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10 things you need for a fantastic vow renewal

Do you remember your wedding day fondly, and even yearn for a similar experience once again?

Most couples wait till a milestone anniversary to renew their vows. However, there is no need to wait that long. This article on the Huffington Post tells us that it is never too early nor too late to renew your vows. It also has a list of beautiful readings of interesting variety, from which every couple can find one they love. Take a look, and we are sure you will be enchanted by the very idea of having a vow renewal!

Vow renewals are usually done on a wedding anniversary day, as this date is significant to your relationship. If your anniversary is soon approaching, why don’t you think of renewing your vows to each other on this day? You can have a ceremony that is as big or as small as you wish. All that really matters is that it is just as special as your wedding day!

And for a fantastic vow renewal that will recreate the magic of your wedding day, there are some things you must have. So, what are they?

Here is our list of the 10 things you absolutely must have for an amazing vow renewal.

1.A gorgeous dress

Remember the anticipation and excitement of shopping for your wedding dress? Relive those memories when you pick an outfit for your vow renewal. If you still love your original wedding dress, consider this to be the right occasion to pull it out of the box. You may be lucky if it still fits you perfectly. Else, you can always have it altered.

However, if you prefer a different style, pick another elegant dress. Your vow renewal is the perfect occasion to shop for a dress that suits your current style and helps you look and feel beautiful. If you prefer a casual or even colorful dress, find one that meets your expectations. Depending on the style of the ceremony and your personal preferences, choose a dress that is right for you. This could be an evening dress or even a summer frock.

Unlike a wedding, there are no rules for what you should wear. If you want to include something other than the wedding dress from your wedding, wear your original wedding accessories.

2.A venue you love

This could be a church, the beach, a garden, hall or even your backyard. Or if you always wanted a destination wedding but couldn’t have it the first time, this is the opportunity for you to get away with your husband and live your dream.

We suggest that you make it a personal experience. A place that is meaningful to both you and your spouse would be best. If you aren’t sure of what you like, sit down together and brainstorm. Think of the budget you have. Then consider the various options available and what you both would like most. Finally shortlist your list of venues, and zero-in on the right one after considering all relevant factors.

3.Close friends and family

The best thing about a vow renewal is that you can share this experience with the people who matter most to you. Unlike a wedding, you need not worry about a detailed guest list or annoying anyone by excluding them from the event. It is after all a very personal and intimate celebration. Invite only those who you really want beside you on this occasion. This would mean close family and friends.

You may even like to designate roles in the ceremony to your children and grandchildren, if any. This would make it more special. Since there are no rules to follow, make it your day! You can plan a very intimate vow renewal ceremony with just you and your husband, if that is what you both prefer. Or if you prefer a big party, go all out and invite all the people you know to the event. Whether you have it on a grand-scale or a small-scale is entirely up to you.

4.A proper invitation

An invitation gives your vow renewal the importance it deserves. So, your guests will take it with due importance and try to participate in it.Irrespective of whether you will have a formal or informal vow renewal, you should draft a proper invitation for the function. This can be a regular invitation or one that you send by email.

As soon as you decide on the venue and the date, get around to drafting the invitation. While you may follow the traditional format of a wedding invitation, it would be nice to explore alternative options also. Consider adding a photo of you and your spouse, and nice wordings that reflect the tone of the event. You can find some sample wordings here. 

5.A pretty bouquet

The presence of flowers uplifts the ambiance of any setting. So, don’t forget your bouquet. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune or be as elaborate as your original wedding bouquet. You can pick one that is available at your local florist. Or make your own with your favorite flowers on the day of the vow renewal.

Keep it elegant and classic, and it will suit the occasion better. Another idea is to create a miniature replica of your original wedding bouquet. Share the pictures of your wedding day with your florist, and she will tell you if it is possible. Add a sentimental note to this accessory by adopting one of the following ideas:

  • Tie the lace from your original wedding dress or veil around the handle
  • Decorate it with a photo locket of your family
  • If there are friends or family members who have departed after your wedding, remember them by including their picture in the bouquet

You may even have saved and preserved your original wedding bouquet. If it is in good condition, you can use it as such or give it a small boost. Or you can add a few flowers from the original bouquet into this one. If you haven’t preserved your wedding bouquet, but like the idea, take a look at this article for all you need to know to do it for your vow renewal. 

