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The complete month-by-month wedding planning timeline

Wedding planning

Only a handful of brides have the unbelievable ability for successful short-term wedding planning. However, if you are like most women, you may take a year or more to sort out all aspects of wedding planning.

So, there is no exact timeline to plan a perfect wedding.

Nonetheless, you need a plan! Even if you are an easy-going bride who somehow gets things done in the nick of time.

If you have already planned a wedding, you will need some direction and guidance on what needs to be done.

Don’t you agree?

So, here is a practical wedding planning timeline and month-by-month checklist of all the different tasks that it involves. Use it as such or as a reference to create your own personalized wedding plan and you simply cannot go wrong.

Note: This wedding planning timeline is created for the “average” engagement period, which is a whole year. However, you can adjust it to divide and conquer all the relevant, tasks even if your engagement is longer or shorter.

When you have 12 months left

Wedding budget
Wedding finances

Freshly engaged and still reeling from the thrill of the beautiful proposal? Indulge yourself in the ecstasy of this milestone chapter in your life, for it happens just once.

Have a party, take a holiday; all you need to celebrate! Then, get down to business!

Start your wedding planning process with the following tasks.

Prepare the Wedding Budget

Weddings are expensive affairs, and this is the right time to discuss finances with your fiancé.

Calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Then, divide the funds into different expenses. Some of the important factors to consider at this point are:

  • Who pays for the wedding? Are your families/other generous relatives contributing? If so, how much will they be paying?
  • What are your priorities—venue, décor, entertainment, food, honeymoon?
  • What tools will you use to jot down and track expenses? Do you prefer the pen and paper route, spreadsheets or a budget planning app?

This useful budget planning tool will help you create an estimate and break it down into different aspects.

Continue reading The complete month-by-month wedding planning timeline
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The definitive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping

bridesmaid dresses

 

Bridesmaid dress shopping is an indispensable and important aspect of your wedding planning.

bridesmaid dresses

Choosing the right dresses for your wedding party members involves unique challenges such as finding dresses that your bridesmaids approve, that also work with the wedding theme.

So, bridesmaid dress shopping may even end up being more demanding than wedding dress shopping itself! However, with proper preparation and planning, you can tackle bridesmaid dress shopping efficiently.

This comprehensive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping will discuss all that you need for stress-free bridesmaid dress shopping.

So, let’s get started!

Preparation for Bridesmaid dress shopping: Decisions to make

Did you know that the actual shopping process begins much before your bridesmaids set foot in a shop?

Ideally, you should start planning bridesmaid dress shopping at least six months before the wedding.

Continue reading The definitive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping
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Top tips for styling your wedding

Your wedding is a reflection of your personality and style. When the various elements at your wedding come together, it will showcase who you are as a couple. So, it is not just about the details, it is also how these details work together.

Most brides base their wedding on a theme. Although the same theme may have been done a thousand times before, it can be executed completely differently at yours. Nonetheless, making it unique depends on how you plan your details. This is where our tips for styling your wedding will help you.

Here are some of our insider tips to help you style your wedding, to make it uniquely yours!

1.Discuss and note down what you want

Before you begin collecting pretty pictures on Pinterest or browsing the internet for trending themes, take a minute. It is easy to be swayed by what looks good and interesting. However, it may not be the right one for you. Instead, identify what you want first and proceed from there. Sit down with your fiance and discuss what you want your wedding to look and feel like.

It is helpful to jot down not just elements and factors that should be at your wedding, but also words that describe the effect your wedding should create. This will help you when you have to shortlist or choose between ideas that are right for your wedding plans.

2.Collect ideas for all the different elements of your day

Once you know what you want, it is easier to collect ideas that work. This is a good time to start looking at Pinterest and all those pretty details in the various websites you come across. Cover all the different elements from wedding dresses, accessories and food to transportation, décor and stationery. It is a good idea to create different boards on sites like Pinterest and Loverly to segregate your collections into relevant groups.

You may come across new and more interesting ideas every single day. So, this will be an ongoing process. Nonetheless, don’t forget to revisit the data you collect, and subject them to closer scrutiny. Then eliminate those that do not hold your attention, as they did originally. This will help you narrow down your preferences and you will soon identify a pattern emerging.

