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Second-time brides—Tips to choose the perfect wedding dress for a second wedding

Brides who are getting married the second time will usually be familiar with the wedding dress shopping experience. If this isn’t the first time you are a bride, you may  have memories of how your previous wedding shopping session was and remember the excitement of finding the first dress. This factor can influence your overall experience when you attempt to find a great wedding dress again.

However, there is another side to the coin. You will be older, wiser and have a better idea of what you want, when you go shopping this time. From where you are in your life now, it is likely that you will be more confident and think your decisions through. This will also aid your wedding dress selection. Also, if you weren’t entirely happy with your dress decision last time, you can now make up for it. So, shopping for your wedding dress should be exciting once again.

Although it is impossible to keep comparing your choices to what you wore or bought for your first wedding, remember that this new phase in life is also about leaving the past behind. As you step into a new chapter of your life, be open and flexible with your choices. This will help you analyze your options objectively and choose a dress that fully meets your expectations.

To help you further, here are some of our insider tips for second-time brides to choose the perfect wedding dress for your wedding day.

Do your research once again

Wedding dress styles and options will have changed a lot from the last time you went shopping. Although the traditional silhouettes will still be available, there may be newer and more interesting options to explore. So, do your research before you set foot in a bridal store. Look at what is trending and shortlist styles that appeal to you. Collect pictures of the dress features you like and make notes of what you would like to see in your wedding dress. This will make your shopping session more productive.

Look for something different

You may have looked amazing in your old wedding gown. Nonetheless, this is the time to explore entirely different options, and embrace a whole new look. There will be other silhouettes, fabric and dress features that flatter you. So, look out for these options. Find dress styles that will enhance your best assets, that are significantly different from your old gown. This is your chance to do better in your life once again, and let this factor extend to your wedding dress decision as well.

Look for dresses that compliment your personality

Every bride should only choose a dress that reflects her taste. The wedding dress is an extension of your personality. So, don’t worry about following tradition or rules when choosing yours. Only settle for a dress that appeals to your likes. This could be an extension of what you wear on a regular basis. Or it could be a dress that is entirely different. Only you know what you truly want. So, consider this factor well and find a dress that speaks to you.

Match your dress choice to the style of wedding you plan

Let your venue and wedding theme help you choose your wedding dress. For traditional wedding styles, classic gowns may be better than modern, trendy options. If your wedding is a casual, laid back affair, choose simple silhouettes and casual dress styles to match the tone. Although second-time brides may prefer a shorter and simpler dress, there is no rule that suggests so. Ultimately it is your choice to find a dress that matches the venue and wedding style, while adding to your beauty. Here are some ideas on the Wedding Ideas Magazine to find dresses that are suitable for your theme.

Dress according to your age and body shape

Most second-time brides are mature brides. If this is the case, you should choose a style and silhouette that best suits your body shape and overall appearance. Look for dresses that make you look like a younger, smarter version of yourself. Although mature brides tend to gravitate towards classic dress silhouettes like the A-line and fit and flare,  nothing should deter you from trying a cocktail length dress or a fish tail gown. Analyse your body type and find out whether there are any areas you would like to hide. Also, identify the assets you would like to show off. Then choose a dress that camouflages the less desirable parts while drawing attention to the more attractive parts.

Be bold enough to defy tradition

Traditionally, the bridal dress was never white. White wedding dresses are in fact a trend that emerged in the Victorian era. Although most brides still prefer to wear white on their wedding day, you can always break the norm. Stunning colorful wedding gowns constantly make the rounds on runways. Explore these stunning options in light and bright colors. Or choose printed wedding dresses that have been trending recently. Florals and watercolor details are typically associated with wedding dresses.

Your dress should make you feel special

Don’t dismiss the dress as a less-important factor about your wedding. Whether your wedding is an intimate affair or a grand bash, you deserve to feel special on this big day in your life. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on your dress. Instead, what is more important is that you love your wedding dress, how it drapes on you and how it makes you feel. With dresses in all price ranges, you will have plenty of options to pick a dress that is unique and makes you a beautiful bride once again.

Don’t even think of wearing the dress you wore the first time around

If there is one rule to strictly adhere to when you are a second-time bride, it is to never use your first wedding dress again. Even if you never got to wear it because your engagement was called off. A dress that wasn’t bought for this wedding day shouldn’t be the one you wear for it. Wearing your old wedding dress will take the focus off your new marriage. So, we suggest you start your special day on a new footing with an entirely new wedding dress. Try to keep it very different from what you wore the first time around, to avoid any comparisons between the two.

Think of comfort and practical constraints

Make sure that wearing a comfortable dress is one of your top priorities. Don’t choose a dress style that makes you feel conscious of how you look. Also, avoid dresses that are too heavy or difficult to manage. Before you commit to a dress, check if it is easy to move around in and fits comfortably. If you feel it looks good but feels uncomfortable, it is better you keep looking.

There are no hard and fast rules on what you should or should not wear when you will be wed the second time. Nevertheless, there are some general trends in the dresses that mature brides opt for on such occasions. Based on this, here are some suggestions to help you get inspired.

Wedding dress suggestions for second-time brides

Elegant Vintage wedding dresses

Most brides gravitate towards elegance and sophistication when they look for their wedding dress. Dresses from bygone eras have the romance and demure finesse to achieve this look. These dresses also usually feature classic style elements that make it comfortable to wear for an older bride.

 

This Mori Lee Morena in Duchess Satin is a ravishing beauty, with its classic V-neckline and A-line silhouette. The sparkling chevron waistband enhances the pristine clarity of the white, making this a splendid dress that is simple yet captivating.

Shorter hemlines

Many brides have already had a chance to enjoy their princess look the first time. So, they tend to look for more casual styles. And what better choice than a dress with a shorter hemline. This style is particularly apt if your wedding is low-key and you prefer a simpler bridal look.

The Monica Loretti Orifilia is an enchanting short dress with cord lace details extending into full-length sleeves and a beautiful bateau neckline. The illusion details create a bridal look, while it isn’t overpowering and perfect for a casual vibe.

Illusion-style wedding dresses

Romantic, classy and dainty, illusion lace details instantly enhance the splendor of any dress. Peek-a-boo lace is always feminine, and second-time brides who have already tried a glamorous look before often choose the delicate, feminine look the second time around.

Dreamy illusion hand embroidery details form enchanting embellishments on this soft Monica Loretti dress. The A-line gown is entirely crafted from smooth, flowing fabric with an embroidered illusion bodice over the sweetheart neckline as the only embellishment. This is a stylish yet elegant choice for a second-time bride.

Long sleeve dresses

Whether it is to conceal your upper arms or to look modest, many brides look forward to exploring options in gowns with full-length sleeves. The presence of long sleeves is often slimming, and it works with various silhouettes to create different effects. It is also a timeless style that appeals to older brides. Full-length sleeves can also be created with the help of a jacket or bolero over your chosen dress, if you are unable to find a dress that appeals to you entirely.

Another dress from the Monica Loretti collection, the Melisa has lace illusion sleeves over a stunning strapless bodice. The vivid textures in the lace sleeves beautifully compliment the soft flowy finish of the gown. The streamlined A-line silhouete is also classy, and the pretty waistband enhances the effect of a slender waistline. This dress style has a slimming effect, and it is a lovely choice that is powerful without too many details.

Dresses with showstopper details

At times it is not about having every attractive feature in the dress, but about highlighting few details with due importance. Dresses with just one showstopper detail are a huge hit with second-time brides. This gives them the opportunity to show off their taste without going overboard with too many details.

Before you dismiss this gown as a simple lace wedding dress with spaghetti straps in the front and few crystal embellishments along the neckline, take a look at the beauty it is in the back.

 

Here, is a stunning back that will amaze everyone. The bodice extends into a narrow strap that borders a sexy cut-out detail above the waistline. It is an unexpected and interesting style, that will capture the attention of your wedding guests. Show off your sensual side in this dress, which is unusually interesting and suitable for your bold personality.

Just a dash of color can make all the difference

Leave your old life behind, and begin your new chapter on a brand new and entirely different note when you wear a colorful wedding dress. A subtle dose of color will set your look apart, without spoiling the bridal effect. Choose colors or prints that suit your complexion for the best effect. Or go with the latest trends in wedding dress colors.

 

This beauty from the Mon Cheri collection is simply magnificent with striking lace appliques that swim over the entire length. An overlay skirt forms panels on either side of the waistline, while the original dress has a fit and flare skirt. This is a dress that will help you sport two distinct looks on your wedding day without spending on two entirely different dresses. Hence it is a practical and interesting choice.

You may be getting married the second or third time, but a Bride is a Bride. Don’t hesitate to explore your options and dream big when it comes to your wedding dress. If there is something you regret from your wedding dress shopping the first time, this is the opportunity to fix it. So, make your decisions only when you are sure it is right.

All the dresses seen here and more are available at our Best for Bride wedding dress gallery. Click here to visit our collection and shortlist your favorites. 

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11 Major Mistakes to Avoid when you are newly engaged

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with a person, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

This quote is very true for newly engaged couples. Being newly engaged is a lovely phase in everyone’s life. It is perhaps the most romantic part of your love story; a time when nothing can possibly seem to go wrong.

As romantic and exciting as this phase is, remember that this chapter also leads to a bigger, even more exciting and chaotic phase—planning the wedding! However, this stage comes with a fair set of challenges and not all are able to handle it easily. There are some common mistakes that many newly engaged couples make and regret in the coming days. Do you know what they are?

Let us look at this list of what to avoid when you are newly engaged, so that your engagement is memorable for all the right reasons.

1.Not announcing your engagement to the most important people first

You are undoubtedly pretty excited about your engagement. It is only natural that you feel tempted to shout about it from the rooftops. Or, in the modern and more efficient version, share your big news on social media. However, remember that this is no trivial news. So, it is only right to first tell it to those who matter the most to each of you and as a couple. Let the rest of the world wait a little longer to hear. Visit your parents and break the news to them. Or if they are far away, pick up the phone and tell them personally. Next, inform your close friends and family. Once you are done with personally informing all those in your close circle, climb up the roof or login to Facebook and make your big announcement.

2.Revealing too much on social media

Making the big announcement is one thing, flooding everyone’s news feeds on Facebook with your news is another thing altogether. Contain your excitement, at least where sharing your news is concerned. Your friends will be eager to know. However, it can be rather irritating when you overdo the stuff you share on social media. Don’t annoy everyone with your openness and limit the amount of information you share. It isn’t necessary to post every update about your wedding planning online either. This can even be dangerous, as your news will be available to everyone. It will make you vulnerable to scams and cause unnecessary confusion if those you didn’t expect turned up at your celebratory events assuming your discussion or post was akin to an invitation.

3.Asking friends and family to be in your bridal party immediately

Wedding planning can be tortuous once you get into the details. So, it is important to think every decision through. Don’t be tempted to simply invite or ask people you love to be in your bridal party. These decisions are best made after you do your due research. Even if you are sure of who should be in your bridal party, play it safe and wait till you are certain before you ask. It is likely that your wedding will be after quite a while. Relationships can change in the meanwhile, situations may come in the way. So, wait till the time is ripe to make your final decisions in this matter.

4.Rushing to settle on a date

Now that you are engaged, a wedding is definitely on the cards. Though you shouldn’t procrastinate indefinitely, neither should you be hasty with your decisions. Don’t quickly decide on a likely wedding date. Instead take your time with this important decision. Consult each other and think of all the factors that you should account for. You will have to find a date on which your preferred vendors are available, the venue is available and so on.

