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.
Tipping is supposed to act as a reward, so you don't need to consider it a mandatory expense. Tips are meant to be given for excellent service or for vendors who go above and beyond their contracted duties. Before dishing out gratuity, check your contracts. Some vendors, especially venues and catering companies, will include it in their contract to help eliminate confusion.
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. 

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.

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.
"What I mean by this is there will undoubtedly be times of stress, fighting (a lot of fighting), angst, and anxiousness before and during the wedding. What kept us sane was knowing that at the end of the day, it's just not that big of a deal. After the wedding, you will be husband and wife for the rest of your life—the wedding is just a big ol' party." —Lu and Joon
If you’re a fan of clean lines, modest dresses will give you a chic minimalist style that you’ll love. The straight cut adds even more length to your figure. If you’re looking to highlight your hips, there are two fabulous cuts you should try: the trumpet style, which is fitted below the knee, and drop waist style dresses, which shows off your waist and hip area.
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.

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!
From bridal bouquets to bridesmaid bouquets, find the perfect flowers and colors to fit your wedding theme. Whether looking for fall wedding bouquets with purple flowers for a vineyard wedding, winter wedding bouquets with classic white wedding flowers, colorful summer flowers for a tropical wedding, or some other unique theme , our floral experts can put together the bouquet of your dreams. Our beautiful wedding flower combinations incorporate some of the most popular wedding flowers including peonies, roses, lilies, gerbera daisies and hydrangeas.
"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.
"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
"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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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. 
Make sure your guests can both see and hear from their seats. If people are seated farther than 15 rows back from your ceremony altar or podium, consider renting a mic and a riser. This could range anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the equipment used. You'll need to coordinate the delivery and setup with your ceremony space, so put your wedding planner or best man in charge of this task.
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.
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