Managing The Wedding Invitations: 8 Tips You Need To Know First

Managing The Wedding Invitations: 8 Tips You Need To Know First

After being in business for a few years now, we’ve pretty much seen everything possible go wrong with the wedding invitations. Whether it’s a serious typo that was missed during the proofing stages or a major miscount, there are definitely a lot of factors to consider before you send out those-oh-so-important wedding invitations for your big day. However, lots of experience has taught us that not everyone knows what to keep in mind when picking out, ordering, and sending out their invites, so today we’ve compiled the top 8 wedding invitation tips that you absolutely must know as a bride-to-be.

Read on, take notes, and watch as Down The Aisle helps you with managing the invites with our 8 tips you need to know first for a stress-free invitation experience!

wedding invitations

1. Figure out your style & colors before ordering your wedding invitations.

It’s cliche, but it’s the truth: your wedding invitations really do establish the tone and style of your day. They’re the first glimpse into your wedding that you’ll guests will see and whether you like it or not, they honestly set an expectation for what’s to come. So if you’re having a luxurious, black-tie wedding, don’t send out low-key, basic invites. Trust us, it will cause major confusion.

Secondly, make sure you have your colors chosen before you order the wedding invitations. The last thing you want is to have to fork out even more money because you changed your mind about the color palette 2 months into the engagement.

2. Remember to stamp & address the R.S.V.P return envelopes.

Getting your guests to send back the R.S.V.P in a timely manner (or, in some cases, at all) can be a hassle. But you don’t know frustration until you realize that the main reason they aren’t dropping those little cards in the mail is because you forgot the stamp the return envelopes. It’s amazing, but a stamp is a powerful little nudge.

wedding invitations

Caroline Frost Photography

3. Always order extra wedding invitations!

To be safe rather than sorry, always order plenty of extra wedding invites (around 20 should do). My oh my do they come in handy when you unexpectedly have to add on to your guest list or after you’ve messed up quite a few envelopes during the addressing phase. Having a few extras on hand are always great for a keepsake/memento.

4. Weigh a sample invite before sending to guests.

Nothing spells disaster like having every single one of your wedding invitations returned to your for insufficient postage (yikes!). Make sure you are covered from the get-go by dropping by your local post office to have one of your invites weighed before send-off. Also make sure the post office has enough of the stamps you desire. 

wedding invitations

Sarah Parrot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

5. Double & Triple proof the final sample.

Proofing your wedding invitations is a no-brainer suggestion, but we recommend that you not only double check, but triple check. Oh, and a fresh pair of eyes is always helpful — so consider having your maid of honor and bridesmaids join you for a wine-filled proof party, too.

6.  Number your R.S.V.P cards.

Trust us, most of your guests will forget to write their names on the R.S.V.P cards they return to you. To prevent chaos went those nameless cards come in the mail, number your cards on the back and match them with a corresponding name on your guest list before you send them out.

wedding invitations

Sarah Parrot via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

7. Don’t lick, use a glue stick!

Don’t waste hours trying to seal your wedding envelopes the old fashioned way — invest in a cheap glue stick and let it do all the work for you!

8. Count mailing addresses, not invitees!

We’ve heard horror stories about couples ordering too many–wasting that precious wedding budget–invitations. Remember — just because you are inviting 150 people doesn’t mean that you need 150 invites! Count your mailing addresses instead since many of your invitees will likely reside at the same place.

Have an invitation uh-oh on your hands? Contact us — we’re already happy to help a bride in distress!

What Happens If It Rains On The Wedding Day? Here’s Our Top Tip

What Happens If It Rains On The Wedding Day? Here’s Our Top Tip

At Down The Aisle, we’ve always mentioned that each and every wedding that we manage or plan is different from one to the next with this one exception: every bride stresses about the weather. As soon as that 10-day forecast is available, it’s refreshed a dozen times a day. I know you can’t help it, but honestly, what can be done (nothing), and what needs to be done, are two different things. 

