wedding planning

Selecting the Right Honeymoon Destination
When you're planning your wedding, you're likely not giving the honeymoon much thought. A little research can point you toward the best destination.

When you’re planning your wedding, you’re likely not giving the honeymoon much thought. A little research can point you toward the best destination.

Getting married is an exciting and unpredictable ride. While marriage itself is said to be a wonderful journey, it pales in comparison to the freedom and relaxation offered by the honeymoon. When you’re dedicating most of your free time to planning for your nuptials, you may not be giving the idea of your honeymoon destination the energy required to make it perfect. There are a ton of considerations, from flight prices to booking activities during the trip. Luckily, there are some simple ways to assemble a fantastic post-wedding vacation. The first step? Selecting the destination.

To help you select the right place for your honeymoon, take a look at some of these inexpensive options other couples are raving about. A little research will help point you in the right direction for your excursion.

Relaxation Is a Beach Away

Some destinations are commonplace when it comes to vacationing. You’re likely to hear all about couples who decided to rush off to the Bahamas for some beach fun or to the Mediterranean for a cruise around ancient harbors. While these can be amazing trips, you also might want something a bit more unique and a lot less expensive. The more popular the destination, the higher the costs associated with the trip. Instead of rushing into the crowds, you may want to take a less-popular path for your destination.

The city of Cartagena in Colombia may be the right speed for you. A coastal city of the Caribbean, there is an antiquated charm that can be found along the cobblestone streets and endless restaurant options. Though the idyllic scenery and friendly residents tend to attract vacationers each year, the crowds are far smaller than those you would discover in places like Paris, New York, or Milan. Cartagena offers gorgeous beaches, endless activities, and an array of authentic Colombian restaurants that will make your mouth water the moment you step foot in the city.

The European Destination

Europe is an incredibly popular continent for couples looking to explore while on their honeymoons. Still, as mentioned already, a number of these destinations will be crowded with other couples, tourists, and locals. However, Europe is a gigantic place, and you don’t need to follow the tried-and-true path to have a honeymoon that enriches your life. Forget all about London, Barcelona, and Venice, cities that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. Instead, you may want to set your sights on the crystal-clear waters and unmistakable charm of Croatia.

While less crowded than some spots, Croatia is a country that sees a ton of tourism each year. To avoid the masses, you may want to aim for a destination that is a bit less popular. Rovinj, for example, is a city that seems like it was plucked right out of time. The city itself has a rustic quality, with the architecture invoking a world that was lost long ago. Plus, the views of the Mediterranean help to make Rovinj a city that exudes romance. This is only one Croatian city worth considering, so take time to do your homework.

Slightly Removed From the Crowds

Finally, don’t feel like you have to avoid popular locations should you really want to travel there. You can easily make a trip to a place like Florida work if you forego the popular spots and find a location that offers you a mix of seclusion and excitement. The same is true of Mexico or anywhere else you might want to explore. Popular doesn’t mean bad, it just means you’re in for a higher price tag and more crowded streets.

Finding the perfect destination for your honeymoon is all about considering your options. Take a look at what’s out there and see what destination is most appealing to you, your partner, and your budget.


Style and Substance: Your Practical Guide to Wedding Footwear
Finding stylish yet practical footwear for your nuptials does not have to be an impossible task if you keep in mind these suggestions.

Finding stylish yet practical footwear for your nuptials does not have to be an impossible task if you keep in mind these suggestions.

Most individuals try to balance comfort, safety, and style when it comes to their work or casual attire. While your wedding may call for more upscale fashion, there’s no need to endure discomfort or pain. Yet many people end up doing that very thing, especially when it comes to their shoes. Without ample information or alternative suggestions, it’s easy to fall prey to traditions or habits. You can avoid this trap with tips for finding chic and practical footwear.

