So you’ve found your venue, decided on catering, invited the people with whom you want to share your big day, made reservations for the most romantic honeymoon, and picked out your dream gown at Best for Bride. That was a lot, and we know wedding planning isn’t always effortless. And as if that wasn’t enough, there is still more to be done. As you approach the date to say “I do,” you’ll also want to focus on making a beauty regimen.
Feeling good—inside and out—is not only for the photos, your family and friends, or even your new spouse, but rather, for yourself. You will always remember this day, hopefully in the best light. Confidence about your appearance shines from within, no matter how much highlighter you apply. Keeping a beauty checklist can give you time and offer a guideline so you have one less thing to worry about.
Depending on how far away your wedding date is, you could have more time for all of these preparations. Haircuts, dermatologist appointments, manicures, and spray tans are often required a week or month before the big day. Fitting all of that into your lengthy list of responsibilities can be somewhat overwhelming. However, we’re here to give peace to your anxieties.
Refer to this checklist we’ve created just for you to ensure you’re on track:
Only a handful of brides have the unbelievable ability for successful short-term wedding planning. However, if you are like most women, you may take a year or more to sort out all aspects of wedding planning.
So, there is no exact timeline to plan a perfect wedding.
Nonetheless, you need a plan! Even if you are an easy-going bride who somehow gets things done in the nick of time.
If you have already planned a wedding, you will need some direction and guidance on what needs to be done.
Don’t you agree?
So, here is a practical wedding planning timeline and month-by-month checklist of all the different tasks that it involves. Use it as such or as a reference to create your own personalized wedding plan and you simply cannot go wrong.
Note: This wedding planning timeline is created for the “average” engagement period, which is a whole year. However, you can adjust it to divide and conquer all the relevant, tasks even if your engagement is longer or shorter.
When you have 12 months left
Freshly engaged and still reeling from the thrill of the beautiful proposal? Indulge yourself in the ecstasy of this milestone chapter in your life, for it happens just once.
Have a party, take a holiday; all you need to celebrate! Then, get down to business!
Start your wedding planning process with the following tasks.
Prepare the Wedding Budget
Weddings are expensive affairs, and this is the right time to discuss finances with your fiancé.
Calculate the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Then, divide the funds into different expenses. Some of the important factors to consider at this point are:
Who pays for the wedding? Are your families/other generous relatives contributing? If so, how much will they be paying?
What are your priorities—venue, décor, entertainment, food, honeymoon?
What tools will you use to jot down and track expenses? Do you prefer the pen and paper route, spreadsheets or a budget planning app?
Do you remember your wedding day fondly, and even yearn for a similar experience once again?
Most couples wait till a milestone anniversary to renew their vows. However, there is no need to wait that long. This article on the Huffington Post tells us that it is never too early nor too late to renew your vows. It also has a list of beautiful readings of interesting variety, from which every couple can find one they love. Take a look, and we are sure you will be enchanted by the very idea of having a vow renewal!
Vow renewals are usually done on a wedding anniversary day, as this date is significant to your relationship. If your anniversary is soon approaching, why don’t you think of renewing your vows to each other on this day? You can have a ceremony that is as big or as small as you wish. All that really matters is that it is just as special as your wedding day!
And for a fantastic vow renewal that will recreate the magic of your wedding day, there are some things you must have. So, what are they?
Here is our list of the 10 things you absolutely must have for an amazing vow renewal.
1.A gorgeous dress
Remember the anticipation and excitement of shopping for your wedding dress? Relive those memories when you pick an outfit for your vow renewal. If you still love your original wedding dress, consider this to be the right occasion to pull it out of the box. You may be lucky if it still fits you perfectly. Else, you can always have it altered.
However, if you prefer a different style, pick another elegant dress. Your vow renewal is the perfect occasion to shop for a dress that suits your current style and helps you look and feel beautiful. If you prefer a casual or even colorful dress, find one that meets your expectations. Depending on the style of the ceremony and your personal preferences, choose a dress that is right for you. This could be an evening dress or even a summer frock.
Unlike a wedding, there are no rules for what you should wear. If you want to include something other than the wedding dress from your wedding, wear your original wedding accessories.
2.A venue you love
This could be a church, the beach, a garden, hall or even your backyard. Or if you always wanted a destination wedding but couldn’t have it the first time, this is the opportunity for you to get away with your husband and live your dream.
We suggest that you make it a personal experience. A place that is meaningful to both you and your spouse would be best. If you aren’t sure of what you like, sit down together and brainstorm. Think of the budget you have. Then consider the various options available and what you both would like most. Finally shortlist your list of venues, and zero-in on the right one after considering all relevant factors.
