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Pros and Cons of different wedding venues

The overall impact of your wedding depends on the venue you pick. This is because your choice of location affects the theme, décor, lighting and other aspects of your wedding. It even affects your dress decision to a great extent. Hence, the venue decision isn’t one to take lightly. In fact, it is one of the first wedding planning decisions that every couple should make.

From indoor venues like barns, banquet halls and castles to outdoor venues like beaches and gardens, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, there are so many factors to consider when choosing your wedding venue. These include the following

  • Your budget
  • Expected number of guests
  • Accessibilty of location
  • Desired wedding theme
  • Style of wedding
  • Weather at the time of wedding

While these factors are important, this list isn’t exhaustive. There are many more aspects that you have to consider when choosing the venue.

Don’t worry if you are confused or overwhelmed by this. Fortunately, we have an easy way to help you narrow down your choices to the right type of venue for your wedding!

Take a look at our list of pros and cons for the different venue types. This will help you weigh each option against the others and eliminate or short-list the suggested venue type. This should allow you to recognize the best venue for your situation. So, let us take a look at the most popular venue types one by one.

Hotels/Banquet halls

Hotels and resorts are very popular wedding locations, since these venues are equipped to deal with events of this scale. They also have facilities for accommodation and food, which is great if you have a number of outstation guests. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a hotel or resort as your wedding venue.

Pros:

  • Staff have experience hosting events of this scale. As a result, most of the day will progress smoothly.
  • On-site caterers make menu planning a breeze. You needn’t worry about the logistics of transporting food from another location, setting it up or the service.
  • The venue is guaranteed to have great interiors and classy décor to match. You can enhance it with your own choice of decorations.
  • You do not have to worry about parking, seating or bathroom facilities on-site.
  • They have rooms that you can use to get dressed at. Saves you the trouble of traveling to the venue after getting dressed at home or at another location.

Cons:

  • Most hotels offer standard packages, and you may have limited flexibility or have to spend extra to alter things to your exact liking.

  • You may have to use the hotel’s vendors and entertainment for the occasion. This may limit your options and you may not be allowed to bring in food or liquor from outside.

  • Hotels are quite expensive, as you have to go with the packages they have.

  • Good hotels are booked quickly, and since most of them host only one wedding per day you may have to make your decision very early.

For more insight on whether a hotel is the right venue for your wedding, take a look at this article on Easy Weddings. 

Country Club/Garden venue

Many country clubs have options for both indoor and outdoor events, allowing you to enjoy the best of both. There is also a romantic and serene charm to such settings. Here are the pros and cons of picking such venues for your wedding.

Pros:

  • They have ample space to accommodate a large guest count. They will also have shaded outdoor seating spaces, cozy indoor relaxing spaces and picturesque locations.

  • You have the flexibility of using both indoor and outdoor spaces. So, you can have your ceremony in their grounds, and the reception indoors.

  • The food is usually amazing at country clubs. They may also allow you to bring in your own caterer or baker, on prior agreement.

  • Country clubs usually have well-maintained grounds, garden spaces and beautiful indoor décor that allow for amazing photographs.

Cons:

  • The venue is usually expensive. Also some country clubs require you to have a membership to avail of the facilities. You will have to consider this factor when choosing this venue.

  • Since country clubs have a number of event spaces, yours may not be the only event on the day. This means there may be outsiders sharing the same space and amenities.

Beach

The beach is a top wedding destination for couples who want a relaxed, intimate and memorable wedding. From beaches that are close to home to those in the exotic tropics, couples flock to beaches for the unique ambiance they provide. Here is what you should know before you have your wedding at such a location.

Pros:

  • Unmatched ambiance and unique feel of the outdoors. Romantic and exciting venue that is interesting and makes for amazing memories

  • Destination beach weddings allow you to tailor your wedding to a fixed budget and invite only those you really want at your wedding

  • Setting allows you to choose comfortable and casual attire, if you aren’t fond of traditional wedding gowns.

  • Amazing wedding photos are guaranteed, since the venue will be bathed in natural light and is fun

Cons:

  • You need a Plan B in case the weather throws up unwanted surprises like heavy winds or a drizzle.

