The After-Engagement Check list - What, When and How
Now that he finally put a ring on it and you said yes, what comes next, you may be wondering? Here's' what’s next. After you are done celebrating, taking ring selfies and showing it off on Instagram, and Facebook…while at it, remember to change your status from single to engaged! Soon after you’ve shared this fabulous news to your family and friends, now it’s time to focus – it’s time to plan a wedding! First thing on the list you should do is:
Insure Your Rings – Know that not all insurance plans are equal or the same. "There are two basic types of insurance policies for rings," explains Doyle. "One is a replacement policy, which, in the case of a loss, the insurance company will work on your behalf to replace your ring with something comparable. The second type of policy would reimburse a percentage — 100 percent, or something less — of the value of the ring in the event of a loss. In general, a replacement policy will be more affordable than a policy that will reimburse with a check." Read more here ‘All about the rings’ So set a date to have your brand new engagement ring appraised and then insured – this way you’ll be safeguarding it.
How to Set Your Wedding date – Come to an agreement on when you both think it is a good time to tie the knot. You can always have more than one date in mind and then narrow it down to the one you both are leaning more to. Think of the seasons (spring/summer, fall/winter); this will help you determine the style of wedding you want. Keep in mind the weather and other personal schedules and calendars dates, such as holidays, and anything else that would prevent your guests from attending.
How to Create Your 'Guestimate' Budget – Take a day or so, where both of you discuss in detail on how much you want to spend on the wedding. The conversation should be about, ‘who is going to pay what, and if parents from each side would be willing to help out financially try to find out how much money they could contribute.’ Determine what type of wedding you two would like to have - a small elegant, a simple/chic, a rustic, a vintage, an outdoor/indoor wedding, synagogue/church wedding. Have that money talk before doing anything else! *** FYI: As you make your plans and outline your dream wedding, needs/wants, your 'guestimate' budget may increase or decrease. Again, this all depends on the choices you make why we used the word ‘guestimate’. Remember to compromise, for example if he doesn’t want such a big wedding, meet him in the middle. Or if she doesn’t want a really big wedding, meet her in the middle. Either way, your day will be really special and it’s all about the two of you enjoying the day or evening with your loved ones and friends.
How to Create your Guest list – This one sounds easy and all, but not so fast! Your guest count determines how much you would have to put aside for catering and a venue. Each will play a major key factor in the planning of your wedding. This leads to the next question about how much will you have to put aside for décor, photographer, staff, etc. Rule of thumb – the more people you invite the more your catering bill will be and the bigger the space you will need to seat your guests. *** FYI: We suggest that you use this, ‘five years/five-minute rule of thumb’ to help you along.
How to Create Your Wedding Menu – Now that you have determined your guest count, now it’s a good time to figure out what’s going to be on the menu. When selecting foods for your menu, make sure they are seasonal – should be in the same season you are having your wedding. If it’s summer, all foods should be in that season. So, if you plan your wedding in the summer and want lobster, expect to get imitation (According to some chefs, the Pollack fish may pass for lobster meat or it may be mixed with real lobster). Certain seafood is usually readily available in the autumn months, I’m sure understand where I am going with this. *** FYI: Caterers usually charge per plate/person. This means, if a caterer charges, let’s say $70 per plate/person, and you decide on inviting 150 guests, well your bill will look something like this: 150 guests @ $70 per plate/person = $10,500 plus the tax. This could only account for the food or for a package option that includes wait staff, linens, utensils, kitchen staff, and other items. This really all depends on the caterer you find and what they offer. Read before signing, or better yet, hire a wedding planner (day-of-service) to review your contract before making that decision.
How to Select Your Wedding Venue – After you two have figured out the style/type of wedding you are going for, now it’s time to check out venues to see if they are available for your wedding date. Your wedding style will help you determine what type of venue you are looking for – high ceilings with chandeliers, seating for (?? guests) and the dance floor, outdoor garden, etc. Visit approximately 3 to 6 locations to see what they are like; make sure, you ask questions and take notes. Consider everything – location, room size, décor, heating/air conditioning, is it a new or older building. Do they double book events? Does it have a garden, or gazebo, grass, trees and flowers? Try to see it set up for another wedding so you two can appreciate what it will look like for your wedding.
How to Select Your Wedding Dress – Finding the right wedding dress can be daunting task. Click to read more ‘Know your style before dress shopping’ then, go shopping to see what’s out there. Take a look at magazines, ask around for referrals about where to look. Think about – will you buy a new dress, rent one, wear your grandmother’s or go for a white or ivory pantsuit instead? Think about everything, take a few days for self-discovery on what will work best for you. Keep in mind your budget, the style, whether it will be a daytime wedding or evening/weekend wedding.
