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Expert Tips on Preparing a Dress Code for Your Wedding Guests

Expert Tips on Preparing a Dress Code for Your Wedding Guests

Choosing to hold a wedding allows you to share your love with the people you and your partner care most about. Surrounding yourself with your desired community will help make your big day extra special, allowing your family and friends to participate in the celebration of your union. To ensure that everyone is up to speed with your dream wedding ambiance, you must set a dress code for your guests. This way, everyone will know how they’re expected to dress up on your special day, and no one will feel out of place when they celebrate with you.

Perhaps you’ve attended a wedding or two in the past where the event’s dress code was not expressly indicated, thus resulting in some confusion among the guests. Now, you want to prevent this from happening at your wedding. To ensure that you and your guests are all on the same page, you can do the following:

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11 Must-Haves For A Classic Reception Your Guests Will Always Remember

Must-Haves For A Classic Reception Your Guests Will Always Remember

Planning a wedding reception is exciting and daunting at the same time. This is the event that your guests look forward to, which demands you plan it well. When done right, wedding receptions are very memorable, and you do want your guests to remember yours fondly.

If you are a creative person, there is plenty you can do at your wedding reception. People remember unique wedding reception themes best. However, the cost climbs quickly with each idea you implement. Nonetheless, there are certain essentials for a reception that you shouldn’t overlook. Let us look at these wedding reception essentials that you must have to guarantee a good day.

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Do you love vintage weddings? Here are 10 great ideas to plan yours

vintage wedding

This generation has a penchant for everything vintage. Our obsession with history makes it impossible to separate our lives from nostalgia. There is an endearing charm and unparalleled appeal attached to anything vintage, as the very term denotes high quality, and represents the best of its time. So, this interest in all things of a bygone age is acceptable.

This is why vintage style weddings never go out of fashion. Vintage weddings are high on style, and are the perfect choice for a couple to have a meaningful wedding with elements that reflect their personality. Another attractive factor about vintage weddings is that it allows you to mix and match various styles, ideas and create a signature of your own. It is no wonder that couples find it thrilling when they work with history to bring the old world charm into their modern day weddings.

Before we look at some good ideas for your vintage wedding, let us first help you decide whether you are indeed the couple who would love this theme. To find out, ask yourselves these questions.

  • Are you drawn to items that belong to bygone eras?
  • Does your idea of a perfect holiday include visits to antique shops and historical sites?
  • Do you think that the best fashion belongs to decades in the past, and nothing today competes with the style and grace of weddings of the last century?
  • Is your personal decorating style timeless and classic?
  • Are you drawn to elegant neutral and pastel palettes and do you love metallic items with beautiful details that are definitely not modern?

If you answer yes to some or most of these questions, you are most likely going to enjoy putting together a vintage wedding.

Now, many brides are scared of planning a vintage wedding, as they think it is hard work or they can screw up the details. To put your fears to rest, let us bust some of the common vintage wedding planning myths.

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#Myth 1

All your wedding details should fit into one era, or your wedding will look wrong

Your wedding is not a history exam. It is about what you love. There are no rules that say every detail should be right, or that you cannot mix ‘n’ match all the ideas you borrowed from the past, when planning your wedding. You can work around a specific theme, but it isn’t always necessary. The idea is to be inspired by the past and plan your own unique style by borrowing what you love, not copy it entirely.

#Myth 2

For a wedding to be vintage, you should stick to very specific color palettes

Your wedding is all about you, and trust us, it is possible to have glamorous dark colors in your wedding and it will still be vintage-style. It is all about experimenting and finding what you like most. Remember that it is not a single element, but the harmony of various elements in your wedding that brings out the style. So, do not limit yourself to pastels and muted neutrals for a vintage wedding. Instead, work around your choice of colors and find the ones that work for you.

#Myth 3

You must love a vintage era, or you will be lost when planning your wedding

Absolutely not! If you just chanced upon the vintage wedding style when you started researching wedding styles, you can still have a vintage wedding. All the details and inspiration you want are here on the internet, and you do not need to look any further to plan the perfectly vintage wedding.

Now that we have all these doubts out of the way, let us look at the most popular vintage wedding styles and find the one that you like most.

Rustic Vintage or Classic Vintage

Rustic vintage refers to a style that is personal, where the couple interweave and bring together all that conjures up nostalgia, to create their own signature style. It is entirely different from a classic white ballroom wedding, and can be quirky, casual, relaxed, joyous and fun. The couple usually choose to have a relaxed ambiance that is warm and welcoming. There is immense scope for personalization and this wedding style has been continuously evolving over the years. This article on the Special Events blog suggests that present day rustic vintage weddings are moving towards mixing classic elements like lace and gold-rimmed china tea cups in place of the older favorites like burlap and Mason jars.

