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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.

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Expert answers to 7 tricky bridesmaid situations

Bridesmaids are the women who share the stage with you on your wedding day. This is a position that you should confer after thoroughly thinking it through. This is because they have an important role to play at your wedding; it is one where they will have to handle several responsibilities.

However careful or calculating you may be when choosing your bridesmaids, you can still end up with unexpected surprises or awkward situations in this area at different stages of the wedding planning process. Sometimes, the issues may crop up right from the time you start choosing your bridesmaids, at other times it may be an issue that suddenly popped up when you thought everything was progressing beautifully.

Bridesmaids
Image Credits: Micadew, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

 

Here are some issues that brides have had to tide over, and let us look at the best way to handle each of them.

Q. Who to choose when you have more than one Bestie?

Enter Friends, with Monica who had to choose between Rachel and Phoebe, or Jules on Cougar Town with Ellie and Laurie! This is a situation we’ve seen time and again. If you have always been certain of who to choose as your Maid of Honor, and its been mutually agreed upon, lucky you! If not, do not worry, we have a few solutions for you to consider.

  • Leave it to the girls to decide among themselves, if you think that is the best approach. Of course, be prepared to go with whoever they decide to choose, if you take this route.
  • Ask them both. There is no problem with having two Maids of Honor, and it can perhaps be easier on them too as they can share the responsibilities and you needn’t feel guilty about your decision. This is the easiest and most practical approach, especially if you seem to be getting nowhere with making a choice.
  • If you have a sibling who you trust to take care of everything well, it is best to ask her and avoid stressing over it further. This will also save you from the problem of choosing between friends.
  • When considering your choices, give priority to responsibility, availability and organizing ability. Remember your maid of honor should be available and able to make things easier for you, and not just someone you choose so she is happy.

Q. What to do if a bridesmaid is pregnant or a new mom at the time of the wedding

Since you’ll be engaged for a long time, don’t expect all your bridesmaids to be in their current situations at the time of your wedding. They may or may not! However, having a bridesmaid who is pregnant or a new mom doesn’t have to change too many things. The best approach in this situation is to ask her what she would be comfortable doing. If your friend would still love to continue being your bridesmaid, trust her with it. If she is nervous and would prefer to back out, it is best to go with her choice. If your friend would like to continue in the role, make sure you do all you can so she is comfortable. You may have to make a few changes to plan when ordering her dress. It may have to be altered or you may have to choose it closer to the wedding. So, plan the logistics accordingly. Also, entrust her with light responsibilities, given her situation. She will already be handling a hundred extra things of her own, so don’t stress her out with more than she can handle. Just talk to her and find out all you can about how you can make things easy for her, and we are sure it will all work out well for both of you.

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Q. When your bridesmaids hate the dress you chose

It is impossible to make everyone happy, and yes, it is your happiness that ultimately matters. So, if your choice for the bridesmaids dress doesn’t find favor with the girls, you can still stick to it. All the same, remember that there are several ways in which you can work around this and find a choice that they can be happier about.

Many brides make the mistake of choosing bridesmaids dresses in unusual colors, that many girls find unappealing. The mix and match bridesmaids look is one of the best ways to tide over this issue and get you what you want, while your bridesmaids are also happy. You can keep two or three factors uniform, like the color, neckline, hemline or designer collection, and allow your girls to choose any dress they like as long as these factors are met. Find out how to do this right, by checking out this previous article of ours. The other way is to go with a neutral color or universally flattering pattern and step up the style with colorful accessories or bold fashion items. Here are some suggestions for some colors that work this way in this post.

Spend some time researching your options and be open to ideas that fit in with your wedding aesthetic. You may not only find a choice that everyone adores, but it may also give you something unique that sets your wedding apart. Also ask your bridesmaids if they have any suggestions and then make a choice that nobody can totally hate. This way, you’ll be happy and so will your bridesmaids.

Pantone colors

Q. Your bridesmaids think they are paying too much for everything

When a bridesmaid agrees to be one, she knows she signs up to spend some money for your wedding. So, it is part of the deal. Nevertheless, it is up to you to be reasonable about what you choose, so you don’t make your friends regret their decision later. This bridesmaid voices her concerns, in this post on Apartment Therapy, and she tells us how difficult it is for her to cough up all the money she is expected to spend for her friend.

Remember that this applies to your bridesmaids too. They have to pay for a dress which they may never wear again, pay for the bridal shower and wedding gift, hair, makeup, accessories, and these things can quickly add up. So, if you value your friendship, it is only right that you are understanding and either stick to reasonable plans where they have to pay only what they can afford, or volunteer to pay for anything extravagant. The best approach is to have options for everything from the dress to the gift, and allow them to pick from the choices based on their comfort. Your wedding shouldn’t leave any of your friends in a financial crunch, and unless you have been on the receiving end with the same friends previously, it is only wrong if you do. If you think the dress price exceeded your idea, or if they have paid more than they expected to, you can always buy them their accessories like shoes or jewelry and take that burden off them. They deserve it for all the hard work (and money!) they are putting in to make your day extra-special.

