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Wedding ideas that were totally unexpected 10 years ago

Modern day weddings are no longer cookie cutter versions of the same thing. For there was a time when all the bridesmaids dressed in cotton candy dresses and couples cut towering cakes! Today, every wedding is unique in it’s own way.

Every couple has their own notions of the most important day in their life. They carefully plan every aspect of a wedding and personalize all the relevant details. Most couples are quite adventurous too and ready to take risks, so they can enjoy a memorable wedding day. Breaking rules is so common that there are hardly any rules left to break! The result? Every wedding is fresh and interesting, since we do not know what to expect till we are at the event.

Best for bride has catered to brides for over a decade. Since that time, we have closely observed everything in the wedding scene evolve. From wedding dresses to wedding décor and party themes, a lot of things changed over the years. While many of these were a slow transition, others were quick to appear on the scene. But the best thing about changing trends is that they make weddings unique and appealing.

Here are some of the trends we have seen over the years that were totally unexpected. I can safely say that these trends strike us as interesting because we never imagined them to gain such wide acceptance. Take a look!

The bride must wear white, or must she?

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Queen Victoria created the tradition of the divine, white wedding gown that symbolized virginity and purity. Although white is still a favorite with brides, it has many contenders. Every year, leading wedding designers bring out colored wedding dresses that tempt many a bride to embrace something other than white for her wedding day.

While the safe and favored choices include soft, muted shades of pink, blue and gray, there are also brides who do it big with bright and bold colors. And it isn’t just colors! Printed wedding dresses, dresses with colored appliques and huge, bold colorful designs are all present on the bridal fashion scene.

Bridal jumpsuits, trousers, the little white dress and more

Just as the traditional notion of brides in white wedding dresses found a replacement in colorful wedding gowns, so did traditional dress styles. The ball gown always fit the vision of a bridal dress. There was a time when no bride would be seen in anything but a billowing big meringue gown at her wedding. Later, brides chose to show off their style and natural curves in sheath and A-line dresses. And finally came the mermaid silhouette for brides who wanted to really flaunt their figure!

All these were gradual changes, but none of them prepared us for the big changes of the 2010’s and beyond. Little white dresses shared space with modular dresses, bridal pant suits and jumpsuits. These extremely unconventional wedding outfits heralded an new era in bridal fashion. Often seen at informal weddings and weddings featuring casual themes, these dress styles continue as the fashion-forward option for brides.

Casual wedding themes

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Classic weddings are an eternal favorite. Nevertheless, many casual and unusual wedding themes make their appearance time and again. Popular wedding venues for casual themes include beaches, barns and even backyards. Who would ever have expected to see weddings planned around rainbows, vintage circuses or woodland creatures? However, such themes are only some of the many unusual themes that are popular in the world of weddings these days. When everyone wants a wedding that is like nothing anyone’s seen before, wedding planners and clever couples come up with such ideas. So, it is not surprising that food trucks, ice cream vans and naked cakes are all part and parcel of the wedding world today!

Anything but cake!

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Sometime back, we could never imagine a reception without a cake! After all, a huge tiered cake was the highlight of every reception in the 20th century. As couples fiddled and played with traditional favorites, it was time to give a twist to this tradition as well. And that is how cookie tiers, gourmet cakes and cheese tables came to replace wedding cakes.

Not only are these options economical, they are better suited to satisfy the various tastes of the guests. Some couples incorporate this into their weddings to just keep it unique. With interesting dessert buffets with a variety of options, I think this is something to appreciate. Pancake stations, cupcake tiers and individual portions of tempting deserts are always more inviting than a slice of cake. All the couple need is a gourmet cake for the cake-cutting ceremony, and everyone is happy at the end of the day!

Bridesmaids who do not match

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Bridesmaids are the bride’s best friends, sisters and cousins. They always held an important role in the wedding from time immemorial. Nonetheless, it wasn’t surprising that most women dreaded this wedding day, for their outfits were hideous. Although brides eliminated bright colored comic costumes from the scene over time, brides still chose matching outfits for their bridesmaids. So, irrespective of their size, body shape, complexion or build, all the women would dress in copies of the exact same dress.

