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15 Important things to do in the week of your wedding

The last week leading up to your wedding will be a whirlwind of activity. This is the time when you have to complete every last detail on your wedding checklist. Since there will be plenty of work to do at this time, it is easy to forget one or more things in all the hurry.

Having seen so many brides over the years, we can understand how exhausting it is when you should finish it all and also get everything right. Fortunately, we know how to make the task easy. Here is a checklist of all the important things you should complete in the week leading up to your wedding.

Use this list to finish your tasks in a planned manner and without hassle.

1.Pick up your wedding dress

Plan your final wedding dress fitting early in the week during your wedding. This will help you ensure that the dress fits perfectly. You needn’t worry about any size changes following this session, and hence can enjoy the best possible fit. In case your dress fitting is over before this, don’t forget to try on your dress during the last week. You can do any necessary alteration if there is any change in measurement at the time. Also try the dress on with the accessories you intend to wear. This will let you see how the overall look comes together, and you can make any necessary changes.

2.Pack or prep your wedding dress

If you plan to get dressed at home, set your wedding dress on a hanger. Steam or iron the belt or sash that comes with the dress, so it looks crisp and clean. In case you should transport your wedding dress, zip it into a garment bag after ensuring all parts are perfectly packed. Check with your wedding dress boutique to find whether there are any likely issues with transporting the dress. Follow their suggestions, if any.

3.Break in your wedding shoes

Don’t wait till your wedding day to first wear your wedding shoes. Unless you break them in, wearing them on the very day can be painful. Brand new shoes pinch, cause blisters or may feel too tight. If the heel height is more than what you usually wear, it won’t be easy to dance in them. So, start using it the month before your wedding and your feet will get accustomed to the fit. In the last week, wear it for a short while every day. Wearing them in short spurts will help you break it in gradually. Get used to the heel height. Also try to dance in them. For more tips and advice on how to break your shoes in effectively, take a look at this article on the Bustle. 

4.Practice your vows

You may have written your vows already. So, now start practicing it as well. Even if you will be reading it off a piece of paper, try it out in advance. This will allow you to modulate your voice and pace your lines for the right effect. Another benefit of doing this is that it will alleviate some stress. After all, many brides become nervous when the moment finally arrives and they have to say their vows in front of all these people. Prepare yourself with the lines and you are less likely to fumble and make mistakes. Thus, you will feel calm and confident when you have to finally say it at your wedding.

5.Check and confirm with those who will speak at your wedding

This is the right time to cross-check and confirm with those who are saying the wedding speeches and toasts. A gentle reminder will be sufficient for them to get their toast ready in time for the wedding. It is a good idea to inform then of when it will be their turn to speak on the day. Long toasts and speeches are boring. So, ask them to keep it short and not longer than 5 minutes. Also limit the wedding speeches to three or four at the most, so your guests don’t feel bored.

6.Put together your wedding emergency kit

There are many things that can go wrong on your wedding day. Get ready to tackle all such issues with an emergency kit with all necessary supplies. You will have to stock items like tissues, blotting paper, chalk, safety pins, thread and needles to handle potential wedding dress issues. Apart from that you should also include your hair and makeup essentials. Smelling salts, plaster and tape are some of the other items that can come in handy. For the full list of items to have in your wedding emergency kit, visit this previous article. If you don’t want to set up your emergency kit by yourself, you can also buy it ready made. Find out all about what our emergency kit contains and how you can order it from Best for Bride here. 

7.Complete all work-related assignments

You will have to run around a lot for your wedding tasks. So, get your work out of the way before that. Complete all pending assignments and delegate responsibilities to your colleagues in-charge during your absence. Send emails to all those concerned, informing them of your non-availability during your wedding and honeymoon. Get your work things organized and in-place. Create easy to access lists and information for your co-workers, boss and subordinates, so they will not have to contact you while you are away.

8.Confirm with vendors and suppliers

Don’t wait till the day before your wedding to get in touch with your wedding vendors. Call them up early and cross-check if everything is progressing as per plan. Confirm that there are no issues and all required ingredients and materials are available. Inquire about any likely changes, and give the go-ahead only after verifying them. Confirm arrival, transportation and pick-up plans for the day. Provide a contact who they can get in touch with in case of any questions on the day. If you have a wedding planner, she will handle all this. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to verify that everything is moving smoothly.

