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Dress Shopping Trends

Celebrity Wedding Dresses vs Sinders Bridal: Who wore it better?

Following the recent wedding of Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, we couldn’t help but serve up a segment of “Who wore it better?” Celebrity Wedding Dresses vs Sinders Bridal edition! 

Have you ever looked in the tabloids, spotted a gorgeous wedding dress and thought to yourself “where in the world can I find one for myself?!”. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! 

Whether you’re looking for that simple A-Line, an extravagant train or all out sparkle – we can have you twinning with any celebrity!

Stefani just recently tied the knot to Shelton on July 3rd, featuring a custom silk gown with a beautiful plunging neckline and tulle skirt designed by the one and only Vera Wang.

We took a deep dive into the vault to find these 7 beautiful celebrity wedding dresses worn by some of our favourite celebrities:

Before further ado, let’s get down to business!

Hailey Bieber 

Okay. We all love a good off-the-shoulder moment (am I right?). So, can we take a second to appreciate Hailey Bieber in her custom mermaid lace gown designed by Virgil Abloh, creative director of Off-White? This dress was nothing short of stunning, featuring a sweetheart neckline and beautiful lace long sleeves.

Our Sinders Bridal swap for this showstopper? Henrietta.

It might not have those delicate lace sleeves or signature Abloh beading, but this beaded Calla Blanche bestseller features the same body hugging silhouette that will be sure to make you shine on your wedding day. Plus, Henrietta’s elegant beaded lace comes with optional sheer sleeve details that make it a perfect swap to Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin)’s custom gown!

Sofía Vergara

This might not have been the only dress Sofía Vergara wore on her luxurious wedding weekend; she actually chose a number of beautiful dresses throughout her weekend nuptials. However, her custom Zuhair Murad Couture gown was certainly the star of the show in our books! The Modern Family star married Joe Manganiello in 2015 with her lush fitted gown with Baroque-embroidered removable overskirt. This extravagant gown was grandiose while still providing the perfect compliment to Vergara’s figure.

This was a tough one but for Sofía Vergara, Sinders Bridal chose Essense of Australia D3044 with a stunning overskirt option to match. 

This Essense piece is a floral fit and flare, providing you that body hugging shape to feature your silhouette while the pairing overskirt assists with the glamour and extravagance a ballgown can provide. Featuring a modern strapless sweetheart neckline that feeds into a delicate plunge and lace appliqué, D3044 with the complimentary Essense of Australia overskirt will be the star of any show.

Ariana Grande 

Next up on our list of celebrity dress dreams, none other than Ariana Grande herself. Wearing an elegant and sophisticated Vera Wang, Ariana turned heads with an empire waist and plunging back line. Who said less can’t be more!? Paired with a shoulder length veil and a beautiful satin bow detail, it’s the perfect addition to the gown.

What is Sinders Bridal match for this? La Perle’s Gwen (LP 2018).

Just like Ariana, this soft ivory satin gown features a glam cowl neck and brilliant low back that is certainly a gorgeous moment. Not quite enough ‘oomph’ for you? Consider pairing this with a feature back necklace to elevate the look. We also matched Gwen with a shoulder length veil featuring delicate rhinestone appliques.

Gorgeous.

Debby Ryan 

Any other Disney Channel fans out there? Well, if there are then you may have already drooled over Debby Ryan in her Elie Saab ballgown. We certainly don’t blame you. Featuring an elegant off-the-shoulder boat neckline with a matching luxuriously long train, this 2019 spring collection was nothing short of beauty.

What is Sinders Bridal’s competition for this? Let us introduce you to Tesoro Viola.

This one of a kind ballgown, from designer Tesoro, offers a sweetheart neckline with a lavish Mikado that provides that similar jaw-dropping train for any bride looking for that beautiful princess feeling for their wedding day. We chose to pair Viola with a custom off-the-shoulder piece to give you the same stunning straps as Debby Ryan.

It’s certainly a win in our books!

Kate Middleton 

Calling all my royal family fans out there – I mean, who can forget the royal wedding of 2011? Even now, a decade later, we still can’t get over Kate Middleton’s designer Sarah Burton wedding dress. Middleton featured a nearly 9-foot train, V-neckline and luxurious long lace sleeves which moved flawlessly into the handmade lace bodice of the Victorian inspired gown. We can’t forget to mention the stunning Cartier halo tiara, borrowed by none other than Queen Elizabeth herself.

Sinders Bridal chose to compare this piece of royalty to White One’s Bradbury.

Everyone deserves to feel like a princess at least once in their life, am I right? If this is something you are looking for, consider this elegant Mikado princess cut dress. Matched with a beautiful V-neckline and those luxurious lace sleeves, Bradbury is an excellent choice for any bride looking for a bit more coverage on their wedding day.