The story is totally different now. Matching bridesmaids are a thing of the past. Although we wouldn’t have expected it at time, it is delightful to see these women in dresses that actually make them look good. Another detail for the bride to work on, but different necklines, hemlines, styles and colors are the various factors that brides consider when mixing and matching bridesmaids outfits.

Specially styled beverages and bars

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The bar which was once standard fare at weddings was also pretty expensive. Most guests looked forward to it when attending a wedding. There was a typical menu with a range of drinks served at every wedding. So, it wasn’t easy to replace. While limited bars offered a happy middle ground to open bars and hosted bars, it wasn’t an adventurous choice either.

That’s when the idea of signature cocktails, local wine collections and beers became a big hit. This is now pretty common at many wedding receptions. Couples serve up a collection of signature cocktails, local wines and beers to not only offset their alcohol bills, but also to make a lasting impression through their wedding parties.

Wedding websites

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Although the internet has been in existence for ages, it wasn’t so popular in the early years of this century. Hence, wedding websites were unheard of. All information would be in wedding invitations and passed on by word of mouth. Something as simple as a wedding website revolutionized all this.

Now, almost every couple has their own wedding website. This is a one-stop destination for all information about the wedding. It has everything from the wedding details to extras like the wedding registry. It may even have photos of the couple and include their engagement story. The modern generation is naturally inclined to check the wedding website of a couple than scan through the information sent to them in the form of a traditional invitation card.

Wedding brunches

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According to English tradition, high noon weddings were most stylish. However, this idea didn’t hold for long. By the turn of the century weddings were always evening affairs. Lavish wedding dinners was always a given at a wedding.

So, wedding brunches are a novelty when we think that the idea was non-existent in weddings of this generation. However, this option comes with its advantages. It is not only practical and simple, it is also budget-friendly. With the advent of casual wedding themes, a wedding brunch is good for hosting guests without bursting your budget. It is pretty fun too, as the daytime creates a relaxed ambiance that is more welcoming than a formal reception in the evening.

Hashtag weddings

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I don’t think you would be surprised if you were to notice a poster or board at a wedding listing the couple’s hashtag. In fact, if you are clicking pictures on this occasion, you will probably be tagging yours with the same. However, this idea was entirely unheard of a few decades ago.

Although social media has been in the picture for years, the idea of segregating all the information from a wedding in a single location was not there.  Instead of clicking pictures, most people just watched the wedding and let the photographer do his job. It was only after smart phones became popular that everyone became obsessed with this idea of posing and clicking pictures all the time.

Decor and venues that aren’t traditional wedding fare

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Classic themes have continued down centuries. However, more and more couples today want to surprise their guests by thinking of extraordinary settings and elements for their wedding. This perhaps explains the popularity of burlap and wood at weddings that follow a vintage theme.

Vintage wedding themes not only embrace the wedding styles of yesteryear, but also often replicate more than what we’d ever expect at a wedding. So, weddings in barns, elements like bird cages, distressed wood and burlap are trendy on the wedding scene. These were never expected to play into the settings a few years ago.

Unconventional bouquets for the non-traditional bride

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Bridal bouquets had names, like the nosegay, cascade or round bouquets. They were traditionally formed of flowers that a florist gathered fresh and dressed into a tight setting. This isn’t always the case today.

Modern brides experiment with a range of unconventional bouquet options for various reasons. With loosely gathered wildflower bouquets, paper flower bouquets, those with brooches, paper and even fruits and berries, the options are numerous. The composite is also a trending style. In this design, florists use several smaller flowers and make a single big flower.

Tradition meets modern in blue wedding shoes

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We just love it when modern brides put interesting twists on tradition. Over the last decade,brides switched out traditional white and cream wedding shoes for blue beauties. This is a modern twist on a very traditional part of weddings. It is not just interesting, but beautiful too.

Brides needn’t any longer find shoes that match the wedding dress or dye shoes that may never be used again. Blue shoes can usually be worn with many different outfits. So, there is a good chance of the bride using it again after her wedding day.

The first-look shot

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It was a common belief among brides and grooms that meeting each other before the ceremony was bad luck. Most couples kept up with this practice till someone discovered it wasn’t helping with good photographs.

So, with the support of their photographers, more and more couples ignore this belief. This means better photographs for the album, and a chance for the bride and groom to see each other and enjoy their private moment before the wedding.

