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The complete month-by-month wedding planning timeline

Wedding planning

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

Wedding budget
Wedding finances

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?

This useful budget planning tool will help you create an estimate and break it down into different aspects.

Plan the guest list

It is never too early to sort out your guest list as the number of guests will determine important aspects like the choice of venue and food. So, you must have at least a rough idea of how many guests will be attending the wedding.

If your parents are contributing, it is only fair that they also get to invite some guests. Compile the lists from your partner, parents and yourself to get a total headcount. If there are more people than you can afford, this is the time to negotiate and arrive at a reasonable number.

To hire a wedding planner or not

Do you think you are better off entrusting your wedding planning or at least certain aspects of it to a wedding planner? If so, this is the right time to find an event planner.

Hiring a wedding planner is expensive. However, it may be the best option if you cannot dedicate time for wedding planning.

So, weigh your options and if you decide to hire someone, do it right away.

Fix the date, plan the theme and book your venue

Good venues get booked fast. So, don’t delay in making your booking.  

You can either choose a theme and tour venues that match the vibe or pick the venue first and then think of a suitable theme.

Don’t worry about the specifics at this stage of wedding planning. Instead, focus on finding a venue that will accommodate your guest list and falls within budget.

11 months left

Wedding decor

You still have plenty of time left. Tackle the following tasks during this month.

Choose your wedding party members

Don’t wait longer to choose your Maid of Honor, bridesmaids, best man, and groomsmen. Then pop the question to them and finalize your wedding party list.

Look for inspiration

You can now start planning the smaller details of your wedding. Turn to Pinterest, magazines and any other sources that can help you with this task. Prioritize the following tasks during this month:

  • Fixing the colors in your wedding theme
  • Narrowing down your décor and food choices

Work on your wedding website

A wedding website is a brilliant resource that will help you compile and share all relevant information about the wedding, with your guests.

You can inform them about the venue address, wedding day timeline, wedding registry information and even photos using such a portal.

Check out this post on A Practical Wedding website for the essential etiquette rules that you should stick to when designing a website.

Plan your entertainment, food, and décor

The following questions will help you with wedding vendor selection:

  • Do you want a band or DJ for the reception? And are there any specific artists you wish to hire?
  • What type of décor would you prefer? More importantly, think of the floral details you want it will soon be time to choose a florist.
  • What type of food should be served at your wedding? Do you prefer a full four-course meal a buffet? Accordingly, find caterers who can deliver to your expectations.
  • What type of photography do you like most? Read up on the different types of wedding photography styles and choose your favorite. Then look for photographers who specialize in your chosen style, contact them for their prices and move on to the next stage.

Start thinking about your wedding dress

Dress shopping is one of the best parts of wedding planning. However, wedding dress orders typically take six to nine months to be delivered. So, you will have to start shopping for your wedding dress shortly. Make the task easy by preparing for it.

Read up on wedding dress trends and familiarize yourself with wedding dress lingo. There is a ton of information online. So, use the resources at your disposal to become familiar with all that you should know about wedding dress shopping.

Also, use this time to shortlist boutiques that carry gowns in the price range you can afford. You can contact them right away and fix your bridal dress appointment in the coming month.

10 months left

Vendor selection
Wedding Vendor selection

By now, you should have booked or at least finalized the venue, decided on the type of entertainment, food, and décor you want and have a headcount for guests. Let us now move on to the remaining tasks.

Hire the wedding officiant, caterer, photographer, and other important vendors

Your officiant, photographer, DJ/band and caterer are crucial to creating great memories of your special day. So, it is important that you are comfortable and strike a good rapport with your chosen vendors.

Since good vendors tend to get booked quickly, make your choices quickly. Book a tasting session with the caterer if necessary. Similarly, ask for previous performance records from your DJ and band. You can also consider getting engagement photographs taken, to assess how good your photographer is.

Do your research, make your final decision and put down the deposit. You can then cross this task off your wedding list.

Work on your wedding invitation and send out save-the-date cards

Wedding invitations come in a stunning variety of styles. You can also have custom wedding invitations, but these involve a lot of time and effort. Decide on your preferences and start looking for suitable choices.

