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10 Tips to plan an amazing Rehearsal Dinner

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The rehearsal dinner is typically the first occasion when you get a sneak peek at how your actual wedding day will be. Although it isn’t an essential in the list of wedding-related events, it is quite popular. If you are planning to have one before your wedding, our tips will help you organize it well. Before we get to the tips, let us first try to understand in detail, what the rehearsal dinner is all about.

What you need to know about the rehearsal dinner

The main thing couples should know about planning a rehearsal dinner is that it should be a simple event that shouldn’t further strain their pockets nor nerves. Most couples already have their bank balances stretched thin by the wedding expenses. If this is the case, you can altogether skip the event, or tone it down as you deem suitable.

The rehearsal dinner is usually held close to the wedding date, mostly during the week leading up to the wedding. Both the bride’s and bridegroom’s extended families would be in town to attend the wedding, by this time. So, the rehearsal dinner gives them an opportunity to meet each other in an informal setting, so they are better acquainted in time for the wedding.

This is also when the bride and groom usually meet the rest of their in-laws, and so it is a great opportunity for introductions prior to the wedding. Traditionally, the wedding was hosted by the bride’s family, and so the rehearsal dinner was conducted by the groom’s family. Nowadays, there are no such hard and fast rules. Usually, the bride and groom themselves pitch in for the rehearsal dinner.

Although it is called a wedding rehearsal dinner, the setting for the event doesn’t have to be similar to the wedding. It can be organized in an entirely different venue, and you have the flexibility of planning the menu and event details based on your personal preferences. This article on A Practical Wedding Blog tells us about the actual intentions behind rehearsal dinners. This is perhaps the only time when your folks and your partner’s families will all be together, and you might as well make the most of it by hanging out together. So, host a rehearsal dinner to make the most of this opportunity.

If the wedding attendants and family will not be arriving early, you can even replace the rehearsal dinner with a casual get-together on the wedding morning. Basically, you do not need a huge budget for the rehearsal dinner. The main aim is to just break the ice and help all the main people at the wedding relax and get to know each other, so they can have fun together at the wedding. You can also use this opportunity to discuss wedding day plans and share relevant information regarding arrangements, with the concerned people.

Now that we know the gist of what the rehearsal dinner is all about, let us move on to the interesting part of how to plan this event right.

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Tips to nail the rehearsal dinner

1.Keep it relaxed

You will have enough formality at your wedding, so let your rehearsal dinner be casual. Since there are no steadfast rules to planning this event, try to set the ambiance for the venue and meal in a relaxed style, so everyone enjoys the company. Rather than having a traditional sit-down plated meal, opt for an open buffet or even consider a barbecue. The menu needn’t be too elaborate or expensive. Instead, focus on keeping the company entertained. You can have a semi-formal to casual dress code for the event.

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2.Plan the guest list well

The rehearsal dinner is intended only for those who are really close to the bride, groom and their families. This includes the wedding attendants, extended families and close friends. If there are too many people, the atmosphere will cease to be relaxed and fun. So, try to limit the guest list. If you have any out-of-town guests arriving in time for the dinner, do consider inviting them to it. If your budget doesn’t permit too many guests, you can have an exclusive dinner for those who are very close to you, and host a brief tea party or dessert party for the rest of the people on the list.

3.Get the timing right

Rehearsal dinners are usually held on the wedding eve. This allows the wedding attendants to take time off work the evening before, and be free and relaxed in time for the wedding. It also gave an exciting start to the wedding festivities that they were to be involved in. However, this may not always be the best idea, if your wedding isn’t on a weekend. If so, it is better to plan the wedding rehearsal dinner two days prior to the wedding, so all have time to settle down after this event. It may also be better for the couple, if either of them are easily overwhelmed with organizing or attending an event so close to the actual wedding day. If there aren’t many out-of-town guests in the rehearsal dinner invite list, you can plan it for the weekend before the wedding. The main thing to remember is that it should be convenient for you and leave you enough time to recuperate for the wedding celebration.

