Smart Bride: Ways You Can Curb Your Wedding Expenses

 

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“Weddings are wonderful, but they do not have to be expensive. Marriage is about love, not dollar signs” –Author Unknown

 

Weddings have been known to be expensive.

Regardless of how hard you try to keep the costs down, it seems like one aspect or another would cause your overall expenses to bloat. Couples do try to stay in budget as much as possible but there is also that factor that says they are only going to be married once. In this regard, they would want their wedding day to be memorable as well and enjoyable. Unfortunately, to most couples this would connote as a huge expense.

However, this should not be the case. Your wedding should be memorable in the sense that people enjoyed it and you had great moments as well and not because you were overwhelmed with payables and budget deficits. Be smart in your approach and plan a wedding that is doable according to your budget. It might be a milestone in your relationship but going over budget and drowning yourself in debt trying to achieve that dream wedding you have can potentially make your marriage fraught with complications. However, keep in mind that this is not to say that your dream wedding is not within your reach. It is but it requires a little effort and creativity on your part to achieve. So, as a smart couple-to-be avail of wedding packages, do whatever you can to keep your wedding expenses small. Do not go beyond budget and perhaps, keep these small but useful tips in mind when planning and preparing for a wedding:

 

Have a well-defined budget

Saving money on your wedding starts with creating a well-defined budget. In this regard, your budget should be strict and clear. Take a look at the state of your savings and determine how much you and your spouse to be can afford to put toward your wedding. Keep in mind that you have to set a limit as well and not go overboard. Keep in mind that you would still need money to start out your life as a couple as well. List what your prospective expenses might be, tabulate them and put them in a spreadsheet. If you can already canvass prices for these, all the better as you would be able to include it in your sheet but for other expenses, it requires a bit of guesswork. Determine how much the average person is going to consume and how many guests you would have and what the overall price would be then include it in your spreadsheet.

 

Do not go for the most obvious and convenient venues

Convenient venues charge couples exorbitantly because they are obvious choices. They make everyone happy and they do not need little more work and effort just to get there. Sure, it might be tempting to book your wedding in places where it is accessible both to your guests as well as to you. However, by opting for unconventional and out-of-the-box choices, you can potentially save a lot. Remember, just because they are far does not mean they would be any less grand. If anything, you might even discover hidden gems in the suburbs or rural side of your town. Explore as many of your options as possible before going for the most obvious route.

 

Try to see if you can ask for discounts

Most couples do not bother with negotiating a discount solely because it is more hassle to negotiate. However, you should ask whenever you can but remember to be reasonable in your request. Remember that your suppliers are running a business as well so do not try to low ball them. Apart from that, scout out some family, friends and relatives who are in the business and ask them if they can offer you a discount or if they are willing to negotiate on one. Of course, as a way of saying your thanks, ask them if you have any skills you can offer them in exchange.

 

Buy your alcohol

You would be surprised as to how steep the markup on alcohol will be in catered events. Apart from this, some venues will even charge you extra for each alcoholic drink served. In this regard, it is best to go wholesale rather than pay retail. Buy boxes of wine or any alcoholic beverage and serve them up on your wedding. Not only would this make your bartender’s life easier, it makes your total expense significantly smaller than what it would have been had you paid retail.

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Joyful Weddings: Five Things You Should Never Include in Your Wedding Toast

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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person”-Mignon Mclaughlin

 

One of the best things about attending a wedding reception is getting to hear various wedding guests—especially those closest to the couple—regale the hall with tales and anecdotes of the couple’s adventures (or even misadventures). At times, a lot of pressure is put on the wedding speech giver to ensure that what he or she will deliver would not only be perfect but memorable and a fun one as well.

However, remember that for the most part, the wedding speech you are giving is mostly for the couple and would only serve as entertainment to those listening in. In that regard, you would not want to include personal matters that only you and the couple are privy to in your speech. While you might want to entertain the wedding guests, you would also not want to disclose stories that are either too personal or embarrassing for the couple. Keep it light, fun and entertaining without being over the top. Remember, there is a variety of ways to keep your speech from being boring without resorting to spilling the sordid details of what your friend did way back in college. More importantly, it is imperative to keep in mind that with a captive audience of both the bride and groom’s family and friends, what you leave out of your speech or toast is just as important as what you put in. So, what should be left out then? Here are some of the things that should never be included in wedding toasts and speeches for comedic effect or whatever reason:

 

Your errant misadventures with your friend

Regardless of how small, funny or insignificant an infraction might be it should never make it into a wedding speech when it involves getting in trouble with the law. Sure, you and your friend might have found the time wherein you got busted for underage drinking funny but your friend certainly would not appreciate you sharing that fact to all of his or her friends and relatives. Reminiscing about old times might bring in the nostalgia but it is inappropriate to share with someone’s in-laws, colleagues and grandparents in the room. Save those stories for bachelor and bachelorette parties but for your wedding toast or speech, offer a fond memory that speaks highly of the couple’s characters.

