Congratulations! If you've recently got engaged, you're probably still showing off your engagement ring to pretty much, well, everyone. But the next thing that will inevitably come to mind is the wedding.
How do you feel about planning the 'big day'? Are you excited? Nervous? Or does even the mention of it bring you out in a cold sweat? You're not alone…. As Steve Martin in Father of the Bride said: "I used to think a wedding was a simple affair. Boy and girl meet, they fall in love, he buys a ring, she buys a dress, they say I do. I was wrong. That's getting married. A wedding is an entirely different proposition."
While it's true that this is ultimately the best time of your life (I mean you're about to marry the love of your life, what could be better?) it can still be a little overwhelming.
And that's where we come in. We've put together this guide to give every bride (and groom)-to-be advice and tips for when it comes to planning their big day. We'll include budgeting tips, checklists, advice and ideas for all things wedding!
Lets start with that little thing that makes the world go round - Money. Your budget will probably be the first thing you think about when it comes to planning your wedding but whether you have $$$$$ to spend or $, with a bit of organization and some zealous budgeting, everyone can have the wedding they always dreamed of. So how do you go about deciding on a budget? Well you start by doing your research. There's no point budgeting for something until you know how much it costs in your area.
Getting married in Utah? Well it's good news as according to research from The Knot 2014 real weddings study, its the cheapest place to get married in the U.S, with the average wedding costing just $15,257. We say "just" because compared to Manhattan, where the average cost of a wedding will set you back $76,328, it's, well… cheap!
When deciding on your budget, invest in some time to meet all kinds of wedding experts, from photographers to caterers, and get printed price lists so you know where you stand. Alternatively, why not check out this wedding cost estimator, which provides average spending by other couples in your area along with estimates based on your selected options (e.g. guest size). The next step is to prioritize. Decide on which elements are important to you. What will you 100% categorically not compromise on? The dress? (Well that's a given!) The photographer? The venue? This can be the tricky bit. Of course, nothing should be neglected, I mean it is your wedding after all! But if you're not too interested in going all out for say, the invitations, then there's ways of cutting back so you don't go over budget.
To help with this, we have provided you with a wedding budget checklist. Use the suggested percentages as a guideline to figure out how much to allow to each component. (Adjust the numbers as you wish; just make sure the total adds up to 100 percent).
Next it's time to talk guest list. If you're planning a big wedding, it's probably a good idea to get all the family together to discuss the guest list so there are no surprises when it comes to whether you've decided to invite all of your distant relatives or not (as truth be told, the parents will inevitably have a guest list agenda of their own!)
Of course your guest list is often dependant on your budget. If you've got enough in your budget to invite everyone - even your old next door neighbour that you haven't seen since you were in diapers - and you've got a big enough venue, then you can probably skip this chapter! But if budget (or venue) is an issue, then there's a good chance you will have to crunch those numbers down and we aren't going to lie, this isn't always an easy process.
Start by dividing your guests into groups: immediate family, closest relatives, extended relatives, family friends, friends, acquaintances, kids, etc. Once you've both got your lists, see if you can trim the list down. Keep going until exceptions start to pop up, then evaluate each guest individually. Remember you can usually invite 10-15% more people than you actually have capacity for as you can usually assume the above percentage won't be able to make it. If you are still struggling with the crunch, don't feel obligated to invite all your co-workers. Just ask yourself, apart from the job, do you have anything else in common? If you're tempted to invite more people on a whim later on because you feel guilty, just be honest with yourself and ask yourself this: If they were never on the list in the first place, why are they on there now?
Why theme your wedding? Why not! Adding a theme can tie together the personal elements of your wedding and can really illustrate your personalities. Whether it's dictated by a color, an era or even your own style, there are lots of things you can consider to help you choose a theme.
Sit down with your partner and think about what is important to you e.g places you've travelled, favorite colors etc. Look in your closet. Look around your home. Do you trend towards modern and clean? Retro and quirky? Romantic and soft? It's the things around you that will inspire the type of wedding you have so take a look. Also, ask your closest friends and family. It's up to you how much involvement you want from other people but if you're feeling stuck for theme ideas, ask for help from the people that know your best.
