Happy Maids and Gents = Happy Bride

Today, I have some advice on how to keep your bridesmaids and guymaids happy and you’re relationships with them in peak condition throughout your wedding planning process. First things first, remember that these are the women and men that you love and cherish the most. So much so, that you have asked them to stand next to you on what is the most important day of your life. Keep that in mind as you progress through the months leading up to your wedding. You don’t want to lose your besties by turning in to an unhinged Bridezilla.

 

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics.      Source:  http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Trust me, nothing positive will resort from Bridezilla antics. Source:http://marryingananti-bride.blogspot.com/2012/09/sooo-what-is-anti-bride.html

Next, consider the body type of ALL of your bridal party when choosing what they will wear.  If you have petite or plus size maids, pick a style that will flatter everyone. No one should have to crash diet or wear sky high heels just to work an outfit. This too goes back to rule number one.Second, keep the finances of each of your attendants in mind when choosing your bridesmaid’s and guymaid’s attire. If you have one person who could realistically afford a $400 dress/suit and another who can only afford to spend $200 or less, don’t make the one with the smaller budget feel insecure, misunderstood, and feeling like he or she has to get a part time job just to pay for being in your wedding. What to do? Either choose a more affordable dress or pay the difference. Remember rule number one: these are the most important people to you, treat them with love and respect.

Fourth, when planning events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette parties, keep the budgets and beliefs of your maids and gents in mind. That trip to Vegas could conflict with religious beliefs or be unattainable due to finances. Trust me, you can have a great bachelorette party keeping it local and affordable and by everyone present keeping their clothes on. If you and your maids can do the weekend in Vegas, then by all means drop some dollars in the slot for me!

Finally, be respectful of your maids’ and gents’ time. Give yourself a good old fashioned reality check when it comes to your expectations of your crew. Expecting them to attend each and every wedding related event from dress shopping, making favors, to parties is incredibly selfish and unrealistic. They have lives too and you have to keep in mind that they have to work, take care of their kids, pay bills, etc. and that your only expectation should be for them to attend the rehearsal the day before the wedding, purchase their outfits, and stand next to you at the wedding. That’s all that should be asked and expected of them.

Don’t be like this real bride who sent this letter (that has since gone viral) to her bridal party:

“To my lovely Bridesmaid: [Names removed to protect the brideslaves]

As you all know I picked 10 wonderful ladies to stand by my side, share and make happen my special day to Jake. Each of you individually have a reason and a special place in my heart of why I picked you to be a bridesmaid. We have set our date for Saturday, August 31, 2013 in Vail, Colorado. That seems far away but it really isn’t, the earlier the planning the better. You may have already knew that my wonderful sister L— will be the Maid of Honor, she’s in charge under me. Also my lovely mom will be a big help as well. L— has a big role in throwing me a bridal shower and bachelorette party, of course all of you guys do but at the end of the day shes the go to person and makes it happen+Doe.

You all have a big roll in this wedding, so before we continue I’m going to be setting some ground rules and its very important you read and think about everything through before you accept this honor to be a bridesmaid. If you guys email anything I would also like you to put L— in the CC. Not all the bridesmaid need to be CC’d unless its coming from me or L—, if it something everyone needs to see then well do it. We set the date to August 31, 2013 if that’s a problem we need to know NOW. Also by the end of the week we will be setting dates for the engagement party, bridal show and bachelorette party.

Our wedding party is really the most important people at the wedding besides my self and Jake so we want every single one of our bridesmaid and grooms at our parties, I have 10 not 8 where two couldn’t make it so if you already know you cant make one of the parties then we have to find someone else, not to be harsh in the slightest it would sadden me and of course you’ll still be invited to our wedding, engagement ect. But it’s different if your not in the wedding party and couldn’t make it. We’ll give everyone well advance dates for the parties and it will always fall on a weekend. The wedding as I stated will be in Vail the engagement party will either be in NY or CT and the bachelorette party will be in Vegas, cliche yeaa but I’ve never been.

A few girls live out of town so if there is going to be a problem with coming to either one then I need to know now because after this week I don’t want to be surprised. I would like everyone to send me any dates they are going away or planning to go away after February so if your going away in January I don’t care. I want any dates from February to the day of our wedding in August, that way we know not to plan something when your away. But after this week the dates are set in stone. Also if money is tight and you cant afford to contribute to say the bachelorette party or wont be able to afford a dress etc then L— and Myself don’t have time to deal with that, I’m sorry. This includes flights as well, everyone knows the states where the parties are going to be held so if you wont be able to afford a flight then that means you cant make a party which ultimately means I cant have you as a bridesmaid. Obviously we’ll get the best deals and were not gonna books flights for $1000 and shit that’s why were doing this in advance, that goes for bridesmaids dresses as well everything will be affordable but if you think by affordable its going to be a $25 forever 21 dress then your going to the wrong wedding.

