Is Buying a Designer Wedding Dress the Right Decision?
When you were a little girl dreaming of your wedding, you probably imagined yourself in a beautiful wedding gown. I would bet that a budget wasn’t part of that dream. Unless you have unlimited funds, you will find yourself balancing a budget and your dreams as you plan your wedding. Have you considered buying designer wedding dresses?
Experts suggest that you should spend about 6% of your wedding budget on the dress. With the average cost of a wedding around $25,000, the recommended advice is to spend about $1,500 on your wedding dress. Wedding budgets, however, are difficult to stick to. After all, your wedding dress is the most significant piece of clothing that you will ever purchase. Should you go for the designer wedding dress, or go for a discount wedding dress?
You Must Shop For a Designer Dress
Even if you have no intention of purchasing a designer dress, go shop for one anyway. You’ll be treated to champagne, as boutique associates attempt to find the perfect dress for you. It’s a fun experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity – hopefully.
My Dress is Out of My Budget
If you do visit the boutique and fall in love with a designer wedding gown you may be facing a dilemma. Do you ignore the budget for a dress that you will wear once in your life, or choose an alternative? There may be a way for you to get the dress without breaking the bank. You may decide that it’s worth cutting back on the flowers or the food to increase your budget. Perhaps the store will work with you to offer you a discount.
If the store won’t work with you and you have tried on the dress you want, go online to find the dress. Ebay can be a good source of new designer dresses. There are bridal ebay stores, and you can also find brides selling their wedding gowns on eBay. Try craigslist as well for local brides selling their wedding dresses. You can also look for a wedding store that rents out dresses and get the dress of your dreams that way. Lastly, you can ask a seamstress to create an exact duplicate of the designer wedding dress that you want and do so at a much lower cost.
Buying a designer dress is ultimately up to you. No one else can make the decision if it’s worth it or not. Purchases for your wedding are never logical. When else will you spend $25,000 on one night? If the dress makes you feel absolutely beautiful you may decide to go for it. Shop around, try to get a discount, visit online stores and do your best to stay around your budget. If your budget really doesn’t allow you to get the dress you do want, find a cheaper alternative that looks just as great. While you won’t have bragging rights of saying you’re wearing Vera, your guests won’t know the difference. Most important is that you feel beautiful in the dress.
Your wedding is a one in a lifetime event. It is a celebration of your commitment and an expression of who you are as a couple. And if you are like many brides, you’ve dreamed of this day for a long time and know exactly what you’d like.
But in this economy, every bride is looking for ways to trim her wedding budget. And to help, I’ve created a list some of my favorite ways to cut your wedding costs – without your guests being the wiser.
Save on the Wedding Ceremony
• Use flowers in key areas only (like the altar or place where you will say your vows). This is where all of your guests eyes will be, and where the majority of your photographs will be taken.
• Have your florist create hand-tied bouquets for you and your bridesmaids. They are less expensive than wired ones and every bit as pretty.
• Use your wedding party flowers again at your reception. Bouquets can make amazing centerpieces at your head table. And they look gorgeous surrounding your cake.
Food and Beverage Costs
• Have your wedding at an “off-peak” time (Thursdays, Fridays or Sundays, and in January – May). Because these times are less popular, the caterer’s cost per person and the required guest count will be lower.
• Butler passed hor d’oeuvres can actually be less expensive than buffet style (because guests tend to eat less of them). Ask your caterer about your options.
• Create a signature drink (made with non-premium alcohol) to save on bar costs. Give the drink a personalized name to make it unique.
• Reduce your cocktail hour by 15-20 minutes. None of your guests will notice. And your bar bill will be less.
• Skip the champagne toasts – few guests really drink it. Or if you want to include it, try Prosecco, a sparkling Italian wine that tastes like champagne – but is much less expensive.
Save Money on Wedding Flowers/ Centerpieces
• Use fewer, larger tables to reduce the number of centerpieces and linen rentals required. Create tables of 10 instead of 8. (Use larger tables that guests aren’t crowded).