9.Verify plans with your wedding party

Get in touch with your bridesmaids, ushers and the rest of the members in the wedding party and inform them of the wedding timeline and plans. Check and confirm that your bridesmaids have collected their dresses after necessary alterations. Also discuss their hair and makeup plans for the day. Delegate the responsibilities to the right people, so everyone is aware of what they are in-charge of. Inform them of where they have to be at different times on the day. Also discuss the details of how, where and when they should do their hair and makeup on the day. Once you do the overall planning, delegate the responsibilities to ensure each aspect is covered to your maid-of-honor, best man and bridal party.

10.Pack your overnight bag

Even if you will be getting dressed at your home, put all that you need together for easy access. Make a list of all the things you need to get ready. This should also include your change of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, your emergency kit and other essentials. Then pack a bag with these items and put it away safely. Once you have this ready, simply pull it out when it is time to go. You need not worry about searching for all you need at the last minute.

11.Pack your honeymoon bag

Pack all that you need for your honeymoon in the week before your wedding. Depending on the location, make a list of the different things you have to carry. Then pack these items into your bag. If your honeymoon is abroad, don’t forget to pack your passport and other travel documents. When you get everything ready in advance, you are less likely to forget any essential detail. For new clothes, shoes and other items, get rid of the tags and price stickers before packing them in.

12.Confirm the guest head count

This is the right time to ensure that your seating arrangement is done properly and that there are no changes to plan. If someone has failed to RSVP, reach out to them to find out if they are attending or not. You can make suitable last-minute changes to the seating plan if there is a difference in head count. Share this information with your caterer, venue manager and wedding planner, once the list is ready. If you have asked guests to make a choice from the menu options, this is also the time to follow up with those who haven’t responded already. Your vendors and caterers will need such information to plan their work for the day.

13.Prep your home

There will be people visiting you during the week before your wedding. So, get it ready for hosting, in advance. Do a deep clean, put everything in its right place and neatly arrange your house. Have your kitchen stocked with easy-to-prepare meals, for days that do not go as planned. Plan your outfits for the week, so you can dress quickly and efficiently. If there are items that are to be stored away safely, put them away now and you needn’t worry about them when you have to lock and go. Hire help if necessary, for the cleaning, maintenance and any other essential tasks. Also identify the zones where you will be taking photographs on the wedding day, and set them up neatly and as preferred so they are ready for pictures.

14.Get your mani/pedi and confirm hair and makeup appointments

You should do your manicure and pedicure closer to the wedding day, for best results. So, schedule your appointment just a day or two before the wedding. Make sure it doesn’t clash with any of the remaining wedding plans. You will have to spend at least an hour at the salon for this purpose. Decide on how you want your nails to look for the occasion. Here are some ideas on the Huffington Post.  This will prevent you from randomly picking it up and later regretting the choice. Book your appointment at the salon in advance. If you will be using a hairdresser or makeup artist for your wedding, double-check your booking details to avoid confusion on the day.

15.Brief your maid-of-honor or wedding planner on wedding day responsibilities

You do not want to spend your time overseeing every detail on your wedding day, when you ought to actually have fun. So, assign all responsibilities to a capable person or persons. Discuss factors like what to do with the décor after the function, how to handle vendor payments, what to do with your wedding dress etc. Give clear instructions on each aspect that is important. You can thus minimize their need to consult you with questions on the day. Do a double check of your wedding checklist and make sure everything has been handled.

Wedding planning is strenuous and can overwhelm every bride at some point or the other. To avoid drowning in the stress, it is wise to chalk out time for yourself during the wedding planning process. Also, don’t forget to enjoy every milestone you cross. Finding the perfect wedding dress is a big achievement in your wedding planning, and we can help you with this. Visit Best for Bride for the latest and most modern as well as classic bridal dress collections. Apart from that, also browse through our bridesmaids dress collections, wedding accessories collection and more to jump start your wedding planning today.

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10 tips to plan your wedding on a shoestring budget

For most couples, their wedding is the single most important celebration in their life, till now. It can be confusing when you want to celebrate this big day in the best possible way, but are worried about how much this will cost you. After all, it is just one day, and is it worth spending years paying for the debt that you incurred on the celebration?

