Planning a wedding can be very stressful. Often, the hardest part is shopping for all the necessary components (such as invitations, centerpieces, party favors etc.). There are a lot of things to buy before your big day. Check out the following tips on how to make the bridal shopping experience easy and enjoyable.
Who You Should Go With
Your friends and family will try to be very helpful and offer hundreds of suggestions. But this can actually make decisions more difficult. Instead, involve one or two trusted companions to help you make all of the necessary selections. Your best friend and your mom perhaps. Choose two people who will be honest and decisive. All the flowers will be beautiful and all the cakes will be delicious. Go shopping with people who will have clear and confident opinions, but who also recognize that you have the final say.
What You Should Look For
A list is key. Do your research before going to the bridal shops to have an idea of what colors, themes, and accent pieces you want to use for your wedding. Be willing to take inspiration from the displays but hold true to your overall vision. By determining the style of the wedding beforehand, you will better be able to blend your ideas with what is available. Additionally, a list will help you spend your budget wisely.
Where You Should Go
Shop places that will let you get the most value for your money. Visit the high-end designer wedding boutiques for inspiration, then go to more reasonably priced bridal stores to get the same thing at a fraction of the cost. It is always best to get as close to the source as possible – for fresh flowers find a botanist; for delicious cake find a baker. In regards to dress shopping, consider your figure. Bridal shops that cater to plus-sized women are more likely to have flattering styles and correct sizes in stock.
When You Should Go
Get started as soon as possible. Start by browsing the current trends online and window-shopping. Make each shopping trip an event. For instance, try a new restaurant or café each time you go. Whenever possible shop in the morning or on a weekday. Saturday afternoons are usually very busy, especially during the height of the wedding season. To reduce the stress of the shopping experience, make the task a leisurely activity that will build excitement for the big day.
Why All of this Matters
This will be one of the most special days of your life. Of course, you want everything to be perfect. A large part of creating that sense of perfection comes from the attitude you have while preparing for the wedding. A frustrated and stress-filled planning phase will cast a shadow over the event. In contrast, a pleasant and fun-filled shopping experience will greatly add to your elation.
Keep calm and take your time. The build-up is just as essential to making the wedding spectacular as all of the purchased items. Make a list of what you need and check off each point as you go. Be sure to keep all of the receipts, just in case.
Your first dance as a married couple will create an everlasting memory. However, it is an often-overlooked detail of the wedding ceremony. For many couples, the first dance is low on the list of priorities. Below are some easy ways to prepare for your first dance.
Choose a Song
If possible, choose a song that is meaningful to you. Nothing compares to the powerful reminisce a certain melody can evoke. Yet if you do not have an attachment to a particular number, don’t worry. This just means you will have to give careful consideration to the song choice. The lyrics should be relevant to you and the tempo should be within your dancing prowess. Most importantly, 20 years from now when people ask you what your wedding song was, you don’t want to be embarrassed. Consider the classics like Andrea Bocelli or Etta James.
When was the last time you two formally danced together? A first dance is not a casual performance. That is not to say you need to perfect the waltz either. Rather, look up some videos online that illustrate a simple box step. Practice putting your hands in the right places – and know who is leading and who is following. A rehearsal dance to your chosen song will also help decrease nerves.
Think About Your Entrance
When you enter, everyone will be watching. Indeed, they’ll probably stand and cheer. After all, this is the first time you are presenting yourselves as a married couple. It is therefore important to consider your entrance – maybe you hold hands, maybe the groom has his arm around the your shoulders. Your entrance should be natural and confident. Typically, the first dance starts immediately upon entering the hall. How you enter is a good way to set the tone for the dance.
You may not realize it now but three to four minutes is a long time to be the center of attention. Remember, everyone will be watching – not to mention taking photos and videos. All activity will stop for you. While some people may enjoy such an opportunity, it can make others feel uncomfortable. It’s best to keep the song length around two minutes long. Getting back to up-beat songs will also keep the atmosphere energized.
Most brides don’t consider dancing when they find their perfect wedding gown. However, bear in mind the length and style of your wedding dress in regards to the first dance. Can you step backwards? How long is the skirt? You may have to hold up part of the dress as the groom sweeps you around the dance floor (think Disney princesses). Most importantly, what shoes are you wearing? Heels may be the perfect complement to your ensemble but such shoes can place limitations on your ability to dance. Pack an extra pair of flats just in case.
Remember to enjoy yourself. You are making brand new memories as a married couple. Take this quiet moment to savor the feeling of wedlock. For the rest of the evening, you both may be too busy to do so.
Before going to bridal stores, it’s a good idea to build a list of what you are looking for in a wedding dress. Most bridal shops only allow for one-hour appointments so a list will help you stay focused. Below are five common criteria for choosing a bridal gown.
This is the worst criterion but the most important. It should be at the top of your list, too. While it is nice to think that money doesn’t matter, deep down you know that’s not true. You will look absolutely amazing in a $5000 designer gown from Paris, but then perhaps you won’t afford the Honeymoon to see Paris for yourself. Determine your price range, making sure to include additional costs such as tax, shipping, and fittings. Trying on dresses outside of this range will only lead to disappointment and frustration.
Where and when the wedding will be is (almost) as important as your budget. Be sure to choose a wedding gown that compliments the setting. A heavy velvet gown may look beautiful in the mirror but on a beach it will make you flushed and sweaty. Equally undesirable is teeth-chattering in a sleeveless mermaid dress mid-winter. Think about your bridal accessories, too. A veil does not work in a windy outdoor setting; heels do not work on grass or sand. Be sure to decide your location before you select your dress.
- Body Type
Highlighting flattering features based on body type has become something of a science. This is to your advantage. Do some research on the expert analysis to establish your body type – petite, rectangle, busty, hourglass, etc. Narrowing your selection can be a huge help in a bridal shop filled with hundreds of beautiful dresses. For petite brides, know that you may become engulfed in a large ball gown. For plus-size brides, know that an A-line dress or empire waistline will create a slimming effect.
- Comfortable fit
An important but often overlooked criterion for choosing a bridal gown is the comfort of the outfit. It is not difficult to be comfortable standing still in front of a mirror for a few minutes. Yet you will be in this dress for hours sitting, standing, dancing, maybe even running through showers of rice. Be sure the dress isn’t too tight or too extravagant. Think about the comfort of your bridal accessories too. Everyone talks about shoes but have you thought about the underwear? You don’t want to have to worry about bra straps or underwear problems on your big day.
- Love it
When searching for a bridal gown, you will see many gorgeous options. When it comes to making the final decision, choose the dress you love. Your companions and the bridal store assistants will offer helpful opinions. However, trusting your own judgment is crucial. This is your wedding after all. When faced with a difficult decision, choose the wedding gown that makes you feel the most beautiful. A happy and confident bride will always be the best looking.
Make a list of the most important bridal gown criteria before you start shopping in order to get the most out of your shopping experience. A wedding dress is a big decision. It deserves careful consideration.