- Announce your engagement.
- Arrange for your parents to meet.
- Decide on a date.
- Determine your wedding budget.
- Pick the ceremony site and meet with the officiant.
- Get a rough count for the guest list.
- Visit reception sites and reserve one.
- Shop for and purchase your gown.
- Shop for the bridesmaids' dresses.
- Choose your wedding party.
- Select a caterer if needed.
- Select the bridesmaids' dresses.
- Pick a photographer and a videographer.
- Hire a florist.
- Book the musicians and DJ.
- Start researching honeymoon destinations.
- Mail save-the-date cards especially if you're having a destination or holiday wedding.
- Order wedding invitations.
- Order bridesmaids' dresses if you haven't already done so.
- Start shopping for both mother's dresses.
- Shop for your wedding cake.
- Hire wedding day transportation.
- Book your hair and makeup stylists.
- Complete the guest list.
- Start making honeymoon arrangements.
- Book your flight and hotel.
- Arrange the rehearsal dinner.
- Schedule dress fittings for you and your bridesmaids.
- Decide on wedding day accessories.
- Have the groom and groomsmen get measured and order tuxedos.
- Call the county clerk's office to find out about marriage-license requirements.
- Meet with the banquet manager to discuss menus, service style, wine selections, etc.
- Order the wedding cake.
- Select ceremony and reception music.
- Buy thank-you gifts for your bridal party.
- Choose and order your favors.
- Shop for and order your wedding bands.
- Meet with party supply rental companies if necessary.
- Book a hotel suite for your wedding night.
- Choose readings and determine ceremony details.
- Mail invitations 6-8 weeks ahead of the date.
- Do a hair and makeup run through with headpiece and veil.
- Have your final dress fitting.
- Advise your bridesmaids to have final dress fittings.
- Plot the seating chart for the family/reserved tables at the reception.
- Confirm details with photographer, florist and other wedding vendors.
- Write your toasts for the rehearsal and reception dinners.
- Assemble ceremony programs.
- Send your bridal party a detailed schedule for the big day.
- Designate a responsible person to pay fees due to vendors. Place the payment due in separate envelopes.
- Give the caterer a final head count.
- Get final beauty treatments of your choice.
- Organize a bridal luncheon or dinner with your bridesmaids.
- Pick up your wedding bands from the jewelers.
- Try on and pick up tuxedos.
- Try on and pick up wedding gown and bridesmaids dresses.
Water / Snacks
Lipstick / Lip Gloss / Chap stick
Make up for touchups
Water / Snacks
Toothbrush / toothpaste
Other important items:
Cake knife and server
Change of shoes
Guestbook and pen
Travel sewing kit
Water / Snacks
Clear nail polish
Comb or Brush
Schedule of the day
Vendor contact sheet
Searching for your wedding gown is an exciting and unique shopping experience!ONE. Determine Your Wedding Style.
First, try to picture your big day. Will it be a formal church affair, a casual outdoor celebration, or a destination wedding? You'll want your wedding gown to fit this vision. For example, look for a dress with a train to add to the formality of church ceremony, or narrow your search to something light and airy, like a chiffon or organza dress for a ceremony on the beach.
*Remember, the season doesn't have to dictate your choice, you can always add a jacket, cape, or shawl to any style for added warmth!TWO. Create a Gown File.
To help you save some time, bring some visuals with you. Before you start to shop, collect pictures of dresses you like from bridal magazines. Go through the images with your bridal consultant, this will help her to narrow down the selection for you. Also be sure to tell her the dress details you definitely don't like. As you try on, continue to point out features and styles that appeal to you. Together, you'll come up with the strongest contenders and "the perfect dress".
*Remember, shop with an open mind - you may fall in love with a gown that you initially don't care for on the hanger!
*Also don't get discouraged if the styles you initially loved in the magazines don't work with your body type, you and your consultant will find styles that best flatter your figure!THREE. Shop Early.
We suggest starting the search for your gown one year to nine months ahead of time, or as soon as you have chosen your date and ceremony site. This ensures that you have allowed time to order and alter your dream gown. You never know, you may find your dress on the first day of shopping!FOUR.
