weddings

Financial Tips To Help You Save for Your Big Day
Planning a wedding can be a big financial endeavor. Here are a few ways to start thinking about money to help you plan for the big day.

Planning a wedding can be a big financial endeavor. Here are a few ways to start thinking about money to help you plan for the big day.

Planning a wedding can be a very expensive endeavor. Whether you’re aiming for a larger affair or an intimate gathering, you need to have enough money in your budget to cover all associated expenses. It may seem daunting, but there are simple ways to see success. Giving yourself time to sit down with your significant other and create a financial plan can do wonders for the process. There are also a handful of simple ways you can adjust your lifestyle in order to save money for your big day.

Look over these financial suggestions on how to start saving money right now for your wedding. A little research and preparation will go a long way in your attempts to improve your budget.

Assess Your Debt

Most people in the current day and age are living with debt. Whether you’ve taken out loans to cover school or you have a few credit cards you need to pay off, being in debt can inhibit your ability to get ahead with your finances. As you discuss your budget with your partner, work on creating a plan of action for paying down your debt. While making minimum payments might seem sensible for managing your financial health, there are more advantages to getting rid of as much debt as possible.

By lowering the balances on your credit cards, you are freeing up money that can be applied to your wedding. Credit is a great way to take care of expenses like florists or caterers, but you can’t use this option if your cards are all at their max. Paying down your debt can also help improve your credit score. This will help immensely later on if you and your new spouse consider buying a home together.

Get a Concrete Figure

Saving money is a lot easier when you have a concrete goal to work toward. In order to see success from your efforts, you may want to start researching how much it is going to cost you to host the wedding you envision. Call vendors and venues and get a feel for pricing. Learn about the fees associated with obtaining a marriage license and any other costs that you might be responsible for. Put everything together and see what your entire wedding is going to cost.

The number might be high at first, but don’t let this get to you. Now that you have a number, you can start crafting a real financial plan to pay for it all. To create a realistic budget, you might realize that you need to eliminate certain ideas or select less expensive vendors than you had originally planned. You won’t be able to make these adjustments until you have a concrete number to work with. Get started on this as soon as possible, and you’ll have an easier time managing your finances.

Financial Help

Finally, think about any relatives who may be willing to provide financial assistance. Parents and grandparents will often contribute to or cover the costs of specific services. If someone in your life has offered to help, contact them and get an idea of what they can pay for. While you should not expect the assistance, taking someone up on the offer can be a fantastic way for you to get more out of your budget.

Paying for a wedding might be a financial headache, but there are a number of different ways to make it work. Saving money for your big day is all about giving yourself time to assess your finances and craft a plan of action based off what you can afford. Find a plan that works for you and your partner, and get started on saving for your future.

Canadian Weddings in the 21st Century: Customs and Changes
When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must decide what traditions to include. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century?

When couples plan their weddings, they must often decide what traditions to include. These celebrations incorporate basic ceremonial elements such as exchanging vows, but many also feature customs that add layers of meaning or are passed down through families or cultures. Meanwhile, some trends become new traditions while old customs slowly fall out of favor. How do Canadian weddings stack up in the 21st century? You may be surprised once you find out.

The Role of Gender in Western Weddings

It’s no secret that many wedding customs were influenced by older social norms. As cold as this sounds, marriages were less about love and more about finances, inheritances, and sometimes political concerns. Unions were arranged in many parts of the world, with women frequently losing any legal rights they had once the ceremonies took place. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains the concept of “coverture,” in which married couples were considered single legal entities, with husbands wielding the most power and decision-making responsibilities. The idea was introduced into English law after the Norman Conquest beginning in 1066. The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that British cultural influences on marriage and property statutes codified coverture into Canadian law in many areas.

Some wedding traditions are leftover legacies from these societal realities. For instance, you may remember that the bride’s family used to pay for the wedding. Vogue’s Priya Rao reveals that this stems from old dowry customs in which the bride’s family provided physical wealth before a marriage could take place. The Spruce’s Nina Callaway adds that the practice of fathers giving away their daughters during wedding ceremonies is also tied to dowries. This act was a sign that the father was pleased with the marriage negotiations and gave his blessing.

