After all, many brides become nervous when the moment finally arrives and they have to say their vows in front of all these people. Prepare yourself with the lines and you are less likely to fumble and make mistakes. Thus, you will feel calm and confident when you have to finally say it at your wedding.

5.Check and confirm with those who will speak at your wedding

This is the right time to cross-check and confirm with those who are saying the wedding speeches and toasts. A gentle reminder will be sufficient for them to get their toast ready in time for the wedding. It is a good idea to inform then of when it will be their turn to speak on the day. Long toasts and speeches are boring. So, ask them to keep it short and not longer than 5 minutes. Also limit the wedding speeches to three or four at the most, so your guests don’t feel bored.

6.Put together your wedding emergency kit

There are many things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Get ready to tackle all such issues with an emergency kit with all necessary supplies. You will have to stock items like tissues, blotting paper, chalk, safety pins, thread and needles to handle potential wedding dress issues. Apart from that you should also include your hair and makeup essentials. Smelling salts, plaster and tape are some of the other items that can come in handy. For the full list of items to have in your wedding emergency kit, visit this previous article. If you don’t want to set up your emergency kit by yourself, you can also buy it ready made. Find out all about what our emergency kit contains and how you can order it from Best for Bride here. 

7.Complete all work-related assignments

You will have to run around a lot for your wedding tasks. So, get your work out of the way before that. Complete all pending assignments and delegate responsibilities to your colleagues in-charge during your absence. Send emails to all those concerned, informing them of your non-availability during your wedding and honeymoon. Get your work things organized and in-place. Create easy to access lists and information for your co-workers, boss and subordinates, so they will not have to contact you while you are away.

8.Confirm with vendors and suppliers

Don’t wait till the day before your wedding to get in touch with your wedding vendors. Call them up early and cross-check if everything is progressing as per plan. Confirm that there are no issues and all required ingredients and materials are available. Inquire about any likely changes, and give the go-ahead only after verifying them. Confirm arrival, transportation and pick-up plans for the day. Provide a contact who they can get in touch with in case of any questions on the day. If you have a wedding planner, she will handle all this. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to verify that everything is moving smoothly.

9.Verify plans with your wedding party

Get in touch with your bridesmaids, ushers and the rest of the members in the wedding party and inform them of the wedding timeline and plans. Check and confirm that your bridesmaids have collected their dresses after necessary alterations. Also discuss their hair and makeup plans for the day. Delegate the responsibilities to the right people, so everyone is aware of what they are in-charge of. Inform them of where they have to be at different times on the day. Also discuss the details of how, where and when they should do their hair and makeup on the day. Once you do the overall planning, delegate the responsibilities to ensure each aspect is covered to your maid-of-honor, best man and bridal party.

10.Pack your overnight bag

Even if you will be getting dressed at your home, put all that you need together for easy access. Make a list of all the things you need to get ready. This should also include your change of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, your emergency kit and other essentials. Then pack a bag with these items and put it away safely. Once you have this ready, simply pull it out when it is time to go. You need not worry about searching for all you need at the last minute.

11.Pack your honeymoon bag

Pack all that you need for your honeymoon in the week before your wedding. Depending on the location, make a list of the different things you have to carry. Then pack these items into your bag. If your honeymoon is abroad, don’t forget to pack your passport and other travel documents. When you get everything ready in advance, you are less likely to forget any essential detail. For new clothes, shoes and other items, get rid of the tags and price stickers before packing them in.

12.Confirm the guest head count

This is the right time to ensure that your seating arrangement is done properly and that there are no changes to plan. If someone has failed to RSVP, reach out to them to find out if they are attending or not. You can make suitable last-minute changes to the seating plan if there is a difference in head count. Share this information with your caterer, venue manager and wedding planner, once the list is ready. If you have asked guests to make a choice from the menu options, this is also the time to follow up with those who haven’t responded already. Your vendors and caterers will need such information to plan their work for the day.

13.Prep your home

There will be people visiting you during the week before your wedding. So, get it ready for hosting, in advance. Do a deep clean, put everything in its right place and neatly arrange your house. Have your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare meals, for days that do not go as planned. Plan your outfits for the week, so you can dress quickly and efficiently. If there are items that are to be stored away safely, put them away now and you needn’t worry about them when you have to lock and go. Hire help if necessary, for the cleaning, maintenance and any other essential tasks. Also identify the zones where you will be taking photographs on the wedding day, and set them up neatly and as preferred so they are ready for pictures.

