Stillwater Wedding Central

Wedding Planning

New Year’s Resolutions for the Stressed Out Bride

New Year's Resolutions for Stressed Brides

New year’s come with new resolutions. If you’re in the midst of the holidays & planning a wedding, it goes hand in hand with stress for most brides. We want you to have a wonderful New Year, so here are some of our resolutions for our stressed out brides.

Don’t be afraid to scale back as needed

If the stress of planning a large wedding is getting to you, there’s no shame in scaling back a little. Trust us, the people who love you will understand! Besides, do you really need a twelve course meal?

Find your happy place and go there (often)

A hot cup of coffee and ten minutes free of wedding planning/family drama/work stress/etc. can do a world of good!

Keep things in perspective

Let’s face it, planning a wedding can be all-consuming! Taking a few minutes to remind yourself that your wedding is just one day (albeit a really big one) in the grand scheme of an entire lifetime together with your love helps take off some of the pressure. You’re preparing for a marriage, not just a wedding.

Drink plenty of water

Sounds odd in comparison to the rest of this list, but trust us, it’s actually a good stress reducer. Check out this article for the science behind it.

Remember date night

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, romance is usually the last thing on your mind. Remind yourself why you’re getting married in the first place by sneaking in a few romantic evenings here and there. It’s amazing how a night away from the stress helps you come back to things refreshed and ready to conquer your to-do list.

Here’s to a happy and stress-free New Year. Cheers!


What to Wear While Bridal Gown Shopping

What to WearYou’ve done your research and set appointments to shop for your bridal gown. What should you wear (or bring) on your outing? Here are a few practical tips for shopping day:

Wear something easy to slip on and off

Odds are you’ll visit more than one bridal salon on shopping day. This means multiple times of getting out of, and back in to, your outfit. Not to mention all the gowns you’ll be trying on. That’s a lot of buttons, zippers, and corsets!  Save yourself the trouble of having to slip back in to a complicated or uncomfortable outfit.

Wear (or bring) a strapless bra

Trying on gowns with your bra straps sticking out can be distracting. Bridal salons usually have strapless bras available to try on. However, in the off chance they don’t carry- or have sold out of- your size, it’s good to have a back up plan.

Wear underwear

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many girls go shopping without wearing undergarments. The truth is, most bridal salons do not clean sample dresses between each customer. For hygienic purposes, it’s in the best interest of you and your fellow bride to wear underwear while dress shopping.

The slip

In many salons, a slip is the first thing your stylist will have you put on. There are different styles and varying levels of fullness to choose from. For some brides, this will be their first time trying on a slip, and it can make some ladies hesitant. Why would you need this fluffy thing? The slip comes in handy! It helps the gown hold its shape- especially for gowns with full skirts. The slip also keeps the gown from sliding between your legs while walking down the aisle. Give it a try. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it.

Bring your shoes

For brides who have already chosen their shoes or accessories, it’s a good idea to bring them to your appointment. This will help your stylist select gowns that go well with the elements you’ve already picked. If you’re unable to bring the actual items, it’s helpful to have pictures available.

Dress Shopping- Where to Start?

How to Start the Bridal Gown Shopping ExperienceYou’ve set the budget. You’ve set the date. Time to find your dress! Here are a few tips to get you started:

Do your research

It’s helpful to know what styles are available. Do you like lace? Love sweetheart necklines? As you look online and in bridal magazines, take note of the styles you are drawn to. The more information you can give your bridal stylist, the easier your shopping trip will be.

Set Appointments

While some bridal boutiques are more than happy to accommodate walk-ins, others are not. Just to be safe, it’s best to go ahead and call or go online to set an appointment to look at gowns.

Be open-minded

You’ve done your research. You know what you like, but sometimes your bridal stylist will bring you something unexpected. Give it a try! The worst that could happen is that you don’t like it. However, many brides have found “the one” this way.

Choose your shopping time wisely

Weekends are exceedingly busy for bridal salons, so if you’re averse to crowds, try shopping on a week night. Love a party? The weekends might be perfect you. I’ve seen brides who were perfect strangers meet during shopping and forge new friendships. It’s up to you and your personality/shopping style.

Dress shoppingGive yourself enough time to order

If you’re ordering a bridal gown, it can take up to six months to arrive. Once your gown arrives, you’ll need to have it fitted. Occasionally, you’ll need to be fitted more than once. This can take up to six weeks (or longer), depending on your alterations specialist’s turn-around time. Don’t have six months until your wedding? No worries! There are shops that sell gowns directly off the rack. Just be sure to get your dress altered as soon as possible to avoid any rush fees.

Setting Your Budget

setting-your-wedding-budget Setting your budget is the first step to planning your wedding. It’s hard to book a venue, schedule a photographer, or buy your dress until you know how much you can spend!

You and your future spouse need have an honest conversation about what you feel comfortable spending. Are your families contributing? If so, is it a dollar amount? Or are they paying for a particular expense?

Here are a few more things to keep in mind while constructing your budget:

Be realistic

Regardless of the dollar figure, the key is to set a budget that’s manageable for you and your family. You can get creative from there!

Don’t go in to debt

Since this is such an important celebration, it can be tempting to set a massive budget and take out loans to cover expenses. Everyone’s situation is different. In some cases, loans may be necessary.  However, if possible, give yourself the wedding gift of minimal debt. Financial stress is the last thing you want to concern yourself when you return from your honeymoon.

Categorize and track your Spending

Once you’ve landed on how much you’d like to spend, break your budget down by category. For example:

  • Ceremony- venue cost, flowers, officiant, guest book, decor
  • Reception-  venue cost, catering, cake, centerpieces, DJ, alcohol, linens, rentals, favors, etc.
  • Fashion & Beauty- dress, shoes, alterations, underpinnings, accessories, tuxedo, hair, make up, wedding bands, bridesmaid/groomsmen apparel (if you will be covering those expenses)
  • Additional Costs- invitations, postage, marriage license, transportation, lodging, wedding planner or other service providers, etc.

From here you can assign a dollar amount (or a percentage of the budget) to each type of expense. On average, nearly 40% of the overall budget should be allotted toward reception costs.

Track your spending! Whether you use a spreadsheet or a budgeting app, save and enter all receipts/invoices regularly.

Adjust your spending as you go

To keep things balanced, if you’ve splurged or overspent in one category, pull back your spending in another area. It’s also wise to set aside a “rainy day” fund in the event of overspending.

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