Different couples have different takes on this. So, if you have the budget and want to have a big bash on this special day, so be it! For those who want a smaller celebration that is intimate and meaningful, yet easy on their pocket, here is some help.

Here are ten tips to help you plan your wedding on a small budget, so you begin your life together as man and wife without worrying about the money you busted.

1.Stretch your dollar to the most–Borrow or recycle

recycle

Trimming down the wedding guest list is a necessity for any budget wedding. So, no surprises there! When you have a smaller guest list, it is possible to recycle things, make use of what is available, or borrow things for the occasion. If you have an eye for details and a knack for mixing and matching, there will be no trouble executing your wedding details in the most impressive manner without it costing you a dime. Trays, platters and plates are wedding essentials, and if you have a close-knit group of family and friends who can lend you things from their homes, you can create an impressive buffet arrangement with what you find.

Recycle everything from your wedding dress to the centerpieces and décor, and your wallet will remain plump. Since you will anyway be setting up home after the wedding, it is a good idea to buy things for the wedding décor, that you can re-use in your new home. Sarah, the hardworking bride, tells us how she managed to pull off her stylish wedding for less than $6000 by using such options. Her wise planning included trays from Target for her dessert table, that she could take home with her and use again. Read more about her brilliant wedding here.

2.Eliminate non-essential vendor services

dance

There is no hard and fast rule on what you should have at your wedding. This is all a matter of priority. So, splurge on the essentials that you simply must have, and eliminate or step down on those that you can do without. You can always substitute certain vendor services with affordable options that will work. For example, you can save a chunk of your budget by eliminating the band and DJ from your celebration. Instead, compile a playlist and play the songs using a good stereo system. You can do your floral décor with what is inexpensive and easily available, and eliminate the services of a florist. Or, forego the makeup and hair artist’s services for the wedding day, by doing it yourself. Just make sure that you know what your priorities are, and don’t compromise on them. The rest is up to you to take or leave, as your budget permits.

3.Find a cheaper dessert option instead of the wedding cake

dessert bar

Wedding cakes are more about the look, than the flavor or taste. Most guests remember how the wedding cake impressed them, but won’t always recollect the taste it had. Some may even have skipped dessert altogether after the heavy meal they enjoyed. However, cakes are expensive, and so you should think of whether you really want it. There is a world of desserts waiting to be discovered, and these are even more enticing than a slice of wedding cake. So, step away from cake and turn to alternate options for a wallet-friendly, practical and delicious choice that is bound to impress. This article on the wedding blog of Apartment therapy provides some unusual options that will have you saying, “Why didn’t I think of it?” You can also refer to this previous post for more ideas on what to serve instead of cake, at your wedding. Choose a dessert that is truly unique and one that you love, so your wedding has a sweet ending that is both delicious, personal and delightfully inexpensive.

4.Serve family style dishes

platter

A welcome alternative to the plated meal and wedding buffet, serve family style dishes at your wedding. Not only does this bring down the cost considerably, these are hearty meals that everyone will naturally enjoy. When you choose a family style meal, you will need less service staff, which is again a budget winner. This article on the Huff Post tells us that family style wedding dinners are better than buffets and plated dinners, since they are the middle ground between the two. It is more elegant than a buffet and less formal than a plated meal. By serving items on large platters that can be passed around, you can also eliminate elaborate table décor, not to mention the casual and informal vibe that this activity can create. Don’t skimp on the quantity of food available, just choose dishes that are interesting and filling so your guests aren’t left hungry. This idea is also perfect for wedding parties that include children, as you needn’t plan a special menu for the younger taste buds in this case.

5.Keep to local products for the bar

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Instead of having the standard open bar, give your wedding a unique twist by serving up local fare that you can buy from nearby vineyards or breweries for a fraction of the cost. Not only will your guests have plenty of new and unusual options, you will be thankful for how cheap it will be. Also, switch out the champagne for the toasts. Guests can toast with whatever they are drinking. After all, it is the sentiment that counts, not the details of how it is done. If necessary, add some non-alcoholic drinks as refreshers, and serve them at the beginning of the reception. This will not only help your guests feel refreshed at the beginning of the function, it will also reduce their capacity to drown in alcohol later. If you should splurge on anything, it should be on improving the appearance of the drinks served at your bar. Inexpensive garnishes and colorful mixers are all it takes to dress up drinks and make them look festive and more expensive than it actually cost you.

