So, You’re A Bridesmaid! Check Out Our Top 5 Cost Sharing Tips

Bridesmaids

Your friend just got engaged and in turn has popped the question, Will you be my bridesmaid?”, wanting you to be part of her wedding day. You’re flattered (of course) and excited to be a part of her special day, but you start to stress out a bit when you begin adding up the costs. Being a bridesmaid can definitely be pricey, but there are some things you can do to help save some cash.

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Featured above: Gold Toggle Charm Bracelet with Gemstone Charm

We’ve got some great tips to relieve you and the other bridesmaids!

1. Group Gift

On top of all the other wedding expenses, including the dress and shoes and throwing parties typically a bridesmaid is still expected to give the new couple a gift.  Wedding gifts can definitely be a hit to your bank account, but why not lessen the cost a bit? Go in on a gift for the couple as a group with the other bridesmaids. This way you can chip in together on a higher priced item from the registry rather than trying to figure out something less expensive or spending more than you can afford on a gift.

2. Share a Suite

Hotel rooms can be expensive, especially if you need to stay for more than one night. Split the cost with the other bridesmaids by booking a suite that sleeps four people.

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Featured above: Floral Silky Kimono Robe

3. Car Pool

If it’s not quite a destination wedding, but you and the other girls live outside of the location that the wedding is being held at, arrange to share a ride! Road trips are fun and is a great way to bond, especially if you are just getting to know a couple of the gals. You’ll save money on gas and have a great time!

4. Share Travel Costs

If you’re attending an upcoming destination wedding, consider group travel. Most airlines offer group discounts that could save you hundreds of dollars. Coordinating group travel might take some extra effort, but if it saves you some cash in the end, it’s definitely worth it!

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Featured above: Bathrobes: Mr & Mrs / Towels: Mr & Mrs / Sandals: Just Married

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Featured above: Wooden Deck Chair Candle Holders

5. Group DIY Projects

DIY projects are a fun way to help give every shower you throw the look of a high budget, meanwhile it’s a great excuse to get all the bridesmaids together and save a little cash! Enjoy some wine and snacks and whip up some amazing favors and décor. We’ve included some DIY projects that we think you’ll love! For décor we have tons of DIY ideas for adding gold and glitter to to glam things up. We also have some great favor ideas like Ombre Dip Dyed Favor Bags and Mini Mason Jar Favors.

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Featured above: Votive Holder: Classic Glass

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Featured above: Favor Bag: White Linen

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Featured above: Mini Mason Jars

Can being a bridesmaid be pricey? Yes. But we hope these tips will help you out a bit and save you some cash.

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Terrarium Place Markers

diy terrarium place markers

It would be a serious understatement to say that I’m over the moon excited about today’s post. Not only is it a lovely little creative spin on a traditional place card concept, it also happens to be the first exclusive look into the amazing content gracing the pages of the new 2016 Weddingstar magazine. And when I say this is but a tiny glimpse at a mass of unique wedding ideas, all pulled together to help brides everywhere celebrate beautifully, I’m hardly doing the magazine justice. But no need to take my word for it. Take a peek at the cover reveal concluding today’s post and follow the link to get your hands on everything pretty. And in the meantime, here’s how to make these little lovelies.

The Supplies

diy terrarium place marker supplies

The Step by Step

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Step 1: pull a small mound of faux moss off the ribbon backer. Using a small paint brush, apply mod podge (or any white all purpose glue) to the base of the bell jar and apply the moss. Leave to let dry.

Step 2: once the moss has set, using your twigs create a tunnel in the center of the mound. Apply a small dab of hot glue to the bottom and quickly insert your twigs. Hold until the glue has set and the twigs are securely in place.

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Step 3: once your place card has been written out, using the end of your paintbrush, curl the ends of the card. For an authentic scroll effect, angle your brush and do so in opposite direction on either end.

Step 4: hot glue your scroll card to the twigs.

The End Result

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Want More?