At Best for Bride, we love both traditions and modern practices. Hence, we are the best destination to fulfill your bridal shopping needs. Whether you are a traditional bride with a penchant for classic style, or a modern bride who wants everything unique and surprising, come and visit us. We have a vast collection of both traditional and modern wedding dresses. For more details on our bridal dress inventory, dresses for the wedding party, wedding services, accessories and online shopping option, check out our website here.

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Oops! That’s Awkward—Our guide to navigating 7 awkward wedding planning situations

I like to compare wedding planning to a mine that’s waiting to explode. The potential for problems is huge! Every couple faces at least a few awkward moments when planning their wedding. Many assumptions may be made that you cannot oblige to, you may have to say no on occasions, and where people are concerned there is no saying who can feel offended about what!

Here are 7 real sticky situations that you will most likely have to handle during your wedding planning process. We’ve also included the best possible solutions you can consider, to make it as easy as possible.

#1 Tell a friend or relative that they are not in the wedding party

It could be that everyone thinks you are fond of them. Add that to the fact that  you have a huge friend circle and an equally big family, it is likely that there may be at least a friend or relative who assumes they will be in the wedding party. If there are on the wedding party list, fine! If you haven’t included them, you have a situation to handle!

It isn’t easy telling someone that they are to be a guest and not in the wedding party. The best way to handle the problem is to take care of it as soon as you doubt your friend or cousin assumes they are in without you ever mentioning it. Tell her directly that as much as you would love to have her in the party, the situation is such that you would prefer to have her enjoy the wedding as a guest instead. You could offer a valid explanation, like you want to keep the wedding party small. (Only if this is a fact! It will harm your relationship even more if she ends up seeing a dozen bridesmaids on the day, and she alone isn’t one). Make it clear that you value your relationship with her a lot, and would love to have her involved in the wedding in any other way possible. Stress that you would not want this to harm your relationship in any way, and be genuine with your words. We are sure she’ll understand if she is a sensible and reasonable girl.

#2 When you’d rather have cash

Many couples struggle with telling their guests that they’d rather have cash or gift coupons, than gifts that wouldn’t help them. This could be because money would help them pay off a loan, or they could use it on their honeymoon, or because they would like to buy an expensive item like a vehicle. In all these cases, money would really help.

If you are in any of these situations, we know how you could be whether you ought to or not  convey this message to your guests. Well, we think you should! First step, set up your wedding website, where you will be sharing your wedding registry information. Next, add a “gift cash towards xxx” as one of the top options in the registry and link it to your bank account. Share the website wedding registry with your contacts, so they are directed towards the page that prioritizes what you’d like to have, in a specific order.

The other option is to link your wedding registry to sites like Tendr , that allows guests to pick cards and send it with their well wishes to the couple. Now, if a guest were to ask you in person about your preferences, they would ideally be asking because they really want to get you something you want. So, don’t hesitate to tell them that you are saving up for whatever you are. If they are comfortable giving you cash, you can hope they will once they know of this.

#3 Telling your parents (or in-laws) that you want something different

Isn’t it funny how so many parents and their children fight over how the wedding should be held or planned, from the moment the planning is in progress? It is not too often that we see couples who want a modern, relaxed wedding with interesting and unique elements, while their parents would rather have a traditional-style formal wedding that can never go wrong. If the parents on either side are sharing the expenses, we know how quickly tempers can soar and all those involved can end up in a foul mood.

Rather than locking horns with your families, we suggest that you handle such situations tactfully. First, consider if there is anything you can do about accommodating your family’s ideas. If not the whole thing, if you can incorporate at least a few ideas, they will feel a lot better. Then, decide upon the things that you refuse to compromise on. When you present your final idea to the family, first tell them which of their suggestions will be included in the wedding. This will calm the atmosphere to a great extent. Then tell them what the rest of the plans are, and also that it is your wedding and you wouldn’t really be happy if these details weren’t part of it. So, request them to understand and convey how grateful you are for all they are doing.

#4 When a relative wants to take over as a wedding vendor

Yes, we’ve all been there, when a budding photographer in your family wants to be in-charge of the wedding photography, or an enthusiastic aunt wants to bake the wedding cake. Unless these people are professionals, it may be a very bad idea to hand them the job. Now, even when they are professionals who are used to doing these for weddings, you may not agree with their style of work or may not be happy about giving them the responsibility for a range of reasons.

