Let’s address the seamstress

Dress-fitting

You have found it…. The most amazing dress that makes you feel like the only woman strutting around on the planet. It’s just the way you pictured it and it fits perfectly… you hardly need to adjust it, plus the sales assistant is a dream come true and is an expert on everything bridal….. LIES!!!! ALL LIES!!! However, there is no reason to panic… just have a clear mind.

When it comes to choosing your gown, it’s likely that you will face some frustrating, stressful and even nail-bitingly scary moments. If you’re limited to shopping on weekends, you’ll face packed out stores and come face to face with other sweaty, red face brides to be who are trying on 15 different styles in one day. Don’t panic, you will look perfect on your wedding day and the dress will be the perfect one for you, but there are a few things to keep in mind when shopping, purchasing and especially alerting your wedding gown.

Choosing your gown

Many people will tell you to keep an open mind and try different styles of dresses and that’s great, you must keep an open mind towards everything that has to do with your wedding. Don’t however, let the sales assistant force you into the latest trend or something that you really don’t like; you’ve been trying on dresses your entire life and you’ve probably figured out which styles suit your body shape. Use that knowledge and try to stick to what you know would be most flattering. That doesn’t mean that you need to stick to the same style as all your dresses in your closet, but you know what feels good; trust your gut and your style. If you feel like you’ve walked into a store will pushy sales people, leave. There are hundreds of retailers to choose from.

Beware of empty promises

Just because she sells dresses, does not make her an expert. This is a big lesson…. The lady at the store is most likely not a dress maker or a seamstress but will have a good idea of how to guide you in terms of selecting the style of dress you’ve told her you like. These people are salespeople, and in many cases may tell you what you want to hear; be careful not to be too trusting when she tells you that the dress you order can be tailored to fit exactly how you want it to. Many brides have been disappointed to find that certain alterations won’t be made to the dress when they go in for their first fitting (note that we said “won’t”, not “cant”).

If this happens, don’t stress, there is always a solution. The thing is, bridal stores will have contracts with seamstresses to make minor alterations for their customers. They are however expected to stay loyal to the designer and are less likely to make alterations to your dress based on your body shape and your style. It’s extremely important to remember that this is not your only option. If you would like some small changes made to your dress that sit outside the design of the dress itself and you don’t feel like you’re being listened to, DO NOT let her touch your dress, take your dress to another professional to make the alterations for you. We guarantee that whatever you need done to your dress can be done and an independent dress maker will ensure that the dress fits you and look great on you.

Stretch it out

If you can, try to have your final fitting as close as possible to your big day. It completely makes sense to have the dress sorted and in your wardrobe well in advance, however many brides do lose a couple of kilos in the last weeks leading up to the wedding due to all the anticipation, so if your seamstress can manage it, try to have your gown ready one week before, just to make sure that it fits like a glove on the day.

The truth is, you will face some bumps along the way when planning your wedding but stay level headed and remember that there is a solution for everything! If you’ve decided to get your dress made from scratch, make sure you research the designer and check all reviews on their work. Ask to see a portfolio if they have one and also ask them how they work with different body types. These people are professionals and are very creative so make sure your discussion with them is as detailed as possible.

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Good luck and happy planning

Purple Orchid Brides

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How to nail the role of “Maid of Honour”

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So what’s involved when you’ve been hired to run the show?

Congratulations! You have been asked to be a Maid of Honour and you have an exciting time ahead of you; the bride has chosen you as the most trusted and capable person in her life to take on the role of her second in command. You’re going to have a lot of fun helping plan the wedding and support the bride with the upcoming nuptials but you might not know where to start or where your responsibilities lie.

To help you out, we’ve listed what the Maid of Honour is traditionally responsible for leading up to the wedding, during the wedding and even after the wedding. It might be helpful to sit down with your bride and discuss what she would like to you be involved in, being armed with the below information will give her confidence in you as well as cement her decision that you were are the right woman for the job!

Pre Wedding:

The MOH generally lends a helping hand and ear to the bride. As the wedding day approaches, emotions will run high so you might need to take the bride’s hand and remind her that you and the other bridesmaids are there for her and that everything will be ok… breathe and sip on some wine if it helps.

You’ll need to accompany the bride when dress shopping and fittings; most bridal shops require an advanced booking so offer your help to contact bridal stores that the bride is interested in visiting to make some bookings. This also applies to any vendors or suppliers the bride needs to contact, offer a helping hand and she’ll tell you what needs done; don’t forget to delegate to the other bridesmaids to help you out.

Lead the bridal party. As MOH, you will be the main conduit between the bride and the bridesmaids. First off, it’s a good idea to organise a coffee, lunch or dinner date with the bridal party in the early stages to meet and exchange contact details if you don’t already know them. This is also a good time for the bride to explain what everyone’s role will be i.e. the MOH will be the main contact and give guidance on what needs to be done.

Ask the bride to provide you with a list of all the vendors and suppliers she has booked with, this way if anything goes wrong or needs to be addressed, you can help take care of it for her. Also, get the details of any registries and be the point person, in case guests have any questions, you can direct them.

Host or co-host the bridal shower / kitchen tea. Generally the bridal shower / kitchen tea is hosted by the MOH, you and the bridesmaids should run the show here and let the bride enjoy herself unless she wants to be involved.

Plan the Hens party. Get the bridesmaids involved in planning the day / night and take into consideration the older generations in the bride and groom’s families. Just because they’re older and may not want to party, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve an invitation; allow them to decline rather than assume they won’t want to come. Many people also opt for a low key brunch or high tea in addition to the hens night to accommodate for mothers, aunts, grandmothers and even under age family members so that everyone gets to enjoy a celebration with the bride.

