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Four Steps to Writing the Perfect Wedding Speech and Amaze Your Audience [Step-By-Step Guide]

Outdoor wedding reception

Voicing a speech isn’t easy. Even if it’s the wedding of your BFF, be sure to experience moments of total stress. But worry not; even the most experienced speechwriters can’t entirely suppress the feeling of stress and anxiety. Public speaking is pure art, especially when it comes to a wedding

You might know to whom you address the speech, on the one hand. Perhaps, you are as thick as thieves and share the most cringy and simultaneously the best moments of your lives.

On the other hand, though, you are not going to deliver a speech to the couple only but to a banquet hall filled with distant relatives, guests, and other family friends. And suffice it to say that some moments can’t be revealed. So what can you tell, and overall, how can you come up with a top-notch speech? Professionals from the writing service point out a step-by-step guide to help you deliver the most outstanding and moving wedding speech of all time.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

A bridal shower is a much-anticipated pre-wedding event for brides, where she gathers with her bridal party and closest female friends and family members to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Tamer than a bachelorette party, many bridal showers take place during the day (some over a long weekend) and involve light drinking, eating, and sometimes a spa day or other fun event, like shopping. 

The bridal shower that we know today originated in Holland in the 16th Century, an offset of the dowry system, where the family of the bride had to pay her husband to marry her. For poor brides, who couldn’t afford to marry, friends and sometimes distant family members would chip in and pay for her dowry. 

Comprehensive Guide to Online Bridal Shower Showers

Today, at least in Western society, bridal showers serve a broader purpose. Marriage usually changes the dynamics of friendships and familial relationships, so bridal showers are a great way for her friends and family to spend more time with the bride before her priorities shift towards her husband and their family. Proving that old traditions die hard, brides today are still often showered with expensive gifts or cash that can enhance or contribute to her wedding day. 

Unfortunately, the social landscape is looking a little different right now, due to social distancing guidelines. Many brides aren’t comfortable throwing large, lavish gatherings while Covid-19 ravishes our world, without a vaccine in sight. Thankfully, this doesn’t have to mean that they don’t get to have their bridal shower, they just have to get creative and throw a virtual bridal shower. Keep reading for our comprehensive guide on how to have an online bridal shower. 

What is a Virtual Bridal Shower

A virtual bridal shower is simply a bridal shower that takes place online. Coronavirus is a great excuse to move the festivities into a digital space, but virtual bridal showers didn’t crop up only this year – brides have been going virtual for years. 

Thankfully, it’s super easy and convenient to throw a virtual baby shower. While you’ll have to forgo or modify some of the group activities, it’s still possible to have a fun bridal shower online. 

Bridal Shower online

Why should you throw a bridal shower?

The main reasons that brides went virtual, before 2020, were because of distance and expenses. If a bride had a wedding party that was spread out over the country, they’d have to incur an expense to fly once the wedding date arrived.  It might have been too much to also ask them to come out of pocket to travel to their wedding shower, so the bride just decided to go virtual. This allowed her friends and family to still get in an extra celebration before her big day, without putting more of a financial strain on them.

Right now, limiting the spread of Covid-19 is also an excellent case for any bride who’s considering having an in-person bridal shower. 

What to do if you’re not Tech Savvy

When throwing a virtual bridal showr, it’s crucial that the person in charge knows the in’s and out’s of any platforms they’ll use to facilitate it. The last thing you want is for your video to be cut out or your audio to stop working in the middle of your festivities.  

It will already be a little bit harder to keep everyone’s energy up over video chat, so you don’t want anything to bring down the mood.  Therefore, it’s important for the host to do a test run before the actual shower to make sure everything will run smoothly. Stick to platforms you’re already familiar with using and make sure that all of the attendees also know how they work. 

How to host a Virtual Bridal Shower

Prep

The excitement of a wedding makes planning things like a bridal shower a lot of fun, but don’t be fooled the prep stage is mandatory! The only way that the bridal shower will be successful is if everyone involved is informed of the itinerary and able to coordinate, in advance. 

Key things to plan in advance- 

The Date of the Bridal Shower: 

Choose a date when the majority of the group will be able to give the event their full attention. An online bridal shower might not last quite as long as an in-person one, but attendees should at least have a few hours to set aside for it. 

