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Nobody likes a Bridezilla! Here’s how to avoid being one

Wedding bells are ringing! Love is in the air! Isn’t your engagement one of the most beautiful phases in life? So, you want to remember it fondly.

No bride wants to look back on this phase in her life and regret the memories. Unfortunately, wedding planning is not a walk in the park. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself stressing over the details and slowly turn into the dreaded “Bridezilla!”

Wedding planning often brings out the worst in a woman. It is only normal that you want the perfect wedding in every way. However, this entails spending enormous amounts of money, planning things to the smallest possible detail and getting everyone in your wedding to perform as expected. Definitely not an easy feat! And as you struggle to cope with the zillion details, your stress levels naturally go up and you may lash out in ways you later regret.

The sad part is that you may not realize that you are turning into a bridezilla until you have hurt hearts and strained relationships. However, there are warning signs that tell you of where you are headed. Scrutinize how you’ve been behaving lately. If you notice these red flags, you better stop before it goes too far and the damage cannot be undone!

Everything you say contains “my wedding”

Talking endlessly about your wedding can irritate those you spend time with. Who would like it if even casual inquiries about the wedding end up in monologues on wedding plans, dress shopping and other wedding details. You will sound wedding-obsessed, and it can really make people dread being around you. Whether it is your excitement or apprehension that causes you to talk about the wedding and nothing else, curtail it. Don’t bring up the topic of your wedding unless necessary. If you are asked about it, keep your answer brief and to-the-point. Leave some things to be seen, rather than spill the beans and kill all the fun.

You are certain nothing is going your way

There is often a time in every bride’s life when she believes things are getting nowhere. You may be frustrated with the lack of options or unhappy with what are available. It may seem that nobody, but you, is concerned about the wedding. In this tryst for perfection, it is likely that you will push your well-wishers away. You may also believe nothing is up to your expectations. Before you freak out and drive everyone away, just sit back and analyze what is going on. With a calm and composed mind run through the different options once again. Some of them may not be as bad as you initially thought they were. Be flexible and open-minded and you will see better progress.

You cannot stop adding details

Pinterest and glossy picture-perfect weddings on the internet can agonize a bride who strives for perfection. Every page you turn, every link you click leads to more eye-candy that you must have at your wedding. This can pose a problem! If you continue to add more details to your wedding, your expenses will spiral out of control.You may also lose control over what is more important as you obsess over several small details. So, stay focused and stop before you go overboard. Once you have enough inspiration, close the picture books once and for all. There will always be another detail that you could add, but remember that it isn’t really necessary. Keep your priorities clear and move on to the next task. Procrastination will only delay you and cause frustration.

You barely spend time with your fiance

Wedding-obsessed brides often forget the most important person in their life—their fiance. This is a big tragedy, as your engagement is a golden period when you should celebrate your love and commitment to each other. It is the time to connect, bond, plan your life together and dream of a beautiful tomorrow. If the wedding overrides this need to be with each other, it is time you took a break from the wedding tasks. Take time away from all the mad wedding planning and simply enjoy the feeling of being in love. Remember that this chance doesn’t come again. So, make memories while you have time.

Your bridesmaids are uncomfortable in your presence

Your bridesmaids are often your best friends, sisters and cousins. They are the women who you share your biggest joys and sorrows with. If they seem to be on edge, every time they are around you, it is time to take stock of the situation. Analyse if you have become very demanding, irritable or obsessed with the wedding these days. Do your single friends prefer to stay away from you? Is it not because they are jealous, but because they are tired of you bragging on and on about your wedding. Avoid rifts and unpleasant situations as far as is possible. Be considerate and accommodating, and they will be eager to participate in your wedding. Don’t be pushy, as it can spoil the fun in your relationship. After all, you want these girls to stick around you even after you are married.

Take a look at this Huff Post article to avoid overstepping the mark, with your bridesmaids. 

Your parents don’t look too excited

It is normal for parents to be emotional when their daughter gets married. After all this transition in status is a big change in their lives too. However, joy will normally overcome the sorrow. If you are always discussing the wedding and not spending any quality time together, it will only distance you further from your parents. Involve them in the wedding planning, welcome their suggestions and appreciate all that they do for you. Also spend time with each other without discussing anything about the wedding, and relive fond memories from the past. Understanding each other at this stage in life will help you remain closer even after your marital status changes forever. It will be immensely helpful if you acknowledge what they are going to, instead of obsessing over the wedding.

Now, if you are worried about family drama ruining your wedding day, here are some tips on how you can avoid it. 

You are obsessed with diets, workouts and weight loss regimens

Brides want to look their best on the most special day of their life. However, don’t stretch yourself to the extent where you sacrifice your happiness and health to look great. Dieting, changes to meal plans and new exercise regimes will help you get in shape and look great in time for your wedding. Nonetheless, tackle everything in moderation. Crash diets and extreme exercise regimens will only do harm. With this approach, you put your well-being at stake. Drastic changes to diet and intense workouts can leave you dissatisfied and unhappy. So, think of whether it is really worth it.

Your fiance fell in love with the present you. He doesn’t want to get married to a whole other you! So, stay healthy and happy, and you will look fantastic on your wedding day.

Every waking minute involves wedding planning

Wedding planning can be laborious and time-consuming. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. If you find yourself constantly struggling with wedding-related tasks and worrying over the planning timeline, re-evaluate your approach. A well-rested and relaxed bride is better equipped to tackle wedding planning challenges than one who is exhausted. So, do your research first and set priorities. Create a realistic timeline for all wedding tasks and also factor in buffer time. This will allow you to approach the tasks in a systematic and organized fashion. Also accept help from those who offer it. More on this below.

You feel you have to do everything yourself

You may feel that nobody is capable of doing the wedding tasks perfectly. If this means you undertake more than what you are capable of, you are in for big trouble. Having a perfect wedding is not about all the things you successfully did, it is more about the joy and happiness you feel on the day. This won’t be possible if you attempt all the tasks yourself. There will be plenty of friends and family members who are eager to help. Delegate responsibilities to them and trust them to do it right. You should also trust your vendors, especially if you chose them after enough research. So, make your decisions with care, and leave the rest of the job to those concerned. It will take a huge load off your shoulders and leave you more time to enjoy yourself as a bride.