 

Bringing up any trouble in paradise

If you happen to be privy about the couple’s private lives such as knowing whether or not the family approves of him or that one time they fought about their finances, know that they made you a confidante for a reason. With that said, your wedding toast is definitely not the best place to bring that up—even if the couple did manage to reconcile or patch things up. Leave any mention of internal family drama or conflict out of your toast as you might potentially spell trouble for them.

 

Any of the couple’s exes

A wedding is neither the time nor the place to bring up any of the couples’ exes. Remember, the wedding is about the couple who just tied the knot and are about to start a future together. In this regard, you should not bring up anything—or anyone for that matter—from their pasts as it would only succeed in making them feel uncomfortable. More importantly, it would be sure to make their wedding guests ill at ease as well. In lieu of bringing up their exes, regale the audience with a story of how the couple met instead.

 

What transpired in the respective bachelor and bachelorette parties

Your wedding toast is not an avenue for you to expose your friend’s shenanigans and wild side. Keep in mind that what happens on the respective parties should only stay there. Remind yourself of why you and your friend have been with each other for the longest time and have had each other’s backs through the good times and the bad. Do not include any unflattering stories about your friend or the couple in your toast and instead, use it as an opportunity to tell the audience what you love about the couple and why you value their friendship.

 

An inside joke

An inside joke is called an inside joke for a reason. In this regard, it should only stay between you and your friend. Remember, you want everyone to be able to relate to your speech about the couple. So, if you recall a time that only you and your friend would know about, you will undoubtedly have some of the audience members scratching their heads. As a result, the audience will feel left out and no one would understand why your story is actually funny. Remember, the guests want to know more about the couple and their relationship. So, try to steer your focus towards that instead of regaling them with inside joke only you would probably find funny.

 

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Big Days and Big Moments: The Top Five Things a Bride Forgets Before her Big Day

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“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction” –Antoine De Saint Exupery

No doubt, a bride’s wedding day would probably be the most significant day in her life she would look forward to.

In this regard, preparations would be made to ensure that everything goes up to speed and meticulous attention is given to every detail leading up to the event. However, as a bride is usually overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the event and the inundation of things to consider, they are bound to forget a myriad of things on the day of their wedding itself. It does not matter how organized a bride thinks she is, how organized they seem or how many spreadsheets they have prepared, they would inevitably forget a thing or two during the big day. After all, the couple of weeks leading up to your wedding are the most crucial and there will be a minefield of easily forgotten details. Sure, you have penned the details of the wedding ceremony down to the last detail and have hired a professional to take care of the various aspects in your wedding but oftentimes, what you forget are easily the most commonly overlooked things you should do the day before your wedding. To address this, it is best to add what these commonly neglected wedding tasks are and add them to your checklist so that come wedding day, you are as prepared as you can be.

Here are some of the most commonly forgotten wedding tasks a bride neglects to do the night or days before her big day:

 

Give your sparkler a shine

Of course, by the time you put the wedding ring on your finger, you would be showing it off far more than your engagement ring. However, as they will be located in the same finger, it would be worth your while to have your engagement ring cleaned and shined a day or two before your big day. Let it sparkle and take the center stage as well. After all, it would probably be featured in a myriad of shots in your SDE videos and photos.

 

Prepare your touch up bag

While your professional makeup artist would be there to take care of your make up and touch ups throughout the day, there are moments wherein they might not be able to attend to you right away. In this regard, it is imperative to have your own touch up bag and prepare it in advance. Have your handy compact powder, mirror and lipstick with you and pack all the basic essentials you would need to keep yourself looking fresh all day.

 

Get your bridal party gifts together

Modern weddings today traditionally include bridal party gifts which the bride would present to her bridal party or squad as a way of saying thank you. You can get these ready days leading up to the wedding and have it ready the morning of the big day. If you have gone out of your way of choosing something personal and special for each of them, be sure not to forget the gifts.