• Consider less expensive flowers like carnations, baby’s breath or gladiolas. These blooms tend to be 1/3 the cost of roses and look very dramatic and impactful when used in large monochromatic arrangements.
• Give your florist a long list of flowers you love and those you don’t. Then give him/her flexibility to use the most cost effective/ seasonal flowers from your list. Flexibility equal savings.
• Buy your own vases from places like Pier1 or Ikea. They can be less expensive than what your florist carries. (And you’ll be able to give the centerpieces away at the end of evening if you’d like).
• Ask your florist for ideas about including non-floral items that add impact while lowering cost. A vase filled with lemons or limes can be quite striking.
Save Costs on the Wedding Cake
• Save by using a faux cake. They are absolutely beautiful and your guests won’t notice the difference (you can still cut it).
• Or order only enough cake for 75% of your guests (more guests than you think actually don’t eat the cake).
• Another option is to have a smaller cake (tall but smaller cakes have great impact) and then a second “kitchen cake” which is cut and served to your guests (who will never notice).
Saving on the Wedding Attire
• Of course, I have to mention the savings associated with a preowned wedding dress! Whether you buy a preowned dress or sell your new gown after your wedding, you can expect to save up to 50% of the retail price. That is hundreds or potentially even thousands of dollars that can be used on other wedding costs (or towards upgrading your honeymoon).
• Rent your jewelry. You can actually rent beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and more for you and your wedding party – all for a very reasonable rental fee.
This is a guest blog post by Josie Daga, founder of PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com, a website she created to help brides buy and sell designer wedding dresses. You can also find her on her own blog, Facebook and Twitter.
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Just as with any big show, your wedding day will not be perfect – but that’s okay. While you cannot plan ahead for every little detail or problematic situation that may arise, you can arm yourself with some helpful advice to be prepared at all times for any potential wedding mistakes. But before you begin planning your special day, consider these five biggest wedding preparation and planning mistakes that amateur ‘wedding planners’ often make.
1. Not Budgeting Costs
It’s hard to believe, but true – many couples do not create a budget when it comes to wedding preparation and end up in a deep hole of debt. The very first thing you should do to avoid disastrous (and bankrupting) wedding mistakes is devise an itemized budget, allowing for the necessary requirements, such as a venue for both the ceremony and reception, food and drinks, flowers, favors, decorations, etc. If anything is left over, either use this money for your honeymoon or spend it on something a little more frivolous, like a horse drawn carriage for your departure from the reception. Read more
For any couple planning a wedding, a long list of factors comes into play from invitations, music, and even alcohol consumption at the reception. Of course, while the wedding should be a time of vibrancy and life, it is also a time of responsibility, especially when alcohol will be served. The key is providing the right amount of alcohol so guests can enjoy a drink or two but without going so far that drinking becomes a potential problem. One of the best ways to ensure your reception is perfect would be working with a reputable caterer.
Whether you are planning a fancy sit-down dinner or just appetizers, finding the right caterer is essential to a wonderful reception. But where do you find one if you have never thrown a catered party before? There are several places you can look to find caterers in your area. Read more
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of hiring a qualified and experienced wedding planner or wedding coordinator.
Each and every year around 2.5 million weddings take place nationwide. This means that the number of weddings that will take place in your immediate area is astounding. Your wedding plans are going to be affected by number of factors, because many more weddings will happen at or around the same time as yours.
If you want even the tiniest little detail to be taken care of at your wedding, it would be recommended that you hire a wedding planner. He or she can save you a lot of time and money. The wedding planner will help you coordinate your wedding and the most important of all they will save you from frustration. Read more
If you are on a tight budget the cost of a special order wedding dress can be a little bit hard to swallow. But what can you do? Yes, you will only wear the dress once, but it is your wedding – quite possibly the most important day of your life. You want a wedding dress that looks fabulous.