  • Destination beach weddings aren’t easy since you will be making long-distance plans and can’t oversee every detail.

  • Unless it is a private beach, outsiders may invade your wedding venue and be in your photos.

More details of what you should remember when planning a beach wedding are available in this article. 

Church/House of Worship

If faith plays an important part in your life, you may choose to have your wedding ceremony at a church or house of worship. This traditional venue comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. Let us look at what they are.

Pros:

  • The venue is magnificent and lends an air of grandeur and style to your wedding.

  • Suitable for classic wedding themes and allows you to dress traditionally

  • There is an organized approach and the various events on the day progress as per tradition. The expected nature of these rituals eliminates confusion.

  • Weddings in a house of worship usually cost less than other venues

Cons:

  • There are usually restrictions on the dressing for a wedding. You may have to cover your shoulders, which means you can’t pick a strapless gown unless you cover it up with a suitable accessory.

  • You will have to find another location for the reception. This means your guests will have to travel from the first venue to the second. This will involve time and more planning.

  • Your photography options will be limited in a church. Make sure your photographer has the required equipment to capture the photos with clarity during the ceremony.

Museum/art gallery/Castle

Steeped in history, museums and art galleries offer a unique ambiance for a wedding. The very location makes the occasion memorable and it is less traditional. Here are the pros and cons to selecting this venue for your special day.

Pros:

  • Since these venues aren’t common choices, it offers a unique and interesting touch to your wedding

  • It allows you to paint a picture of your personal taste and likes, making your wedding very personal.

  • Suitable for smaller gatherings due to space constraints. This makes the wedding cosy and intimate.

Cons:

  • Since these venues aren’t ideally meant to host such events, you will have to put in more effort to plan the event appropriately

  • Space constraints mean limiting your guest count to how many people can fit in the venue comfortably.

  • You will have to work with the existing décor and choose decorations that do not clash with the aesthetics of the place

  • The specialized art and fragile items in the setting require your guests to be careful with how they use the space.

  • You will have to find suitable outside vendors for the décor, food and other arrangements.

Reception Halls/Banquet Halls

Whether attached to a hotel or not, reception halls allow you to get your creative juices flowing and plan a wedding that is uniquely you. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of this choice.

Pros:

  • Unless attached to a hotel or resort, there is little to no décor at the location. This means you can work with the colors and elements of your choice to create a wedding day that reflects your tastes to the smallest detail

  • You can plan the entire setting to fit your budget. This gives immense flexibility.

  • It is a good space to host a reception following a wedding in a house of worship.

  • You can make the space work for your desired guest count by arranging the seating and other details suitably.

Cons:

  • The entire bulk of planning is on you. Since there is little to no existing décor, you will have to work hard on getting the theme and aesthetics right to match your vision.

  • Unless attached to a hotel, you will have to rent all the required equipment for setting up the arrangement.

  • You will have to find outside vendors for the food, decorations and all other aspects of the wedding.

  • Chances are that your guests have already been to the reception hall, if they are all from the community. Hence it will be challenging to create a setting that is different and provide an experience that isn’t similar to what they have experienced before.

Backyard

Having an intimate wedding in your own home is unlike weddings at any other venue. As romantic and charming as it is, it comes with a unique set of challenges. Let us explore what they are. You can also check The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Backyard Wedding.

Pros:

  • Backyard weddings are intimate and relaxed. Your guests will feel at home and settle in easily

  • This is a venue that you have total control over. You can begin prepping it for the wedding much earlier than you have to with any other venue.

  • It is a great way to save on venue expenses, which usually account for a great part of the wedding budget.

  • You can personalize the venue to the smallest detail, since you do not have to obtain any permissions or pay attention to limitations where this is concerned.

  • You can plan a very unique wedding, by choosing the décor, food and ambiance you want for the event.

Cons:

  • Unless you have plenty of space, you will have to limit your guest count to how many people the space can host comfortably.

  • You will have to rent seating, install additional lighting and set up the place with all the factors that may not be readily available at home. For instance, you may have to set up outdoor portable washroom facilities since you may not have enough facilities for your guests otherwise.

  • You will have to worry about parking space and also check the locale’s concessions on noise and traffic. Your neighbors may not be thrilled about all the commotion if your plans don’t align with the regulations.