How to Select Your Bridal Party – To have or not to have? This is not a must. Few brides are opting to do without the bridal party or only have a MOH and a best man. This to them saves them money in the long run and also takes pressure off their closest friends. However, if you do decide on having a bridal party, we suggest having 1-3 bridesmaids the max, in addition to your MOH; same thing goes for groomsmen. Remember, let your friends know ahead of time what you plan on doing so they can start planning, also.
How to Decide on Your Wedding Cake – What’s your taste? Will the caterer bake it or will it be delivered from a famous caterer? Will it be three tiers, two tiers or one big cake? All this is a lot to think about!! However, you do not have to go with the cookie cutter cake ideas or what’s trending in wedding cakes nowadays. You can choose to go with your favorite comfort foods or even blend both your favor flavors, textures in food and come up with your own cake style. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be delicious and part of the main event!
How to Select Your Wedding Flowers – See what’s in season, what’s popular, what’s going to blend with the colors to your tablecloths and background colors all around the room and at the head table. High vases are popular at today’s weddings so people can see across the table, or smaller or non-floral centerpieces will do just fine. If you select up to six colors you should be fine. Ask the bridal consultant for advice. She will definitely know how to guide you.
How to Save for Your Wedding Day – Once you have figured all the intricate details of your wedding, then it is time to move to the next step – saving for the big day; this is only if you don’t have other means of paying. If you should decide on using a credit card, please read this article before moving forward ‘Before using a credit card’. With that, we mentioned ‘set a wedding date’, this date is also a marker for how far ahead you two should start putting aside money and thinking about how much you will actually require.
It is our opinion that it should be at least 20 percent of both your incomes in an interest bearing account. This is our suggestion just to give you a good idea. Read our article on ‘At last, the secret to planning a stress-free wedding’.
Delegating: The closer your wedding day gets, the more responsibilities and contact with wedding professionals you should assign to attendants and family. If you have a planner, she should be on top of all, if not you are responsible to follow up with everything. Do It Now: Bite the bullet and create the setting chart so that you can hand it off to your reception hall manager or caterer at least two days before the wedding. Decide where to post the directory (or display of table cards) to inform each guest where to be seated.
Take Notes: Prepare a day-of package for each vendor. Note any last-minute requests you have made on paper. Also include items they will need on the actual day, in case they forget their copies (for example, the song list for the DJ, special requests for the caterer, a list of must-get people for the photographer).
Call to Confirm: When you call each vendor the day before the wedding, make sure to confirm that they have - directions to and address of site, your day-of contact information (cell phone), and the name of their point person during the wedding. If they sound confused about any of the above information, put it in writing for them and fax it. Dress Up: Several days before your wedding; try on your entire ensemble one last time. Catch any dangling threads or last-minute alterations that are needed on the dress. Confirm the comfort of your underclothes and shoes – don’t hesitate to buy replacements if you have any problems.
Be Generous: Don’t let your gifts for your wedding party, parents, or each other get left off the list because of lack of time. Last-minute f=gift ideas include: bottles of fine wine, flowers, or gift certificates to favorite restaurants. Review Rooming: It’s all too easy for guest accommodations to get confused. Contact each hotel and ask for a listing of all the rooms booked for your wedding. Make sure all out-of-towners who have made reservations are accounted for. Most important, confirm your own accommodations – so you don’t spend your wedding night camped out on a friend‘s couch!
Meet and Greet: Put in a call to each guest who has traveled to attend your wedding, even if you just leave a message at their hotel. Have a list ready of who is arriving, when, and where (including phone number) in case you are absolutely swamped by some pre-wedding emergency.
Schedule an Early Rehearsal Dinner: Talk to the hosts about planning it so that you’ll have time to chill out the night before the wedding.
Check the Weather: If you’re marrying in winter or summer, keep potential blizzards and heat waves in mind and plan accordingly (for example, make sure the church parking lot will be shoveled; double check the air-conditioning at the reception hall).
Relax: If the wedding is in the evening, don’t spend the entire day freaking out about it. Deal with last-minute issues that need your attention, but also take some time to relax=x, get a massage, or even work out.
Make Contact: Create a complete wedding contact list to take along on the big day. Don’t Overdo Alcohol: Even if you’re nervous. Especially if you’re not eating much (brides and grooms don’t get much time with their dinner plates), overdoing the alcohol at your own reception could truly be a bad idea. Better: Drink water.