If your out of state though don’t think you have to fly in for all fittings, that we will work with you, find stores in your town, get measurements..you don’t have to worry about that. Also if you accept this honor another thing is that you need to be available, I’m not going to harass you with wedding stuff every hour of everyday but if its something important and it takes you a week even 2-3 days to get back to me seeeee ya! I don’t have time to wait around for responses, everyone has their phone on them, it shouldn’t take you more than a day to get back to me, even if your out of the country, check your email!

Furthermore, Ever since I could remember I have dreamed about this day all my life. I want to share it with the people that are most important to me. You only get one time to plan your dream wedding and I couldn’t pick a more amazing group of girls to make that dream come true! So please, what’s stated above think about it all and by Wednesday I need to know if everyone is 100% in, and what I have asked about sending me dates if your gonna be away between Feb-Aug ill need that on Wednesday. If you don’t think you’ll be able to attend one party but can make the rest of them I’m sorry but I’ll have to take you out as a bridesmaid and put you as a guest. If you want to get back to me before Wednesday, that’s fine. Really think about everything I’ve said. This is really going to be the most epic wedding ever so I hope you girls can share this special day with us!

Love,”

Read more: http://www.uproxx.com/webculture/2012/10/this-bridezillas-letter-to-her-potential-bridesmaids-is-sad-terrifying/#ixzz2I1Xnn8rF

Really? That is one big mess of crazy and I would hope that her bridesmaids stood up to her.

So, with that said, how about some affordable bridesmaids dresses for under $150?! For your guymaids, rental suits and tuxes are typically under $150, but here are some great accessories under $50 so your guys can spice up those cookie cutter rentals.

Bridesmaid Dresses under $150

Men's Ties "Guymaids" under $50

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Wedding 101: 6 Things To Consider With Invitations

There is proper etiquette when it comes to sending out invitations and all sorts of fancy fonts… but you can Google that.  What’s really important, is how to make your life easier for you and your guests by remembering a few key additions:

1) Add a visual timeline

A timeline people can hang onto the day of or post on their fridge is much more beneficial than the invitation that is crowded with calligraphy and fancy words.  Either add this to the top on your formal invitation or include it as a separate card in the envelope… maybe even make it into a magnet.

2) Children or No Children

If you are inviting everyone and their kids, make sure to include a choice of a children’s meal on the reply card.  If you do not want guests to assume their children are invited or only certain children, make sure you DO NOT add a children’s meal choice on ALL the reply cards.  If you address the invite to “Mr. & Mrs. Turner” and not “Mr. & Mrs. Turner and Family”, you will almost certainly get a phone call from them asking, “I see a children’s meal on the reply card…are the kids invited too?”.  AHHHH O NO!  Then you have to explain to them how only certain kids are coming and not theirs…that’s added stress you don’t need.

Avoid most of those inquiries by only adding a children’s meal choice with the invites who have children who are invited.  It might seem like a lot of extra work, but it is well worth it.

3) Include postage on the reply card

Not only would it appear to be tacky, you might not get many replies back.  Make sure to budget for the extra couple hundred dollars in postage for the reply cards because you might be shocked after you spend all that money on your dream invitations.  Most people will assume postage is added and drop it in the mail without even checking.  This creates a chance for reply cards to be lost or returned and never re-sent…then you will have 50 extra people show up who RSVP’d, but you didn’t know.

4) Make meal choices clear, but not too clear

If you decide to offer plated meals, remember to have guests let you know which meal they would like so you can mark the place cards accordingly.  You do not need to tell them you are having “Seared Sirloin with a light demi-glaze and a side of asparagus and twice-baked garlic potatoes”…just tell your guests it is BEEF!  You will avoid endless phone calls asking what you mean by “demi-glaze” and if they can get chicken strips instead.

What you should do is allow for a place to:
-accept or decline your invitation
-initial or circle a meal choice for each guest invited

5) Number the back of your RSVP Cards. 

This is such a good idea and you’ll thank me later for it 😉 because some people write a no where they should put their name and you have no idea who it is! Once you get them back in the mail, go into your excel spreadsheet and mark them coming or not coming. Then you also don’t have to worry about losing the cards and you can easily tell who still owes you one.

