wedding budget

Tips for buying your wedding dress

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

You’ve just said “YES” to the man of your dreams, now it’s time to find the perfect gown. If you’ve ever seen “Say Yes To The Dress,” you’ve seen some super stressed brides and gown shopping horrors. Here are a few quick tips to keep your day stress-free.

Tips For Stress-Free Wedding Dress Shopping

1. Make An Appointment

Make an appointment at bridal salon

Making an appointment with a wedding gown salon is just as important as scheduling an appointment with your doctor – you would never just pop-in on your dermatologist, right?

Setting an appointment allows the salon to prepare for you. They’ll be expecting you on the decided date and time and your consultant will be able to focus entirely on you. Without an appointment, there may not be anyone available to show you a single dress – yikes!

Okay, so you’ve made an appointment. Don’t get caught up in the moment and make 3 appointments for the same day. If you don’t find your dress at the first salon, then go ahead and make a second appointment. Decision exhaustion is real – your brain can’t handle looking at too many dresses in one day!

2. Know Your Budget

Look at dresses within your budget

Knowing the dress budget before the first appointment will relieve so much stress. I PROMISE.

  • If you are paying for the gown, do some research and come up with a number both you and your fiancé are comfortable with.
  • If someone else is paying, have a conversation before your appointment. This may be uncomfortable initially, but totally worth it in the end. If you know the budget is $2,500, you won’t need to wonder if you should try the $5,000 gown in the window!
  • Consider accessories and alterations. Make sure you have some wiggle room; don’t max out your budget on the gown alone.

3. Limit Your Entourage

Limit your entourage

The great Andy Warhol once said, “One’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party.”

However, I think it’s best to leave the party for the wedding day. Too many opinions during the appointment can be overwhelming and confusing. You’ll be the one wearing the gown when you say “I do” so it’s important to bring only those whose opinions you trust and who encourage you to find the dress that makes you feel the most beautiful. Oh, and be sure to bring along the person with the purse.

4. Have An Open Mind

Have an open mind

So, you’ve probably been adding photos to your wedding dress Pinterest board for the last 6 years. That’s ok! In fact, you should do some research on different styles and fabrics before your first appointment. However, it’s equally as important that you go into each appointment with an open mind. It’s not uncommon to fall in love with a dress that you never imagined even trying on!

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Say, “Yes!”

Say "Yes" to your dress

There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a dress you love at every bridal salon you waltz into. That being said, it’s okay to find “the one” at your very first appointment! Don’t think you need to try on every gown in the city before you can decide. It’s actually pretty common for brides to purchase one of the first dresses they try on when working with an experienced bridal consultant.

So, when you find a gown you love, stop looking and say, “YES!”

Help finance your honeymoon with a Honeyfund honeymoon registry.

Bio:  Alyssa Hall is the Social Media Manager for Bustle. Bustle is a bridal salon nestled in Homewood, Alabama providing a high-end shopping experience to style-savvy brides on a budget. Bustle specializes in designer sample wedding gowns straight off the rack. Visit Bustle’s website to learn more!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bustlegowns

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BustleGowns

Instagram: http://instagram.com/bustlegowns

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/bustlebham

 

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Romance of a beach wedding

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

There’s some very special emotion that the ocean’s views unleash in the heart and soul of just anybody and that’s how beach weddings are Oh, so romantic! On the other hand, it is exactly because of this that many couples might light-headily overlook one of the most important steps along the planning of their big day – choosing the right location for their perfect beach wedding. What’s to choose, after all? – they might think, when it’s all there – the mysterious blue ocean, the golden beach, the soft sand, the cool breeze…  romance streams out from everywhere. You just need to be on the spot to experience it. Right?

Wrong! Deciding on the wedding location is a serious business and it requires serious planning and preparation. Beach weddings are no exception!

So, here are a few tips on how to find the best beach wedding location, brought to you by Beach Wedding Tips.

Tips For Finding The Best Beach Wedding Location

Put your trust in the experts

Find a beach wedding expert

Right from the start you have two options:

One, choose a venue specialized in organizing such events or at least having a considerable experience in providing such services. There are hundreds of hotels, restaurants and even entire complexes conveniently located at beautiful seaside spots, which offer all the needed facilities and services for a beach wedding. And since they know their business, why not get in contact with them directly and discuss all the details?! This option is extremely convenient for destination weddings.

Two, you may have fallen in love with a particular seaside spot that you may have discovered during your recent holidays and have pictured it to be the perfect location for your beach wedding. Even so, before taking the final decision, it would be best to talk things over with your wedding planner and ask for his/her professional opinion. Based on his/her training and experience, your wedding planner will reasonably assess all the pros and cons of the location you loved so much and will tell you whether or not this spot, gorgeous and romantic as it may be, can serve as the right venue for your dream beach wedding.

