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Budget Blooms: Real ways to stretch your floral budget to the most

Gorgeous flower arrangements are an inevitable part of a picture-perfect wedding. Flowers have the amazing ability to transform and uplift the entire wedding scene, making even a drab location picturesque. However, flowers are expensive and your floral budget can quickly get out-of-hand, unless you plan well.

Fortunately, it is possible to stay within budget and still have fabulous floral décor at your wedding. Here are our insider tips to help you stretch  your floral budget and get great value for the money you invest.

1.Highlight bigger blooms

Larger blooms are not only more dramatic, they cover more space. So, you will need fewer large blooms to complete  floral arrangements, and they will create a strong impact. Discuss with your florist to find out which blooms are in-season at the time of your wedding. Design your floral décor with the largest of these, and there should be significant cuts in overall cost. A larger flower like an orchid may be pricier than roses. However, with the larger size you will need fewer of them to complete the arrangement. Sunflowers, orchids and hydrangeas are other good choices for maximum impact and economical prices.

2.Keep your centerpieces simple

Although your centerpieces are important, it isn’t too difficult to find budget-friendly choices that pack a punch. Expensive exotic flower installations can eat into your budget. However, a similar impact can be achieved with cheaper choices. Focus on the colors in the design. Your florist can suggest economical choices that will tie with your theme. You can also use few exotic flowers and complete the rest of the arrangement with cheaper seasonal fare.

3.Budget-friendly choices work for designs that are seen from far

While your centerpieces will be viewed up-close, other parts of your floral décor won’t receive too much focus. For instance, the flowers on the altar or lining the edges of the aisle or hall will not be scrutinized from too close. Hence, use cheaper flowers in these arrangements to save money. Filler flowers like carnations are saturated with color and hence the best choice for pops of color. However, these are cheaper than roses. Seen from afar, your guests won’t be able to make out the difference. As long as the effect is similar, it won’t matter whether you used carnations or roses in the actual arrangement.

4.Opt for seasonal and local blooms

This is often the cheapest way to get fantastic blooms. Since local flowers are easily available, transportation costs are minimum. Also, since local produce is fresh, it will look amazing. Seasonal blooms are another good way to keep your costs down. If you must have off-season varieties in your floral décor, prepare to spend extra as they have to be shipped from elsewhere. Off-season flowers may not hold up well, in the weather conditions at the time of your wedding. So, avoid the risk and splurge on local and season flowers instead.

5.Don’t splurge on the bridesmaids bouquets

The more bridesmaids you have, the more money you will have to spend on their bouquets. The prices can quickly add up, and its value isn’t really justified. Instead, invest in a spectacular bridal bouquet. Then plan your bridesmaids bouquets as miniature versions that aren’t too costly. Your florist can whip up alternatives that match yours. Once again, focus on the colors and design instead of the actual flowers in the bouquet.

6.Find alternatives to corsages

Corsages are pretty pricey, since there is a lot of effort involved in creating them. Unless you are very particular about having them, find an alternative to serve the purpose. Use single flowers without fillers, and they will cost  less. Your Wedding blog suggests several alternative corsage options from feathers to starfish and even buttons. We think this is a great way to tie it to the theme of your wedding, while deviating from the traditional floral corsage idea with an unexpected twist. Isn’t it a great way to get noticed? Check it out and get inspired.

7.Add extra greenery

Have you ever realized that the greens in your bouquet are rather inexpensive when compared to the blooms? Make the most of this factor, by choosing more greens and adding flowers as accents in your bouquet. Ivory or ferns cost far less, but fill space. They also add beautiful texture to floral bouquets, enhancing its appeal. So, use lush greenery in your bouquet and centerpieces. You will need fewer blooms, but have floral arrangements of noticeable size and impact. So, choose from foliage , herbs and ferns to add a lush effect to your bouquets for much lesser.

8.Add details like ribbons or lace

Simple additions to your flower bouquet, like a ribbon or lace will help it appear larger. It is also a romantic addition that will enhance the appeal of your bouquets. The same applies to centerpieces as well. Satin ribbons add saturated pops of color that will enhance the beauty of your flower arrangements. Lace adds a romantic note. So, these are classy choices that will help you create a better looking flower arrangement sans the cost.