4.Plan the venue right

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We’ve seen rehearsal dinners held everywhere—from banquet halls, to country clubs, parks and even in backyards. Although there is no right or wrong location, the chosen venue should be one that appeals to the couple. We loved one idea, where the couple decided to bring back some special memories by planning their rehearsal dinner at a quaint restaurant where they had their first date. The wedding was a huge affair, so this was an entirely different and refreshing experience. Your choice of venue should also be based on how much you want to handle yourself. When you pick a restaurant or club, all the details will be handled by the staff. So, you can relax and not worry too much, especially if you have a lot to do on the wedding day. On the other hand, if you have outsourced most of your wedding planning to a wedding planner, you may like to plan the rehearsal dinner yourself, so you can be involved in this fully. A party held in your home or backyard will require more effort, and you must have the time and bandwidth to set it up and clean up afterwards. However, this will usually be a cheaper option, as you will not have to rent the place, and can plan the décor and theme based on what is economical.

5.Pick a theme

Although this is an informal event, having a theme makes it more interesting. The theme could be as simple as a color combination or pattern, or even a style from an era, depending on your personal taste. Although many brides worry that picking a theme will make it more work, the opposite is actually true. A theme gives you an outline to work with. This is better than looking at hundreds of options and ending up totally confused about whether all that you choose will come together. This rehearsal dinner guide on the Martha Stewart wedding blog suggests that you pick a choose a theme that is entirely different from your wedding. This should be a representation of your personalities, and it is also an opportunity to use those quirky ideas that you love, but were not wedding appropriate.

6.Make it interesting by planning activities and games

Although all the people at your party may have heard of each other, they may not know everyone there, and may not ease up till they do. Get them going, by planning some activities where they get to break the ice and help them mingle. You could pass the mike around and ask them to introduce themselves, or start off with a game or fun activity that they will like to join in. Also serve the drinks up right at the beginning of the party, as this quickly lets guests ease into the party spirit and start conversing. It is also a good idea to plan the seating arrangements so everyone gets to sit with someone they will find interesting. Mix up both sides of the party, so guests do not sit with people they already know. This will also allow you to avoid uncomfortable situations where people who do not get along may end up sitting together.

7.Chat with everyone

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You may be too busy on your wedding day to get in touch with everyone. Although you should acknowledge all your guests on your wedding day as well, it is likely that it may not be practical especially if you have a large wedding. Nevertheless, the people at your rehearsal dinner deserve to be specially acknowledged just for the fact that they are important enough to be a part of this event. So, make sure you find time to greet and meet each and every guest there, both from your side as well as your groom’s. Since the gathering isn’t formal, and you do not have any elaborate time schedule for the event, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also use this opportunity to introduce members of the party to each other, so they can start a conversation. Give these new associations a good start, and you will have many more dear ones to add to your circle.

8.Toasts and roasts are fun

One of the fun parts of rehearsal weddings is that the informal atmosphere allows people who toast the couple, to open up and share more than they can at the wedding. There may be a lot of leg-pulling, but take it in the right spirit and it will also be fun as the crowd there knows either of you very well. You can have a bridesmaid or groomsman to emcee the toast(“or roast”) session, just in case you expect some people to hijack the mike for themselves. Nevertheless, plan this into the time-line, probably during the main course, so everyone enjoys it to the most, and you can also listen comfortably to all that they have to say.

9.Gifts are a great idea

You may have party favors for all the wedding attendees. However, the rehearsal dinner is the right chance for you to give a special token of your love to your extra-special guests. So, plan this in advance, and get the invitees a valuable gift to remember you by. It isn’t necessary to give everyone the same gift, as you would at your wedding. Choose different gifts for different groups, like one for men and another for women, or choose the gifts based on age. If you have a color or pattern theme going on at the wedding, consider getting gifts that are customized to match this theme for more excitement.

