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Wedding Day: Perfect Gifts for the Bridesmaid Crew

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Your bridesmaids are the MVPs of your wedding day, the ones who keep you calm before your aisle debut, make sure your dress is perfectly positioned at the altar, and help you with bathroom trips during the reception. To ensure that they know exactly how much they’re appreciated, you’re going to want to pick out some sweet and thoughtful presents that they’ll cherish for a lifetime. The key is to pick items they’ll actually use and that will trigger memories from your wedding for years to come.


Matching Robes or Tees for Getting Ready —Nothing makes a cuter photo and one you’ll cherish for a lifetime, than you and your girls getting ready on the day of the wedding. Matching satin robes or custom-printed tees will make it extra-special. Tie it all together with a pair of monogrammed slippers for some extra coziness.
A Candle That Honors Your Friendship —Whether it’s a supremely sweet fragrant love candle or a road trip candle that reminds you of that crazy cross-country trip you took together in college, you can’t go wrong when with the gift of hand-poured aromas. Light the candle throughout all the wedding festivities, such as at the shower and bachelorette party, and then give it as a gift to keep the memory alive when it’s all over.
Personalized, Matching Makeup Bags —Since you usually give your bridesmaids their gifts on the night of the rehearsal dinner or morning of the wedding, it makes sense to make it something beauty-related. Grab some embroidered makeup bags and stuff them with a few special surprises for a smile-inducing gift.
A Bottle of Champagne —Obviously you’re going to want to pop a bottle (or four) as you’re getting your hair and makeup done on the big day, but why not use the bubbly as a gift so your girls can enjoy it the next time they’re celebrating something big? You might even consider finishing the bottles with custom labels for the occasion!
Matching Friendship Necklaces —Remember when you were in third grade and you and your best friend were bonded for life over your half-heart necklaces? This is that all over again but with all your besties, not just one. Get the simple, dainty necklaces with their initials for a personalized but matching option.
● Personalized Note Cards —Everybody wants the opportunity to send a sweet note on their own personal letterhead, and why not? Your bridal party will love opening up a set of custom note cards and envelopes designed in fonts and patterns to match their individual personalities.
● Monogrammed Flats for Post-Photo Dancing —Show what a cool and laid-back bride you are by giving all your girls some comfy, monogrammed ballet flats they can slip into after dinner. Because let’s face it, it’s way better than dancing barefoot (and risking your feet getting crushed) or losing your shoes in the process. You can also surprise them with some flip-flops to ease the pain of wearing heels all day.
● A Box of Custom Chocolates —They say chocolate says, “I love you,” and we think that goes for platonic love, too. There are so many creative chocolatiers out there who make one-of-a-kind candy creations that take gift-giving up a few notches. To get some ideas on chocolate artists who can make you a box like no other, look to Instagram.
● A Self-Care Kit for the Morning After —Acknowledge that being in someone’s wedding can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly. After a full weekend of wedding activities, encourage your girls to rest and recoup with a well-stocked self-care basket complete with bath bombs, aromatic oils to diffuse and face masks.

A Framed Photo of the Whole Crew —During the bridal shower, bachelorette party or dress shopping outing, make sure to have someone take your photo as a group so you can have it printed and framed as a special gift for the whole crew. You might even consider having it printed on wood, glass or fabric for a special twist.
A Book About Friendship —We don’t want to be too cheesy, but remember that this is the time in your life that you get to be super sentimental with your besties, so take advantage of it. A card and a book about friendship will really get the emotions flowing, no matter if it’s a book of poems or a literary masterpiece focused on friends.
A Passport Cover —If it’s a destination wedding or if the vast majority of your crew has traveled to be with you on your big day, it makes sense to make your bridesmaids’ gifts travel-inspired. Monogrammed passport covers or luggage tags are always popular among jet-setting crews.
A Pair of Personalized Sunglasses —Anything you can give your girls that also doubles as a fun photo prop is a win-win for wedding day fun. Give your girls some bold, personalized sunglasses, preferably in a rainbow of hues, and make sure the photographer snaps some pics of everyone sporting them together.
A Comfy, Monogrammed Blanket —Everyone appreciates the sentiment of a cozy, restful night in, which is why personalized blankets always make popular presents. This is an awesome option for fall and winter weddings, especially, but works year-round, too.

Pair it With a Handwritten Note
We know that your to-do list is longer than it has ever been, and spare time is in short supply, but make sure to write each and every one of your bridesmaids a handwritten note to accompany your gift.

