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10 things to do before you put on your wedding gown

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Once you wear your wedding gown on your wedding day, your transformation into a bride is almost complete. There are few things left to do now, before you walk down the aisle. But before you step into your dream wedding dress, there are a couple of things you should first complete. This is what we will look at today. Here is a list of must-do’s before you finally wear your bridal dress, and are ready walk down the aisle.

1.Eat and drink something

While you should have something light to snack on, even after you change into your dress to keep the hunger pangs at bay, you should fill yourself up prior to wearing your dress. Once you are in it, you should be very careful not to soil your dress. So, make sure that you snack on something nutritious and filling before you change into your wedding dress. Don’t skip this step as you need your nutrients to keep going through the hectic evening. All the excitement can also make you feel light-headed, and an empty stomach will only make it worse. So, even if you have a hearty meal early in the day, carry a few non-colored snacks to chomp on, should you feel hungry later. Check out this post on the Bridal Guide blog for some great food suggestions. Also don’t forget to have enough fluids, so you are fresh and your skin retains its freshness. Save the juices and other colored drinks for before you wear your wedding dress. Sip on clear liquids and water, once you change into your dress, so you minimize the chances of staining your wedding dress.

2.Take one-last trip to the bathroom

Your wedding dress is made from yards of fabric, and it isn’t easy to visit the bathroom once you are wearing it. Although you will have to do it at least once during the reception, you can try to delay it for as long as possible by making a visit prior to wearing your dress. In all the rush during the day, don’t forget to schedule in this last visit, just before you wear your dress. You can even ask your maid of honor to remind you, just in case you forget. While we are on this topic, it is also worth a reminder that you ask your maid of honor to learn how to bustle your dress, so you can comfortably maneuver it during your visit to the bathroom.

3.Finish your hair and makeup and allow it time to set

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Not only should you finish your hair and makeup prior to wearing your dress, you should also allow it enough time to sit. Even a small hint of makeup on the dress can form an unsightly mark, that will easily damage the beauty of your gown. To avoid this, make sure your makeup has enough time to set. After applying your makeup, dust it with translucent powder or use a setting spray, and wait till it sets, before wearing your dress. This will protect both your makeup and your dress.

Tip: While applying makeup, don’t forget to cover all the areas on your body that will be exposed. Blend each layer in very well, so that the makeup looks continuous and doesn’t end abruptly to expose patches of raw skin.

4.Get all the things you need for your dressing ready and in one-place

Once you are in your stark white wedding gown, you want to avoid any accidents that may cause a stain. Think of all the likely situations that can cause an accident, and then prevent it at all costs. You can do this when you plan your wedding schedule to the last detail, including what all you have to do after you wear your gown. Try to collect everything in one place, so you needn’t wander around in your gown and risk any accidents. Set up all the things you need, the day before itself, so you needn’t worry about it in the morning. Place everything, including your shoes and bouquets in low-traffic areas, so the chances of staining your dress are low. Don’t forget the ground either, as your dress will be trailing on the floor. Spread clean towels or sheets over the floor before you get into the dress. Similarly, have all the items you need to get dressed handy. We think this idea on the Knot is simply brilliant. The suggestion is to have a crochet hook on hand if your dress has a number of fabric buttons, and you can avoid handling them too much. Also keep a towel handy to cover up the front of your dress when you eat, drink or touch up your make-up.

5.Take a proper look in the mirror and make sure you are all set to wear your dress

Once your hair and makeup is done, the only thing left to do is to get into your wedding dress. Don’t rush it. Spend a few minutes to get a proper look of yourself in the mirror, and make sure you are entirely happy with what you see. If you think your makeup is missing any detail, or your nails could do with one top coat of polish, this is the time to do it. Also check your hair and make sure that it is in place, like it ought to be. Mentally run through all that you should complete as part of your hair and makeup, and before stepping into your wedding dress. These few minutes could be valuable in reminding you of something you may have overlooked. Once you have completed everything that is to be done, there is nothing left to do but change into your dress.

