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Budget Blooms: Real ways to stretch your floral budget to the most

Gorgeous flower arrangements are an inevitable part of a picture-perfect wedding. Flowers have the amazing ability to transform and uplift the entire wedding scene, making even a drab location picturesque. However, flowers are expensive and your floral budget can quickly get out-of-hand, unless you plan well.

Fortunately, it is possible to stay within budget and still have fabulous floral décor at your wedding. Here are our insider tips to help you stretch  your floral budget and get great value for the money you invest.

1.Highlight bigger blooms

Larger blooms are not only more dramatic, they cover more space. So, you will need fewer large blooms to complete  floral arrangements, and they will create a strong impact. Discuss with your florist to find out which blooms are in-season at the time of your wedding. Design your floral décor with the largest of these, and there should be significant cuts in overall cost. A larger flower like an orchid may be pricier than roses. However, with the larger size you will need fewer of them to complete the arrangement. Sunflowers, orchids and hydrangeas are other good choices for maximum impact and economical prices.

2.Keep your centerpieces simple

Although your centerpieces are important, it isn’t too difficult to find budget-friendly choices that pack a punch. Expensive exotic flower installations can eat into your budget. However, a similar impact can be achieved with cheaper choices. Focus on the colors in the design. Your florist can suggest economical choices that will tie with your theme. You can also use few exotic flowers and complete the rest of the arrangement with cheaper seasonal fare.

3.Budget-friendly choices work for designs that are seen from far

While your centerpieces will be viewed up-close, other parts of your floral décor won’t receive too much focus. For instance, the flowers on the altar or lining the edges of the aisle or hall will not be scrutinized from too close. Hence, use cheaper flowers in these arrangements to save money. Filler flowers like carnations are saturated with color and hence the best choice for pops of color. However, these are cheaper than roses. Seen from afar, your guests won’t be able to make out the difference. As long as the effect is similar, it won’t matter whether you used carnations or roses in the actual arrangement.

4.Opt for seasonal and local blooms

This is often the cheapest way to get fantastic blooms. Since local flowers are easily available, transportation costs are minimum. Also, since local produce is fresh, it will look amazing. Seasonal blooms are another good way to keep your costs down. If you must have off-season varieties in your floral décor, prepare to spend extra as they have to be shipped from elsewhere. Off-season flowers may not hold up well, in the weather conditions at the time of your wedding. So, avoid the risk and splurge on local and season flowers instead.

5.Don’t splurge on the bridesmaids bouquets

The more bridesmaids you have, the more money you will have to spend on their bouquets. The prices can quickly add up, and its value isn’t really justified. Instead, invest in a spectacular bridal bouquet. Then plan your bridesmaids bouquets as miniature versions that aren’t too costly. Your florist can whip up alternatives that match yours. Once again, focus on the colors and design instead of the actual flowers in the bouquet.

6.Find alternatives to corsages

Corsages are pretty pricey, since there is a lot of effort involved in creating them. Unless you are very particular about having them, find an alternative to serve the purpose. Use single flowers without fillers, and they will cost  less. Your Wedding blog suggests several alternative corsage options from feathers to starfish and even buttons. We think this is a great way to tie it to the theme of your wedding, while deviating from the traditional floral corsage idea with an unexpected twist. Isn’t it a great way to get noticed? Check it out and get inspired.

7.Add extra greenery

Have you ever realized that the greens in your bouquet are rather inexpensive when compared to the blooms? Make the most of this factor, by choosing more greens and adding flowers as accents in your bouquet. Ivory or ferns cost far less, but fill space. They also add beautiful texture to floral bouquets, enhancing its appeal. So, use lush greenery in your bouquet and centerpieces. You will need fewer blooms, but have floral arrangements of noticeable size and impact. So, choose from foliage , herbs and ferns to add a lush effect to your bouquets for much lesser.

8.Add details like ribbons or lace

Simple additions to your flower bouquet, like a ribbon or lace will help it appear larger. It is also a romantic addition that will enhance the appeal of your bouquets. The same applies to centerpieces as well. Satin ribbons add saturated pops of color that will enhance the beauty of your flower arrangements. Lace adds a romantic note. So, these are classy choices that will help you create a better looking flower arrangement sans the cost.

9.Add a unique touch to your décor with non-floral centerpieces

Expensive flower arrangements with exotic blooms are always impressive. Nevertheless, this isn’t the only way to create impact. You can achieve the same effect by adding few cheaper and unusual items. You can find elements that tie to your chosen theme. The best part is that such items can also be reused in your home décor later. Take a look at this article on the Bridal Guide for some interesting suggestions along these lines. From Bird cages for garden weddings and rustic themes to pin wheels for outdoor weddings, there are plenty of amusing ideas to borrow and use. 

10.Choose airy flowers that add bulk to arrangements

Similar to adding foliage to increase the bulk of your floral arrangement, add bunches of light and airy blooms to enhance the volume of the entire arrangement without costing much. Wispy strands of baby breath act as great fillers for bouquets and centerpieces. A single stem will occupy significantly more space than a single flower. Hence, this is one option to explore. Your florist can suggest more such options that are pretty and light and create the effect you desire.

11.Reuse and re-purpose to get the most out of your wedding flowers

In most cases, you will have your wedding ceremony at one location and the wedding reception in another location. Although it may be the same venue, it is likely that your reception hall is different from the one for the wedding ceremony. In such cases, the common practice is to set up separate floral arrangements at either spot. However, the smarter option is to reuse the same flowers at the second location. Arrange to transfer the flowers from the first location to the second, and you will only have to pay the transfer cost. You will have to employ help to do this quickly and discretely after the ceremony. Plan this movement carefully before the wedding day, so it progresses smoothly on the day.

12.Go for non-floral bouquet options

There are many substitutes for real flowers that look just as good, or perhaps even better. Spend less by replacing your bridal bouquet and that of your bridesmaids with non-floral options. From fabric flowers to paper flowers, brooches, lace and even feathers, explore the variety of options available. There are endless options as long as you are flexible. The best part is that you will also have an unforgettable accessory that your guests are bound to remember. So, let your creative juices flow and come up with a non-floral bouquet option that ties to your wedding theme and is unique in every way. For more inspiration and ideas, take a look at this fantastic post on the Martha Stewart website.

13.DIY your wedding bouquets by going for what is cheap and available on the day

If you have time and are crafty, this is the best way to stretch your wedding bouquet budget. Visit the local market the day before your wedding, and find cheap flowers that fit your color scheme. You could even enlist the help of your bridesmaids or friends who are particularly talented in this area. However, remember that this is not an option if you are rather particular about what you want. On the other hand, if you are flexible and ready to go with what is available, this could be the cheapest way to find flowers for your bridal and bridesmaids bouquet at a bargain price. With a little creativity, you can easily find ideas for unique and beautiful bouquets with what is readily available.

14.Add seasonal bounty to the mix

Another idea for a non-floral bouquet is to add seasonal bounty like fruits, foliage and natural décor elements to your centerpieces. When you pair colorful fruits like limes, berries, apples or peaches, you can easily obtain the pop of color you choose. These also add texture and unexpected beauty to an arrangement. The best part is that such seasonal produce is often inexpensive and will bring down your flower budget significantly. Take a look at this post on the Martha Stewart website for some stunning centerpiece arrangements bursting with fruits and even vegetables.

15.Start with the grocery store bouquet

If you must save on your flower budget, look no further than the regular flower bouquets available at grocery stores. These give you the right base to begin your arrangements and designs with. Simply rearrange the blooms, add a few extra embellishments like brooches, twine or lace for a touch of glamour and you are ready to go. Remember however, that this setup requires extra time. So, don’t embark on this route unless you have time and skills to get creative and DIY on the day before your wedding.

16.Mix and match by cost of flowers

Flexibility is key to achieving the desired impact while staying within budget. If you want your floral arrangements to look lush and expensive, mix and match expensive and inexpensive flowers in your arrangements. One way is to go with alternating arrangements of flowers that fit each category. The other option is to use few large blooms of the expensive flower of your choice, and alternate it with inexpensive flowers as the fillers. Flowers like baby’s breath and daisies are perfect for this option.

Weddings are very expensive, and every penny that you save goes towards your future. So, it is wise to consider your options and make budget cuts wherever possible. Even if flowers are a priority in your wedding plans, you can achieve startling results without breaking the bank. The above suggestions should help you with this. Have we missed anything? If you have any more ideas, don’t forget to share it with us in the comments section below. After all, it is all just a matter of thinking outside the box and finding choices that do not compromise on your main priorities.

