Flowers

It's crazy how many flowers you need for a wedding, you need even more when you are doing a ceremony! When I originally met with my florist I didn't even think of half the flowers I was going to actually need for my reception. Your florist will help you know how many flowers, as long as you tell her X amount of people in the family/bridal party, X amount of tables, decoration ideas etc. In my Budget 101 post, I said to plan for 10% of your total budget going to flowers and that is pretty accurate. To help you spend less on your flower allotment you can order in-season flowers and the overall cost will drop dramatically. 

Here are the typical people and places you have flowers:

-bridal bouquet X2 if you are going to have a throw away one
-Groom boutonniere
-Groomsmen/Best Man boutonnieres
-Bridesmaids/Maid of Honor bouquets
-Mother of the Bride and Groom corsages
-Father of the Bride and Groom boutonnieres
-Grandparents of the Bride and Groom boutonnieres/corsages
-Flower Girls
-Rose pedals down aisle/ flower girl throws out
-Cake flowers
-decorations-entrance, food, guestbook, and gift tables
-centerpieces for dining tables

-Before you meet with your florist collect pictures of flowers you like from Pinterest, other websites, or friend's weddings etc. 
-Bring your exact color palette that she can have
-Print pictures because your florist will want to take these for herself so she can get ideas 
-During your visit, make sure to tell her your budget for flowers and ask her to estimate an overall price 
-Have her show you shapes of bouquets 
-Ask her about set-up charges and if/when she needs a payment by a certain date 
-Make sure you like her and her style
-Some florists do a mock-up bridal bouquet arrangement. See if she does, and ask her to do one for you


Flowers add a lot of beauty to a wedding and are a must-have. You can change the theme or overall feeling by the flowers you choose. Though this will depend on the individual bride, I believe flowers are an area that you can cut costs on. Like I said earlier just using in-season flowers are a way to do so. Below is a list  you can use to see what's in-season for you!

In-Season Flowers 

January/February                      March/April                       May/June
-Anemone                                 -Allium                            -Amaranthus
-Bells of Ireland                         -Freesia                           -Astilbe
-Daffodil                                   -Lilac                               -Gladiola
-Forget-Me-Not                          -Tulips                             -Hydrangea
-Heather                                   -Viburnum                       -Garden Roses
-Hyacinth                                  -Muscari                           -Love-In-A-Mist
-Violet                                      -Ranunculus                      -Peony
-Calla Lily                                  -Wax Flower                     -Pincushion
                                               -Lily                                -Sweet Pea
                                                                                     -Veronica 
                                                                                     -Zinnia

July/August                              Sept./Oct.                          Nov./Dec.                       
-Coreopsis                                -Aster                               -Jasmine
-Cosmos                                  -Marigold                           -Poinsettia
-Daisy                                     -Chrysanthemums               -Amaryllis
-Dahlia                                    -Dahlia                              -Holly
-Godetia 
-Lavender
-Lisianthus
-Queen Anne's Lace
-Tuberose
-Sunflower  
-Herbs                      
 















Bridal Party: For the Bride & Groom

There are no rules when it comes to choosing your bridesmaids, groomsmen, maid of honor, and best man; only good recommendations. I will be going over these suggestions in hope that this post will help you when you get down to making that final list of who will be your bridesmaids and groomsmen. 

Having A Ceremony
When you are planning on having a ceremony a lot of brides and grooms pick the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen so the groomsmen can escort the bridesmaids. If you are not having a ceremony then you don't need to have the same number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. 

Choosing your Bridesmaids
You should automatically include your sisters. If you don't have sisters then your best friends can fill the void. If the groom has sisters you should include them, as well as your brother's sisters. You're all going to be family once you say those two words- "I do." Having your future sister-in-law can be challenging for some, especially if your relationship is rocky, as was the case in my experience. Nonetheless you should include them as a bridesmaid. This may help mend the relationship, but if nothing else will help to minimize drama. So my advice, no matter how much the sister-in-law doesn't like you still ask them to be your bridesmaid. If there's going to end up be drama by not selecting someone as a bridesmaid, it's better to avoid it by just having more, trust me. Also it may be nice to include those friends or cousins who included you in there's. Girls think about those things and take notice. However if you've lost contact or aren't as good as friend's then obviously you don't need to worry about it. If a potential bridesmaid lives far away or has a schedule that makes them "hit or miss" it may be best not to include them. You need bridesmaids that can give you a strong commitment to be there.