To see the complete Rustic Glam themed setup these markers were a part of, plus 100s of additional inspired wedding ideas designed to help you celebrate beautifully, pick up a copy of the 2016 Weddingstar magazine here.

2016 weddingstar magazine cover xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Decor 101 – The Fabric Flower Table Runner

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Confession time. I have what some might call a slight obsession with floral table runners. OK, so maybe it’s more like a full blown adoration type of thing! But I’ve got plenty of reasons to. Not only are floral runners a guaranteed way to add instant wow factor to a table setting, thanks to their natural play on some cardinal decor techniques (think textures, layers and colors), they also come with endless creative opportunities in execution. And I haven’t even gotten to the best part! Compared to traditional centerpieces, their decorative counterparts, a runner gives you more impact for dollars spent. Meaning, you can spend less while getting more. But no need to take my word for it. Let’s let the concept speak for itself.

The Supplies

diy fabric flower table runner supplies

The Step by Step

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Step 1: lay out all your individual ruscus stems. Using approximately 5 branches of ruscus per bunch, create 4 individual bunches of foliage. For each bunch, stagger your branches at slightly varied lengths to create a flowing and full look. Tightly secure each bunch with floral wire.

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Step 2: place one bunch at either end of your table, allowing it to slightly overflow off the edges.

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Step 3: layer in your other two bunches of ruscus over those already on the table, meeting and intertwining them in the middle such that they close the open gap. If your final set up is in an indoor environment you can stop here. If it’ll be outdoors you’ll want to strategically secure the bunches to each other with your floral wire.

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Step 4: add in your fabric flowers, distributing them throughout the runner in groups of twos and threes keeping a mix of colors and sizes. If your set up is indoors you can simple rest the flowers on the runner. If outdoors, attach floral wire to the backs of the flowers using hot glue and secure each floral to select branches.

The End Result

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vintage inspired candle holder

complete the look with: vintage inspired taper candle holders and candles

xoxo.

kasia-signature

DIY Wedding Wednesday: Whimsical Wedding Wands

whimsical wedding wands

If you’re looking for a super simple and sweet way to get your friends and family involved in your wedding ceremony, consider it found! Just add these 3 step whimsical wands to your festivities. Complete with tiny bells for ringing off your recessional, and fittingly personalized “…and they lived happily ever after” satin ribbons, these delightfully dainty wands are the perfect addition to any exchange of vows. And if the blue and white color combo featured here isn’t right for your wedding theme,  simply customize the look with nothing more than a switch of ribbon colors. Here’s how to get the look.

The Supplies

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The Step by Step

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Step 1: cut ribbons to a length of approximately 40-41″. Layer the personalized blue ribbon over the wide white ribbon and tie to your wooden stick, about 2″ from the top. Once looped and before securing, make sure to position your ribbons on both sides of the strand such that the wording faces up.

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Step 2: cut gold twine to the same length as the ribbons and loop it through the front of a hole punched tag. Note: looping through the front of the tag versus the back will impact how your card sits. Lay the card behind the ribbons and secure the twine around the ribbons with a double knot. Once the tag and twine are secure, knot the ribbons around the twine, again making sure to position your ribbons on both sides of the strand such that the wording faces up.

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Step 3: loop the mini bell through the already attached gold twine and secure to the ribbons with a double knot.

The End Result

diy whimsical wedding wands mini wedding bells blue and white wedding wand satin ribbon wedding favor tag mini wedding bell ceremony wedding wands whimsical wands

xoxo.

kasia-signature

7 Tips for a Stress-free Wedding

It can be easy for time to run away on you while you are planning, but your wedding week does not have to be a stressful one. We promise that with a little preparation and these tips, you will be smiling on the day of your wedding!

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1) Cheat sheet

On the day of the wedding, it is important that your bridal party and family members are all on the same page. Make a little cheat sheet with some of the important details that they can refer to. A timeline and list of where they need to be when, a list of phone numbers they might need, addresses of the ceremony and reception locations could help prevent little timing mishaps throughout the day.

