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

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

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

DO book a venue that can accommodate your guests comfortably

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DO consider hiring help

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

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

DO try to skip the little extras

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

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

DO consider repurposing and reusing items to take your budget further

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

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

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

DO consider a bigger bridal party

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

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

DO allow enough time between events

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

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

DON’T risk booking unreliable vendors

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

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

DON’T forget to account for all the extras

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

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

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

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

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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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Top Wedding Planning Hacks for Busy Brides

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

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

Start in advance

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

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

Be organized to the last detail

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

Work with only professional wedding services

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

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

Spend some time on reviews

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

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

Stop thinking about the wedding all-the-time

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

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

Think seriously about hiring a wedding planner

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

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

Plan everything in detail

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

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

Delegate responsibilities

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

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

Have reasonable deadlines

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

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

Know the rules

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

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

But make the most of free time at work

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

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

Set achievable goals

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

Unwind and step away from the wedding once in a while

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

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

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

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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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6 Questions your wedding planner will ask you

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Choosing the right wedding planner will make your entire wedding planning process a lot easier. A professional who understands your tastes and preferences, will know what to do to bring your wedding vision alive.

When you start your search for a wedding planner, you will soon realize that you have ample options to choose from. Since you do not have forever to interview all these candidates till you find the best, you should narrow down your list to those you think would be the best for the job. This would depend on your budget, tastes, the feedback and recommendations you receive for potential candidates.

An interview with the final chosen list of candidates is a must, so you get to know who will be the best for your big event. We have discussed about the various questions you should ask your potential candidates in this previous post here. These will allow you to understand each wedding planner’s working style and capability, and also recognize whether your personalities match.

Working with an event-planner is a partnership, and it is necessary for both parties to be comfortable with each other. So, just like you have questions for your planner, expect a good planner to have plenty of questions for you too. You should proceed with signing a contract only when both parties are agreeable to working with each other.

Here is a list of the questions that you can expect to be asked, when you meet your planner for the first time. Time is precious for both of you. So, we suggest you arm yourself with the answers to these likely questions in advance, so you can have a productive discussion.

1.When and where are you getting married?

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The date of the event should ideally be discussed during your first correspondence with the planner. There is no point in pursuing the discussion, if the planner is already fully booked on the day of your wedding, and you aren’t flexible with the date. However, if your planner has the resources to handle more than one wedding at the same time, or you are still to finalize your wedding date, this is a question you will have to answer. Remember that you should at least have a general idea of when your wedding will be held, as the cost will vary depending on the month and season in which your wedding is to be held.

The second part of the question is where you will be getting married. Although wedding planners don’t just operate locally, they usually stick within a specific boundary where they can execute their tasks to perfection. So, it is basically up to you to either find a planner who is versatile to work at any location, or go with the best person available at your chosen location. Although you needn’t know your venue just yet, knowing the destination of a wedding is necessary at this point.

2.What is your estimated budget and how many guests do you think you’ll be inviting?

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Money drives every detail at a wedding. Unless you know the maximum amount that you can afford, your planner cannot calculate the break-up for each aspect or go into specific details. The other factor is the number of guests you expect at your wedding. For a specific budget, the type of arrangements would be different based on the head count. So, you should have a general idea of how much you are willing to spend, so you planner can think of the options that will work. This will also help your planner determine whether he is able to work with that amount to give you the wedding that you want. If it isn’t, you may have to reconsider your options or go with another planner. Since different planners work with different budgets, and some even offer all-inclusive bulk packages for lower rates, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a wedding planner who meets your expectations, and is affordable.

Now, if you aren’t sure of what your total budget is, or have a good idea of the number of guests that will be attending, you can think in terms of the budget per person, for now. Geoff Beers, event planner tells us why this is important, on this Event planning article on About.com. The “per-person” budget allows your planner to understand how well you have thought your wedding out, and it also gives clarity on the maximum amount you will spend. An experienced wedding planner would know if it is practical to work for this amount. This will avoid overshooting the budget later, or making expensive mistakes that you cannot afford.

3.What must you have at your wedding?

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Each couple is unique. While some couples are flexible with their wedding details, others are very specific about them. Your wedding planner will discuss your must-have elements, so she can come up with the blueprint of the plan. Your must-haves will also determine the overall budget, as incorporating certain items can be pretty expensive by itself.

You may intend to ask your wedding planner for ideas and suggestions, and she is the professional to help you too. However, you should know your priorities, as she can only work with what information you provide her. The two of you should spend some time discussing what is most important to you. This could be an elaborate menu, a dream venue, celebrity entertainment or a specific type of décor or theme. When you pick your main priorities, it allows your wedding planner to suggest areas where you can scale back, if your budget cannot cover this cost. Once you have sorted this out, she can plan the rest of the event around it.

4.What will you absolutely NOT have?

