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

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

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

1.Highlight bigger blooms

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

2.Keep your centerpieces simple

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

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

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

4.Opt for seasonal and local blooms

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

5.Don’t splurge on the bridesmaids bouquets

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

6.Find alternatives to corsages

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

7.Add extra greenery

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

8.Add details like ribbons or lace

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

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

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

10.Choose airy flowers that add bulk to arrangements

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

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

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

12.Go for non-floral bouquet options

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

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

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

14.Add seasonal bounty to the mix

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

15.Start with the grocery store bouquet

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

16.Mix and match by cost of flowers

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

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

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

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Mistakes to avoid when choosing your wedding style and colors

Every couple dreams of a wedding day that is unique and creative. Colors play a huge role in enhancing the overall mood and effect of this special day. Unfortunately, choosing the right colors for your wedding isn’t as easy as it seems. Although you may have certain favorite colors, you cannot simply put them together and plan your wedding around them.

Wedding color pitfalls are fairly common, and they ruin the wedding ambiance. Fortunately, being aware of the likely mistakes will help you avoid them. Here is our guide to the common mistakes couples make when choosing wedding colors. Use it to steer clear of a visual overdose of colors and mix and match combinations that do not gel together.

Ignoring the colors in your venue

Many couples forget to account for the effect of the colors that are part of the venue they choose. This unavoidable part of the décor has to be considered and you should work it into the wedding color palette. Since it is unlikely that you can alter any of the existent colors at your venue it is wise to pick colors that do not clash with them for the best effect.

If you already have made your decision about the colors that will be in your wedding, choose a venue with colors that work with your choice. There are many venues without dominating colors in the décor. Pick such venues and you will not have to worry about a likely clash of colors. Otherwise, find your wedding venue first. Then pick your wedding colors to go with it. However, this means that you will have to be open to options and flexible with your choices.

Choosing several distinct colors

When you are a lover of colors, it can be difficult to narrow down your choices to just few. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of working with many colors that are entirely different. Multiple bold and dominating shades create clutter and look messy. Also, the individual details will be lost in the noise.

This article on the Brides website suggests that where colors are concerned, fewer is better. If your theme requires you to work with multiple colors, say like a rainbow or circus theme, try to work with smaller doses of color. Then use a neutral base to tie the effect together. This article also suggests limiting your colors to just two for elegance and sophistication. Make sure that these colors complement or contrast, for it to be pleasant and not overbearing. As a general rule of thumb, do not add more than four colors to your palette, or it can become overwhelming.

Going with the trend

Pantone picks a color or two every year, and many brides decide to incorporate this into their weddings. From burgundy to rose quartz and greenery, the choices are often unusual and unexpected. This may seem to be unique and interesting at the time. One advantage of using these colors is that it is easy to find your wedding decorations. Many companies bring out décor items in this color following the announcement every year. However, not all such trends are timeless or classic.

When you choose an unexpected combination for your wedding, it is likely to look dated over time. Although it may look interesting at the moment, remember that your wedding memories should stand the test of time. When your album shows what is hot now, it doesn’t have to be the same years later. Hence it is better to pick colors that actually appeal to you than go with fads that will disappear soon. Classic color combinations and bold, saturated colors will always speak to you. Ten years from now, when you open your wedding album, the colors that you eternally love will seem more attractive than shades whose names you can barely remember at the time.

Keeping your palette too simple

This is the very opposite of working with too many colors. By limiting your wedding day palette to just one or two shades, your wedding can become monotonous and boring. Instead, try to incorporate various hues of the same color into the scheme. Also work with neutrals that don’t overpower with their presence.

If your focal colors are really vivid, balance the effect with soft, neutral shades that will add depth to the main colors. If you have choose mute and subtle colors to be highlighted, the right dose of complementing colors will personality and make the décor more interesting. Take a look at the color wheel to find colors that contrast or complement well with the main colors you choose. Use this to plan your color combinations wisely. Here is a comprehensive guide to working with colors, on the Smashing Magazine website. Take a look and we are sure you will find plenty of inspiration and ideas. 

Choosing common and predictable combinations

Certain color combinations are safe, however they are also boring. We have seen enough weddings where black has been paired with white and gold, or red with yellow and white. These predictable combinations no longer excite, and have little scope for creativity. So, while you should find inspiration in traditional combinations, it is a good idea to tweak the colors and with your own creative twist.

