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15 Twists on Wedding Traditions

Most couples take the traditional route when planning their weddings. After all, practices that have been passed down generations are usually the safest option to ensure your wedding progresses smoothly. The chances for complaints are few when your guests get exactly what they expect. So, you are most likely to receive a thumbs up from the older generation when you stick to the traditional format when planning your special day.

Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong in adding your own unique spin on at least few age-old traditions. What makes this special is that it allows you to still honor the tradition, while adding a personal flavor to your big day. Don’t you think this idea of giving a modern update to something classic is interesting? It will make your wedding memorable, even while you keep the essence of the tradition alive.

If you are wondering how you can do this, we have good news! You can add your own spin on almost any traditional ritual, practice or wedding task. Here are some ideas to inspire you.

Your engagement ring

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For a long time now, diamond rings are considered synonymous with engagements! This simply goes on to say how common it is. You can always take this standard route and splurge on an ostentatious solitaire that will be impressive. However, how does the idea of finding another stone that is perhaps even prettier sound?

Visit your favorite jeweler and you are bound to find beautiful a variety of gemstones that are more interesting. Sapphires, rubies and emeralds have the same impact as a diamond. I think that a gemstone like sapphire set within a band of thin diamonds is much prettier than a traditional diamond ring. Don’t let tradition cloud your preferences. Wear it on your finger and see for yourself!

The wedding invitation

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It may be too extreme to adopt the paperless route and opt for an e-invite. This certainly doesn’t have the same charm as the hard copy of a wedding invitation sent via snail mail. Instead, switch from the paper stationery on card stock with several sheets of paper to an eco-friendly, yet functional alternative.

There are so many ways in which you can make a unique statement. From recycled paper invitations to plantable papers and even soy-based ink for the print, there are so many choices. This will allow you to invite your near and dear ones to your special day in a special way. Take a look at this article on the Ethical Bride for more ideas. 

Something old, something new and Something blue

The charming Victorian bridal rhyme goes

Something old,something new,something borrowed,something blue.” 

Almost all brides continue with this practice of wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue as part of their wedding outfit. These are believed to be tokens of good luck. The something new is pretty simple—it could easily be the new wedding dress or accessories.

Traditional brides usually wear heirloom jewelry or veils as their something old or something borrowed and incorporate the blue as their wedding garter. 

Now, here are some ideas for modern twists on the “something old, something borrowed and something blue.”

Something old: Forget the old jewelry and heirloom veil. Get creative with your something old. This article on the Bridebox website has some excellent ideas. My favorite is the idea of re-purposing a piece of family jewelry into an entirely different accessory. How wonderful would it be to wear a bracelet of pretty pair of earrings made from an old out-of-date necklace?

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Something borrowed: The Borrowed and Blue blog suggests sewing a meaningful cloth or fabric item into the lining of your wedding dress. I find it to be thrilling and exciting.  You must visit the link to see how unique you can make this look.

Something blue: Don’t hide the blue in a garter. Instead, show it off! Pick a pair of beautiful blue heels for your wedding shoes. Not only will this be a beautiful accessory that you can use and re-use after the wedding, it will create a statement look for your beautiful bridal feet.

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Switch out the white wedding dress

From the time Queen Victoria introduced brides to the white wedding dress, it is the signature wedding dress color for brides everywhere. Many brides occasionally opt for a wild and bold colorful alternative to traditional white. This is easier nowadays. Many designers bring out with wedding dresses in soft, muted hues that do not deviate too far from white every year. So, it is now easy to add a touch of personality to your wedding outfit with a small dose of color. Consider light pinks, blush, blues or even grays for an alternate look. This allows you to avoid a color that is too bright for a bride.

Or wear something other than a dress

If you are a bride who must wear white on your wedding day, your options to shine are still numerous. There are plenty of different bridal attires that are not exactly wedding gowns. There are little white dresses to choose from or even bridal pant suits, which are a big trend these days. While the color remains white, you can choose an attire that reflects your personality and style. Designer collections not only carry dresses with shorter hemlines, you can also find two-piece wedding dresses, well tailored pant suits and even loosely structured jumpsuits.

Unique party décor

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Flowers are staple wedding décor. At most weddings, we see everything from the entry to the aisles and centerpieces with floral décor. Although flowers have an exquisite charm and are perfect as wedding party décor, they can be pricey. It is also so common, and your options to make it stand out are few.

