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14 valuable tips to do it right when you plan your own wedding

Planning your wedding is hard work! You may plan to be your own wedding planner for budget reasons or because you believe you are up to the task. In either case, let me warn you that it is not as easy as it seems. There are numerous decisions to make, deadlines to meet and several lists to create. Nonetheless, it is do-able.

One thing you should remember is to stay focused, calm and optimistic always, once you make the decision to plan your wedding. As long as you are organized and not tensed about the whole thing, you will be able to tackle the potential challenges without difficulty.

To help you along, we have some useful tips. Keep them in mind and you will be able to plan the wedding of your dreams without much ado!

1.Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

Wedding planning involves a lot of work. You will have to pick and negotiate with vendors, schedule appointments and create financial plans for each aspect. Although you may be great at some of these tasks, it is likely there are areas you have no clue about. Before you start planning, try to get a clear picture of what you can and can’t manage yourself. Be realistic as there is a lot of work and limited time. Analyze the tasks that you have very little knowledge about. You may have to find someone to share responsibilities for these tasks. So, it is better to plan for it in advance, than attempt it yourself and end up with poor results.

2.Begin with a budget

All that wedding planning is going to cost money. Also, it is easy to get carried away or let some numbers slide when you handle finances yourself. To avoid this, set up a budget right in the beginning. Create an estimate of how much you can afford to spend. Make sure it is the maximum amount that you will spend, and that you cannot exceed it at any cost. This realization will help you find solutions that are affordable, when you plan your wedding details. Once you have a total amount in mind, split it among the different aspects of your wedding.

3.Hear what your fiance has to say

You must know at least one bride who feels she is the only one involved in planning her wedding! The funny thing is if you ask the broom, chances are he will say it is because the bride refused to let him in the plans. It is easy to end up shouldering all the responsibilities, and there is no going back once you are deep into it. Don’t make this mistake. Instead, sit down with your fiance before you start anything. Discuss your ideas and take note of his suggestions. It is his wedding too, so encourage him to participate. The more open you accept his suggestions, the more inclined he will be to involve himself in the plans.

4.Create a system to get your wedding plans organized

Some of us prefer the book and paper route, while others are better off with technology. Choose what works for you. You need a system to jot down notes, write down expenditures, note down deadlines and save contacts. The simplest working solution is to set up a folder with a calculator, notebook and diary. Use the diary to mark your planning timeline and detail tasks. You can use the notebook to write all other information. Also note down calculations and all relevant details in it. Use this system frequently and make sure you save everything, and you won’t lose track of the progress you make.

Before you dive into wedding planning, separate the notebook into sections for each wedding planning aspect. This will allow you segregate relevant information about each aspect in the right place. We also recommend dedicating a folder on your desktop for this. Most communication that is shared online can be saved into this location for future reference.

5.Make a master-list and many sub-lists for each category

If you are good with lists, wedding planning will be a lot easier. Start with a master checklist, which you can find online. This will provide an overview of all the tasks you have to do for your wedding. However, each wedding is different, and you may have to edit your list to fit your ideas. Once you have your final master-list, create sub-lists of tasks for each aspect. Note it down and it is unlikely you will forget or overlook any  task. You can even create this list using an online tool. This will enable you to access it anywhere, and check or cross out tasks on-the-go.

6.Make the most of free wedding planning tools

There are several tools that make planning easier. From creating checklists for the wedding timeline and entering your expenses and budget, to sharing pictures with the rest of your team, these technical applications streamline the entire wedding planning process. This makes it easier to tackle. When you set up such an app on your mobile, it allows you to indulge in planning your wedding from anywhere. Some examples include the Knot wedding planner app, Capsule for photo sharing and the Knot lookbook app for wedding outfit planning. You could even update your plans with a simple weather and calendar app from Yahoo to avoid any last minute unexpected changes to plan. For more details on the apps and websites that can be your best friend while making wedding plans, take a look at this post on the Knot website. 