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Depending on your budget, you may have to settle for substitutes or have to overlook certain wedding ideas that you have. However, if you have strong feelings against certain ideas, your wedding planner may ask you to let her know about this. She can then suggest alternate ideas that are acceptable to you. So, whether you cannot stand carnations, or refuse to serve anything that isn’t organic , your wedding planner will have to know this. This will not only affect the overall expenses, but will also help her determine whether she can cope with the challenges that this preference presents.

At times, it can be something as simple as your choice of wedding music, or a certain flower in the décor. However, what you must have and mustn’t have is different from what you would like to have or wouldn’t like to have. We suggest that you take a look at this previous post on picking your top wedding priorities, for a better idea on this topic.

5.How much do you expect to be involved in the wedding planning process?

Wedding planners have seen all types of clients—those who give them free rein to the extent where they are expected to make most of the decisions, and brides who would prefer to micro-manage and supervise every single detail. So, don’t be surprised if your wedding planner asks you about the extent of work you expect her to do, and what you will be doing yourself. This will also help her figure out the amount of time and extent of interaction expected from her. Wedding planners have to set aside time for each meeting, apart from planning various other details of your wedding. The amount of time she has to spend on your wedding will actually decide whether it is a full-time or part-time commitment for her. So, she may determine her final rate after getting a clear idea of how much time she will be spending on your wedding.

To answer this question, think of how involved you want to be in the wedding planning. Are you prepared to select from the options she thinks are good and will send you, or do you want to make the specific plans and have her search for the various things that will be used in its execution? Do you think you can trust her to make the call for smaller and insignificant details, or would you prefer to approve of every small detail yourself? How often do you think you can meet and discuss the progress? Think of all these factors and you will have the answer to this question.

5.How would you describe your wedding day?

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This is a question that you will definitely be asked. Although you may not know the specifics at this point of time, your wedding planner expects you to have a general idea of how your wedding day will be—whether it will be a formal or informal ceremony, held indoors or outdoors, during the day or night, what the general style or venue may be and your décor and dress preferences.

You may also be asked questions about your favorite colors, if there are themes that you are particularly fond of, and whether you have any particular ideas on what you would plan your wedding around. She may also ask questions related to the number of people in the wedding party, and your party décor ideas. If she has already done a wedding on similar lines, she may tell you how that was and what the highlights of the event were. She may even make suggestions for you to consider. When you discuss this question, use this opportunity to analyze whether the candidate you are interviewing shares your taste and understands your vision. Check out this article on the Planner’s lounge for more questions, you can expect to be asked in this regard.

6.Have you researched or finalized any vendors yet?

There are two reasons for this—firstly, this allows your wedding planner to plan the budget break-up, if you have already set your mind on a particular vendor for one task. Secondly, it allows her to make suitable suggestions or prepare to find a suitable vendor, if you haven’t thought of one already.

Your wedding planner will usually have a list of vendors to pick from, depending on your budget. Although she will prefer to work with those on her list, she should also be open to working with someone you have chosen, if that is what you prefer. A true professional will be able to find you an affordable vendor, and will not push their choices on you. However, she will need to know your specific expectations, so she can shortlist the ideal people for the job and you can make your pick from them.

Apart from these typical questions, your wedding planner may also have other questions depending on her working style, how well she understands your idea and also based on your needs. Nonetheless, this crucial first meeting is important to both of you, as this is when you decide whether you can strike a rapport with her or not. Expect this appointment to carry on for at least an hour. If your wedding is a very elaborate affair with more guests, or there are challenges like in the case of a destination wedding, your meeting may take longer than this. We suggest that you first do your research, and also communicate the essential details beforehand, so both of you can arrive well-prepared for the interview. If you have a long list of potential candidates, we suggest you start with the ones that you are most satisfied with on paper, so you have a better chance of finding the right person quickly.

Weddings are special events, and we have everything you need to make your big day extra-special, at Best for Bride. Find your dream wedding dress, shop for dresses for the rest of your bridal party, choose your party favors, wedding invitations, wedding dress accessories and more, when you shop with Best for Bride. With interesting sales and offers all the time, and collections updated on a regular basis, this is your one-stop bridal destination. Tour our website, and enjoy your shopping experience today.

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10 tips for a minimum-stress wedding day

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Weddings are big events, and big stress is an unavoidable factor when events this big. Even if you will be having an intimate wedding with just family and close friends, you will still have a lot of planning to do. And, unless you have previously been involved in planning an event with as many details as a wedding, there will be moments when you will feel totally stressed out.

There is only so much a bride can do to prepare for such scenarios. Nevertheless, any challenge can be tackled, if you are calm, organized and refuse to succumb to pressure.

Here are ten tips that will help you navigate the unexpected, or at least prepare in the best possible way for it.

1.Insure your wedding

Most couples overlook the importance of wedding insurance, as they are already operating on a tight budget. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile investment, when you think of the potential mishaps that can throw your wedding into chaos. You will be working with most vendors for the first time ever, and even those with sterling reputations can disappoint or cancel at the most inopportune time. If you have a long engagement, things may change from the time you booked your venue to the actual wedding day. Then there is the weather factor; one of the most unpredictable problem-makers in the wedding world. Instead of worrying about what might go wrong on your wedding day, it is always best to have a safety net. This will help you relax, since you have a back-up and your money will not be lost, should anything unplanned happen.