Choosing your Groomsmen
Obviously include your brother's. If you don't have brother's then your best friends and if the bride has brother's include them. You should also include brother-in-laws on both sides. Whether they are the bride's brother-in-laws or your brother-in-laws.  

I recently attended a wedding where the bride and groom included all their family and still had their friends as well. They ended up having a total of nine bridesmaids and groomsmen and it looked awesome for pictures. There is no rule on how many bridesmaids and groomsmen to have but if you have at least four of each, it looks good for pictures: the more the merrier. Now you obviously can't have everyone be a bridesmaid and groomsmen but at least put your immediate family up their first before you think of friends, cousins etc. 

Maid of Honor and Best Man
Usually your sister is your Maid of Honor. If you have two sister's then pick the one you're closest to, or switch off so that each of you have a chance to be a Maid of Honor. If you have no sister's then pick your closest girlfriend. If you don't want to have drama then you don't have to have a Maid of Honor unless you are doing a ceremony then you should. 

Your Best Man is typically the groom's brother. If you have two brother's like my fiancee did, he picked his brother right below him that he is closer with. There were no hard feelings because his youngest brother was still a groomsman. Again, if you don't have a brother then have your closest bro be your Best Man.


Flower Girl/Ring Bearer
You only need a Flower Girl and Ring Bearer if you are having a ceremony. You usually have a niece, nephew, or very young brother or sister to be the Flower Girl and the Ring Bearer. You only need at least one of each, but you can have a few.











Cake Cake Cake

I think every part of the wedding process is fun, especially going and sampling cakes because I sure love treats. I researched online so I could rule out some that weren't in my budget. Once I got a good handful I called and made some cake testing appointments. I brought in some photos of things I liked, looked at some of their books, discussed pricing while trying some delicious cake. Of the few places I visited I wasn't totally impressed. My mom kept telling me to call Lamb's Thriftway bakery (they're a local grocery store in Oregon) I finally ended up calling them. I went in and got some information and brought some samples home. My family, my then fiancé Ty and I ended up LOVING them all. My mom and I officially set up a consultation to get more information, and show them what I was looking for. An hour later we ended up making a deposit and it was the best decision we could make. My cake was beautiful, and they even gave us a free round cake topper for our one year anniversary. 

Do Your Research

Before you go to your appointments make sure you first do your research on what bakeries you want to try out.
- Make sure they fit into your budget. Cakes can range anywhere from couple hundred to many thousands of dollars depending on what you want done and how big of a cake you need. 
- Know how many guests you're planning on
- Bring pictures or have an idea of what you're looking for
- Bring your colors if you're wanting to incorporate them. I had each layer a different color scroll design with red ribbon around the base of each of my layers, therefore incorporating all my colors. 
- Keep in mind that most places charge extra for delivery, but that is the easiest and safest way of getting it to your reception without experiencing any problems. So do yourself a favor and pay for it. 
- Some bakeries also have additional options for flowers for the cake and champagne for your toast etc. so consider those options.
-Bakeries also require a deposit upfront when you place your order, so bring money for that if you plan to make a deposit on the spot
- Lastly, book your wedding cake at least four months prior to your big day or as soon as possible. Bakeries are especially busy in the summer as well as in the fall.

Here is a picture of My Cake by Lamb's Thriftway in Oregon, my friend Erika's Cake by Sugar Kisses Cakes in Utah, my friend Bethany's Cake by Cakes By Dawna also in Utah, and my friend Katelyn's Cake by Kim Ales in California.

My Cake, Lamb's Thriftway
Erika's Cake, Sugar Kisses Cakes 




Bethany's Cake, Cakes By Dawna
Katelyn's Cake, Kim Ales 
               

Wedding Budget 101

No one likes to put a price on their wedding day, or talk about how much they can spend, but let's face it, we all have to be on some budget. If we weren't we'd spend so much money we'd eventually run out and NEVER do you want to go in debt for a wedding! So whether your budget is $2,000, $10,000 or $50,000 you can still have your dream wedding as long as you carefully plan and budget. In this post I will be going over how much you should plan on spending in each wedding category, where you should spend the most of your budget, and where you can get away with not spending so much.