For all your bridal needs and advice, our Best for Bride team of experts are here to help. Whether you want a stunning wedding dress, accessories, alterations or wedding day services, visit our website to find the best solutions to bring your wedding day ideas to life.

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15 ways to make your wedding guests LOVE your wedding!

We have all attended weddings that score average or perhaps slightly better than average? However, how many times have we been truly impressed by the way a wedding was planned and executed?

It isn’t too difficult to plan a wedding that scores an average or slightly-above-average rating. However, you can do much better. When you host a wedding, take care of the details and your wedding will be elevated to an outstanding level. And the best part is, not only will your guests “love” your wedding, they will never forget it. So, what are these factors to keep in mind? Let’s take a look, shall we?

Welcome bags for guests from out-of-town

There is no rule that this is a necessary part of your wedding. However it can be quite impressive when the couple thoughtfully gift welcome bags to their out-of-town guests. Have these placed in their rooms, and your guests will be impressed by your thoughtful gesture. Fill it with snacks for them to munch on. You can also add souvenirs like sunglasses or key chains, perhaps even a magazine or crossword puzzle. Finally, we think you should use this opportunity to also introduce the theme of your wedding to your guests in a subtle way. Use the theme colors or motifs to give them a sneak peek into what they can expect at your wedding. More ideas on creating perfect welcome bags here, on the Knot. 

An impressive entryway

First impressions last forever. Let your wedding occupy a permanent spot in your guests memories, through a stellar entryway that will not go unnoticed. Create statement style décor in your entryway, with theme pieces that are striking and majestic. Plan the design well, and keep it uncluttered so it is neat and noticeable. Meaningful additions like family or couple photos would also make it more impressive. Similarly, make sure your reception hall is well decked and picture-perfect long before the guests arrive. This sets the ambiance for the event. Choosing the right lighting, décor elements and seating arrangements will make or break your wedding scene.

Create wedding programs that multitask

The wedding program is stationery that is rarely put to much use. Make yours different with some creativity. Let your wedding program be suitable for something else as well. If your wedding is outdoors in summer, print the program on a fan that your guests can use during the day. Or, print it on a bag that doubles up as confetti holder. Small, but unusual details like these go a long way in making a wedding rather memorable.

Have a short and sweet ceremony

Long ceremonies can really bore and tire out your guests. With nothing to do or contribute, it can get rather dreadful when the ceremony drags on and on. So, skip all that is unnecessary. Keep your ceremony short and crisp. Discuss this factor with your wedding officiant, so it is handled efficiently. Take your time for the vows and walk down the aisle in full style. Your guests want to see you get married and capture that memory perfectly. But try to keep the rest of the ceremony to the point, and nobody will complain. Guests will appreciate it when they have some free time to walk around and mingle, rather than staying put in one place for a function that drags on.

Well-organized transportation plans

Guests will appreciate it a lot when you arrange transportation for them. This is even more important if your wedding venue is remote. Arrange a shuttle service, and your guests will be relieved that they needn’t hire cabs for their onward and return journey. If your ceremony and reception are held at different venues, arrange transportation between these two points. This will allow your guests to relax and ride in comfort, while they park at the first location. However, ensure that the arrangement is well-organized. Clearly communicate the plans to your guests. Have it on your invitation and wedding website. Provide proper directions and timelines, so there is no confusion. Also try to make the ride enjoyable by booking comfortable vehicles and include soothing music for the ride.

Plan interesting pre-wedding activities

There will always be few wedding guests who aren’t familiar with most of the people at your wedding. They may feel rather bored with nobody to mingle with. Make sure these people do not feel left out or lonely, by planning a pre-wedding activity where they can meet and mingle with others. This could be a cocktail hour before the main event, when they get to hang out with the others in a casual environment. People tend to naturally get talking at such events and this will help them get to know the others. You can also host simple games, through which the guests introduce themselves to the others. For more ideas on how to get your guests to mingle and mix, visit this post on the Wedding Wire website. 

Don’t leave them hungry

Guests just hate it when they are famished by the time food arrives. Neither is it fun when there are few items on the menu that suit certain guests, due to dietary or other restrictions. Make sure your caterers deliver on time, and the food service is efficient. Also include a wide range of items on your menu so there is something to please every taste. While planning your menu, think of diverse options that suit vegetarians, vegans, people with allergies and food restrictions due to health conditions. When there is a variety of food to choose from, your guests will be excited to enjoy it and look forward to the entire experience.

Indulge them in an open bar

There is no denying that an open bar is rather expensive. Nonetheless, it is one of the things guests look forward to most eagerly. So, don’t disappoint in this area, if you want your wedding to be remembered fondly. If the cost bothers you, keep the selection limited to just beer, few signature cocktail drinks and local wines. Just remember that this is definitely better than the guests having to pay for their drink or there being no alcohol at all. For budget-friendly bar options, visit this post on the Brides website. 

Gift them favors that they will actually use

Most wedding favors are simply tossed or stashed away in a corner of their cupboards and forgotten forever. Don’t let your money go to waste. Pick favors that your guests will actually appreciate and use. The more unique they are, the better you can guarantee this factor. You will want to customize your wedding favors. Nonetheless, try to have the customization done is such a way that your guests won’t mind using it despite the printed impression on it. Edible favors are always a good idea. However, if you want to gift something that lasts longer, consider items like key chains, sun glasses, beer mugs, shot glasses, candle stands or décor items.

Don’t have the speakers blasting at full volume

There will be elderly guests at your wedding, and they won’t be keen on loud music at your wedding. So, be considerate and set your speakers to a moderate volume. Also, plan your seating arrangement in such a way that your older guests are away from the speakers and sources of music. It would also be a good idea to have an alternate lounging area, where they can sit and relax while the youngsters dance to the beat. This will give them the opportunity to mingle with others their age and have a good time of their own.

Invite them to participate

Rather than sit as mute spectators throughout the event, guests just love it when they get to participate in the wedding. Invite your guests to request songs, and have your DJ play some of them. We are sure your guests will appreciate the opportunity to dance to tunes they love, than just to those you love. You can even involve them in the wedding ceremony. This post on the Intimate Weddings blog suggests a variety of interesting ideas like a musical procession, a prayer circle or including them in the unity candle ceremony. Find something interesting like this, and you will easily create fond memories for your guests. 

Add an unexpected twist

Just imagine how impressed your guests would be if a group of onlookers would out-of-the-blue break into dance for a certain song. You could even impress them by taking dancing lessons and owning the dance floor with a spectacular number for your first dance. Or your bridal party can perform a choreographed dance when it is least expected! These items are never forgotten. So, add it to your wedding celebration. This will wow your guests and will be the talk of town. I wouldn’t be surprised if your guests think this is the most unforgettable event from your wedding, in the years to come.

Serve some nibbles after the party

Dancing to the beat for a long time can make your guests hungry. Serve your guests tiny snacks and watch their moods be uplifted in no time. Have these snacks served late at the reception, and it will instantly energize everyone. Midnight snacks like cookies, milk shooters, pop corn and even tacos will be appreciated by your guests. Distribute it around and your guests will be re-energized to continue on the dance floor again.

Appreciate your guests presence

You are truly blessed when most of who you invite attend your wedding. Some of them may have traveled from afar to witness your wedlock. Others may have put aside several plans to make it to your special day. Openly express your gratitude for their presence at your wedding. They will definitely appreciate the gesture. Make it a point to at least greet and spend few minutes with each of your wedding guests. This will make them feel that their efforts were worthwhile. Also remember that nobody likes a couple that’s too engrossed in themselves. Your wedding day is special, however it is also about those who take the pains to be a part of it.

Make an exciting exit

Memorable exits add the perfect finishing touch to a well-planned wedding day. So, plan yours well. Use showstopper elements like balloons, candles or even bursting sparklers to mark your exit from the wedding venue. For non-messy and sustainable options, consider bubbles or even flower petals instead of the traditional confetti. Make it matter by also choosing a vehicle that makes a statement. Ride off into the night on a bicycle, hire a horse and carriage or even go for a fully decorated vintage car to complete the day in full style.

Don’t be one of those couples who are so busy that you forget about the other people who are in your wedding. Focus on the guest experience, and we are sure your guests will also love your wedding. After all, all your efforts pay off when your guests openly commend you on the preparations you did and how impressive your wedding was. So, think from their perspective when planning your wedding. Keep it personal and you can immortalize your wedding in the memories of those who attend it.

At Best for Bride, we understand the challenges of planning and organizing a wedding. Although it is difficult, we have the right solutions for your most challenging tasks. Whether you are on the search of the perfect bridal gown, need dresses for your bridesmaids or have to pick out the perfect wedding cake and favors, we have the solutions for all your needs. Visit our website on this link to bring your wedding vision to life.

