14 Signs Wedding Planning Is Taking Over Your Life

From the time you get engaged until your walk down the aisle, your brain will be full of wedding planning details. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, but it’s important to not let it consume you—your engagement is supposed to be a happy time! Here’s how to tell if wedding planning has taken over your life.

1. You skip happy hour with your co-workers because you need to watch the latest SYTTD episode for wedding dress inspiration.

2. Working out feels like a vacation because you knows it’s at least an hour of your life not spent wedding planning.

3. The choice between crossback and chiavari chairs feels like the hardest decision of your life.

4. You’ve set weather.com as your homepage and check the forecast for your wedding date every single morning, resulting in a daily panic attack.

5. The last fight you had with your significant other was about your wedding hashtag (PS: solve that problem here!)

6. You’ve developed strong, passionate feelings for color coordinating everything (down to the groomsmen’s socks).

7. Your maid-of-honor has stopped answering your phone calls because she doesn’t want to hear about your wedding favor drama for the 57th time.

Related : What to Do If You Have Doubts About Your Wedding Dress >>

8. Your phone buzzes every 30 minutes with selfies from your mother-in-law asking if you approve of her dress.

9. You’ve temporarily replaced your daily venti triple caramel macchiato with generic instant coffee all in the name of your honeymoon fund.

10. You’ve considered inviting the UPS delivery guy to your wedding because he’s at your house so often delivering packages filled with last-minute wedding purchases.

11. You completely spaced out during a work meeting because you were too busy doodling your new last name.

12. Your most-played songs on iTunes are all sappy love songs because you cannot for the life of you pick a first dance song.

13. You don’t know what’s going on in your parents’ lives despite talking to them daily because your conversations only revolve around table linens, appetizer options, and ceremony music.

14. You talk to your wedding planner more often than you talk to your fiancé(e), and you live together.

via 14 Signs Wedding Planning Is Taking Over Your Life.

5 wedding ‘staples’ to skip – Yahoo Finance Canada

The save the dates are in and the invitations on their way. In just a few short weeks, wedding season will be in full swing, along with the stress of the average $31,213 price tag for the happy couple and $592 average cost for guests. That’s according to the annual wedding report from The Knot and a recent survey by American Express.

With weddings and pre-wedding events already crowding the planner pages of every other spring and summer weekend, it’s time to think budget. Every year, the same financial concerns come up, and despite the whispered misgivings of the budget-conscious and financially-strapped, the unreasonable wedding culture continues. Even the most grounded and low-key brides-to-be eventually fall prey to the hysteria of wedding mania, as the most frugal guests get caught up in unreasonable expectations and fears of violating misguided laws of etiquette.

Social, cultural and familial precedents, along with high emotions and unrealistic expectations set by media and pop culture, fuel the continuous escalation of a simple celebration into a high-cost, high-stress event.

What the wedding industry seems to be suffering from is a gross lack of perspective. Practices that are completely and entirely optional have become thought of as must-have staples, driving many couples either further into debt or farther from major financial goals such as buying a home or starting a family.

While every bride and groom will have his or her own priorities when it comes to planning the big day, it helps to start with the bare bones of what’s required — a marriage license and officiant. Remembering that everything else is optional might help infuse a long overdue dose of reason into the wedding industry.

Here are some prime examples of optional wedding rituals turned overblown staples that you might be better off without.

The engagement ring: After the reception, the engagement ring is the second biggest wedding expense, coming in at an average of $5,598 in 2013. What couples seem to have forgotten is that it’s the commitment to marry that makes them engaged, not the money spent on a piece of jewelry that will become redundant once wedding bands are exchanged.

The standard three months’ salary spent on a ring could be used to fund so many alternate, shared endeavors, such as furnishing a home or kick starting future college saving. Buying into an artificially controlled diamond supply will not make your love or relationship any more valuable, but it certainly can result in a significant hit to your net worth.