6.Finish off any work that you have to do yourself

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If there are any DIY details or personal stuff that you have to handle yourself, make sure it is completed before you change into your wedding gown. Whether it is overseeing the centerpieces, arranging the wedding favors, feeding your pet or doing your flower girl’s hair, you should tackle it before you change into your wedding dress. However trivial a task may be, it is better to get it out of the way before you change into your dress. After all, the wedding dress is a detailed garment, and it may not be wise walking around in it and risking an accident. Once you are dressed in your wedding gown, all that should ideally be left to do, is wait to get married.

7.Do a quick stain check

Like we suggested earlier, you should have your dress pressed and on the hanger, the day before your wedding itself. The dress should still be wrapped in a transparent bag to ensure that there are no chances of getting stained. Place it inside the closet or in a spot that not many people will access, to avoid any risk. On your wedding day, just before you step into your dress, spend a brief minute or two checking it for any possible stains. If there is an unexpected mark, it is always better to tackle it before you put the dress on. Have your emergency bridal kit on hand, and you will have the solution to your problem there. Find out more about what your emergency kit should contain, and how you can buy a ready made one, by checking out this previous post on the topic. Don’t be too worried if such a stain is indeed visible. Try to hide it, if not get rid of it. Just go for what looks like the most practical solution at that point of time. Once you are in your dress, be super careful about not adding any more stains to your white dress. While stepping into your dress, and moving about in it, ask for help from your bridesmaids so you can avoid brushing against anything that may cause it to catch color. Also, it is better to be safe than sorry. See to it that you put away makeup, food and anything that can cause an accident, and check any surfaces that you will be sitting on or leaning against so there are no chances of catching stains.

8.Have your wedding dress photographed and getting ready pictures clicked

Yes, you need to add a picture of your wedding dress on the hanger, into your wedding photo collection. Only then will the transformation after you wear it be evident. Make sure your wedding dress is on a pretty hanger, or placed neatly on a neat and pretty surface, so it looks good. It is also customary to have pictures of yourself and the bridal party getting ready for the big event. Work with your photographer to plan the timing of the shoot. Make sure you get this done with sufficient time to get fully dressed, so you won’t have to rush through everything. Also schedule this into bridesmaids time schedule, so they are all present on time. Discuss how much time this will take and other details with your photographer, so you won’t be late, nor should this clash with the rest of the wedding day activities.

9.Put your garter on and take that one loving glance at your dress

If you are a traditional bride who will be following the age old tradition of wearing a wedding garter, make sure that you wear it before you wear your gown. Well, you could always add this little accessory even after you are in your wedding dress, but it won’t be easy. Since you’ll be lifting up the skirt for this, you risk scrunching it up and spoiling the fresh look. So, save this task for before you are actually in your wedding dress. Once the garter is also in place, all that is left to do is dress yourself in the gown. Before this, we suggest you take a final look at your dress, as it awaits you. It’ll be a memory you’ll love to hold on to later.

10.Get your helpers in position

It is very unlikely that you will be able to get into your wedding dress and have it zipped or buttoned up, all by yourself. Getting yourself strapped into your wedding dress is usually at least a two member task. So, have your assistants at their posts, before you set about getting into the dress. It would be wise to use a scarf over your face, so you do not smudge your makeup or stain the dress. Also remember that the right way to wear a wedding gown is not to pull it over your head, but to step into it. The only exception is if the gown is a sheath style dress or a high-neck design without a zipper or long button train at the back. So, have all that you need to assemble everything into place handy, and the bridesmaids who will assist you, in their positions. One of them should hold the dress open and stiff, so it doesn’t get crumpled. It would be a good idea to hold on to one of the other girls for support as you step into the gown. Finally, they can zip or button you up, and the job is complete.

So, now you know all that you need to do prior to wearing your dream wedding dress. We hope this post has been useful for you. For more such wedding related advice, tips and tricks, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

We are the one-stop bridal destination for not only brides in Canada, but all over the world. With a stunning array of wedding gowns from top-class wedding designers, we bring you both classic and modern wedding dresses of every type imaginable. Our collection also includes bridesmaids dresses, mother of the bride dresses, flower girl dresses and much more. Visit our online store to find out all about the various wedding services we offer. We ship orders worldwide, and so you are closer to realizing your dream wedding vision, than you were ever before.

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6 helpful things to know before you start wedding planning

Now that you are newly engaged and finished celebrating your engagement party with your dear folks, are you all set to dive into wedding planning? Just wait a second! There are certain things that you should be aware of, before you start wedding planning. These will help you save a lot of money, as well as make your planning process a lot easier.