If you're still struggling with finding that all important inspiration, then Pinterest is brimming with original, classic and (mostly) gorgeous wedding photos and ideas. Get pinning and look for trends in what you're attracted to. But be warned -it's very easy to become a Pinterest wedding addict (as many bridal bloggers confess!) so step away when you've got some solid ideas.
There's no denying that choosing the venue is a big deal. When thinking about possible venues it's good to start considering if your wedding venue fits with your general wedding vibe - is it low key and intimate or extravagant with fireworks? The perfect venue culminates your wedding so with this in mind, you should think about venue practicalities. Start by putting together a venue spreadsheet so you can keep track of all your research. Include information like location, capacity, availability, layout, rates, restrictions and parking (organization is key to wedding planning don't you know!)
Things to consider:
This might sound obvious but make sure the venue is within your budget. How much can you afford to spend? Once you know this, you can start narrowing it down. Don't torture yourself and keep a $15,000 venue on the list when you can really only afford $5,000 - it will only disappoint!
Is the venue available at your desired time? If your heart is set on a special venue, like the place where you and your other half first met, or the same church your parents got hitched, it's up to you to prioritize the most important parts of your wedding. If venue is at the top of your list, your wedding date may have to be flexible to fit with the venue.
The number of guests will affect the type of venue you can pick. A wedding with over 150 guests points you towards a hotel or marquee. For intimate weddings, say 50 guests or less, a private venue might be better suited. If you're having trouble trying to decide the actual kind of wedding venue you want, this website offers useful pros and cons for different types of venues:
Once you've chosen the type of wedding you want, be it country-style in the rolling Pocantico Hills of New York or the stylish Milwaukee Art Museum, a considerable factor should be venue accessibility. Will there be onsite accommodation for guests? If not remember that transportation may be required from guest hotels to the wedding venue.
It's worth checking out if your venue has any restrictions. This is particularly important for those eccentric thinkers aiming for a more unconventional wedding.
There's one thing that dictates the decor - and that's the color. Your color scheme will tie everything together - the flowers, dresses, cake and decorations should all look as though they belong together so make sure you are 100% certain on your chosen palette!
Get inspired by...
Choose accent colors that work with the space. If the location doesn't work with your chosen colors, consider switching it up a hue or two so you don't waste your time trying to cover up the fact that it doesn't match.
Your wedding color scheme can be inspired by the time of year you are getting married. If you're getting married in the fall, look to the leaves for color inspiration and incorporate shades of yellow and orange. Rosy pink is perfect for spring, while a brighter coral is a summer staple.
Colors can help create a feel and vibe for your day. Think about the style and atmosphere you want. Classic shades like ivory convey a sophisticated feel whereas dark colors like ruby are more dramatic.
Of course it depends on what kind of wedding you have (indoor/outdoor etc) but here are a few things to consider when it comes to your wedding decor:
Decorate the aisle or pew ends with hanging hearts or jars filled with flowers or candles, wreaths, bows, tulle or ribbons.
Reception tables and chairs
Don't forget to decorate the tables with table linen, table runners, chair covers and sashes. This will also be a good time to think about the seating plan. Check out this cool table planner app where you can drag and drop guest names, tables and chairs anywhere on the screen and decide on your seating plan in minutes!
This is often flowers or candles or even a mixture of both. There's some beautiful arrangements out there so you'll be spoilt for choice! Just remember the practicality of sitting at a table with a centerpiece. In other words, don't block out anyones view!
Your wedding favors are a way of saying a big thank you to all of your guests for joining you for your special day. Traditionally guests would receive a small bag containing 5 sugared almonds (for health, wealth, happiness, long life and fertility) but now, of course, your wedding favors can be almost anything to reflect your own taste and personality. Feeling creative? Why not take some inspiration from these DIY wedding favor ideas.
Still stuck for inspiration? Then check out these spectacular wedding decoration ideas. There's more than 130 ideas for you to feast your eyes on!