High Heeled Horrors and Obnoxious Oxfords

Podcaster Roman Mars revealed in a June 2014 Slate article that high heels were first worn by men. Their primary purpose was to help feet stay inside stirrups while riding horses. The fashion caught on with both genders until around the 18th century. It returned with popular pinup photos during World War II, then crossed over to the mainstream with much higher heights and thinner heel blocks. With these new iterations, style took priority over substance. Even so, StyleCraze points out the hazards of excessively high heeled shoes:

  • Lower back pain
  • Ankle sprains
  • Foot and knee pain
  • Sore calves
  • Blisters and lacerations
  • Restricted blood flow
  • Hyperextended toes

WebMD points out other long-term risks such as bunions, heel spurs, hammertoes, corns, and callouses. In the short term, you’re likely more worried about foot pain and possible injuries after several hours on your feet. Besides being caused by heel height, some of these symptoms result from pointy, narrow toe boxes and super-stiff leather. Such traits are also found in dress shoes marketed for men, particularly lace-up Oxfords and loafers. Brides contributor Liz Susong shares her wedding day experience in which both she and her husband suffered pain caused by their shoes.

Essential Footwear Tips

Whether it’s hellacious heels or wicked wingtips, uncomfortable shoes can kill your enjoyment and enthusiasm. Man Repeller’s Harling Ross mentions the huge range of fancy options besides traditional heels and Oxfords that won’t kill your feet. WebMD, Prevention Magazine, and Brides writer Jenn Sinrich provide some suggestions for buying comfortable wedding footwear:

  • Look for pairs with amply sized toe boxes. Rounded toes allow plenty of room, but you can also choose styles that slope to a point beyond your toes’ edges. Open-toed versions are another great option, but make sure the shoe’s vamp doesn’t constrict your feet.
  • Steer clear of stilettoes, kitten heels, or heels higher than 2 inches. Chunkier heel styles such as block or wedges offer more support and stability, preventing ankle injuries and extra strain on the balls of your feet.
  • Choose pairs with enough cushioning and arch support to absorb shock and minimize impacts on your feet.
  • Consider adjustable styles. Those that buckle or lace up can accommodate any mild swelling of your feet throughout the day.
  • Opt for softer materials. Stiff leather can constrict your feet and cause discomfort.
  • If possible, have your feet measured and shop for footwear in the afternoon or evening.

Of course, all this assumes that you’ve already found your wedding attire. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast also offers some last-minute pointers. First, be sure to break them in before your wedding day. Second, avoid thin or spiked heels if you’re marrying outdoors. Finally, bring backup footwear with you to the venue. Regardless of whether you bought sensible shoes for the ceremony, your feet will thank you for changing into a comfortable pair before you hit the dance floor.

Shed Tears of Joy, Not of Pain

Your wedding will mark a significant milestone in your lifetime. Why sacrifice comfort for style when you can enjoy both in your footwear? Choose shoes that fit properly, provide plenty of comfort, and support your feet throughout the entire day. You deserve to be happy, and so do your feet.

Hot Wedding Trends To Consider for Your Big Day
While you may already have some ideas for a wedding theme, take time to research the latest trends to ensure you are knowledgeable about all your options.

While you may already have some ideas for a wedding theme, take time to research the latest trends to ensure you are knowledgeable about all your options.

Each year, an estimated five million weddings take place around the world. The sheer volume of people marrying has turned the wedding industry into a unique beast. Due to how many people are planning their upcoming weddings at any given moment, there are countless designers, vendors, and experts who offer insight on the latest and most interesting trends of the industry. From fashion to food, decor to delayed honeymoons, there are all kinds of trends and fads appearing that may prove intriguing to you and your significant other as you march closer to your wedding date.

If you’re planning for your big day, then you might be curious to learn about some of the hottest trends in the industry right now. Look over these ideas and see whether these fads are a good fit for your needs.

Pick a Theme

One of the biggest trends that has been growing in popularity in recent years is the idea of a themed wedding. While the concept itself is not new, with couples tying the knot amidst all sorts of themes over the decades, more people are infusing their big days with highly personal themes. If you and your significant other have a passion about a certain bit of pop culture, then a themed reception is an ideal way to showcase both your love for each other and your dedication to a specific hobby.