10.This is the right time for announcements

Before everyone leaves the party, make sure you share any relevant information or updates about the wedding day. Since many of the guests will be playing active roles on your wedding day, use this opportunity for last-minute instructions and updates. Double-check whether they are all aware of the timings, what they should bring and where they should be at what time. Remember that this is not the time for last-minute changes, you should only use this time to remind everyone of what they already know.

Finally, wind up the day and enjoy your journey home, for it will be soon time for wedding bells to ring.

Just like with the wedding, you should dress to impress at your rehearsal dinner. All eyes will be on you, the bride, and you need a fantastic dress to impress the guests from your groom’s side. Find a fabulous dress that will be perfect for the event, from our evening dress collection at Best for Bride. Check out our collection here.

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10 important things every First time bridesmaid should know

Being a bridesmaid for the first time is a thrilling experience. It is not to be taken lightly when you have been given the honor of being in the wedding party. This is only because the bride values you a lot, and would love to have you by her side on the most important day of her life. When you think of it this way, it can also be daunting. So, don’t be surprised if you feel nervous about donning the role.

Here are some of the most important things that you should know. This will help you to handle your role well, not have any nasty surprises, and basically understand what the bride will expect you to do. So, let’s begin!

1.The sticky issue—finances

When you agree to be a bridesmaid, remember that there are a number of expenses you have to bear. This includes the bridesmaid dress, accessories, hair and makeup, expenses for the bridal shower, and the wedding gift. The bride decides most of the outfit, hair, and makeup choices, while the bridal shower expenditure is up to the bridesmaids group.

The bridesmaid dress is one of the most expensive items on this list, and how much you spend on it depends on the bride. If you are on a tight budget, it is best to discuss your constraints with the bride beforehand, so she can keep it in mind when planning her choice. You can also volunteer to help her find the best deals and offers that will be easy on your pocket while she still gets what she has in mind. If all the expenses come to go beyond what you expected, you are entitled to go for a budget wedding gift. You can either get the bride your own wedding gift or do it as a group. We will look at this in more detail, later.

2. The bride makes the choice

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Your friend, the bride, may have specific ideas about how her wedding day should be. She will also have a certain idea of how her bridesmaids should be dressed and what they should or shouldn’t wear. As a member of the bridal party, you are expected to go with them. If you are very particular about not wearing something, share your opinions with the bride. Nevertheless, it is up to her to decide if she wants to consider it when making her choice. So, if she chooses a dress silhouette that doesn’t flatter your body shape or a color that doesn’t go well with your complexion, gracefully accept it. Tell yourself that you have to go with her choice because it is her big day. Although you may tell the bride your honest opinion, don’t dwell on it, or criticize her. A bride has so many things to plan for her wedding day. So, she can only accommodate everyone’s personal preferences so much.

3. What you gift is up to you

Your being in the wedding is definitely more important than the gift you get the couple. The bride knows that you are already shelling out money to buy her a dress, paying for the bachelorette and bridal shower, all for her. So, it isn’t reasonable for her to expect a big gift. However, it is customary to give her something on this lifetime occasion, even if it is small. With a little creativity, you will have no trouble finding a gift that will mean a lot to her, without breaking the bank. It could be something handmade, so you can gift her a personal gift that doesn’t cost a fortune. Or you can volunteer your help with something that she would appreciate. In some cases, all the bridesmaids pool money together and get the bride a better gift than many small, individual ones. If you think this is a better idea, but none of the others are suggesting it, you can take it up and see whether the others would like to join you. You will also be expected to give her a gift for the bridal shower, and this will mostly be opened up in front of all the attendees. So, make sure it is something that the bride will love.

4. Planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower

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Although it isn’t compulsory, it is usually the bridesmaids who throw the bride a bachelorette party and a bridal shower prior to the wedding. The entire bridal party works together to plan these events, and usually, the Maid of Honor approves the final plan. The idea behind having such parties is to ensure that the bride has a great time and likes the way it is set up. So, offer your suggestions to the group on what you think the bride would like. If the bride has, at any time, shared her ideas of what a great party means to her, discuss this with the rest of the group. Finally, it should be a function that reflects her personality and choices. You will also be expected to work hard on the décor, food, and arrangements so it goes smoothly. Be prepared to run around, make arrangements, and help to make the events a success. Both the bachelorette and bridal shower are usually held within a month or two before the wedding. Discuss the dates in advance and make sure you are available on the day. Also, since you will be contributing to the expenses, make sure that you are comfortable with the budget and be ready to pay the expenses that are expected from you.

5. Be there to support and help

Weddings can stress out even the most easygoing bride. The bride will have a million things to handle, and it isn’t uncommon for her to feel emotional, angry, or upset while planning the wedding. As her bridesmaid, you can ease her tension by offering your help when possible. Whether you choose to help her complete her responsibilities or are there to support her when she is feeling down, make sure she knows she can count on you. Volunteer your help for whatever you can assist her with, and help her stay positive and happy. Do not complain or criticize, but offer constructive suggestions. Nevertheless, remember that she may or may not take them, and don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t. If she asks you for your opinion, provide honest feedback. If you come across good ideas or inspiration you think she may find useful, share it with her. Overall, ease her responsibilities by pitching in with help when possible, and she will appreciate you being on her team.

6.Understand your responsibilities and perform them well

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Bridesmaids have an active role prior to the wedding, and on an actual day. Usually, the bride or maid of Honor will delegate duties that each bridesmaid has to handle. Prior to the wedding, your duties include attending the dress selection, buying the dress, getting it altered, and collecting it on time. On the wedding day, you will have to get dressed, help the bride get dressed and attend to jobs that are designated to you. Make sure that you are available and enthusiastic to handle any task assigned to you. Have everything you need to get ready for the wedding and handle your jobs responsibly and punctually. At the wedding venue, the bride may turn to you for last-minute help or assign new duties. Accept them gladly and do your best. If you are in doubt, consult the Maid of Honor, or bride herself, and plan accordingly. Remember that you aren’t a regular guest at the wedding, instead, you have a very special role. So, try to live up to the expectations of you.

7. Be there for the different wedding events

Bridesmaids are expected to be present at all the important events leading up to the wedding. This includes the bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and any more events that the bride or Maid of Honor notifies you of. Once you sign up to be a bridesmaid, keep your calendar ready to accommodate these events. Unless you are far away from where the events are held or have a commitment that you simply cannot miss, don’t forge excuses to keep yourself away. You will have to work with the rest of the girls to plan the bridal shower and bachelorette and be prepared to assist the bride with planning the rehearsal dinner if required. It will also be nice if you can accompany the bride to her vendor appointments or dress fittings if she asks you to. A little help can go a long way in making your friend happy, and it will be fun too to be involved in something so exciting. Now, if you are a junior bridesmaid, it is possible that you will be excused from the bachelor party if the plans are not suitable for your age. In such a scenario exit gracefully, and only engage in tasks that are expected of you.

8.Learn to compromise, adjust and work in a team

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All the members of the bridal party are important to the bride, and they will all have a role to play in the wedding and events before it. So, you may have to deal with people you are unfamiliar with or don’t get along with. Compromise and make adjustments when necessary, and don’t be too stubborn about everything. If there is something that is genuinely concerning you, discuss it with the Bride or Maid of Honor, and they should suggest a practical solution. The bride trusts you to do things in her best interests. Don’t be a drama queen and be a good team player, so you can all help the bride have the wedding she wants. Don’t get into fights or arguments, as this can make the entire party uncomfortable. Help each other out where possible, and things will be a lot easier for both the bride and for all of you.

9. Follow the bride’s instructions

The bride or Maid of honor is responsible for delegating duties and responsibilities. Try to be a good friend and follow them. If you are expected to hold the bouquets in a certain way or be in a specific place after the ceremony, take note of it and follow these instructions. The bride may need your help to go to the washroom, for bustling her dress, fixing an emergency situation, or touching up makeup, so don’t get lost at the time she needs your assistance. All the same, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have fun at the wedding. By all means, do! Just be aware of the needs of your bride and be available when she needs you to help. If you aren’t sure of what you are expected to do, ask, and find out.