2) Payment

In all the excitement of your wedding day, a few key things might unintentionally escape your mind. Like paying your vendors. A great way to avoid this is by placing your cheques in a Thank you card. The night before your wedding, give all your cards to a trusted member of your bridal party or family to give to it’s owner on the day of your wedding. Not only is this a nice way to thank them for all their hard work, but it is a great way to avoid that awkward money conversation at the end of the night!

3) Plan ahead

With such a large list of things that need to get done a few days before the wedding, the thank you speech is often the item that gets bumped to the very last minute.Don’t get caught sitting in a corner on the morning of their wedding scratching everything down. Throughout the whole planning process, keep a little list. Booked your photographer? Add them to the list. Your cousin is helping with the guestbook table? Add them to the list. When the time comes to compile what you would like to say, it is going to be so easy AND the chances of forgetting someone is a lot less likely.

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Featured here: Rustic Wood Pencils

4) Hydrate

Ok, we know this is the most obvious tip, but it is also one of the most forgotten by brides. So we are going to say it again… Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated will keep you calm, keep your mind clear and make you feel your very best. Not only will you feel your best, but it can do wonders for your skin. Think of your wedding like you would think about preparing for a marathon. Athletes spend the days leading up to a marathon drinking extra water to ensure that their bodies are ready for the big day. We encourage all our brides to adopt the same practice to ensure they are powered up and ready.

5) Ditch your device

After countless hours of putting this day together, it has finally come. Now, it is time to let it all go and enjoy it! Step 1 is to hand over your cell phone. It is likely that there will be friends, family and vendors trying to get a hold of you on the day of your wedding. Assign a reliable bridesmaid or family member to man your cell phone on the day of your wedding. Trust us, the day is going to fly by and the last thing you want is to be on your phone all day long. Be present and soak it all in!

6) Put a sticker on it

Wedding décor and accessories can come from many places. Maybe you have gone through a rental company, borrowed from a past bride or purchased some things yourself. When the wedding is coming to an end, chances are that there will be lots of people willing to help with the cleanup and tear down. The last thing you want is to be bombarded with a million questions or for anything to get misplaced or forgotten.  The solution is as simple as a subtle sticker. When you are setting up for your wedding, place small colored dot stickers to the bottom of your decorations. We advise that any rented items be left without a sticker, then use one color for the items you own and one for the items you borrowed. This way everyone will be able to divide and sort things properly and know where they go.

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7) Organize

There are a lot important pieces of paper, lists, receipts and emails that need to be kept track of when you are planning a wedding. As simple as it sounds, it is something that will save you a lot of headaches. Keep everything in one place. Find a file folder, binder, or even shoe box (if that is what it takes) and keep all of your wedding related information in there. When you are doing some last minute searching for the rental contract or a vendor phone number, you will be so glad you did!

 

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Wedding How-to: Pulling off the Mismatched Bridesmaid Look

Are you thinking about mixing things up with your bridal party style? The common fear is how it will all turn out for pictures. Every bride wonders: “What if it doesn’t work and looks like a jumbled mess?” We promise that by following a few of these tips, you can create a fun and stylish look for your girls. Once you decide which direction you want to go, we will show you how to pull it all together!

Guided Freedom:

As tempting as it may be to provide your girls with every and any possibility, it is important to give them a few guidelines. You may think that keeping the dress requirements completely open is making it easier for them, but often it is the opposite. Your girls want you to be happy and get what you want for your wedding day. It can often be more stressful for them to try and guess. There are three main elements to consider when deciding on dresses: Fabric, color and style. Pick 1 or 2 elements that you would like to remain the same, and allow your girls to run with the rest. This will ensure your looks stays cohesive, but has some flair.

Photo By: Elizabeth In Love Photography

Color me pretty:

Mixing up the colors is a fun way to add some flair to your bridal party. You have a few options here so the first step is to decide how.

1) Mixed color palette. Find some colors that fit together well by placing swatches together. The trick here is to keep your hue consistent. For example: if you are hooked on a pastel pink swatch, keep the remaining choices in the pastel family.