9.Add a unique touch to your décor with non-floral centerpieces

Expensive flower arrangements with exotic blooms are always impressive. Nevertheless, this isn’t the only way to create impact. You can achieve the same effect by adding few cheaper and unusual items. You can find elements that tie to your chosen theme. The best part is that such items can also be reused in your home décor later. Take a look at this article on the Bridal Guide for some interesting suggestions along these lines. From Bird cages for garden weddings and rustic themes to pin wheels for outdoor weddings, there are plenty of amusing ideas to borrow and use. 

10.Choose airy flowers that add bulk to arrangements

Similar to adding foliage to increase the bulk of your floral arrangement, add bunches of light and airy blooms to enhance the volume of the entire arrangement without costing much. Wispy strands of baby breath act as great fillers for bouquets and centerpieces. A single stem will occupy significantly more space than a single flower. Hence, this is one option to explore. Your florist can suggest more such options that are pretty and light and create the effect you desire.

11.Reuse and re-purpose to get the most out of your wedding flowers

In most cases, you will have your wedding ceremony at one location and the wedding reception in another location. Although it may be the same venue, it is likely that your reception hall is different from the one for the wedding ceremony. In such cases, the common practice is to set up separate floral arrangements at either spot. However, the smarter option is to reuse the same flowers at the second location. Arrange to transfer the flowers from the first location to the second, and you will only have to pay the transfer cost. You will have to employ help to do this quickly and discretely after the ceremony. Plan this movement carefully before the wedding day, so it progresses smoothly on the day.

12.Go for non-floral bouquet options

There are many substitutes for real flowers that look just as good, or perhaps even better. Spend less by replacing your bridal bouquet and that of your bridesmaids with non-floral options. From fabric flowers to paper flowers, brooches, lace and even feathers, explore the variety of options available. There are endless options as long as you are flexible. The best part is that you will also have an unforgettable accessory that your guests are bound to remember. So, let your creative juices flow and come up with a non-floral bouquet option that ties to your wedding theme and is unique in every way. For more inspiration and ideas, take a look at this fantastic post on the Martha Stewart website.

13.DIY your wedding bouquets by going for what is cheap and available on the day

If you have time and are crafty, this is the best way to stretch your wedding bouquet budget. Visit the local market the day before your wedding, and find cheap flowers that fit your color scheme. You could even enlist the help of your bridesmaids or friends who are particularly talented in this area. However, remember that this is not an option if you are rather particular about what you want. On the other hand, if you are flexible and ready to go with what is available, this could be the cheapest way to find flowers for your bridal and bridesmaids bouquet at a bargain price. With a little creativity, you can easily find ideas for unique and beautiful bouquets with what is readily available.

14.Add seasonal bounty to the mix

Another idea for a non-floral bouquet is to add seasonal bounty like fruits, foliage and natural décor elements to your centerpieces. When you pair colorful fruits like limes, berries, apples or peaches, you can easily obtain the pop of color you choose. These also add texture and unexpected beauty to an arrangement. The best part is that such seasonal produce is often inexpensive and will bring down your flower budget significantly. Take a look at this post on the Martha Stewart website for some stunning centerpiece arrangements bursting with fruits and even vegetables.

15.Start with the grocery store bouquet

If you must save on your flower budget, look no further than the regular flower bouquets available at grocery stores. These give you the right base to begin your arrangements and designs with. Simply rearrange the blooms, add a few extra embellishments like brooches, twine or lace for a touch of glamour and you are ready to go. Remember however, that this setup requires extra time. So, don’t embark on this route unless you have time and skills to get creative and DIY on the day before your wedding.

16.Mix and match by cost of flowers

Flexibility is key to achieving the desired impact while staying within budget. If you want your floral arrangements to look lush and expensive, mix and match expensive and inexpensive flowers in your arrangements. One way is to go with alternating arrangements of flowers that fit each category. The other option is to use few large blooms of the expensive flower of your choice, and alternate it with inexpensive flowers as the fillers. Flowers like baby’s breath and daisies are perfect for this option.

Weddings are very expensive, and every penny that you save goes towards your future. So, it is wise to consider your options and make budget cuts wherever possible. Even if flowers are a priority in your wedding plans, you can achieve startling results without breaking the bank. The above suggestions should help you with this. Have we missed anything? If you have any more ideas, don’t forget to share it with us in the comments section below. After all, it is all just a matter of thinking outside the box and finding choices that do not compromise on your main priorities.

For all your bridal needs and advice, our Best for Bride team of experts are here to help. Whether you want a stunning wedding dress, accessories, alterations or wedding day services, visit our website to find the best solutions to bring your wedding day ideas to life.