6.Excellent food

You do not have to serve a feast as grand as your wedding meal. Nonetheless, ensure that you serve excellent food at the event. If it is a daytime affair, consider a brunch buffet. If you have an evening ceremony, have a buffet or plated meal based on the venue and event style. Considering that the number of people in your party will be far fewer than at a wedding, you can have a more intimate setting.

Don’t forget to consider the décor and table arrangement. Do it in style, so it adds to the grandeur and importance of the occasion. If there are family dishes that are a favorite, add them into the menu. Or give your guests a gourmet experience by choosing from international cuisines. Also, serve some signature drinks to add to the fun. There are some ideas for interesting drinks in this previous post. Make the menu just as special as the event, and it will be remembered fondly by all your guests.

7.A special cake

There is no rule that you should have cake at your vow renewal. However, the cake cutting is a wedding ritual that you can repeat with fanfare. For a small ceremony, the cake can double up as dessert. Choose a cake that reflects the theme and décor of the event. You can also pick a gourmet cake that is specially designed and decorated for the occasion.

If you had a big wedding cake, you can create a miniature version of it. Finally, if you aren’t fond of cake, have a unique dessert instead. Here are some ideas for attractive alternatives to cake. Plan the cake design according to the weather and the venue where the function will be held. If it is an outdoor event, keep the cake refrigerated till it is time to cut and serve.

8.A good photographer

Your vow renewal is all about celebrating memories and making new ones. In that way, it is a milestone celebration. Invest in a good photographer for covering the occasion. With friends and family involved, it is a good idea to book a professional who can capture the events of the day. However, if you have a friend or relative who is great at taking pictures of people, put him in charge of the photography.

Since the event will be more casual than a wedding, there will be ample opportunities for candid clicks. As long as your photographer is able to capture all these light moments as well as cover the event, it doesn’t matter who it is. Ultimately, your aim is to have a good collection of photos that you can browse through later and pass on to your family.

9.Photos that tell your story

You can add a personal and unique touch to your vow renewal by including photos of your time together. There are many ways in which you can bring this element into the function. It could be using photo posters or collages throughout the venue. Or you could do a digital version that displays a running sequence of pictures.

It could even be photos in your invitation. Another place where photos can be displayed is at the welcome area of the venue. Don’t forget to add your wedding photos into the décor. This will be a beautiful conversation piece. Also add photos of the best times you have had together. Include milestones like the birth of your children, your new home or pictures of family celebrations and your guests are sure to love it. You can also create a memory timeline of the different events in your milestone. This will be helpful especially for guests who you made friends with later in your marriage.

10.A plan for the ceremony

Weddings usually follow a set pattern. There is an officiant who tells you what to do and you simply follow his instructions. However, vow renewals needn’t be so formal. You can choose your sequence of events, add or remove steps from the wedding format or come up with your own ideas.

This flexibility gives you the freedom to plan the ceremony as you choose. Nonetheless, it is important that you have a definite plan in mind and not come up with one at the time. Consider whether you want to walk down the aisle yourself or have someone escort you. After you say your vows, will you be exchanging rings. Would you like to have someone do a reading for both of you? Plan what happens during the ceremony and it will be easier to organize.

Vow renewals are special occasions that give you the chance to reaffirm your lifetime commitment to each other. It is also a fun occasion for family and close friends to get together and celebrate you as a couple. Hence, it is a joyous event, and you should definitely do it at least once during your marriage.

Whether you choose to dress as a bride in white for the occasion or prefer something different, you can find your outfit at Best for Bride. For bridal gowns that are modern, classic, contemporary, unusual and trendy, visit this page for our bridal dress collections. If you prefer to pick your dress from our evening gowns and dresses for special occasions, this is the link to our collection. For any further assistance you may need regarding placing your order, you may get in touch with our Best for Bride team or visit any of our stores.

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Biggest mistakes to avoid when planning a wedding

Wedding planning involves so many details that it can be compared to a big, complex project formed of many smaller ones. Once you begin planning your wedding, you will have to make several decisions and choices. These include plans for a sensible budget, meeting deadlines and getting everything done right. So, it is no surprise that your chances for mistakes along the way are high. While some of these can be rectified quickly, others may cost you dearly in terms of time and money.

