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Planning Wedding Ideas


  • Photo by My Life Photography

    “First looks” are photo sessions that take place before the wedding ceremony, capturing the soon-to-be-married couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. Some couples may choose to wait to see each other until the ceremony , but we think these first look sessions can be totally amazing for a variety of reasons. Check out our top tips for a successful first look photo shoot!

    Plan Ahead
    Talk to your photographer before your wedding day to discuss the logistics of the first look photo shoot. The first look session should take place about two hours or so before the ceremony, so it’s important to plan your getting-ready schedule accordingly to make sure you and your spouse-to-be are fully prepped with plenty of time.

    Pick a Quiet, Well-Lit Spot
    Your photographer should arrive well before the wedding to scout out an appropriate location where the shoot will take place. Find a spot that’s relatively secluded – or if it’s indoors, sealed off so that no one can enter and interrupt this intimate moment.

    No Peeking!
    Try to avoid seeing (or talking to!) each other before the first look session. Get ready in separate locations, and tell your bridesmaids and groomsmen to avoid putting up any photos of you on social media before you’ve seen each other for the first time. You want the moment to feel special and genuine, not “oh, I just saw you five minutes ago but I’ll fake it for the photo.”

    Incorporate Photo and Video
    Make sure both your photographer and videographer are in the loop about the first look – of course, the photos are a wonderful visual representation, but it’s nice to also have the sounds and movement on record as well.

    Keep It Natural
    This is one of those photo moments during your wedding day that should not be posed – your photographer can explain to you and your groom (separately) in advance where she’d like the two of you to stand and walk, but when the first look moment actually occurs, your photographer should avoid talking to let the moment flow naturally.

    Keep It Simple
    There are lots of creative ways to stage a first look session, but the most important part is being able to see the looks on both of your faces. We recommend keeping it super simple – for example, one partner has his/her back facing away from the other, and then with a tap on the shoulder, turns around. It’s simple, sweet, easy to stage, and you’ll get emotional and clear photos.  

    Enjoy the Moment
    Before you see each other for the first time, take a deep breath and let all of the wedding-day stress melt away. When you have that initial first look moment, don’t immediately launch into all of the things that are going wrong (“My mom is being really annoying!”). Talk about how happy you are to see each other, and express your love for one another. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you want the photos to convey your happiness, not the stress you were feeling at that moment.

    Take a Pre-Wedding Photo Without Seeing Each Other
    If you or your spouse are traditionalists and truly do not want to see each other before the ceremony, you can still have a modified first look by standing on opposite sides of a doorway, holding hands, but not peeking at each other. It can still be a sweet and emotional moment to capture.


    Photo by Photo Love Photography

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  • Save the sparklers for the nighttime! After you share your first kiss as a married couple, you'll want to celebrate as you walk back up the aisle. Of course, festive musical selections help, but getting your guests involved is even more fun. Check out some of our favorite recessional ideas.

    Classic Confetti
    It's festive, fun and creates a super-colorful photo op!


    Photo by Julie Saad Photography

    Blowing Bubbles
    Perfect for a whimsical outdoor garden wedding - and the kids in your wedding party will love it!


    Photo by Jodi Miller Photography

    Tossing Flowers
    Tossing rose petals is the ultimate classic recessional activity, but try a different flower, like mums, to brighten things up.


    Photo by onelove photography

    Waving Flags
    So cute (and patriotic) for a Fourth of July wedding!


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Lovely Lavender
    Another idea for an outdoor wedding - ask your guests to toss lavender seeds as you exit your ceremony. And - bonus! - it's good for the environment.


    Photo by Annie Hosfeld Photography

    Ribbon Wands
    Give your guests colorful ribbon wands to wave. It's a fun DIY project too!


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Looking for send-off ideas for the end of the night? Click here for more great suggestions!
     

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  • Sure, you could assign each of your reception tables a number - it's clear, traditional, and easy for your guests to follow. However, if you want to be a little more creative, you could name your tables based on a theme. While this is certainly a cute and clever idea, we only recommend doing it if you can find a "naming theme" that truly resonates with you and suits your wedding style and venue. Check out a few of our favorite ideas here:

    Travel Themed
    Love to travel? Name your tables after places where you and your spouse have visited, or plan to visit. Your sweetheart table can be named for your honeymoon destination for a cute touch!


    Photo by Joel Bedford Photography
     

    Your Pets
    If you and your spouse are truly best buddies with your family pets, why not name your tables after them? You can name the tables after important animals in your life - from your dog, your grandmother's cat, a horse you grew up riding - the options are endless!


    Photo by Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Sports Lovers
    For couples who love watching or playing sports, name your reception tables after your favorite teams or, as this couple did, your favorite players.


    Photo by Genesa Richards Photography
     

    College Pride
    If you and your honey are college sweethearts, you might name your tables after buildings or landmarks at your alma mater.


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Wines
    Getting married at a vineyard (or just loooove wine)? Naming your tables after your favorite wine varietals is fun and totally works with a vineyard theme!


    Photo by Shelly Kroeger Photography

    Your Jobs
    If you and your future spouse met at work, you could find creative ways to use your careers in your table names. For example, this lawyer couple named their tables after Supreme Court Justices. Just make sure that your guests can understand the references.


    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    Music Lovers
    Are you and your future spouse huge music buffs? Name tables after your favorite artists or songs - even your the music venues you frequent!


    Photo by Tia & Claire Studio

    Seasonal and Venue-Focused
    Think about the season when your wedding is taking place, as well as the venue. This couple named their tables after apple varieties for a fall wedding at an orchard. But for spring weddings you could name tables after your favorite flowers, or your favorite beaches at summer weddings.


    Photo by Jagger Photography

    Looking for more table number sign ideas? Check out these beautiful ideas!
     


     

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  • While it is technically your day, your wedding is also an important moment for your and your future spouse's families. If you're so inclined, it's often a nice idea to remember the other important weddings in your family's history on your own special day. While you don't have to make any grand statements at the actual event, there are a few small ways you can add a sense of nostalgia to your wedding. 


    Photo by Cramer Photo 

    Wear Your Mother's Veil
    Sure, you could go all out and wear your mother or grandmother's gown on your wedding day, but there's a likelihood (especially if your parents got married in the 80s) that her gown is just not your style. A veil is less of a committment and most classic heirloom veils will look beautiful with a variety of more modern gowns.

     
    Photo by Vivian Chen Photography 

    Don Some Heirloom Jewelry
    A delicate bracelet, necklace, or earrings previously worn by a relative on their wedding day can be a lovely symbol of your family's history. 


    Photo by onelove photography 

    Add Some Heirloom Quality to Your Bouquet
    Wrap your bouquet with lace from your mother's wedding gown or attach a locket or handkerchief to the stems. 


