Beautiful Weddings: Three Reasons to Wear a Wedding Gown off the Rack

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“A wedding dress is both an intimate and personal object for a woman—it must reflect the personality and style of the bride”-Carolina Hererra

Planning a wedding is already a cause of much stress to the couple involved—even more so to the bride. But if there is anything that the bride wants on her wedding day, she wishes to look picture perfect as well as beautiful. In fact, this is that one day in her life that she gets to be the most gorgeous woman in the room, so she should make it her while. Unfortunately, being the most stunning woman in a room can be quite difficult to achieve, even if it is your big day. In this regard, many brides would opt to wear custom-made ostentatious wedding gowns or elaborate wedding dresses with intricate details and designs in hopes that all eyes would be on them on their big day. As this momentous day comes only once for most, brides would want to ensure they look not only their best but near perfection. However, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with donning a custom-gown for your wedding day, it is an entirely different thing when it starts to put a strain on your wedding budget.

After all, why spend a lot on a dress that you are only going to be wearing for one day? There are a lot more beautiful and ready-to-wear wedding gowns out there that are just as beautiful sans the exorbitant price tag. Sure, a wedding gown off the rack might lack that personal feel you may have always wanted, but you can easily incorporate that into the other aspects of your wedding and not necessarily your wedding gown. In any case, if you are on the hedge as to whether you should be forking over a fortune just for a wedding gown, you might want to consider buying it off the rack instead. Here are some of the compelling reasons why you should:

1.) A gown off the rack costs much, much less

One of the most compelling reasons to get a wedding gown off the rack is because you will inevitably be paying a much cheaper for it than a custom designed one. Exclusively designed gowns are usually made by designers from top-notch shops and would set you back anywhere from eighty-thousand pesos to a hundred depending on the design and details that you wish to be present on your gown. A ready to wear gown, on the other hand, can easily fit any budget with the price starting at ten-thousand pesos or lower.

2.) You already have a specific wedding gown in mind, or prefer the classic look

If you had already thought of a wedding gown design way before you got engaged, there is no need to have a designer translate it into a dress for you unless the gown you have in mind is incredibly unique. You can simply look for it yourself or ask the designer if he or she already has a similar design (chances are, they do). If you are a stickler for the classics, there is no doubt that you would easily find a gown out there that would suit your taste and preference.

3.) You want to cut costs on your wedding budget

A customized wedding gown will inevitably take a huge chunk out of your wedding budget—so much so that you will eventually have to make a few compromises if you really wish to go designer. Cutting down on the budget of your dress would usually mean you have more money to spend on other aspects for your wedding such as the décor or the reception venue.

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Smart Weddings: Four Hidden Wedding Expenses You Should Not Overlook

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“A low-budget, elegant wedding is within the reach of every couple” -Polly Clements

No matter how hard you try to execute your wedding according to budget, you can never adequately plan for every contingency. In this regard, there may be some expenses that would inevitably crop up–these costs and expenses are usually the ones a couple would overlook. Once the bill arrives, the couple would naturally be taken by surprise at how they accumulated so much simply for their wedding bill.

Do remember that throwing a wedding is expensive and that the costs extend beyond how much your wedding gown or wedding catering costs. Before striking a deal with any of your vendors or signing any contracts, remember to ask what the costs would entail and be meticulous as regards the detail such as overtime, cleanup and delivery. If you have been drawing out a budget plan for your wedding, here are some of the common charges you should never overlook:

1.) Wedding Band Equipment

If you have elected to hire a band to play at your wedding venue, you would not only be paying for the band themselves. The fees would invariably include their time and of course, the minimum equipment needed to ensure optimal sound quality. Of course, if you have chosen a reception area that is rather large, the band members would need to install additional speakers and microphones to project the best sound quality possible. To avoid this, talk to the band or your DJ and give them a layout of how your reception venue looks like. Alternatively, you can have them check it out themselves when they have the time. If they tell you additional equipment would be necessary, have them explain why you would need to be paying for it before signing and agreeing to pay anything else.