6) Most importantly…  DO NOT include registry information with the formal invitations

As much as you would like people to know where they can buy you all sorts of goodies, it is rude.  Call me old fashion, but a wedding is a celebration of love, not gifts and money.  You should be happy to be blessed with your guests’ presence and you do not want them to think anything other.  Registry information should be common knowledge to your bridal party and they can spread the word, posted on your wedding website, or only spoken of if asked.  If people really want to know, they will ask.

 

 

Flower Girl Inspiration…

 

 

Though the Flower Girl plays a significant role in a ceremony, her attire is often overlooked until the last minute. When the time comes to focus on that adorable little one, finding that perfect dress can be much more time consuming than anticipated, as many brides want their flower girls to blend in with their bridesmaids, but not match them.

Add a simple lace, satin or embellished sash to a simple white or ivory dress, or if you don’t want your flower girl to wear a white dress, opt for something colorful. Choose the same or a complimentary hue to the bridesmaids dresses.

Etiquette Tip: If you think about it, the women standing next to you at the altar know you well. You have spent years developing friendships with them. Often, this is not the case with a flower girl. If you are paying for your bridesmaid dresses, it’s best to offer to do the same for the flower girl. Her dress will most likely cost less.

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories are something you will most likely contribute to the flower girl’s attire. Some trends we are loving? Tutu’s, burlap baskets, halos, customized headbands and handmade signs. Browse through Etsy for more ideas!

 

 

Remember, it’s the LITTLE things that count!

 

 

Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Let’s face it. Just because you’re a “bride”, it doesn’t mean that you should act a certain way on your wedding day. All brides are different. Because  they’re people, and people have different personalities. But no matter who or what or where, I’m pretty sure that most brides want to enjoy their wedding day, right?

You’ve been planning this day for months, constantly immersed in the details, and having nightmares dreams about what will go on during your wedding day. You can’t help but worry/think about that one goofy groomsman or if guests’ favors will be put in the correct place. And so, a few tips for you to help you enjoy your wedding day…

* Have a day-of coordinator. I know, I’m a broken record about it, but it’s totally the truth. Keep in mind that a day-of coordinator (aka DOC) doesn’t just walk in on the day-of your wedding. A DOC will work with you weeks prior to your wedding to make sure all of the details are taken care of. You won’t have to worry about how things are going to get done while you’re busy getting beautified on the day of your wedding. And you will have time to soak up your wedding day in all of it’s lovey/joyful/amazing glory.

* Have a general timeline. You don’t have to stick to the timeline exactly, but it’s always good to have the order of events in mind. (Wedding 101: Wedding Day Timeline) If you have a DOC, she will handle the timeline for you and make sure you’re not running behind or dilly dallying too much. If you don’t have a DOC, know what time you have to be ready, and then plan to be ready before that time. We all know that the worst feeling is being rushed, and that feeling can be even worse on your wedding day.

* Don’t forget to spend some time with your new husband! A first look is the best way to do this, plus it greatly eases any issues with available photo time. If you don’t do a first look, definitely make sure to sneak away for photos with just the two of you!

* Family photo organization. Let family members know that they will be wanted for photos after the ceremony so they don’t wander off.

 * And the ultimate wedding day tip: no matter what happens, remember that at the end of the day you will be married!

If you have a tip to add, please share it in the comments! I hope everyone is able to enjoy their wedding day even more now!

Creative Wedding Programs

The programs for your wedding ceremony may seem like a small detail among all the elements of your wedding, but they offer an opportunity to show your personality, support the theme of your wedding, and give your guests something fun to use and keep.

No one says your programs have to be printed on the usual single-page or bi-fold piece of stationary. Think about uncommon ways to present your programs.

 

Wedding 101: Controlling Your Guest List

The title alone is enough to make you cringe, but don’t worry it can be easier than you’ve heard it can be. Nothing about this process is gonna be easy and it can result in daily disagreements until it’s finished , but it’s something every bride and groom must buckle down and get done.The most difficult part is getting started, but no worries, I can help you out with that.

If you haven’t already thought about it, figure out the general size of the wedding you would like to have. Do you want a large fairytale wedding with 250 of your closest family and friends or an intimate wedding of 50 or less. Once you decide which direction you would like to go and what number you’d like to stick closest to, you can then move on to decide how you will choose your guests. This decision can also be narrowed down depending on your budget for the reception, it will also be easier to decide on a specific number when you decide on how many you can afford.