Meghan Markle

Another royal family feature, but we couldn’t leave out this one. Anybody else in love with Meghan Markle’s second stunning wedding gown? Just hours after walking the aisle in her custom Givenchy gown, Markle submerged in this beautiful silk crepe high-neck gown designed by Stella McCartney. If you ask us, this was the perfect match of sophistication and romance.

The Sinders Bridal swap out for this? Hello Christina Wu 293#43.

This Christina Wu swap will provide the same fit-and-flare silhouette, with a halter neckline and natural waistband to allow a beautiful flow over your body. Much like the Stella McCartney, the smooth crepe of this dress is an elegant and romantic dress for any vision!

Serena Williams 

Tennis superstar Serena Williams finds herself as our final Sinders Bridal swap choice. She tied the knot with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian in November 2017, choosing none other than Sarah Burton for her Alexander McQueen ballgown. The gown featured a dramatic strapless neckline and cinching waistline, finished with an absolute jaw-dropping cape. Serena fell in love with this silhouette, and let us tell you so did we.

So, what did Sinders Bridal choose to swap this with? Stella York 7051 with a beautiful custom cape to match.

This clean and simple Stella York ballgown provides flattering ruching in the Mikado bust, while maintaining the classic statement silhouette. The delicate tulle bottom is both light and airy – perfect for a wedding in any season! Looking for a little bit more drama like Serena? Consider adding additional layers underneath to create a fuller skirt! We paired this Stella York with a custom made cape, featuring lace overlay and stunning rhinestone detailing for the perfect pop of drama.

I mean, how many times can you wear a cape in your life, am I right?

—-

Anyways.

This was honestly too much fun for us, but we wanted to leave you with just a few things to remember:

  1. If you’re looking to mimic an iconic look, consider customization. These celebrities have likely had hours of work put into their gowns to help create their desired vision. Consider talking through your options with your stylist.
  2. Accessories are your friend! Whether it be sleeves, a custom cape, or one-of-a-kind veil, these elements can heighten the look of any gown.
  3. When you are gown shopping – have fun with it! Focusing on a particular detail can lead you down a rabbit-hole. Remember to look at the bigger picture, and how you feel in the dress. Besides, this day is all about YOU!

How did we do? Did we miss anyone you were thinking of?

Drop us a comment on who you think did it better!

We can’t wait for our next instalment of celebrity wedding dresses.

Love,

The Sinders Team

Categories
Dress Shopping Wedding Dresses

5 things to consider when shopping for your wedding dress at Sinders Bridal

If there was ONE thing we could say that appropriately describes our feelings over opening our doors for our brides looking for their wedding dress once again… it has to be relief!

There has been so much going on here at Sinders Bridal House since we last spoke! If you are a follower of our social channels (which we hope you are 🙌 ), you will know that we are thrilled to welcome you back through our doors. We can’t wait to get you back on track finding your dream wedding dress! 

Whether you are recently engaged, in the middle of your planning or are getting an early start to your dream wedding we are here for it. And for you of course!

These past few months have been some of the most unpredictable and emotional moments for us all. So many of our brides have had to postpone their special days. Our hearts continue to be with all who have been impacted, but know we are hoping that nothing but clear skies lay ahead! 

However, one thing we have been able to learn from this roller coaster is this:

Love is not cancelled. 

So, can we take a quick moment to talk about how inspiring it has been to see so many of our brides in these romantic elopements and intimate micro-weddings?

Who said smaller weddings had to be any less than perfection?! 

Certainly not us.

Anyways, before we get too far ahead of ourselves on how much we love seeing our brides get married (SURPRISE we really really love it ❤️️ ); we wanted to let you know how things at our bridal shop may have changed since introducing new COVID-19 friendly precautions. 

So here are 5 things to consider when returning to Sinders Bridal House for your wedding dress:

1. Do your wedding dress research

Congratulations! 

You’ve made it to the first step in your wedding planning journey and that is… research. Whether this is your favourite thing to do, or the dread of your existence, research is key in understanding how your vision might best come to life.  

Have you thought about what style of wedding dress you see yourself in on your big day? Is it a sexy figure-flattering mermaid silhouette, or perhaps that statement ballgown with a hint of drama? Either way, understanding these terms opens the communication with your stylist and will be a key element in making your dress appointment run smoothly.    

If you’re having trouble getting started, or simply haven’t had a chance to look just yet – do not fret! Our team of dedicated stylists have helped hundreds of past brides find their perfect dress and are confident you can join that list! 

A great first step is to send us an email or book your appointment online!

2. Ask questions

Okay, now let’s talk about questions for a second – because everybody has them! 

Are you unsure about what wedding dress style might suit you best? Have you seen a specific dress you like online and want to know if we carry something similar? Are you hoping to confirm timelines with us so that you can keep your perfect day on track? 

Cue the Sinders team. 

