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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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5 tips to help you be a good bridesmaid

A bride greatly relies on her bridesmaids to make sure her wedding day runs smoothly. Nevertheless, not all bridesmaids realize the extent to which they are important in a wedding. If you have been asked to be a bridesmaid, it is a big honor, as the bride values your presence and participation in her wedding. So, don’t you think you ought to make sure you do not disappoint her?

Here, we bring you some tips on how you can make your friend’s wedding special by doing your job well. Let us take a look at them.

via Best for Bride

Be enthusiastic about the wedding

Getting married is a lifetime event, and a big deal for your friend. Feel happy for her, and make sure you are enthusiastic when she shares her dreams, fears and ideas for her big day. Your support will be very encouraging. Be there for her when she needs help with her wedding dress shopping, is worried about how things will turn out or is confused when she has to make a decision. Strive to make her wedding planning smooth by contributing ideas or offering to help when possible.

Be flexible and not a drama queen

So, your friend may choose a dress color that is not perfect on you. Don’t make a big fuss over it. Remember that it is her wedding and she expects you to go with what she chooses. If she is a good friend, it is unlikely that she will choose a dress that looks terrible on you. But, once you’ve agreed to be a bridesmaid, you should go with what she chooses, whether you like it or not.

Don’t be overbearing

You may have a ton of ideas and suggestions for your friend, but don’t try to take over her wedding. Remember that she has also been dreaming about her big day for a long time, and has a certain idea of how it should be. If she wants help with making decisions, offer them but don’t put her off by telling her that her plans sound terrible.

Don’t be too busy for your responsibilities

The bridesmaids have to be present when choosing their dresses, for the bridal shower and rehearsal dinner. Plan and organize your schedule so you do not miss any of the important wedding-related events. Try to make friends with the rest of the bridesmaids and co-ordinate with the maid of honor to understand your role and responsibilities. Get to your dress appointments on time and do your hair and makeup on the wedding day as instructed. Mark your calendar with the things you should be doing and polish your organizational skills so you handle your responsibilities to the best of your ability.

Keep the wedding planning information to yourself

Bridesmaids are usually the people who get to hear of all the wedding details first. You will know what your friend will be wearing, what the wedding color palette is and more. Stay loyal and don’t spread this information around. Your friend expects you to keep it a secret.

So, now you know what is expected of you and how to be a good bridesmaid. For more valuable wedding tips and advice, visit us on Best for Bride.

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10 steps to planning the perfect bridal shower

Ashley's Bridal Shower 2012
Image Credits: ceng design, via Flickr [CC BY 2.0]
Weddings are a big celebration, as it is one of the most important events in a couple’s life. However, it is not a one-day event, where everything starts and ends on the day of the wedding. There are many other occasions that build up the thrill and make the days leading up to the wedding, exciting for the couple and everyone else involved in their lives.

Just as the couple put in a lot of time and effort in planning their wedding, the bridesmaids are expected to do their part in hosting an interesting bridal shower. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task. Although it isn’t as complicated as planning the wedding itself, there is a certain amount of planning, organizing and managing that goes into it. If you haven’t hosted many parties before, or are trying your hand at a bridal shower for the first time, do not worry. This article will guide you through all that you need to know, to plan it like a pro. Let’s begin!

1.Surprise party or planned one

The first step in planning the bridal shower is to decide whether you want it to be a surprise or not. While some brides may be all for the surprise, and will enjoy what you plan, other brides are more conservative with their likes. These brides would appreciate advance notice about what to expect. You know your friend best, so go with what she would prefer. If she has plenty of ideas and has hinted at a theme that she would like, try to plan your party around her likes. After all, it is to celebrate the bride. Ask her who she would like at her party, whether there is a theme she would love and any other inputs. Then plan the bridal shower around these ideas. Nevertheless, don’t tell her everything about what you will be arranging. Instead, just tell her the date, time and venue, and leave her guessing about the rest.

2.When to start planning

The bridal shower is on your priority list of to-do’s as a bridesmaid. So, start preparing for it soon after your friend has asked you to be on her bridesmaids list. Start gathering ideas and making plans at least 3 months before the scheduled date, and set up a bridal shower calendar. Remember that your list of tasks should include the following, in more or less the same order:

  • fixing the budget for the party
  • compiling the guest list and collecting addresses
  • drafting, printing and sending out invitations
  • booking the venue or making reservations at the chosen location if the crowd is small
  • Collecting and compiling RSVPs and adjusting the guest list
  • choosing the menu and arranging food
  • arranging for decorations
  • planning bridal shower games, collecting necessary items to play them and buying prizes
  • pick up all that is needed to entertain the guests on the day
  • deciding and buying bridal shower favors for the guests
  • Decorating or overseeing the decorations and setup at the venue

Mark your calendar for when each of these activities are to be held. Since it is likely that you will be sharing these duties with the rest of the bridesmaids, you can split the responsibilities with them. Create a list of errands to be completed by each girl, and make sure you monitor everything is progressing as per plan, once you begin the process.

3.When to hold the bridal shower

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The bridal shower should ideally be held at least two weeks before the wedding date, so it doesn’t clash with any other appointments the bride may have. However, you shouldn’t plan it way ahead of the wedding. Anytime in the two months before the wedding is ideal, as the thrill of the wedding will be building up and this is the best time to host it. Nevertheless, consider other factors such as if the guests have to travel from far to attend the bridal shower. In this case, it may be a good idea to hold the shower closer to the wedding date, so it will be convenient for those who come from far. Just make sure you confirm with the bride, and fix the date accordingly.