Your vendors don’t look enthusiastic

Do your vendors seem to be doing their job only because you paid them? This could be a sign that they don’t consider you a good client. It is likely to be true if you have particularly signed them up for the job through a referral from a friend or contact. If your contact was extremely happy with their service, it is because they are professionals at what they do. So, it may be time to think of whether you’ve been rude towards them. If you’ve been mean in what you said or the emails you sent, this bad attitude will cause them to be less excited about your wedding. Unless you are certain they are incompetent, look at why they aren’t so keen on doing their job.

If you expect your vendors to do their job with full gusto, it is important you treat them well, show respect, be responsive and open to suggestions and concerns.

You aren’t happy with your fiance’s ideas

If you seem to dismiss every idea your fiance comes up with, it is a sure sign you are turning into a bridezilla.  Just in case you forgot, it happens to be his wedding too. However, if you think you have the last word in all the wedding decisions and ruthlessly reject all that he has to offer, you’re in grave danger. Your fiance will also have certain expectations for your wedding day. After all, it is a lifetime opportunity for him too. So, it is only right that you accommodate his ideas and suggestions as well. Don’t stress out over how his suggestions go with the theme or match your vision. Give him his fair say and let him have some fun too.

We know it is hard to keep calm and stay sane when your wedding day is approaching. It is only normal to get all wrapped up with your wedding plans and make mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, try to keep it under control or it won’t be any fun going forward. Remember that the wedding is just a day in your life, but you need your relationships for the rest of your entire life. Is it worth the drama?

For all your wedding-related needs, such as your dream wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more, Best for Bride has the solution. Visit our website today and come one step closer to realizing your wedding vision in the easiest possible way.

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

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

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

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

1.Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

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

2.Begin with a budget

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

3.Hear what your fiance has to say

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

4.Create a system to get your wedding plans organized

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

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

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

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

6.Make the most of free wedding planning tools

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

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

7.Be prepared for challenges

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

8.Take time to think before making decisions

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

9.Segregate your research 

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

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

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

11.Get things done ahead of time

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

12.Get your priorities straight

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

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

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

14.Find someone to take responsibility on your wedding day

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

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

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Do’s and Don’ts when planning a Large Wedding

A wedding, whether small or large, is an affair that involves hundreds of details. Even an intimate wedding, in which just the couple and their close family and circle of friends participate, has its fair share of challenges. So, you can image how much more complicated it is when you must plan a bigger wedding.

Typically, a large wedding is one where the guest count exceeds 200. If your guest count touches this number, you will have more work planning your wedding. Here are the Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind when you intend to have a large wedding of this nature.

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

While you still have the challenge of finding a venue that fits your budget, it is also important to find one that will fit your guests. Not only should the venue have space to hold so many people, it should also have adequate facilities to make them comfortable during their stay there.

The venue should have enough space to seat all the guests during the wedding and reception. It should also have sufficient number of washrooms to meet the needs of your guests. Apart from ample parking space, the dance floor should be large enough so your guests can dance comfortably.

Ideal choices are banquet halls, museums, castles and outdoor venues like parks or beaches. You should visit the venue before you commit to it. Seeing it is the only way to recognize whether it is right for your needs.

DO analyze and fix issues which can cause queues at the venue

Always consider the likelihood of long lines at the bar or bathroom. Analyze whether your venue has enough facilities to meet the needs of the number of guests attending your wedding. Your guests will find it inconvenient if it takes them forever for their turn at the washroom. Similarly, they won’t appreciate waiting indefinitely to get their chosen drink, at the bar.

Consider these factors in detail when you plan your wedding. If the venue has limited facilities, consider how you can alleviate issues. Simply arranging an extra lot of portable restrooms at an outdoor facility will help you overcome these issues. You can also have two separate bar setups at either end of your reception space to distribute the crowd evenly. Discuss your options with the venue manager and figure out the right fixes before the event.

DON’T cut down on what is most important to you

There is no question that a big wedding will be more expensive than a small one. However this doesn’t mean you should cut down on what you love. Instead, redistribute your budget to include what you must have at your wedding. You can always let go of certain factors or choose cheaper options for what is less important.

Here is an interesting idea on this post on A Practical Wedding. This couple decided to save on centerpieces and elaborate florals, which can quickly add up to several hundreds of dollars. Instead, they had a cocktail-style party, where everyone could move around and socialize throughout the evening. Since there was no need for a strict seating arrangement in this case, they went with simple tabletop arrangements and saved a huge amount of their budget this way.

DO remember that you still have to meet and greet all your guests

Whether it is a big wedding or a small one, you have to abide by some etiquette rules. This includes how essential it is to say hello to all the people who made the effort to participate in your wedding. Schedule enough buffer time in your wedding day timeline to accommodate this need. Set aside at least two minutes per guest, and it should work well.

Since waiting at a receiving line isn’t usually practical for this huge number of guests, it is a better idea to plan the day so you have opportunities to socialize and meet and greet everyone. Well-wishing guests will understand the practical problems you face with meeting all your guests. So, they shouldn’t complain if you couldn’t meet them personally. Nonetheless, it is best if you try to greet all there and avoid such a situation.

DO consider hiring help

While you can always attempt to pull off a big wedding by yourself, it is a Herculean task. With the number of details involved, you need plenty of time to do this right. Also remember that even small tasks will involve time because of the sheer volume of work involved. Imagine addressing your invitations to 200 guests, and you will realize the time that it will require. Similarly, every small detail will quickly add up in terms of time and energy.

Professional wedding planners have enough resources and staff to handle such weddings. They can make your job much easier, and save you lot of stress. Even if you intend to do everything yourself, consider hiring a day-of planner. While he or she tackles the numerous responsibilities of the day, you can sit back and actually enjoy your wedding. Additionally, wedding planners can get you valuable vendor discounts, which is a big win in the case of a large wedding. More details on how you can make the most of their expertise to snag a bargain are here on this Brides website article. 

DO try to skip the little extras

Unless you have a budget that cannot be extinguished easily, it is wise to skip the little extras when planning a big wedding. Although these items will help make your wedding unique, they can also quickly add up with the extended head count. For instance, you will run up several extra dollars if you decide to send out Save-the-date cards in addition to wedding invitations. Similarly, special touches like calligraphy, monograms and personalized wedding favors will be expensive unless you DIY.