From decorating a venue to mimic the appearance of Hogwarts to handing out lightsabers to guests as they enter the reception hall, there are countless ways for you and your partner to add a big personal touch to your wedding. Couples these days are exploring all kinds of fun options for boosting the visual appeal of their events. Even “Game of Thrones,” a show that is notorious for weddings devolving into bloodbaths, is one of the top themes you can expect at a wedding. Get creative, and you may be able to play with your theme in fulfilling ways.

Consider a Lighting Budget

When you’re planning for a wedding, you need to take many angles into consideration. Above all else, you need to have enough available funds to accomplish all you’re setting out to do. This won’t always be possible, of course, as wedding-related expenses tend to run pretty high. If you want to deliver an event that is beautiful in appearance without breaking the bank, you may be interested in the trend of focusing heavily on the lighting. The right lighting can make even a sparsely decorated hall look absolutely phenomenal.

Lighting can take many forms. You can go for the soft, romantic approach of using low lights in the reception hall. This can be easily accomplished by using string lights, candles, tea lights in mason jars, or whatever else helps to capture the look you envision. There are also many additional tactics that can be explored with lighting if you want to really change the atmosphere. Following this trend can be a great way to boost the visuals during your event, but take time to budget appropriately for the costs so you don’t run low on funds.

Experience a Quiet Moment

Finally, a very popular trend popping up in weddings all over the world is the idea of the “silent vow.” Instead of reading your vows aloud to your guests during the ceremony, you and your significant other can exchange them in a more private manner. There are many ways to plan this out, but take into consideration the fact that your family and friends may want to hear the vows and get lost in the sentimental nature of the moment.

Each year brings about new trends that couples adopt for their weddings. Learn what’s popular, see if it works for you, and plan your big day in the way that works best for you and your partner.


Gifting Your Guests: Wedding Favors, Welcome Bags, and More
Wedding favors continue to be a popular way of saying thank you to wedding guests and bestowing them with a keepsake from the ceremony.

Wedding favors continue to be a popular way of saying thank you to wedding guests and bestowing them with a keepsake from the ceremony.

When you’re hosting a wedding, one of your goals is creating an enjoyable and meaningful experience. If you’re like many nearlyweds, you want to convey your appreciation for your guests’ willingness to celebrate with you. Many couples give wedding favors as unique mementos, but welcome bags have also gained popularity. If you’re not sure how to thank your invitees, read on for some guidance and ideas.

An Introduction to Wedding Favors

SBS TV’s Sarah Ward explains that wedding favors may have originated in Europe. Aristocrat families would give their party guests bombonieres, or lavish gift boxes filled with sugary treats. Eventually, the tradition became commonplace and the gift boxes were filled with sugared Jordan almonds.

Are wedding favors absolutely necessary for your event? It depends on who you ask. Wedding Wire Canada’s Alice Prendergast insists that you shouldn’t cut favors from your budget. Meanwhile, The Spruce’s Jessica Bishop argues that you should only include them if you have the time and budget along with ideas for a meaningful parting gift.

In Prendergast’s guide to wedding favors, she advises selecting inexpensive items and keeping total expenses to between 2% and 3% of your event budget. Couples should also let their wedding themes dictate the favors they choose. Children and adults can receive the same types of favors unless you plan on giving out alcoholic food or drinks.

How Favors Have Gotten an Upgrade

Traditional wedding favors include Jordan almonds or physical keepsakes such as bottle openers, wine or shot glasses, or coasters. Yet couples are now rethinking the concept, opting for items that aren’t just trinkets that take up space. Food is always a popular choice, especially since guests can snack on these delicious goodies while traveling back home. WeddingbellsBaily Spagat showcases bite-sized edibles like chocolate candies, petit fours, and cake pops. For those seeking different choices, The Knot presents examples such as mugs filled with coffee beans, mini maple syrup bottles, and even warm cinnamon donuts passed out at the end of the reception.

