7 B.S. Wedding Traditions You Can Totally Skip

When it comes to 2020 weddings, there are no rules. As a fellow bride-to-be, I’ve realized there are a lot of wedding traditions I’m not into. While you may feel guilty about not doing everything your mom did at her wedding, just think, there were probably some traditions her mother did that she boycotted (it’s a vicious cycle, you see?). For example, my grandma told me it used to be tradition that the bride changed out of her dress at the end of the night and put on a suit to go off on her honeymoon. Sounds miz, right? I’m assuming all I’ll want to do is change into sweats and PTFO. My mom sure as hell didn’t do that, and I bet yours didn’t either, so don’t feel guilty about skipping one of these seven wedding traditions that should prob be retired any way. 

Gender-Specific Wedding Parties

Look, it’s 2020. Gender fluid, gender neutral, whatever you want to call it, we can all agree that the gender lines are blurring, and therefore, there’s no reason to be a stickler about your best friend from college standing on the groom’s “side” because of the gender he was assigned at birth. Mix it up and go half boys and half girls, have your brother stand on your side, etc. Nobody’s going to be sitting at the ceremony whispering, “oh my God I can’t believe she has a GUY standing on HER side,” and if they do, they’re a f*cking idiot and shouldn’t be invited in the first place. Plus, women’s pantsuits are so in right now, so if you’re a woman in the groom’s wedding party, just channel your inner Ariana Madix circa Tom and Katie’s wedding and own that sh*t. 

Your Parents Giving You Away

This may have been a thing back in the 1800s when literal 14-year-olds got married because they were going to die by age 30, but now that you’re a grown-ass adult, there’s no need for mommy or daddy to “give you away”. The whole idea of them handing off ownership to your spouse is pretty objectifying, IMO. Not to mention, not every person has a great relationship with their parents, and this wedding tradition can just put extra pressure on an already tense dynamic. If you want to skip this one but still compromise, you can have them walk in front of you, or at the beginning of the procession with the groom’s family if they’re salty about you walking solo. 

Gift Exchange

IDK who invented the idea that couples need to give each other gifts before the wedding ceremony, but isn’t like, your marriage enough of a gift? Yes, I know that sounds cheesy, but when it comes to saving money, I will use all the cliches I can to get me out of buying a really expensive watch for my fiancé (sorry, babe!). Writing a personal note should be gift enough, since you prob just spent your life savings on this massive party. I am officially launching my campaign to end pre-wedding gift exchanges between couples. WHO’S WITH ME?! I’ll take this all the way to Congress if I have to. 

Wearing a Veil

I know this is one I’ll catch a lot of heat for, and I’m ready for it. When I discovered the historical meaning behind why brides wear veils, I was appalled. Basically, wearing a veil was intended to keep the groom from seeing the bride until she got up to the altar so he wouldn’t see her and run for the hills. Wow, that is so thoughtful of the inventors of the veil to hide the bride’s face until it’s too late in case the groom didn’t like her looks. A more modern-day reason to pass on a veil is the cost. Do you really want to spend $800 on a piece of tulle? I’m sure most of you reading this think I’m a veil-hater and are probably still going to wear one, but I’m just here to tell you that if you’re on the fence and the notion of “tradition” is preventing you from doing you, I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay if you don’t wear one.

Evening Weddings

I’d venture to guess that the majority of weddings take place at night (mine will be), but if you’re not into the idea of a nighttime party, why not start it earlier in the day? My cousin is having a brunch reception that goes all day and I’m not going to lie, I am STOKED. The idea of eating brunch food, getting wasted, and being in bed by 7pm sounds like heaven on earth. Is that an over exaggeration? Probably, but let’s face it, I can’t stay up all night anymore and so the idea of getting the party started early, and ending it early, sounds lovely. Plus, all-you-can-eat brunch food? Hmm, maybe I should change my start time to 11am.

Bouquet/Garter Toss

The only thing worse than being seated at the singles’ table is the dreaded bouquet and garter toss. As if a guy literally crawling up his wife’s dress in front of his entire family isn’t mortifying enough, think of all the single guests at your wedding you’ll humiliate when you toss a bunch of flowers at their faces. Also, someone could get SERIOUSLY injured. At my friend’s wedding last year she hiked the football bouquet like an NFL Pro-Bowler and almost took out half of her single guests. I mean, respect, but drunk people don’t have the best reflexes, so that could have been a massacre. 