So what do you do? Is there any way you can find an incredible dress without breaking the bank? Actually, yes. There are several options. Yes, each option is filled with its own challenges but if you approach the opportunity with your eyes wide open you should be able to find a wedding gown that you will be proud to wear on your big day. Read more
Let’s face it: trying to do anything big and splashy like a wedding is tough, no matter the time you try to do it. But getting married during one of the worst recessions the International economy has ever seen – has been tough on a lot of brides. But do you realize there are actually some benefits to being a recession era bride? Let’s talk about some of the “good” reasons that getting married during the recession isn’t quite so bad after all.
A tighter wedding budget forces you to focus on what’s important. Do you really need calla lilies flown in from an exotic location at every table – or would you rather have delicious food at the reception? Do you really need an open bar all night long – or will a single signature cocktail do the trick? Do you really have to invite your very best friend from summer camp you haven’t seen for ten years – simply because you always wanted to do so? The recession era bride has an easier time of focusing on what is really necessary and needed at her wedding and what can be tossed by the wayside.
Today’s bride is a savvy shopper. Gone are the days when a bride would pick the very first wedding dress that gave her tingles up the back of her neck. The recession era bride knows to go to a variety of wedding dress shops and to take digital photos of the dresses she likes. To do more comparison shopping. Also not to be afraid to ask for a better deal – when a competitor’s shop is offering a coupon the shop you are in just might honor it as well – you never know!
A wedding truly isn’t about what you buy – it’s about what you are doing. Getting a beautiful dress and going on an exotic honeymoon is certainly fun. But the recession era bride realizes more than ever what matters is the special moment she’ll be saying her wedding vows with her husband-to-be. That moment when they’ll kiss for the first time as husband and wife. The treasured father and daughter dance or having her father walk her down the aisle. These special moments can’t be bought in a shop or charged to your credit card.
A recession era bride isn’t afraid to get a little creative. If that banquet hall is just too far out of your budget – or you can’t afford flowers or something else you’ve been dreaming of – the recession era bride doesn’t pout – she gets to thinking! Could she get married in the big backyard of a family friend or at her college or university chapel? Could she visit a flower market on an early morning and buy flowers at a discount or get flowers from the grocery store? Or would small potted plants from a nursery make great centerpieces (sure…why not?) that you just wouldn’t see anywhere else? In another economy that bride might not get as creative – but the recession era bride learns to stretch and expand her thinking like never before.
So if you’re a recession era bride – enjoy the special and treasured moments your wedding day brings. Enjoy being with family and friends and your first day of married life!
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Everyone knows that a wedding day is the bride’s day. But it takes many people to make this day truly special. It’s the savvy and wise bride who takes the time to say “Thank You” to her bridesmaids and maid of honor for their hard work and efforts. Being a bridesmaid or maid of honor sometimes can be quite a challenge, and only someone who has done this task will understand what it takes.
Brides have been known to ask bridesmaids for help planning their wedding, with the small and big details. Anything from helping them to pick out a wedding dress to hand addressing wedding invitations. Some bridesmaids or maid of honor may feel at times just as overwhelmed as the bride, even though this is not “their day.” But they know they want their friend or family member’s day to be as special and as magical as she hopes it will be.
Say “Thank You” to your hardworking bridesmaids or maid of honor during wedding planning and also after the wedding. Don’t worry if your wedding budget is stretched to the limit: you can still offer a heartfelt, meaningful “Thank You” that they will appreciate. Here are some of our favorite tips to say “Thank You” to these wonderful women who’ve helped with your wedding day.
Hold a Thank You lunch or dinner for their bridesmaids and maid of honor. You can hold this before the wedding or even after the wedding, when you are back from your honeymoon. But if you hold the Thank You lunch after your wedding, it’s important to say “Thank You” before your wedding day to each of your bridesmaids and maid of honor. Make the lunch special and all about your bridesmaids and maid of honor. Don’t talk about the wedding; this is a day to celebrate your gal pals. A lovely gift for your bridesmaids and maid of honor on this day is a framed picture of all of you; it can be a casual or formal picture.