One of the ways to do this is to take such a palette, and switch out one of the colors. Choose a hue from the same color family, but one that is distinct. Another option is to break the pattern with luxurious doses of white or black, which also creates a sophisticated effect. You can also use metallic colors for an interesting effect. The right doses of gold, silver or copper can instantly glam up a color palette, and add to its elegance.

Trying too hard to get perfect matches

While carefully matched colorful pieces will look stunning in your wedding décor, it should flow naturally and look effortless. Trying too hard to get the colors right and the combinations perfect will ruin the entire effect. This is especially true where floral elements and bridesmaids dresses are concerned. It may not be possible to find flowers in the exact color you want for your wedding palette. You may end up having to spend extra for off-season varieties if your chosen color is rare, like shades of blue.

Similarly, picking bridesmaids dresses in colors that match your palette aren’t a good idea if it won’t look good on your bridesmaids. This will not only make them unhappy, it will also be an eyesore. The trick is to think creatively, and make these details work with a little flexibility. Choose décor items like ribbons, balloons or candles to replace flowers, but obtain the intended effect. Similarly, dress up your bridesmaids with accessories like sashes, hair clips or even shoes to add the desired pop of color without ruining the effect.

Choosing colors without actual visual samples

Whether it is your wedding flowers, table linen, invitation suite or bridesmaids dresses, always see the color to determine it is alright. Images of the color on a computer screen or in a magazine can be entirely different from how it looks in person. This is because the color that you see on a screen depends on the light in which the image was taken and any edits that went into creating the image.

If you follow this route, it can completely alter the final effect you obtain at the end. For instance, peach or coral may turn out to be pink or orange when viewed directly. Since you will have to match your colors across various aspects in your wedding, it is best to view swatches before making your decision. This way, you can see for yourself if the color is exactly as you intended, and make the right choice. Also, names can be misleading. So, make sure you have a sample of the color to show others, so there is no confusion about what you actually mean.

Not considering the effect of texture

The same color can have different effects depending on the texture of elements used. Items with heavy texture can have saturated effects, while wispy textures reduce the drama associated with a color. Keep this factor in mind when choosing wedding colors.

Patterns, prints and embellishments can alter the overall effect of a color. When planning your décor and style, consider how the different textures in the arrangement come together. The right distribution of textures will enhance the depth and drama of designs in your décor. Pay close attention to linens, centerpieces, carpets and wall colors. These are a significant part of the visual imagery and play an important role in determining the overall effect.

Using colors that are garish

Some colors are too difficult to look at, and may not be ideal for your wedding décor. These are colors that aren’t usually seen in nature. Neons and fluorescent colors are distractive and not easy on the eye. Avoid such colors or use them in moderation, so your décor isn’t garish.

Neons can be overwhelming, unless chosen carefully. However, it is possible to get the effect right if you use them sparingly. If you choose such colors in your wedding imagery, balance it out with neutrals and complementary colors that make it less overwhelming. Limit their use and consider the effect of the lighting in the space to get it right. Neons and fluorescent colors will look better in the evening, than during day. So, make such color choices keeping these factors in mind.

Take a look at this article on the Glamour website for some unique and impressive ideas. 

Not considering the effect of the climate and actual ambiance at the time

There is no denying the fact that different colors look best at certain times of the year than others. Bright tropical colors, for instance, look best in summer and spring while bold, dramatic colors look stunning in autumn and winter. Matching the colors to the actual environmental condition at the time can bring out the best effects in them. Use this factor when choosing your wedding palette.

Set the right tone for your wedding by choosing colors that work with the atmosphere you aim to have at your wedding. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use colors like yellow and orange at a winter wedding scene. Instead, you may have to lighten or intensify the saturation of the colors you choose to suit the scenery. Pick accent colors that will complement your primary choices, as this can make a significant difference to the mood that is created.

Choosing wedding colors isn’t easy. The options are endless, and it is difficult to narrow down choices to few when there are so many attractive options. With each passing day, the ideas keep growing and this only makes the task more difficult.