Wedding Cake

My fiancé doesn’t like frosting (I know, he’s literally a serial killer) and I don’t want an icing-free cake at our wedding, so we’re not having one at all. We’re doing a donut wall instead because I’m #basicandproud, and that way people can bring their dessert on the dance floor. We also realized that at the last four weddings we’ve gone to, we didn’t eat the cake. It’s my personal goal to make sure every guest feels sickly full at the end of the night and they can’t get there with a small slice of cake, so bring on the dessert bar! If you want a cake just for the photo opp, your caterer might be able to whip up something small so you can at least have the picture. 

The new wedding rules are that there are no rules, so don’t be afraid to do you. As long as you have good booze and awesome music, everyone will have a good time. 

Images: IVASH Studio / Shutterstock; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides, jayacancook / Twitter

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Wedding Dress Shopping Tips I Wish I’d Known Before I Went

Preparing to go wedding dress shopping is like having sex for the first time: you can read a million articles online and listen to all your friends talk about it, but there’s a good chance the real thing is still going to be nothing at all like what you expected. 

I thought I had done truly everything to ensure a successful shopping trip when I went searching before my wedding. But despite researching styles, saving screenshots, coming with the proper entourage, and reading all the tips I could find, there is no set of materials out there that can adequately explain the reality of wearing pasties and heels while a stranger helps you step into a ball gown that fills the entire dressing room. (Fun fact: it’s actually just as hard to step into dresses with a more streamlined silhouette. A mermaid style, for example, has such a small opening for your feet that the process of drawing it up over your body once you step in is a fun guessing game you play with satin.) I digress. 

“I love shopping for wedding attire” – said no one ever

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) July 29, 2019

The point here is that I did all my wedding dress homework, and I was still not at all prepared for the reality of searching through acres of tulle and chiffon to find the dress that embodied, well, me. Everyone’s big day (or days) of dress shopping can be different, but here’s hoping that the following tips will make your path to finding that dream dress just a little simpler.

Be Open To New Styles, But Don’t Feel Like You Have To Try On Something You Hate

Advice for wedding dress style: wear whatever the fuck you want

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) November 10, 2019

You don’t have to put on everything the bridal stylist brings you. Staying open-minded is important, but if the dresses you’re seeing in your dressing room are not you at all, speak up. It can be harder than you think, especially if you’re the kind of person who can’t even tell her hairstylist you hate the bangs she gave you. 

And on the flip side, don’t be afraid to change your mind. If the lace sleeves you thought you’d love just aren’t working, take a breath and try something different. Feel like a giant cotton ball in that voluminous organza gown you were sure would scream “you”? Same advice as a relationship that’s gone past its expiration date: move on, and don’t look back.

Choosing *Just One* Can Be Borderline Painful

 

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Now who’s holding this up while we pee? | @whatmaddness

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There’s a reason we all love charcuterie boards so much: they’re all about options. A wedding dress, multi-faceted as it may be, is still just one dress. It can be really hard to choose between different styles, especially if you love parts of each of them, or are a Gemini. So, if your parents refuse to pay for two and you can’t swing the added cost yourself, what’s the solution? Try asking about options for accessories and for customization. A modern, sparkly fit-and-flare can be made dreamy and romantic with the addition of some simple detachable tulle sleeves. (Tulle is inexpensive, and any seamstress can design them for you.) Dying for a mermaid or sheath silhouette, but also love the drama of a more va-va-voom style gown? The same thing can be done for an overskirt. You can have your Cinderella look, and just detach the tulle for a sleeker look that’s easier to move around in when it’s time to get down at the reception. Genius.

Consider Not Just Your Wedding Day, But The Time Leading Up To It

All brides deserve a medal for working out like an olympic athlete for a year just to fit into a dress they are wearing for a wedding they spent their entire life savings on.

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) September 23, 2019

How do you envision the way you’ll be spending your time in the days leading up to your big day? Are you okay with going in for bi-weekly custom alterations and spending whatever time you have left shopping for heels of the exact height you need? Or are you more interested in relaxing as much as possible, going in for one fitting, and leaving it at that? Choose your dress accordingly. You can have what you want in terms of alterations if you’re willing to put in the time, but it’s another layer of decision-making to put on yourself. If the thought of adding more to your wedding-planning plate gives you stress hives, choosing a more low-key dress you love as-is is a better idea.