So what happens on your wedding day if it rains? Instead of getting frazzled, narrow down the options, especially for an outdoor ceremony: will you decide that day for your “Plan B”? Perhaps still have the ceremony outdoors if there’s a drizzle? Or will you decide to go with an alternative a day (or two) ahead of time? Of course flooding and hurricanes are notorious too, but those are entirely different situations–we’ve been through those, too!.

Sandor Weisz | Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Photo By Sandor Weisz | Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

So, our top tip for what happens if it rains? Well, when working with us, we have a “golden rule”: Always put as much thought into your Plan B inclement weather plan, and love it as much as your Plan A

3 other great tips for your inclement weather wedding day:

  • Don’t be afraid of getting wet! It’s okay to have a brief moment for your outdoor pics. You can touch-up your make-up, your day-of coordinator can help with your gown, and your hired professionals are able to (within reason) work around it
  • You may wish to consider “tent insurance” which allows you to place a deposit on a tent to be decided in the final hour (a day or two prior), whether or not you want to use it
  • Be considerate of your guests—you may want to offer a hot beverage station if it’s a chilly, raw and rainy day, parasols for their use, or even valet parking

Considering a customized “Plan B” inclement weather plan? Just give us a shout! We’ll help brainstorm with you!

 

Supporting the Bride on her Wedding Day as a Coordinator

Being at the brides side can be very important on wedding day. When there are many things to remember, such as leaving for the church on time and making sure the morning is going according to plan with makeup and hair, and an early lunch, brides don’t want to worry about that when they’re already nervous! So that leaves the wedding coordinator, one stays with the bride and the other(s) do other wedding coordinator tasks!

Supporting the Bride

 

At Kara and Andrews wedding, I got to do that.

Kara made a beautiful bride. Kara was a bride who truly seemed to appreciate the support of having me with her on the whole day until the reception. It was a very rewarding experience, and I enjoyed getting to watch and help the bride on her special day.

 Supporting the Bride

From fluffing her dress to making sure Andrew had her handkerchief; making sure the ring bearer had the rings and making sure the bridal party held their bouquets away from their faces, those little things count when helping a bride. Reminding the bride of the little things can ease the brides nerves and help her enjoy her day even more.

Supporting the Bride

 

Supporting the Bride

 

When I helped Kara with the little things on her special day, it was rewarding for me. I liked being quick on my feet, and managing the time while aiding the bride in anything that she needed. I made sure she was content on her special day, which allowed her to relax and not have to worry about any problems. It was great to see the bride smile and enjoy her wedding day.

Supporting the Bride

 

I can’t wait to help the next bride…

3 Ways The Big Game Is Like Wedding Planning

3 Ways The Big Game Is Like Wedding Planning

3 Ways The Big Game Is Like Wedding Planning

In just a few days, some of us will be gathering for the most biggest end of the season football game—The Big Game. As we finalize our plans to decide where we’ll be watching the game, our focus will also be on food and drink (I bet lots of people take off that following Monday, which should really be a national holiday off, no?).

Whether you’ll be cheering-on your favorite team or ignoring the game but enjoying the commercials, all this preparation on the big game made me start thinking how the players of these two opposing teams must feel similar to what wedding couples feel like the week of their wedding. Here are 3 ways that the big game is like wedding planning:

1.      Keeping Perspective: Focusing On The Game That’s Played Versus The End Result

Imagine what the football players feel like: I’ve been playing this sport and practicing for years, and now it’s just this one chance to win. Gheesh, talk about pressure! But for athletes, it’s not just about winning (yeah, that nice ring they receive is a plus!), but it’s about how they played the game: after all, that latter is the main predictor of whether or not that team retains that player or trades him. But what do you think lead them to this big game in the first place? Sure, it was determination and skill, but it also took a ton of preparation and rehearsing the opponent’s possible next move. Well, wedding planning is quite similar. When we couples hire us, we give them a questionnaire that helps to determine which areas of the planning process will give them the most stress (preparation), and from there, we make sure to focus on those areas to minimize or eliminate planning stress (determination and skill). While the end result “win” (wedding day) always remains in focus, a well-played “game” (preparation) allows you to remain relaxed and more likely to achieve the result you want.