2) Shaded: Changing each bridesmaid dress by a shade or two can create a very interesting look for your bridal party. To pull this look off, you will need to find a gown with a fabric that is available in many colors. Start with 1 color that you love and start to work into a darker or lighter shade. It is that simple!

The long and the short of it:

When the wedding arrives, your bridesmaids will create a beautiful and elegant frame for you and your new husband. Different dress length can often be distracting to the eye and pull the focus from the couple. There are many ways to play with the mismatched bridesmaid look, but when it comes to hem length, we suggest picking just one.

The Mini-Mismatch:

Mixing up your bridesmaid style doesn’t have to mean everything is completely different. Even something as simple as different shoes, bouquets or jewelry can give your girls an opportunity to show off their personalities.

When putting together your bridesmaid style, there really are no rules. All you have to do is play with the options. Put fabrics, color and styles together until you are completely happy with the end result. Mismatching your girls is all about breaking the rules. So go ahead, be fearless!

Take our Quiz: What is your Wedding Style?

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Every bride wants their wedding to be a unique reflection of their personality and style. Find your flair with this wedding style quiz. What kind of bride are you?

5 Ways to Make Your Wedding Even More Meaningful

Every wedding is special and personal in its own way. And it is obvious that your wedding day is already going to be one of the most special and meaningful days of your lives. You are marrying your best friend, afterall! But we have a few ideas that might just take your wedding one step further. Here are 5 ways to make your day even more meaningful.

1) Introduce the bridal party yourselves

There are probably a few reasons that you asked your bridesmaids and groomsmen to stand up with you at your wedding. Each of them holds a special place in your lives. Rather than having your MC tell your guests what they mean to you, try telling them yourselves. Sharing a fond memory or how you became friends is even more special if it comes straight from you.

2) Having a loved one sing or play at your wedding

Music plays a huge role in weddings. Ask a friend or family member to play an instrument or sing a special song to bring you down the aisle, while your guests are arriving or while you sign your wedding license. It will be equally as special for them as it is for you and will create a special memory for you to look back on.

3) Have family time before the big day

If you ask any married couple, they will agree that the wedding day goes by incredibly quickly. Take some time to do something fun with your friends and family before the wedding day. Your out of town guests will appreciate the extra time with you and it is a great way for friends and family to meet before the big day.

4) Toast each table individually

The receiving line is a tradition that we are seeing less and less of. One of our favorite variations is to visit each table during the reception. Once dinner is starting to wind down there is usually some time before the speeches begin for you to make a loop with your new husband. By stopping at every table, it ensures that you will get a little bit of time with all your guests. It is a wonderful opportunity to personally thank them for coming and celebrating with you. It will mean a lot to your guests to be able to have some time with you and there are sure to be some good laughs along the way.

5) Unity sand ceremony

While a candle ceremony is beautiful and traditional, it leaves no permanent keepsake for the couple. The sand ceremony allows you to retain the memory of their special day for years to come. Combining the sand symbolizes the present and future  of two lives joined and forever inseparable. Every ceremony creates a different sand design that is unique like you as a couple. You can even personalize your vases and containers for an even more meaningful touch.

These 5 little touches are sure to create special moments that you will cherish for years to come! But, the best advice we can give you is to remember to keep it all in perspective. It is so easy to get swept up in the excitement and wedding plans that sometimes you just need to take a little step back. You are getting ready to celebrate the next chapter in your life as husband and wife. If you can remember WHY you are planning a wedding, that will be more meaningful than anything.

How To Avoid These 9 Common Wedding Mishaps

No one wants to have to deal with setbacks, especially on one of the most important days of their lives, their wedding day. But accidents do happen, and the best way to avoid mishaps at a wedding is to be prepared. A little planning and the proper research can go a long way into making sure your wedding day runs smoothly and it is everything you want it to be. At Weddingstar, we are always here to help, and have compiled our favorite tips to guide you along. So take a deep breath, and keep reading, as we share with you nine of our preparation and remedy tips for any wedding day mishap moment.