 

Prepare a playlist

On the morning of your wedding day when you and your bridal squad are getting ready, it would be best to have a list of jams which you could then play. After all, no morning getting-ready session would be complete without your favorite tunes and tracks and of course, a few glasses of your favorite drinks. You can ask one of your bridesmaids to do this. Have them compile a fun playlist that would keep everyone in the mood as they await their turn for hair and makeup.

 

Prepare comfy shoes

While it might seem like an extra thing to pack, you will never regret bringing along some comfy flat shoes for you to wear in case your feet get sore. Sure, you might have convinced yourself that you can strut the night away in your gorgeous wedding heels, but once you have had way too many to drink and would wish to dance, you will be glad you do not have to walk around barefoot in your wedding dress. At some point during the night, you might wish to take your heels off, so a pair of comfy sandals, slippers or shoes will surely save the day.

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Wedding Daze: Motivational Quotes to Keep You Going During Your Big Day

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“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It is a choice you make—not just on your wedding day, but over and over again—and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife. –Barbara De Angelis

Without a doubt, planning a wedding can be an incredibly exhausting experience. There are just so many aspects, and elements consider that more often than not, the logistics of holding a successful one would be blurred. In fact, you might feel the excitement building up months, weeks and even days to your wedding—only to be stifled by the amount of stress and anxiety you are going through. Not to fret, however, experiencing a reasonable amount of stress and anxiety is normal—recommended even, so long as you can keep a good handle on it. After all, your wedding day may be the most pivotal moment in your life, and in this regard, you and your spouse would be the center of attention for the entire duration of the day. Considering that most eyes will be on you on top of the pre-wedding stress you will inevitably encounter, it is understandable to feel a bit shy and uneasy.

To ensure you keep on going through your day, here are some of the best motivational wedding quotes as regards love, unions, and marriages. Read them before you make your way down the aisle to give you that much-needed confidence-boost.

1.) On uncertainty

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness, of hatred, of jealousy, and most easily of all, the gate of fear.”-Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

2.) On falling in love

“There is a big difference between falling in love with someone and getting married. Usually, after you get married, you fall in love with the person more.”-Dave Grohl

3.) On loving your spouse

“To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”-Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tsu

4.) On commitment

“There is a higher form of happiness in commitment. I am counting on it.”-Claire Forlani

5.) On getting real with marriage

“In marriage, there are no manners to keep up and beneath the wildest accusations, no real criticism. Each is familiar with that ancient child in the other who may erupt again. We are not ridiculous to ourselves. We are ageless. That is the luxury of the wedding ring.”-Enid Bagnold

6.) On happiness after marriage

“Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry”-Tom Mullen

7.) On finding the ultimate happiness in marriage

“To find someone who will love you for no reason and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.”-Robert Brault

8.) On possibilities

“Weddings are important because they celebrate life and possibility.”

9.) On being in love

“You know you are in love when you cannot fall asleep at night because the reality is finally better than your dreams.”-Dr. Seuss

10.) On getting real about love

“Love is a promise; love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.”-John Lennon

11.) On the effect of marriage

“Getting married for me, was the best thing I ever did. I was suddenly beset with an immense sense of release, that we have something more important than our separate selves, and that is the marriage. There is happiness that can come from working towards that.”-Nick Cave

12.) On who you should marry

“You do not marry someone you can live with—you marry the person who you cannot live without.”-Unknown

If ever you feel jittery and have qualms right before your wedding day, let these quotes serve as your beacons of enlightenment and allow them to give you that extra nudge of encouragement for your big day.

 

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Pre-Wedding Blues: Top Three Causes of Wedding Jitters

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No matter how in love or sure you are about your future spouse, weeks or months before your wedding day, you may experience a bout of pre-wedding jitters that would render you jittery, anxious and at times, a nervous wreck. Not to worry, this is simply the case of pre-wedding stress getting to you—perhaps from meticulously planning the wedding menu down to the the strategic seating arrangement of your guests. However, you need to sit down and contemplate about your proposal or your upcoming marriage if you are suddenly having doubts about your future partner—ones that would not go away after days of trying to relax. If you are having persistent qualms about your wedding, perhaps reviewing what the top three reasons for pre-wedding jitters would help you identify what is causing your anxiety.

