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10 things wedding guests hate most at weddings

A gloomy wedding guest fits not a wedding feast.”  -Friedrich Schiller 

Your wedding wouldn’t be the same without your guests. Although this special day in your life is a celebration of you and your partner, your guests are an irreplaceable part of the celebration. They are people who make the effort and make time to be part of your lifetime celebration. Unless they are happy and enjoy the events of the day, they will not remember your wedding fondly.

Just think of all the weddings you have attended. There will be those that you loved, and then some others. It is highly unlikely that you had fun at weddings where the guest experience was the couple’s lowest priority. After all, who could enjoy a party where they were treated as an after-thought. When you analyze things from this perspective, you will realize the importance of this factor in your wedding.

Here is our roundup of all that real guests hate most at weddings. Take note and make sure not to overlook these factors at yours.

A remote venue that is difficult to locate

In your search for a unique and unusual venue that also fits your budget, don’t forget to consider how accessible it is. Your guests may not enjoy the trek to a far-off location which is difficult to locate and reach. Although you may provide clear instructions, think of factors like how remote it is and whether they should spend a long time on the road to get there. Also, check whether it has a public transportation option.

There may be guests who aren’t comfortable driving that far. Or it may be expensive to hire a cab to drive them there. If you simply cannot avoid this condition, arrange transportation from a central point to the place. Else, arrange a reception that is within a reasonable distance and invite the majority of guests to this location instead.

A vague dress code

There is nothing like a standard wedding today. From extravagant banquet affairs to rustic loft weddings and laidback beach nuptials, every wedding is different. Thus it isn’t always easy for guests to decide what to wear to a wedding. Nobody wishes to be embarrassed about their dress choice. So, they usually look at your invitation or wedding website to make this decision.

There are many clear, fun and even clever ways to communicate this point in your invitation. There are both traditional and non-traditional ways to let your guests know what your wedding style is. From simple straightforward phrases like “Black Tie” and “Casual” to “Dress to Impress” or “Festive attire”, provide a simple phrase that explains the style clearly. Take a look at this article on the Brides website for how to word it and what each phrase refers to.

Unclear instructions

Nothing spoils fun like a lack of clear instructions. From directions to a proper seating arrangement and instructions of where the various events will be held, guests need clear instructions. Unless you provide it, they just waste time trying to figure things out by themselves. So make sure you communicate all relevant details in a clear and crisp manner. Design and format the layout of your invitation card with a checklist that cites what information your guests need.

Similarly, make sure you mention all other information on your wedding website. Add details like landmarks, traveling time to the venue, nearest public transportation destination, etc, and make things easy for them. If the ceremony and reception venue is different, provide clear directions to get to the second from the first. Similarly, don’t complicate the seating arrangement. It should be easy to understand and follow. Your guests will appreciate finding their seats easily and settle in quickly.

Long breaks between events

It is plain disrespectful to make your guests wait for long spans of time during the day. Everyone values their time. Although your guests won’t look forward to a marathon of events on the day, neither will they be excited about an event that drags on and on. So, give accurate information about timings in your wedding invitation and program. Provide the “guest arrival time” and “ceremony start time” on your invitation to clarify things. This will allow your guests to evaluate the event timeline correctly and plan accordingly.

Make sure that you, your partner, and the members of the wedding party are on time. Also, space the different events of the day without too much delay. If there are long delays, arrange entertainment or refreshments to keep your guests occupied during this gap. Discuss with your wedding planner or photographer to create an accurate timeline that is practical for both you and your guests.

Spending too much money for additional expenses

Your guests will not be happy if they must spend additional money for expenses related to your wedding. Most wedding guests dread attending weddings at venues with high parking fees. Don’t be surprised if your guests get too fidgety if your wedding day events are delayed when they are paying for parking by the hour. It is equally disappointing if you will be having a cash bar, where they have to pay for their own drinks. A limited bar or one with few options will be better received than if they should pay for their drinks.

The same applies to gift registries too. Your guests will want to get you a gift that is useful. However, they may be on a budget. When you register for items with different price ranges, they can choose one that suits their budget. Don’t be a needy couple who looks desperate for contributions from guests to make their day special. So, don’t think twice about ruling out the money dance and honeymoon jar idea!