There are many sources of inspiration too. If you just take a look at the internet or flip through a bridal magazine, you will see a stunning variety of ideas. So, how do you make the right choice? As with everything in your wedding, your wedding color palette should reflect your personality, preferences and style in general. Look around you, and to your home and wardrobe as the starting point. This will help you identify colors, textures and prints you already love. Use it to narrow down your choices and just go with what your instinct points you to. The most important thing is not to overthink it, and be happy with what you settle on.

We would love to know what colors and ideas you used when planning your wedding. Let us know in the comments section below.

Stay tuned to the Best for Bride website for updated offers and deals that will help you have a fantastic wedding day. Also, don’t forget to visit this page regularly for more advice, inspiration and ideas to plan the perfect wedding day.

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The truth behind 10 winter wedding myths

Winter weddings are growing in popularity, with more and more brides opting for this romantic wedding season. I think these women are really clever, to make the most of this unusual choice to create fond memories.

Planning a wedding in winter shouldn’t be too difficult, if you actually consider it. There are several misconceptions associated with a winter wedding, and this is why many brides don’t even think of the idea.

Let us take a look at some of the most common winter wedding myths that you will most likely hear, if you announce you will be getting married during the coldest time of year. Don’t worry, for we are here to give you the actual facts and tell you if it is indeed something you need to worry about, or just another thing that you let it in one ear and out the other!

1.You cannot choose any wedding dress you want

If you think you should cover yourself up in a full-length, full-sleeve, turtle-neck wedding dress, to keep the cold at bay, you are mistaken. Don’t think too much about the strapless or backless gown that you simply love, just go for it!

The cold is a given factor whether you wear a full-sleeve gown or a sleeveless one. Take a cue from our designer collections for winter and fall. I’m sure you won’t find more than a handful of full-sleeve dresses there. This is because brides love and do wear dresses that expose the neck, shoulders, back and arm. Since you will most likely be having an indoor ceremony in a heated area, you won’t feel cold. And for those valuable outdoor photo moments that you cannot miss, this is the time to add style to your ensemble with a luxurious wrap, stole or jacket. You can view our fantastic collection here.

Shine brighter than any snowflake at your snow-kissed winter wedding with this beautiful Sophia Tolli Mon Cheri wedding gown. The sweetheart neckline adds a touch of romantic to an already ravishing wedding dress design. Check more details about this dress by visiting this link here.

2.Winter weddings are cheaper

Your wedding expenses depend entirely on the type of wedding you have, the number of guests attending and what you choose to have at your wedding. Winter is the off-peak season where weddings are concerned. So, you may be able to get a better rate if you negotiate, or snag a discount that a vendor advertise. You also have a better chance of finding such discounts this time of year, as vendors are more likely to search for clients, and not the reverse. Nevertheless, your wedding expenses will depend on how you plan your wedding. If you go with seasonal fare, choose flowers that are available, and search for the best discounts and deals, you will be able to pull off your wedding on a smaller budget. However, if your wedding menu will have items that are not easily available this time of year, or you want floral décor and bouquets with spring or summer flowers, be prepared to shell out extra.

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3.You have limited options in bridesmaids dresses

Just like with wedding dresses, you may quickly assume that your bridesmaids will need full-length dresses that cover the neck and arms. Well, you don’t! The same rules that apply to you, go for your bridesmaids too. Feel free to choose short, sexy dresses, as long as your wedding is in a well-heated venue. They can always accessorize with a warm jacket, wraps or stoles if they have to spend time in the cold outdoors. Additionally, short dresses give them the chance to look stunning and stylish. Enter snow boots or knee-high boots and a cozy Pashmina shawl, and show me one girl who isn’t excited to wear the short dress that you choose for her.

Don’t you think this 8108S from the Alfred Angelo Bridesmaids collection is a delightful dress that your bridesmaids will love to wear? This cocktail length gown with a stunning sheer halter neckline features necklace beading and ends just above the knee. Not only does it look smart and glamorous, it is also a practical choice that your girls will think of reusing after the wedding. Check this bridesmaid dress out at this link to our collection.