1.) The wedding day

Sometimes, the wedding day itself would cause you incredible stress and anxiety. This is especially true for rather large weddings wherein every single one’s family, friend and relative are invited. Having all the people you care about in one room can cause you to worry especially if there are divorced parents, step-parents and even estranged family members involved, the wedding day can particularly be stressful. In other cases, it could be that being the spotlight is what is causing the stress. However, in any case, and in all instances, you should get support for your wedding day as this is essential. A counselor or a wedding planner would help you create a plan for dealing with difficult family members.

2.) Becoming a “wife” or “husband”

More often than not, the marriage of our parents would give us the first real insight of what a marriage is like and sometimes, their marriages would serve as the blueprint of yours. If your parents went through a particularly rocky relationship or if you came from a broken home or a home filled with anger, shame, neglect and violence, intimacy is something you would rarely see. If this is the case, we entertain the fear that we will turn out to be just like them no matter how irrational that may be/ Take note that you are not your parents so you do not exactly have to mirror your blueprint. Similarly, you can also choose not to repeat the same mistakes they have done. In any case, just because your parents did not have a happy marriage does not mean that yours is also doomed from the get-go.

3.) The plan after I-do

Remember that an essential thing before proposing to your significant other or even agreeing to become man and wife is to know what your plans are after the wedding. Some of these would involve significant questions that would determine you would do as a couple after your respective “I do’s”. These questions include if you want kids, where you should live, how much money you plan to make, how to budget, what kind of ambitions you would both have—and other questions of a similar tone. When you have talked about this with your partner, then well and good as you would at least know what your plans would be after the wedding and are least likely to stumble into a complication or come across a problem. However, if this is something you and your partner have barely discussed or never even talked about your problem then it would be understandable why you have wedding jitters that may even be particularly overwhelming.
Some couples think that these are the things they can work out after marriage and everything would fall into place right after.

However, a wedding is a major milestone in life and should you find that you and your partner are not on the same page as regards some aspects of marital life, you will end up having a lot of conflicts and arguments in the future. Before joining the nuptial club, consider having a one on one talk with your partner or find a couples counselor who would guide you both through discussions that would assist you create goals for yourselves and negotiate when your needs and desires differ.

 

 

 

Although it is normal to be wary about lasting decisions in life (such as choosing a life partner), the same cannot be said about persistent anxiety and worries about the state of your relationship and your marriage after you both have said I do. To know the root cause of you nuptial jitters, it would be wise to identify what is causing your stress to distinguish if what you are experiencing is a simple case of pre-wedding anxiety or something even more—and worth talking about with your fiance or fiancee.

 

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The Workout for Your Wedding Dress

 

 

Every bride-to-be wants to look perfect or, at least, her very best on her wedding day. And once you have found the wedding dress of your dreams, you would soon find out that you would have to bare some portions of your body and put them up on display—mostly your upper body. Unless you would want to come into your wedding day traipsing down the aisle in nothing more than a white potato sack as a makeshift dress, the dress you select will highlight and accentuate some areas in your body.

Now, if you have been diligently following a workout scheme or a diet regimen this should be a breeze for you and you can rest easy knowing that on your wedding day, you will be in tiptop and stellar form. However, the same cannot be said for those of us who cannot take the time off work just to work on our calves and tone our arms so some of us would have to devise a plan on how to look our best on the big day in such a short a time. Well, let me be the first to tell you that there are no miracle workouts and that these wedding dress workouts would take every ounce of your determination, commitment and endurance. But it would gladly pay off on your wedding day as you will look absolutely stunning in that wedding dress once you have worked on a solid corporal foundation for your body. Complement these workouts with a diet regime which you can later compensate for during the wedding day (you can never go wrong with the wedding caterer’s food) and you will see results in no time.

So, if your big day is coming up anytime soon, take a look at your wedding dress and which areas you would likely expose so that you would find the perfect workout to look glam, sexy and stellar on your wedding day.

FOR HALTER, STRAPLESS AND OPEN BACK DRESS

 

 

This type of dresses displays your upper back so you have to make sure that it looks toned and great. Cardio can pretty much tone your laterals, traps, and teres, rhomboids, and deltoid muscles. Here are some of the back-shaping workouts you can try are dumbbell workouts such as one-arm dumbbell rows, prone dumbbell rows on ball or dumbbell reverse flys while seated on a ball. Another workout you can try for shaping your back are resistance band workouts which roughly take you about fifteen minutes with a resistance band, this can be done even by novices. Exercises would include bent over rows with a band, reverse flys with a band and seated rows with a band.