10. Be pleasant, friendly and approachable at the wedding

Guests look up to the bridal party as the hosts of the event. So, you may be asked questions and asked for assistance. Take up the responsibility of helping those who wish to know something. Be pleasant and welcoming, and you will be a fantastic bridesmaid. Try to help those you come across feel comfortable by chatting with them or getting them to meet people they can mingle with. Invite people to the dance floor and ask if there is anything you can do to help those who seem to need it. Spread the joy around and you will feel just as happy as you make the people around you feel. Plus, your friend will appreciate your efforts to make her special day extra-special.

Are you a first-time bridesmaid? If so, do tell us what you look forward to at your friend’s wedding? And for those of you seasoned bridesmaids, tell us how you have evolved from a novice to an expert over the many weddings you participated in.

Best for Bride brings you designer bridesmaid dress collections in sizes ranging from 0-34. Visit our online store to see the variety of stock we carry and make your choice from the thousands of choices we have to offer. We are sure you will not be disappointed.

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10 questions and answers about junior bridesmaids

Brides often have a young cousin or a niece who isn’t old enough to be a bridesmaid, but is too old to fit into the role of a flower girl. When this girl is dear to the bride, she usually wants her in the wedding party, but may not be sure of what role to give her. Fortunately, there is a perfect role to honor these not-so-little girls with, and it is “Junior Bridesmaid!”

If you have already chosen one or more junior bridesmaids, or intend to have them at your wedding, here is a list of all the things you need to know.

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1.How old does someone have to be to be a junior bridesmaid?

Anyone who fits the description of big girl, but is not yet a grown up woman, can be a junior bridesmaid. It is usually a role suitable for girls aged between 9 and 15. This role is perfect for girls from either your family or your groom’s, or for young girls who you are very fond of and would love to include in your wedding. Think back and you will realize how you wouldn’t have been too pleased to be a flower girl when you were say 10 years old. The same goes for your junior bridesmaids. They may not be old enough to take up responsibility as a bridesmaid, but consider themselves too old to be a flower girl. So, this is the in-between role where they will be treated as a grown up girl, but the demands on them will be appropriate for their young age.

2.Does she also wear the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids?

This is left to your discretion, and depends on how the girl looks and feels. There are teenagers who prefer to dress much older. And then, there are others who look too young for their actual age. So, go with your intuition, and of course, consult the girl and her parents. This is very important, especially if the bridesmaids dresses are on the sexier side. If your bridesmaid dress choice is one that is suitable on women of all ages, and you can find one in her size too, go with it. Otherwise, you can choose a less complicated dress that matches the rest of the bridal party look and still looks good on her. Low-cut dresses and ones with long slits are not appropriate for a young girl, and her parents may not appreciate the idea if you choose to dress her in this on your wedding day. Either search for a dress in a matching or complementing color and design, or have a seamstress alter a bridesmaid dress to suit her. Simple changes like adding straps or moving the neckline up with an illusion design may render the same dress suitable for her age. The other option is to get a whole other dress made for her, that goes well with the rest of the wedding party attire. Just make sure that you consult her before you choose her look, and that she looks modest and feels comfortable in what you choose, and all will be well.

3.When do we buy her dress and from where?

It is better to get your junior bridesmaid’s dress closer to your wedding date, as these girls are at an age where drastic changes can alter their overall appearance in a matter of months. So, it may not be a good idea to shop for your junior bridesmaids dress, several months in advance when you buy the rest of the wedding party dresses. Don’t buy it before four or five months from your wedding day, and have it altered in the month leading up to the wedding to make sure it fits. Most bridal shops like Best for Bride will have Junior Bridesmaids dress collections, and you should be able to find ones that are similar to the bridesmaids dresses you choose from the same place. If you choose from the same collection and material, you should be able to find the exact shade for both your bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids dresses. Or, you can have your bridesmaid dress picked from the prom dress collection, if there is a suitable choice there. If nothing works, you can consider having her dress custom-made.