2.) Wedding Dress Alterations and Steaming

Unless you have adopted a very strict diet regime, there is a likely chance that you may need to have your wedding dress altered–especially when you had your first gown fitting a long time ago. Unfortunately, alterations and steaming are not included by most designers and wedding boutiques (and they are highly unlikely to do it for you free). Most brides think that wedding dress alterations would only take a jiffy, but depending on how complicated your dress is, it may take anywhere from a couple of hours to days just to have a dress altered. In this regard, be sure to ask how much the store charges for every alteration you may need before purchasing the gown.

3.) Overtime Fees

You must take into consideration that your DJ, wedding photographers, videographers and band are only book for a specific amount of time. If you require their services longer than necessary, they will charge you a little extra (per hour in most cases) after they have reached the time they have indicated in the contract. To avoid this, keep in mind to factor additional time you will spend in getting dressed and taking photos. With this in mind, you would be able to come up with a more realistic time frame to give your wedding vendors.

4.) Cakes and Corkage Fees

If you have used and consumed the cake and liquor provided to you by your wedding venue, you normally would not have to worry about this additional cost. However, if you chose another cake baker or caterer or have brought your own crates of wine to the reception venue, you might be charged corkage fees. Corkage is what goes into the service the staff will render you as they will be the ones to serve your guests all the food and beverages you have brought from outside. Furthermore, they would be the one doing the cleaning for it which means additional work for their staff.

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The Worst Wedding Tips Brides Should Steer Clear From

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“A talented wedding planner is a gift you give yourself…and then you wonder how you ever thought you could manage without one.” –Author Unknown

Planning a wedding is in by no means a cakewalk regardless of how simple or how elaborate it would be. There is quite a lot of aspects to consider and just like there how two brides are not the same, the logistics of their weddings are never straightforward nor are they quite same. For this reason, people who have already been engaged and tied the knot will often come to you in droves—giving you pieces of advice (solicited or otherwise) about what you should and should not do for your wedding day. Although they are well-intended, they are not always precise and some of them can be quite impractical. Furthermore, what used to work for them might not exactly work for you when it is your turn to walk down the aisle.

In this regard, it would be important to be a little shrewd and meticulous when it comes to following the innumerable unwarranted advice you will inevitably get. Recognize which ones are helpful and which ones could be detrimental. Remember, from something as major as your wedding gown to something as insignificant as which flowers to use, you have the final say. So, do not let anyone’s ability of persuasion overpower you.

In any case, here are some of the worst advice you should avoid and ignore:

1.) Skimp on catering costs

Some brides who have tied the knot two decades ago would probably be the first to tell you to skimp on the food costs and splurge on the other elements instead. They would tell you that no one really goes to the wedding to eat anyhow so do not go above and beyond when it comes to food packages. However, this might come as a shock to you but some wedding guests go to the wedding precisely for the food. After all, in these days, nothing is considered better than wedding food. Furthermore, it is one of the things that make your wedding memorable and really, you do not want to be remembered as the cheap bride who let her guests go hungry just so she can have stellar wedding decorations.

2.) Going impromptu for your wedding vows

Your wedding vows should have meaning and should originate from the heart. Spend a good time contemplating about what you should say and write it down—even if you are a good speaker. Remember, when we are all choked up and overwhelmed by emotion, we tend to forget what we are about to say—and that is a scenario you would not want at your wedding.

3.) Wait for your wedding dress to go on sale

Sure, you might be constrained to a budget and it might be nice to get your dream wedding gown at a fraction of its original price. However, you should also consider that you are not the only bride looking around for a gown and there is a likely chance that there is another bride whose eyes are on the same dress you have been waiting to go on sale. Do not wait for flash sales and buy it as is or risk having it being sold to another or spend more on expensive alterations should you need it in a rush.