There are different types of wedding insurances, and you can choose one that suits your budget and needs. Either have the entire wedding insured, or insure only those aspects that are expensive or prone to problems. So, if a blizzard comes along, or your wedding jewelry loses a gem, you can reschedule, replace or re-organize for a minimum difference in cost.

2.Do your lists digitally

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Some brides prefer to do everything the pen and paper way, but this is tedious, time-consuming and error-prone. We think it is best to start all your wedding planning with a suitable wedding planning app. Else, designate a folder on your desktop for all your wedding planning. This will allow you to collate all the information in a single location and this minimizes the stress later on. Google allows you to organize your various documents, and with its many options, is one of the most streamlined ways to plan every aspect of your wedding. This article on the Huff Post suggests creating a Google doc with your potential guest list and all other details pertaining to it. What a brilliant idea! It is much easier this way, and you can add not just the names, but addresses and even RSVP details later, in a single place. Cloud sharing allows you to share this list with all those who are involved in the planning, thus making the entire process very efficient.

3.Take small breaks from wedding planning

You know how it is when you are planning a wedding, when you are either working or planning, planning and planning! Avoid overwhelming yourself this way. When you put together your wedding planning time-line, make sure to incorporate breaks from all the wedding planning. This will help you focus and get back to it with full gusto, after you rejuvenate yourself. If you have a full-time job, it is a good idea to take a day or two off work just to relax. And absolutely no wedding planning during those days! Plan a date with your fiancé instead! Unless you fuel your romance during your engagement, you will miss the best time of your relationship running behind details and not enjoying what you should be doing, at the time. Try to have at least a few normal weekends with friends and family and catch up on some well-deserved couple time. Your wedding stress will naturally reduce, as you will not be burning yourself out.

4.Hire help

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You may believe that you are perfectly capable of handling everything yourself, and we think you are too! Still, consider hiring help for some, if not all wedding tasks. This is just so you aren’t overloaded with responsibilities, and planning is actually fun and not tiring. If you plan to DIY things, do not exceed what you can manage within the available time. Remember that you will be doing everything on a large-scale. So, account for the time, effort and resources that will go into a task. When you overburden yourself, you will not have the time or energy to enjoy your wedding day, and that wouldn’t be fun. So, divert a part of your budget to hire help. For a smooth wedding day, you should definitely consider a day-of planner. And, if you have the budget, and aren’t obsessed about micro-managing everything at your wedding, consider hiring the services of a wedding planner, or at least a part-time planner for some aspects.

5.Have someone else hear the speeches

Many brides look forward to the wedding toasts and speeches, but are equally worried about inappropriate things being said or a speech being long and boring. However, listening to the speeches yourself is not a good idea, as it can ruin the surprise for you. To save yourself any worry, ask someone you trust to hear the speeches and tell you if they sound fine. Your maid of honor or mother, or someone who thinks like you do, can do the job. Provide a crisp set of guidelines of what to look out for, so they can analyze whether the speech is fine or not,. Then, leave it to them. This will be one less thing for you to worry about, and you can relax trusting that the speeches will be great, and not to mention New!

6.Plan the day before

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Just like you plan every detail of your wedding day, plan the day-before as well, and you will find things progressing smoothly. There are a number of things that you should do on the day before your wedding. This includes setting out your dress and accessories, checking on your bridesmaids and vendors, finishing last-minute arrangements and finding time to relax. The day before can be very stressful, as there will be many arrangements to attend to. So, rather than go through the day attacking things as time allows, create a checklist and it will save you a lot of stress. List all the tasks for the day, and schedule in time for each of them. Also add some buffer time, so you can catch up on any last-minute needs, or finish off tasks that take longer than anticipated. Most importantly, you must find time to relax, catch your breath and sleep well on this day. So, if you have your rehearsal dinner on the day before your wedding, make sure you wind it up in time to get home and rest well. We also suggest that you take a look at this previous post of ours, and plan the day before your wedding day based on it.

7.Plan the day-after

You won’t believe us when we say that your wedding day will be over before you know it. Despite all that intense planning and the hundred things you took time to perfect, you will find your wedding day fleeing by. Before you know it, your wedding day will flee, and it will be time to busy yourself with what has to be attended to after the wedding. Make sure to relax and find time to dwell on the memories of your special day, while you can still remember it, by planning a relaxed and laid-back day-after. While planning the your wedding day details, also find time to sort out the things that should be done soon after the wedding. You will have to send your wedding dress to the dry cleaners, pay wedding vendors and do things like taking home the gifts you received at the venue. We think that this suggestion on the GalTime blog of making arrangements for a late hotel-checkout and booking a car service to the airport, is very sensible. It will allow you to relax before you go for your honeymoon. Make arrangements for these activities in advance, and you will not have to buzz around after the wedding worrying about them. Instead, you can enjoy time with your spouse.

