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8 etiquette questions for the mother of the bride

Every mother has a vision of how her daughter should look as a bride, and it is no surprise that moms are usually a great help in helping the bride plan her wedding. All the way from being a part of her shopping entourage to supporting her with making vendor decisions and other important details, they are an indispensable presence.

However, it isn’t always smooth sailing. Unless you are a regular society bee, or have had another child get married in the recent past, it may be time to brush up on the etiquette rules you should follow for your daughter’s wedding.

So, this article is dedicated to all mothers of brides out there. Join us to find out all you need to know about your role in your daughter’s lifetime celebration.

Do I have to stick with the tradition of choosing my dress first and tell the mother of the groom what I’ll be wearing?

If you and your family are all about following traditions at your daughter’s wedding—Yes! The original practice was for the mother-of-the bride to first finish her dress shopping, and inform the mother-of-the-groom about what she would be wearing to the wedding. Then, the groom’s mother would choose a dress that would tie together with this choice, even if it wasn’t too similar. Now, times have changed, and not all people are fond of old traditions. You can always conform to the practice, if that is what you like.

Notify the groom’s mother of the outfit you have chosen for the wedding day. However, be realistic with your expectations. If she isn’t keen on following the practice, let her be. If you aren’t sure of whether your daughter’s future mother-in-law would appreciate you informing her, or whether it would seem to pushy instead, check with your daughter. She should be able to advice you on whether it is a good idea. Or, you can ask her to pass on the details to her future mother-in-law herself.

1.Do I have to ask my daughter for her thoughts on what I wear to her wedding?

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Yes! It is your daughter’s day, after all. Although it would be unreasonable of her to dictate your overall look, she may have suggestions on what you could choose to fit the overall wedding party look. Ask your daughter for recommendations on colors and dress styles, and make your pick so that it matches her expectations.

It would be a good idea to choose a color in the wedding palette or one that goes well with the bridesmaids dress colors, though not exactly the same. Either pick a different shade in the same color spectrum as the bridesmaids, or a neutral or complementary color that will work with it. Most couples have a general idea of how their wedding scenery should be, and if you can find an outfit that works well with the theme, you would be doing your bit to make them all the more happier.

2.Are there any styles that I should absolutely avoid?

This again depends on your personal preferences and that of the bride’s. You should be comfortable in what you wear and feel good too. When choosing sexy dresses that are too short, with long slits or ones that expose too much skin, you may first want to get the go-ahead from your daughter. If she is fine with your dress choice, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Instead, if she feels that you should make an elegant and modest choice, or that you may steal her thunder with the way you dress on the day, it is better you rethink your original idea. Remember that you can look glamorous and stylish, but in a way that doesn’t make anyone unhappy with your choice. We think this is the route you should take. The same applies for when your daughter asks you to dress in something that you aren’t comfortable in. Although you should try to meet her expectations when choosing a dress, you should finally wear one that makes you happy too.

3.Should I be offended if the couple won’t take any of my suggestions?

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We understand that you may not be entirely happy about the couple not taking your suggestions seriously, especially if you are footing the expenses for the wedding. However, you should remember that this is their special day, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime affair for them. So, prepare to handle it gracefully if your daughter decides not to go with your suggestions. Accept that you are making suggestions, not decisions! It may not be that she thinks they are bad ideas, it could just be that she has other ideas herself that she thinks are better suited for the situation.

So, before you provide any inputs, you may actually want to ask your daughter about what her own ideas and vision is. This way, you will be able to think of relevant and appropriate suggestions, that they are more likely to accept.

Now, for some humor, we think you should head over to this page on the Knot that lists some really crazy wedding planning comments from moms! You may also like to share it with your daughter, if she thinks your suggestions are weird! She may probably ease up a little, once she sees what other moms have been up to!

4.I am not sure the to-be-weds know about our limits to finance their wedding. Is it alright to discuss this with them directly?

If the couple expect you to pay for their wedding, it is only right that you inform them of the maximum amount you can afford to spend. Have a chat about the wedding finances with the couple, so they can plan expenses accordingly. Get this across right at the start and you can save them from being disappointed after booking everything at rates that you cannot afford.