    Photo by Laura Elaine Photography 

    Give Your Ceremony a Personal Touch
    There are lots of ways you can incorporate your family's history into your ceremony. Walk down the aisle to the same song your mother did, incorporate a reading or other musical selection that was performed at your parents' wedding, or use acutal items like wine glasses, unity candles or religious elements from your parents' wedding during the proceedings. 


    Photo by Ten 2 Ten Photography 
     

    Wear Heirloom Rings
    Wedding bands are often passed down from generation to generation, and it's a beautiful way to honor those who came before you. 


    Photo by j.woodbery photography 

    Display Family Wedding Photos
    You can display family wedding photos near the guest book, on the escort card table, or simply on their own table or mantle at the reception. Your guests may chuckle at your relatives' fashion decisions, but it's a nice way to showcase your family history.


    Photo by Katie Slater Photography

    Pick the Same First Dance Song
    Classic first dance songs are making a big comeback! Share a first dance song with one set of parents - if the tune suits your musical tastes as well. 


    Photo by Earthmuse Photography 

    Share a Cake Topper
    Vintage cake toppers are all the rage, so why not use the same one your parents did on their big day? It's a subtle, but nostalgic touch. 

    Looking for more vintage wedding ideas? Visit our Flowers & Decor editors for lots of gorgeous inspiration!

     

     

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  • Favors are a thoughtful way to express gratitude to your guests on your wedding day. Don’t hesitate to be creative and offer a parting gift that lasts beyond its time at the reception. We have compiled a list of unique and stunning favors that will have your guests abuzz.

     


    Photo by Blaine Photography 

     
    Potted Plants
    Far superior to fresh blooms that eventually wither to expiration, potted plants offer a great keepsake. Succulents work best, with sturdy and elegant blooms that take very little gardening knowledge to keep alive. These potted plants breathe life into the reception space while offering a parting gift to your guests that continues to grow.
     
    Seed Cards
    As a creative solution to favors that never get used, cards that are embedded with seeds are the perfect favor for travelers, gardeners and green-minded guests alike. Light and practical, seed cards can easily slide into your guests’ suitcases or purses and then be planted later at the guests’ leisure. Further, the seed cards can be personalized with your wedding date, your names, a photo or your favorite quote, inspiring your guests to let love bloom.

     

    Gift Boxes
    Glossy gift boxes with an embellished top present a classic Tiffany’s take on presentation that will have your guests wowing. Dress up the boxes with personalized gift tags or shiny ribbons, and place truffles, cookies or some other sweet treats inside.
     
    Use a bigger, triangular box to give your guests a slice of wedding cake to take home as a delicious parting gift. If you’re opting for a candy buffet for dessert in lieu of or in addition to cake, give your guests a beautifully decorated bag or box to take their goodies home in.

     

    Ingredients of Love
    Pay homage to a lost loved one’s recipe or introduce your guests to a family favorite with the ingredients of your favorite banana bread or sugar cookies. Using old-fashioned mason jars, layer the dry ingredients in a pretty pattern of varying colors. Tie a ribbon or jute rope around the lid with an attractive tag that lists the remaining ingredients and the recipe. For an added touch, include a mini-tin for your guests to bake the ingredients in.

     

     

    Topiary Place-Card Holders
    Place-card holders are a lovely way to dress up a reception, but miniature topiaries offer a stately touch to the table. Enchanting guests with the freshness of nature, most place-card topiaries come with a card clip tucked discreetly in the foliage. A charming favor to take home, the tiny tree can be displayed on a guest’s desk to hold photos or postcards or in the kitchen or bathroom for an elegant effect.

     

    Mini-Lantern Tealight Holder
    An evening outdoor reception can be set aglow with the ambiance of candlelight. With windproof miniature lanterns, the tealight holders can be hung from branches, grouped in different levels on the reception tables and staircases, or gathered for a dramatic centerpiece. Illuminating your special evening with candlelight adds a romantic and stylish setting as well as allows your guests to take a lantern home for dark nights.

     

    Napkin Rings

    As a practical and tasteful favor, stylish napkin rings can be embossed and polished with the words or finish of your choice. Have them personalized with traditional advice of “Live, Laugh, Love” or “Eat, Drink and Be Merry,” a heartfelt line from your vows, or your own words of wisdom. The tone of the reception will be graciously set, and guests will enjoy the rings on their own tables.

     

    A Chance to Win Big

    Giving out scratch lottery tickets is a fun favor that your guests will be more than happy to open. Affix a lucky penny to each ticket so that people can start scratching right away. Place the tickets in envelopes and guests can grab theirs on the way out the door, or attach them to a tree or large plant with decorative ribbon or a pretty string.  

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  • Photos by This Love of Yours... Photography

    PRESENTATION

    Use a color scheme that matches your wedding palette:  wedding colors aren’t just for the flowers and bridesmaids dresses!   Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established can enhance your candy table’s presence, and bring cohesion to your entire reception. Create depth and height in your display:  with simple boxes or even phone books, you can sculpt a beautiful landscape on your table.  You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or even leave them bare and covered with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing cascade. Take advantage of your centerpieces: whether they be flowers, candles, or tiny little goldfish, using an extra centerpiece or two will not only tie into the rest of your reception, but it can also add life and freshness to your candy table. Don’t be afraid to use trimmings: details like good quality linens, ribbons, and paper can add nice touches to your overall display. Less is more:  trimmings are definitely your friends, but don’t go overboard!  Too many space fillers can potentially clutter your table and cause sensory overload! Consider the table: where will it be located?  Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures?  Or will it be open so people can access it from all sides?  Will it even have sides, or will it be round?  These are all good questions to ask yourself before deciding on a set-up design.

    CANDY

    Color is key:  as mentioned before, having a specific color scheme can really make your table pop.  Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant.  Make sure to consider different hues and shades – for example, if your colors are red and brown, don’t be afraid of using different shades of reds and pinks.  If using primarily dark colors, try to use trimmings in lighter shades to bring energy to your table.  Check the weather:  Will it be hot or sunny?  Will the table be indoors or outdoors?  If indoor, will there be AC?  If you’re worried about warmth, save the stress and avoid candies that could easily melt (unfortunately this includes most chocolates)! Fruit seasons:  if you’re planning to use fresh fruit on your table (e.g. chocolate dipped strawberries), make sure you consider if they are even in season.  Strawberries in the winter might not be as sweet as when they’re at their peak in the summer! Not just candy:  if you’re open to treats in other forms, consider mini cookies, kettle corn, or spiced nuts as sweet additions.  Placing the wedding cake or groom's cake on the same table can add visual diversity. Be creative:  candy isn’t just made to be eaten, but also to play with!  Bundle large lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some marshmallows to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless. Keep it simple: having a variety of flavors and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavor profile.  Whether it be a gummy bear bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush! Don’t buy too much!  It’s easy to worry about not having enough for everyone, but if you’re planning to include a meal and cake in your reception, guests probably won’t be stuffing themselves with extra sugar.  A small portion of ½ cup (4 oz) or less is a good estimate per person.  If you want to buy in bulk for a visual effect, save large containers for popular candies so you won’t have too many leftovers.