A quick word of advice: If you decide to use any of these apps, make sure you start ASAP! This will help you narrow down your choices to ones that are easy to use. Get used to the method right from the start and the entire process will be way easier.

7.Be prepared for challenges

If you have been involved in project planning at some level, pulling off a wedding will be easier. This is because there are numerous things to stay on top of, all at the same time. Things can and do go wrong! So, prepare yourself to tackle the situation with a cool head and also have a Plan B for every scenario. This will help you have an alternate solution at short notice, whenever required. The best way to handle all challenges is to be prepared for worst outcomes. Apart from making a comprehensive checklist for every single thing to do at your wedding, also consider likely glitches. Then have a solution in mind, in case things go downhill.

8.Take time to think before making decisions

When you are on your own, you will have to depend on reviews and word of mouth to choose vendors, make décor decisions and more. So, do not make any decision in haste. List out your options and properly research before you commit to a contract. Make sure you take time to analyze every aspect and are fully sure of every choice, before you confirm. Where necessary, obtain references and definitely contact them. The most reliable choices are usually recommendations from friends and family, who have done it before you. So, try this path first. From picking the wedding date to choosing the cake design and florist, make sure you won’t have to rethink your decision.

9.Segregate your research 

Organize everything neatly and in its right place to make things much easier. Whether you use organization tools like Pinterest or sort things into folders on your desktop, do it in a systematic way. Create multiple folders or boards for each type of information, rather than just amassing it all in one place. This will allow you locate exactly what you want in no time. You can also share information easily when it is organized well, and save a lot of time.

10.Think well before you ask your friends and family for help

Many of your friends and family may seem eager to help with your wedding plans. However, be cautious of who you entrust with what. You need people who will stay objective and follow your instructions to complete tasks. When it is family and friends, remember that you should also maintain your personal relationship with them. This can come in the way of expressing dissatisfaction when you aren’t happy with how they handle things. Also, unless you entrust the job to the right people, there are chances that they will make decisions without consulting you. This may not always be in your best interest.

11.Get things done ahead of time

Don’t set your deadlines too close. It is always safe to have some buffer time for everything, in case there are delays or hassles along the way. When you discuss timelines with vendors, ask them to deliver ahead of the actual time. This will ensure everything is in place on time. Follow a wedding planning checklist to get a clear idea of what is to be completed and when! Stick to it and you should be fine. If you will be doing things like the centerpieces or favors yourself, get them ready as early as is possible. The last thing you want is to spend your wedding eve completing these tasks, because you didn’t get around to it earlier.

12.Get your priorities straight

Wedding planning involves numerous decisions, that you can end up procrastinating and reaching nowhere. Try to stay focused by giving more importance to certain tasks over others. Have a clear idea of how you want your wedding to be, and don’t change it along the way. Set priorities for the tasks you should complete, and handle them in that order. Do the important ones with gusto. Leave the others for when you have time. Also, wisely limit the finer details to what is practical and can be achieved within the given time span.

13.Run your plan by someone who has already been there

Always get a second opinion if you are unsure. You should have someone who can recognize if you’ve missed anything. This is possible when this associate has been in your position before you. Throughout your wedding planning, consult with your fiance and preferably another bride or couple who have planned their own wedding. They can advise you on anything you may miss or overlook. Similarly, make sure you run your list by the person who will be in-charge of your duties on your wedding day, so you are both on the same page. Read ahead to find out more about who that person ought to be.

14.Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day

Although you can fully involve yourself in wedding planning till the day of your wedding, you have other things to do on this day. You shouldn’t be the one who follows up with vendors or checks if everything is progressing on schedule. Instead, you should enjoy yourself as the bride. So, you simply must find someone to shoulder all the responsibilities on your wedding day. This could be a trustworthy friend or relative. Nonetheless, the person you choose should be reliable, punctual and have the capacity to take charge of everything wedding-related. It wouldn’t hurt if this person is a tad bossy, if necessary.  This trait will ensure that he/she won’t hesitate to get people on track when necessary. If there isn’t someone you know who can take over all this, consider hiring a professional for just the day.