Now, if the couple intend to pay for their wedding themselves, it is best that you do not interfere with their plans at all. If you will be contributing a specific amount to the wedding budget, you can share the amount with them beforehand, so they can plan it accordingly. Or, if your idea is to sponsor a certain wedding expense, like the wedding dress or entertainment, make sure that you tell them what your limit is. This will help you both be on the same page when the time arises.

5.I think my daughter is turning into a bridezilla. Should I do something about it?

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You know how the excitement and overwhelming planning stress can get to your daughter and turn your level-headed, pleasant girl into a monster! This does happen to many a bride, and such women put all those around her in misery. From straining her relationship with her partner, to making her bridesmaids miserable, this can cause a lot of damage. As her mother, it is essential that you support her whole-heartedly during this trying time.

Nevertheless, it is also your responsibility to put her in her place and tell her when she crosses the limit. Make suggestions to help relieve the stress, and tell her not to freak out over unnecessary details. Also gently remind her that her friends and relatives need to be treated nicely, and she cannot forego behaving well just because she is a soon-to-be bride. You are the best person to put this across to her. So, take this responsibility seriously and make things better for her and all the others involved.

6.Do I have to take the initiative and reach out to her in-laws?

It is not just customary, but sensible as well, to meet your daughter’s soon-to-be in-laws once she is engaged. Ideally, your daughter and her fiance should set this meeting up. So, wait for them to do this. If you get the idea that they will not be taking the initiative, you can take the first step forward. Talk to your daughter’s partner and find out how you can get in touch with them.

Either invite them over to your home, or plan to meet for tea or dinner at a good restaurant or cafe. If you are comfortable in playing host and inviting them to dinner, it would be a good idea to contact them directly and invite them over. Whether you meet at home or outside, make sure that the first meeting is very casual, and the purpose is to get to know them. Be supportive of your daughter’s relationship with their son, and make the most of this first move by fostering a friendly relationship with them.

7.I would love my daughter to wear my wedding gown, but I am worried it looks dated and may not be her taste. Do I offer it?

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Your wedding dress is associated with a lot of fond memories, and it would be a dream come true to see your daughter be wed in the same dress. However, as you have already realized, it may not be the right style or fit for your daughter. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer it to her. Just don’t force her into considering it. If you have a great vintage dress, and it is one that matches the theme of the wedding, you may even be doing your daughter a big favor.

Also, there are many talented wedding dress makers who can repurpose a wedding gown into a brand new wedding dress, while keeping the important elements of the original dress alive. This could be by taking the lace from the dress and adding it into a modern silhouette, or simply redesigning the gown to make it modern. If your daughter would like to consider this option, give her full freedom to do what she wants with your gown. You cannot expect her to wear the dress as it is, so don’t feel bad about the dress being taken apart after you agree to let her do what she chooses with it.

There are also options like taking the lace from the wedding dress and adding it to the bridal bouquet. Finally, just remember that whether the bride says yes or no to your dress, accept her decision gracefully and don’t complain about it later.

8.What say do I have in planning the guest list?

If you are sharing the wedding expenses, it is only reasonable to expect that you have a say in who is invited to the wedding. Nonetheless, talk to the couple and find out what type of ceremony they have in mind. Keep that in mind when deciding on who you should ask them to invite. If their idea is a small, intimate wedding, respect their choice and don’t expect to invite all those you want to.

Get a clear idea of how many people you can invite, and then decide upon who goes on the list. If the number is small, make sure that you list those who are most important. As with everything wedding-related, be reasonable with your expectations and nobody will feel hurt.

Weddings are a difficult time, and a bride is lucky if she has a supportive mother to help her meet the various wedding-related challenges. It is a one-time occasion, and she deserves all the support she can have to make it a memorable event in every way. Isn’t this what moms are always there for?

To take a closer look at any of the dresses featured here, and at more mother of the bride dresses available in our collection at Best for Bride. Browse through our extensive dress collections for top-class dress designers to find the dress that is just perfect for your little girl’s big day. We also have a huge inventory of wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses. Come visit our one-stop bridal destination for anything and everything you need and make your wedding day a huge success in every way.

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10 practical tips for a picture-perfect wedding

Most couples who get married these days are very choosy about who handles the photo shoot at their wedding. No surprises here, as wedding memories live on through the photographs and videos of the day! This is indeed a one-time occasion, and getting all the details right is essential to framing those memories perfectly.

