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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.

This will give you enough time to finalize the selection criteria, co-ordinate with your girls and fix shopping appointments and book alterations when the dresses arrive.

So, let us look at the different steps to consider during the preparation stage.

What is the budget?

Being chosen as a bridesmaid comes with many perks. However, at least some of your girls may worry about one aspect—the expenses they must bear.

According to this survey by the Knot, the average bridesmaid dress costs $150. It may be higher or lower based on the bride’s preferences.

Make it easy for your bridesmaids by asking them what they are comfortable spending. Accordingly, fix the budget and restrict choices to dresses in this range.

If the price is a severe constraint, here are some practical ideas to save on bridesmaids dresses.

Who makes the final choice?

Gone are the days when the bride would choose a single dress for all her bridesmaids. Modern brides are fashion-conscious and acknowledge the fact that their bridesmaids would like to be consulted about their preferences.

If you are really flexible, you can even let your bridesmaids pick their dresses themselves. However, there is a challenge!

When you give them free rein, the final look may not be cohesive.

Avoid this issue by specifying two to three guidelines. Choose from color, fabric type, length, neckline style or sleeve style.

The other option is to take the whole group shopping at the same time and ensure that the final decision is yours.

When to go shopping?

Bridesmaid dress shopping should be completed months ahead of the wedding. Play it safe and book the session four to six months in advance.

Talk to your bridesmaids and schedule their appointment in such a way that it is convenient for most of the crew.

For bridesmaids who stay far away, you can even explore the option of buying their dress at a different store that is near their place. This will make the collection and alterations much easier.

Where to buy?

The best place to shop for bridesmaid dresses is at a real store. However, it is important to shop at least a few months before the wedding. Stores require time to place your order with the manufacturer and get it delivered.

When you decide to shop at a real store, you can touch and see samples prior to ordering. Your bridesmaids can also try on the dresses to see how it looks on their bodies. This eliminates confusion regarding the quality of the fabric, dress style and choosing the wrong size.

Nonetheless, there are certain challenges when you decide to take the girls shopping. Let us look at what they are and how to tackle them.

To invite all the bridesmaids or not?

If you will be making the final decision regarding your bridesmaid dresses, you will have to go shopping with them. However, it is a bad idea to take all your bridesmaids with you for the first appointment.

Too many opinions can result in chaos and you may end up more confused than before.

Instead, take someone you trust (like your Maid of Honor or mother) when you first visit the boutique. Share your vision with the shopping consultants.

Also, remember that your bridesmaids will have different body types and complexions. Discuss these factors with the sales team.

With their help, narrow down your choices to a few dresses. Make your choices in such a way that there is something suitable for everyone.

These will be the ones that your bridal crew will finally try on. At the next appointment, include all your bridesmaids and help them make the final decision.

Sizing issues and other challenges

When placing the order, your sales consultant will measure the girls and select the size that is closest to their measurements. Since sizing charts are different from those for regular clothes, their bridesmaid dress size will differ from their regular dress size.

Remember that it will be easier to take in a big dress than add extra inches to one that is too small. Choose accordingly.

In the rare case that a bridesmaid is unable to go shopping and you should order on her behalf, choosing the correct size can be a problem. Ask her to get measured by a professional seamstress to ensure you are given accurate measurements to choose the right size.

Once the dresses arrive, each bridesmaid will need one or two alteration sessions to get the dress to fit correctly. Alterations will typically take one to two weeks.

Factor this into the bridesmaid dress shopping schedule. Be considerate of their schedules when planning their fitting appointments.

Now that we have looked at the different challenges you will face during the preparation stage, let us move on to the more interesting task—the actual dress selection.

Getting down to business: Actual bridesmaid dress selection

Once you have fixed the budget and where and when to shop for your bridesmaid dresses, you are ready to begin the actual selection process.

As we discussed earlier, you have two options: either join the bridal party when they go shopping or let your bridesmaids handle the task themselves.

Irrespective of which option you choose, you must guide your bridesmaids towards suitable dresses by supplying a few specifications. Let us look at the various factors that you should consider in this regard.

Choosing colors and styles: factors to consider

Although it isn’t necessary that all the bridesmaids should wear the same color, it is essential that the dress colors match the color palette of your wedding.

If your central colors are bold and bright, it may not flatter all your bridesmaids. In such a situation, you may like to look at dresses in neutral colors. Not only will this complement your bridal look, but it will also blend with any theme.

The bridesmaid dress choices should also complement the bridal gown in terms of fabric and style. This will ensure that your bridal portraits with the wedding party will look splendid. So, complete your wedding gown shopping to go bridesmaid dress shopping.

When choosing your bridesmaid dress color, remember that flexibility is key to a good-looking wedding party. By being open-minded you can find dresses that flatter all your girls, which also tie with the overall wedding theme. For more insight on how this works, watch this video

With proper planning, you can use different dresses to create a dynamic, but attractive wedding party. Here are some practical mix and match ideas to make this happen.

Same color, different dress styles

Give each of your bridesmaids a distinct look by choosing dresses with different style elements. You can vary the silhouette, neckline details, sleeve length, and even hemline to make this happen.

Then tie together their different styles with color. You can ensure that the color remains the same throughout the group by picking different dresses from the same collection.

The result will be fabulous!

Same dress style, different colors

Most designer bridesmaid dresses are available in a range of colors. So, choose different colors for each of your girls.

With this option, the group will look very lively. The bonus is that you can pick colors that suit each of your bridesmaid’s skin tones.  Since you are varying only the color and the rest of the dress design remains the same, you needn’t worry about cohesiveness.

Variations of the same color

Here’s another variation of the first idea we discussed. In this option, you settle on a single color, say purple. Then have your girls choose dresses in different shades of blue. So, you can have dresses in purple, lavender, plum, and periwinkle. The base color will unify the group while each of the girls enjoys her own unique look.

Prints of a type

Printed dresses are all the rage now. So, if you want to enhance the overall style quotient of your group, consider printed dresses. To unify the group, specify the type of print (You can choose from florals, geometric designs, animal prints, etc.) This is also an excellent way to highlight the theme of the wedding through their choice of outfits.

Using the same texture

By choosing the same fabric, you can again create an elegant mix and match effect. Fabrics like lace, chiffon, net or velvet have their own individuality. Choose different colors or styles while keeping the texture similar and you will have a winning combination.

Another unique challenge when choosing dresses for a bunch of ladies is to ensure that it flatters each one of them. After all, you want all your wedding party members to look their best on your special day.

How to find dresses that flatter different body types

Look at your bridal party and you will see that no two women are alike in terms of body structure.

Nature has blessed each woman with her specific body shape.

Body types are basically divided into four: apple, pear, hourglass and rectangle. Each of these body types has its own favorable aspects and some not-so-desirable ones. And this varies from one type to the other.

Hence, a dress style that flatters a specific body type may not look good on another one.  Since the women in your group will each have different body types, it is unlikely that any random dress style will flatter all of them.

So, you have two options:

  • Mix and match silhouettes, so each woman gets a dress that suits her specific body type.
  • Opt for universally flattering styles that will look good on most of the women.

Let us look at each of these in closer detail.

Mix and match silhouettes

The ideal dress style for any body type will highlight the best assets while distracting from the less desirable ones. The dress would also create a balanced structure that resembles an hourglass.

For an apple body type, the upper torso is more prominent. To balance the lower half, it is necessary to choose dresses that create the illusion of a waistline and more volume to the slender proportions of the lower body.

On the other hand, a pear body type has thicker hips. To balance the shape, it becomes necessary to enhance the upper body with a textured yoke.

So, if you have a pear-shaped and apple-shaped bridesmaid, the same dress silhouette would not suit both.

In such cases, consider mixing up silhouettes to flatter these individual body shapes. Keep two or three factors in the dresses similar for overall cohesiveness.

Universally flattering styles

Sometimes, you may simply not have the time or energy to find dresses that flatter each of your bridesmaids. Otherwise, it could be that you prefer to finish off the task faster by choosing a single dress style for all the bridesmaids.

In such cases, it is best to play it safe with universally flattering dress styles. These dresses will look good on almost all body types and your girls will be less likely to complain.

Let us look at some of these options:

Flutter sleeves

When your bridesmaids are from different age groups, have different body types and are of different heights, choose dresses with flutter sleeves and it will suit everyone.

Not only does this result in a modest look, but it is also elegant and flatters almost any woman.

Midi-length skirt

Midi dresses end between the knee and the calf. The benefit of this length is that it is slimming and elongates your legs.

Keeping it below knee-length makes it ideal for women who aren’t fond of showing much skin. This length will also draw attention to their shoes, making it another attractive factor. You can have the exact hemline altered to hit the best part of the leg for each girl.

Fit and flare silhouettes

This dress style is fitted around the torso and flares out from the waistline. It is a universally flattering dress style that creates the illusion of a slim waistline when there isn’t any. It also highlights the waist area in a good way.  

Hence, it is a style that works for both pear and apple-shaped women. Fit and flare dress styles create a curvy figure for a rectangle body type while emphasizing the slender waistline of an hourglass figure. Hence it is a win-win for all body types.

Bridesmaid dress shopping based on season and formality

When choosing bridesmaids dresses, be mindful of the weather conditions at the time of your wedding. Make decisions regarding the dress fabric, hemline and sleeve length based on how cold or warm it will be.

The bridesmaid dress choices should also complement the formality of the event. Opt for casual styles when the wedding has a semi-formal or casual theme. In formal settings, elegant and sophisticated choices look best.

Here are some tips:

  • For warm months, light-weight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen and chiffon are ideal. You can opt for silk, velvet or wool when the weather is cold.
  • Long gowns are a good choice for autumn and winter. Midi and Mini dress look good in summer.
  • Match the bridesmaid dress style to the formality of the event. Long gowns in bold colors look good at formal weddings while short dresses in cheerful colors and lightweight fabric are suitable for informal settings.
  • Sleeveless and strapless dress styles can make your bridesmaids uncomfortable in cold weather. Either opt for longer sleeves or select accessories like shrugs and stoles to keep them cozy in such conditions.

Other important factors to consider when choosing bridesmaids dresses

While we have already covered the most important aspects of bridesmaid dress selection, there are some more factors to consider. Let us look at what they are.

Are your bridesmaids uncomfortable wearing certain styles?

Certain neckline, sleeve-length or hemline choices may be unsuitable for some of your bridesmaids. And you want your bridesmaids to be comfortable and not too conscious about their dress on the day.