We help modern brides find the perfect wedding dress and everything else they need to bring their wedding ideas alive, as the one-stop, hot and happening bridal destination. Visit Best for Bride today to make your wedding day dreams come true!

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Colorful Ideas to make your wedding really pop

Few couples are bold enough to experiment with bright and big splashes of color, when planning their wedding day. We, however, believe that weddings deserve to be celebrated with great pomp and show. After all, they are a once-in-a-lifetime affair.

Bright colors add a festive note to any regular event. Colorful wedding themes have a distinct personality that make them memorable. So, we think bright pops of colors are exuberant and cheerful, and are perfect to create a joyous vibe for the new chapter of your life.

So, here are some ideas to add a stunning dash of color to your wedding day. Even if you choose a sophisticated wedding color theme, borrow some of these ideas to add a refreshing pop or color to the scheme.

Happy colorful Streamers and Buntings for your reception hall

Anything suspended above eye level is instantly interesting. So, use streamers and buntings to add a cheerful note of color to your wedding hall. Mix up colors of the rainbow to create pretty motifs for your streamers or buntings. Then suspend them from hooks on the walls or stretch them across the entire length of the ceiling. Any dreary colorless ceiling will instantly pop with this idea. Not only will it be visually appealing, it will also stay out-of-the way and still look fantastic.

Brightly colored invitations to get the party going

Impress your guests right from the beginning with a brightly colored invitation to get the party started. Vivid floral details, bright geometric prints and refreshing colors look fascinating on invitations. You can also explore funky prints and polka dot patterns for a buoyant effect. Customize your invitation card with colored ink and pretty calligraphy to nail the details. Featured here is a stunning sample from our invitation suite at Best for Bride from Carlson Crafts. Visit this link to find out more details about this invitation. 

Bold colors on light table linen

White forms the ideal background against which bright colors really pop. To make your tablescapes stand out, choose saturated colors in lavish doses. Meanwhile keep the table covers white or light. This will enhance the colors and make them appear brighter than they actually are. Take a look at this image, for instance. The intensity of the pink and yellow flowers is enhanced because they are set against a white background. With the bright blue waters of the ocean in the background, this setting is simply heavenly! Don’t you agree?

Pretty cocktails and beverage bars for splashes of color

Drinks and beverages are an easy way to add a delectable pop of color to any setting. Not only do colorful drinks look tantalizing, they also contribute to the visual scenery in terms of color. Place the drinks on tables or distribute color throughout the setting in several beverage stations. Either way, this is a good idea to add small but vivid doses of color to your décor. Complete the effect by adding flowers or décor elements in similar or complementing colors. This will also look very pretty in your photos. Take a look at the image here, and you will get the idea!

Having trouble finding the right cocktail for your preferred color scheme? Head over to the Elledecor website by clicking this link, for drinks as pretty as your party décor. 

Lush tropical flower arrangements

Summery hues like yellow, orange, red and blue are best brought out by floral arrangements. Whether you limit it to just a few scattered pieces or fill the entire space with lush and colorful flower arrangements, this will add a welcoming note to your tables. Enhance the brightness of these flowers by setting them up in copper-colored or monochromatic colored vases that match the color of the flowers. The contrast will increase the intensity of the colors in the floral décor. It is also a good idea to plan the flower arrangement with colors that are close to each other or on opposite sides of the color wheel. Visit this article on the Better Homes and Gardens website for an array of impressive bouquet combinations that instantly impress. 

Paper lanterns for floating bliss

Paper lanterns are a lovely décor element that can add a romantic and fun vibe to any setting. Suspended from the ceiling, they create a whimsical feel. Use them with the streamers we spoke about earlier, or on their own. If you want to go all out, scatter them around your party venue and they will resemble little bobs hanging from the sky. Or create collections of these lanterns at selected locations throughout your party hall for sudden bursts of color and texture. Mix and match lanterns of various sizes, shapes and prints to make them more interesting.

Brightly colored cake

If you wish to have just one statement piece of stunning color at your wedding, let it be your wedding cake! A tiered cake drenched in color is a magnificent sight; one that is impressive and memorable! Choose bright, bold colors for the base and accents and play with a range of textures at each level. This will enhance the splendor of the cake.

Also choose a befitting cake topper that will complement the colors and details on your cake. Choose details that stand out, and your guests will not be able to resist taking pictures of it. For an overdose of color, you can also have the inside of the cake colored. Choose rainbow, red velvet or ombre details for the inside to complete the overall effect. For inspiration on designing your cake, we suggest that you take a look at the colorful collection of cakes at the Martha Stewart website. 

Bright bridesmaid bouquets

via Wikimedia commons 

Here is an easy way to make your bridesmaids look unique, while keeping their dressing style the same. Use different bright colors in their bouquets. This is most effective when the colors of their dresses are the same and the design details are similar. So, the bouquets will pop against the identical background and be a statement in itself. This idea best works against neutral colors like black, white, navy or brown. The alternative is to use a variety of colors in another accessory, like shoes or belts.

Printed bridesmaid dresses

Dress your bridesmaids in printed dresses in tropical colors and make your wedding scenery colorful and attractive. This is also an option to choose dresses that suit the individuality of each of your bridesmaids. They will appreciate the choice. But more importantly, they will also use the dresses more than just on this occasion.

Summery prints on frocks look amazing at garden weddings and weddings on the beach. Check out our bridesmaids summer dress collections and you will find a variety of prints to choose from, for your special girls. The dress featured here is from the Alfred Sung Bridesmaid dress collection at Best for Bride. There are more designs in a variety of colors and various dress styles available in the various other collections at Best for Bride.

Bright lip color

Add a dash of color to your bridal look with a bright lip color. Keep the rest of the bridal makeup in natural tones and simple colors, while you pick a vivid shade just for your lips. Depending on your complexion, choose from pink, red or brown so it flatters your skin tone. Then flash your dazzling smile, and enjoy the attention that your wedding guests lavish on you.

Colored wedding dress

Show off your penchant for color by picking a non-conventional, colored wedding dress for your wedding. Or, if you want to play it safe, pair your dress with a colorful accessory or choose a dress with a colorful accent that doesn’t go unnoticed.

Take a look at this dress from the Alfred Angelo wedding dress collection.

 

The pleated organza skirt of this beautiful summery wedding dress is adorned with a scattering of bright pink roses. Additionally the pink waistband and bow make it really fun and romantic. Although unconventional, this dress is a delightful choice and is bound to be remembered by your guests in the years to come.

Here is another dress from the Sans Pareil bridal collection with a colorful bodice.

The contrast of the yoke with the white skirt is vivid, which makes it a wonderful choice for a pop of color in your bridal attire. Other options to add color to your bridal dress include wearing a colorful sash or waistband. You can also choose colored gemstone jewelry, if you prefer the age-old tradition of wearing all-white on your wedding day.

Wear a bright floral crown

An accessory that works like a dream and brings a colorful punch to your wedding outfit, a flower crown is a perfect addition to your wedding ensemble. Pick blooms that will not wilt easily so you  look fresh throughout the day. Your florist should be able to make a flower crown that matches the details in your bouquet. Then, the two will come together beautifully. Or go with artificial flowers in your flower crown to stay safe if your wedding is outdoors.

Colorful backdrop or décor accessories

Choose a colorful backdrop for your wedding ceremony and it will be a signature element. You can achieve the intended effect using suitable fabric, lighting or other décor elements. If you do not want to have too much color, you can also consider adding an arch with brightly colored décor elements. This could be balloons, flowers, paper décor or foliage. Or decorate the chairs with bright ribbons or chair backs for a pop of color.

In this setting, notice how the pink and blue ribbons on the white chairs add a festive note to the overall arrangement. Despite the limited use of color, the image is distinctly colorful and vibrant from the use of this simple décor accessory. We also think this idea on the Huff Post of adding a framed piece of art at the altar is brilliant. 

Brightly colored party favors

Line up your wedding favors on a table and make it a powerful display by choosing the brightest colors possible. For edible favors, choose items with colorful frosting or pack them into colorful containers or packaging. For non-edible favors, pick items that make a pretty display. Then stack them together to emphasize the color component of the display. Or choose vibrant colored packaging that will impress and be noticed easily for the bright hues in them.

Have a candy buffet

A candy buffet, as a stand-alone element, can add plenty of color to your party. Design it with delicious treats and choose them in colors you love. With options to customize wrappers with colors and prints of your liking, it is easy to custom create a candy buffet that is both colorful and inviting. Add this to your reception décor or set it up at the entrance to the venue. It will make a remarkable display and looks beautiful in photographs.