Most couples don’t really consider or plan for a wedding before they are actually engaged. So, take your time with this important decision and you won’t regret it later. Once you lock down on a date, you have limited options in other areas. So, be sure of your decision before you commit to it. It is also a good idea to run likely dates by your family and friends before making a final decision.

5.Not considering budget

Setting the wedding budget is one of the first and foremost wedding planning tasks. Tackle it as a priority. Every wedding decision you make will cost you money. However, how much you spend on each aspect of the wedding shouldn’t happen along the way, or you can run into debt. Talk about your financial situation with each other and plan a practical budget. If your parents will be contributing, you should find out how much they intend to spend. Once you are aware of the maximum you can afford to spend on your wedding, split it into components for each wedding task.

A proper idea of your wedding budget will also allow you to make choices such as whether you should hire a wedding planner or undertake the task yourself. With a good sense of your financial situation and a practical budget, you can approach your wedding planning in a sensible manner. This is also the time to discuss and understand each of your financial situations and suitably plan your future commitments as a couple.

6.Rushing with the wedding preparations

Most couples end up having time for little else, once they begin wedding planning. However, don’t forget that you are in a new chapter in your life. Savor the moment, for it will never return. This romantic phase in your life deserves to be celebrated, and it is also the time for you and your fiance to bond. The wedding preparations can wait. Once you are engaged, don’t rush into the next stage. Instead enjoy some time together and you will be all set to start planning your wedding with full gusto.

Have an engagement party or celebrate with an intimate affair. You can even have an engagement photo shoot. The additional advantage of this idea is that you can also use this as a selection process for your wedding photographer. However, as this post on the Huff Post mentions, the real reason to have an engagement photo shoot is to document this special time in your life. Make fond memories of your newly-engaged status, and it will be something to hold close to your heart forever.

7.Booking vendors without thinking it through

Most hasty decisions during wedding planning end in regret. You will have to book several vendors for your wedding. However, each of these decisions deserve thought and research. In your hurry, don’t hasten to book a vendor till you are absolutely sure you require this particular service. If you rethink your theme, you may find a better deal if you look further. When you hire the services of a wedding planner, it is likely that he or she will have their own recommended list of vendors. Or they may negotiate on your behalf and snag you a better bargain from the same vendor. So, give it enough thought when you make your decision and book vendors only if you are certain. Also, don’t forget to read the contract thoroughly. Ensure there are no chances of error if you go with a particular vendor choice.

8.Booking your wedding dress shopping appointment before you finalize anything else

It is a known fact that wedding dress shopping takes time. There is also the waiting time after placing your order, till when your dress is ready for delivery. Nonetheless, wedding dress shopping should be done after proper research. You should also wait till you fix the other details of your wedding. The venue, weather at the time of your wedding and wedding theme are important factors to consider when choosing a wedding gown. Unless you know these factors, it is best to wait before you book a wedding dress appointment.

We also suggest that you do sufficient research before you go wedding dress shopping. Or you may drown in the numerous options available, and end up confused and overwhelmed. Instead, create an inspiration board and collect pictures of dresses you love. Also identify the best silhouettes for your body shape. Finally, short list the dress features you love most and only then head off for your dress appointment.

9.Agreeing to all proposals without thinking it through

Once you announce your engagement, your friends or associates may approach you with offers for wedding-related services. This could be a relative or friend who runs a wedding-related business or someone who wishes to be in the bridal party. Don’t ever commit to anyone at this stage, as it can spell disaster in the long run.

It is never a good idea to mix relationships with business, unless you are sure you can speak your mind or are sure the person in question is a pure professional. Gratefully accept all proposals and tell your friends and associates that you will think over it. Never agree to anything without actually thinking it through. You can always say that you have to consult your fiance or consider whether the suggestion fits with the wedding theme you have in mind. Only agree to any proposal for help after you are sure it will work out. Also ensure that you will not strain your relationship with the person by this offer of help.

10.Skipping the all-important long discussion with your fiance

Ideally, you should discuss all your important life decisions prior to the engagement. Nonetheless, it is never too late to discuss your priorities and plans with your fiance, before you proceed with wedding planning. Couples should be clear about a number of factors that will affect their future, before they take the plunge. Finances, family relationships, career goals and even retirement plans are on the horizon and will affect your marriage to a great extent.

Make sure that you discuss each and all these factors. There may be compromises that either of you have to make. You may also have to get your priorities straight, so there is no misunderstanding later. Get it all out in the open, so you can start this new phase in your life in the right way.

11.Going crazy over Pinterest

Pinterest is a valuable tool when planning a wedding. So, you should dedicate a good amount of your time to it, when planning your wedding. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your engagement period. You can end up ogling pretty details and obsessing over what you ought to copy to your wedding. However, remember that this is all there only for inspiration. Get the idea, but head out and plan your own unique way to make your wedding remarkable.

Once you complete a wedding-related task, say buying your wedding dress, resist the temptation to revisit Pinterest for the same. It is likely you will find a new dress that appeals more. So, don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Believe that you made the best decision possible and move on to the next task. This is the only way to prevent yourself from a  Pinterest-obsession and all the other wedding eye-candy on the internet.

Your engagement period is an exciting time. Nonetheless, it is also full of challenges of every sort. While you have to do most of the decision making yourself, we have the perfect solutions for your wedding day look. Visit us online or in-store, and our team will assist you in finding the perfect wedding dress for your special day.

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14 valuable tips to do it right when you plan your own wedding

Planning your wedding is hard work! You may plan to be your own wedding planner for budget reasons or because you believe you are up to the task. In either case, let me warn you that it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous decisions to make, deadlines to meet and several lists to create. Nonetheless, it is do-able.

One thing you should remember is to stay focused, calm and optimistic always, once you make the decision to plan your wedding. As long as you are organized and not tensed about the whole thing, you will be able to tackle the potential challenges without difficulty.

To help you along, we have some useful tips. Keep them in mind and you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without much ado!

1.Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

Wedding planning involves a lot of work. You will have to pick and negotiate with vendors, schedule appointments and create financial plans for each aspect. Although you may be great at some of these tasks, it is likely there are areas you have no clue about. Before you start planning, try to get a clear picture of what you can and can’t manage yourself. Be realistic as there is a lot of work and limited time. Analyze the tasks that you have very little knowledge about. You may have to find someone to share responsibilities for these tasks. So, it is better to plan for it in advance, than attempt it yourself and end up with poor results.

2.Begin with a budget

All that wedding planning is going to cost money. Also, it is easy to get carried away or let some numbers slide when you handle finances yourself. To avoid this, set up a budget right in the beginning. Create an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. Make sure it is the maximum amount that you will spend, and that you cannot exceed it at any cost. This realization will help you find solutions that are affordable, when you plan your wedding details. Once you have a total amount in mind, split it among the different aspects of your wedding.

3.Hear what your fiance has to say

You must know at least one bride who feels she is the only one involved in planning her wedding! The funny thing is if you ask the broom, chances are he will say it is because the bride refused to let him in the plans. It is easy to end up shouldering all the responsibilities, and there is no going back once you are deep into it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, sit down with your fiance before you start anything. Discuss your ideas and take note of his suggestions. It is his wedding too, so encourage him to participate. The more open you accept his suggestions, the more inclined he will be to involve himself in the plans.

4.Create a system to get your wedding plans organized

Some of us prefer the book and paper route, while others are better off with technology. Choose what works for you. You need a system to jot down notes, write down expenditures, note down deadlines and save contacts. The simplest working solution is to set up a folder with a calculator, notebook and diary. Use the diary to mark your planning timeline and detail tasks. You can use the notebook to write all other information. Also note down calculations and all relevant details in it. Use this system frequently and make sure you save everything, and you won’t lose track of the progress you make.

Before you dive into wedding planning, separate the notebook into sections for each wedding planning aspect. This will allow you segregate relevant information about each aspect in the right place. We also recommend dedicating a folder on your desktop for this. Most communication that is shared online can be saved into this location for future reference.

5.Make a master-list and many sub-lists for each category

If you are good with lists, wedding planning will be a lot easier. Start with a master checklist, which you can find online. This will provide an overview of all the tasks you have to do for your wedding. However, each wedding is different, and you may have to edit your list to fit your ideas. Once you have your final master-list, create sub-lists of tasks for each aspect. Note it down and it is unlikely you will forget or overlook any  task. You can even create this list using an online tool. This will enable you to access it anywhere, and check or cross out tasks on-the-go.

6.Make the most of free wedding planning tools

There are several tools that make planning easier. From creating checklists for the wedding timeline and entering your expenses and budget, to sharing pictures with the rest of your team, these technical applications streamline the entire wedding planning process. This makes it easier to tackle. When you set up such an app on your mobile, it allows you to indulge in planning your wedding from anywhere. Some examples include the Knot wedding planner app, Capsule for photo sharing and the Knot lookbook app for wedding outfit planning. You could even update your plans with a simple weather and calendar app from Yahoo to avoid any last minute unexpected changes to plan. For more details on the apps and websites that can be your best friend while making wedding plans, take a look at this post on the Knot website. 

A quick word of advice: If you decide to use any of these apps, make sure you start ASAP! This will help you narrow down your choices to ones that are easy to use. Get used to the method right from the start and the entire process will be way easier.

7.Be prepared for challenges

If you have been involved in project planning at some level, pulling off a wedding will be easier. This is because there are numerous things to stay on top of, all at the same time. Things can and do go wrong! So, prepare yourself to tackle the situation with a cool head and also have a Plan B for every scenario. This will help you have an alternate solution at short notice, whenever required. The best way to handle all challenges is to be prepared for worst outcomes. Apart from making a comprehensive checklist for every single thing to do at your wedding, also consider likely glitches. Then have a solution in mind, in case things go downhill.

8.Take time to think before making decisions

When you are on your own, you will have to depend on reviews and word of mouth to choose vendors, make décor decisions and more. So, do not make any decision in haste. List out your options and properly research before you commit to a contract. Make sure you take time to analyze every aspect and are fully sure of every choice, before you confirm. Where necessary, obtain references and definitely contact them. The most reliable choices are usually recommendations from friends and family, who have done it before you. So, try this path first. From picking the wedding date to choosing the cake design and florist, make sure you won’t have to rethink your decision.

9.Segregate your research 

Organize everything neatly and in its right place to make things much easier. Whether you use organization tools like Pinterest or sort things into folders on your desktop, do it in a systematic way. Create multiple folders or boards for each type of information, rather than just amassing it all in one place. This will allow you locate exactly what you want in no time. You can also share information easily when it is organized well, and save a lot of time.

10.Think well before you ask your friends and family for help

Many of your friends and family may seem eager to help with your wedding plans. However, be cautious of who you entrust with what. You need people who will stay objective and follow your instructions to complete tasks. When it is family and friends, remember that you should also maintain your personal relationship with them. This can come in the way of expressing dissatisfaction when you aren’t happy with how they handle things. Also, unless you entrust the job to the right people, there are chances that they will make decisions without consulting you. This may not always be in your best interest.