In another piece for The Knot, Libby McCarthy stresses the importance of giving practical gifts. Avoid monogramming these items, since this will limit your attendees’ options for using them. Keep in mind that it’s perfectly fine to use monogrammed wrap or packaging. Candles, luggage tags, photo frames, and potted plants are excellent examples of non-edible items you can send home with your guests.

Welcome Bags and Other Alternatives

Some couples offer welcome bags instead of favors or provide both items to their guests. Brides writer Jenna Milliner-Waddell lists several essential staples to include in your welcome bags:

  • Water bottles
  • Sweet snacks
  • Local maps and information
  • Seasonal items such as hot drinks or sunscreen
  • Your event itinerary

For destination weddings, Alice Prendergast suggests including thematic packaging along with locally sourced snacks and keepsakes. While you’re at it, don’t forget to slip in a sheet of emergency phone numbers. With a little imagination, you can adapt and apply these ideas to welcome bags for a locally hosted wedding.

Of course, you’re not limited to favors or welcome bags. The Knot’s Lauren Kay discusses experiential favors as an emerging trend in 2019. These are bonus events scheduled during your wedding weekend as an extra “thank you” to your friends and family. Kay mentions examples such as short boat cruises, hikes, or special classes, but many group activities can be turned into fun get-togethers.

Little Ways To Express Gratitude

Providing party favors for wedding guests has been a long-standing custom. Yet like any other tradition, people modify it to suit their preferences and values. Welcome bags are another wonderful option to make your friends and family feel appreciated. With a practical focus, these gifts are now more convenient and guest-friendly.

Putting Together Your Wedding After-Party
Many couples opt for an after-party to keep the party going after the reception, and give themselves more time to celebrate in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Many couples opt for an after-party to keep the party going after the reception, and give themselves more time to celebrate in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Though there are many facets to a wedding, most people will agree that it is pretty much one big party. Still, when it is your own wedding, you may feel like you don’t have enough time to really get down and enjoy yourself in the way you’d like. Brides and grooms often get caught up in the flow of the night, rushing around to various guests to say hello and take care of activities like cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet, and listening to speeches. To really enjoy your own wedding, you may want to consider an after-party.

The idea of the after-party is nothing new. The purpose of this type of event is to keep the energy and revelry of the wedding going after guests need to leave the venue. Follow these suggestions and see how you can put together an after-party you will truly love.

Pick the Space

The first and most important decision you’re going to have to make for an after-party is choosing the location. You are going to be somewhat limited in where you can go, but you can use this to your advantage. Guests will most likely have spent the night drinking and dancing, meaning you do not want to select a location that is far away from the reception venue. Instead, try and search for local bars or clubs that might be able to accommodate your group when everyone is ready to shift to the next part of the night.

In many cases, you might be able to work with the hotel where you and your guests will be staying the night of the wedding. Hotel bars can be a wonderful place to throw your after-party because most of the guests will already be planning on heading to the hotel at the end of the night. Throwing your after-event here allows everyone the opportunity to run to their rooms, change into more comfortable clothes, and get back down to the lobby for a bit more carousing before bed.

Create the Scene

Another important aspect of throwing the after-party is making sure that it still feels like a celebration, rather than a bunch of people grabbing drinks at a bar. To achieve this, try and plan ahead with some ideas for décor. Sprucing up the place where you throw your after-party and giving it a bit of pizazz can help to invigorate the space and remind your guests that they are still in “wedding celebration mode.” Of course, you’ll want to keep the décor as simple as possible because you won’t have a lot of time for setting things up.

One surefire solution for décor is to use what you already have purchased for your wedding reception. The centerpieces and decorations lining your venue can come in handy when the time for the after-party arrives. Simply assign a few members of your wedding party the task of gathering certain key pieces of décor from the venue before the night ends. Have these individuals head to the after-party location a little earlier than the other guests to set things up. This can make a big difference when it comes to keeping the excitement going.