    CONTAINERS AND SUPPLIES

    More than jars:  apothecary jars and similar containers tend to be the standard, but don’t miss out on other shapes and sizes you can find elsewhere!  Vases are fabulously inexpensive alternatives, and are easy to find.  If you’re going for opaque containers, small pails can give a rustic vibe, and wicker baskets can be cute and lighthearted.   Don’t be afraid to use cake stands, flat platters, and other serving ware to give your guests a variety of ways to choose their sweets! Scoops and things:  when choosing containers, make sure you keep in mind how your guests are going to get the candy out!  Scoops, tongs, and other serving ware should be small enough to get the goods! Individual containers:  if your table is set up as a DIY favor station, little bags or mini boxes can be great take-homes.  Dress them up with a little label and ribbon and your guests have a tasty treat for later.  Clear plastic cups or even napkins are an inexpensive option if you prefer the candy to be eaten on the spot.

    WHERE TO BUY SUPPLIES

    Project Wedding – the forums have a great Classified Section where you can buy gently used items from the community. 

    Online Candy Stores:
    -    http://www.candywarehouse.com/
    -    http://www.candyfavorites.com/
    -    http://www.bulkcandystore.com/
    -    http://www.metrocandy.com/home.asp
    -    http://www.candydirect.com/
    -    http://www.blaircandy.com/
    -    http://www.hometownfavorites.com/shop/candy_store.asp
    -    http://www.oldtimecandy.com/
    -    http://www.groovycandies.com/
    -    http://www.sweetnostalgia.com/
    -    http://www.nutsonline.com/gifts/weddingfavors/

    Local stores for candy:
    -    Your neighborhood grocery store: Safeway, Lucky, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.
    -    Bulk stores like Costco
    -    Michael’s: they have a special selection of wedding candies
    -    Ethnic grocers may also carry unique treats that can give your table a broader range of flavors.

    Containers and things:
    -    Restaurant supply stores, like Kamei or East Bay Restaurant Supply
    -    Save On Crafts
    -    CB2
    -    Michael’s
    -    Furniture stores like Ikea, Crate & Barrel
    -    Thrift or second-hand shops
    -    Cost-saving stores like Target, Ross, or the Dollar Store
    -    Scoops and more scoops

     

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  • Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now before the fun of planning the wedding starts, you’ll need to decide how much you can spend on the event. Whether you dream of a lavish ballroom affair or an intimate backyard fête, the first thing you’ll need to do is come up with a realistic budget to work from. You won’t want any regrets about your wedding, so you’ll need to figure out what you can and can’t afford before the bills arrive.

    “Once couples have figured out how much they can comfortably afford in total, they then need to prioritize what is most important to them to determine what percentage of their total budget should be allocated to each element,” says San Francisco wedding planner Carrie Topoian. “From there, couples can build their wedding toward the budget they have predetermined.”

    Carrie says some of the pitfalls in creating a wedding budget are that the couple may not realize how much each vendor will cost, whether there are any hidden fees at the venue, or they simply forget to build in tax and gratuity to their budget.  

    Couples can estimate to spend 50 percent of a budget on catering and venue. This includes food, beverages, staffing, taxes and tip. The ambiance portion of your budget—flowers, decorations and lighting—should only be 10 percent.

    Another 10 percent should be set aside for music, and an additional 10 percent for photography. For favors and gifts, which include your attendants’ presents, stick to small items with a personal touch and don’t spend over 3 percent of the wedding’s total price tag. If the ceremony site is different from the rehearsal venue, set aside an additional 3 percent.

    Invitations, save-the-date cards and programs should be priced at around 3 percent. And any transportation needed—will you arrive in a limo? Will guests need to be shuttled?—should cost around 1 percent of the total budget.

    Dreaming of a designer dress? Carrie says most brides set aside 10 percent for wedding attire, but that includes the groom’s tuxedo too! Don’t forget to factor in the unexpected items like postage for the RSVP cards and marriage license fees, and avoid overtime—an extra hour on the dance floor can cost dearly.

    Now that you have a budget you will want to stick with it. Put all your money you’ll be using for your wedding in one separate bank account, so you can keep track of the funds. If you’re paying for expenses with a credit card, find one with a low rate with mileage benefits that you can put toward your honeymoon airfare.

    It is important to remember that every couple’s budget may vary depending on their vendor preferences and that each couple may have different priorities when it comes to their wedding.  If you can stick to the budget, you can start your new life together without unexpected debt.

    Photo by Union Photography

     

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  • You asked and now he's answered! Read on for Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera's thoughtful suggestions and advice for the lovely ladies of Project Wedding. Don't miss him on WeTV's "My Fair Wedding," airing Sundays at 10 p.m.!

    Q: David,

    My friend Amy is engaged right now and is in a terrible situation with her parents. Her parents had a really nasty divorce about 10 years ago and absolutely HATE each other! Their wedding will be the first time they have seen each other since the divorce, and Amy is really stressing about them getting into a huge fight at the ceremony or reception. Have you encountered a situation like this before? Do you have any tips on how to handle this?  - Kelly

    A: Kelly,

    Feuding parents are a common problem in the bridal world. For your friend's situation, I would recommend that she set up a private meeting over coffee and tea to sit with her parents (together or separately - whichever she feels will be the most helpful) and talk about the wedding and any concerns or expectations she has. If her parents have any special requests, such as the need to be seated at separate tables (or separate corners), this will be a good time for them to bring up those concerns as well and set the ground rules. This way everything is out in the open, the air is clear and your friend can focus on herself and her new husband instead of her parents' feud on her wedding day!  Her parents should want the same thing for her as well.

     

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    Q: David,

    How would you word invitations where the bride's parents are divorced and her father and his wife are paying for the wedding (mother is not remarried) ... the groom's parents are both deceased but he has a step-mother? Thank you! Alison

    A: Allison,

    To show that while the bride's father and stepmother are paying for the wedding but she is only Mr. X's daughter, the invite should be worded as: Mr. and Mrs. Thompson request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Mr. Thompson's daughter X to __________etc.

     

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    Q: David,

    What advice do you have for those of us who are done with our own wedding planning, but still addicted to the whole thing? Since my wedding I have wanted nothing more than to become a wedding planner. However, I'm being told by friends and family that it's a big mistake. What are the pros and cons of actually becoming a wedding planner?