  • Since you will be living on-site till the wedding day, it will be under use and more difficult to get it ready. You will have to worry about how the place looks and plan everything in time, so it looks picturesque for your wedding day.

For more backyard wedding advice, take a look at this fantastic article on the Bridal Guide. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, every wedding venue comes with its unique set of challenges. At the same time, it also has its own unique benefits. With creativity, good organization and proper planning, it is possible to transform any venue into your dream wedding destination. So, tell us which wedding venue will you prefer for your special day?

For wedding dresses for any venue, whether it is a castle, museum, beach or hotel, visit us at Best for Bride. We will help you find the right dress for your venue, so you can be a bride who belongs in the setting!

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Bigger the better: Beautiful ideas for fairy tale weddings

Fairy tales aren’t just for young children. They offer hope for a magical tomorrow, and isn’t that what every bride wants? A happily ever after, when she begins the new chapter of her life as a wife.

The fascination for fairy tales, princesses, and Prince Charming never goes away for some women. If you are a bride, who has always been in love with fairy tales, you will definitely want a big fairy tale wedding to mark your union with your real-life Prince Charming. After all, you get married only once and you deserve to feel like a royal princess on this special day in your life.

Planning the fairy tale wedding of your dreams isn’t too difficult when you have plenty of ideas to inspire you. Here are some magical fairy tale-inspired ideas for your royal wedding. Take a look and let us know what you will choose from them, for your wedding.

Ideas to inspire your fairy tale wedding

An invitation card that radiates timeless romance

Give your wedding guests a sneak peek of what they can expect at your wedding with a lovely fairy tale theme invitation. Don’t you just love how this “Once upon a time” invitation card ties to the theme? Small details like the header for this invitation are all it takes to have your invitation reflect the style of your wedding. (You can order this invitation at this link.) If your wedding is inspired by any particular story, find an invitation with motifs or colors that are specifically linked to this tale.

Search for the right castle

A royal wedding takes place at a castle, and you need the right setting to feel like a princess on your wedding day. Whether you are in Europe, the USA, Canada or any other part of the world, there are no dearth of castle venues for you to pick from. You can even find lists of suitable venues on the internet, like in this post on the Knot website.  If booking a real castle is out of the question, you can create a similar scene by choosing a suitable venue and dressing it up with the opulent decor. Explore beautiful banquet rooms, hotels, stately mansions and resorts to find the right choice for your budget and theme.

Plenty of flowers

The perfect fairytale wedding will have elaborate floral decor. Fill your venue with plenty of flowers, and they will create the effect of grandeur, not to mention romance. Light pastel colors like pale pink, yellow and white will look stunning in such settings. You can also go with the theme colors of your fairy tale in your floral decor, to match it to the theme. So, golden yellow blooms for a Beauty and Beast wedding or vivid red roses for a Snow White theme wedding would be just perfect. Mix your floral decor with stunning crystal and glass accents for more impact.

Plenty of bling

This is the perfect theme to go big on bling. Whether it is your venue decor, table linen, party favors or even the dress and accessories, make a statement with lavish touches of gold, silver, and other metals. While gold creates an expensive and deluxe ambiance, silver and rose gold have the sophistication and romantic charm. Pair the metallic accents in your decor with saturated colors or neutrals to create a refined look.

Shimmering shoes

Sparkling shoes are an accessory that will make you feel like a princess in no time. Pick a pair of gorgeous heels that is sure to impress any princess. Don’t hesitate to choose one that is gold or silver, as this is the best opportunity to shine and dazzle to the most. As you dance the night away, the occasional peek of your dainty feet from beneath your gown will be very impressive with beautiful shoes adorning it. Or if your favorite fairy tale is Cinderella, find a glass slipper to play the part to perfection.

Gorgeous napkins and coasters

Impress your guests with your attention to detail with small touches like beverage napkins and coasters that tie to the theme flawlessly. These white coasters with beautiful lettering in gold that is meaningful as well can instantly add a flourish to your table settings.

Similarly, take a look at these beverage napkins with the “happily ever after” that is just right for your chosen theme. The fact that the lettering is done in gold further enhances the effect of this essential table decor element.