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10 Reasons why summer weddings are so popular

There are two words that are a match made in heaven–they are “June” and “bride.”

Well, weddings can take place any time of the year, even in the coldest of cold winters. (Yes, that is a trend, these days!) But, we don’t hear brides being associated with any other month, as much as with June! So, we have to conclude that June is perhaps the most popular month for weddings, and it goes without saying that this is because summer weddings have and will always be a huge thing.

We love weddings, whichever be the month that they are held in. Whether summer, spring, winter or autumn, a wedding is always a special event. Having said this,we must also say that we have this soft corner for summer weddings, and with good reason too! In fact, we have ten reasons why we, and the rest of the world, think summer weddings are great! Let us look at what they are.

#1 The long days are a dream come true

The longest days of the year are in summer, and this gives you ample time to enjoy our wedding day without worrying about how early the sun will set and it will be best to dismiss the party. With the sun taking its own sweet time to go to sleep, sunset weddings can be held late in the evening. This allows both the wedding party and the guests plenty of time to get dressed and reach the venue. The best thing is that you can plan your ceremony late in the evening, and not trouble your guests with having to leave work early in the day, to make it on time. The same goes for you too. Take your time to perfect your bridal look, for there is plenty of time.

Summer is also the ideal season to plan a non-traditional outdoor morning ceremony. Wedding brunches that are over before the sun gets too warm are a perfect budget option, that is both casual and fun.

#2 Brides have many more dress options

Take a look at our bridal gallery and you will soon observe that most wedding dresses feature sweetheart and strapless necklines. Many wedding designers bring out plenty of dresses that feature sleeveless and strapless necklines, and this has been the trend for a while now. However, it isn’t a great choice for when the weather is cold, as you will be forced to find an option to cover your arms, at least temporarily.

With summer weddings, you don’t have to worry about this at all. With the warm weather, you couldn’t be more comfortable than in a dress without sleeves or straps. And this allows you to choose from a greater range of options, and find the dress that fits your vision perfectly. Since there are countless choices in soft, airy and breathable fabric, you won’t have much trouble finding a dress that keeps you comfortable during the day. More on wedding fabrics and how to choose the right one, in our previous post here.

#3 Summer time is so joyful and full of color

As the sun smiles down and the flowers are in full bloom, there is a certain joy in the atmosphere that is not found in any other weather. Summer is so full of joy, and weddings being a celebration of love and happiness, there couldn’t be a better time for it. Your guests will also be eager to step out of their homes and enjoy your wedding. This is irrespective of whether it is held indoors or outdoors. The longer days make everyone active, and they will be eager to attend your summer wedding than battle the snow and make it to a winter wedding ceremony.

Now, haven’t you noticed how people like to pull out the most colorful clothes to wear during summer? We think that as the weather becomes warmer, there is a general tendency to shift from the light and pale wintry colors to deeper and brighter colors that reach their saturation levels in summer. Soon afterwards, autumn arrives and the color palettes again recede in intensity, moving towards light or neutral tones. So, if you want a bright and cheerful crowd who will liven up your wedding atmosphere and photographs, you simply have to plan your wedding in summer.

#4 Summer bounty makes menu planning easy

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Summer is the season when you have the best of farm produce to spice up your wedding menu. If you go local or with the seasonal variety, you still have so many options. Nature’s bounty is lavish in the warm summer months, with produce like squash, pumpkins and other colorful fruits and vegetables in abundance. Not only does this allow you to plan a spectacular and vibrant wedding menu, it also allows you to do this without costing the bank.

Another thing to remember is that summer weddings allow you to hold a daytime function like a brunch buffet easily. These are cost-effective options where you can serve delicate and light food that will be satisfying and interesting, and it will be much cheaper than a full-course plated dinner. Since the weather will be warm, your guests may not appreciate a heavy meal. This will work in your favor as you can focus on appetizers and drinks, instead of expensive desserts and rich main courses.

#5 It is vacation time anyway

With schools off for summer and many families planning their holidays at this time, it is a lot easier for people to attend your wedding. If you have invited children, their parents will appreciate attending the wedding at this time of year. This is because the children will be free without having to rush through a hasty weekend wedding to get back to school on Monday. Now, if children aren’t attending, it is still easier for the parents to arrange child care for them. Many of them may already have arranged for a babysitter while they are at work, and it makes sense to simply extend the service to your wedding day without much ado.