As Societies Change, So Do Weddings

Money Versed writer Liz Collins offers a basic breakdown on wedding traditions that are slowly being abandoned. Unsurprisingly, she listed customs that were once commonplace even in the 20th century:

  • The bride’s family paying for the wedding
  • Grooms not seeing their brides before the ceremony
  • Gendered wedding showers
  • Bouquet and garter tosses

Wedding Wire’s Alice Prendergast discusses more ways in which Canadian nuptials have changed. For instance, more couples are living together before marriage and fewer choose religious ceremonies. At the same time, a few recent trends are slowly becoming traditions. For instance, the Emily Post Institute details that high-tech weddings are the norm. That’s not a surprise to anyone getting hitched in 2019 or 2020, but what’s interesting is how this resulted from the development of some key innovations over the last few decades. Wedding websites began appearing in the late 1990s, but Pinterest and Instagram were both launched in 2010. Technological developments in photography, music playback, and even e-commerce have roots back in the 1990s or earlier.

Not All Traditions Have Disappeared

While many customs change, others remain the same. In her Wedding Wire piece, Prendergast discloses a few traditional practices that are solidly here to stay. The white wedding dress continues to be a staple, although it’s being reinvented with new details and silhouettes. The first dance is a timeless classic, along with asking for parents’ blessings and popping the question. You’ll also find alcohol at nearly every reception, with everything from signature cocktails to Canadian craft beers. Honeymoons remain popular, although some busy or cash-strapped pairs opt for mini-moons or staycations.

Customized Nuptials Are the Norm

Canadian weddings can be traditional, modern, or somewhere in between. While some old practices remain, couples craft their nuptials to fit their values, purposes, and lifestyles. No matter what customs each chooses to incorporate, these celebrations are ultimately both community events and personalized reflections of both spouses’ creativity, philosophy, and outlook.

Struggling With Your Seating Chart? Consider These Suggestions
While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

While it might seem like an impossible task, here are a handful of simple tips that can help you create a successful seating chart for your big day.

Certain aspects of planning a wedding can prove more difficult than others. For some couples, the seating chart for the reception can be a huge pain in the neck. There are many moving pieces involved with a seating chart, so make sure you don’t cause any unwarranted drama by placing two volatile people next to each other. While it might seem like a downright impossible task, there are a handful of simple ways to see the best possible results from your efforts.

Crafting a solid seating chart is all about taking time and thinking over all the details involved. Look over these tips, and you’ll be ready to finalize your own layout in no time.

Understand the Parameters

You can only make a practical chart for where to seat your guests when you have all pertinent information available to you. For one, you need to have a blueprint or map of the layout of your venue. This will provide you with hard data about the size of the room and your options in regards to arranging the space. You’re also going to want to account for certain factors like the size and shape of each table, as well as where you plan on placing the DJ booth, cake table, and any other decor that might take up space.

As you begin to create your seating chart, you most likely already have a solid idea of who will be in attendance at your wedding. Most couples will draft preliminary sketches of where to seat guests, but you really can’t finalize anything until you have a headcount. Otherwise, you could put a lot of effort into a seating chart that doesn’t accurately reflect the guests who will be at your event. Wait until you have all of this data, and then set out to create your chart in a more informed way.

Groupings

How you arrange your guests at each table can be the trickiest aspect of this task. For one, make sure that you seat people in a way that makes sense. This means you should put all of your coworkers at one table, second cousins at another, and so on. Unfortunately, this isn’t always as easy to achieve as it sounds. When you’re working with limited space, you might need to get a bit creative in regards to who sits at which table.

While you’re not going to know how each person at your wedding feels about every other person in attendance, you definitely can use your best judgment to arrange guests in a sensible way. If you know that an uncle of yours has bad blood with an old family friend of your significant other, then don’t seat these guests near each other. Try not to bend over backward to make these arrangements, however. Your guests are all capable of handling their own petty dramas, and your plans shouldn’t be impeded by their own feuds.

Special Seating Considerations

You might also have some special considerations you need to keep in mind while creating your seating chart. If you have a number of children coming to your event, then it might make sense to have a table just for the little ones. Consider a separate table for your single attendees. Should any of your guests be in a wheelchair or require certain assistance with getting around the venue, try and seat these guests in an accessible spot. Remember special considerations, and you should make the event comfortable for all.

