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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.

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The top 7 wedding planning apps to help you plan your wedding

Planning a wedding is a time-consuming, detail-oriented and labor-intensive task. It is no wonder that many brides burn out from exhaustion even while they are just half-way through wedding planning. Once you begin the planning process, you will quickly find yourself running through pages of lists, spreadsheets and sticky notes, that it will soon be almost impractical to keep up with all the paper clutter that builds up.

Fortunately, in this day and age of technology, there are many solutions to streamline our work and make life a lot easier. Here is why you should consider taking the digital route for your wedding planning.

  • It saves you time, energy and resources
  • By compiling all your information into digital apps, you can access it anytime and anywhere
  • It is the practical approach to collate all the ideas and inspiration that you come across
  • Sorting, organizing and eliminating are all much easier when aided by technology
  • Lost paper documents, receipts and communication will be a thing of the past once you handle all correspondence digitally
  • You will have all your information in one place, making it easy to handle, transport and check at any time you desire
  • Digital apps are the best tools for a bride who isn’t naturally organized, as there is a naturally organized format to it, thus making things much easier for you

Now, here is the biggest bonus of planning your wedding with the aid of technology: it leaves you plenty of much-deserved time to spend with your partner, rather than poring over and sorting through acres of paper clutter. Isn’t that an important facet of your engagement? Choose the digital route and time will cease being a luxury that you cannot afford.

Here is our pick of the best apps that will assist you with your wedding planning, and make everything you dreaded a lot easier and organized. These carefully chosen list is your best bet at easing your wedding planning, especially if you are doing it all by yourself.

1.CARROT

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The to-do list with a personality, CARROT is a fun way of keeping track and making sure that every list to handle is completed on time. Not all of us are naturally inclined to stick to the tasks we assign ourselves. This is where CARROT is a wonderful task master, as it motivates us to finish off our tasks by rewarding us for each completed task. The catch here, is that there are consequences to face, if we delay or postpone things on the list.

To start using it, you simply download the app on your iPhone or android. Create your list containing all the tasks to be handled, and set your time to complete each task. As you complete each task, you simply take it off the list. As you do this CARROT will award you a certain number of points. You can add anything and everything on to your list at any point of time, and get on with finishing it one after the other. Now, if you fail to complete a task on time, CARROT will not only remind you of what is due, it will also penalize you for being lazy. I suggest that you take a quick look at this video to get an idea of how this app can help you plan your simple and complex tasks through this simple digital to-do list maker.

2.Evernote

When you digitize all the data you want for your wedding, it is essential that to keep it organized and stored in one location. Leaving all your wedding planning information floating around isn’t really a good idea, as it is no different from letting papers from your wedding folder fly around. This is where the digital app Evernote can be very useful.

Evernote was created with the idea to capture “experiences” digitally. Remember that you will have to handle different types of digital media when planning a wedding. You will be using pictures for inspiration, drawing up documents, making lists, creating notes and looking at samples. Rather than saving each of these in different folders on your computer and then shoveling through the lot when the need arises, it is practical and easy to save them all in a single location using Evernote. Since this is a cloud based system, you can access your stored information from anywhere. You also have the advantage of syncing it to all your digital devices, so that the information is accessible from any place and at any time, irrespective of the device on which it is recorded. Take a look at this video to find out how you can make use of it.

3.Hitched Wedding Planner

This wedding application is pre-loaded with almost 49 wedding planning tasks, that will help you jump start your wedding planning process. The included tasks are placed in chronological sequence, so you have a general idea of what task should ideally follow another. This will allow you to set up your planning time-line easily, and make sure that you do what you should, on time.