Unless you have planned a wedding before, it isn’t going to be easy. However, forewarned is forearmed! Here is a compilation of the biggest mistakes we have seen brides make when planning their wedding. Keep them in mind and you can avoid similar issues.

Not setting the budget first

Never overlook the importance of planning your wedding budget first. Wedding expenses can quickly eat into your bank balance. Unless you have a allocated a fixed amount to each aspect, you can quickly go overboard with your expenses. With a little planning, you can choose the venue, catering and wedding dress so that it stays within budget. Since you have more options in these areas, you have the flexibility of choosing them based on your available funds.

However, smaller aspects can quickly add up to a big amount. This article on The Bridal Guide will help you understand what these costs are. Unfortunately, you cannot be too thrifty with these. Plan the budget before you do anything else, and you will have better control over your wedding decisions. You can allocate funds to the bigger expenses after setting aside the amount for the inevitable smaller expenses.

Not hiring a planner till it is too late

Some brides can stand the stress of wedding planning. While these brides can efficiently handle wedding planning tasks, it isn’t as easy for others. We believe the majority of brides quickly buckle under the pressure and lose sleep over wedding planning. It is sad that the rest of their engagement is usually ruined by all the planning. And in the end, it is likely that these brides end up dissatisfied with the overall experience.

If you belong to the latter group, realize it early and seek the services of a planner. If you are already pressed for time, have a demanding job or simply can’t take the stress of wedding planning, don’t wait till it is too late. Wedding planners are experts at negotiating deals with venue managers and vendors. So, don’t wait till you book the venue or hire vendors to hire your planner.

Becoming overwhelmed with inspiration

The internet is a maze of wedding planning inspiration. There are so many wonderful ideas on the wedding scene that it can become a problem when you have to choose. Pinterest-addicts are usually the first to become overwhelmed and confused with this information overload. Don’t be surprised if you lose sense of time or get side-tracked when searching for ideas.

Instead, understand what will work for your wedding and what you can afford to have. Use ideas you see online as inspiration and incorporate only those that actually make sense. Stop once you find what you were looking for and get on with other tasks.

Not prioritizing the guest experience

Your wedding is not just about the two of you. Remember that many of guests take great pains to come and participate in your big celebration. Appreciate their efforts and make plans to engage them and feel comfortable.

The guest experience is greatly affected by the number of people there. Nobody really enjoys a crowded affair. So, think twice about incorporating everyone you know into the guest list. YOu shouldn’t regret having a mediocre party when you could plan one much better. So, include those who really need to be there at your wedding, and plan a wonderful event that all can enjoy.

Going shopping before you know what you want

Wedding shopping for your dress, favors or even accessories shouldn’t be undertaken without prior research. You may be tempted to just do a trial run. However, there is a good chance of your liking something at that time. You may feel it is right and go ahead with the purchase.

Sadly, such impulse buys may turn out to be a decision you later regret. First plan the important aspects of the wedding like the venue, wedding style and time. Then research your options in each area for what would be appropriate. Look for sensible choices that are suitable for your wedding. Only then should you proceed with wedding shopping.

Sharing insufficient or too much information

It is best to keep your wedding planning details under wraps at least till it is finalized. This will help to avoid confusion if you change your ideas along the way. Reveal only what is necessary. Nevertheless, do not skimp on supplying necessary information to your guests. They will appreciate any additional help you can provide on certain aspects, like how to find their way to the venue.

If there are out-of-town guests, you can share information regarding hotels near the venue. Also don’t forget to provide any other relevant information that will make their trip easier to plan. Do the same with vendors. Share as much information as is necessary to let them do their job well.

Pondering too long over a plan

While it is necessary to take your time to make important decisions, don’t delay your choices for too long. Everything is time-bound and most wedding planning decisions involve related tasks. This is why we suggest you set up a wedding planning timeline right at the beginning. Make your wedding plans as per this timeline, and you will know if you fall behind.

When choosing vendors, make your decisions quickly and efficiently. Good vendors tend to get booked quickly during wedding seasons. If you delay your decision, the vendor you like may get booked by another couple. You may then end up having to look for another service provider.