Video Chat App: 

Make sure it’s easy to use, easy to access, and also make sure you’re prepared to pay whatever fee may come with it (though there are free options). Zoom calls, for example, are only free for the first 40 minutes. After that, there is a fee. You don’t want to run into any hiccups during the bridal shower, so make note of details like this during this phase.

Bridal Registry :

Many brides will want to open her gifts on camera, during the bridal shower, so it’s important that her guests know what store she’s registered at, in plenty of time.

Invitations: 

Make sure to send invitations to each person that the bride wants at her bridal shower. This usually will include every member of her wedding party and certain women from her and the groom’s families.

Bridal Showers

Video Platform Options

There are many options available to host the video chat over. Each comes with pros and cons. Here’s a little bit of information about the most popular ones: 

Zoom 

Zoom has skyrocketed in popularity since the pandemic set in, but it’s not just for people working from home. It’s also a great option for bridal showers if you’re willing to pay. The free users can only chat with up to 100 people for 40 minutes. After that, you have to pay. That aside, Zoom allows users to set virtual backgrounds, which might be fun for guests. 

Skype

Skype is a tried and true video chat platform that has been around for years. Most people are already familiar with it and probably have an account. Skype is also free to use, though you should know it only allows 50 participants at a time. 

Facebook

Facebook is also free to use. There’s no limit on participants, but there’s no link for you to share, so everyone will just have to jump on at the same time. It’s not the best choice if you want to keep the event private, because Facebook uploads the video to your timeline once the session ends. 

How to set up the Registry

Some brides might just let their bridal party freestyle their gifts, but for those who want a registry, there are many options out there!

5 Registry Suggestions:

The Knot

The Knot is a  universal registry that lets you add literally any item to your wedding registry from any site. It also lets you create cash funds for everything you can imagine. From puppy adoption to honeymoon contributions, and more. The transaction fee is only 2.5 percent – one of the lowest in the industry.

My Registry 

My Registry allows you to add items from any of your favorite stores. You can add a gift fund for travel experiences and also manage your list with your smartphone. 

Williams Sonoma 

Williams Sonoma allows you to add gifts from Pottery Barn and West Elm. You can make a free, private appointment with one of their registry specialists to get one-on-one guidance. You can also get free gifts and 10%  off for six months! 

Amazon

Amazon is, naturally, one of the most-used registries in the world. Any of its millions of items can be added to the list. Plus, there are some pretty sweet perks too! The bride and guests can both earn up to 5% when using the Amazon Prime Store Card. There are also options for group gifting, gift financing, and more! 

Wayfair 

Wayfair lets brides save 20% for six months on anything that’s still available on the registry. Brides can also receive free gifts when guests purchase qualifying products. There’s also an option to send thank you notes. 

An online platform for having a virtual shower on such as WebBabyShower makes it easy by allowing users to link to registries like Amazon and Target.

Bridal Shower

Gift Ideas

When thinking of gifts for a bridal shower, think of things that will bring the bride comfort. Soft plush robes, bed linens, and scented candles will always be a great option. You can also purchase things that will help to populate her home with her spouse, such as dinnerware, picture frames, and vases. Books and chocolates, which the bride enjoys, are also great gifts. Note: some gifts, such as gag gifts, might not go over as well with a virtual bridal shower. 

Invitations

Invitations are usually a focal point of the planning stage, but the bride may not feel like she needs elaborate, paper invitations for an online bridal shower. Even if she opts for electronic invitations, they should still be formal and relay the tone of the shower (unless it’s informal). A few services that can be used are Evite, Paperless Post, and Canva. Within the invite, be sure to include a link to the bridal shower registry. Platforms such as WebBabyShower have a built-in invitation system. 

Theme Ideas 

By the time it’s time to plan the bridal shower, everything for the wedding ceremony should already be set up. To save time, you can match your bridal shower theme to your wedding theme. 

Or, you can come up with something else entirely. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from the seasons. For example, during Fall you can incorporate lots of oranges, and reds into your decor. Or, you can base the theme on one of the bride’s hobbies, such as traveling. 

Dress Theme 

Attire might not be quite as important at a virtual bridal shower, but the bride can still dress up if she chooses. The Knot compiled a list of styles that are popular among brides of today. 

Food 

Many brides opt to have everyone eat the same foods at the same time to create a sense of togetherness. Things like cupcakes, sandwiches, fresh fruit, and wine are easy items that every guest will be able to acquire, prior to the shower. 

If you have specific food items, like a special cookie with the bride and groom’s initials, then you should make arrangements to have them delivered within a day of the bridal shower. 