14.Get your mani/pedi and confirm hair and makeup appointments

You should do your manicure and pedicure closer to the wedding day, for best results. So, schedule your appointment just a day or two before the wedding. Make sure it doesn’t clash with any of the remaining wedding plans. You will have to spend at least an hour at the salon for this purpose. Decide on how you want your nails to look for the occasion. Here are some ideas on the Huffington Post.  This will prevent you from randomly picking it up and later regretting the choice. Book your appointment at the salon in advance. If you will be using a hairdresser or makeup artist for your wedding, double-check your booking details to avoid confusion on the day.

15.Brief your maid-of-honor or wedding planner on wedding day responsibilities

You do not want to spend your time overseeing every detail on your wedding day, when you ought to actually have fun. So, assign all responsibilities to a capable person or persons. Discuss factors like what to do with the décor after the function, how to handle vendor payments, what to do with your wedding dress etc. Give clear instructions on each aspect that is important. You can thus minimize their need to consult you with questions on the day. Do a double check of your wedding checklist and make sure everything has been handled.

Wedding planning is strenuous and can overwhelm every bride at some point or the other. To avoid drowning in the stress, it is wise to chalk out time for yourself during the wedding planning process. Also, don’t forget to enjoy every milestone you cross. Finding the perfect wedding dress is a big achievement in your wedding planning, and we can help you with this. Visit Best for Bride for the latest and most modern as well as classic bridal dress collections. Apart from that, also browse through our bridesmaids dress collections, wedding accessories collection and more to jump start your wedding planning today.

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10 things wedding guests hate most at weddings

A gloomy wedding guest fits not a wedding feast.”  -Friedrich Schiller 

Your wedding wouldn’t be the same without your guests. Although this special day in your life is a celebration of you and your partner, your guests are an irreplaceable part of the celebration. They are people who make the effort and make time to be part of your lifetime celebration. Unless they are happy and enjoy the events of the day, they will not remember your wedding fondly.

Just think of all the weddings you have attended. There will be those that you loved, and then some others. It is highly unlikely that you had fun at weddings where the guest experience was the couple’s lowest priority. After all, who could enjoy a party where they were treated as an after-thought. When you analyze things from this perspective, you will realize the importance of this factor in your wedding.

Here is our roundup of all that real guests hate most at weddings. Take note and make sure not to overlook these factors at yours.

A remote venue that is difficult to locate

In your search for a unique and unusual venue that also fits your budget, don’t forget to consider how accessible it is. Your guests may not enjoy the trek to a far-off location which is difficult to locate and reach. Although you may provide clear instructions, think of factors like how remote it is and whether they should spend a long time on the road to get there. Also, check whether it has a public transportation option.

There may be guests who aren’t comfortable driving that far. Or it may be expensive to hire a cab to drive them there. If you simply cannot avoid this condition, arrange transportation from a central point to the place. Else, arrange a reception that is within a reasonable distance and invite the majority of guests to this location instead.

A vague dress code

There is nothing like a standard wedding today. From extravagant banquet affairs to rustic loft weddings and laidback beach nuptials, every wedding is different. Thus it isn’t always easy for guests to decide what to wear to a wedding. Nobody wishes to be embarrassed about their dress choice. So, they usually look at your invitation or wedding website to make this decision.

There are many clear, fun and even clever ways to communicate this point in your invitation. There are both traditional and non-traditional ways to let your guests know what your wedding style is. From simple straightforward phrases like “Black Tie” and “Casual” to “Dress to Impress” or “Festive attire”, provide a simple phrase that explains the style clearly. Take a look at this article on the Brides website for how to word it and what each phrase refers to.

Unclear instructions

Nothing spoils fun like a lack of clear instructions. From directions to a proper seating arrangement and instructions of where the various events will be held, guests need clear instructions. Unless you provide it, they just waste time trying to figure things out by themselves. So make sure you communicate all relevant details in a clear and crisp manner. Design and format the layout of your invitation card with a checklist that cites what information your guests need.

Similarly, make sure you mention all other information on your wedding website. Add details like landmarks, traveling time to the venue, nearest public transportation destination, etc, and make things easy for them. If the ceremony and reception venue is different, provide clear directions to get to the second from the first. Similarly, don’t complicate the seating arrangement. It should be easy to understand and follow. Your guests will appreciate finding their seats easily and settle in quickly.

Long breaks between events

It is plain disrespectful to make your guests wait for long spans of time during the day. Everyone values their time. Although your guests won’t look forward to a marathon of events on the day, neither will they be excited about an event that drags on and on. So, give accurate information about timings in your wedding invitation and program. Provide the “guest arrival time” and “ceremony start time” on your invitation to clarify things. This will allow your guests to evaluate the event timeline correctly and plan accordingly.

Make sure that you, your partner, and the members of the wedding party are on time. Also, space the different events of the day without too much delay. If there are long delays, arrange entertainment or refreshments to keep your guests occupied during this gap. Discuss with your wedding planner or photographer to create an accurate timeline that is practical for both you and your guests.

