13 Tips for Stress Free Wedding Gown Shopping

Wedding Gown Shopping

Tips for stress free wedding gown shopping:

  1. Create a budget.   Most brides will spend about 10% of their wedding budget for their dress.
  2. Start shopping early.  It takes anywhere from six to twelve months from the time you place the order to when you bring your wedding gown home.  Bridal designers need four or five months to make it, and then you need to schedule fittings.
  3. Know what kind of dress you want. Love satin, hate lace…let your stylist know what you love and what you hate.
  4. What kind of wedding are you having? Destination wedding, outdoors, grand ballroom, barn/country….this decision will play some kind of role in selecting the right dress for the mood of your wedding.
  5. Most bridal shops prefer appointments, but most are happy to work with walk-ins too. Saturdays can be crazy busy, so why not try a weekday appointment for a more private and relaxing experience.
  6. Bring one or two people whose opinion means the most to you. The reality bridal shows show brides bringing a huge group of family and friends – and that just add drama and indecision to the process.
  7. Get ready for your appointment and bring items you want to wear down the aisle. Wear a strapless nude bra and a seamless thong or brief.
  8. Some dresses look better on you than on the rack. Let the stylist help choose a style which will flatter your body.  Keep an open mind.  Try different silhouettes to see which one makes you feel stunning.
  9. Forget about “sizes” in the wedding gown industry. Every designer’s size charts are different.  Taking in a gown is easy; letting it out is difficult.
  10. For most shops, a 50% deposit is required when you order.
  11. Don’t be afraid to say “yes” to the dress on your first attempt. When you know, you just know.  If you feel exceptional in that dress, it’s your dress.
  12. Move around – sit – dance a bit. You want to be comfortable.
  13. Gowns are made to order, so minor details can be customized or switched. You can add a belt to add some sizzle, or add some colored tulle underneath to add contrast.  Straps can be added or you might want to order a small jacket or fur for those cooler months.

 

 

Some things to consider before you say “I Do”

 

Before you get married……

 

If you want to live together “happily ever after” there are a few things you should know about each other before you tie the knot.

First – Know Who You Are

Know who you are and what you want from life before getting married.  If you want to focus on a career, have kids, travel a lot….be sure to talk about these things prior to getting married.  You don’t have to agree on everything.  You just need to understand what each of you want and expect in a marriage.

Second – Know that you can’t change him (her)

The truth is what you see is what you get.  People will change, but only if THEY want to.

What’s his financial status?

Sharing space has its own challenges.  Sharing expenses can lead to hurt feelings and bad relationships.   Be sure to discuss together how you plan to handle finances together.   This is where total honesty is important.  Don’t hide your credit problems from each other.  Additionally you will want to have a clear picture of what each person desires – a nice home, a new car, etc.  Are you a saver?  Does he spend like crazy?  Be sure to acknowledge your partner’s goals and bad habits when it comes to making and spending money.

Knowing your partner’s priorities can help eliminate squabbles after you are married and lead to a long term, loving, and caring for each other relationship.  Having someone to cuddle up and knowing there’s someone who loves you no matter what is what marriage is all about.

Third –

A good marriage must be created.

In marriage the “little” things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say, ”I love you” at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person — it is being the right partner

 

Photo Album or Photo Book

Weddings are a milestone in life and there’s no better way to keep those memories of that special day that a quality Photo Album or Photo Book.  So, what’s the difference between a Photo Album and a Photo Book you ask?   Here’s the difference.

One of the most obvious differences between Albums and Books is the paper type.  Photo Album photos are printed on photo paper and is protected by a UV coating.  It is then reinforced by a premium substrate that makes the pages rigid, thus insuring that the finished product has long-term durability.   Some companies offer both “thin” and “thick” width substrates.  Depending on the width of each individual page, about 50 to 100 pages are usually the maximum number of pages available.