4.An outdoor wedding is off-the-cards

Why should you limit yourself to the indoors when there is so much beauty in the landscape outdoors? We say, plan your event outdoors, and live your dream. It will be a memorable and unique event, when you do. All it takes is a little practical planning. You may have to keep your ceremony short, so its over quickly but is just as memorable, and make sure that the outdoor area is well-heated, so nobody feels too cold. I like this idea on The Knot website to arrange for shawls and hot cocoa for your guests. Additionally, inform your guests that you will be having an outdoor ceremony, so they can bundle up in warm woolens and come prepared for your spectacular event. Since winter weather is often tricky and you can’t predict how it will go, it is a good idea to have a backup plan, in case things don’t proceed in your favor on the day.

snow wedding
Image Credits: Corrinne Allen, via Flickr

5.You have limitations when choosing your winter wedding décor

Unless there are budget constraints that restrict you from planning the wedding of your dreams, there is no other reason for a less-than-picturesque winter wedding décor. In fact, winter being closer to the holidays, you have plenty of festive options available than at any other time of the year. Look around the shops during winter and you will see that there are more décor choices than ever before. It is also likely that you will come across sales that you can make the most of. Make the most of the available and hot décor items like candles and baubles. With some creativity, you can easily transform them into any dream design you want, without looking like it was built for Christmas. So, if you aren’t keen on having a snowy winter wonderland wedding, just think of how you can use what is available and customize it to look different, but interesting. And, if you are a fan of snowy landscapes and dancing fairy lights that warm up the wintry scene, you will have no difficulty finding exactly what you want.

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6.Most guests won’t look forward to a winter wedding

In our experience, the opposite is usually true. Most guests are bored with attending weddings in spring and summer. However, winter weddings are far fewer, and offer a welcome respite to look forward to, during the cold months. Also, not all your guests are bundled in at home throughout the day. Winter doesn’t prevent them from going to work and school. So, your wedding is just another occasion that they have to attend, despite the cold. Since it will usually be closer to the time when they are planning Christmas and Thanksgiving, it will give them a chance to relax and enjoy themselves at a party that they don’t have to do much at. Also, with the festive season on it’s way, most people are cheerful and happy. This allows them to enjoy your wedding, take part in the fun and return home with cheer.

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7.Reduced daylight hours will dampen the party spirit

Not if you set the ambiance at your venue right. It has to be exciting, thrilling and full of party spirit. True that the shorter days may make it necessary to have a short outdoor ceremony. Nevertheless, you can continue the party inside with full pomp and show till late into the night, when you have a venue that is nice, warm and well-lit. The good thing about winter weddings is that it is easy to fashion a warm, glowing atmosphere with plenty of candles and soft yellow lights. It is a double bonus if you have snow; the image is simply spellbinding. If your venue has a roaring fireplace, it would add to the festive atmosphere. Make sure that the venue is properly warmed before the guests arrive, so they can quickly settle in. Activities like dancing and eating will do the rest of the job to heat up the atmosphere, and help everyone enjoy the beautiful event.

bright

8.Your food choices are limited

Just like with décor, your menu choices are only restricted by your budget. Although you may have to spend extra to get items that are off-season, it is possible if you are prepared to pay for it. However, you needn’t worry about a boring menu at all, even if you go with what is seasonally and locally available. Winter has it’s own rich bounty of natural ingredients. All you need is a good caterer, who can whip up a gastronomical feast with what is readily available. The cold weather outside makes this the perfect time to consider hearty family-style comfort food, which will warm palates but not strain your pocket. So, do your research in advance, and plan out your options. Also don’t forget that hot cocoa stations and s’more bars are great ideas that are best executed in winter than in any other season.

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9.Your photos will not look great

It is actually quite the opposite. If your wedding has light snowfall, imagine how romantic and beautiful your winter wedding photos will be in the outdoors. Although you may have to limit your outdoor shoots to when there is sunlight, indoor photography will not suffer on this account. Just make sure that your photographer has enough experience covering nighttime events, and brings the apparatus required for it. If there is a good flash light, and enough lighting at your venue you can get fabulous shots. Playing with light and shade will also give you some unusually impressive pictures, as well. Remember to tell your photographer in advance, if you want a soft, glowy and dreamy effect in your photos. It would be perfect to capture the winter wedding scenery in such a setting.

10.It is difficult to pull off a colorful palette

Many brides worry that they will have to either settle for a winter wonderland theme or a Christmas inspired palette, to keep it nice and attractive. This isn’t necessary. Warm, bright tones and metallic shades look wonderful in winter wedding palettes. This is the time when you can add bling to your décor to have sparkle and shimmer. Deep jewel tones like sapphire, emerald and berry colors make beautiful color palettes. If you are fond of patterns, you can even use this at your wedding. In fact, choose any color combination and any theme that you want, and find the right balance so you can pull it off successfully. Take a look at this Pinterest board for some glamorous and interesting combinations to inspire your wedding planning.