Do not invite an entire entourage to accompany you shopping, since each person will have their own preferences. It would certainly be appropriate for your mother or a close friend to help you with the selection.FIVE.
Narrow your selection down to your favorite two or three, try them on, and then make a decision. Choose a gown that makes the most of your figure and the one you feel the most beautiful in. There are many fabrics and shades of white to choose from. Find the textures and hues that flatter your complexion. Be sure to consider how you will wear your hair, make-up, and most of all, how the gown makes you feel!SIX.
Be prepared to make at least a fifty percent deposit on your gown. Most bridal retailers require a deposit before the gown is ordered. After the initial deposit, monthly payments are usually required until the gown is paid in full. Also, most fine stores consider bridal apparel as "intimate;" therefore, refunds and exchanges are generally not allowed. This is for your protection as well as the stores'.SEVEN.
When choosing your gown, keep in mind that your choice sets the tone for the entire wedding, particularly the selection of bridesmaids gowns, the groom's and usher's attire, as well as that of the mothers. For formal weddings, the bride wears a long gown with train and veil of her choice. The train is usually either shorter or eliminated for the small or informal wedding. As a general rule, the dresses of the bridesmaids and mothers should not be a longer length than the bride's.
Informed bridesmaids are happy bridesmaids!ONE.
If you have two or more attendants, choose a style that will flatter all body types. The A-line style usually works well for all figures.TWO.
It is beneficial for you to narrow down your selection to a few of your favorite styles and colors for your bridesmaids, then let them assist you in making your final selection. Fewer choices make it much easier to come to a decision for the whole party, and will save you many hours of decision-making and frustration. Or consider another option; choose a designer and your favorite color, and let each bridesmaid choose the style of her choice.THREE.
Allow plenty of time for delivery. The average delivery time for bridesmaids is 3 to 4 months. Some manufactures offer quick delivery with an additional "rush cut" charge. To ensure the timeliness of your bridesmaids' order, provide your bridal party with a deadline to be sized and to put down their deposit.FOUR.
Sizing is always "by the book"...the manufacturer's book. Every manufacturer has their own sizing chart, and bridesmaids' dresses are not custom-made to fit perfectly.
However, one of our consultants will go over the measurements and size chart with each of your bridesmaids. Often the customer falls between two sizes; at that time, our consultant will have her try on a dress from the same manufacturer in different sizes to determine the best fit. She will offer advice, but the final decision is left to the customer.FIVE.
If a person is over a certain height, usually 5'8", extra length may be ordered from most manufacturers for a small charge. If the person ordering is size 16 or above, there may also be an extra size charge from the manufacturer.SIX.
For bridesmaids who live out of town, we will provide you with measurement cards. She can be measured at any formal wear store. It is suggested that they locate a retailer that carries the bridesmaid's line that you have chosen. Once she has been measured, she can simply call us and we will discuss and determine size over the phone. We accept all major credit cards and can process an order over the phone. If she prefers to send a check, she needs to include her name, current address, phone number, driver's license number and a note informing us as to whose wedding she is a part of and what size we are to order.SEVEN.
We will place the order only when all the deposits have been paid and all the sizes have been determined. Ordering all of the gowns from the same place at the exact same time will give you the confidence that the dresses will arrive together and that they have all been cut from the same dye lot. This means that the shade of the chosen color will not be varied between the dresses.EIGHT.
Once the dresses have arrived, we will notify you, the bride, by phone. It is your responsibility to notify your bridesmaids that the gowns have arrived. (Please remember to notify us immediately if you move or change phone numbers.) Please advise your bridesmaids that the dresses must be paid in full at the time of the first fitting, before we start alterations on the dress.NINE.
It's to your bridesmaids' advantage for our store to coordinate needed alterations. They do have the option to have alterations done elsewhere if they choose. We will also ship the dress to an attendant if she lives out of town for a shipping fee of $8.00.TEN.
To assure the proper fit at their alteration fitting, each bridesmaid will need to bring the shoes and undergarments she intends to wear with her dress. We also have an excellent selection of shoes and bras at our store for her convenience.
Why an Engagement Ring?