From adding splashes of color to your bridal look, to coloring your venue with décor and accessories, we have covered a number of ways in which you can dress up your wedding with color. So, now tell us which of these ideas do you like and intend to embrace for your wedding day?

For more wedding planning tips, advice and ideas, keep visiting us here at the Best for Bride blog page. And for more information on our vast inventory of wedding dresses, bridesmaids outfits, dresses for the wedding party and our range of wedding day services, visit the Best for Bride website today.

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Top tips for styling your wedding

Your wedding is a reflection of your personality and style. When the various elements at your wedding come together, it will showcase who you are as a couple. So, it is not just about the details, it is also how these details work together.

Most brides base their wedding on a theme. Although the same theme may have been done a thousand times before, it can be executed completely differently at yours. Nonetheless, making it unique depends on how you plan your details. This is where our tips for styling your wedding will help you.

Here are some of our insider tips to help you style your wedding, to make it uniquely yours!

1.Discuss and note down what you want

Before you begin collecting pretty pictures on Pinterest or browsing the internet for trending themes, take a minute. It is easy to be swayed by what looks good and interesting. However, it may not be the right one for you. Instead, identify what you want first and proceed from there. Sit down with your fiance and discuss what you want your wedding to look and feel like.

It is helpful to jot down not just elements and factors that should be at your wedding, but also words that describe the effect your wedding should create. This will help you when you have to shortlist or choose between ideas that are right for your wedding plans.

2.Collect ideas for all the different elements of your day

Once you know what you want, it is easier to collect ideas that work. This is a good time to start looking at Pinterest and all those pretty details in the various websites you come across. Cover all the different elements from wedding dresses, accessories and food to transportation, décor and stationery. It is a good idea to create different boards on sites like Pinterest and Loverly to segregate your collections into relevant groups.

You may come across new and more interesting ideas every single day. So, this will be an ongoing process. Nonetheless, don’t forget to revisit the data you collect, and subject them to closer scrutiny. Then eliminate those that do not hold your attention, as they did originally. This will help you narrow down your preferences and you will soon identify a pattern emerging.

3.Be open to options

Not all things that match your vision will be available easily. Don’t be disappointed if you find that the items in your mind aren’t all available. To avoid this situation, always make a Plan B. When you plan your wedding imagery, do it with plenty of alternative options. This will improve your chances of finding things you need to complete the effect. At times, it may also be helpful for you to reconsider your options and choose items that are easier on the pocket.

4.Don’t hesitate to get creative

There are no specific rules that govern your choices. You are in charge and have absolute freedom to mix and match, eliminate or combine ideas till you find what you love. Look at the various images and ideas you have and find out what it is that you like most about each of them. If you always thought you wanted pastels at your wedding, but find your collected images to have jewel tones, use this as a cue.

Images will help you recognize what actually appeals to your taste. Use the information you collect to identify patterns, prints, colors and style elements to dictate your wedding style. It is also possible that you will find more than one emerging trend. What do you do in this case? Simply mix and match to create your unique style statement. So, if it is boho and chic, use elements of both types to style your wedding.

5.Get help from the pros

Pulling off the numerous details of a wedding is no easy feat. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself overwhelmed and reeling under pressure. Hire professional help if you find yourself reaching nowhere with your ideas. If not for the entire scene, you can still spend money on just the details that are important.

Wedding planners usually have the talent to find vendors who will gel with you and bring your vision to life. However you can also ask the vendors you’ve already booked to suggest others who they have worked with and are capable of getting the overall picture right. When you discuss your ideas with a potential vendor, see if they accept your vision. Work only with those who believe your idea is feasible, don’t dismiss your ideas or suggest too many changes to plan.

6.Think out of the box

One of the biggest problems with wedding planning these days, is that couples stick to the trends entirely. When they borrow and execute ideas as such, the novelty is lost. Avoid this mistake. While you should be inspired by ideas you find, try to add to it with your own inputs. Get creative and break the mold.

If an idea captures your interest, think of how you can further enhance it. Whether it is adding an unusual accessory to your wedding dress or giving an unexpected twist to the menu, exercise your creative juices. Small but quirky ideas can be remarkably memorable, and all that it takes to shift your wedding experience to a whole other level. Keep it personal, and the custom changes you make will have stronger impact.

7.Sometimes less is more

Whether it is color, texture, prints or patterns, use liberal doses at your wedding. However, make sure it doesn’t overwhelm. When there are too many details, it is likely that the important ones will simply drown in the chaos. So, aim to create just one or two focal points, and let the rest of your wedding arrangements draw on this as inspiration. When working with bright colors, keep the effects contained and use no more than four colors in your wedding to avoid a cluttered look. Remember that it is important to prioritize the factors that mean most to you, and focus on these in your wedding arrangements. The rest should simply be to complement the main things and not compete with it.

8.Remember ideas aren’t always expensive

Executing an unusual or interesting idea at your wedding doesn’t mean it should eat into your budget. With the right approach and planning, you can snag the deal for a good bargain. Handmade details or DIY ideas can be inexpensive when done right.

Set aside time to visit thrift stores, search online and in likely places to find items for less. If you are crafty, use your skills to personalize your décor, wedding favors or add custom touches to your outfit. Shop and think with an open mind. If you are flexible with your choices, it will be easy to find alternative and unusual options for your settings. Not only will these pack a punch, you can also impress your guests with your eye for detail and resourcefulness.

9.Score extra points with unusual items in your décor

 

Every time we come across an unexpected element in the wedding décor, it stays in our memories. These small items usually end up being the signature of your wedding day scenery. Your guests identify them with the occasion, and they become a strong part of their memories. So, do some brainstorming to identify unusual items that will enhance the décor at your wedding. Take a look at this article on the Woman getting married site for some unique wedding centerpiece ideas. The best part is that most of them are easy to DIY, and give your creativity a big boost.

10.Don’t get caught up in other people’s expectations

Whether it is your mother, your wedding planner or maid of honor, their role is to help you realize your wedding vision. For the full-list of who these likely wedding hijackers are, take a look at this article on the Knot. Don’t succumb to pressure and give-in to what they say, unless you absolutely agree.

Some brides are too timid to step up and say something when others try to take over their wedding. Don’t do this or you will see your ideas going out of the window. Remember that it is your wedding, and the day should reflect your likes and preferences. Keep it that way. The easiest option for you to make this happen is to identify your must-haves earlier on. Welcome opinions that contribute to your vision, but don’t commit to anything that you aren’t sure of. You can always say, “I’ll think of it, thanks,” and get off without committing to the suggestion till you think it through.

11.Prepare well and prepare right

Although you may have a zillion brilliant ideas, it is useless unless you execute them with perfection. Preparation is key to nail perfect results. Use visual cues to recognize whether your ideas will translate well in person. Set up a journal or diary to record these details. If you are good at sketching, try to recreate the picture in your mind through sketches. Or if you prefer to work with existing pictures, spend time comparing the colors and effects. This will help you set it all up easier, when the time is right.

For decorations, make note of the general rules to obey to create a visual setting that will impress. Gather all your props, raw materials and décor essentials to set up samples and ensure they look as good as you expect them to. Take pictures of the arrangements you make and click pictures. They will serve as reference points for when you have to do the real thing and are pressed for time.

12.Think of how it will photograph

After the day, all the details you painstakingly create will live through your photographs. So, it is essential that you plan a photogenic wedding, so the memories are sharp and impressive. When you think of your wedding style and especially the colors, consider this aspect. Think of how certain color combinations will translate in photos. Unless it can be captured as beautifully as it is in person, your theme may not look great in pictures.

Even the food you serve at the wedding, your bouquet and jewelry should look beautiful when displayed. Play with contrasts and textures wisely to create an attractive setting to increase the visual appeal of your wedding scene. Discuss these factors with your photographer prior to the wedding. He can guide you on changes that will improve the overall look of your pictures.

13.Create your own style

We always advise brides to have an inspiration board when planning their wedding. However, like I mentioned earlier, this shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of your wedding. This is only to motivate you to come up with your unique ideas. Pictures that appeal to your taste will definitely give you a good idea of what you would like to have at your wedding. Once you recognize a pattern and shortlist elements that will be in your wedding, you should go about creating and settling into your own style.

Try to create a cohesive look and feel, and fashion your unique wedding statement. Whether you DIY or hire professionals to do the various details, make sure that it finally reflects who you are as a couple and your personal choices. This will help you avoid a cookie-cutter wedding.

Best for Bride has been helping brides realize their wedding dreams for over a decade now. From bridal dresses to dresses for the bridal party, accessories, wedding favors and even cakes, we have everything you need to plan the perfect wedding day. Visit our website by clicking this link and discover how we can help you have the perfect wedding day.