Wedding photo mishaps are common, especially when the person behind the camera is an amateur. However, there is no guarantee that there will be no unpleasant surprises even when it is a professional yielding the camera. A lot of it is luck; the rest is poor planning.

While it isn’t possible to rule out every single mistake, however hard you may try, you can at least do your part to make sure your wedding is documented well. Here are ten handy tips that will help you have that picture-perfect wedding album, that you simply cannot take your eyes of.

1.Seek inspiration, but don’t let it restrict your natural style

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Haven’t we all been smitten by perfect wedding pictures, with the bride looking like a dream and the groom like Prince Charming. Certain poses and certain angles seem just perfect, that you may quickly decide that you must also try it.

It is a great idea to find inspiration from other weddings, but don’t try to make your wedding a copy of all that you see elsewhere. One thing you may have noticed in all these fantastic wedding photos, is that the pictures usually look great because the models look natural in it. Additionally, the photographer has the talent to capture the love, happiness and chemistry between the couple.

So, the poses and location are secondary. It is the couple who make the pictures so beautiful. Don’t confine yourself to the same photography pattern as a couple whose wedding you loved. Take cues from why certain pictures look great. Don’t copy, instead use this as the inspiration to plan your own pictures.

2.Relax and don’t fake a certain look for the camera

You should know your best angles and the most photogenic profile. Discuss this part with your photographer ahead of the wedding. He may even be able to give you valuable tips to get it right, so you can plan your photo shoot accordingly. Nevertheless, don’t try to limit yourself to a specific pose or look throughout your wedding photos. It will definitely become boring, and a fake smile or a rigid pose will be obvious to all those who look at your picture. Enjoy the natural flow of things on your wedding day, relax when the camera is on you and smile from your heart. Remember that happiness just can’t go wrong, and your photographs will turn out superb.

3.Silly poses? Think of how you will feel about it in ten years time

It is a trend these days for couples to fill their photo albums with silly and non-sense poses and actions. Well, it may be fun, but how many of them do you actually want in your album. We often find that some of the best wedding photos are usually ruined by an unnecessary silly gesture.

You should really think of whether you will be excited about all these funny poses in your album, when you look at it ten years later. Just think of it this way—what would your reaction be, if you were to find your mom and dad in similar poses in their wedding album?

Your wedding day is all about having fun and enjoying yourself. However, it is also an occasion that you will look back on, many times in the future. So, let it be captured on film mostly as an interesting, grown-up affair. After all, you are celebrating an evolving and growing relationship with your partner, and this should be done with all due seriousness.

4.Prepare for a long day in front of the camera, and don’t let frustration seep in

Your photography session will usually start early in the morning, right from when you begin getting dressed. It will then go on for the entire day, mostly till the time you set off on your honeymoon, or go home for the night. Being under the spotlight for such a long time can be pretty exhausting. And when you are expected to stay happy and put your best smile forth, it can tire you out even more.

However, this is all for a purpose. So, remember that looking happy in your wedding photos will allow you to remember the occasion more fondly than otherwise. Prepare yourself for a long day, and don’t feel frustrated about how long you have to smile and pose and stand with crowds to capture hundreds of pictures. This is simply how this works, so make your peace with it.

The most important people in your life have all come together to celebrate your big day, and that doesn’t happen everyday. You will later realize that spending all those hours posing and clicking pictures with them, was definitely worth all the effort and time.

5.Follow the photographer’s directions for when you should look at the camera and when you shouldn’t

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Not all wedding photos will require to you to stare into the camera. When you must look at the camera, your photographer will ask you to. Unless you have been asked to, just do what you were doing naturally.

You will have to pose and smile in your group photos and portraits. At this time, don’t spoil the photo by looking away. The rest are usually candid shots, with everyone captured as they are. If you are unsure of how or where you should look, just ask to be certain. Or, you can always schedule an appointment with him, ahead of the wedding day and discuss how you want the pictures to be. This will allow him to plan his shots accordingly.

The aim is to have fun and trust your photographer to capture the actual essence of the day. Don’t make a big deal of how you should be standing or where you should be looking, when the photographer shines the flash on you. Just be yourself, and leave the rest to the professional handling the job.