Worrying too much about the little details

There are many big and small decisions to make in a wedding. Although every one of them is important, you should prioritize each depending on their significance in the wedding. Remember that it is nearly impossible to get every single big and small detail perfect. Be open to accepting small imperfections and compromise where necessary. This will make your life a lot easier and reduce your wedding planning stress.

Spend more time on the more important factors and dedicate time and resources to making these perfect. Don’t obsess over the finer details of the smaller elements. Go with what you think is the best possible option and it will all fall into place.

Not paying enough attention to your vendor contracts

We don’t not even want to mention how risky it is to book a vendor without first signing a contract. Now, when there is a contract, it is important you understand everything on it. If there are gray areas, make sure you clarify your doubts before signing it. Read every single contract from end to end. Check whether it comprehensively covers every relevant aspect.

There should be clauses and Plan B suggestions in case of last minute cancellations or emergencies. Include details on all additional charges in the plan. Also add whatever you think hasn’t been explicitly mentioned. This will help to eliminate cause conflicts later.

Trying to appease everyone

The very word “wedding” is enough to have people flocking to you with ideas, suggestions and offers to help. Deal with this situation cautiously. Family and friends may have good intentions, but don’t let anyone take over your wedding. You shouldn’t have to bow to a choice or move with plans you aren’t convinced about, because someone said so.

Remember that this is your wedding day and you should have the last say. Although you can welcome suggestions and opinions, let everyone know that the final decision will be yours. You do not have to do everything as per tradition, unless you are agreeable to it. On your special day, you should be able to enjoy and not regret it later. Stay away from trying to satisfy everyone. This is simply impossible.

Not letting the small mistakes go

As long as you do not have enough experience at wedding planning, mistakes are bound to happen. You cannot plan everything to the last detail and expect everyone to stick to plan. There may be issues with vendors, guests who cancel at the last minute and bridesmaids who show their true colors. Set yourself up to deal with such disappointments and don’t be too harsh on yourself.

On your wedding day, simply focus on the great things that happen. Don’t mull over mistakes or spoil your mood wishing things happened differently. Enjoy the moment as it will never return. Stress on the things that went wrong and you will be making a big mistake missing out on your actual wedding experience.

Expecting the worst

Things may and do go wrong at weddings. While you can try to avoid them as much as is possible, there is no guarantee everything will progress as per plan. However, this doesn’t mean you should only expect the worst. Research and plan your decisions carefully. This alone will reduce the likelihood of errors. Leave the rest to happen as it will.

Simply worrying about what may or may not go wrong will not help in any way. All that it does is add to your stress and spoil the fun of your engagement. Be optimistic and handle issues with confidence. Believe in your abilities to find a solution to any problem, and you will come up with the best possible solution.

Making plans without thinking it through

Dreaming up a wedding is fun, but doing it right can be tough. Before you set your mind on something different and unique, think it through. Consider the funds you have, the practicality of the situation and all the other aspects that will determine the success of your plan.

If you have a destination wedding in mind, make sure you check the legal aspects before you go ahead with plans. Similarly, when picking your wedding dress, try to first understand what would be practical in your venue. Also set your budget before you go shopping.

You assume your vendors understand you perfectly

Whether it is your makeup and hair artist, or your caterer, give clear-cut descriptions for what you want. Don’t just assume that they have understood or you may be in for a nasty surprise later. Whenever possible, share pictures that depict exactly what you have in mind. Ask them to repeat or illustrate what you shared with them.

If there is any confusion, it is best to get it out of the way as early as possible. While it isn’t a good idea to micromanage your vendors, don’t leave everything to them entirely. Keep tabs on their progress and inspect at the right time to find out if things proceed as per your expectations. Find all you must know about your vendor contracts on this article at the Martha Stewart Website.

Planning a wedding is a momentous task. It is not easy whether you have a year to plan or just few weeks. Unless you hire a wedding planner to handle the lion’s share of tasks, you will have to dedicate considerable time and effort to doing it right. Approach the task in a systematic and organized fashion, and it will be easier to carry out.

While you busy yourself with wedding planning, don’t forget to research and choose the right dress for the occasion. Take a close look at our inventory of wedding dress collections and you should be able to find dresses that meet your expectations. For more details, visit our bridal dress gallery at Best for Bride.