Although there is an original task list, it can be completely customized to suit your specific needs. So, you can erase any of the points that you do not want to adhere to, and also add specific tasks that are unique to your wedding. So, if you are on the lookout for a single app to help you remember all your wedding planning tasks, and remind you of when to do each of them, the Hitched wedding planner is what you should turn to. There is also a budget tracker that will help you form a general idea of how to divide your budget and how much money should go into what aspect. If you have no idea of where to begin with your budget planning, you can just type in the total amount and it will give you suggestions or estimates of what should go where. This will help you plan the rest.

4.Awesome Note

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Once you have a wedding date in mind, you will be shopping a lot! So, you will need many shopping lists to cover all the big and small things you need for your wedding. One of our favorite shopping lists for wedding planning is Awesome Note. Although this app has various other features as well, it’s practical and fun shopping lists are the best feature.

One important feature that sets the shopping lists on Awesome Note apart is that you can tag the items on your lists. So, you needn’t go into each list and update it every time. You can simply tag an item, say roses to rehearsal dinner and lilies to wedding, and it is automatically sorted into the list where it belongs. You can also add multiple tags to a single item, and search out all the items that have been tagged to a particular shopping destination, when you finally go shopping. It also allows you to attach photos or notes to each item, so you can remember what you intended while adding this item to the list. This will also allow you to share clear information and instructions if you are delegating the shopping to someone else. You can download this app from the iTunes store by clicking hereand start using it right away.

5.Appy Couple

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Image Credits: D.Hayes, via Flickr, [CC BY 2.0]

A wedding website is an essential for every couple planning their wedding. It will allow you to share important wedding-related information with the guests, add their registry details, answer questions about the wedding, receive RSVP’s digitally and also share photos and fun messages that add to the excitement of the upcoming wedding day.

While you can register for a website on any domain, it always helps to have one specifically suited for weddings. The Appy Couple is an interactive wedding app and website, that is easy to set up and use. It gives you the choice to select from two practical layout options and hundreds of design choices for your website. You simply have to download it to your mobile or desktop and follow the seven steps in the guided creation feature, to create your wedding website and app. Since you will just have to drag and drop widgets to get your website ready, it is very easy to create and doesn’t call for any technical skills. The chat feature allows your guests to get in touch with you, should they require any immediate information. It makes RSVPs easy for both the guests and the couple who receive them. With simple and easy navigation, even a guest who isn’t familiar with computers can easily locate any information they require.

Check out this short video that will run you through the various features and steps involved in using Appy couple.

6.Wedding Budget

We are talking of big money where weddings are concerned. The expenses will have to be broken up into several parts, accounts kept and updated at every stage, and balances tallied and carried forward for the rest of the planning. It can be quite a task, especially if you aren’t an expert at numbers and accounts.

Wedding budget is one app that can help you stay on top of all your expenses for the big day. Not only do you get to divide up the entire budget into separate sections and keep track of the expenses you incur in each area, it also helps you view every detail at one glance. You can simultaneously list what you have budgeted for a particular aspect, and how much you actually spent on it. This will give you a clear idea of whether you have any funds remaining after spending on the intended aspect, or if you ended up overspending on it. You will also benefit from the added feature of saving the date on which payments are due, so you are notified of it on time and arrange for funds accordingly. You can download it for your handheld devices here.

7.WedPics

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The best way to remember a wedding in the years that come, is through the pictures captured on the day. It will not just be your photographer who will be shooting away on your wedding day. Your guests will also be clicking their cameras at every possible instant, taking selfies, pictures of the two of you and of everything that they find interesting. Make sharing and downloading your photographs easy using the WedPics app. By visiting their website, you can create your own wedding account. Then, invite all your friends and family to join your wedding, and all the pics they take on the day will be saved to the same location. This will make viewing, downloading and sharing much easier. The added benefit is that the pictures can be seen only by those on your list, unless they use a hashtag when saving it. This free app is available for both iPhones and android systems. The app allows you to organize and segregate your photos into different albums according to your preferences. So, you can have separate albums for your bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, wedding, reception and honeymoon, and still compile them together in a single location. Find out all that you need to know about using WedPics at your wedding, by visiting their website here.