6.Forego the extras

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All the little things add up quickly, and you can stay ahead of the game if you stick with the essentials only. So, forego elaborate decorations and trimmings for your wedding favor wrap-ups, menu styling and floral décor. Consider whether you really need things like a dessert table, coffee bar, photo booth or individual place cards. Rather than aiming for perfection, you can work with a tight budget if you look at the bigger picture and execute it with simplicity. So, the lesser textures in décor, lower it will cost you. Similarly, go with simple menu choices that are full of flavor and compensate for not looking too great. Your favors do not need satin bows that will mostly end up in the trash, nor do you have to spend a fortune on signboards when your guests can find their way at the venue, without them.

7.Go with an artificial bouquet that you can DIY in advance

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Flowers are an expensive factor at weddings. Minimize the cost by choosing alternative options for your décor, or keeping floral arrangements to a minimum. The bridal bouquet is one essential though. Despite this, there is no condition that your bouquet has to be made with real flowers. You can add your own DIY details to this accessory of your wedding dress ensemble, by making your own bridal bouquet with alternatives like cloth or paper. Unlike other elaborate DIY projects that consume time and take a lot of effort, your bouquet is a simple and relatively easier option to handle. With a little crafting knowledge, this is the perfect way to have an attractive bouquet, sans the cost. Check out some great tutorials on creating amazing bouquets, at this link here and here. The best thing about choosing to DIY your bouquet is that you will have a keepsake from your wedding, that you will forever be proud of making.

8.Rent what you can

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With wedding dresses, wedding accessories, décor and more available to rent, you can find plenty of economically viable choices for your wedding day. Unless you are particular about owning what you wear or use at your wedding day, renting is a practical and sensible option. After all, most of these things won’t find a second use. So, why waste so much money by buying all of it, when you can get what you want for much cheaper. Bridal shops like Best for Bride allow brides to rent their wedding dress for a fraction of the original cost, so you can look great on your wedding day without the hefty price tag. If not the dress, you should definitely consider the accessories. Indulge in your dream of wearing a grand tiara and looking like a princess on your wedding day, even when you don’t have to buy it. By renting part or most of your wedding ensemble, you can look fantastic on a tight budget, and isn’t that how you should beon your wedding day?

9.Reduce the number of wedding party members

wedding party

A big wedding party translates into extra expenses not only for the members in it, but also for the bride and groom. You will have to set aside a part of the budget for buying gifts, bouquets and many more things for the members in your wedding party. This can quickly add up. Think of whether you really need so many people beside you at the time you say “I do.” Wouldn’t it work just as well if they were seated with the rest of the guests and took home wedding favors that were much cheaper? Plus, by keeping your wedding party to the bare minimum, probably just your maid of honor and two bridesmaids, you do not have to worry about ruffling feathers when you do not ask someone to be on the list, or making anyone who secretly isn’t keen on it feel uncomfortable by inviting them.

10.Weigh your options

limo

Even when it concerns things that you simply must have, weigh your various options and find the one that is practical yet costs less. For example, if you must hire a limo for you entrance and exit, go with a black one that will cost much lesser than a white or silver limo. Similarly, think of monochromatic bouquet options and simple bouquet arrangements instead of complicated flower arrangements that will cost more. In case of table décor, choose basic, but classic materials to do the job, instead of fancy table décor that will cost more but perform the same function. Basically, we suggest you prioritize value over look, and you will find choices that are appealing but inexpensive.

Making smart moves when planning your wedding will help you save up more for the more important thing—the rest of the life you will be sharing together. And memories don’t depend on the tiny details, it is always the big picture that matters. So, tell us what were your budget ideas that helped you get the most value for money, at your wedding?

To find great offers, deals and discounts on wedding dresses, accessories and décor, check out our special offers page at Best for Bride. Our lowest price guarantee also ensures that you find a fabulous wedding dress at the best price possible, when you shop with us. Alternately consider our rental dress and accessory services if you want a cost-effective solution to your needs. For all this and more, check out our website at Best for Bride by visiting this link here.