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Clever tips for shopping and choosing your wedding accessories

Jewelry and accessories play an important role in your bridal look. It is thus important that you plan your shopping well, so they enhance your overall bridal look. For, only then will all the elements come together in a cohesive manner and enable you to look gorgeous.

Although jewelry and accessories are an important part of the bridal outfit, most brides think of them as an afterthought. This is one of the first mistakes to avoid. Instead of just going shopping and picking up something that you think will work well with your dress, plan your look well. Think of the different options that will enhance your features, show off your dress and complement the theme. This will help you narrow down your jewelry and accessories choices better.

Here are some clever tips to help you get an idea of how to choose the right wedding jewelry.

Always buy your jewelry and accessories after the dress

It isn’t uncommon for brides to end up buying a dress that is totally different from what they envisioned. In fact, we have lost count of the number of times a bride comes shopping with a definite idea of what she wants, and walks out with a dress that she never imagined she would buy.This is why we suggest that you shortlist the features you want to see in your dress. You can then look at dresses that satisfy most of your preferences, if not all. Remember that you may end up going on an unending search to find a dress that satisfies every one of your requirements, unless you have it tailored. Hence we suggest you first pick the dress, and then move on to looking at jewelry.

Let your dress be the guide when picking jewelry and accessories

The right type of jewelry and accessories work with the wedding dress, not against it! Brides who strike the right balance between the dress and the accessories look amazing. So, as a general rule of thumb, choose simple accessories if your dress is opulent. If your dress is simple with few features that stand out, heavy and flashy accessories are suitable. Look at the neckline, sleeves, how heavy the skirt is and work in the bodice to decide what would look appropriate to balance out your look.

Look online before you go to the shops

Most jewelers and accessories vendors list their inventory online. You can also find plenty of inspiration on the internet, on Pinterest and bridal websites. It is a good idea to browse through the different available designs and identify options you like most. Since you may not be used to wearing elaborate head pieces, veils and tiaras before, it is a good idea to gather information on what would suit your style, facial features and taste. An online search will help you understand what is available. Visit various jewelry websites to make use of offers and discounts that will help you get a better deal for the money you spend on your accessories.

Choose your outfit properly when you go wedding shopping

The neckline of your dress is a big factor to consider when picking jewelry. If your accessories clash with the neckline, the entire effect will be ruined. To avoid this, wear a dress or top with the same neckline as your wedding dress, when you go shopping. This way, you can gather a fair idea of how the necklace, earrings and veil will look with the wedding dress neckline. Also choose a light or white colored top, to get the actual picture of how the jewelry will look against your dress. If you wear a colorful dress, the color of the stones will show up differently than it would against white.

You needn’t buy if you would rather rent

Just like wedding dresses, wedding jewelry isn’t cheap. If you are a person who loves jewelry and will most likely use your wedding gems after your wedding day, it is a worthwhile investment. However, if you don’t normally wear jewelry, it is a better idea to rent. Many wedding dress rental shops also rent out wedding jewelry. You should be able to find accessories that match your wedding dress with this option. The shop that you rent from may ask you to put down a deposit for the time you take the jewelry away. However, it is the easiest way to looking great on your special day, at minimum cost.

Match the stones and metals

What we mean by this is that you should keep the effect cohesive. When you shop for wedding jewelry you will have various options like rhinestones, pearls, colored gemstones and more. Try to achieve a cohesive effect by choosing the same type of stones for each of your accessories. Similarly, be careful about mixing different metals as it can look cluttered. Don’t mix and match too much or you will ruin the overall effect. Even if the pieces look good on their own, they will not contribute to your look if they are all too different.

Know the best combinations for the white of your gown

Wedding gowns come in different shades of white. There’s bright white, champagne white, ivory, candlelight and ecru. Different metals look good with the different whites mentioned here. Pearls and metals with silver finishes are best with pure or bright white. Off-white colors like ivory and candlelight work well with gold and silver. Champagne looks good with rose-gold embellishments and jewelry. Ivory and ecru have yellow undertones and are good with yellow gold. You can also look at the embellishments in your gown, as a guide. If your gown has crystal and silver embroidery, choose the same colors in your jewelry. Similarly, if it features gold or pearls, it is best to follow the same in your gown for a cohesive effect.