It is also a known fact that many people choose to go on annual leave during the summer, and with prior notice they can plan to attend your wedding, and adjust their vacation plans accordingly. It also helps your friends or family in university, as they will mostly have their annual break in summer. When you get married in June, it is closer to the holidays, and this allows you more time to leave town and enjoy an extended honeymoon.

#6 Summer gives you plenty of time to plan your wedding

That is, unless you’re just engaged and plan to have your wedding right away! But, barring this circumstances, we think summer weddings are the most practical weddings. If you have a year or whereabouts to plan your wedding, you can take  your time to plan your wedding look, do your dress research and decide on your wedding décor by winter. You can even place your wedding dress order before spring, and still have enough time to get the alterations done. Come spring, you can go shopping for all the other things you need for the wedding, place all your orders and book everything you need. The pleasant spring and summer weather will allow you to easily meet your appointments, and do all your last-minute tasks without worrying about frozen roads, snow or unexpected blizzards.

With so much time on your hands, you could even plan a destination wedding easily. Nevertheless, we always suggest sticking to a wise and well-planned wedding timeline, so everything progresses as per plan. Here is a wedding checklist that can guide you in this direction. Follow it and make sure you are all set for your wedding.

#7 Summer is the season for destination weddings

Like we said earlier, summer is the right time to have a destination wedding. Your choice may be an exotic beach far away from home, or even a venue in the adjacent town. All the same, this is the right time to plan a wedding a little away from home, because you can afford to make the most of the warm sunny weather and travel far for the biggest celebration in your life. Planning time off work is practical in the summer months, and it will also be easy for your chosen guests to attend your wedding as this is the popular vacation time.

Many exotic destinations offer special wedding packages this time of the year. You may be able to book your honeymoon stay at a reduced rate, or club it with the wedding venue costs. Getting married on the beach, where surf and turf meet, with warm salty breezes punctuating the air—it is a fantasy come true for many couples, and summer makes it possible.

#8 Summer is the best season for flowers

If you are a bride who is excited about flowers, summer is the perfect time for you to plan a wedding with plenty of floral details. The most popular wedding flowers–lilies, gardenia and carnations, are in full bloom during summer. This not only makes bulk ordering budget-friendly, but is also is an eco-conscious decision. When you choose to have these flowers in any other season, they are usually shipped to your location from greenhouses in other parts of the world, where they bloom at the given time. This can not only be expensive, but is also very unfriendly on the environment. Summer makes it possible for you to explore the several options in locally available and seasonal flowers, and you will have ample variety to choose from.

This article on the Flowerexpert blog will enlighten you on the several flower breeds that are available in the warm sunny months. Take a look at it, and you will soon realize how right we are when we say you have no dearth of options.  So, if you want your wedding décor to be filled with blooms of different varieties, colors, sizes and designs, you simply must have a summer wedding. And we are sure it’ll be spectacular.

#9 Summer allows you to sport a fresh tan and look beautiful

Most brides would love to look tanned and beautiful on their wedding days. Getting a real tan is close to impossible in the winter, autumn and even spring. You would either have to opt for the services of a tanning salon, use tanning spray or fake tan. But we all know that none of these come close to the real deal.

Fortunately, with summer, you have the perfect situation to do this with the help of mother nature itself. Spend a stress-free afternoon at the beach, or simply rest in your own backyard, and you will have that magical tan before you know it. And, there is no doubt that a bride with a tan looks fantastic in a beautiful white wedding dress. So, make it happen with a summer wedding, beautiful brides!

#10 Summer weddings make small local businesses happy

With more weddings held in summer, couples turn to the various businesses available locally for their various wedding needs. From florists, to bakers, venues, makeup and hairstylists, photographers and transport companies, all the local businesses see their revenues go up in the warm summer, thanks to the wedding clientele they host at the time. Since the demand for vendors is usually highest this time of year, most business owners are happy as they have a better chance of doing good business.

So, it simply means that not only do summer weddings make the couple themselves happy, they also help the local businesses enjoy the best part of the year with more profit and business. With everyone happy, it is a joyous occasion in every way.

So, there you have it—summer is a fantastic time for a wedding, and undoubtedly one of our favorites. If you have your wedding lined up in the warm months this year, don’t forget to visit us at Best for Bride to find all that you need for your dream wedding. From wedding dresses, to dresses for the bridal party, wedding cakes, invitations, party favors and more, we have every wedding aspect covered under one roof.

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10 Money Saving tips for your wedding

Congratulations! You are engaged! Doesn’t it feel great?