It doesn’t have to be long, emotional or perfectly written, but it should come from the heart and let your best friends know how much you appreciate them. With this formula, you can be sure every member of Team Bride will be grinning from ear-to-ear right next to you on your special day.

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10 Tips to plan an amazing Rehearsal Dinner

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The rehearsal dinner is typically the first occasion when you get a sneak peek at how your actual wedding day will be. Although it isn’t an essential in the list of wedding-related events, it is quite popular. If you are planning to have one before your wedding, our tips will help you organize it well. Before we get to the tips, let us first try to understand in detail, what the rehearsal dinner is all about.

What you need to know about the rehearsal dinner

The main thing couples should know about planning a rehearsal dinner is that it should be a simple event that shouldn’t further strain their pockets nor nerves. Most couples already have their bank balances stretched thin by the wedding expenses. If this is the case, you can altogether skip the event, or tone it down as you deem suitable.

The rehearsal dinner is usually held close to the wedding date, mostly during the week leading up to the wedding. Both the bride’s and bridegroom’s extended families would be in town to attend the wedding, by this time. So, the rehearsal dinner gives them an opportunity to meet each other in an informal setting, so they are better acquainted in time for the wedding.

This is also when the bride and groom usually meet the rest of their in-laws, and so it is a great opportunity for introductions prior to the wedding. Traditionally, the wedding was hosted by the bride’s family, and so the rehearsal dinner was conducted by the groom’s family. Nowadays, there are no such hard and fast rules. Usually, the bride and groom themselves pitch in for the rehearsal dinner.

Although it is called a wedding rehearsal dinner, the setting for the event doesn’t have to be similar to the wedding. It can be organized in an entirely different venue, and you have the flexibility of planning the menu and event details based on your personal preferences. This article on A Practical Wedding Blog tells us about the actual intentions behind rehearsal dinners. This is perhaps the only time when your folks and your partner’s families will all be together, and you might as well make the most of it by hanging out together. So, host a rehearsal dinner to make the most of this opportunity.

If the wedding attendants and family will not be arriving early, you can even replace the rehearsal dinner with a casual get-together on the wedding morning. Basically, you do not need a huge budget for the rehearsal dinner. The main aim is to just break the ice and help all the main people at the wedding relax and get to know each other, so they can have fun together at the wedding. You can also use this opportunity to discuss wedding day plans and share relevant information regarding arrangements, with the concerned people.

Now that we know the gist of what the rehearsal dinner is all about, let us move on to the interesting part of how to plan this event right.

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Tips to nail the rehearsal dinner

1.Keep it relaxed

You will have enough formality at your wedding, so let your rehearsal dinner be casual. Since there are no steadfast rules to planning this event, try to set the ambiance for the venue and meal in a relaxed style, so everyone enjoys the company. Rather than having a traditional sit-down plated meal, opt for an open buffet or even consider a barbecue. The menu needn’t be too elaborate or expensive. Instead, focus on keeping the company entertained. You can have a semi-formal to casual dress code for the event.

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2.Plan the guest list well

The rehearsal dinner is intended only for those who are really close to the bride, groom and their families. This includes the wedding attendants, extended families and close friends. If there are too many people, the atmosphere will cease to be relaxed and fun. So, try to limit the guest list. If you have any out-of-town guests arriving in time for the dinner, do consider inviting them to it. If your budget doesn’t permit too many guests, you can have an exclusive dinner for those who are very close to you, and host a brief tea party or dessert party for the rest of the people on the list.

3.Get the timing right

Rehearsal dinners are usually held on the wedding eve. This allows the wedding attendants to take time off work the evening before, and be free and relaxed in time for the wedding. It also gave an exciting start to the wedding festivities that they were to be involved in. However, this may not always be the best idea, if your wedding isn’t on a weekend. If so, it is better to plan the wedding rehearsal dinner two days prior to the wedding, so all have time to settle down after this event. It may also be better for the couple, if either of them are easily overwhelmed with organizing or attending an event so close to the actual wedding day. If there aren’t many out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner invite list, you can plan it for the weekend before the wedding. The main thing to remember is that it should be convenient for you and leave you enough time to recuperate for the wedding celebration.