6.Do plan your photo shoots well in advance

On your wedding day, you will have to take group photos, photos of the various events, those of just the two of you and candid pictures. While the events and candid shots will be up to the photographer’s discretion, the rest are usually planned shots. Since you will have to stand and pose and spend time to have these pictures taken, it is a good idea to plan and organize when these will be done. Plan this in advance, into your wedding day schedule, and it will be easier to arrange.

Also, it is a good idea to spread the photo shoots out throughout the day, rather than have it all in one go. This way, your guests will not be kept waiting and you will also look fresh in every lot of the posed shots. On that note, if you have your wedding indoors, plan your outdoor wedding day portraits when the lighting is most suited for it. So, if you wish to capture the sunset in your wedding album, make sure you free up your time for that activity alone, at the said time.

7.Don’t dictate how your photographer should work

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Photographers are creative artists, who know what they are doing. You can always offer suggestions and tell them what you want to see in your photographs. Leave the rest of the work to the professional. They have more experience than you do, and know how to make what you want happen.

You should get a glimpse of their ability and talent when you check their portfolio, prior to signing them up. If you are happy with what you see there, trust them to capture your wedding in the best possible way.

Set up an appointment well ahead of the wedding day, when you can discuss your expectations with the photographer. Share notes and welcome suggestions from them. Run them through the wedding day plan and tell them where they should be and at what time. If you have very specific preferences for certain shots, it may be a good idea to demonstrate what you mean by showing them pictures similar to what you have in mind. Once this is done, leave them to plan their moves and shoot your wedding as they think best.

8.Don’t feel conscious of the camera

Just because the camera will be capturing many of your moves, don’t let it dictate how you act and behave. Be your normal self. Brides and grooms who are camera-conscious make either of two mistakes. The first is they become overly shy and hide from the camera. On the other hand, some of them believe in making the most of the attention and show off to the most. Overly exaggerated actions, fake laughter and very obvious posing can spoil the entire fun.

Photographs should be about capturing you in your natural element. So, avoid both the above mistakes. Just ignore the camera and do what you would be doing, in it’s absence. This way, you will have your wedding captured as it was meant to be.

9.Have a plan for group shots

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In all the commotion of a wedding and the reception that follows it, it is easy to lose track of the people to be photographed. Since you will definitely want specific people in certain group photos, plan this early. Decide on the must-have group photos, and list those who are to be in it. Designate a bridesmaid or groomsman to bring all these people together during the photo session, so you do not have to run around searching for them at the time.

Ask all those who are to be included in specific groups to stay close, and your photos will be more easy to take. It is also a good idea to plan the shoot in a particular order. So, your family members and friends will know when they will be required to be present. If there are guests in a hurry, include their pictures earlier on. Similarly if there are children who are to be in the picture, it is a good idea to be flexible with taking their pictures. You can then capture them when they are in a good mood.

For pictures with your flower girls and ring bearer, have these taken earlier on, before the children have fun and wreck their original look for the day.

10.Inform your guests to stay out of your photographer’s way

Your guests will certainly want to take their own pictures and will be clicking away on their mobiles or tablets. Nevertheless, make it clear that you have a professional photographer calling the shots, and ask that nobody click the group pictures at the same time as he is. It is natural that people can become confused with where to look, when there are several cameras clicking at once. If people were aware of this, we wouldn’t see so many pictures with members of the group looking in different directions, in a wedding photo.

Do inform your guests that you will be sharing the pictures across, once they are ready. This will save them the trouble of focusing on taking pictures, instead of enjoying the wedding itself.

With a little organization and clear planning, it is easy and practical to have your wedding captured perfectly. Remember that if your wedding is a happy occasion, where you smile from the bottom of your hearts, there is no way the pictures will reflect anything else. Just like you enjoy and savor every moment of your wedding day, make sure you savor your photo sessions too. Entrust the task to a capable and talented photographer, and leave the rest of the work to him and his team.

At Best for Bride, we offer brides and grooms a range of wedding-related services. Our list also includes photographers who are specialized in different genres of wedding photography. Contact us today, to find out who you would love to work with for your wedding.

