It’s bridal show season! What better time to for you and your fiancé to get together and see what your city has to offer in wedding vendors. As a fair warning, it may not be your guy’s cup of tea but tell him will be fun and there freebies for him as well. Today’s tea is sharing just a few tips on how to navigate some upcoming bridal shows you’ve been looking forward to.
You will probably write down your name and contact info a few dozen times. Save your wrist and make labels with your name, wedding date, phone number and email address. We loved when brides came up to our table and had labels ready. That gave us more time to chat about our services and really get to know the couples needs.
Travel in small groups. If your fiancé has wiggled their way out of going, bring your mom, maid of honor or a bridesmaid. There will be so many people at these bridal shows; depending on the set up of the vendors, it will get a bit crowded. If you don’t do well in tight spaces or crowds, bring one person with you.
Get those freebies! Whether it’s information or a cupcake! The freebies are there to get your attention. I will say this, don’t just go up to a table for their free candy (man we hated that), but us wedding vendors do want you to come over, talk to us and then take our parting gift.
Save yourself time and energy and go in with a plan. What vendor are you still looking for? Did you hear the vendor you’ve been trying to contact will be at the show? Go to them first! This is your chance to let them know you’ve been trying to get an appointment with them, they’ll be more than happy to take care of you on the spot.
Here’s a list of a few upcoming shows in the cities we serve.
Wilmington, DE, 04.17.16- The Annual “I Do” Delaware Bridal Show and Expo
Wilmington, DE, 01.31.16- Harry’s Winter Bridal Show
New Castle, DE, 02.19.16- Sheraton Wilmington South Wedding Open House
Philadelphia, PA, 02.28.16- The Philly Bridal Show and Expo
Philadelphia, PA, 02.28.16- Your Wedding Experience
Cherry Hill, NJ, 01.24.16- The Big South Jersey Bridal Show Case
DMV area, multiple dates- Wedding Experience
Charleston, SC, 01.24.16- The Charleston Bridal Show
North Charleston, SC, 02.21.16- Southern Bridal Show
Savannah, GA, 02.28.16- Georgia Bridal Show
Atlanta, GA, 02.19.16- Bridal Scene Atlanta by Munaluchi Bride
Today’s blog is geared to bridesmaids! It happened, your childhood, high school or college bestie asked you to stand next to her on her wedding! You are super excited to watch her try on gowns, pick a dress for yourself and be part of all the wedding festivities. But when you said ‘I Do’ to be part of your best friend’s special day there is so much more you just agreed to. As bridesmaid you agreed to the dress before you tried it on. You agreed to helping with the bridal shower before a date was selected. You also agreed to a portion of the cost of bachelorette weekend and the rare occasion the bride asks you get to grab votives from AC Moore. It is a time to celebrate and support your bride and show her you can be there for her even when she makes you temporary BFFs with a few strangers. It is 2016 and the original role of the bridesmaid tends to get lost in the younger bridal parties. Ladies, here is a gentle reminder of what should and shouldn’t happen when you’re a bridesmaid.
Please do not tell or hint to your bride you don’t like the bridesmaid dress she selected for her wedding day. There is a vision she is trying to achieve and you are just a part of that vision. Wear what she needs you to wear with pride, she will remember how happy you made her because you simply cooperated.
Work well with your bridal party members. Nothing will make the bride more anxious than finding out there is a catfight going on within her girls. Help the MOH or sisters of the bride pull off amazing bridal shower and bachelorette parties. So that means respond to emails, show up to the occasional bridesmaid meeting and speak up. Truth is, unless you are family, you won’t see much of the girls after the wedding is over.
Be open with your bride about your concerns and financial situation. Don’t ever give her or your fellow bridesmaids stern no’s. Instead, without getting uncomfortable, explain why something may not work for you or why you’re apprehensive. Saying no says you easily shut down without giving the subject any real thought.
Most importantly, be flexible. Past experience has shown me, brides cling to the bridesmaid who is most flexible, available and reasonable. She is not picking sides, she is trying to stay sane until she can get down the aisle.
Wedding day should be totally easy for everyone. But if needed, help to make sure everyone is at the hotel or mother of the bride's home on time. Hair and make up should be done by the time you arrive to dress with the other girls (especially if you didn't use the preferred service found by the bride). This last one is a biggie, make sure the bridal party is ready for pictures by the time the photographer shows up. From there, all of your hard work has paid off, your bride is happy and the day is beautiful.
Congratulations to all of the lovely couples who got engaged over the holidays! Now that all of the excitement has died down on your Facebook and Instagram, what’s next? Here are just a few tips you can use to help not start your wedding planning process in the dark.
1. Ask each other, do we even want a wedding?
Many of you may be pressured to take the traditional route and have a wedding but what if it’s not what the two of you want? Consider having a city hall wedding and an intimate reception with close friends and family. Or maybe eloping is your thing. Check for flights now! Airlines like JetBlue are having sales on select destinations. Whatever you choose, make sure you and your other half are happy with that decision.