Instead choose alternative décor elements, and the entire setting will be more memorable. Seasonal fruits and foliage are an attractive alternative. You can also opt for candles, crystals, statues and other unique décor items to make a statement. Not only are these non-perishable, you can also reuse them in your new home afterwards. And if you must have flowers in your décor, why don’t you replace cut flowers with flower pots? These are a sustainable, yet attractive option. There’s an added bonus—after using them as décor, you can even have them do double duty as party favors for your guests.

Do away with the traditional guest book

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If you feel you must have a guest book for your reception, you ought to think otherwise. Instead of a guest book that will later be stashed somewhere in your storage, opt for an attractive which you can display in your home. You can either have your guests sign notes and drop them in a pretty container, or have them share their wishes on a poster, picture or even vintage globe. There are some brilliant guest book alternatives here on the Brides website. From messages on vintage postcards to pretty pebbles, these are unusual ways to create a keepsake with your guest’s wedding wishes.

Skip the bubbly

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Champagne is hard on the pocket. However, few people enjoy it despite its expensive price tag. Yet, most couples keep it for their reception. The wedding toast is a tradition that is worth keeping. However, you can do it without champagne. Choose another drink for the purpose.

It is highly unlikely that your guests will miss the champagne, and are more likely to enjoy the switch. Make it more personal by choosing your favorite drink for the toast. Or, you can also make it a prettier option by serving a range of cocktails. Not only will the scenery be visually interesting, your guests are likely to enjoy this drink better than an expensive glass of bubbly.

Creative cakes

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The wedding cake is a towering display that serves little purpose at the wedding. Many of the cakes are amazing to look at, but all that fondant and flour do not taste great. In fact, few guests have the appetite to enjoy a whole slice of cake after their main course. So, the bigger your cake is, the more quantity gets wasted. Although a classic wedding staple, I think it is high time brides and grooms chose a better option to end their wedding feast with.

One way to keep the tradition intact is to opt for a scaled-down version of a couture cake to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Serve a variety of more appealing deserts to the party. The other option is to switch the cake out. Instead, choose from more appetizing deserts. For a whole list of options, take a look at this previous post. I am sure there is something to satisfy every bride and groom’s choice in there.

To have or not to have a different dress for the reception?

Traditionally, the bride dances in the same dress she is wed in. Nevertheless, many brides choose a new look for the reception, both for a change of style and also for practical purposes. Although getting married in a heavy ball gown or mermaid dress looks great, it isn’t the ideal choice for dancing at the reception. The modern update is the two-in-one wedding dress. It features an overlay skirt which you can remove after the ceremony, to reveal a modern slimmer silhouette beneath it. This has to be the ideal wedding dress in terms of budget and functionality.

Skip the garter toss

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In the garter toss, the bridegroom removes the brides garter and tosses it at the bachelors at the party. The one to catch it will be the next to marry. To be honest, not everyone is one hundred percent excited about the garter toss. If you aren’t so pleased about it yourself, we think this is one tradition you should skip.

I like this idea on this blog of tossing something else, like a soft teddy bear or candy to the guests. Invite everyone, not just the bachelors, to be involved in the fun. 

Or if you must toss the garter, how about adding a creative twist? Place it around a soccer ball and throw it instead. That ought to elicit a few laughs from the crowd! Here is a sample. 

Same with the bouquet toss

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This is the cringe-worthy counterpart of the garter toss. It is highly likely that modern spinsters would not be happy to stand in line to catch the bouquet. Instead, save your wedding bouquet to be preserved as a keepsake and have the ritual with the teddy toss we mentioned about earlier. Or, you can even dedicate the bouquet to somebody special. You can thus follow tradition and give it away. Both options are undeniably more elegant than the throw-and-catch alternative.

Find something unusual instead of the getaway car

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The couple must exit in style. Nonetheless, it doesn’t always have to be in a vintage car. There are many other ways in which you can make it more interesting. Be creative and find a way to show off your personal style and fitness. How romantic would it be if your husband were to ride away with you on a bicycle. Deck it up with a flower basket in the front and a “Just married” floating balloon at the back. It will be a picture of perfection.