As the realization of this new relationship status sinks in, you might be super-excited to start wedding planning and that’s when the bombshell drops—crazy wedding expenses! Yes, weddings are expensive. Everything from the venue to the photographer and food can have you straining your bank accounts down to the last penny.

Fortunately, there are several ways in which you can cut expenses and make the most of what you can afford. After all, you do not want to start your marriage in debt. So, here are 10 money saving tips that every couple should consider. This will help you cut a few corners and save some money while budgeting your dream wedding.

1.Venue

budget venue

Three aspects of the wedding usually fall into one account—food, beverages and venue. Together, these three components will consume almost fifty per cent of your total budget. The easiest way to reduce expenses on venue rates is to book a single venue for both the ceremony and reception. This will not only eliminate the rental charge for an entire site, it will also allow you to save on transportation from one site to the other. Two birds with one stone! If you want to further cut charges, consider hosting the wedding during the off-peak season or on a weekday, when prices will be drastically slashed. An advantage of doing so is also that it will be easier to obtain the venue booking as the competition will be very less on these days. Saturday nights are usually the most expensive option. Get married a day early, or a day late, and you will appreciate how much easier this will be on your pocket. Another intelligent idea we found on Buzzfeed is to host your wedding on a day preceding a public holiday, so everyone gets to have fun late into the night as they are off work the next day, and you still get to save yourself some money.

2.Guest-list

guests

Three words—Snip! Snip! Snip!

Be ruthless with cutting names off your guest list and your wedding expenses will be reduced drastically. Rather than hosting a huge wedding where you don’t know half the people and have to skimp on the service due to budget constraints, isn’t it better to have a lavish affair with the few people who really matter to you? A direct approach to reducing your wedding guest head count is to omit children and colleagues from the list. Also, not everyone needs to have an invite with a plus-one. Limit the plus-ones to spouses, serious partners and live-ins only. Well, if your parents are paying for the wedding, they may want to invite a few extra people, so handle this as is appropriate in your case.

3.Food and drink

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Skip the traditional formal dinner and opt for a wedding brunch or lunch instead. Perfect for a casual wedding, you could cut costs this way. Now, if you want a sit-down plated meal, choose a three course meal over a five-course meal, and it will still go down well. And you can minimize costs by choosing to have your reception at a hotel, instead of at a rented venue. This way you will not have to bring too many things in like utensils, seating arrangements, table linen etc, as it will all be available at the restaurant. You can always find the right dishes to serve on their menu. Most good restaurants have beautiful chairs and tables, and there is no doubt that they are perfect places to dine at. So, help your budget by taking this route. When you choose a restaurant that looks stylish and matches the theme of your wedding, half your job is taken care of. When serving beverages, stay away from the idea of an open bar. Serve beer and wine instead of liquor and add one cocktail drink to complete the list.

4.Wedding Cake—don’t make it, fake it

faux cake

Well, maybe not the entire cake, but at least the extra tiers! Remember that each tier will add several dollars to the cost and unless you have so many guests at your wedding, why let it all go to waste? Most bakers can create faux wedding cakes which look exactly like the real thing. They usually use Styrofoam layers and cover it with icing and decorations, so it looks like the real deal. So, you can get the look, but for much less cost. There are several other ways to make the most of your cake budget, the details of which we have covered in a previous article dedicated to the subject. Here are some of the ideas in a flash:

  • Use a smaller couture cake for display and sheet cakes in the kitchen for the actual service
  • Limit the expensive flavors to one or two tiers alone, while using standard flavors for the remaining tiers
  • Choose standard shapes like circle and square instead of topsy-turvy and fancy shapes to reduce cake costs
  • Decorate with economical options like real flowers, ribbons and easy DIY toppers
  • Go for butter-cream frosting instead of fondant and cut the price by almost fifty per cent
  • Use half or three-quarter servings in place of full serving sizes to eliminate wastage and cut costs
  • Serve cake alongside other desserts in the buffet, instead of at the table. Then, only those who want it will have it and you can reduce the overall order this way

5.Rent your wedding dress or buy it second-hand

If you are not keen on having a brand new wedding dress, opt for a rented one or seek one out second-hand. Vintage wedding dresses are a happening trend, and you can max out on this now. Second hand wedding dresses can be found for as low as half the original cost, even when there is little to no damage to them. There are websites dedicated to this, and you will find plenty of choices to select from. The other option is to rent your wedding dress from a consignment shop or bridal boutique like Best for Bride. Here, you can mostly find the gown in the style you want to wear for a fraction of the original cost and not worry about what to do with it later. With the option to also rent matching accessories like wedding jewelry, veils and headbands, you can achieve the perfect bridal look without hurting your bank balance. All you have to do is place your order in time, collect you dress on the appointed day and enjoy your wedding in it. Return it after the wedding, and worry no more about what to do with your wedding dress. It couldn’t be easier. The third option is to repurpose your mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown with the help of a talented tailor. Not only will this not cost as much as a brand new wedding gown, it will also give your family heirloom new life. Sentimental and sensible, isn’t that smart? Now, your groom could also rent his tux and the two of you could divert the money saved into a well-deserved treat like your honeymoon.