    -LaVitaBella

    A: LaVitaBella,

    If you have finished your own happily ever after but still have wedding fever, start or join a wedding blog! Wedding blogs are so popular right now and there are hundreds of sites dedicated to giving brides-to-be planning tips, tricks and advice.  If you are looking into becoming a planner, do your research on what it takes to plan and execute someone else's big day; it is very different than planning your own! Dealing with clients and the behind the scenes work can be difficult and often very stressful but I love being able to create and share in the most special day of someone's life. It is a very time consuming profession but if you love it, you are sure to succeed. Start small and see if this industry is for you, good luck!  You can also try to get an internship with a wedding planning company so that you can get the feel and see if it's right for you. 

     

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    Q: David,

    My fiance and I made a rule because most of his family members just "date" around and have a new girl/guy every week, so do you think its rude that if they haven't been "seriously" dating for over 4 months that they don't get a "plus 1"? This rule goes for everyone on our guest list, not just his side and keep in mind that this mostly goes towards the people that are between 20-27 years of age. We can't afford to pay for their weekly fling ;) -BlingBride22

    A: BlingBride22,

    Deciding who will receive the coveted "plus one" is a tricky situation. Many guests look forward to bringing a date to a wedding and many guests won't feel comfortable dancing or mingling by themselves. For the bride and groom however, this means having a potential stranger at a very personal event and for brides on a budget it can be tough to swallow.

     

    The best thing to do is to be as generous as you can but create a blanket rule, as you have done, and stick to it. You want your loved ones to relax and enjoy themselves, but it is important to draw the line somewhere.  Remember, you know your guests best of all and you need to feel comfortable.

     

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    Q: David,

    Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? We have a bridal party of 10, plus us, our parents, grandparents ... that makes 17 total. Then are we supposed to invite spouses or significant others of the BP, out of towners, the priest? This is going to total upwards of 30 people! Then to do it again the next night with even more people = lots of $$!! ---FSUKristi

    A: FSUKristi,

    Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom's parents. The bride, groom and both sets of parents and grandparents attend, as do any immediate family members and their partners or spouses. The officiant and his or her spouse are invited, as are the wedding party members and their spouses.
    Beyond that, the guest list for the rehearsal dinner is up to the host and hostess.

    It is nice to invite out of towners as they have traveled a long way to attend your event and should be welcomed to the wedding with a dinner. If you want to keep the guest list a little smaller, host a cocktail party for out-of-towners and keep the rehearsal dinner to just those actually appearing in the wedding (and their spouses of course). 

     

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    Q: David,

    What do brides need to know about having a destination wedding outside of the country, and what are the best ways to save money on a DW? (ie - getting hitched in the states the day before and having a "vow" ceremony) -Crystal from Houston, Texas

    A: Crystal,

    Destination weddings are a great way to have a personal and unique wedding where the emphasis is on relaxation, celebration and shared experiences. Brides should be aware that due to all the transportation, guests will likely need to take off of work and spend a considerable amount of money to attend your event so understand if guests are not able to make the trip.

    The easiest way to plan a destination wedding is to select a location like a hotel or resort that includes an event coordinator in your package. These professionals are extremely helpful in finding local vendors and helping you plan your travels, so take advantage of them! To help cut costs, choose an over the top location like an Oceanside ceremony or an ornate ballroom; this will save you money on expensive decorations!

     

     

     

     

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  • After you've selected and ordered the dress, you will need to prepare for your first fitting.  It's very important that you schedule this fitting, because it will identify any changes or alterations which need to be made to the dress.  Below, you will find some important things to consider when preparing for your first fitting.

    Setting Up the Appointment
    After you've ordered your first dress, set up the appointment for your first fitting with the bridal boutique or shop.  The appointment should be at least 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding day.  Of course, your first fitting should be timed to the day or week your wedding dress is supposed to arrive at the boutique (unless they had your size available at the shop.)  Call the day before your first fitting to confirm that the dress has arrived and that it's your correct size.

    The Day of Your First Fitting
    In order to prepare for your first fitting, you should wear the undergarments and shoes that you will be wearing on the day of your wedding.  The undergarments you've chosen can make a big difference in the way your wedding dress fits and looks on your body.  The shoes will help you identify whether the length is correct or needs to be adjusted.  In a perfect world, the dress would fit perfectly on this day, however many brides need to have a round of alterations done to ensure that the dress fits correctly.

    You may also want to try on the accessories with your wedding dress on this day to ensure that nothing needs to be changed.  Is your veil the perfect length?  If you'll be wearing a headpiece, does it coordinate well?  Determining these things will help your entire look come together for the wedding day.

    Things to Think About
    For your first fitting, you should make a note of all changes which need to be made.  Make sure the boutique owner or salesperson understands which alterations need to be made and what your desires are.  Consider how the dress feels; walk around with the dress on, sit down with the dress on and raise your arms above your head.  Does the dress stay in place, feel too tight or just perfect?  Will the undergarments you've chosen work well with the dress?

    Once you've made a note of all changes which need to be made, find out how long those changes will take and schedule a second fitting.   By knowing how to prepare for your first fitting, you can ensure that the dress is perfect for your wedding day.

     

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    {inspiration board found at ataleof2monkeys}

    {found at budgetsaavybride, photos by Boutwell Studio}

    {found at Toastandtables, images from Martha Stewart (top row) and The Knot (bottom row)}

    {found at Stylemepretty.com}

    {found at tiffanyadelinowedding.blogspot.com}

    {photography by Lucida photography}

     

    {photo by Boutswell photographer}

    Bridal Party Attire:

     

     

    Tables/Decoration:

     

     

     

     

    {Photos credited to Knottie dapotato}

     

     

    {totallytabletops.blogspot.com}

     

     

    {Table by In Awe Weddings}

    Invitations:

     

    {invitation set by Lucky Paperie}

     

    {invitation by Bellafigura}

    {Invitation by Etsy seller Michelle Brusegaard}

    {Invitation by Athenaeum Press}

    Other Inspiration:

    {Tote bag by Fat Orange Cat}

    {Purse by Laura Bee Designs}

     

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  • Photo by My Life Photography

    “First looks” are photo sessions that take place before the wedding ceremony, capturing the soon-to-be-married couple seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. Some couples may choose to wait to see each other until the ceremony , but we think these first look sessions can be totally amazing for a variety of reasons. Check out our top tips for a successful first look photo shoot!

    Plan Ahead
    Talk to your photographer before your wedding day to discuss the logistics of the first look photo shoot. The first look session should take place about two hours or so before the ceremony, so it’s important to plan your getting-ready schedule accordingly to make sure you and your spouse-to-be are fully prepped with plenty of time.

    Pick a Quiet, Well-Lit Spot
    Your photographer should arrive well before the wedding to scout out an appropriate location where the shoot will take place. Find a spot that’s relatively secluded – or if it’s indoors, sealed off so that no one can enter and interrupt this intimate moment.