Thank You letter. There’s something special about a letter, in this day and age they have become even more rare. People often send emails or a quick cell phone call. A wonderful way to say “Thank You” to your bridesmaids and maid of honor is to write a Thank You letter to each of them. Don’t worry about being a great writer, just speak from the heart. Tell them how special they are to you and how helpful they have been in making your wedding a wonderful day. Don’t worry about how long or how short your letter is, this is not a homework assignment! Focus on saying “Thank You” and sending a personalized letter to each of them.
Get Personal with a thoughtful gift. You can find many personalized gifts for bridesmaids when you visit wedding favor stores, online or brick and mortar stores. There are hundreds, if not dozens of choices for you. Whether you choose a tote bag, sterling silver picture frame, beach towel, jewelry or other lovely gift – we’ll let you in on the biggest secret of them all. The very best personalized gift for bridesmaids and your maid of honor that you can give to say “Thank You” is not necessarily the exact same one to each of them, or one that focuses on the theme of your wedding. The best gift is one that you think that specific bridesmaid or maid of honor will enjoy the most. If you know that bridesmaid loves the beach, then choose the beach towel. If another bridesmaid takes dozens of photos with her digital camera, choose the sterling silver photo frame. You see? The right gift for the right bridesmaid or maid of honor, personalize it by thinking of them personally, individually.
Thank You! to all the wonderful, helpful bridesmaids and maid of honors who’ve made the bride’s day so special!
Want to get buff for your wedding? Many brides – even those with that “perfect 10” figure want to amp up their workouts a bit the weeks before their wedding. There are many workouts you can do at home to get buff for that walk down the aisle. Don’t worry about adding gym fees to your wedding budget – or getting to the gym in time for a class when you’ve got all of that wedding planning to do. Here are some of our favorites. So whether you are just getting started with exercise or are a true athlete, you’ll find something you’ll enjoy.
The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa $14.99
Bollywood films are full of expressive music and great dance. You’ll enjoy this energetic and fun cardio dance workout that engages your entire body. It’s ideal for the beginner or anyone who enjoys dance. The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa includes cardio, sculpting and stretching – so your workout is complete. Best of all you may pick up a few new dance moves for the wedding reception dance floor!
Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred
Jillian Michaels is known for her success as a no-nonsense trainer on The Big Loser. If you’ve been impressed with her on the TV show, get ready to see what she can do to get you ready for your Big Day with her 30 Day Shred! This is a workout for those who are already exercising regularly and expect it to push you to the limit. But Michaels’ encourages you to stick to her routine to see great weight loss and toning results.
Bellydance Fitness for Beginners – Arms, Abs, Hips, Buns & Thighs
This belly dance DVD features twin sisters Veena and Neena who lead you through a fun belly dance routine. Even if you’ve never belly danced before, you’ll find this fun and easy to follow. Best of all, you’ll work out all of those bridal “trouble zones” we all stress about for that wedding dress. If you like this DVD, the twin sisters have several others so you can keep belly dancing till you say, “I do!”
The Firm Calorie Explosion
The Firm workout DVDs are known for their tough workouts so you can expect to get a great workout from their Calorie Explosion. On this DVD you can choose the workout you’d like to do – choose from 4 great workouts. This is a workout with weights so you’ll get both cardio and toning. Ideal for someone who has been doing some regular exercise. The Firm has many exercise videos so if you like this one, try their other great workouts before your Big Day to be a buff bride!
Zumba Fitness Latin Workout Routine 4 DVDs Box Set
Many have fallen in love with Zumba – for a high calorie burning workout that’s lots of fun. 4 DVDs are in this set and you can start with the Beginners DVD to help learn all about Zumba. Don’t worry about learning all of the steps from the beginning; you’ll catch on the fun Zumba moves before you know it! Then try Abs, Buns and Thighs or the Advanced DVD or Power DVD for a great workout. A great way to burn calories and get ready to dance all day (and night) on that wedding reception dance floor as a buff bride!
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