After you talk with your parents, or whoever is helping pay for it, or if it's you-(major props) and you establish a reasonable budget let the wedding planning officially begin. A good way to help you keep track of how much money you're spending, and where you're spending it is on an Excel spreadsheet. You should also think about making a wedding account so you can easily keep track of all the wedding expenses. Make sure you also save all your receipts.

Some people don't think of hidden expenses, I know I didn't. I didn't budget for overtime costs, which wasn't good when my photographer came up and told me she was out of time and needs more money if I want her to stay the rest of the time at my reception. Hidden costs always show up whether you like it or not. 

Another hidden expense is tips. You should plan on tipping for hair/nails/makeup, the officiant, bartenders, parking attendants, caterer/waitstaff, delivery people, etc. Also, if you want to experiment with your hair a few different times, or if you keep making changes to your flowers, and you have your florist keep bringing you new samples they may start charging you. 

Wedding licenses cost money, stamps for RSVP cards cost money, it all adds up and before you know it you've overspent. To ensure this won't be the case, take 5% of your total budget and put it towards random things like this.

Where you can cut back
  • Your guest list-Food and drinks are expensive for each guest. This will easily be your largest expense. Cutting guests will also cut on stationery, favors, decor etc.
  • Wedding Setting-Big cities just flat out cost more. A good alternative is small towns outside the city. Different venues are more expensive, and some make sure you have a certain amount of guests or they won't allow you to book. Depending on the time of year it can also be more, especially if you're getting married over a busy weekend. Also the time of day- Evening receptions are going to cost more than in the afternoon. 
  •  The more formal you go, the more expensive it will be. You will have to match food, entertainment, decor, etc. For decor be sure to bargain hunt.

Here is a rough breakdown of each category and how much you should plan on spending. Keep in mind that not everything is on here. If you are paying for your own honeymoon add that in, as well as if you are going to pay for the bridesmaids outfits.

Reception/Venue: Food, drinks, rentals, decor-40-50%
Photographer/Videographer-15% (I had a friend take our engagement pictures and they turned out great and then got a good package deal on a professional photographer for our wedding day)
Wedding Planner-10-15% (Highly recommend getting a planner. It will relieve so much stress and be worth it, especially if you go with me)
Flowers-10% (Buy in-season flowers so they cost less)
Misc.: Favors, transportation etc.-10%
Bride & Groom's Attire: Wedding dress, Groom's tux, jewelry, hairpieces, shoes, nails/hair/makeup-5-10% (I rented my wedding dress)
Music/Entertainment-5-10% (I didn't have a DJ, I just had a playlist on an iPod and it worked out great)
Random-5%
Wedding Rings-2-3% (Jewelers have specials-we got a free men's ring with my engagement ring)
Stationery-2-3% (I had a friend design my wedding announcements)
Gifts-2-3%

If you get going and realize that you are running out of your budget faster, then prioritize and decide what you want most. You can also recruit friends and family to help out, that's what I did. People love to help and be involved in weddings.










Invitations/Announcements

There are so many styles to Wedding Invitations & Announcements these days, which makes it so much fun to choose. You obviously want to play off your colors, theme, and tone but the options really are endless. Some people put an engagement picture with their invitation, which is typically people who don't send Save The Dates. If you send Save The Dates then you don't need to send another picture with your invite unless you want to. 

I wanted a more classic look so I sent a picture with an announcement and that is how I have seen most people do it these days. Another way is to send a picture with their announcement on the picture which is a great way too, and usually saves on costs.

A current trend in wedding announcements is designing your own. My mom and I looked all over at Michaels, Target and a few other places and I just didn't love any of them. My good friend Wesley Bird, was telling me how she has been designing lots of Baby Announcements and Wedding Announcements, so I asked her if she would do mine. She did a fantastic job and I got tons of compliments on them. She even used the same design from the announcements to make some food cards for our food table at our reception.

I have seen some very interesting announcements over the years. You can definitely tell from an announcement how the wedding reception will be. The more fancy the invite, the more fancy the reception/ceremony. I once received a wedding announcement that was in the form of a magazine. It looked like a modeling magazine. There were different pages of engagement pictures of the couple, and then finally on the back was the actual invite. This to me is overkill and unnecessary. 