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The Big Day

Get prepared and dressed with the bride, bridesmaids and the bride’s mother. Enjoy the morning before the day gets crazy and keep the bride calm and relaxed. To help with this, make sure you are well versed in the day’s schedule from ceremony, photos and reception to help the day run smoothly. It’s also a great idea to prepare an emergency kit containing everything that could help resolve any kind of wardrobe malfunction and don’t forget to have all vendor’s contact information near by!

During the ceremony, attend to the bride’s train and veil when she arrives at the alter making sure that it looks perfect for the photos. Hold her bouquet whilst she exchanges her vows and sign the register as her witness.

At the reception, help bustle the bride’s train and veil before dancing, this includes going to bathroom too! These days many MOH’s also give a speech or a toast after the Best Man; it is up to you and the bride as to whether you would like to, it could be a nice touch. Make sure the bride eats and drinks, she will be famished and pulled in every direction so you may need to force feed her while she makes her way around the room…. joking of course! Lastly, help out with any last minute details at the end of the night, this includes making sure that the gifts are transported safely.

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Post Wedding

Your job is almost done but before you breathe a sigh of relief and put your feet up, you could help out with returning any attire that was hired and needs to be returned, ensure that the gifts have arrived at their destination safely and finally, remind the newlyweds to send out their thank you notes.

This may sound exhausting and quite a big responsibility but we truly believe that the more organised you are, the better and more seamless your job will be. If the bride to be isn’t very good at making decisions or delegating tasks, help her; that’s what you’re there to do. We can’t stress enough how important it is to communicate and coordinate the bridal party so that everybody knows what’s happening and what needs to be done; this will remove any “she said, she said” from the equation and help all of you have a lovely and happy time leading up to the wedding and especially on the day.

Good luck and happy planning!

Purple Orchid Brides

You’re engaged! Now what?

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Congratulations! You are about to embark on an amazing journey; planning your wedding day is going to be amazing.

Preparing for your future with your one and only is an incredible time of your life and planning your special day will be exciting but also a little overwhelming. For most of us, we only plan on getting married once so we’re all rookies at planning the most important day of our lives. Brace yourself for A LOT of opinions from the “experts”; some advice will be really helpful, others, not so much but it’s up to you to make sure what you take on board and don’t. The number one thing you need to remember is that it is your day…. So plan it how you want it.

I’m in the middle of planning my own wedding and I’ve found that by setting up a clear game plan from the very start, I’ve been able to have a really organised and stress-free lead up to my big day … so far…

To help my fellow bride’s to be, I’ve decided to start a blog about what I’ve found has worked in my favour and what I’ve found challenging. I plan to guide and assist in every way possible so that you can all have an amazing wedding day for everyone involved. At the end of the day you want your guests to say how wonderful it was, and not thank the heavens that it’s over!

To start you off, here are my top 3 tips to commence the planning process, ready, set, Go!!

1. Crunch your numbers: And I don’t mean budget, not yet. Many blogs will tell you that you’ll need to set your budget first but until you know a rough size of the guest list and size of your bridal party, you won’t be able to effectively plan your budget. I would also recommend discussing the guest list with your parents and in-laws to be; many of us face the burden of having to invite distant cousins and relatives because our parents say we need to. This is where you may need to have the discussion about whether your parents pay for their guests; having these discussions early will help you plan your budget and make decisions on other areas of the wedding. Another thing to consider is whether you will be inviting children or not; this will help you plan your reception budget as well.

Agree on your bridal party. These days many are opting for smaller bridal parties but if you come from a large family and each have a handful of nieces and nephews, you will need to agree with your fiancé as to who will be asked to be involved in your big day. Remember, you can have people involved in other ways like reading at the ceremony or helping set up.

Decide on the time of year you’ll have your special day; deciding on a date will also help with the budget as you will know how long you have to pay everything off. Winter weddings are generally cheaper with many reception houses offering winter packages whereas Spring is “wedding season” so you’ll be expected to see prices go up around this time of year. It might also be worth discussing with your fiancé whether you want to have your wedding locally or have a destination wedding. You would need to consider travelling and accommodation costs as part of your budget; on the flip-side though, you could be saving on the number of guests attending if you choose to have your wedding out of town as some people may need to decline their attendance… food for thought.

 2. Plan your budget: Once you’ve agreed on the approx. number of guests and the total number in your bridal party, sit down with your partner and start crunching numbers being as detailed as possible. You know how many guests you’re expecting so this will allow you to think about how much the reception will cost.

Once you’ve agreed on a budget, add $5,000 to $10,000 to it… seriously.

3. Pick a theme: This part is my (and most bride’s) favourite part and where Pinterest will be your best friend. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, I suggest creating one and start searching for inspiration. If you want to keep your inspiration private, don’t worry, you can make your boards private as to not give away your plans for the big day.

It’s also best to pick and theme and stick to it as much as possible; indecision will turn you into Bridezilla!

You now have your approximate guest list, your bridal party, your budget and the time of year for your wedding. Having a clear outline of what you’re able to work with will help you make firmer decisions on reception locations, your suppliers and allow you to isolate those businesses that cater for your needs.

I hope that these tips help you get started on your wedding plans and helps you feel like you have some control. In my next post, I’ll share how I chose to allocate my budget and where I think it’s important to splurge vs. tighten the grip.

Good luck and happy planning!

Purple Orchid Brides