6.Make the most of sample sales and trunk shows

If there is time left for your wedding, you needn’t go wedding gown shopping already. Keep your eyes and ears open for sales and trunk shows and you could pick up a dress at a better bargain. Or, browse through the sale and clearance section of websites like Best for Bride and make your pick from the dresses listed there. If you aren’t too particular about wearing a specific gown on your big day, why not make the most of your wedding budget by choosing the best choice within your means from these listings? The same could apply to your bridesmaids dresses too. Look for any bulk discounts and use it when choosing the dress. They will appreciate your concern, and nobody at your wedding need know that these were picked up at a sale.

7.Try alternate bouquets

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Cut flowers are expensive and not environment-friendly, so spare the pain and still have fabulous wedding bouquets and décor with alternatives to original flowers. Bridal and bridesmaid bouquets using silk flowers and paper flowers are very beautiful and attractive. Similarly, you can vary your décor using fruits, candles and other easy-to-find accessories and still have a fantastic and unique wedding design. You could even consider succulents and potted plants for your wedding décor, and these could be used again either in your new home or gifted to the party guests to take home with them. Now, if you must have flowers, go for the seasonal and local variety and you can save some cash this way too. Ask your florist for what is within your budget and leave her to weave her magic with it. Or, if you are up for the challenge, make your bouquets on the day with what you find at your local grocery store. The price of the flowers you get there will be far less than at a flower shop, and this means you can find more flowers for your budget. Imagination is key, and it is not difficult to create splendid centerpieces, bouquets, aisle decorations and even venue décor using craft supplies from thrift stores, provided you know how to work around them. You can also use the same flowers that were used at the ceremony venue for the reception, and cut down on associated costs. All it takes is a quick move of the pieces from the first location to the second, and I am sure nobody is going to mind it.

8.Go bargain hunting for your wedding favors

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Personalized wedding favors created exclusively for your wedding are stylish and special, but not absolutely essential. The true meaning of wedding favors is to gift your wedding guests a small and sweet memento for their valuable presence at your wedding. This can be anything you deem fit for this purpose. It can be homemade cookies, brownies you had your baker add to your cake package or preserves that you bought on sale.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be in fancy packaging! It just has to be thoughtful and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Our suggestion is not to be too specific with your ideas and there will be hundreds of bargains out there, waiting to be snatched. Visit the sales and discount sections of wedding favor websites, and book a deal that falls within budget. This will give you a good bargain for the money you can spare. You can always customize it with a few craft supplies that can be found on sale, and you will easily have a personalized wedding favor in no time. Consider printing out your own monogram or wedding stationery using free fonts available online, and you can also save on expensive labels and tags for your wedding needs.

9.Hire and buy local

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When choosing a caterer, booking your band or buying flowers think local and it will save you loads. Plus, you will already know what is best in the area and can make a wise and informed decision accordingly. Go with seasonal fare for your menu and the cost of your food will go down. Should your band have to travel from out-of-town for the reception, remember that you will be paying for their effort to travel this far for your function. Go with the local favorite instead, and you are certainly going to get a better bargain. Like we mentioned earlier, flowers that are flown in from elsewhere will cost more. So, think of whether it is actually worth the added cost. Wouldn’t you be able to achieve a similar effect by substituting it with something local? If so, isn’t that better?

10.Choose your transportation wisely

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You do not need a limo, vintage car or even horse and chariot to drive you away from the venue. You can make a grand entrance or get away in any other car dressed up for the event. All you need is to use your creativity to dress up the car with some wedding paraphernalia, add a “Just Married” sign and you are good to go.

Hopefully, you now have enough tips to have a great wedding day without it costing you dearly. For more wedding tips and advice, continue visiting us on Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for everything bridal.