In order to diffuse any tension the guest list may cause, establish early on if it will only be the two of you making guest list decisions or if your family will have a say in who’s invited. Deciding to include your parents in the guest list process can be a headache in itself because they can try to over take your list with old friends and family members you haven’t spoken to in years. If you would like to avoid that kind of tension, the two of you can make separate list’s of must have’s and then combine them and fill whatever spaces might be left. However, this method is not always fool-proof due to the fact that one of you may have a large family while the other one has a rather small family. This issue can also be a source of stress because the guest list may end up being uneven and that isn’t exactly fair either. Should you and your mate reach an impasse take a second alone and really crunch your list to decide who must be at your wedding.

Children or no children?

This can have a large effect on the size of your guest list. Kids are always great but sometimes they aren’t a great match for a wedding and reception. If this is the case make, sure that you address both the inner and outer envelopes to the parents only. Printing “no children” anywhere on your correspondence may not be the most polite option and having a blanket “no children allowed” policy is not always practical either. So in order to fix this here is what you do, have an age limit that states that only children 12 and over are allowed or only of the children of the bridal party are allowed. This is not one of the easier parts of the invitation process because lots of friends have children but these types of decisions have to be made.

Once you’ve narrowed down your guest list to the absolute last guests, make sure you are keeping constant tabs of the people on your guest lists. This means keeping an electronic version as well as a hard copy and please make sure that they are both up to date. This means tracking guests who will be attending with a date and guests who will be attending on their own. There should be space for you to note things like wedding and shower gifts you’ve received from them as well as when and if a Thank you note has been sent out.

Of course it may be harder than you thought but that doesn’t mean it will be impossible. Once your done you can then go on to focus on other things for your wedding day.

ENJOY!!!

100 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Prepare yourselves for 100 incredible hot tips on how to make your wedding stand out from the crowd. Too many weddings are same-y and unoriginal, and this Before the Big Day mega-list is your way to make sure your wedding doesn’t fall into the same trap. There’s tons of incredible wedding inspiration in this list, so do share the love and forward it to all your engaged friends. So…. what are you waiting for?…..Scroll on down for a wedding ideas overload!!

♥ Wedding Details  ♥

1. Think about what you love to do together and build that into your day. If you love to read, stack old hardback books on the tables to create mini-stands for your flowers, if you love chocolate {and who doesn’t} how about sending out Willy Wonka inspired ‘gold tickets’ as your wedding invites?

2. Turn the wedding day on its head. Instead of starting the day with the ceremony, have it in the evening before dinner. This way you get to greet all your guests, and you’ll feel much more relaxed as you walk down the aisle.

3. Put together ‘welcome packs’ for out of town guests, giving information on the area together with a little gift.


4. If your guests will have to walk from the ceremony to the reception, consider p roviding them each with a single colored helium filled balloon that matches your color scheme. The vision of dozens of balloons all ‘walking’ their way through a country lane or a town centre (great way to make sure your guests don’t get lost!) is fantastic and makes for great photos. Once all of your guests have arrived at the reception, you could have someone ready to arrange them into two rows for you to walk through and as you reach each guest, they release the balloon into the sky, again fantastic for your photo album!
5. Set up a craft area where guests can make something to take home (e.g. a brooch or bow tie).

6. Choose a signature cocktail and give it a memorable name.

7. If you’re having a Christmas wedding, ask each of your guests to bring an ornament for a Christmas tree. You’ll use them on your tree every year, and it’ll be a fantastic annual reminder of your wedding.

8. Consider alternatives to the traditional wedding car. Many brides are wanting something different. Consider a horse-n-carriage, a pedicab or maybe a boat, if you’re wedding is on the water.

9. Arrange family wedding photos, going back as far as you can, in vintage frames and display them at your ceremony or reception – it will provide a talking point for guests and create a lovely decorative feature.

10. Ask your guests to circle words in a dictionary to remind you of their wedding day. Then ask them to write a message on a bookmark to explain why they picked each word. You’ll always need a dictionary in your home, and you’ll cherish this one forever.

11. Rather than getting your guests to sign a traditional guest book, you could get them all to sign some pottery such as a large platter. This will give you a lovely and unusual keepsake of your day which you can display in your home afterwards.

12. Tuck handwritten notes into the napkins for your guests – write about your favorite memory together or simply tell them what they mean to you.