Planning a wedding is a Herculean task, more so when you do most of it yourself. However, a wedding that is done well, is a blissful and satisfying experience. So, involve yourself in all the planning if you must! But don’t stress yourself out so much that you forget to enjoy it. For more wedding planning tips, fashion advice and all things wedding-related, keep visiting this space on Best for Bride.

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6 helpful things to know before you start wedding planning

Now that you are newly engaged and finished celebrating your engagement party with your dear folks, are you all set to dive into wedding planning? Just wait a second! There are certain things that you should be aware of, before you start wedding planning. These will help you save a lot of money, as well as make your planning process a lot easier.

Today, let us take a look at a handful of helpful tips to use when planning your wedding. Trust us, it will save you a lot of confusion and regrets later. And, here they are!

1.Booking the venue—what to remember

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While factors like matching your wedding theme, the ease of reaching the location and number of people it can accommodate are all relevant factors, there are some things to remember, if you are on a budget. They are:

Peak wedding months are expensive: June to August is peak wedding season, and everything is at a premium cost during this time. Consider getting married earlier in the year, when winter is no longer as severe, and spring is just about to arrive. Or, you can consider early fall for your wedding, as venues often slash their prices this time of the year.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount: Don’t assume that the price you receive on your venue is final! Even if it is just falls within your budget, don’t quickly jump at the quote and book the venue right away. Negotiate with the venue manager and find out if there is any possibility of getting it at a lower price. If you are lucky, you may get yourself a better bargain.

Look at alternatives, before visiting your preferred location: This helps in two ways. First, you will know which option you will consider, should your first choice not work out. Secondly, it allows you to know what else is on offer, and make a wise decision based on it. As with anything wedding related, it is a good idea to research and explore your choices before you settle down with what you actually choose for the wedding.

2.Wedding planner—what are the options

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Booking a wedding planner will make your wedding planning a lot easier. However, you should know that there are different options, and depending on what you choose, the service you receive and the price you pay will be different. So, let us take a look at what are your options.

Event planners: This is the whole package, where the planner will be involved in every aspect of planning your wedding. They will literally do your job for you, and will be responsible for executing everything at your wedding and making sure there are no hassles on the day. Event planners are quite expensive, as they will be working on your wedding for several months and you have to compensate them for their time and effort.

Part-time planners: This is where you do not outsource the entire wedding planning process, but only selected aspects that you aren’t able to handle yourself. This is more budget-friendly, as you can delegate the tasks that you do not have the time for, and pay only for it. Since you will be doing the greater share of the work, you will find it much cheaper than booking an event planner. If you are naturally organized and want to personally oversee your wedding details, this may be the right option for you.

Day-of coordinator: Even if you are handling everything about your wedding yourself, a day-of coordinator should definitely be considered. This is because you do not want to worry yourself with last-minute details on your wedding day. If you want a stress-free wedding day, a day-of coordinator can take charge of managing the various factors on that day. They will see that everything progresses smoothly and as per plan, leaving you to enjoy your wedding as you should.

Once you choose which of these services meets your needs best, again discuss the charges with the people you consider for the job. Compare the rates for an all-inclusive package with one for customized services, and choose the one that is best for your budget and needs.

3.Before paying for Wedding Entertainment

Choosing between a DJ and a band can be really confusing. You may be under the general impression that a DJ costs much lesser than a band. However, it can be quite expensive to book a good DJ who can actually make your party come alive. There are ways in which you can get a reasonable quote for a band too, and here are some tips for that.

Look for experienced student groups: If there is a music school in your area, you may be in luck. Student groups are usually energetic, exciting and just as efficient as a trained band in creating a lively party atmosphere. The bonus is that they cost much less. So, if you are up for the risk, look around for such a band.

Ask for the breakup charges: Instead of just being shocked by the overall quote from a band, ask them for the breakup costs. If it includes transportation, see if you can arrange a cheaper alternative and save some cash that way. Also, look at the list of musicians and ask if you can downsize to just those who you actually need.