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Destination Weddings: 9 things every couple should know

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Weddings in quaint European towns and the exotic Caribbean are no longer a novelty. Many brides and grooms are packing their bags, and getting married in attractive locations far away from home. Nevertheless, it is a fact that while these weddings are possible, they involve more long-distance and detailed planning than weddings near home.

It is not only the couple, but also the guests at the wedding who have to make allowances to attend a destination wedding. As it is far from home, there will be lot of things to consider. From paperwork to aero plane tickets and accommodation, there are many factors to consider.

Since these weddings involve travel, the rules and expectations are slightly different than in the case of a regular wedding. Let us find out what these are today!

1.Be prepared for a smaller and more intimate wedding

It is highly unlikely that all the people on your guest list can practically attend your wedding, when it is held far away from where they stay. If you have a large friend and family group, narrowing down your guest list can be difficult. However, it becomes necessary when you consider the expenses involved. Be reasonable with your expectations when you invite people. The entire scenario is different when you ask someone to travel for a wedding. Not everyone may have the time or the finances to make this long trip. So, when you decide to have a wedding far away, prepare to be satisfied with a small and intimate wedding with the people who matter most in your life. You can always host a reception once you are back, and include all your friends and family in it. This way, they get a chance to be involved in the wedding without having to travel. All the same, this is in no way compulsory. If you are satisfied with celebrating your wedding with just those who attended it, keep it that way.

2.Send out save-the-dates earlier than is usual

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Planning a destination wedding is complicated, and you may not be certain of all the details of the wedding till much later. Even so, you should inform your guests of your plans well in advance, so they can plan accordingly. Attending a destination wedding is comparable to planning a holiday—in terms of money involved and time off work. So, the earlier you provide information, the more convenient it will be for your guests to attend. Anywhere between 4 to 8 months before the wedding, is a good time to send your save-the-dates. Include all that you know at the time, particularly the date and location. Take care to highlight the date on the RSVP, so you can plan your final guest list and confirm the rest of the arrangements based on the number of attendees. If you are very particular about having certain people in your wedding, check their availability prior to planning the wedding date. This way, you can avoid disappointment if they have constraints that do not allow them to travel to your wedding. Once you finalize your plans, don’t delay sending out the invitations. Destination wedding invitations should be more detailed than the customary wedding invitation, as your guests need to know much more to plan and budget their trip.

3.Wedding websites are your best friend

When you plan a destination wedding, your guests will usually prefer to find out as much as they can to make their trip easier. Since a wedding invitation for what it can hold, then use your wedding website for the rest. Include anything and everything your guests should be aware of, on your wedding website. Provide links to places where they can find accommodation, the weather at the time of your wedding, any dress requirements that they should be aware of, what they should carry and transportation options they have. Also share all the details of the wedding program, so they can carry all that they need to attend it. You could also go further and add some information on the local attractions, as it is likely that your guests will want to tour the place. Since you will anyway be seeking all this information out for yourself, do your guests a favor by sharing it with them. Since websites allow you to organize and provide all this information in a streamlined format, your guests will have no trouble finding what they want to know. They will also appreciate your effort in helping them plan their trip so well.

4.It isn’t considerate to guilt your guests into attending

It is your wedding, and you deserve to be happy. Nonetheless, this shouldn’t be at the expense of making someone unhappy or miserable. If an important person in your friends or relative’s circle is unable to attend, don’t pressurize them too far. Remember that the case would be entirely different if you were having your wedding closer to where you stay. Consider the different logistics that they have to work out, financial constraints they may have, or how impossible it is for them to travel so far and take time off work. So, be reasonable with your expectations and life will be a lot easier for everyone. Be understanding of those who can’t attend and answer “No” to your invitation. This is why it may be a good idea to hold a reception party later, when all those who couldn’t participate in the actual wedding, get a chance to congratulate you.