Photo Books are printed directly onto press paper.  Some companies use a coated paper or others use a variety of specialty papers.   Since Photo Book pages do not include a substrate more pages can fit into a Photo Book than an Album.  You can generally include anywhere from 50 to 200 pages in a single classic style book.

Finally, the price point is another difference.  Photo Books are generally less expensive.

Regardless of which option you choose, the most important decision is getting those memories off the CD and making sure that those memories are preserved for a lifetime.  Technology changes rapidly and you might find yourself without those images in a few years.

Bridal Show Tips

 

 

Many brides tell me that they are thoroughly overwhelmed the first time they attend a bridal show, so I thought it might be good to lay out a few guidelines to help you make the most of your time.

Here are tips to get the maximum benefit from any show:

  • Before you go to any show, print several sheets of adhesive address labels with your name, contact information, AND wedding date.  If you have not yet set a wedding date, add something like Spring 2018.  Quickly peel off a label and stick it on an inquiry sheet at any booth that you would like to receive additional information.
  • Bring your checkbook – you just might want to book or hold a date.  High demand dates go quickly.  September and October dates book quickly here in our area.  It’s prime wedding season, and many vendors like venues and photographers book a year out!
  • Bring family and friends you trust, and whose opinion matter.  But be careful of the size of your group because too many opinions, and you could be overwhelmed with indecision.
  • Invite your groom, but take him only if he wants to have a voice in this part of the wedding planning.  If this is not his thing, don’t torture him!  (Note:  At our April 23rd, 2017 My Dream Wedding Show in April he can tour all the OLD VINTAGE CARS at the Gateway Classic Event Space, while you plan your wedding.  Plus, we are offering a FREE, complimentary photo of you and your groom with a vintage car.) 
  • Know what you are looking for and what’s your budget.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
  • Be ready with phrases such as, “I’ll think about that.”  And always give yourself a set amount of time and make a decision.  One of the biggest causes of stress in wedding planning is not making decisions on a timely basis…and then things start to really back up and you’ll find yourself in a spin trying to finalize decisions.

Whether your wedding is a few months away or an entire year, a bridal show will help you pull everything together.

 

TIPS about PHOTOGRAPHY for Your Wedding Day (Part 2 of 2)

 

 

 

Great Wedding Dress Photos

A couple tips to for better wedding dress photos before you put it on. – Bring a nice hanger. A nice wooden hanger is a lot better than those cheap plastic ones. It doesn’t need to be one of the fancy ones with your name written in wire.  Be sure there’s a place to hang it that’s clutter free. I often take the dress out of the dressing area for a better background, but sometimes there just isn’t a good place to hang it. Take all the cardboard and stuffing out.  Be sure there’s someone to help the photographer. It’s hard enough moving the dress around without a ton of camera gear to deal with too. A helper can open doors, keep the train off the floor, or make sure the groom doesn’t get an accidental peek if he’s getting ready in the same general area.

Do I have to do a first look?

Absolutely not! First looks are done when the bride and groom choose to see each other and do run-around photos before the ceremony; usually when the ceremony is late in the day. A first look offers an opportunity for the groom to have a great reaction the first time he sees the love of his life in her wedding finest. It makes for great photos and gives you both a little time together. However, it is by no means a requirement. How long does a first look take? Schedule about 15 minutes for a first look. It typically takes a few minutes to get everyone in place. Once you see each other, spend a little time together. Don’t rush. I have only two “rules” for couples during their first look. Rule one: whichever side the photographer is standing is the side the groom should turn to see his bride-to-be. That way you get photos of his expression, not the back of his head. Rule two: DON’T play to the camera. Just make the moment real, genuine, and amazing. What about Pinterest? Getting ready photos These are some of my favorite photos of the day. The air is charged with excitement and there’s so much happening it’s the perfect setting for real memories.

 

DON’T play to the camera.  