So, it is a good idea to check with them about the dress elements they would rather not have in their dresses.

Are some of your girls uncomfortable in shorter dress styles? Do they find certain necklines (like strapless or a deep-cut V) to be too revealing?

Get their insight on these aspects and make a wise decision that will not inconvenience them.

When there are plus-size or petite bridesmaids

When choosing bridesmaid dresses, you may not always have the same variety of options if you have plus-size or petite bridesmaids.

The good news is that there are specific dress collections for petite and plus-size women and you can choose from them. Nevertheless, you may like to be more flexible with your selection criteria if you would like to keep the look cohesive in such cases.

If you narrow down your choices to very specific details, it may be more difficult to find suitable dresses for bridesmaids who are on either end of the size spectrum.

If a bridesmaid is pregnant

When your bridesmaid is pregnant, you cannot really predict the exact size to order for her bridesmaid dress. If you are ordering the dress five to six months in advance, her measurements can change drastically by the time the dress arrives. So, this is a very tricky situation.

Here are some options you can consider:

  • Choose a dress with an empire waistline which is by and large the most flattering style for a pregnant bridesmaid.
  • Look for maternity bridesmaid dresses that are designed to keep pregnant women comfortable while looking good.
  • Order up to two sizes larger than her current measurements. This should ideally compensate for the increase in bust and hip measurements over time. In case the dress ends up being too large, it can always be taken in.
  • Rather than choosing the same style for all your bridesmaids, you may like to restrict your selection criteria to the same color, but different styles when one or more bridesmaids are pregnant.

For more tips on how to shop for a pregnant bridesmaid, visit this article.

Choosing accessories to complete the look

The dress is always the highlight of the bridesmaid look. However, suitable accessories will further enhance their style quotient. So, here are some guidelines to help.

  • If you have chosen the same dress for all your bridesmaids, let them pick out their own jewelry and accents. This will help their individuality shine and also prevent the “cookie-cutter” look.
  • For dresses that are brightly colored or embellished with details and texture, keep accessories to a minimum and let the dress do the talking.
  • For mismatched bridesmaids, bring the look together with the exact same accessories. This can be shoes, belts or even statement jewelry.
  • Accessories quickly add up. Since they are paying for their dresses, it wouldn’t be nice to ask them to buy expensive accessories as well. Just give them guidelines like color and material and ask them to buy the nearest match within their budget. Or you can consider gifting them their accessories to wear on the day.

The final stage of bridesmaid dress shopping: Alterations and Collection

The final part of bridesmaid dress shopping is collecting the order and getting it altered to fit correctly.

We mentioned earlier that almost all bridesmaid dresses need one or two alterations. Let your bridesmaids know about this.

Bridesmaid dress alterations are ideally done a month before the wedding. This will help to get the best fit even if there any weight fluctuations after the dress was ordered.

Have your bridesmaids fix their appointments with a professional seamstress well in advance. This will ensure that the dresses will be ready on time. Also, remember that professional seamstresses can be very busy during peak wedding season and prom season.

It is a good idea to schedule the fitting appointments at the same time as placing the dress orders. For more valuable inputs on how to prepare for bridesmaid dress alterations, visit this post on the Martha Stewart website.

Step-by-step process to follow to ensure bridesmaid dress shopping is completed on time

We have now looked at all the details about preparing for bridesmaid dress shopping and the dress selection criteria. So, let us move on to the step-by-step process to ensure things are completed as per plan.

  1. Start on time: Begin planning for your bridesmaid dress shopping at least six months before the wedding. This will leave you enough time to narrow down your selection criteria, book the appointment, take your girls’ shopping and plan alterations after the dress arrives.
  2. Put your MOH in charge of scheduling shopping appointments and checking on progress: If your bridesmaids will be handling the shopping and dress selection themselves, you should keep tabs on their progress. Since you will be busy attending to other wedding-planning tasks, you can also entrust this important job to your Maid of Honor.
  3. Keep a tab on whether things are progressing as per plan: Plan a schedule or complete-by date for each of the tasks related to bridesmaid dress shopping. Then, communicate the set deadlines to your team of bridesmaids and check whether things are progressing as per plan.
  4. Plan fittings and alterations: Receiving the bridesmaid dress is only part of the process. Next, you should also stay on top of fittings and alterations to ensure the dress is perfect in time for the wedding. Add this schedule to your calendar and remind your bridesmaids to attend their appointments as per the plan.

To wrap it up…

Bridesmaid dress shopping is as challenging as bridal dress shopping. Nonetheless, you can tackle it efficiently with a planned and organized approach. The three main stages are:

  • Preparing for bridesmaid dress shopping
  • The actual dress selection process
  • Fittings and alterations

We have looked at each of these factors in detail over the course of this guide, and you are now all set for the process. Follow these steps and your bridal party will look fantastic.

Find a fabulous and updated collection of designer bridesmaid dresses at Best for Bride. Click here to visit our collection today and pick your favorites.

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19 wedding dress photo ideas to immortalize your bridal gown forever

Wedding dresses are a sentimental aspect of the wedding for every bride!

Every bride usually chooses this dress after much thought and deliberation. It is often also one of the biggest wedding day expenditures. So, isn’t it rather sad that you will wear this dress just once?

So, on the special occasion that is your wedding, it is only right that you show it off to the maximum. Also, there is a way to immortalize this dress forever, and that is through your wedding photos. Gorgeous pictures of your beautiful wedding gown, taken from all the right angles will serve as beautiful souvenirs of your lovely dress. Discuss the different options to capture your wedding dress in its full glory with your photographer. Or think up shots that will highlight your dress and share this list with your photographer.

Here are some of our ideas to inspire you to get the best possible shots of your wedding dress.

Your must-have list of wedding dress photos

1.The classic shot of the dress on the hanger

Give your wedding dress its own moment of glory, when your photographer captures its magnificence all by itself. Whether your wedding dress is an opulent ball gown or a minimalist sheath, it deserves to be shown off all by itself in your wedding album. All you need is the perfect spot to display it at and a beautiful hanger to hold it upright. Choose from silk-draped hangers, fancy vintage hangers and colorful beauties that match the tone of your wedding theme, for more impact. Your photographer will do the rest. More ideas here on the Junebugs Wedding blog. Hang it up against a mirror or between two windows in a clean and uncluttered location to capture every detail in its full glory.

2.Wedding dress with bridal accessories

If you aren’t too fond of the wedding dress on the hanger idea, you can instead have it photographed with the rest of your wedding day accessories. Create the perfect arrangement of your bridal bouquet, shoes, wedding bands and wedding jewelry, and your photographer can shoot it with your wedding dress in the backdrop. Here the focus will be shared by all the items that will complete your transformation into a beautiful bride. Although the wedding gown will not be the center of attention, it will still receive its due attention.

3.Being zipped or buttoned up

Whether your wedding dress has buttons, zippers, clasps or a corset at the back, have a close-up shot of your wedding dress while it is being put into place. This is usually the last step of wearing your wedding dress. The image of it can bring back memories of the entire process and also remind you of the many emotions you went through at the time. So, make sure you have this sentimental image in your album.

4.The side-shot

Capture your dress from a different perspective, when you ask your photographer to get a full-length profile picture. Identify your better side of the face, and show this to the camera. You can even include your accessories like the veil and bouquet to enhance the impact of this photograph. Look away from the camera and focus your gaze on a faraway object, to make this a masterpiece photo.

5.Photos with your bridal party

There will be a lot going on while you get ready. Your bridesmaids will (hopefully) fuss over you, as you wear your wedding dress and accessories. Ask your photographer to document the action and excitement of the scene, since it will be a memorable picture. Have the picture taken when your bridesmaids help you step into your shoes, straighten your train or set the veil. It would be best if your bridesmaids are also dressed in their respective attires at the time, to get the full effect.

6.Full length portrait

A full-size photograph in your gown will be a great addition to your album. It will capture the same effect that your guests experience when they see you for the first time on your wedding day. Try to have this photo before you wear your veil, so the sheer layers of your veil don’t hide these details. Pick a dramatic setting for the image, which is brightly lit with natural light. If your venue has a spectacular view, make this your backdrop. Else, pose before a portrait or in an outdoor location to get stylish pictures.

7.Image of the back

Many modern dresses have showstopper back details like beautiful keyhole or illusion designs, stunning fabric button trains or even low-cut daring details. If your dress has any of these amazing modern style elements in the back, ensure it is captured in your wedding photos. For this, have a picture taken as you face away from the camera. This will also draw attention to your hairstyle and any hair accessories you may have specially chosen for the occasion.

8.Photo of the wedding dress skirt

If your wedding dress has an interesting skirt and train, highlight it in your photographs with a suitable picture. Whether the skirt features tiered details, has a beautiful hemline or has perfect ruffles, show it from the right angle in an image. Try sitting down with your skirt spread around you to capture the effect of a full skirt in its full glory. For a ball gown skirt or one with ruffles, you can also sit with your feet up and the skirt spread out to display the various details in it. This idea is especially good for lace dresses.

9.Image of the fanned out train

If the dress has a long train, an image from the back with the train spread out to its full length will showcase its effect. This will also look great if the images are taken as you go up or down a staircase. The effect of the train and skirt will be magnified when taken from above or below and also be unique for the aerial positioning of the shot. For a longer train, get the full impact directly from the back.

10.With the veil

The veil is often one of the most striking bridal accessories that instantly enhances the bridal look. If your outfit includes a veil, get a picture of yourself in it. Lifting the veil also is a magical moment that makes for an amazing photo. Ask your photographer to capture the effect of the veil on the dress from different angles, and find the one that is most appealing to include in your album.

11.Zoomed-in image of intricate details

If your dress features intricate beading, lace appliques or embellishments, a close-up shot of these intricate details will capture it well. It is a good idea to take a closer look at your dress and find out which details you love the most. Share this information with your photographer, so he can do justice to the shot by focusing on that one special feature of the dress.

12.Above-the-waist shot

The neckline and waist add definition to a wedding dress. Let these features get their place in the spotlight with a photograph of the bodice. Zoom in on this area and also include jewelry like necklace or earrings for the complete effect. An aerial image will also create a unique perspective and make it an interesting picture.

13.With the groom holding you

There is immense scope to experiment with this shot. You can even showcase the back of your dress in this shot, as you face away from the camera. Include your bouquet for a pop of color and also as a prop that will work well in the setting. Other ideas are to hold hands and walk while the images are captured. Or sit in a strategic position so your dress is highlighted without a direct focus on it.