When In Doubt, Sleep On It

The idea of going home empty-handed after a day of trying on an endless array of dresses can feel disheartening. But you don’t have to look at it as a defeat. As long as you start your search early enough, taking your time is not going to hurt anything, and in fact can prevent you from making a bad decision on low blood sugar after trying on your 45th dress of the day. If you’re feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or just hangry while at your third salon, consider calling it a day and going home to consider your options. You’ll either wake up the next morning totally sure you really do want that long-sleeved lace gown, or thankful that you didn’t commit to buying anything yet. 

So, after all this, you may be left wondering, Carrie Bradshaw-style, if the end result is really worth this whole process of finding, altering, and perfecting your wedding dress for one single day of your life?

The consensus? It absolutely is.

And here’s why: It’s not just about looking good. That’s a big part of it, of course. Your dress should make you feel beautiful, confident, and excited. But it shouldn’t do only that. It should also help you to execute the overall vision of your wedding that you see for yourself.

In your wildest dreams, are you in a castle tower with a rose-covered trellis like in a Taylor Swift music video, looking out a window as your fiancé rides to you on a white horse (despite the fact that he’s from Los Angeles and, to your knowledge, has never ridden a horse)? Or do you picture a long church aisle, candles everywhere, and a veil that trails your gown by 30 feet? Maybe you’re in comfortable lace, barefoot with your hair down on a beach at sunset, ready to dance the night away. It’s important to think about the big picture, because it’s easy to see something in the mirror that’s glamorous and exciting, and that’s great—as long as it completes the vision you have for the big day itself. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a gown that’s beautiful, but ultimately interferes with the experience you want, and no dress is worth that. Keep that in mind, and you’ll end up with a gown that’s perfect for you, the day you envision, and all the photographs you’ll be hanging in your living room for the next 50 years. A marriage is fantastic and all, but the wedding dress? That’s forever.

Images: Tom The Photographer / Unsplash; betchesbrides / Twitter (3), betchesbrides / Instagram (2)

Dresses For Winter Weddings You Can Find On Rent The Runway

Sponored by Rent The Runway

Look, I know you think I should be honored and #blessed to be invited to your wedding, but in all reality here, given how much money I have to spend on your wedding, I’m pretty sure it’s actually the other way around. So like, you’re welcome for gracing you with my presence. Given how much money you’re forced to spend on the hotel, gift, etc., it’s nice to know that there’s a way to avoid spending half your paycheck on a dress you’re only going to wear once (because we all know that once an outfit has been on the ‘gram it gets banished to the back of your closet for the rest of eternity.) 

Instead of shelling out money to actually buy a gown, you can just rent one of the amazing dress options from Rent The Runway. The cost of renting it is wayyy less than what your gown would retain for, and some dresses start as low as $30. This way, you can still look amazing and wear a $1,200 designer dress without spending anywhere near that. Here are some of the best dress options on Rent The Runway right now that will be perfect for attending any fall wedding.

Black Halo Naples Gown

$575 retail / 4 day rental $70-85

This yellow dress is similar to the iconic dress Kate Hudson wore in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, and I’m totally here for it. I mean, anything reminiscent of Kate Hudson implies an effortless beauty, which is something we’re all constantly striving for. Now, I know yellow may seem like an odd choice for fall, but hear me out. This yellow is a deep and rich enough tone that it doesn’t scream “summer,” and when paired with a cool cropped leather jacket or faux fur shawl, you’ll be perfectly stylish and seasonally-appropriate!

Catherine Deane Red Lace Lena Dress 

$680 retail / 4 day rental $90-105

This lacy dress is chic and sophisticated, while also subtly sexy. The intricate details of the red lace against the nude fabric elevate this midi dress from other, more basic lace dresses. Not to mention, the red color combined with the lace gives it a flirty, feminine vibe. This is the kind of dress that demands attention and makes a statement, which is the ideal kind of dress to rent rather than buy. 

ML Monique Lhuillier Midnight Lace Gown

$650 retail / $65 to buy

This tiered gown is EVERYTHING. I’m obsessed with the perfectly fall rich navy color in the baroque-adjacent lace pattern. The whole vibe of the gown is very gothic princess, but like, in the most elegant way possible. What I love about this gown is how unique it is and how it’s pretty much guaranteed to flatter all body types. You’ll legit look and feel like a princess, and who doesn’t want that?

Christian Siriano Knit Drape Dress 

$1,595 retail / 4 day rental $270-280

I know this may come as a shock to you all but, as a 26-year-old Communications major who just moved out of her parents’ house, I can’t afford a Christian Siriano dress. However, I CAN afford to rent one (well barely, but that’s a personal problem). This dress is classy and conservative, making it the ideal dress for attending a wedding when it might end up being like, freezing. 