2. Start a Pinterest board!
No matter how you choose to celebrate your upcoming nuptials, get your ideas in one place. Pinterest is the perfect platform to do this. Color themes, dresses, suits, cocktails, you name it! Almost anything you could think of will pop up in the spiffy search engine and you can save it on your ‘We’re Getting Married’ board.
3. Are you a DIY bride or prefer guidance from the pros?
Always remember this ladies and gents, as long as you’re happy and you have the support of your loved ones, your wedding day is already spectacular. Weigh the pros and cons of planning the wedding yourself and hiring a professional. If you can’t afford a full wedding planner, many of them provide consultations at smaller rates. That way you can at least discuss your thoughts and ideas with a professional. No matter what, you’ll at least want a day of coordinator for the actual wedding day. Trust me, family and friends want to have fun with you. The professional can solely focus on the tasks for the day while everyone else can enjoy the moment.
4. Party of 100?
Your guest list is the number one way to cut down on cost. Later on when you’re shopping for caterers, linens, cake and even alcohol, the vendor will ask ‘how many people’? This may take many drafts between you and your fiancé but do your best to come up with a solid guest list. Make sure to include yourself, fiancé, bridal party and parents in this total number.
Here are some helpful tips on how to get to start and get through your big day.
1. Wake up happy!
Simple right? Aside from the nerves you may feel, you should wake up knowing your day is about to be epic! Flaws and all, it is going to be the most beautiful memory of your life...until you have children.
2. Eat breakfast!
Our signature LIW package, The Lady In Waiting, provides the bride and her maids a light breakfast to get the day started. You don't want to start feeling light headed right before you walk down the aisle. But just in case you do, your lady in waiting will have quick fix snacks on hand to get you through the ceremony.
3. Go over your post wedding sleepover bag.
In all your excitement, don't forget your day will come to a close. Be sure to pack a change of shoes, underwear and sweats or light dress as well as important toiletries; remind your future spouse to do the same.
4. Prepare to be pinned, curled, sprayed and kissed all day long.
Face it, you'll be the center of attention and just like you want everything to be perfect, your bridesmaids and family want you to feel perfect and shower you with all of their love. Just embrace it. If it becomes a little overwhelming, let your lady in waiting know and she'll whisk you and your groom away to grab a moment to breathe.
5. Bask in your bridal beauty!
No matter what happens, how late things are running behind or what seems to be missing, remember you are beautiful! Let your bridal glow shine through and soak up all of the attention. Have your moments when you say to yourself "I'm a bride" because you deserve it.
So who out there is dress shopping?! Congratulations, you have made the first step in making that inner little girl's dream of being a princess for a day. Whether you're going sheath and sleek or ball gown and opulent, you are all princesses in your own way. But ladies, let's be real, no matter the style dress we think will fit our personalities, we all fall under the same stress and pressure to look our best on the most important day of our livies. Let's talk about some the things we should avoid during the wedding dress process. And please be advised, this all comes from an alterations specialist of 9 years and a wedding alterations specialist of 5 years.
Before: Ladies, do not go into your wedding dress search with the idea of buying a size smaller because you are going to lose weight. I'll be honest, this is the most insane idea I have ever heard. When I use to work in bridal gown stores, you wouldn't believe how many times I heard "don't worry, I'm going to lose weight". Shop for your size at the time, if you plan on losing a dress size or 2, you'll have to postpone dress shopping. But a few inches never hurts. Bridesmaids, especially, do not tell the dress consultant to order you a dress size down because you'll be smaller by the time the dress comes in. There is too good of chance you lose the weight or if you're due for a miracle, you'll become pregnant.
During: So now we've found the gown and the dresses, shop for shoes immidately! They are crucial for your first fitting. At all costs, avoid going to your first alterations appointment without them. Do not tell the seamstress to hem your dress to the shoe you have on then or borrow a shoe from the store, if the have an in-house seamstress. If you won't be wearing it at the wedding, don't wear it at your fitting. Another important item to have at your fitting, your bra! Now, I am very sensitive when it comes to this very important undergarment because too many of us think we can go commando up top. It doesn't matter your size, sometimes you do need the cups for the finished look. However, anything after a C cup will require a strapless or bodice bra or an incredibly structured dress. Don't forget your Spanx and slips because they also will make a difference in length, fit and feel.
After: We've bought the dress and altered the dress, now what? Maintain! Don't stress-eat and don't become overly conscience of what you eat. Continue what you've been doing and be happy your day is almost here. Shop for your jewelry and maybe a second pair of shoes to change into as the goes on at your reception.
This might feel like a marathon ladies but you know what, it is. But you can do it! All you have to do is stay true to yourself and consistent. He has already asked you to marry him as the woman you are today. You are perfect just the way you are.
We're talking Do's and Don'ts before, during and after your dress fitting. This goes for you too, bridesmaids...
From Me, Amber
This page is to share ideas, current wedding fads and advice. Don't be afraid to share your thoughts as well!