11.Get things done ahead of time

Don’t set your deadlines too close. It is always safe to have some buffer time for everything, in case there are delays or hassles along the way. When you discuss timelines with vendors, ask them to deliver ahead of the actual time. This will ensure everything is in place on time. Follow a wedding planning checklist to get a clear idea of what is to be completed and when! Stick to it and you should be fine. If you will be doing things like the centerpieces or favors yourself, get them ready as early as is possible. The last thing you want is to spend your wedding eve completing these tasks, because you didn’t get around to it earlier.

12.Get your priorities straight

Wedding planning involves numerous decisions, that you can end up procrastinating and reaching nowhere. Try to stay focused by giving more importance to certain tasks over others. Have a clear idea of how you want your wedding to be, and don’t change it along the way. Set priorities for the tasks you should complete, and handle them in that order. Do the important ones with gusto. Leave the others for when you have time. Also, wisely limit the finer details to what is practical and can be achieved within the given time span.

13.Run your plan by someone who has already been there

Always get a second opinion if you are unsure. You should have someone who can recognize if you’ve missed anything. This is possible when this associate has been in your position before you. Throughout your wedding planning, consult with your fiance and preferably another bride or couple who have planned their own wedding. They can advise you on anything you may miss or overlook. Similarly, make sure you run your list by the person who will be in-charge of your duties on your wedding day, so you are both on the same page. Read ahead to find out more about who that person ought to be.

14.Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day

Although you can fully involve yourself in wedding planning till the day of your wedding, you have other things to do on this day. You shouldn’t be the one who follows up with vendors or checks if everything is progressing on schedule. Instead, you should enjoy yourself as the bride. So, you simply must find someone to shoulder all the responsibilities on your wedding day. This could be a trustworthy friend or relative. Nonetheless, the person you choose should be reliable, punctual and have the capacity to take charge of everything wedding-related. It wouldn’t hurt if this person is a tad bossy, if necessary.  This trait will ensure that he/she won’t hesitate to get people on track when necessary. If there isn’t someone you know who can take over all this, consider hiring a professional for just the day.

Planning a wedding is a Herculean task, more so when you do most of it yourself. However, a wedding that is done well, is a blissful and satisfying experience. So, involve yourself in all the planning if you must! But don’t stress yourself out so much that you forget to enjoy it. For more wedding planning tips, fashion advice and all things wedding-related, keep visiting this space on Best for Bride.

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

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

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

This is where we will help you!

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

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

Let us begin!

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

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

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

Venue and theme 

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

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

No!

Such a wedding dress will look inappropriate and it will also be uncomfortable.

Instead, you will have to limit your choices to dresses made from light fabrics in simple silhouettes that are comfortable for the venue and weather. Such dress choices will also tie your look to the theme of your wedding.

Budget

Wedding dresses are expensive. Nevertheless, there are options for every budget.

If budget is a constraint, you will have to stick to affordable choices. So, this is another factor to plan before you go shopping. Latest designer wedding dresses will be super-costly, while ones from previous seasons are usually cheaper in comparison. Keep this in mind when you go shopping.

Body shape and personal preferences

It does not matter how expensive or amazing a wedding dress is. It will not look good on you unless the silhouette flatters your body shape.

So, you should look for dress styles that flatter your assets and distract from less attractive parts.

If you are either plus-size or petite, you may have to tailor your wedding dress search to suit your specific requirements. Not all bridal salons stock dresses suitable for plus-sized or petite brides. So, call ahead to check whether options are available and you won’t waste time at places that don’t stock collections in your size.

It is also important to choose a style that feels comfortable since you will be spending several hours in your wedding dress. Steer clear of dresses that make you feel conscious, restrict movement or are too bulky to handle.

So, you are now aware of the different factors to consider before you step into a wedding shop.

Next, let us look at another key step of preparing for your wedding dress shopping—choosing the right time to shop.

Step 2: Choose the right time to go shopping 

Is there such a thing as right timing when shopping for your wedding dress?

Yes! And this is very important when making your shopping plans. We’ll tell you why.

When you place your order with a bridal salon, they pass your details to the designer. The designer then starts creating your wedding dress from scratch. Since wedding dresses are elaborate garments, the entire creation process takes months.

Once the dress is ready, it will be sent to the bridal store. However, it is not yet time to take the dress home.

You now need alterations to make the dress fit perfectly. This can take another month or so.

So, the entire process from when you place your order to taking the fitted gown home can take anywhere between six and nine months. So, this is how early you should finish your wedding dress shopping once you fix your wedding date.

If you shop too late, you jeopardize your chances of getting the gown you love. Although some designers undertake rush orders, they charge extra for it. And imagine the disappointment if the gown you love cannot be created at short notice and you must settle for something else.

Shopping too early isn’t wise either. New collections come out every six months. So, if you shop too early, you may miss looking at the latest trends.

Play it safe and plan your wedding dress shopping six to nine months before the wedding. This should leave you enough time to sort out everything and take your dress home in the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Step 3: Plan the wedding dress budget 

Your wedding dress is one of the costliest items in your wedding budget. Be clear about what you can afford to spend on it before you go shopping and you can avoid upsetting the rest of your wedding plans.

To come up with a realistic wedding dress budget, you should first understand wedding dress pricing and associated charges. Let us look at what they are in the following section.

Understand wedding dress costs

Most brides spend between $400 and $1700 on their wedding dress.  However, there are dresses that are more expensive or cheaper.

In any case, you should have realized that wedding dresses cost more than regular dresses. Wondering why this is so? Here are the obvious reasons.

  • Wedding dresses use expensive fabric. Most silhouettes also have several layers of fabric. This larger quantity of high quality fabric contributes to the price.
  • Wedding dresses involve intricate details like embroidery, lace appliques and beading. Most of these details are done by hand. The labor and time involved in creating such stunning gowns adds to the price.
  • Wedding dress construction is different from that of regular dresses. Internal boning is used in many designs and the structure has several layers of fabric. This involves more effort and hence the higher cost.
  • Finally, wedding dresses by famous designers are more expensive due to the designer tag accompanying it..

These factors justify the higher costs of wedding dresses. More details on why wedding dresses are so expensive is available here, on the Southern living blog page.

One important thing that you should know when buying a wedding dress is that your expenses aren’t limited to just the cost. There are some unavoidable additional charges that you will incur, and here they are.

Unavoidable additional costs—accessories and alterations 

Apart from the price of the wedding dress, expect to spend some money on the following.

Alterations and fittings: When you order a dress, you pick a size that is closest to your actual measurements. This means that once your dress arrives you will need custom alterations to have the dress fit to your exact measurements. These alterations are additional expenses. The actual cost will depend on the extent of changes needed. More information on wedding dress alterations are available in the following video.

Accessories: Your bridal look is incomplete without the right accessories. This includes your wedding jewelry, shoes, veil, head-piece and undergarments. You will have to set aside a part of your wedding dress budget for this purchase as well.

Here is a video that outlines how to accessorize your wedding dress.

For more tips on choosing your wedding day jewelry, take a look at this video we created for the purpose.

Dry cleaning and preservation: Whether you decide to keep your gown after your wedding or sell it off, you must have it professionally cleaned after your wedding. Otherwise, the quality of your gown will deteriorate over time and it won’t be suitable to hand down or sell. So, factor in this cost as well.

Now you should have a better idea of how to calculate your wedding dress budget and all the factors to consider.

What if you are on a tight budget?

Although wedding dresses are expensive, there are still ways to save money on your wedding gown. Read on to find what your options are.

When your wedding dress budget is small 

How nice would it be if you could shop without limitations for the wedding dress of your dreams!

Unfortunately, this is impossible!

When price is a constraint, there are some ways to maximize your wedding dress budget and find a fabulous dress for a bargain price.

  • Limit your dress selection to dresses that fall within budget. Resist the temptation to try on dresses that you cannot afford to avoid disappointment.
  • Remember that the more details a dress has, the costlier it will be. Choose from simple styles for better prices and dress it up with statement accessories to complete the effect. Low cost accessories like beaded belts, vintage veils, sparkling jewelry and shrugs can enhance your overall bridal look.
  • Look out for sales at bridal boutiques, where you can find great deals on wedding dresses. At sample sales, boutiques sell their stock at discounted prices to make space for new collections. You can score fabulous gowns at bargain prices at such sales.
  • Mix and match bridal separates to create your unique look at an affordable price. This not only lets you stay within budget, but is a modern and smart approach to wedding dress shopping.

The wedding dress budget is a critical factor concerning wedding dress shopping. Once you figure it out, it is time for the next step which is researching your options.

Step 4: Do your research 

A little planning goes a long way, and we want to make sure you are well-equipped with all the information you need to make the right choice. So, we will tell you all the different things you should analyze, understand and note down before you set foot in a bridal store.

Understand essential wedding shopping lingo 

When you attend your wedding shopping appointment, you will hear terms like mermaid, fit and flare, empire, butterfly sleeves, illusion necklines, organza, tulle and more. Do you know what these terms mean?

If not, spend some time trying to understand wedding dress lingo, so you aren’t lost and confused at your wedding shopping appointment. Here is an easy glossary of wedding dress jargon for the uninitiated.

Wedding dress necklines:

Apart from the silhouette, the neckline is another distinctive feature of any wedding dress. Apart from the square, round and V-necklines, here are the other types of necklines seen on wedding dresses.

Strapless: Bodice cuts straight across the bust and there are no supporting straps or sleeves

Sweetheart: Strapless style where the top part of the bodice resembles a heart.

Bateau: Designed in the shape of a boat and reveals collarbones, as it extends from one shoulder to the other

Illusion: Sheer or see-through neckline over underlying bodice. Often embellished with lace or bead accents.

Single shoulder: Features a single shoulder strap and reveals other shoulder

Queen Anne: Neckline rises at the back of the neck and it has a V-neckline or scoop in the front

Halter: Straps wrap around the neck revealing a low-cut back and deep armhole

High neck: Neckline sits above the collar bones

Off-the-shoulder: Sleeves fall off shoulders to reveal décolletage and collar bones

Spaghetti straps: Thin straps support the bodice on either side

Silhouettes

Here are the most common wedding dress silhouettes.

Ball gown: Structured bodice and ample skirt with layers of fabric that fall to full length.

A-line: Fitted on top and flares away from the body at the waistline, resembling the shape of an A.

Sheath: Column-style dress that outlines the natural curves

Trumpet: Fits snugly along the bodice all the way down to the hips, from where it flares out into a full skirt. Also known as the trumpet

Mermaid: Silhouette structure similar to trumpet, but skirt begins below the knee creating a more dramatic effect

Sleeves

The terms full sleeves, half sleeves and three-fourth length sleeves are self-explanatory. Apart from these, there are other types of sleeve styles as follows.

Cap sleeves: Barely cover the shoulders and top of the arms, revealing the arm hole

Bell: Fitted sleeves that taper into a bell-shape as it reaches the wrists

Juliet: Fitted at the wrist and puffed in the area between the shoulders and wrist

Waistlines

Basque: V-shaped defined waistline

Empire: High waist that begins just below the bust and continues into a full skirt

Dropped Waist: Bodice extends to beyond the actual waistline

Wedding dress trains

The length of fabric that extends beyond the wedding dress contributes to the overall impact and adds to the attractiveness of a dress. Based on length, the following types of trains exist.

Sweep: Short train that just brushes the floor as you walk

Court: This train extends to a foot beyond the hemline

Chapel: Longer than the court train and usually measures three to four feet length from the natural waistline

Cathedral: Dramatic train that measures over six feet from the waistline

Royal: Long train that flows to twelve feet or more length.