Cooper Street Midnight Lucky Gown

$389 retail / 4 day rental for $70

So this is the type of glitzy gown I would have dreamed of my mom letting me get for prom, but of course there’s no way in hell she would have let me buy a $400 dress. Which like, fair, she had to use her Macy’s coupons. But now I can finally live out my prom fantasy of wearing such a gorgeous dress, just now as a wedding guest instead. And I can even do so without actually having to buy the dress! With the sequins and the silhouette, this dress is beautiful and classy, making it the ideal dress for an elevated bougie Black-tie wedding. You know, the kind with an open bar that’s fully stocked with top-shelf alcohol.

C/MEO Collective Take Seriously Dress

$198 retail / 4 day rental $30-35

Honestly, the name of this dress embodies it perfectly. It’s the type of dress you wear to a wedding where you don’t mention that you went to a Big 10 school and once did a beer bong on the roof of a frat house. This is the dress you wear to attend the formal wedding of your boyfriend’s fancy lawyer friends. Like, where you know the other women will already be judging you regardless, so you come in looking like a class act. It’s all around very Amal Clooney vibes. Plus, pleating is very in for fall, and this dress has just the right amount without being over-the-top trendy. 

Slate & Willow Metallic Flounce Hem Dress

$128 retail / 4 day rental for $30

For a cocktail attire wedding, this dress is beyond perfect. The bronze color paired with long sleeves make it perfect for fall, while the metallic sheen elevates the dress and gives it a touch of trendiness. At a retail price of $128, this may seem like the type of dress you’d just blindly buy right out. But a wiser woman than you would recognize that a dress this cute is sure to be remembered, which means it’s highly unlikely you’ll wear it again. Hence, the more fiscally responsible thing to do here would be to rent it rather than buy it.

Shoshanna Navy Montrose Gown

$649 retail / $65 to buy

This gown is stunning, and even better, it’s pretty much guaranteed to flatter everyone. The keyhole cutout and fitted silhouette give it a touch of sex appeal without being over-the-top. But the best part is probably the fluttery off-the-shoulder sleeves, which always give the illusion of perfect arms without even having to strike the “skinny arm” pose. The midnight color plus minimal mock turtleneck give it just the right amount of fall-appropriate vibes.

When the rental price of your RTR gown costs a fraction of the retail value, you’re guaranteed to look incredible while also making a smart financial decision. Even though you would usually justify buying the dress by claiming you’ll wear it again, we all know that’s a lie. And realistically, you’re probs too lazy to even attempt to resell it. So save yourself the buyer’s remorse and utilize Rent The Runway’s amazing selection of wedding guest dresses. Plus, you can even get 30% off everything on Rent The Runway (including their monthly subscription to Unlimited and Update memberships too) if you use code: RTRXBETCHES.

30% Off Everything on Rent the Runway (that includes Unlimited and Update memberships too!) use code: RTRXBETCHES

Images: Naku Mayo / Unsplash; Rent The Runway (8)

The Biggest Wedding Dress Trends You’ll See Next Year, According To An Expert

Assuming you haven’t been living in a cave for the last month, you are likely aware that fall is in full effect, and the new wedding season has been formally kicked off by The Biebers’ second exchange of vows (because apparently one wedding isn’t enough). While no one expects non-celebrity brides to deliver extravagance at the level that celeb weddings often do, living in the age of Instagram means competition abounds in the world of weddings (even for us common folk). And though I am still not over the fact that Hailey put “Till death do us part” on her actual wedding veil,  her dress is hardly the only source for gown inspo. That’s why we spoke to Azazie designer Peter Hale Cooney to get the scoop on all the wedding dress trends coming soon to an aisle near you. 

Perhaps it is best to start with what trends are officially ~out~. Peter predicts that we will be saying goodbye to “frivolous and over the top accoutrements on dresses.” This, of course, means that the tired popular trend of “crystal and bead encrusted” dresses is going into hibernation. Thinking feathers? Think again. Basically, any attempt to recreate Beyoncé’s iconic Met Gala 2012 dress should be stopped in its tracks. Put the feathers and the jewels down (you too, Kim). 

This does not, however, mean an end to glamour. Peter assures us, “I think we’re going to see the return of romantic dressing.” This could mean a range of styles including everything from “voluminous silhouettes to pared down, simplistic dress.” You can even hold onto the sexier vibe that brides with conservative parents on Say Yes To The Dress butt heads over, with “nods to lingerie” in your gown of choice. Hoe, but make it bridal.