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Classic Vintage is rather defined and specific to a particular era. This is popular among brides who are die-hard fans of a specific decade in history, and wish to recreate the same scene at their weddings. Popular eras include the 1920’s and 50’s. Brides choose wedding dresses that were the fashion at that time, and also stick to various details like the exact getaway car, style of dress and hairstyle that were trademarks of that decade. One word of caution when planning a classic vintage wedding: be inspired by the era, and don’t try to entirely copy the look. Or you will end up having a fancy dress or costume party ambiance for your wedding. A few authentic details from the era are all it takes to recreate the effect, so do it in moderation.

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As you may have guessed by now, rustic vintage is the more popular style today, as it offers plenty of scope for personalization and is still nostalgic.

Next, let us look at some ideas that are great for a vintage wedding.

1.Wedding venue

Have a style in mind, and find a venue that matches it. It is a bonus if the venue you choose has vintage furniture that is relevant to the theme you have in mind. It will allow you to reduce the number of things to bring in, to build the look. A barn is a perfect location for a rustic wedding, while a Gatsby inspired classic vintage wedding would work better in a historical house or ballroom.

2.Invitations and wedding stationery

Have a specific theme in mind? Let your invitations give a sneak peek into it. So, choose designs with a retro charm for classic vintage weddings. For your rustic wedding, highlight the main colors of your wedding by adding them to your stationery suite and matching them to the tone of the event. This is the perfect way to create that first impression, so plan your paper suite around it.

3.Add family history

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If you have a vintage heirloom like a birdcage veil or earrings that will add to your attire, it is the perfect way to go. You can borrow lace from your mother’s wedding gown and add it to your bouquet, or even find a talented dressmaker who can rework your mother’s wedding gown and make it yours. Displaying family details through photographs or using generations old antique décor items at your wedding can add a special sentimental touch to your special day.

4.Decor

The options are endless, but our genuine suggestion is to limit the details so your guests do not feel overwhelmed. Remember it is a wedding and not a museum tour, so stick to few but striking elements that are vintage and build your theme around it. Here are some ideas to consider

  • Stacks of old books, birdcages and mercury glass votives make interesting centerpiece and décor elements
  • Embellished and gold-rimmed china cups to either serve afternoon tea or as display pieces for your tables
  • Freshly painted vintage bicycles dressed with flower baskets as display elements
  • Typewriters, leather suitcases, trunks and record players as décor elements

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  • For shabby chic décor, include burlap, twine and frayed ribbon on your tables and in the decorations
  • Folding wooden chairs for functionality and to contribute to the overall look
  • Old picture frames and black-and-white photo walls or backdrops to bring back old memories
  • Working ice cream bike complete with chalkboard display to serve ice creams and lollies for dessert
  • Dessert buffet with traditional sweets in classic-style tall glass jars and antique silver and white platters
  • Decorative doilies for the dessert and dinner tables

5.Wedding dress

You have two options here: either get hold of a vintage wedding dress and restyle it to match and fit you, or buy a brand new dress that has elements that are vintage-inspired. This wedding dress from Best for Bride, for example, will easily fit the vintage theme.

If your mother or grandmother has handed down their wedding dress, consider seeking the services of a talented dress maker who can rework it to fit your size and your taste. If you are confused about what to look for, so your wedding dress is vintage, here are some features to suit your need.

  • Lace is a definite vintage style, and the more the merrier.
  • Scoop necklines, jewel necklines and Queen Anne necklines
  • Butterfly sleeves, T-shirt sleeves and three-fourth or full sleeves
  • For the 50’s look, consider tea-length frocks with plenty of pouf to them
  • Maxi dresses with sheath silhouettes and a natural drape that falls freely

You can also read more on the evolution of wedding dresses here and get an idea of what was in vogue in each era of the past.

6.Accessories

Each vintage era had its signature jewelry designs. The ones that were most popular include

  • Georgian jewelry featuring white sapphires and red rubies
  • Victorian jewelry with floral designs. Also used sapphires and garnets
  • Art deco jewelry with large, flashy chains and chandelier pendants
  • Late 20th century featured pearls
  • Blue sapphire earrings and bracelets

The trademark accessories also included birdcage veils and rhinestone studded elaborate hair-combs.

For the groom, replace the standard boutonniere with a photo brooch.

7.Flowers

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Toss out the round bouquets and go with loosely bundled bouquets of wildflowers, baby’s breath, and blushing roses. You can also go with a single statement flower like hydrangea for your entire bouquet, to hone the vintage style. Add a lace handkerchief to your bouquet for an interesting twist.

