Shopping for a wedding dress can be overwhelming. While some brides launch the process with their dream dress in mind, finding 'the one' is still a challenge. We've compiled some of our best tips and tricks for narrowing down your bridal gown selections. Finding a bridal dress is about personal style and trends, season included, whether they are affordable or expensive, it’s your big day, so make sure to have fun and never settle.
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.
You can check your state's license requirements online, but confirm with a call to the county clerk's office to see when they're open. Even if it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they may issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mom or your maid of honor (just in case you lose yours during the final days before your wedding).
When it comes to bartenders and waitstaff, and parking, bathroom and coatroom attendants, the rules of tipping are dictated by your contract. If the service fee is included, consider doling out extra only if the service was exceptional. If it's not included, ask ahead of time how many attendants will be working your wedding and calculate on a per person basis.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Finally, stir in the sour cream. Mix for 1 or 2 minutes just to be sure there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It's essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day and ribbons for the wedding programs.
"Our biggest piece of advice would be to plan ahead, don’t procrastinate, don’t sweat the little things, only do things that you can afford, try not to do anything wedding related two weeks before the wedding, enjoy your big day, and don’t forget to steal a couple private moments just as husband and wife throughout your wedding day. Things will be stressful as you plan, and things will go wrong on your wedding day, but don’t forget the big picture." —Pearle and James
Need help choosing your wedding invitations? Start by setting a guest list, wedding budget and your wedding theme. Once you've got those figured out, browse wedding invites online that suit your wedding style. You can also browse save-the-dates, escort cards, programs and menu cards in our online photo galleries. Then, find a stationer in your area to get started!
A bride's floral arrangement is arguably the second most important part of her outfit, ranking immediately behind the wedding dress. Therefore, we encourage you to a put a lot of thought into the flowers you carry down the aisle! If you're wondering how to make your bridal bouquet extra special, it helps to turn to some inspiration. Luckily, we've got you covered with 50 of our all-time favorite arrangements. The bundles here feature some of the most creative shapes, memorable shades, and beautiful flowers out there.
Click through to get a hefty dose of pretty delivered right to your screen. Don't just browse the photos, though—read their captions, too. We've explained exactly why we've selected each bridal bouquet. Additionally, we've provided details regarding the hues and blooms they include. Of course, we've also credited them to their respective floral designers, so you might even find the perfect big-day florist for you!
Sometimes, last-minute planning can work in your favor. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Since most people book their wedding venues at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.
"I thought I was planning a simple event, but in retrospect, there is still a lot I could have done without. Despite all of my preparations in advance, because I did so much myself, there was so much I had to think about that I didn't get to enjoy the time leading up to the wedding as much as I would have liked. If I could go back, I would have traded a thing or two for some added peace of mind.
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.
Are you worried about finding the right wedding dress for your dream location? Look no further - JJ's House has such a massive range of dresses for you to pick from you'll be truly spoiled for choice! We have everything from elegant, long sleeve wedding dresses for a classic or vintage theme to tea length wedding dresses - perfect for a low-key beach or destination wedding. Our large collection of wedding dresses also come in a multitude of fabrics to suit any time of year such as gorgeous satin for a winter wedding or tulle for ball gown wedding dresses suitable for any season or venue.
As soon as you've picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no—you don't want to be responsible for rooms you can't fill.
If your officiant is affiliated with a church or synagogue, you're often expected to make a donation to that institution. If you're a member, you'll probably want to give a larger amount than if you're not. However, if you're getting married there and they're charging you to use the space, feel free to give a smaller amount. Tipping the officiant, both nondenominational and denominational, is also appreciated.
Looking for a summer wedding dress? We offer a variety of styles and silhouettes that are perfect for the most popular wedding season. Crafted from lightweight fabrics, our beach wedding dresses are perfectly packable so you look stunning no matter the destination. Bold lace always makes us think of fall weddings, while crisp white and long sleeves are perfect for the winter months. For your spring wedding, why not try a wedding dress with color or a tulle gown?
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. 
Finally, and most importantly, there are no rules! Want to have a BYOM (bring your own meat) picnic on blankets in the park? Do it. Don’t care for cake? Do without it. As someone who has worked in the wedding industry, I’ve seen it all too often become just that—an industry! Don’t buy into it if you don’t want it. Pick what is most important to you and prioritize based on that, not on convention or expectations. Don’t get so wrapped up in everything else that it takes away from being there in that moment."  —Sophie and Bobby
Is it OK to send wedding invitations online? Wedding guests still expect a paper invitation in the mail to reply to for your nuptials. Not to mention that with all of the email filters we have these days, your email invitation could very well get marked as spam and never reach an inbox. We live in a modern world and everything tends to be available online, which is why a wedding website is highly recommended to accompany your invitation. When you choose your invitations at Minted, you can match your website style to your wedding stationery.
Since some vendors will expect a gratuity, and other gratuities will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis, you have a few things to consider. Traditionally, business owners of larger companies don't get tipped—just their employees—but you can and should tip an owner when the service exceeds expectations. Small business owners should never be overlooked either, since their businesses are often run by just one person.
"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
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.
"It was one of the best decisions we made during our wedding planning. Our photographer and videographer collaborated and found a secluded area, away from all the madness that was going on that morning; we got a moment to see each other for the first time. It allowed us to take a deep breath, let the moment sink in, feel all the emotion we were about to feel all day. No matter what you decide, the important thing is choosing what's right for you as a couple." —Leah and Kevin
Sweetheart, strapless, plunge, cap sleeve, high neck—your options are nearly endless when it comes to the neckline for your gown! A sweetheart neckline is classic and romantic, while a high neckline is modern and sleek. Or try something unexpected such as a long sleeve wedding dress with a dramatic plunge neckline. Still can’t decide? Try a gown with a convertible neckline that lets you switch it up from ceremony to reception!
"Our biggest piece of advice would be to plan ahead, don’t procrastinate, don’t sweat the little things, only do things that you can afford, try not to do anything wedding related two weeks before the wedding, enjoy your big day, and don’t forget to steal a couple private moments just as husband and wife throughout your wedding day. Things will be stressful as you plan, and things will go wrong on your wedding day, but don’t forget the big picture." —Pearle and James
"Our biggest piece of advice would be to plan ahead, don’t procrastinate, don’t sweat the little things, only do things that you can afford, try not to do anything wedding related two weeks before the wedding, enjoy your big day, and don’t forget to steal a couple private moments just as husband and wife throughout your wedding day. Things will be stressful as you plan, and things will go wrong on your wedding day, but don’t forget the big picture." —Pearle and James
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