5.Everyone at the engagement party and whoever receives a save-the-date receives an invitation too

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Whether your save-the-date RSVP says Yes or No, the addressee is eligible for a formal wedding invitation. The same goes for the guests at your engagement party. This is one area where traditional wedding invitation etiquette applies. Even if your guests have confirmed that they won’t make it to your wedding, they still deserve a formal invitation. Some couples worry whether sending an invitation to someone who won’t be coming, is like they are fishing for gifts. It isn’t! The guest you send the save-the-date card to, might in fact feel ignored or slighted if they do not receive a follow-up invitation to the wedding. Things may also change along the way, and if they find a way to make it to the wedding, they may be disappointed when they do not receive an invitation. The other way you could handle it, is to send an invite to the reception you will host later, if they confirm they won’t be attending the wedding. So, if you have an engagement party, make sure that you choose the guest list properly, so that it will only have those people who will be invited to the wedding as well.

6.Your wedding dress should be low-fuss, easy to transport and manage

Wedding dresses are yards of fabric, delicately and intricately woven into splendid designs. Most of the traditional style wedding dresses are heavy, and may easily crinkle or look shabby if handled too much. If there are too many embellishments on it, over-handling can displace stones or crystals and ruin the overall look. These factors make it important to choose a wedding dress that is practical to transport. You will have to carry your wedding dress in your hand luggage when you board the aircraft. So, it should be a dress that is possible to stow away in the overheard luggage compartment or be hung above your seat. Once you are at the location, you may have to steam the dress to get rid of wrinkles and creases. So, it should also be made from fabric that can be ironed easily and not be damaged. Dresses in light, breathable fabric with just the necessary amount of embellishments are your best bet. Uncomplicated gowns without too many layers are practical to be transported and restored to its original look after the long journey to your destination. Dresses from collections such as the Mori Lee Voyage bring you plenty of options that will be perfect for a dream wedding away from home. Here is a sample.

This beautiful Mori Lee 6784 in poetic lace is a dress perfect for a vintage style wedding in an exotic location. The slim silhouette is formed of light layers that hold their shape during handling and the minimal embellishments reduce your risk of damaging the gown.

7.Your guests and wedding party will appreciate it if you offset some of the expenses

You are in no way obligated to foot the expenses for any of the factors that are normally paid for by your guests or bridal party. So, destination wedding or not, your guests will have to arrange for accommodation, bridesmaids will pay for their dresses and the wedding guests have to find their way to the venue. Nevertheless, if you have the funds to help with some of their expenses, like the accessories for bridesmaids or transportation on the day of the wedding, it would be very helpful for them. You could consider hiring a van or arranging a cab to pick your guests up from the airport, to transport them to their hotels. Or you could sponsor a guided tour on a day they are there, and we are sure your guests will love you for the thoughtful arrangement. Another thing you could do is to sponsor breakfast on the days they are there. It will be one meal they don’t have to pay for, and also allows everyone to meet and get together ahead of the wedding.

8.You can still register for gifts

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Don’t think twice about  registering for gifts. The people at your wedding will be spending a lot of extra money to make it to your wedding venue. Nevertheless, they will still want to gift you something to remember them by. The others who are unable to attend your wedding may also like to gift you, since it is a wedding after all! So, do set up a wedding registry. The only thing to remember is that your registry should contain affordable gifts of different prices. This way, your guests will have plenty of options. It will also take the burden off them to buy an expensive gift, after they’ve spent so much money to attend your wedding.

9.Your guests will appreciate it if you help them find cheap travel and accommodation deals

Air tickets are expensive, and so are hotel bookings. While this is on the cards when your guests agree to attending your destination wedding, you can still do a little in helping them along the way. The first thing you can do is to choose off-season wedding dates, so the entire transport and stay will be much cheaper. You could also research bulk airline booking discounts and hotel stay discounts that will lighten their expenses. If you inform an airline that there will be a group of people traveling together to your wedding, it is likely that they will offer you a discount. If you do your hotel reservations in advance, you may be able to block a set of rooms for a lower price and help your guests this way too.

Destination weddings have their pros and cons, just like every other wedding. Despite all the difficulties of planning and getting people to attend it, it is a unique, one-of-a-kind wedding that you should consider if you can afford it. The memories of getting married in an exotic location with the people you love the most, is definitely worth it.

So, if you have a destination wedding in mind, come visit us on Best for Bride and check out how we can help you nail your wedding vision. From the ideal wedding dresses to vendors and everything else you need for your wedding day, we can help you make your planning a big success.