8.Entertainment

A live band is a must-have, to nail the vintage feel. For fun at the wedding, consider adding games like ‘hook-a-duck’ or a photo booth with vintage props and Polaroid film photos. You can also have entertainers at your wedding that remind you of popular icons from the past. This couple chose to have a chimney sweep. Brilliant, I must say!  If you decide to go with a DJ, make sure that your playlist includes songs from the era that you have focused on. Music sets the mood of the event, so make sure that the background music is chosen with care, so you can rekindle nostalgia, right from the beginning of the event.

9.Wedding cake

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Choose traditional flavors like fruit cake, sponge and chocolate for a truly old-age style. Nude cakes decorated with fresh fruit and cream are very welcoming. You can also have it dusted with soft glitter for added bling. Other interesting designs include cakes embellished with lace prints and with pillars between the tiers.

10.Wedding favors

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Edible favors are the best. You could also consider photo mint tins or old-style photograph frames. Use brown paper bags with stamps or vintage prints for an authentic touch. Tie it up with lace, or if you are a big fan of burlap, go with it instead.

Weddings mark a beginning to a lifetime of happiness. And is there a better way to do it, than remember the best from the past, through history itself, as you step into a new future? What do you say? We hope that we have given you enough ideas and inspiration to put together your vintage wedding today.

Come visit us on Best for Bride today to choose the wedding dress that is perfect for your big celebration. Browse through our extensive bridal gallery and you are bound to find a wedding dress that is perfect for your wedding, whether it is rustic vintage or classic vintage. Also choose your bridesmaids dresses and find everything you need for your décor, flower needs, cakes and more, all at Best for Bride.

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10 steps to planning the perfect bridal shower

Ashley's Bridal Shower 2012
Image Credits: ceng design, via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Weddings are a big celebration, as it is one of the most important events in a couple’s life. However, it is not a one-day event, where everything starts and ends on the day of the wedding. There are many other occasions that build up the thrill and make the days leading up to the wedding, exciting for the couple and everyone else involved in their lives.

Just as the couple put in a lot of time and effort in planning their wedding, the bridesmaids are expected to do their part in hosting an interesting bridal shower. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task. Although it isn’t as complicated as planning the wedding itself, there is a certain amount of planning, organizing and managing that goes into it. If you haven’t hosted many parties before, or are trying your hand at a bridal shower for the first time, do not worry. This article will guide you through all that you need to know, to plan it like a pro. Let’s begin!

1.Surprise party or planned one

The first step in planning the bridal shower is to decide whether you want it to be a surprise or not. While some brides may be all for the surprise, and will enjoy what you plan, other brides are more conservative with their likes. These brides would appreciate advance notice about what to expect. You know your friend best, so go with what she would prefer. If she has plenty of ideas and has hinted at a theme that she would like, try to plan your party around her likes. After all, it is to celebrate the bride. Ask her who she would like at her party, whether there is a theme she would love and any other inputs. Then plan the bridal shower around these ideas. Nevertheless, don’t tell her everything about what you will be arranging. Instead, just tell her the date, time and venue, and leave her guessing about the rest.

2.When to start planning

The bridal shower is on your priority list of to-do’s as a bridesmaid. So, start preparing for it soon after your friend has asked you to be on her bridesmaids list. Start gathering ideas and making plans at least 3 months before the scheduled date, and set up a bridal shower calendar. Remember that your list of tasks should include the following, in more or less the same order:

  • fixing the budget for the party
  • compiling the guest list and collecting addresses
  • drafting, printing and sending out invitations
  • booking the venue or making reservations at the chosen location if the crowd is small
  • Collecting and compiling RSVPs and adjusting the guest list
  • choosing the menu and arranging food
  • arranging for decorations
  • planning bridal shower games, collecting necessary items to play them and buying prizes
  • pick up all that is needed to entertain the guests on the day
  • deciding and buying bridal shower favors for the guests
  • Decorating or overseeing the decorations and setup at the venue

Mark your calendar for when each of these activities are to be held. Since it is likely that you will be sharing these duties with the rest of the bridesmaids, you can split the responsibilities with them. Create a list of errands to be completed by each girl, and make sure you monitor everything is progressing as per plan, once you begin the process.

3.When to hold the bridal shower

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The bridal shower should ideally be held at least two weeks before the wedding date, so it doesn’t clash with any other appointments the bride may have. However, you shouldn’t plan it way ahead of the wedding. Anytime in the two months before the wedding is ideal, as the thrill of the wedding will be building up and this is the best time to host it. Nevertheless, consider other factors such as if the guests have to travel from far to attend the bridal shower. In this case, it may be a good idea to hold the shower closer to the wedding date, so it will be convenient for those who come from far. Just make sure you confirm with the bride, and fix the date accordingly.