4.Set the budget and create the guest list

First up, work with the rest of the bridesmaids and fix the budget for the party. You should have a rough idea of how big the party will be, to set a reasonable budget. So, consider this factor first. Now, move on to deciding the venue, planning the theme and budgeting for other party expenses within this amount. It is a good idea to hire the services of a professional photographer for the bridal shower. Figure this into the budget as well. Make sure you miss nobody, by asking the bride if you’ve missed anyone in your list. You cannot however ask the bride, if you have planned a surprise party. In this case, work with the rest of the bridesmaids, or ask her family to make sure you have all the important people on the list. Collect the contact information of all those who are to be invited, and make a separate list of those who have to travel from far or have to be informed early, so they can plan for it.

5.Book the venue and send out invitations

Next, finalize the venue and make the rest of the plans. This is also the time to decide if you will have to make reservations for the venue where the event is to be hosted. If so, finalize the date immediately and make sure to do the bookings on time. Simultaneously draft the bridal shower invitations. It should include all relevant details like the time, date, venue, an RSVP request and theme, if any. Apart from this, you may also like to include the registry information on the bridal shower invite, as it will help the bride get this information out to all the guests easily. You can even DIY the invites if you have the time and the skills to handle it. Send the cards out at least six weeks prior to the shower date.

6.Make food and drink arrangements

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Unless you have booked an all-inclusive package at the venue, you will have to decide on the menu for the party. Plan it according to the time, venue and weather. You do not have to offer a complete meal. Light snacks, soups and deserts are the norm for afternoon and evening parties. You may like to add some signature style dishes or innovative arrangements like a s’more bar or hot chocolate station, to make it more interesting. Keep the spread uncluttered, varied and interesting. If there are theme colors, plan food choices in matching colors. Create a schedule for the food stuff that you will be making, and place orders for those that you will be buying. If you will be serving cocktails or drinks, plan when you will go shopping for mixers, garnishes, ice cubes and all that will be necessary if you are hosting it at your home or doing the arrangements yourself.

7.Plan games and activities

Bridal shower games are not just entertainment. They are a must to help the guests break the ice. Check out our posts on fun bridal shower games here and here. Assuming that the guests at the party will belong to different age groups, it is a good idea to have a mix of both traditional games and recently trending ones, so everyone can participate. Also include games that will require the guests to be seated, and those for which the guests will have to be up and active, to keep it varied. Once you have a list of the games and activities that will be held, create another list of all that you need to buy or arrange. Then get down to collecting or creating it. If required, you can even hire an entertainer or an event planner to host the day’s activities, if you don’t want to do so yourself. You should also consider the music you will be playing on the day and have the play list ready in advance.

8.Get the party favors ready

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It is customary to send the guests home with a party favor from the event. It is up to you to decide what you would like to gift. It can either be edible favors like cookies, cakes or chocolates or non-edible keepsakes like compact mirrors, purses, key chains or coasters. You can even DIY or arrange for customized party favors that match the theme of the event you hosted. Use your imagination and get creative to make these party favors stand out. Green party favors are a trend that is not only environment-friendly, but practical as well. If you have to shop for the favors or place an order for it online, make sure you do it in time. Delivery of bulk orders can take anywhere from a week to a month or more. Some favors may require further assembly after you receive them, or some of them may have to be gift-wrapped. Figure out all these factors, so you have them ready in time for the party.

8.Get the arrangements in place, and buy the remaining items closer to the date

As the date of the shower approaches, make sure you have all the decorations ready, all the DIY tasks completed and your calendar set for when you will complete the last minute shopping. If you are holding the party at your house or at a location where you have access to before the day of the shower, you can start setting up in advance. The last-minute things to buy or collect will include flowers, food and drinks. The décor items should already be arranged for and collected in advance.

9.Create a special seat for the bride

Make sure that the bride’s seat is specially decorated or customized. You will also have to arrange for extra space to stash all the gifts she receives on the day. It is a good idea to also include a notepad or register to keep track of the gifts each person brought. Since there is a tradition of opening the gifts received at the shower on the day itself, keep a pair of scissors ready, to cut through the wrappers and a large trash can to contain all the gift wrap, once the gifts are opened. Also, don’t forget to buy your gift for the bride. You can collect funds from the entire bridesmaid group and get her a combined gift.

10.Prepare for the day

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Depending on how much time you will have on the day, plan your activities so that the area is set up on time. Create a checklist of everything that has to be done on the day, where everything has to be arranged and who is in charge of what. Pick up flowers, grocery and all that is to be collected on the day and set them in place. Dress yourself up for the event, and choose a dress that you will feel comfortable in, but look great in. Check all the equipment at the site before the function starts. Co-ordinate with the guests and make sure everyone remembers the time and where they should be.

With all these steps in place, you are now all set to host the perfect bridal shower, and enjoy it too. Organizing everything on time will help you ensure that everything progresses without any hassles, and you aren’t stressed out over it.

For more tips and wedding planning advice, continue visiting us at Best for Bride. Also, visit our online store to choose the perfect evening dress to wear on the big event you are in-charge of.