14.An outdoor shot

Make the most of the natural lighting to get a beautiful portrait. Choose the golden hour, which is an hour before or after dawn and dusk for the best pictures. Since the natural light at these times of the day is most flattering, your images will turn out great. If it is impossible to plan an outdoor shot at these timings, make sure you step outdoors for few pictures when there is plenty of natural light. Or choose a room with a window through which natural light streams in to get pictures with similar effect.

15.Bridesmaids holding the train

Take a look at this picture, and I won’t have to say anything more to convince you. This will be a beautiful and classic picture of your wedding day. As you stride forward, have your bridesmaids pick up your train and hold it visible from all sides. This will enhance the beauty of your dress, and also create beautiful imagery with the contrast in color with that of your wedding party.

16.Photo with your bouquet

This is one picture that simply cannot go wrong. Let the pristine white color of your dress pop against the bright colors of your bouquet, when the image focuses on your dress and the bouquet in your arms. Unless it is a close-up shot, make sure that this image is taken in a clean backdrop with few other distractions. The bouquet should preferably be the only colorful element in the entire frame, to capture the impact with full effect. Such photos are really pretty if there are saturated colors in the bouquet. However, your photographer may also be able to adjust the settings to make this picture unusually attractive.

17.Bride looking in the mirror

This is another wedding dress shot that is sure to be beautiful. The photograph will actually focus on the image in the mirror, and and the real bride with less clarity. Black and white photos of this scene will be extraordinarily beautiful, and this is one you should definitely consider. Make sure that the mirror is clear, the surface below it uncluttered and the background clean for the image to look its best.

18.On the dance floor

This is the chance to have yourself photographed at an angle that emphasizes the beauty of the dress, while you dance with your husband. The dance floor, especially if it is a reflective surface, will form a beautiful backdrop when your photographer clicks the image from a low angle. A talented photographer will be able to capture this emotional moment with perfection. It will also be an opportunity to showcase your dress from a different position and highlight its statement features.

19.Walking away with your husband

This is a very symbolic photo and one that creates a nostalgic image. While the picture will also show off the back of your dress, it will help you relive the special emotions that you felt as you stepped into the new chapter of your life. So, make sure your photographer captures it.

Once you get your hands on your special wedding dress, you may feel that no number of photos are enough to capture the beauty of the dress. While that is true, including it from all possible angles is the next closest thing you can do. Discuss the specific features of your dress with your photographer, so he can ensure no detail is missed in the photographs.

For photogenic wedding dresses that are perfect for your special day, visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride. With a wide range of designer wedding dress collections that are suitable for any taste, budget and body type, you will have no trouble finding your dream dress at our store. Visit our website today to shortlist your favorites.

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Nobody likes a Bridezilla! Here’s how to avoid being one

Wedding bells are ringing! Love is in the air! Isn’t your engagement one of the most beautiful phases in life? So, you want to remember it fondly.

No bride wants to look back on this phase in her life and regret the memories. Unfortunately, wedding planning is not a walk in the park. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stressing over the details and slowly turn into the dreaded “Bridezilla!”

Wedding planning often brings out the worst in a woman. It is only normal that you want the perfect wedding in every way. However, this entails spending enormous amounts of money, planning things to the smallest possible detail and getting everyone in your wedding to perform as expected. Definitely not an easy feat! And as you struggle to cope with the zillion details, your stress levels naturally go up and you may lash out in ways you later regret.

The sad part is that you may not realize that you are turning into a bridezilla until you have hurt hearts and strained relationships. However, there are warning signs that tell you of where you are headed. Scrutinize how you’ve been behaving lately. If you notice these red flags, you better stop before it goes too far and the damage cannot be undone!

Everything you say contains “my wedding”

Talking endlessly about your wedding can irritate those you spend time with. Who would like it if even casual inquiries about the wedding end up in monologues on wedding plans, dress shopping and other wedding details. You will sound wedding-obsessed, and it can really make people dread being around you. Whether it is your excitement or apprehension that causes you to talk about the wedding and nothing else, curtail it. Don’t bring up the topic of your wedding unless necessary. If you are asked about it, keep your answer brief and to-the-point. Leave some things to be seen, rather than spill the beans and kill all the fun.

You are certain nothing is going your way

There is often a time in every bride’s life when she believes things are getting nowhere. You may be frustrated with the lack of options or unhappy with what are available. It may seem that nobody, but you, is concerned about the wedding. In this tryst for perfection, it is likely that you will push your well-wishers away. You may also believe nothing is up to your expectations. Before you freak out and drive everyone away, just sit back and analyze what is going on. With a calm and composed mind run through the different options once again. Some of them may not be as bad as you initially thought they were. Be flexible and open-minded and you will see better progress.

You cannot stop adding details

Pinterest and glossy picture-perfect weddings on the internet can agonize a bride who strives for perfection. Every page you turn, every link you click leads to more eye-candy that you must have at your wedding. This can pose a problem! If you continue to add more details to your wedding, your expenses will spiral out of control.You may also lose control over what is more important as you obsess over several small details. So, stay focused and stop before you go overboard. Once you have enough inspiration, close the picture books once and for all. There will always be another detail that you could add, but remember that it isn’t really necessary. Keep your priorities clear and move on to the next task. Procrastination will only delay you and cause frustration.

You barely spend time with your fiance

Wedding-obsessed brides often forget the most important person in their life—their fiance. This is a big tragedy, as your engagement is a golden period when you should celebrate your love and commitment to each other. It is the time to connect, bond, plan your life together and dream of a beautiful tomorrow. If the wedding overrides this need to be with each other, it is time you took a break from the wedding tasks. Take time away from all the mad wedding planning and simply enjoy the feeling of being in love. Remember that this chance doesn’t come again. So, make memories while you have time.

Your bridesmaids are uncomfortable in your presence

Your bridesmaids are often your best friends, sisters and cousins. They are the women who you share your biggest joys and sorrows with. If they seem to be on edge, every time they are around you, it is time to take stock of the situation. Analyse if you have become very demanding, irritable or obsessed with the wedding these days. Do your single friends prefer to stay away from you? Is it not because they are jealous, but because they are tired of you bragging on and on about your wedding. Avoid rifts and unpleasant situations as far as is possible. Be considerate and accommodating, and they will be eager to participate in your wedding. Don’t be pushy, as it can spoil the fun in your relationship. After all, you want these girls to stick around you even after you are married.

Take a look at this Huff Post article to avoid overstepping the mark, with your bridesmaids. 

Your parents don’t look too excited

It is normal for parents to be emotional when their daughter gets married. After all this transition in status is a big change in their lives too. However, joy will normally overcome the sorrow. If you are always discussing the wedding and not spending any quality time together, it will only distance you further from your parents. Involve them in the wedding planning, welcome their suggestions and appreciate all that they do for you. Also spend time with each other without discussing anything about the wedding, and relive fond memories from the past. Understanding each other at this stage in life will help you remain closer even after your marital status changes forever. It will be immensely helpful if you acknowledge what they are going to, instead of obsessing over the wedding.

Now, if you are worried about family drama ruining your wedding day, here are some tips on how you can avoid it. 

You are obsessed with diets, workouts and weight loss regimens

Brides want to look their best on the most special day of their life. However, don’t stretch yourself to the extent where you sacrifice your happiness and health to look great. Dieting, changes to meal plans and new exercise regimes will help you get in shape and look great in time for your wedding. Nonetheless, tackle everything in moderation. Crash diets and extreme exercise regimens will only do harm. With this approach, you put your well-being at stake. Drastic changes to diet and intense workouts can leave you dissatisfied and unhappy. So, think of whether it is really worth it.

Your fiance fell in love with the present you. He doesn’t want to get married to a whole other you! So, stay healthy and happy, and you will look fantastic on your wedding day.

Every waking minute involves wedding planning

Wedding planning can be laborious and time-consuming. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. If you find yourself constantly struggling with wedding-related tasks and worrying over the planning timeline, re-evaluate your approach. A well-rested and relaxed bride is better equipped to tackle wedding planning challenges than one who is exhausted. So, do your research first and set priorities. Create a realistic timeline for all wedding tasks and also factor in buffer time. This will allow you to approach the tasks in a systematic and organized fashion. Also accept help from those who offer it. More on this below.

You feel you have to do everything yourself

You may feel that nobody is capable of doing the wedding tasks perfectly. If this means you undertake more than what you are capable of, you are in for big trouble. Having a perfect wedding is not about all the things you successfully did, it is more about the joy and happiness you feel on the day. This won’t be possible if you attempt all the tasks yourself. There will be plenty of friends and family members who are eager to help. Delegate responsibilities to them and trust them to do it right. You should also trust your vendors, especially if you chose them after enough research. So, make your decisions with care, and leave the rest of the job to those concerned. It will take a huge load off your shoulders and leave you more time to enjoy yourself as a bride.

Your vendors don’t look enthusiastic

Do your vendors seem to be doing their job only because you paid them? This could be a sign that they don’t consider you a good client. It is likely to be true if you have particularly signed them up for the job through a referral from a friend or contact. If your contact was extremely happy with their service, it is because they are professionals at what they do. So, it may be time to think of whether you’ve been rude towards them. If you’ve been mean in what you said or the emails you sent, this bad attitude will cause them to be less excited about your wedding. Unless you are certain they are incompetent, look at why they aren’t so keen on doing their job.

If you expect your vendors to do their job with full gusto, it is important you treat them well, show respect, be responsive and open to suggestions and concerns.

You aren’t happy with your fiance’s ideas

If you seem to dismiss every idea your fiance comes up with, it is a sure sign you are turning into a bridezilla.  Just in case you forgot, it happens to be his wedding too. However, if you think you have the last word in all the wedding decisions and ruthlessly reject all that he has to offer, you’re in grave danger. Your fiance will also have certain expectations for your wedding day. After all, it is a lifetime opportunity for him too. So, it is only right that you accommodate his ideas and suggestions as well. Don’t stress out over how his suggestions go with the theme or match your vision. Give him his fair say and let him have some fun too.

We know it is hard to keep calm and stay sane when your wedding day is approaching. It is only normal to get all wrapped up with your wedding plans and make mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, try to keep it under control or it won’t be any fun going forward. Remember that the wedding is just a day in your life, but you need your relationships for the rest of your entire life. Is it worth the drama?