Wedding dress fabrics

Fabrics like chiffon and crepe are lightweight and soft. Satin and silk are also soft, but have a distinguishing sheen. Taffeta is heavy with a lustrous sheen. Organza and tulle are stiff fabrics used in structured gowns. A variety of lace also appears on wedding dresses. Find out how to identify each type of wedding dress lace in our article here.

Although we have covered most of the terms you will come across when you go shopping for your wedding dress, this list isn’t exhaustive. If you would like to learn more of these terms and in greater detail, here is an article on the Brides website to help you.

Now let us move on to the next important part of your research—identifying your body type and suitable wedding dress silhouettes.

Identify your body type and shortlist best dress silhouettes

We already mentioned that not all gowns look good on all body. To improve your chances of finding a dress that is right for you, you should first identify your body type.

There are four body types: Triangle or Pear, Inverted Triangle or Apple, Hourglass and straight or Rectangle. Each body type has its own characteristic features.

Triangle or Pear: Small bust but wide hips and waistline that lacks definition.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: Broad shoulders and a slighter lower half.

Hourglass: Well-balanced upper and lower halves and defined waistline.

Straight or rectangle: Similar proportions in the upper and lower halves and waistline not well-defined.

The right wedding dress will flatter the positive aspects and hide less attractive traits of your body. So, find your body type and later use this information to choose the right dress silhouette for it.

This post on Who What Wear will help you use your different measurements and correctly identify your body type.  Check it out!

Here are some practical silhouette suggestions for each body type.

Triangle or Pear: Hide the larger proportions of your hips and waistline with A-line gowns and ball gowns that flare out at the waist. Avoid the trumpet and sheath, since these styles accentuate the hip and stomach area.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: A-line dresses and ball gowns with thick skirts that nip at the waistline are suitable for this body type. We do not recommend the trumpet and for this body type.

Hourglass: If you have an hourglass figure, you can carry almost any wedding dress silhouette with ease. Aim to show off your curvy figure and slender waistline with dresses that closely follow your natural curves.

Straight or rectangle: Increase your feminine appeal with ball gowns and sheaths that create the illusion of curves. Avoid fitted styles like the mermaid and dropped waist dresses that enhance the straight contours of your body.

Find the right place to buy your wedding dress 

Remember what I told you in the beginning about factors that affect your wedding dress selection?

Based on your personal preferences, specific needs and budget constraints, decide where to shop. The following are the options available to you.

Bridal salons: The traditional place to buy a wedding dress, you can enjoy a one-on-one session with a dedicated consultant who will take you through your choices during your appointment slot. Bridal salons have a variety of designer collections, and you can try dresses based on the ideas you communicate to your consultant.

Trunk sales: The perfect option if you want dresses only from a particular designer. New collections are introduced to such customers at highly reduced prices, so you can choose a dress at a lower price than you have to pay otherwise.

Sample Sales: This is when bridal salons sell off old stock to make space for new collections. The dresses in this case are either floor samples or those in the store inventory. So, there will be limited sizes and you may have to clean the gown before using it on your wedding day.

Consignment shops: This is the perfect place to find designer dresses on a discount. Good consignment stores will have dresses that are good-as-new, available at a fraction of the cost of a similar original gown.

Online: Consider this option if you have no way to shop at a real store. Online wedding dress shopping is risky and many brides have terrible experiences when choosing this route. This post sheds some light on why online wedding dress shopping isn’t a wise idea.

Compile all information and shortlist your options 

A quick question—What do you think was the idea behind all this wedding dress research?

It was to collect all relevant information and use it to narrow down choices to the right selection criteria.

As you do your research and understand about wedding dresses, collect and compile information on dress styles and features that appeal to you. Start a Pinterest board and start collecting pictures of dresses you like.

Don’t worry if you seem to fall in love with all the dresses you come across when you first begin. To narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions

  • What features of this dress are suitable for my wedding theme?
  • What makes it suitable for the weather at the time of my wedding?
  • Why is this dress a comfortable choice for my wedding?
  • What is the stand-out feature of this dress that is most appealing?
  • Will this dress flatter my natural figure and best features?

Soon enough, you will see a pattern emerge and this will help you identify what dress features appeal most to you. This information will be of valuable help when you go shopping.

Step 5: Get ready for your shopping session 

By this stage, you have all the information you need and are ready to go shopping. So, here is what is left to do.

Choose your entourage

Your wedding dress is the most important dress you will ever choose, and you must make this decision wisely. So, invite two or three of your closest family members or friends to help you. The reason we tell you to limit the size of your party is because too many people will do more damage than good. Take along only those whose opinions really matter to you, and who can actually contribute to your decision

Book your appointment

Find a convenient time and date for your shopping appointment at the boutique you choose. Preferably have your appointment on a weekday when the salon will be less crowded.

Get everything you need for your appointment ready

Make sure that you are prepared for dress shopping by carrying all that you need for the day with you. Wear clothes that are easy to change out of . If you will be wearing heels on your wedding day, carry a pair to your shopping appointment. For more tips, visit this post. 

Understand what to expect at your bridal appointment

Every bridal dress shopping appointment is different. The better prepared you are for what to expect, the more likely you are to have a productive and pleasant shopping experience. We suggest that you read the information here, to obtain a fair idea and prepare well for your shopping trip.

Set your expectations correctly

It is easier to find the perfect gown when you are flexible and open-minded. You will have experienced bridal consultants directing you, so listen to them. Try on their suggestions even if it isn’t something you would pick. You may be lucky and find your dream wedding dress this way. Trust me, this happens all the time!

Remember that you may not always find your wedding dress on your first trip to the store. This is perfectly normal. Be patient and flexible and you are sure to find the perfect dress that completes your bridal vision with perfection.

As you prepare for your wedding dress shopping, don’t forget to visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride for inspiration. Find an immense variety of jaw-dropping designer collections in every price range and with every feature you may seek in our collection. Shortlist your favorites and get ready to go shopping. With expert consultants, excellent infrastructure facilities and all associated services under one roof, Best for Bride is the best destination for you to find your wedding gown, whenever you are ready.

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Biggest mistakes to avoid when planning a wedding

Wedding planning involves so many details that it can be compared to a big, complex project formed of many smaller ones. Once you begin planning your wedding, you will have to make several decisions and choices. These include plans for a sensible budget, meeting deadlines and getting everything done right. So, it is no surprise that your chances for mistakes along the way are high. While some of these can be rectified quickly, others may cost you dearly in terms of time and money.

Unless you have planned a wedding before, it isn’t going to be easy. However, forewarned is forearmed! Here is a compilation of the biggest mistakes we have seen brides make when planning their wedding. Keep them in mind and you can avoid similar issues.

Not setting the budget first

Never overlook the importance of planning your wedding budget first. Wedding expenses can quickly eat into your bank balance. Unless you have a allocated a fixed amount to each aspect, you can quickly go overboard with your expenses. With a little planning, you can choose the venue, catering and wedding dress so that it stays within budget. Since you have more options in these areas, you have the flexibility of choosing them based on your available funds.

However, smaller aspects can quickly add up to a big amount. This article on The Bridal Guide will help you understand what these costs are. Unfortunately, you cannot be too thrifty with these. Plan the budget before you do anything else, and you will have better control over your wedding decisions. You can allocate funds to the bigger expenses after setting aside the amount for the inevitable smaller expenses.

Not hiring a planner till it is too late

Some brides can stand the stress of wedding planning. While these brides can efficiently handle wedding planning tasks, it isn’t as easy for others. We believe the majority of brides quickly buckle under the pressure and lose sleep over wedding planning. It is sad that the rest of their engagement is usually ruined by all the planning. And in the end, it is likely that these brides end up dissatisfied with the overall experience.

If you belong to the latter group, realize it early and seek the services of a planner. If you are already pressed for time, have a demanding job or simply can’t take the stress of wedding planning, don’t wait till it is too late. Wedding planners are experts at negotiating deals with venue managers and vendors. So, don’t wait till you book the venue or hire vendors to hire your planner.

Becoming overwhelmed with inspiration

The internet is a maze of wedding planning inspiration. There are so many wonderful ideas on the wedding scene that it can become a problem when you have to choose. Pinterest-addicts are usually the first to become overwhelmed and confused with this information overload. Don’t be surprised if you lose sense of time or get side-tracked when searching for ideas.

Instead, understand what will work for your wedding and what you can afford to have. Use ideas you see online as inspiration and incorporate only those that actually make sense. Stop once you find what you were looking for and get on with other tasks.

Not prioritizing the guest experience

Your wedding is not just about the two of you. Remember that many of guests take great pains to come and participate in your big celebration. Appreciate their efforts and make plans to engage them and feel comfortable.

The guest experience is greatly affected by the number of people there. Nobody really enjoys a crowded affair. So, think twice about incorporating everyone you know into the guest list. YOu shouldn’t regret having a mediocre party when you could plan one much better. So, include those who really need to be there at your wedding, and plan a wonderful event that all can enjoy.

Going shopping before you know what you want

Wedding shopping for your dress, favors or even accessories shouldn’t be undertaken without prior research. You may be tempted to just do a trial run. However, there is a good chance of your liking something at that time. You may feel it is right and go ahead with the purchase.

Sadly, such impulse buys may turn out to be a decision you later regret. First plan the important aspects of the wedding like the venue, wedding style and time. Then research your options in each area for what would be appropriate. Look for sensible choices that are suitable for your wedding. Only then should you proceed with wedding shopping.

Sharing insufficient or too much information

It is best to keep your wedding planning details under wraps at least till it is finalized. This will help to avoid confusion if you change your ideas along the way. Reveal only what is necessary. Nevertheless, do not skimp on supplying necessary information to your guests. They will appreciate any additional help you can provide on certain aspects, like how to find their way to the venue.

If there are out-of-town guests, you can share information regarding hotels near the venue. Also don’t forget to provide any other relevant information that will make their trip easier to plan. Do the same with vendors. Share as much information as is necessary to let them do their job well.

Pondering too long over a plan

While it is necessary to take your time to make important decisions, don’t delay your choices for too long. Everything is time-bound and most wedding planning decisions involve related tasks. This is why we suggest you set up a wedding planning timeline right at the beginning. Make your wedding plans as per this timeline, and you will know if you fall behind.

When choosing vendors, make your decisions quickly and efficiently. Good vendors tend to get booked quickly during wedding seasons. If you delay your decision, the vendor you like may get booked by another couple. You may then end up having to look for another service provider.

Worrying too much about the little details

There are many big and small decisions to make in a wedding. Although every one of them is important, you should prioritize each depending on their significance in the wedding. Remember that it is nearly impossible to get every single big and small detail perfect. Be open to accepting small imperfections and compromise where necessary. This will make your life a lot easier and reduce your wedding planning stress.

Spend more time on the more important factors and dedicate time and resources to making these perfect. Don’t obsess over the finer details of the smaller elements. Go with what you think is the best possible option and it will all fall into place.

Not paying enough attention to your vendor contracts

We don’t not even want to mention how risky it is to book a vendor without first signing a contract. Now, when there is a contract, it is important you understand everything on it. If there are gray areas, make sure you clarify your doubts before signing it. Read every single contract from end to end. Check whether it comprehensively covers every relevant aspect.