Don’t put your dress on before the photographer arrives. DON’T split up photographers If you have two photographers for your wedding day, do NOT split them up (one with the guys, one with the ladies, for instance). Unless your photographers produce photos that are generic and vanilla you’re going to get two very different looks from each. It makes for terrible story telling. Seriously, why would you want to pick photographers that produce bland look-alike photos anyway?

Where to get ready.

To get ready together, yet apart If your venue doesn’t have a place to get ready,find a nearby hotel.  Your photographer can go back and forth between groups yet there’s almost no risk of seeing each other. No, you DON’T want to split up photographers and have one stay with the ladies while the other stays with the guys. All photographers have a unique look and style (or should, at least) and splitting them up like that creates a disjointed story when looking at the combined photos. It’s better to have one photographer run back and forth. Make your photographer sweat a little!

What is the point of wedding photography?

Is it to preserve memories, to feel like a star for the day, or just because someone told you you need a photographer? The answer is different for different couples. Make an honest assessment of your desires before selecting a photographer, otherwise your photos might not match your expectations. The best candid photos in the world won’t satisfy if you’re looking for “fashion shoot” photography. If you feel the main point of wedding photography is to preserve real memories, pick a photographer that captures candid moments that tell a story or convey emotion. Posed photos or smile-for-the-camera images aren’t real memories.

Tips about PHOTOGRAPHY for Your Wedding Day (Part 1 of 2)

 

 

 

How much time do you need for photography on the wedding day?

A good rule of thumb is to plan about 30 minutes for family formals at the church or ceremony location and between 1.5 and 2.5 hours for creative (out-and-about) photos. Seriously, after a couple hours it gets very tiring, so don’t try to do photos for four or five hours. Also, keep the family formals short by focusing on only the most important groupings rather than every possible combination you can think of.

How many places should I stop at for wedding day photos?

I’m a firm believer that less is more. Pick one or two really good spots rather than a bunch all over town. Travel time eats up your day like you wouldn’t believe. For Wedding day runaround photos apply the 50/50 rule: Remember it’s YOUR day after all. Some couples are so obsessed with getting photos of the entire wedding party they forget to get any of just the two of them. Those romantic, just the-two-of-you moments are special. No less than 50% of your runaround photos should be of just the two of you, and bonus points if it’s closer to 75%. Yes, get some great shots with the entire wedding party, but then give them a break and have some one-on-one time. Wedding day runaround photos – keep it casual DON’T over pose with the runaround photos. We all want those dynamic photos, yes, but your photography should capture who you are. Your relationship. Your personality. Your unique facial expressions and body language when you’re together. You can’t tell the story of who you really are through generic glamor poses. There will always be an element of staging, but it should balance well with natural expression. It’s a hard balance to get right.

How many family formals should I do?

Everyone will thank you and you’ll have a better time on your wedding day if you keep family formal photos short. 30 minutes is the goal to shoot for! That means you’re going to need to focus on the MOST IMPORTANT groups and accept that you’re probably not going to get every possible combination of groupings. I always have the “big four” in mind (bride alone, groom alone, B+G together, and entire wedding party). After that, six to ten groups should be all you should try to do. Larger groups take longer to set up, so if you have several big groups keep the total number of shots small.

Tips to keep formal photos short.

Keep the list small. Have a helper who can organize the next group while the photographer is working with the current one.  Don’t think up shots on the spot.  Don’t try to get separate photos with each bridesmaid and groomsman.  It’s faster and less stress as a group.  Make sure no one getting their photo taken disappears into the bathroom.!  Don’t let anyone take over.  Mom, Grandma, or Uncle Joe always have ideas for photos they think are great. Don’t let them hijack your limited time. – Don’t let guests snap photos. It’s not about limiting anyone, it’s about time management. These “Oh, just one” snaps build up and can literally double the time it would otherwise take.   No talking when in front of the camera! Again, time management. Waiting for people to finish a conversation adds to the total time significantly.

This is the first part of a 2-part post.  Check back tomorrow for the 2nd part.

Guest Blogger – Patrick Pope Photography (www.PatrickPopePhotography.com)