After all, working with a relative or friend is not the same as working with a vendor who you’ve hired for the job. You have to be cautious about everything you say, as you two have a relationship that could be hurt. In worst cases, they may disagree with what you want and even do things that they think are the best. But, it may sometimes be a good idea, if they will offer you a discount or if you are really fond of the way they handle things. Unless this is the case, you should learn to say “No” to their offer diplomatically.

You can tell them that you would love to have them handle the job, but you have already set your mind on another vendor. Or, the better option is to tell them that you don’t want to hire them for your wedding as you want them there as a guest, and not working all day and unable to participate or enjoy the wedding as they should. This clearly conveys that you value their presence, and if they appreciate it genuinely, this should put an end to the discussion.

#5 Saying No to guests you cannot afford to have

There’s this scene in the sitcom “Castle”, where Castle and Beckett mention to his mother that they were working on the guest list for the wedding, expecting her to suggest how they reduce it. In the blink of an eye, she rushes off to bring out her own guest list for the wedding!

Don’t be startled if you find the same thing happen in your case! Many couples are faced with the tough decision of saying no to guests that they simply cannot have at their wedding. If parents are paying, or if friends are pushovers who must invite people on their behalf, the situation is anything but pleasant.

We suggest that you be honest when you tell your parents, relatives or friends why it simply isn’t feasible to have any more guests than you have planned. Since your parents will anyway be inviting at least a few people, give them a specific number beforehand. They can then prioritize who goes on the list and who can be left out. Make your mind up about how far you can stretch with any extra additions, and make sure you stick to it. After all, your wedding is all about having the people who matter the most to you. It is not about having a huge party where you hardly know half the faces there, or is it?

#6 Planning your bridesmaid’s dress budget

One of the reasons many women dread being asked to be a bridesmaid, is the financial burden that comes along with it. Let’s face it, bridesmaids have to pay for a dress that they may not like at all, pay for the accessories, spend on the bachelorette, bridal shower and gift for the bride. All this will take a chunk out of their savings. It is worse if they are still in college or have their own financial constraints.

So, the best thing you can do is be reasonable when deciding what your bridesmaids should wear. Our suggestion is to be flexible, and consider a range of choices in dresses, so your bridesmaids can pick the one that is easiest on their pockets. Think out of the box, and instead of having them dress up in matching outfits, go with the mix ‘n’ match trend. This gives them the freedom to choose from the choices you have shortlisted. It is also likely that they will pick a dress that they can use again.

A good friend would also consider easing their financial burden by paying for the bridesmaid accessories or hair and makeup. Now, if you have been a bridesmaid at all these girls’ weddings previously, and they weren’t half as considerate, we think it is up to you to decide how to handle the situation. Honestly, it wouldn’t be wrong if you kept their expenses similar to what you had to incur, if this is the case. Else, think of what you can do to help out, maybe make use of sales and discounts or keep your dress selection reasonable so they do not begrudge you for your choices later.

#7 Talk money with your parents or in-laws

You think you’ve heard your parents mention sometime in the past, that they’ve put aside a certain amount for your wedding expenses. But, do you ask for it once you are engaged and planning the wedding? Is it appropriate to bring up the topic? Well, it’s mom and dad, and if you are certain there’s money set aside for you, it shouldn’t be wrong to confirm, so you can plan the wedding accordingly.

Ideally, they should bring the topic up if they have any such plans. So, it may not always be best to bring up the topic yourself. If they are quiet, it may be because something’s changed and not because they’ve forgotten about it. Never make the mistake of assuming that they will pay, and go about planning your wedding based on this assumption. Don’t feel entitled to it and have your plans go bust if they don’t agree to. Instead, share the wedding plans you have in mind and the quotes you collect from vendors. They will be more comfortable mentioning what they would like to contribute towards, when you do it this way.

If there is no talk about the money at all, you can either ask them what happened to the fund they put aside (that is, if you are sure they have), or ask them if they could help and you could repay it later.

Weddings, like we said earlier are tricky events that can cause so much stress to any bride and groom. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep the big picture in mind. When you think of the priorities in your life, and how you can celebrate the event that brings you and your partner together forever, you can tide over any awkward situation and leave it out of your mind forever.