4.Before you go wedding shopping

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Wedding dresses are crucial to transforming you into a splendid bride, however they can be quite pricey. Before you step into the shop, do your research and know your options. Here are some ways to make the most of your wedding dress budget.

Consider more than one style: If you keep your options open, it is easier to find a dress that falls within budget. Do your research ahead of time, and identify which styles will look good on you. Then look at dresses in these styles and choose the one that you are satisfied with, both in look and in price.

Look at the clearance and sale section: Many bridal shops like Best for Bride, will always have dresses on discounts and on sale. Before you look at the latest collection, it may be a good idea to see what is available in the sale section. You may find a dress that is quite similar to what you love in the current collection, at a fraction of a price.

Wait for trunk shows: Trunk shows are a bride’s dream-come-true, especially if you are in a standard 8-12 size group. These shows allow you to find the dress of your dreams at a reduced cost. If you are engaged for a year or more, it is likely that you will come across at least one trunk show during this time. So, call up the boutiques in the area and find out whether they have one scheduled in the near future. Put off your wedding shopping session till after wards, so you can take a chance and hope to find your wedding dress at the trunk show.

Save on alterations: When you fix your wedding dress budget, you also have to account for the alteration charges for the dress. It is highly unlikely that you will perfectly fit into a dress you find off-the-rack. So, you will have to pay extra to alter it to fit you. However, you will have to pay less on alterations if you take care of the following factors

  • find a dress that is closest to your actual size, neither too big nor too small
  • not make expensive custom changes, like altering the neckline or design feature as any amount of rework will cost more money

Rent your dress: If you really want to make the most of your wedding dress budget, consider renting the dress instead of buying it. At shops like Best for Bride, the rental section has ample choices in different sizes. You can rent the dress along with the accessories for a fraction of the original cost, and not worry about boxing or caring for the dress afterwards and put the money to some other use. Alternately, you can also scour the internet for unused dresses on sales, that usually are a great bargain as they are brand new, but not as expensive as a fresh piece in a shop.

5.Before you take any pictures

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Wedding photography is an essential for every wedding, and you can choose from different types and packages based on your preferences and budget. Before you even set out to look for a photographer, consider how you want your wedding photographs to be captured. The different types of wedding photography include:

Traditional: The classic portrait style photographs with group pictures in specified poses.

Casual: Candid photography, where the photographer captures casual and original moments of the day, and shoots from unconventional angles. The photographer aims to recreate the memories of the day, by capturing the wedding with the most relevant and unique pictures that characterize the wedding.

A mix of the two: Here, the photographer uses both casual and posed portraits to completely cover the wedding.

Art-style: Here the focus is on creating one-of-a-kind photographs that transcend into the realm of art. It is anything but traditional.

Depending on your personal taste, you can decide upon the type of photography to have at your wedding, and then find photographers who work with the style you choose. Some tips to help you, before you start shortlisting photographers are as follows.

Compare packages and custom deals: You may not always require all that is included in a photographer’s package. If this is the case, ask if you can have a custom quote based on what you require. This is also useful if you need an extra service from what is included in a package deal.

Discuss how many hours you will need the photographer to cover your wedding: Before you meet with a photographer, be clear on how much time you will need his services for. You must make sure that he will be available for the important events both at the start and the end of the day. If he charges overtime rates for staying beyond certain number of hours, and in case your wedding goes on for longer than anticipated, make sure you know in advance.

6.The food factor

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There are many factors that decide the food expenses you will have to incur. Factors to consider when choosing your caterer are as follows.

Choice of menu: Remember that gourmet meals will cost more than standard meals. So, let the choice of cuisine be one of the guiding factors in determining your food budget. The overall presentation and whether the dishes have to be created fresh on-site or can be prepared in advance will also decide the catering cost.

Buffet or plated-style: Buffets and plated meals, both have their own pros and cons. The sensible and budget-friendly option is to have a mix of both styles. This means you can use shared platters for the main meal, while individual portions are served as starters. This will minimize wastage and maximize the value for money.