Our doors might not always be open, but our entire team at Sinders are trained, passionate and enthusiastic individuals that are here as your number one resource. Picture us as your ‘bridal besties’ if you may. We LOVE helping you bring your vision to life and can promise that our team has your best intentions in mind. Because let’s face it, we want your wedding day to flow as smooth as satin ;).

Whether it be in person, over the phone, in an email or simply through our DM’s, do not fear to lean on our team for help before coming in for your appointment. Oh and if you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of our previous blogs, like ‘Expert Wedding Dress Shopping Tips’.

3. Consider fewer visits to the shop

Now here is a relatively new ‘thing’ since adapting to new COVID-19 precautions at our bridal shop. Much like our recommended number of guests (which we will get to in a moment), you might consider limiting the number of appointments you make at our shop. And NO, it is not that we do not want you here with us… it’s quite the contrary. 

As our doors have unfortunately been closed for a large part of this year we have a growing list of brides that, like you, are looking for their wedding dress with us at Sinders. Unfortunately, this might require longer waiting times for those desired Saturday appointment times. So, making fewer visits to the bridal shop could get your dream wedding dress into your hands sooner!  

Don’t let that worry you as we still provide our same intimate and incredible service you’ve come to know from us. Plus, if you’ve followed me along this far you will know that the first two steps might very well prepare you to find ‘the gown’ on your first try! 

4. Trim your list when shopping for your wedding dress

Okay. We know this is a hard one… but with COVID-19 restrictions, our store capacity continues to be limited. That means to best serve each bride, we ask that guests attending with you be limited to a select few individuals. While this might not be the best news you’ve heard, we wanted to highlight a few positives that trimming your guest list might mean for your upcoming wedding dress appointment. 

By trimming your list of friends and family members attending your dress appointment with you, there will be fewer voices in the room with you. This will allow for your stylist to help you focus on the emotions that matter most… the brides! Plus, it also means less stress and confusion for you!

Ultimately, your wedding dress appointment should be about you guessed it… you. Now, we don’t want you to cut out everyone! We are still able to welcome your party virtually – and are happy to discuss how this will work with you before your appointment. 

We promise we will still offer the same white carpet experience to your entire party – whether it be in-person or virtually! 

5. Trust your bridal stylist

Finally, our last piece of advice is to trust your stylist

Many of the women here at Sinders have been with us for over a decade! They understand exactly how to find the perfect wedding dress for your big day! We can be your cheerleader, your confidant, or your bodyguard. But most importantly… we will be your fashionista behind you the entire way. 

Not only do we know the designers like the back of our hands, we work with these wedding dresses every day! We know which dresses will give you the best support, which will hug your curves, and which will make you SHINE. 

Your wedding dress should not only embody your vision but enhance your beauty, your confidence and your style. Letting YOU be the star on your wedding day. 

Phew, that’s it – simple right? 

Before we go, let us leave you with one more thought. 

Sinders is here to build confidence with a single piece of clothing – so we can all create a positive impact on our future. It’s what we do. It’s why we are here. Now more than ever, our team is here to help you feel good about yourself and your future day. 

So, if you have any questions regarding how your shopping experience might look different with us, contact us! Do not hesitate to call, email, or DM us – heck or give us a comment below!

Categories
Dress Shopping

Expert Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

Ever since childhood, we have loved weddings; the big white dress, the flowers, people in a celebratory mood; we were hooked. When the reality TV craze started, our PVR was set to tape them all: Say Yes to the Dress (Kleinfeld’sAtlantaBridesmaids, and Canada), I Found the GownMy Fair Wedding with David TuteraRich Bride/Groom Poor Bride/Groom, and Four Weddings to name just a few. So, when we started to think of where to start with our blog, we thought about what are some key wedding dress shopping tips.

So, we thought we would start with the basics, Wedding Dress Shopping Tips: Advice from Our Experts 

After speaking with many of our expert stylists, some who have been assisting brides for many years, we have got the scoop on what brides should know/do to have the best wedding dress shopping experience possible.

  1. Bring a small entourage

    Brides tend to want to bring a large number of people with them; parent(s), siblings, cousins, aunts, grandmas, friends etc. However, the more people you bring the more opinions there are going to be, good and bad. Trying to find a dress to please that many people is a near impossible task, especially if you are a people pleaser like me. You can likely end up getting stressed out and confused on which direction to go with so many different thoughts and opinions being shared.