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So, that brings us to the end of our discussion. Didn’t we tell you that you didn’t have to worry much about planning a winter wedding. It isn’t a compromise, and you needn’t settle for anything if you plan it properly. In fact, when you do plan it properly, winter weddings are one-of-a-kind. The best thing is that it is the perfect romantic start to the rest of your life with your partner. Now tell us, do you think you are more inclined to be a January bride, or would you take the safe route and get married in spring?

Every winter bride needs the perfect wedding dress to look the part. Whether you prefer glamorous and sexy, or elegant and classic, we have hundreds of wedding gowns for you to choose from. Come visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride and make your pick today. Don’t forget the rest of the beautiful women in your bridal party. With dresses for bridesmaids, flower girls and mothers of the brides, as well as evening gowns and cocktail dresses for all your pre-wedding celebrations, we have you fully covered. So, what are you waiting for? Begin your wedding shopping experience right away.

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10 ways to transform your wedding bouquet from beautiful to absolutely fantastic

Flowers are a beautiful addition to any wedding. Every bloom and blossom has the power to add joy and color to the wedding scenery.

One of the best things about using fresh flowers in wedding bouquets, is that there is no way it can look bad. Unless the blooms you choose are past their prime and wilted, your bouquet will simply be pretty. Nevertheless, a few special touches can transform your bouquet from fine to fantastic. It doesn’t take too much effort, nor is it expensive to pack that punch in. On the other hand, you can jazz up the impact of your bouquet with these simple choices.

So, here is a list of ten easy ways in which you can transform your humble floral accessory into a masterpiece of art. Hope you like it.

1.Drama with bright colored flowers

Austin Wedding-2now1photo.com-SarahJesse (302)
Image Credits:2now1 Photography, via Flickr

One of the easiest way to make your bouquet look special is to focus on rich, luscious colors in it. The brighter the colors, the more dramatic the overall effect. Bold, solid colors are powerful and attractive, and this should be your choice if you want maximum impact. When you match the bouquet colors to that of your wedding color palette, choose only the brightest blooms with deep colors. By varying the texture and sizes of the flowers, you can add more dimension to the display. Deep, dark colors like purples, red and blues instantly add a touch of sophistication. Light colors tend to make the scenery relaxed, while dark colors do the opposite and bring in more energy.

Tip: It is best to avoid wispy strands and small, sprays of fillers like baby breath and daisies, so the impact of the bold colors in your bouquet isn’t diluted.

2. Maximum color with monochromatic bouquets

Lavender roses and callas with deco wire accents
Image Credits: Blooms a Million, via Flickr

You do not anything more than a bouquet full of bright red roses, to get your floral details right. Saturated color has a strong unbeatable presence, and at times this is all that is needed for your bouquet to stand out. The size of the flowers is a factor that can enhance the effect. When the blooms are all similar in size and look, it will be more attractive. Apart from roses, there are other flowers that are equally arresting. These include tulips, hydrangea, lilies and orchids. Monochromatic red bouquets are an ever-popular and safe choice, with roses being the main choice. We think the half-opened rose buds are the most impressive flowers when used in monochromatic fashion.

3.Creative wrapping

lace bouquet

Even the simplest bunch of flowers can be given an added dose of glamour with unusual and interesting wrapping. This is also a great way to add a unique touch to your bouquet, and make it different from what is usual. You can use lace to wrap the stems, and this may be a great way to add the lace from your mother’s wedding gown into your wedding attire, when you choose to not wear the dress itself. For a rustic style wedding, burlap wraps and rope, or twine create a befitting finish. Lush silk and pretty beads or rhine stones can dress up any bunch of flowers. By varying the wrapping, you can accomplish an entirely different effect for the same bunch of flowers. So, give due thought to how you do it. Spend time and research ideas on the best way to tie it up, and your bouquet will be a work of art when ready.