At Best for Bride, we enjoy both traditions and modernity. Hence our collection caters to brides with a penchant for tradition or modernity. With a vast inventory of wedding dresses of all types, shapes and sizes, finding the right choice for your special day couldn’t be any easier. So, step in to one of our stores and tell us what you seek. Our trusted and talented bridal consultants will help you realize your wedding vision in the dress of your dreams. Or if you would like to preview what choices are available to you, take a look at our website which lists the entire collection we carry in our stores.

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Common wedding budget mistakes most couples make

The wedding budget is the single entity that determines everything about your wedding. Everything from your beautiful wedding gown to the florist, caterers and even wedding favors depends on the funds you put aside for your wedding plans, and how you distribute it among different components.

When stepping into the new chapter of your life as a newly wed couple, you certainly do not want it to be with debt that you will struggle to settle. Unfortunately, many couples have a grand wedding and later struggle with their finances. Then there are also occasions when couples find themselves spending much more than they anticipated on their wedding. This is because of lack of proper planning. Plan the wedding budget sensibly, and you can avoid this situation.

Let us take a close look at the common wedding budget mistakes many couples make and how you can avoid them.

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1.Not fixing your priorities

Every couple wants a fantastic wedding. Nevertheless, you have to make at least few compromises, if you are on a budget. Nonetheless you can plan the best possible options for your budget by fixing your priorities. First, settle on a realistic wedding budget. For this, you may have to do some research on the average cost for each wedding planning aspect instead of just picking a number at random. Next, list the order of preference for each of them. This way, you can allocate more funds to those on the top of your list and be thrifty about the ones at the bottom.

2.Not figuring in the smaller, but essential items

A real bride reveals in this article, that one of the biggest mistakes she made at her wedding was overlooking the small items that were still essential to the overall wedding picture. She isn’t alone, as many brides who do most of the planning themselves forget to factor in certain items. It isn’t easy when they later have to find the funds to meet these expenses. Even the smallest dollar purchases will quickly add up. So, you shouldn’t overlook any factor when calculating your budget. Checklists are a big help in this situation. Make comprehensive checklists for every single item you can think of, for your wedding. Cross-check with ready to use checklists online and also have someone else take a look at them, just in case you may have missed something. Factoring in every likely expense will help you avoid going over-budget.

3.Not figuring in the extras for bigger purchases

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For many items like your wedding gown, the price on the label isn’t the final figure you will pay for. There are extras for alterations, accessories, inner-wear and sometimes delivery charges. When you allocate a budget for such an item, make sure you account for these extras as well. Obtain a general idea of how much the extras will cost. Plan the actual budget for the main item after deducting these charges, and you will not end up spending more than you actually intended to.

4.Last minute shopping and bookings

The closer you book venues and vendors to the date of your wedding, the higher the cost you will incur. Start your planning early, and you will have plenty of time to scout around for the best deals. You will also have time to research and weigh options, and find the most budget-friendly ones. Booking early will also allow you to get the best vendors and deals for your wedding. Where wedding dresses are concerned, rush charges are significantly higher and you will again have to pay extra for alterations at short notice. Once you know your wedding day, don’t delay wedding dress shopping. Make sure you shop for your dress at least six months in advance. Similarly book your venue, band, caterers, photographers, florist and other vendors as soon as you finalize the wedding theme and decide on what you want.

5.Trying to save with DIY but ending up with more than you can handle

One thing many brides tend to overlook is the scale of the wedding. Although they may be capable of handling DIY details or have friends and relatives who are good bakers, florists or venue decorators, they may not have the resources or abilities to handle the task on large scale. When a DIY disaster occurs at the last possible moment, the only option is to get the available alternative, usually at a very high price. Avoid this costly mistake by being realistic about what you can actually handle. Also exercise caution when entrusting a wedding task to someone you know. Make sure that they are capable of handling it before handing it to them.

6.Not paying proper attention to vendor contracts

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Never ever assume anything on a contract, but clarify every single doubt. Also, make sure that you dedicate enough time to reading every detail on your contracts, and avoid overlooking anything essential. Different vendors offer different services in their package. So, although one vendor may offer delivery and setting up of your cake, another may not for the same price. Similar extras are wine corkage charges, cake serving charges, taking down of décor and clearing tables. The same applies to your photographer and band too. It is always best to clarify all these little details before you sign the contract and book the vendor. Make sure you know how many hours or what all services are included in the package, so you don’t end up paying extra to get the service you want, at the last minute. Here is a list of the common hidden costs that you may want to consider seriously. 