For all your wedding-related needs, such as your dream wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more, Best for Bride has the solution. Visit our website today and come one step closer to realizing your wedding vision in the easiest possible way.

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Do’s and Don’ts when planning a Large Wedding

A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can image how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.

Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.

The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.

Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.

DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue

Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.

Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.

DON’T cut down on what is most important to you

There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.

Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.

DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests

Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.

Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.

DO consider hiring help

While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.

Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article. 

DO try to skip the little extras

Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended head count. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.

Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

Certain items in a wedding are non-negotiable, like the flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.

Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website.  You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.

All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.

DO consider a bigger bridal party

Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.

Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.

DO allow enough time between events

The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.

We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneouvre to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.

Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

There are many extras that you may miss adding into your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the head count at your wedding.

So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.

All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.

For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services and more at the Best for Bride website here.

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Mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding style and colors

Every couple dreams of a wedding day that is unique and creative. Colors play a huge role in enhancing the overall mood and effect of this special day. Unfortunately, choosing the right colors for your wedding isn’t as easy as it seems. Although you may have certain favorite colors, you cannot simply put them together and plan your wedding around them.

Wedding color pitfalls are fairly common, and they ruin the wedding ambiance. Fortunately, being aware of the likely mistakes will help you avoid them. Here is our guide to the common mistakes couples make when choosing wedding colors. Use it to steer clear of a visual overdose of colors and mix and match combinations that do not gel together.

Ignoring the colors in your venue

Many couples forget to account for the effect of the colors that are part of the venue they choose. This unavoidable part of the décor has to be considered and you should work it into the wedding color palette. Since it is unlikely that you can alter any of the existent colors at your venue it is wise to pick colors that do not clash with them for the best effect.

If you already have made your decision about the colors that will be in your wedding, choose a venue with colors that work with your choice. There are many venues without dominating colors in the décor. Pick such venues and you will not have to worry about a likely clash of colors. Otherwise, find your wedding venue first. Then pick your wedding colors to go with it. However, this means that you will have to be open to options and flexible with your choices.

Choosing several distinct colors

When you are a lover of colors, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices to just few. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of working with many colors that are entirely different. Multiple bold and dominating shades create clutter and look messy. Also, the individual details will be lost in the noise.

This article on the Brides website suggests that where colors are concerned, fewer is better. If your theme requires you to work with multiple colors, say like a rainbow or circus theme, try to work with smaller doses of color. Then use a neutral base to tie the effect together. This article also suggests limiting your colors to just two for elegance and sophistication. Make sure that these colors complement or contrast, for it to be pleasant and not overbearing. As a general rule of thumb, do not add more than four colors to your palette, or it can become overwhelming.

Going with the trend

Pantone picks a color or two every year, and many brides decide to incorporate this into their weddings. From burgundy to rose quartz and greenery, the choices are often unusual and unexpected. This may seem to be unique and interesting at the time. One advantage of using these colors is that it is easy to find your wedding decorations. Many companies bring out décor items in this color following the announcement every year. However, not all such trends are timeless or classic.

When you choose an unexpected combination for your wedding, it is likely to look dated over time. Although it may look interesting at the moment, remember that your wedding memories should stand the test of time. When your album shows what is hot now, it doesn’t have to be the same years later. Hence it is better to pick colors that actually appeal to you than go with fads that will disappear soon. Classic color combinations and bold, saturated colors will always speak to you. Ten years from now, when you open your wedding album, the colors that you eternally love will seem more attractive than shades whose names you can barely remember at the time.

Keeping your palette too simple

This is the very opposite of working with too many colors. By limiting your wedding day palette to just one or two shades, your wedding can become monotonous and boring. Instead, try to incorporate various hues of the same color into the scheme. Also work with neutrals that don’t overpower with their presence.

If your focal colors are really vivid, balance the effect with soft, neutral shades that will add depth to the main colors. If you have choose mute and subtle colors to be highlighted, the right dose of complementing colors will personality and make the décor more interesting. Take a look at the color wheel to find colors that contrast or complement well with the main colors you choose. Use this to plan your color combinations wisely. Here is a comprehensive guide to working with colors, on the Smashing Magazine website. Take a look and we are sure you will find plenty of inspiration and ideas. 

Choosing common and predictable combinations

Certain color combinations are safe, however they are also boring. We have seen enough weddings where black has been paired with white and gold, or red with yellow and white. These predictable combinations no longer excite, and have little scope for creativity. So, while you should find inspiration in traditional combinations, it is a good idea to tweak the colors and with your own creative twist.

One of the ways to do this is to take such a palette, and switch out one of the colors. Choose a hue from the same color family, but one that is distinct. Another option is to break the pattern with luxurious doses of white or black, which also creates a sophisticated effect. You can also use metallic colors for an interesting effect. The right doses of gold, silver or copper can instantly glam up a color palette, and add to its elegance.

Trying too hard to get perfect matches

While carefully matched colorful pieces will look stunning in your wedding décor, it should flow naturally and look effortless. Trying too hard to get the colors right and the combinations perfect will ruin the entire effect. This is especially true where floral elements and bridesmaids dresses are concerned. It may not be possible to find flowers in the exact color you want for your wedding palette. You may end up having to spend extra for off-season varieties if your chosen color is rare, like shades of blue.

Similarly, picking bridesmaids dresses in colors that match your palette aren’t a good idea if it won’t look good on your bridesmaids. This will not only make them unhappy, it will also be an eyesore. The trick is to think creatively, and make these details work with a little flexibility. Choose décor items like ribbons, balloons or candles to replace flowers, but obtain the intended effect. Similarly, dress up your bridesmaids with accessories like sashes, hair clips or even shoes to add the desired pop of color without ruining the effect.

Choosing colors without actual visual samples

Whether it is your wedding flowers, table linen, invitation suite or bridesmaids dresses, always see the color to determine it is alright. Images of the color on a computer screen or in a magazine can be entirely different from how it looks in person. This is because the color that you see on a screen depends on the light in which the image was taken and any edits that went into creating the image.

If you follow this route, it can completely alter the final effect you obtain at the end. For instance, peach or coral may turn out to be pink or orange when viewed directly. Since you will have to match your colors across various aspects in your wedding, it is best to view swatches before making your decision. This way, you can see for yourself if the color is exactly as you intended, and make the right choice. Also, names can be misleading. So, make sure you have a sample of the color to show others, so there is no confusion about what you actually mean.

Not considering the effect of texture

The same color can have different effects depending on the texture of elements used. Items with heavy texture can have saturated effects, while wispy textures reduce the drama associated with a color. Keep this factor in mind when choosing wedding colors.

Patterns, prints and embellishments can alter the overall effect of a color. When planning your décor and style, consider how the different textures in the arrangement come together. The right distribution of textures will enhance the depth and drama of designs in your décor. Pay close attention to linens, centerpieces, carpets and wall colors. These are a significant part of the visual imagery and play an important role in determining the overall effect.

Using colors that are garish

Some colors are too difficult to look at, and may not be ideal for your wedding décor. These are colors that aren’t usually seen in nature. Neons and fluorescent colors are distractive and not easy on the eye. Avoid such colors or use them in moderation, so your décor isn’t garish.

Neons can be overwhelming, unless chosen carefully. However, it is possible to get the effect right if you use them sparingly. If you choose such colors in your wedding imagery, balance it out with neutrals and complementary colors that make it less overwhelming. Limit their use and consider the effect of the lighting in the space to get it right. Neons and fluorescent colors will look better in the evening, than during day. So, make such color choices keeping these factors in mind.

Take a look at this article on the Glamour website for some unique and impressive ideas. 

Not considering the effect of the climate and actual ambiance at the time

There is no denying the fact that different colors look best at certain times of the year than others. Bright tropical colors, for instance, look best in summer and spring while bold, dramatic colors look stunning in autumn and winter. Matching the colors to the actual environmental condition at the time can bring out the best effects in them. Use this factor when choosing your wedding palette.

Set the right tone for your wedding by choosing colors that work with the atmosphere you aim to have at your wedding. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use colors like yellow and orange at a winter wedding scene. Instead, you may have to lighten or intensify the saturation of the colors you choose to suit the scenery. Pick accent colors that will complement your primary choices, as this can make a significant difference to the mood that is created.

Choosing wedding colors isn’t easy. The options are endless, and it is difficult to narrow down choices to few when there are so many attractive options. With each passing day, the ideas keep growing and this only makes the task more difficult.

There are many sources of inspiration too. If you just take a look at the internet or flip through a bridal magazine, you will see a stunning variety of ideas. So, how do you make the right choice? As with everything in your wedding, your wedding color palette should reflect your personality, preferences and style in general. Look around you, and to your home and wardrobe as the starting point. This will help you identify colors, textures and prints you already love. Use it to narrow down your choices and just go with what your instinct points you to. The most important thing is not to overthink it, and be happy with what you settle on.

We would love to know what colors and ideas you used when planning your wedding. Let us know in the comments section below.

Stay tuned to the Best for Bride website for updated offers and deals that will help you have a fantastic wedding day. Also, don’t forget to visit this page regularly for more advice, inspiration and ideas to plan the perfect wedding day.

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15 easy ways to personalize your wedding

Your wedding day is one of the most important days in your personal life. So, why not make it entirely your own?

This is possible when you carefully plan out the details that can make it unique. With so many factors going into every wedding, there are no dearth of options to add a signature touch and style to your special day. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to be handmade or homemade. All it takes is some creativity, and you are on the way to having a bespoke wedding; one that will be remembered for its personal style.

Here are some interesting ideas to inspire you. Check them out to choose ones that appeal most to you. Don’t forget to tell us which of these you have decided to embrace in the comments section below.

Start with your save-the-date

save-the-dateGet creative when drafting your save-the-date cards. Play with interesting quotes, jokes and notes to make it different. You can also make it truly yours by adding your picture to it. This is a great way to make use of your engagement photos in a photo card, and give your guests a sneak peek at what is in store at the wedding. (More about how you can nail your engagement shoot in this article on the Knot.)

Or, if you and your fiance share a hobby or passion, let it reflect in your  cards. This could even be the theme of your wedding. Or skip save-the-date cards altogether and go with a save-the-card magnet instead. It would serve the purpose, but have a unique twist to it.

Add your personal touch to the invitation card

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All your guests expect to receive a standard invitation card. This card would contain all the relevant details about the wedding in it. Surprise them with a fun invitation with a feature they least expect to see. Let this be a reflection of your personal style and unique in every way.