Rather than splurging on these items, it is better to save your budget for the more essential parts of the wedding. Better quality food and drinks, for example, will be more appreciated than these elements.

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

Certain items in a wedding are non-negotiable, like the flowers. However, they are expensive as well. To get the best bargain on such items, we suggest that you consider using them to the greatest extent possible.

Take the advice of event planner Kristen in this article on the She Knows website.  You can get your money’s worth for the flowers at your wedding by putting them to more than just one use. Take the flowers off your arbor and use them in centerpieces. Or put your bridesmaids bouquets into vases and use them at your cocktail table after the ceremony.

All you need is an organized friend or professional planner to handle these details. It will save you more money than if you have to use more flowers for the purpose. And, more importantly it will also lessen scope for wastage of wedding resources. Other options are to choose centerpieces that double up as wedding favors and choosing non-perishable décor items that you can reuse after the wedding.

DO consider a bigger bridal party

Consider yourself lucky if you have a number of friends and family members who want to be closely involved in the wedding. With a little tact and foresight, you can use their help to the most at your wedding. The benefits of having a bigger bridal party are immense. This gives you more people who will assist you on and before the wedding day. For a bigger wedding party, this means you have many hands to help you handle the various details.

Your bridesmaids and ushers will be valuable in helping guests find their way around, on the day of the wedding. They can also assist with tasks like helping the photographer round up the right people for each wedding shot. You can request their assistance with setting up the venue, distributing favors and meeting and greeting guests. Nonetheless, the extent of success will also depend on the personalities of the people in your party. Choose wisely, and enlist the help of each person for tasks they are best suited for.

DO allow enough time between events

The logistics of planning a successful wedding timeline can be challenging when you have a huge wedding party. The flow of the event will be affected by the number of people there. Although this can be sorted out to a great extent by making multiple arrangements for dining and washroom facilities, it may not be enough.

We also suggest you plan your wedding timeline at a relaxed pace, with more buffer time for special moments. This will allow people to move to settle in comfortably and be ready for the next event on the timeline. Avoid packing in a tight schedule and make sure you consider the distance and space they have to maneouvre to be in place for the next important part of the day. This will ensure your wedding timeline progresses as expected and that the day winds up on time.

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

Whether your wedding is big or small, unreliable vendors can totally ruin the show. Nonetheless, the chance of fixing a goof-up is tougher when the guest count is higher. It is simply impossible to find a replacement at short notice who can cater to such a large crowd without prior notice. This can end up as an emotional and stressful disaster, and spoil all the fun of your special day.

Hence, make sure that every vendor you hire for your wedding is reliable and has always delivered the service they promise to. Apart from online reviews, also ask for references before you commit to a contract. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will be able to suggest reliable vendors for various jobs. They will also have likely alternatives if any of the plans go south. Finally, ensure your vendor contracts contain practical solutions as emergency plans, in case of cancellations at the last minute. Make sure you can work with their solutions before you decide to be optimistic and sign up for the service.

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

There are many extras that you may miss adding into your budget. Many couples overlook factors like tipping and gratuity, wedding dress alteration charges, extra costs at the venue for service etc, when planning their budget. Although some of these may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up when you consider the head count at your wedding.

So, make sure you discuss all overheads before you book a service. Also calculate these factors so you can create a practical budget. When booking a service, mention to the vendor what your total budget is, so they can direct you to the service accordingly. Also, don’t hesitate to cross-check and ask whether you will have to pay anything above and over the mentioned amount to get the service you book.

All said and done, your wedding is a special celebration of the day you and your partner become husband and wife! It is a special moment, that should be celebrated with all those who matter in your life. If this means having a big wedding, so be it! The challenges pale in comparison with the joy of the celebration. Just make sure that every moment counts, you stand by every decision you make and enjoy this special day in your life.

For all that you need for your wedding day, from your all-important wedding dress to dress alterations, attires for the bridal party, wedding favors and more, come visit our Best for Bride shop. With four locations and an impressive inventory of everything wedding-related, every modern bride can find all that she needs for her special day. Find more details about our wedding dress collections, services and more at the Best for Bride website here.

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Top Wedding photography mistakes and how to avoid them

 

Every couple makes memories on their wedding day, and these special memories are captured forever in a couple’s wedding album.

Wedding photographs document of the most special day of your life. Hence, it is one wedding detail that deserves a lot of attention. Never undermine the importance of planning your wedding photography well. Why? Only then will your wedding photos help you recollect every beautiful memory of this big day in the best possible way.

The quality of your pictures will greatly depend on the skill of the photographer you hired for the job. Nevertheless, minor and major mistakes from your side can also create problems on your wedding day. Unfortunately, this means that you will end up with photographs that are less than satisfactory.

Let us take a look at what these potential mistakes are, and how you can overcome them.

Never prioritize cost over quality

I strongly believe that no couple should compromise on cost when they choose their wedding photographer. After all, this is the one record of the biggest event in your lifetime. There is no way you can enjoy the details of this special day later unless your photographs capture it well. So, remember that a seasoned expert in photography is worth his price.

There will be amateur photographers or those who offer you a cheaper deal than a professional. However the risk of ending up with poor quality images is high in this case. And that is definitely not worth doing. If you have a very small budget, opt for a smaller package from a good photographer. Leave the album compilation for later, when you have the funds for it.

You should familiarize yourself with the photographer before the wedding day

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You will be spending a lot of time with your photographer on your wedding day. Hence, it is really important that you connect with him. Not all couples are naturally camera-friendly. If this is the case, you can overcome your shyness by becoming familiar with the photographer before your wedding day.

Engagement shoots are a great way to get to know your photographer’s style of work. It also gives you the opportunity to get used to the camera and become comfortable with it. This experience will make you more comfortable to face the camera on your wedding day. It will help you prepare better for the photography sessions on your wedding day. If you aren’t sure of whether you want an engagement shoot, take a look at what the Huff Post has to say about it. I’m sure it’ll have you convinced in no time. 

Make sure to discuss how you want your photos

Not all couples realize that there are different types of wedding photography. This article on A Practical Wedding will guide you through the common styles.  It is important to recognize which of these is your preferred style, and then find a photographer who follows it. The photographer’s portfolio will give you a general idea of his style of working. So, use this as your guide.

Even after you choose your photographer, you should clearly communicate your expectations to him. Discuss how you want to look in the pictures, what to include in it and any other relevant information. This will allow him to direct his shots accordingly.