    Appointments with small parties tend to be more successful. You are able to receive a couple other opinions, but won’t become overwhelmed trying to find a dress that you and 8 other people will love. With fewer people shopping for the dress, it means more people to surprise with your beautiful choice. If you really want to show those special people your dress you can bring a few of them to your fittings.
  2. Wear proper undergarments

    Remember to wear proper undergarments to your appointment. Many dresses are strapless (with the option of adding straps or sleeves if desired) so we recommend a strapless bra. Undergarments are mandatory when trying on dresses for hygienic reasons (experience has shown stylists that some brides need reminding of this). Stylist are not able to allow you to try on any dresses without underwear. And remember, the stylist will need to assist you in doing-up the dress. So, if you’re not comfortable sharing your “rear assets” with her, skip the thong that day.
  3. Have an idea of what you’re looking for, but be open-minded to suggestions

    It helps to have ideas of what you’re interested in at your appointment (the cut, fabric, lace/no lace, bling/no bling, etc.). So, do some research before you come to your appointment. And, don’t be afraid to show your stylist some pictures of what you like. Just remember that pictures in magazines are photo-shopped and not always 100% realistic. We have links to all the designers we carry on our website. Interested in a specific style? Call or email Sinders to inquire about it!

    While having an idea of what you’re interested in is helpful, you should still come with an open mind to try other styles. Your stylist spends her days putting women into dresses; she knows how to read you, find out what you like, and what will work with your body type. Listening to the stylist’s suggestions can really surprise you. All our stylists have had countless brides come in with one idea and yet purchased something completely different.
  4. Shop early enough, but not too early

    Shopping for a wedding dress is not the same as shopping for any other dress. Unless you’re purchasing your gown off the rack, you will just be trying on samples at the store. Then the store will order your choice, in your size, from the designer.  Depending on the designer and time of year, dresses can take up to 9 months to be shipped to the bridal shop. It is important to keep this in mind to have the widest selection available to you.

    Shopping too early for your dress can also be a problem. Purchasing your dress with over a year before your wedding day may result in buyer’s regret. Designers usually release two collections per year. Between your purchase date and your big day current wedding dress styles may change, and you may discover a dress you love more than the one you purchased.
  5. Stay within budget

    Wedding dresses come in a large range of prices from the higher hundreds to tens of thousands. It’s so easy to walk into a store and see many dresses you like without considering the price.  Before coming to your appointment you should know what you (or whoever is paying for the dress) are able and willing to spend. Tell your stylist what your budget is at the beginning of the appointment. It is a big mistake to try on a dress that is above your budget. Especially if you’re not willing to spend the extra money. If you end up falling in love with the dress but can’t afford it you will end up comparing all the other dresses to it. And, warning, it’s very unlikely any of them will be able to match those feelings. There are beautiful dresses for any budget, our stylists can show you.
  6. Don’t try on too many dresses

    Wanting to see all your options, and continuing to play “dress up” can make you want to try on the hundreds of options available. However, this will likely result in you becoming confused on what you like, not knowing which dress is your dress, and having to settle on one you may regret. Most brides try on an average of 4-7 dresses. To prevent you from becoming confused, you should plan to try no more than approximately 10 gowns.
  7. Don’t worry about the size of the dress

    Bridal sizing runs smaller than street sizing. So, you will likely end up with a dress size larger than your regularly wear. Don’t worry about this, it’s just a number and it doesn’t define you. You will look better and enjoy your day much more if you’re in a dress that fits properly and you’re comfortable in! Don’t try to squeeze into a dress you will be pulling at all day. Especially because it’s a smaller size (no one needs to know the size of your dress anyway).
  8. You don’t have to cry

    Lots of brides have the idea that they will cry when they find “the dress”. While this can happen, it doesn’t always, and it’s not a requirement. Not all brides have an outward display of emotion, and that is perfectly acceptable. When you have found “the dress” you’ll know, no matter what your reaction is.

So there they are; the top tips from Sinders expert bridal stylist so you can have the best wedding dress shopping experience possible.

If you have any other questions regarding wedding dress shopping, please let us know. We’ll find the answer for you!

Don’t forget to book your appointment to find your perfect dress with us. Here at Sinders, we focus on providing the best customer service, so you can have the best experience finding your dress.

Categories
Wedding Planning

Bridesmaid duties and responsibilities

You have been asked to stand with one of your closet friends as she takes this important step in her life. Whether you love weddings or think they are a waste of money, you should still feel honoured that the bride values your relationship so much that she wants you not just to attend, but to participate in her special day.

You may be thinking that being a bridesmaid simply means buying a dress and standing at the front of the ceremony site while the couple say “I do,” but that is actually only one of multiple duties.

Being a bridesmaid has quite a few responsibilities, and more expenses then just the dress. Below I’ve explained the customary bridesmaid duties and what she is responsible for financially.

Duties & Responsibilities

A bride should never assume that a her party knows exactly what her anticipated bridesmaid duties are, especially since every bride has different expectations.

Today, many brides send out an email to their bridesmaid to let them know what her plans and (reasonable) expectations are, and what the bridesmaids should be available for.