7 Just Married Car

2.      You’re More Than An Individual, You’re On A Team

Just as the big game is played with a team of players, your wedding is no different. While well-meaning advice from your fiancé, your future in-laws, your bridesmaids and office mates can sometimes feel overwhelming, keep in mind their intention is to help.  One of the most common things I see and hear from couples during their final days leading to the wedding, is the stress that builds because it’s finally here: they’re running around picking up last minute things or trying to finish putting together welcome bags for out-of-town guests. These are areas that can be delegated—and should ­be delegated—to others who want to help. Remember you’re playing on a “team”, and you don’t have to shoulder all of this alone.

a-wedding list

3.      Keep Your Concentration Away From The “Uncontrollables”

Frazeled Bride

Athletes are accustomed to performing their best under pressure, and they must do this despite anything that occurs that is outside of their control—injury, the coaches decisions, the crowd, and the outcome of the game. The uncontrollable will potentially sneak up on your wedding day too—the traffic en route to the ceremony, staffing issues, the weather. Focusing on all those “what if’s” is a mental trap, making you to think of another immediate consequence which will cause to lose your confidence and increase your nervousness. My suggestion: allow yourself that moment of chaos by making a list of all those “uncontrollables”, toss it or burn it, then return your concentration to the present, and the areas that you can control. If you want to play well in the game, you have to stay relaxed, and we have 5 ways to relax before your wedding day. 

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4 Unique Bridal Accessories to Make You Swoon

4 Unique Bridal Accessories to Make You Swoon

These days, having a bridal style that is totally unique and all your own is the way most brides are going. Whether it be the addition of a custom necklace to a family heirloom to a one-of-a-kind veil, having your own signature look is a key feature when choosing your bridal accessories. With that said, we are pretty sure you’ve seen almost everything out there when it comes to bridal accessories — countless veils, jewelry, shoes, etc., etc. But don’t assure yourself that you’ve seen it all just yet. We’ve got four unique bridal accessories to share with you today that are making us swoon and we know you will too! So sit back and get ready for unstoppable pretty.

The Bridal Cap

The bridal cap has experience off and on popularity over the years, but with the release of the box office remake of “The Great Gatsby” they have risen again on the popularity scale. Reminiscent of the 20s, jazz age style of the film, the bridal cap is all about glamour and femininity. If you are looking for a bridal accessory that is a definite showstopper, you can’t go wrong with a bridal cap.

bridal caps

Bridal Gloves

Although they haven’t been popular for many years, bridal gloves are one of the most unique bridal accessories that are making a comeback. They are perfect for almost any bride because there are so many different styles and options. From vintage to edgy, this bridal accessory is one of our favorites.

bridal gloves

Bridal Socks

One of the most unique ideas we’ve seen in terms of bridal accessories is the idea of wearing socks with your wedding shoes. Don’t get us wrong. We don’t mean the standard cotton socks you wear on your morning jog, but gorgeous, detailed socks. This look has a retro feel that is just out of this world when paired with vintage shoes and a short wedding dress.

bridal socks

Bridal Cuffs

For a more traditional look with a twist, we recommend incorporating bridal cuffs into your bridal accessories. Not much different from standard bracelets, bridal cuffs are one of those bridal accessories that just has the “WOW!” factor. Wear one bridal cuff for a more traditional style or wear two for a more glam, chic style — either way, the results are beyond pretty!

bridal cuffs

 

Tell us. Which of these unique bridal accessories is your favorite? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

~Blog contributed by Audra Jones

3 Simple Ways To Make Your Wedding Enjoyable In The Eyes Of A Guest

3 Simple Ways To Make Your Wedding Enjoyable In The Eyes Of A Guest

What Makes A Wedding Enjoyable?

Would you like to know 3 simple ways to make your wedding enjoyable? One of my favorite “ploys” so to speak of being a wedding planner, is often times as I’m coordinating on-site at the wedding, I completely “blend-in” with the guests. I’m dressed like a guest (no, it’s not like hotel staff, we don’t wear name badges or anything), and so guests just assume I am one most of the time. So you’ll never believe the conversations and comments of “wedding-chit-chat” I overhear as I’m moving about. This inspired me to pass along this knowledge so that you’re “in the know” about what makes a wedding enjoyable in the eyes of a guest.