Do settle on a realistic wedding day schedule

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If there is one person you should consult before you finalize your wedding day timeline, it is your photographer. Every important detail and event on the day deserves photo coverage. His previous experience will help your photographer guide you on how much time you should allot to the different things you have to do on the day. You should have plenty of buffer time between different events, in case anything falls behind schedule. Plan this with your photographer, so he won’t have to cut down on taking essential pictures.

If you run short of time, you may have to rush through or cancel your photo shoots at the last minute. This means you will be missing valuable pictures that ought to make it to your album. You should also get his opinion when planning the couple shoot and outdoor pictures. The quality of the images will depend on the amount of natural lighting available. So, plan your timeline to incorporate all these factors. Remember that the best photos are those that aren’t rushed but which feature you in your natural element.

Enlist help for collecting everyone for your pictures

Every couple will be doing portrait shoots with family and friends, apart from with the bridal party. Unless your photographer personally knows both your families, it will be impossible for him to get all the people for each of the shots in place on time. You can avoid this by simply assigning the job of collecting everyone for the photos to one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen. Make sure this is someone who knows everyone from both families.

While you give your photographer a list of group photos to be taken, make a copy of the list for the shoot organizer. Discuss details with them in advance and tell them who should come together in each picture. They can then direct everyone to the right place on time, and ensure they miss nobody.

You must have at least few candid shots

 

summerThe best pictures are those in which you look yourself. Although you will have to pose for a number of portraits and group pictures, that shouldn’t be all that is in your album. For a true documentation of your wedding day, allow your photographer to roam around and take pictures according to will.

You should always have a list of must-have’s, but trust your photographer to do the rest according to his own ideas. A creative and skilled photographer will know what all to include to make your album truly special. Leave him to take at least few candid shots of you and the guests at the party, and your album will be unique in it’s own way.

Ignore the camera unless told otherwise

It is your special day, and you want to look perfect in your pictures. This is possible only if you relax and enjoy your photography session. Many couples focus too much on the photo shoot and look unnatural and uneasy in their pictures. When exhausted, people also make the mistake of faking a grin for the camera. This can ruin the entire effect.

Unless it is a portrait shot or a group photo where you are facing the camera, it is best to ignore the camera and lose yourself in the day. Follow your photographer’s cues and he will ask you to look at the camera when required. Try and look natural, and your photographs will still be great even if you aren’t looking into the camera.

Practice your poses

8 Interesting wedding dress features to inspire the modern bride

Do you remember me mentioning that you will have to pose for portraits and group photos at your wedding photo shoot? Prepare yourself for it in advance and practice your best poses. Take a look at some of your old photos, and identify those that you like best. Pay attention to how you faced the camera in each of them. This will help you identify your best angles, profile and look. Practice this in front of the mirror during the days leading up to your wedding. So, when it is time to smile, you can quickly settle into this pose.

If you are unsure, ask your photographer to help you identify your best profile. Nevertheless, don’t be too rigid or pose too much, as this can become boring. Stand up straight, pull your chin in and simply angle yourself in the right direction to look your best.

Don’t take too many trendy pictures

From wedding dress trends to trends in wedding favors and even in photography props, there are plenty of trends to tempt couples. Following the trend is often exciting. However, don’t forget that trends come and go. On the other hand, classic styles and poses are timeless.

Think of whether you will be just as satisfied with the props, poses and shots when you look at your album ten years of now, when embracing a trend. Remember how some of the photos in your parents albums look outdated now. Some of them may even seem hilarious. Do you want to experience the same? If not, follow trends in moderation and avoid anything that is too extreme.

Discuss essential details

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You will have a list of people to include in the photos and the different events during the day that you want in your wedding album. Create a similar list for the various details that you want to be part of your album.

For instance, you may want a close-up shot of your expensive wedding jewelry or a picture in a particular location in your house. Make sure you mention it to your photographer. This way, he will not overlook the detail.

Choose photogenic makeup and colors

Not all makeup and hairstyles are photogenic. Unless you consider how your make-up and hairstyle will look on camera in advance, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Spray tans, for example, will give you an orange complexion in most lighting. Similarly, glitter may look glamorous in person, but looks like sweat in photos. In the case of hairstyles, leaving your hair open in a windy outdoor venue can result in your face being obscured by your hair flying in the wind.

Consider these factors when choosing your hair and makeup. Opt for a bridal portrait or engagement shoot. This gives you the opportunity to try the same hair and makeup as you want for your wedding day. You can see firsthand how it translates into pictures and change it if doesn’t look flattering.

Research and explore the options at the venue

classic wedding

Each venue will offer unique photography options. You will not know about it unless you explore the location in advance. When you visit the venue before the wedding, walk around and locate unique spots that will make good backdrops for your pictures. Talk to the venue manager to find out if there are unique spots for photos that you may not have noticed.

Natural lighting looks best in pictures. So, try to include at least few outdoor shots in your pictures. Discuss possible locations with your photographer, both indoors and outdoors. If lighting is limited in any area, tell your photographer about it. He can then bring extra lighting equipment.

Follow the photographer’s instructions, even if they sound odd

Trust your photographer when he asks you to do something, even if it seems unusual. With a skilled person behind the camera, you can be sure he knows what he is doing. Sometimes its these unusual poses and expressions that translate into unique pictures. So, don’t worry too much about making everything perfect. As long as you have a great photographer and you have dressed your absolute best, everything should quickly fall into place.

Just relax and enjoy yourself, and the happiness will permeate your photographs. Make the most of this rare opportunity of being in the limelight. Enjoy every moment. Your album will be proof of the best fun you ever had.

To look your best on your wedding day, you need a dream wedding dress and a beautiful bridal party to match!

Look no further, for both these needs can be realized at Best for Bride, Canada’s leading bridal destination. Check out our website here for the latest and trending wedding dress collections. There is enough variety to meet every bride’s wedding vision. Also take a tour through our accessories page, bridal party dresses and dresses for special occasions to find all that you need for your big milestone event.

 

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Top Wedding Planning Hacks for Busy Brides

Women who’ve been married before you will tell you that wedding planning is a full-time job in itself. If you are a busy bride with enough on your plate already, you will have enough responsibilities to handle daily. So,  it won’t be too easy to engage in wedding planning. Nonetheless, if the women before you have done it, so can you!