Long boring speeches

Unless you have a small, intimate wedding, save your guests the trouble of tolerating long speeches that they barely relate to. If your wedding speeches and toasts just go on and on, it will simply bore them to death. Don’t have more than five speeches. Also, ask all speakers to limit their toasts to five minutes or less. This will not take up much time.

Let anyone else who wishes to speak at your wedding do it at the rehearsal dinner. Since that will be a smaller and contained event, it will be an apt occasion for your friends and family to speak all they want. Also, make sure that there is a mic if your reception is at a non-traditional venue. You do not want your guests to strain and struggle to understand what is being said.

Being seated with strangers

We perfectly understand that creating a seating plan for your wedding is no walk in the park. However, you should do it with care. It isn’t fun for your guests when you assign seating in such a way that they are seated with total strangers. Most dates that accompany guests end up in such situations. Unfortunately, not all of them take it well.

Although it is impossible to make perfect groups, we advise that you do not randomly create your seating plan. Try to arrange the seating in such a way that there is at least one person who everyone knows at their table. It is a good idea to discuss the seating plan with your groom, parents, and the wedding party. A group effort will yield better results and help to avoid confusion.

Photographers who get in the way

Too many photographers can ruin the entire visual experience of your wedding. Whether it is that they shoot the couple or take selfies, this simple action can spoil the calm atmosphere. When guests are too busy capturing photos on their mobile phones, it often disrupts the view of the other guests. They can also get in the way of the professional photographer and spoil their shots. If you have hired a professional photographer for your wedding, trust him to do a good job. Also, inform the rest of your guests that you do not appreciate photos being clicked during the course of events.

Convey this clearly, but not in a condescending way. There are several ways in which you can do this. Put a note in your wedding program or make an announcement prior to the wedding. You can also display signs at various places in the venue. Just make sure that there is no chance it is overlooked or missed. When you have an unplugged wedding, your photographer will be able to do a better job of capturing your wedding pictures. Take a look at this article on Glamour.com to find out how to do it efficiently. 

Loud and blaring music

You may have hired a highly energetic band for your wedding because you love their kind of music. However, it needn’t be the case with your guests. Music that deafens can really aggravate those who do not enjoy it. Be considerate and realize that there may be those who do not like the music you play at your wedding. For their benefit, keep the volume down. This will let them relax and chat or sit and watch without much difficulty.

Your guests should basically be able to talk to each other without having to scream because of the blaring background music. It is fine to occasionally raise the volume, to get the desired impact for certain song numbers. However, don’t make the mistake of maintaining the same volume throughout the evening. Your guests may rush to the washroom or out of the venue to rest their pounding heads. Most of all, this will ruin the entire day for them. Give your band or DJ a mix of songs in the playlist, so there is something that appeals to everyone there.

When the couple are totally engrossed in themselves

Nobody enjoys an event with ungracious hosts. Even when the guest count is huge, your guests expect to be treated with courtesy. So acknowledge their presence. Of course, they understand that you have a busy day and do not have time to chit-chat. However a quick hello, thank you or goodbye makes it worth their while.

If you are too busy taking photos or spending time with selected guests only, it can put off the others. After all, they made the effort to attend your wedding because they care for you. So, use the cocktail hour to mingle with your guests. Or wave hello to them when they step up to take a photograph. Treat your guests well and your wedding will be a memorable one for them as well.

Do you have any more things to add to this list? If so, do let us know through the comments section below.

Every wedding poses a unique set of challenges. Creating a great experience for your guests is just one of them. While there isn’t much we can do to help you with this, Best for Bride can help you with another equally important wedding planning task—finding the perfect wedding dress. Browse through our wedding dress collection to find a stunning variety of dresses that fit every style, weather, and wedding type. Apart from that we also feature a great collection of dresses for the wedding party. Visit the Best for Bride gallery today and begin shortlisting your favorites from our collection.

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Do’s and Don’ts when planning a Large Wedding

A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can imagine how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.

Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, but it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.

The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have a sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from the ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.

Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles, and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.

DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue

Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.

Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.

DON’T cut down on what is most important to you

There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However, this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.

Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement, in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.

DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests

Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.

Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.

DO consider hiring help

While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also, remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.

Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you a lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of bridal planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article. 

DO try to skip the little extras

Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended headcount. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.

Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

Certain items at a wedding are non-negotiable, like flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.

Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website.  You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.

All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly, it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.

DO consider a bigger bridal party

Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.

Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.

DO allow enough time between events

The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.

We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneuver to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.

Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

There are many extras that you may miss adding to your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service, etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the headcount at your wedding.

So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also, calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.

All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.

For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services, and more at the Best for Bride website here.

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Your guide to planning a restaurant wedding

Restaurant weddings are smart and sensible! It is no wonder that more and more couples choose their favorite restaurants as their wedding reception venue. The interesting thing is that it is not only food-lovers who make this choice. Many couples nowadays prefer a small, intimate and meaningful wedding ceremony and reception instead of a big bash where they hardly know all the guests. Restaurants are a likely choice for such couples as well.

Here are some of the other reasons why restaurant weddings are so attractive.

It is the best option for those who are short on time: It is an easy go-to solution for a couple who are short on time or aren’t too keen on planning every small detail of their wedding day. So, if you are a bride or groom who has many pressing needs at work or otherwise, and fitting in wedding plans is nearly impossible, a restaurant wedding may be the easiest option available.

Budget-friendly options: Restaurant weddings cost a lot lesser than weddings at other venues when you want good quality service and food for a smaller number of guests. Hiring a wedding venue, renting or buying all the things for the reception, hiring catering and serving staff, and planning all the décor can be very expensive and take over most of your budget. When you choose a restaurant, the décor is done and there is no need to rent furniture, linens, or tableware. All that’s needed for the service is available and you do not have to hire extra staff.

Food quality is guaranteed: Restaurants specifically thrive on good ratings, and their ratings are directly linked to the quality of food they serve. If you love a restaurant for their signature food, you know your guests can enjoy the same on your wedding day. So, you needn’t worry too much about the food, or even attend numerous tasting sessions to zero-in on a good caterer. Even when you do, you do not have the same assurance that the food on the wedding day will be the same as what you had at the tasting session. On the other hand, with a restaurant, you have a minimum guarantee of what you can expect.

The setting is cozy and intimate: All are naturally comfortable and settle in quickly when it is a cozy restaurant setting. These venues are used to accommodating guests on a daily basis and assure you of comfortable seating, the right amount of cooling or heating for the weather, and experienced staff who can make your guests feel at home in an instant.

You get classy décor for little to no cost: Unlike decorating your wedding venue from scratch and spending thousands on each feature, a restaurant comes with furniture and tastefully done décor that you don’t have to spend anything on. Instead, you can divert those funds into another wedding detail. Everything is in place, even without your supervision.

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So, what do you think? Isn’t a restaurant wedding a great idea, given all these advantages? If you agree, here are the things to remember and do, when you plan your lifetime celebration at this venue.

Know your headcount

Before you finalize a restaurant, you should have a clear idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding. Restaurants are small spaces, and cannot accommodate more than a certain number of people comfortably. So, make sure that the place you choose will have enough space to seat all your guests. Check it out in person, to make sure there will be no problems. Your guests will not appreciate any make-shift adjustments if they aren’t given due importance. Don’t settle for a place unless it can cater to the headcount you suggest.

Be picky about the food quality

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The main attraction of a restaurant wedding is the food that will be served, and your guests will expect a great dining experience. So, don’t skimp on that factor. Make sure that you choose a restaurant that has great food. If it is a restaurant with dishes that are popular with most of your guests, you do not have much work to do. However, if you decide to go with a unique or distinct restaurant menu, you may like to collect a few opinions first. For example, if you choose a cuisine that most of your guests are not accustomed to, think of how you can adjust the menu so that there will be something for everyone.

Find out whether the event menus different from the regular menu

One of the first things to discuss with the restaurant manager is whether their event menu is different from what they regularly serve customers. This is a factor to consider, since you will be choosing a similar menu for a larger headcount, and the restaurant may have limitations in preparing certain dishes at once for the entire number. Restaurant service is very different from the service that is usually provided in other venues. So, discuss this with the chef, especially if there are certain choices that you must have and want to impress your party with.

Discuss your options to bring food from outside

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Most restaurants do not encourage customers to bring food from outside. So, you may like to discuss this option if the restaurant doesn’t serve drinks or doesn’t have a custom cake service. Discuss with the manager before you sign the deal, so you are not disappointed later. Many brides prefer to have a custom gourmet cake, specially designed by a cake designer for their reception. However, your restaurant may not agree to it, if they have their own pastry chef or bakery section. Similarly, if the restaurant will not serve the signature drinks that you want, you may like to discuss this if it is important to you.