 

FOOD

Food is like the weather, it’s there in front of everyone and just begs to be a topic of discussion. Anything that is “ordinary” (fruit and a veggie spread during your cocktail hour) is fine, people will still eat it, and may actually prefer it versus anything that they wouldn’t recognize…but how it’s delivered or arranged can really make an impression; this is especially true if you’re budget conscious. Think fruit skewers instead of a fruit platter, or passed “fruit cones” (think a snow cone, but full of fruit instead, and guests are given fancy toothpicks).

View More: http://gallery.pass.us/andy-and-jill

Photo by Caroline Frost Photography

BAR

Trust me, guests will remember (and comment) if they had to pay for their own drinks or not. As a wedding planner, an open-bar is the one thing I always encourage my clients to consider—even on a tight budget—because remember, you are hosting an event in your honor, the same as you would in your home…You wouldn’t ever charge anyone a glass of wine in your home, right? Guests feel pampered when they’re “taken care of”, and one way that’s quite simple to make a wedding enjoyable in the eyes of your guests, is with an open-bar. Even this route, there are many ways to keep the costs down.

bar

 

 

WAIT TIMES

Let’s face it, no one likes to wait, whether it’s in line at the post office, waiting for transportation to arrive, or waiting at a traffic light, waiting makes people cranky. And impatient. So a simple way to make your wedding enjoyable, is to try to reduce wait times at any particular area of the day: decrease the number of your attendants in your bridal party, to trim the length of the ceremony (this decreases your costs as well); have only your parents or just your best man and maid of honor in your receiving line so your reception can get underway quicker; do not have a large gap between your ceremony and reception; and lastly, ask those who are giving blessings and toasts to deliver kind words, but skip personal jokes that only you or your spouse would get, and remind them that they don’t have to relive every year since the third grade when you met. And please do yourself a favor and have the speeches done early in the reception—tongues get very “loose” after alcohol, and mixed with nerves from speaking in front of others, this can become an uncomfortable combination for the speaker.

View More: http://gallery.pass.us/andy-and-jill

 

 

Whether it’s help on how to make the most impact with your menu, where to scale-back and where to spend, or writing those public speeches, Down The Aisle, LLC  is your prime source to assist in offering ways to make your wedding enjoyable. Contact our team today to learn how we can help.

You’re Engaged! What’s Next?

You’re Engaged! What’s Next?

So, you’ve just changed your status and posted the pic with a spouse-to-be on your arm and a sparkler on your left hand, so now what? We’re sharing a how-to guide for what steps to take after you get in engaged. Yep, we’re serious — in our book, it’s always good to be proposal prepared!

Photo By Jason Loves Maggie

Photo By Jason Loves Maggie

1. Enjoy the moment together.

We know that you’re dying to post a ring selfie and announce to the word that you’re gonna be a Mrs., but trust us when we say that you’re life won’t end if you don’t immediate take to social media. After the proposal, take a few moments to just be with each other and revel in the moments. This is a time you’ll never be able to get back, so make sure to really soak up the memories while they’re unfolding before your eyes!

2. Call your close friends and family first.

Once you guys are ready, go ahead and make the big announcement to your closest friends and family. This doesn’t mean send a mass text or post a generic “for all the see” post on social media — this means calling those that are closest to you and personally letting them know. Or, better yet, sharing the new in person. Those that are near and dear to your hearts will appreciate the kind gesture and it will make them feel special that they didn’t find out that you’ve gotten engaged through a Facebook or Instagram post.

3. Announce on social media when you’re ready.

Then, when you’re ready, feel free to post the details, the ring picture, the post-proposal pictures, and all that jazz to all your social media sites. We promise that within seconds flat, you’ll have the most comments and likes you’ve ever received in your whole online-present life.

4. Get the ring insured.

Obviously, we don’t expect you to call up your insurance company immediate after he drops to one knee, but we are serious when we say that having your engagement ring ensured is a VERY good decision. The purchase was a big one for your spouse-to-be, so make sure the investment is covered should you lose your ring, drop it down the sink, etc. Yes, this kind of stuff happens all the time.

