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10 things to do before you go shopping for your wedding dress

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most anticipated wedding tasks for most brides. After all, the day you get married is the most important day in your life, and your wedding dress plays a huge role in helping you look great for it.

Many brides dream about their wedding dress and wedding day, right from the time they are little girls. Although their ideas of fashion would have changed over the years, the excitement of wedding shopping always thrills a would-be bride.

Being prepared in advance will help you enjoy your wedding shopping to the most, and help you find the dress you want easily. Here is a list of what you should do in advance, before you start with your wedding shopping. Make sure to follow it, and you will be set for the best shopping experience of your life.

1.Fix the maximum price

Let’s get the money part sorted out first. Everything about your wedding depends on the money you can afford to spend on it. Before you even think of going shopping, you should have a definite idea of how much you can spend on your wedding gown. Wedding gowns come in all price ranges, so define your upper limit. Then, you will not waste time on gowns that you cannot afford, or even worse, fall in love with a dress that is way over-budget. Another thing to remember is that if you already know your budget, you can do your research online and shortlist gowns you like. You can then choose a bridal shop that stocks the gowns you like.

Don’t believe that you have to settle for a gown in the shop you visit. You can always shop elsewhere if the boutique doesn’t have a good collection within the range you can afford.

There are several ways to work on a budget and still get a fabulous gown. Clearance sales, dress rentals, discount vouchers and offers make it possible to buy a gown at a price much lesser than its original cost. We suggest that you check out this article to learn more about how to make the most of your wedding dress budget, and also learn about all the expenses will be included in the final price.

2.Decide on the style of wedding

Not all gowns are suitable for every type of wedding. You may look out-of-place in an elaborate ball gown, if you are getting married at the beach. So, plan your venue and style of wedding long before you begin searching for your wedding dress. You have to consider whether certain dress features may be inappropriate for the style of wedding you have planned. For example, if you are getting married in an orthodox place of worship, wedding dresses with low cut necklines or revealing fabric may be inappropriate.

Check out these finer details before you embark on wedding shopping, so you do not have to alter your decision after you place the order. Your wedding dress should also tie with the theme of the wedding and match the formality of the event. If you have planned a classic wedding, a full train and veil may be necessary for your dress to match the style. So, consider all these factors before you start looking for your bridal gown.

3.Plan who accompanies you when you go shopping

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Although the final decision of what you wear on your wedding day is up to you, the people who accompany you on your wedding shopping can significantly influence your decision. So, it is not a small matter deciding who comes along. Don’t feel obliged to invite everyone on your bridal party or include all the women and men who think they should be part of your entourage.

Our experience is that the smaller the entourage, the better it is. Too many cooks spoil the broth, and this is accurate where wedding shopping is concerned. On many occasions, we have we seen a bride walk in knowing what she wants, only to end up being confused by differing opinions and ending up totally lost. When choosing your entourage, make sure they are people who share your taste for fashion and who have your best interests at heart. They should be encouraging and not dismissive of any choice you finally make. If you feel bad for not including all the women who wanted to go shopping with you, you can still invite them to come along when you go for your fitting sessions.

4.Have an idea of what style you want

Wedding dresses come in hundreds of styles and with distinct features. You can quickly get lost in a whirlwind of options, if you go shopping without a rough idea of what you want. So, it is helpful to be prepared.

Start with understanding your body shape and then looking at silhouettes that flaunt your best features. Our previous article on how to choose wedding dresses according to body shape will help you in this direction. Apart from understanding what silhouette will look good on you, you should also consider the choices in necklines and sleeves when making a selection. Do you want to go with trendy styles like off-the-shoulder necklines and sweetheart bodices, or are traditional styles like Queen Anne necklines and three-fourth sleeves more suitable for your taste? Take your time in determining this, as this will help you make your dress decisions much faster, when you actually go shopping.

If there are certain features that you have liked in pictures, it is a good idea to collect them and take it with you when you go shopping. Your consultant can help you identify a similar dress easily, when you can show them what you seek. Remember to keep the venue and weather at the time in mind, when you plan your choices. You can also consider add-on accessories like sleeved mock boleros or waistbands to achieve the desired look, or simply for more style.

5.Decide on where to shop

No one will stop you from visiting all the bridal stores in town before you make a final decision. But trust me, it can get boring and disappointing after a while. So, where you shop is an important decision when you want to enjoy the experience. We think you can make this decision easily by paying attention to the following factors.