Planning your seating chart can be a bit of a headache, but it is far from an impossible feat. Take your time with this task, and in no time you should see success from your efforts.

Wedding Day Sobriety: A Guide for Guests
If you’re a wedding guest attempting sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. Some smart advice can help you remain a faithful teetotaler.

If you’re a wedding guest attempting sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. Some smart advice can help you remain a faithful teetotaler.

Wedding receptions often offer the perfect trifecta of food, fun, and drinks. Yet, this can present significant challenges for guests recovering from alcohol dependency. Fortunately, sitting out these celebrations isn’t the only option. Since sobriety is an important goal, how can this be achieved when the booze is flowing and emotions are high? Some smart advice can help you remain a dedicated teetotaler.

Guests in Recovery: You’re Not Alone

If you’re a wedding guest aiming for sobriety, it’s natural to feel a little anxiety. After all, you’re in a social situation where alcohol is plentiful and you’re surrounded by others who drink. Ravishly contributor Britni de la Cretaz describes feelings of loneliness when attending receptions. Medium writer Tiffany Swedeen mentions her own temptations to imbibe. SobrieTea Party’s Tawny Lara admits her own struggles. Before she tried recovery, she usually found herself drinking too much at others’ nuptials.

Powerful physical and psychological cravings are frequently triggered by emotional stress, fatigue, nostalgia, or feeling left out. Unsurprisingly, all these emotions and conditions can resurface at weddings. You may encounter some saboteurs, as blogger Dana Bowman points out. However, most of your fellow attendees don’t wish to interfere with your recovery.

Stay Alcohol-Free With These Tips

Swedeen, de la Cretaz, and Lara draw on their own experiences, offering advice to wedding guests planning on sobriety. One valuable tip is to stop worrying about how others view you. Most people will not notice or concern themselves with what you’re actually drinking, so having a non-alcoholic beverage in hand can be a lifesaver. This can be anything that makes you feel comfortable: lime and seltzer water, a soft drink, a cup of coffee, or anything else you like.

Enlisting a trustworthy individual or two could help you avoid indulgence.  Be sure to give bartenders a heads up, letting them know not to serve you intoxicating drinks. You may wish to bring along a sober friend, seek out another teetotaler at the festivities, or have someone you can call or text if you need support or feel unsafe.

Distracting yourself is also a great approach when you’re at a reception. Take advantage of food, dancing, music, camaraderie, and activities. Are you a champ at horseshoes, darts, or croquet? Use the lawn games to show off your prowess. Hit the dance floor. Eat an extra cupcake. Talk someone else’s ear off. You get the idea.

Refrain From Judging Other Guests

One common pitfall that Lara mentions is the habit of silently judging others. As an individual in recovery, you could find yourself eying other guests’ behaviors. Looking down on them for their drinking and intoxication won’t contribute to your own efforts. Lara reminds readers that everyone’s relationship with alcohol is a little different. Respect is key, so remember that others’ drinking habits have nothing to do with your own sobriety.

Know When To Walk Away

While you’re planning ahead for your friends’ reception, don’t forget to construct an exit strategy. Feel free to leave early if you must, especially if you feel too tempted to drink. If you’re bringing a sober companion, let that person know that you may want to depart before the reception ends. Those attending alone should make sure they have phone numbers of reliable friends or a transport company just in case.

Don’t Worry: You’ve Got This

Recovering from alcohol dependency isn’t an easy process, but social situations can make it rougher than usual. While you want to enjoy yourself at your friends’ wedding reception, it can also be an opportunity to re-acclimate to scenarios in which alcohol is served. Staying sober requires some advance planning. Keeping a nonalcoholic drink in hand is a useful strategy, along with relying on supportive friends and having an exit plan ready.

Considering DIY Invitations? Follow These Tips for Success
Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Weddings can cost an arm and a leg. For this reason, plenty of couples search for helpful ways to cut corners and save money throughout the process. Over the last decade or so, the idea of the “DIY wedding” has become somewhat popular. While you might not be able to do everything yourself, there are certain key elements that you can easily take on. Your wedding invitations, for example, might be an ideal DIY project, as creating them yourself can both help save some money and give you total control over what your invitations will look like.