3.Close friends and family
The best thing about a vow renewal is that you can share this experience with the people who matter most to you. Unlike a wedding, you need not worry about a detailed guest list or annoying anyone by excluding them from the event. It is after all a very personal and intimate celebration. Invite only those who you really want beside you on this occasion. This would mean close family and friends.
You may even like to designate roles in the ceremony to your children and grandchildren, if any. This would make it more special. Since there are no rules to follow, make it your day! You can plan a very intimate vow renewal ceremony with just you and your husband, if that is what you both prefer. Or if you prefer a big party, go all out and invite all the people you know to the event. Whether you have it on a grand-scale or a small-scale is entirely up to you.
4.A proper invitation
An invitation gives your vow renewal the importance it deserves. So, your guests will take it with due importance and try to participate in it.Irrespective of whether you will have a formal or informal vow renewal, you should draft a proper invitation for the function. This can be a regular invitation or one that you send by email.
As soon as you decide on the venue and the date, get around to drafting the invitation. While you may follow the traditional format of a wedding invitation, it would be nice to explore alternative options also. Consider adding a photo of you and your spouse, and nice wordings that reflect the tone of the event. You can find some sample wordings here.
5.A pretty bouquet
The presence of flowers uplifts the ambiance of any setting. So, don’t forget your bouquet. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be as elaborate as your original wedding bouquet. You can pick one that is available at your local florist. Or make your own with your favorite flowers on the day of the vow renewal.
Keep it elegant and classic, and it will suit the occasion better. Another idea is to create a miniature replica of your original wedding bouquet. Share the pictures of your wedding day with your florist, and she will tell you if it is possible. Add a sentimental note to this accessory by adopting one of the following ideas:
Tie the lace from your original wedding dress or veil around the handle
Decorate it with a photo locket of your family
If there are friends or family members who have departed after your wedding, remember them by including their picture in the bouquet
You may even have saved and preserved your original wedding bouquet. If it is in good condition, you can use it as such or give it a small boost. Or you can add a few flowers from the original bouquet into this one. If you haven’t preserved your wedding bouquet, but like the idea, take a look at this article for all you need to know to do it for your vow renewal.
You do not have to serve a feast as grand as your wedding meal. Nonetheless, ensure that you serve excellent food at the event. If it is a daytime affair, consider a brunch buffet. If you have an evening ceremony, have a buffet or plated meal based on the venue and event style. Considering that the number of people in your party will be far fewer than at a wedding, you can have a more intimate setting.
Don’t forget to consider the décor and table arrangement. Do it in style, so it adds to the grandeur and importance of the occasion. If there are family dishes that are a favorite, add them into the menu. Or give your guests a gourmet experience by choosing from international cuisines. Also, serve some signature drinks to add to the fun. There are some ideas for interesting drinks in this previous post. Make the menu just as special as the event, and it will be remembered fondly by all your guests.
7.A special cake
There is no rule that you should have cake at your vow renewal. However, the cake cutting is a wedding ritual that you can repeat with fanfare. For a small ceremony, the cake can double up as dessert. Choose a cake that reflects the theme and décor of the event. You can also pick a gourmet cake that is specially designed and decorated for the occasion.
If you had a big wedding cake, you can create a miniature version of it. Finally, if you aren’t fond of cake, have a unique dessert instead. Here are some ideas for attractive alternatives to cake. Plan the cake design according to the weather and the venue where the function will be held. If it is an outdoor event, keep the cake refrigerated till it is time to cut and serve.
8.A good photographer
Your vow renewal is all about celebrating memories and making new ones. In that way, it is a milestone celebration. Invest in a good photographer for covering the occasion. With friends and family involved, it is a good idea to book a professional who can capture the events of the day. However, if you have a friend or relative who is great at taking pictures of people, put him in charge of the photography.
Since the event will be more casual than a wedding, there will be ample opportunities for candid clicks. As long as your photographer is able to capture all these light moments as well as cover the event, it doesn’t matter who it is. Ultimately, your aim is to have a good collection of photos that you can browse through later and pass on to your family.
9.Photos that tell your story
You can add a personal and unique touch to your vow renewal by including photos of your time together. There are many ways in which you can bring this element into the function. It could be using photo posters or collages throughout the venue. Or you could do a digital version that displays a running sequence of pictures.
It could even be photos in your invitation. Another place where photos can be displayed is at the welcome area of the venue. Don’t forget to add your wedding photos into the décor. This will be a beautiful conversation piece. Also add photos of the best times you have had together. Include milestones like the birth of your children, your new home or pictures of family celebrations and your guests are sure to love it. You can also create a memory timeline of the different events in your milestone. This will be helpful especially for guests who you made friends with later in your marriage.
10.A plan for the ceremony
Weddings usually follow a set pattern. There is an officiant who tells you what to do and you simply follow his instructions. However, vow renewals needn’t be so formal. You can choose your sequence of events, add or remove steps from the wedding format or come up with your own ideas.