4.Plan the venue right

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We’ve seen rehearsal dinners held everywhere—from banquet halls, to country clubs, parks and even in backyards. Although there is no right or wrong location, the chosen venue should be one that appeals to the couple. We loved one idea, where the couple decided to bring back some special memories by planning their rehearsal dinner at a quaint restaurant where they had their first date. The wedding was a huge affair, so this was an entirely different and refreshing experience. Your choice of venue should also be based on how much you want to handle yourself. When you pick a restaurant or club, all the details will be handled by the staff. So, you can relax and not worry too much, especially if you have a lot to do on the wedding day. On the other hand, if you have outsourced most of your wedding planning to a wedding planner, you may like to plan the rehearsal dinner yourself, so you can be involved in this fully. A party held in your home or backyard will require more effort, and you must have the time and bandwidth to set it up and clean up afterwards. However, this will usually be a cheaper option, as you will not have to rent the place, and can plan the décor and theme based on what is economical.

5.Pick a theme

Although this is an informal event, having a theme makes it more interesting. The theme could be as simple as a color combination or pattern, or even a style from an era, depending on your personal taste. Although many brides worry that picking a theme will make it more work, the opposite is actually true. A theme gives you an outline to work with. This is better than looking at hundreds of options and ending up totally confused about whether all that you choose will come together. This rehearsal dinner guide on the Martha Stewart wedding blog suggests that you pick a choose a theme that is entirely different from your wedding. This should be a representation of your personalities, and it is also an opportunity to use those quirky ideas that you love, but were not wedding appropriate.

6.Make it interesting by planning activities and games

Although all the people at your party may have heard of each other, they may not know everyone there, and may not ease up till they do. Get them going, by planning some activities where they get to break the ice and help them mingle. You could pass the mike around and ask them to introduce themselves, or start off with a game or fun activity that they will like to join in. Also serve the drinks up right at the beginning of the party, as this quickly lets guests ease into the party spirit and start conversing. It is also a good idea to plan the seating arrangements so everyone gets to sit with someone they will find interesting. Mix up both sides of the party, so guests do not sit with people they already know. This will also allow you to avoid uncomfortable situations where people who do not get along may end up sitting together.

7.Chat with everyone

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You may be too busy on your wedding day to get in touch with everyone. Although you should acknowledge all your guests on your wedding day as well, it is likely that it may not be practical especially if you have a large wedding. Nevertheless, the people at your rehearsal dinner deserve to be specially acknowledged just for the fact that they are important enough to be a part of this event. So, make sure you find time to greet and meet each and every guest there, both from your side as well as your groom’s. Since the gathering isn’t formal, and you do not have any elaborate time schedule for the event, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also use this opportunity to introduce members of the party to each other, so they can start a conversation. Give these new associations a good start, and you will have many more dear ones to add to your circle.

8.Toasts and roasts are fun

One of the fun parts of rehearsal weddings is that the informal atmosphere allows people who toast the couple, to open up and share more than they can at the wedding. There may be a lot of leg-pulling, but take it in the right spirit and it will also be fun as the crowd there knows either of you very well. You can have a bridesmaid or groomsman to emcee the toast(“or roast”) session, just in case you expect some people to hijack the mike for themselves. Nevertheless, plan this into the time-line, probably during the main course, so everyone enjoys it to the most, and you can also listen comfortably to all that they have to say.

9.Gifts are a great idea

You may have party favors for all the wedding attendees. However, the rehearsal dinner is the right chance for you to give a special token of your love to your extra-special guests. So, plan this in advance, and get the invitees a valuable gift to remember you by. It isn’t necessary to give everyone the same gift, as you would at your wedding. Choose different gifts for different groups, like one for men and another for women, or choose the gifts based on age. If you have a color or pattern theme going on at the wedding, consider getting gifts that are customized to match this theme for more excitement.

10.This is the right time for announcements

Before everyone leaves the party, make sure you share any relevant information or updates about the wedding day. Since many of the guests will be playing active roles on your wedding day, use this opportunity for last-minute instructions and updates. Double-check whether they are all aware of the timings, what they should bring and where they should be at what time. Remember that this is not the time for last-minute changes, you should only use this time to remind everyone of what they already know.

Finally, wind up the day and enjoy your journey home, for it will be soon time for wedding bells to ring.

Just like with the wedding, you should dress to impress at your rehearsal dinner. All eyes will be on you, the bride, and you need a fantastic dress to impress the guests from your groom’s side. Find a fabulous dress that will be perfect for the event, from our evening dress collection at Best for Bride. Check out our collection here.

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5 must-haves at your winter wedding

Winter weddings are a growing trend. As more brides choose to get married in winter, the options available to brides to them are also more. As you go around customizing and adding personal touches to your special day, let us look at the essentials that you shouldn’t forego, so your winter wedding is delightfully complete. Here they are now!

