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What your guests will remember and quickly forget about your wedding

One of the most important things about wedding planning is ensuring a good wedding guest experience. Although the couple are the most important people on their wedding day, the event will not be a success without the co-operation of the guests at it.

Certain details matter more than others. This checklist will help you identify what will be remembered and forgotten by your wedding guests. Of the various aspects we discuss below, you may consider some of them more important than others. In fact, there is always a gray area, that some people notice while others skip. So this is up to you to identify and fix.

Those that are soon forgotten, because they weren’t worth remembering

1.Wedding invitation stationery

This is one detail that you needn’t lose sleep over or splurge too much money on. Whether you choose to amaze your guests with a stunning wedding invitation or keep it basic, the same purpose is served. Although your invitations give your guests the first idea of your wedding, they will only use it to find what they must know about your wedding. So, choose a good-looking invitation and make sure it contains relevant information about the venue, time and date. Don’t worry about the quality of paper stock or ornamentation. Take a look at this checklist on the Spruce to learn about the basic information that every invitation should have.

2.How special or expensive the linens were

Just like a beautiful invitation is just a beautiful invitation, good looking tablescapes are just that. Every bride and groom wishes to have a beautiful wedding. All the elements you choose for your décor are very important for this. However, quality linens can be very expensive, even when you rent them. As long as they are clean and crisp, we are sure none of your guests will want to know the details. It won’t matter whether your linens are made of curtain panels from thrift stores or sewn up bed sheets. Since no one else is likely to notice, it is better to invest that money in something more noticeable.

3.A super-gorgeous cake

I agree that the reveal of your wedding cake is an all-important moment. A breathtaking cake is an amazing sight. Nevertheless, spending a fortune on a gigantic cake with intricate details isn’t a great idea. Although your guests will be awed by the magnificence of it at the moment, it is unlikely that they will remember much of the details later. It is also good to remember that even the prettiest cake will quickly lose it’s charm if it doesn’t taste good. So focus on how the cake tastes instead of how it looks. Your guests are then more likely to remember the cake.

4.The guest book

Guest books and creative alternatives for it may sound interesting. However, think clearly of whether it really make a difference to your guests? Also imagine how often you are likely to use it in the future. You can of course use it as a keepsake. But I am sure you will have other things for the purpose. Your wedding album will have enough pictures to tell you who all attended your wedding. And amidst the fun of the day, it is unlikely your guests will pay attention to the beautiful guest book. They may sign in it, but not be in the mood to pore over the pretty details in it. So, save yourself the trouble and keep it simple or eliminate it altogether.

5.The bouquet toss and garter toss

Although a tradition at weddings, the bouquet toss and garter toss are two events that you can easily eliminate from your wedding timeline. It is unlikely that your guests will miss this part of the day. You can then hold on to your bouquet and preserve it or have it turn it into a wedding day keepsake. Take a look at this previous article to find out how you can do this. As for the garter toss, let’s face it. Not everyone really looks forward to seeing this bridal garment fly through the air or jump to catch it.

6.The flowers

Are you struggling with the choice between daisies and baby breath for your décor and bouquets? Well, hear this then! Half your guests are least bothered about what flowers you choose. Few years from now, all that matters will be that the floral décor and accessories look beautiful; not what it contained. Since flowers can be really expensive, consider this a sign to take it easy. Don’t use a huge chunk of your wedding budget on flowers that will last no more than a day. Your guests won’t mind, I am sure!

7.The favors

There are few wedding favors that tempt guests to save and use again. Pretty packaging is usually expensive, and ultimately is simply tossed away. Edible favors are the only exception. For your guests won’t really mind the after-party treat to enjoy at leisure. Hence, find a wedding favor with either a utilitarian aspect or make sure it is edible. Unless you do, it will likely be thrown away or confined to the depths of a closet. So, don’t sweat over this detail and just pick a gift that is reasonably priced and will be well-received.

The things that aren’t so easy to forget

1.A wonderful venue

The venue is one of the most important things that can make or break a wedding. The right venue will play up your décor, create the right ambiance for the theme and be easy to decorate. Hence it is important that you pick the right venue for your wedding day. It should easily accommodate all your guests, be easy to reach and have necessary facilities for your guests. Whether indoors or outdoors, the venue should be the right choice for the weather at the time of your wedding. So, aim for a wonderful venue that ticks all the above conditions and your guests will remember it forever.