If your wedding is during peak season or it is a destination wedding, you can send out save-the-date cards right now or in a month, so your guests have enough time to make plans.  

9 months left

Wedding dress shopping
Wedding dress shopping

Your wedding is approaching, and it is now time to start planning the bigger (even game-changing) aspects of your wedding day. Let’s find out what they are

Go shopping for your wedding dress

Start your wedding shopping now and you will have ample time to complete the entire process. Not only should you be able to explore your options in different stores but you can also save on rush fees.

If you place your order at least 6 to 9 months before the wedding, you can conveniently schedule alterations and accessories selection. So, book your appointment and get on with it already.

Visit this post for all that you need to prepare well for the task.

Set up your gift registry

Your guests will begin thinking about gifts as soon as they receive your invitation. So, it will be helpful if your gift registry is set up by then.

To decide what should go on your registry, discuss with your partner about your personal preferences, hobbies and how you expect your lifestyle after marriage to be. Accordingly, plan your wedding registry and register yourself at your chosen retailers.

Also, add your registry information to your wedding website. This is a smart way to pass on the information to your wedding guests.

8 months left

Bridesmaid
Bridesmaid

You are nearing the half-way mark and you should ideally have tackled most of the time-sensitive tasks by now. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of work left to do.

Book rooms for out-of-town guests

Your guests will appreciate it if you can help them plan their stay if they are coming from far. Hotel rooms tend to be full during peak season. So, book your rooms well in advance.

Since your guests will be paying their own bills, it is a good idea to look for hotels in different price ranges. Share the details with them and block the rooms as soon as they confirm.

Contact rental companies

If you must need tables, chairs, music systems, lighting or anything else at the venue, this is the time to take quotes from rental companies and book their services.

Time to look for bridal party outfits

Now that you have placed the order for your own wedding dress, move on to outfits for the rest of your wedding party. Consult your bridesmaids or go with your instincts to choose the color, style, and other details.

Do your research on the places where the dresses are available at reasonable prices. Then book an appointment to explore your options.

Once you shortlist the dresses, you should take your bridesmaids along to see how they look in these dresses. You can then go ahead with placing the order.

Plan your honeymoon

Before you know it, you will too busy to plan your honeymoon. So, plan your honeymoon budget without delay and select a suitable location. Book your accommodation and travel, so that is out of the way.

7 months left

Florist
Florist

Here are the tasks to tackle this month.

Book the rehearsal dinner venue

Now is the time to plan the rehearsal dinner. Consult your fiancé to find a convenient venue for the wedding. Also, decide whether you want it to be a casual-style dinner or a formal setting.

Meet your wedding officiant

Some couples prefer to hire a professional officiant to oversee the wedding ceremony. Others keep it casual by asking a family member or friend to do it.

Either way, you should meet with them prior to the wedding and map out the ceremony. Also, check whether all the legal documentation is sorted out.

Arrange transportation

Plan and arrange transportation to and from the venue. Contact cab operators to hire a limo, vintage car or any other form of transportation. This is also the time to look for mini-van rentals, individual cab services or bigger vehicles if you plan to arrange transportation for your guests.

Meet your florist

By now, you should have a good idea of how your wedding décor will be. You should also be aware of the individual bouquets you will need for yourself and the bridesmaids. Share this information with your florist and ensure you are both in agreement regarding the plans.

6 months to go

Wedding rings
Wedding rings

You are the half-way mark and with very little time left. There is no time to lose!

Order your wedding rings

Shop for wedding rings with your partner this month. Remember that you will be wearing these rings all your life. So, make your decision wisely.

If you would like to have them engraved or custom-made, you still have plenty of time. Also, opt for durable and reliable choices that are not high-maintenance.

Shop for your groom’s suit

Remind your fiancé to go shopping for his wedding day outfit. Whether he is renting or buying, he will need time to go around and find the best options.

5 months to go

wedding invitation
Wedding Invitation

With just a few more months till D-day, it is time to get on with the more important aspects.

Collect and start addressing invitations

You will have to send out your wedding invitations next month. However, they will all have to be addressed before posting. This is a time-consuming task. Get on with it while you still have time to breathe. Simultaneously create an RSVP list, as it will help you to mark your guest replies later.

