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!
"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
As you start your search for the perfect wedding dress, first decide on the silhouette. Ballgown wedding dresses, with their dramatic full skirts and waist-cinching bodices, are one of the most popular styles. If you’re looking for something a little sexier, look for a mermaid wedding dress, which hugs your figure and flares out at the mid-thigh. A-line wedding dresses are universally flattering! With the same waist-cinching effect as a ballgown and a flowy, dance-floor-ready skirt, it’s easy to see why brides love this effortless look. Courthouse brides and brides looking for something a little different often reach for short wedding dresses. We especially love tea-length dresses for their elongating effect and nod to vintage wedding dresses.
"We wanted the whole day to be a celebration of the rest of our lives. We wanted people to walk away saying, 'That was so much fun.' And we were able to accomplish that. Choose the few things that are really important to you, like the photographer and DJ were to us, and then go from there. Be flexible on the other details and remember to have fun." —Jeanae and Scott
Dress shopping starts with the silhouette. One of the most popular styles is the ball gown wedding dress, which has a full skirt, fitted bodice and a cinched waist. This style will define your waist and highlight your bust. If you’re looking to create a little extra curve, try corset bridal gowns to give your style even more drama. Plus size wedding dress collections are available, however nearly all Azazie dresses can be custom fit for all sizes.
When you're already digging deep into your (or your parents') pockets for wedding expenses, allotting room in your budget for gratuities on top of that can be hard to handle. And even though service charges may be spelled out in your contract, tipping—although not mandatory—is always appreciated for a job well done, not to mention a kind and thoughtful gesture. So don't forget to factor in tips when making your wedding budget.
"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
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.
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.
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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