13. What is your favorite book or film? Could it work as the basis of a wedding theme? I’ve seen fantastic weddings themed around the film ‘Up’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or “The Secret Garden.”

14. Instead of a traditional guest book, you could leave a card and pen at everyone’s place setting, with each one having a different sentence to complete such as, love is…, top tips for a happy marriage, or asking them to jot down a favorite memory of you both.

15. Include your pets in your big day, either in person {doggy ring bearer?}, or as a motif on your menus? You could give dog-shaped chocolate wedding favors, or name your wedding tables after your pets.

♥ Wedding Favors ♥

16. Create personalised fortune tellers for each guest. Instead of telling fortunes, write them up with fun questions about you as a couple. Then on the back, print the menu.

17. Order can koozies for guest’s drinks. Include your name & wedding date along with a fun saying or picture.

Photo Credit: Photos By JKay

18. As an alternative to favors {which can become costly as the guest list rises}, donate to a charity which is close to your heart. Charities will often send pin badges and cards for each guest explaining that money has been donated in replacement of a favor.

19. Personalized button badges and old-fashioned 3D glasses make great favours, and fantastic photo props too!

20. Ask your florist to design the table centres with multiple mini vases which guests can then take away with them at the end of the night, so they double up as favors and a lovely memento of your wedding day.

21. If the two of you love cooking, then why not create a little pamphlet of your favorite recipes, as a wedding favor. Or a list of your favorite restaurants? You could add little notes like ‘This is where X proposed’.

22. Only invest in favors if you really love them. Guests will only remember the truly great ideas. To save money, how about making favors such as home-made jam or chocolate truffles? You can save money and have fun with your favourite ladies at the same time!

23. Give your guests fancy-dress favors. Stick-on moustaches and silly glasses will raise a laugh, and get your guests talking to each other.

24. Make your favours – bake cookies, make jam or brew up lemonade, and bottle it with personalised labels.

25. Horse shoe wedding favors represent how lucky you feel to have found each other, and every guest goes home a little luckier.

26. If you can’t get going without a cup of coffee in the morning, give each guest a mug containing a little bag of your favourite grind. This works for tea too. Ikea sells mugs for about a $1 each.

♥ Wedding Decorations 

27. Decorate your venue with hundreds of paper lanterns. They’re cheap and cheerful, and you can always sell them on after your wedding. If you tie in tiny LED lights, they’ll even glow after dark.

28. If you’re getting married on a farm or in the countryside, use straw bales as seats. If you cover them with old tablecloths, it’ll fit in with a vintage-themed wedding.

29. Using unusual containers for flowers, such as old fashioned bottles, jugs and glass jars, can add a lovely kitsch look and can be picked up for a bargain at charity shops.

30. Bright table cloths can make a real splash at your wedding reception. Choose a colour to contrast with the flowers and napkins.

31. Use fruit instead of flowers to decorate your wedding tables. Paper bags filled with cherries, or baskets filled with apples make a fantastic display, and your guests can either eat them, or take them home as favors.

32. Children’s blackboards are a great way to communicate with your guests. Write little messages like ‘Love is Sweet’ or ‘All You Need is Love’. You could also use a large one for the menu.

33. Have you considered getting married at night? You could say your vows by candlelight, and then lead your guests in for an evening reception.

34. Paper is a great way to decorate your wedding venue. Not only is it cheap, but it’s incredibly versatile. DIY your bunting, pompoms, and streamers. For tutorials, search the wedding blogs.

35. Christmas weddings can allow couples to be more creative with décor and centre pieces by using Christmas decorations in the shops and incorporating these into the day. Often with winter weddings, couples can spend less on flowers and maximise the offerings already in place in the venue.

36. Use ribbon or lace to decorate your ceremony and reception. Wrap ribbon around candles and napkins, or use it to decorate the aisle and tables.

♥ Wedding Flowers 

37. Instead of carrying a bouquet, ask your florist to make you a crown of flowers. It’ll give your wedding a pagan feel. Bridesmaids could be given corsages instead of bouquets in another twist on the norm.

38. Make use of your mother or grandmother’s jewellery by pinning it to your bouquet. It’ll make your posy so much more personal, dress it up and act as your something borrowed.
39. Instead of the usual fresh cut flowers, how about using herbs or unusual pot plants to make a nice arrangement. Guests can then take parts of your display home with them at the end of the day.

40. Make your bouquet personal to you by choosing a flower that has a special meaning.

41. If you’re worried that your wedding flower budget is getting out of control, keep things simple by just picking one cheap bloom. Clouds of carnations or baby’s breath look just as beautiful as more expensive mixed bouquets of roses and peonies.