Games

Games will be a big focal point of a virtual bridal shower. The point of the gathering is for the bride and the attendees to have fun, and having the shower online shouldn’t cut into that. Be sure to set aside an hour or two just for the games portion. 

As for the games, there are a ton of free trivia games that can be played over a video chat. You can also make a game out of trying to find out who knows the bride the best! Make sure to form this game around questions about her upbringing, college days and the dating stage between her and her groom – just keep the questions PG. Gift Bingo is also a fun option! 

On The Day Of The Bridal Shower

On the morning of the bridal shower, you can decorate the bride’s background with flowers and garland – or anything to make things feel extra festive. The guests can also decorate their own backgrounds, but if things are supposed to be coordinated, make sure their decor was sent to them ahead of time. 

Next, you should set up the video chat and make sure it’s working properly.

 A couple of hours before, ping the guests to remind them to check their own tech.  You should also take this time to prepare any food on the bride’s end that will be involved in the big day. The guests are responsible for preparing their own food. 

 Once the bridal shower kicks off, make sure that the guests are aware of the itinerary. Every bridal shower will include different activities and run at different schedules. Just make sure everyone knows the plan. 

When it’s time to eat, make sure that everyone has options within their own space. If someone forgot or wasn’t able to get the group food, let them eat what they have on hand. What matters most is that everyone is eating together. You can lightly scold them later for not being prepared, but don’t embarrass them in front of the group – or the bride. 

If you’ve scheduled a group activity, like a virtual spa day, then make sure everyone knows that, while generally safe, anything broadcast online can be intercepted – so they may not be able to get as comfortable as they would, if they were relaxing in loungewear in someone’s home or hotel room. 

When it’s time for games, make sure that someone is tasked with keeping score and keeping the game rolling at an acceptable pace. 

If the bridal shower is to have a movie night, make sure everyone knows which platform you’re going to stream from so that everyone can sync up. 

The end of the bridal shower is the time for gifts. If the bride is comfortable, this will be the time when she opens her gifts on camera. It might seem like a small aspect, but her guests being able to see her face as she opens the gifts they bought her will mean a ton!

Afterward, the bride will probably give a sappy speech and thank everyone for gathering with her. Even if it’s not sappy, she should thank them for taking the time out of their schedule to celebrate her big day.  

Next up, the wedding! 

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10 questions and answers about junior bridesmaids

Brides often have a young cousin or a niece who isn’t old enough to be a bridesmaid, but is too old to fit into the role of a flower girl. When this girl is dear to the bride, she usually wants her in the wedding party, but may not be sure of what role to give her. Fortunately, there is a perfect role to honor these not-so-little girls with, and it is “Junior Bridesmaid!”

If you have already chosen one or more junior bridesmaids, or intend to have them at your wedding, here is a list of all the things you need to know.

The bridesmaids

Image Credits: Adam Red, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]

1.How old does someone have to be to be a junior bridesmaid?

Anyone who fits the description of big girl, but is not yet a grown up woman, can be a junior bridesmaid. It is usually a role suitable for girls aged between 9 and 15. This role is perfect for girls from either your family or your groom’s, or for young girls who you are very fond of and would love to include in your wedding. Think back and you will realize how you wouldn’t have been too pleased to be a flower girl when you were say 10 years old. The same goes for your junior bridesmaids. They may not be old enough to take up responsibility as a bridesmaid, but consider themselves too old to be a flower girl. So, this is the in-between role where they will be treated as a grown up girl, but the demands on them will be appropriate for their young age.

2.Does she also wear the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids?

This is left to your discretion, and depends on how the girl looks and feels. There are teenagers who prefer to dress much older. And then, there are others who look too young for their actual age. So, go with your intuition, and of course, consult the girl and her parents. This is very important, especially if the bridesmaids dresses are on the sexier side. If your bridesmaid dress choice is one that is suitable on women of all ages, and you can find one in her size too, go with it. Otherwise, you can choose a less complicated dress that matches the rest of the bridal party look and still looks good on her. Low-cut dresses and ones with long slits are not appropriate for a young girl, and her parents may not appreciate the idea if you choose to dress her in this on your wedding day. Either search for a dress in a matching or complementing color and design, or have a seamstress alter a bridesmaid dress to suit her. Simple changes like adding straps or moving the neckline up with an illusion design may render the same dress suitable for her age. The other option is to get a whole other dress made for her, that goes well with the rest of the wedding party attire. Just make sure that you consult her before you choose her look, and that she looks modest and feels comfortable in what you choose, and all will be well.

