How to Choose Bridesmaids Dresses for a Spring Wedding

If you are getting married, it’s likely that you have already thought about what kind of wedding party you want. You’ve probably selected the ceremony site, chosen your favorite vendors, and made plans for the rehearsal dinner.

Now is the time to start thinking about your wedding party and what they will wear. But picking an option within your color and style theme is only the beginning. While the process seems fun, it is not quite as easy as you may think. Before you start shopping, you should know a few basics to help you make an informed decision.

Consider the Weather.
If you live in an area where spring weather can range from freezing temperatures to sunny and warm, you may want to look for dresses that can be worn under a wrap or jacket. If you’re not sure what to expect in terms of the weather, look for dresses that can layer nicely so your girls are comfortable if it gets a little chilly.

How formal is your wedding?
If you are hosting a casual wedding, there are many ways in which to go about choosing your bridesmaid dresses. You can choose from a variety of short, flowing, and colorful dresses. Alternatively, you could give each girl a few choices within a range of options and let them choose what suits their style and personality best. Then, you can offer matching accessories to tie the look together nicely.

If you’re going the formal route, then consider length and fabric. Typically, a knee-length dress or longer is considered “formal.” Dresses made of bridal satin, brocade, or charmeuse look classy for a dressy event. This is the time to let your bridesmaids rock that long, gorgeous ballgown of their dreams!

Consider body types.
It is important to consider which styles look flattering on the unique body types of your bridesmaids. If you want your girls to wear matching dresses, consider picking a maxi style which is long a flowing and a little less formal, the sheath look, which is long and fitted for any style wedding, or an empire waist that clinches the narrowest point of the bust and flows nicely from there. If you are willing to let your girls mix and match, let them try on various styles and purchase the one they feel the most beautiful in.

Think about the cost.
It is likely that your bridesmaids will purchase their own dress, so you should be mindful of the cost. Perhaps one or two bridesmaids can afford to spend a bit more money on a dress than another, so be considerate of everyone’s budget before making your final decision.

An affordable bridesmaids’ dress ranges between $100 and $200 for a typical wedding. With that price, you can select something that will look great on everyone. Make sure you pick a dress that they will be excited to wear again!

How to Host a Black-Tie Wedding

When you dream of the perfect wedding, do you imagine formal ball gowns and a seated dinner? A black-tie wedding is one of the most formal events you can host. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show off your wedding and make your guests feel as special as they are. Black tie weddings are usually accompanied with dressy attire and a traditional atmosphere. Below are the “must-do’s” for planning a black-tie wedding.

You may also sense hesitation from your guests about attending or dressing up for a black-tie wedding. But, if you let your guests know it’s a “fun” event, they may not be as intimidated by the idea. Black tie does not mean your guests have to wear a tuxedo or a ball gown. In fact, some wear “formal” attire to a black-tie event as a sign of respect to the happy couple. Formal does not mean stuffy, and a black-tie wedding can be the perfect excuse for your guests to wear those gorgeous heels and sparkly accessories they’ve been hoarding in the back of the closet. If you choose to allow a more casual dress code, make that clear in the invitation. Some couple will allow cocktail dresses or suits for men instead. It’s better for your guests to be prepared so they don’t have to buy a new outfit if possible.

A black-tie wedding is usually accompanied with a seated dinner and live entertainment. A wedding invitation to a formal wedding will request a guest response with a dinner selection between two or three options. Dinner is served by a wait staff and may have four courses or more. While guests are enjoying their elegant dinner, live entertainment will be in the background. The couple will usually hire a band for who will amp up the party after food is served for dancing.

Formal wedding events can end with a parting gift for guests to take home. It is important to thank each guest who came to celebrate your fabulous wedding with you.

 

Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Formal or Informal Wedding Invitations?

Wedding invitations are one of the first items you will select for your wedding. There are a few steps involved and some details to consider when finding the right fit. If you have begun your search, you have probably noticed there are thousands of options out there and it can seem a bit overwhelming!  Here is a guide to helping you select and personalize the right set for you.

The first question you need to ask is…are you hosting a formal or an informal wedding? Formal wedding invitations are considered to have a “proper” look and the wording is remarkably different from the casual invite. If you are moving in the formal direction, choose invitations that use a tissue liner in the center with an exterior envelope to protect the invitation itself. While a few physical characteristics may vary, the key distinction is in the verbiage.  Here are a few wording details that may diverge in a formal invitation:

  • They are sent by the “host” of the event using a formal or proper name and a title.
  • Middle names are included.
  • “Request the honour of your presence” is often used over statements such as, “please join us”.
  • The time and date are spelled out such as, “Saturday, the twenty-fifth of May at seven o’clock in the evening.”
  • The city and state are included and fully spelled out.

A casual wedding invitation creates a canvas for creativity and character. These invitations may appear more simple or imaginative and allow the use of informal wording such as:

  • We are saying “I do!”
  • “We have found our happily ever after. Join us in celebrating!”
  • The date and time do not need to be spelled out in a formal way.
  • You can include the name of a particular host or just let your guest know they are invited in any creative form.

If you are unsure about which invitation best suits your wedding motif, click here for your wedding invitation guide

Tips to Make Your Wedding Reception Upscale

Did you know that the key to elegance is simplicity?  The fewer details you incorporate, the more upscale your wedding reception will feel.  Here are a few other tips that are sure to help you create a more sophisticated vibe.

Color Choice

Color choice alone speaks volumes when creating an ambiance for your wedding reception.  According to www.colorpsychology.org, shades of white are associated with “goodness, perfection, and purity”.  When mixed with black which represents “elegance and formality” the blend creates a simple, fashionable, and classy setting. If you integrate a few soft or neutral colors into the mix you can also retain a sense of calmness and harmony.  Imagine yourself walking into a wedding reception full of detail and color in comparison to a simpler arrangement.  For most, the reception with less detail and bright color choices will have a more sophisticated feel. Other elegant color choices are: silver, gold, and soft shades of green.

Lighting

Adding some sparkle is one of the most fun and beautiful ways to create exquisiteness and elegance. If you are having an outdoor reception, string lighting is a great table accent. For an indoor reception, lanterns and candles are a beautiful way to incorporate soft and upscale illumination.  Whether indoors or out, the right lighting can add such a beautiful tone for your reception. Be sure to spend some time selecting the best lighting choice for your party!

Timing

It is understood that evening receptions lean on the side of elegant.  Guests may arrive more formally dressed and ready for cocktails and appetizers. Typically, at an evening reception, dinner is also served and guests plan to stay for the duration.  It is less likely for guests to sneak out early for other obligations, which in turn creates a less casual atmosphere.  Mixed with your brilliant lighting choices, an evening wedding can look stunning and maintain that intimate and upscale vibe.

If an elegant wedding reception is what you are shooting for, remember to still have fun! Smiles and laughter never go out of style, no matter what setting you desire.