Don’t Forget Munchies

Finally, your friends and relatives are probably going to be hungry after a night of revelry. The easiest way to make sure everyone has a snack is by ordering some pizzas and having them arrive at the after-party at the same time as your guests. You can also consider more advanced ideas like hiring a food truck to come to the venue parking lot. As long as guests have something to eat, you can be as simple or creative as you’d like.

Your wedding might speed by you so fast that you don’t have a chance to enjoy yourself. Remedy this by planning an after-party where you can have a great time and keep the party going for your guests all night.


Need Honeymoon Ideas? Consider These Fabulous Locations
There are many awe-inspiring locations to consider when planning your honeymoon, so take a look at these ideas to start the selection process.

There are many awe-inspiring locations to consider when planning your honeymoon, so take a look at these ideas to start the selection process.

Your honeymoon is the opportunity to enjoy your first official excursion with your partner as a married couple. Planning a wedding can require a lot of work. With so many tasks to complete before your big day arrives, you might feel like you aren’t giving your honeymoon destination the proper attention it deserves. There’s a great big world of wondrous locations, and you should dedicate a small chunk of your time to selecting a location that you will absolutely love. Of course, a little bit of help can go a long way with making your decision.

From secluded island paradises to popular tourist traps, there are countless locations to which you can journey for your trip. Consider these locations, and see which choice is the best for your needs.

Traditional European Trips

Some couples are not looking to reinvent the wheel with their honeymoons. If it doesn’t bother you to venture to a destination that plenty of other people visit annually, then feel free to follow your heart. For many couples, the ideal post-wedding trip is Paris, France. This spot has long been associated with romance, and countless people flock to the streets of this historic city to take in the view of the Eiffel Tower, lazily walk along the Seine at dusk, and drink countless cups of coffee and glasses of red wine.

While Paris might be near the top of the list, there are other popular locations worth consideration. Venice, Italy, is a city that is as equally associated with romance. Imagine sitting in a gondola as you drift around the Grand Canal. You can look at the historic locations as they pass by or gaze lovingly into your partner’s eyes and appreciate the fact that you’ve traveled so far for your love. Cities like Paris and Venice are visited so frequently that you are likely to find an exciting discount on an inclusive package.

Island Locations

Outside of European locations, tropical islands are usually the most popular options for couples who have recently gotten married. If you’re looking for a destination that offers sandy shores, crystal-clear waters, and lots of entertainment, then you absolutely should look into the Bahamas for your honeymoon. Destinations like Harbour Island are ideal for couples who are looking to experience total relaxation. Soak up some sun, do a bit of shopping, and indulge in delicious meals beneath the starry skies of this tropical paradise.

While island getaways are popular, some locations prove to be a bit more desirable than others. Bora Bora in French Polynesia is an excellent example of an island that offers all the excitement of a sunny shore without all the crowds that come along with more popular destinations. Bora Bora offers entertainment in the form of exploring the islands, but most people tend to take the trip there to simply kick back and unwind. From the vanilla bean farms scattered about the island to the inspiring view of Mount Otemanu, this is a spot worth your consideration.

Something a Bit Different

You may also want your honeymoon to be different than a typical vacation. For adventurous couples looking to see some truly unique visions, take a trip to Myanmar. This southeast Asian country is rich in history and gorgeous landscapes. Take a tour of some of the temples that dot the landscape, or take a cruise along the Ayeyarwady River and truly experience what it is like to live in a location so steeped in mystery and natural wonder.

When it comes to selecting the perfect destination for your honeymoon, it is important to remember that you’re going to have a lot of options to consider. Take time with your partner to review all your choices, and find a spot that offers everything you’d like during this first adventure as a married couple.

Keep These Hidden Wedding Costs on Your Radar
It is important to keep hidden wedding costs in mind so you are not surprised by the total cost of your wedding, even if you are planning a smaller affair.

It is important to keep hidden wedding costs in mind so you are not surprised by the total cost of your wedding, even if you are planning a smaller affair.