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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.

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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Your guide to planning a restaurant wedding

Restaurant weddings are smart and sensible! It is no wonder that more and more couples choose their favorite restaurants as their wedding reception venue. The interesting thing is that it is not only food-lovers who make this choice. Many couples nowadays prefer a small, intimate and meaningful wedding ceremony and reception instead of a big bash where they hardly know all the guests. Restaurants are a likely choice for such couples as well.

Here are some of the other reasons why restaurant weddings are so attractive.

It is the best option for those who are short on time: It is an easy go-to solution for a couple who are short on time, or aren’t too keen on planning every small detail of their wedding day. So, if you are a bride or groom who has many pressing needs at work or otherwise, and fitting in wedding plans is nearly impossible, a restaurant wedding may be the easiest option available.

Budget-friendly options: Restaurant weddings cost a lot lesser than weddings at other venues, when you want good quality service and food for a smaller number of guests. Hiring a wedding venue, renting or buying all the things for the reception, hiring catering and serving staff, and planning all the décor can be very expensive and take over most of your budget. When you choose a restaurant, the décor is done and there is no need to rent furniture, linens or tableware. All that’s needed for the service is available and you do not have to hire extra staff.

Food quality is guaranteed: Restaurants specifically thrive on good ratings, and their ratings are directly linked to the quality of food they serve. If you love a restaurant for their signature food, you know your guests can enjoy the same on your wedding day. So, you needn’t worry too much about the food, or even attend numerous tasting sessions to zero-in on a good caterer. Even when you do, you do not have the same assurance that the food on the wedding day will be the same as what you had at the tasting session. On the other hand, with a restaurant, you have a minimum guarantee on what you can expect.

The setting is cozy and intimate: All are naturally comfortable and settle in quickly, when it is a cozy restaurant setting. These venues are used to accommodating guests on a daily basis, and assure you of comfortable seating, right amount of cooling or heating for the weather and experienced staff who can make your guests feel at home in an instant.

You get classy décor for little to no cost: Unlike decorating your wedding venue from scratch and spending thousands on each feature, a restaurant comes with furniture and tastefully done décor that you don’t have to spend anything on. Instead, you can divert those funds into another wedding detail. Everything is in place, even without your supervision.

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So, what do you think? Isn’t a restaurant wedding a great idea, given all these advantages? If you agree, here are the things to remember and do, when you plan your lifetime celebration at this venue.

Know your head count

Before you finalize a restaurant, you should have a clear idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding. Restaurants are small spaces, and cannot accommodate more than a certain number of people comfortably. So, make sure that the place you choose will have enough space to seat all your guests. Check it out in person, to make sure there will be no problems. Your guests will not appreciate any make-shift adjustments if they aren’t given due importance. Don’t settle for a place unless it can cater to the head count you suggest.

Be picky about the food quality

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The main attraction of a restaurant wedding is the food that will be served, and your guests will expect a great dining experience. So, don’t skimp on that factor. Make sure that you choose a restaurant that has great food. If it is a restaurant with dishes that are popular with most of your guests, you do not have much work to do. However, if you decide to go with a unique or distinct restaurant menu, you may like to collect a few opinions first. For example, if you choose a cuisine that most of your guests are not accustomed to, think of how you can adjust the menu so that there will be something for everyone.

Find out whether the event menus different from the regular menu

One of the first things to discuss with the restaurant manager is whether their event menu is different from what they regularly serve customers. This is a factor to consider, since you will be choosing a similar menu for a larger head count, and the restaurant may have limitations in preparing certain dishes at once for the entire number. Restaurant service is very different from the service that is usually provided in other venues. So, discuss this with the chef, especially if there are certain choices that you must have and want to impress your party with.

Discuss your options to bring food from outside

drinks

Most restaurants do not encourage customers to bring food from outside. So, you may like to discuss this option if the restaurant doesn’t serve drinks or doesn’t have a custom cake service. Discuss with the manager before you sign the deal, so you are not disappointed later. Many brides prefer to have a custom gourmet cake, specially designed by a cake designer for their reception. However, your restaurant may not agree to it, if they have their own pastry chef or bakery section. Similarly, if the restaurant will not serve the signature drinks that you want, you may like to discuss this if it is important to you.

Make an early booking

Although it may be easier to book a restaurant when compared to other wedding venues, there are certain seasons when the rush is high For example, restaurants tend to be busier during the holidays. So, you will have to compensate them for the business they may have at the time, when you book the entire facility. When you book at least six months ahead of the date, this should not pose a problem.

Ask about décor options

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Most restaurants are beautifully decorated, and the ambiance is usually a factor that attracts a couple to such places. So, it is a bonus when you think of how you can have a fantastic party without splurging on the décor. However, you may like to add a few special touches to make it more festive. A special centerpiece, or some more floral décor may be a good idea. Ask about the extent to which you can add your own personal touches to the décor on the day. What are you allowed to bring in, and what do they restrict?

Talk about the privacy you will have

It wouldn’t be the same if there were other people at the restaurant, while you celebrate your wedding. However, it is a possibility that you have to consider. Unless the restaurant hosts your party in a segregated hall where nobody from outside has access to, it is a good idea to consider hiring the whole place for the day. Most restaurants have small halls that you can fully book. So, you may be able to do this, if your guest list matches the number that can be hosted in such spaces. Of course, it will end up being more costly than when you just have to pay for the place you will occupy. Nevertheless, it will be worth it, as you will get the privacy you deserve, without any prying eyes. Even if you have to pay more for buying out the entire place for the time you are there, it will not be too much in comparison to hiring a whole other venue and decorating it from scratch.

Discuss the layout and seating arrangements

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Some restaurants are flexible in allowing you to change the seating arrangements, while others do not encourage it. Talk to the manager, and find out what your options are. Your layout should be comfortable for the guests who will be attending. Knowing what your seating options are, will allow you to decide on an arrangement that will work best. If the restaurant has hosted many parties before, you may like to take a look at some of those photos to figure out the different seating options and choose the best one for your function. It will also give you an idea of how the space looks when transformed, rather than just going with an abstract idea.

Discuss the extra costs upfront

The overall cost will depend on the number of guests, the food served and the day on which your wedding is held. You may be able to get a better deal if your wedding is on a weekday, or if you plan a brunch or lunch at a restaurant that normally doesn’t operate during the day. However, you will have to consider the extra cost if your party extends for longer than you anticipate. Apart from the listed cost, also find out about service charges and additional fees. You may also like to add tips and gratuity into the total cost, so you know what you have to budget overall.

Check how kid-friendly it is, if your guest list includes kids

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Most family-style restaurants will be equipped to handle little children. However, make sure you confirm this beforehand, if there are children in your guest list. Do they serve special meals that may be a better option for children? Also, do they have seating arrangements that will be convenient for them? Knowing this in advance will allow you to plan any alternate arrangements you may have to make for the youngest members of your wedding party.

Check out previous weddings held there

A restaurant that has hosted many weddings in the past will always be a better bet than one that without much experience. This is because weddings are quite different from regular services, for the head count and style of service expected on the day. An experienced restaurant will be better equipped to accommodate last-minute changes in the head count, and to arrange the service in a seamless manner with minimum supervision. This article on Apartment therapy tells us that a Google search with the name of the restaurant and the words “wedding blog” will most likely turn up photos of weddings that were previously held in the space. If you decide to go with a place that is relatively new, it is a good idea to communicate more and be very specific about your expectations, so they get a clear picture of what you expect.

It isn’t unusual for couples, and especially brides, to feel worried and anxious as their wedding day draws near. With hundreds of details to plan and things to sort out, this is a normal and expected part of wedding planning. Having a restaurant wedding will help you overcome a great deal of stress, as much of it is already sorted out without any additional help. In fact, if you don’t have a wedding planner to oversee your wedding plans or guide you, a restaurant wedding may be one of the best options to minimize stress. With all these details taken care of, all you need now is a fantastic wedding dress to transform you into the beautiful bride you always wanted to be. And, we are here to help you find it.

Best for Bride features a vast inventory of top-class designer wedding dresses, in all price ranges and every type imaginable. Whether you are a modern bride, or prefer a traditional wedding dress, we are sure you can find it in our stores. Check out the listings of all the dresses we carry, at our website link here, to see the dresses in our collections. Book your appointment with us today, and come one step closer to nailing your wedding day look.

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The truth behind 10 winter wedding myths

Winter weddings are growing in popularity, with more and more brides opting for this romantic wedding season. I think these women are really clever, to make the most of this unusual choice to create fond memories.

Planning a wedding in winter shouldn’t be too difficult, if you actually consider it. There are several misconceptions associated with a winter wedding, and this is why many brides don’t even think of the idea.

