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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

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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.

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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

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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 spellbinding masterpiece cake, detailed wedding cake plans are on your list of must-do’s!

Your cake designer is a 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 blueprint 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 its 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 about 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 buttercream. 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 a 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.