The idea is to have a systematic and organized approach to plan your wedding. Take a look at the tips we’ve compiled, and beat the stress. It will help you plan your wedding well despite your additional responsibilities.

Start in advance

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Wedding planner Sharon Sacks on the Huffington Post, mentions how important it is to plan your wedding in advance, especially if you work full-time. It isn’t easy to balance work and a plan a wedding. Like she says, nobody should have to choose between a job and their wedding planning. The two can progress smoothly if you can work out a balanced plan.

The key to this is to start early. The more time you give yourself to handle different tasks, the more relaxed you will be. So, before you set the date of the wedding, make sure you have enough time left to plan it. Also, put aside few extra weeks to unwind or tackle any tasks that don’t go as per plan. 

Be organized to the last detail

From the minute you start your wedding plans, use an organized approach for everything you do. Create an online journal and enter your wedding planning timeline into it. Find the essential wedding planning timeline with all the relevant tasks in this article. Find the best wedding planning software apps to help you with your wedding here. There are plenty of project management software out that are immensely helpful. Trello is one of them. Choose the right one for your needs and start using it right away. Make sure to use and update the information you collect or create on a regular basis. Edit out unnecessary items to keep it under control. Set aside time for this daily, so you are up-to-date with all that is relevant and aren’t overwhelmed with information overload.

Work with only professional wedding services

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Weddings are huge events, and not the place to experiment with novices. One of the biggest advantages of choosing professional wedding services is the efficiency they bring to a job. Most professional wedding service experts have been in the industry for long. They have the expertise and resources to handle their tasks with minimum supervision.

With previous experience, they know how much time it takes to complete a job. Thus, they can set your expectations correctly. The risk of things going wrong are fewer. More importantly, you have a minimum guarantee. You could save money by choosing a new vendor or entrusting a task to friends or family. However, the likelihood of hassles along the way is higher.

Spend some time on reviews

Unless you have personally experienced the service a wedding vendor provides or have a referral from an acquaintance, you should spend time on finding honest reviews of the service. Most vendors advertise themselves as the best of the lot. Some of them may even have certifications and testimonials on their websites. However, don’t simply rely on this information to book their services.

Check and read reviews, ask the vendor to refer you to  previous clients and objectively scrutinize the information available about them. The time you spend on this is worth the effort. It will make all the difference in averting stress at the last minute, when you should enjoy your special day.

Stop thinking about the wedding all-the-time

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I know this is easier said than done! Nevertheless, the key to efficiently planning your wedding is not obsessing over it all the time. When you worry about your wedding all the time, it prevents you from concentrating on your other responsibilities. This will affect your overall efficiency and productivity. As a consequence, wedding planning will become stressful and no longer be fun.

Do not dedicate all your free and leisure time to wedding planning, as this will be overdoing it. Set aside a specific time during the day to fully engage in wedding planning. As you get closer to the wedding, you can spend more time on wedding plans. Do this in an organized manner and you can cover all plans within the available time frame. It is also a good idea to fix a regular time when you and your partner will discuss wedding-related stuff. When he knows in advance, he can  focus on the tasks at hand during the appointed time.

Think seriously about hiring a wedding planner

If there is little time left, you may be better off hiring a wedding planner to ensure your wedding is a success. With a wedding planner at your service, you have a person who is entirely dedicated to your wedding. They will run around on your behalf and do the million little things that you may otherwise overlook. It will also alleviate your stress to a great extent, as you needn’t constantly worry about what you may have missed.

Wedding planners can conduct vendor interviews or may even have recommended vendors for different jobs. This will save you valuable time and effort. Being professionals in the field, they also have the ability of handling any last-minute issues that may crop up.

Plan everything in detail

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Do every activity, from shopping for your wedding dress to visiting the venue or booking a florist should after due research. Dedicate the first few days to research all the available options. I suggest that you set up a binder to collect and compile all information. Alternately, have a folder on your desktop with separate folders for each factor. Collate information you obtain into different categories promptly, and it will help you avoid confusion in future.

This type of an organized arrangement will also prepare you well for the different tasks to handle. Also remember that breaking down each wedding planning task into smaller sub-tasks makes it more manageable and easier to execute.

Delegate responsibilities

Enlist the help of family, friends and anyone eager to help you out. If you have a full-time engagement, there are limitations to the amount of free time you have in a day. If you try to do everything about the wedding yourself, there is a greater chance of overlooking certain things. This can double the stress at a later stage.

It isn’t unusual for overwhelmed brides who do more than their fair share of work to miss work deadlines and receive poor quality work reviews as a result of all the wedding planning. Prevent such a situation by trusting part of your plans to efficient and trustworthy acquaintances. Delegate duties to your bridesmaids, your fiance and parents and watch things run smoothly.

Have reasonable deadlines

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Every wedding planning task should have a deadline. Work with the timeline I suggested earlier to understand which tasks you should do earlier, and which of them can wait till later. Avoid waiting till the last minute to do anything. The earlier you finish your responsibilities, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the days leading up to the wedding.

When setting deadlines, don’t forget to incorporate some buffer time just in case things don’t progress as planned. Be flexible with plans. Don’t forget to shuffle and re-organize your plans and get things done early if there are gaps in schedule. Your to-do list should constantly be updated and edited to accommodate any changes. Only then will you have everything covered well in time for the wedding.

Know the rules

You have to plan your wedding even if you work full-time. So, although it is tempting to squeeze in some planning into your work day, exercise caution. In fact, this survey on the Forbes website suggests that almost 89% of women plan their weddings on company time. Nevertheless, remember that every company has their own rules about how you use the company resources like computers and the internet for personal needs. This includes wedding planning. There may also be websites that aren’t allowed on work computers.

Before you start dedicating your free time at work to planning your wedding, it may be a good idea to check out what your company policies are. Even if your supervisor doesn’t mind, make sure you don’t overdo your wedding planning during work hours. If your online activity is being closely monitored and watched, it is best if you exercise caution.

But make the most of free time at work

Although you shouldn’t ideally plan your wedding during your work hours, there are some things you can fit into your breaks on work days or on the commute to and from work. Check out vendor reviews, go through and edit your to-do lists, and make calls to book appointments or check on updates during the few minutes you take off work. Vendor phone calls are in fact, one of the most important tasks you can do when you have few free minutes. It doesn’t take too long, and you can fit it into the earlier part of the day before you get involved in any important work. Plus, you will not be using the company’s computer for personal needs this way. So, your boss shouldn’t be able to complain.