The pricey wedding dress. You don’t have to skip the dress entirely, but you can certainly pass on the several thousand-dollar price tag. Wedding dresses are for one day only. Affordable alternatives can be found online, through resale sites and dress rental companies. You might even be able to borrow a dress from a family member or close friend.

Paper: It’s the thick of the digital age and despite a slight decline in average spending on invites, the 2014 mean price tag still sat at $439. Given the ubiquity of digital correspondence, including five different pieces of paper in one invitation that already references an online website for more information seems awful wasteful, both financially and environmentally.

Pre-wedding events: What started as a singular precursor to the big day has evolved into an engagement party, lingerie party, spa day, bachelorette party and goodness knows what else, each with its own set of commitments and fiscal expectations. The tab for these cumulative events tacked onto wedding day costs can easily soar into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Add to that a destination event, an increasingly common choice among couples, and you can pretty much count on kissing at least one of your personal financial goals goodbye.

Gifts: With so much spending required for guests to simply attend nuptial celebrations, a return to “presence as the present” might be in order. The $592 average cost of attendance doesn’t even include gifts that often follow the misguided “cover the cost of your plate” myth — easily tacking on an extra hundred bucks or two. As the etiquette experts say, an invitation is not an invoice. Give in line with your budget and in a way that makes for you and your relationship with the happy couple.

A wedding is a celebration, and stressing over overblown costs is a total buzz kill. It’s time to strip away the many so-called staples and redefine weddings, building from the ground up, prioritizing what’s most important. While expectations and emotions run high, you can stay grounded in your fiscal reality by connecting with what’s ultimately the most important part of your big day — your new relationship.

via 5 wedding ‘staples’ to skip – Yahoo Finance Canada.

When to order wedding dresses | Articles

While some couples plan a whirlwind wedding with a four month engagement, most take at least a year or even two to plan the big day. Most brides want to start shopping for that wedding dress as soon as they have a ring on their finger, but how soon is too soon, and how late is too late?

wedding dresses

Here are the answers to some of the common questions brides have about when to order wedding dresses:

When should I order my dress?

Ideally, you should begin looking at dresses twelve to eighteen months before your wedding, with a view to ordering your dress about a year in advance. This will give you plenty of time for alterations to be done thoroughly, and for you to find the right accessories, flowers, and hair style to complement the dress.

Brides buying a dress off the rack will still need to have some alterations done, but they may be able to get away with ordering a dress six to nine months before the wedding; around three months should be scheduled between the first and final fittings to allow time for alterations. Having a dress custom made will take longer, and will require three or four fittings, so a year is advisable.

Brides that are ordering a dress online, or looking for a pre-loved gown should also order a year in advance to give them time to find an alternative if they are disappointed with the gown when it arrives.

If I order it too early will my dress be out of fashion?

Bridal fashion is always a year ahead of itself because brides are expected to order their gowns a year in advance. However, it is true that a whole new range of gowns and styles will be released if you order more than a year before the big day.

If you are really concerned about being in fashion, you should wait until the bridal wear ranges for your wedding season have been revealed, but the changes in wedding gown design from one year to the next aren’t that dramatic, and you can be sure your guests won’t know if you are wearing last year’s dress. If you buy a dress at the end of its season you might even get a discount.

order wedding dresses

Should I wait to order it until after I’ve lost weight?

Many brides want to lose weight before their big day, but waiting to order your dress until you have achieved your dream weight isn’t advisable. Unless you plan really drastic weight loss, you will probably only drop one dress size, and most gowns can be altered to accommodate this.

Even if you lose weight your basic body shape should be the same at your first and final fitting.

Tell the assistant that fits your wedding dress if you plan to lose a lot of weight and they will be able to tell you a date for final alterations. This is usually around six weeks before your wedding, and after this time it will be difficult to have your dress altered to account for further weight loss.

via When to order wedding dresses | Articles.