4.) DIY as much as you can

Personal aspects and elements make a wedding more charming and endearing. However, there is also such a thing as overdoing the DIY. Yes, you might be saving a lot more cash on wedding decors, favors, and all other whatnots but you are also spending a lot more time–time that could have been spent doing other things that would contribute to your wedding. Moreover, you may even end up spending more than you initially thought on craft materials which would be counterintuitive if you are working on a budget.

 

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Themed Weddings: Five Excellent Reasons to Have a Christmas Wedding

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“The love you put into your wedding will come back to you tenfold.”-Colin Cowie

While spring and summer seem like two prime seasons to hold gorgeous and picturesque weddings, Christmas weddings would arguably surpass them. Whether it is the possibility of experiencing a winter wedding with your reception blanketed in snow (provided that you hold your weddings in destinations where snow is possible) or the fact that December is widely regarded as the cuffing season of the year, there is a myriad of reasons why a Christmas wedding is an excellent idea to tie the knot. In fact, anyone with an eye for fabulous and picturesque backdrops would tell you that spring and summer cannot hold a candle to winter when it comes to providing a gorgeous aesthetic.

However, if you have any doubt as to why this theme is the best one among all other wedding themes, let this article convince you by giving you the most compelling reasons to have a Christmas wedding:

1.) Save money on decorations

Without a doubt, one of the most expensive elements you are inevitably going to be spending for your wedding would be the wedding decorations. In this regard, saving what you can and skimping this wedding aspect can be truly helpful. As churches and reception halls would similarly decorate and bedeck their areas with Christmas Décor, you have one expense on your list that can be easily taken care of. Moreover, you would not have a hard time in deciding what your theme would be as it would only be too fitting to hold a Christmas wedding in December.

2.) More choice of vendors

December is not widely regarded as a popular season. As a result, you would have a myriad of wedding vendors at your disposal to choose from. Considering that you are tying the knot outside of the wedding season, you will have more chances of landing the wedding vendor you truly want for your wedding. Lastly, you would not have to book your vendors a year or two in advance, and they will likely give you cheaper rates as it is an off-season date.

3.) More chances of having your invitees attend your wedding

Considering that Christmas is that time of the year where children have at least a couple of weeks off from school and relatives from out of the country would sometimes be in town, it is the perfect time to schedule a wedding. Furthermore, if your relatives were not planning to come home anyhow, they would see your wedding as a reason to do so and double it as a reason to stay longer for the holidays. In this regard, you would have a better turn up of guests at your wedding.

4.) Better Lighting

Christmas is that time of the year where the days are shorter and the nights are longer—giving you a better backdrop for your lighting at your wedding reception. Just think of all the décor possibilities you can do to enhance your wedding venue’s general appeal and overall aesthetics. Considering it is generally colder during December, you can opt to have your wedding reception out in the open with nothing but an open fire, twinkling fairy lights, and flickering candles. Sounds romantic, is it not?

5.) Be different

Summer and spring weddings are tried and tested formulas that work, albeit unpredictably so. Unfortunately, these cookie-cutter themes are something your guests have experienced more than once in their lives that a wedding in December would be a refreshing difference. Break the mold, be bold and try something a little unique. If you truly want your guests to leave with the best memories of your wedding, you better give them something worth remembering about. In this regard, it would be best to go with something that leaves a lasting impression and is not overdone like summer and spring weddings are. Go for a Christmas Wedding—after all, everyone is already celebrating the holidays, why not give them a better reason to celebrate?

 

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Office Events: Five Alternative Christmas Party Themes

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“What I do not like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” –Phyliis Diller

 

Office Christmas parties are somewhat of a hit or miss office event. Some of your employees might live for them, but there is an occasional slew of colleagues who would just grit their teeth, smile and bear through it all—in hopes of landing a better position in your office. However, love them or hate them, Christmas/Holiday parties—regardless of what your stance on religion is, is an excellent avenue for cultivating your inter-work relationships and fostering friendships. In this regard, it is in your best interest to maintain the holiday tradition of throwing an office bash every December.