Photo By Candace Jeffrey Photography

5. Treat yourself to a manicure.

In the months after you get engaged, you better bet that everyone and their brother is going to want to see your new bling. Prepare your hands for their big performance by treating yourself to a gorgeous manicure!

6. Start looking at potential dates. 

As wedding planners, we know that the date is key when it comes to budget, snagging all the vendors you want, scoring a great local venue, etc. So, start talking about potential dates of your wedding early. Pick out 2-3 potentials and go from there. Usually, you’ll find over time that one date works out much better than all the others.

7. Start brainstorming & browsing ideas. 

It’s never too early to start thinking about what you want your big day to do look like, so go ahead and browse on Pinterest, flipping through magazines, having brainstorming sessions with your fiancee and family, and envisioning what you want for your dream day! Having some idea of what you like early on will help guide you to the right vendors right off the bat, which is an amazing advantage to have when you’ve got a million details to figure out.

8. Set your wedding budget.

As soon as you and your fiancee are ready to start looking into booking a venue and hiring vendors for your wedding day, we suggest that you first sit down as establish a budget. Doing this will help narrow your search and will give you a realistic idea who and what you can afford to include in your day.

9. Hire a wedding planner.

Sure, we’re biased, but there are definitely real benefits to hiring a wedding planner as soon as you get engaged. First of all, it helps you figure out important details early and gives you immediate access to the planner’s recommendations for venues and vendors (we know what things cost to save you that research). Plus, hiring a wedding planner early in the game also helps you save money and have a stress-free experience all the way from “yes!” to “I do.”

10. Have an engagement party!

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate! If you aren’t the big engagement party type, keep things small – have an intimate backyard BBQ, invite your best friends and immediate family over for a dinner prepared by you and you fiancee, or go for cocktails as a group. Whatever you do, remember that getting engaged is a big deal — don’t get bogged down in wedding planning details and forget all about the reason for the ring.

There you have it, current and future brides-to-be! Are you looking for expert help to get you started, now that you’re engaged? Explore more about our services here

 

~Blog contributed by Audra Jones

 

Holiday Survival Guide For The Bride-To-Be

Holiday Survival Guide For The Bride-To-Be

It starts with Black Friday…The holidays can be a time of wonder and marvel, but then it could also be a true test of our inner strength. Juggling the demands of added pressures from our families or work to “do more” (bring-in festive “healthy” treats for the kids’ school), can easily put us over the edge. The holiday season can surely reconnect us, but the disrupted schedules, travel, cooking, decorating, and last minute shopping stress can bring on stress faster than a sugar rush from a cookie swap indulgence. Hmmm…sounds familiar, right? Because it sounds a lot like wedding planning!

Whether you’re newly engaged this holiday season, months into your planning, or days before your wedding, each level brings its own amount of stress similar to the holidays. We have the Holiday Survival Guide!

001a_Snowflake Invite

 

Don’t Over Indulge Just Because The Moment Grabs You – The holidays are a time for gathering with friends and loved ones, and with that brings the feeling of “why not just one more…”. Whether that be the extra cookie (or two) you added on your plate, the extra guest (or two) added to your list, or the extra thousand (or two) you just added to your dress budget, all of these can become intensified when you’re feeling spiritual/giving/festive. If you want to stay within your budget, you may want to postpone some of your wedding-planning decisions until after the new year when you’ve passed the temptations and gained insight.

 

Fill Your Cup To Fill Up Others – Yes, it’s the truth that we’ve all heard many times, but at the holidays, we may get to the gym less, sleep less, and re-connect with ourselves less. Whatever way you feel most relaxed and at ease, be sure to take the time for yourself so that you don’t get burnt out. Chances are if you’re exhausted and you have a mile long to-do list for your wedding tasks, your fiancé will certainly appreciate your calm demeanor when you’ve had some “you” time.

 

Setting The New Tradition: Where To Spend The Holidays – Deciding on which side of the family to spend the holidays with, is always a tricky subject for newlyweds, however, it’s really not that different for those who are engaged. When the invite to attend Aunt Margaret’s soiree is put out there, set the precedent now by not giving the tried-and-true answer of “let me get back to you, I need to talk with my fiancé first”. This sends the message that you’re a combined team now, and won’t just say “yes” to the first invite. Read more on “How To Decide Where To Spend The Holidays”.

