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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

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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.