Beautiful bridal hairstyles

Princess-inspired hairstyles are anything but simple. Whether you choose an elaborate chignon or a dreamy intricately braided hairstyle, don’t forget to top it off with the perfect hair accessories. A flower crown will instantly enhance your look, while you can choose dainty hair bands, pins or combs for a touch of sparkle. If you really want to make a statement, you can even go with a royal tiara that will easily tie to this wedding theme. Remember that all fairy tale heroines have luscious locks. So, aim for that effect when you choose your wedding day hairstyle.

A stunning fairy tale cake

The wedding cake gives you plenty of opportunities to use your creativity and find different elements that match the theme. Either aim for simple elegance with naturally colored elements like flowers, fresh fruits, and berries or go for classic sophistication with a magnificent sculpture. Beautiful accents like sugary pearls, frosted roses, bows, and ribbons are all ways to create an opulent effect. Play up the theme to the maximum with a big cake with plenty of interesting tiers. Also, choose flavors that are classic and luscious for a beautiful effect.

Make your entrance in full-style

How you arrive at your wedding will receive a lot of attention from your guests. So, make a worthy entrance in a horse-drawn carriage, and it will be grand and memorable. It will also be a grand experience for you. Opt for a vintage-style carriage and it will suit the theme perfectly. Also, make sure your charioteer is in full costume, and that the chariot is decorated with flowers and ribbons to complete the effect. For more interesting and unusual ideas for wedding vehicles for all different themes, take a look at this post on the Hitched UK website

Use plenty of fairy lights and lanterns to illuminate your venue

Twinkling, little lights will instantly transform any venue. Pretty lanterns are also beautiful decor elements. They will enhance the beauty of your venue and tie to the fairy tale theme. Another benefit of this item is that it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor venues. Whether you choose a woodland theme or a royal castle theme, soft lighting in the location of your choice will transform the space and help you achieve a beautiful effect.

Cute little flower girls

Little girls will love your fairy tale theme just as much as you do. So, why not give them a role to play in your wedding and remember the experience even more fondly. Have your flower girls in pretty princess dresses or lace frocks, and add cute flower crowns or tiaras to their outfit. Dressed in pretty layers of tulle, they will look like fairies right out of your storybook. Not to mention how much they will enjoy the role. You will be their favorite real-life princess and they will be a delightful addition to your wedding scene.

Dramatic lighting

Add an enchanting touch to your reception space with dramatic mood lighting with different colors that wash over the room. Place your light sources strategically, so they enhance the effect of the decor pieces and bounce off sparkling tablescapes. Chandeliers and other crystal accents will also help your venue look opulent and magical. You can consider using images of the moon and stars in your backdrop to create a beautiful effect. For a real fantasy effect, hang lanterns from the ceiling with thin strings so it looks like it is floating in thin air.

A beautiful wedding dress for the princess of the day

No wedding is complete without the perfect wedding dress for the bride. With the entire wedding being a picture of opulence and festivity, your wedding dress should also fit the scene. Choose a dress with statement features that make it fit for a princess. Here are some dresses to consider from our collection at Best for Bride.

Spectacular lace appliques spread throughout the fitted bodice and scatter into the skirt of this lovely Mori Lee wedding gown. The delightful scalloped lace neckline and cap sleeves, as well as the breathtaking illusion details in the back of the dress, will stun your guests. Don’t forget that the dress also features a stunning train. This will add the perfect finishing touches to the beautiful tulle skirt.

Strike the right balance between drama and poise with this stunning dress from the Mori Lee Collection. The strapless neckline with a delicate sweetheart detail continues into a snug-fitting bodice with plenty of intricate embellishments. The skirt of this dress enchants with its several layers of ruffles that cascade to floor length in beautiful waves. The flounced skirt ends in a fabulous train that adds a regal effect to the overall design.

Simple in its details, but exquisite in effect, this Sans Pareil ball gown is the picture of elegance. Smooth satin forms the entire structure of this unblemished beauty. It has an off-the-shoulder embellished neckline and a beautiful chevron band at the waist. The neatly pleated skirt enhances the pristine white of the dress, and it has a breathtakingly beautiful chapel length train. With few other embellishments, the dress will work with almost any choice of accessory.