To help you with everything you possibly need for your wedding, including your wedding dress, attire for your wedding party, accessories, décor, cakes and even flowers, visit us at Best for Bride. We have everything you need.

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What should your wedding website contain?

A wedding website is nearly indispensable in today’s wedding scene. It is a practical and easy way to share and find all the necessary information pertaining to a wedding, and so is a must-have for every couple planning a wedding.

With the increase in interest in creating wedding websites, there are so many options out there today. This makes it easier for couples who want to set one up, and the best thing is that it is possible to do even if you are not very tech-savvy.

Over the course of this article, we will not only look at different options that will help you set up your wedding website, but also what it should contain and how you can make sure it works well and helps you with your wedding plans. Let’s begin.

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Why you should have a wedding website!

For those of you who haven’t ever considered this a necessity, here is why you should have a wedding website

  • It provides your guests a one-stop destination for all the information they require bout the wedding
  • You can share everything from your proposal and registry details to venue information and even photos on your wedding website
  • It is a platform that makes collection of RSVP’s and updating your wedding registry easy and straightforward
  • It is a representation of the couple, and the perfect way to give your guests a sneak-peek into what is in store for the wedding
  • Wedding websites are the way to go for the environment-conscious couple, as it allows them to minimize on paper stationery for not-so-essential invitation enclosures. This information can be made available on the website instead
  • It gives you a place to share your wedding photos online after the big event.
  • It will remind you of your big milestone event long after it is over, thus making it a valuable resource in many ways.

Now that you know why a wedding website is a good idea, here is how you can get started on it.

How to create a wedding website

Wedding website screenshot
Image Credits: D.Hayes, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

You have plenty of options to make your wedding website. You can either use a wedding website builder or purchase your own domain and design your website from scratch. While few of these are free, most of them charge a nominal price for hosting your details.

We find that website builders specifically tailored to weddings are the best way to go, as it isn’t necessary that all couples are technically capable of building their own website from scratch. So, this is what we will focus on here. Some of our favorite wedding website builders are:

Appy Couple

This trending favorite provides you both a mobile application as well as a wedding website when you sign up. You can choose your layout, design and colors from a range of options that are all very attractive. Benefits include changing your design anytime you want, straightforward pricing structure and impressive website design options. Customizing a website is easy as you can simply add the details to each available aspect. It guides you through the process and simplifies the entire construction process, so you have a professional looking website in no time. Check out the demo here to find out more about how this works.

Wedding Jojo

With 8 different themes to choose from, Wedding Jojo provides you a custom domain that will contain all your event information. You can share your wedding photos with guests, create your online guest-book, manage your RSVP’s and share necessary information with your guests on this website. You can choose between “Taster” and “Full Slice” options, depending on whether you want all the works or prefer to settle for the most essential ones. Find out all about creating your Wedding Jojo account, by visiting their website here.

The Knot wedding website

Constantly recommended as a leading wedding planner application, the Knot also offers a wedding website builder of excellent quality. The added benefit is that it is a free service, where you still have plenty of options to choose from. You can choose from over 80 designs to set up your website. It also allows you to switch between designs any time, if you aren’t happy with your original choice. The website features include a registry home, RSVP and guest management system, as well as photo galleries for those important events leading up to the wedding. Get started today by clicking on this link. https://www.theknot.com/gs/wedding-websites

Wedding Window

A website builder with a difference, the wedding window adds a fun element to the regular wedding websites. It is fun to create, and your guests will enjoy scrolling through it. You can also enjoy with unlimited customization options. The basic package is free for one year and is sufficient for most couples. Now, if you must have additional features, the premium packages are a bargain for the cool features they include. It is also tailored to help guests who are traveling from abroad by providing them instructions and information in their local language using Google translator. Find out more for yourself by visiting their home page here.

There are many more website builders out there, and you can take a look at all that is available before making your pick. We suggest that you visit this article on the Huffington Post, to see the other impressive packages that may work for you.

What should your wedding website contain?

Once you have chosen the website builder that will aid you in creating your wedding website, it is time to look at what your website should contain.

If you go with any of the options recommended above, you will find that most of them already have tabs for the various aspects relevant to weddings. You needn’t fill in all the information, and can go with only what you deem necessary. Nevertheless, every wedding website should contain certain details that are usually sought by the guests. This is what they are.