    No Peeking!
    Try to avoid seeing (or talking to!) each other before the first look session. Get ready in separate locations, and tell your bridesmaids and groomsmen to avoid putting up any photos of you on social media before you’ve seen each other for the first time. You want the moment to feel special and genuine, not “oh, I just saw you five minutes ago but I’ll fake it for the photo.”

    Incorporate Photo and Video
    Make sure both your photographer and videographer are in the loop about the first look – of course, the photos are a wonderful visual representation, but it’s nice to also have the sounds and movement on record as well.

    Keep It Natural
    This is one of those photo moments during your wedding day that should not be posed – your photographer can explain to you and your groom (separately) in advance where she’d like the two of you to stand and walk, but when the first look moment actually occurs, your photographer should avoid talking to let the moment flow naturally.

    Keep It Simple
    There are lots of creative ways to stage a first look session, but the most important part is being able to see the looks on both of your faces. We recommend keeping it super simple – for example, one partner has his/her back facing away from the other, and then with a tap on the shoulder, turns around. It’s simple, sweet, easy to stage, and you’ll get emotional and clear photos.  

    Enjoy the Moment
    Before you see each other for the first time, take a deep breath and let all of the wedding-day stress melt away. When you have that initial first look moment, don’t immediately launch into all of the things that are going wrong (“My mom is being really annoying!”). Talk about how happy you are to see each other, and express your love for one another. This is a once-in-a-lifetime moment and you want the photos to convey your happiness, not the stress you were feeling at that moment.

    Take a Pre-Wedding Photo Without Seeing Each Other
    If you or your spouse are traditionalists and truly do not want to see each other before the ceremony, you can still have a modified first look by standing on opposite sides of a doorway, holding hands, but not peeking at each other. It can still be a sweet and emotional moment to capture.


    Photo by Photo Love Photography

    2
  • Save the sparklers for the nighttime! After you share your first kiss as a married couple, you'll want to celebrate as you walk back up the aisle. Of course, festive musical selections help, but getting your guests involved is even more fun. Check out some of our favorite recessional ideas.

    Classic Confetti
    It's festive, fun and creates a super-colorful photo op!


    Photo by Julie Saad Photography

    Blowing Bubbles
    Perfect for a whimsical outdoor garden wedding - and the kids in your wedding party will love it!


    Photo by Jodi Miller Photography

    Tossing Flowers
    Tossing rose petals is the ultimate classic recessional activity, but try a different flower, like mums, to brighten things up.


    Photo by onelove photography

    Waving Flags
    So cute (and patriotic) for a Fourth of July wedding!


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Lovely Lavender
    Another idea for an outdoor wedding - ask your guests to toss lavender seeds as you exit your ceremony. And - bonus! - it's good for the environment.


    Photo by Annie Hosfeld Photography

    Ribbon Wands
    Give your guests colorful ribbon wands to wave. It's a fun DIY project too!


    Photo by Crystal Satriano Photography

    Looking for send-off ideas for the end of the night? Click here for more great suggestions!
     

    1
  • Sure, you could assign each of your reception tables a number - it's clear, traditional, and easy for your guests to follow. However, if you want to be a little more creative, you could name your tables based on a theme. While this is certainly a cute and clever idea, we only recommend doing it if you can find a "naming theme" that truly resonates with you and suits your wedding style and venue. Check out a few of our favorite ideas here:

    Travel Themed
    Love to travel? Name your tables after places where you and your spouse have visited, or plan to visit. Your sweetheart table can be named for your honeymoon destination for a cute touch!


    Photo by Joel Bedford Photography
     

    Your Pets
    If you and your spouse are truly best buddies with your family pets, why not name your tables after them? You can name the tables after important animals in your life - from your dog, your grandmother's cat, a horse you grew up riding - the options are endless!


    Photo by Jillian Mitchell Photography

    Sports Lovers
    For couples who love watching or playing sports, name your reception tables after your favorite teams or, as this couple did, your favorite players.


    Photo by Genesa Richards Photography
     

    College Pride
    If you and your honey are college sweethearts, you might name your tables after buildings or landmarks at your alma mater.


    Photo by Shannon Cronin Photography

    Wines
    Getting married at a vineyard (or just loooove wine)? Naming your tables after your favorite wine varietals is fun and totally works with a vineyard theme!


    Photo by Shelly Kroeger Photography

    Your Jobs
    If you and your future spouse met at work, you could find creative ways to use your careers in your table names. For example, this lawyer couple named their tables after Supreme Court Justices. Just make sure that your guests can understand the references.


    Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

    Music Lovers
    Are you and your future spouse huge music buffs? Name tables after your favorite artists or songs - even your the music venues you frequent!


    Photo by Tia & Claire Studio

    Seasonal and Venue-Focused
    Think about the season when your wedding is taking place, as well as the venue. This couple named their tables after apple varieties for a fall wedding at an orchard. But for spring weddings you could name tables after your favorite flowers, or your favorite beaches at summer weddings.


    Photo by Jagger Photography

    Looking for more table number sign ideas? Check out these beautiful ideas!
     


     

    1
  • While it is technically your day, your wedding is also an important moment for your and your future spouse's families. If you're so inclined, it's often a nice idea to remember the other important weddings in your family's history on your own special day. While you don't have to make any grand statements at the actual event, there are a few small ways you can add a sense of nostalgia to your wedding. 


    Photo by Cramer Photo 

    Wear Your Mother's Veil
    Sure, you could go all out and wear your mother or grandmother's gown on your wedding day, but there's a likelihood (especially if your parents got married in the 80s) that her gown is just not your style. A veil is less of a committment and most classic heirloom veils will look beautiful with a variety of more modern gowns.

     
    Photo by Vivian Chen Photography 

    Don Some Heirloom Jewelry
    A delicate bracelet, necklace, or earrings previously worn by a relative on their wedding day can be a lovely symbol of your family's history. 


    Photo by onelove photography 

    Add Some Heirloom Quality to Your Bouquet
    Wrap your bouquet with lace from your mother's wedding gown or attach a locket or handkerchief to the stems. 


    Photo by Laura Elaine Photography 

    Give Your Ceremony a Personal Touch
    There are lots of ways you can incorporate your family's history into your ceremony. Walk down the aisle to the same song your mother did, incorporate a reading or other musical selection that was performed at your parents' wedding, or use acutal items like wine glasses, unity candles or religious elements from your parents' wedding during the proceedings. 


    Photo by Ten 2 Ten Photography 
     

    Wear Heirloom Rings
    Wedding bands are often passed down from generation to generation, and it's a beautiful way to honor those who came before you. 