When do you send Wedding Invitations/Announcements?

Six weeks before is good so people don't get them too early and lose it, or misplace it. If you send it later, there is a good chance that they will already have plans, especially over Holidays or in the summer. Make sure you have accurate lists from the Groom's side and your side. If you don't do RSVP's you can expect to have half of your guests show up. If you are having a more formal dinner, you need to send out RSVP's that include: Yes/No attending, How many attending, What dinner option (if you're having two options which I recommend), when they need to send it back by, and an envelope with a stamp on it so they can easily send it back. Once you get some RSVP's back that aren't able to attend you can put someone back on the list and send them an invite.

How many Wedding Invitations/Announcements do I order?

Add up the two final lists and then order 10% more after that for mistakes. Make sure to proofread your invitations over and over, and it's always a good idea to include printed directions. Always write the addresses on them. Your return address you can stamp or get a sticker but write the guest's address. 

Please brides do not put where you are registered at on your announcement.  It looks very tacky. If you want people to know where you are registered most registries give you little pieces of paper you can stick in with your announcement, or you can make a separate little card for that purpose. For LDS weddings, you can insert a small card that invites them to the Sealing. If you're going to have events at your reception like: a line, dancing, bouquet toss, garter toss, speeches/toasts, cake cutting, couples first dance, daddy/ daughter dance etc. you can include that with times so people can get that party feel and can plan accordingly.

I have attached my announcement, my good friends Ryan and Lisa Barker's wedding announcement that her and her husband designed together, and an announcement that my aunt Angela designs and sells on Ebay.




Angela Atkin-Classy Invites


Lisa & Ryan's Announcement





The Reception

Like picking the venue, picking a reception site is also one of the first things you need to do if you are planning to have the reception at a different location. Picking a reception location is similar to the venue, in the sense that you need to ask the same questions you would when you are visiting venue locations. You also need to make sure you are prepared to answer questions they may have regarding how many people, theme/colors/tone etc. Like I mentioned in 'Picking A Venue', your wedding date will play an effect on your location options. You wouldn't want to have an outdoor wedding in the middle of winter. If you are wanting your ceremony and reception at different locations, make sure that it is a reasonable traveling distance for your guests and you allow them sufficient time to get there. 

I lucked out and had my reception at a family friend's house. It helped out a lot being on a tight budget. If you are going to have a reception at someone's house make sure you tell them a million times over again, how thankful you are and get them a little something to show your appreciation. If it wasn't for these friends that allowed me to use their home, I have no idea where I would have had my reception, and I would have had to cut out a lot of other things so I could pay for a reception site. 

Things to consider if you use someone's house:

-Make sure there is enough parking for guests- At The Hermanski's house where I had my reception, they had a huge field where all the guests parked. 
-Make sure they are up-to-date on their landscaping- Kathi & Chris were very nice and asked me ahead of time what my colors were so they could get flower pots in my colors. 
-Make sure their kitchen is large enough for a caterer and people doing the food. 

Picking a reception location, is one of the fun aspects of the planning. Make sure you put picking a reception site on the top of your to-do-list after you choose your date and ceremony location. 

Also: If you fall in love with a reception site and they only offer in-house catering, be sure to set up a tasting appointment with your fiancé and parents. This maybe the determining factor between two places.


Outdoor Home 

Langdon Farms Golf Club, Oregon


Noah's Events Center, Utah

Videography

Along with photography is videography. Some brides don't even consider a videographer. I know I was trying to cut expenses so I just had one of my uncle's do it. As yesterday happened to be our two year anniversary, we were looking back at pictures and the little video we have. I really regret not having someone more professional take some video and edit it nicely for us. My uncle was very nice to do it for us, but his camera ended up dying halfway through the reception so we missed all the dances, bouquet and garter toss, and us leaving in the decked out car. It was also so jumbled together and most of the video was of the ground or of people we didn't really care to see in our video.

One of Ty's good friends, and groomsmen at our wedding, is really good at making videos and editing. For a present, he put together a short- 70 second video for us. He would've made it longer, but as a groomsmen didn't have a whole lot of time to shoot. When we got the video and watched it, it was truly amazing and brought tears to our eyes. I wish I would've hired him, or one of his friends that he does it with to be our videographer. 