8.Tackle things as early as possible

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The days leading up to your wedding will be chock-full of tasks. It may be tempting to put aside some of them for later, so you can relax a bit. But, remember that the pile is just going to grow. As long as there are pending things to complete, you cannot relax. So, do everything in small installments, as and when possible. It is productive to create a list of tasks you must handle, and cross them out as you complete them. Not only will this give you a feeling that you have made progress, it will also get things done faster. One thing you can start with before the wedding is, writing your thank you notes. This is easier to do bit by bit, than when you attempt it in a single go. Start writing your thank you notes as and when your gifts arrive, and it will take you less time to complete. You may even find it relaxing and enjoyable. This previous post on how to write your thank you notes may be useful for you.

9.Choose assistants for everything

Wedding planning can be exhausting, when you attempt to do it all by yourself. Always asking the same person for help may also affect the overall productivity. The better option is to ask the right people to assist you with each relevant aspect. Working with different teams will allow you to relax and enjoy the experience better. You will have family and friends who are eager to help with the wedding. So, take a short while to think of who could best assist you with each aspect of the wedding, and ask them for their help. If one bridesmaid is particularly organized and systematic, she can help you plan the logistics of ordering, altering and getting your bridesmaids dresses delivered on time. If you have a friend who has a great taste in colors, prints and patterns, she can assist you in choosing the right wedding colors, prints and patterns for your décor. So, find out each person’s strengths and make the most of it, so your wedding planning is less hectic.

10.Have a go-to person who knows just as much about the wedding as you do

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Trust us, this is a huge stress-buster. This could be your mother, Maid of Honor or even wedding planner. The person you choose for this role should know everything about the wedding, just as much as you do, so they can be the alternate point of contact. You can direct people to this person, whenever needed, and you can focus on other tasks instead. This article on the Bridal Guide also suggests that you hand over your cell phone to this person on your wedding day, so she can do a complete job of handling any last-minute needs from the vendors or guests.

Hopefully, these tips will reduce the stress on the days leading up to the wedding, and on the day itself. Every bride will have moments where she is overwhelmed with worry and bothers that things will not go as per plan. Should this happen to you, just relax, take a deep breath, and take a look at the big picture. Everything will then fall into place.

For more wedding day tips and advice, and for all your wedding shopping needs, keep visiting Best for Bride—your one-stop destination for all needs bridal. We have everything from bridal dresses to attires for the wedding attendants, party favors, décor, wedding cakes, invitations and more to help you plan the perfect wedding day.

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5 Tips to help you plan a big wedding

So, you’ve begun the challenging job of cutting your 300+ something guest list short, and it doesn’t look like most of the people are going out of it. What do you do?

You have a big wedding!

Well, it wouldn’t be true if I said that it was no big deal, but throwing a big wedding isn’t as impossible as it may seem. All you need are a few tips to start you off, and you will be soaring forward with your wedding plans in no time. So, what are you waiting for. It’s time to plan that big wedding you want, with this important advice.

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#1 Start with the guest list and plan your budget, and not the other way around

For a small wedding, the ideal approach is to fix your budget and then decide how much money goes where. Forget this for a big wedding. First plan your guest list. Then look at affordable venues that can accommodate this head count, and caterers who will serve a decent meal, without breaking your bank. Do your calculations along the way, and see what you end up with. If it is more than what you can afford, it may be time to look at vendors who charge less, or think again about what you want.

#2 Hire a professional planner

Small weddings are stressful enough, imagine perfecting the details for a large one! Unless you are a super-organized, cool-headed, planning perfectionist, planning the details of a big wedding can be huge stress. Hire a professional to take on the task, and it will be money well-spent.

#3 Ditch all that which isn’t necessary

Check out this wedding at A Practical Wedding Blog.  The sensible couple left out centerpieces, by opting for an informal buffet style reception. With this arrangement, there was no need for elaborate floral arrangements on the tables. Instead, they splurged on the caterer who supplied a delicious spread and also hired an amazing band that kept the huge wedding party on their toes.

#4 Make sure you hire an experienced vendor

Don’t sign a contract unless your vendor has previously worked with a party just as big as yours. The same goes for the venue you choose. Can it accommodate so many people? Do they have enough bathrooms, so your guests won’t spend all day in a queue to the loo? Check out these details before confirming.

#5 Keep your calm and let some things go

It may seem impossible at times, but just remember that all this is definitely worth the effort. You will be surrounded by everyone you always wanted at your wedding. So, who cares if you couldn’t gift them personalized favor bags, or you had to make do with a simple cake with no fancy flavoring! Everyone’s had a bash in the end, and your memory will forever be remembered. Isn’t that worth it?

Find a splendid wedding dress for your big wedding at Best for Bride, and also look through our services for affordable options that will help you sort out your wedding shopping at an affordable price.