2.A beautiful ceremony

Even in this digital age, beautiful wedding ceremonies churn up emotions and become memorable. So, plan your wedding ceremony carefully, with due attention to detail. Keep it short and sweet. Remember that you can spoil the excitement of the moment with a ceremony that drags on and on forever. Have the wedding altar decorated with care, so it is a feast for the eyes. All your guests will then look forward to making strong memories of the special moment at which you are married.

3.Well-dressed bride

Half your guests may not recognize whether you wear a ball gown or mermaid dress. Nor will they pay attention to your makeup and accessories. However this doesn’t mean you can take the dress aspect lightly. The image of a bride in her beautiful wedding dress creates a strong impact. It is instantly etched into the onlookers memories. So, settle only for a dress that looks amazing and reflects who you are as a person. This will enhance your best features. It will also make sure you are remembered as a lovely bride on the most special day in your life.

4.A fantastic meal

Food is one of the most important things that guests look forward to, at a wedding. Not only is a good meal the best way to impress your guests, it is also an option you can nail without much trouble. Plan your menu so that the dishes are enticing and appeal to most of your guests. Also make sure there is sufficient quantity to fill them up. Send your guests home happy, and the excellent meal you served at your wedding will be the talk of town in many years to come. You may like to take a look at some excellent advice on choosing your wedding menu is available here, on the Martha Stewart website. 

5.The drinks to celebrate the day

Many couples try to cut down their wedding day expenses by reducing the drinks budget. Unfortunately, weddings and booze are inseparable. Even limited quantities of booze are acceptable, as long as it is available and free. Nothing spoils a guest’s wedding experience like when they have to pay for their own drinks. Don’t forego the bar or ask your guests to pay for their drinks. Instead, take a look at these ideas on the Borrowed and Blue website to quench the thirst of your guests for less. 

6.The cute details of the day

I mentioned earlier that your guests are not likely to pay attention to the umpteen number of details you set up at your wedding. However, there is an exception. A few cute, unusual or quirky details can easily capture their attention and stay in their memories. These little details can range from customized signs to pretty buntings and personalized drinks. At least some of your guests will gush over these details, and consider these ideas of yours brilliant.

7.How good the entertainment was

Good entertainment is crucial to the success of your wedding party. Not all your guests may look forward to dancing at your wedding. Nevertheless, don’t disappoint those who do by letting your entertainment be an after-thought. There are definite benefits to choosing either a band or a DJ. From budgetary constraints to the songs that you personally prefer, you should consider various factors to make your choice between a band and DJ. More information to help you make the right choice is available in this article on the Knot

8.Your hospitality

Other details aside, your behavior on the day will greatly impact the guest experience. Your guests have traveled from far and wide to attend your special event. They expect you to welcome and acknowledge their presence. It will be a terrible disappointment if you are aloof and too engrossed in yourselves. This will certainly remain in their memories. So, don’t make this dire mistake. Extend a hearty welcome to your guests, chat with them at some point of the day and thank them for making it. Follow up with a note of thanks for their presence and their gifts. This will be greatly appreciated by them.

9.How long they can party

What is the point in planning an amazing party, if you must wind up while the guests have just started having fun? The wedding guest experience has a close link to the enjoyment they have on the day. And the longer the party goes on with amazing entertainment, the better they will remember the event. So, plan your party to give them enough time to have fun. Cut the ceremony short, but don’t compromise on the time allotted for the reception. Keep this factor in mind when choosing your entertainment and venue.

Now tell us which of these factors are most important and least important to you, in your wedding planning?

As we mentioned earlier a gorgeous bride is always a fond memory, and we have all that you need for this. Visit us in-store or online at Best for Bride for a wide selection of wedding dresses and accessories. Having been in the industry for over a decade, we have the expertise and inventory to cater to your wedding day vision to the very last detail. We also stock a wide variety of bridesmaids dress collections, dresses for the rest of the bridal party and offer a range of wedding day services. Head over to Best for Bride, the one-stop bridal destination today, and realize your wedding dreams.

