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Top Wedding planning tips to make sure your wedding runs smoothly

Planning a zero-hassle wedding is nearly impossible. Hundreds of details, both big and small, increase the chances of mistakes, communication gaps and confusion. Accept that fact that there are bound to be at least a few hiccups along the way, and you will be able to stay sane while planning your wedding. Nevertheless, the better you plan your special day, smaller the chances for things to go wrong when it is time for you to tie the knot.

Where planning is concerned, it is always best to heed the advice from experts who have seen enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Here are some top tips from our wedding planning team to help you have a wedding day that runs as smoothly as is possible.

Practice makes perfect

Practice takes away the novelty of a situation and eases stress. So, it is a good way to prepare yourself for anything that you have to do on the wedding day. Practice and perfect your poses for the photo shoot, practice walking down the aisle, practice your dance moves and even your hair and makeup in advance if you will be doing it yourself on your wedding. This will help you recognize likely issues that may crop up on the actual day. Since you will already be prepared to tackle any adverse situation, it will not stress you out when it happens.

You can never start too early

It is easier to plan things at a relaxed pace and fix any problems, when time is on your side. It is never too late to start planning your wedding, once you are engaged. Mark everything from your venue visits to the honeymoon in your calendar, with plenty of time to spare. You can then proceed at a relaxed pace. Should the need arise, you will have enough buffer time to accommodate changes too.

Be real with yourself

Don’t trick yourself into assuming that you can afford what you really can’t. Similarly, don’t attempt to do everything by yourself when you do not have the time for it. Be realistic with the wedding plans you make, and you will save yourself from heartbreak and disappointment. There will be certain must-have’s for your wedding. However, keep this list short. Then, you will not end up regretting the time, money and effort you spent on it on a later day.

Be clear about your financial situation

Every wedding is expensive. However thrifty you are, you will be spending a lot on your special day. Every couple must chalk out a clear financial budget for their wedding, and stick to it. Plan the details right and you will be able to start your married life with enough cash in the bank. If you do not do this right in the beginning, you will most likely end up spending much more than you should. So, make this one of the first wedding planning tasks. Sit down with your fiance to plan your wedding budget. Next allocate funds to each aspect and make sure you stick to these limits. You can adjust funds between your different needs. However, do not exceed the budget unless it is absolutely necessary.

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst

Optimism is a good thing when planning your wedding. However, it shouldn’t be at the cost of ruining your day if things go haywire at the last minute. If there are any known risks in your wedding plans, arm yourself with a plan B. For instance, if your wedding will be outdoors, make sure you have an alternate venue booked or relief planned in case it rains. This is always much better than having to think of an alternate option at the last minute. Remember that things can go wrong. But if you are prepared for it, you will be better equipped to handle it and less stressed out in the end.

Delegate tasks to the right people

A wedding is easier to plan when you have many helping hands. If your friends and family pitch in to help you with the wedding planning, accept by all means. Nevertheless, make sure that you delegate responsibilities to the right people who will do it well with minimum supervision. If you have to micromanage a person, it is better you do the task yourself. So, identify the talents and skills of your friends and family members and allocate jobs to them on this basis.

Don’t hesitate to let go

It is not just the bride or groom who is entirely responsible for every superb wedding you’ve been to or heard about. The more you are ready to accept help, the smoother your wedding will run. Don’t be reluctant to try out wedding planners, go with vendor suggestions or delegate responsibilities to your bridal party. Remember that this is a time for you to enjoy. And the only way to do it is when you have time to be fully involved in what you take charge of.

Rely on lists

Lists are one of the most reliable ways to make sure that you have everything on track. So, be lavish with creating them. Whether you choose the pen and paper route or go digital with your lists, just do it. This will give you a visual break-up of all the tasks that have to be handled. It will be easier to finish them one-by-one and tick them off, rather than picking up tasks at random. Embrace your inner organizational skills and take a methodical and planned approach to wedding planning. There will be no way you can miss anything when you do it this way.

Leave the tougher tasks to the professionals

No bride or groom should take on more than they can actually handle, when planning a wedding. If you are comfortable and experienced in certain aspects, there is no harm in handling that task yourself. However, if you are unsure of any task, put someone who is better-experienced at it in charge, or hire a professional. This will save you valuable time and energy. You can also eliminate the frustration of finding that your hard work wasn’t really worth it when you see the results.

Punctuality is primary

From planning your wedding day timeline to making it to your vendor appointments or tackling the tasks on your to-do list, do it all on time. You may stray off-schedule at times. However, you should have enough buffer time to compensate for these delays. Nevertheless, make an effort to try and finish all your work on time and respect the time of others involved in your wedding plans as well.