1.A warm and cozy venue

Remember that your wedding guests will be bearing the chills, as they make their way to the venue. So, it is necessary to warm up the hall, well before they arrive, so they can relax and feel comfortable once they are there. Make sure that the hall is well-heated, and there are no drafts entering the room. Keep the ambiance warm and welcoming with soft glowing yellow lights and cozy decorations that immediately make it cheerful. You can also place a few blankets and throws for those guests who really feel cold, to wrap up in.

2.Warm drinks to ward off the chills

Who wouldn’t love a warm cup of cocoa, tea or coffee, when they enter indoors for your wedding. Make arrangements like a coffee or cocoa bar, where your dear ones can enjoy a warm drink before participating in the wedding ceremony.

3.Great lighting

This tip on the Wedding Party Website, is a very important one that all brides have to pay attention to. With the days being short, you do not want a gloomy setup with shadows all over the place. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of lighting, as this will determine the overall ambiance. Rather than choosing bright white lights, warm yellow glows and candle lights are pleasant. Candles also step up the romance, and enhance the holiday cheer.

4.Bring the outdoor elements inside

It is almost impossible to have an outdoor wedding when the cold season is at its peak. Nevertheless, you should add plenty of natural elements to your wedding décor, to add a natural charm to your party. Don’t skimp on flowers or foliage. If you are worried about the steep prices during this season, go with seasonal elements like pine branches, mistletoe and fir, or flowers that are available all-year round. Take inspiration from holiday decorations, and you will come across various elements that are perfect for decorating your wedding venue.

5.Appreciation for all those who made your wedding a success

Everyone from your bridesmaids, to the vendors and your guests have to work extra to make a winter wedding successful. So, you should openly appreciate all the effort they put in to make sure your big day a success. Appreciate and thank them openly for their contribution. Choose thoughtful wedding favors for your guests, and also add a special line or two, thanking them for the trouble they went through to come to your wedding. Similarly, thank your bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party with gifts that they deserve. Lastly, don’t forget to send thank you cards and provide positive reviews to your wedding vendors.

Have you chosen your wedding dress for your cool, winter wedding yet? If not, come visit our bridal gallery on Best for bride and choose from the lavish collection we have.

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Bridal Shower Etiquette- Tips for the host and the bride

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Bridal showers are now an essential part of a wedding, and an occasion for the bride to socialize and enjoy herself with her close circle of friends and relatives. Bridal showers are usually hosted by friends or bridesmaids, and not by the bride’s immediate family. However, the lines have blurred now, and it isn’t uncommon to find showers being hosted by the bride’s sister or mother.

As with any other party, certain etiquette rules are associated with bridal showers too. Let us look at some rules that you should pay attention to, if you are a bridal shower host. We will also briefly touch upon etiquette for the bride at the shower.

Limit the party guests

There are two things to pay attention to when inviting guests for the shower

  • only invite guests who are invited to the wedding too
  • the number of guests at the bridal shower is not huge.

The idea of hosting a bridal shower is to have an intimate gathering with the people who mean the most to the bride. These people are definitely on the wedding list. If you are not sure of who to invite, here is some help. Make sure you invite the bridal party, the bride’s close friends and family. It is also alright to ask the bride if you have missed anyone she would like to have at her party.

Timing is crucial

A wedding shower should be held at least two weeks ahead of the wedding date, but no earlier than a month. Make sure that you send out the invitations at least two weeks before the date, so the guests are allowed sufficient time to make plans to attend the party.

Plan the cost and date and be prepared to pay

It is the host of the bridal shower who pays for the party—not the bride, nor the bridesmaids. Unless all the bridesmaids want to pitch in and help with both conducting and paying for the party, they are not obligated to. In any case, make sure that the party is properly budgeted for and the expenses and ideas are agreed upon beforee going ahead with plans.

Now here are the rules for the bride

Thank the host with a gift

After all, your host has gone through a lot of trouble to plan your wedding shower. It is only appropriate to give her a small gift to appreciate her efforts. This could be a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers. Don’t forget to include a thank you note as well.

Don’t be demanding and don’t make suggestions unless you are asked

You can have your wedding the way you want it, but don’t expect the same of your bridal shower. Gifts you receive at the bridal shower are usually less expensive than wedding gifts. So, be gracious and enjoy the ritual of opening your gifts at the party, instead of focusing on what you receive. Make sure you write thank you notes to the guests for what they gifted you on this occasion.

For more wedding tips and advice, visit us on Best for Bride.