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7 things you should know before you start planning your wedding

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When you are just engaged and about to embark on the interesting, but challenging task of wedding planning, it’s funny how everyone seems to share wedding planning advice. Well, it is the first time you will be planning something of this magnitude, and so you deserve some well-intended help. You may obtain some very useful information, and then again there is the occasional chance of hearing something totally unexpected or even bizarre. Nevertheless, there are always some things that most brides wish they’d known while they were planning their wedding, but had to tackle as an unexpected and usually challenge.

While it is impossible to foresee everything that will happen on your big day, it helps to prepare for whatever is possible. Plan for everything, collate all the information you can possibly obtain, and execute it with gusto—you can then enjoy every expected and unexpected challenge that wedding planning throws at you.

Here is a list of ten things that every soon-to-be bride should know, before she starts wedding planning. Check it out.

1.Checklists are your friend

Wedding planning is a complex task, and you are probably doing it for the first time ever. There are hundreds of details to plan, tasks to handle and arrangements to make. It is only human to make errors and miss out on certain things , when planning everything.

The easiest way to stay on track is to turn to checklists for help. Divide up every wedding aspect into an individual project and create checklists of tasks to be completed for each of them. This will help you organize your time better, sort out tasks based on their priority and most importantly, make sure that you do not miss anything when planning your wedding.

You can always take the trusted pen-and-paper route for planning your checklists, or if you are a tech-savvy bride, use a tool that will help you manage it efficiently. Evernote is a handy option to keep track and manage your lists with precision on your digital devices.

Now, for the checklists that you will require, you can find a comprehensive checklist on Real Simple. This is divided based on the time by which you should accomplish each task. You may also like to take a look at this interactive checklist on Brides.com. This can be customized to meet your individual needs.

2.When choosing vendors, only go with those you are most comfortable with

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If there is one task that you have to research well, it is choosing your vendors. From your photographer to florist, you will have several options. The important thing is to remember that none of them will be the same. In fact they’ll each be as distinct as you can possibly expect. Every vendor is different in the way they approach their work, in how they interact with customers and how experienced they are in handling specific tasks.

You will be interacting with your vendors a LOT! So, don’t make the mistake of settling for someone who you aren’t comfortable with, right from the start. The personality of the person you have to work with will affect the way you feel about that aspect of your wedding. So, dig a little deeper than just trying to get the cheapest deal. Don’t just go with what others have to say about the vendor you have shortlisted. Don’t hesitate to ask for portfolios, samples or explanations, as is necessary in each case. It is also wise if you do not make assumptions, but clarify your doubts outright, so you can be certain that you and your vendor are on the same page. If you feel that the vendor you speak to doesn’t understand your vision, or cuts you off saying that what you want is impractical, don’t let it be and comply with what they have in mind instead. Keep looking. After all, it is your wedding and there will be someone who can get you what you want, or at least the closest to what you have in mind.

Don’t forego this part even if you are working with a friend or family as your wedding vendor. However close they may be to you, you do not want anything ruining your wedding. So, make sure that you are one hundred per cent comfortable with the decision you make, and you will not regret it later.

3.Disagreements are a given evil

You will be touching several details during your wedding planning, and it is only natural to hit a roadblock once in a while. You may disagree with your parents, partner, vendor or even bridesmaids on some factor or the other. Everyone will have expectations and opinions. Your maid-of-honor may condemn the color you choose for the bridesmaids dresses or your friends may try to convince you that a DJ is a better choice than a live band. If your parents or to-be in-laws are paying for part of your wedding, it is only natural that they will expect to have a say in it. You may also have friends or relatives who may pressurize you into handing over a wedding task to them, when you prefer hiring a professional for the same. There is no easy way out, and you should realize where to draw the line. Accept that there will be disagreements along the way, and you may have to reject suggestions that you simply cannot take.

It is impossible to please everyone, or you wouldn’t have the wedding YOU want! Be prepared to say No when necessary, and it will be a lot easier to handle. As a bride, one of the most difficult tasks is to recognize when it is more important to go with your choice and when it is another opinion that would be a better choice in that situation. Our article on “How to Handle it when others try to take over your wedding” should give you some advice on how to tackle tricky situations in the best possible way. Don’t worry about what others may think of your wedding decisions. Finally, you will regret it if everyone had their way, but you didn’t get to do anything you wanted to.

4.Plan to spend on the most important things

There is no rule book that specifies how should get married. Like we said earlier, you will hear suggestions and receive advice. Nevertheless, it is your wedding, and you should get to pick what is important, so this day is special for you. Split your budget accordingly, and splurge on the things that are most important to you. Don’t worry about the rest.

Think of what you will find most memorable about your wedding day. If it is where it will be held, set aside the greater part of your budget for the venue and décor. If it is how you look, it should be your wedding outfits and accessories. If both of you favor food, make sure the wedding menu is given due importance. If you have a penchant for the finer details, it could be the smaller things like your tableware, party favors and statement pieces that you should focus on. Some couples prefer to spend a major part of their budget on the photographer. If fashion photography or elaborate scenic settings are what you want, so be it.