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10 Must-know Survival tips for the Winter bride

I can think of so many reasons why winter weddings are a good idea. They are budget-friendly, romantic, unique and not to mention, festive. With the holiday season bringing on a merry mood, this is the perfect time to be wed and enjoy the fun and jovial spirit in your own special way. Almost everyone gets married in summer or spring, and so winter weddings have an air of mystery and intrigue to them. This rarity of winter weddings makes it more memorable than weddings in the warmer months.

Nevertheless, winter weddings require a lot of planning, perhaps even more than spring or summer weddings. After all, the chances for the unexpected to happen is several times greater. So, here are ten winter wedding survival tips that are bound to help you when you plan your wedding in the cold weather.

1.Prepare for the dark days

We all know that the days are shorter in winter, and it becomes dark very early. The lighting at your venue plays an important role in contributing to the overall impact of your wedding day. Make sure that you are well-equipped for the dark day, by choosing a well-lit venue which is nicely warmed before it becomes dark. This factor is even more important when you think of how your photographs will turn out. Work with your photographer to find out when and how your photos should be taken, so you achieve the desired effect. Make sure that your photographer will be carrying necessary equipment, like a tripod, that will light up the shots even if the venue may have dim lighting. It may also be better if you can have the wedding ceremony early, so you can make the most of the daylight when taking your pictures.

2.Choose a picturesque venue

When choosing your venue, it is necessary to choose a pretty and picturesque one so you can get good shots even if they are taken indoors. Remember that there is little scope for taking outdoor photos during a winter wedding. Although you may be able to capture a few, you will have to take most of your group photos and portraits indoors. So, make sure your venue will cater to this requirement. An attractive venue with plenty of stylish spots with a variety of interesting backdrop elements would be ideal. You can also customize the spaces to contain interesting elements that can add a special touch to your photographs. A venue with a lot of warm accents and whites would be the perfect choice for your winter wedding, as it will be welcoming and fresh. With the whites working against the naturally dark elements of the weather at the time, your photos will also come out much better.

3.Find the right photographer for the job

When choosing your photographer, make sure he has had good practice shooting photos in winter. If his wedding portfolio doesn’t contain many examples, you can ask to look at the other shots he has taken in winter to get a fair idea of his expertise.

Winter weddings are really not the best time to ask your budding photographer friend to do your wedding photography, for one obvious reason—he won’t have the necessary equipment to handle the lighting requirements for good photographs. A camera with a flashlight is certainly not the right choice, as it can leave long shadows that will make your pictures dark and gloomy. A professional would have the necessary equipment to light up the shots appropriately. If you want warm and glowing photos, discuss this idea with him early, so he can plan the shots accordingly.

4.Keep yourself warm, while looking stylish too

winter bride

As romantic as winter weddings are, there is the definite problem of it getting too cold. Nonetheless, you can always prepare for it, so it doesn’t stand in the way of a fantastic wedding day. Plan your wedding outfit, so it is suitable for the cold weather. Wedding dresses in thick fabrics like velvet or satin will keep you warm. It may also be a good idea to choose a dress with sleeves, so your shoulders and arms aren’t too exposed to the natural elements. If you decide upon a strapless or sleeveless dress, at least get a stole, wrap or bolero to cover up your shoulders when you begin to feel cold. Since you will mostly be taking at least a few outdoor shots, carry a jacket that matches your outfit. It will help you stay warm between photos. To make sure you are entirely comfortable, don’t forget your feet. Either choose closed shoes or else change into a pair of warm boots for your outdoor pictures. Remember that you can find very stylish dress choices, even when your wedding is in winter. Add some extra luster and sparkle to your look by choosing accessories with crystals and bright stones. You can even play with textures by choosing accessories with feather and fur.

5.Make sure your guests are warm and comfortable too

Your guests will also appreciate a little warmth, especially when they come indoors from the bitter cold. Make sure your venue is heated in advance, and you leave some blankets around the seating space, for those who want to cozy up in it. If it has been snowing lately, have the driveway to the venue cleaned and free from ice. Also place a few umbrellas at the venue, just in case it snows or rains at the time. You can consider making arrangements for hot cocoa or coffee for your guests, and this can help them feel warm and settled in no time. Do this and you can be certain that there will be no chattering teeth, and that everyone will be focusing on you during the ceremony, instead of feeling to cold to enjoy it. It doesn’t really hurt to tell your guests that the ceremony is a little earlier than actually planned. This real bride, Robin, on Wedding Wire, tells us how she informed her guests that the wedding would start 30 minutes earlier than the actual plan, just so nobody missed it by arriving late. This also allows them to relax, settle in and be warm by the time the actual function starts.