Spending too much money for additional expenses

Your guests will not be happy if they must spend additional money for expenses related to your wedding. Most wedding guests dread attending weddings at venues with high parking fees. Don’t be surprised if your guests get too fidgety if your wedding day events are delayed when they are paying for parking by the hour. It is equally disappointing if you will be having a cash bar, where they have to pay for their own drinks. A limited bar or one with few options will be better received than if they should pay for their drinks.

The same applies to gift registries too. Your guests will want to get you a gift that is useful. However, they may be on a budget. When you register for items with different price ranges, they can choose one that suits their budget. Don’t be a needy couple who looks desperate for contributions from guests to make their day special. So, don’t think twice about ruling out the money dance and honeymoon jar idea!

Long boring speeches

Unless you have a small, intimate wedding, save your guests the trouble of tolerating long speeches that they barely relate to. If your wedding speeches and toasts just go on and on, it will simply bore them to death. Don’t have more than five speeches. Also, ask all speakers to limit their toasts to five minutes or less. This will not take up much time.

Let anyone else who wishes to speak at your wedding do it at the rehearsal dinner. Since that will be a smaller and contained event, it will be an apt occasion for your friends and family to speak all they want. Also, make sure that there is a mic if your reception is at a non-traditional venue. You do not want your guests to strain and struggle to understand what is being said.

Being seated with strangers

We perfectly understand that creating a seating plan for your wedding is no walk in the park. However, you should do it with care. It isn’t fun for your guests when you assign seating in such a way that they are seated with total strangers. Most dates that accompany guests end up in such situations. Unfortunately, not all of them take it well.

Although it is impossible to make perfect groups, we advise that you do not randomly create your seating plan. Try to arrange the seating in such a way that there is at least one person who everyone knows at their table. It is a good idea to discuss the seating plan with your groom, parents, and the wedding party. A group effort will yield better results and help to avoid confusion.

Photographers who get in the way

Too many photographers can ruin the entire visual experience of your wedding. Whether it is that they shoot the couple or take selfies, this simple action can spoil the calm atmosphere. When guests are too busy capturing photos on their mobile phones, it often disrupts the view of the other guests. They can also get in the way of the professional photographer and spoil their shots. If you have hired a professional photographer for your wedding, trust him to do a good job. Also, inform the rest of your guests that you do not appreciate photos being clicked during the course of events.

Convey this clearly, but not in a condescending way. There are several ways in which you can do this. Put a note in your wedding program or make an announcement prior to the wedding. You can also display signs at various places in the venue. Just make sure that there is no chance it is overlooked or missed. When you have an unplugged wedding, your photographer will be able to do a better job of capturing your wedding pictures. Take a look at this article on Glamour.com to find out how to do it efficiently. 

Loud and blaring music

You may have hired a highly energetic band for your wedding because you love their kind of music. However, it needn’t be the case with your guests. Music that deafens can really aggravate those who do not enjoy it. Be considerate and realize that there may be those who do not like the music you play at your wedding. For their benefit, keep the volume down. This will let them relax and chat or sit and watch without much difficulty.

Your guests should basically be able to talk to each other without having to scream because of the blaring background music. It is fine to occasionally raise the volume, to get the desired impact for certain song numbers. However, don’t make the mistake of maintaining the same volume throughout the evening. Your guests may rush to the washroom or out of the venue to rest their pounding heads. Most of all, this will ruin the entire day for them. Give your band or DJ a mix of songs in the playlist, so there is something that appeals to everyone there.

When the couple are totally engrossed in themselves

Nobody enjoys an event with ungracious hosts. Even when the guest count is huge, your guests expect to be treated with courtesy. So acknowledge their presence. Of course, they understand that you have a busy day and do not have time to chit-chat. However a quick hello, thank you or goodbye makes it worth their while.

If you are too busy taking photos or spending time with selected guests only, it can put off the others. After all, they made the effort to attend your wedding because they care for you. So, use the cocktail hour to mingle with your guests. Or wave hello to them when they step up to take a photograph. Treat your guests well and your wedding will be a memorable one for them as well.

Do you have any more things to add to this list? If so, do let us know through the comments section below.

Every wedding poses a unique set of challenges. Creating a great experience for your guests is just one of them. While there isn’t much we can do to help you with this, Best for Bride can help you with another equally important wedding planning task—finding the perfect wedding dress. Browse through our wedding dress collection to find a stunning variety of dresses that fit every style, weather, and wedding type. Apart from that we also feature a great collection of dresses for the wedding party. Visit the Best for Bride gallery today and begin shortlisting your favorites from our collection.