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10 things you need for a fantastic vow renewal

Do you remember your wedding day fondly, and even yearn for a similar experience once again?

Most couples wait till a milestone anniversary to renew their vows. However, there is no need to wait that long. This article on the Huffington Post tells us that it is never too early nor too late to renew your vows. It also has a list of beautiful readings of interesting variety, from which every couple can find one they love. Take a look, and we are sure you will be enchanted by the very idea of having a vow renewal!

Vow renewals are usually done on a wedding anniversary day, as this date is significant to your relationship. If your anniversary is soon approaching, why don’t you think of renewing your vows to each other on this day? You can have a ceremony that is as big or as small as you wish. All that really matters is that it is just as special as your wedding day!

And for a fantastic vow renewal that will recreate the magic of your wedding day, there are some things you must have. So, what are they?

Here is our list of the 10 things you absolutely must have for an amazing vow renewal.

1.A gorgeous dress

Remember the anticipation and excitement of shopping for your wedding dress? Relive those memories when you pick an outfit for your vow renewal. If you still love your original wedding dress, consider this to be the right occasion to pull it out of the box. You may be lucky if it still fits you perfectly. Else, you can always have it altered.

However, if you prefer a different style, pick another elegant dress. Your vow renewal is the perfect occasion to shop for a dress that suits your current style and helps you look and feel beautiful. If you prefer a casual or even colorful dress, find one that meets your expectations. Depending on the style of the ceremony and your personal preferences, choose a dress that is right for you. This could be an evening dress or even a summer frock.

Unlike a wedding, there are no rules for what you should wear. If you want to include something other than the wedding dress from your wedding, wear your original wedding accessories.

2.A venue you love

This could be a church, the beach, a garden, hall or even your backyard. Or if you always wanted a destination wedding but couldn’t have it the first time, this is the opportunity for you to get away with your husband and live your dream.

We suggest that you make it a personal experience. A place that is meaningful to both you and your spouse would be best. If you aren’t sure of what you like, sit down together and brainstorm. Think of the budget you have. Then consider the various options available and what you both would like most. Finally shortlist your list of venues, and zero-in on the right one after considering all relevant factors.

3.Close friends and family

The best thing about a vow renewal is that you can share this experience with the people who matter most to you. Unlike a wedding, you need not worry about a detailed guest list or annoying anyone by excluding them from the event. It is after all a very personal and intimate celebration. Invite only those who you really want beside you on this occasion. This would mean close family and friends.

You may even like to designate roles in the ceremony to your children and grandchildren, if any. This would make it more special. Since there are no rules to follow, make it your day! You can plan a very intimate vow renewal ceremony with just you and your husband, if that is what you both prefer. Or if you prefer a big party, go all out and invite all the people you know to the event. Whether you have it on a grand-scale or a small-scale is entirely up to you.

4.A proper invitation

An invitation gives your vow renewal the importance it deserves. So, your guests will take it with due importance and try to participate in it.Irrespective of whether you will have a formal or informal vow renewal, you should draft a proper invitation for the function. This can be a regular invitation or one that you send by email.

As soon as you decide on the venue and the date, get around to drafting the invitation. While you may follow the traditional format of a wedding invitation, it would be nice to explore alternative options also. Consider adding a photo of you and your spouse, and nice wordings that reflect the tone of the event. You can find some sample wordings here. 

5.A pretty bouquet

The presence of flowers uplifts the ambiance of any setting. So, don’t forget your bouquet. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be as elaborate as your original wedding bouquet. You can pick one that is available at your local florist. Or make your own with your favorite flowers on the day of the vow renewal.

Keep it elegant and classic, and it will suit the occasion better. Another idea is to create a miniature replica of your original wedding bouquet. Share the pictures of your wedding day with your florist, and she will tell you if it is possible. Add a sentimental note to this accessory by adopting one of the following ideas:

  • Tie the lace from your original wedding dress or veil around the handle
  • Decorate it with a photo locket of your family
  • If there are friends or family members who have departed after your wedding, remember them by including their picture in the bouquet

You may even have saved and preserved your original wedding bouquet. If it is in good condition, you can use it as such or give it a small boost. Or you can add a few flowers from the original bouquet into this one. If you haven’t preserved your wedding bouquet, but like the idea, take a look at this article for all you need to know to do it for your vow renewal. 