Customary Bridesmaid Duties:

  • Assist bride in any reasonable way with any wedding planning
  • Accompany bride dress shopping for wedding gown if she asks you too (some brides take their entire bridal party, others just take their maid of honour and other family members)
  • Accompany bride dress shopping for bridesmaids dresses
  • Run errands up to and on the day of the wedding
  • Attend all wedding related events/parties if possible
  • Assist maid/matron of honour in planning bridal shower and bachelorette party, and contribute to costs financially
  • Give a gift at the bridal shower and wedding or contribute to a group gift
  • One or two bridesmaids should record the item and recipient of all gifts at the shower
  • Assist bride in making/assembling save the dates, wedding invitations, and/or wedding favors
  • Assist as co-hostess for all wedding related events; mingle and introduce guests, make sure people are enjoying themselves, etc.
  • Pay for your own attire (dress, shoes, jewelry, hair piece, etc), hairstyling, and make-up (unless the bride has stated she is paying for this)
  • Arrange for your own transportation for the day of, unless the bride has already done so
  • Pay for your own accommodations if you live out of town. Some sources say this is the responsibility of the couple, but majority agree it is the responsibility of the bridesmaid.  If you are unsure, check with the bride to see if she’ll be swallowing this cost or not.
  • Possibly give a speech at the rehearsal dinner (some brides choose a bridesmaid for this task since the maid/matron of honour gives a speech at the wedding)
  • Walk in the processional, stand/sit at the front of the ceremony site during the ceremony, walk in the recessional
  • Greet guests in the receiving line if the bride asks you too
  • Assist the maid of honour with the bride’s bustle if necessary
  • Dance with your designated groomsman at the end of the couple’s dance if they are following this tradition
  • Participate in the bouquet toss

Maid/Matron of Honour

The maid/matron of honour is the primary bridal attendant. She is the bride’s right-hand-woman for the entire wedding planning process and on the big day.
The role is the same for a maid or matron of honour. History simply created the different terms to distinguish whether the lady was single (maid) or married (matron).

On top of the customary bridesmaids duties listed above, the maid/matron of honour has the additional duties of:

  • Initiate and coordinate the bridal shower and bachelorette party (unless another bridesmaids wishes to take on this responsibility)
  • Coordinate group gift from the bridesmaids for the shower and/or wedding if you are doing one
  • Ensure all bridesmaids have ordered their dresses in time, and get any alterations needed in time
  • Hold the groom’s ring during the ceremony if there is no ring bearer
  • Hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony (be prepared, these can be heavier than they look)
  • Serve as the ceremonial/legal witness for the marriage
  • Straighten the bride’s train after the processional, before the recessional, and during the photos
  • Make a speech/toast at the reception, and possibly at the rehearsal dinner
  • Bustle the bride’s train at the reception (it helps to attend a fitting with the bride so you are shown how to do this. You might need another bridesmaid’s assistance as well).
  • Assist the bride in changing out of her wedding gown if she is changing outfits
  • Have a list of contact’s from the bride (parents, vendor, officiant, caterer, dj/band, etc.) so you can handle any glitches that occur on the big day so the bride can remain stress free

Being prepared for emergencies is always a good idea. No matter how hard the bride has worked to make her special day perfect, something can go wrong.  To help with the minor mishaps on the day it’s suggested that bridesmaids have an emergency tool kit with them.  When at your seamstress ask for suggestions on any items you should have on hand (ex. needle/thread, safety pins) for any unexpected emergencies.

Other suggestions to include in your kit are aspirin/ibuprofen, bandages, bobby pins, etc.

Who Picks the Dress and Accessories?

Yes you are paying for the dress. Yes you are the one wearing the dress. However, the final decision on what dress the bridesmaids are wearing is up to the bride since it is her day.
A good bride will take your budget and opinion into her consideration, but ultimately she does make the decision.

Some brides are letting their bridesmaids choose their own gowns given some specific parameters; such as colour, length, material, and/or designer.  In this case it’s always a good idea to make sure the bride does give her ok on your dress before you purchase it to make sure it goes with her vision.

When getting alterations on your dress, make sure you wear the same undergarments you’re going to be wearing on the actual day of the wedding. Undergarments do affect how a gown sits and fits.

Also make sure your undergarments are not visible underneath the dress. This occurred at a wedding I was a bridesmaid in. Minutes before we were getting ready to leave we noticed one bridesmaid’s black underwear was showing through her coral gown. Luckily we were in the hotel yet so she could run back to her room and change.

Some brides want a unified look, right down to the toes, so they ask their bridesmaids to all purchase the same pair of shoes and other accessories. Other brides give general specifications (ex. nude pump, pearl stud earrings, etc) but let the girls choose the exact items themselves.
So before you run out and start accessorizing your look find out what the bride has decided.

Hair, Make-Up, Nails

It’s customary for the bridesmaids to pay for their own hair, make-up, and nails. Again, some brides want a certain look for their wedding. Which means all their girls to have an up-do, matching nails, etc. While other brides let the girls choose what works for them.