Now that you know all that you should to plan your stunning wedding digitally, it is time to get started. Visit our online store at Best for Bride for everything you need for your wedding. From wedding dresses to bridesmaids outfits, accessories, décor choices, photography options, wedding cake, party favors and even wedding emergency kits and petal wishes, we have every aspect of your wedding covered. Make your pick from our dream wedding collections from leading design houses, rent your wedding dress and accessories or have your signature bridal gown custom-made by our in-house designers. Join us at Best For Bride and make every one of your wedding day dreams a reality.

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Easy ways to inform your guests about your wedding registry

Wedding etiquette restricts couples from displaying their wedding registry information on their wedding cards. Since this direct link with your wedding guests is out of question, you need to look at other options to inform your guests about where you are registered. Remember that this should be done tactfully, and your guests shouldn’t have the impression that you are declaring your interest in receiving gifts.

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Having said that, it is a fact that most wedding guests want to get you a wedding gift that you will actually use; not return or stash in the attic. Let us look at how you can make your registry information available to your guests, so they can locate it easily without asking you directly.

1.Make sure that your parents, siblings and all those involved in the wedding party know

It is only logical to assume that the wedding guests will turn to those closest to you, to obtain your registry information. So, make sure they know where you are registered, as well as what items are included in your registry, so they can pass it on to whoever needs it. You can also consider designating the people in your wedding party to discretely pass the information around, so it reaches everyone.

2.Have a wedding website

A wedding website is an essential today, and this is not just for putting your wedding registry information. Aside from using it to update all the relevant details of your wedding, you can create a page with all your registry information on it. Then include the wedding website URL on your invitation, and your guests will easily find what they want without having to ask. A wedding website is in fact, one of the most popular choices that most couples turn to, today. Use this option to the most, and your guests will appreciate the ease with which they can gather all the information regarding the wedding, including venue details, timings, type of wedding being hosted and any other information that you would like them to know.

3.Use the bridal shower invitation to pass the information along

The bridal shower invitation is an appropriate way to provide your wedding registry information. Technically, the shower is hosted by someone other than the bride. So, you will not breach any etiquette rules, by having it printed on the invite. Inform your maid of honor, mother, sister or whoever is in charge of the bridal shower, to add this in. The word will be passed along, and all those who want to know will obtain it this way.

We talked about why a wedding website is a great idea. It is also pretty easy to do, even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. There are a number of free website builders, that allow you to make a splendid website, without any help from a professional. We suggest that you take a look at My wedding and eWedding  for some fantastic ideas.

For more interesting wedding advice and tips, keep visiting us at Best for Bride.

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Making the most of your wedding registry and 9 registry must-haves

Wedding registries help guests to find useful gifts for the to-be-married couple. This is very helpful for them to set up their home, when they begin their new life together. Today, many couples may be living together long before they are married. Nevertheless, a good wedding registry allows them to get a little help with what they need to make their married life function more smoothly.

Over the course of this article, we will tell you why a registry is a good idea, how to inform your guests about where you are registered, how to make the best use of your wedding registry and also a list of registry must-haves that will help you set up home conveniently.

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Is a wedding registry even necessary?

Some couples feel that wedding registries are not a good idea, since it gives the impression that you are fishing for gifts. Do you agree with them or are you undecided on whether a wedding gift registry is a good idea?

Here are our arguments in favor of having wedding registries. The couple and their guests should pay attention to setting up or picking gifts from a wedding registry for these reasons:

  • It goes without saying that guests will get gifts for weddings. If every guest at the wedding were to pick a random gift, it is likely that you will end up with stuff that may not be useful to you at all, while you will still have to find the space to accommodate it till you decide what to do with it.
  • Different couples have different preferences. If your guests have no idea of your tastes, the likelihood of receiving gifts that serve no purpose or clashes with your choices, is very high.
  • If a couple have been living together for a while, it is likely that they will already have stocked up on the essentials. In that case, your registry will help your guests pick an item that will actually be useful, than go for something that you already own.