Taking on a task like DIY invitations requires a bit of forethought. Look over these suggestions and find the best possible way to do your invites yourself!

Know All the Details

Invitations are important for a number of reasons. For the happy couple, they help to keep tabs on how many people have been invited to the event and how many people plan on attending. For the guests, however, they are responsible for providing a great deal of vital information related to the event. This includes the date, location, directions, and anything else the couple would like to share. Before you can make your invitations, you need to be sure you have all of these details set in stone and ready to share.

Figuring out the specifics takes a little time, but you should have them solidified somewhat early in the planning process. Beyond the information presented, you also want to have a few aesthetic ideas locked and loaded. Most couples opt to have their invitations reflect the “design theme” of their wedding. For example, if you plan on having the color blue featured in the decor at your venue, try to work this particular shade of blue into the invites to help create a more cohesive visual theme.

Space and Design of the Invitations

While being able to design your own invitations can be a huge help when it comes to your finances, there is also a good amount of work involved. After you’ve decided on a theme and have all your information ready to go, you need to think about how you would like to word the invitation. This can be tricky, especially because you only have so much space to work with. In order to avoid overcrowding the card with text, print out a sample on your home computer and see how the text reads.

You are also going to need to take RSVPs into consideration. Many couples include self-addressed envelopes for guests to mail back with their RSVP information. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t feel like you absolutely must include this envelope. To save money and time, you may want to offer guests the chance to RSVP by phone, through email, or online. The RSVP information exists so you have an easier time knowing how many guests to anticipate at your event, so find a method that makes the most sense for you and your partner.

Get an Early Start

Finally, you want to get as early a start as possible on creating your invitations. The moment you have information like the date and venue ready to go, you can begin making a template of what you’d like the invites to look like. The sooner you begin, the sooner you can get the completed product in the mail and hear back from guests about how many heads to expect. Starting early also gives you plenty of room for trial and error, which can be a huge help when you have little or no experience with design.

Creating your own invitations for your wedding can be a great way to limit your spending and save a small chunk of change. Explore your options, and see what you can accomplish with your own creative mind.

A Guide To Handling Children at Your Wedding

Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice. Having a plan in place to keep them engaged can make a world of difference.

Children can be wonderful to have around. There’s something invigorating about the boundless energy and genuine laughter of little ones. Of course, kids can also be a huge headache, as most parents can attest to. While it is commonplace for couples to exclude kids from their wedding guest lists, there are plenty of scenarios where children are invited. If you are planning for your wedding and are curious about how to keep kids under control during the event, now is a perfect time to start exploring some ideas for crowd control.

When the day of your wedding arrives, you don’t want to be distracted by children who are bored and restless. Consider these ideas, and find the right balance for your big day.

Simple Entertainment  

In a perfect world, children would attend a wedding and understand they are supposed to behave in a specific manner. Of course, this is far from reality. In truth, kids will become distracted quite easily by all of the rituals and slow-paced traditions that pepper most ceremonies. Without taking the proper precautions, it won’t take long for the little ones to start finding their own entertainment. Usually, this means the kids will begin running around, causing disruptions, and acting in the typical ways that most children do when left to their own devices.

Thankfully, you don’t need to do much to keep children entertained at your wedding. One great idea that tends to work wonders is providing a place for kids to sit down and color. Offer coloring books, blank pieces of paper, and plenty of crayons, and you won’t need to worry about boredom taking over the kids anytime soon. You may also want to think about providing a board game or two, as well as simple snacks that will keep all the little ones happily seated together without feeling the need to run off looking for trouble.

Snack and Snooze

Pacing the meals appropriately is also a good idea to think about when children will be in attendance at your wedding. Adults and children eat at remarkably different paces. While the average grownup won’t have a problem with waiting between courses, a child usually will want to leave the table when he or she is done with whatever has been provided already. Try and arrange with the vendors to have meals delivered to children first, so that the adults can eat at a leisurely pace without worrying about the kids the entire time.

It can also be a good idea to make arrangements for a place where some of the little ones can take a nap. Depending on the ages you’re working with, it is pretty common for a child to need to rest after indulging in a big meal or dancing for several hours with the adults. Having a separate room where children can go to sleep for a bit under the watchful eyes of the adults can be a great way to keep the peace and prevent any cranky tantrums caused by tired kids.