The Flowers: A crucial part of your ceremony that require special attention. Flowers compliment the 'prettiness', the theme and the style of the wedding and will be in almost all of your formal photos. Here are some of things you'll need to consider ordering:
And the list can go on. It's a good idea to meet with a few different florists to see what's out there, compare prices, styles and personalities. Prepare for such a meeting by answering the few questions below:
1.What's your budget?
If cost is a concern then stick to the essentials. Centre pieces are key as guests will be spending most time in the reception. At the ceremony you can go for just two big pieces in the flanking area where you'll exchange vows. The big splurge should (of course!) be saved for the bridal bouquet.
2.How many do you need?
Think about who'll be wearing flowers. Think about how many guest tables need centerpieces. Are you decorating chairs or pews? From this estimate you should begin to get an idea of the kind of price you're looking at.
3.What's your style?
This can be a tricky one so it's recommended to only do the flower shopping once a theme, a venue and a dress is sorted. Bring a photo of your gown to the florist so you can work together to find the perfect arrangement to compliment the venue and the dress.
If you don't fancy the florist route there is always the option of DIY wedding flowers. The internet is filled with 'how to' videos so don't be put off by the responsibility if you like the DIY idea! Here's a couple of useful links that offer a few do's and don't to think about when creating your own flowers!
Cosmos is a daisy-like flower on long stems that grows mainly in shades of pink and magenta. It also comes in a striking brown color and therefore is sometimes known as the ‘chocolate flower.’
Colors: pale pink, dark pink, white and brown
With its intense and sweet scent, the Hyacinth is the perfect flower for centerpieces or arrangements. The bulb flower has many tiny florets on a short, dense spike and is a fragrant signature of spring.
Colors: white, yellow, peach, pale pink, fuchsia, lavender, purple, blue
This is a classic wedding flower, with a mass of small flat petaled flowers on one stem. The flower heads are huge so just two to four sems together can easily make a complete bouquet.
Colors: white, green, pink, burgundy, purple, blue
Jasmine flowers are a gorgeous addition to a wedding bouquet or centerpiece. Their buds and blossoms are highly fragrant and will add a romantic perfume to your wedding
Colors: white, yellow
Lilacs are a wonderful wedding flower, which will add a beautiful sweet floral aroma to your bouquet. Mostly available in dark or light purple, though they also grow in pink and white too.
Colors: light purple, dark purple, pink, white
These small, bell-shaped flowers are considered traditional marriage flowers and their fresh, perfume scent is unmistakable. Perfect for bouquets, in combination with other flowers.
Colors: White, pale pink (rare)
Mimosa is rarely used in wedding flowers but can look stunning when included. It is famous for its soft round sprays of yellow flowers that are made up of hundreds of tiny flowers.
For a spring bride, muscari can offer that ‘something blue.’ These tiny clusters of flowers (also known as grape hyacinth) are relatively small in stature but make a big impact in terms of color.
Colors: blue, pale blue, dark blue, purple, white
The peony is showy in its lush and full-headed structure, sweet perfume, and bright colors.These large flowers start out as tight little balls and open into layers of luscious frill.
Colors: pink, white, cream, peach, burgundy
The poppy is a bold flower with a dark, interesting center and colorful paper petals that resemble crumpled silk. They come in many colors and make beautiful centerpieces.
Colors: red, orange, yellow
This enchanting flower is perfect for country style, relaxed weddings and comes in pretty pastel shades from creamy whites through to pale lilacs, soft blues and soft pinks.
Colors: white, cream, burgundy, lavender, lilac, pink, blue
Rising from a tall stem, stock has dense clusters of small single and double blossomed flowers. It’s valued for its use as a complementary flower and has a fragrant, spicy clove like scent.
Colors: white, yellow, apricot, pale pink, dark pink, purple
A delicate flower with a sweet scent, the sweet pea comes in an array of beautiful colors. Rugged blossoms grown on a spindly green vine, this flower is a favorite with brides-to-be.
Colors: white, cream, apricot, pale pink, dark pink, red, lavender, purple
A very popular wedding flower, the tulip is simplistic and beautiful. The large smooth petals are available in a huge variety of colors and are perfect for bouquets, large arrangements and centerpieces.