Today, let us take a look at a handful of helpful tips to use when planning your wedding. Trust us, it will save you a lot of confusion and regrets later. And, here they are!

1.Booking the venue—what to remember

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While factors like matching your wedding theme, the ease of reaching the location and number of people it can accommodate are all relevant factors, there are some things to remember, if you are on a budget. They are:

Peak wedding months are expensive: June to August is peak wedding season, and everything is at a premium cost during this time. Consider getting married earlier in the year, when winter is no longer as severe, and spring is just about to arrive. Or, you can consider early fall for your wedding, as venues often slash their prices this time of the year.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount: Don’t assume that the price you receive on your venue is final! Even if it is just falls within your budget, don’t quickly jump at the quote and book the venue right away. Negotiate with the venue manager and find out if there is any possibility of getting it at a lower price. If you are lucky, you may get yourself a better bargain.

Look at alternatives, before visiting your preferred location: This helps in two ways. First, you will know which option you will consider, should your first choice not work out. Secondly, it allows you to know what else is on offer, and make a wise decision based on it. As with anything wedding related, it is a good idea to research and explore your choices before you settle down with what you actually choose for the wedding.

2.Wedding planner—what are the options

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Booking a wedding planner will make your wedding planning a lot easier. However, you should know that there are different options, and depending on what you choose, the service you receive and the price you pay will be different. So, let us take a look at what are your options.

Event planners: This is the whole package, where the planner will be involved in every aspect of planning your wedding. They will literally do your job for you, and will be responsible for executing everything at your wedding and making sure there are no hassles on the day. Event planners are quite expensive, as they will be working on your wedding for several months and you have to compensate them for their time and effort.

Part-time planners: This is where you do not outsource the entire wedding planning process, but only selected aspects that you aren’t able to handle yourself. This is more budget-friendly, as you can delegate the tasks that you do not have the time for, and pay only for it. Since you will be doing the greater share of the work, you will find it much cheaper than booking an event planner. If you are naturally organized and want to personally oversee your wedding details, this may be the right option for you.

Day-of coordinator: Even if you are handling everything about your wedding yourself, a day-of coordinator should definitely be considered. This is because you do not want to worry yourself with last-minute details on your wedding day. If you want a stress-free wedding day, a day-of coordinator can take charge of managing the various factors on that day. They will see that everything progresses smoothly and as per plan, leaving you to enjoy your wedding as you should.

Once you choose which of these services meets your needs best, again discuss the charges with the people you consider for the job. Compare the rates for an all-inclusive package with one for customized services, and choose the one that is best for your budget and needs.

3.Before paying for Wedding Entertainment

Choosing between a DJ and a band can be really confusing. You may be under the general impression that a DJ costs much lesser than a band. However, it can be quite expensive to book a good DJ who can actually make your party come alive. There are ways in which you can get a reasonable quote for a band too, and here are some tips for that.

Look for experienced student groups: If there is a music school in your area, you may be in luck. Student groups are usually energetic, exciting and just as efficient as a trained band in creating a lively party atmosphere. The bonus is that they cost much less. So, if you are up for the risk, look around for such a band.

Ask for the breakup charges: Instead of just being shocked by the overall quote from a band, ask them for the breakup costs. If it includes transportation, see if you can arrange a cheaper alternative and save some cash that way. Also, look at the list of musicians and ask if you can downsize to just those who you actually need.

4.Before you go wedding shopping

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Wedding dresses are crucial to transforming you into a splendid bride, however they can be quite pricey. Before you step into the shop, do your research and know your options. Here are some ways to make the most of your wedding dress budget.

Consider more than one style: If you keep your options open, it is easier to find a dress that falls within budget. Do your research ahead of time, and identify which styles will look good on you. Then look at dresses in these styles and choose the one that you are satisfied with, both in look and in price.

Look at the clearance and sale section: Many bridal shops like Best for Bride, will always have dresses on discounts and on sale. Before you look at the latest collection, it may be a good idea to see what is available in the sale section. You may find a dress that is quite similar to what you love in the current collection, at a fraction of a price.

