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 know that it can be hard to see past the day itself, and you're just doing whatever you can to craft a beautiful event, but there is often so much waste that goes into a wedding. It's just one day in your life together, but the environmental toll can continue long after the day is done. Go simple, modern, vintage, or minimalist—any of these routes will help you reduce your impact on the environment and will likely save you money. So many people told us how blown away they were by our wedding, and yet, we spent less than $15k on the entire affair and managed to keep things very green.
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.
"You can be easily overwhelmed in planning a wedding without a full-time wedding coordinator. But once you select the date and venue, the rest will fall into place. Think about the three most important things to you, and work on those next—whether it's the photography, dress, food, music, florals, etc. Make a list and slowly cross things off as you go.

How should I address my invitations? This can get pretty complex pretty quick! Generally, you address the envelopes to an entire family as one entity. You can list out the individual family members on the RSVP card if you feel clarification is needed. The same goes for couples, they receive one invitation addressed to both. Single people are given a nudge to bring a date by simply adding "plus guest" to the end of their name.
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.
"Remember why you are getting married, and try to truly make it be an event about (and for) the both of you. Have faith in your vendors and photographer, and trust that they will do their job well! And once it's happening, just go with it. One of my favorite memories is calling my dad after he walked me to the dock to meet Jim because he had my vows in his jacket pocket! Everyone laughed, and so did I.
After getting to know the different styles of bridal dresses, sort through our selection of wedding dresses using other filters, such as neckline style, waist style, dress length, train length, and fabric. There are quite a number of neckline options, from halter and scoop to sweetheart and illusion. The same goes for waist styles, as you can browse by empire, basque, natural, and more. Also, explore the different lengths of dresses and trains. Short and flirty or long and dramatic? Discover what speaks to you. As for fabrics, you’ll come across far more options than just lace and silk! Sort by tulle, chiffon, satin, cotton, and taffeta, among others, and see what strikes your fancy.
"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
Choose a bouquet of flowers that last a lifetime. Artificial wedding bouquets are inexpensive, hassle-free, and the perfect base for flower arrangements. Keep your artificial wedding flowers forever, reuse them in your home decor, and forget about allergies. We handpick each flower bouquet and source only the highest quality silk flowers so you can stress less and go-faux.
How should I address my invitations? This can get pretty complex pretty quick! Generally, you address the envelopes to an entire family as one entity. You can list out the individual family members on the RSVP card if you feel clarification is needed. The same goes for couples, they receive one invitation addressed to both. Single people are given a nudge to bring a date by simply adding "plus guest" to the end of their name.
"This event is an expression of yourselves, but it's not all you'll ever be. It's just the beginning! In fact, some of the best moments were ones we didn't plan for at all—like a fabulous photograph of my dress train all tangled up with leaves and dirt. Sure, it was messy and not what you're used to seeing in bridal magazines, but it was also honest and a truly joyful moment that could easily have gone south if we'd been uptight about things. Embrace the unexpected, and each others' opinions, and don't let an unattainable ideal sour the big picture: You're in this together, now and for the future." —Teresa and Ben
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.
Guest blogger: Allison Silber, founder and creative director for engagedandinspired.com. Engaged & Inspired is a wedding publication for crafty brides who strive to fill their wedding day with loads of personality. The team of real brides post about the highs and lows of wedding planning and what it takes to pull off their big day. Aside from running Engaged & Inspired, Allison also offers planning and design services to the Carmel Valley area.
"You can be easily overwhelmed in planning a wedding without a full-time wedding coordinator. But once you select the date and venue, the rest will fall into place. Think about the three most important things to you, and work on those next—whether it's the photography, dress, food, music, florals, etc. Make a list and slowly cross things off as you go.
What better way to set the tone for your nuptials than with a truly unique wedding invitation? You want something that can’t be found at every wedding retailer across the web? Then choose a design that was crowdsourced from our community of independent designers and artists. Minted holds contests all year long to ensure that only the freshest and most stylish designs end up being produced and sold. This frequent rotation of art and design means you are guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind look for your wedding stationery.

Ready to start planning? The Knot All-In-One Wedding Planner app will take you through the entire process—from finding your style and fixing your budget, all the way to your day-of timeline—so you can actually enjoy every step of the way. You can even add a reminder to tip your pros on your day-of wedding timeline so you don't forget. Click here to download the app and get started. After that, create a free, personalized wedding website to keep your guests informed (and excited!) about your plans, and a time-saving Guest List Manager to organize your attendees. Even better? You can sync your Guest List Manager and wedding website to update everything at once. 

"Reading from The Lovely Love Story was the best decision we made for our wedding! Our guests couldn't stop talking about how adorable and memorable it was, and we still get a bunch of guests sharing random dinosaur posts on our Facebook walls. We also ended up getting amazing wedding films, since it gave the cinematographers something really emotional to connect all of the pieces together. Cinematographers are storytellers, so having a unifying element to drive your love story will truly leave lasting impression in your wedding films." —Lisa and Jonathan


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.
When it comes down to the last month of your planning (and when you're particularly harried) look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things. Yes, cut three things. Not crucial things you just don't feel like doing, such as picking a processional song or confirming final details with all of your vendors. Eliminate only the over-the-top tasks like hand-painting "Just Married" signs, or baking cookies for all of the welcome bags. Cross them off and make a pledge not to think about them again.
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.

Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don't take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don't hire any vendors before you've confirmed your date; don't design your cake before you've envisioned your flowers; and don't book a band before you've settled on a space.
See something you like but it’s not quite right? One of the best-kept secrets we never meant to be a secret is that Minted actually offers Design Customization Services for almost all of our products. You can have us customize things beyond the tools automatically provided to you within our interface. Work directly with a designer to change color schemes and fonts. You can even hire a designer from our community to create something from scratch. If you’re not sure about a detail or simply want a look you haven’t seen yet, feel free to contact us using the form on the link above and someone from our team of design professionals will respond to your request quickly.
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
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