#Your photo

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Your website should have a face (or rather faces!), so it personifies you. Do this by adding a well-captured photo of the two of you on the home page. You can also add pretty pictures to the side bars of the other tabs, as long as your website builder has options for it.

#Date and Time

This is the main information conveyed through your wedding invitation, and it is not just sensible, but necessary as well to have it on your website too. You can add it to the Home Page and also have it somewhere in a noticeable location on the remaining pages as well. Specify the date and the time when the ceremony is to start. If the reception is also to be held at the same venue, don’t forget to mention the time for it as well. If the reception is held elsewhere, convey this information on the website, along with the time at which it will be held, to avoid any confusion.

Tip: If your wedding is in winter, or your venue is difficult to find, set the event time on your website as half an hour earlier than actually planned. This way guests will have enough time to reach there before the ceremony begins.

Venue information

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Since you have only so much space to provide all information regarding your wedding venue on your invitation, give as much detail as is possible about the venue and how to get there, on your website. This should include the detailed address, directions to reach there and contact numbers in case of doubt. Most websites allow you to embed a Google map which can provide them clear directions. Make use of it as it will be very helpful for your guests. If there are any landmarks that will make it easy to locate the place, provide this information too. You can even add a picture of your venue, if you want to. Wherever possible, it may be a good idea to offer a download option for the venue map as many guests may prefer to print it out for reference.

Registry Information

It is traditional wedding etiquette to not include your wedding registry information on your invitation. Nevertheless, your guests will want to know where you are registered, so they can get you a gift that will actually be useful. Use your wedding website for this purpose. Some stores allow you to directly link to their websites from your page. Make use of this feature if it is available. If not, simply provide your registry details and your guests can find their way there. Remember to keep your registry constantly updated and complete with a list of items of varying prices, so guests have enough options to choose from. The idea is to keep it varied, and update it if one item has already been chosen, so you do not end up with multiples, unless that’s what you want. Find out more about planning a good wedding registry by visiting our article here.

Hotel stay and accommodation options

It is likely that there will be at least a few out-of-town guests attending your wedding. Assuming that they will want to stay overnight in town, it would be very helpful if you can provide them a list of decent hotels or accommodation options to look at and book for their stay. Keep your list varied with hotels in differing price ranges, and don’t forget to include their contact information, distance from the venue and any other relevant information that they may be useful.

RSVP form

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The easiest way for your guests to confirm attendance at the event is to fill out their RSVP forms online. So, use this feature on your website to make a note of who all will be attending. The website builder may allow you to create a custom form asking for the details such as name of person, how many will be attending and any other specific message. Make sure to add your online RSVP’s to the list of those who send in their replies by post, so you do not miss out anyone when creating your guest list.

Comments or question and answer page

Although it is likely that your guests will be in touch with you over the phone or by email if they want any specific query addressed, it is helpful to have a page on your website dedicated to the same. This will allow them to promptly address their doubts, if they have any concerns while on your website. Just make sure that you check it often and reply to their questions as soon as is possible, or it defeats the purpose of having such a page. The other advantage of having this page is that it gives guests who cannot attend your wedding, a place to put in their wishes or add a message to you.

The little extras that can make your website truly special

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The above list gives an outline of all the information that is essential for a wedding website. Once this is done, we can move on to looking at what extra touches you can add to make your website truly special and personal. Here are some options to consider.

  • If you want to share the exciting tale of how you met, the magical proposal or any other trivia regarding your relationship or the two of you, this is the place to do it.
  • Photo albums of the engagement, bridal shower, bachelorette party and later the wedding and honeymoon pictures
  • You can highlight the importance of your wedding party by adding their pictures and names, thus giving them the special attention they deserve at your wedding
  • Online guest book where your guests can write their messages, comments and wishes quickly and easily
  • Pictures of the two of you as this is something that everyone will be keen to see

Remember to keep the website agog with activity and update it frequently, so the information is relevant and correct. Once you have your website set up, it will be one fun place where we are sure you’ll be hanging out quite a lot!

And, for the rest of your wedding needs, Best for Bride is the other place you should be frequently visiting. To transform yourself into the beautiful bride that you deserve to be, visit the Best for Bride website and find everything you need from your wedding dress, bridal party dresses, accessories and more.