Cooney also predicts plenty of “diaphanous fabrics” (I looked it up, and it means light and translucent) and “lovely lace fabrics.” Lace, in particular, is a point of emphasis in the romantic aesthetic of future wedding dresses. “Nothing says romance more than a fine lace,” Cooney adds.

Perhaps the trend I am most looking forward to seeing on my Insta feed is the return of 60s and 70s styles. Maybe it’s all the Mad Men I’ve been binging getting to my head, but a Megan Draper ensemble on a wedding aisle sounds pretty dreamy to me (even if she is the most annoying character in the show). Cooney predicts the era will manifest in details like “easy breezy shapes, long sleeves,” and “slightly rebellious ensembles.” 

 

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To the brides out there who stick their noses up at tradition, you’re in for a treat, because color may be an unconventional trend that is becoming, well, conventional. According to Peter, “color has been making its way into bridal collections for many seasons now. I think soft pastel shades incorporated into dresses are absolutely stunning.” 

As for bridesmaids, another increasingly popular shift away from tradition is mixing and matching dresses. “In this day of body positivity I know brides want all the members of their party to feel as comfortable as they do beautiful. This means different dresses for different figures.” As a matter of fact, dresses may not even be a necessity anymore. Cooney boasted about all of the bridal party jumpsuits Azazie is getting ready to drop, gushing that he “love this development for bridal parties.”

 

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All smiles for these beauty Dusty Sage bridesmaids! ☺️✨ Link in bio to shop!⁠ ⁠ Styles from left to right: Summer, Hazel, Jael⁠ dress color: dusty sage⁠ groom & best man skinny tie: dusty sage⁠ photographer: @orangephotographie⁠ Bride: @summit.and.sage ⁠ Groom: @chris.ryan.111⁠ Bridesmaids: @kensydin @samanthasidun @emmie.sidun ⁠ Bestman: @knj_55⁠

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All trends and traditions aside though, Peter believes first and foremost that a ceremony should be designed around the bride and groom’s own tastes. “I’m in the school of thought that there is no rule book when it comes to your big day. From venue, to ceremony, to style of dresses worn. Stick to the vision you have that reflects you and your partner best and it is sure to be an unforgettable day.”

Images: Izabelle Acheson / Unsplash; azazie / Instagram; Azazie.com

This Bride Bought All Her Bridal Dresses From A Resale Site

Courtney Soberal is originally from Michigan, but has lived in Los Angeles for five years. She is currently a preschool teacher and college student at CSU Dominguez Hills, working toward a degree in Child Development. Courtney and her husband met on Tinder, bonding over Taco Tuesday nights, and eventually tying the knot in 2018. They hope to expand their family with a puppy very soon.

Call me cliché, but after my now-husband proposed, we almost immediately knew how and where we wanted to exchange our vows: an intimate beach ceremony in Hawaii. Just like many other young couples, we also quickly realized that a dream destination wedding can come with a nightmare price tag, so we wanted to figure out ways to cut other costs, particularly with our bridal fashion. 

Did you know that the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,631? If my husband and I wanted to say aloha to our new life together, I knew I couldn’t spend anything near that price for one dress. I also didn’t want my bridesmaids to have to invest in a dress with a staggering retail price when they were already jet-setting across the Pacific. 

This is where Poshmark comes in. I had been using the app for nearly two years when my wedding rolled around, and had ample success buying and selling clothes and accessories on the app as a side hustle, so it was really a no-brainer to browse the platform for bridal looks. I started sifting through their millions of new-with-tags (NWT) and pre-loved listings in hopes of finding my bridal party’s looks, and of course, the beachy glam wedding dress of my tropical dreams.

In reality, I had already found the perfect dress, but it had an unfathomable retail price tag (it would have cost the same amount as two round-trip tickets to Hawaii, which was something I couldn’t justify). After about two weeks of searching on the Poshmark app, I found the exact same dress NWT in my size for ONLY $200 (pro-tip: buy one size up if you’re debating because you’ll likely get it altered anyway and will want the fabric). It was delivered to me in a few days, brand new and beautifully wrapped. My only added expense was getting a few alterations done. 

Inspired by my wedding dress haul, my bridesmaids and I went on a wine-fueled shopping spree for the rest of the bridal party dresses. We found two flower girl dresses for $40 a piece and three bridesmaids dresses for $75 each in a single evening. Again, all of these finds were new and wrapped better than a department store would wrap your Christmas shopping. And we looked incredible, if I do say so myself. 