Unfortunately, holding annual Christmas parties means you might be running out of original ideas for themes. After all, you can only hold so many ugly Christmas sweater themed parties before the idea gets old, worn and tacky.

Fortunately, despite holding a themed party yearly, there is no shortage when it comes to novel theme ideas. So, for your office Christmas party this December, try something a little less common and a bit more unique and fun with the ideas below:

1.) Sweets giving soiree

If you and your colleagues have a particularly sweet tooth, you might enjoy celebrating the holidays with sweetmeats and chocolates instead of the traditional Christmas desserts. As it is the of giving, why not engage in a sweet-gift exchange party instead? Fill your dessert buffet tables with sweet delights such as marshmallows, chocolate fountains, candy, icings and other saccharine delights.

2.) Holiday Movie Marathon

In lieu of donning on Christmas ensembles, encourage your colleagues and employees to dress up as their favorite holiday movie character—bonus points for originality and a touch of humor. If your workers love to dress up, they will especially love this theme, and it gives you more reason to anticipate the all-day holiday movie marathons you will inevitably be enjoying at home.

3.) Masquerade Ball

If you wish to throw a corporate party that is marked by elegance and punctuated by hints of lush sophistication and chic undertones, then treat your colleagues and yourself to a masquerade ball. Dress up to the nines and encourage your employees to do the same. There is a very likely chance that your colleagues and co-workers only ever get the chance to doll themselves up on formal events such as weddings. As a result, dressing up for a masquerade ball would be a welcome change to tedious functions–plus donning a mask is a unique twist. Throw this party in style and send out invitations indicating that it is a black-tie event. And do not forget: Ask everyone to don on masks.

4.) Nightmare Before Christmas Party

Colleagues with a proclivity for the Halloween festivities and employees who love Jack Skellington would enjoy this Christmas party theme. If you wish to give your party a bit of a gothic touch, this is an excellent alternative to common Christmas themes. Moreover, even if you are hosting a somewhat dark and morbid rendition of what should have been a traditional Christmas bash, you are still keeping in spirit with the holiday festivities as the Nightmare before Christmas is a well-known Christmas movie. While it might be a little too late for Halloween and some may think that the skulls, white tinsel, and skeletons would look a little out of place, you can always give them a little touch-me-up to give them a Christmas upgrade. By dressing those bones in traditional Santa suits and incorporating red and green hues, you have the best of both holidays: Halloween and Christmas.

5.) Santa’s Workshop

Give your colleagues and co-workers an insider’s view of the happenings in Santa’s office by transforming your corporate quarters into his workshop! Get someone to dress up as Santa and create a decorating team that can turn your office from a business hub to Santa’s headquarters. Ensure that the decorations include workstations, and the each would have a designated activity which your employees can enjoy.

 

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How to Pick Your Wedding Song

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“At last my love has come along. My lovely days are over, and life is like a song” –Etta James

While wedding songs and love songs are a bit similar in character and context, they are worlds apart when it comes to significance. Love songs can encompass everything from the moment your heart first beat for the one you love down to the time you suffered your first heartbreak. Wedding songs on the other hand should have a profound effect on the couple in such a way that they can reflect on their memories as lovers and bask in their love. In this regard, we can say that all wedding songs are love songs but not necessarily all love songs can be wedding songs. Now that we have that covered, you should know by now that your wedding song should not only be romantic and sweet, it should identify you and your partner’s love and resonate your experiences. In a sense, it should be something you and your partner’s love can naturally gravitate to. It might be the first song you both danced to, the first song he sang to you or the song you have always thought to be the theme of your love, but whatever it might be, it should be special.

Unfortunately, choosing just one song can be as challenging and as elusive as finding your ideal wedding gown. However, identifying the type of couple you and your partner is an excellent way to start. To help you narrow down your choices, here are some tips you can keep in mind:

1.) Traditional Couple

Traditional couples think that their wedding song is an absolute big deal and in the same vein, so should the song for their first dance be. Traditional brides and grooms consider their wedding song to be the epitome of who they are as a couple and their first dance song, the ultimate avenue for driving home a displace of good taste and grace. If you and your partner identify with this type of couple, you will never go wrong with classic love songs as they are timeless and would never go out of style. However, you and your partner would need to do the moment justice by brushing up on your dance moves.