This flexibility gives you the freedom to plan the ceremony as you choose. Nonetheless, it is important that you have a definite plan in mind and not come up with one at the time. Consider whether you want to walk down the aisle yourself or have someone escort you. After you say your vows, will you be exchanging rings. Would you like to have someone do a reading for both of you? Plan what happens during the ceremony and it will be easier to organize.
Vow renewals are special occasions that give you the chance to reaffirm your lifetime commitment to each other. It is also a fun occasion for family and close friends to get together and celebrate you as a couple. Hence, it is a joyous event, and you should definitely do it at least once during your marriage.
Whether you choose to dress as a bride in white for the occasion or prefer something different, you can find your outfit at Best for Bride. For bridal gowns that are modern, classic, contemporary, unusual and trendy, visit this page for our bridal dress collections. If you prefer to pick your dress from our evening gowns and dresses for special occasions, this is the link to our collection. For any further assistance you may need regarding placing your order, you may get in touch with our Best for Bride team or visit any of our stores.
For most couples, their wedding is the single most important celebration in their life, till now. It can be confusing when you want to celebrate this big day in the best possible way, but are worried about how much this will cost you. After all, it is just one day, and is it worth spending years paying for the debt that you incurred on the celebration?
Different couples have different takes on this. So, if you have the budget and want to have a big bash on this special day, so be it! For those who want a smaller celebration that is intimate and meaningful, yet easy on their pocket, here is some help.
Here are ten tips to help you plan your wedding on a small budget, so you begin your life together as man and wife without worrying about the money you busted.
1.Stretch your dollar to the most–Borrow or recycle
Trimming down the wedding guest list is a necessity for any budget wedding. So, no surprises there! When you have a smaller guest list, it is possible to recycle things, make use of what is available, or borrow things for the occasion. If you have an eye for details and a knack for mixing and matching, there will be no trouble executing your wedding details in the most impressive manner without it costing you a dime. Trays, platters and plates are wedding essentials, and if you have a close-knit group of family and friends who can lend you things from their homes, you can create an impressive buffet arrangement with what you find.
Recycle everything from your wedding dress to the centerpieces and décor, and your wallet will remain plump. Since you will anyway be setting up home after the wedding, it is a good idea to buy things for the wedding décor, that you can re-use in your new home. Sarah, the hardworking bride, tells us how she managed to pull off her stylish wedding for less than $6000 by using such options. Her wise planning included trays from Target for her dessert table, that she could take home with her and use again. Read more about her brilliant wedding here.
2.Eliminate non-essential vendor services
There is no hard and fast rule on what you should have at your wedding. This is all a matter of priority. So, splurge on the essentials that you simply must have, and eliminate or step down on those that you can do without. You can always substitute certain vendor services with affordable options that will work. For example, you can save a chunk of your budget by eliminating the band and DJ from your celebration. Instead, compile a playlist and play the songs using a good stereo system. You can do your floral décor with what is inexpensive and easily available, and eliminate the services of a florist. Or, forego the makeup and hair artist’s services for the wedding day, by doing it yourself. Just make sure that you know what your priorities are, and don’t compromise on them. The rest is up to you to take or leave, as your budget permits.
3.Find a cheaper dessert option instead of the wedding cake
Wedding cakes are more about the look, than the flavor or taste. Most guests remember how the wedding cake impressed them, but won’t always recollect the taste it had. Some may even have skipped dessert altogether after the heavy meal they enjoyed. However, cakes are expensive, and so you should think of whether you really want it. There is a world of desserts waiting to be discovered, and these are even more enticing than a slice of wedding cake. So, step away from cake and turn to alternate options for a wallet-friendly, practical and delicious choice that is bound to impress. This article on the wedding blog of Apartment therapy provides some unusual options that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of it?” You can also refer to this previous post for more ideas on what to serve instead of cake, at your wedding. Choose a dessert that is truly unique and one that you love, so your wedding has a sweet ending that is both delicious, personal and delightfully inexpensive.
4.Serve family style dishes
A welcome alternative to the plated meal and wedding buffet, serve family style dishes at your wedding. Not only does this bring down the cost considerably, these are hearty meals that everyone will naturally enjoy. When you choose a family style meal, you will need less service staff, which is again a budget winner. This article on the Huff Post tells us that family style wedding dinners are better than buffets and plated dinners, since they are the middle ground between the two. It is more elegant than a buffet and less formal than a plated meal. By serving items on large platters that can be passed around, you can also eliminate elaborate table décor, not to mention the casual and informal vibe that this activity can create. Don’t skimp on the quantity of food available, just choose dishes that are interesting and filling so your guests aren’t left hungry. This idea is also perfect for wedding parties that include children, as you needn’t plan a special menu for the younger taste buds in this case.