  • First determine the list of dresses that you want to try by checking online or in magazines
  • List down the shops that carry most or all of these dresses
  • Check for reviews on the service that these shops provide
  • Call up to make sure these dresses are in stock
  • Book your appointment and keep to it

But, what if you do not have a specific dress in mind? Then go by the reviews of the shops you shortlist. A good bridal salon will have a number of designer collections, that you can choose from. Also, the quality of customer service is very important if you want to enjoy your shopping experience. Talented bridal consultants can help you find the dress in no time. So, pay close attention to this factor. Either check with your friends for recommendations or go with online reviews. Also consider whether the salon has dresses within your price range, before you even book your appointment.

6.Plan to go shopping at the right time

The best time to shop is when there aren’t many people around. So, cross off weekends and evenings. Plan your shopping appointment on a weekday, when the boutique you visit will not be crowded. Don’t worry about taking a day off work, it will be worth it. Going into a shop when it is crowded is not only tiring, you may even end up making a wrong decision without exploring the alternatives.

We also suggest that you book your appointment in the morning, when the attendants will be fresh and attentive. If you plan to pick your dress during a sale, visit on the first day by all means. Nevertheless, don’t hasten your decision if you aren’t one hundred percent sure this is the dress. Think over it, and return once you make up your mind.

Designer Kelima K, in this article on Whattowear.com, is correct in suggesting that brides should start shopping at least six months in advance.  Shopping when there is just four months or less till the date is considered a rush order, and the charges may be higher to get things done on time.

7.Book an appointment

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You can always walk into a store to shop for your bridal dress. However, you should remember that if there are other brides who have booked an appointment, the boutique is bound to serve them first. So, eliminate the possibility of having to wait by booking yours too. Most bridal shops, including Best for Bride, allow you to conveniently book your appointment by telephone or online.  Both methods are definitely better than a boring wait on the day you go shopping.

When booking an appointment, you can also instruct the boutique to keep any specific dresses that you want to try on, ready. Although they may advertise all designer dresses as available it isn’t necessary that they will always have it in stock. So, if you check in advance, it will be easier to try on what you like in the closest size, at the appointment than go in for it again.

8.Carry the required accessories

A nude bra is a basic necessity that you should carry with you when you go shopping. Apart from this if you think you will be wearing shape wear, and already own some, take that along too. Wearing it with the dresses will help you gain a much better picture of how a dress will drape on your body. So, don’t skip these essentials.

Additionally, if you will be wearing any heirlooms, or have shoes, veils, jewelry or other accessories that you will be using on your wedding day, take them along. This way, you can choose a dress that goes well with these accessories, and not have to worry about how to mix the two together after you buy the dress.

9.Dress yourself up to look good

Well, you always look good! So, let’s be more specific. Like this article on the Bustle suggests,  it is a good idea to dress yourself up a little, so you look good when you try on wedding dresses. Basic makeup and a neat hairdo is all that is necessary, but it will make a big difference. If you wear your hair similar to how you intend to do at your wedding, you can better understand how your overall look would come together. This can help you choose between dresses, if that is what confuses you during your appointment.

Once you decide on a dress, you should do your trial hair and makeup session on one of the days you have your dress fixing appointment. This will give you a clear picture of how your look comes together, and leave you time to make any changes if you aren’t satisfied with what you see.

10.Prepare yourself to be surprised

Lastly, always expect the unexpected when you go wedding shopping. Of course, I mean this in a good way! Don’t be too fixated on what you should buy, and what will look good on you. Trust your bridal consultant and don’t hesitate to try on a dress she suggests. Having been in the business for so long, bridal consultants have seen many a bride walk in saying this is what she wants, but go back with an entirely different choice that blew her mind. This is because bridal consultants know the difference between how a dress looks on a frame and how it looks on the hanger. So, make use of their expertise and allow them to recommend dresses they think will be best for you.

So, you now know all you have to, before you start shopping. Now, go on and have a great time! And don’t forget to continue visiting us on Best for Bride for all that you ever wanted to know about wedding planning, shopping and everything in between.

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5 Dos and Don’ts of Wedding hair

Bad hair days are a given evil in our daily lives. So, imagine how your wedding look would go for a toss if your hair decided to act up on the most important day of your life?

You need to look perfect at your wedding, and your hair plays an important role in perfecting your overall bridal look. So, you cannot afford to sit back and just hope it will be alright. So, what do you do?

Fear not, for we are here with help. Follow this list of DO’s and DON’Ts and rest assured, you will be able to tame your mane and sport the fantastic wedding day hair you always dreamed of.