    Photo by j.woodbery photography 

    Display Family Wedding Photos
    You can display family wedding photos near the guest book, on the escort card table, or simply on their own table or mantle at the reception. Your guests may chuckle at your relatives' fashion decisions, but it's a nice way to showcase your family history.


    Photo by Katie Slater Photography

    Pick the Same First Dance Song
    Classic first dance songs are making a big comeback! Share a first dance song with one set of parents - if the tune suits your musical tastes as well. 


    Photo by Earthmuse Photography 

    Share a Cake Topper
    Vintage cake toppers are all the rage, so why not use the same one your parents did on their big day? It's a subtle, but nostalgic touch. 

    Looking for more vintage wedding ideas? Visit our Flowers & Decor editors for lots of gorgeous inspiration!

     

     

    1
  • Favors are a thoughtful way to express gratitude to your guests on your wedding day. Don’t hesitate to be creative and offer a parting gift that lasts beyond its time at the reception. We have compiled a list of unique and stunning favors that will have your guests abuzz.

     


    Photo by Blaine Photography 

     
    Potted Plants
    Far superior to fresh blooms that eventually wither to expiration, potted plants offer a great keepsake. Succulents work best, with sturdy and elegant blooms that take very little gardening knowledge to keep alive. These potted plants breathe life into the reception space while offering a parting gift to your guests that continues to grow.
     
    Seed Cards
    As a creative solution to favors that never get used, cards that are embedded with seeds are the perfect favor for travelers, gardeners and green-minded guests alike. Light and practical, seed cards can easily slide into your guests’ suitcases or purses and then be planted later at the guests’ leisure. Further, the seed cards can be personalized with your wedding date, your names, a photo or your favorite quote, inspiring your guests to let love bloom.

     

    Gift Boxes
    Glossy gift boxes with an embellished top present a classic Tiffany’s take on presentation that will have your guests wowing. Dress up the boxes with personalized gift tags or shiny ribbons, and place truffles, cookies or some other sweet treats inside.
     
    Use a bigger, triangular box to give your guests a slice of wedding cake to take home as a delicious parting gift. If you’re opting for a candy buffet for dessert in lieu of or in addition to cake, give your guests a beautifully decorated bag or box to take their goodies home in.

     

    Ingredients of Love
    Pay homage to a lost loved one’s recipe or introduce your guests to a family favorite with the ingredients of your favorite banana bread or sugar cookies. Using old-fashioned mason jars, layer the dry ingredients in a pretty pattern of varying colors. Tie a ribbon or jute rope around the lid with an attractive tag that lists the remaining ingredients and the recipe. For an added touch, include a mini-tin for your guests to bake the ingredients in.

     

     

    Topiary Place-Card Holders
    Place-card holders are a lovely way to dress up a reception, but miniature topiaries offer a stately touch to the table. Enchanting guests with the freshness of nature, most place-card topiaries come with a card clip tucked discreetly in the foliage. A charming favor to take home, the tiny tree can be displayed on a guest’s desk to hold photos or postcards or in the kitchen or bathroom for an elegant effect.

     

    Mini-Lantern Tealight Holder
    An evening outdoor reception can be set aglow with the ambiance of candlelight. With windproof miniature lanterns, the tealight holders can be hung from branches, grouped in different levels on the reception tables and staircases, or gathered for a dramatic centerpiece. Illuminating your special evening with candlelight adds a romantic and stylish setting as well as allows your guests to take a lantern home for dark nights.

     

    Napkin Rings

    As a practical and tasteful favor, stylish napkin rings can be embossed and polished with the words or finish of your choice. Have them personalized with traditional advice of “Live, Laugh, Love” or “Eat, Drink and Be Merry,” a heartfelt line from your vows, or your own words of wisdom. The tone of the reception will be graciously set, and guests will enjoy the rings on their own tables.

     

    A Chance to Win Big

    Giving out scratch lottery tickets is a fun favor that your guests will be more than happy to open. Affix a lucky penny to each ticket so that people can start scratching right away. Place the tickets in envelopes and guests can grab theirs on the way out the door, or attach them to a tree or large plant with decorative ribbon or a pretty string.  

    3

  • Photos by This Love of Yours... Photography

    PRESENTATION

    Use a color scheme that matches your wedding palette:  wedding colors aren’t just for the flowers and bridesmaids dresses!   Taking advantage of the colors you’ve already established can enhance your candy table’s presence, and bring cohesion to your entire reception. Create depth and height in your display:  with simple boxes or even phone books, you can sculpt a beautiful landscape on your table.  You can wrap the boxes in decorative paper, or even leave them bare and covered with matching linens for a refined, free-flowing cascade. Take advantage of your centerpieces: whether they be flowers, candles, or tiny little goldfish, using an extra centerpiece or two will not only tie into the rest of your reception, but it can also add life and freshness to your candy table. Don’t be afraid to use trimmings: details like good quality linens, ribbons, and paper can add nice touches to your overall display. Less is more:  trimmings are definitely your friends, but don’t go overboard!  Too many space fillers can potentially clutter your table and cause sensory overload! Consider the table: where will it be located?  Will there be a nice backdrop or wall behind it for pictures?  Or will it be open so people can access it from all sides?  Will it even have sides, or will it be round?  These are all good questions to ask yourself before deciding on a set-up design.

    CANDY

    Color is key:  as mentioned before, having a specific color scheme can really make your table pop.  Monochromatic palettes can also be striking and elegant.  Make sure to consider different hues and shades – for example, if your colors are red and brown, don’t be afraid of using different shades of reds and pinks.  If using primarily dark colors, try to use trimmings in lighter shades to bring energy to your table.  Check the weather:  Will it be hot or sunny?  Will the table be indoors or outdoors?  If indoor, will there be AC?  If you’re worried about warmth, save the stress and avoid candies that could easily melt (unfortunately this includes most chocolates)! Fruit seasons:  if you’re planning to use fresh fruit on your table (e.g. chocolate dipped strawberries), make sure you consider if they are even in season.  Strawberries in the winter might not be as sweet as when they’re at their peak in the summer! Not just candy:  if you’re open to treats in other forms, consider mini cookies, kettle corn, or spiced nuts as sweet additions.  Placing the wedding cake or groom's cake on the same table can add visual diversity. Be creative:  candy isn’t just made to be eaten, but also to play with!  Bundle large lollipops together like a bouquet of flowers, or skewer some marshmallows to simulate kabobs – the possibilities are endless. Keep it simple: having a variety of flavors and different types of candy can be satisfying to everyone, but don’t be afraid to go with a specific flavor profile.  Whether it be a gummy bear bar or a chocolate truffle tribute, your guests will definitely enjoy the sugar rush! Don’t buy too much!  It’s easy to worry about not having enough for everyone, but if you’re planning to include a meal and cake in your reception, guests probably won’t be stuffing themselves with extra sugar.  A small portion of ½ cup (4 oz) or less is a good estimate per person.  If you want to buy in bulk for a visual effect, save large containers for popular candies so you won’t have too many leftovers.