2.) Hipster Couple

Most people from the older generation would regard you as millennials rather than hipsters. You pride yourself on owning contemporary things and modern gadgets. In fact, one might say you have more gadgets than home appliances listed in your bridal registry. You and your partner love the unexpected and would love an opportunity to break from the norm. However, this does not mean that you should forego the first dance altogether, it is still on your agenda after all. However, if this is the type of couple you and your partner are, choose an artist that is not overly mainstream. Just remember to choose one that you can actually dance to.

3.) Hopeless Romantic Couple

Passionate and sentimental are just two of the words that can describe you and your partner. You and your partner’s love is characterized by fluff, cheesiness, and overtones of romance—so much so, that you always seem to be uttering the words, “they are playing our song.” In fact, you find it disconcerting how other couples do not have a song when you and your partner have had it since the day you met each other. If you wish to play something different than the song you and your partner are used to, choose a song that is profound and has a message that resonates with the both of you. It matters not what your song is so long as the lyrics are meaningful, poetic, emotional and incredibly intense.

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Beautiful Weddings: Four Steps in Choosing a Wedding Theme

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“There are no perfect weddings—just beautiful ones.”-Author Unknown

Wedding themes are an integral part of wedding planning as it serves as the basic blueprint of all the aspects involved in your wedding. In a sense, it also sets the tone for the kind of wedding you have. Choosing a theme for your wedding is paramount to the overall success of your wedding as it provides a semblance of cohesion to all the elements involved.

Furthermore, it sets your wedding apart and would add personal touches to create a mood for your wedding guests that would best illustrate who you and your spouse are as a couple. However, as there is a myriad of wedding themes available online and on bridal magazines, it can be a bit of a challenge to choose just one that would suit your preferences. Worry not, however, here are some steps that you can follow so that you can get started:

1.) Choose a venue

Where you will hold your wedding is a pivotal aspect as to how you choose your wedding theme. More often than not, your wedding venue would already be a reflection of what you and your spouse already like. Your venue should not only be big enough to hold your guests, but it should also be appropriate to the kind of theme you have selected. After all, there is no point in holding a beach-themed wedding in a formal banquet hall. Similarly, a garden wedding works best if you held your wedding at an actual garden as well. With all this in mind, you should have a theme in mind before you start choosing your venue.

2.) Brainstorm with your partner

If you are having an especially challenging time on zeroing down on a single theme, sit down with your spouse and brainstorm. Think about the key words and aspects that define you both as a couple and try to integrate this as much as possible into your wedding theme. For example, if you and your partner love the great outdoors or are both nature lovers, you would probably like a garden-themed wedding. If the both of you are jet-setters and have traveled countless times together as a couple, then you might want to utilize this as a theme. Incorporate these elements into your wedding theme and let it convey a story to your wedding guests.

3.) Look for inspiration online

Perhaps you already have an idea of the kind of wedding theme you want but are unsure of how it would look. You might have a rough picture in your mind but could not piece it together. Thankfully, we have an unlimited resource when it comes to inspiration, and you can start looking for them online. Pinterest, for one, is a great website for seeking wedding theme inspirations. Try to look at as many wedding themes as you can and save the ones you like. More often than not, you would gravitate towards two or three wedding themes. From there, you can formulate your own theme and picture out what it is that you do want.

4.) Ask for help

You cannot always do everything alone and more often than not, your families and friends with a creative streak would be honored to give you their advice. Ask your artistic relatives and friends, and you will be surprised at the plethora of ideas they would give you. Furthermore, this would be an excellent opportunity for you and them to bond, and it would make them feel great that they had a hand in helping you with your wedding. Once everything is set, you might even want to ask for their assistance again in crafting décor items and wedding souvenirs should you choose the DIY route.

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