As far as parties go, weddings tend to be some of the most expensive. Even planning for a small event can cost a fortune, especially when you don’t take time to think about all of your expenses. Weddings have lots of hidden costs and fees that couples tend to forget about while planning. Unfortunately, you need a somewhat accurate figure for what everything is going to cost you before you can feel confident in your ability to pay for your wedding. To achieve this goal, you’ll need to do some investigation into common hidden wedding costs to avoid being blindsided by expensive surprises.

Fixing Your Attire

After you’ve said yes to the dress, you might feel like you can check off a vital task from your wedding to-do list. Unfortunately, the journey toward a perfect look doesn’t often end with selecting the right outfit. In many cases, brides and grooms purchase dresses and tuxes long before the big day arrives. While this makes sense, it doesn’t always take into account that weight can fluctuate in a short amount of time. This means you could very well be looking at a situation where you need to have alterations made.

Though dress or tux alterations are quite common, plenty of couples don’t take this service into consideration when budgeting. If you’re still early in the planning process, you might not be sure whether you’ll require alterations of any kind. To keep yourself prepared for additional wedding costs, be sure to set aside a bit of additional cash for this service should you require it. You might also find it useful to budget for other services like cleanings, pressings, and anything else that might arise in regard to your clothing. 

First Time Around

Clothing is one area where you need to budget a little extra, but there are other wedding costs related to your appearance. Hair and makeup can be a big deal for a bride on her wedding day. If you have never used a particular stylist before, you might feel like you need to do a “test run” before your big day arrives. Also known as trials, these preliminary appointments are wildly important to determining whether or not you feel satisfied with the stylist you have chosen.

Failing to book a trial for hair or makeup can easily cause you more harm than good. The last thing you want is to show up to your appointment on the day of your wedding and leave feeling like you look horrible. Avoid this by setting aside additional money in your budget for hair and makeup trials. Inquire with stylists about how much a trial costs. While it doesn’t usually cost the full amount, a trial can still have a hefty price tag. Do your research and shop around to find a price you feel comfortable with.

The Very Important License

Though this can seem obvious to some, there are many people who forget all about their marriage licenses until the last second. Though you can acquire a license whenever you need one, you also need to make sure you have money set aside for the paperwork and any additional fees attached. Look up the specific regulations and fees for your area early on. This way, you will know exactly how much you need to incorporate into your wedding costs to get all of the official documents for your wedding signed, sealed, and delivered.

Hidden fees can be a pain in the neck, but budgeting for surprises can minimize the stress. Start saving early and look into the costs of various services to make sure you’re covering all of your financial bases.


Tips for Surviving Your First Year of Marriage
The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. Thankfully, surviving it with your partner is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips.

The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. Thankfully, surviving it with your partner is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips.

The time leading up to your wedding can be a chaotic period. With so much planning to do, you may not consider what life will be like after you’ve tied the knot. The first year of marriage can be a tricky one. There are a number of adjustments you are going to need to make in order to accommodate your new status as a couple. Thankfully, surviving the first year of marriage is not a complicated endeavor. Consider these tips to gain a little bit of insight on how to make this year an enriching one.

Conflicts Will Happen

It stands to reason that you and your significant other have already gotten into a few fights before deciding to get married. Conflict is a natural part of any relationship. For some reason, however, many couples become a lot more concerned about arguments after getting married. Though it may feel like fighting is going to put you on the path to divorce, this isn’t the case. How you handle the conflicts, however, can and will dictate the future of your relationship. Learn to pick and choose your battles. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary squabbles.


A great way to reduce conflicts and enjoy your first year of marriage is by communicating. More often than not, problems in a relationship develop when two people are no longer on the same page. Unfortunately, it is easy to fall into the wrong habits with your spouse. When you both work long days, you may not feel like discussing relationship topics when you’re together after work. This might force you to push off issues that need attention. By focusing on open communication, you and your significant other will be able to understand where the other is coming from.