Let us take a look at some of the most common winter wedding myths that you will most likely hear, if you announce you will be getting married during the coldest time of year. Don’t worry, for we are here to give you the actual facts and tell you if it is indeed something you need to worry about, or just another thing that you let it in one ear and out the other!

1.You cannot choose any wedding dress you want

If you think you should cover yourself up in a full-length, full-sleeve, turtle-neck wedding dress, to keep the cold at bay, you are mistaken. Don’t think too much about the strapless or backless gown that you simply love, just go for it!

The cold is a given factor whether you wear a full-sleeve gown or a sleeveless one. Take a cue from our designer collections for winter and fall. I’m sure you won’t find more than a handful of full-sleeve dresses there. This is because brides love and do wear dresses that expose the neck, shoulders, back and arm. Since you will most likely be having an indoor ceremony in a heated area, you won’t feel cold. And for those valuable outdoor photo moments that you cannot miss, this is the time to add style to your ensemble with a luxurious wrap, stole or jacket. You can view our fantastic collection here.

Shine brighter than any snowflake at your snow-kissed winter wedding with this beautiful Sophia Tolli Mon Cheri wedding gown. The sweetheart neckline adds a touch of romantic to an already ravishing wedding dress design. Check more details about this dress by visiting this link here.

2.Winter weddings are cheaper

Your wedding expenses depend entirely on the type of wedding you have, the number of guests attending and what you choose to have at your wedding. Winter is the off-peak season where weddings are concerned. So, you may be able to get a better rate if you negotiate, or snag a discount that a vendor advertise. You also have a better chance of finding such discounts this time of year, as vendors are more likely to search for clients, and not the reverse. Nevertheless, your wedding expenses will depend on how you plan your wedding. If you go with seasonal fare, choose flowers that are available, and search for the best discounts and deals, you will be able to pull off your wedding on a smaller budget. However, if your wedding menu will have items that are not easily available this time of year, or you want floral décor and bouquets with spring or summer flowers, be prepared to shell out extra.

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3.You have limited options in bridesmaids dresses

Just like with wedding dresses, you may quickly assume that your bridesmaids will need full-length dresses that cover the neck and arms. Well, you don’t! The same rules that apply to you, go for your bridesmaids too. Feel free to choose short, sexy dresses, as long as your wedding is in a well-heated venue. They can always accessorize with a warm jacket, wraps or stoles if they have to spend time in the cold outdoors. Additionally, short dresses give them the chance to look stunning and stylish. Enter snow boots or knee-high boots and a cozy Pashmina shawl, and show me one girl who isn’t excited to wear the short dress that you choose for her.

Don’t you think this 8108S from the Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids collection is a delightful dress that your bridesmaids will love to wear? This cocktail length gown with a stunning sheer halter neckline features necklace beading and ends just above the knee. Not only does it look smart and glamorous, it is also a practical choice that your girls will think of reusing after the wedding. Check this bridesmaid dress out at this link to our collection.

4.An outdoor wedding is off-the-cards

Why should you limit yourself to the indoors when there is so much beauty in the landscape outdoors? We say, plan your event outdoors, and live your dream. It will be a memorable and unique event, when you do. All it takes is a little practical planning. You may have to keep your ceremony short, so its over quickly but is just as memorable, and make sure that the outdoor area is well-heated, so nobody feels too cold. I like this idea on The Knot website to arrange for shawls and hot cocoa for your guests. Additionally, inform your guests that you will be having an outdoor ceremony, so they can bundle up in warm woolens and come prepared for your spectacular event. Since winter weather is often tricky and you can’t predict how it will go, it is a good idea to have a backup plan, in case things don’t proceed in your favor on the day.

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Image Credits: Corrinne Allen, via Flickr

5.You have limitations when choosing your winter wedding décor

Unless there are budget constraints that restrict you from planning the wedding of your dreams, there is no other reason for a less-than-picturesque winter wedding décor. In fact, winter being closer to the holidays, you have plenty of festive options available than at any other time of the year. Look around the shops during winter and you will see that there are more décor choices than ever before. It is also likely that you will come across sales that you can make the most of. Make the most of the available and hot décor items like candles and baubles. With some creativity, you can easily transform them into any dream design you want, without looking like it was built for Christmas. So, if you aren’t keen on having a snowy winter wonderland wedding, just think of how you can use what is available and customize it to look different, but interesting. And, if you are a fan of snowy landscapes and dancing fairy lights that warm up the wintry scene, you will have no difficulty finding exactly what you want.

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6.Most guests won’t look forward to a winter wedding

In our experience, the opposite is usually true. Most guests are bored with attending weddings in spring and summer. However, winter weddings are far fewer, and offer a welcome respite to look forward to, during the cold months. Also, not all your guests are bundled in at home throughout the day. Winter doesn’t prevent them from going to work and school. So, your wedding is just another occasion that they have to attend, despite the cold. Since it will usually be closer to the time when they are planning Christmas and Thanksgiving, it will give them a chance to relax and enjoy themselves at a party that they don’t have to do much at. Also, with the festive season on it’s way, most people are cheerful and happy. This allows them to enjoy your wedding, take part in the fun and return home with cheer.

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7.Reduced daylight hours will dampen the party spirit

Not if you set the ambiance at your venue right. It has to be exciting, thrilling and full of party spirit. True that the shorter days may make it necessary to have a short outdoor ceremony. Nevertheless, you can continue the party inside with full pomp and show till late into the night, when you have a venue that is nice, warm and well-lit. The good thing about winter weddings is that it is easy to fashion a warm, glowing atmosphere with plenty of candles and soft yellow lights. It is a double bonus if you have snow; the image is simply spellbinding. If your venue has a roaring fireplace, it would add to the festive atmosphere. Make sure that the venue is properly warmed before the guests arrive, so they can quickly settle in. Activities like dancing and eating will do the rest of the job to heat up the atmosphere, and help everyone enjoy the beautiful event.

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8.Your food choices are limited

Just like with décor, your menu choices are only restricted by your budget. Although you may have to spend extra to get items that are off-season, it is possible if you are prepared to pay for it. However, you needn’t worry about a boring menu at all, even if you go with what is seasonally and locally available. Winter has it’s own rich bounty of natural ingredients. All you need is a good caterer, who can whip up a gastronomical feast with what is readily available. The cold weather outside makes this the perfect time to consider hearty family-style comfort food, which will warm palates but not strain your pocket. So, do your research in advance, and plan out your options. Also don’t forget that hot cocoa stations and s’more bars are great ideas that are best executed in winter than in any other season.

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9.Your photos will not look great

It is actually quite the opposite. If your wedding has light snowfall, imagine how romantic and beautiful your winter wedding photos will be in the outdoors. Although you may have to limit your outdoor shoots to when there is sunlight, indoor photography will not suffer on this account. Just make sure that your photographer has enough experience covering nighttime events, and brings the apparatus required for it. If there is a good flash light, and enough lighting at your venue you can get fabulous shots. Playing with light and shade will also give you some unusually impressive pictures, as well. Remember to tell your photographer in advance, if you want a soft, glowy and dreamy effect in your photos. It would be perfect to capture the winter wedding scenery in such a setting.

10.It is difficult to pull off a colorful palette

Many brides worry that they will have to either settle for a winter wonderland theme or a Christmas inspired palette, to keep it nice and attractive. This isn’t necessary. Warm, bright tones and metallic shades look wonderful in winter wedding palettes. This is the time when you can add bling to your décor to have sparkle and shimmer. Deep jewel tones like sapphire, emerald and berry colors make beautiful color palettes. If you are fond of patterns, you can even use this at your wedding. In fact, choose any color combination and any theme that you want, and find the right balance so you can pull it off successfully. Take a look at this Pinterest board for some glamorous and interesting combinations to inspire your wedding planning.

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So, that brings us to the end of our discussion. Didn’t we tell you that you didn’t have to worry much about planning a winter wedding. It isn’t a compromise, and you needn’t settle for anything if you plan it properly. In fact, when you do plan it properly, winter weddings are one-of-a-kind. The best thing is that it is the perfect romantic start to the rest of your life with your partner. Now tell us, do you think you are more inclined to be a January bride, or would you take the safe route and get married in spring?

Every winter bride needs the perfect wedding dress to look the part. Whether you prefer glamorous and sexy, or elegant and classic, we have hundreds of wedding gowns for you to choose from. Come visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride and make your pick today. Don’t forget the rest of the beautiful women in your bridal party. With dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls and mothers of the brides, as well as evening gowns and cocktail dresses for all your pre-wedding celebrations, we have you fully covered. So, what are you waiting for? Begin your wedding shopping experience right away.