4.Choose an all-white bouquet

white bouquet

Your wedding dress is white, and you couldn’t go wrong with a white bouquet to go with it. This is a timeless choice that cannot go unnoticed. It is also a safe choice if you are struggling to find a bouquet design that blends in with the rest of the wedding palette. A variety of white flowers are available all-year round. So, you will always have options to create an all-white one. Either choose the same flower throughout, or play with a variety of flowers to create an entirely different impact. Roses, lily of the valley, ranunculus, chrysanthemums and orchids are all good for a beautiful monochromatic white bouquet. However, remember that you should choose flowers in a single shade of white, rather than mixing up too many variations, for maximum impact. You can also achieve varying effects by playing with the amount of  green in your bouquet. While dark green foliage will make the white brighter, yellow-toned greens can soften the stark whiteness of a bouquet.

5.Fresh from the garden look

garden bouquet

More and more brides prefer the simple, fresh and natural look for their bridal bouquets, instead of a rigidly structured bouquet. This is refreshing, and easy to make, while the impact is often quite strong. These bouquets are usually formed of various flowers that are carefully chosen, but look like they have been effortlessly put together. A simple twine or bow is wrapped around the base, while the stems are kept impact for a rustic, casual look. Another good thing about these bouquets is that it allows you the freedom to mix and match flowers of different colors, textures and sizes, and create a cohesive bouquet. When the shape is simple and there is ample foliage, it is simply beautiful.These bouquets are the ideal choice for garden weddings and other casual,relaxed wedding themes.

6.Accessories to add bling

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Bouquets that include elements other than flowers are growing in popularity. Paper bouquets, those made from brooches and jewelry, newspapers and even fabric are all common. If you don’t want to remove fresh flowers entirely from your wedding bouquet, you can add bling in smaller doses, with a few strategically placed accessories. Dress up your wedding bouquet with bright brooches, pearl necklaces or even heirloom jewelry. This can even be your something borrowed. Or if you want to add a photo of a loved one to your wedding day ensemble, incorporate this as a locket around your bunch of flowers. A small metallic element can do wonders in adding sophistication to your wedding day look. So, explore the options and find an accessory, or even a few of them that can transform your beautiful bouquet into something even more magnificent. Equally enchanting are artistically created non-metallic elements like those made from paper, stones or even shells, that can match your wedding theme.

7.Bright pops of color against white

James and Mai Wedding, May 2013
Image Credits:James Gochenouer, via Flickr

When bright, summery shades like yellow, red and orange combine with neutrals like white and ivory, the effect is spectacular. If your wedding is in the outdoors, or is a spring or summer affair, mixing these colors in your bouquet is an easy way to liven up the scene. It is even more interesting if you vary the choice of bright flowers that are used in the arrangement. When the sizes of the colored flowers and the textures are different, it is a happy harmony of fun, and is exciting in every way. A mellow and uniform white base will offer the simple, soft background that will amplify the bright colors. We love the cheerful effect of the orange and peaches in this picture featured here. You can easily see how well they stand out against the white of the bridal gown. This style of bouquet will also be suitable at a destination wedding, where the sun meets the sand and the effect is celebrated with the bride’s brilliant bouquet.

8.Bigger the better – Oversize bouquets

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Image Credits: kenji ross, via Flickr

This choice is particularly suitable for tall and curvy brides. A bouquet of considerable size, where every detail on it is done to perfection, can easily make a mark. Magnificent flowers like sunflowers, hydrangea and tulips can create a stunning effect with their large proportions. You can also achieve the same with a variety of smaller blooms that are mixed in bulk to create a range of textures and strengthen the effect. While you may have to consider a structured design with tight binding to hold smaller flowers in place, you can also work with 3-D designs and looser bunches when using large flowers. An advantage of using large flowers in your arrangement is that they usually last longer, which means your bouquet will remain fresh much longer. Flowers will long stems like tulips are great for this. They not only add a pop of color to the arrangement, but look flawless and lifelike.

9.Unusual and unexpected non-floral additions to the bouquet

My bouquet
Image Credits: Nicki Dugan Pogue, via Flickr

For a truly unique and unexpected finish, add more than just your regular flowers into your bouquet. There are plenty of options in nature itself, to help you along the way. Depending on the season, theme and style of wedding, you can find elements that will work in your wedding bouquet. Succulents are an option. They easily fill up all the empty gaps in a bouquet, and have a commanding green, yet pleasing presence. For weddings in the cooler months, you may like to look at berries, acorns and twigs to add more flourish to the arrangement. Not only do these blend in with the natural scene, they are also relatively inexpensive. You can also think of decorative accessories like baubles and bells in different finishes for a more festive effect.