Be a Partner

During your first year together, you and your spouse will be learning how to properly support each other. Understanding how to be an actual partner to your significant other is a process of trial and error. Everyone has different needs and emotional requirements when it comes to relationships. The way you prefer to be comforted when you’re upset may be very different than what your spouse requires. The trick is paying attention and understanding the best way to provide support when it is needed from you.

Include Family

Marrying a person means you are marrying his or her entire family. This can often be a point of contention. If either of you has intense family members who cause a lot of drama or are very needy, you can’t take it out on each other. Keep communication open and mention when you feel like a family member is being too much. You also need to be receptive to criticism from your significant other about your own family. Be mindful of the way your relatives behave and the demands they place on your relationship.

Stay Physical

Physical contact is wildly important to keeping a relationship alive and healthy. While you don’t need to have sex every night, it can be good to try and be physical with one another when possible. Endless studies have shown a consistent sex life can keep the fire burning in a relationship. Get into a groove that makes sense for your own schedules during the first year of marriage, and learn how to keep romance alive for years to come.

Practice Patience

Finally, learn how to practice patience. People who are slow to anger are usually a lot easier to deal with. If you fly off the handle at every little thing, it will only cause unneeded stress in your relationship.

Surviving your first year of marriage is no small venture. Get into the right habits by following these tips, and you will be able to discover the best way to keep your love alive.

Rent, Buy, or Thrift? Sourcing Your Wedding Décor
Wedding décor is one aspect of your wedding that you may view as suitable for cost-cutting, and renting or recycing décor can often make sense.

Wedding décor is one aspect of your wedding that you may view as suitable for cost-cutting, and renting or recycing décor can often make sense.

It’s no secret that weddings can cost a lot of money. Global News cited a 2015 poll revealing that Canadian couples spend over $30,000 on average for each event. With costs an ever-present concern, you’ll likely seek out ways to save money. Like some engaged pairs, you may be eyeing wedding décor for your potential cost-cutting operations. How can you make good choices and style a lovely look for your event? Smart shopping and wise advice can help you reach your goals.

The Problem: Pricey Decorations

As Martha Stewart Weddings points out, reception food and venue costs can total more than 50% of your event’s budget. Flowers can add another 8% to those figures, making your nuptial afterparty expense more than the ceremony itself. For an affair with a $30,000 price tag, that works out to $17,400. With that much money on the line, it’s understandable if you’re considering how to pull off beautiful wedding décor on a budget. Your primary options include renting, buying cheap, or finding used items in good condition. Keep in mind that your choices should be based on convenience, feasibility, and how much you’ll spend in terms of both money and labor.

Savvy Purchases To Stretch Your Budget

When discussing eco-friendly weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings mentions thrift stores and flea markets as possible sources for secondhand items. Besides local vendors, you may also discover great finds on internet marketplaces such as Wedding Recycle or eBay. The Budget Savvy Bride lists several other websites that offer used wedding décor in their own stores or allow individuals to independently buy and sell items.

Meanwhile, Bridal Musings talks about online and brick-and-mortar wholesalers offering bulk items like candles and votive holders, potentially with significant discounts. Other places to check include niche retailers, nurseries, big-box home décor chains, and hardware stores. No matter where you browse, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind as you shop. Your organized approach should include making a shopping list and researching stores. For flea markets, be sure to arrive early and pack essentials such as water and contact cards. With online vendors, check customer feedback and verify whether they ship to Canada.

Rental Items To Consider

Brides writer Stephanie Cain points out that it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether you plan to later reuse products that you’ve bought for the big day. This is especially salient for wedding décor items that require a lot of prep time and storage room, such as linens or dishware. With this in mind, Cain lists several items that she recommends renting instead of purchasing on your own:

  • Table linens, napkins, and runners
  • Candleholders and vases
  • China, silverware, glassware, and charger plates
  • Furniture

Cain emphasizes that buying linens online may seem cheap when compared to renting, but their prices do not factor in the costs of laundering, pressing, and folding. She applies the same principle to candleholders, dishware, vases, and furniture, considering that you’ll probably end up putting these items in storage if you keep them after the wedding. Depending on which accessories you rent, your vendors can also help you save time by handling setup as well as cleanup at the end of the night.