From engraved real wood invitations to fairy tale story wedding invitations and cards with hand-drawn illustrations, there are many unique ideas on this article at the Brides website. Take a look and make your pick. 

Add unexpected elements to your bouquet

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The bridal bouquet is a wonderful accessory to add your special touch. We have watched brides wrap lace hankies around the stems, pin brooches and decorate with family heirlooms for an extra-personal touch.

You can also personalize it by adding a photo locket to it.  Or choose flowers that are not commonly used in wedding bouquets. Don’t go with the traditional choices. Instead spice it up a little with an unusual twist on your bouquet, and let it be a symbol that stands out.There are plenty of non-traditional bouquet ideas on this article at the Martha Stewart website.

Design your own wedding dress

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The wedding dress is the focal point of the bridal look, and one that never goes unnoticed. It is also the one wedding detail that will help you make a statement. Although it is tempting to try the numerous designer dresses out there, remember that there will be at least one bride who has worn the same design.

However, this isn’t the case when you custom-create your own bridal gown. Identify a talented bridal dress maker who understands your personal style and preferences. Use her services to custom-create a dress that is perfect in every way. You could even take an heirloom wedding dress and re-purpose it into a modern wedding dress with features you fancy. It won’t be too expensive when you do your research well and find the right person for the job. If you think you have the skills to make the dress from scratch by yourself, this article on A practical wedding blog is pretty helpful. 

Engrave your favorite quote on your wedding rings

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Pick a short quote you love or one that you can relate to as a couple. Split it in two. Have the first half engraved on your ring, and the rest of it on your fiance’s. This is a symbolic extension of how both of you complete each other, and I think it is very romantic.

It could even be something special that the two of you only know about. A simple engraving such as this will definitely add to the sentimental value of your wedding rings and make this prized possession even more special.

Make your own monogram

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How about customizing everything in the wedding with your own personalized monogram? It is easy to make an interesting monogram with both your names using free online monogram designers like this one.

Design it in the colors of your wedding theme and personalize it with a design of your choice. Then use it on your invitations, wedding favors, website, thank you cards and even in the posters and rest of the wedding décor. Thus, a monogram allows you to mark everything wedding-related with your personal stamp and make it more memorable.

Or have a custom couple portrait rubber stamp made

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An interesting alternative to the monogram is a rubber stamp with your custom couple portrait on it. You can get this done for a small fee on Etsy, and choose from various options according to your preference.

The fun part is that you can use this wedding stamp beyond the wedding day. You can use it for various celebrations afterwards, and even for personal correspondence. So, it is a fun keepsake that you should definitely consider.

Make your welcome gift meaningful

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Even if the hotel where you host your guests has a welcome gift in the package, make an effort to make it extra-special by adding your personal touches. Remember that the greeting gift makes a lasting impression, and you want to nail it.

The guests who have taken the trouble to fly in from far to be part of your special day deserve it too. A pretty box will make an amazing presentation, and use custom labels and tags to decorate it. (This is where you monogram would be really useful, don’t you think?)

Personalize your wedding program

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The wedding program is an essential part of the wedding ceremony, as it lists the details of the events in your wedding day. Sadly, the program serves little to no purpose and is simply discarded at the end of the day by most guests. With a little creativity, you can transform it into a memento that your guests will feel like holding on to.

An easy way to do this is to add a functional aspect to the program. This idea on the Real Simple Blog suggests printing the wedding program on a fan. I think this is brilliant, especially at a warm summer wedding. It is likely the guests will find it so useful that they decide to actually take it home with them to use again. For more interesting ideas, check out this article. 

Add a photo board to your wedding décor

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A photo board is entertaining and interesting, especially if your guests have to wait a while between the different events on your wedding day. Use pictures to tell your guests the story of your courtship and your interesting journey as a couple.

Add both casual and professional pictures to this photo board and place it at a strategic location. You can also create smaller photo boards and distribute it throughout the venue. Let your creativity flow as you design these.

Have unique bouquets for each of your bridesmaids

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While we are all for a cohesive look to tie your wedding details together, this doesn’t mean everything should perfectly match. Take inspiration from the bridal bouquet when planning the bridesmaids bouquets. However, make it different for each bridesmaid.

Customize each bridesmaid bouquet to represent the woman who holds it. While all the bouquets should have a cohesive factor, let subtle differences set each bouquet apart from the other. This way, your bridesmaids will feel extra-special, and your guests are also bound to notice the uniqueness. Use ideas like bouquets of the same color, but different flowers. Or, bouquets with the same flower throughout, but in different shades.

The centerpieces deserve attention

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The details that matter the most are those that people are bound to see from close. This is why your wedding centerpieces are important. Instead of spreading it out horizontally, I suggest you do a vertical centerpiece. This will add more impact and grandeur to the entire setting. Just make sure that it doesn’t obstruct the views of those seated opposite to each other on the same table.

Use an eclectic collection of items and vary the designs across the hall to make it more interesting. Inexpensive décor items like tea lights and candles can instantly add a unique feel to the entire setting. So, consider these options as alternatives to standard floral centerpieces.

Serve signature cocktails

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An open bar is fun, but signature cocktails are better. It is easy to add a personal touch to your wedding this way. Use your creativity to come up with interesting names for each of the cocktails you serve, and display the name in a creative way. Also add special garnishes to make them prettier.

Use the serving glasses to double up as party favors, and have your monogram added to them for this purpose. Not only will your guests enjoy the gesture, they will also remember your celebration every time they happen to see the glass you gifted them. For bottled drinks don’t forget to add custom labels to make them just right for the occasion.

Let your deserts do the talking

dessert-bar

Your wedding cake is a statement piece at your wedding. So, make the most of it and it will be remembered by your guests for long. You do not need a towering one to make an impact. For it is the unique details that have better effect.

Unexpected embellishments and life-like toppers are ideal. Or, you can entirely forego the cake and choose to have a desert bar instead. Serve up a variety of decadent deserts that will tease every taste bud and will be appreciated by one and all.

Always pick edible favors

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The likelihood of your wedding favors being unused is small, when you gift your guests edible favors at the end of the day. After all, who can say no to a snack.

Use custom wrappers or boxes to add a touch of finesse to your gift, and pick from popular favorites like cookies and pop corn as the content. These mini-delicacies are just right for munching on after the drive home, and do not spoil easily. It will give your guest a chance to recollect the events of the day, as they leisurely chomp it down once they are back home.

Have you thought of any other idea that will help you personalize your wedding and make it extra-special and memorable? If so, we would love to hear from you.

For more wedding related tips and advice, keep visiting us at our Best for Bride blog page. Best for Bride is the one-stop wedding destination for all things wedding-related. With an impressive collection of bridal dresses and dresses for the bridal party, we have one of the most important aspects of your wedding planning covered. Also find evening dresses, dresses for special occasions, accessories and a range of wedding services on our website.

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Mistakes to avoid when you choose your bridesmaids dresses

If there is a task that levels up to the challenges of choosing your wedding dress, it has to be selecting your bridesmaids dresses. And if you have many bridesmaids, it is even more difficult to choose dresses that suit all of them, go well together and satisfy the women who are to wear them.

The current trend of mixing and matching bridesmaids dresses is a good one on many accounts. Not only can you choose different dresses to suit each bridesmaid, it looks splendid when done properly. This article on the Huff Post proves our point. Take a look at it for some flawlessly executed mix ‘n’ match bridal parties.

The mix ‘n’ match trend also gives you the opportunity to experiment with options till you find one that you like most. Having said this, we cannot overlook the fact that it can be just as daunting, when you have to ensure that all the dresses come together in a cohesive manner.

Whether you go with this trend, or choose the exact same dress for all your bridesmaids, you should avoid certain common mistakes that brides make when they choose bridesmaids outfits. Let us take a look at the list of these likely issues and how you can avoid them.

1.Not clearly communicating the budget

Your bridesmaids know that they have to pay for a new dress when they sign up for the role. However, this doesn’t mean that you can pick an expensive dress and expect them to happily bear the bill. Be considerate of individual circumstances when making a decision. Check with each of them in advance on what they can afford to spend. Do this before you start your research, so you can plan the shopping accordingly. If one of them is in a tight spot, you can think of footing the extra amount on her behalf, but only if you want to. However, if most of them think your budget is on the higher side, it may be better for you to rethink your decision and pick other dresses that fit their budget.

2.Not consulting your bridesmaids about their preferences

It is impossible to make everyone happy when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. However this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Rather than focus on the features that each of them would like to have in their dresses, pay attention to the factors that they would rather not have. Certain colors can make certain women to look pale or sickly. Or there may be unflattering dress silhouettes that some of your bridesmaids dread wearing. It could also be that at least some of your girls wouldn’t be comfortable in dresses that are too short or those that expose too much skin. Check with your bridesmaids to find out what they would not like to wear, instead of what they would like to wear. This will help you eliminate dresses with any of these factors and narrow down your choices.

3.Giving your girls free rein

With the mix and match trend continuing to be a hit, many brides allow their bridesmaids to pick out their dresses themselves. However, do this wisely. Unless you provide at least few guidelines to abide by, it is possible that you will end up with bridesmaids looking entirely different and with no cohesion whatsoever. The issue arises when the parameters you set are vague. If you were to ask your ladies to pick green dresses, you could end up with a set of dresses varying from mint green to turquoise, and entirely different in finishes. The result would be disastrous. So, be very specific with the guiding factors. Try to fix at least two or three focal aspects of the dress such as the color, neckline and hemline that will make the group look cohesive. If you fix a color palette, allot specific shades to each of the girls and make sure they stick to the same color.

4.Not considering each woman separately

Every woman in your bridal party will be different in her own way. There will be differences in build, complexion and style. So a dress that looks good on one of your bridesmaids may be a terrible choice for another. Although you cannot perfectly match dresses to each lady, it is best if you consider their individuality when choosing dresses. Find dresses that they can connect to and they will appreciate your consideration. Be flexible with options and creative with your choices to pick dresses that will satisfy all your girls. If you decide to go with very similar dresses for all the ladies, zero in on a neutral that suits most complexions and a silhouette that will flatter almost any body type. Colors to consider include navy, brown and black, while the modified A-line silhouette looks good on most women.

5.Not doing your research first

Just like with your wedding dress, you have hundreds of options in bridesmaids dresses. While this is a good thing as it gives you enough variety to choose from, it can also make the whole process very tedious. So arm yourself with a general idea of what you want, before you go shopping. Look online and in bridal magazines to identify pictures that you like. Explore your options and make note of your specific requirements. Create a list of dress features and ideas that would be right for your wedding. Use this as your starting point when you actually go shopping.