Time for premarital counseling

If you are getting married in a religious setting and premarital counseling is necessary, schedule it for this month. Even if it isn’t compulsory, attending a pre-marital session is often helpful. So, give it some serious thought.

4 months left

Wedding cake
Wedding cake

We are nearly there and there’s still so much to do.

Go shopping

You need to buy more than just your wedding dress. There are accessories, make-up and undergarments to shop for. You also need outfits for your rehearsal dinner, bachelorette party and honeymoon. Finally, you should get gifts for your bridesmaids. Don’t wait for the last minute.

Create a shopping list and schedule shopping trips for all that you need to buy.

Order your wedding cake

The wedding cake is a very important aspect of the wedding. And you have so many options to choose from these days. Selecting the wedding cake can be a demanding task since you not only have to choose the right flavors but also pick the design for it.

Get recommendations from friends and family and find a professional wedding cake. Remember that you will have to find time for cake-tasting sessions. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

You will also have to attend a meeting or two with the caterer to discuss your design expectations and sign-off on the chosen design.  

Sort out the groomsmen’s outfits

This is also the right time to start looking for groomsmen outfits. If they will be renting their tuxes, they should make the booking now.

Plan the guests’ favors

You want to tie the wedding favors to the theme of the wedding and find those that fit your budget. Explore your options and start negotiating with vendors to find the best choices for your budget. Then place your order.

Some brides prefer DIY wedding favors. If you plan to take this route, remember that it will take time. Dedicate reasonable blocks of time in your calendar to the task, so you don’t end up overworking yourself at the last minute.

3 months

Wedding food

You are nearly there. So, let’s pick up the pace.

Finalize the menu

Now that you are so close to the wedding, you can inform your caterer of your final menu choices. You may also like to look at the seasonal ware to decide the best menu options.

Write your vows

If you will be writing your vows, it is high time to start thinking of it. Here is some help to come up with memorable and impactful vows. Once you complete it, you can also practice them. This will help you fine-tune it till it is perfect for when you must say it aloud.

Check on your vendors

By now, you should have everything in place for the wedding. You should have hired entertainment, photographer, caterer, florist, transportation, and cake. Confirm your bookings and make sure that there is no confusion regarding the date and schedule with each of them.

Send out invitations

Mail invitations at least six to eight weeks before the wedding. Also, set the RSVP date a month before the wedding. This will leave you enough time to plan the seating arrangement and also to accommodate for any last-minute changes to the guest list.

Create your schedule for the remaining days

You will have your wedding dress fittings, bachelorette party and meetings with vendors in the coming months. Avoid getting overwhelmed with all the activity by setting up a timeline for yourself where each activity is properly spaced out.

2 months to go

Wedding party

We are counting down now. Few more tasks to go!

Send out rehearsal dinner invites

It is just a few guests at the rehearsal dinner. Nevertheless, you want to get it right as it is a practice for the actual reception. Invite all concerned parties to the event and inform them of how formal it is.

Have your hair and makeup trial

Organize your hair and makeup trial with your chosen hairdresser and make-up artist. It is highly likely that your wedding dress fitting will also be this month if you booked it early. So, plan your hair and makeup sessions in such a way that it coincides with your dress fitting appointment. That way, you can see how the overall look comes together.

Start your wedding dress fittings

You should ideally have your first wedding dress fitting this month and the next one in the coming month. This will leave you plenty of time to get your dress ready in time for the wedding. Confirm your appointment slot and contact the seamstress to schedule your fitting.

Get your papers in order

Six weeks is a good time to apply for your wedding license. If you are getting married abroad, check for legal requirements and ensure the paperwork is taken care of.

Check with your wedding party on their dresses

Your bridesmaids should receive their dresses this month and schedule alterations.

Entrust the task of following up on the progress to your MOH or handle it yourself. Just make sure that nobody is left out and that there are no confusions later.

Finalize your wedding day songs or playlist with your DJ or band

Review the playlist with your DJ or band. If you have any last-minute ideas or changes to make, you can check with them right away.