10.Play with shapes, textures and unusual colors

fern bouquet

The typical wedding bouquet is predictable, except in terms of color. Step up the drama by adding various flowers and floral elements in a variety of textures and sizes. Ferns, flower buds, pods, little vine strings, twigs and thick leaves are all different choices to bring in more texture to your flower arrangement. When there is a variety of texture, the bouquet looks enchanting. Discuss with your florist on the different options you can consider to make your flower bouquet more attractive. Your florist may have to do some pre-planning to get the different items, as these may not be readily available. Mix up big and small varieties to create a blend of textures, and your bouquet will not be easily forgotten by anyone who sees it.

The wedding bouquet may only be a small factor in your wedding ensemble. Despite that, it is one that has the power to drastically contribute to your overall look. The choice of size, shape and elements that build your bouquet, will determine the impact it creates. Hence it is necessary to choose it wisely. Although a talented florist can churn out a beautiful bouquet with minimal effort, you should also do your research and supply your inputs to make sure that the bouquet design blends in with your overall wedding vision. Only then will you look perfect as you walk down the aisle, all set to be wed.

At Best for bride, we offer our services to bring your floral vision and bouquet ideas to life. Visit this page for more details and to take a look at sample wedding bouquets we have created in the past. Additionally, we also offer all the services a bride requires for her wedding day. This includes wedding gowns, wedding gown rentals, dresses for the wedding party, party favors, wedding invitations and much more. Visit our online bridal shop to find out all that is available, and plan your wedding day to perfection!

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6 helpful things to know before you start wedding planning

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

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

1.Booking the venue—what to remember

castle venue

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

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

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

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

2.Wedding planner—what are the options

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

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

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

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

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

3.Before paying for Wedding Entertainment

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

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

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

4.Before you go wedding shopping

Cool wedding accessories for the winter bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5.Before you take any pictures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6.The food factor

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

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

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

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

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

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10 Reasons why summer weddings are so popular

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

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

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

#1 The long days are a dream come true

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

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

#2 Brides have many more dress options

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

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

#3 Summer time is so joyful and full of color

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

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

#4 Summer bounty makes menu planning easy

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

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

#5 It is vacation time anyway

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

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

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

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

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

#7 Summer is the season for destination weddings

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

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

#8 Summer is the best season for flowers

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

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

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

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

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

#10 Summer weddings make small local businesses happy

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

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

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

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10 Money Saving tips for your wedding

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

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

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

1.Venue

budget venue

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

2.Guest-list

guests

Three words—Snip! Snip! Snip!

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

3.Food and drink

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

4.Wedding Cake—don’t make it, fake it

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

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

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

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

6.Make the most of sample sales and trunk shows

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

7.Try alternate bouquets

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

8.Go bargain hunting for your wedding favors

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

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

9.Hire and buy local

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

10.Choose your transportation wisely

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

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

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10 Must-know Survival tips for the Winter bride

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

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

1.Prepare for the dark days

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

2.Choose a picturesque venue

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

3.Find the right photographer for the job

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

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

4.Keep yourself warm, while looking stylish too

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

5.Make sure your guests are warm and comfortable too

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

6.Plan your décor and flowers sensibly

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

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

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

8.Choose your transportation wisely

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

9.Make the most of what is in-season

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

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

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

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

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

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5 must-haves at your winter wedding

Winter weddings are a growing trend. As more brides choose to get married in winter, the options available to brides to them are also more. As you go around customizing and adding personal touches to your special day, let us look at the essentials that you shouldn’t forego, so your winter wedding is delightfully complete. Here they are now!

1.A warm and cozy venue

Remember that your wedding guests will be bearing the chills, as they make their way to the venue. So, it is necessary to warm up the hall, well before they arrive, so they can relax and feel comfortable once they are there. Make sure that the hall is well-heated, and there are no drafts entering the room. Keep the ambiance warm and welcoming with soft glowing yellow lights and cozy decorations that immediately make it cheerful. You can also place a few blankets and throws for those guests who really feel cold, to wrap up in.

2.Warm drinks to ward off the chills

Who wouldn’t love a warm cup of cocoa, tea or coffee, when they enter indoors for your wedding. Make arrangements like a coffee or cocoa bar, where your dear ones can enjoy a warm drink before participating in the wedding ceremony.