6.Not giving due thought to length

Very short and too long bridesmaids dresses are simply not practical. On your wedding day, expect your bridesmaids to be very busy as they handle a range of tasks. Small dresses can make it uncomfortable for them to move around, and also make them very conscious when they have to pose for pictures. Long dresses are accident-prone, and if your venue involves a staircase, it is an invitation for trouble. Another problem with really short dresses is that they look quite cheap, and rarely flatter anyone unless they have an amazing body structure. Go with dresses that hit between knee-length and ankle-length and there shouldn’t be any issues. Also go for well-structured dresses and longer hemlines when the wedding is held outdoors in windy weather, to avoid embarrassments.

7.Choosing the wrong fabric

The fabric for your bridesmaids dresses should not only have the right texture, it should also be practical. The fabric choice should depend on the look you wish to achieve. While fabrics like silk and chiffon have a formal look, others like crepe are casual. If your wedding is held outdoors, the fabric shouldn’t show sweat. Choose light fabrics and cotton blends for warm weather, while opting for heavier fabric for the cooler months. It is also a good idea to choose similar fabric for the bridesmaids dress as for your wedding dress, as this will create a delightfully cohesive effect.

8.Shopping at the wrong time

As with everything wedding-related, don’t wait till the last minute to do your wedding shopping. It can take time to find the perfect dress and few more weeks to have them delivered and altered to the right sizes. So, factor this in when you start your bridesmaid dress shopping. You may come across attractive discounts in certain seasons. Make the most of these when available and your bridesmaids will appreciate your thoughtfulness. However, don’t shop too early either. Many things can change over time especially if you have a long engagement. You may find your girls grow in size, lose pounds or even announce they are pregnant. All these factors will affect your dress choices. So, don’t go shopping earlier than 6 months before the wedding.

9.Making just one appointment

It is a big mistake to go for your bridesmaids dress appointment with all the girls at once. This can cause chaos and confusion. The chances of making the wrong decision are very high when this happens. The better approach is to first go shopping with just one or two bridesmaids. Look at your options and narrow down the dress choices to a select few. Bring your bridal party in for another appointment and have them choose their dresses from the ones you had previously short-listed. This will make the entire task a lot easier and get rid of any possible confusion in the process.

10.Forgetting the accessories

Don’t be so caught up with dress research and shopping, that you forget all about your bridesmaids accessories. The jewelry and footwear they wear on your wedding day will have an impact on the overall look. So, give due thought to these aspects before you make a final decision. Instead of just planning the dress, think of the overall picture and plan from there. Also think of how practical a choice will be for the venue and weather, when selecting footwear. Aim for a balance between the dress choice and the accessories, so the overall look is neither too cluttered nor too simple.

11.Not prioritizing comfort

Even the most stylish dress will not look good if the woman wearing it finds it uncomfortable. So, make comfort a priority when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. Avoid patterns that are too tight, too revealing or short. When the dress fits correctly and doesn’t make them overly conscious, your bridesmaids will be able to focus their attention on you and their wedding-related duties. There are also better chances for them to reuse a dress that they are comfortable in. So, focus on this factor and you will help them get more value for the money they spend.

12.Not thinking of how it will photograph

Certain dress colors, details and designs don’t look as good in photos as they do in person. Bright shades of pink and orange look entirely different on camera, and can take on an entirely different appearance from what you planned. Embellishments may look cheap or may not be noticeable at all, in certain combinations and colors. Consider these factors when you choose your bridesmaids dresses. Think of how the colors will go with the bridesmaids bouquets and rest of the accessories like shoes and jewelry. Take sample photos to make sure it doesn’t clash with the complexion or hair colors of the girls. This will save you from being disappointed when the colors in your wedding album don’t match the ideas in your mind.

13.Compromising on your vision

It is important to give due thought to your bridesmaids opinions when choosing their dress However, this shouldn’t be at the expense of compromising on your wedding vision. Always keep your ideas and priorities in mind when planning their look. Be flexible, open to suggestions and listen to your bridesmaids suggestions. Nevertheless, the dresses you choose should match your wedding theme and colors, and be appropriate for the type of wedding you have in mind. It should be a reflection of your personal style and taste. As your bridesmaids will feature with you in many photographs and will be a big part of the overall wedding scenery, you shouldn’t take this decision too lightly. Don’t give in to any amount of coaxing, or sway too much from your personal vision. After all, it is your special day.

At Best for Bride, we have an impressive collection of bridesmaids dresses in all sizes, styles and designs. Whether your wedding is held indoors or outdoors, is in summer or winter and whether your bridesmaids are all the same height or look totally different from each other, we have the solution for all your needs. Take a look at our online bridesmaids gallery to view our collection. You can also find attractive discounts and the current deals in bridesmaids dresses in our special offers and clearance sections. For more details about the rest of our services and the stock we carry, visit our Best for Bride website.

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10 main things to consider when choosing your bridesmaids dresses

There are two things that determine whether your bridesmaids dress selection is a success; how happy your bridesmaids are with your choice, and whether you are satisfied with your decision.

Being successful in your search is easier said than done. There are several factors to consider and work with when choosing your bridesmaids dresses. From budget constraints to matching body shapes and personal preferences to making the choice from thousands of options, you are in for a long ride.

Do you already think your head is spinning? Don’t worry, because we have the solution. Follow this list of ten top things to consider when you decide to go shopping for your bridesmaids dresses, and you will have your bases covered.

1.Budget

Your girls know that a new dress is on the cards when they sign up to be your bridesmaid. But, don’t make them cringe and cry by choosing an expensive dress that is way over their budget, and will most likely never be used again. Bridesmaids dress collections are rich and diverse. So, you have plenty of choices to match every budget and still get the look you envisioned. All you have to do is start your search early and search for the best deals. This way, you can find the perfect dress that doesn’t put a strain on your bridesmaid’s pockets and still have a picture-perfect bridal party.

Unsure of how to find the best deals that are budget-friendly? We suggest you start with the clearance and discount section on the website. This is where you can find the latest and most enticing offers. Also consider placing a bulk order, as many dress shops offer attractive discounts when you do so, and your bridesmaids can save some extra cash this way.

2.Body shape

Mori Lee

Different women have different body structures, heights, and shapes. So, choosing a single silhouette for all of them may not be the best idea. There are universally flattering silhouettes if you must have matching outfits for all of them. The modified A-line dress, that drapes close to the body all the way from the bust to the hips, and then extends into the shape of an “A,” is one such silhouette. The empire style dress with a raised waistline also looks good on most body types and is even suitable for the pregnant bridesmaid.

Nevertheless, we suggest having your girls pick dresses that enhance their best features, but on condition that all the dresses look good when they come together, and not totally disjointed. Or, choose multi-way dresses that allow your bridesmaids to drape it in different ways and find the style that looks best on them. This way, you will see more smiles than frowns, and your girls will feel comfortable and gorgeous on your day. It is a win-win situation, don’t you think?

3.Comfort

Mori Lee

You may have your heart set on a strapless bridesmaid dress or one that is really short and just perfect for your laid-back, casual wedding style. Before you make it your final decision, make sure you check with your bridesmaids. Not all women are comfortable wearing certain styles. Now, if your choice isn’t one that they’ve ever tried before or stay away from because they aren’t comfortable showing so much skin, it will be a mistake to force them into it on your wedding day. Although you shouldn’t be worried about satisfying everyone with every detail of what they wear on your wedding day, you should consider their opinions when choosing something that they are extremely uncomfortable in. It can be awkward if your bridesmaid is forever tugging on the neckline of her dress or acts oddly because she is uncomfortable in the style you choose.

If you have a junior bridesmaid, make sure you check with her parents on whether they are fine with her wearing strapless styles or a dress with a very short hemline or long slit.

4.Personalities

After Six Bridesmaids

Some women are more fashionable than others, and we know how every woman has her own perspective on what styles are great and what don’t make the list. So, while some of your bridesmaids may be super-excited about a certain style, silhouette or fabric, others may feel it isn’t even remotely their style. As a bride, you have a tough job of finding that right balance. You can either go with what you think is best, or be flexible with your options. This doesn’t mean you will have to compromise on your idea, as you will still have plenty of ways to have a wonderful looking bridal party without choosing the exact same dress. Mix up the looks, play with textures, fabrics and styles and come up with an interesting combination, that will still be cohesive with the help of few unifying elements.

One word of caution: don’t give free rein to your bridesmaids to pick their dresses. Set the guidelines that they have to stick to when choosing a dress. This could be the color, neckline, hemline or any two or more factors. The girls can then choose dresses that match their personal choices, while still meeting your conditions.

5.Colors

Jasmine

There is an enormous variety of colors available in bridesmaids dresses, and this can confuse an already flustered bride. Rather than look at all the available color choices, you should focus on just two factors: the colors that match your wedding theme and colors that will look good on most of your bridesmaids. Remember to stick to this exact order. First, think of the colors that will be best for your wedding theme. Draw inspiration from photos, magazines and online content, and narrow down your choices to a select few. Then, choose the color, or colors that will suit most, if not all, of your bridesmaids. You are done! Since most bridesmaids dress designers offer dresses in several shades, finding the color you want shouldn’t be an issue once you choose the dress. It is best to place your orders together, so all the dresses come from the same dye lot and have the same color.

However, remember that you may not always get a proper idea of what the color will be when you place your order based on the small color sample available at the boutique. Check whether the boutique carries a dress in the color you choose. When it is from the same collection, you will get a better idea of how the color will be, even if it is not the same design you chose. If they don’t, then search online for real pictures of dresses from that collection in the color you chose. Basing your choice entirely on the tiny swatch of fabric you see may give you a result that is entirely different from what you had in mind.

6.Going shopping

Jasmine

Bridesmaids dress shopping is a lot of fun, especially as you aren’t the one who has to try on dress after dress, and look for approval. As the audience, you have a more relaxed role. However, prepare for the shopping well in advance, and go with a definite idea of what you want. If possible, we suggest you go out by yourself the first time and take a look at your options and shortlist the ones to choose from. This will save you the trouble of walking in with all your bridesmaids and finding yourself buried in choices, opinions and preferences.

We think it is best if you take along no more than four bridesmaids for one appointment. It can get too chaotic otherwise. If you have plenty of time before your wedding, try to plan your shopping for the off-peak season time, so your appointment isn’t rushed.