3.Be open to options

Not all things that match your vision will be available easily. Don’t be disappointed if you find that the items in your mind aren’t all available. To avoid this situation, always make a Plan B. When you plan your wedding imagery, do it with plenty of alternative options. This will improve your chances of finding things you need to complete the effect. At times, it may also be helpful for you to reconsider your options and choose items that are easier on the pocket.

4.Don’t hesitate to get creative

There are no specific rules that govern your choices. You are in charge and have absolute freedom to mix and match, eliminate or combine ideas till you find what you love. Look at the various images and ideas you have and find out what it is that you like most about each of them. If you always thought you wanted pastels at your wedding, but find your collected images to have jewel tones, use this as a cue.

Images will help you recognize what actually appeals to your taste. Use the information you collect to identify patterns, prints, colors and style elements to dictate your wedding style. It is also possible that you will find more than one emerging trend. What do you do in this case? Simply mix and match to create your unique style statement. So, if it is boho and chic, use elements of both types to style your wedding.

5.Get help from the pros

Pulling off the numerous details of a wedding is no easy feat. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself overwhelmed and reeling under pressure. Hire professional help if you find yourself reaching nowhere with your ideas. If not for the entire scene, you can still spend money on just the details that are important.

Wedding planners usually have the talent to find vendors who will gel with you and bring your vision to life. However you can also ask the vendors you’ve already booked to suggest others who they have worked with and are capable of getting the overall picture right. When you discuss your ideas with a potential vendor, see if they accept your vision. Work only with those who believe your idea is feasible, don’t dismiss your ideas or suggest too many changes to plan.

6.Think out of the box

One of the biggest problems with wedding planning these days, is that couples stick to the trends entirely. When they borrow and execute ideas as such, the novelty is lost. Avoid this mistake. While you should be inspired by ideas you find, try to add to it with your own inputs. Get creative and break the mold.

If an idea captures your interest, think of how you can further enhance it. Whether it is adding an unusual accessory to your wedding dress or giving an unexpected twist to the menu, exercise your creative juices. Small but quirky ideas can be remarkably memorable, and all that it takes to shift your wedding experience to a whole other level. Keep it personal, and the custom changes you make will have stronger impact.

7.Sometimes less is more

Whether it is color, texture, prints or patterns, use liberal doses at your wedding. However, make sure it doesn’t overwhelm. When there are too many details, it is likely that the important ones will simply drown in the chaos. So, aim to create just one or two focal points, and let the rest of your wedding arrangements draw on this as inspiration. When working with bright colors, keep the effects contained and use no more than four colors in your wedding to avoid a cluttered look. Remember that it is important to prioritize the factors that mean most to you, and focus on these in your wedding arrangements. The rest should simply be to complement the main things and not compete with it.

8.Remember ideas aren’t always expensive

Executing an unusual or interesting idea at your wedding doesn’t mean it should eat into your budget. With the right approach and planning, you can snag the deal for a good bargain. Handmade details or DIY ideas can be inexpensive when done right.

Set aside time to visit thrift stores, search online and in likely places to find items for less. If you are crafty, use your skills to personalize your décor, wedding favors or add custom touches to your outfit. Shop and think with an open mind. If you are flexible with your choices, it will be easy to find alternative and unusual options for your settings. Not only will these pack a punch, you can also impress your guests with your eye for detail and resourcefulness.

9.Score extra points with unusual items in your décor

 

Every time we come across an unexpected element in the wedding décor, it stays in our memories. These small items usually end up being the signature of your wedding day scenery. Your guests identify them with the occasion, and they become a strong part of their memories. So, do some brainstorming to identify unusual items that will enhance the décor at your wedding. Take a look at this article on the Woman getting married site for some unique wedding centerpiece ideas. The best part is that most of them are easy to DIY, and give your creativity a big boost.

10.Don’t get caught up in other people’s expectations

Whether it is your mother, your wedding planner or maid of honor, their role is to help you realize your wedding vision. For the full-list of who these likely wedding hijackers are, take a look at this article on the Knot. Don’t succumb to pressure and give-in to what they say, unless you absolutely agree.