Don’t stress over the small details

There are enough big things on your mind when wedding planning, that it is best to not obsess over the insignificant details in your list. Be realistic when planning every detail of your wedding. Ask yourself if you can actually do it within the available time, and if the effort that goes into it will finally be worth it. Remember that all it takes are few details to create an impression on your wedding day. So, plan these details appropriately and try to perfect them instead of spending time on the several unnecessary details.

Keep everything short and sweet

Everything from wedding toasts and speeches to hellos and goodbye’s are best when they are short and crisp. Not only everything proceed as per schedule, you will also find that there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest. Ask your best man and Maid of Honor to keep their speeches short, don’t take forever to chat to your guests and focus on having a meaningful and well-planned and executed wedding.

Do what you can the day-before

Your wedding day will be a whirlwind of activity. It will also be over much before you realize it. So, don’t end up confused or stressed out because you didn’t plan the details correctly. Do what you can during the days leading up to the wedding. This will help things progress smoothly on the actual day. This includes laying out your wedding dress, verifying with vendors about their schedules and delivery timings, cross-checking with your bridal party on whether everything is as per plan and communicating with out-of-town guests. When you have most of the essentials in place ahead of when they are actually required, your wedding day will progress smoothly and will be fun.

Be open to ideas

It is easier to find solutions when you are open to ideas and suggestions. Although you should have a general idea of what you want, be flexible when making choices and decisions. There will be constraints to finding things within budget, within the available time and with the perfection you desire. Always think of the bigger picture and whether your final decision will entirely alter your vision. If not, it is better to not sweat over the smaller stuff and go with what is available or convenient at that given time.

Accommodate your friends and family needs when possible

Your wedding will truly be a success when everyone around you appreciates it just as much as you do. For this, you should involve them and be accommodating of their needs and ideas. Hear suggestions out and give them the opportunity to discuss what they think should be done. If you have to reject any suggestions or say no to their offers, do so gracefully and don’t offend them. This will make it easier for them to accept your point of view and get over it easily.

Check with those who have previous experience for likely issues

If your friends or relatives have used the same vendor or venue or done things in a similar fashion as you have, it is a good idea to check with them for any expected hassles. You can then prepare yourself for any such situations in advance. People with experience will be able to guide you well and will also appreciate your asking them.

Know the laws

Many things that are wedding-related are governed by law. So, check and make sure that you aren’t overstepping boundaries or doing anything that you aren’t supposed to. If you will be getting married on public property, like a park, obtain permission in advance. Similarly, there are rules regarding maximum sound that is allowed on a property, how your marriage will be legally binding and the permits you have to obtain to use certain types of entertainment. Check out all these details so you have everything covered and no unexpected surprises ruin your day.

Weddings, chaotic as they are, are beautiful events. So, it deserves to be meticulously planned and executed. Only then can the couple have the perfect day of their life. Every small detail can make a difference in this regard, and this is why it has to be taken seriously. At times, it can become overwhelming and you may find yourself buckling under pressure. In such a situation, it may be time for you to hire someone to help. Wedding planners or day-of-coordinators are the people for the task, and they will work with you to bring your wedding vision to life in the best possible way.

Best for Bride, has everything you need to plan your perfect wedding easily. From designer wedding dresses, dresses for bridesmaids, dresses for the flower girl and mother of the bride, the collections carry beautiful garments for every member of the bridal team. Check out our website here, to find out more about what we carry, as well as about the various other services that are just perfect for your big day.

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All you need to know about wedding toasts

Father of the groom toastsImage Credits: Madeleine Ball, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Take a minute to think of the many wedding receptions you’ve attended, and tell us how many of the toasts and speeches were truly memorable! Wedding speeches are considered an essential part of almost every wedding reception. With all eyes on the speaker, it can be a frightening experience for some. Now, if you are the best man or Maid of Honor, writing a wedding toast is definitely on the cards. So, when the couple ask you to honor them by speaking a few words on their wedding day, it can be one of your worst nightmares come true–unless you have always been great at public speaking or have always prepared for this opportunity! Nevertheless, it isn’t too difficult to prepare and deliver an effective toast with a few essential guidelines. In this article, we will look at tips for both the couple who have to decide who all speak at their wedding, as well as for the people who have to deliver these speeches. So, fear no more and read on to find out how to go about it.

Who usually performs a wedding toast?

Wedding Toast
Image Credits: Nan Palmero, via Flickr, CC By 2.0

The traditional practice is for the best man to toast the bride and Maid of Honor to toast the groom. So, they will mostly be the two people who the audience expect a speech from. So, if you have gladly accepted either of these roles, remember that you may have to speak on the day. If you are really uncomfortable speaking in front of an audience, it may be a good idea to mention this to the couple in advance, so they can plan accordingly.

Apart from these two people, there are many others who may and usually will speak at the reception. This usually includes the parents of the bride or groom (mostly the father), especially if they are hosting the wedding. Then, there may be other relatives or friends who would like to honor the couple with a brief message. The groom will also be expected to say a thank you note during the reception.