There should be clauses and Plan B suggestions in case of last minute cancellations or emergencies. Include details on all additional charges in the plan. Also add whatever you think hasn’t been explicitly mentioned. This will help to eliminate cause conflicts later.

Trying to appease everyone

The very word “wedding” is enough to have people flocking to you with ideas, suggestions and offers to help. Deal with this situation cautiously. Family and friends may have good intentions, but don’t let anyone take over your wedding. You shouldn’t have to bow to a choice or move with plans you aren’t convinced about, because someone said so.

Remember that this is your wedding day and you should have the last say. Although you can welcome suggestions and opinions, let everyone know that the final decision will be yours. You do not have to do everything as per tradition, unless you are agreeable to it. On your special day, you should be able to enjoy and not regret it later. Stay away from trying to satisfy everyone. This is simply impossible.

Not letting the small mistakes go

As long as you do not have enough experience at wedding planning, mistakes are bound to happen. You cannot plan everything to the last detail and expect everyone to stick to plan. There may be issues with vendors, guests who cancel at the last minute and bridesmaids who show their true colors. Set yourself up to deal with such disappointments and don’t be too harsh on yourself.

On your wedding day, simply focus on the great things that happen. Don’t mull over mistakes or spoil your mood wishing things happened differently. Enjoy the moment as it will never return. Stress on the things that went wrong and you will be making a big mistake missing out on your actual wedding experience.

Expecting the worst

Things may and do go wrong at weddings. While you can try to avoid them as much as is possible, there is no guarantee everything will progress as per plan. However, this doesn’t mean you should only expect the worst. Research and plan your decisions carefully. This alone will reduce the likelihood of errors. Leave the rest to happen as it will.

Simply worrying about what may or may not go wrong will not help in any way. All that it does is add to your stress and spoil the fun of your engagement. Be optimistic and handle issues with confidence. Believe in your abilities to find a solution to any problem, and you will come up with the best possible solution.

Making plans without thinking it through

Dreaming up a wedding is fun, but doing it right can be tough. Before you set your mind on something different and unique, think it through. Consider the funds you have, the practicality of the situation and all the other aspects that will determine the success of your plan.

If you have a destination wedding in mind, make sure you check the legal aspects before you go ahead with plans. Similarly, when picking your wedding dress, try to first understand what would be practical in your venue. Also set your budget before you go shopping.

You assume your vendors understand you perfectly

Whether it is your makeup and hair artist, or your caterer, give clear-cut descriptions for what you want. Don’t just assume that they have understood or you may be in for a nasty surprise later. Whenever possible, share pictures that depict exactly what you have in mind. Ask them to repeat or illustrate what you shared with them.

If there is any confusion, it is best to get it out of the way as early as possible. While it isn’t a good idea to micromanage your vendors, don’t leave everything to them entirely. Keep tabs on their progress and inspect at the right time to find out if things proceed as per your expectations. Find all you must know about your vendor contracts on this article at the Martha Stewart Website.

Planning a wedding is a momentous task. It is not easy whether you have a year to plan or just few weeks. Unless you hire a wedding planner to handle the lion’s share of tasks, you will have to dedicate considerable time and effort to doing it right. Approach the task in a systematic and organized fashion, and it will be easier to carry out.

While you busy yourself with wedding planning, don’t forget to research and choose the right dress for the occasion. Take a close look at our inventory of wedding dress collections and you should be able to find dresses that meet your expectations. For more details, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.

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Common wedding budget mistakes most couples make

The wedding budget is the single entity that determines everything about your wedding. Everything from your beautiful wedding gown to the florist, caterers and even wedding favors depends on the funds you put aside for your wedding plans, and how you distribute it among different components.

When stepping into the new chapter of your life as a newly wed couple, you certainly do not want it to be with debt that you will struggle to settle. Unfortunately, many couples have a grand wedding and later struggle with their finances. Then there are also occasions when couples find themselves spending much more than they anticipated on their wedding. This is because of lack of proper planning. Plan the wedding budget sensibly, and you can avoid this situation.

Let us take a close look at the common wedding budget mistakes many couples make and how you can avoid them.

budget

1.Not fixing your priorities

Every couple wants a fantastic wedding. Nevertheless, you have to make at least few compromises, if you are on a budget. Nonetheless you can plan the best possible options for your budget by fixing your priorities. First, settle on a realistic wedding budget. For this, you may have to do some research on the average cost for each wedding planning aspect instead of just picking a number at random. Next, list the order of preference for each of them. This way, you can allocate more funds to those on the top of your list and be thrifty about the ones at the bottom.

2.Not figuring in the smaller, but essential items

A real bride reveals in this article, that one of the biggest mistakes she made at her wedding was overlooking the small items that were still essential to the overall wedding picture. She isn’t alone, as many brides who do most of the planning themselves forget to factor in certain items. It isn’t easy when they later have to find the funds to meet these expenses. Even the smallest dollar purchases will quickly add up. So, you shouldn’t overlook any factor when calculating your budget. Checklists are a big help in this situation. Make comprehensive checklists for every single item you can think of, for your wedding. Cross-check with ready to use checklists online and also have someone else take a look at them, just in case you may have missed something. Factoring in every likely expense will help you avoid going over-budget.

3.Not figuring in the extras for bigger purchases

tab-pics-bridal -accessories

For many items like your wedding gown, the price on the label isn’t the final figure you will pay for. There are extras for alterations, accessories, inner-wear and sometimes delivery charges. When you allocate a budget for such an item, make sure you account for these extras as well. Obtain a general idea of how much the extras will cost. Plan the actual budget for the main item after deducting these charges, and you will not end up spending more than you actually intended to.

4.Last minute shopping and bookings

The closer you book venues and vendors to the date of your wedding, the higher the cost you will incur. Start your planning early, and you will have plenty of time to scout around for the best deals. You will also have time to research and weigh options, and find the most budget-friendly ones. Booking early will also allow you to get the best vendors and deals for your wedding. Where wedding dresses are concerned, rush charges are significantly higher and you will again have to pay extra for alterations at short notice. Once you know your wedding day, don’t delay wedding dress shopping. Make sure you shop for your dress at least six months in advance. Similarly book your venue, band, caterers, photographers, florist and other vendors as soon as you finalize the wedding theme and decide on what you want.

5.Trying to save with DIY but ending up with more than you can handle

One thing many brides tend to overlook is the scale of the wedding. Although they may be capable of handling DIY details or have friends and relatives who are good bakers, florists or venue decorators, they may not have the resources or abilities to handle the task on large scale. When a DIY disaster occurs at the last possible moment, the only option is to get the available alternative, usually at a very high price. Avoid this costly mistake by being realistic about what you can actually handle. Also exercise caution when entrusting a wedding task to someone you know. Make sure that they are capable of handling it before handing it to them.

6.Not paying proper attention to vendor contracts

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Never ever assume anything on a contract, but clarify every single doubt. Also, make sure that you dedicate enough time to reading every detail on your contracts, and avoid overlooking anything essential. Different vendors offer different services in their package. So, although one vendor may offer delivery and setting up of your cake, another may not for the same price. Similar extras are wine corkage charges, cake serving charges, taking down of décor and clearing tables. The same applies to your photographer and band too. It is always best to clarify all these little details before you sign the contract and book the vendor. Make sure you know how many hours or what all services are included in the package, so you don’t end up paying extra to get the service you want, at the last minute. Here is a list of the common hidden costs that you may want to consider seriously. 

7.Picking vendors and services without comparing rates

Unless you are absolutely particular that you must have a certain vendor for your wedding, you should check around for the best deals for your budget. Compare deals, packages and service quality to find the right deals that give you what you want. Although you shouldn’t compromise on quality for price, save the greater chunk of your budget for your priorities and adjust with what will fit the bill for the rest. If you come across a deal that seems too good to be true, make sure you consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Don’t be too hasty to fix a deal. Negotiate the prices, look for discount options or referrals, and you can make your budget work further for your needs.

8.Giving into pressure

Many couples end up spending more than they should, just because people advice them that they need something that they really do not. This can be a budget-buster. So, rather than giving into pressure, do your research and know what you want and whether it is needed to realize your wedding vision. There are few “must-have’s” in a wedding, and these should be what are actually important to you. Unless the people who push you into inviting more guests, putting up a photo booth or splurging on expensive wedding favors are actually contributing to the cost for it, you do not have to oblige.

9.Buying more than you actually need

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It is always safer to have a little extra than you actually accounted for, but don’t take it to the extreme. Although a few extra invitations and wedding favors may be a good idea, you do not need extra hundreds of them, just in case. Think of every aspect thoroughly, so you do not make a mistake when calculating numbers. For invitations, think of how many families will be attending, rather than the total number of people. You do not need separate invitations for members of the same family. So, think of such relevant details and you can save yourself quite some money on these unnecessary expenses.

10.Last-minute changes to plan

If there is one thing that every couple should do, it is have a clear idea of what they want before they set out to do it. Vendors may suggest changes, friends may encourage you to take things a little further, but only you know what you want and what you can afford. Avoid falling for temptation and making last-minute changes that will cost you dearly. You can be flexible and make small variations down the line, but don’t go for a major overhaul as the unexpected expenses in such cases will quickly add up and turn out to be disastrous.

11.A guest list that gets out of hand

Your wedding expenses are directly linked to the number of people who will attend. So, have a good grip on your guest list, and you shouldn’t go over-budget. One of your first wedding planning decisions should be the number of people you can afford to have. Not only should you factor in your wedding priorities when distributing your funds, you should also consider whether this type of wedding will be meaningful to you. Once you arrive at a decision, stick to it. You don’t have to be extra-generous to satisfy your friends or family, nor do you have to feel guilty about having the wedding you can afford. Some decisions are tough, but you have to put your foot down where it is necessary for your own good. This is one such situation.

12.Not exploring your options

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There are many ideas that will take your budget further. It is unfortunate that very few couples explore such options. Simple ideas like serving three-fourth portions instead of full cake slices, or having a selection of local wines instead of an open bar will make a small difference in the overall impact of the wedding. However, it will help your savings even while you can achieve similar results. You can also look to your vendors for creative but thrifty solutions to your various needs. As professionals who have worked at many weddings before, they should have plenty of ideas. Wedding planners are usually experts who can come up with creative and budget-friendly solutions for several wedding planning aspects. Look around for budget-friendly options, at least for your lower priorities. Your guests are less likely to notice the difference, and you can have the wedding you desire for much lesser.

13.Always choosing the safe option

When you are on a tight budget, it may be better to think out of the box than go with the conventional (expensive!) choice. If you are ready to take the risk, it is likely that you will find several good deals in unexpected places. One instance is where your hair and makeup is concerned. You can always have your hair and makeup done by a professional artist. However, you can also consider booking your appointment with a beauty school and enjoy the same outcome. Similarly, you do not need an expensive vintage car to leave your reception in. Instead, deck up any car with some creative décor and it will be just as impressive. One of the best things of thinking creatively is that it allows you to have unique wedding elements that will make your wedding memorable.

14.Forgetting about tipping vendors

Many things about weddings still follow certain etiquette rules. Wedding tipping is one of them. Although it is now largely considered a personal decision, tipping is customary. Unless a vendor’s service charge includes gratuity, or the person performing the service is the owner himself, it is common practice to tip the people serving at your wedding. Similarly, delivery drivers are also normally tipped for their service. Here is a guide to wedding vendor tipping on the Real Simple website. This should give you a good idea of how much you should allocate for this factor. 