Some brides are too timid to step up and say something when others try to take over their wedding. Don’t do this or you will see your ideas going out of the window. Remember that it is your wedding, and the day should reflect your likes and preferences. Keep it that way. The easiest option for you to make this happen is to identify your must-haves earlier on. Welcome opinions that contribute to your vision, but don’t commit to anything that you aren’t sure of. You can always say, “I’ll think of it, thanks,” and get off without committing to the suggestion till you think it through.

11.Prepare well and prepare right

Although you may have a zillion brilliant ideas, it is useless unless you execute them with perfection. Preparation is key to nail perfect results. Use visual cues to recognize whether your ideas will translate well in person. Set up a journal or diary to record these details. If you are good at sketching, try to recreate the picture in your mind through sketches. Or if you prefer to work with existing pictures, spend time comparing the colors and effects. This will help you set it all up easier, when the time is right.

For decorations, make note of the general rules to obey to create a visual setting that will impress. Gather all your props, raw materials and décor essentials to set up samples and ensure they look as good as you expect them to. Take pictures of the arrangements you make and click pictures. They will serve as reference points for when you have to do the real thing and are pressed for time.

12.Think of how it will photograph

After the day, all the details you painstakingly create will live through your photographs. So, it is essential that you plan a photogenic wedding, so the memories are sharp and impressive. When you think of your wedding style and especially the colors, consider this aspect. Think of how certain color combinations will translate in photos. Unless it can be captured as beautifully as it is in person, your theme may not look great in pictures.

Even the food you serve at the wedding, your bouquet and jewelry should look beautiful when displayed. Play with contrasts and textures wisely to create an attractive setting to increase the visual appeal of your wedding scene. Discuss these factors with your photographer prior to the wedding. He can guide you on changes that will improve the overall look of your pictures.

13.Create your own style

We always advise brides to have an inspiration board when planning their wedding. However, like I mentioned earlier, this shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your wedding. This is only to motivate you to come up with your unique ideas. Pictures that appeal to your taste will definitely give you a good idea of what you would like to have at your wedding. Once you recognize a pattern and shortlist elements that will be in your wedding, you should go about creating and settling into your own style.

Try to create a cohesive look and feel, and fashion your unique wedding statement. Whether you DIY or hire professionals to do the various details, make sure that it finally reflects who you are as a couple and your personal choices. This will help you avoid a cookie-cutter wedding.

Best for Bride has been helping brides realize their wedding dreams for over a decade now. From bridal dresses to dresses for the bridal party, accessories, wedding favors and even cakes, we have everything you need to plan the perfect wedding day. Visit our website by clicking this link and discover how we can help you have the perfect wedding day.

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How to match your bridesmaids dresses to your wedding style and venue

If you thought to choose the perfect wedding gown was a big challenge, wait till you start looking for your bridesmaids dresses!

Apart from your personal preferences, there are many other factors to consider. The dresses you choose should not only look good on the women who wear it, but they should also be suitable for the wedding theme.

In my previous post, we looked at how to choose wedding dresses for different wedding venues. Although not easy, it is possible to identify whether a dress is suitable for a wedding venue. Making the right pick is important. Unless the dress you choose matches the venue, you will not look like you belong. Meanwhile, it is equally important that this choice reflects your personality and personal style.

Once you make this decision, the next challenge is to choose bridesmaids dresses. These dresses should complement your wedding dress. After all, your bridesmaids contribute to the visual scenery at your wedding. Their outfits, hair, and makeup will make a difference to the impact of your wedding. Hence this task requires few hours of research and planning.

In today’s post, the fashion team at Best for Bride will tell you how to do it right. We will look at different wedding venues and wedding styles and explore appropriate bridesmaid dress styles for each of them. The accompanying pictures will give you a good idea of what we mean. I suggest that you use them as inspiration to plan your own wedding party look. So, let’s get started!

Formal wedding in a Church or house of worship

Church weddings are old-fashioned and definitely traditional. Most brides choose timeless, classic dress styles for these weddings. Veils, tiaras, and long trains are signature elements at a traditional church wedding.

Take cues from your own attire to choose a suitable style for your bridesmaids dresses. Aim for simplicity, but make sure their outfits reflect sophistication. Stay away from short hemlines or other revealing dress styles. These will look out of place in the setting. Structured silhouettes and classic dress styles are ideal.