Wait for trunk shows: Trunk shows are a bride’s dream-come-true, especially if you are in a standard 8-12 size group. These shows allow you to find the dress of your dreams at a reduced cost. If you are engaged for a year or more, it is likely that you will come across at least one trunk show during this time. So, call up the boutiques in the area and find out whether they have one scheduled in the near future. Put off your wedding shopping session till after wards, so you can take a chance and hope to find your wedding dress at the trunk show.

Save on alterations: When you fix your wedding dress budget, you also have to account for the alteration charges for the dress. It is highly unlikely that you will perfectly fit into a dress you find off-the-rack. So, you will have to pay extra to alter it to fit you. However, you will have to pay less on alterations if you take care of the following factors

  • find a dress that is closest to your actual size, neither too big nor too small
  • not make expensive custom changes, like altering the neckline or design feature as any amount of rework will cost more money

Rent your dress: If you really want to make the most of your wedding dress budget, consider renting the dress instead of buying it. At shops like Best for Bride, the rental section has ample choices in different sizes. You can rent the dress along with the accessories for a fraction of the original cost, and not worry about boxing or caring for the dress afterwards and put the money to some other use. Alternately, you can also scour the internet for unused dresses on sales, that usually are a great bargain as they are brand new, but not as expensive as a fresh piece in a shop.

5.Before you take any pictures

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Wedding photography is an essential for every wedding, and you can choose from different types and packages based on your preferences and budget. Before you even set out to look for a photographer, consider how you want your wedding photographs to be captured. The different types of wedding photography include:

Traditional: The classic portrait style photographs with group pictures in specified poses.

Casual: Candid photography, where the photographer captures casual and original moments of the day, and shoots from unconventional angles. The photographer aims to recreate the memories of the day, by capturing the wedding with the most relevant and unique pictures that characterize the wedding.

A mix of the two: Here, the photographer uses both casual and posed portraits to completely cover the wedding.

Art-style: Here the focus is on creating one-of-a-kind photographs that transcend into the realm of art. It is anything but traditional.

Depending on your personal taste, you can decide upon the type of photography to have at your wedding, and then find photographers who work with the style you choose. Some tips to help you, before you start shortlisting photographers are as follows.

Compare packages and custom deals: You may not always require all that is included in a photographer’s package. If this is the case, ask if you can have a custom quote based on what you require. This is also useful if you need an extra service from what is included in a package deal.

Discuss how many hours you will need the photographer to cover your wedding: Before you meet with a photographer, be clear on how much time you will need his services for. You must make sure that he will be available for the important events both at the start and the end of the day. If he charges overtime rates for staying beyond certain number of hours, and in case your wedding goes on for longer than anticipated, make sure you know in advance.

6.The food factor

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There are many factors that decide the food expenses you will have to incur. Factors to consider when choosing your caterer are as follows.

Choice of menu: Remember that gourmet meals will cost more than standard meals. So, let the choice of cuisine be one of the guiding factors in determining your food budget. The overall presentation and whether the dishes have to be created fresh on-site or can be prepared in advance will also decide the catering cost.

Buffet or plated-style: Buffets and plated meals, both have their own pros and cons. The sensible and budget-friendly option is to have a mix of both styles. This means you can use shared platters for the main meal, while individual portions are served as starters. This will minimize wastage and maximize the value for money.

This brings us to the end of the various factors that will prevent a headache for you, later. Do your research and plan the possible workable options for each of these choices, and you will be able to work it out very easily.

Best for Bride is a wedding shop that brings you the latest and trendiest in wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses and attire for the wedding party. We also have invitations, wedding favors and services like wedding cakes, décor arrangements and florists. Visit our online bridal shop to learn more about all our services, and also find out about the latest offers, discounts and sales we have. Experience the best of bridal shopping with our seasoned bridal consultants who will assist you in finding the dream gown for your big day. For a fun-filled and enjoyable experience, contact us today and book your appointment.

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Wedding tasting etiquette: 10 things you should be aware of

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The food that is served at your wedding has an important role in determining the overall wedding experience. Most of the guests, if not all, will look forward to the food that is provided on your wedding day. So, you do not want them to be unhappy with the meal offered, while everything else was done to perfection.

Most wedding vendors offer a wedding tasting session before you book your order. With this option, you can actually see, taste, and experience the food that will be served on your wedding day. We suggest that you take your caterer up on this offer of wedding food tasting and make sure everything is just right, so there are no regrets later.