5.Keep to local products for the bar
Instead of having the standard open bar, give your wedding a unique twist by serving up local fare that you can buy from nearby vineyards or breweries for a fraction of the cost. Not only will your guests have plenty of new and unusual options, you will be thankful for how cheap it will be. Also, switch out the champagne for the toasts. Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. After all, it is the sentiment that counts, not the details of how it is done. If necessary, add some non-alcoholic drinks as refreshers, and serve them at the beginning of the reception. This will not only help your guests feel refreshed at the beginning of the function, it will also reduce their capacity to drown in alcohol later. If you should splurge on anything, it should be on improving the appearance of the drinks served at your bar. Inexpensive garnishes and colorful mixers are all it takes to dress up drinks and make them look festive and more expensive than it actually cost you.
6.Forego the extras
All the little things add up quickly, and you can stay ahead of the game if you stick with the essentials only. So, forego elaborate decorations and trimmings for your wedding favor wrap-ups, menu styling and floral décor. Consider whether you really need things like a dessert table, coffee bar, photo booth or individual place cards. Rather than aiming for perfection, you can work with a tight budget if you look at the bigger picture and execute it with simplicity. So, the lesser textures in décor, lower it will cost you. Similarly, go with simple menu choices that are full of flavor and compensate for not looking too great. Your favors do not need satin bows that will mostly end up in the trash, nor do you have to spend a fortune on signboards when your guests can find their way at the venue, without them.
7.Go with an artificial bouquet that you can DIY in advance
Flowers are an expensive factor at weddings. Minimize the cost by choosing alternative options for your décor, or keeping floral arrangements to a minimum. The bridal bouquet is one essential though. Despite this, there is no condition that your bouquet has to be made with real flowers. You can add your own DIY details to this accessory of your wedding dress ensemble, by making your own bridal bouquet with alternatives like cloth or paper. Unlike other elaborate DIY projects that consume time and take a lot of effort, your bouquet is a simple and relatively easier option to handle. With a little crafting knowledge, this is the perfect way to have an attractive bouquet, sans the cost. Check out some great tutorials on creating amazing bouquets, at this link here and here. The best thing about choosing to DIY your bouquet is that you will have a keepsake from your wedding, that you will forever be proud of making.
8.Rent what you can
With wedding dresses, wedding accessories, décor and more available to rent, you can find plenty of economically viable choices for your wedding day. Unless you are particular about owning what you wear or use at your wedding day, renting is a practical and sensible option. After all, most of these things won’t find a second use. So, why waste so much money by buying all of it, when you can get what you want for much cheaper. Bridal shops like Best for Bride allow brides to rent their wedding dress for a fraction of the original cost, so you can look great on your wedding day without the hefty price tag. If not the dress, you should definitely consider the accessories. Indulge in your dream of wearing a grand tiara and looking like a princess on your wedding day, even when you don’t have to buy it. By renting part or most of your wedding ensemble, you can look fantastic on a tight budget, and isn’t that how you should beon your wedding day?
9.Reduce the number of wedding party members
A big wedding party translates into extra expenses not only for the members in it, but also for the bride and groom. You will have to set aside a part of the budget for buying gifts, bouquets and many more things for the members in your wedding party. This can quickly add up. Think of whether you really need so many people beside you at the time you say “I do.” Wouldn’t it work just as well if they were seated with the rest of the guests and took home wedding favors that were much cheaper? Plus, by keeping your wedding party to the bare minimum, probably just your maid of honor and two bridesmaids, you do not have to worry about ruffling feathers when you do not ask someone to be on the list, or making anyone who secretly isn’t keen on it feel uncomfortable by inviting them.
10.Weigh your options
Even when it concerns things that you simply must have, weigh your various options and find the one that is practical yet costs less. For example, if you must hire a limo for you entrance and exit, go with a black one that will cost much lesser than a white or silver limo (check out here: https://limofind.com/). Similarly, think of monochromatic bouquet options and simple bouquet arrangements instead of complicated flower arrangements that will cost more. In case of table décor, choose basic, but classic materials to do the job, instead of fancy table décor that will cost more but perform the same function. Basically, we suggest you prioritize value over look, and you will find choices that are appealing but inexpensive.
Making smart moves when planning your wedding will help you save up more for the more important thing—the rest of the life you will be sharing together. And memories don’t depend on the tiny details, it is always the big picture that matters. So, tell us what were your budget ideas that helped you get the most value for money, at your wedding?
To find great offers, deals and discounts on wedding dresses, accessories and décor, check out our special offers page at Best for Bride. Our lowest price guarantee also ensures that you find a fabulous wedding dress at the best price possible, when you shop with us. Alternately consider our rental dress and accessory services if you want a cost-effective solution to your needs. For all this and more, check out our website at Best for Bride by visiting this link here.