6.Excellent food

You do not have to serve a feast as grand as your wedding meal. Nonetheless, ensure that you serve excellent food at the event. If it is a daytime affair, consider a brunch buffet. If you have an evening ceremony, have a buffet or plated meal based on the venue and event style. Considering that the number of people in your party will be far fewer than at a wedding, you can have a more intimate setting.

Don’t forget to consider the décor and table arrangement. Do it in style, so it adds to the grandeur and importance of the occasion. If there are family dishes that are a favorite, add them into the menu. Or give your guests a gourmet experience by choosing from international cuisines. Also, serve some signature drinks to add to the fun. There are some ideas for interesting drinks in this previous post. Make the menu just as special as the event, and it will be remembered fondly by all your guests.

7.A special cake

There is no rule that you should have cake at your vow renewal. However, the cake cutting is a wedding ritual that you can repeat with fanfare. For a small ceremony, the cake can double up as dessert. Choose a cake that reflects the theme and décor of the event. You can also pick a gourmet cake that is specially designed and decorated for the occasion.

If you had a big wedding cake, you can create a miniature version of it. Finally, if you aren’t fond of cake, have a unique dessert instead. Here are some ideas for attractive alternatives to cake. Plan the cake design according to the weather and the venue where the function will be held. If it is an outdoor event, keep the cake refrigerated till it is time to cut and serve.

8.A good photographer

Your vow renewal is all about celebrating memories and making new ones. In that way, it is a milestone celebration. Invest in a good photographer for covering the occasion. With friends and family involved, it is a good idea to book a professional who can capture the events of the day. However, if you have a friend or relative who is great at taking pictures of people, put him in charge of the photography.

Since the event will be more casual than a wedding, there will be ample opportunities for candid clicks. As long as your photographer is able to capture all these light moments as well as cover the event, it doesn’t matter who it is. Ultimately, your aim is to have a good collection of photos that you can browse through later and pass on to your family.

9.Photos that tell your story

You can add a personal and unique touch to your vow renewal by including photos of your time together. There are many ways in which you can bring this element into the function. It could be using photo posters or collages throughout the venue. Or you could do a digital version that displays a running sequence of pictures.

It could even be photos in your invitation. Another place where photos can be displayed is at the welcome area of the venue. Don’t forget to add your wedding photos into the décor. This will be a beautiful conversation piece. Also add photos of the best times you have had together. Include milestones like the birth of your children, your new home or pictures of family celebrations and your guests are sure to love it. You can also create a memory timeline of the different events in your milestone. This will be helpful especially for guests who you made friends with later in your marriage.

10.A plan for the ceremony

Weddings usually follow a set pattern. There is an officiant who tells you what to do and you simply follow his instructions. However, vow renewals needn’t be so formal. You can choose your sequence of events, add or remove steps from the wedding format or come up with your own ideas.

This flexibility gives you the freedom to plan the ceremony as you choose. Nonetheless, it is important that you have a definite plan in mind and not come up with one at the time. Consider whether you want to walk down the aisle yourself or have someone escort you. After you say your vows, will you be exchanging rings. Would you like to have someone do a reading for both of you? Plan what happens during the ceremony and it will be easier to organize.

Vow renewals are special occasions that give you the chance to reaffirm your lifetime commitment to each other. It is also a fun occasion for family and close friends to get together and celebrate you as a couple. Hence, it is a joyous event, and you should definitely do it at least once during your marriage.

Whether you choose to dress as a bride in white for the occasion or prefer something different, you can find your outfit at Best for Bride. For bridal gowns that are modern, classic, contemporary, unusual and trendy, visit this page for our bridal dress collections. If you prefer to pick your dress from our evening gowns and dresses for special occasions, this is the link to our collection. For any further assistance you may need regarding placing your order, you may get in touch with our Best for Bride team or visit any of our stores.