6.Plan your décor and flowers sensibly

Your venue prices, catering costs and other prices may all come down in winter, but flowers are a definite budget-bomber in the cold winter. Many flowers may even be unavailable or impossible to get in this weather. So, plan your flower choices well in advance, while keeping the weather constraints in mind. It is best to go with what is seasonal, so you can avoid the risk of last-minute cancellations. The holiday favorites like holly, eucalyptus and mistle-toe are do-able options. Consider planning your décor with items that are available all year around. You can work wonders with candles, metal tableware, holiday decorations, branches, twigs, fruits and fabric to create classic wedding decor that will look both festive and welcoming. When choosing candles, throw in some scented ones and your wedding venue will not only look, but also smell great.

7.Make sure your hair and makeup are warm and welcoming

Winter presents a unique set of challenges for every bride, and the last thing you want is to look pale and washed out in an already all-white wedding scene. Both your skin and hair will have to be prepped very well to stay fresh throughout the day. Warm autumnal colors are a favorite in winter, and will warm up your overall look, however white your wedding gown may be. Dress up your eyes and highlight it with defined make-up to look ravishing and to get noticed. This is the time to have smoky eye-makeup done, and use colors like pinks, browns, maroons, blues and purples. Choose a glossy finish for your lips and add a slight touch of shimmer to your makeup. To keep your hair healthy and refreshed, add a serum to your hair before styling it. Also make sure that you feel fresh and glow from the inside, by staying hydrated throughout the day. Moisturize your skin, and make sure you reapply a touch of moisturizing cream to your hands and any exposed skin, any time you are exposed to the chills.

8.Choose your transportation wisely

You obviously aren’t going to choose a horse and carriage for your winter wedding getaway, but the limitations do not end there. Not all vehicles are equipped to travel on icy and slippery roads. So, this may mean that your vintage car choice may not be the best choice, if you want to make it to your venue on time. Although you can always book a classic car and be optimistic that the weather will be favorable, make sure that the car hiring company will be able to provide you with an alternative if it isn’t. Discuss this before you book it, so you don’t have to worry about it on the day if things do not go as per plan. On the day, allow for extra time and start early for the venue. It is better to reach there ahead of time and relax in your chosen vehicle, than run late and start the day off on the wrong note. You can even reel in your guests to be on the safe side, and have your wedding on time by setting the time on your invitations as half-an-hour ahead of the actual planned time.

9.Make the most of what is in-season

dinner

From wedding décor, to flowers and menu options, plan your wedding around what is seasonal and locally available. Trust us, it will make wedding planning so much easier. Since you have no guarantee on what hiccups may arise due to unforeseen weather conditions, it is always best to be on the safe side. And winter does have quite an attractive bounty to choose from, so you needn’t be disappointed. Mulled wines and a variety of cocktails can be created easily and will be appreciated by your guests. Go with the holiday staples in fruits, vegetables and meat, but use them in interesting and different ways in your menu, so it is different from a typical Christmas or thanksgiving feast.

10.Be prepared for every worst-case scenario with an insurance

This is actually a possibility for every wedding, whether in spring, summer, fall or winter. Since you will be planning your wedding several months in advance, and nature is unpredictable in every way, there is only so much you can be certain of. Blizzards and snowstorms can entirely topple your well laid-out plans and leave you lost. While you cannot foresee how things will be on the day, or be entirely optimistic, you can certainly plan for the worst-case scenarios. Make sure that you take out a wedding insurance on your wedding, so you will be able to tide over any such last-minute hassles without too much trouble. You can either opt for a whole package deal that covers every aspect of the wedding in one go, or get separate insurances for the different things that you spend most on. This will at least help you financially if you have to postpone your wedding due to unforeseen circumstances.

With a little organization and foresight, your winter wedding will be over in a breeze, and an experience that will be remembered fondly by all those who attend it.

To transform yourself into a pretty winter bride, who will steal the show and the heart of your Prince Charming, you need a dress that will do part of the magic. Visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride to make your pick from the extensive collection of designer dresses at the most affordable prices. You can also find your bridesmaids dresses, wedding accessories and dresses for the rest of the wedding party at Best for Bride. Apart from that, also check out our décor options, florists and trusted cake vendors who will help you realize your vision of the perfect wedding. Wait no more, click here to see what awaits you at the one-stop bridal destination: Best for Bride.

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