Colors: yellow, orange, red, white, cream, purple, pink,
The viburnum is a beautiful snowball shaped flower. It’s a statement flower that has an unforgettable textured bloom and is sure to turn heads when placed in a bouquet or centerpiece.
Colors: white, cream
Violets typically have heart shaped leaves and will add beautiful spring-like color to your wedding bouquet, table arrangement, or centerpiece. These perfect little spring flowers have lots to offer when it comes to weddings.
Colors: violet, purple, blue, white, cream, yellow
Anemones are delightful, dynamic, delicate flowers, which are sought after for their vibrant magenta, red, and purple hues. Just a few bright blooms add a blast of color to bouquets and arrangements.
Colors: white, pink, purple, magenta, burgundy, red, blue
Also known as a Michaelmas Daisy, aster blooms have a wildflower beauty and lush texture and come in a rainbow of colors.
Colors: white, red, pink, purple, lavender and blue,
This beautiful trumpet-shaped flower, with its elegance and simplicity, is a hugely popular wedding flower. Mini calla lilies are ideal for nosegays and boutonnieres and the larger version is perfect for bouquets.
Colors: white, yellow, orange, red, burgundy, pink, white, ivory
Casa Blanca is one of the oldest hybrid Oriental Lilies. The huge flowers are pure, gleaming white, delicately flocked in a way that adds richness and texture to bouquets and wedding arrangements.
The cornflower comes in white, pink, dark magenta, and, most commonly, blue, with feathery blue-gray foliage. Its button head and colorful legend make it a charming boutonniere flower for groomsmen.
Colors: white, pink, magenta, blue
The bold, dramatic Dahlia comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes making it a favorite in wedding flower arrangements. Combine with slender flowers like irises or tulips for a striking visual display.
Colors: white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple
The daisy is a lovely and whimsical flower. Carried by brides and bridesmaids, daisies reflect on the purity of the heart, mind and soul.
The delphinium lends a country-garden feel to wedding arrangements while adding height and drama. Their texture is ruffled and, depending on how they are used in arrangements, can look like wildflowers.
Colors: white, pink, purple, blue
Garden Roses can only be described by using terms like nostalgic, old world, old fashioned beautiful and vintage. These are stunning flowers, which are perfect for bouquets.
Colors: peach, pink, cream, orange, red
This Gerbera Daisy is flawless. It comes in every color imaginable and some have a different color in the center from the petals, which adds extra variation and color possibilities.
Colors: orange, pink, red, yellow, burgundy, white
These lush flowers symbolize feelings of levity and lightness, and cover a spectrum of colors from white to blue to violet. They are irregularly shaped and bloom in a loose, vertical grouping along the end of the stem.
Colors: white, blue, violet, purple
Lavender flowers are timeless, classy and romantic. They have a distinct fragrant scent and are symbolic of purity and fidelity.
Colors: purple, pink, magenta
The Marigold flower is made up of multiple layers of overlapping petals, which get smaller towards the flower's center. The blooms may be single or double colored and can be varying hues of yellow, orange, red and maroon.
Colors: yellow, orange, red, maroon
Bold and flashy, with raylike petals and dark centers, the sunflower is a striking flower that is perfect for centerpieces or carried as a single stem down the aisle.
Colors: yellow, orange, brown
Commonly used as a secondary flower due to its rich, sultry and strong scent, small quantities of this flower go a long way. These white, trumpet-shaped florets grow in clusters and open gradually along a light green stalk.
Colors: white, ivory
The chocolate cosmos is a daisy-like flower on a long stem that comes in a striking brown color. Perfect for earthy bouquets, it even has a chocolate scent!
Chrysanthemums are among the most versatile wedding flowers. They are available in almost every imaginable color and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, which makes them ideal for adding interesting shape or texture to centerpieces.
Colors: white, yellow, green, orange, red, burgundy
The fuchsia flower is a beautiful, exotic flower with a striking two-tone color, which comes in all shapes and sizes. Their up-swept petals and long stems add movement and grace to bouquets and centerpieces.