3.Great lighting

This tip on the Wedding Party Website, is a very important one that all brides have to pay attention to. With the days being short, you do not want a gloomy setup with shadows all over the place. Make sure you pay attention to the quality of lighting, as this will determine the overall ambiance. Rather than choosing bright white lights, warm yellow glows and candle lights are pleasant. Candles also step up the romance, and enhance the holiday cheer.

4.Bring the outdoor elements inside

It is almost impossible to have an outdoor wedding when the cold season is at its peak. Nevertheless, you should add plenty of natural elements to your wedding décor, to add a natural charm to your party. Don’t skimp on flowers or foliage. If you are worried about the steep prices during this season, go with seasonal elements like pine branches, mistletoe and fir, or flowers that are available all-year round. Take inspiration from holiday decorations, and you will come across various elements that are perfect for decorating your wedding venue.

5.Appreciation for all those who made your wedding a success

Everyone from your bridesmaids, to the vendors and your guests have to work extra to make a winter wedding successful. So, you should openly appreciate all the effort they put in to make sure your big day a success. Appreciate and thank them openly for their contribution. Choose thoughtful wedding favors for your guests, and also add a special line or two, thanking them for the trouble they went through to come to your wedding. Similarly, thank your bridesmaids and the rest of the bridal party with gifts that they deserve. Lastly, don’t forget to send thank you cards and provide positive reviews to your wedding vendors.

Have you chosen your wedding dress for your cool, winter wedding yet? If not, come visit our bridal gallery on Best for bride and choose from the lavish collection we have.

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4 great ways to have an environment friendly wedding

If there is one event in your life which deserves some extravaganza, it is your wedding. Every couple considers having a grand wedding with some pomp and show, so that it is special and remembered long after it is over.

Nevertheless, it is time we all thought seriously about the environmental impact that weddings have. After all, weddings are not your average eco-friendly events. Research by the Examiner reveals that the average wedding produces nearly 63 tons of CO2, causing significant environmental damage. Fortunately, there are certain measures that you can employ to have a green wedding, without compromising on having a fantastic day. Here are some suggestions for you to consider.

via Best for Bride

Cut down on paper

Weddings involve lots of paper, from save-the-date cards and Thank you cards to escort cards and programs. An average wedding invitation has anywhere between 3 and 8 pieces of paper. If you are truly concerned about how many trees go into creating this bulk of paper, consider going paperless. But, if you do not want to compromise on tradition by choosing the email route, keep your wedding stationery to a minimum. Or, you could also choose tree-free paper for all your needs and seed paper is one such trend that is growing in popularity.

Go with what is local and seasonal

Cut flowers used in wedding arrangements can have a huge environmental impact, as they are often shipped from far away countries and are grown in greenhouses using pesticides and fertilizers. Add a distinct touch to your floral arrangements by choosing local flower varieties and allow your florist to customize your bouquet with what is in season. This not only allows you to cut down on your wedding expenses, but also helps you score extra green points.

Minimize wastage by choosing reusable centerpieces and decor arrangements

Most of the elements used in wedding decor end up in the trash following the ceremony. Stretch your money further by reusing the decor elements at the ceremony site at the reception too, but only if you have the time to do so. A better idea is to employ reusable decor elements like bamboo, potted plants, fruits and organic elements like seashells in your decor that can be donated or gifted. You could consider small shoots of lucky bamboo as your wedding favors, or give away your centerpieces to your guests as they leave the ceremony to minimize wastage. Also choose containers that you can use in your new home. Check out the Green Bride Guide for more environment friendly wedding decor ideas.

Go green with your wedding dress

If you want your own special wedding dress for your big day, so be it. Otherwise, consider renting your wedding dress or restyling your mother’s wedding dress, and giving it a new lease of life. With rental services, like we have at Best for Bride, you can find a fabulous wedding dress for a fraction of the original cost, and not worry about maintaining or preserving it after your big day. Since this will be worn by another bride once again, the dress is put to maximum use—thus becoming a better environmental choice.

Which of these ideas would you like to consider for your wedding day? If you like the idea of renting a wedding dress, visit us at Best for Bride to find a fabulous choice. Visit our online link at Best for Bride for all the details about renting a wedding dress from us.