If the bride doesn’t inform you of her choice, you should check with her or the maid of honour. Don’t make any assumptions either way.

Some brides do decide to pay for this service for their girls as part of her thank you for helping her with her special day. However, this is not a requirement so make sure you leave room in your budget for these services unless the bride tells you otherwise.

Being a bridesmaid should be an enjoyable experience for you. It’s a great time to enjoy the relationship you have with your friend. It can also be a busy and stressful time which can put a strain on your friendship.

To help reduce the stress, it’s always a good idea to find out what the bride’s expectations of your bridesmaid duties are at the beginning. Let the bride know what your budget and time availability is for the event, and to remember that this is a time for celebration so don’t let the little things bog you both down.

Categories
Dress Shopping Wedding Dresses

Top 10 tips for beautiful beach wedding dresses

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN CHOOSING BEACH WEDDING DRESSES FOR YOUR DESTINATION WEDDING

Destination weddings are a fun, relaxed alternative to traditional weddings. They combine the best of wedding celebrations and beach vacations, all with your most cherished loved ones. And like destination weddings, the choices for beach wedding dresses are more fun and laid back. Since you won’t be in a church, there are no rules with how much skin you can show. It’s also too hot on the beach to wear a formal wedding dress anyway.

While beach wedding dresses aren’t always traditional, they are still elegant. So choose to stay cool and comfortable on your big day in a beautiful beach wedding dress.

Here are the top 10 things to look for when choosing beach wedding dresses.

A COMFORTABLE FIT

The fit of a wedding dress is an important consideration, no matter where you’re getting married. But for beach weddings, you have to take the heat into consideration as well.

To enjoy your special day without feeling sticky in the heat, find a dress that fits comfortably. Consider looser fits that won’t stick to your skin.

Flattering styles that will be comfortable even in the heat and humidity include:

  • A-line fit and flares;
  • Above-the-knee flounce designs;
  • Loose tea-length pencil shapes; and,
  • Short sheathes.

LIGHTWEIGHT & BREATHABLE FABRIC

A comfortable beach wedding dress will also need flowy, breathable fabric. Traditional wedding dresses have heavier fabrics, such as polyester-silk or satin-silk. But beach wedding dressers will have looser fits and lightweight fabrics such as:

  • Chiffon;
  • Crêpe;
  • Cotton blends;
  • Organza; and,
  • Mesh or lace details.

MOISTURE-FRIENDLY FABRIC

There’s a good chance that your destination wedding will be in a hot, humid place by the ocean. So you have to take the high humidity into account when choosing fabrics for your wedding dress. The oceanfront humidity is not kind to some fabrics. Certain fabrics will result in a dress that becomes damaged, wrinkled, or flattened.

Comfortable, breathable fabrics that can handle moisture are ideal. And if you decide to take a stroll into the ocean for wedding photos, then you won’t cringe at the thought of ruining your beloved dress.

A SHORTER LENGTH

Shorter dresses are also ideal for wading in the ocean, walking in the sand, and feeling cooler in the heat. Full skirts and floor-length dresses are elegant. But they may impede on your fun in the sun, getting dirty or damaged in the sand and water. Shorter-length styles include streamlined, tea-length, and above-the-knee designs.

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TRAIN ALTERNATIVES

As with long skirts, trains will also face problems on the beach. Trains don’t allow for free-flowing movement and may get muddied on the beach. They also add weight to the dress, making them seem heavier in the heat and humidity. Even when bustled, the weight is still there. So opt for another accessory for your outfit that won’t get in the way. Consider a short veil, mesh or lace details, or other lightweight-fabric details.

BEACH-FRIENDLY ADD-ONS

Even a veil may be too much for a windy oceanfront. But there are accessories that will work well both with your dress and the beach environment. Maintain comfort and convenience throughout your big day with these beach-friendly add-ons:

  • Flower crowns;
  • Headbands;
  • Jewellery; and,
  • Lace gloves.

BARE SHOULDERS

In the tropical heat, you will want to expose as much skin as possible to cool down in the ocean breeze. Popular beach wedding dresses expose the shoulders and arms for added comfort. In the heat and humidity, the less fabric you have on, the more comfortable you’ll be.

Consider beach wedding dresses with the following styles to stay cool:

  • Halter;
  • Keyhole;
  • One shoulder;
  • Short-sleeves;
  • Strapless; and,
  • Spaghetti straps.

EASY TO TRANSPORT

When travelling to your destination, make sure your dress makes it on time and in pristine condition. Do not check it with your luggage at the airport. Either carry it on the plane with you, or arrange to ship it registered and expedited to your wedding destination.