Colors: magenta, pink, purple, white
This showy bloom is noted for its ruffled, striped petals in intense colors, with some varieties featuring fringe-tipped petals for added impact and a real ‘wow’ factor.
Colors: white/green, yellow. red, orange/green, pink/green
The Statice is also known as an 'everlasting flower' because its pretty calyx stay on much after the flower has dried. It’s an exotic flower that’s often used in dried flower wedding arrangements.
Colors: white, lavender, pink
Sweet Williams are pretty flowers that come in shades of pink, white, red and purple. These are sweetly scented flowers, and are superb for centerpieces.
Colors: pinks, white, red, purple
Best used as an accent flower, these star-shaped blossoms grow on climbing branches. While available in white and pink, tweedia is most admired for its unusual soft blue hue, making it the perfect accessory for that ‘something blue’
Brides seeking a spectrum of unforgettable color will appreciate this daisy-like flower. The zinnia symbolizes "thoughts of friends," which makes it an appropriate element in bridesmaid bouquets.
Colors: yellow, orange, green, pink, red
This impressive flower features trumpet-shaped blossoms that open in succession at the top of an extra-long stalk. Very rare and expensive, these flowers are long-lasting and offer a lot of drama with just a few stems.
Colors: white, red, yellow, pink, green, red
Known for its big luscious blooms, the camellia is a symbol of loveliness and beauty so is the perfect choice for a wedding. With ruffled petals, this relative of the tea plant would look great as a low centerpiece on a reception table.
Colors: white, pink, red, cream
With its fresh and fruity scent, the freesia is made up of green buds clustered along a thin, arched stem which open gradually into delicate flowers. A couple of stems go a long way with these highly scented flowers.
Colors: red, white, yellow, purple
Heather is a fragrant, colorful flower that’s often used for weddings. White heather is considered to be lucky for brides, so adding a spray of it to your bouquet or to your centerpiece is a popular choice.
Colors: white, purple
Holly will add a festive touch to any winter wedding, and holds the floral meaning of domestic happiness so quite fitting too!
Colors: red/ green
This cupped flower somewhat resembles a rose. Lisianthus boasts multiple blossoms and buds on a single stem and has a slight peppery scent. Its wide range of colors make it an excellent choice as a secondary flower for bouquets and arrangements.
Colors: white, cream, purple, pink, peach, green
Loved for its merry yellow bloom, which is one of the first to appear after winter's frost subsides, the narcissus (daffodil) is a flower of true variety. Blooms can be single or multiple, with large or small cups, in solid colors or in combinations of white and yellow with touches of orange.
Colors: white, yellow, orange
A bouquet or centerpiece which includes ornamental berries is perfect for a winter wedding, adding a festive touch.
Poinsettias are elegant and versatile, and make wonderful centerpieces for winter weddings, adding a festive touch. The bride can carry a poinsettia bouquet, or bridesmaids can carry a single poinsettia for an elegant statement.
Ranunculus is a flower with many varieties of color. It’s related to anemones and peonies and is renowned for its bright beauty. Colors range from white to pink, to red to yellow to orange.
Colors: white, cream, pink, red, orange, yellow
When winter hits, winterberry sheds its glossy green leaves to reveal persistent berries that add a vibrant splash of vermillion to bouquets and centerpieces.
It's the one thing that will leave an everlasting memory of your wedding day. Your photos are a big deal, which means choosing the right photographer is essential. So, where do you start when it comes to narrowing down the perfect photographer?
Start by asking around. Good photographers will have a good reputation (believe it or not!) Do any of your friends or family have any recommendations? If not, ask for recommendations from your venue, your florist, your wedding planner etc. When you do have a list of potential photographers in mind, it's time to do some digging. Check out their website, ring them up, then meet them in person. What is your first impression? How are you greeted? What do you think of their offices? These are all things you can ask yourself to help with the elimination process.