As with anything wedding-related, there is a catering tasting etiquette that you should adhere to. We will be looking at the do’s and don’ts of wedding food tasting etiquette. But before we move to this list, let us first try to understand what you can expect at your tasting session.

What to expect at your tasting

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Tastings allow you to sample the menu you have chosen for your reception. It gives you a real idea of how the service will be, and how the food will look and taste. While some caterers offer complimentary tastings, others charge you for it. Some vendors, however, offer complimentary tasting if you sign the contract first. This is because it can end up being very expensive for the vendor otherwise.

If you are just shopping around and want to taste the food prior to committing to an order, this is also usually possible. The caterer may then ask you to pay for the food that will be served at the tasting. 

If a vendor disagrees to conduct a tasting prior to paying a deposit, you can ask him to make an exception if you would be ready to pay for it. If he refuses, think twice about booking. The service at the reception may go either way, and the last thing you want is to regret booking it without an idea of what you would be receiving.

Prior to your tasting session, you will be expected to discuss your expectations and choose the dishes you want to try, from their menu. Full-size portions are usually served, so you can actually see and experience how the wedding meal will be. The drinks that will be served, will also be included with the meal.

Now that you know what to expect at the tasting session, let us move on to the general etiquette for a successful tasting session. Follow the list we have provided, and you are sure to have a positive experience, whether you choose to go with the caterer or not.

Wedding food tasting Etiquette

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Keep your entourage limited

While many caterers offer complimentary tasting sessions for up to 4 guests, you should be able to include more if you are paying for it yourself. However, as with bridal dress shopping, it is not only good food tasting etiquette, but you can actually achieve the best results if you keep the entourage to a minimum. With more people, you can easily lose focus and this isn’t favorable for neither you nor your caterer.

Bring a small group of three to four people at the most, and they should be ones who can give honest and helpful feedback. If you have a wedding planner, she should be at the tasting. This is because she is experienced enough to look beyond basics, and can spot potential problems in the quality of food and service. She can also relate the service and dishes to how the meal would actually work at your venue, and make suggestions that will help.

Be flexible with your schedule

Remember that there are a lot of factors that go into planning a tasting session. Your caterer will have to put his staff on duty to prepare the meal, however small it may be. Different vendors handle tasting sessions in different ways. While some conduct open-house tasting sessions for a number of couples, others may give you a special session where you can have a personalized sample of what you would like for your wedding day.

In certain cases, your caterer may even ask you to attend a function that they are catering to. This may be so you can see how they conduct their service, and also sample the food as it will be done on your wedding day. Whichever be the style of your caterer, you should be able to accommodate it into your schedule, if you want to consider his services. This is also where you should consider what to wear to a wedding tasting. If you will be attending a function they are catering at, make sure you dress appropriately for the event and not look out of place.

Don’t lose focus of why you are there

A tasting session is about understanding how your reception food will be. Your caterer would prefer that you focus on the food at the tasting, instead of any other things that are going on in your life. Do not consider this as an occasion for family discussions or friendly feuds, and try to limit your conversations to the food and the wedding. Remember that your caterer will be near, observing you throughout. So, don’t be disrespectful or ignore the purpose of why you are there.

Save the serious discussions for later, unless you want to sound rude. Keep the chattering to a minimum and pay attention to what is provided. Attend your session with a notepad and camera, so you can make notes and click pictures for future reference. This will also help you better to make suggestions for changes.

Come prepared for the tasting

Apart from being prepared to take notes and pictures, it is important that you are also involved in the tasting. Plan your tasting session for a day when you do not have any other pressing engagements. Only then can you concentrate and make the most of the experience. Be mentally prepared and attentive. If you have any pressing work problems or other things on your mind, schedule the tasting for another day.

Do not eat a heavy meal or fill your stomach up with snacks, prior to your session. Neither should you starve yourself. You should be hungry enough to enjoy the session, but not too hungry to just gobble it down without recognizing if it is actually tasty. Remember that it is a full course meal that you will have. So, make sure your evening is entirely devoted to the tasting. You’ll probably also have to cancel any other plans later that day, as you will just want to crash into bed and snooze, once it’s over.