# THE BRIDAL HAIR DO’S

Start pampering and caring for your hair months in advance

Invest time and effort into your hair, if you want it to look great in time for your wedding day. Just as you start with a skin care regimen and plan a workout to get in shape six to eight months in advance,

set aside time to care for your hair. Only then will it be able to heal, grow and glow. Simple steps like replacing your old comb with a good quality brush, disentangling knots with care and never brushing wet hair, will make a huge difference over time. Give your hair extra TLC by applying an extra nourishing hair mask suitable for your hair type, once a week. Find more practical tips on how to take care of your hair in this article at the Feminine women website.

Choose a hairstyle that matches your personality, and goes well with your dress

Avoid choosing or parting your hair in a way that makes you look entirely different from how you normally are. If you do, your guests will be figuring out why you look so different, instead of focusing on how beautiful you look in your bridal attire. The best option is to go with a variation of the hairstyle in which you always look pretty. Also pay close attention to the neckline of your dress, when choosing your hairstyle. You should wear your hair up or let it down, depending on what style complements the neckline of your dress. Here are some ideas

  • Side-swept chignons go well with strapless gowns, single-shoulder gowns, bateau necklines and illusion style dresses
  • Top knots and high buns are good choices with high necklines
  • Braided hairstyles are pretty with sweetheart necklines and lace gowns
  • Retro styles and loose hairdos are the choices for modern glamorous gowns with plunging V-necklines or halter straps

Have a test run before the actual day and nail the perfect hairstyle in advance

Collect pictures of hairstyles that you would like to try before you book your appointment with the hairstylist. You can then discuss all your ideas with her. Make sure you do this well ahead of your wedding day. Be open to her suggestions. Discuss any specific ideas you have, and where pictures are available, use them to help convey a better idea of how you want to look. Once you reach a consensus on the style to try, book a trial where you get to see how it actually looks. If you aren’t satisfied with how this hairstyle looks, you still have time to explore other options. Some articles suggest you attempt three different hairstyles for your wedding day, to settle on the best one. You could schedule your trial appointment for the same day as your bridal dress fitting session, as this will allow you to get a good idea of how the two work together.

Allow enough time for your hair appointment on your wedding day

You will get a fair idea of how long it will take you to style your wedding hairdo at your trial. When planning your wedding day schedule, make sure you add an extra half-hour, just to be safe. You never know what unexpected hiccups can crop up on the day. So, prepare for it in advance, and all will be well. On this note, don’t forget to cross-check and reconfirm your appointment the day before the wedding, so your hairstylist doesn’t forget.

If you will be changing dresses after the wedding, and also changing your hairdo to go with it, make sure you will have sufficient time for it. Choose styling products that will make this easy. Also, make a list and stash everything you need to get dressed into your tote well in advance, so you don’t forget anything at the last minute.

Wear a button-down dress while styling your hair on your wedding day

In the normal scenario, you will wear your wedding gown after you finish your hair and makeup. Choosing a front-open or button-down dress for your hair appointment will allow you to change into your wedding dress without disturbing your hairstyle. Or, if you are doing your hair by yourself at home, a bathrobe works well too. In either case, you should be able to easily get out without having to touch your hairstyle or ruining it.

#THE BRIDAL HAIR DONT’S

Experiment with a new cut or colour too close to the wedding date

As I mentioned earlier, you should be preparing for your wedding day a few months ahead of the wedding. The ideal time to start planning is as soon as you buy your wedding dress. If you plan to try a drastically different haircut or colour your hair a brand new shade, make sure you do it as early as possible, so you have time to grow out of it if it isn’t something you like. The best thing to do is to get the look well in advance, and simply trim, touch up and maintain it during the days leading up to the wedding. This way, you will not be in for any nasty surprises in the hair department, on your big day.

Use heat or curling and straightening irons unless absolutely necessary, till your wedding day

Limit the use of heat and hair styling products, as these can take a toll on the natural bounce and beauty of your tresses. Your hair will have to deal with a lot of stress from curling, crimping, setting and straightening on the wedding day itself. So, minimize the damage by subjecting your hair to minimum hair treatments prior to the wedding. We perfectly understand how you will find it necessary to turn on the heat, to look perfect for all those pre-wedding photo opportunities. After all, you want to look great not just on your wedding day, but in all the pictures that make their way into your collection of wedding memories. But too much heat damage will have you stressing over your hair after you tie the knot. So, take it easy with the chemicals and heat. Don’t forget to use a heat-resistant spray and give your hair the nourishment it requires, so it can cope. Also, do your bit by drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet that will have your hair in top shape to bear this external damage.