GOWNS WITHOUT STRAPS

 

 

These are the gowns or dresses that show not only a generous amount of your back but your chest as well. They come without straps and are those styles that feature plunging or sweetheart necklines that would accentuate or highlight your chest area. For this type of wedding dress, you would need to define your chest with workouts that would seemingly push your chest out. Like the workout above, you can utilize dumbbells for this workout and have dumbbells and a stability ball at the ready. It can be easily achieved by beginners and would take you approximately twenty minutes. The workout would include dumbbell chest press, dumbbell flys, and dumbbell chest press on the stability ball.

FORM-FITTED, SHEATH, COLUMN, HOURGLASS, MERMAID AND TRUMPET STYLE DRESSES

 

 

These are the types of dresses that cling to the body and would emphasize your entire figure. As this will likely accentuate and highlight your hourglass shape, this type of dress will draw attention to the butt, thighs, and belly. Cardio, along with body shaping exercise will tone those abs, obliques, quads, glutes, hamstrings and hip abductor muscles. Exercise would include ball exercises that would require a stability ball and would approximately take you twenty minutes to accomplish. Exercises would include wall squats with a ball, hamstring flexions with a ball, pendulum with a ball and lying hamstring curls with a ball.

A-LINE AND SLEEVELESS GOWNS

 

 

These dresses would highlight toned arms and a tight core. For this type of dresses, strong and sleek upper body Pilates Workout would work best. This circuit workout uses dumbbells and a resistance band to mimic Pilates Reformer-style moves that would effectively tone your arms and tighten your core.

The Wedding Dress Diet, Anyone?

The wedding rings, the wedding cake, the wedding caterer and so on. What else? The nutritionist, dietitian and personal trainer? We get it. Of course, to-be-weds want to look good on their special day – both brides- and grooms-to-be. However, what these engaged couples don’t realize is getting in shape requires hard work, discipline, dedication and time. It’s not an overnight thing especially for the brides-to-be who erroneously assume that they can shed off 20 pounds in just two weeks.

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Well, it might be possible with employing ‘drastic measures.’ But, that’s a very dangerous route to losing weight. Here are some do’s and don’ts in losing weight.

Say I Do to:

1) Natural weight loss

Losing weight must be a natural process. Never resort to taking diet pills and drinking diet tea or coffee as they typically contain laxative just to speed up the process. Surely, you will gain the poundage you shed off as fast as a week or two after the wedding more so if you are going on a honeymoon trip. This is known as yo-yo dieting or, more medically, the honeymoon holdover effect.

2) A lifestyle change

Getting hitched is one of the major lifestyle changes that you’d both subject yourselves into, and so is losing weight. You plan for your wedding, so you should plan ahead, too, if you want to lose the unwanted poundage. For instance, six months before the wedding, join a health club, consult a nutritionist or hire a personal trainer.

3) Short-term successes

Be reasonable and realistic. A pound per week is achievable; 2o pounds 3 days before the wedding day is not. Along the way, you will experience short-term wins. Seeing progress can be your motivation to continue with your health plan.

4) Long-term wins

Weight loss goals must not stop at choosing your catering food and beverages. Instead, you need to set your mind to a lifetime of healthy living. Choose healthy habits and incorporate them in your daily lives.

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Say I Don’t to: 

1) Physical and mental stresses

Preparing for a wedding is stressful enough. If you are going to resort to fad diets, you will never acquire all the nutrition that your body and mind need in keeping up with the planning. You might get sick in the middle of the preparation that only results lagging behind the schedule. Nobody wants this more so when the schedule is too tight to let even the littlest slip ups to consume a day or two.

2) Procrastinating

More so for the brides, wearing a wedding dress wherein they can show off their gorgeous arms, shoulders, gams and backs. The more you procrastinate, the more you need to spend time in the gym. If you only have two months, you need to dedicate more time for workouts. So, do it now while you still have time. Do it together.

Other healthy tips

  • Eat smaller portions
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (especially the in-season ones)
  • Eat leaner and lower-fat meat and dairies
  • Limit empty calories (high-sugar, high-fat, etc.)
  • Don’t drink calories; eat them
  • Cook quick and easy meals
  • Plan meals ahead, say, a month or week
  • Keep the pantry well-stocked
  • Don’t skip a meal
  • Exercise

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Heavier ever after or healthier ever after? It is your choice. Certainly, it is 100% okay to start a fitness program for your wedding day. However, it would be much better if you will carry on with losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life together. A life of wedded bliss may sound more romantic if it means staying together for as long as both of you can. And that includes staying as healthy as you should be!

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