Style suggestions: Full-length gowns in structured silhouettes look grand in traditional settings. Or go for a hemline that ends at the knee or below. Traditional cuts like the A-line, fit and flare or styles with a fitted bodice look stunning. Single solid colors are recommended. Fabrics like satin and chiffon are suitable. Considering the nature of the wedding, it is a good idea to pick classy accessories. Aim for a feminine, polished look with tasteful accessories, classic make-up, and traditional hairstyles.

This is the Mori Lee 121 Beaded Lace dress with cap-sleeves and illusion neckline is sophisticated with a fit and flare silhouette and satin waistband.

The 6740 A-line crepe gown from After Six bridesmaids collection is simple and uncluttered, but elegant. The classic neckline and sleeves render it suitable for a traditional wedding.

Ballroom wedding

A ballroom wedding is a formal affair, one that has a luxurious ambiance. Most brides make their choice between a modern, stylish silhouette and a traditional dress style like the ball gown for such weddings. Either way, the idea is to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Bridesmaids dresses in timeless, classic colors that flow to full-length will effectively complement your look.

Style Suggestions: Full-length gowns are an ideal bridesmaid dress style if your wedding is a formal affair. For a modern theme, choose dress details like off-the-shoulder or halter necklines. These features create a signature look and will stand out.

Chiffon is a fabric to consider, as it is comfortable to wear as well as dance in. You can also look for dresses with signature motifs in the bodice, or with features like ruffles or embellishments for a dressy look. Pay attention to the neckline and draping, as it can make a huge difference to the final result. Soft flowing solid colored gown packs a punch and will stand out in any setting.

The 6726 full-length A-line bridesmaid dress from After Six collection is glamorous and stylish, and thus perfect for a ballroom wedding. The soft tulle fabric makes the drape impeccable, and the scintillating silver bodice is dressy.

Elegant and attractive, the Mori Lee 141 chiffon full-length gown features an off-the-shoulder neckline detail. Additionally, thin spaghetti straps support the bodice.

Rustic wedding venues like barns

Characterized by the intimacy and casual nature of the venue and décor, these weddings continue to be a huge hit. The warm and cozy venue has a relaxed and laid-back effect. This is easily carried through when you choose lace bridal gowns and vintage-inspired dress styles. It is suggested to choose a relaxed dress silhouette to match the ambiance and formality of the event.

It isn’t too difficult to find bridesmaids dresses that are suitable for this type of venue. Take inspiration from vintage styles and also consider how practical a dress will be for the venue you have chosen.

Style suggestions: If you have chosen a lace wedding dress, why not put your girls in lace too? The textures will have a cohesive effect. You can vary the length and neckline from your gown, so the dresses aren’t too similar.

Although long gowns are fine, dresses with shorter hemlines that end at knee-length are better suited. You can also choose dresses in sturdy fabrics with lace accents in the bodice or skirt. These will be simple, but good-looking. Allow each bridesmaid to choose a suitable neckline from strapless to fully-covered. Not only will this have a mix and match effect, but it will also look elegant. Mix different colors from the same color family for a more interesting effect.

The Jasmine B173010 is a romantic dress with the criss-cross empire-waist bodice. The lace details in the dress and the embellished shoulder straps add textural finesse.

The 31034 from the Mori Lee collection features all-over lace and a stunning strapless bodice. With a short hemline and uncluttered look, the dress is suitable for a barn wedding or other rustic style affair.

Beach wedding

A beach wedding is casual and relaxed. Brides usually opt for unconventional choices when their wedding venue is a beach. You may be looking at soft, flowing gowns in light, breathable fabric for your own wedding dress. After all, this is both pretty and practical in the natural ambiance. It is also sensible to avoid a train and keep the hemline short for your own dress.

Use your own dress choice as the guide to finding bridesmaids dresses that go well with this theme. The last thing you want on your hands is a bridesmaid who trips and falls. So, long hemlines are definitely off the list. Keep it short and smart, and it will be functional.

Fun and flirty styles are ideal for beach bridesmaids. The weather will most likely be hot and humid. So, choose fabrics that do not show sweat and are comfortable in the heat. Experiment with soft, fluttering fabrics that look right in the natural environment. Go with bright, tropical colors or neutral shades to make them stand out. Muted colors can look washed out and too subtle in the natural background. So, avoid them.