Flammable Guests

We heard a story once, about a guest who was leaning over the head table to hug the bride, when a piece of her dress dropped into a candle flame and caught fire. Luckily, the guest realized this in time and distinguished the flame before it took much of the dress. Put safety first! Have a fire extinguisher on-site, strategically place your tea lights and use flameless candles to prevent any accidents at your venue, especially if there are children present, or if alcohol is involved.

Accidents, spills, rips…

The prepared bride can keep an emergency kit close at hand for any unwelcome surprises on her big day. From red wine spills to a rip in her dress, any minor issues can be tackled by having the proper tools to make sure all runs smoothly. Pack the necessities such as stain removing wipes, a mini sewing kit and deodorant. Also, having this same kit in the bathroom at your venue for guests will ensure that your loved ones will enjoy the day and feel looked after.

Some essentials in our kit include:

  • Clear nail polish – stop fraying ribbon ends or a run in pantyhose
  • Super glue – repairing fingernails that break
  • Bandages – for blistered heels
  • Double-sided fabric tape – fixing hems or to tack down a dress with a gaping neckline
  • Stain Removing Wipes – for spills and stains
Weddingstar Wine Bottle Stopper Favors

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featured here: heart shaped wine stopper, leaf wine stopper

Running Behind Schedule

Even the best-planned weddings don’t run exactly on time. Photos may take longer than expected or a member of the bridal party might be held up in traffic. Whatever the case may be, make sure to build in enough cushion for anything that may not go perfectly according to schedule, and be prepared to adapt the agenda throughout the day to fit everything in.

Weddingstar Brushed Silver Pocket Watch

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featured here: brushed silver pocket watch

Pesky Bugs

Have citronella torches and candles at an outdoor ceremony to ward off mosquitos and bugs. Use repelling coils (the green kind) under chairs and at the guests’ feet for added comfort while they support your exchange of vows. Even in heavily buggy areas, having plenty of these tools can make the whole area virtually bug-free.

Use Citronella Candles At Outdoor Weddings

You run out of alcohol

If you supply your own alcohol, overestimate the amount you will need and account for extra guests. Calculate how much beer, wine or liquor you require, double the amount and see if you can return any unused liquor to the store afterward. You can also designate a trusted family member to check on the supply throughout the night and run out to purchase more in case you need to re-stock halfway through the night to keep the party going. Also, make sure to secure the proper permits and don’t forget to stock enough ice!

Bartender Serving Drinks At Wedding

photography by: raven eye photography

Testing 1, 2, 3…

Nothing can take the place of a well-planned ceremony rehearsal. The same goes for any audio or video equipment testing. Run tests of any electrical equipment, music, videos and slideshows prior to the day-of. Also, make sure the venue has sufficient power for your needs, so you don’t blow a fuse during the reception! You may even want to have a back-up generator on hand, just in case.

Make Sure You Test Your Equipment For Your Wedding

photography by: raven eye photography

Have a Backup DJ

Even if you are planning on having a DJ or band, upload your wedding music playlist on your mp3 player or phone as a fallback, in case the DJ doesn’t show or there is an issue using the equipment or instruments.

Wedding DJ Equipment

photography by: raven eye photography

Aching Feet

High heels may look fabulous, but if standing all-day and dancing all-night in them cause your feet to ache, have sandals to wear for yourself and your guests to keep everyone comfortable and happy. You can also go barefoot if you dare!

You Weren’t Expecting Them…

Guests that are invited and did not rsvp may still end up coming to your wedding, so be prepared with a few extra settings, chairs, and favors at the tables just in case. You don’t want to have to scramble last minute to find extra chairs at your venue, so having this already taken care of beforehand will ensure those guests feel welcome.

Extra Place Settings For Unexpected Guests

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featured here: spraypainted miniature birdcage favors

Even the best-planned weddings can have those little hiccups, but it is important to remember to laugh and smile even when something doesn’t go as expected. Not only will this keep you calm in the moment, but will create fond memories that you can look back on with no regrets.