I highly recommend you budget for a videographer. There is something special and different about video than pictures. You can't really see the emotion and how the moment really felt in a picture like you can in a video.  

Here is the video that Ty's friend made us. If you like it I can get you in contact with him and he might be willing to be the videographer at your wedding. I know he has done other weddings before as well. 





Choose Your Photographer Wisely

If there is one thing I learned from my wedding, it would be to spend the money on a good photographer. I learned the hard way and went with a cheaper photographer so I could have other things and stay within my budget. I did research a bunch of photographers, but in a sense settled and I was unhappy with my experience. 

I would suggest after you do your research, to go and meet with your top 3 favorites. Make sure you connect with them, and like them. Go over what you expect from them, poses you want, the order of pictures, prices, what they include with the price (CD, printed pictures etc.), and look to see their portfolio and some work they have done. Remember you will have these pictures forever and there is no way you can re-take a wedding. 

Some photographers have a bundle package that includes: Engagements, Bridals and your Wedding Day, or your Wedding Day and Bridals or Engagements. If you are on a tighter budget and can't afford getting all of them done by a professional photographer, I would recommend Bridals and Wedding Day. We had a friend do our Engagement pictures and they turned out great. I didn't have Bridals done ahead of time, instead I used some of my time before my reception to get some great solo shots of me in my dress. 

Some brides choose to take their bride and groom photos before the day of their wedding. That is a good idea, but remember that your groom will see your wedding dress before your wedding, and their is something special about him seeing you in your dress for the first time. 

This was my experience on my wedding day. I spoke to my photographer multiple times before the wedding about specific poses that I wanted, only to have her ask me throughout the day what shots I wanted. Because I only had the photographer for a few hours, I was frustrated that I had to coordinate most of my wedding shots. This added stress and anxiety on what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. She stuck us in the same location almost the whole time and just switched out who was in the shot. I was annoyed that I had to do what she was paid to do. 

Some advice I would give:
-Make extra sure you and your photographer are on the same page. Be blunt with the photographer about what you want ahead of time, so they can run things efficiently and allow you to relax and take in the day.

-When budgeting your photographer's time, err on the side of too much time, rather that too little. It is a more favorable problem to have too many photos than too few. Be advised: if you need more time on the spot you will likely pay a premium price. 

-Some people may argue that years down the road you really will only look at one of your wedding photos. This argument usually stems from those of older generations. Though that may have been true for previous generations, in this age of social media, sharing pictures online is a focal point of what we do. In my opinion, I think photography is one of the most important parts of your wedding. 





Save The Dates

Who's planning a destination wedding? Who's planning a wedding over a Holiday or during a busy time in the summer? 


Well, then I suggest you send out some Save The Dates. You don't have to, but it let's your guests know when the wedding is, and that they are invited. If they need to travel for it, it let's them know in advance so they can save money and book travel plans. 

When do you send them? 

A rule of thumb, is about 6 months prior to the wedding. The earlier the better. I had a friend send her's out in December last year, and her wedding is this August. 

What happens if the date or plans change? 

It is best to make a website with all your information. That way if something changes you can go on your website and update it. A lot of people use social media sites-like Facebook that you can create your wedding page on, if you didn't want to make a website. You can also spread the word by phone, or if you wanted, you could send out another mailing that explains what's going on.

What information goes on the Save The Date?

Usually you just put the date of your wedding, and location as in the city and state unless you already have your venue picked. You can also include your engagement photo or any other photo if you are going to use your engagements for your actual wedding invitation.

Along with my blog I am starting to design Save The Dates and Announcements if anyone is interested :D

Here is a sample of one that I did...








To Men: If You Like It Then You Should Put A Ring On It

Like I said earlier, I will be having some posts where I will be mostly speaking to the men. And well from this title, it's to the men. 

Who here took their beautiful bride-to-be ring shopping? My fiancé certainly did, and I am so glad he did. Not that I didn't trust him, but I think he would've picked something out that maybe I didn't like. Especially, since I didn't even know exactly what I wanted, and when you try rings on your finger it looks a whole different than in the case. 