Make the Rounds: Even if you have a receiving line, it’s a nice gesture to stop to talk to your guests, let them toast you, and pose for their pictures.
Don’t Be a Perfectionist: Things are bound to go wrong – what you can control is how much you let it bother you. Those tend to be some of the best moments, anyway.
A hint of sexy is definitely the story when it comes to this designer wedding dress. Stretch chiffon and perfecting satin exude luxury throughout the fit and flare silhouette, which is shaped by princess seaming. Delicate beaded spaghetti straps evolve out of the V-shaped neckline, crossing into an X shape above a gorgeous heavily beaded illusion back.
Brides, use these 5 tips to make your visits count when you decide to go dress shopping!
1. Come Prepared - Always book appointments in advance, but never more than two per day and take a break in between. To help guide the sales associate, bring photos, of your venue, your color palette and any dress you like.
2. Keep an Open Mind - Even if you have a very clear vision of what you want, try different styles, including at least one wild card. You may surprised and fall in love with a silhouette you never imagined you'd wear.
3. Take your Time - Spend a few minutes in each dress, even if it's not the One. Identify which elements you like and dislike, then use that info to narrow the search.
4. Move Around - Pick a dress you'll feel comfortable spending an entire day in. Practice sitting, dancing, walking and kneeling if you will be doing that in a religious ceremony.
5. Document your Faves - Snap pics from the front, back and side so you can accurately compare gowns later. "Event better, take video!" This will help you remember how the gown moves; this is if the salon allows you to take a video, if not take pics.
4 Ultimate Tips to help you Decide How to Shop
Brides-to-be, use these ultimate tips to help you get started with your dress shopping!
Bridal Salon - The traditional salon has a curated selection from different labels (or single one if you go to a designer's store). The best shops pair each bride with dedicated stylist for an hour-long appointment, with no more than two brides in the store at a time. At larger salons, like David's Bridal, many gowns are held in the back, so it's important to share your vision and budget with the sales consultant so she can pull the right styles for you.
Trunk Shows - Most salons usually carry only a handful of gowns from each designer, so these special events are an ideal way to check out the entire collection and catch promotions like 10 percent off gowns and accessories. Find schedules and book an appointment on your salon's website.
Consignment - Buying a secondhand gown will often save you big bucks. Try Once Wed online or a consignment boutique that operates like a traditional salon. Story Bridal in New York, sells once-worn dresses by top designers at up to 60 percent off retail. It even has a tailor who can help with basic alterations or special additions.
Sample Sales - Everyone from lovely Bride to Monique Lhuillier hosts twice annual sales in major cities (typically in early summer and early winter). Sign up for newsletters from sites like Racked and 260 Sample sale to get alerts. You could save up to 90 percent off retail, but expect only sample sizes, final sales, and a no-frills experience (eg. no dressing rooms, or sales staff). Bring a few friends to grab from the racks, and arrive first thing or during the last hour, when merchandise is restocked. You can also ask your local salon if you can by a floor sample at the end of the season to get a 50 percent discount on average.
Before Choosing the Dress
Brides, it's finally here, the moment you have been waiting for... Your Wedding Day! Follow these steps to find 'the one'... have fun along the way. There are so many styles to choose from - strapless mermaids, spaghetti-straps sheaths, long sleeved illusion dresses, etc.
Before you choose a wedding dress, first you need to figure out your shape - whether you are round/apple, pear-shaped, full figured, etc. Use this chart to see where you fit.
When to start:
Start trying things on 10 to 12 months before the big day so you can order by sixth to the eight month deadline which most salon require (See our wedding checklist). If you don't have that much lead time, you may still be able to get a made-to-order gown; some can be produced in as few as four weeks. Just be ready to pay for the convenience: Usually, it's an additional 10 to 15 percent, not including rush alteration fees
Experience a STRESS-FREE dress shopping with these 7 things!!
Brides, here is what you need to have with you for a day on the hunt! Dress Shopping... Getting it right!
1. Strapless bra - one that you plan on wearing under your dress
3. Clippings of favorite dresses (and a few you don’t like)
4. Clips/barrettes for quick updos
5. Heels of the height you plan to wear on your wedding day!
6. Your bridal look worksheet!
7. A small posse of honest people with great taste, two to three should be plenty!
For more on what to bring when dress shopping, give us a call or send us an email/text and we will gladly help you figure out your planning and other things you need for your big day!