They should still have enough time to accommodate changes if it isn’t anything major.

Just a month to go

Wedding planning
Wedding planning

In the last few weeks leading up to the wedding, you should be equipped to handle just the final closing details of the wedding tasks. Let us look at what they are.

Plan your seating chart

You should have the complete guest list by the first week of this month. Now that you know who all will be attending, set up the seating chart.

Arrange vendor payments

Whether you will be paying your vendors after the wedding or just before it, make sure that the funds are ready so you can settle the amount as and when necessary. Also, track the expenses to make sure that they are all accounted for and there is no confusion later.

When making payments in cash, entrust the task to a trusted aide who will handle the payment, so you can concentrate on being the bride.

Sort out your accessories

Don’t wait till the day before your wedding to finalize and arrange all your jewelry, accessories and make-up essentials. Put aside a dedicated bag or space in your room where you can neatly arrange them as and when time permits.

This way you will have everything set out when it is finally time to get ready on the wedding day.

Get your emergency wedding day kit ready

Find out all about what your emergency kit should contain in this post. Whether you decide to buy it readymade or collect all the materials yourself, have everything in place at least a week before the wedding.

Attend the final dress fitting and collect your dress

Your wedding dress should be perfect and ready to wear in the week leading up to your wedding. Take your bridesmaid with you to the final fitting, so the consultant can brief her on how to bustle the dress, in case it is required.

Once you collect the dress from the salon, place it in a safe, low-traffic area of your house where it isn’t prone to moisture, insects or stains.

Confirm all arrangements

Cross-check that everything is progressing as per plan with your vendors, wedding party and photographer. Confirm all arrangements and entrust responsibilities to designated wedding party members.

Run the day-of plan with the main crew at your wedding, so they are all aware of when and where to be and what to do.  Also, hand out wedding bands and other items to the responsible members of the wedding party and give them instructions about their responsibilities in this regard.

Pack your honeymoon bag

Since you will most likely be heading off on your honeymoon immediately after the wedding, keep your honeymoon bag ready and packed to go. This should be one of the final tasks to handle, but it is important nonetheless.

Put someone in charge of getting the gown to the cleaners

Your honeymoon cannot wait. However, cleaning your wedding gown cannot wait either.

Assign the task of taking the gown to the cleaners to a trusted bridesmaid, so it doesn’t have to wait till you are back from your honeymoon. Book your cleaning in advance, so the drycleaners have your slot ready. For more details, visit this post.

Make a checklist

It is a good idea to create a checklist for the wedding eve and wedding day and distribute copies to your MOH and best man. Assign relevant tasks to your wedding crew and brief them on their responsibilities.

Make sure that you have very few tasks to handle by yourself, so you can be fully involved in the wedding day activities and enjoy every moment to the fullest.

Break in your shoes and prep for your wedding day

Avoid the discomfort of wearing new shoes by breaking in your shoes during the last few days before the wedding. Also, book yourself a manicure, pedicure and facial to relax, de-stress and look great. This is also the time to touch up your hair color, trim your hair and do all your last-minute beauty prep.

To wrap up…

Follow this schedule when planning your wedding and you will not overlook any aspect. Finally, if things get too hectic or don’t go as per plan, take it easy, sit back and reassess the situation. You will mostly find an alternative solution that works out just as well.

Keep in mind that your wedding day will be over before you know it and it will be a pity if you were too busy to enjoy it.

For help with most aspects of your wedding, including the all-important decision of wedding dress selection, visit us at Best for Bride. We will help you celebrate this milestone lifetime event in the perfect dress of your dreams. Contact us today to book your appointment.

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10 things you need for a fantastic vow renewal

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

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

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

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

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

1.A gorgeous dress

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

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

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

2.A venue you love

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

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

3.Close friends and family

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

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

4.A proper invitation

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

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

5.A pretty bouquet

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

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

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

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

6.Excellent food

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

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

7.A special cake

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

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

8.A good photographer

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

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

9.Photos that tell your story

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

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

10.A plan for the ceremony

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

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

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

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

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10 tips to plan your wedding on a shoestring budget

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

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

dance

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

dessert bar

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.