4.Set the budget and create the guest list

First up, work with the rest of the bridesmaids and fix the budget for the party. You should have a rough idea of how big the party will be, to set a reasonable budget. So, consider this factor first. Now, move on to deciding the venue, planning the theme and budgeting for other party expenses within this amount. It is a good idea to hire the services of a professional photographer for the bridal shower. Figure this into the budget as well. Make sure you miss nobody, by asking the bride if you’ve missed anyone in your list. You cannot however ask the bride, if you have planned a surprise party. In this case, work with the rest of the bridesmaids, or ask her family to make sure you have all the important people on the list. Collect the contact information of all those who are to be invited, and make a separate list of those who have to travel from far or have to be informed early, so they can plan for it.

5.Book the venue and send out invitations

Next, finalize the venue and make the rest of the plans. This is also the time to decide if you will have to make reservations for the venue where the event is to be hosted. If so, finalize the date immediately and make sure to do the bookings on time. Simultaneously draft the bridal shower invitations. It should include all relevant details like the time, date, venue, an RSVP request and theme, if any. Apart from this, you may also like to include the registry information on the bridal shower invite, as it will help the bride get this information out to all the guests easily. You can even DIY the invites if you have the time and the skills to handle it. Send the cards out at least six weeks prior to the shower date.

6.Make food and drink arrangements

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Unless you have booked an all-inclusive package at the venue, you will have to decide on the menu for the party. Plan it according to the time, venue and weather. You do not have to offer a complete meal. Light snacks, soups and deserts are the norm for afternoon and evening parties. You may like to add some signature style dishes or innovative arrangements like a s’more bar or hot chocolate station, to make it more interesting. Keep the spread uncluttered, varied and interesting. If there are theme colors, plan food choices in matching colors. Create a schedule for the food stuff that you will be making, and place orders for those that you will be buying. If you will be serving cocktails or drinks, plan when you will go shopping for mixers, garnishes, ice cubes and all that will be necessary if you are hosting it at your home or doing the arrangements yourself.

7.Plan games and activities

Bridal shower games are not just entertainment. They are a must to help the guests break the ice. Check out our posts on fun bridal shower games here and here. Assuming that the guests at the party will belong to different age groups, it is a good idea to have a mix of both traditional games and recently trending ones, so everyone can participate. Also include games that will require the guests to be seated, and those for which the guests will have to be up and active, to keep it varied. Once you have a list of the games and activities that will be held, create another list of all that you need to buy or arrange. Then get down to collecting or creating it. If required, you can even hire an entertainer or an event planner to host the day’s activities, if you don’t want to do so yourself. You should also consider the music you will be playing on the day and have the play list ready in advance.

8.Get the party favors ready

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It is customary to send the guests home with a party favor from the event. It is up to you to decide what you would like to gift. It can either be edible favors like cookies, cakes or chocolates or non-edible keepsakes like compact mirrors, purses, key chains or coasters. You can even DIY or arrange for customized party favors that match the theme of the event you hosted. Use your imagination and get creative to make these party favors stand out. Green party favors are a trend that is not only environment-friendly, but practical as well. If you have to shop for the favors or place an order for it online, make sure you do it in time. Delivery of bulk orders can take anywhere from a week to a month or more. Some favors may require further assembly after you receive them, or some of them may have to be gift-wrapped. Figure out all these factors, so you have them ready in time for the party.

8.Get the arrangements in place, and buy the remaining items closer to the date

As the date of the shower approaches, make sure you have all the decorations ready, all the DIY tasks completed and your calendar set for when you will complete the last minute shopping. If you are holding the party at your house or at a location where you have access to before the day of the shower, you can start setting up in advance. The last-minute things to buy or collect will include flowers, food and drinks. The décor items should already be arranged for and collected in advance.

9.Create a special seat for the bride

Make sure that the bride’s seat is specially decorated or customized. You will also have to arrange for extra space to stash all the gifts she receives on the day. It is a good idea to also include a notepad or register to keep track of the gifts each person brought. Since there is a tradition of opening the gifts received at the shower on the day itself, keep a pair of scissors ready, to cut through the wrappers and a large trash can to contain all the gift wrap, once the gifts are opened. Also, don’t forget to buy your gift for the bride. You can collect funds from the entire bridesmaid group and get her a combined gift.

10.Prepare for the day

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Depending on how much time you will have on the day, plan your activities so that the area is set up on time. Create a checklist of everything that has to be done on the day, where everything has to be arranged and who is in charge of what. Pick up flowers, grocery and all that is to be collected on the day and set them in place. Dress yourself up for the event, and choose a dress that you will feel comfortable in, but look great in. Check all the equipment at the site before the function starts. Co-ordinate with the guests and make sure everyone remembers the time and where they should be.

With all these steps in place, you are now all set to host the perfect bridal shower, and enjoy it too. Organizing everything on time will help you ensure that everything progresses without any hassles, and you aren’t stressed out over it.

For more tips and wedding planning advice, continue visiting us at Best for Bride. Also, visit our online store to choose the perfect evening dress to wear on the big event you are in-charge of.