Now that you know why registering for gifts is sensible, let us look at how you can let your guests know where you are registered.

How to tell your guests where you are registered

Traditional wedding etiquette condemns you from putting your wedding registry on your wedding invitation. This makes it difficult for you to inform your guests about what you would like to receive. Fortunately, there are other ways, and here they are.

  • Entrust the task to your bridesmaids, mother and rest of the wedding party

A guest who wishes to find out where you are registered will be hesitant to ask you directly for your registry information. Instead, they will mostly ask a member of your bridal party. So, make sure your women in waiting know where you are registered, and pass it along when asked.

  • Use the bridal shower invitation

While it isn’t right to use the wedding invitation to share the wedding registry, the bridal shower invitation can be used for this purpose. Why? Technically, the shower is hosted by someone other than the bride. Since there will be invitations going out for this event, you can request your maid of honor, or whoever is in-charge of hosting it, to make this information readily available to those who seek it.

  • Wedding website

Every wedding today has to have a wedding website. This allows the couple to share relevant information pertaining to the wedding. Now, the guests needn’t worry if they lose the invitation card, or forget to ask about certain details. We suggest that you add your wedding registry to your wedding website, and your guests will have no difficulty locating it.

How to efficiently plan your wedding registry?

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There are many lessons we can learn from couples who have previously tested the waters. This couple on Apartment Therapy tell us that like most couples, they had no idea on where to begin and ended up looking at their parents’ kitchens, pulled out a few lists of must-haves from magazines and created a registry. While some of these picks continue to serve them, others ended up being discarded or in the donation pile.

So, how do you make sure that your wedding registry contains what will be most useful to you? Here are some tips

#Don’t go with the trend

Remember that expensive gifts should last long. So, don’t get caught up in the trend of what is hot today. Whether you find a trendy flatware pattern appealing, or feel hot pink towels are impressive, think of whether your taste will change over the years. The best thing to do is to stick with safe options in neutral colors, so that it will not look dated over the years.

#Choose individual items instead of a set of pieces

While it may look attractive to have a set of items that match, think thoroughly about how useful each piece will be to you. Make the best use of your gift choices by opting for items that will each serve a purpose, and you will have just the right things taking up space in your house.

#Don’t forget the basics

Instead of choosing occasionally useful items, give priority to the essential must-have’s. A good set of knives, bath towels, bed linen, flatware and cutlery are all worthwhile investments, when you consider how well they serve you everyday. Don’t forget the essential toolbox and gardening items either, if you make use of these regularly.

#Upgrades and matching sets

If you live together already, and have your basic inventory covered, make use of your registry to get items that will complete your existing sets. Also, if you have been making do with what is available, this may be the right opportunity to upgrade to all-matching choices. You should also take a look at what you could have a few extras for. Say, you have always been short of wine glasses or serving bowls, when you entertain. Make sure to add that to the list and stock up on what will help you better.

#Say yes to gift coupons

At times, it is best for both parties if you receive gift coupons in place of gifts. This allows you to pick out what you want, and your guest needn’t rack their brains considering what will be the best choice for their budget, from the list you have created. So, don’t forget to tick the box for gift coupons in your registry. Also, when you write your thank you note, do mention what you got for the gift coupon, so your guest knows that you’ve put their thoughtful gift to good use.

#Keep the list varied and with items with differing costs

Do not restrict your registrations for only items that are available in sets. Keep your registry varied and with items of every price range, so your guests can pick what fits their budget. By choosing individual pieces, you can also build up your stock of items, which will allow you to entertain conveniently, whether you are hosting a party for 6 or 12.

Now, let us take a look at the must-have’s every couple should register for.

 

List of 10 must-have’s that no couple should overlook.