Use your lunch hour and tea breaks to browse through wedding pics online or scan magazines for inspiration. Not only will this help you shortlist any interesting choices, it will not eat into your work time and negatively affect your productivity at work.

Set achievable goals

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One of the reasons many brides overwhelm themselves with wedding planning is that they set expectations that are difficult to meet. Instead of that, try to understand your limitations and plan your activities accordingly. If you spend ten hours at work, be reasonable about the amount of time you can spend on wedding plans after this workday. Set your goals accordingly and avoid disappointment. Take time off work if required, or dedicate the weekend to wedding planning.

Unwind and step away from the wedding once in a while

Don’t let the wedding planning stress affect you adversely. As impossible as it may sound, you need to completely break away from all the planning once in a while to tackle it efficiently. Take a break when you do absolutely nothing related to the wedding. You will find yourself energized and rejuvenated for the tasks that remain.

Plan your breaks according to your convenience, but fit it into your wedding planning timeline. Either enjoy some time to yourself or invite the company of your fiance or friends to help you forget about the wedding for a bit. Trust me, the distraction will be helpful and make you eager to continue from where you left it.

Best for Bride understands every need of a bride, and is the perfect destination where bridal dreams come true. Whether you will be a fairy tale princess or a stylish modern bride on your special day, you are sure to find the dress of your dreams in our vast designer collections. Come visit us at one of our four store locations in Canada, or shop online from our amazing bridal dress collection. With bridal accessories, party favors, invitations and even dresses for the rest of the bridal party, we make your job efficient and easy. Tune into the Best for Bride website today to take a look at what we have on offer.

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10 wedding invitation mistakes to avoid

Your wedding invitation is a very important aspect of your wedding.  The invitation often offers your guests the first peek at what is in store on your big day. More importantly, it provides crucial information, like the date, venue and time. This allows guests to plan their availability and schedule your special day into their calendars. So, it is only necessary that you choose your wedding invitation with due care, and avoid any mistake in it.

Today, we will look at the most common mistakes that couples make when planning their wedding invitation. This will allow you to avoid the same, and do it right. So, here goes.

#1 Placing your order late

Wedding invitations should go out early, so your guests are informed on time and can send their RSVP’s early. You need the RSVP count early, in order to get on with the rest of your wedding arrangements. Since the RSVP’s are necessary to know how many guests will be attending, it is directly linked to finalizing your venue, planning the seating arrangements, quantity of food to be ordered, party favors etc. If you delay ordering your invitation, you automatically delay the time when it is sent out, and with it all the rest of the wedding plans are also delayed. So, once you decide to get married, let the wedding invitation be on your top list of priorities. Set aside time to sort out the design, plan the overall look, draft the words to go with it, choose stationery and place your order. After that, it will still be a couple of days before you receive it. So, factor in all these aspects into your planning time line, and make sure you place your order as early as is possible, so there is no delay in the rest of your wedding plans.

#2 Making it too cluttered

Many couples make the mistake of going overboard with the design and wordings for their invitations. This can clutter  up the invitation, and the little details may not even be noticed. You can always use color, but do it in a manner that it is easy on the eye. Similarly, distribute the message in such a way that it fits neatly, and there is still plenty of empty space, so it doesn’t look stuffy. If you pack your invitation with information on every page, it can be overwhelming and your guests may not find it appealing at all. If there are too many details, it is best to divide it into sections and fit it neatly into separate pages. This will make it a lot easier to take in. Also pay attention to the font. Choose one that is not only easy to read, but is neat and matches the tone of the invitation. If you must have a long invitation message, consider stationery that is longer than it is wide, so it looks evenly distributed and streamlined.

#3 Adding too many details and colors

Similar to adding too much information in your message, too many details and colors can also take away the charm of your wedding invitation. It is true that your wedding invitation offers a sneak peek into what is in store for your wedding, but it is essential that you do it tastefully to create the right effect. If your wedding color palette includes several colors, don’t include all of them in the invite. Balance it out by mixing neutrals with the brightest colors in your palette. Similarly, forego the finer details like intricate designs that will be used at your wedding, or technically complicated stuff that can cost a lot, but may not turn out so dramatic on paper. What matters most is that your wedding invitation contains all the essential details that your guests must know. For the rest, less is more!

#4 Not proofreading your copy properly before printing it

There is plenty of chance for the words on your invite to go wrong. From the names of the couple, to grammatical errors, to important information like the date or time of wedding, everything has to be checked and cross-checked. So,  have it checked several times, and no mistakes are overlooked. Be attentive when you do your checking, and don’t hesitate to ask your family or friends to check for typos. A single typo can end up as an eyesore that you can do nothing about, once it is printed. The most good looking invitations can also fail if there are grammar or spelling mistakes in it.  So, do all you can to avoid it. Take your time when drafting the invitations. Look at the various options available and try each one out till you find the right choice. Don’t do a hurried edit, take your time to read through and make sure everything is alright. We suggest checking every word individually. It is also a good idea to leave the invitation untouched for a day or two after you draft it. When you then return to it, it will be easier to spot errors that you missed in the first check and correct them promptly.

#5 Adding the registry information in the card

It is a breach of wedding invitation etiquette to include your registry information on the card. It will not only look as though you are fishing for gifts, it is simply not the right place to do it. The intention of the invitation card, like the name suggests, is to invite a guest to your wedding. So, focus on that. Whether you want gifts or not, don’t make any mention of it on your wedding invitation. Some couples add a “No Gifts please” statement to their wedding invitations. Even this can be inappropriate. When a guest is invited to a wedding, they know they are usually expected to get the couple a gift. Nowadays, the common practice is to provide this information on the wedding website, which is a must-have for every wedding. So, they’ll either look for this information there, or else ask someone in the wedding party and find out. You can always include your wedding website URL in your wedding invitation. This should be sufficient for your guests to find your wedding registry, and choose a gift from the list.