3.When do we buy her dress and from where?

It is better to get your junior bridesmaid’s dress closer to your wedding date, as these girls are at an age where drastic changes can alter their overall appearance in a matter of months. So, it may not be a good idea to shop for your junior bridesmaids dress, several months in advance when you buy the rest of the wedding party dresses. Don’t buy it before four or five months from your wedding day, and have it altered in the month leading up to the wedding to make sure it fits. Most bridal shops like Best for Bride will have Junior Bridesmaids dress collections, and you should be able to find ones that are similar to the bridesmaids dresses you choose from the same place. If you choose from the same collection and material, you should be able to find the exact shade for both your bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids dresses. Or, you can have your bridesmaid dress picked from the prom dress collection, if there is a suitable choice there. If nothing works, you can consider having her dress custom-made.

4.Does she get the rest of the accessories, hair and makeup like the other bridesmaids?

This is again an individual choice. It is up to you to decide how she ought to look. Although most girls would rather prefer to look more like the bridesmaids than flower girls, how you dress her is entirely your choice. You can give her a bridesmaid bouquet, like the rest of your wedding party. Or, you could have a miniature version made specially for her. Be practical when you decide how her hair and makeup should be done on the day. A simplified version of your bridal party’s overall look should be fine. You can also choose similar jewelry, flowers or other accessories for her, so she blends in well with the crowd. If your bridesmaids will all be trotting around in high heels, you may have to get a low-heel shoe for your junior bridesmaid unless she is old enough to handle it. This will help you avoid any unnecessary accidents on the day. Again, it is a good idea to match it to the overall look of your wedding party, but do not choose something that is not appropriate for her age.

5.Does she have to participate in the bridal shower and bachelorette party?

She may not be able to contribute to the bridal shower or bachelorette party (as she obviously won’t have the finances for the same). Nevertheless, she can be part of the planning, help with setting it up and even with the clean-up afterwards. If you have a wild girl’s night out planned for your bachelorette party, she wouldn’t be of legal age to participate in it. So steer clear of inviting her. If it’s an appropriate event for her to participate in, welcome her in. Remember that this would also depend on whether she is comfortable with the rest of the bridal party. So, use discretion and take your stand.

6.How can she help with the wedding planning?

You may have a brilliant helper who is eager to do all she can to make your life easy, or your junior bridesmaid may be a fussy and emotional little girl who is yet to grow up and act her age. Depending on how the situation is, you can decide how involved she should be in the wedding planning. A junior bridesmaid’s main role is to be part of the wedding procession, and so anything beyond that is up to you to decide. If she is interested in helping and hosting the bridal shower, you can ask the rest of your wedding party to include her in it. You can also have her on your list to run errands, help with setting up wedding favors, purchasing the things needed for your wedding or even accompanying you to your shopping or dress alteration sessions. Young girls are usually eager to help with the tasks that others may find boring. For example, she may be the right person to help you assemble your wedding favors or to stick your wedding invitations. So, give her the responsibility to handle this task, and she will appreciate being asked for her help with the wedding.

7.Is there a pre-wedding function that she should be involved in?

Like we said earlier, it isn’t necessary for your junior bridesmaid to attend your bridal shower or bachelorette party. However, she should be invited to the rehearsal dinner, since she is very much a part of the wedding day ceremony. This will help you prepare her for her role on the wedding day. Since you will be having a rehearsal of what will happen on the wedding day, at the rehearsal, make sure she is there for it and understands her role well.

8.Does she need an escort when she walks down the aisle, and is there anything to take care of if she has one?

No! Your junior bridesmaid doesn’t need an escort for when she walks down the aisle. Unless you have an extra groomsman who can accompany her, it isn’t necessary to find someone to join her. She can walk all by herself and precede the rest of the bridesmaids in the processional, or else you can pair her up with another bridesmaid. Of course, there is nothing wrong in pairing her with an escort, if you have a suitable person for the task. The other interesting option is to have her and another bridesmaid accompany a groomsman on either side. This is not commonly seen, and so will be an interesting addition. When planning whether she should be escorted down the aisle, you can simply think of how the pairing will look. If it will be cute, it is alright. If it looks off or you are worried it may not be suitable to pair her off with someone who is several years older than her, let her walk down the aisle herself and enjoy those two minutes when all eyes are on her. The other option is to have her stand in the receiving line, if that is the best thing for her.