1.Dinnerware

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A whole dinnerware set in a neutral color, that you can use everyday is a must-have. Be careful when choosing the color, as you want it to live long and blend in easily with your varying tastes over time. White dishes are the best. Although they may not look too attractive, food of any color looks appealing when placed in a white dish. So, this is the perfect way to make sure your culinary efforts are most noticeable.

2. Flatware

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Make your choice between silverware or the more practical stainless steel flatware. Keep in mind that dishwasher safe flatware are easiest to manage, and stainless steel often does best over time. If you already have a handy set, go for the silver. Nevertheless, remember that silver will tarnish, and so calls for extra care if you don’t use it regularly. Spend some time researching the options, and pick a pattern that you will love even after years have gone by.

3.Casseroles, saucepans and frying pans

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Your food habits should determine what utensils will be useful for you. Assemble a basic cookware set with minimum three of these mentioned items. Like I said before, it is better to mix and match pieces to create the right mix of useful items, than just go with sets of many pieces that may not entirely be useful for you. Do you find yourself wishing for a soup pot all the time? Or would you like a wok for the Chinese food you always seem to cook? Then this is what should go on your registry.

4.Glassware

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Wine glasses, shot glasses, beer mugs, drinking glasses; all that you think should comprise your glass cabinet. Standard sizes and shapes are your best bet, as you will find it easier to replace should one break. Unusual fancy ones may be difficult to replace, and will spoil your set if even one is lost.

5.Sharp knives and a knife block

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The essential for modern day cooking, a set of sharp knives are a treasure that will save you time and effort in the long run. Make sure you add the basic four: a stellar chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated knife and knife sharpener to your wedding registry. Add a knife block to store these knives in. Not only will it save you valuable space, but also makes storage of these precious kitchen essentials safe and smart.

6.Cutting board

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The wooden cutting board is a great investment and one that will last a lifetime. Add this to your registry, and get rid of those pale and tired looking plastic cutting boards that have been cluttering up your kitchen all this time.

7.Bed linen

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Over the years, you will realize that you can never have too many good sheets. So, make sure you stock up on all the basic linen, including pillow cases, flat sheets and fitted sheets, by adding it to your registry. It would also help to have a few extras for backup. Choose a basic color that will be a timeless choice, and with a good thread count so they serve you for long.

8.Bath towels

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Just like with the bed sheets, you will always find use for bath towels. Put down pairs of bath towels, hand towels and face towels. You do not have to stop with just one pair. Remember to stick with colors that will look fresh over the years.

9.Serving Dishes

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A serving platter and an assorted range of serving dishes are essentials for every couple who loves to entertain. Although you may not think it is necessary right now, it will be a good investment that will be handy in the future. A large serving platter is a must, as it is versatile and can hold anything from rice and pasta to fruits, cupcakes and starters.

Do you think there is anything more that should be added to this list? If so, don’t forget to put it in the comments section below.

While we are on the topic of wedding registries, let me also remind you to constantly update yours, once you have it set up. As your guests tick items off your registry, update it with more options, so even the last guest has enough to choose from. This is where your multiple sets of items like bed linen and towels will come in handy.

Continue visiting us at Best for Bride for more wedding tips and advice. Your one-stop destination for everything bridal, we have all that you need to make your wedding day a success, under one roof. With extensive bridal dress collections, bridesmaids and flower girl dresses, as well as cakes, wedding stationery, flowers and décor, we have every aspect of your wedding covered. Visit us today and make your wedding dreams a reality.

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The 5 Do’s of wedding registry

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There are definite advantages of registering for gifts. It allows your guests to buy you something that you value and appreciate and also saves you the trouble of worrying over what to do with all those wedding gifts you didn’t want.

To help you make the most of your wedding registry, here are the top 5 Do’s that will make sure you do not break any etiquette rules, while getting most or all the right things that will be useful to you.