Avoid these common mistakes and your wedding should progress without too many hassles in the budget department. For budget wedding dresses, and great deals and offers to make the most of your wedding dress budget, visit this link to our clearance and sale section on Best for Bride—the one-stop shopping destination for today’s bride. 

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Top Wedding planning tips to make sure your wedding runs smoothly

Planning a zero-hassle wedding is nearly impossible. Hundreds of details, both big and small, increase the chances of mistakes, communication gaps and confusion. Accept that fact that there are bound to be at least a few hiccups along the way, and you will be able to stay sane while planning your wedding. Nevertheless, the better you plan your special day, smaller the chances for things to go wrong when it is time for you to tie the knot.

Where planning is concerned, it is always best to heed the advice from experts who have seen enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Here are some top tips from our wedding planning team to help you have a wedding day that runs as smoothly as is possible.

Practice makes perfect

Practice takes away the novelty of a situation and eases stress. So, it is a good way to prepare yourself for anything that you have to do on the wedding day. Practice and perfect your poses for the photo shoot, practice walking down the aisle, practice your dance moves and even your hair and makeup in advance if you will be doing it yourself on your wedding. This will help you recognize likely issues that may crop up on the actual day. Since you will already be prepared to tackle any adverse situation, it will not stress you out when it happens.

You can never start too early

It is easier to plan things at a relaxed pace and fix any problems, when time is on your side. It is never too late to start planning your wedding, once you are engaged. Mark everything from your venue visits to the honeymoon in your calendar, with plenty of time to spare. You can then proceed at a relaxed pace. Should the need arise, you will have enough buffer time to accommodate changes too.

Be real with yourself

Don’t trick yourself into assuming that you can afford what you really can’t. Similarly, don’t attempt to do everything by yourself when you do not have the time for it. Be realistic with the wedding plans you make, and you will save yourself from heartbreak and disappointment. There will be certain must-have’s for your wedding. However, keep this list short. Then, you will not end up regretting the time, money and effort you spent on it on a later day.

Be clear about your financial situation

Every wedding is expensive. However thrifty you are, you will be spending a lot on your special day. Every couple must chalk out a clear financial budget for their wedding, and stick to it. Plan the details right and you will be able to start your married life with enough cash in the bank. If you do not do this right in the beginning, you will most likely end up spending much more than you should. So, make this one of the first wedding planning tasks. Sit down with your fiance to plan your wedding budget. Next allocate funds to each aspect and make sure you stick to these limits. You can adjust funds between your different needs. However, do not exceed the budget unless it is absolutely necessary.

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst

Optimism is a good thing when planning your wedding. However, it shouldn’t be at the cost of ruining your day if things go haywire at the last minute. If there are any known risks in your wedding plans, arm yourself with a plan B. For instance, if your wedding will be outdoors, make sure you have an alternate venue booked or relief planned in case it rains. This is always much better than having to think of an alternate option at the last minute. Remember that things can go wrong. But if you are prepared for it, you will be better equipped to handle it and less stressed out in the end.

Delegate tasks to the right people

A wedding is easier to plan when you have many helping hands. If your friends and family pitch in to help you with the wedding planning, accept by all means. Nevertheless, make sure that you delegate responsibilities to the right people who will do it well with minimum supervision. If you have to micromanage a person, it is better you do the task yourself. So, identify the talents and skills of your friends and family members and allocate jobs to them on this basis.

Don’t hesitate to let go

It is not just the bride or groom who is entirely responsible for every superb wedding you’ve been to or heard about. The more you are ready to accept help, the smoother your wedding will run. Don’t be reluctant to try out wedding planners, go with vendor suggestions or delegate responsibilities to your bridal party. Remember that this is a time for you to enjoy. And the only way to do it is when you have time to be fully involved in what you take charge of.

Rely on lists

Lists are one of the most reliable ways to make sure that you have everything on track. So, be lavish with creating them. Whether you choose the pen and paper route or go digital with your lists, just do it. This will give you a visual break-up of all the tasks that have to be handled. It will be easier to finish them one-by-one and tick them off, rather than picking up tasks at random. Embrace your inner organizational skills and take a methodical and planned approach to wedding planning. There will be no way you can miss anything when you do it this way.

Leave the tougher tasks to the professionals

No bride or groom should take on more than they can actually handle, when planning a wedding. If you are comfortable and experienced in certain aspects, there is no harm in handling that task yourself. However, if you are unsure of any task, put someone who is better-experienced at it in charge, or hire a professional. This will save you valuable time and energy. You can also eliminate the frustration of finding that your hard work wasn’t really worth it when you see the results.

Punctuality is primary

From planning your wedding day timeline to making it to your vendor appointments or tackling the tasks on your to-do list, do it all on time. You may stray off-schedule at times. However, you should have enough buffer time to compensate for these delays. Nevertheless, make an effort to try and finish all your work on time and respect the time of others involved in your wedding plans as well.

Don’t stress over the small details

There are enough big things on your mind when wedding planning, that it is best to not obsess over the insignificant details in your list. Be realistic when planning every detail of your wedding. Ask yourself if you can actually do it within the available time, and if the effort that goes into it will finally be worth it. Remember that all it takes are few details to create an impression on your wedding day. So, plan these details appropriately and try to perfect them instead of spending time on the several unnecessary details.

Keep everything short and sweet

Everything from wedding toasts and speeches to hellos and goodbye’s are best when they are short and crisp. Not only everything proceed as per schedule, you will also find that there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest. Ask your best man and Maid of Honor to keep their speeches short, don’t take forever to chat to your guests and focus on having a meaningful and well-planned and executed wedding.

Do what you can the day-before

Your wedding day will be a whirlwind of activity. It will also be over much before you realize it. So, don’t end up confused or stressed out because you didn’t plan the details correctly. Do what you can during the days leading up to the wedding. This will help things progress smoothly on the actual day. This includes laying out your wedding dress, verifying with vendors about their schedules and delivery timings, cross-checking with your bridal party on whether everything is as per plan and communicating with out-of-town guests. When you have most of the essentials in place ahead of when they are actually required, your wedding day will progress smoothly and will be fun.

Be open to ideas

It is easier to find solutions when you are open to ideas and suggestions. Although you should have a general idea of what you want, be flexible when making choices and decisions. There will be constraints to finding things within budget, within the available time and with the perfection you desire. Always think of the bigger picture and whether your final decision will entirely alter your vision. If not, it is better to not sweat over the smaller stuff and go with what is available or convenient at that given time.

Accommodate your friends and family needs when possible

Your wedding will truly be a success when everyone around you appreciates it just as much as you do. For this, you should involve them and be accommodating of their needs and ideas. Hear suggestions out and give them the opportunity to discuss what they think should be done. If you have to reject any suggestions or say no to their offers, do so gracefully and don’t offend them. This will make it easier for them to accept your point of view and get over it easily.

Check with those who have previous experience for likely issues

If your friends or relatives have used the same vendor or venue or done things in a similar fashion as you have, it is a good idea to check with them for any expected hassles. You can then prepare yourself for any such situations in advance. People with experience will be able to guide you well and will also appreciate your asking them.

Know the laws

Many things that are wedding-related are governed by law. So, check and make sure that you aren’t overstepping boundaries or doing anything that you aren’t supposed to. If you will be getting married on public property, like a park, obtain permission in advance. Similarly, there are rules regarding maximum sound that is allowed on a property, how your marriage will be legally binding and the permits you have to obtain to use certain types of entertainment. Check out all these details so you have everything covered and no unexpected surprises ruin your day.

Weddings, chaotic as they are, are beautiful events. So, it deserves to be meticulously planned and executed. Only then can the couple have the perfect day of their life. Every small detail can make a difference in this regard, and this is why it has to be taken seriously. At times, it can become overwhelming and you may find yourself buckling under pressure. In such a situation, it may be time for you to hire someone to help. Wedding planners or day-of-coordinators are the people for the task, and they will work with you to bring your wedding vision to life in the best possible way.

Best for Bride, has everything you need to plan your perfect wedding easily. From designer wedding dresses, dresses for bridesmaids, dresses for the flower girl and mother of the bride, the collections carry beautiful garments for every member of the bridal team. Check out our website here, to find out more about what we carry, as well as about the various other services that are just perfect for your big day.

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What you should do before you meet your wedding cake designer

If you are a bride whose dream wedding vision includes a towering, magnificent and spell-binding masterpiece cake, detailed wedding cake plans are on your list of must-do’s!

Your cake designer is the single person who can bring your perfect wedding cake to life. However, she needs your ideas and inputs to execute the plan to perfection. Although she may have her own suggestions and ideas, it may not meet your expectations unless you provide her the blue print to plan her cake around. This simply means that you cannot start with a blank slate. You need to first do a list of things, before you meet with your cake designer and discuss the cake design. Let us take a look at this list now.

Get inspired

Just like with wedding dresses, there is a whole world of fabulous wedding cakes waiting to be discovered. You will find drool-worthy pages and pages on Pinterest, in bridal magazines, on cake websites as well as on our own wedding cake gallery. Your first step to planning your wedding cake, is identifying what you want. Begin by setting up a wedding inspiration board (read all about it on our previous post here), and adding pictures to it. If you find interesting pictures in magazines, collect them too. Begin at random, by just dragging any picture that appeals to you onto your inspiration board. Once you have a number of pictures, edit out the ones that do not seem as interesting as they did initially. As you do this, you should see a pattern emerge, and this will help you identify the factor that appeals to you. It could be the color combinations, style, texture, the decoration used, shape, size or any other factor. Once you recognize what it is, it will be easier to refine your board and eliminate those that do not feature this factor. This will bring you closer to your final idea of how your wedding cake should be.

Research your options

Once you have narrowed down your choices to just those that would be ideal for your cake design, it is time to research and identify what would work. For this, consider the various details about each of the cakes you’ve shortlisted. Some questions to help you in this direction are

  • what are the ingredients used in the frosting—fondant, buttercream etc?
  • What techniques may be involved in making the design?
  • Is there any special work involved?
  • How are the special touches done?
  • Are the accessories you like ready-made or custom created by the baker?
  • Why do you think you like a particular detail?
  • What would be the features you could eliminate, if required?

Match it to your wedding

Your wedding cake, as much as it is an entity on it’s own, still has to belong to the wedding. For this, you should match it to the wedding theme. This would be in terms of colors, features, style and size. Where cakes are concerned, your options are numerous. You can have a wedding cake with as many layers as you want, without all the tiers actually being “cake.” Or, you can have a couture cake that is impressive, and serves for the cake cutting, while the guests are served with sheet cake slices in the same flavor. This brings down the cost, which is a very important factor in making your final cake decisions.

Determine your Budget

The quantity of cake you need depends on the number of guests at your wedding. Before meeting with your cake designer, you should compile information on the guest count, and calculate your cake budget. This will help you decide on the possible options, so you have enough cake for all your guests, while also meeting your expectations. Once you know the maximum you can afford to spend on a cake, it will also put you in a position to shortlist a suitable cake designer who will do the job for you within your set budget. This also gives you a general idea of the little extras that you can afford to have, without eating into other aspects of your wedding.

Consider aesthetic aspects

LilyGarden cake

The main factor that influences your choice for the cake is how it will finally look. Here are the aesthetic factors that you should consider.