What I Didn’t Expect to Learn Planning My Gay Wedding | BridalGuide

A wedding is a wedding. The only difference between gay ones and straight ones is what the officiant pronounces you at the end of the ceremony. Right?

OK, so that’s like 80 percent true. As my fiancée (now wife) and I learned while planning our wedding alongside our good (and straight) friends marrying the weekend after us, the issues were the same: When are RSVPs due? What can we get for favors? Speakers cost how much? But in a few situations, being gay can tack a few extra items onto your to-do list, or at least some considerations.

I’m going to share a few of the things you don’t have to worry about — and, of course, those that you do — as a gay couple planning your big day. Here’s how it was both the same as and different than planning a straight one.

emelie burnette

What’s Different

Finding a venue: After coming this close to putting a deposit down on a place we discovered didn’t allow gay weddings at all, my fiancée and I were pretty heartbroken and a bit shell-shocked to boot. So don’t get your heart set too soon, and research mindfully — consider finding a local gay-friendly venue database. Nothing beats having an event coordinator who’s almost as excited about the Prop 8 ruling as you were.

Picking titles: Mr. and Mr.? Ms. and Mrs.? Who’s the bride — anyone? People won’t know what to call you unless you tell them, so particularly with photographer contracts and other wedding paperwork, you’ll need to at least have agreed upon something for official documentation. Even if you don’t feel strongly about it, have an answer ready so you don’t leave anyone guessing, feeling awkward, or — worse — offending someone else.

Dealing with drama: Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people against same-sex marriage. Recognize that the topic is sensitive for some, and don’t expect it, but at least prepare yourself for negative feedback. It only took one uncle’s call about my sinful ways to dampen my excitement and cause a rift among family. Lean on your support group: my fiancée and I had 109 incredibly loving people attend our wedding, and they are all OK with ignoring the naysayers. Allow yourself to be the bigger person, accept others’ perceptions of you, and enjoy what you have.

emelie burnette

What’s Not

Choosing your traditions: Just like your brother and sister-in-law got to walk down the aisle — together — to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” you can do whatever you want for your big day! Have both your dads walk you down the aisle, let Doctor Who inspire your outfits, or even invite your officiant to stand alongside a baby elephant, like my gay acquaintances did for their Thai destination ceremony. It’s your day, so plan whatever tickles your fancy.

Applying for a license: In the 13 states where gay marriage is legal, applying for a marriage license is as easy as a Google search and an afternoon appointment. Check your local jurisdiction for more filing rules, but the process is the same for all couples (just remember to have those titles ready!).

Having fun: OK, this one’s a given, but nothing about who you choose to love will dictate how awesome planning your big day is. So just sit back, relax, enjoy as many free cake samples as you can, and organize yourself one heck of a dance party.

Photos by Rachel Castillo

— Emelie Burnette

via What I Didn’t Expect to Learn Planning My Gay Wedding | BridalGuide.

Wedding Articles & Tips – Formal Weddings

Formal weddings are ideal for couples who value elegance.

Formal weddings aren’t necessarily traditional – modern weddings ooze glamour!

Your venue will set the scene. Consider ballrooms with expansive dance floors, museums or 5 star establishments. Fine china with artistically inspired and presented hors d’oeuvres, canapes and lobsters, a 10-tiered wedding cake and exotic cocktails served on silver trays.

Candlelight is key, tall candelabra’s to illuminate the room and create the ultimate ambience. Nothing emanates class like white. Consider white cushions and chair covers, white tablecloths with overlays in rich fabrics and hundreds of white roses, orchids or fragrant gardenias.

The bridal couture is typically a formal beaded, floor-length wedding gown (usually a full-skirted ball gown or A-line silhouette).

An up-do hair style is a must and a long tulle veil that compliments the length of your train. For the glamorous touch, a gem encrusted tiara will make any princess shine.

The groom typically wears a black tuxedo or modern black suit with black or white tie, groomsmen wear black tie.