This brings us to the end of the various factors that will prevent a headache for you, later. Do your research and plan the possible workable options for each of these choices, and you will be able to work it out very easily.

Best for Bride is a wedding shop that brings you the latest and trendiest in wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses and attire for the wedding party. We also have invitations, wedding favors and services like wedding cakes, décor arrangements and florists. Visit our online bridal shop to learn more about all our services, and also find out about the latest offers, discounts and sales we have. Experience the best of bridal shopping with our seasoned bridal consultants who will assist you in finding the dream gown for your big day. For a fun-filled and enjoyable experience, contact us today and book your appointment.

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5 Tips to plan a remarkable minimalist wedding

Minimalism is the new buzz word. With houses, offices and dresses, all taking the minimalist route, weddings are quick to follow. This article on This Luminous Life, gives us an insight into what minimalism is actually about. It rightly says that minimalism is not about getting rid of things, instead it is about shifting focus to what really matters in your life and making way for it by eliminating the unimportant things. Isn’t that an accurate way to put it?

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Many couples now choose to have a minimalist wedding, for several reasons. For some it is about avoiding the stress associated with a big wedding. For others, it is about making it more meaningful by celebrating just with the people who matter to them.

While the term can mean different things to different people, having a minimalist wedding is usually a huge budget saver. Nevertheless, this doesn’t have to mean it shouldn’t be stylish. Minimalist weddings can have the desired impact, if you plan it right. Before we go into the planning part, let us take a quick look at why you may like to have a minimalist wedding.

#So you can enjoy the wedding planning

Often, planning a big wedding ends up like a chore, especially when there are hundreds of details to perfect and it is entirely up to you to do it right. Even if you hire a wedding planner to do the planning part, it can seem impersonal and you may not really enjoy planning everything in bulk. Brides who want to enjoy every aspect of the planning and do it with perfection are better off when the wedding is small. Intimate gatherings are easier to personalize and allow you a better chance at enjoying the process.

#It helps keep your finances in check

Holding a big wedding is costly. Whether your parents or you pay for the expenses, there is no doubt that it will add up and a huge amount of money will be spent. Not all couples are keen on starting their life together in debt, or with most of their savings spent. A minimalist wedding offers more control over your wedding finances, and helps you plan a meaningful wedding without spending more than you can afford to.

#To keep it simple

Let us consider what a wedding is actually all about. Many weddings just end up being an extravagant show and people remember nothing beside all that was on display. Isn’t a wedding actually meant to be celebrating your love and being married in front of the people who matter to you? This idea is quickly forgotten with the stress of bringing together an elaborate wedding. Many couples find the pressure stifling, that they cease to enjoy their engagement. A minimalist wedding gives you a better chance of making the most of what you have, and enjoying every moment without worrying too much.

#To spend on the more important things

When you host a big wedding, you may feel obliged to spend on the food and favors.. This can sometimes leave you with a limited budget to travel to a place you love for your honeymoon. Or, it may be that you wanted a designer dress, but your funds run low after you budget for all the other wedding aspects. Keeping it simple will allow you to designate money to the more important aspects of your wedding, and not worry about impressing guests or obsess over how they will judge you.

Now, let us look at the planning part. How do you plan a minimalist wedding, and still make sure it has all that is important? These tips will tell you what to do.

1.Keep the crowd small

The wedding budget is directly proportional to the number of people attending it. If you think you should invite all the people you know, meet, have been friends with, whose wedding you have attended etc, the list will just go on. And with it, your ideas of keeping it small will have to be tossed out. Invite only your immediate family, close friends and those who you really want at your wedding. A good idea is to first fix a number, and then plan your guest list. This will allow you to narrow it down to people who are most important to you.

2.Leave out the fancy stuff

Unless it is important to you, of course! There is no rule that says your invitations have to be engraved, your décor should include real flowers or you have to buy your wedding dress. There is plenty of scope to customize, and you can find brilliant designs at a nominal cost. All you need to do, is to research options and find cost-effective ones. You can always rent a fabulous wedding gown at a fraction of the original cost and still be the beautiful bride you always wanted to be. Of course, with the bonus that you save a significant amount this way. Similarly, you can craft the look of the venue by mixing and matching options, or working with something that isn’t extra-expensive.