The perfect dress for a fairy tale princess, this beautiful ball gown from the Sans Pareil collection has shoulder straps formed of intricately woven lace appliques. The sheer neckline stretches from shoulder to shoulder, and the satin waistband also has lace appliques enhancing its beauty. The delicate softly pleated skirt flows to full length. The back features a beautiful corset detail and train, with the silky satin that forms a bow.

Here is a classic gown that is trendy at the same time. This Sans Pareil ball gown is a majestic piece with its crystal studded bodice and sweetheart neckline. It also has a voluminous skirt with three-dimensional floral appliques closer to the hemline. The 3-dimensional details also include butterflies and other beautiful nature motifs that add to the charm of this exquisite dress. The entire train of the dress is also embellished in the same fashion. So the dress is a beauty from every angle.

Full-length lace sleeves over a strapless bodice and a beautifully gathered misty tulle skirt makes this dress an amazing princess gown. Not only is the neckline romantic, the scintillating effect of the shimmering lace layer over the bodice spills into the waistline. The hemline is accented with lace motifs that continues into the court train. The volume of the skirt is equally bewitching. The dazzling all-over details make a dress a grand piece by itself. A tiara is all that you need to complete your bridal look.

Carrying off a fairy tale wedding involves a lot of planning and detail. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful theme that will be loved by all your guests. So, don’t hesitate to give it a try. And for the perfect dress to be that royal princess at your fairytale wedding, look no further than in our bridal dress collection. Click here to be directed to our bridal gallery, and make your pick from the choicest princess gowns there is.

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Your guide to planning a formal wedding ceremony

After a brief spell of laid-back, casual style weddings, more and more couples are once again opting for formal weddings. Also known as black-tie weddings or white-glove worthy weddings, this classic form is slowly growing in popularity, and this is why. The elegance of having a luxurious wedding with all the details right, is very tempting. When you know that traditions never go out of style, is a better reason required,to choose it as your event style?

If you want sophistication and style to set the tone at your wedding, a fantastic formal wedding may be beckoning you. Here, we look at the essentials to plan such an event, and help you determine if this is indeed, what you want.

Step everything up a notch, including the budget

The venue will have to be classic and stunning; think along the lines of a castle, historical site or country club resort. The décor will involve lavish decorations and dramatic centerpieces. The guest list is usually large (certainly more than 100), and the reception will be formal and sit-down style. The bar should feature top-class wines and classic cocktails.

Everything from the perfect invitation to a fantastic cake and even your wedding favors and vehicle to leave the venue, should look and feel formal. So, aim for this option only if your budget is on the higher side.

Attire of the couple and all the others

via Best for Bride

Formal affairs require everyone to adhere to a strict black-tie dress code. Your wedding gown, as well as those of your bridesmaids would have to look formal, and all the men should be in tuxedos.

Ball gowns have always been the traditional favorite for brides, but you can opt for other styles as long as they are full-length gowns. Your gown should ideally feature at least a cathedral train, and a veil would be appropriate.

Your bridesmaids should also be dressed in classic patterns. These weddings normally involve more bridesmaids and ushers than regular weddings do. All your wedding guests will have to appear in formal wear, and you will have to specify this in your wedding invitation.

Decor, cake and Flowers

Choose to decorate the venue elegantly, and in classic style. Employ stylish flower arrangements, candle lights and lush textiles like silk and satin to create a magnificent setting. Roses, stephanotis and orchids are flowers suitable for the ceremony.

The wedding cake is usually a classic three-tier cake, with elegant elements like ribbons, flowers, beads or textures adorning it. You can choose round or square, or for a more contemporary touch choose a hexagon cake. Do not choose a pastel palette or the whimsical topsy-turvy cake design, as it is inappropriate for this type of ceremony.

Keep up the style, but don’t tone down the fun

A vintage car like a Rolls Royce, or stylish limousines are ideal choices to carry you to and from the venue. Although a black-tie wedding may seem very prim and proper, remember that it can still be lots of fun. Get a lively band or orchestra, celebrate in full swing, have some interesting photographs taken and have a blast.

For more wedding tips, as well as to pick the perfect wedding dress for the occasion, check out the collection at Best for Bride.