Thanks to the profits that I made from my Poshmark side hustle and the discounted prices of our apparel (an estimated $4,000 in savings), I was able to set aside about $6,000 for wedding expenses. My hubby and I were able to comfortably pay for the intimate, tropical wedding of our dreams in Hawaii AND a reception back in California (where we live) for our extended family and friends. At our California ceremony, I even wore a second dress that I bought on Poshmark for $200 (NWT, originally $1,600). 

But it gets even better: after the wedding shenanigans were over, I sold everything back on Poshmark for the original Poshmark-listed prices, meaning I sold my $200 dress for $200 (disclaimer: Poshmark takes 20% of each sale so my total earnings in this case was ~$160). But still!

Moral of the story: don’t let anyone tell you that BHLDN or Vera Wang are your only options. There are some incredibly beautiful gowns available for less than half the price on resale platforms like Poshmark. Happy shopping! 

Images: Courtney Soberal (4)

5 Wedding Dress Shopping Tips That Are Total B.S.

Thanks to Say Yes to the Dress, the wedding dress shopping experience has become a full-blown circus. From custom T-shirts and coolers of champagne to bringing everyone you’ve ever known to your dress appointment, brides forget what they’re actually doing there. As a former bridal shop consultant, I’ve heard first-hand the crazy tips brides think they should follow, and I’m calling B.S. on a few of these. Here are the wedding dress shopping tips that are complete crap.

B.S. Tip #1: Bring Your Bridesmaids

On TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, you often see the bride with her entire bridal party in tow (and her grandma, her future MIL, her third cousin twice removed). Sure, they might seem like a nice reprieve from mom’s nagging opinions, but in my experience, bridesmaids have a hard time putting their personal opinions aside. Comments like “that doesn’t work for your venue” or “that’s not that flattering” happen more often than you’d think. I once had a bride who went from excitement in the dressing room to total distress because of a bridesmaid’s bitchy comments. I’m not saying all of your friends will be assholes, but wedding dress opinions are subjective, so the most important thing is trusting your gut over their opinion. If you must bring your squad along, set some guidelines beforehand and tell them that they should just be there for moral support, not to go all Simon Cowell circa American Idol

B.S. Tip #2: Pinterest Is Your Friend

I love Pinterest just as much as the next basic bitch, but TBH, going on a pin binge right before you dress shop is NOT helpful. Sure, you might find things you like, but unless you’re sure the store you’re going to has that dress in stock, you’ll likely be disappointed. Showing a stylist your pin board is helpful if you have a general vibe in mind (classic, formal), but if you want something extremely specific that you pinned, that’s a bit tougher depending on the salon’s inventory. Also, gowns look completely different on you than they do on Pinterest. Often times, those pictures are from models with completely different body types than yours (unless you’re a model, in which case, none of this applies to you). I’ve had a number of brides come into the store with a vision they’d created from hours of pinning, only to find out that a flowy, boho vibe did not live up to their expectations. Having a general idea of what you like is better than coming in with a highly specific vision. 

B.S. Tip #3: You Need To Shop At Multiple Stores

This lie is one that really pisses off stylists. Not just because they’re more likely to lose a sale to this notion, but because it’s simply not true. Yes, this dress is a once-in-a-lifetime garment, but that doesn’t mean you have to have an over-the-top emotional moment where you and your mom sob and hug each other like you just overcame some terrible illness. Feeling amazing and loving the way you look in the dress is more than enough of a reason to say yes to it; crying is optional. Brides who go to multiple stores also might do so because at the first store, they found something that wasn’t what they expected. That happens more often than not, so don’t be alarmed. It’s OK to have a change of heart, especially when it comes to wedding gowns, because they’re totally different once you put them on. Be confident in your decision when it feels right, tears or no tears. 

B.S. Tip #4: Champagne Required

Celebrating is V important. Boozy brunch is V important. However, a drunk bride and her entourage is NOT. Too many times I’ve dealt with a sloppy appointment when the bride stumbles in, can’t get two feet into her dress, and nobody in her peanut gallery has any self-awareness. When it gets to this point, the squad should have just stayed at brunch. Save the celebrating for after, and don’t show up with a chambong ready to get wild at the salon. A lot of salons either don’t have champagne or they save it until a final decision is made. Wedding dress shopping is a classy affair, so sure, have a few glasses after saying yes, but save the sloppiness for the bachelorette party. 