5.Your wedding planning is hard work, irrespective of the style you choose

Whether you plan to host a casual or a formal wedding, it will be hard work either way. Remember that even though you needn’t choose the classic centerpiece flower design if you are having a casual affair, you will still have to decide what you want instead. Every decision has to be yours, and every single aspect arranged under your supervision. This simply means that you will need time, organization skills and effort to plan everything. We think wedding planning is a difficult task, as almost every married woman will agree. When you handle every aspect of it yourself, it becomes even more tedious. A wedding planner can relieve your stress to a considerable extent, and so every bride should at least consider a day-of planner to get some breathing space.

Wedding planners can direct you to the right vendors who can meet your requirements, and they can also follow-up and ensure everything moves as per plan. This in itself, is a huge stress-buster. Nevertheless, there is always a point in time when a bride suddenly feels overwhelmed and tends to buckle under wedding planning stress. The best way out is to realize the extent of effort that goes in and be prepared for it. Time is a valuable entity, so make sure you have plenty of time and divide your tasks so you have sufficient bandwidth to complete it all on time. Also, don’t forget to catch much wanted breaks, when you spend time away from everything that is wedding related.

6.Everyone has their own interpretation of terms

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Almost every term in wedding lingo is highly subjective. When you say romantic, you may have a color palette with peach, gold and gray in mind. You may envision your wedding to be at a casual, romantic outdoor setting such as a resort or garden. At the same time, the same term may give your mother an entirely different idea. She may consider your getting married to your prince charming in fairy tale style romantic. She may expect it to be held in an elaborate ballroom setting, with a four course plated meal to complete it in classic style. The same goes for your dress selection, choice of wedding cake, entertainment and almost every other aspect of your wedding.

In the world of weddings, a word that is thrown around a lot is “classic.” Take a look at this page on the Knot, with some Real classic wedding examples.  You will soon see how one couple’s idea of classic, is entirely different from another. So, the term classic can mean anything by itself.

So, make sure that you elaborate on what you mean, wherever necessary. Specify what you mean, especially to your vendors, instead of using vague terms or those that are prone to varying interpretations. If you have pictures to convey your ideas, that is the best option of all. When the concerned person can see what you mean, there is no scope for confusion. You can thus be certain that you will get exactly what you envisioned.

7.You will have to spend a lot of time reading terms and conditions

Once you shortlist your vendors, it is necessary to sign contracts with all of them, so the terms and conditions of service are documented. This will ensure that both of you know what is expected, and it is done properly. Unfortunately, many couples simply sign the vendor contracts that are drawn up by the vendors themselves, without really going through it in detail. This can cause many unexpected hassles on the day of the wedding.

For example, you may not have noticed the part where your photographer’s contract mentions that you will have to pay extra for every extra hour he spends at your wedding, or that he will be available only for so many hours. Imagine running up a bill that goes beyond what you anticipated, or worse, not having a photographer for the crucial exit moment of your wedding!

Make sure that you read every single sentence on your vendor contract, and have it modified to meet your needs, so you actually get what you expected to. If you are unclear about any of the terms, make sure to ask and clarify before approving it. You can always negotiate and discuss the terms and modify the contract, before you sign it. This will save misunderstanding later, and also allow you to make alternate arrangements when required.

At Best for Bride, we can help you realize your vision of the perfect wedding and help you plan every single detail to perfection. Visit our store online and check out the various wedding services we offer. Trust us to make your wedding dreams come true

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8 helpful tips to help you enjoy your wedding day

After months and months of tedious planning, organizing and anticipation, your wedding day is finally here.

“Poof!” Before you even know it, it’s over!

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How familiar does this scenario sound? Check with the married women you know. We are sure that the majority of them will agree that their wedding was a haze of activity, and they hardly had time to notice and enjoy the details that they meticulously planned and put together. Let this be a lesson learned. If you are a bride planning your wedding soon, make sure that you enjoy your big day to the fullest, and we have the tips to help you make sure you do. So, let us get started.

1.Be calm and stress-free

Easier said than done, we know! There are many details to get right, timing constraints to meet and so many people involved in your wedding. So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself agonizing on how everything will progress, and if it will be hassle-free. In fact, you may find yourself pondering over this days before your wedding, and trust us it can cause a lot of stress. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be stressed out and unable to enjoy it due to worry.

The best way to overcome stress is to be organized with your wedding planning from day one. Treat your wedding like a project, with specific details and plans for every task and sub-task. Set aside a diary or calendar to include everything you want about your wedding. Or, if you are tech-savvy bride, turn to the digital domain to plan and organize your wedding tasks. Do everything well ahead of time, so you are prepared for every situation and have every aspect in place well before the wedding day. Make sure you mark your calendar with when to follow up with each vendor, check on the bridesmaids duties and other details. Also, set aside some buffer time to accommodate any last minute changes to plan.