#6 Doing a sloppy job of addressing the envelopes

Two common mistakes are to address the envelopes in a rush so it looks shabby, and using sticky labels to address the envelope. Addressing the envelopes should be a priority, as it is the first thing that your guests look at when they receive the invitation. Do it well, and you create a good first impression. If you do this yourself, make sure you do not do too many invitations in one go. Give yourself enough time to do it in batches. Also, your handwriting should be good, legible, and using a very good pen. The worst thing that can happen is your ink running out while you address an envelope. So, make sure that you have a spare pen in hand, all the time. Using sticky labels may seem practical, but it can ruin the appearance of your invitation. Also, it looks very impersonal and your guests would appreciate it more if you wrote or printed on the envelope directly. Consider hiring the services of a calligrapher or having the cards printed by the same stationer who prints the invitation cards. The latter will save you plenty of time and effort, will be neat and look professional.

#7 Ordering the wrong number

When you have a guest list in hand, you should be able to make an educated guest of how many invitations you will need. Remember that you do not need one invitation per person invited to the wedding, as many of them will be couples or families who can be covered with a single invite. The best way to sort this out is to edit your guest list, so all those who are covered under the same invitation come together on it. Once you have an idea of how many invitations will be required, you can add an extra 25%, just to be on the safe side. This will cover up for the last minute additions you may have missed, and also leave you with enough copies as keepsakes for your wedding treasure box. Read more about setting this up here, on this previous post. Ordering a few extras will also save you the trouble of going back and buying more cards, if you end up having lesser cards than you actually need. A fresh order can have you spending a for

#8 Not using a separate card for the reception

If the wedding ceremony and reception are at different venues, it is a good idea to use separate cards to clearly mention both the venue addresses and times, so there is no confusion. This is even more important if you haven’t invited everyone on the guest list to both functions. In which case, having two separate invitations for both functions is the best way to handle it. Just make sure that you separate both sets and address them correctly, so there is no confusion about who will receive which card. We also suggest that you add directions to the venue on either card, so it is easy for the guests to find their way to the venue on the day. Read more about what essential information has to be contained in an invitation card at our previous post here.

#9 Not using the required amount of postage stamps

When you mail your wedding invitations, you will have to send them with the correct postage stamps so they reach where they ought to. We often make the mistake of assuming that a certain number of stamps would be sufficient. If you put more stamps than the actual weight calls for, it will be fine. But if the number is lesser, it will lead to the card being returned and simply causing unnecessary delays. Don’t assume that the invitation will be just like normal postage. An invitation card will usually have several pieces of paper inside, and each of these can quickly add up, requiring you to pay higher postal charges. All you have to do to avoid this problem, is to take a sample to the post office, have it weighed and buy sufficient quantity of stamps to cover all your invitations. Also, don’t forget that you may need more stamps for cards that have to travel further.

Tip: Invitation cards of standard size and weight normally cost less, while bulky invitations cost a fortune in postage charges. So, remember this when you are considering odd shapes and unusual looking cards that may not fit into a regular letter box. You may be better off avoiding more inserts than is absolutely required, as each piece can contribute to added postal charges.

#10 Sending the invitation card too late

Just like ordering the card late can cause a lot of inconvenience, sending it out late can do the same. Your guests should be informed of your wedding plans well in advance, so they can mark their calendars and make their plans by setting aside any other engagements. You should send it at least two months before the wedding date, so there is enough time for it to reach the recipient, time for them to return the RSVP and plan their activities on the day. Place your order early, address the cards soon after you have them printed and send them out in the post immediately afterwards. This way everything will progress smoothly and without confusion.

This covers all the likely mistakes you can make where your wedding invitations are concerned. So, stay one step ahead of the game and avoid all these problems. At Best for Bride we have a dizzying array of invitations including the ones in this article. There are amazing offers too, so you get the best deal for your money. Check out our website here today, to choose your special wedding invitation card and place your order right away.

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8 ways to make the most of your wedding cake budget

Most guests will look forward to enjoying that delicious sweet last course of wedding cake at your reception. Wedding cakes are works of art, created with finesse and customized with unique details of unparalleled beauty. Most wedding cakes today are not only a treat for the taste buds, but are a sensationally striking too. However, these masterpieces of sweet indulgence take time, effort and resources to create. It is no wonder that they are pricey and take up a chunk of your wedding budget.

Fortunately, there are creative ways to have your dream wedding cake without breaking the bank. This is what we will look at today. Read on to find out ten different ways to slice your wedding cake budget, and still get what you want.

#1 Choose a simple cake

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It is the time and effort that goes into creating your wedding cake, that translates into a higher cost. Agreed that hand-crafted details look fabulous, but they will cost you accordingly. Fine lace-like details and intricate motifs will cost more than plain designs or those that are easy to do. Almost every design that you want on your cake will have an equally appealing alternative that costs less. Just make sure you ask your baker and find out.

For example, instead of individual sugar flowers that have to be made one-at-a-time, and perfected to the last detail, you can choose flat flowers of a single solid color. This saves your baker several hours of time, and you will get it at a much lesser price. Similarly, consider stencil prints or monograms instead of hand-piped details. Accessories like satin ribbons in a chosen color can instantly dress up a cake, and are easy on the pocket.

#2 Check out the budget-friendly options if you must have sugar flowers

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Flowers are a trending favorite, and most brides choose to have at least few flowers or floral motifs on their wedding cake. Sugar flowers resembling real ones are very expensive, as your talented baker has a difficult job perfecting it. Each flower that is a replica of a real model involves several details, and depending on the complexity of the design, can take hours to do. Luckily, you have some equally attractive options to obtain the same effect for far less. Here they are:

  • Choose real flowers: Check with your florist for seasonal flowers that are non-poisonous and can be used on your wedding cake. It will cost less, and it will look splendid. All it takes is a little planning and organizing to get the flowers on time and set them up right.
  • Choose flat flowers or painted flowers for a similar effect: Flat flower designs without many layers, or those that are painted on to the cake cost far less than sugar flowers. So, this may be the way to go, to help your budget.
  • Choose simple designs: If you still want sugar flowers without the outrageous price, choose simple designs like lilies that are easier to make, than roses or orchids.
  • Keep it to a minimum: To avoid the hefty price tag for decorating your entire cake with it, choose a design with a cluster of flowers on just one tier instead. You could restrict the flowers to just the top tier or use it as a stem along the side of the cake, and decorate the rest with other inexpensive accessories.