No offense men, but I don't get girls that say, "I'll just wear whatever he gives me and I will love it." That is crazy! Girls don't want to wear a ring on their finger every single day, and not be in love with it. They're going to be showing it off to everyone-even strangers will be coming up to them asking to see it; so, make sure they're in love with it. And the only way to truly know, is to take them ring shopping with you or have a very good idea of what they want.

So in this post, I am going to show you some different ring styles and designers, and give you Diamond101. 

Designers:
-Neil Lane
-Simon G
-Tiffany & Co.
-Tacori
-Demarco

Styles:
-Colored Diamond-the diamond is a different color
-Vintage-diamond and then another square diamond setting around it
-Traditional-traditional diamond 
-Matching Band- has a wedding band that goes with it made for the ring

Diamond 101:

Carat-How much the diamond weighs. 1 carat is equal to 200 mg. This can range from 0.25 carats to 5 carats. 

Cut- A diamond's cut is how well its facets interact with light. This ranges from excellent to poor. 

Clarity- Diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to intense heat and pressure in the earth. This process therefore results in internal characteristics in diamonds called inclusions and external characteristics called blemishes. This ranges from flawless (no blemishes or inclusions) to included.

Color- The color of the diamond. A pure, perfect diamond has no hue-like pure water. The diamond color-grading system is from D (colorless) to Z (light). Many of these color distinctions are faint to the eye. Obviously the closer to D the better, and the more expensive it will be.

Metal- This is where you will either pick from a white gold ring, platinum, rose gold etc.

Stone- This is the shape of the diamond. A princess cut is a popular choice which is a square diamond. There is also pear, round, oval etc.

Now, that you have a better understanding of what you are looking for in a diamond and all the possibilities you can now begin shopping. If you want to save on money I would recommend purchasing the ring and the diamond separately. Many jewelers also offer deals and promotions where if you buy an engagement ring you get a free men's ring or a free wedding band, so I would ask jewelers if they have any deals or promotions like that. My husband bought my engagement ring and wedding band together, and got his ring for free. He also bought my diamond and ring separately from different places and saved a lot of money that way. 

Now I failed when I didn't start off by talking about your budget. It is obviously the most important and first place to start in this process. So men, what is your budget? How much can you afford without going into debt? Be realistic in setting your budget. You don't want to go in debt and make payments on this ring it's best to own it free and clear. Decide what "C" is most important-carat, clarity, color etc. Make sure and research all options before you make your purchase. Most jewelers are willing to work with you, so talk to them, tell them your budget and see what happens. Good luck!









Wedding Accessories

Veil or no veil? hairpiece? what color of shoes? what kind of shoes? what jewelry? These are all questions that many of us brides ask ourselves when deciding on accessories.

When it comes to shoes, that is something that needs to be decided when picking out a dress, so when you go try on the dress you know where you need the dress to be altered and to make sure the shoes go well with the dress. I have seen many brides wear different shoes for the ceremony and most of the reception, and then switch into some more comfortable shoes halfway through- especially if they're going to be dancing. Some brides pick a comfortable shoe like Toms or some fun flip flops since the dress usually covers up the shoes anyways. As far as color, some brides want a traditional white to match the dress perfectly, or they choose one of their wedding colors. I mentioned earlier, that my colors were red, orange, yellow and pink and so I dressed the bridesmaids and groomsmen in red, orange, and pink and left yellow for the groom and myself. I had some bright yellow shoes and he had some yellow socks. I got a really cute picture of my husband's yellow socks and my yellow shoes. If you want to add a fun pop of color, I would definitely recommend getting a fun bright shoe. 

The veil, a traditional wedding headpiece that dates back to the nineteenth century, used to symbolize modesty and virginity. Lifting the veil was even part of the actual wedding ceremony. However, in the last few decades, wearing a veil has become less popular and brides have resorted to other options for headpieces instead of the veil. Whether it's flowers, feathers, tiaras, hair-combs etc. I rented my dress and it came with two headpieces. I chose the veil for my ceremony and a flower for my reception so I got different pictures with different headpieces. 