B.S. Tip #5: Make It A Whole-Day Affair

It sounds ridiculous, but putting wedding dresses on is actually a very tiring process. Oftentimes you’re getting in and out of up to 10 dresses in one appointment, times that by three appointments and you’ll have tried on nearly 30 dresses in one day. Not only are you exhausted by your last appointment, everything will start to blend together. There’s no reason you need to turn dress shopping into the hunger games of your wedding. Visiting one store in a day is plenty, especially since the appointments are usually 90 minutes. Don’t go to more than two in one day and plan a break in between so you have time to regroup both mentally and physically.

Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (5)

9 Ways To Cut Wedding Costs
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Weddings are expensive. They’re also one of the most important days of your life, and you don’t want to skimp on the details! So how do you strike that balance between not cashing out your 401(k) and still having the wedding of your dreams? While every element of your wedding is no doubt important, there are a few areas where you can be a little thrifty in order to cut costs—that won’t make you come off cheap or tacky or sacrifice your ~aesthetic~. We reached out to some of our industry faves, the venue experts at Here Comes the Guide and Portland-based wedding planner Luxe Event Productions, for their best tips on how to have your dream wedding without breaking the bank. Read on and get ready to save some serious cash (you’re welcome).

1. Rent Your Tux

With renting, your groom and groomsmen can get the expensive look you they want with a much more manageable price tag. The key is to look for quality. For example, most quality suits that are 100% wool can run $400+. That’s for the jacket and pants only, BTW. But online suit rental companies like Generation Tux rent everything à la carte, so you have full control over your budget. Plus, their 100% wool suits start at just $109. Think of all the extra drinks you can buy on your honeymoon with that extra money.

2. Buy Secondhand

In the past, retail stores were the only option for buying a wedding dress, but these days you have options. Buying new isn’t the only way to go anymore, and secondhand online stores like Stillwhite.com are popping up all over the place. Now, you can go online and find the exact same dress you’d buy from your local retail store, this time from another bride around the world, and end up paying much less. Another bonus? You can re-sell that dress after your wedding and make a lot of your money back! Because, come on, you are never going to be able to wear that dress ever again.

3. DIY Your Flowers

It sounds hard, we know! DIY florals can be hard to navigate, but kits from online sources like Bloominous provide design, instructions, materials, and recipes to easily put together wedding flowers to make it yours. It’s also a fun way to enlist your family and friends to help in the days leading up to your wedding.

4. Think “Off Season” For Your Venue

Winter Wedding

Who says “Saturday in June” wedding couples have more fun? The wedding off-season typically spans from November to March—and couples on a budget will get the most bang for their buck by booking their venues during this timeframe. Consider having your celebration on a Thursday in November (not Thanksgiving, please) and see how much your venue will shave off the regular rental fee. Or how about a winter morning mimosa brunch wedding? Just be sure to have an inclement weather contingency plan in place!

5. Make Your Guest List The A-List

It goes without saying that a shorter guest list is easier on not only your budget but your sanity, too. Even if it’s unrealistic to whittle your list down to 20 of your closest friends and family, chopping it from 300 to 150 will still help take things from overwhelming to manageable. More often than not, an intimate affair really does require less money and less work—and it comes with an invaluable bonus: more quality face time with that cozier group of guests you invited.

6. Hire A Wedding Planner

You might be thinking of foregoing a coordinator in order to save some cash, but trust us…if you’re looking to have your champagne-dreams-on-a-beer-budget wedding, then a hiring a planner is your best bet. Time is money, and an experienced coordinator will handle all the little details so you don’t have to stress. Plus, they can also pass along savings to you by hooking you up with their extensive vendor network. This is one area where spending the money is totally worth it.

7. Choose One Standout Feature

For all aspects of your big day, identify one standout feature instead of making each and every detail high-end. For instance, on invites, choose one remarkable element, like a silk ribbon or a foil pressed folio/pocket, and pair that piece with simpler enclosures. Control your budget by shopping online with sites like LoveonPaper.com and choosing these standout elements on your own. The bottom line is, you can’t go over-the-top in every single area of your wedding and still expect it to be budget-friendly.

8. Track Every Purchase

It’s easy to break the bank by not tracking the little things, like your earrings, groom’s socks, new perfume, or those shoes you just *had* to buy. It’s these items people often forget to track and they wonder why they are running out of money. It might be hard to face the truth of how much money you’re spending, but you’ll be so thankful in the long run when you don’t have to wonder where all your money went.