Professional Help

Hiring a professional sitter might also be a great move for your wedding. Having a trained expert nearby to watch the kids throughout the night allows the adults the freedom to enjoy the wedding without being constantly distracted. This is definitely a good idea when you know there will be a number of children present. Keep the peace and allow everyone the chance to have a good time on your big day by taking this precaution.

Deciding whether to invite children to your wedding is a personal choice; however, should you choose to include youngsters, have a plan in place to keep them engaged. Provide child-friendly entertainment, offer foods and beverages kids will enjoy, and consider hiring a professional sitter to give the parents a break.

Holding an Interfaith Wedding
Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith unions are the new norm. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help navigate the pitfalls.

According to a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center (a U.S.-based nonpartisan fact tank), about 39 percent of couples who have married since 2010 have a spouse of another faith or religion. When falling in love, this may not be a big deal, but when it comes to planning a wedding, it can be a nightmare. Interfaith unions are the new normal. If you’re trying to bring two faiths together in a marriage ceremony, here are some tips to help you navigate the pitfalls.

Interfaith Bride and Groom Need to Be on the Same Page

Once you’ve set the date, before you bring in the family, the bride and groom need to talk about the ceremony. Determine what’s important to each of you. This discussion is going to set the stage for future issues. Someday, you may have children and have to decide which religion to celebrate with them.

Working together lets you present your ideas in unison to your parents, who are going to have their own ideas, and you can stand behind the decisions. Your family may have some culture shock, and you’re going to have to be assertive and firm. Decide which traditions of the ceremony and reception you want to include and which ones you can pass on. If there is one aspect of the day that your mom or spouse’s mom just can’t live without, ask for help in working it into your plans. Don’t alienate family, but don’t give in to all their demands. Think about it for a while before saying that it just isn’t you.

Explain the importance of a particular tradition to the family to help them move past the unknown. Give the family time to process information. Just because they are shocked doesn’t mean they won’t support you. It just means they need to understand and remember that you are an adult making a decision for your future.

Finding the Officiant

Finding someone to perform the interfaith ceremony may be the most difficult part of the planning. This is one area where weddings have not kept up with the norm. One of the most common things is to ask the pastor/leader from each tradition to work together to hold the ceremony. Some faiths will not acquiesce to this request. Another option is to hold two different ceremonies.

One option gaining in popularity would be to consider an ordained minister from the Universal Life Church. It could be a family member or friend who is willing to get ordained and perform an interfaith ceremony. It is extremely easy to do and would allow you to find the perfect fit for your wedding.

Just remember, this is your day. Be honest with your officiant. Don’t make promises about raising children in the faith or attending services if you don’t intend to follow through.

Holding the Ceremony

On the day of your wedding, you may want to include information about your ceremony in the program or have the officiant explain. Your guests may not be from your faith, and it helps them embrace your togetherness when they understand the reason behind doing something. Your guests may not know what to expect, but you want them to think that it was the best wedding ever. Give them a chance to appreciate your interfaith bond with your new spouse.

Remember Your Goal

What is it you want your wedding to say? Keep this in mind as you move forward. The goal is to bring two people together for life. This includes welding your religion and faith in a meaningful way. You have the right to choose your own meaningful traditions to remember your wedding. It’s going to take time to choose the elements that make your day special, but it will be worth it in the end. Working together to plan your interfaith ceremony is a way to build skills that will last you far into your marriage.

 

Is Your Engagement Ring Worth More Debt?
Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Engagements rings are a long-held matrimonial tradition. However, it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

How much do Canadian couples spend on engagement rings? According to a March 2016 Global News article, the average cost for each one is around $4,700. After including the typical event and honeymoon costs, the total price tag for a wedding can reach almost $40,000. Cutting expenses can be challenging for couples who want to tie the knot. That’s why it’s worth considering a few key factors before you drop any cash on an engagement ring.

Behind the Engagement Ring “Rules”

You may have heard of the supposed “rules” for buying engagement rings. Depending on who you ask, the ring should cost either two or three times one’s monthly salary. Statistics Canada’s 2017 figures revealed that the average weekly salary is around $986. That means the typical Canadian earns almost $4,000 per month before deductions. With these figures, following the oft-repeated rule on rings results in a price tag between $8,000 and $12,000.