 

The Holidays Are Everyone Else’s Holiday Too – You’re surrounded by many, and you may want to spend time chit-chatting the latest planning news—the new bridesmaids color you’ve found, or details on the tasting you just went to—just keep in mind that while your family is interested in learning the newest details and they are interested, it’s still the holidays for everyone else. Consider catching everyone up in a “New Year’s” letter/email update.

While the holiday season is the slow time for wedding professionals, it’s yet a busy time in meeting prospective clients. Give us a shout, and we’ll connect you with the best talent, to help you skip the January rush!

Happy Holidays!
My Signature

4 Tips for Scoring a Perfect Wedding Cake

4 Tips for Scoring a Perfect Wedding Cake

Wedding magazines are full of them. Pinterest has more than we could ever fathom. And everyone has an opinion. So yeah, selecting a wedding cake design and style that’s right for your wedding day is a bit of a difficult task. The pretty options are endless, and if you’re like most brides, your budget can only handle one wedding cake, despite the fact that you’re head over heels for at least 8 different looks. As wedding planners, we know the conundrum as well as any — and have seen many of our brides vacillate over this detail throughout the last 5 years.

In fact, a bride-to-be recently reached out to us with a similar dilemma: “Should I go with one big cake, many small cakes, or cupcakes? Do I ever need a cake at all? Is it fine to have a dessert station instead?” she asked. Her question is a common one, and it often leaves brides feeling frustrated about what should be a fun part of planning (you do get to taste cake, after all!). So with her story and our past brides in mind, we decided it was time to put together our top 4 tips for scoring the perfect wedding cake for your day. Don’t get us wrong, there are many great tips out there, but our picks really get to the heart of solving this big wedding planning puzzle, so keep them in mind as you set out to select yummy treats — whether you go for that dessert station, an assorted cakes display, or one big beautiful wedding cake — for your upcoming celebration!

Tip 1: Hire a reputable baker/bakery.

Having a wedding cake that you love all starts with the baker. The better their reputation and their quality of work, the more likely you are to have a great experience and adore the final product. To begin your search, we suggest asking for suggestions from friends, talking with your wedding planner, and doing some searching online (be sure to read all the reviews you can). Once you find a few who have great ratings and work that makes you’re heart go pitter-patter, reach out to set up appointments. When everything is said and done, choose the baker/bakery who really clicks with your personality, fits your budget, and gets your vision!

Tip 2: Don’t forget that your cake is part of the decor.

It’s definitely okay for your cake to stand out a little among the wedding decor. But, problems usually come up when you go too far off in left field with your cake design. If you’re having a rustic wedding, a cake covered in pearls is probably not the design that’s right for you or a look that’ll you be happy with in the long run. So at the beginning of your search for a design you love, limit your search to options you know your budget can handle (however, it is perfectly okay to choose something extravagant and talk with your cake maker about how to make it work with your budget) and that really fit in with the theme or look of your day. You’ll be much happier with the end result and your cake won’t stick out for being out of place among the decor you’ve selected.

Tip 3: Consider the size of your wedding & portions.

When selecting a wedding cake that’s going to be great for your big day, it’s essential to keep the size of your wedding and portions in mind. If you’re having 250 guests, you may not want to go with cupcakes or a dessert bar (that’s a lot of cupcakes and various desserts to pay for). If you’re having a small wedding, having 3 different cakes or a big wedding cake is probably not right for you…unless you want to be eating cake for months. So before you start making plans and picking out designs, consult with your vendor and/or your wedding planner for ideas about what will work best for your guest count and the portion size you’re looking to have at your wedding.

Liji Jinaraj and Ladybug Cakes & Catering via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tip 4: Don’t wait until the last minute.