Use Wise Wedding Décor Strategies To Control Costs

Devising and sticking with a smart spending strategy is just one challenge you’ll encounter in planning your wedding. Renting, buying, or sourcing secondhand items may relieve some of the budgetary strain. However, the outcomes depend on key choices you make. It’s vital to think of your costs in terms of time and effort, not just money. Once you’ve evaluated your goals as well as the pros and cons, you can develop a suitable plan for selecting décor that fits your wedding vision.

Pre-Wedding Jitters or Serious Reservations? How To Tell the Two Apart
It is quite common to get the pre-wedding jitters, but more significant anxiety and second-thoughts might be a sign of serious reservations.

It is quite common to get the pre-wedding jitters, but more significant anxiety and second-thoughts might be a sign of serious reservations.

Getting married is a major event, and not only because you have wedding planning on your plate. You’re tying your life to that of another individual. Forging such a partnership involves sorting through many significant issues. You could feel nervous or even anxious in the pre-wedding weeks or months, but are these feelings problematic? To help yourself make sense of them, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Is Pre-Wedding Anxiety Normal?

Perform an internet search for “pre-wedding jitters,” and you’ll likely encounter dozens of opinions on what is or isn’t normal. Some insist that they’re warning signs, while others propose that they’re commonplace and natural. According to several experts, the truth may lie somewhere in the middle. The key is figuring out the difference between normal nerves and serious misgivings.

Martha Stewart Weddings contributor Jenn Sinrich explains the usual characteristics of pre-wedding jitters. You’re not only going to be the center of attention for several hours, but you must also contend with wedding-day expenses and family dynamics. Pre-wedding nerves with excitement aren’t usually a cause for concern, and these can also include anxiety over whether you can pull off the event. They can manifest as irritability, difficulty sleeping, restlessness, trouble eating, and fussing over ceremony and reception details.

When It’s More Than Jitters

At the same time, nervousness with dread probably isn’t a good sign. If you want to jump ship and avoid marrying your partner, that could signal a serious issue. Both Sinrich and The Spruce’s Nina Callaway mention potential red flags to consider:

  • You don’t feel free to discuss your feelings with your partner.
  • Your future spouse has been physically, emotionally, mentally, or sexually abusive.
  • You and your partner have significantly different feelings about having children.
  • Either you or your future spouse has been unfaithful or deceitful.
  • Thoughts of your wedding fill you with trepidation for more than one month.
  • Many of your friends have expressed reservations about your future spouse.
  • You’re going through the motions of planning because you’re too embarrassed to call it off, fearful of hurting your partner, or worried about finances.

Finding Support and Solutions

Thankfully, none of these problems lack for potential resolutions. For pre-wedding nerves, New York therapist Linda Walter suggests useful ways to reduce stress. First, it’s important to take regular breaks away from planning. You can do this and reconnect with your partner through spending enjoyable quality time together. Also, discussing your worries with your partner allows you to disclose your feelings and practice collaboration and problem-solving. Meanwhile, your married friends can also offer recommendations and support. Don’t forget to maintain healthy eating and physical activity, and some relaxation techniques are useful for releasing inner anxieties and tension.

Depending on your specific concerns, you and your partner could opt to attend couples’ counseling. However, it may be time to evaluate your relationship, especially if there have been serious breaches of trust or you’re experiencing symptoms like panic attacks or crying. If you perceive that you’re in immediate danger, get help right away. The Department of Justice discusses recommendations and resources. HelpGuide provides specific tips for men, and 211 can connect you to essential services.

Your Well-Being Is Paramount

Before tying the knot, many people experience a case of the nerves. In addition to planning a large-scale event and dealing with loved ones in the process, they may feel overwhelmed and have concerns about how they’ll build new lives with their future spouses together. Yet some pre-wedding anxieties could indicate serious problems in the offing. Understanding the nature of your feelings and reaching out for appropriate support are both keys to making smart decisions for the future.