It's also important to think about the style of photography you want. Would you prefer more traditional photographs? Or something more light-hearted and candid? There is no correct answer! It's what you like that matters. A good photographer should be able to offer you a variety of styles and capture your personalities. Be clear on what style you want and make sure the photographer can provide this in their portfolio. Once you have a particular photographer in mind, make sure you ask to view all of their images (not just the ones they want to show you) so that you can check that the image quality is consistent throughout.
And remember - high-end prices don't always guarantee the highest quality. Photographers should be open about their pricing and you should be clear on your budget. Your photographer should offer a variety of packages to suit all and these are usually flexible, so see if your photographer can tailor make a package to suit you! Don't forget about any hidden extras either. Some photographers charge an additional fee for editing, VAT, the album etc so make sure all the costs are covered in the quote before you sign on the dotted line.
Who isn't a foodie? Choosing the right wedding caterer is essential to your wedding day. It's likely they will do far more than just supply your menu. They will ultimately help you coordinate the whole evening and in some cases, supply the bar and the wedding cake too.
When selecting a caterer, you are looking for delicious food, excellent service and the ability to work with the enormity of the detail involved in your big day. Not too much to ask, right?! To help you achieve this, we've put together a list of essential questions to ask:
Do they have a license?
(Obviously, this includes a liquor license!)
Can they provide references from former clients?
Do they specialize in certain foods?
Does the meal come full service?
(In addition to food preparation, will they handle everything from the table settings to bar service and cleanup)
Do they offer different price packages?
Can they provide specialist meals?
E.g vegetarian, kosher or halal?
Do they offer tastings before being hired?
Can they provide a wedding cake?
What is the dress code for the day?
Where will they prepare the food?
Are there any hidden extra costs?
(service fees etc)
The average tab for food and drink for each guest is approximately $66 so make sure you pick a good 'un!
There are so many styles and types of cake to choose from these days and cake designers are getting more and more creative, which is awesome! But at the same time, that can make the decision process a hell of a lot harder!
Obviously there a few factors you need to consider first, such as guest size and budget. For that, we have created a wedding cake builder so you can actually see your wedding cake being made. Answer the questions, build your cake, print it off and take it along to your baker - it really is ‘a piece of cake!'
And remember, don't feel like you have to settle for the traditional fruit cake if you're not that type of girl! There are literally hundreds of flavors to choose from these days. Here's our pick of the best:
Music can add so much emotion and atmosphere to your day - before, during and after you say “I do.” Remember that music is going to be played at different times throughout the day, so you want the music to coordinate with what is happening at that time. You'll need music for the ceremony, the cocktail hour or pre-reception drinks party and the reception. Our tip for helping you pick the right music? Imagine your wedding as if it was a movie - honestly it works! This way you will be able to work out which key events will need specific wedding music (e.g walking down the aisle) and which moments simply require background music. Need some inspiration? Then check http://www.bvtlive.com/songs-for-weddings
Your favorites. Your A-team. Your best friends. Your sidekicks. Whatever you want to call them, these are the people that are going to be the front line on your wedding day so pick ‘em wisely! How do you go about creating the perfect wedding party? Let’s take a look:
Remember you can have as many (or as little) bridesmaids, maid of honors, or groomsmen's as you like! If you want two maids of honor then there’s no rule to say you can’t but if there is a lot of people you want to include in your wedding party, then remember you can always give them another role. Maybe you could give someone the role as usher or give someone the opportunity to give a reading at the ceremony.
And lastly, don’t be afraid of hurting someone's feelings. It’s your wedding day and you should choose who you want. You don’t need to ask someone to be in your wedding just because they asked you to be in theirs. At the end of the day, a true friend will understand, whatever decision you make, and that’s a fact, no matter how cliché that sounds!
How to choose the dress. Hopefully by now you will have a set amount of money for your dress. Remember that is how much you’ve got to spend so don’t look at dresses that you know you just can’t afford. That’s just torture! Just because you have set aside $1500 for the dress doesn’t always mean you can buy a $1500 dress. Remember that you need to factor in things like shipping and alterations.