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7 things you should know before you start planning your wedding

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When you are just engaged and about to embark on the interesting, but challenging task of wedding planning, it’s funny how everyone seems to share wedding planning advice. Well, it is the first time you will be planning something of this magnitude, and so you deserve some well-intended help. You may obtain some very useful information, and then again there is the occasional chance of hearing something totally unexpected or even bizarre. Nevertheless, there are always some things that most brides wish they’d known while they were planning their wedding, but had to tackle as an unexpected and usually challenge.

While it is impossible to foresee everything that will happen on your big day, it helps to prepare for whatever is possible. Plan for everything, collate all the information you can possibly obtain, and execute it with gusto—you can then enjoy every expected and unexpected challenge that wedding planning throws at you.

Here is a list of ten things that every soon-to-be bride should know, before she starts wedding planning. Check it out.

1.Checklists are your friend

Wedding planning is a complex task, and you are probably doing it for the first time ever. There are hundreds of details to plan, tasks to handle and arrangements to make. It is only human to make errors and miss out on certain things , when planning everything.

The easiest way to stay on track is to turn to checklists for help. Divide up every wedding aspect into an individual project and create checklists of tasks to be completed for each of them. This will help you organize your time better, sort out tasks based on their priority and most importantly, make sure that you do not miss anything when planning your wedding.

You can always take the trusted pen-and-paper route for planning your checklists, or if you are a tech-savvy bride, use a tool that will help you manage it efficiently. Evernote is a handy option to keep track and manage your lists with precision on your digital devices.

Now, for the checklists that you will require, you can find a comprehensive checklist on Real Simple. This is divided based on the time by which you should accomplish each task. You may also like to take a look at this interactive checklist on Brides.com. This can be customized to meet your individual needs.

2.When choosing vendors, only go with those you are most comfortable with

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If there is one task that you have to research well, it is choosing your vendors. From your photographer to florist, you will have several options. The important thing is to remember that none of them will be the same. In fact they’ll each be as distinct as you can possibly expect. Every vendor is different in the way they approach their work, in how they interact with customers and how experienced they are in handling specific tasks.

You will be interacting with your vendors a LOT! So, don’t make the mistake of settling for someone who you aren’t comfortable with, right from the start. The personality of the person you have to work with will affect the way you feel about that aspect of your wedding. So, dig a little deeper than just trying to get the cheapest deal. Don’t just go with what others have to say about the vendor you have shortlisted. Don’t hesitate to ask for portfolios, samples or explanations, as is necessary in each case. It is also wise if you do not make assumptions, but clarify your doubts outright, so you can be certain that you and your vendor are on the same page. If you feel that the vendor you speak to doesn’t understand your vision, or cuts you off saying that what you want is impractical, don’t let it be and comply with what they have in mind instead. Keep looking. After all, it is your wedding and there will be someone who can get you what you want, or at least the closest to what you have in mind.

Don’t forego this part even if you are working with a friend or family as your wedding vendor. However close they may be to you, you do not want anything ruining your wedding. So, make sure that you are one hundred per cent comfortable with the decision you make, and you will not regret it later.

3.Disagreements are a given evil

You will be touching several details during your wedding planning, and it is only natural to hit a roadblock once in a while. You may disagree with your parents, partner, vendor or even bridesmaids on some factor or the other. Everyone will have expectations and opinions. Your maid-of-honor may condemn the color you choose for the bridesmaids dresses or your friends may try to convince you that a DJ is a better choice than a live band. If your parents or to-be in-laws are paying for part of your wedding, it is only natural that they will expect to have a say in it. You may also have friends or relatives who may pressurize you into handing over a wedding task to them, when you prefer hiring a professional for the same. There is no easy way out, and you should realize where to draw the line. Accept that there will be disagreements along the way, and you may have to reject suggestions that you simply cannot take.

It is impossible to please everyone, or you wouldn’t have the wedding YOU want! Be prepared to say No when necessary, and it will be a lot easier to handle. As a bride, one of the most difficult tasks is to recognize when it is more important to go with your choice and when it is another opinion that would be a better choice in that situation. Our article on “How to Handle it when others try to take over your wedding” should give you some advice on how to tackle tricky situations in the best possible way. Don’t worry about what others may think of your wedding decisions. Finally, you will regret it if everyone had their way, but you didn’t get to do anything you wanted to.