Register at a few select stores only

Rather than registering at all the stores you can think of, stick to a few select ones. Take time to research your options and go with places that allow guests to also purchase online. This will make it convenient for them. When choosing the stores, make sure you check with them about their shipping and delivery options, exchange and return policies and also any discount or offer programs that you can make use of.

Don’t put your registry on your invitation card

Putting registry information on your wedding invite is considered a breach of etiquette. So, refrain from it. If you have a wedding website, put the information there. This will allow guests to locate it easily. Register early, before you send out your invitations, so your registry information is available to your guests when they seek it. Also pass on the information to your family and close circle of friends, so they can share it with those who ask them.

Register for a variety of gifts and with various price ranges

Remember to register for plenty of gifts, so your guests have enough to choose from based on their budget. One way to do this is to register for more gifts than there are guests. While including expensive items on your list, remember that you should provide affordable options too, so your guests do not find it difficult to find a gift. Else, they may end up buying outside the registry, and it may be something that isn’t useful or you would like displaying in your home.

Keep updating your registry

Make sure that you keep track of what is going on with your registry, from the time it is open to your guests. If a gift has been purchased, make sure that you know about it, and take it off the list. If the store doesn’t do this automatically you should continuously review your registry. Also update it with more options, so that the guests who buy late still have enough options.

Think long-term when registering for gifts

Your wedding is the occasion to receive some really valuable gifts, so plan your list sensibly. Rather than going with what you want now, think of how your life will be 5 or 10 years from now, and what gifts will last that long and serve you well. Think of the special occasions or family get-togethers you will host, and what will be useful when you do. Put these items down in your registry.

Once you are blissfully married and have received all your wedding gifts, don’t forget to thank every guest filled your house with the stuff you wanted. Personally written thank you notes will make sure your guests feel appreciated and happy in return.

For more wedding tips and advice, visit us at Best for Bride.

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Start a Wedding Website

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A wedding website is a great way to keep your friends and family informed about the wedding plans. Wedding websites share important information regarding the ceremony and reception locations, driving directions, bridal party biographies, and bridal registry. The website can be used to share photographs of the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon with family and friends after the wedding. A simple blog is sufficient for a wedding website. The couple can start a wedding website easily with these helpful tips.

Free blogs are a way to have a wedding website without paying any fees for hosting or a domain name. Some couples may want a domain name to make the website address easier for the guests to remember. Free blogs are available through Blogger, Weebly, WordPress, and other blog networks. The networks can be found by typing “free blog” into a search engine. There also are free wedding blog networks such as weddingwire.com. These wedding blog networks are like the free blog networks but with a wedding theme and related applications.

A domain name is a personalized website address. It can be purchased through a domain name registrar such as GoDaddy.com. The domain name is not necessary for a free blog. However, some couples like to get a domain name for their wedding websites to make it easier to remember. The website address can be shared through social media like Facebook. The address also can be printed on the wedding invitation and save the date cards.

The proper way to share the bridal registry information is on the website. Nothing about the bridal registry should appear on the wedding invitation or save the date cards. The couple may tell people where they are registered when asked about gifts.

A wedding Facebook page is an alternative to a wedding website. The advantage of using a Facebook page is that it is easy to set up and share with the guests who use Facebook. Couples can share their wedding photos on the Facebook page set up for the wedding. Disadvantages of using Facebook are that the design of the page cannot be personalized, information added to the page can only be done in the form of status posts, and guests who don’t use Facebook may feel slighted.

Free blogs have design templates. The couple can choose their colors and style for the wedding blog. They may want the blog colors to match the wedding colors. Important information such as the location, date, and time of the wedding can be added to the home page or in the side bar of each page. If the bridal registry is for an online retailer, the website can have a direct link to the  registry retailer.

There are no strict rules about when to put up and take down the wedding website. Many couples take down their wedding websites several months after the wedding. Browse the Best for Bride blog for more helpful advice about planning a wedding.