7.Picking vendors and services without comparing rates

Unless you are absolutely particular that you must have a certain vendor for your wedding, you should check around for the best deals for your budget. Compare deals, packages and service quality to find the right deals that give you what you want. Although you shouldn’t compromise on quality for price, save the greater chunk of your budget for your priorities and adjust with what will fit the bill for the rest. If you come across a deal that seems too good to be true, make sure you consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Don’t be too hasty to fix a deal. Negotiate the prices, look for discount options or referrals, and you can make your budget work further for your needs.

8.Giving into pressure

Many couples end up spending more than they should, just because people advice them that they need something that they really do not. This can be a budget-buster. So, rather than giving into pressure, do your research and know what you want and whether it is needed to realize your wedding vision. There are few “must-have’s” in a wedding, and these should be what are actually important to you. Unless the people who push you into inviting more guests, putting up a photo booth or splurging on expensive wedding favors are actually contributing to the cost for it, you do not have to oblige.

9.Buying more than you actually need

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It is always safer to have a little extra than you actually accounted for, but don’t take it to the extreme. Although a few extra invitations and wedding favors may be a good idea, you do not need extra hundreds of them, just in case. Think of every aspect thoroughly, so you do not make a mistake when calculating numbers. For invitations, think of how many families will be attending, rather than the total number of people. You do not need separate invitations for members of the same family. So, think of such relevant details and you can save yourself quite some money on these unnecessary expenses.

10.Last-minute changes to plan

If there is one thing that every couple should do, it is have a clear idea of what they want before they set out to do it. Vendors may suggest changes, friends may encourage you to take things a little further, but only you know what you want and what you can afford. Avoid falling for temptation and making last-minute changes that will cost you dearly. You can be flexible and make small variations down the line, but don’t go for a major overhaul as the unexpected expenses in such cases will quickly add up and turn out to be disastrous.

11.A guest list that gets out of hand

Your wedding expenses are directly linked to the number of people who will attend. So, have a good grip on your guest list, and you shouldn’t go over-budget. One of your first wedding planning decisions should be the number of people you can afford to have. Not only should you factor in your wedding priorities when distributing your funds, you should also consider whether this type of wedding will be meaningful to you. Once you arrive at a decision, stick to it. You don’t have to be extra-generous to satisfy your friends or family, nor do you have to feel guilty about having the wedding you can afford. Some decisions are tough, but you have to put your foot down where it is necessary for your own good. This is one such situation.

12.Not exploring your options

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There are many ideas that will take your budget further. It is unfortunate that very few couples explore such options. Simple ideas like serving three-fourth portions instead of full cake slices, or having a selection of local wines instead of an open bar will make a small difference in the overall impact of the wedding. However, it will help your savings even while you can achieve similar results. You can also look to your vendors for creative but thrifty solutions to your various needs. As professionals who have worked at many weddings before, they should have plenty of ideas. Wedding planners are usually experts who can come up with creative and budget-friendly solutions for several wedding planning aspects. Look around for budget-friendly options, at least for your lower priorities. Your guests are less likely to notice the difference, and you can have the wedding you desire for much lesser.

13.Always choosing the safe option

When you are on a tight budget, it may be better to think out of the box than go with the conventional (expensive!) choice. If you are ready to take the risk, it is likely that you will find several good deals in unexpected places. One instance is where your hair and makeup is concerned. You can always have your hair and makeup done by a professional artist. However, you can also consider booking your appointment with a beauty school and enjoy the same outcome. Similarly, you do not need an expensive vintage car to leave your reception in. Instead, deck up any car with some creative décor and it will be just as impressive. One of the best things of thinking creatively is that it allows you to have unique wedding elements that will make your wedding memorable.

14.Forgetting about tipping vendors

Many things about weddings still follow certain etiquette rules. Wedding tipping is one of them. Although it is now largely considered a personal decision, tipping is customary. Unless a vendor’s service charge includes gratuity, or the person performing the service is the owner himself, it is common practice to tip the people serving at your wedding. Similarly, delivery drivers are also normally tipped for their service. Here is a guide to wedding vendor tipping on the Real Simple website. This should give you a good idea of how much you should allocate for this factor. 