Make an early booking

Although it may be easier to book a restaurant when compared to other wedding venues, there are certain seasons when the rush is high For example, restaurants tend to be busier during the holidays. So, you will have to compensate them for the business they may have at the time when you book the entire facility. When you book at least six months ahead of the date, this should not pose a problem.

Ask about décor options

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Most restaurants are beautifully decorated, and the ambiance is usually a factor that attracts a couple to such places. So, it is a bonus when you think of how you can have a fantastic party without splurging on the décor. However, you may like to add a few special touches to make it more festive. A special centerpiece or some more floral décor may be a good idea. Ask about the extent to which you can add your own personal touches to the décor on the day. What are you allowed to bring in, and what do they restrict?

Talk about the privacy you will have

It wouldn’t be the same if there were other people at the restaurant, while you celebrate your wedding. However, it is a possibility that you have to consider it. Unless the restaurant hosts your party in a segregated hall where nobody from outside has access to, it is a good idea to consider hiring the whole place for the day. Most restaurants have small halls that you can fully book. So, you may be able to do this, if your guest list matches the number that can be hosted in such spaces. Of course, it will end up being more costly than when you just have to pay for the place you will occupy. Nevertheless, it will be worth it, as you will get the privacy you deserve, without any prying eyes. Even if you have to pay more for buying out the entire place for the time you are there, it will not be too much in comparison to hiring a whole other venue and decorating it from scratch.

Discuss the layout and seating arrangements

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Some restaurants are flexible in allowing you to change the seating arrangements, while others do not encourage it. Talk to the manager, and find out what your options are. Your layout should be comfortable for the guests who will be attending. Knowing what your seating options are, will allow you to decide on an arrangement that will work best. If the restaurant has hosted many parties before, you may like to take a look at some of those photos to figure out the different seating options and choose the best one for your function. It will also give you an idea of how space looks when transformed, rather than just going with an abstract idea.

Discuss the extra costs upfront

The overall cost will depend on the number of guests, the food served, and the day on which your wedding is held. You may be able to get a better deal if your wedding is on a weekday, or if you plan a brunch or lunch at a restaurant that normally doesn’t operate during the day. However, you will have to consider the extra cost if your party extends for longer than you anticipate. Apart from the listed cost, also find out about service charges and additional fees. You may also like to add tips and gratuity into the total cost, so you know what you have to budget overall.

Check how kid-friendly it is, if your guest list includes kids

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Most family-style restaurants will be equipped to handle little children. However, make sure you confirm this beforehand if there are children on your guest list. Do they serve special meals that may be a better option for children? Also, do they have seating arrangements that will be convenient for them? Knowing this in advance will allow you to plan any alternate arrangements you may have to make for the youngest members of your wedding party.

Check out previous weddings held there

A restaurant that has hosted many weddings in the past will always be a better bet than one without much experience. This is because weddings are quite different from regular services, for the headcount and style of service expected on the day. An experienced restaurant will be better equipped to accommodate last-minute changes in the headcount and to arrange the service in a seamless manner with minimum supervision. This article on Apartment therapy tells us that a Google search with the name of the restaurant and the words “wedding blog” will most likely turn up photos of weddings that were previously held in the space. If you decide to go with a place that is relatively new, it is a good idea to communicate more and be very specific about your expectations, so they get a clear picture of what you expect.

It isn’t unusual for couples, and especially brides, to feel worried and anxious as their wedding day draws near. With hundreds of details to plan and things to sort out, this is a normal and expected part of wedding planning. Having a restaurant wedding will help you overcome a great deal of stress, as much of it is already sorted out without any additional help. In fact, if you don’t have a wedding planner to oversee your wedding plans or guide you, a restaurant wedding may be one of the best options to minimize stress. With all these details taken care of, all you need now is a fantastic wedding dress to transform you into the beautiful bride you always wanted to be. And, we are here to help you find it.

Best for Bride features a vast inventory of top-class designer wedding dresses, in all price ranges and every type imaginable. Whether you are a modern bride or prefer a traditional wedding dress, we are sure you can find it in our stores. Check out the listings of all the dresses we carry, at our website link here, to see the dresses in our collections. Book your appointment with us today, and come one step closer to nailing your wedding day look.