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10 smart ways to save on your reception cost

Your wedding reception will take over a big part of your wedding budget. With many things to rent for the occasion, from the décor to the tableware and seating, it will all quickly add up and cost a lot. While there is no way you can escape from setting aside money for your reception, there are some smart ways in which you can have a fantastic reception without breaking the bank. This is what we will look at today.

Read on for 10 tips on how to save as much as is possible on your reception cost.

1.Choose one venue for both the ceremony and reception

church wedding

One of the best ways to reduce your overall reception expense, is to choose a single venue for both the wedding ceremony and reception. There are many benefits of choosing this option and they include the following

  • You have more flexibility in timing, as you do not have to account for the transportation time between the two venues
  • There is no need for additional transport arrangements to help guests travel to the reception venue, from the wedding venue
  • Guests will be happier if everything is staged at a single venue, as the likelihood for delays and waiting time are less
  • This is obviously a cheaper option. Even when the ceremony venue is a church, you will have to spend more in terms of a donation or ceremony fees.

2.Choose items that do double-duty

By this, we mean you can make your money work more if your décor, seating or anything else can work in more than one way. For example, if your wedding ceremony and reception are at the same venue, consider having the flower arrangements done in such a way that it can be reused as reception centerpieces. That way, all it takes is a few extra minutes to move the arrangement to the reception venue and set it up. Although it may involve a certain labor cost, it will be much cheaper than having the entire reception venue decorated from scratch using fresh décor items. You can also choose wedding favors that act as place cards. Similarly, here is a suggestion we found on the Knot web page, that sounds sensible. Consider using simple glasses in a universal design to serve all your drinks, instead of having to rent various types of glasses for the different drinks that will be served at the reception. The same idea is useful for every wedding aspect you can consider, including your wedding dress. A two-in-one wedding dress that can give you two different looks, is a brilliant idea for a wedding. The Mori Lee 5316 with a detachable tulle skirt is one such dress.

3.Look for all-inclusive packages

all inclusive

Unless you have the talent, time and practice to handle most of the details by yourself, rather than depend on independent vendors for each of the décor essentials, DIY weddings can be very expensive. The cheaper alternative is to choose an all-inclusive package, and customize it to meet your specific needs without spending too much money. The other benefit of choosing an all-inclusive package is that you needn’t worry about arranging all the aspects and have them all come together at time. It is usually taken care of by the vendor-in-charge, and you only need to follow up. Without too many options at hand, it is also a relief for brides who are easily overwhelmed with too many choices. Check with your venue for whether they offer package deals, or ask your vendors for the additional tasks they can handle. This way you will not have to follow up or work with too many people, and this makes the process streamlined and easier.

4.DIY or outsource it to a known contact

Although we said that DIY may be expensive, it needn’t always be so. This may in fact, be the cheapest route available to you, if you are organized, have the time for it and are confident in your abilities. If you have done things previously on a scale similar to that of your wedding, or you have the time and resources to bring it all together perfectly, DIY can help you cut the costs to a great extent. You can try your hand at anything from creating the wedding centerpieces, to assembling the party favors and even baking the cake. Or if you have a trusted friend or relative who is a wedding vendor, this may be the route to consider. As an associate you personally know, you are more likely to get a considerable discount on their services, and this can ease the financial cost greatly.

5.Be on the lookout for discounts and offers

sale

If you have a long engagement before getting married, you have time to attend wedding fairs and shows. Here, you can find interesting deals and good discounts for your reception. You will easily find several vendors offering their services and also discounts to stay ahead of the competition. So, if you find one that you like, this is the time to snag it. Wedding exhibitions will also have stalls with wedding décor accessories and other items, and they may be cheaper and unique compared to what you find outside. Also, don’t overlook items that cost nothing, but are a valuable add to your wedding. Free wedding fonts, for example, can help you personalize everything at your wedding, from coasters and place cards, to menu and sign boards for little to no cost. Additionally, we suggest that you sign up for bridal magazines and join the mailing list for newsletters and updates at popular bridal shops and vendors. This way, you will immediately know of any discounts and offers that come up. When you go shopping for your wedding, also check out whether there are any benefits of booking or buying more from a single place. For example, your wedding baker may give you a discount if you ask them to do edible favors as well. It is likely that you will also be able to save more on service and delivery charges when you go with a single vendor for more than just one service. So, explore the options and ask around, you may just be lucky to find a deal that will work.