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8 Things I Wish I Knew While Planning My Wedding

We all know that the more often we do something, the better we get. But when it comes to planning a wedding, you only get one shot to get it right. A wedding is a once in a lifetime event, afterall! After the dust has settled from the big day, we want every bride to walk away saying “that was everything I dreamed of” and have no regrets. That is why we asked everyone here at Weddingstar to tell us something they wished they knew while planning their own wedding. Here are 8 things we learned that we think every bride should know.

Weddingstar Classic Wedding Groom in Black Tuxedo

1. Who does what?

Your fiancé might not be as involved as you would like him to be. BUT, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care as much about the wedding or that he isn’t as excited as you are to be married. It just means that floral choices and backdrops are not his top priority. The important thing is not to stress about it. Find out which parts of the wedding are most important to him. Chances are that if he is a foodie or loves music, he will show much more interest in planning the dinner or creating the perfect wedding playlist. Don’t be afraid to ask him what he is looking forward to the most. His answer might just surprise you!

Weddingstar Wedding Planner

2. Recruit a coordinator

Even if you DIY your entire wedding up to the day, having a day-of coordinator might be worth it. Having someone to handle the running around and setting up for you is much less stressful. It still allows you to coordinate every detail while being able to enjoy all your hard work on the day of. It is also less costly than hiring a wedding planner!

Weddingstar Classic Wedding Couple

3. Schedule some alone time

Remember to set some time aside. Even if it is just a few minutes to be alone with your sweetie on your wedding day. The day will come and go by so fast. It is important to cherish a moment (or two) with each other and remember why this is all happening in the first place. Some good times to do this are often between photos and cocktails, or after the speeches are over.

Weddingstar Backup Wedding Venue

4. Have a plan B.

This one might be a given, but it is often overlooked. We often dream of our wedding day being sunny and beautiful. But we all know that Mother Nature isn’t always kind. If you are planning to have your ceremony outside and there is a torrential downpour, a backup plan will prevent stress, worry and chaos. Make sure that your parents, wedding planner/coordinator and bridal party are all aware of the plan if the weather turns. Also, remember to pick a few indoor photo shoot locations.

Weddingstar Wedding Alcohol Permits

5. Acquire proper permits

If you are planning to have alcohol at your wedding, it is important to educate yourself on rules and permits. Often different venues will have their own set of rules in regards to alcohol. Make sure you speak with your venue and are clear on what their guidelines are. Is the bar included in your venue rental? Does this include a bartender? Is the permit a part of the package? When are we required to stop serving drinks? Are we able to purchase and serve our own wine or do we need to use your bottle service? These are all very important questions to ask when booking your venue.

Weddingstar Wedding Guest List Wedding Venue

6. Make your guest list first

Picking a venue is one of the very first things you will do when planning your wedding. BUT, there is one more very important step you need to take before signing that contract. Make a rough guest list. This in no way needs to be finalized, but it is so important to have a rough idea of numbers before you book. The last thing you want is to book a venue that only holds 100 and find out that your guest list is actually 150.

Weddingstar Wedding Dress Alterations

7. Consider extra costs beyond the dress

Remember to budget for alterations when picking your wedding dress. Lace applique, beading and other details can often be costly to alter. Before saying “yes” to the dress, talk to your bridal consultant about an alteration estimate.

Weddingstar Wedding Photographer

8. Maximize your photographer’s time (and your budget!)

Photographers and videographers are so important to a wedding, but they can also be very hard on your wedding budget. If your budget does not allow for a full day wedding package, there is still a way to capture all the important moments. Don’t be afraid to play with the traditional reception program. Who said that the bouquet toss and cake cutting have to be at the end of the night? Kick off your reception with the first dance, cut the cake after dinner, and then toss the bouquet. This will allow you to shave a few hours from your photography package while still capturing all those big moments.

Have you been married? Or maybe you’re in the midst of planning a wedding? What is it you wish you knew when going through the process? Tell us below!

Morgan