Jewelry is a must on your wedding day; but you can mess it up by wearing too much. You will already be wearing your beautiful engagement ring and wedding band (if you have one) so you're covered as far as rings. For a necklace, bracelet and earrings it is best to buy those all together so they match well. For all jewelry pieces you can either go with pearls or diamonds. For a necklace, it is obviously best to stick with a shorter length. If you end up choosing a diamond necklace, and it is somewhat unique, make sure the earrings and bracelet (if you want one) match well with it. If you want to wear a bracelet please only to stick to one- that is all you need. On your wedding day you are free to do and wear what you want. So, with any dress you can wear just about any jewelry, but I would recommend staying away from bright colors. Remember you don't want your focus on your jewelry you want it on you and your dress! 

















Finding Your Perfect Wedding Dress

A lot of time goes into finding your dream wedding dress. It is one of the most significant parts of the whole wedding experience. For most brides it is the single most important thing they care about. Some questions to consider when you are at that point is: what is my budget, what style and shape of dress is good for your body type, what designer, what color, (cream, white, ivory,) should I rent or buy etc. 

If you don't know a lot of the answers to these questions don't worry. I will be guiding you and helping you decide so by the end of this post you will be able to  know exactly what you want so when you find the perfect dress you will know and be able to say "yes to the dress". 

1.) What is your budget? 
Once you have decided on your budget make sure you stick to it. Is the budget for your dress including your accessories for jewelry, shoes, veil, other hair pieces etc.? Normally 12-15% of your overall wedding budget should go to the wedding dress. 

2.) What style/shape of dress best suits your body type?
Petite- Strapless, empire waist, A-line, sheath
Tall- Sheath or A-lines with fitted bodice, halter, open neckline
Pear Shape- Strapless, A-line, ballroom
Hourglass- Fitted bodice, A-line, princess 
Full-figured- A-line, princess 
Thin- sheath, mermaid, slim A-line
Broad shoulders- halter, off the shoulder, neckline with narrow bodice

3.) What are some current popular dress tends?
Dropped waist, Empire Waist, Light fabrics, corsets, sweetheart neckline, ruched fabric, lace fabric, mermaid/trumpet silhouette

4.) Who are the best wedding dress designers?
Not everyone buys their wedding dress with a certain designer in mind but there definitely are some well-known good designers out there, that if your budget allows make high-quality dresses. The top 10 wedding dress designers are: 
10. Vera Wang- Hopefully you have seen Bride Wars because not only is it hilarious but Kate Hudson (Liv) wears the prettiest Vera Wang dress. Vera Wang even has wedding dresses in black!
9. Angel Sanchez- Sanchez is known for his fashion forward perspective and edgy designs.
8. Carolina Herrera- Herrera is known for her traditional designs and has recently added pink and gray tints. 

7. Hayley Paige- Paige provides a fresh and fun look of silhouettes and has recently introduced the short dress for the wedding march.
6. Jenny Packham- Not only has Jenny designed many dresses for celebrities, but you may have seen them on Sex and the city.
5. Reem Acra- Acra has an elegant bridal collection and is known for her signature beadwork.
4. Peter Langer-  Langer has more than 70 stores in only three continents. He is known for his amazing craftsmanship and refined detailing.
3. Ines di Santo- Santo is one of the leading designers in bridal couture. Her gowns are known to highlight femininity and originality.
2. Pronovias- Pronovias has made several dresses for supermodels and made Wedding Dress of the year in 2010. The dresses are known for their cascading trains.
1. Marchesa- Marchesa has made dresses for almost every celebrity that has gotten married recently. Marchesa has a wide variety of styles to suit every bride.

5.) White, cream or ivory?
Many brides struggle to decide whether they want a traditional white wedding dress, cream, ivory or a totally different color. I know I did, but in the end went with the traditional white dress. Sometimes people decide what color of dress based off their skin tones and hair color which are good determining factors if you are struggling. 

6.) Rent vs. buy?
Well this depends on your budget. Sometimes girls want their dress to keep to show their kids. My mom kept her dress but now is a yellow color and is somewhere in her closet. I look at it realistically, and think why would you want to spend so much money on a dress you are going to where once? So, I had a budget but always knew I wanted to rent my dress. It is becoming a more popular thing especially in Utah. They offer different skirts and tops to look like it's one dress and includes fitting fees, alterations and hairpieces (veil,flower etc.)

I will be talking more in depth about a few of these points at a later time, but I hope this gave you some guidance into finding your perfect dress. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.