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6 Questions your wedding planner will ask you

planner

Choosing the right wedding planner will make your entire wedding planning process a lot easier. A professional who understands your tastes and preferences, will know what to do to bring your wedding vision alive.

When you start your search for a wedding planner, you will soon realize that you have ample options to choose from. Since you do not have forever to interview all these candidates till you find the best, you should narrow down your list to those you think would be the best for the job. This would depend on your budget, tastes, the feedback and recommendations you receive for potential candidates.

An interview with the final chosen list of candidates is a must, so you get to know who will be the best for your big event. We have discussed about the various questions you should ask your potential candidates in this previous post here. These will allow you to understand each wedding planner’s working style and capability, and also recognize whether your personalities match.

Working with an event-planner is a partnership, and it is necessary for both parties to be comfortable with each other. So, just like you have questions for your planner, expect a good planner to have plenty of questions for you too. You should proceed with signing a contract only when both parties are agreeable to working with each other.

Here is a list of the questions that you can expect to be asked, when you meet your planner for the first time. Time is precious for both of you. So, we suggest you arm yourself with the answers to these likely questions in advance, so you can have a productive discussion.

1.When and where are you getting married?

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The date of the event should ideally be discussed during your first correspondence with the planner. There is no point in pursuing the discussion, if the planner is already fully booked on the day of your wedding, and you aren’t flexible with the date. However, if your planner has the resources to handle more than one wedding at the same time, or you are still to finalize your wedding date, this is a question you will have to answer. Remember that you should at least have a general idea of when your wedding will be held, as the cost will vary depending on the month and season in which your wedding is to be held.

The second part of the question is where you will be getting married. Although wedding planners don’t just operate locally, they usually stick within a specific boundary where they can execute their tasks to perfection. So, it is basically up to you to either find a planner who is versatile to work at any location, or go with the best person available at your chosen location. Although you needn’t know your venue just yet, knowing the destination of a wedding is necessary at this point.

2.What is your estimated budget and how many guests do you think you’ll be inviting?

budget

Money drives every detail at a wedding. Unless you know the maximum amount that you can afford, your planner cannot calculate the break-up for each aspect or go into specific details. The other factor is the number of guests you expect at your wedding. For a specific budget, the type of arrangements would be different based on the head count. So, you should have a general idea of how much you are willing to spend, so you planner can think of the options that will work. This will also help your planner determine whether he is able to work with that amount to give you the wedding that you want. If it isn’t, you may have to reconsider your options or go with another planner. Since different planners work with different budgets, and some even offer all-inclusive bulk packages for lower rates, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a wedding planner who meets your expectations, and is affordable.

Now, if you aren’t sure of what your total budget is, or have a good idea of the number of guests that will be attending, you can think in terms of the budget per person, for now. Geoff Beers, event planner tells us why this is important, on this Event planning article on About.com. The “per-person” budget allows your planner to understand how well you have thought your wedding out, and it also gives clarity on the maximum amount you will spend. An experienced wedding planner would know if it is practical to work for this amount. This will avoid overshooting the budget later, or making expensive mistakes that you cannot afford.

3.What must you have at your wedding?

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Each couple is unique. While some couples are flexible with their wedding details, others are very specific about them. Your wedding planner will discuss your must-have elements, so she can come up with the blueprint of the plan. Your must-haves will also determine the overall budget, as incorporating certain items can be pretty expensive by itself.

You may intend to ask your wedding planner for ideas and suggestions, and she is the professional to help you too. However, you should know your priorities, as she can only work with what information you provide her. The two of you should spend some time discussing what is most important to you. This could be an elaborate menu, a dream venue, celebrity entertainment or a specific type of décor or theme. When you pick your main priorities, it allows your wedding planner to suggest areas where you can scale back, if your budget cannot cover this cost. Once you have sorted this out, she can plan the rest of the event around it.

4.What will you absolutely NOT have?

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Depending on your budget, you may have to settle for substitutes or have to overlook certain wedding ideas that you have. However, if you have strong feelings against certain ideas, your wedding planner may ask you to let her know about this. She can then suggest alternate ideas that are acceptable to you. So, whether you cannot stand carnations, or refuse to serve anything that isn’t organic , your wedding planner will have to know this. This will not only affect the overall expenses, but will also help her determine whether she can cope with the challenges that this preference presents.

At times, it can be something as simple as your choice of wedding music, or a certain flower in the décor. However, what you must have and mustn’t have is different from what you would like to have or wouldn’t like to have. We suggest that you take a look at this previous post on picking your top wedding priorities, for a better idea on this topic.

5.How much do you expect to be involved in the wedding planning process?

Wedding planners have seen all types of clients—those who give them free rein to the extent where they are expected to make most of the decisions, and brides who would prefer to micro-manage and supervise every single detail. So, don’t be surprised if your wedding planner asks you about the extent of work you expect her to do, and what you will be doing yourself. This will also help her figure out the amount of time and extent of interaction expected from her. Wedding planners have to set aside time for each meeting, apart from planning various other details of your wedding. The amount of time she has to spend on your wedding will actually decide whether it is a full-time or part-time commitment for her. So, she may determine her final rate after getting a clear idea of how much time she will be spending on your wedding.

To answer this question, think of how involved you want to be in the wedding planning. Are you prepared to select from the options she thinks are good and will send you, or do you want to make the specific plans and have her search for the various things that will be used in its execution? Do you think you can trust her to make the call for smaller and insignificant details, or would you prefer to approve of every small detail yourself? How often do you think you can meet and discuss the progress? Think of all these factors and you will have the answer to this question.

5.How would you describe your wedding day?

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This is a question that you will definitely be asked. Although you may not know the specifics at this point of time, your wedding planner expects you to have a general idea of how your wedding day will be—whether it will be a formal or informal ceremony, held indoors or outdoors, during the day or night, what the general style or venue may be and your décor and dress preferences.

You may also be asked questions about your favorite colors, if there are themes that you are particularly fond of, and whether you have any particular ideas on what you would plan your wedding around. She may also ask questions related to the number of people in the wedding party, and your party décor ideas. If she has already done a wedding on similar lines, she may tell you how that was and what the highlights of the event were. She may even make suggestions for you to consider. When you discuss this question, use this opportunity to analyze whether the candidate you are interviewing shares your taste and understands your vision. Check out this article on the Planner’s lounge for more questions, you can expect to be asked in this regard.

6.Have you researched or finalized any vendors yet?

There are two reasons for this—firstly, this allows your wedding planner to plan the budget break-up, if you have already set your mind on a particular vendor for one task. Secondly, it allows her to make suitable suggestions or prepare to find a suitable vendor, if you haven’t thought of one already.

Your wedding planner will usually have a list of vendors to pick from, depending on your budget. Although she will prefer to work with those on her list, she should also be open to working with someone you have chosen, if that is what you prefer. A true professional will be able to find you an affordable vendor, and will not push their choices on you. However, she will need to know your specific expectations, so she can shortlist the ideal people for the job and you can make your pick from them.

Apart from these typical questions, your wedding planner may also have other questions depending on her working style, how well she understands your idea and also based on your needs. Nonetheless, this crucial first meeting is important to both of you, as this is when you decide whether you can strike a rapport with her or not. Expect this appointment to carry on for at least an hour. If your wedding is a very elaborate affair with more guests, or there are challenges like in the case of a destination wedding, your meeting may take longer than this. We suggest that you first do your research, and also communicate the essential details beforehand, so both of you can arrive well-prepared for the interview. If you have a long list of potential candidates, we suggest you start with the ones that you are most satisfied with on paper, so you have a better chance of finding the right person quickly.

Weddings are special events, and we have everything you need to make your big day extra-special, at Best for Bride. Find your dream wedding dress, shop for dresses for the rest of your bridal party, choose your party favors, wedding invitations, wedding dress accessories and more, when you shop with Best for Bride. With interesting sales and offers all the time, and collections updated on a regular basis, this is your one-stop bridal destination. Tour our website, and enjoy your shopping experience today.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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7 common complaints by wedding guests and how to avoid them

Weddings are wrought with thousands of details, that it is possible you may overlook or forget a few things. While some of these may not matter in the big picture, there are certain others that will make your guests unhappy. Unfortunately, it is after the wedding that the couple usually realize they should have given more attention to these factors. After all, a wedding should be a satisfying and fun event for not only those who are in it, but also for all those who attend it.

Here is a list of the seven most common problems wedding guests complain about. We also have the solutions to each of these issues, to help you handle it easily. Make sure you prioritize these potential issues when planning your wedding, and your guests will be a happy bunch.