42. Choose flowers that are in season to keep the cost down. If you have plenty of time and some garden space available you could even think about growing some garden style flowers yourself. Not only would they look lovely, but the garden would then be a fantastic reminder of your wedding day too.

43. What about an alternative wedding bouquet? I’ve seen them made from butterflies, buttons, paper, flowers created from coca-cola drinks cans, lollipops, parasols, and more…

44. Try to be clever with the decoration pieces that you are using for the wedding to maximise their use. Can the flowers be moved from the church and repositioned?

♥ Wedding Venues 

45. If your wedding is going to span the whole day, your guests will appreciate a separate space to the revelry, where they can relax for a while. Personalize this area by having a screen showing you and your partner’s favorite romantic movies.

46. Choose an unusual venue for your wedding – from steam trains to aquariums, there’s a world of choice out there for something completely different. Or you could hold your reception in a stylish restaurant for a sophisticated and unusual wedding celebration.

47. Consider a weekday or Sunday wedding. Venues often offer lower rates for these days and it may just enable you to afford that perfect venue that was previously just out of budget! Dont worry so much about people taking a day off work, those who love you will do it in a heartbeat.

48. If you’re worried about having to invite large amounts of family members, choose to have a destination wedding. It’ll immediately bring down the guest list to only your nearest and dearest.

49. Have the wedding in a local hall for a vintage, old-school feel. Dress the room with family and friend or you cut costs even further and go outdoors…providing blankets for people to sit on and have a wedding picnic.

50. For a truly unique wedding, the best setting is a dry hire venue – one where you literally just rent the four walls. You can then fill it with things you have chosen yourself – right down to the cutlery, meaning your day will be a true reflection of you and totally different to every other wedding. This type of wedding takes a lot more organization and shopping around, especially if you are on a tight budget, but is well worth the effort.

51. Consider making yours a winter wedding. Venues and suppliers often offer lower rates for off-peak weddings. Not only will you save money across a lot of areas, but you’re more likely to get a higher turn-out for your celebrations, when you’re not competing with the rush of summer weddings and holidays.

♥ Wedding Entertainment 

52. If you need a performer or an artist, why not call upon your local drama academy or art school. They will be much cheaper and they will so appreciate the opportunity.

53. If you want to have some unique touches at your wedding, allocate some money in your budget for it. There are a lot of things you could have, but do you really need a chocolate fountain, ice cream tricycle, caricaturist, magician, candy bar, fireworks and a photo booth? Just pick one!

54. To help break the ice at dinner, why not have your Best Man host a quiz about you both? Each table would work together as a team, and you could offer a prize for the winner.

55. Make the arrival of the wedding cake an event, by asking your caterers to turn down the lights and bring it in decorated with indoor fireworks. At our wedding, we even asked the DJ to play ‘Eye of the Tiger’!

56. Set up a guest photo booth with personalised props and/or boards for your guests to write messages to you on.

57. Instead of a DJ, get all your guests to choose 3 or 4 ‘floor fillers’ that they love and collate them into an iPod playlist. That way you can have purely music you love, and know everyone will enjoy.

58. To help introduce guests to one another and add an element of cheeky fun, write a short but funny ‘one liner’ about each guest on the back of their place card. People will then ask what their ‘one liner’ means and it works brilliantly at breaking the ice. Alternatively, if you have a group of friends on one table, they’ll all understand the little jokes and it really gets the atmosphere going.

♥ Wedding Food 

59. Maximise your wedding cake by incorporating this into your wedding breakfast and serve as dessert. If your venue is happy to allow this, you can save considerably per head. In addition to this, you could also ask the venue to ‘dress’ the plates so the cake is served with fresh berries and cream at a fraction of the standard dessert price. Cupcakes also work well for this option too!

60. Consider having your speeches during your reception when the champagne or prosecco is flowing.

61. Rather than having a traditional wedding cake you could decide to serve chocolates and your favorite drink as a night cap later on in the evening. You could also set up a tasting bar for guests to sample different varieties.

62. Dessert tables are a hugely popular trend right now. If your budget won’t stretch to having yours professionally catered, why not ask 4 or 5 friends who are handy in the kitchen to bake some goodies as your wedding present. You can then put your own DIY decoration skills to use to create a stunning – and much more personal – display.

63. Cocktails are actually cheaper than straight champagne. So choose a Bellini as your signature cocktail, and mix it with prosecco. No one will ever know the difference.