How did these modern engagement ring purchasing practices develop? Money Under 30’s David Weliver divulges that they originated with a shrewd marketing campaign launched by the London-based diamond company De Beers. He also contends that they aren’t practical for younger couples because of typical debt burdens and lower salaries. To lower costs, he suggests a few alternatives:

  • Pay for the ring with cash.
  • Select a family heirloom piece.
  • Choose gemstones that are less expensive than diamonds.

Pros and Cons of Financing Your Ring

If there’s no room in your budget to purchase an engagement ring in full, you may be tempted to finance it. Your credit history will determine the types of offers you receive along with spending limits and interest rates. Individuals with favorable credit can choose from many options:

  • Personal loans
  • Vendor’s credit cards or revolving credit lines
  • Major credit cards issued by financial institutions

At the same time, you’ll need to think about how this new debt will impact your upcoming marriage. NerdWallet’s Erin El Issa points out that each spouse is liable for individually incurred debts. This is true regardless of whether they originated before or after the wedding. Yet those debts still affect the couple’s overall financial health. A significant debt load can make it difficult to purchase a home together, contribute to a savings account, or plan for retirement.

In another Money Under 30 article, David Weliver offers suggestions for people desiring to purchase engagement rings on credit. While he still warns readers not to buy rings that they cannot afford, he discusses some favorable financing options. Some jewelry retailers may offer 0 percent financing or no interest and payments for a predetermined time period. Weliver strongly suggests reviewing each offer’s terms. With some, you’ll pay a much higher interest rate after the promotional period expires.

Depending on your credit score, you may qualify for cards that come with 0 percent interest on new purchases for up to one year. Be sure you know what your new APR will be. Also, you should assess whether you can pay off the ring before the promotion ends. Purchase your ring from a reliable online jeweler. Buying online could save you a significant amount of money, letting you spend as little as 50 percent of the brick-and-mortar retailer price. Make sure you request a shipment method with tracking and a signature requirement as well as insurance to cover the ring itself.

Choose Your Credit Options Carefully

In the past, society judged a man’s ability to provide for his future wife by the type of engagement ring he gave her. It’s true that some still take notice at an elaborate ring with a decent-sized diamond. Ultimately, you must consider the effects of purchasing one either with cash or credit. After all, part of your goal should be making smart decisions for your joint financial future.

 

Don’t Let Allergies Ruin Your Wedding Day
Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse.

Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse.

For those who suffer from allergies, each and every day can be concerning. Depending on the type of allergies you have, you could be extremely careful about what you eat or you might pay attention to the seasonal pollen count as if it were your bank account. This means you most likely will also have a number of concerns about your wedding day and how your allergies might negatively impact all of your carefully laid plans. Though allergies are annoying, they can be bested for a day with a bit of preparation.

Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, there are ways to make sure your wedding day is not ruined by sneezes and watery eyes or worse. Take a look at these tips and plan in advance for your own needs.

The Seasonal Experience

First, it can be a good idea to examine seasonal allergies. Unlike food allergies, which can be somewhat easy to contain, seasonal sneezes and discomfort are totally based on the weather and environment. Though you will not have total control over these factors on your wedding day, you can definitely change the outcome for the best by remembering a few simple points. For one, high pollen count and an outdoor wedding can spell disaster. Encourage guests to take allergy meds in advance or try and book a venue near water, as the wind off bodies of water can lower pollen.

It is also important to realize that flowers are not as significant as you might imagine when it comes to allergies at a wedding. The main reason for this comes down to the most common types of flowers at these events. Lilies and roses are ubiquitous at weddings, and these flowers produce pollen that is more difficult for people with allergies to react to. On the other hand, any flower arrangements featuring floral options that produce smaller pollen grains could be problematic for anyone who is sensitive to such allergens.

Food and Drink Concerns

Knowing what you can and cannot serve at your wedding can be tricky when allergies are involved. Some people have very common allergies, like tree nuts or shellfish. Still, people have allergies to everything from apples to prunes to gluten. This means you should take a few simple precautions before you finalize the menu for your big day. The easiest solution? Be sure to ask guests very early about any and all allergies or dietary restrictions that they might have. The invitation is the perfect place to bring this topic up.