If it is a destination wedding, don’t forget to pick dresses that travel well. Low-maintenance dresses that do not wrinkle easily are the best. It should be possible to easily press the dresses to look perfect, as your bridesmaids will have to transport their dresses on a flight. Find more tips on how to plan a destination wedding in this previous article.

Style suggestions: Both loosely draped and fitted silhouettes are equally suitable. A-line dress styles are the other popular choice. Mix and match necklines to make the overall effect more fun. Strapless, halter, one-shoulder, and sleeveless styles are usually perfect for the occasion. Dresses with soft ruffles and loose pleats add interesting texture.

Heavy embellishments will look out of place. Keep the accessories including jewelry and bouquets small. Bright floral bouquets in small sizes are usually beautiful in these settings. Choose flat heels or pumps that make it easy to walk over the uneven terrain.

Casual and light, the B173001 bridesmaid dress from the Jasmine collection is perfect for a beach wedding. The halter-style neckline is an extension of the draped chiffon bodice, and it adds to the overall casual nature.

Stylish and sexy, the Mori Lee 31043 is a smart, but practical dress for a beach wedding. The single shoulder-strap detail and criss-cross bodice add more charm to the dress.

Garden wedding

A garden wedding is the epitome of romance. With lush greenery in the natural background, little décor is needed to make it more attractive. The natural outdoors makes the entire mood light, fun, and relaxed. However, being an outdoor venue, there are more constraints than choosing dresses for indoor venues. Unless the wedding is in early spring, it can be warm and humid. Breathable fabrics are ideal in this scenario. Go with romantic, feminine patterns for the dress to be suitable for the natural vibe at this venue.

Style suggestions: Lace increases the feminine appeal of a dress, and is suitable for a garden wedding. Dresses with shorter hemlines are also very beautiful. Soft, flowy fabric with few embellishments look beautiful and attractive.

Keep the colors simple and soft, with pastels and other muted colors for a charming and elegant effect. Choose dresses that show off just enough skin to be feminine, but not provocative. Mix and match different necklines from strapless to cap-sleeves, so your bridesmaids can all pick styles that suit them best.

Perfect for spring, the Alfred Sung D724CP is a beautiful sateen twill dress with bright floral prints in the skirt. Set against a stark white bodice, the dress is representative of spring itself.

In an A-line silhouette with a strapless neckline, the 113 tulle Mori Lee bridesmaid dress is just right for an outdoor garden wedding.

City Hall Wedding

We haven’t seen brides with too many bridesmaids when they plan their wedding is at City Hall. Nevertheless, for the few that will be in the bridal party, you have to find a suitable, smart, and chic attire that makes them look special. The occasion is formal. So, a full-length gown or a cocktail dress that is well-tailored and structured would look good.

Style Suggestions: Always choose dresses with the definite structure for your bridesmaids. If you will be wearing a full-length wedding gown, go with long gowns with uncluttered embellishments for your bridesmaids. Equally suitable are dresses that end below knee-length and have a definite shape. Go with formal styles to keep it appropriate. Dresses with sleeves look good. Similarly, experiment with necklines that are stylish-but modest. Keep the accessories, hair, and makeup simple and uncluttered. Stay away from too much bling, as this can work against the look you want.

Smart and uncluttered, the color block feature of the 2956 from the Dessy Bridesmaid collection is a dress that is good for a City Hall wedding.

The Mori Lee 31042 features a sleeveless V-neckline with the criss-cross bodice, pleated skirt and zipper back.

While this guide will help you obtain a general idea of what should work at your wedding, remember that these are not the only options to explore. When choosing your bridesmaids dresses, do your research and shopping with an open mind. This will improve your chances of finding exactly what you want your favorite girls to wear on your special day.

At Best for Bride, we have an impressive range of bridesmaids dresses from world-class designer collections. Most dresses come in a whole range of colors, making it easy for you to find the dress you want. Start your research early, narrow down your choices, and consult your bridesmaids before you make your final decision. The earlier you get on with this task, the more time you will have to make a wise choice. Click on this link to go to our page of bridesmaids dress collections.