3.Plan the timing well

Did you know that wedding costs are significantly reduced, when held on weekdays? The same applies to when you get married during the off-peak-season. Have your wedding between December and February, and not only will it be easy to book the venue you want, you can also get a discount on it. The same applies to your caterers and other wedding services, as it is not wedding season. If you don’t mind having a wedding brunch instead of a dinner reception, you can also serve delicious meals at a cheaper rate.

4.Skip all that is unnecessary

There is a lot going on during the wedding planning, but have you ever felt that most of these are totally unnecessary? An engagement party, bridesmaids in matching outfits, save-the-date cards, expensive favors, flowers that have to be flown in and tiered wedding cakes—are all these actually compulsory? Keep the ones that really matter to you, and choose the sensible approach for the rest. Go with personalized wedding favors and bridesmaids in dresses that you choose specifically for the wedding, only if they matter to you. Go with seasonal flowers and accessories for the décor, a simple wedding cake, and minimum wedding stationery and your wedding will still be a wedding.

5.Getting help and delegating duties

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There will be many people around you who would love to help. It may be family, or friends. Enlist their help and give them the chance to make your life easier. For a smaller wedding party, you can afford to find time to employ your DIY skills in making gifts and décor items. So, make the most of it. Not only will it be more personal, you will also enjoy it a lot more than just having everything done by a vendor. If there are florists, bakers or photographers in your circle, you can even delegate the wedding tasks to them, if appropriate.

With these 5 tips you should be well on your way to planning a meaningful minimalist wedding. We also suggest that you take a look at the Nourishing Minimalism blog page, for more ideas.

If you are stuck for ideas, here are some specific ideas to go minimal.

Invitations: For those of you who want to minimize expenses on stationery, either send out wedding invites by e-mail or print your own invites and send them out. But if you are looking at budget-friendly professional options, you can choose thermography or digital printing for your invitation cards.

Bridal party: Like we said before, skip the matching look and go with the mix ‘n’ match look instead. Find out how you can obtain cheap bridesmaids dresses on a budget with the help of this article. Or, you can always ask your girls to wear a common color (the Little Black dress is a wardrobe staple and your best bet), and work around to achieving a cohesive look through inexpensive accessories like shoes and belts.

Courtney & Justin June 11th 2011

Image Credit: Mark Taylor Cunningham, via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]

Wedding dress: Rent your wedding dress, buy it on sale or second-hand. You can find fabulous vintage dresses on sale, and even second-hand dresses with tags, if you start your search early. You don’t have to skimp on style, just because your wedding is minimalist. Although a dress silhouette may be simple, it can still be classic and stylish. The sheath and A-line silhouette are essentially minimalist, but you will find fantastic dresses in these options with a signature element or two that makes it fantastic. At stores like Best for Bride, there are several designer collections which allow you to make your pick from what is available within your price range.

Accessories: If there are family heirlooms, make the most of the available choice by building your outfit around it. You can also consider wearing a wedding dress with an illusion neckline or longer sleeves to minimize the need for jewelry. Just like renting your wedding dress, you can do the same for accessories too. It makes sense too, as it is a one-time occasion and you needn’t spend so much on it.

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Venue: For a small crowd, you could plan your reception in your backyard, at a nearby park or a site that your friend or family has agreed to lend you. With a little effort, even the simplest location can be transformed into a beautiful wedding venue, without the additional costs that you incur when booking an actual hall. You could also keep the ceremony and reception venue the same to minimize cost.

Venue décor: Limit the décor to what is available seasonally and locally, and try to DIY for a pocket-friendly choice. Look at Pinterest or other online websites and borrow ideas to make the most of simple décor items that you can find at thrift stores. Consider alternatives to flowers, like potted plants, candles, berries, fruits and vegetables to make attractive but inexpensive centerpieces and decorations.