When your guests inform you of their allergies and intolerances early enough, you can make adjustments. If you forget to ask, you could end up in a situation where several guests at your wedding cannot eat their meals because they are severely allergic to one or more ingredients. As long as you bring up the question very early and ask all guests to provide information about allergies, you should be able to avoid a situation where someone has a bad reaction to something they ate at your wedding.

Tiny Surprises

Communicating with your guests about potential allergies is only one step of the process when it comes to food and drink. You also need to make sure your kitchen staff and caterers are informed of these restrictions. There are situations where caterers introduce appetizers that feature ingredients guests might not notice. All it takes is one loose peanut in a pastry puff to send a guest into a problematic situation. As long as you speak with your caterers about all concerns, you should be able to avoid any major issues.

Don’t let allergies ruin your big day! Take the right precautions with food, seasonal, and environmental allergies, and you should be able to enjoy a day without a chorus of sneezes ringing through the air every few minutes.

 

Changing Trends and Competition Spell Trouble for Big Bridal Stores
With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, many ask if big-box bridal stores will be able to stand these and future challenges.

With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, many ask if big-box bridal stores will be able to stand these and future challenges.

In November 2018, CNN reported that David’s Bridal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Documents filed in a U.S. bankruptcy court show that the corporation owes between $500 million and $1 billion to creditors. Some possible factors leading to the American company’s troubles include a decline in marriages, more casual weddings, and strong competition from online and brick-and-mortar retailers. With the same developments occurring in Canada, it’s worth an examination of how they have impacted big-box bridal stores.

Marriage Rates Are Declining

The Canadian Encyclopedia mentions that the marriage rate in Canada is dropping. Statistics Canada recently revealed that married couples head around 65 percent of households. That’s a slight decline from 2001’s findings, which indicated that married pairs headed 70 percent of households. Changing attitudes about marriage and financial worries may have caused this decline.

More Couples Choose Casual Weddings

Nearly every wedding magazine or website offers suggestions for hosting casual affairs. Wedding Wire’s trends report from 2018 mentions some recent notable trends:

  • Grooms are selecting more laidback attire.
  • More couples write their own vows.
  • Wedding parties are walking down the aisle to non-classical music.

A March 2018 piece in Canadian Living supports these observations. Writer Jessica Alcock comments that modern bridal fashions tend to be simple and elegant. Another key trend focuses on gowns designed with runway-inspired details.

Competition From Brick-and-Mortar Retailers

Discount outlets and department stores have made inroads in the industry. As a result, their competition presents challenges for big-box bridal stores. A July 2018 Glamour article showed several gorgeous and inexpensive department-store gowns. Some of these businesses, such as Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, have store locations in Canada. Hudson’s Bay also partnered with New York City bridal boutique Kleinfeld, offering a wide range of gowns at its Toronto Queen Street location.

Local independent bridal shops provide personalized service and unique formalwear options. Wedding Wire Canada maintains a directory of Canadian boutiques. Several of these stock vintage, consignment, and pre-owned gowns. Brides who want a vintage look or who wish to save some cash can discover fabulous finds at these and other locally owned stores.

Better Deals and More Options Online

Online shops also offer a huge range of options. Many American premier boutiques, some major department stores, and specialty shops ship to Canada. A few examples include Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Revolve, and Forward by Elyse Walker. Anomalie, an online bridal-wear startup, produces custom gowns crafted to meet each bride’s specifications. Their creation occurs during a collaborative process between the bride and a company stylist. The result is a made-to-measure dress that’s shipped directly to the bride. Often, these distinctive gowns cost much less than a comparative dress found in a big-box bridal store.

Can Big-Box Bridal Stores Change With the Times?

All these developments have affected the bottom lines of large retailers like David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo. David’s Bridal currently has 12 locations throughout Canada. As for Alfred Angelo, the corporation had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in United States federal court in July 2017. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported in July 2018 that all its retail stores have permanently closed. Moreover, the company still owed brides more than $20 million in claims for gowns that were never delivered.

David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo relied on classic industry business models. With shifts in wedding trends and customers seeking new options, both companies saw their profits plummet. Will big-box bridal stores like them be able to weather these and other future challenges? That remains to be seen, but the bottom line is that couples will turn to vendors who can provide the products, prices, and services they need.