Big, bold wedding invitations engraved in black or silver ink on heavy card stock or rich marbled papers will certainly make an impression.

Select elaborate typefaces or hire a calligrapher to hand address all your wedding invitations. Whatever option you choose, extravagant invitations will announce your wedding in true glamorous style. Generally, the more formal the wedding is, the later in the day the wedding is held. Look in our Latest Trends section for the latest in wedding invitations.

For the ultimate in formal wedding entertainment, you just can’t go past the big band or string orchestra providing the finest in background music.

When your glamorous night comes to an end, drive away in the sophistication and elegance of a vintage Rolls Royce or Bentley wedding car. For the remainder of the day, consider black stretch limousines.

via Wedding Articles & Tips – Formal Weddings.

Plus-size Brides: 5 Tips To Looking And Feeling Your Best On Your Big Day |

Plus-sized. It’s a phrase that’s used a lot to define women who wear clothing in the double-digits. Although personally, we have to admit that we prefer words like voluptuous, curvaceous and… stacked. So, if you’re a woman who fits nicely into this demographic, then automatically, you can get excited about just how stunning you’re going to look on your wedding day. Simply by being you.

But if you would like a few tips on things that you can do that will help you to look and feel your absolute best in your dress, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got five proven tips to help you feel and look your best on your big day.

Choose a dress that best complements you
It’s one thing to look at a wedding dress in a magazine and like it, but in order to know if it will look beautiful on you, you should definitely try it on first. And while you’re shopping for one, we feel that it’s a good idea to keep in mind what best complements a plus-sized bride. An A-line skirt offers a flattering silhouette, an empire-gown provides a waistline that falls right below the bust and if you want to be a sexy bride, don’t hesitate to try on a couple of sheath dresses—they are designed in such a way that they are fitted from top to bottom and will show off all of the right things while camouflaging areas that you don’t want to be seen. As far as the kinds of fabrics that work best, blended silk, charmeuse and organza are all truly elegant.

“Build” on the right foundation
Honestly, no matter what size a bride is, she should make sure that she has the right foundation; however, this is especially important if you are a plus-size bride. So, from your bra to your girdle/Spanx to anything else that you’re planning to wear under your gown, make sure that it gives you plenty of support, makes you feel comfortable and looks virtually seamless under your dress.

Don’t be shy with your bust line
If you happen to be a woman who has a full bust, don’t be shy about showing it off. Sweetheart necklines can be absolute show-stoppers, especially if you complement it with a fabulous gemstone necklace.

Get your dress altered
Sometimes a bride can look larger in a dress than she actually is simply because she failed to alter her gown. For most women, losing at least a few pounds before her wedding day is a priority and even five pounds can make a dress fit in a different kind of way. That’s why it’s important to have a formal fitting of your dress as little as 7-10 days before your wedding day to see if any last minute-alterations are needed.

Don’t forget about your hair
This last tip actually has nothing, and also everything, to do with your dress. Being that you want to look stunning from head-to-toe, have fun with your hair. Many stylists recommend that plus-sized brides get their hair cut in layers while adding some highlights to it. By finishing the look off with some flowing waves, you can look picture perfect and also unforgettable to your groom.

As you’re getting ready for your wedding day, remember that being an incredible-looking bride has nothing to do with size. It’s all about finding what works best for you and then…working it!

Plus-size Brides: 5 Tips To Looking And Feeling Your Best On Your Big Day |.

Strapless wedding gowns: They’re unflattering. Why are they so popular? Section: DoubleX

Two months after getting engaged, I started the process that is supposed to thrill every bride-to-be: the hunt for a wedding dress. I scoped out some modestly priced New York boutiques and a few places that offer discounts on sample dresses, knowing that I didn’t want the full Kleinfeld experience—an elaborate and expensive process, often involving crying and clouds of tulle, that is meticulously documented on the TLC reality show Say Yes to the Dress. I just wasn’t willing to spend thousands of dollars on a gown I’d wear once.