9.What is her role on the wedding day?

Apart from being part of the processional, she really has no other particular responsibilities to handle on the wedding day. If your junior bridesmaid is eager to participate and would love to help, you can always handle her responsibilities that she is capable of handling. She can be involved in helping the guests be seated, giving out programs or can help handle the gifts you receive at the reception. She can also be in-charge of handing out little bags with confetti or bubbles that will be used when the couple make their exit. Basically, this depends on the attitude and personality of the girl. If she would rather enjoy the party and mind her own business, let her be. Although she is a junior bridesmaid, don’t expect the same from her as you would with your other bridesmaids.

10.What do I gift her?

Like the rest of your bridesmaids, your junior bridesmaids also deserve a small gift as a token of appreciation for their involvement in your wedding. Since they are much younger than the rest of the group, it may not be a good idea to get them the same gift as the rest of the girls. Even when you have more than one junior bridesmaid, it is good to get them individual gifts that match their personalities. Go with their age and their taste, and you are bound to find something they will appreciate. Set a budget and shop like you would for their birthday. You can always customize your gift with a monogram or in the theme colors of your wedding, if you prefer. Or, if you are in doubt, it is best to consult their parents and find out what would be an ideal gift. For older girls, you can even gift a voucher to their favorite store, so they can pick whatever they like. Generic gift suggestions that usually work include personalized jewelry like necklaces with a pendant matching the letter of their name or small monogrammed tote bags with a small extra like a bridal Barbie doll inside.

You now have all the necessary information you need to know about having junior bridesmaids in your wedding party. To choose the fantastic dress for these young girls, so they are a beautiful addition to your wedding party, visit our bridesmaids dress collection at Best for Bride. All the dresses featured above belong to this collection, and you can find even more fantastic dresses for your favorite young girls. Pick both your junior bridesmaids dresses and the rest of the attire for your wedding party from our fabulous bridal party collection and find the best deals possible.

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How to choose your bridal shower dress

With weddings come wedding showers, bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners. And, you have to be a ravishing bride who is the focus of the party, at all these celebrations. While your wedding dress may take months of research, shopping and fittings to perfect, you should also spare some attention to the dresses that you choose for the events leading up to the wedding.

There are certain factors that will help you choose a good bridal shower dress. So, join us as we find out what they are.

Keep it casual but elegant

via Best for Bride

 

Your bridal shower is a casual event. So, you can choose any dress that is semi-formal to casual, but make sure it is elegant and has some interesting details. Think of it as a dress that reflects your personal style, but is one that can impress. Keep it chic and consider going with the latest trends in color and design that will look good on you. Although you needn’t spend a fortune on it, remember that the money you spend on it is worthwhile as you can use it again in the future.

Dress for the weather and venue

Decide your outfit based on whether your bridal shower will be held indoors or outdoors, and whether it will be warm or cold at the time. For a garden party, floral dresses would be a stunning choice. If it is an indoor event, a monochromatic design, or one with vivid details would look good. Similarly, consider breezy lace dresses and cotton dresses in breathable fabric for summer and spring parties. If the weather is cool, choose satin, silk or wool blends that will keep you warm.

via Best for Bride

Match your dress to the theme

It is likely that your host will inform you of the theme of the party, if there is one, a few weeks in advance. Once you know what it is, choose a dress that will reflect the color palette and party theme. This way, you will look dressed for the part by choosing a matching dress. It also makes your job of shortlisting the right choices easier.

Accessorize to dress up or down

While your dress choice is important, the accessories you choose are also equally significant. If you think your dress is really simple, dress it up with bold statement jewelry and a pair of killer heels. If your dress is a star by itself, keep the accessories simple so it doesn’t steal focus from the dress. All the components should come together beautifully, and make you look fantastic. Try on your dress with the accessories you chose before the actual day, so you can decide whether you should make changes.

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As with any other wedding-related outfit, make sure that you choose a silhouette that suits your body shape. This is the best way to look fabulous. It is not about how a dress looks by itself, it is all about how well it looks on you. Go for colors that complement your skin tone and a pattern that shows off your best features and hides any trouble spots.

To find a dress that is perfect for your bridal shower, take some time to visit our splendid selection of dresses for every occasion at Best for Bride.