4.Plan to spend on the most important things

There is no rule book that specifies how should get married. Like we said earlier, you will hear suggestions and receive advice. Nevertheless, it is your wedding, and you should get to pick what is important, so this day is special for you. Split your budget accordingly, and splurge on the things that are most important to you. Don’t worry about the rest.

Think of what you will find most memorable about your wedding day. If it is where it will be held, set aside the greater part of your budget for the venue and décor. If it is how you look, it should be your wedding outfits and accessories. If both of you favor food, make sure the wedding menu is given due importance. If you have a penchant for the finer details, it could be the smaller things like your tableware, party favors and statement pieces that you should focus on. Some couples prefer to spend a major part of their budget on the photographer. If fashion photography or elaborate scenic settings are what you want, so be it.

5.Your wedding planning is hard work, irrespective of the style you choose

Whether you plan to host a casual or a formal wedding, it will be hard work either way. Remember that even though you needn’t choose the classic centerpiece flower design if you are having a casual affair, you will still have to decide what you want instead. Every decision has to be yours, and every single aspect arranged under your supervision. This simply means that you will need time, organization skills and effort to plan everything. We think wedding planning is a difficult task, as almost every married woman will agree. When you handle every aspect of it yourself, it becomes even more tedious. A wedding planner can relieve your stress to a considerable extent, and so every bride should at least consider a day-of planner to get some breathing space.

Wedding planners can direct you to the right vendors who can meet your requirements, and they can also follow-up and ensure everything moves as per plan. This in itself, is a huge stress-buster. Nevertheless, there is always a point in time when a bride suddenly feels overwhelmed and tends to buckle under wedding planning stress. The best way out is to realize the extent of effort that goes in and be prepared for it. Time is a valuable entity, so make sure you have plenty of time and divide your tasks so you have sufficient bandwidth to complete it all on time. Also, don’t forget to catch much wanted breaks, when you spend time away from everything that is wedding related.

6.Everyone has their own interpretation of terms

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Almost every term in wedding lingo is highly subjective. When you say romantic, you may have a color palette with peach, gold and gray in mind. You may envision your wedding to be at a casual, romantic outdoor setting such as a resort or garden. At the same time, the same term may give your mother an entirely different idea. She may consider your getting married to your prince charming in fairy tale style romantic. She may expect it to be held in an elaborate ballroom setting, with a four course plated meal to complete it in classic style. The same goes for your dress selection, choice of wedding cake, entertainment and almost every other aspect of your wedding.

In the world of weddings, a word that is thrown around a lot is “classic.” Take a look at this page on the Knot, with some Real classic wedding examples.  You will soon see how one couple’s idea of classic, is entirely different from another. So, the term classic can mean anything by itself.

So, make sure that you elaborate on what you mean, wherever necessary. Specify what you mean, especially to your vendors, instead of using vague terms or those that are prone to varying interpretations. If you have pictures to convey your ideas, that is the best option of all. When the concerned person can see what you mean, there is no scope for confusion. You can thus be certain that you will get exactly what you envisioned.

7.You will have to spend a lot of time reading terms and conditions

Once you shortlist your vendors, it is necessary to sign contracts with all of them, so the terms and conditions of service are documented. This will ensure that both of you know what is expected, and it is done properly. Unfortunately, many couples simply sign the vendor contracts that are drawn up by the vendors themselves, without really going through it in detail. This can cause many unexpected hassles on the day of the wedding.

For example, you may not have noticed the part where your photographer’s contract mentions that you will have to pay extra for every extra hour he spends at your wedding, or that he will be available only for so many hours. Imagine running up a bill that goes beyond what you anticipated, or worse, not having a photographer for the crucial exit moment of your wedding!

Make sure that you read every single sentence on your vendor contract, and have it modified to meet your needs, so you actually get what you expected to. If you are unclear about any of the terms, make sure to ask and clarify before approving it. You can always negotiate and discuss the terms and modify the contract, before you sign it. This will save misunderstanding later, and also allow you to make alternate arrangements when required.

At Best for Bride, we can help you realize your vision of the perfect wedding and help you plan every single detail to perfection. Visit our store online and check out the various wedding services we offer. Trust us to make your wedding dreams come true