64. What’s your favorite late-night snack? Serve it at midnight to all your guests.

Photo Credit: Braedon Photography

65. Instead of having a traditional wedding cake, why not ask your guests to take part in a Cakey Bakey! Each guest can bring any type of cake, the more extravagant the better, and the bride and groom will judge the cakes on the day. They can then hand out awards/rosettes during the speeches and have different categories. The winning cake is then used as their cutting cake!

66. Food and beverage is a large percentage of your wedding budget, so if you’re struggling to cut down on guest numbers then why not have a later ceremony followed by an elegant black tie affair with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres instead of a 3 course sit down meal.

67. Keep it seasonal – from food to flowers, this will reduce your costs and ensure your wedding is in keeping with the weather and time of year. Hold a BBQ in the summer and have an open fire with marshmallows in the winter to make the most of your day.

68. Instead of a dessert or sweet table, you could have a fun DIY station to decorate your own cupcakes. There could be a variety of different and more usual flavours with a selection of icings and toppings.

♥ Wedding Ceremony Ideas 

69. As part of your wedding ceremony, seal love letters and a bottle of wine in a box. You could even hammer it closed! The idea is that if you’re having trouble in your marriage in the future, you can open it up and be reminded of what brought you together.

70. Write your own vows, keeping it relevant to your life together.

71. If you’ve got ring bearers, give them flags saying ‘Here Comes the Bride’, and encourage them to walk down the aisle ahead of you and your father. It’ll get everyone smiling, and take the focus off you a bit.

72. Not everyone gets married in a church, but you might want to create your own ‘alter’ as a focus for the wedding ceremony. There are tonnes of ways of doing this, from hanging multicoloured ribbons, or crepe paper, a gorgeous piece of fabric, or lots of paper pompoms. I’ve even seen it with birdcages and lanterns hanging from a tree. Anything to create a focal point.

73. If you’re not walking down a traditional aisle, why not create a circular, snail-shaped one. That way all your guests get a good look at you as you walk down the aisle, and you’ll say your vows in the centre of all your friends and family.

74. Create a fun and unique ceremony procession. Walk down the aisle to one of your modern favorites then mix up the running order a bit so guests are left surprised and stunned!

75. If you already have children try to involve them in the ceremony. Many ministers or JOP’s can adapt your wedding ceremony to include a blessing for you all becoming a family as well as the marriage. You may find that they will include this in the price too!


♥ Wedding Stationery 
76. I love seeing personal touches at weddings so how about making your own invitations and hand writing them? The hand written word is very rare nowadays and your guests would really appreciate the personal touch – and you might even save some money in the process!
77. Have an engagement shoot and use the photos for your ‘Save the Date’ cards and/or table numbers
78. Toss out traditional save-the-dates and create a home made video with information on your upcoming wedding. Send a DVD to each prospective guest.

79. Your wedding stationery sets the tone of the day, but unique creations are rarely economical. You could look at creating a ‘wedsite’ instead – a totally personalised wedding website which allows you to send your invitations, track your RSVPs and gift list as well as keep guests informed of the travel and accommodation details. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get extra environmental kudos for going green!

80. Think outside the box for how you print your wedding stationery. Why use paper, when you could use plywood, fabric or even balloons {the invitation appears as you blow up the balloon}. Some of my favorite Save the Dates have come printed on magnets.

♥ Wedding Budgeting Tips 

81. Budget! Budget! Budget! Budgeting may be the least fun, and most difficult part of planning to face, but budgeting early and honestly will mean you steer clear of exposing yourself to ideas you can’t afford. Establishing a sound budget that reflects what is most important to you as a couple will ensure you get the most out of every penny you spend!  (See: Let’s Talk Budget)

82. Let your guests send you packing with honeymoney. Honeymoon gift list sites can be a smart way to have guests contribute to your honeymoon fun. This can save you money on what could be a very pricey trip, but you can also personalise your web page and have your guests contribute to different parts of your trip, making this more unique.  (See: Alternative Gift Registries)

83. It’s the personal touches that can make a wedding unique, so why not think about a workshop activity for your friends to do. You could have a fantastic afternoon learning how to arrange flowers or make stationery and then put your new skills to good use for your wedding.

84. Hire a planner! Most brides think that they cost the earth, but we save you time, money and stress as well as working with you to make your wedding day unique and ensure that it’s about what you want rather than what your family think you should have!