4.Does she get the rest of the accessories, hair and makeup like the other bridesmaids?

This is again an individual choice. It is up to you to decide how she ought to look. Although most girls would rather prefer to look more like the bridesmaids than flower girls, how you dress her is entirely your choice. You can give her a bridesmaid bouquet, like the rest of your wedding party. Or, you could have a miniature version made specially for her. Be practical when you decide how her hair and makeup should be done on the day. A simplified version of your bridal party’s overall look should be fine. You can also choose similar jewelry, flowers or other accessories for her, so she blends in well with the crowd. If your bridesmaids will all be trotting around in high heels, you may have to get a low-heel shoe for your junior bridesmaid unless she is old enough to handle it. This will help you avoid any unnecessary accidents on the day. Again, it is a good idea to match it to the overall look of your wedding party, but do not choose something that is not appropriate for her age.

5.Does she have to participate in the bridal shower and bachelorette party?

She may not be able to contribute to the bridal shower or bachelorette party (as she obviously won’t have the finances for the same). Nevertheless, she can be part of the planning, help with setting it up and even with the clean-up afterwards. If you have a wild girl’s night out planned for your bachelorette party, she wouldn’t be of legal age to participate in it. So steer clear of inviting her. If it’s an appropriate event for her to participate in, welcome her in. Remember that this would also depend on whether she is comfortable with the rest of the bridal party. So, use discretion and take your stand.

6.How can she help with the wedding planning?

You may have a brilliant helper who is eager to do all she can to make your life easy, or your junior bridesmaid may be a fussy and emotional little girl who is yet to grow up and act her age. Depending on how the situation is, you can decide how involved she should be in the wedding planning. A junior bridesmaid’s main role is to be part of the wedding procession, and so anything beyond that is up to you to decide. If she is interested in helping and hosting the bridal shower, you can ask the rest of your wedding party to include her in it. You can also have her on your list to run errands, help with setting up wedding favors, purchasing the things needed for your wedding or even accompanying you to your shopping or dress alteration sessions. Young girls are usually eager to help with the tasks that others may find boring. For example, she may be the right person to help you assemble your wedding favors or to stick your wedding invitations. So, give her the responsibility to handle this task, and she will appreciate being asked for her help with the wedding.

7.Is there a pre-wedding function that she should be involved in?

Like we said earlier, it isn’t necessary for your junior bridesmaid to attend your bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, she should be invited to the rehearsal dinner, since she is very much a part of the wedding day ceremony. This will help you prepare her for her role on the wedding day. Since you will be having a rehearsal of what will happen on the wedding day, at the rehearsal, make sure she is there for it and understands her role well.

8.Does she need an escort when she walks down the aisle, and is there anything to take care of if she has one?

No! Your junior bridesmaid doesn’t need an escort for when she walks down the aisle. Unless you have an extra groomsman who can accompany her, it isn’t necessary to find someone to join her. She can walk all by herself and precede the rest of the bridesmaids in the processional, or else you can pair her up with another bridesmaid. Of course, there is nothing wrong in pairing her with an escort, if you have a suitable person for the task. The other interesting option is to have her and another bridesmaid accompany a groomsman on either side. This is not commonly seen, and so will be an interesting addition. When planning whether she should be escorted down the aisle, you can simply think of how the pairing will look. If it will be cute, it is alright. If it looks off or you are worried it may not be suitable to pair her off with someone who is several years older than her, let her walk down the aisle herself and enjoy those two minutes when all eyes are on her. The other option is to have her stand in the receiving line, if that is the best thing for her.

9.What is her role on the wedding day?