  • Wedding theme: There are different ways in which you can integrate the cake into the wedding theme. This could be using the colors or similar details that are part of your décor.
  • Wedding colors: A talented and experienced cake designer should be able to create your cake in any color of your choice. She may also be able to suggest colors that work together, or tell you if something you suggest will not look good when executed. While all colors are possible, it is best to remember that appetizing cakes are usually done in light, breezy colors. So, you may like to stick with the lighter colors in your palette, for your cake.
  • Shape and Size: This article should help you understand the different cake shapes you can have at your wedding. This includes both traditional and contemporary styles, so you know abut all the choices you have. If you have a limited budget, remember that simple shapes like round and square cost less, while the topsy-turvy shape or irregular ones will usually cost more. Where the size of the cake is concerned, you can have a huge-tiered cake, with faux tiers in between as a budget-friendly option. Or, if this is one area where you don’t mind splurging, go with the real thing all the way.
  • Cake accessories and decorations: You can dress your cake up easily, using suitable accessories and decorations. You have plenty of options, including fresh blooms, sugar flowers, plastic figures and other accessories. Think of what you would like to have on your cake. Would you prefer elaborate embellishments, ready made cake decorations or ones made from fondant or sugar?

Taste options—what should you consider?

Just like with the aesthetics, the taste of your cake is equally important. Do this correctly by paying close attention to the following factors.

  • Shortlist the flavors you like

You will be overwhelmed with the flavor options available. Avoid confusion by shortlisting a few of your favorites, before you even visit your designer. You can then look at these flavors and anything similar that may suit your palette. Once you narrow down your choices, your cake designer can arrange for the chosen flavors at your tasting session. Although you can always go with a bold and unusual choice, remember that if you stick to common flavors, it will most likely be liked by all. Your cake should also be soft, spongy and moist.

  • Discuss your filling choices

The overall taste of the cake will depend on the filling that you choose for it. So, decide whether you want something fruity, creamy or chocolate. You can make this decision based on your personal preferences, or by looking at what is easily available and budget-friendly.

  • Choose your icing options

The icing will not only determine the finish of the cake, but also the taste. Some bakers specialize in fondant, while others are experts with butter cream. It is best to choose a vendor who has enough experience in working with the medium you prefer, for best results.

Check with your venue for any restrictions

Some venues have restrictions on what you are allowed to serve at your wedding. Some of them require you to use their in-house bakers itself, while others allow you to bring your own cake designer for an additional fee. Considering health and safety requirements, it may be necessary to go with a licensed professional for your wedding day. So, you should check for this factor with the venue manager in advance, before scouting for a vendor.

How will the cake get to the venue?

fresh flowers on cake

Getting your cake to the venue without damage is very important. If your cake designer will not be working onsite, you will have to check for the transport arrangements to get the finished cake to your venue. Will your baker arrange for this, or will you have to make transport arrangements yourself. If it has to be transported, the size of the cake will determine whether it will have to be transported in one piece or, if it will be assembled on-site. An experienced baker will normally have the provision to supply your cake to the reception venue. If this isn’t available, and you have to transport it by yourself, make sure you will be able to do it efficiently. Discuss the details about how it has to be transported as soon as you settle on the design.

The flexibility factor

Cakes in magazines and pictures may not always be easy to replicate. Each baker will have their unique style. As creative artists, they will appreciate a certain level of freedom, so they can contribute in their own way. If you are very particular about replicating certain aspects of a cake, make sure that you look for a cake designer who is equipped and experienced in working on that aspect. Moreover, replicating a picture entirely doesn’t make the design your own. So, we suggest you keep your options available to discuss what can be done to make a cake design that is your own. Also, keep the actual logistics in mind when you choose to go for a cake design you pick from a picture. The replication may look different in color, or the details may differ to a certain extent. Your cake designer will give you a correct idea of the extent to which your ideas are practical, and what changes would give you better results. Be open to such suggestions, and it will be a lot easier for both of you.

Create your list of preferred cake designers

Based on reviews, recommendations and your own research, you should shortlist the vendors who would be good candidates for your job. Make sure you have more than just one option, in case the person you want is booked already, or you aren’t satisfied with what they have to offer when you actually meet. In all cases, it is advised to first start visiting with vendors you like most. So, if you find a cake designer who you like, you can immediately finalize the deal without having to check on any more vendors.

Discuss your plans with your fiance first

Unless your fiance doesn’t really care about how your wedding cake looks, it is necessary to gather his inputs as well, before you come to a final decision. Before you meet a cake designer, discuss the design together and come to an agreement on what you both like. Both of you should be happy with the design, flavor and other details.

Once you have a clear idea of all the above mentioned factors, you are ready to visit your cake designer and discuss your ideas. It is much easier for a cake designer to give you what you want, when you have a very clear idea of what you would like. Nevertheless, be open to ideas and suggestions, as your cake designer is an experienced professional, and can give you valuable inputs on making the cake that is just perfect for your big day.

For more inputs and great inspiration for your special day, visit our online cake gallery at Best for Bride. Apart from delicious and great looking cakes, we also offer brides many more wedding services. With an impressive inventory of dresses for the wedding party and an exquisite designer wedding dress collection, we are the one-stop destination for everything a bride needs, when planning the event of her lifetime. You can also find wedding stationery, wedding favors, décor accessories and beautiful accessories on our website. Visit us online today, to see what we can do to complete your wedding day.

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Fixing the date: The advantages and disadvantages of weddings in each season

Weddings can take place anytime of the year! Today, it is possible to be a winter bride, just as you can be a spring or summer bride. While this flexibility is great for some brides, others may end up being more confused with the availability of more choices.

If you are currently in this situation; having trouble deciding the best time of year to have your wedding, here is some help. Take a look at our list to compare the pros and cons of getting married in any season. Hopefully, this will help you pick the option that is just right for you.

Spring

spring

Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire.”

The Roman poet, Virgil captures the essence of spring in the above quote. Spring is a season to rejoice, and nature shows us how to. As Mother Nature marks this season with welcome warmth after a chilly winter, pops of color begin to appear everywhere. As flowers bloom and the green grass sprouts in bounty, the air feels fresh and alive. Associated with fresh scents, cool weather and beautiful natural backdrops, many couples find spring the best season to get married. So, here are the advantages and disadvantages of picking a date in this season, for your wedding.

Advantages

  • Just the right temperature: Neither is spring stifling and warm like summer, nor chilly like autumn or winter. The temperature is just perfect to relax and enjoy. So, your guests will look forward to attending a ceremony and not complain about making the trek in bad weather. Plus, the right temperature makes it possible to plan an outdoor wedding
  • Season when colors pop: Take the cue from nature itself. Spring is when fresh buds bloom and create a cascade of beautiful colors in the natural landscape. The lush greenery makes it the right time to plan an equally colorful, warm wedding. So, if you must have bright colors at your wedding, this is the season to choose.
  • Plenty of flowers to choose from: A stunning variety of flowers blossom in spring, making it easy for you to find flowers of every color and texture for your wedding décor, bouquets and more.
  • The season for most vegetables and fruits: If you want to make the most of seasonally available bounty for your wedding, spring is the right choice. This is when most vegetables and fruits are easily available. This will allow you to plan a menu that you fancy, without having to search or arrange for the ingredients at extra cost.

Disadvantages

  • Allergy season is on: With most flowers in bloom, this is the time when allergies are at their worst. Guests with allergies may prefer to stay away from your wedding, especially if it is an outdoor affair, for health reasons.
  • Prices are highest: Since most couples prefer to be married in spring, this is the time when you will be spending most on wedding expenses. Venues will be priced higher during this peak season, so you can either shell out more for your dream venue or settle for a weekday wedding to get a better price.
  • Higher competition for vendors: Just as the prices go up, so does the demand for quality wedding services. Since most vendors can cater to only limited number of weddings at a time, your will have to book your wedding services early to ensure you get the ones you prefer.
  • More holidays this time of the year: Easter and school graduation happens in spring. So, if your guests have holiday plans or other events to attend at the same time, they may be unable to make it to your wedding. Nevertheless, you can always plan your wedding, adjusting for dates that do not clash with these holidays.

Summer

summer

I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

John Keats wrote these mesmerizing lines for his beloved Fanny Brawne, and it conveys romance, excitement and joy; all that is Summer!

 

After spring, summer is the next most popular wedding season. Although the weather is usually warmer than in spring, in some parts of the world, this is better as it makes the climate very pleasant. Summer is also the best time to plan a destination wedding. The days become longer and you have plenty of time to party. This makes it perfect for an exciting, fun occasion. Let us look at the pros and cons of this season, for your wedding.

Advantages

  • Flowers still in season: Come summer, and you still have plenty of flowers to choose from. So, you needn’t compromise on having a spectacular bouquet or plenty of floral elements in your décor.
  • You can have a long wedding day: The best thing about summer is that with extended daylight hours, you have plenty of time to party. You could even plan the ceremony later in the day than would be necessary in any other season, if needed.
  • It is holiday season: Summer is the season when schools close for holidays, people take time off work and enjoy a break. So, it is usually convenient, especially for those who have to travel from far for your wedding.
  • Everything is saturated with color: Just as the sun shines brightest, everything in summer looks vibrant and colorful. This is the perfect ambiance for a wedding where you want lots of natural color.
  • Outdoor weddings are still possible: Unless the place you stay is unbearably hot, it is possible to have the outdoor wedding you always wanted.
  • Perfect time for a beach wedding or destination wedding: If you always wanted to get married in an exotic location like a beach in the Bahamas, summer is when you should plan it, to enjoy the best experience.

Disadvantages:

  • Your wedding may clash with your guests’ holiday plans: Like two sides to a coin, having your wedding during the holidays will be convenient for many. However, there may also be others who have planned a vacation at this time, and it may not be possible to reschedule their plans to accommodate your wedding.
  • Chances for rain: Summer showers are nature’s way of surprising everyone, including to-be-married couples. So, if you have an outdoor wedding, you cannot rule out the possibility of rain. Having a back-up plan, like an alternate venue in case of rain, can turn out to be expensive, but necessary.
  • Extra precautions to stay and keep things fresh: When the temperatures soar, flowers wilt quickly and people tend to look tired sooner. From choosing hardy flowers and wearing water-proof makeup, you will have to take more precautions when you get married in summer.
  • The competition for venues and vendors continues: Just like spring, summer is also popular wedding season. So, the competition for quality vendors and great venues continues. The prices are also quite high this time of year, for the same reason.

Autumn

autumn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”—Albert Camus

When the leaves turn color, and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful with orange, brown and red tones everywhere, when the breeze begins to blow and beckon snow, Autumn is here!

The backdrop of autumn is spectacular, and romantic, making it a great time to get married. Nowadays, autumn weddings are very popular. Temperatures dip, but it is still comfortable. So, weddings in this season are convenient and pleasant.

Advantages:

  • Beautiful nature: The stunning foliage that is fall’s own feature, punctuates the air with romance. This backdrop is unique, perhaps, even more than spring. The refined sophistication of nature during this season makes it a wonderful time for an elegant, classic wedding.
  • Pleasant weather: The weather is comfortable and pleasant during the first half of autumn, making it easy for people to travel or even attend an outdoor wedding if that is what you have planned.
  • A variety of menu options: Fall is associated with pumpkins, squashes, spices like cinnamon, chocolate, apples and berries. These are all treats for the taste buds, and comforting when served at meals. So, hearty meals at your wedding couldn’t get better, than in this season.
  • Interesting décor options: With the scenery so beautiful, it would be a shame to not incorporate the signature elements of fall into your wedding day. Turn to nature itself, and you have plenty of inspiration to set up magnificent centerpieces and attractive décor at your venue.