7.Timing your appointment

Tutto Bene

As with everything wedding-related, start your bridesmaids dress shopping early to get everything done on time. Selecting the dress design is only half the work. You will then have to place the order and wait for the dresses to arrive. Then there will be alterations, to get the dresses fitted and just right for your wedding day. So, it is best to book your boutique appointment early, and with sufficient time to get all the remaining things completed. This will help you avoid rush fees or disappointment if the dress you choose will not be available within your deadline. Avoid shopping on the weekends, as this is when the boutique will be most rushed. Also, you will have to round up your bridesmaids for their appointment, and it is best to save time by taking at least a few of them in one go. You will have hundreds of other things to attend to as well. So, consider delegating the responsibility of getting the girls to their alteration sessions to your Maid of honor, after the decisions have been made and orders placed.

8.Expect the unexpected

Dessy Bridesmaids

If you have a long engagement, it is wise to not place your bridesmaids dress orders too early. Since your bridesmaids are obviously not going to put their personal lives on hold till your wedding is over, don’t be surprised if one of them announces that she is expecting, or even has a baby during the long wait. When you order the dress closer to your wedding, you have more flexibility to accommodate such changes. Your bridesmaid will also appreciate wearing a dress that is more comfortable for her condition. Simple dresses that do not require too many alterations to fit well, and those that are available in a range of sizes are your best bet. Also, remember that women change sizes all the time. They may gain or lose pounds from the time the dresses were ordered, to when it is actually time to wear it. So, keep an open mind and leave enough time for last minute alterations, so there are fewer hassles as the day draws closer.

9.Practicality

Dessy Bridesmaids

Expect your bridesmaids to be very busy on your wedding day; getting dressed on time, attending to guests, helping you with your needs and more. So, the dress you choose should allow them to move around comfortably and it should also withstand strain without becoming wrinkled and dull. Another factor to consider is the weather at the time of your wedding. A dress that is perfect for an outdoor summer wedding may be a disastrous choice for a winter wedding. So, keep all these things in mind when making your choice. Consider your venue, weather at the time, and the duties that the bridesmaids will have to busy themselves with on the day, and then decide the silhouette and fabric that will be appropriate.

10.Cohesion

Alfred Sung bridesmaids

We talked about mixing and matching dresses, so you get a perfect balance that matches your bridesmaid’s personal preferences as well as the wedding theme. This is a factor that shouldn’t be overlooked. Random dresses that you expect to go together, may entirely spoil the visual impact of your wedding scenery. Your bridesmaids should look great together, so your photos are picturesque and all your effort in planning your wedding theme isn’t wasted. Mix and match dresses, but do so sensibly. Don’t forget to decide upon the unifying factors in advance, and make sure they are ones that will bring the overall look together. Additionally, the bridesmaids dresses should also complement your wedding dress. So, if your dress has abundant lace details, it may be a good idea to go with classic designs and lace as the fabric for your bridesmaids. It needn’t be the fabric either. You can tie your look to your bridal party’s by finding one similar fabric. This may be the neckline, sleeve length or embellishment style.

We would love to hear what factors were most important to you, when you chose your bridesmaids dresses. Do let us know in the comments section.

Best for Bride offers bridesmaids dress collections from leading designers in sizes ranging from 0-34. You can find every silhouette, every pattern, every fabric and design to make your dreams a reality. To make your pick today, come visit our online gallery and find out which is your favorite.

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10 cool colors for your winter bridesmaids

Today’s post is on bridesmaids dresses, and is for the bride who has her wedding planned in winter, and seeks inspiration for the colors and patterns suitable for her winter palette.

With your wedding dress, you may have a tough time discerning which fit and style is best for you, but the trouble ends there. We know that it isn’t an easy task. Nevertheless, it is not a task as Herculean as choosing the right color for your winter bridesmaids dresses. There are many factors that affect your choice of bridesmaids dress colors.

  1. It should go with the color palette that you have chosen for your wedding
  2. The color should look good on most, if not all your bridesmaids
  3. As far as possible, you should choose bridesmaids dresses in colors and patterns that can be used again.
  4. Since your bridesmaids will be a major part of the wedding scenery, you should choose their outfits in colors that will contribute to the visual impact of the wedding scene.
  5. You will be sharing space with your bridesmaids in many wedding pictures. So, their dresses should complement your outfit and it should all come together cohesively and look as beautiful as it can possibly be.

Now, we think you know why we say this isn’t easy. We think every bride needs all the inspiration she can get to plan any detail of her wedding. The more options you look at, the more likely you are to have that “Aha!” moment when you know you’ve finally found the right one. So, here are some of the coolest bridesmaids dresses from our latest collections, and we are sure you will find your pick from this splendid list. These beautiful colors are particularly stunning in the winter scene, but you can use them for your wedding any time of the year. So let’s get going!

1.Serene and sexy in gray

A color that is the perfect neutral, this is a fail-safe option for any palette that you may have chosen for your wedding day. For winter weddings, where you want to focus on classic themes, gray is a shade that will do magic in balancing out any color scheme. Not only does it look great with metals like silver and gold, it is also the perfect background for deep, jewel tones and rich shades like navy, green, purples and reds that are perfect for the wintry scene. The biggest advantage of choosing grey for your bridesmaids is that it is one color that allows them to reuse the dress again and again, as it is a color that most women don’t mind wearing.

Here is a stunner from the Alfred Angelo Saphire bridesmaid collection. The 8110L bridesmaid gown features many attractive details including a ruched criss-cross bodice with a wrapped waistline detail and an A-line skirt that flatters almost all body types. The sweetheart neckline of this pretty chiffon gown is supported with embellished straps that add a dose of glamour from their scintillating and sparkling details. Pair this dress with a bouquet of reds, whites or purples, and you have the ideal bridesmaid look for a classic theme wedding.

2.Charismatic and captivating navy

Navy is a regal color, and needs few accessories to look classic and cool. This is a shade that can be carried off by most women, and looks stunning when featured in full-length gowns. Unlike the other blues that are influenced by shades of grey and yellow, this is a sober color that has an almost neutral-like effect. This makes it just right for any color palette, and it can add that balance to a combination, since it can be used in place of black.

Featured here is the 8108L from the Alfred Angelo bridesmaids collection, and it is a dress that is as beautiful as a picture. The halter illusion neckline is accentuated with crystal beading, eliminating the need for an additional necklace. This dress allows your bridesmaids to show off their toned shoulders and arms, making it a beautiful choice for those slender women to look great on your wedding day. From the gathered natural waistline, the fabric flows gently into a floor length pleated A-line skirt that will flatter almost every body type. This is a dress that your bridesmaids will instantly fall in love with, so check it out.

3.Soft but striking salmon

When the rest of the world is bleak and white, small pops of vibrant color can liven up your wedding scene, bringing in gushes of joy and happiness. Add the sprightly happiness of spring into your cool winter wedding, by dressing your bridesmaids in soft but striking salmon colored bridesmaids gowns. These colors look great when paired with grays, blacks, blues and metallics in your wedding palette. The only thing you need to look out for, is the choice of fabric, as it has to be in chiffon or lace for that wispy delicate feminine look.

This bridesmaid dress is the Mori Lee 124 in lace and chiffon, and you can see what a mesmerizing beauty it is. The sleeves and illusion neckline look bewitching, with the finest details etched in lace on the bodice. Separating the skirt, is a waistband fashioned out of chiffon, and from here the soft fabric glides all the way down to full-length. This is a dress with a touch of sophistication, and the pattern, being modest and offering suitable coverage, will ensure that your bridesmaids are warm and cosy on your big day.

4.Captivating champagne

Match your bridesmaids to the winter scene in an elegant and soft color like champagne, and they will look like scintillating divas beside you, on the altar. The lack of color will be a beautiful choice, especially when it features lovely lace work and similar details. Metallic colors have been hot on the wedding scene for several years now, and this is why we think champagne tousled with shimmer in just the right doses can be a trendy choice for your bridesmaids colors. It is also the right choice if you wish to experiment with the mix ‘n’ match look, as champagne goes with almost every other color, creating the right balance necessary when mixing up various styles.

This bridesmaids dress from the Mori Lee Tulle affairs collection, showcases beautiful lace details on a snug sleeveless bodice with a dashing V-neckline. A soft satin waistband separates the bodice from the skirt, and the skirt in itself is a rippling tulle beauty with a texture that contrasts wonderfully with the subtly sparkling bodice. The fact that this dress has two universally flattering features—the V-neckline, and A-line skirt, makes it a great choice for all your bridesmaids, however different they may be in body shape and height. So, if you want one dress for all your girls, you know you have found it already.

5.Merry in berry

Berries, violets and plums are all winter colors, which makes these shades just perfect for your wedding palette. These colors are associated with winter scene, and look magnificent in most indoor settings. The berry color can be acessoried with gold or silver for enhancing it’s charm, and it also works well with neutrals like gray, white and black. Depending on the amount of black in it, the effect can range from serious to soft. It is also a color that looks good on most skin tones. So, your bridesmaids are least likely to complain about your choice of color, when this is what you have in mind.

Here is a chiffon and lace beauty from the Mori Lee Bridesmaid collection. The sweetheart neckline is sexy, as it gently follows the natural curves of the bust. The bodice is embellished with a luxurious spilling of the finest details in lace, further adorned with glitter in just the right doses. This ends at the natural waistline, where it gives rise to a soft exuberance of chiffon, as the texture transforms into one that is simply stunning. The A-line dress style drapes well on most body types, and the dress is slimming in its choice of color and design details. This is a dress that will look beautiful when paired with whites, yellows or reds in bouquets and accessories, and it can be used for both formal and informal ceremonies by choosing the right accessories to dress it up.

6.Pretty in pink

Pink is a color that is eternally a girl’s favorite, and this makes it perfect for a wedding, irrespective of the season that it is held in. Pink can be played up or down, by varying the intensity of white in it. While the softer shades are suitable for the warmer spring and summer months, the darker shades look arresting in the winter scene. It is also a color that can instantly liven up the atmosphere, when everything around is cold and lifeless. Hence it is a perfect color for your pretty bridesmaids to don on your wedding day.

There are many reasons why we love this dress from the After six collection. The single-shoulder drape of the gown gives it a goddess-like appearance, and your bridesmaids will undoubtedly look glamorous in it. The ruched detailing on the bodice and waistline, continue into the skirt, giving it a casual and feminine feel. The fabric is chiffon, which is sheer to the right extent, and this makes it very appealing and pretty, so your girls will feel pampered and stylish when they wear this dress to your big day.