Tips for the bride and groom

#1 You do not need wedding toasts unless you are absolutely sure you do

We spoke about who are the people expected to give wedding speeches. This is the usual norm, but there is no compulsion to stick to it. The team on A Practical Wedding blog tells you to buck this traditional cast, if you want something different. Remember is that there is no need to have a toast at all. If you feel that it would be better this way, so be it. On the other hand, if you would like this to be a part of your reception, go for it. Don’t forget to think of how comfortable the person giving the toast would be. If it’ll be a nightmare for them and they would prefer to stay away from the stage, it is best to avoid it than embarrass them with doing something they hate, for your sake.

#2 Think well over who you should confer this honor on

You can imagine how inappropriate it would sound if the person at the mike were to start the speech with something like, “ I am not so close to the couple,” or something similar. Even worse, imagine how it would be if the speaker went on to embarrass the two of you with his inappropriate wit. So, make sure that the people who are invited to toast you are those who will do justice to the role. The best way is to choose people who are really dear to you, and ask them whether they would like to speak at your wedding. It is best to not compel anyone who is even remotely uncomfortable, as not everyone may be confident about speaking out aloud in front of many guests. If someone would like to think over it, give them enough time to come to a decision.

#3 Ask all those you love, not just those who are good at speeches

Is there someone in your wedding party who you would love to do your wedding toast, but haven’t asked because they’ve always shunned away from speeches? Why don’t you just ask them? Even the most reserved people often rise to the occasion, if they are really close to you and wouldn’t want to miss the chance to say a few special words on your big day. After all, they may make an exception for you as a few lines they say would be more meaningful to you than an impressive speech by someone who isn’t as close? So, don’t hesitate, just ask. If they decline the offer, you will still be better off asking than never knowing if they’d have liked it.

#4 Leave it to them entirely

Wedding toasts and speeches are supposed to be prepared in advance, but not with the approval of the couple. That spoils the entire intent. Rather than knowing everything that will be said and spoken, wouldn’t you prefer the surprise of hearing what your dear ones have to say about you, right when they say it? Lay off the pressure, and they will most likely do a great job. So, trust yourself when you choose the person to speak on the day, and then leave it to them to do the rest.

#5 Accept what you hear gracefully

Whether someone declines to deliver your wedding toast, or the toast doesn’t sound as impressive as you would have wanted it to, don’t feel bad about it. Remember that although the guest you asked is dear to you, the reason they don’t want to do a toast is not because they aren’t fond of you. It could just be that they aren’t comfortable speaking in public. And where the content of the speech is concerned, keep and open mind, pay attention and be happy for what was said. Don’t expect their speech to take a certain direction or be similar to what they’ve previously delivered on another occasion.

Now, that we’ve covered the part of the couple, let us move on to the other part of our discussion. Let us look at what makes an interesting wedding toast, and how you can prepare for it when assigned this important duty.

What makes an interesting wedding toast

#1 Start with a punch

Since you do not have forever to impress, it is necessary to pack your wedding toast with punch right from the beginning. For this, keep the message short, crisp and effortless. A quote, short verse or poem or a joke when chosen appropriately will help you grab the audience attention instantly.

#2 Keep it brief

The most memorable messages are short and sweet. Convey your best wishes to the couple in a personal way that they will appreciate, and finish it off quickly before anyone is too bored to listen any more. Even if you have known the couple for ever, and have lots of stories and trivia to discuss, this is not the right occasion. If you must, stick with one instance and leave it at that. Toasts and speeches that end in 5 minutes are usually best.

#3 Don’t sound too impersonal

The reason you have been chosen to say a speech is because you mean a lot to the couple. So, make sure your message is personal and from the heart. There is no harm in borrowing ideas off the internet or a magazine, but let the gist of the message be your own and make sure you say it with emotion, so it is worth remembering. If you have trouble remembering the lines, note it down,but never read it entirely. Keep it as reference, just in case you forget where you were going.

#4 It is alright if it isn’t funny

You know how everyone has that impression that the most memorable speeches have humor in them. If you are naturally humorous or can lace a joke into your message, definitely do so. But, never try to add humor just for the sake of sounding funny. It can sound like you are trying too hard, and may do more damage than good. Also, it is best to avoid personal and embarrassing jokes, that may not be appropriate for the situation.

#5 Don’t brag or insult

This is not the occasion for you to announce how hard you’ve had to work behind the scenes of the wedding, or what you’ve done for the couple. Keep the focus on them and also appreciate anyone else worth commenting. Never use your wedding toast as a chance to insult either the bride or groom, bring up past relationships or say anything offensive at all.