The next step is to focus on finding the best dress silhouette that suits you. Of course, details are important - the elegant handcrafted beading and the corset bodice with the lace up back can be the difference between a good wedding dress and an amazing one but before you pick the details, it’s important to figure out what silhouette suits you. Try not to get caught up in the trend of the moment but instead pick something that you feel comfortable in. How do you want your dress to make you feel? Do you want to feel sexy? Modern? Chic? Traditional? Or perhaps you want a more vintage feel? Once you know that vision, you can share it with your wedding dress consultant and they can help you pick out styles that match.
When trying on potential wedding dresses, dance like no one is watching... literally! You need to test how comfortable you feel in it so sit down, dance, walk up and down and do a little jig. You don’t want to spend your day battling the gown. You need to feel comfortable and the best way of doing that is to try it out. Once you’ve found a dress that you don’t want to take off, that’s an indicator that your search may very well be over!
You thought choosing your own wedding dress was hard? Wait until you have to deal with the bridesmaid’s dresses! Choosing a bridesmaid’s dress that flatters all of their body shapes can be a challenge in itself... and choosing a dress that all of your bridesmaids are happy with is likely to be, near enough, mission impossible! But we’ve got some advice so you can keep some sanity in the search for the perfect attire for your bridesmaids.
Once you’ve picked your own wedding gown, choosing the bridesmaid dresses should become a little easier. Although the dresses don’t need to match, it’s likely you’ll want them to co-ordinate in one way or another. If you’re wearing a vintage inspired dress, you probably don’t want your bridesmaids dressed in modern shift dresses. You get the gist.
Start by choosing a color or a style - whichever is more important to you. If color is key, remember not every color will suit every skin tone so don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades. If you are set on sticking to the same color for all of your bridesmaids, go for a strong shade that will flatter both cool and warm skin tones. An emerald, deep red or royal blue shoud do the trick. Unsure what colour scheme to go with? Then let the season guide you. Rich darker colors are great for winter weddings and lighter, and brighter shades are perfect for a summer wedding.
Also remember one size doesn’t fit all. Unless you’re Taylor Swift or part of her entourage, you’re bridesmaids probably won’t all be 6ft tall models! Choose a style that suits all of their shapes or alternatively, make subtle adjustments to the dresses so that all of your bridesmaids feel comfortable. If one of your bridesmaids has a bigger bust, add a wider strap. Again, you get the gist!
Let's not beat around the bush… all eyes will be on the bride. People always have a lot more to say about the bride’s dress than the groom’s tux, but that doesn’t mean the groom can look anything less than the best they’ve ever looked!
For a formal wedding, your best bet is a classic wedding tux, but for a more casual affair, a suit might be better… suited! If you are going doing the tux route remember that not all tuxedos are made the same. Subtle differences in collars, jackets and pant styles can be flattering or fatal depending on your body shape. There are three measurements which provide the best guidelines for an accurate fit. The overarm (around the shoulders, over the biceps, with the arms relaxed at the sides), the chest (the circumference under the armpits, with the arms down at the sides), and the seat (around the hips and rear, with no wallet in the pocket).
Short and stocky? Try a tuxedo jacket with a slim shawl collar. The top button should fall at the small of the waist to give the torso a leaner look. Tall and slim? Then a double breasted tuxedo with slightly broad shoulders and a suppressed waist would be one to try. Tall grooms need to take extra consideration when it comes to the length of the jacket too. To determine a good fit, place your arms at your side and relax the hands. Your fingertips should touch the bottom of the jacket, and your shirt cuff should extend half an inch beyond the jacket sleeve.
And don’t forget to personalize your look. Patterned ties, quirky cufflinks, shoes, funky socks etc are all ways you can add a bit of your individual style to the look. Your guys (groomsmen) will probably wear something similar to you but again, their look can be personalized. Why not try a different style or patterned tie? Or even a different color tux? It’s your day so make sure you stand out (in a good way though, obviously!)
We’re not going to lie, that is a lot to remember. So we have put together a wedding planning timeline so you know what to do and when you need to do it. Just print it out and follow the tasks each month to avoid any unnecessary mad dashes as your wedding day creeps nearer. Since every wedding is different, remember to make edits or keep a separate checklist for anything specific to your wedding that we might have missed out.