Forget about hair accessories when planning your wedding day hairstyle

When you attend your trial hair appointment, make sure you have all your hair accessories for the day with you. This should include your veil, hair pins, combs, clips, hair extensions, flowers and anything else that you intend to wear in your hair, on an actual day. The veil is very important, as where it is placed will greatly impact your overall look. There are stunning hairstyles that work well with veils. So, if you will be wearing a veil, discuss your options with your hairdresser. Similarly, placing hair accessories like headbands at different positions on your crown can alter your look drastically. Sort this out at your trial appointment, rather than wait till your wedding day to find out. Look at pictures you find in magazines and on the internet for inspiration, and also listen to your stylist’s suggestions. Once you nail the final look, take pictures of this hairstyle from all angles, and save it for your reference. This will help clear up any confusion on your wedding day, should it happen. You also don’t want to choose a look that will seem dated five years from now. Go with classic and elegant styles and choose hair accessories that will stand the test of time. Check out this article on how to choose the best headpieces for your wedding day for some ideas to plan your wedding day look.

Overdo it; simple can also be stylish

The more you worry about how you will look on your wedding day, the more difficult it will be to find the perfect look. It isn’t necessary to have an elaborate or very complicated hairstyle to look glamorous on your wedding day. Simply polishing up your regular style, or adding a dose of bling with a gorgeous ornament, is all that is sometimes needed to create that impact. To do this easily, we suggest you try to recollect a few occasions when you looked best, and how you wore your hair at the time. Start with something similar and work out a hairstyle with your stylist, so you can enhance it even further. Comfort is also key. If you think you’ll be fiddling with your hair at the altar if you leave it down, go for a style that takes the hair away from your face instead. There are hundreds of great hairstyles that can help you achieve the look you want to while feeling comfortable as well. All you have to do is to figure out which of them will be apt for you.

Forget to pack hairspray and other touch-up essentials into your emergency kit, to keep your curls in place throughout the day

It is not just when you walk down the aisle that you ought to look great, it is all through the day. This means you may have to touch up your hair once in a while. Make sure you stash away all the necessary tools for this, in your bridal emergency kit. This includes your hairbrush, a fine comb, hairspray and bobby pins. Make sure you touch up at regular intervals, so you look fresh and your hair is intact in all your wedding pictures. Also, it is only sensible to plan your hairstyle such that it is suitable for the venue and weather. If your ceremony is held outdoors in a breezy location, allowing your locks to naturally fall may not be the best idea. So, think of all these factors when deciding on your hairstyle. If you will be changing your hairstyle after the ceremony, for the reception, practice, practice, practice! Only then will it be quick and easy to change from the first style to the second, on the day. Choose suitable styling products so this is easy to achieve.

Finally, remember that your wedding day is not all about how you look, but also about how you feel. Everything you wear or dress up in should only complement the happiness you feel in your soul on the day you marry the man you love. Keep this vision in mind, and everything will be sorted out by itself.

At Best for Bride, we are here to help you realize your vision for the perfect wedding day. Beginning with your wedding dress to your ceremony décor, invitations, wedding cake, party favours, jewelry and accessories, we have everything you require for your big day. For an unbeatable collection of beautiful hair accessories, tiaras and veils, visit us today and make your pick. You can also choose to rent your wedding jewelry and hair accessories from us, at a fraction of their original cost. Book your appointment or drop in at your nearest Best for Bride store, and see your wedding dreams come to reality in no time.

For more wedding tips and advice keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

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The essential guide to tipping for Wedding Services

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Is it obligatory to tip every vendor at your wedding? Or is it alright to assume that the vendor charges cover their services and you needn’t add gratuities into your already-stretched wedding budget?

Wedding tipping is a tricky area, with no set rules on what is right and what isn’t. More often than not, it is up to the couple to decide whether they want to tip a vendor or not. If you aren’t really sure of what to do, this guide will help you recognize who you should tip and who you can skip.

Ground and set-up staff

These people do most of the hard work, like moving or setting up equipment and furniture at the venue. So, they deserve a tip for their efforts. You can budget roughly $10 per person. This list also includes anyone who delivers gifts or the important items from your baker, florist etc.

At your reception venue, unless you have taken an all-inclusive package, you will have to pay the staff in charge of serving wine or cutting cake, separately. In both cases, it is common practice to tip these attendants, and you can put aside roughly 15% of the food expenses for this purpose. To avoid double-tipping, check your contract for whether it includes service charges and make your decision accordingly.