    CONTAINERS AND SUPPLIES

    More than jars:  apothecary jars and similar containers tend to be the standard, but don’t miss out on other shapes and sizes you can find elsewhere!  Vases are fabulously inexpensive alternatives, and are easy to find.  If you’re going for opaque containers, small pails can give a rustic vibe, and wicker baskets can be cute and lighthearted.   Don’t be afraid to use cake stands, flat platters, and other serving ware to give your guests a variety of ways to choose their sweets! Scoops and things:  when choosing containers, make sure you keep in mind how your guests are going to get the candy out!  Scoops, tongs, and other serving ware should be small enough to get the goods! Individual containers:  if your table is set up as a DIY favor station, little bags or mini boxes can be great take-homes.  Dress them up with a little label and ribbon and your guests have a tasty treat for later.  Clear plastic cups or even napkins are an inexpensive option if you prefer the candy to be eaten on the spot.

    WHERE TO BUY SUPPLIES

    Project Wedding – the forums have a great Classified Section where you can buy gently used items from the community. 

    Online Candy Stores:
    -    http://www.candywarehouse.com/
    -    http://www.candyfavorites.com/
    -    http://www.bulkcandystore.com/
    -    http://www.metrocandy.com/home.asp
    -    http://www.candydirect.com/
    -    http://www.blaircandy.com/
    -    http://www.hometownfavorites.com/shop/candy_store.asp
    -    http://www.oldtimecandy.com/
    -    http://www.groovycandies.com/
    -    http://www.sweetnostalgia.com/
    -    http://www.nutsonline.com/gifts/weddingfavors/

    Local stores for candy:
    -    Your neighborhood grocery store: Safeway, Lucky, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc.
    -    Bulk stores like Costco
    -    Michael’s: they have a special selection of wedding candies
    -    Ethnic grocers may also carry unique treats that can give your table a broader range of flavors.

    Containers and things:
    -    Restaurant supply stores, like Kamei or East Bay Restaurant Supply
    -    Save On Crafts
    -    CB2
    -    Michael’s
    -    Furniture stores like Ikea, Crate & Barrel
    -    Thrift or second-hand shops
    -    Cost-saving stores like Target, Ross, or the Dollar Store
    -    Scoops and more scoops

     

    13
  • Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now before the fun of planning the wedding starts, you’ll need to decide how much you can spend on the event. Whether you dream of a lavish ballroom affair or an intimate backyard fête, the first thing you’ll need to do is come up with a realistic budget to work from. You won’t want any regrets about your wedding, so you’ll need to figure out what you can and can’t afford before the bills arrive.

    “Once couples have figured out how much they can comfortably afford in total, they then need to prioritize what is most important to them to determine what percentage of their total budget should be allocated to each element,” says San Francisco wedding planner Carrie Topoian. “From there, couples can build their wedding toward the budget they have predetermined.”

    Carrie says some of the pitfalls in creating a wedding budget are that the couple may not realize how much each vendor will cost, whether there are any hidden fees at the venue, or they simply forget to build in tax and gratuity to their budget.  

    Couples can estimate to spend 50 percent of a budget on catering and venue. This includes food, beverages, staffing, taxes and tip. The ambiance portion of your budget—flowers, decorations and lighting—should only be 10 percent.

    Another 10 percent should be set aside for music, and an additional 10 percent for photography. For favors and gifts, which include your attendants’ presents, stick to small items with a personal touch and don’t spend over 3 percent of the wedding’s total price tag. If the ceremony site is different from the rehearsal venue, set aside an additional 3 percent.

    Invitations, save-the-date cards and programs should be priced at around 3 percent. And any transportation needed—will you arrive in a limo? Will guests need to be shuttled?—should cost around 1 percent of the total budget.

    Dreaming of a designer dress? Carrie says most brides set aside 10 percent for wedding attire, but that includes the groom’s tuxedo too! Don’t forget to factor in the unexpected items like postage for the RSVP cards and marriage license fees, and avoid overtime—an extra hour on the dance floor can cost dearly.

    Now that you have a budget you will want to stick with it. Put all your money you’ll be using for your wedding in one separate bank account, so you can keep track of the funds. If you’re paying for expenses with a credit card, find one with a low rate with mileage benefits that you can put toward your honeymoon airfare.

    It is important to remember that every couple’s budget may vary depending on their vendor preferences and that each couple may have different priorities when it comes to their wedding.  If you can stick to the budget, you can start your new life together without unexpected debt.

    Photo by Union Photography

     

    5
  • You asked and now he's answered! Read on for Celebrity Wedding Planner David Tutera's thoughtful suggestions and advice for the lovely ladies of Project Wedding. Don't miss him on WeTV's "My Fair Wedding," airing Sundays at 10 p.m.!

    Q: David,

    My friend Amy is engaged right now and is in a terrible situation with her parents. Her parents had a really nasty divorce about 10 years ago and absolutely HATE each other! Their wedding will be the first time they have seen each other since the divorce, and Amy is really stressing about them getting into a huge fight at the ceremony or reception. Have you encountered a situation like this before? Do you have any tips on how to handle this?  - Kelly

    A: Kelly,

    Feuding parents are a common problem in the bridal world. For your friend's situation, I would recommend that she set up a private meeting over coffee and tea to sit with her parents (together or separately - whichever she feels will be the most helpful) and talk about the wedding and any concerns or expectations she has. If her parents have any special requests, such as the need to be seated at separate tables (or separate corners), this will be a good time for them to bring up those concerns as well and set the ground rules. This way everything is out in the open, the air is clear and your friend can focus on herself and her new husband instead of her parents' feud on her wedding day!  Her parents should want the same thing for her as well.

     

    ~

    Q: David,

    How would you word invitations where the bride's parents are divorced and her father and his wife are paying for the wedding (mother is not remarried) ... the groom's parents are both deceased but he has a step-mother? Thank you! Alison

    A: Allison,

    To show that while the bride's father and stepmother are paying for the wedding but she is only Mr. X's daughter, the invite should be worded as: Mr. and Mrs. Thompson request the honor of your presence at the marriage of Mr. Thompson's daughter X to __________etc.

     

    ~

    Q: David,

    What advice do you have for those of us who are done with our own wedding planning, but still addicted to the whole thing? Since my wedding I have wanted nothing more than to become a wedding planner. However, I'm being told by friends and family that it's a big mistake. What are the pros and cons of actually becoming a wedding planner?

