Pare down your guest list with the "tiers of priority" trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party and best friends on top of the list; follow with aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends you can't imagine celebrating without. Under that, list your parents' friends, neighbors, coworkers and so on. If you need to make some cuts, start from the bottom until you reach your ideal number.
If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plus-one scenario. Do a faux seating chart in your mind, and imagine whom your single pal would sit with. If it's a table of singles that she knows pretty well, then you're all set. If it's a table of couples (making her the odd one out) or if it's a table of singles where she won't know anyone, consider bending the rules. If asked why you're not allowing single friends to bring guests, size or budget constraints or your parents' never-ending guest list are always good reasons. 
It’s easy to design your invitation, download the image or PDF file, and have it printed at your local print shop on specialty paper. Our print-at-home option is entirely free, too. Or go totally tech and share your invites via email, WhatsApp or SMS, also free of charge. For a full event management service with RSVP, reminders, registry and more features, choose the ‘send online’ option.
"Before my wedding, I remember my coworker telling me that her wedding day was the BEST day of her life, and she was so excited that I would soon be able to experience mine. When I was in the midst of planning my wedding, the long, daily to-do lists and the stress made me feel as if that day would never come. However, it eventually did! When it came, I tried my best to savor every moment of the wedding day—from the moment I got out of bed to the moment I walked out of my wedding venue as a married woman— and I'd advise brides and grooms out there to do the same." —Jamie and Daniel
If you don't have the money to shell out thousands more on tips, there are a few gestures that will go a long way with your team of wedding pros. Send an email with a review, a handwritten thank-you note or a review on Yelp or WeddingWire are great ways to show appreciation and offer something the vendor can use when booking future clients. Even better, refer your vendors to your friends — this gesture will go much further than a cash tip!
Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.
This is a great white wedding cake for those of you who like it plain. When I was a child, one of my neighbors who was elderly made a lot of wedding cakes for family and other people, and she took great pride in her work. She used fancy staircases you get in cake decorating stores, and even crocheted certain decorations. All is in your imagination. No professional baker did what she did. Be creative.

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, and there are things you need to know—advice so essential any bride who's lucky enough to hear it thinks, "I'm so glad someone told me that!" If you're wondering whether there's something you may have missed (or even if you've got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets below. 


On your unique day, a majority of the photos will be taken from the waist up, making the neckline of your bridal dress the star of the show. A strapless, corset bodice is the most popular because it is so versatile. If you have a fuller bust, a simple bodice with a structured off-the-shoulder neckline is a good place to start. If you have a smaller bust, you can look for an embellished bodice or a sweetheart neckline to give it more emphasis. Also, a square or scoop neckline looks great on everyone.
Your wedding cake may just be the most significant confection you ever buy, so it's key to know what you're getting into. A good place to start is by reading our top tips from wedding cake bakers from around the country. Next, the fun part (well, besides the tasting), is to start searching through wedding cake pictures to help figure out which wedding cake designs suit your style. From classic cakes to more ornate styles, we have something for every taste – literally! Then check out local wedding cake bakers to find a pro near you.

What does every bride-to-be want in a wedding invitation? A high-quality product that matches the mood of the wedding. You are a unique bride and you deserve an equally unique design. With Minted, you can have it all. If quality is your top concern, Minted not only employs the best artisan printers but has custom paper created by our partners at Mohawk especially for premium printing. Our printers have mastered techniques such as letterpress, foil-pressed (otherwise known as foil stamped), digital printing, and gloss-pressed.
Once you’ve designed your invites, when do you send them? And what about save-the-date cards? The consensus is four to six months before your wedding for save-the-dates, but allow additional time if yours is a destination wedding. The number one etiquette tip for these is that save-the-dates only go to people you absolutely plan to invite to the wedding. List the city location to give adequate planning time for travel and lodging, even if your exact venue is still undecided. You can create a unique wedding hashtag and spread it to collect memories of your future event.

Begin your search by familiarizing yourself with the different styles and silhouettes of bridal gowns: A-line, mermaid, sheath and ball gown. For starters, an A-line style dress is fitted at the waist and flares outward toward the ground in the shape of an “A.” This style looks flattering on every body shape. The next option is the mermaid style. Sometimes called fit and flare, this style mimics the shape of a mermaid’s tail, as it’s tight at the top, tapering out at the knees down to the floor. As for the sheath style, it’s close-fitted to your body without any flares, which is an amazing option if you’re looking to show off your figure. Finally, the fourth option is the ball gown option, also known as a princess gown, which has a fitted waist and full skirt--ideal for all body shapes and sizes.
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