Before coinage, gold rings were circulated as currency. By giving a gold ring to his bride, a man showed her he trusted her with his property. Under Roman law, the ring was a sign of security, protecting the interests of the bride-to-be. In Elizabethan times, an interlocking set of three rings was used and worn during the engagement period by the bride, the groom, and the witness at the wedding. The three rings would be placed on the bride's finger during the wedding ceremony. Diamond rings became popular in the 19th century.Why a Diamond?
The diamond was called the Venus stone by the ancients who compared its shining beauty with the planet Venus in the evening sky. Like the goddess, who was dedicated to love, the diamond in time became associated with sweethearts, and its mysterious inner fire was likened to the equally mysterious fires of passion. The Greeks called it "adamas" - eternal or unchanging, a declaration as to the depths of their emotions. According to history, the diamond as an engagement ring began in 1477 with Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. Max asked one of his councilors for advice in proposing to Mary. The councilor told him to give her a diamond. Max took the advice and proposed, slipping a diamond ring on her third finger, left hand. Mary said yes and a tradition was born.Why a Wedding Band?
Wedding bands, symbolizing eternal love by their lack of beginning or end, grew out of the ancient tradition of using circlets of grass to decorate a bride's wrists and ankles. Although not required to validate marriage under a civil law, rings were required in the 16th century. The circular shape symbolizes eternity.Why the Third Finger, Left Hand?
The ancients believed that a special vein, which they called a vein of love, ran from the finger directly to the heart. By putting on a fitted ring, the affections were bound in and could never flow out the finger tips. The "ring" finger has sometimes been on the left hand, sometimes on the right, varying by country and custom. Among English-speaking persons, it has been on the left hand since Edward VI in 1549.Why a Bridal Shower?
This tradition evolved from Holland when a father disapproved of his daughter's choice and the villagers gathered to "shower" her with the dowry her father refused.Why a White Gown?
White is the ceremonial symbol of purity and virtue and hence of maidenhood. It has been so since Biblical times. About 1820 white became increasingly popular for formal occasions, although pastels were in vogue until the end of the century. When Queen Victoria popularized white at her own wedding in 1840, it became the official color of brides.Why a Bouquet?
The use of flowers in the wedding celebration is as old as marriage itself. Nearly every type of blossom bears a symbolism that goes back for centuries. The bouquet symbolizes life, growth, and fertility.Why "Something Old - Something New"?
Something old: continuity
Something new: optimism, hope
Something borrowed: happiness shared from a happily married couple
Something blue: fidelity, love, purity
Lucky sixpence in shoe: ensures a life of fortune.
Why the Wedding Kiss?
The wedding kiss has been a part of the ceremony since Roman times when it was used as a legal bond. The wedding kiss is a symbol of the newlywed's faith and love, respect and obedience to mutual benefits.Why a Bachelor Party?
It dates back to the Spartan groom, who always invited his close friends to a supper on the eve of his wedding to celebrate and to reminisce about his past. Mainly, however, it was in mourning for the passing of the man's bachelor status.Why a Wedding Reception?
The fact is that marriage feasts have been in existence nearly as long as marriage ceremonies. The early Greeks held a splendid wedding feast for every couple.Why a Wedding Cake?
The tradition of the wedding cake has ancient roots. The Roman wedding ceremony included a simple cake made from salt, water and wheat flour. The cake custom may also be connected to the fertility rituals of many cultures. Elaborately decorated wedding cakes date from Victorian times. The bride and groom feed each other a taste of cake to symbolize the sharing of life's bounty.Why a Wedding Toast?
As drink goes, wine has always been central to the wedding, even mentioned in the Bible. The first recorded toast was given at a Saxony feast in 450 A.D., by a woman who became a bride herself before the end of the evening.Why Throw the Garter?
The Order of the Garter was formed in England in the fourteenth century, as an honor given to distinguished noblemen who to this day wear a heraldic garter as part of their ceremonial garb. Nowadays, the garter is tossed to the single men at the reception; the recipient, according to the myth, will be the next to marry.Why Toss the Bride's Bouquet?
Traditionally, the woman catching the bouquet will be the next to wed.Why a Honeymoon?
Long ago it was a period when the groom, having bought or captured his bride, disappeared with her so that her family could not rescue her. The couple hid for a month (the length of the moon's cycle) and partook of a honeyed wine, which was thought to have aphrodisiac properties.