Facilities & services at your disposal

Facilities and services

The overall experience you and your guests will have at your beach wedding is important. So, make sure to choose a wedding venue that is able to offer best possible facilities and services. After you have picked a few possible locations, take the time to visit each of them ‘incognito’. Forget about all the grandiose and attractive commercial presentations the venue may have in the mass media, and inspect everything carefully.

  • Is the service fast or slow?
  • Is the staff friendly or inattentive?
  • What are the bar options and the quality of the drinks?
  • How is the food at the restaurant?
  • How good are the accommodation facilities?
  • Is there enough parking area?
  • How easy is the access to the place and are there good and convenient roads leading there?
  • Is there public transport available?
  • If you’re lucky to witness a wedding, it will be your best chance to observe how well (or poor!) the event has been organized and held.

When you have gathered enough such information you will be able to take the right decision and choose the best location for your wedding.

If the location of your choice is a popular place/destination for wedding and other similar events, there is another important factor you should take into consideration. Try to find out how many weddings/large events are expected to take place there on the same day or weekend as yours. Discuss the information with your wedding planner to make sure that you’ll have enough time to enjoy your special day and not made to get married ‘in a hurry’ only because there is another wedding or event following yours. Besides, you wouldn’t like to ‘compete’ with another wedding held in close proximity, would you?!

Choosing a venue for your guests

Numbers and figures

Choosing the right beach wedding venue does not even start with choosing a location at all! There are a couple of other important factors to be taken into consideration way before choosing the particular location. Before choosing a venue, you’d better take the time to first consider some important numbers and figures and take decisions on:

Your wedding budget

A beach wedding may be a romantic and emotional event, but in our times romance does not come cheap. What you need is proper and detailed preliminary information, a calculator, and a cool head. Take the time to do extensive research, visit places, take pictures, talk to professionals, compare services and options offered by the specialized wedding event organizers and providers, as well as their costs and prices for the facilities and services they offer both on and off the list. Based on such detailed information you will be able to set up your wedding budget which will buy you the perfect wedding venue.

Our honest advice, though – best let your wedding planner take care of all this and make your dream beach wedding fairy tale come true. Instead of talking money, you shall then have the time for way more important things, like getting the perfect suntan, choosing the perfect wedding outfit for you and your bridesmaids/groom’s men, choosing the flowers and wedding decorations, organizing your perfect bachelorette or stag party …

Your guest list

The number of the wedding guests is essential for choosing the best beach wedding location, too. First off, a clear estimate of this number will avoid unpleasant situations, where some guests might not fit at the ceremony spot or even left without proper accommodation, parking lot, or a chair at the reception venue. Second, most wedding event facilities will ask for a deposit based on the number of people who are going to attend the event so, you need to come up with a guest list some two to three months in advance. And third, knowing the number of your wedding guests will help you (or your wedding planner) set up a proper wedding budget.

All-in-all, having the guest list (plus-minus some 10-15 “surprise” guests) will determine the choice of the wedding location that will be able to accommodate all and make everybody happy.

What will the weather hold for a beach wedding

The weather

Beach weddings are extremely dependent on the whims and caprices of the weather. It would be of course great to have your romantic beach wedding under clear skies and cool breeze, but Nature can surprise you with showers and strong winds instead. On the other hand, strong sun and high temperatures can be equally unpleasant. Since you cannot control natural forces, what you can do is at least be prepared for various weather conditions.

With the help of your wedding planner and the facility manager, make sure to have quick-to-install canopies and umbrellas to protect the ceremony and reception spots in case of unexpected bad weather, or hide as many people as possible from too much heat and burning sun.

Have a ‘Plan B’ for unpredicted weather conditions allowing the event to take place in an inside space or a tent.

In case of too hot weather, ensure enough number of fans for your guests, and if possible, even sunglasses, sun visor hats, etc. little items that will make everybody feel more comfortable and enjoy the beach location experience.

Don’t forget to mention in the wedding invitations that the wedding ceremony and reception will be held outdoors (or at a more open location). Then your guests will know how to dress properly and bring their own umbrellas, hats, or even light coats (in case of an evening wedding).

Looking for a creative way to fund your honeymoon or wedding expenses? Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry today.

BIO: I’m Lynn, a bride and a beach addict. I’d like to give you a warm welcome to my bridal diary/ beach wedding blog which aims to gather the best of everything related to getting married with toes buried in the sand and hair waving gently in the breeze. Here you’ll find inspiration for every aspect of your beach wedding, from planning tips, decorating ideas, bridal fashion, dessert and flower suggestions, right up to the last detail that will make your big day unforgettable!

Check our out site at http://beachwedding.tips/

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