Of all the mistakes we’ve seen brides make when picking out a wedding cake, this one if the more disastrous of them all. And it’s also the most crucial element for insuring that you’re really, really enchanted with your wedding cake. Why’s that? Well, if you don’t start early, it’s likely that you won’t be able to book the baker that you have your heart set on. From there, you’re rushed when it comes to design selection and available ingredients (it often takes time for special fillings and favors to be delivered to your cake maker). Then, on top of it all, you really won’t have time to establish a backup plan if what you really want for your day doesn’t work with your budget. So as you can see, the waiting until the last minute to hire a baker and make decision is a BIG no no if you want to love your wedding cake.

 

Got a wedding cake dilemma on your hands? Contact us for advice!

 

~Blog contributed by Audra Jones

 

 

 

6 Tips To Ensure You’ll Love Your Wedding Gown

6 Tips To Ensure You’ll Love Your Wedding Gown

Well I don’t think my job would be “my job” without a little wedding gown drama now and then. Recently one of our “encore” brides “Paula” (name changed for privacy) decided at her most recent gown fitting—just 3 months before the wedding—didn’t like her dress, and felt down about her body image. Believe it or not, this is not the first time a situation like this has happened in our experience.

In an email sent to me, Paula wanted to be sure I fully understood exactly where she stands about her mishap, because I was going to attempt to work with the gown shop in trying to finagle a way to make this work. Again, this wasn’t a situation where she put a gown on “hold” or placed a “deposit”, this was Paula’s chosen and fully paid wedding gown, which was supposed to be ready for the first round of alterations. In Paula’s words (note: Paula has given me permission to share her email in this blog):

Dress shopping for my first marriage was a breeze.  You try on one fabulous dress, it fits perfect, you have that “feeling” and you move on.

You do what every bride to be does, look at the magazines, look online, watch all those fun TLC shows….you think you know what you want, you certainly know what you don’t want.

Fast forward 12 years and a baby later.  You go into the process thinking you will have the same experience, that magic moment.  What your brain forgot is there’s some body issues going on and stuff is not in the same place.

Paula's gown

Paula’s Original Gown She Chose

Even if it’s not your second wedding or you are not a mom, I’m sure you could relate to Paula’s situation. Did Paula go about it the wrong way or make  some terrible error in the wedding gown selection process? No. Even with our 6 Tips To Ensure You’ll Love Your Wedding Gown  as informative guidance, Paula simply felt that after 9 dress shops and 80 gowns later, she really felt the pressure to pick something.

This story does have a happy ending though. The dress shop’s specialty seamstress has begun working with Paula to redesign the gown (a little trim here, take from here, reattach here) so that she will have a gown that she will love, without sacrificing her payment and needing to start from scratch.

6 Tips To Ensure You’ll Love Your Wedding Gown

gowns

1)      What’s NOT to Love. It’s easy to pin/cut-out images of gowns that you like. Do yourself a favor and also have a board/folder for those designs and details that you DON’T like. Sometimes focusing on what not to wear helps your stylist in determining the right shape, silhouette and gown for you

2)      The Top Has All The Glory. Remember it’s the top of your gown that usually gets the most attention, especially in photos, as your mostly captured from the waist-up. Don’t spoil the mood with something “trendy” but doesn’t work for your body type (i.e., modest bosom).

3)      Designer Gowns, CHEAP. If you’re considering a designer gown, find out if the designer does sample sales (yep, running of the brides), or consider second-time bridal stores or even Ebay.

4)      When To Schedule Your Fitting. Try to schedule you’re fitting for the first available morning slot. This tactic usually results in a more energized and focused style consultant.

5)      Don’t Stare At It, Try It On. You know the drill—don’t just stare at it on the hanger, try it on! Really, a dress can look absolutely stunning on the right body frame versus hanging on the hanger.  However trying on more dresses doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find the right one; it might even backfire actually. If you’re at the point of stress, take a break from gown shopping and reconsider numbers 1 and 2 above.

6)      Leave Behind The Drama. Don’t pay attention to the drama or negativity of others. Select the gown that you love, even though it might not be everyone else’s favorite. When I selected my wedding gown but decided to not wed the man I was engaged to at the time, everyone thought I was nuts for choosing that same wedding gown years later when I decided to marry my now husband. Ten years later, I’m still in love with my gown!

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