Disadvantages:

  • Unexpected frost: Autumn is often unpredictable, with some days too chilly to even step outdoors. There is also the risk of frost. So, this can be a damper for your wedding plans.
  • Not holiday season: With the holiday season approaching, people are busy at work and school this time of year. So, it may not be convenient for all guests to make it to your wedding, especially those who have to travel from out-of-town.
  • You will need an indoor venue: Although an outdoor ceremony is possible in fall, dancing into the night may be a problem as temperatures fall drastically, after sunset. So, you’ll have to either find a venue where you can have the rest of the reception indoors, or settle for an indoor venue for the whole function.

Winter

winter

“The color of springtime is in the flowers. The color of winter is in the imagination.” – Terri Guillemets

There was a time when winter weddings were rare. It is not so much now! The cold season is perhaps the most romantic, as this is the time everyone yearns to cozy up and feel warm and loved. Isn’t that just perfect for a wedding?

Advantages

  • Have a memorable wedding: With fewer couples tying the knot in the cold months, it is the best time to plan a memorable wedding that everyone will remember. The scenery is amazing. Not only will your vendors work at a more relaxed pace, you have better chances of getting all that you need to plan your big day, without much competition from other couples.
  • Everything is cheaper and available: Being the off-season, you will not face much trouble getting the venue you desire, or booking vendors you like the most. Also, the prices will be better, as wedding services are ready to slash their prices upon negotiation.
  • Everything will look like it ought to be: With the temperatures being so low, you needn’t worry about your bouquet wilting, or centerpieces looking tired by the end of the day.
  • Most guests can attend: If you plan your wedding around the holidays in winter, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, your guests will find it convenient to attend your wedding. They will mostly be taking time off work or school at this time of year, and so it won’t be a big deal adding your wedding into their holiday plans.

Disadvantages

  • Low temperatures: In this weather, not everyone would be excited about driving to your wedding on a weekend, when they would rather be snug at home. An outdoor wedding is out of question.
  • Shorter days: You will have fewer hours of daylight, and so your wedding would have to be run on a tight schedule, so you can make use of the sunlight while it lasts.
  • Nature’s unpredictability: Unexpected heavy snowfall, blizzards and cold waves are the different ways in which nature can wreak havoc on your carefully thought-out winter plans. It can be very difficult to change plans at short notice.
  • Guests may be on tight budgets: With buying gifts for the holidays and vacationing in summer, your guests may feel the pinch, when getting you a wedding gift or putting aside funds for travel and dressing up to attend your wedding.

So, that wraps it up! Tell us, which of these seasons would you love to get married in?

For more tips, tricks, wedding advice and more, keep visiting us here, at http://www.bestforbride.com/ —your one-stop destination for everything bridal!

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10 tips to plan your wedding on a shoestring budget

For most couples, their wedding is the single most important celebration in their life, till now. It can be confusing when you want to celebrate this big day in the best possible way, but are worried about how much this will cost you. After all, it is just one day, and is it worth spending years paying for the debt that you incurred on the celebration?

Different couples have different takes on this. So, if you have the budget and want to have a big bash on this special day, so be it! For those who want a smaller celebration that is intimate and meaningful, yet easy on their pocket, here is some help.

Here are ten tips to help you plan your wedding on a small budget, so you begin your life together as man and wife without worrying about the money you busted.

1.Stretch your dollar to the most–Borrow or recycle

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Trimming down the wedding guest list is a necessity for any budget wedding. So, no surprises there! When you have a smaller guest list, it is possible to recycle things, make use of what is available, or borrow things for the occasion. If you have an eye for details and a knack for mixing and matching, there will be no trouble executing your wedding details in the most impressive manner without it costing you a dime. Trays, platters and plates are wedding essentials, and if you have a close-knit group of family and friends who can lend you things from their homes, you can create an impressive buffet arrangement with what you find.

Recycle everything from your wedding dress to the centerpieces and décor, and your wallet will remain plump. Since you will anyway be setting up home after the wedding, it is a good idea to buy things for the wedding décor, that you can re-use in your new home. Sarah, the hardworking bride, tells us how she managed to pull off her stylish wedding for less than $6000 by using such options. Her wise planning included trays from Target for her dessert table, that she could take home with her and use again. Read more about her brilliant wedding here.

2.Eliminate non-essential vendor services

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There is no hard and fast rule on what you should have at your wedding. This is all a matter of priority. So, splurge on the essentials that you simply must have, and eliminate or step down on those that you can do without. You can always substitute certain vendor services with affordable options that will work. For example, you can save a chunk of your budget by eliminating the band and DJ from your celebration. Instead, compile a playlist and play the songs using a good stereo system. You can do your floral décor with what is inexpensive and easily available, and eliminate the services of a florist. Or, forego the makeup and hair artist’s services for the wedding day, by doing it yourself. Just make sure that you know what your priorities are, and don’t compromise on them. The rest is up to you to take or leave, as your budget permits.

3.Find a cheaper dessert option instead of the wedding cake

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Wedding cakes are more about the look, than the flavor or taste. Most guests remember how the wedding cake impressed them, but won’t always recollect the taste it had. Some may even have skipped dessert altogether after the heavy meal they enjoyed. However, cakes are expensive, and so you should think of whether you really want it. There is a world of desserts waiting to be discovered, and these are even more enticing than a slice of wedding cake. So, step away from cake and turn to alternate options for a wallet-friendly, practical and delicious choice that is bound to impress. This article on the wedding blog of Apartment therapy provides some unusual options that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of it?” You can also refer to this previous post for more ideas on what to serve instead of cake, at your wedding. Choose a dessert that is truly unique and one that you love, so your wedding has a sweet ending that is both delicious, personal and delightfully inexpensive.

4.Serve family style dishes

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A welcome alternative to the plated meal and wedding buffet, serve family style dishes at your wedding. Not only does this bring down the cost considerably, these are hearty meals that everyone will naturally enjoy. When you choose a family style meal, you will need less service staff, which is again a budget winner. This article on the Huff Post tells us that family style wedding dinners are better than buffets and plated dinners, since they are the middle ground between the two. It is more elegant than a buffet and less formal than a plated meal. By serving items on large platters that can be passed around, you can also eliminate elaborate table décor, not to mention the casual and informal vibe that this activity can create. Don’t skimp on the quantity of food available, just choose dishes that are interesting and filling so your guests aren’t left hungry. This idea is also perfect for wedding parties that include children, as you needn’t plan a special menu for the younger taste buds in this case.

5.Keep to local products for the bar

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Instead of having the standard open bar, give your wedding a unique twist by serving up local fare that you can buy from nearby vineyards or breweries for a fraction of the cost. Not only will your guests have plenty of new and unusual options, you will be thankful for how cheap it will be. Also, switch out the champagne for the toasts. Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. After all, it is the sentiment that counts, not the details of how it is done. If necessary, add some non-alcoholic drinks as refreshers, and serve them at the beginning of the reception. This will not only help your guests feel refreshed at the beginning of the function, it will also reduce their capacity to drown in alcohol later. If you should splurge on anything, it should be on improving the appearance of the drinks served at your bar. Inexpensive garnishes and colorful mixers are all it takes to dress up drinks and make them look festive and more expensive than it actually cost you.

6.Forego the extras

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All the little things add up quickly, and you can stay ahead of the game if you stick with the essentials only. So, forego elaborate decorations and trimmings for your wedding favor wrap-ups, menu styling and floral décor. Consider whether you really need things like a dessert table, coffee bar, photo booth or individual place cards. Rather than aiming for perfection, you can work with a tight budget if you look at the bigger picture and execute it with simplicity. So, the lesser textures in décor, lower it will cost you. Similarly, go with simple menu choices that are full of flavor and compensate for not looking too great. Your favors do not need satin bows that will mostly end up in the trash, nor do you have to spend a fortune on signboards when your guests can find their way at the venue, without them.

7.Go with an artificial bouquet that you can DIY in advance

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Flowers are an expensive factor at weddings. Minimize the cost by choosing alternative options for your décor, or keeping floral arrangements to a minimum. The bridal bouquet is one essential though. Despite this, there is no condition that your bouquet has to be made with real flowers. You can add your own DIY details to this accessory of your wedding dress ensemble, by making your own bridal bouquet with alternatives like cloth or paper. Unlike other elaborate DIY projects that consume time and take a lot of effort, your bouquet is a simple and relatively easier option to handle. With a little crafting knowledge, this is the perfect way to have an attractive bouquet, sans the cost. Check out some great tutorials on creating amazing bouquets, at this link here and here. The best thing about choosing to DIY your bouquet is that you will have a keepsake from your wedding, that you will forever be proud of making.

8.Rent what you can

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With wedding dresses, wedding accessories, décor and more available to rent, you can find plenty of economically viable choices for your wedding day. Unless you are particular about owning what you wear or use at your wedding day, renting is a practical and sensible option. After all, most of these things won’t find a second use. So, why waste so much money by buying all of it, when you can get what you want for much cheaper. Bridal shops like Best for Bride allow brides to rent their wedding dress for a fraction of the original cost, so you can look great on your wedding day without the hefty price tag. If not the dress, you should definitely consider the accessories. Indulge in your dream of wearing a grand tiara and looking like a princess on your wedding day, even when you don’t have to buy it. By renting part or most of your wedding ensemble, you can look fantastic on a tight budget, and isn’t that how you should beon your wedding day?

9.Reduce the number of wedding party members

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A big wedding party translates into extra expenses not only for the members in it, but also for the bride and groom. You will have to set aside a part of the budget for buying gifts, bouquets and many more things for the members in your wedding party. This can quickly add up. Think of whether you really need so many people beside you at the time you say “I do.” Wouldn’t it work just as well if they were seated with the rest of the guests and took home wedding favors that were much cheaper? Plus, by keeping your wedding party to the bare minimum, probably just your maid of honor and two bridesmaids, you do not have to worry about ruffling feathers when you do not ask someone to be on the list, or making anyone who secretly isn’t keen on it feel uncomfortable by inviting them.

10.Weigh your options

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Even when it concerns things that you simply must have, weigh your various options and find the one that is practical yet costs less. For example, if you must hire a limo for you entrance and exit, go with a black one that will cost much lesser than a white or silver limo. Similarly, think of monochromatic bouquet options and simple bouquet arrangements instead of complicated flower arrangements that will cost more. In case of table décor, choose basic, but classic materials to do the job, instead of fancy table décor that will cost more but perform the same function. Basically, we suggest you prioritize value over look, and you will find choices that are appealing but inexpensive.

Making smart moves when planning your wedding will help you save up more for the more important thing—the rest of the life you will be sharing together. And memories don’t depend on the tiny details, it is always the big picture that matters. So, tell us what were your budget ideas that helped you get the most value for money, at your wedding?

To find great offers, deals and discounts on wedding dresses, accessories and décor, check out our special offers page at Best for Bride. Our lowest price guarantee also ensures that you find a fabulous wedding dress at the best price possible, when you shop with us. Alternately consider our rental dress and accessory services if you want a cost-effective solution to your needs. For all this and more, check out our website at Best for Bride by visiting this link here.