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10 smart ways to save on your reception cost

Your wedding reception will take over a big part of your wedding budget. With many things to rent for the occasion, from the décor to the tableware and seating, it will all quickly add up and cost a lot. While there is no way you can escape from setting aside money for your reception, there are some smart ways in which you can have a fantastic reception without breaking the bank. This is what we will look at today.

Read on for 10 tips on how to save as much as is possible on your reception cost.

1.Choose one venue for both the ceremony and reception

church wedding

One of the best ways to reduce your overall reception expense, is to choose a single venue for both the wedding ceremony and reception. There are many benefits of choosing this option and they include the following

  • You have more flexibility in timing, as you do not have to account for the transportation time between the two venues
  • There is no need for additional transport arrangements to help guests travel to the reception venue, from the wedding venue
  • Guests will be happier if everything is staged at a single venue, as the likelihood for delays and waiting time are less
  • This is obviously a cheaper option. Even when the ceremony venue is a church, you will have to spend more in terms of a donation or ceremony fees.

2.Choose items that do double-duty

By this, we mean you can make your money work more if your décor, seating or anything else can work in more than one way. For example, if your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same venue, consider having the flower arrangements done in such a way that it can be reused as reception centerpieces. That way, all it takes is a few extra minutes to move the arrangement to the reception venue and set it up. Although it may involve a certain labor cost, it will be much cheaper than having the entire reception venue decorated from scratch using fresh décor items. You can also choose wedding favors that act as place cards. Similarly, here is a suggestion we found on the Knot web page, that sounds sensible. Consider using simple glasses in a universal design to serve all your drinks, instead of having to rent various types of glasses for the different drinks that will be served at the reception. The same idea is useful for every wedding aspect you can consider, including your wedding dress. A two-in-one wedding dress that can give you two different looks, is a brilliant idea for a wedding. The Mori Lee 5316 with a detachable tulle skirt is one such dress.

3.Look for all-inclusive packages

all inclusive

Unless you have the talent, time and practice to handle most of the details by yourself, rather than depend on independent vendors for each of the décor essentials, DIY weddings can be very expensive. The cheaper alternative is to choose an all-inclusive package, and customize it to meet your specific needs without spending too much money. The other benefit of choosing an all-inclusive package is that you needn’t worry about arranging all the aspects and have them all come together at time. It is usually taken care of by the vendor-in-charge, and you only need to follow up. Without too many options at hand, it is also a relief for brides who are easily overwhelmed with too many choices. Check with your venue for whether they offer package deals, or ask your vendors for the additional tasks they can handle. This way you will not have to follow up or work with too many people, and this makes the process streamlined and easier.

4.DIY or outsource it to a known contact

Although we said that DIY may be expensive, it needn’t always be so. This may in fact, be the cheapest route available to you, if you are organized, have the time for it and are confident in your abilities. If you have done things previously on a scale similar to that of your wedding, or you have the time and resources to bring it all together perfectly, DIY can help you cut the costs to a great extent. You can try your hand at anything from creating the wedding centerpieces, to assembling the party favors and even baking the cake. Or if you have a trusted friend or relative who is a wedding vendor, this may be the route to consider. As an associate you personally know, you are more likely to get a considerable discount on their services, and this can ease the financial cost greatly.

5.Be on the lookout for discounts and offers

sale

If you have a long engagement before getting married, you have time to attend wedding fairs and shows. Here, you can find interesting deals and good discounts for your reception. You will easily find several vendors offering their services and also discounts to stay ahead of the competition. So, if you find one that you like, this is the time to snag it. Wedding exhibitions will also have stalls with wedding décor accessories and other items, and they may be cheaper and unique compared to what you find outside. Also, don’t overlook items that cost nothing, but are a valuable add to your wedding. Free wedding fonts, for example, can help you personalize everything at your wedding, from coasters and place cards, to menu and sign boards for little to no cost. Additionally, we suggest that you sign up for bridal magazines and join the mailing list for newsletters and updates at popular bridal shops and vendors. This way, you will immediately know of any discounts and offers that come up. When you go shopping for your wedding, also check out whether there are any benefits of booking or buying more from a single place. For example, your wedding baker may give you a discount if you ask them to do edible favors as well. It is likely that you will also be able to save more on service and delivery charges when you go with a single vendor for more than just one service. So, explore the options and ask around, you may just be lucky to find a deal that will work.