If you have an organized approach to your wedding planning, it will be a lot easier. Nevertheless, don’t forget to add in plenty of time for relaxation exercises, meditation and most importantly, “Me-time” free from any wedding planning, so you can unwind and relax on a regular basis. You can find some really good tips on how to handle wedding planning stress in our articles here and here. Trust us when we ask you to take it seriously, it will go a long way in keeping you sane.

2.Get a wedding planner

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A wedding planner may cost you a notable chunk of your wedding budget, but it is money well-spent if you are a bride who is easily overwhelmed with planning and organizing events. Remember that your wedding is a big occasion, the challenges of which you may not be able to fathom. As you are a novice to wedding planning, you may find it eating into your time and energy, and causing stress. Check out all the brides on Wedding Bee complaining about how frustrated the feel about managing every detail of their wedding themselves.  Don’t make the same mistake. Delegate at least part of it, if not all the wedding planning to someone who is capable of it. If you cannot afford a full-time planner, at least consider a day-of-planner, so you can breathe easily on the day of your wedding.

A professional wedding planner has experience organizing every detail of a wedding, and can eliminate a lot of confusion that you may otherwise face. Last-minute changes can drive brides nuts, but with a wedding planner, everything can be managed in the nick of time. Following up with vendors, making sure they are where they should be, checking if things are running as per schedule, managing conflicts and giving you valuable wedding advice—yes, we say hire a wedding planner, and you will thank yourself for it!

3.Delegate most of the responsibilities to friends and family

The last thing you want on your wedding day is to keep checking if your bridesmaids are dressed on schedule and at the venue on time, whether the flowers are where they should be, whether the guests arrive at the venue without any hitches, or the caterers are setting up the food as per plan. Unfortunately, brides end up with a tight schedule on their wedding morning, because of managing all these details. They can easily lose track of time and the result is that they fail to enjoy the important moments as they should. Our advice is to delegate each and every one of these tasks to people who can handle it, and stay out of their way. I am certain that you will have many friends and relatives who are eager to help. So, distribute these responsibilities among them. Let your Maid-of-Honor be in charge of the bridesmaids, a family member in charge of the flowers, one of your friends responsible for overseeing the catering team, the groomsmen in charge of coordinating the guests and your parents responsible for things at home.

All you need to make sure is that the person handling the task is reliable and capable of doing the necessary task with gusto. Provide them with explicit instructions of what they are expected to, and just let it go from your list of tasks.

When you delegate these responsibilities to different people well-ahead of time, you will have to be contacted only if there is an unexpected emergency. This will take a huge burden off your neck, and you can relax and find more time to enjoy on your wedding day. Check out this quick thread on delegating tasks at A Practical Wedding website. The brides here made the most of the help offered by their friends and family, and did it in such a fun manner. You may also be able to borrow an idea or two and enjoy the process, the same way.

4.Be prepared for every scenario and don’t let anything spoil your mood

Wedding day disasters do happen, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world. Although you may cringe at the very thought of such an issue, remember that you should prepare for it, and you will later not regret it. A bridal emergency kit is an absolute must-have and will come to your rescue in most cases. Visit this link to find out how to make your own or buy one. This will help you tide over most wedding day dress mishaps.

As for the other snags that may happen, don’t dwell on it too much and mentally prepare yourself to let it go. Don’t lose perspective of the big picture by obsessing over small details that will be insignificant in the long run. Should an unexpected issue crop up at the last minute, just think of the easiest fix for it at the moment, and don’t worry too much about it. Consider that most of the things that go wrong will be noticed only by you, so give it only the importance it deserves.

Still feel like you need some reassurance? Here’s this interesting article on The Bustle, that details 9 things that can go wrong at your wedding. It pretty much covers everything, but we like the practical solutions they have suggested for each of them. Go through it, and you will find nothing that happens on a wedding day, is as severe as it seems at the time.

5.Plan your wedding day morning so you have plenty of time

Your wedding day is a day that you deserve to enjoy. But, finding time for it is crucial. So, limit your activities and schedule only those that are absolutely necessary into your time-line, so you can relax and savor every moment. Wake up early, and start the day on a fresh note. Begin with exercise, meditation or a long soak in the tub. Refreshing yourself in this manner, will uplift your spirits and help you feel confident that you can handle the day ahead.

Dressing for your wedding will take you time, so schedule in more than just the required minimum for every task. If you have already had a hair and makeup trial, you should have a fair idea of how long it will take you to get dressed on the day of your wedding. Our suggestion is to add an extra hour to this time, just to be on the safe side. Get everything you need for your wedding day ready the day before. Also, supply necessary instructions to the wedding party on the day before the wedding, so you needn’t bother with the details on the day itself, and can put this time to better use. This article on the things you need to do the day before your wedding will guide you in this direction.

6.Make sure you have all your meals and are well hydrated

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Food and water may be the last thing on your mind in the rush leading up to your wedding. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in ensuring your well-being. With all the nervousness and excitement of the wedding running high, you can quickly feel light-headed and dizzy. When you carry on without eating properly, you may feel hungry and without energy as the day progresses. This can take away all the fun of enjoying your day. So, don’t skip your meals.