#1 Incomplete information in the invitation

Valentines day Wedding Ideas

Choosing invitation stationery and coming up with interesting ways to word the invite can be exciting. In all this excitement, it is not unusual for couples to forget adding crucial information that the guest may need. However pretty your card may be, your guests may not appreciate it if it lacks the basic things they need to plan their availability. Common confusions are about whether children are invited, the invite includes their plus-one’s and unclear venue information.

Solution: The simple solution is to frame your invitation around the basic essentials to be communicated. Follow our invitation checklist on this previous post, to make sure you have all the information in place. And, keep it simple and attractive instead of cluttered. If your invitation has too many details, make sure that the layout and format highlights the essential information like the Venue address, wedding date and time, RSVP date and your contact information. This will allow them to locate what they seek easily.

#2 Getting bored by waiting around

Your guests will quickly be bored after the ceremony, when they have to wait for the reception to begin. They may also have to wait after reaching the venue, before the wedding actually starts. While some amount of waiting is admissible, it can be pretty irritating if they feel they spent too much time waiting for things to happen. So, this is an area you have to work on prior to the wedding.

Solution: Make sure that you have arranged for seating outside the venue, if your guests have to wait before entering it. Similarly, plan some entertainment if there is a long waiting period or delays between events. You can either start the party off with appetizers and drinks during the waiting period at the reception, or have an entertainer keep them occupied. Also, plan your photography sessions and time to change dress or touch up your makeup, so that there isn’t too much delay that bores the guests.

#3 Food that they cannot enjoy

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Some couples make the cardinal mistake of splurging on the décor, dress and other things, while skimping on the food. Remember that if there is one thing your guests look forward to enjoying at the wedding, it is the food. They expect not only appetizing food, but also something different. Dietary restrictions aren’t uncommon, especially when you invite so many people. You will mostly have to handle vegetarians or vegans, those with gluten allergies and nut allergies. If your menu doesn’t cater to these specific requirements, you can be certain that there will be unhappy people at your wedding. Although you may not be able to make everyone at your wedding happy with your choice of food, you should at least make sure that they have a filling meal.

Solution: Make use of your RSVP’s to confirm what your guests can and cannot have. You can ask them to inform you of any dietary constraints they have, by adding that information to the invitation card or your wedding website. If you can have different menu options, ask your wedding guests to select what they would like to have, from a chosen set of dishes. When they inform you of their choices on time, your caterer will be able to set up the dinner plan accordingly. However, the more important thing is to make sure that all your guests are able to eat at your wedding. If not to impress, at least make sure that nobody has to stay  hungry because you didn’t accommodate their dietary needs. Additionally, plan your menu so that it has a range of interesting dishes. If you aren’t sure your special dish will be liked by all, make sure it isn’t the only thing on the menu. Fill your guests’ tummies with appetizing fare, and you will see happy faces all around.

#4 Couples who do not mind them at all

busy couple

Don’t undermine the efforts your guests put in, so they can attend your wedding. It is not only those who travel from far, who take pains to be there to witness your milestone celebration. They may have put aside other engagements, made alternate plans to have their children taken care of, driven from far or given priority to your wedding over other engagements on the same day. So, it is only reasonable that they expect you to appreciate their presence. When a couple or the wedding party ignores a guest, even when it is not on purpose, it can put them off. They expect you to thank and acknowledge them for their presence at your wedding.

Solution: It doesn’t take much to make your guests feel appreciated for their presence. Although you may be busy throughout the day, make an effort to personally meet and greet all your guests. They will be eager to congratulate you post the ceremony, so set aside time for this. Also, be pleasant around them and not look too eager to get rid of them. You have to put up with this on your wedding day, so be prepared. Be a courteous host and your guests will remember your wedding for the happiness they experienced there, and not the ungrateful attitude they felt was meted out. Finally, don’t forget to send your guests thank you notes for their gifts and attendance, and they will be pleased to have been part of your celebration.

#5 Any extras that they have to pay

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It is not only the couple who spend money at a wedding. Every wedding guest has to accommodate several expenses to be part of it. First there is the gift, then the expenses to travel to the venue. They may also have to spend extra if they have to arrange care for their children, if the wedding doesn’t include children. Finally, at least some of the guests will be shelling out money on their outfits for the wedding. So, it is a significant amount they spend. For this reason, they wouldn’t be too happy if they had to pay for anything unexpected at the wedding. Whether it is to order their drinks because you haven’t arranged for a bar, or it is an unreasonable parking fee at a specific venue, we are sure no guest will appreciate the extra expenses they have to bear.

Solution: Make sure that your guests will not be required to pay anything unreasonable from their wallet to attend or be part of your wedding. If there is something that they will have to bear, you should prepare them in advance for it by informing them beforehand. Put a word on your invitation and on your wedding website, so they can come prepared and will not end up being grumpy at the wedding reception on account of it.

#6 Music they cannot enjoy

Although many guests pretend they don’t like dancing, very few of your guests actually dread stepping up to the dance floor. Most couples are quite sensible when planning their playlist, and accommodate at least a few songs that are widely appreciated. Nevertheless, there are those who stick with one genre of songs throughout and bore many guests with it. Then the reception can seem unusually long and boring, and you will kill your guests enthusiasm if you take this route. On the same note, they may also not like it if your DJ isn’t too considerate about their comfort level and forces them to participate.

Solution: Irrespective of the theme of your wedding, make sure that there are at least a few songs that are definite crowd pleasers. Discuss this with your band and DJ and add songs that appeal to different age groups. This way, there will be at least a few songs for everyone to dance. Also, have songs distributed evenly, so people can come on and go off the dance floor. They will otherwise feel their turn is over quickly, and will be bored for the rest of the evening. Don’t have too many organized dances either, as people love to relax and simply dance to their heart’s content, rather than feel too restricted by the music being played.

#7 Long speeches

Wedding toasts and speeches are an indispensable part of wedding receptions, but it can also kill the fun if it goes overboard. While your speaker may want to share a lot of things from the past and present that is relevant to you, it may not be so appealing to the guests. Long speeches are no fun at all, and it is likely that not all your guests will know every detail of your life to enjoy all the long stories that your speakers may come up with. Don’t have your guests dozing off as your best man goes on and on, and your Maid of honor can’t seem to get on with her speech from her tears of joy! Your guests see toasts and speeches as a necessary evil associated with receptions, so don’t disappoint them by having it as the main entertainment for the evening.

Solution: Keep the wedding toasts and speeches to a minimum, by asking only those who really matter to speak on the occasion. Even so, tell your speakers that you want them to plan their speeches to extend no more than five minutes. Hopefully they will stick to this limit. If there are others who must say something, move their speeches into the other events leading up to the wedding, and save your guests the torture of sitting through speech after speech. We have discussed the essentials to planning a wedding speech previously, so reading it may give you pointers in this direction.

#8 Being in uncomfortable settings

outdoor wedding

Beaches, winter weddings, outdoor garden weddings are all romantic, but notorious for the uncomfortable conditions they can put guests through. While the extent of discomfort may be trivial, or you may not even consider it relevant, it is essential to think of it from your guests’ perspective. Sitting in the hot summer sun on a beach for few hours can be torture for at least some of your guests. Similarly, being in a chilly venue in winter, or in a garden teeming with bugs and insects may not be very interesting. The commute up and down a long winding staircase may also be equally appalling to some of your guests.

Solution: When you choose a venue, look at the various aspects that may make your guests uncomfortable. Then figure out how to counter it. If you must get married on the beach or outdoors in summer, make sure there is plenty of shade through tents or gazebos and cooling using fans. This way your guests won’t mind the time they spend outdoors. Have your winter wedding venue warmed up in advance and throw some blankets into baskets, so your guests can cozy up should they require it. Prioritize your guests comfort and you will have a happier crowd at your wedding.

#9 Queuing up

Nobody likes to wait in queue, and especially for too long. Whether it is to use the washroom or at the buffet to fill their plates, too much of waiting can really be irritating. Fortunately, you can plan your wedding to avoid this discomfort for your guests.

Solution: Make sure your wedding venue has enough washrooms, so your guests don’t have to wait in queue for hours to use it, when they need it. If your wedding is at an outdoor venue like your garden, rent the required number of portable toilets, so nobody spends more than necessary time waiting to use the washroom. Think in terms of numbers when planning your menu options and setting it up. Think of how long the food service will take, and arrange multiple food and beverage stations if necessary.

With a little pre-planning, you can make sure that your guests are happy to be at your wedding and enjoy the experience. So, make it a priority and you will not be the only one happy on your wedding day. And to realize your vision for the perfect wedding, make sure you drop in at Best for Bride. We have everything a bride needs for her dream wedding!