Don’t be too intimidating at the service

There are some couples who stare and keep such a close watch, that it can seem creepy to the waiters at the service. Don’t feel like you have to be so attentive, that you intimidate the people who serve you. Stay composed and relaxed, and try to enjoy the experience of how it is. If you aren’t happy with the dried out cheese, wilted vegetables or shabby presentation, don’t look upset or openly cringe. If there are things that you aren’t happy about, don’t worry. This is not the actual thing, there is scope for improvement once you give your suggestions. You can even consider switching to another vendor if you are entirely unhappy with what you experienced at the tasting.

Don’t go overboard with the drinks

You will usually be served wine or another beverage at your tasting, and the same will usually be served at your wedding. Don’t drink too much, so you become tipsy and can’t focus anymore. Just take small sips to identify how it goes with the rest of the meal. Remember that you should have a clear head to identify how the tasting is, and too much alcohol can damage the possibilities. Not only is it good manners to not become inebriated, but it is also essential to the purpose of why you are at the place.

Be discrete when you discuss things

We know that you may want to discuss certain factors with the rest of your group, before making a verdict. There may be other things that you want to draw their attention to. If these are negative factors, don’t be too loud or overly critical when discussing it. Discuss it briefly, and keep it on a positive note. Don’t hesitate to check with your catering in-charge, if its a factor that really bothers you. But don’t get into an argument or be too patronizing about it.

Most people are open to positive criticism, but may not be too happy if you only have negative things to say. As with any other social situation, mind your manners when you voice your opinion. Be courteous and clear, but do not insult or embarrass with what you say.

Be honest with your feedback

If you enjoyed your meal, it isn’t likely that you will have much trouble saying so. Now, if it were the other way around, we know why you may feel a little hesitant to say so. Nevertheless, you should provide honest feedback. If there is anything that you would have liked to be different, make sure your chef or waiter knows. This way, they can rectify it on an actual day and make sure you are happy.

Whether it is about the food, the presentation, or the service, telling your vendor at your tasting session will help him move things around to meet your expectations. Nonetheless, be mindful of the way you say things. Even if it is a negative opinion, try to focus on the positives as well, so you don’t sound like you are reprimanding them. Be diplomatic, offer suggestions on how they can improve it, and appreciate all that you liked. This is just being plain courteous.

Tip the waiter who served you

The fact that you are at a tasting session shouldn’t alter the way you normally behave at dinner. It is in fact pretty similar, considering that there were people who served you and who were attentive to your needs, at your tasting. Even if it is a complimentary tasting, it is customary to tip the waiter who attended to you. So, make sure you do it. Do it as you would do when you eat out otherwise. Consider the total amount the meal would cost, and tip the same percentage that you would do normally for that price.

Personally thank the chef

The main person behind the scenes is obviously, the chef! You will be in touch with the catering manager or venue manager. However, remember that they are not the ones who are actually responsible for whipping up delicious food. This happens in the kitchen. The chef and his team are the star players in creating the flavors that your guests will feast on. So, it is good wedding tasting etiquette to meet them and thank them for their efforts. It is not necessary but is nice if you do so.

Request to meet personally with the chef, and appreciate and thank him for his work. This nice little gesture can do amazing things for your wedding. The chef will remember you for how nice you were, and will add that extra dose of care into his dishes for your wedding day. This can be really worth that little effort of yours.

If everything goes well and you enjoyed your tasting session, that is one thing you can strike off your wedding planning list. However, if the opposite happens, and you hated it, what do you do? If you haven’t signed the contract, you can just walk away from there and keep searching for a better option. If you have already signed the contract, consider the following options.

  • Provide specific details about what you didn’t like and ask them what they can do to change it
  • Be polite, but firm and vocal when you insist you want something changed, as it isn’t up to your expectations. It is right to expect your caterer to make adjustments to please your palate. So, don’t shy away from it and settle for food you aren’t happy with.
  • Do you have suggestions on how they can improve things? Tell them about it and see if they can accommodate these changes.
  • If they offer different menu items, make sure to taste them before you approve the change.

Visit us at Best for Bride for more wedding-related tips, advice, and shopping needs. You can find everything you need, including vendors for your wedding in our list of services. Check out our website today, and move one step closer to having a fantastic wedding day.