7.Light and lovely lavender

Some colors have the special ability to conjure up whiffs of flowers and fields, and lavender is one of them. This delicate shade of the softest violet is a fantastic color that can add personality to any scene. The soft sheen is luxurious and scintillates with a lovely effect. This is a color that captures the exquisite beauty of winter, and looks stunning with its almost silver-like appearance.

Featured here is a gorgeous bridesmaid dress from the Angelina Faccenda collection from Mori Lee. The sweetheart neckline is supported by sheer straps, and the entire bodice, neckline and straps are adorned by little glittering details that make the dress impressive. The texture of the skirt is entirely different from the bodice, with it flowing softly to full-length, in gentle ripples. The added beauty of this dress is that it also features a keyhole cutout at the back, which makes it a materpiece from not only the front, but from the back as well.

8.Rocking red

Winter is when Christmas and the holidays come, and it is just the right time to use these colors as the inspiration for your big event in life as well. Red as your bridesmaids dress color can instantly make your wedding scenery festive. This is a color that can be mixed with any other, to create dramatically different effects. Red with tropical colors like yellow and orange, transform any scene into a casual and fun-filled ambiance. On the other hand, when paired with black or grays, it has a classic elegance. The only thing to pay attention to, when using red is to keep the palette balanced with plenty of neutrals, as this is a color that can quickly overpower.

This beautiful bridesmaid dress belongs to the Tutto Bene collection at Best for Bride. The halter neckline ends in a V-shaped opening, and continues into a criss-cross ruched bodice with a slender belt that distinctly defines the waistline. The softly pleated A-line skirt continues to glide down towards floor length. The simple design and elegant details complement the rich color of the fabric, and overall this dress is one that will most likely be used many times again by your bridesmaids.

Most of the dresses featured here are available in several shades, and not just the one featured here. Contact our Best for Bride store to learn of the options you can have, if you liked any of the patterns you saw. Also, don’t forget to check out our Bridesmaids dress gallery at Best for Bride to see the thousands of different designs from the various designer collections we carry at our shops. Find all this and anything else you may need for your big wedding day, by checking out our website at Best for Bride.

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Oops! That’s Awkward—Our guide to navigating 7 awkward wedding planning situations

I like to compare wedding planning to a mine that’s waiting to explode. The potential for problems is huge! Every couple faces at least a few awkward moments when planning their wedding. Many assumptions may be made that you cannot oblige to, you may have to say no on occasions, and where people are concerned there is no saying who can feel offended about what!

Here are 7 real sticky situations that you will most likely have to handle during your wedding planning process. We’ve also included the best possible solutions you can consider, to make it as easy as possible.

#1 Tell a friend or relative that they are not in the wedding party

It could be that everyone thinks you are fond of them. Add that to the fact that  you have a huge friend circle and an equally big family, it is likely that there may be at least a friend or relative who assumes they will be in the wedding party. If there are on the wedding party list, fine! If you haven’t included them, you have a situation to handle!

It isn’t easy telling someone that they are to be a guest and not in the wedding party. The best way to handle the problem is to take care of it as soon as you doubt your friend or cousin assumes they are in without you ever mentioning it. Tell her directly that as much as you would love to have her in the party, the situation is such that you would prefer to have her enjoy the wedding as a guest instead. You could offer a valid explanation, like you want to keep the wedding party small. (Only if this is a fact! It will harm your relationship even more if she ends up seeing a dozen bridesmaids on the day, and she alone isn’t one). Make it clear that you value your relationship with her a lot, and would love to have her involved in the wedding in any other way possible. Stress that you would not want this to harm your relationship in any way, and be genuine with your words. We are sure she’ll understand if she is a sensible and reasonable girl.

#2 When you’d rather have cash

Many couples struggle with telling their guests that they’d rather have cash or gift coupons, than gifts that wouldn’t help them. This could be because money would help them pay off a loan, or they could use it on their honeymoon, or because they would like to buy an expensive item like a vehicle. In all these cases, money would really help.

If you are in any of these situations, we know how you could be whether you ought to or not  convey this message to your guests. Well, we think you should! First step, set up your wedding website, where you will be sharing your wedding registry information. Next, add a “gift cash towards xxx” as one of the top options in the registry and link it to your bank account. Share the website wedding registry with your contacts, so they are directed towards the page that prioritizes what you’d like to have, in a specific order.

The other option is to link your wedding registry to sites like Tendr , that allows guests to pick cards and send it with their well wishes to the couple. Now, if a guest were to ask you in person about your preferences, they would ideally be asking because they really want to get you something you want. So, don’t hesitate to tell them that you are saving up for whatever you are. If they are comfortable giving you cash, you can hope they will once they know of this.

#3 Telling your parents (or in-laws) that you want something different

Isn’t it funny how so many parents and their children fight over how the wedding should be held or planned, from the moment the planning is in progress? It is not too often that we see couples who want a modern, relaxed wedding with interesting and unique elements, while their parents would rather have a traditional-style formal wedding that can never go wrong. If the parents on either side are sharing the expenses, we know how quickly tempers can soar and all those involved can end up in a foul mood.

Rather than locking horns with your families, we suggest that you handle such situations tactfully. First, consider if there is anything you can do about accommodating your family’s ideas. If not the whole thing, if you can incorporate at least a few ideas, they will feel a lot better. Then, decide upon the things that you refuse to compromise on. When you present your final idea to the family, first tell them which of their suggestions will be included in the wedding. This will calm the atmosphere to a great extent. Then tell them what the rest of the plans are, and also that it is your wedding and you wouldn’t really be happy if these details weren’t part of it. So, request them to understand and convey how grateful you are for all they are doing.

#4 When a relative wants to take over as a wedding vendor

Yes, we’ve all been there, when a budding photographer in your family wants to be in-charge of the wedding photography, or an enthusiastic aunt wants to bake the wedding cake. Unless these people are professionals, it may be a very bad idea to hand them the job. Now, even when they are professionals who are used to doing these for weddings, you may not agree with their style of work or may not be happy about giving them the responsibility for a range of reasons.

After all, working with a relative or friend is not the same as working with a vendor who you’ve hired for the job. You have to be cautious about everything you say, as you two have a relationship that could be hurt. In worst cases, they may disagree with what you want and even do things that they think are the best. But, it may sometimes be a good idea, if they will offer you a discount or if you are really fond of the way they handle things. Unless this is the case, you should learn to say “No” to their offer diplomatically.

You can tell them that you would love to have them handle the job, but you have already set your mind on another vendor. Or, the better option is to tell them that you don’t want to hire them for your wedding as you want them there as a guest, and not working all day and unable to participate or enjoy the wedding as they should. This clearly conveys that you value their presence, and if they appreciate it genuinely, this should put an end to the discussion.

#5 Saying No to guests you cannot afford to have

There’s this scene in the sitcom “Castle”, where Castle and Beckett mention to his mother that they were working on the guest list for the wedding, expecting her to suggest how they reduce it. In the blink of an eye, she rushes off to bring out her own guest list for the wedding!

Don’t be startled if you find the same thing happen in your case! Many couples are faced with the tough decision of saying no to guests that they simply cannot have at their wedding. If parents are paying, or if friends are pushovers who must invite people on their behalf, the situation is anything but pleasant.

We suggest that you be honest when you tell your parents, relatives or friends why it simply isn’t feasible to have any more guests than you have planned. Since your parents will anyway be inviting at least a few people, give them a specific number beforehand. They can then prioritize who goes on the list and who can be left out. Make your mind up about how far you can stretch with any extra additions, and make sure you stick to it. After all, your wedding is all about having the people who matter the most to you. It is not about having a huge party where you hardly know half the faces there, or is it?

#6 Planning your bridesmaid’s dress budget

One of the reasons many women dread being asked to be a bridesmaid, is the financial burden that comes along with it. Let’s face it, bridesmaids have to pay for a dress that they may not like at all, pay for the accessories, spend on the bachelorette, bridal shower and gift for the bride. All this will take a chunk out of their savings. It is worse if they are still in college or have their own financial constraints.

So, the best thing you can do is be reasonable when deciding what your bridesmaids should wear. Our suggestion is to be flexible, and consider a range of choices in dresses, so your bridesmaids can pick the one that is easiest on their pockets. Think out of the box, and instead of having them dress up in matching outfits, go with the mix ‘n’ match trend. This gives them the freedom to choose from the choices you have shortlisted. It is also likely that they will pick a dress that they can use again.

A good friend would also consider easing their financial burden by paying for the bridesmaid accessories or hair and makeup. Now, if you have been a bridesmaid at all these girls’ weddings previously, and they weren’t half as considerate, we think it is up to you to decide how to handle the situation. Honestly, it wouldn’t be wrong if you kept their expenses similar to what you had to incur, if this is the case. Else, think of what you can do to help out, maybe make use of sales and discounts or keep your dress selection reasonable so they do not begrudge you for your choices later.

#7 Talk money with your parents or in-laws

You think you’ve heard your parents mention sometime in the past, that they’ve put aside a certain amount for your wedding expenses. But, do you ask for it once you are engaged and planning the wedding? Is it appropriate to bring up the topic? Well, it’s mom and dad, and if you are certain there’s money set aside for you, it shouldn’t be wrong to confirm, so you can plan the wedding accordingly.

Ideally, they should bring the topic up if they have any such plans. So, it may not always be best to bring up the topic yourself. If they are quiet, it may be because something’s changed and not because they’ve forgotten about it. Never make the mistake of assuming that they will pay, and go about planning your wedding based on this assumption. Don’t feel entitled to it and have your plans go bust if they don’t agree to. Instead, share the wedding plans you have in mind and the quotes you collect from vendors. They will be more comfortable mentioning what they would like to contribute towards, when you do it this way.

If there is no talk about the money at all, you can either ask them what happened to the fund they put aside (that is, if you are sure they have), or ask them if they could help and you could repay it later.

Weddings, like we said earlier are tricky events that can cause so much stress to any bride and groom. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep the big picture in mind. When you think of the priorities in your life, and how you can celebrate the event that brings you and your partner together forever, you can tide over any awkward situation and leave it out of your mind forever.

To help you with everything you possibly need for your wedding, including your wedding dress, attire for your wedding party, accessories, décor, cakes and even flowers, visit us at Best for Bride. We have everything you need.