Hair and Makeup

Similar to when you visit a beauty salon, these staff expect a tip for the service they provide. How much you pay will depend on how well you think they performed the job.

Florist and Baker

It isn’t usually necessary to tip your florist or baker, as their rates normally include gratuity. One way to know whether it would be appropriate to tip the person you are dealing with, is to read your contract. If it includes service charges, you do not have to tip again. Another thing to remember is that you needn’t tip a vendor who owns the service, but it is alright to tip employees.

Wedding planner

It is optional to tip your wedding planner, but you can always do so if you appreciate the effort the team put in, to make your wedding a success. You can also show your appreciation by giving them a nice gift instead of cash. Don’t forget to send a thank you note to your wedding planner if you loved what they did, and make sure you do this soon after the wedding. A good review and photos for their portfolio would be nice too.

Photographers and Musicians

It is optional in both cases, but if you are happy with their service or if they exceed your expectations, don’t hesitate to tip them. Again, if the photographer is the owner of the business, you can always skip it. For the musicians, if they did a splendid job and kept the evening alive and active, you can tip them.

Apart from the customary tips, you should appreciate anyone who has made a special effort to do the job well. Don’t think of the rules if you think they did a splendid job, and also send out a thank-you note afterwards. In a business where customer satisfaction decides a vendor’s business prospects, it will be well-appreciated if you can provide them a good online review or recommend them to your engaged friends

To obtain more wedding advice and tips, and also find everything you need for your wedding, visit us at Best for Bride.

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How To Find An Engagement Ring That Fits Your Personal Style

Every woman is different…and each woman’s special diamond engagement ring should capture the essence of her own personal style.

By analyzing your own tastes and preferences, you can be more certain of choosing the ideal diamond and setting for your everyday wardrobe, hair and makeup, and general lifestyle.

If you’re shopping around for a special piece of bridal jewelry, you’ll love our quick guide to finding the best style for you!

Classic/Traditional

Classic Bridal Gown

This type of woman values tradition – she seeks out the tried-and-true! You’ll probably enjoy wearing classic separates, such as cardigans in natural fibers, tailored dress pants, knee-length skirts, and classic leather boots or low-heeled pumps. With you, everything should be elegant and refined, and never too garish or trendy.

You’ll probably wear your ring with a gorgeous bridal dress that isn’t too embellished – a simple chemise, slip dress style, or classic princess design (without too much volume in the skirt) will appeal to you and your personal style.

For the classic/traditional woman, a diamond engagement ring should be sophisticated and timeless.

Classic three-stone diamond designs will almost always fit the bill!

Classic Diamond Engagement Ring

Your bridal hair and makeup will be classic and lovely – a chignon, traditional up-do, or sleek blow-out will highlight simple flushed cheeks, a touch of mascara, and soft-pink or berry-toned lips.

Classic Brides – Chelsea Clinton, the late Princess Grace of Monaco

Modern/Trendy

Modern Bridal Gown

You’re daring, bold, and willing to take risks – you’re the sort of woman who is truly on the cutting-edge of fashion. You probably love perusing fashion magazines like Cosmo or Elle to get style ideas you can adapt to your own body type. You enjoy playing with line and silhouette (skinny jeans and fabulous high-heeled boots will probably be favorites for you!), and having lots of fun with accessories, makeup, and hair color,

Of course, you’ll need a diamond engagement ring that also pushes the envelope! Don’t settle for something that gets lost” on your hand – go for a modern showpiece that everyone will notice! Modern/trendy women needs extra pizazz in their engagement rings – they want to show their original style to the whole world!

Modern Diamond Engagement Ring

Taking chances is par for the course with you, so look for an original setting with a “custom” feel and a little “bling” – this sort of design will blend beautifully with your designer handbags, fashion-forward hair and makeup, and fun, Sex And The City vibe! Your wedding gown will be adorned with high-fashion touches that add uniqueness and a modern spirit to your special day!

Modern/Trendy Bride -Carrie Underwood, Beyonce Knowles

The Perfect Engagement Ring Can Be The Ideal Starting Point As You Begin To Plan Your Wedding!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to finding the right engagement ring for your own individual style. Once you’ve found the ideal diamond ring, it’s easier to begin planning one of the most special days of your life. Walking down the aisle will be a joy when you’ve found gorgeous bridal jewelry that really reflects who you are!