85. Beg, borrow or steal (ok maybe not steal!). Bridesmaids and friends may have already been married and may have anything from a veil or tiara, to something more unusual or unique that you could ask to use on your day.

86. Hire Don’t Buy. It’s possible to hire beautiful pieces to create unique and quirky decorations, for much less money that it would cost if you bought them yourself. Vintage china looks great for a relaxed tea party theme.

87. Search online for the cheapest suppliers. We found tissue paper for our DIY pompoms for a fraction of the price on eBay, and large round white balloons for much less too.

88. Use your friends’ talents. Think about any skills your friends might have, from being creative and crafty, having beautiful handwriting, floristry skills, or handy with make-up; you could put these skills to  good use you save on otherwise expensive suppliers. This also adds a unique and personal touch to your day.

89. If your church ceremony is followed by another wedding, discuss with the bride whether it is possible to share flower costs and rental for other props etc.

90. Instead of buying expensive thank you gifts for parents, attendants and so on you could buy some lovely food and wine and host a dinner party to thank them instead.

91. Ask your caterers to use only local ingredients from local suppliers when creating your menu. You will find that sourcing food locally cuts down on the cost.
♥ Ideas for the Groom & Ushers 

92. Don’t just match the ushers ties, buy them matching socks. It makes for fantastic pictures.

93. Sew a message into the inside of your husband’s jacket. He won’t see it till he’s getting ready, and it’ll be a lovely way to get a message to him before you walk down the aisle.

94. Write on the soles of your husband’s shoes. If you’re having a church service, when he kneels down for the blessing, the congregation will be able to see your message.

95. Don’t forget to remind your ushers to decorate your going-away car. Tin cans and an old boot are traditional, but ribbons and pom poms are the new fashion. You’ll need a Just Married sign too.

♥ Wedding Dress & Accessories 

96. Don’t buy ‘wedding’ shoes. There are lots of companies that supply shoes specifically for weddings. Why not choose a pair from the high street? They’ll be less expensive and you could choose a unique colour to match your theme. Who says your shoes have to match your dress?!

97. Don’t buy a wedding dress. If you’re looking for a really simple gown, then you might just find a white dress for a fraction of the price. Remember the word ‘wedding’ often adds 15% to the price. Also, consider buying your wedding dress second-hand, or from a sample sale. There’s plenty of websites out there, just google ‘second hand wedding dresses’. Get in touch with your favourite designer and ask them when they host their sample sale, or wait until just after Christmas when everyone reduces their prices.

98. Line your wedding shoes with a pattern that fits in with your wedding day. Or stick lucky pennies to the soles. 

99. If you’re a creative bride (or have creative friends!) consider buying your dress ‘off the rack’ and customising it yourself. Adding a few special touches can make your dress unique without breaking the budget.
100. Challenge the norm by wearing a non-white wedding dress. Soft blush and pastel shades are in fashion this season, and there’s a suggestion soft patterns might be in trend for 2013!  Go on, I dare you!

Will you be my…?

It is a great honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid so you should make it a moment to remember for both you and your bridesmaid. Without a doubt, bridesmaids are always touched and flattered to be asked to stand up for you. By asking someone to be your bridesmaid you are singling them out and showing them how important they are to you. You are asking them to be a part of your wedding experience, one of the most important days of your life, so try to think of a unique and stylish way of doing this.

For me, I had asked my maid & matron of honor over the phone (they both lived out of town) and I had just return from the cruise where Dave & I had gotten engaged! I couldn’t wait 9 hours to get back home to wait and ask.  As for some of my bridesmaids though, I had invited them to shop with me for my wedding gown. I had found these cute tumbler glasses that said “Bridesmaid” on them and got one for each of the girls.I wrapped up the glasses and found a cute poem online talking about friendship. I had each of the girls open the gift bags at the same time and pull out the tumblers and asked them to be bridesmaid. Each of the girls were flattered and all said yes.

It’s the little things that matter and make the difference.

Here are some ideas I found online that can make the experience memorable for you and your best friends!

A cute card can go a long way.  There are a lot of really nice cards available that you can send or give to your potential MOH or bridesmaid. You could also send some flowers along with the card, or even send flowers by themselves with a little note attached!

Most people love sweets, especially cookies! There’s a lot of cookie companies or even your local bakeries that can make some cute cookies, asking your girls to stand beside you!

Here are some other cute ideas I found online:

Wine Labels

Survival Kit

 

How did you ask you best friends to be a part of your wedding party? Share with us in the comments section!