Food and cake: You do not need the classic tiered wedding cake, especially for a small crowd. Either ask to make a faux cake with just the first tier made from actual cake, or choose practical and equally interesting options like wedding cupcakes or a desert buffet instead. Opt for brunch or a buffet with local and seasonal fare to keep the food costs minimum.

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Bouquets: The bride needs a bouquet alright, but it doesn’t have to be made from exotic blooms. Equally appealing bouquets can be crafted from flowers like daisies, lilies and lavender. Even wild flowers can be grouped together to create a fantastic rustic and unique looking bouquet. If you are flexible, you can even work with what you find on the day before the wedding, and design your bouquet around it. Another option is to use silk flowers or faux flowers to create a beautiful and different bouquet.

Wedding favors: Think of whether photo wedding favors or expensive wrapped favors will actually be displayed or used by your wedding guests. If you really want to gift a favor that will be appreciated and used, gift edible favors like cookies or candy that will cost less too. The other option is to gift green wedding favors like plant starters or nice sachets of tea or coffee that will find use.

Driveaway car: Skip the limousine or vintage car, and instead go with a regular car that has been decorated to look festive enough for a wedding. As with everything else, remember that it is not all about impressing the guests, it is about functionality and how meaningful it is. As long as you keep this in perspective, everything will seem alright.

Now that you have all the inputs you need to plan your perfectly practical and minimalist wedding, you are set to act. Whether you want to buy or rent your wedding dress, visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride and you are bound to find a dress that you will fall in love with. Also find all your wedding needs, ranging from décor and accessories to wedding favors and invitations, all at our Best for Bride stores.

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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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The Right steps to finding the Best wedding planner

via pixabay
via pixabay

The term “wedding planner” broadly encompasses a number of services. Who you choose to hire for your wedding, should depend on what you want them to do. You can select between full service wedding planners and partial services. Either way, the final intention is to reduce your stress as the big day approaches, and have everything on track, in time.

We will now look at how you can find the right wedding planner from the numerous options available.

Full-service planner, a “day of” coordinator or Part-time Professional

If you want a professional to handle all the details of your wedding and you can afford it, choose a full-service planner. They will take care of all tasks including hiring and decorating the venue, creating invitations, booking the florists, caterers and band, all the way up to sending your thank you notes.

A day-of coordinator will take charge for everything on your actual wedding day. If you prefer to plan and execute everything yourself, but want help on the day, this is the ideal choice for you. Part-time professionals can help you perform chosen tasks. For example, you can hire them for décor suggestions, assistance with booking vendors etc. They charge a flat fee for the service they provide, and it is hence less expensive than a full-service planner.

Factors to account for when booking the service

The most important factor when booking a planner is your budget. A full-service planner is expensive, and they may cost up to 10 to 20% of your total budget. A “day-of” coordinator charges a flat fee for his job, and relieves you of the pressure of handling things on the day.

Compare costs of various planners and shortlist the option/options that seem ideal. Make sure that the names on the list are all professionals who are experienced and well-trained. The next part is conducting interviews to zero-in on the right choice.

Interviews and decisions

At the interview, obtain references of past weddings your wedding planner has conducted. Ask them how they work, how they handle emergencies and what ideas they can contribute to your wedding. The basic idea of this discussion is to determine how well the two of you can work together.

You will be spending a lot of time with your wedding planner, so it is important that you strike a rapport right from the start. You should be comfortable discussing your ideas, and he/she should welcome your ideas and be ready to build on it. If you are struggling to convince him/her of what you want, it is obviously not the right choice.

Discuss what will be included in the cost and make sure all the terms and conditions are included in the contract. Once you have finalized everything and your wedding planner has begun the planning process, be in touch regularly and ask for updates on the progress. With the right person to help you, you can be certain that your dream of having the perfect wedding will be realized with no difficulty.

Best for Bride has everything you need from wedding dresses, to décor ideas, invitations and more. Visit us today to get started with your wedding plans today.