Q. What to do when one of my bridesmaids just doesn’t get along with the rest

Your bridesmaids are a team, and they do have to spend some time together to plan their roles and responsibilities properly. Having a bossy bridesmaid or one who always seems to disagree with the rest can throw the entire situation into chaos. So, the first step is to recognize the likelihood of any such problems arising, before you pop your question to your bridesmaids. If there is a difficult friend in your list, consider whether it is more important that they be a bridesmaid than avoiding arguments among your bridesmaids. If you think it is, you may have to take on an active role to avoid potential problems. This article on Huffington post gives some practical solutions in this regard. Firstly, avoid tricky situations that can lead to friction.  You can delegate responsibilities like the shower to a particular person, even outside the bridesmaid group to avoid arguments. Delegate only specific responsibilities to her, so she won’t have to cross paths with an opponent. Pair her off with those who can handle her with tact. Finally, before your wedding day, sit her down and personally ask her to put aside her differences and cooperate, so your day goes well. If she cares even an ounce for your happiness, she will handle it well and make sure that the excitement of your day is not ruined due to her petty and unnecessary problems.mix ‘n’ match bridesmaids dress

Q. What to do when a bridesmaid can’t keep the wedding planning details a secret

Whether it is because she is super-excited about your wedding, or simply jealous of what you have, it is simply wrong to tell others your wedding planning secrets. If your bridesmaid does this by mistake, let it go, but make sure to ask her nicely to never repeat it. Despite this, if she continues with gossiping, it may be better if you act immediately. If you wait too long, she can cause your wedding surprises to be ruined by her inconsiderate behavior. Aim for a solution where you involve only those who can keep their thoughts to themselves, in the planning. Don’t make it into a bitter problem and spoil the entire mood by arguing with the person who spills the beans every time. Be discrete and don’t give any details if she keeps asking you for what’s going on. If you want to handle it diplomatically, and not create any unpleasant situations, assign a generic project to her and leave her with it. Make sure it is one that won’t make a difference even if she goes around telling the town what is involved, and it’ll keep her busy from interfering with the rest.girls-685787_1280

 

Q. Is it alright if my bridesmaid lives far away and will be arriving just in time for the wedding

This isn’t too rare these days. After all, you may have friends right from the time you were a little girl, who are close to you despite the physical distance. Although it may not be easy to shop for the bridesmaid dress or plan the shower from long-distance, it is still possible. Where dress shopping is concerned, you can simply mail her the options or share links to the collection online, and ask her for her opinions. Once the choice is made, you should order it for her, along with the dresses for your other bridesmaids. For this you need to know her dress size. Make sure that your bridesmaid is measured by a professional seamstress, so you get the measurements right before ordering the dress. Since you will mostly be ordering all the bridesmaids dresses in one go and from the same dye lot, make sure you know this before you place the order. Once the dress arrives, ship it to her right away. This will allow her to get the alterations done, so it is ready to be worn when she travels for the wedding. Where the bachelorette parties and bridal showers are concerned, it is up to your maid of honor and other bridesmaids to plan it. If you would like her to attend, see if it is possible to move these events closer to the wedding date. Since you want her to be involved in the wedding as much as the rest of the wedding party is, you can consider designating some day-of tasks to her. Nevertheless, remember that she may be tired from the journey and so accommodate that factor into the plans as well.

Now that we have most of the tricky questions addressed here, we think you are covered for most scenarios. If you think there are any more likely situations that you want help with, write to us and let us know.

For your bridesmaids dresses, we suggest you take a look at our extensive collection of bridesmaids dresses here on Best for Bride. With exhaustive collections in all sizes and designs from leading designer brands, you are bound to find the right dresses for all your bridesmaids by visiting us.

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5 must-haves at your winter wedding

Winter weddings are a growing trend. As more brides choose to get married in winter, the options available to brides to them are also more. As you go around customizing and adding personal touches to your special day, let us look at the essentials that you shouldn’t forego, so your winter wedding is delightfully complete. Here they are now!

1.A warm and cozy venue

Remember that your wedding guests will be bearing the chills, as they make their way to the venue. So, it is necessary to warm up the hall, well before they arrive, so they can relax and feel comfortable once they are there. Make sure that the hall is well-heated, and there are no drafts entering the room. Keep the ambiance warm and welcoming with soft glowing yellow lights and cozy decorations that immediately make it cheerful. You can also place a few blankets and throws for those guests who really feel cold, to wrap up in.

2.Warm drinks to ward off the chills

Who wouldn’t love a warm cup of cocoa, tea or coffee, when they enter indoors for your wedding. Make arrangements like a coffee or cocoa bar, where your dear ones can enjoy a warm drink before participating in the wedding ceremony.

3.Great lighting

This tip on the Wedding Party Website, is a very important one that all brides have to pay attention to. With the days being short, you do not want a gloomy setup with shadows all over the place. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of lighting, as this will determine the overall ambiance. Rather than choosing bright white lights, warm yellow glows and candle lights are pleasant. Candles also step up the romance, and enhance the holiday cheer.

4.Bring the outdoor elements inside

It is almost impossible to have an outdoor wedding when the cold season is at its peak. Nevertheless, you should add plenty of natural elements to your wedding décor, to add a natural charm to your party. Don’t skimp on flowers or foliage. If you are worried about the steep prices during this season, go with seasonal elements like pine branches, mistletoe and fir, or flowers that are available all-year round. Take inspiration from holiday decorations, and you will come across various elements that are perfect for decorating your wedding venue.

5.Appreciation for all those who made your wedding a success

Everyone from your bridesmaids, to the vendors and your guests have to work extra to make a winter wedding successful. So, you should openly appreciate all the effort they put in to make sure your big day a success. Appreciate and thank them openly for their contribution. Choose thoughtful wedding favors for your guests, and also add a special line or two, thanking them for the trouble they went through to come to your wedding. Similarly, thank your bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party with gifts that they deserve. Lastly, don’t forget to send thank you cards and provide positive reviews to your wedding vendors.

Have you chosen your wedding dress for your cool, winter wedding yet? If not, come visit our bridal gallery on Best for bride and choose from the lavish collection we have.