Either way, you will want a lightweight dress that is easy to ship or carry. If you choose to ship your dress, you will end up saving on shipping costs if it’s lightweight. And if you choose to travel with your dress, you will want to carry it on the plane.

EASY TO STORE

After your wedding, you will may want to have your dress dry cleaned and packaged for proper storage. The cleaning and prep for storage is expensive for big dresses with delicate fabrics. But lightweight dresses with moisture-friendly materials will be easier to clean and store.

MAKES YOU FEEL CONFIDENT

As with a comfortable fit, how confident you feel in a dress is a priority when choosing wedding dresses. You will want a dress that makes you feel beautiful so that you’ll be happy to wear it throughout your wedding day.

Destination weddings are all about feeling good, relaxed, and happy. Choose a dress that will make you feel great so you can have fun in the sun without worries on your wedding day.

Download the Sinders Bridal Guide to Plan the Wedding of Your Dreams

Categories
Customizations & Alterations Dress Shopping In-House Alterations

6 tips for wedding dress fittings and alterations

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN GETTING YOUR WEDDING DRESS READY FOR THE BIG DAY

In a perfect world, finding your wedding dress would mean a perfect fit right off the hanger. But more often than not, the dress of your dreams needs a few dress fittings and alterations to perfectly suit your body and style.

That’s where fitting comes in! Once you’ve found your dream wedding dress, you will need to have it fitted. Fittings are the perfect opportunity to add special details and personalize your dress.

Whether you prefer long sleeved wedding dresses or sleeveless gowns, there’s something perfect for your size and style to ensure you can shine on your wedding day. Seamstress work and tailoring can make your dress look and feel even better.

If you’re not sure where to start with fittings and alterations, don’t worry – we’re here to help! We’ve covered everything from first fittings to who to bring, and we’ve included some tips for sizing and alterations.

First things first:

WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR FIRST DRESS FITTING

Your first fitting should take about an hour. When you try on the dress, your seamstress will pin it properly to give you a sense of how alterations will look. This will also give you a sense of how your dress will fit once it’s fully fitted. If your dress has a train, this is also an opportunity to look at bustle options.

After the first fitting, each fitting onward should take less time since the alterations will be closer to completion. This initial fitting is usually the longest, and future fittings will generally take much less time.

WHEN TO SCHEDULE DRESS FITTINGS

The sooner you schedule, the better. The further out you schedule, the more time you’ll have to ensure your dress is perfect for your wedding day. Try to schedule your first fitting when you buy your dress, or at least 8 to 10 weeks before your wedding.

Brides typically have three or four fittings, depending on the number of alterations. With each fitting, your dress will become more sculpted to your body. And after the second fitting, you should have a better idea of how the dress will fit.

Your seamstress will help you set a fitting schedule based on the date of your wedding. At the very minimum, expect your final pickup fitting to be scheduled a month after your first fitting.

Ideally, you’d have two to three months between the first and final fittings. Keep in mind that if you ask for a greater number of alterations (or if the alterations are more time-consuming), it’s going to take more time. Remember, your seamstress is the expert – when in doubt trust in their skills and instincts!

WHAT TO BRING

Since you want your dress to fit perfectly on your wedding day, bring everything you plan to wear on your big day to your fittings. This includes undergarments (bra, slip, shapewear), bridal shoes, a veil, hair accessories, and jewellery. With everything on, you will have a better idea of how each piece fits together for your final look.

Undergarments affect how a dress fits, and shoes will change how the dress’ length looks. If you don’t have your wedding shoes yet, bring a pair with similar heels so your dress won’t look too short or too long.

DISCOVER WHAT STACEY & MEGHAN ARE UP TO

and get a sneak preview of Sinder’s Bridal Guide for free!

By completing this form and clicking on the Submit button, I expressly consent and agree to receive e-mails from Sinders Bridal to the e-mail address provided.

WHO TO BRING

Remember, fittings aren’t the White Dress Experience. By the time you’re getting fitted for your dress, you’ve already made your choice. That said, it’s worth bringing a few people to your fittings, especially if they’re part of the wedding party. Consider your maid of honour and perhaps another close friend.

You want people who know your style and what you’re looking for, but who aren’t afraid to be honest and tell you if it’s not quite perfect. Plus, if you plan to make your train a bustle, your maid of honour should be present at the final fitting so she can learn how to bustle your gown.

SIZING

The rule of thumb for choosing a dress size is to opt for comfort. In short, pick the larger size! It’s far easier to take in a dress during fittings than it is to make the dress bigger. Nevertheless, it is possible to bring a dress up in sizes, in some cases. Don’t worry if your size changes throughout the fittings. That’s what fittings are for!

STYLE & ALTERATIONS

The style of your wedding dress should suit your individual preferences. And if you can make it suit the style of your wedding location, theme, and décor as well, that’s even better.