9. Keep Your Wedding Party Tight

Large wedding parties can definitely increase the budget. When you think about it, each bridesmaid bouquet can run $85-$150 each, and groomsmen boutonnieres are about $15-$20. Multiply those by 6, 8, or more and your floral costs are skyrocketing without you even noticing. So keep your wedding party small to cut unexpected costs like these (and probably cut unexpected drama).

Images: Carrie King; Stillwhite; Sanaz Photography; Meg Sorel; Shutterstock (5); Kendra Allen / Unsplash

8 Wedding Websites That Will Make Planning So Much Less Stressful

Soo, he liked it and finally decided to put a ring on it (Congrats!). Now you have to keep the same energy you put into getting engaged into actually planning the wedding. How much should you be budgeting for a dress? Can you register for literally ANYTHING else besides a knife set?! Is it safe for your parents and your in-laws to stay in one place? Luckily for us, the ladies at Be Inspired PR have shared their secrets on the 8 wedding websites every bride needs to have bookmarked (or left open on one of the 7,000 tabs we all have running on our desktop).

Jordan Jack

If we knew what was good for us, we wouldn’t leave it up to our S.O. to find their perfect wedding band. That’s where this godsend of a website comes in. Jordan Jack is an online tool that your future groom can use to browse wedding band styles. He can choose five of his favorites and they’ll be shipped right to his doorstep, which literally can’t get any easier. After taking a few days to decide on the look and feel of each ring, he can send the sample box back and have the wedding band of his choice arrive within just a few days. Save you and your fiancé the trouble of finding a time to hit the jewelry store, since you shop for everything online anyway. 

Lovely Bride

Imagine finding your dream dress on Pinterest, only to find out that it doesn’t align with your dream budget, or isn’t available in your area. Lovely Bride is located in over 15 cities across the country, and makes the process of finding your wedding dress online super smooth by letting you know what dresses at their store are available according to your city and price range. That’ll surely spare you the tears before entering a bridal shop, looking for a dress that doesn’t exist, and the potential devastation of having to give up a dress you’ve fallen in love with, but is out of your price range.

Trello

Say “Trello” to our lifesaving friend! (K, sry.) This site will keep you from turning into a bridezilla and keep you in check throughout your planning process. From big-day tasks to the fine, minute details like “Remember to not be a b*tch to your mother-in-law,” Trello is perfect for listing out all of your wedding planning tasks, appointments, and payments so you can check them off one by one and not get overwhelmed.

ThirstyNest

A wedding registry that fuels your drinking habits?! Dreams do come true. Instead of making everyone buy plates that you will never look at a day in your life, make everyone buy you fine wines and liquors that you can stock up on for your newlywed home. Of course… you’ll need a home bar to store all your new spirits, which you can register for with ThirstyNest too.

wine

Bloominous

Hands up for all of you DIY brides: This online service partners with top designers to create the perfect kits for you to arrange and style yourself. Their perfect blooms are 100% fresh and cut-to-order, and the customized kits are prepped to include everything you need to make the ideal arrangements. 

Here Comes the Guide

This wedding website is the resource of all resources to help newly engaged couples find the venue of their dreams. For those wanting to veer off on a slightly non-traditional route, Here Comes the Guide is the place to find unique places to get hitched and score amazing deals and discounts. To make every bride’s life easier, the leading ladies of this company have also come up with thorough guides from “questions to ask your wedding venue” to “basic wedding planning checklist” so your planning process is smooth sailing throughout.

monica wedding

Generation Tux

Let’s be real, staying at home is always the better option…at least that’s what our Postmates receipts say. This tux and suit rental company has truly the mastered the art of online shopping by guaranteeing the rental arrives at least 10 to 14 days before the big day, with an easy, breezy 3-day post-event return policy. TG for small miracles. A great part about Generation Tux is that your future groom you can design his look beforehand, and customize it according to color, style, and body type. Even better, if he’s unsure of his exact measurements, he can utilize the free home try-on feature, allowing two days to see if your chosen look is the right fit from the comfort of home. 

Stillwhite

For the bride who has spent countless days bridal shop hopping with no luck finding her dream dress, and the former bride whose once-worn (hopefully!) dress is now collecting dust at the back of her closet, Stillwhite has created a marketplace where brides-to-be can link up with former brides who are selling their dresses for less than the retail price. Turning your Pinterest board dreams into a reality, Stillwhite has made it possible for the budget and tech-savvy bride to purchase a wedding dress straight from their mobile device. We’re all about an eco-friendly bride too, and by recycling pre-loved dresses, you not only save money, but you also help the environment and create less waste.

Images: socialcut / Unsplash; Giphy (3); Stillwhite