6.Stay on top of your expenses

Wedding finances can be tricky, unless you are in full control. Before you go shopping, it is best if you create a budget spreadsheet and divide it into the amounts you have put aside for each aspect. This way, you will know what amount you can afford to spend on a certain factor. One way you can stay in control, is to note it down and add it into your accounts as and when you incur an expense. Unless you consistently do this, you can easily lose track of all the small expenses you have already been involved in. This can all add up to a shocking extra in the end. If you however, keep your budget updated and have a clear idea of how much has been spent already and what is remaining, you can make sure you do not overstep your budget and spend beyond control. Also, if you get a good deal on certain items, you can adjust the profit into another aspect, and splurge on it instead.

7.Choose less risky wedding reception venues

garden venue

Planning an outdoor garden reception in the summer? Don’t ever rule out the likelihood of rain. In case Mother Nature decides to shower her blessings with a drizzle on the day, you will have to risk your guests getting wet. The sensible alternative in such a case, would be to have an alternative venue where you can move your reception to, in the likelihood of rain. But, this would mean paying money for all the extra arrangements and that would simply cost you more. If you want to avoid such risks, settle for a low-risk reception venue. An indoor venue that has no risks associated with it, would allow you to breathe easy and be done with the funds you have allocated for this. You can also think of getting yourself insured, so that you are covered if any unforeseen circumstances that cost money, arise out of the blue.

8.Find cheaper but working options for your décor essentials

There are many ways in which you can find cheaper options for your wedding decorations, if you keep your mind open. For outdoor weddings, barn weddings and rustic styles, bistro lights and twinkling fairy lights are beautiful but inexpensive décor items. The romantic effect they create is really worth the insignificant price you pay on them. Similarly, if you want a shabby chic wedding, consider switching out table cloths for newspapers under a glass table top. If you are unhappy with the chairs you have at your reception, but cannot afford hiring new ones, consider getting them covered with chair covers. This will not cost too much, but you can instantly add more life to your wedding venue with this single change. It is also sensible to consider a venue that comes with seating and interesting décor already. Restaurants are such examples. Since they are already set up for service, they will have all the necessary items for the food service and good décor too. So, you can save on planning and preparing the venue specially for your wedding, when you book such venues.

9.Keep the timing fixed and stay organized

Venues and service staff charge by the hour. So, it is necessary to stick to the timeline. You may get a better deal if you cut short your booking hours. Simple steps like cutting short your cocktail hour to 45 minutes, and similarly polishing off few minutes from various aspects can save you precious time. This will translate into a reduced bill. Also, your guests will be relieved that there is minimum waiting around, as long as everything progresses smoothly. However, make sure that you stick to the stipulated time and it is a reasonable time frame that you have set for each event. All in the wedding party should be aware of what time slot is allotted to which activity, and not overstep the time limit for each of them. Also discuss the working hours with your wedding vendors in advance. Ask for how much their overtime charges are, rather than run into a long bill after you simply employ them for much longer than initially agreed. Wind up early in the evening, and you can head home or off on your honeymoon much earlier.

10.Take the paper-free route and think outside the box for everything else

sheet cake

There are many things at a wedding that you can do without, and still have a great wedding. Wedding programs are one such item. You can choose to skip these, as they use up a lot of paper, and also cost for the printing. They aren’t really necessary, and are usually tossed at the end of the day. For your guest’s reference, you can use a single chalkboard or signboard display at the welcome, and this will do the job just as well. To really cut your budget, be open to options like using a sheet cake at your reception, and substituting the reception dinner with a tea-time affair or brunch. Although this may be one of the most economical options around, it may not be for everyone. But definitely do consider it.

Can you think of more ways to save money on the wedding reception? If so, do let us know in the comments below.

For more tips and wedding planning advice, visit us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination. Don’t forget to check out our online bridal store, where you can find everything from stylish wedding dresses to dresses for the entire wedding party, and also chic evening gowns and beautiful prom dresses. Apart from this, we also have a range of wedding-related services like wedding cakes, invitations, favors, photography, flower arrangements, décor and more. Check out our website here, to find out more about how we can complete your wedding perfectly.