Apart from being part of the processional, she really has no other particular responsibilities to handle on the wedding day. If your junior bridesmaid is eager to participate and would love to help, you can always handle her responsibilities that she is capable of handling. She can be involved in helping the guests be seated, giving out programs or can help handle the gifts you receive at the reception. She can also be in-charge of handing out little bags with confetti or bubbles that will be used when the couple make their exit. Basically, this depends on the attitude and personality of the girl. If she would rather enjoy the party and mind her own business, let her be. Although she is a junior bridesmaid, don’t expect the same from her as you would with your other bridesmaids.

10.What do I gift her?

Like the rest of your bridesmaids, your junior bridesmaids also deserve a small gift as a token of appreciation for their involvement in your wedding. Since they are much younger than the rest of the group, it may not be a good idea to get them the same gift as the rest of the girls. Even when you have more than one junior bridesmaid, it is good to get them individual gifts that match their personalities. Go with their age and their taste, and you are bound to find something they will appreciate. Set a budget and shop like you would for their birthday. You can always customize your gift with a monogram or in the theme colors of your wedding, if you prefer. Or, if you are in doubt, it is best to consult their parents and find out what would be an ideal gift. For older girls, you can even gift a voucher to their favorite store, so they can pick whatever they like. Generic gift suggestions that usually work include personalized jewelry like necklaces with a pendant matching the letter of their name or small monogrammed tote bags with a small extra like a bridal Barbie doll inside.

You now have all the necessary information you need to know about having junior bridesmaids in your wedding party. To choose the fantastic dress for these young girls, so they are a beautiful addition to your wedding party, visit our bridesmaids dress collection at Best for Bride. All the dresses featured above belong to this collection, and you can find even more fantastic dresses for your favorite young girls. Pick both your junior bridesmaids dresses and the rest of the attire for your wedding party from our fabulous bridal party collection and find the best deals possible.

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5 things you should do to make your out-of-town weddings guests comfortable

It is likely that every wedding will have at least a few guests who travel from far for the ceremony. As a couple, you should appreciate the time, effort and money they spend to be part of your big day. The least you can do is to make sure they are comfortable and enjoy their stay while they are in-town. Here are some simple ways in which you can make their visit worthwhile and easier.

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Inform them early

As you may be aware, air ticket charges peak as the date nears. Since your guests will be footing their travel expenses, make sure you notify them of the date well in advance so they have enough time to find a good deal. “Etiquette on Out-of-town Wedding invitations” on Map happy suggests giving four to six months advance notice, as this will allow your guests to research their travel options and plan their trip so that it doesn’t cost them dearly. It would be helpful if you could provide them an itinerary of the various events they have to attend, so they can pack for it accordingly. This would also give them enough time to plan their trip.

Be considerate and do what you can to help them

Your out-of-town guests go through a lot of trouble and spend a lot of money to make it to your wedding day. So, the least you can do is to be considerate and help them with what you can. While you are not responsible for their accommodation, they would find it helpful if you could provide a list of affordable hotels and arrange the bookings on their behalf. If possible, visit them once they are in town or at least call and make sure they have arrived safely and are comfortable. Make sure to mention how you appreciate their presence, as these thoughtful gestures go a long way in making them feel the trip was worth it.

Suggest options so they stay occupied

Unless your wedding itinerary is action-packed with events, your guests will have plenty of free time to themselves. It would be a good idea to provide them suggestions on how they can spend this time. If there are local museums or tourist attractions, recommend them. If they are in town at the time of your rehearsal dinner, consider including them. Assign the responsibility of these guests to one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen, so they have someone to turn to should they require any help.

Small treats go a long way

Arrange for a small bag or basket of treats to welcome your out-of-town guests. You do not have to spend a huge amount on it, but they will appreciate your thoughtful gesture of remembering them when they find a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates in their hotel room. After your wedding day, don’t forget to send them a thank you note. Besides thanking them for their gift, specifically mention how pleased you were to have them at your wedding.

If you are wondering about what party favors would be good for your out-of-town guests and also all the others at your wedding, visit us on Best for Bride for some fabulous ideas.