Re-purpose traditional jewelry for a contemporary look

If you have heirloom jewelry that doesn’t fully appeal to your taste, don’t reject it saying it doesn’t fit your style. Nonetheless, don’t wear it as it is if you aren’t fond of it. Instead, consider whether you can re-purpose it to suit your modern taste. Many jewelry shops offer this service. So, you can transform your family heirloom into a modern design with their assistance. Simply decide what you want the heirloom piece to be transformed into. Don’t limit yourself to making small changes. Brides have changed necklaces into earrings and bracelets, and strings of pearls into hair accessories. Ultimately, the important factor remains that the sentiment is still there, while you can wear jewelry that is more your style on your special day.

You don’t have to wear one of every accessory

The last thing you want to do is look cluttered with gems. Too many accessories and jewelry will make you look too busy. The different things you wear will then drown in sparkle and not be visible. The better option is to wear just the pieces that are actually necessary. It is a good idea to have one focal piece of jewelry and one or two more pieces to complement it. If your wedding dress is simple, make your focal piece big and bright for more sparkle. In case it is an ornate gown, keep your jewelry simple and light to get the look right.

Think of how photogenic your gems will be, when you choose them

Although your accessories may look fabulous to your eye, it isn’t necessary that it will photograph equally well. Certain stones may have a dull finish that will have an old and faded look in photos. And intricate finishes may not show up in pictures. So, pay attention to how your jewelry and accessories will reflect on camera. We suggest that you take some pictures to test how they look when clicked and only then make your final decision.

Be bold, go for color

Although there are plenty of options these days, not all brides are comfortable in anything but a white wedding gown. If you aren’t sure, but you love color, explore the variety of colorful gems to add that pop of color to your outfit. Take a chance with color, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Colored gem stones accentuate the beauty of any outfit. They are hence a perfect choice for the bride, especially if your wedding has a color theme. Colored gems give you the chance to incorporate the color theme into your wedding attire. Choose sparkling stones like sapphires, emeralds and rubies for a radiant effect and gems like jade, turquoise and coral for a casual wedding theme.

Don’t forget to check how you look from every angle

Don’t focus entirely on how you look from the front, when choosing accessories! Remember that you will be facing away from your guests during the ceremony. So, use this opportunity to show off some extra style. Use dainty hair accessories that pack a punch from the back, or include a sash that has a beautiful tie-back that will impress. Additional accessories can help you look good from all angles. So, choose wisely.

Avoid extreme trends

Your wedding photos are images that will be frozen for eternity. Your generation, as well as future generations will always remember you by how you looked on your wedding day. Don’t appear dated in them by choosing jewelry that is too trendy and will go out of fashion in no time. Classic styles are always fashionable and hence a safe choice. However, if you want to try out contemporary designs, do so by all means. Just ensure that they aren’t styles that are entirely new on the wedding fashion scene.

Make the most of package deals

The bridal ensemble takes up a huge chunk of the overall wedding budget. One way to make your money go further is to opt for package deals that give you more value for the money you spend. For example, bridal shops often have big discounts on jewelry and accessories, if you buy it along with your dress. This will allow you to find the accessories for your big day without breaking the bank. At Best for Bride, we often have deals on accessories that are purchased with the wedding dress. The alternative is to have a flat percentage off the dress price. When you compare both options, you will realize that buying accessories as part of the package will help you save more.

Everything depends on your personality

We mentioned a number of rules here. However, no rule is set in stone and everything finally boils down to what you like. If you want to bring on the bling, do so! Or if you aren’t satisfied with the just one statement piece, wear all that you like and plan the rest of your outfit to balance it out. If you don’t favor jewelry, keep it simple and find basic pieces that suit your taste. You should be comfortable with the choices you make, as this is what will reflect on your wedding day. As long as you love what you see, you won’t regret your choices later.

So, tell us how you have planned your wedding day look? What are the accessories you chose and what did you base your decision on?

At Best for Bride, you can find amazing wedding gowns as well as superb accessories to enhance them. Everything from the veil and tiara, to jewelry and shoes are available in-house and online, so you can pick your choice easily. Check out our website to learn more about what we have for brides like you. Additionally, you can also find out about the special package offer we have on accessories that are purchased with the wedding dress. For more wedding tips and advice for brides, stay tuned to our blog page.