#6 Don’t be too nervous

If you are not very fond of public speaking, we can imagine how terrified you may feel. Remember that with practice, you will be better prepared to handle the situation. Prepare your script in advance, and practice it well. Don’t stress too much over how it will turn out. And when you are up for the act, don’t allow anyone’s reactions get to you. Just go with what you prepared, don’t make any last minute changes that may get you stuck with your lines, and you should be safe.

#7 Keep the audience in mind when preparing your speech

Although the actual intent of the toast is to congratulate the newly wed couple, thank all the people who made the wedding a success with a few extra lines thrown in, and make sure that those extra lines are relevant to the audience. If your speech contains instances that all the audience are unaware of, they can end up confused and perhaps, even bored. So, if you must share a story about the couple, make sure there are no loose ends. Additionally, it is necessary that you introduce yourself and add a brief line about how you are related to the couple, so all the listeners know who you are.

#8 Maintain eye-contact and speak slowly

Unless you are a seasoned expert, these factors needn’t come to you easily. However it is important, as this will help the audience follow all that you say and enjoy your speech much better. Look at the people around you, and specifically at the bride and groom when you mention them. Speak loudly and coherently, and speak slowly so everyone can easily follow what you say. If you speed through your lines, it can cause confusion as not all may follow what you said. So, remember the three golden words—slow, steady and clear.

#9 Conclude with a punch, just like you started it

Don’t let your enthusiasm wane as you reach the end of your speech. Make sure that you end your speech with a punch line that packs an impact, just like you planned the beginning of your speech. This is the right time to borrow an interesting saying, or use a quote that follows through with the rest of your speech, but lingers on in the minds of the listeners. Remember that there is only so much information that everyone will remember after your speech is over, and what you say at the end will mostly be the part that sticks. So, plan it well and you can create the impact you desire without much difficulty. Visit this article on Wikihow for some sample wedding speech endings to inspire you.

#10 Remain calm and contained even after it is over

You may feel like punching the air or even doing a somersault once your wedding toast is ever. Restrict the urge! Be calm and contained, and if you must, smile and let the feeling of a successful delivery sink in slowly. Save the antics for when you are alone, and you will end up making a much better impression.

That’s all there is to preparing and making a wonderful wedding toast. We told you it was simple and straightforward, didn’t we?

If you are planning a wedding in the near future, don’t forget to check out our online website for all your wedding needs. And, if you are attending one, you should check out our evening dress section for some great options.

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How to preserve the top tier of your wedding cake and enjoy it on your anniversary

Some wedding traditions are unique and pretty unusual. One of these is the practice of preserving the top tier of your wedding cake, and to share and enjoy it on your first anniversary. This age-old tradition is quite odd, since cake tastes best when eaten fresh. It is even more surprising that this tradition dates back to the 19th century, a time when there were no refrigerators. But, as most traditions have a reason behind them, so does this.

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In those days, it was often assumed that a couple would have a child within the year that followed their wedding. So, the intention of preserving the cake tier was to use it at the christening of their child. Though this doesn’t really have much significance today, couples still choose to save the first tier of their wedding cake and relish it on their milestone anniversary.

Before refrigerators were available, cake preservation was possible only in the case of rich fruit cakes,which had a long shelf life. Today, we are not limited to fruit cakes, as technology allows us to preserve more varieties. Since it is highly unlikely that you will be serving fruit cake at your wedding, let us look at what you can do to ensure that your wedding cake stands the test of time and is edible and safe a year after it was made.

Choose the right flavor

Some cakes store better than others. Chocolate, hazelnut and carrot cakes are examples. Avoid cakes with fresh fruit and whipped toppings as these tend to dry out and do not taste nice when chilled.

Pack and move your cake promptly

Soon after your wedding, have your cake boxed and sent home immediately. Once home, uncover the cake, remove the decorations and place it in your refrigerator for a couple of hours. This allows the icing to harden. Don’t leave it near foods with strong odors (like onions or garlic), as the cake may absorb the odor and smell and taste of it.

Wrap in plastic and store in an airtight container

Once your cake is chilled and the frosting is hard, wrap the entire cake in several layers of cling film or plastic wrap. Next, place it in an airtight box. You can either choose a plastic container or a cardboard box, as long as whatever you choose will insulate and isolate the cake well.

Freeze in a ventilated section

Once again cover the cake with plastic wrap for added protection and place it in a well-ventilated section of your deep freeze. Always remember that your cake is in the freezer and don’t allow it to thaw and refreeze at any time. This can make it spoil. Should you have to take the cake out at any time, move it into a freezer immediately, so food safety isn’t compromised.

Enjoy it on your anniversary

Mark your calendar or set an alarm to remind you to take the cake out of the freezer on the day before your anniversary. Thaw it completely and enjoy it with your husband on your first wedding anniversary. Enjoy how all those memories of your wedding day flood back, as you do so.

To choose a splendid wedding cake or for any of your other wedding-related requirements, make sure you visit us at Best for Bride.