Avoid these common mistakes and your wedding should progress without too many hassles in the budget department. For budget wedding dresses, and great deals and offers to make the most of your wedding dress budget, visit this link to our clearance and sale section on Best for Bride—the one-stop shopping destination for today’s bride. 

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Top Wedding planning tips to make sure your wedding runs smoothly

Planning a zero-hassle wedding is nearly impossible. Hundreds of details, both big and small, increase the chances of mistakes, communication gaps and confusion. Accept that fact that there are bound to be at least a few hiccups along the way, and you will be able to stay sane while planning your wedding. Nevertheless, the better you plan your special day, smaller the chances for things to go wrong when it is time for you to tie the knot.

Where planning is concerned, it is always best to heed the advice from experts who have seen enough to know what works and what doesn’t. Here are some top tips from our wedding planning team to help you have a wedding day that runs as smoothly as is possible.

Practice makes perfect

Practice takes away the novelty of a situation and eases stress. So, it is a good way to prepare yourself for anything that you have to do on the wedding day. Practice and perfect your poses for the photo shoot, practice walking down the aisle, practice your dance moves and even your hair and makeup in advance if you will be doing it yourself on your wedding. This will help you recognize likely issues that may crop up on the actual day. Since you will already be prepared to tackle any adverse situation, it will not stress you out when it happens.

You can never start too early

It is easier to plan things at a relaxed pace and fix any problems, when time is on your side. It is never too late to start planning your wedding, once you are engaged. Mark everything from your venue visits to the honeymoon in your calendar, with plenty of time to spare. You can then proceed at a relaxed pace. Should the need arise, you will have enough buffer time to accommodate changes too.

Be real with yourself

Don’t trick yourself into assuming that you can afford what you really can’t. Similarly, don’t attempt to do everything by yourself when you do not have the time for it. Be realistic with the wedding plans you make, and you will save yourself from heartbreak and disappointment. There will be certain must-have’s for your wedding. However, keep this list short. Then, you will not end up regretting the time, money and effort you spent on it on a later day.

Be clear about your financial situation

Every wedding is expensive. However thrifty you are, you will be spending a lot on your special day. Every couple must chalk out a clear financial budget for their wedding, and stick to it. Plan the details right and you will be able to start your married life with enough cash in the bank. If you do not do this right in the beginning, you will most likely end up spending much more than you should. So, make this one of the first wedding planning tasks. Sit down with your fiance to plan your wedding budget. Next allocate funds to each aspect and make sure you stick to these limits. You can adjust funds between your different needs. However, do not exceed the budget unless it is absolutely necessary.

Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst

Optimism is a good thing when planning your wedding. However, it shouldn’t be at the cost of ruining your day if things go haywire at the last minute. If there are any known risks in your wedding plans, arm yourself with a plan B. For instance, if your wedding will be outdoors, make sure you have an alternate venue booked or relief planned in case it rains. This is always much better than having to think of an alternate option at the last minute. Remember that things can go wrong. But if you are prepared for it, you will be better equipped to handle it and less stressed out in the end.

Delegate tasks to the right people

A wedding is easier to plan when you have many helping hands. If your friends and family pitch in to help you with the wedding planning, accept by all means. Nevertheless, make sure that you delegate responsibilities to the right people who will do it well with minimum supervision. If you have to micromanage a person, it is better you do the task yourself. So, identify the talents and skills of your friends and family members and allocate jobs to them on this basis.

Don’t hesitate to let go

It is not just the bride or groom who is entirely responsible for every superb wedding you’ve been to or heard about. The more you are ready to accept help, the smoother your wedding will run. Don’t be reluctant to try out wedding planners, go with vendor suggestions or delegate responsibilities to your bridal party. Remember that this is a time for you to enjoy. And the only way to do it is when you have time to be fully involved in what you take charge of.

Rely on lists

Lists are one of the most reliable ways to make sure that you have everything on track. So, be lavish with creating them. Whether you choose the pen and paper route or go digital with your lists, just do it. This will give you a visual break-up of all the tasks that have to be handled. It will be easier to finish them one-by-one and tick them off, rather than picking up tasks at random. Embrace your inner organizational skills and take a methodical and planned approach to wedding planning. There will be no way you can miss anything when you do it this way.