6.Stay on top of your expenses

Wedding finances can be tricky, unless you are in full control. Before you go shopping, it is best if you create a budget spreadsheet and divide it into the amounts you have put aside for each aspect. This way, you will know what amount you can afford to spend on a certain factor. One way you can stay in control, is to note it down and add it into your accounts as and when you incur an expense. Unless you consistently do this, you can easily lose track of all the small expenses you have already been involved in. This can all add up to a shocking extra in the end. If you however, keep your budget updated and have a clear idea of how much has been spent already and what is remaining, you can make sure you do not overstep your budget and spend beyond control. Also, if you get a good deal on certain items, you can adjust the profit into another aspect, and splurge on it instead.

7.Choose less risky wedding reception venues

garden venue

Planning an outdoor garden reception in the summer? Don’t ever rule out the likelihood of rain. In case Mother Nature decides to shower her blessings with a drizzle on the day, you will have to risk your guests getting wet. The sensible alternative in such a case, would be to have an alternative venue where you can move your reception to, in the likelihood of rain. But, this would mean paying money for all the extra arrangements and that would simply cost you more. If you want to avoid such risks, settle for a low-risk reception venue. An indoor venue that has no risks associated with it, would allow you to breathe easy and be done with the funds you have allocated for this. You can also think of getting yourself insured, so that you are covered if any unforeseen circumstances that cost money, arise out of the blue.

8.Find cheaper but working options for your décor essentials

There are many ways in which you can find cheaper options for your wedding decorations, if you keep your mind open. For outdoor weddings, barn weddings and rustic styles, bistro lights and twinkling fairy lights are beautiful but inexpensive décor items. The romantic effect they create is really worth the insignificant price you pay on them. Similarly, if you want a shabby chic wedding, consider switching out table cloths for newspapers under a glass table top. If you are unhappy with the chairs you have at your reception, but cannot afford hiring new ones, consider getting them covered with chair covers. This will not cost too much, but you can instantly add more life to your wedding venue with this single change. It is also sensible to consider a venue that comes with seating and interesting décor already. Restaurants are such examples. Since they are already set up for service, they will have all the necessary items for the food service and good décor too. So, you can save on planning and preparing the venue specially for your wedding, when you book such venues.

9.Keep the timing fixed and stay organized

Venues and service staff charge by the hour. So, it is necessary to stick to the timeline. You may get a better deal if you cut short your booking hours. Simple steps like cutting short your cocktail hour to 45 minutes, and similarly polishing off few minutes from various aspects can save you precious time. This will translate into a reduced bill. Also, your guests will be relieved that there is minimum waiting around, as long as everything progresses smoothly. However, make sure that you stick to the stipulated time and it is a reasonable time frame that you have set for each event. All in the wedding party should be aware of what time slot is allotted to which activity, and not overstep the time limit for each of them. Also discuss the working hours with your wedding vendors in advance. Ask for how much their overtime charges are, rather than run into a long bill after you simply employ them for much longer than initially agreed. Wind up early in the evening, and you can head home or off on your honeymoon much earlier.

10.Take the paper-free route and think outside the box for everything else

sheet cake

There are many things at a wedding that you can do without, and still have a great wedding. Wedding programs are one such item. You can choose to skip these, as they use up a lot of paper, and also cost for the printing. They aren’t really necessary, and are usually tossed at the end of the day. For your guest’s reference, you can use a single chalkboard or signboard display at the welcome, and this will do the job just as well. To really cut your budget, be open to options like using a sheet cake at your reception, and substituting the reception dinner with a tea-time affair or brunch. Although this may be one of the most economical options around, it may not be for everyone. But definitely do consider it.

Can you think of more ways to save money on the wedding reception? If so, do let us know in the comments below.

For more tips and wedding planning advice, visit us at Best for Bride—your one stop bridal destination. Don’t forget to check out our online bridal store, where you can find everything from stylish wedding dresses to dresses for the entire wedding party, and also chic evening gowns and beautiful prom dresses. Apart from this, we also have a range of wedding-related services like wedding cakes, invitations, favors, photography, flower arrangements, décor and more. Check out our website here, to find out more about how we can complete your wedding perfectly.