For my first appointment, I brought along a wise and fashion-savvy friend and began digging through the shockingly heavy bags on hangers containing beaded, fluffy frocks. For fun, I tried on a peach Vera Wang strapless number with a billowing skirt. I felt like a double-wide cupcake. Spying my lack of cleavage in the mirror cemented one certainty for me: I didn’t want a strapless gown.

This decision turned out to be a problem. Strapless wedding gowns are by far the most common style. Kate Berry, the style director for Martha Stewart Weddings, estimates that while alternative necklines are starting to become more popular, about 75 percent of wedding dresses are strapless. Kim Forrest, the editor of WeddingWire, an online marketplace for engaged couples, says strapless “is the standard for wedding dresses and that won’t change anytime soon.”

All of which left me in a bind. Spurning strapless styles eliminated most of the looks in that first store. The only dress I liked was a simple floor length gown with a V-neck and a touch of lace. It turned out it was a white bridesmaid’s dress.

Wedding Dress

Why didn’t I want a strapless wedding gown? The truth is, I’ve always avoided strapless styles. I’m 5-foot-7 and a size 6. I normally don’t have much trouble finding clothes that fit well, but strapless dresses don’t do me any favors. They accentuate my broad shoulders. They make me look flat-chested. They make my arms look bloblike and undefined. Plus, they are uncomfortable. “Wearing a strapless dress” might be more accurately described as “worrying that your strapless dress is about to fall off.” Not a recipe for bridal peace of mind. Why would I get married in a style that hasn’t ever worked for me? And why are strapless wedding gowns so popular anyway?

Dan Rentillo, design director for David’s Bridal, has a hypothesis about why strapless gowns are so dominant. Because ball gowns and big, long skirts are so popular, women prefer to show more skin on top as not to seem too covered up, which can make them look conservative and older. Even women who don’t wear strapless dresses in civilian life often feel drawn to them for their weddings. “A lot of women want to feel like a princess,” Rentillo says, “and this is their chance to wow everyone.”

But it may not be just the preferences of brides that are driving the strapless trend. Rentillo admits that strapless gowns also much easier for wedding-dress designers to construct. “Adding different necklines and sleeves lead to more design challenges. It’s easy for [fashion designers] to design strapless gowns all day long.” Kate Berry concurs that strapless dresses are easier to make, and that sleeves can present more alteration challenges. Call me high maintenance, but if I’m going to spend more on a wedding dress than I ever have on an outfit before, I don’t mind making a designer work a little harder to put together a flattering neckline.

More diversity in wedding dress styles wouldn’t just help sleeve-loving shoppers like me. At the risk of alienating virtually every married woman I know, I maintain that pulling off a strapless dress is no easy feat. Other common problems that the strapless dress presents? Visible tan lines. Spillover cleavage. Pouches of skin that bunch around the armpits. Stick-figure arms. Uniboobs. Generalized sagginess. And having a good figure alone doesn’t guarantee you’ll look great in a strapless style. One colleague, already thin and in shape when she got engaged, detailed the extensive workout regime she underwent to ensure her arms were strapless-ready. While I have known gorgeous brides who’ve pulled off their bare shoulders with flair, why does the bridal industry expect women to fawn at the chance to wear the one style of neckline that is far from universally flattering?

Given all the hoopla a woman hears about how her wedding is supposed to be her special day, a bold expression of her beautiful uniqueness, it’s ironic that by and large the fashion choices presented by the industry are so, well, uniform.

So what did I do about my own dress? Due to the lack of appealing nonstrapless options from traditional bridal lines within my price range, the wedding industry lost my business entirely. I decided to get an eccentric dressmaker in SoHo who specializes in cocktail and eveningwear to make me a dress in cream. It’s more affordable than many wedding dresses I looked at, and it has an appealing, round neckline—with cute, flattering little sleeves.

Strapless wedding gowns: They’re unflattering. Why are they so popular? Section: DoubleX.

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