    -LaVitaBella

    A: LaVitaBella,

    If you have finished your own happily ever after but still have wedding fever, start or join a wedding blog! Wedding blogs are so popular right now and there are hundreds of sites dedicated to giving brides-to-be planning tips, tricks and advice.  If you are looking into becoming a planner, do your research on what it takes to plan and execute someone else's big day; it is very different than planning your own! Dealing with clients and the behind the scenes work can be difficult and often very stressful but I love being able to create and share in the most special day of someone's life. It is a very time consuming profession but if you love it, you are sure to succeed. Start small and see if this industry is for you, good luck!  You can also try to get an internship with a wedding planning company so that you can get the feel and see if it's right for you. 

     

    ~

    Q: David,

    My fiance and I made a rule because most of his family members just "date" around and have a new girl/guy every week, so do you think its rude that if they haven't been "seriously" dating for over 4 months that they don't get a "plus 1"? This rule goes for everyone on our guest list, not just his side and keep in mind that this mostly goes towards the people that are between 20-27 years of age. We can't afford to pay for their weekly fling ;) -BlingBride22

    A: BlingBride22,

    Deciding who will receive the coveted "plus one" is a tricky situation. Many guests look forward to bringing a date to a wedding and many guests won't feel comfortable dancing or mingling by themselves. For the bride and groom however, this means having a potential stranger at a very personal event and for brides on a budget it can be tough to swallow.

     

    The best thing to do is to be as generous as you can but create a blanket rule, as you have done, and stick to it. You want your loved ones to relax and enjoy themselves, but it is important to draw the line somewhere.  Remember, you know your guests best of all and you need to feel comfortable.

     

    ~

    Q: David,

    Who should be invited to the rehearsal dinner? We have a bridal party of 10, plus us, our parents, grandparents ... that makes 17 total. Then are we supposed to invite spouses or significant others of the BP, out of towners, the priest? This is going to total upwards of 30 people! Then to do it again the next night with even more people = lots of $$!! ---FSUKristi

    A: FSUKristi,

    Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom's parents. The bride, groom and both sets of parents and grandparents attend, as do any immediate family members and their partners or spouses. The officiant and his or her spouse are invited, as are the wedding party members and their spouses.
    Beyond that, the guest list for the rehearsal dinner is up to the host and hostess.

    It is nice to invite out of towners as they have traveled a long way to attend your event and should be welcomed to the wedding with a dinner. If you want to keep the guest list a little smaller, host a cocktail party for out-of-towners and keep the rehearsal dinner to just those actually appearing in the wedding (and their spouses of course). 

     

    ~

    Q: David,

    What do brides need to know about having a destination wedding outside of the country, and what are the best ways to save money on a DW? (ie - getting hitched in the states the day before and having a "vow" ceremony) -Crystal from Houston, Texas

    A: Crystal,

    Destination weddings are a great way to have a personal and unique wedding where the emphasis is on relaxation, celebration and shared experiences. Brides should be aware that due to all the transportation, guests will likely need to take off of work and spend a considerable amount of money to attend your event so understand if guests are not able to make the trip.

    The easiest way to plan a destination wedding is to select a location like a hotel or resort that includes an event coordinator in your package. These professionals are extremely helpful in finding local vendors and helping you plan your travels, so take advantage of them! To help cut costs, choose an over the top location like an Oceanside ceremony or an ornate ballroom; this will save you money on expensive decorations!

     

     

     

     

    0
  • After you've selected and ordered the dress, you will need to prepare for your first fitting.  It's very important that you schedule this fitting, because it will identify any changes or alterations which need to be made to the dress.  Below, you will find some important things to consider when preparing for your first fitting.

    Setting Up the Appointment
    After you've ordered your first dress, set up the appointment for your first fitting with the bridal boutique or shop.  The appointment should be at least 6 to 8 weeks before your wedding day.  Of course, your first fitting should be timed to the day or week your wedding dress is supposed to arrive at the boutique (unless they had your size available at the shop.)  Call the day before your first fitting to confirm that the dress has arrived and that it's your correct size.

    The Day of Your First Fitting
    In order to prepare for your first fitting, you should wear the undergarments and shoes that you will be wearing on the day of your wedding.  The undergarments you've chosen can make a big difference in the way your wedding dress fits and looks on your body.  The shoes will help you identify whether the length is correct or needs to be adjusted.  In a perfect world, the dress would fit perfectly on this day, however many brides need to have a round of alterations done to ensure that the dress fits correctly.

    You may also want to try on the accessories with your wedding dress on this day to ensure that nothing needs to be changed.  Is your veil the perfect length?  If you'll be wearing a headpiece, does it coordinate well?  Determining these things will help your entire look come together for the wedding day.

    Things to Think About
    For your first fitting, you should make a note of all changes which need to be made.  Make sure the boutique owner or salesperson understands which alterations need to be made and what your desires are.  Consider how the dress feels; walk around with the dress on, sit down with the dress on and raise your arms above your head.  Does the dress stay in place, feel too tight or just perfect?  Will the undergarments you've chosen work well with the dress?

    Once you've made a note of all changes which need to be made, find out how long those changes will take and schedule a second fitting.   By knowing how to prepare for your first fitting, you can ensure that the dress is perfect for your wedding day.

     

    1
  •  

    {inspiration board found at ataleof2monkeys}

    {found at budgetsaavybride, photos by Boutwell Studio}

    {found at Toastandtables, images from Martha Stewart (top row) and The Knot (bottom row)}

    {found at Stylemepretty.com}

    {found at tiffanyadelinowedding.blogspot.com}

    {photography by Lucida photography}

     

    {photo by Boutswell photographer}

    Bridal Party Attire:

     

     

    Tables/Decoration:

     

     

     

     

    {Photos credited to Knottie dapotato}

     

     

    {totallytabletops.blogspot.com}

     

     

    {Table by In Awe Weddings}

    Invitations:

     

    {invitation set by Lucky Paperie}

     

    {invitation by Bellafigura}

    {Invitation by Etsy seller Michelle Brusegaard}

    {Invitation by Athenaeum Press}

    Other Inspiration:

    {Tote bag by Fat Orange Cat}

    {Purse by Laura Bee Designs}

     

    0

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- Fashion: Save your favorite wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, evening dresses for the mothers of the bride and groom (or for you at the reception), and flower girl dresses.

- Wedding website: Create a free website for your wedding! Choose from designer themes, upload unlimited photos, customize maps, track guest RSVPs, and much more with our easy to use website designer.

- Wedding cost calculator: Wedding planning isn’t all fun and games. But with our wedding cost calculator you can develop a personal wedding budget and easily eliminate the stress of counting costs.

- Wedding checklist: Don’t miss a detail with the best wedding checklist on the web. Our customizable wedding planning checklist has everything you need to plan with ease.

Additionally, the many articles on our site provide the very best wedding planning ideas and tips for all types of brides. Start your planning now, and have fun!