Leave the tougher tasks to the professionals

No bride or groom should take on more than they can actually handle, when planning a wedding. If you are comfortable and experienced in certain aspects, there is no harm in handling that task yourself. However, if you are unsure of any task, put someone who is better-experienced at it in charge, or hire a professional. This will save you valuable time and energy. You can also eliminate the frustration of finding that your hard work wasn’t really worth it when you see the results.

Punctuality is primary

From planning your wedding day timeline to making it to your vendor appointments or tackling the tasks on your to-do list, do it all on time. You may stray off-schedule at times. However, you should have enough buffer time to compensate for these delays. Nevertheless, make an effort to try and finish all your work on time and respect the time of others involved in your wedding plans as well.

Don’t stress over the small details

There are enough big things on your mind when wedding planning, that it is best to not obsess over the insignificant details in your list. Be realistic when planning every detail of your wedding. Ask yourself if you can actually do it within the available time, and if the effort that goes into it will finally be worth it. Remember that all it takes are few details to create an impression on your wedding day. So, plan these details appropriately and try to perfect them instead of spending time on the several unnecessary details.

Keep everything short and sweet

Everything from wedding toasts and speeches to hellos and goodbye’s are best when they are short and crisp. Not only everything proceed as per schedule, you will also find that there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy your wedding day to the fullest. Ask your best man and Maid of Honor to keep their speeches short, don’t take forever to chat to your guests and focus on having a meaningful and well-planned and executed wedding.

Do what you can the day-before

Your wedding day will be a whirlwind of activity. It will also be over much before you realize it. So, don’t end up confused or stressed out because you didn’t plan the details correctly. Do what you can during the days leading up to the wedding. This will help things progress smoothly on the actual day. This includes laying out your wedding dress, verifying with vendors about their schedules and delivery timings, cross-checking with your bridal party on whether everything is as per plan and communicating with out-of-town guests. When you have most of the essentials in place ahead of when they are actually required, your wedding day will progress smoothly and will be fun.

Be open to ideas

It is easier to find solutions when you are open to ideas and suggestions. Although you should have a general idea of what you want, be flexible when making choices and decisions. There will be constraints to finding things within budget, within the available time and with the perfection you desire. Always think of the bigger picture and whether your final decision will entirely alter your vision. If not, it is better to not sweat over the smaller stuff and go with what is available or convenient at that given time.

Accommodate your friends and family needs when possible

Your wedding will truly be a success when everyone around you appreciates it just as much as you do. For this, you should involve them and be accommodating of their needs and ideas. Hear suggestions out and give them the opportunity to discuss what they think should be done. If you have to reject any suggestions or say no to their offers, do so gracefully and don’t offend them. This will make it easier for them to accept your point of view and get over it easily.

Check with those who have previous experience for likely issues

If your friends or relatives have used the same vendor or venue or done things in a similar fashion as you have, it is a good idea to check with them for any expected hassles. You can then prepare yourself for any such situations in advance. People with experience will be able to guide you well and will also appreciate your asking them.

Know the laws

Many things that are wedding-related are governed by law. So, check and make sure that you aren’t overstepping boundaries or doing anything that you aren’t supposed to. If you will be getting married on public property, like a park, obtain permission in advance. Similarly, there are rules regarding maximum sound that is allowed on a property, how your marriage will be legally binding and the permits you have to obtain to use certain types of entertainment. Check out all these details so you have everything covered and no unexpected surprises ruin your day.

Weddings, chaotic as they are, are beautiful events. So, it deserves to be meticulously planned and executed. Only then can the couple have the perfect day of their life. Every small detail can make a difference in this regard, and this is why it has to be taken seriously. At times, it can become overwhelming and you may find yourself buckling under pressure. In such a situation, it may be time for you to hire someone to help. Wedding planners or day-of-coordinators are the people for the task, and they will work with you to bring your wedding vision to life in the best possible way.

Best for Bride, has everything you need to plan your perfect wedding easily. From designer wedding dresses, dresses for bridesmaids, dresses for the flower girl and mother of the bride, the collections carry beautiful garments for every member of the bridal team. Check out our website here, to find out more about what we carry, as well as about the various other services that are just perfect for your big day.

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