#3 Opt for the economical option in frosting

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Fondant cakes are a delight, with their clear and remarkably soft texture, but they can be expensive. Fondant is considered the best cake decoration material for creative designs like ruffles and little figurines, with the added advantage that it has a marshmallow taste that almost everyone enjoys. If you choose a complicated design, or want the cake to look smooth and polished with a glazing finish, your baker may ask you to go with fondant. Although fondant gives the cake a refined finish, and it is easier to work with for precise measurements and details, it can cost several times that of butter-cream. This is why—to create a fondant covering for your cake, your baker has to first slather layers of butter-cream on the cake surface. It is to this that the fondant adheres. So, this means that you will be paying for both the butter-cream layer and the fondant topping.

Another factor is that fondant, whether made by the baker himself, or bought, is always costlier than butter-cream icing. The soft butter-cream is usually made from scratch, and is easier to do, and so the lesser price attached to it. Don’t think that you will lose out on taste or look by choosing it. It has been the traditional choice that has never disappointed. It can also be done in different colors, and a skilled cake-maker can design it to look as attractive as a fondant cake. Another budget-friendly option is to go with the current trend of naked cakes. Here, the cake layers are not frosted, and it is sparingly decorated with cream, fruits and berries for a natural, refreshing look.

#4 Make friends with faux tiers or choose a smaller display

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If you always wanted a big cake, you can have it without paying for all those extra tiers. After deciding how many tiers are actually needed to serve your guests, you can ask your baker to do some extra tiers that aren’t made of real cake. It will still be iced and decorated to match the design you have chosen for your cake, and nobody will notice the difference. As long as all your guests get a slice, who cares whether the rest of the tiers are real or not. Let it be your own little secret!

The other option is to choose a spectacular, but smaller display cake with one, two or three layers that look great. Couture cakes done on small scale are fantastic, and can look sophisticated and stylish. Keep this for the display at your reception. For the actual cake service, order kitchen cakes that will not be decorated, but will taste exactly like the original. This will be cut and served to the guests. This way, you will have to spend less, but your guests will still get a fantastic dessert. This article on the Bridal Guide website suggests that you can save up to fifty per cent by going this way, than choosing a big cake.

#5 Opt for smaller servings

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Have you ever noticed how many of the guests leave a lot of cake behind on their plates, especially if there are other desserts too? Avoid wastage by asking your caterer to size the slices to three-fourth or half the original serving size, and serve it along with the other desserts. You can also have the cake slices placed in a buffet, instead of serving it at the table. This way, only those guests who actually want cake will take it. When you choose to do so, you can place the order for less than the actual head count, as it is pretty certain that not all your guests will want cake. The answer to this reader’s question on the cost of wedding cakes on the Knot suggests that for 300 guests, you can order just 150 slices of cake, and serve all your guests half-slices.  Again, if your wedding reception is for 300 guests and you are serving cake in a buffet setting, you can place the order for just 250 guests and it will most likely be enough.

#6 Choose the shape and flavors wisely

The most budget-friendly cake shapes are square and round. Square cakes are easy to section into equal portions without wastage. It is also comparatively easy to make. Most bakers can easily frost square cakes, just like they would with round cakes. So, that shouldn’t be a concern. If you choose any unusual shape for one or more of your cake tiers, you will have to spend more on it. Topsy-turvy cakes are the most expensive of the lot, since it not only takes a lot of effort to create, but there is a lot of wastage in setting up the tiers. So, either go with the square or circular cake and decorate it to meet your vision. Use options like varying the heights of the various tiers to obtain an equally interesting effect. Cakes that are shaped like real-life objects, like cars or books can cost extra. The alternative is to make the cake in a standard shape, and have the picture of the object printed on it in edible ink. It may not look the same, but neither will it be as expensive.

The other thing that can make a difference is the flavor. Standard flavors like vanilla and chocolate are loved by all, and cost much lesser than gourmet choices like carrot or cookies ‘n’ cream. Similarly, sponge cake is cheaper than fruit cake, but delicious. If you must have a premium flavor for your tiered cake, consider doing it for the smaller tiers and choosing standard fare for the larger tiers.

#7 Be creative with your decorations and display

butterfly cake

Remember how we suggested ribbon and fresh seasonal flowers for quick, efficient and attractive decoration? There are several other similar options that will help you have a beautiful cake at a budget-friendly price. Here are some of them:

  • Chocolate covered berries are delicious and look tempting, while the cost is almost insignificant
  • For a vintage theme, you can use ribbons and a decorative brooch for the cake decoration
  • Simple criss-cross designs on the cake surface with tiny edible silver dots are inexpensive, yet classic
  • Instead of fondant figurines, choose plastic figurines as cake toppers, and it will serve as a keepsake for the future as well
  • Choose inexpensive cake toppers like the butterfly toppers featured in the cake in the picture above, or try your hand at making a cake topper yourself, for a fraction of the cost of doing it in sugar
  • Instead of a tiered cake, you can have the separate tiers placed using pillars. This is usually much cheaper than a single tiered cake. It is also easy to set up and distribute

You can also cut a few corners with the way you set up your dessert table. Have a dessert station set up and spread the different desserts out for maximum effect. By varying the size and height of each platter, it will look abundant and interesting. Also space the desserts to look as though there is more than you actually have. Many couples splurge on an attractive cake stand, but you can get creative with this as well. If the venue has wedding cake platters and stands, use them creatively. Dress up the table with an attractive table cloth, interesting food labels and an interesting backdrop or buntings, so the focus is not on the cake stand. You can also go with unusual choices like distressed and weathered wooden crates for relevant themes. Just let those creative juices flow, and you will find several ideas that won’t cost you too much.

#8 Book early and get your cake at a better rate

pillar cake

Don’t delay your cake choices till last-minute. Start your search early, and you will most likely be able to snag a bargain or make use of a discount. Check if you can get a better deal if you make a full payment, or if you place your booking early. If your wedding day is after several months, booking your cake early may even allow you to lock the price at the current rate, before any price increase takes effect. It will also be one task off your list, so don’t delay. If there are any bridal shows in town, try to attend them and check out whether there are any cake makers offering attractive offers. Lastly, don’t forget to check if your venue or caterer offers a discount package on the cake, if you order it from them.

Now that you know all about how to get the best from your wedding cake budget, all you need to do, is to get started. Check out our list of cake vendors and their fantastic designs on Best for bride for some valuable inspiration or to place your orders, by clicking on this link.

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