The best way to ensure you have your food is to designate time for it in your wedding day schedule, and you won’t have to worry about finding time for it. Plan your wedding day meals in advance, so it is quick and simple, but capable of keeping you energetic and fueled. Meals that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates are the best. It is equally important that you stay hydrated throughout the day. Stick with your regular intake of liquids, so your skin and eyes look fresh and glow.

If you aren’t sure of what you should be having on your wedding day, we recommend that you check out this fantastic article on Byrdie.com. Here, fitness expert Jessica Sepel, provides valuable tips on what to eat on your wedding day. This should cover all your bases.

7.Put aside all tech gadgets and attend only necessary calls

We know how impossible it is to get anywhere without our phones, tablets and other digital devices. Let your wedding day be different. Remember that once you open your social media accounts, or just decide to check your mails, you may become engrossed in it and lose precious time. So, stay away from all electronics on the day of your wedding. You may feel tempted to thank your friends and well-wishers for their wedding day wishes right away, but curb the temptation. It can wait till after the wedding, and they anyway know you are busy and don’t expect you to reply right away.

The same goes for your cell phone. Put it aside, even disconnect it. Or hand it over to someone like your mother or maid-of-honor. On your wedding day, the only calls you should be attending are those from your wedding planner. Anything else can wait, or can go through someone else. If you want to click a few selfies on the day of your wedding, definitely go ahead with it, but after that put your phone away.

Turn off your mobile and all other gadgets before you go to bed the night before your wedding, and you will be surprised at how calm your day is and how much more time you suddenly seem to have.

8.Don’t forget to take it all in

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If you want to remember the most important moments of your wedding day, make sure that you spend a minute or two taking it all in. On your wedding day, share a few minutes with your parents and capture that moment in memory. During the ceremony, spend an extra minute just to look around and enjoy the scene. Have a proper look at your bridegroom when he first sees you, and burn it into your memory. Enjoy your wedding photo shoot and live in the moment. Make sure that you have these deep happy moments to recollect later and remember your wedding day by. It will not feel as though it passed too soon, when you do.

For more wedding tips and advice, continue visiting us on Best for Bride.

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Plan your wedding after picking your top priorities

Your wedding plans depend on the amount of money you are ready to spend. With thousands of big and small details to look at, it is often difficult to determine what deserves more attention than the other.

If you are like most couples, your wedding may be the first occasion when you plan a party, so huge. So, it certainly isn’t easy. If you enlist the help of a wedding planner, you will receive very useful guidance on this front. This is because they are professionals, who have practice planning on a budget. Additionally, when working with a wedding planner, you don’t end up with nasty shockers like mentioned on this APW article, where something turns out to be twice the price you anticipated. One or two such instances, and all your budgeting goes for a toss. Nonetheless, wedding planners come at an added price, and not every couple can afford them.

In such a scenario, the easiest way is to prioritize what is most important to you, and plan your budget around it. Pick three priorities, allocate funds to these first, and then decide how to distribute the rest of your budget.

Take a look at this list, and choose the three most important things you want for your wedding from it. Once you do, you can divvy up your budget to accommodate the remaining details.

Dream venue and décor

Are you open to looking at various venue options, or do you have your heart set on a single location? All-inclusive wedding packages cover everything at a reasonable price, but do you want everything customized with the added price tag? Are you particular on a specific color palette, seating arrangement, or centerpiece design? If so, set aside a chunk of your budget for all this.garden-550991_1280

 

Menu and bar

Must you have a classic five-course plated meal, or will a buffet do? Do you want an open bar, or serve custom drinks only? Do you want your wedding to be remembered for the food and drinks you served, or is it just one of the other things at your wedding? Hiring local vendors and customizing your menu around seasonal dishes can reduce your food bill, if serving gourmet fare isn’t very important, to you.

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Entertainment and photography

Wedding entertainment, in many cases, is what makes a reception a hit or miss. Here, you have to weigh the price of a live band against a DJ, consider the cost of games and hiring special entertainers for children. Similarly, do you want a particular professional photographer to cover your wedding, even if it means he charges twice as much as the others in the area?

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Flowers, centerpieces, wedding cakes and favors

If you are prepared to try out various floral combinations, you may get a better deal. Similarly, how important is having exquisite centerpieces? As for favors, do you want to gift expensive one-of-a-kind favors, or is it enough to choose a keepsake, without a hefty price attached to it? In the cake department, how important is customizing it with very specific details? Or can you work with the best packages on offer?

 

bouquet-603738_1280Dresses for the couple

The wedding dress is expensive. Do you want to buy it brand new, or is it better to rent your dress, or even use mom’s dress, and save the rest of the money for something more important to you? The same goes for the groom too. If you plan on keeping the dress, figure in the cost of professionally preserving it as well.

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Visit our bridal gallery on Best for Bride, and find wedding dresses in all budgets for your big day. We make the decision much easier for you.