Your seamstress will help you decide which alterations will work best without compromising the style of your dress. Along with the length and fit, you can choose alterations to make your dress more like you, such as:

  • Necklines – For example, if you want to change the neckline from straight to sweetheart.
  • Sleeves – You can add sleeves to a strapless wedding dress to create a cap-, short-, or long-sleeved wedding dress.
  • Corset Backs – You can switch out a zipper back with one that laces up. This might give you more room to breathe as well.
  • Bustles – If your dress has a train, you can opt to lift up your train after the ceremony. This bustle will change your look for the reception, giving you more mobility to dance.

Most bridal shops have experienced seamstresses who will work with you and your dress leading up to the big day. So if you have any concerns, or want alteration advice, your seamstress will be there for you, making sure your dress fits perfectly, and just how you imagined for your wedding day.

Categories
Customizations & Alterations Dress Shopping

Custom Wedding Gowns from Jolicoeur

A LOOK INTO MEGHAN AND STACEY’S JOURNEY FROM DESIGNER DREAM TO RUNWAY REALITY

After decades of making their brides’ dreams come true, it’s time to finally make their own dreams a reality with their latest project: Jolicoeur.

If you haven’t already heard, the Sinders Bridal powerhouse sisters, Meghan and Stacey, have taken the plunge and launched their very own Canadian-inspired custom line of designer wedding gowns.

Immersing themselves in the bridal industry has helped them understand what exactly their brides are looking for. It has also enabled them to take to the drawing board and come up with masterpieces. Their custom wedding gowns are flawlessly designed with the female body in mind, and backed behind decades of experience in fashion, design, and sewing.

KEEP READING FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT JOLICOEUR, WHAT INSPIRED THE SISTERS TO START THIS LINE, AND WHAT THEY BOTH DISCOVERED ALONG THE WAY.

WHAT SPARKED THE IDEA?

It all started when we were searching for gowns to carry in our shop. We were often met with dresses that were just shy of perfect for our standards. Time and time again, we encountered gorgeous pieces, but something was always missing. We knew that if certain characteristics of the gown were altered, or a seam was shifted, that it would make it a perfect dress that our brides would fall in love with. Over the years we started to realize – we know what our brides are looking for better than the designers we carry. So, why not design custom wedding gowns we know our brides want! And that’s exactly what we set out to do.

WHAT INSPIRED THE NAME AND HOW DOES IT TIE INTO THE BRAND?

The name Jolicoeur is our grandmother’s name. She grew up in the Ottawa area and raised her family there, and though we grew up in the Ottawa valley, this area is our home. We’re proud to start our own brand here. We wanted a name that represented our heritage. So we could bring our family on this journey with us and remain connected to our roots. Plus, while it might not be a perfect translation, we love what the name means in French. How could you not love the sweetness behind falling in love with a Jolie Cœur; a Pretty Heart!

HOW LONG HAS JOLICOEUR BEEN IN THE MAKING?

It feels like yesterday! We finally sat down, planned our strategy, and committed to creating our line in late 2018. We dabbled with the idea of starting our custom line of gowns several years earlier, however, the project didn’t have our full commitment behind it at the time. Though our reasons were the same, and we had many years of wedding industry experience behind us, we didn’t have the backing of a bridal shop that could show our gowns to their greatest potential. Both Sinders Bridal House and Jolicoeur have grown and flourished from the same love of fashion and design. Now both names are ready to work together to make your dreams come true.

WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION?

Since our infancy, we’ve been in love with fashion and design. So being able to craft works of art for our brides was an extremely attractive endeavour for both of us. 

Having a hand in how the gown would look and feel excited us. Especially after spending so many years doing what we love to do and having a background in weddings, design, and sewing. We know what our brides want. We want nothing more than to deliver that to them through the best styles and designs. It’s not uncommon that our brides tell us that they were looking for something specific but couldn’t find it in Canada as it was a European style. Or, that they had a vision for their dress but can’t seem to make it come to life. Our goal was to provide our brides with stunning, affordable custom wedding gowns they would see on the runway.

Beyond our struggles with finding beautiful gowns that were missing that “je-ne-sais-quoi,” we also discovered that Canadian design houses were few and far between. Europe had dominated the fashion and bridal world, and we felt that they shouldn’t be the only players in the game. We wanted to bring home some credit for our industry and show the world that Canada has a lot to offer brides.

On a more personal note, Stacey always aspired to become a designer, so Jolicoeur is now a little girl’s dream surfacing into a reality.

DISCOVER WHAT STACEY & MEGHAN ARE UP TO

and get a sneak preview of Sinder’s Bridal Guide for free!

By completing this form and clicking on the Submit button, I expressly consent and agree to receive e-mails from Sinders Bridal to the e-mail address provided.

WHAT WAS THE PROCESS LIKE? EXPLAIN THE JOURNEY.

When we embarked upon this journey, we took inspiration from the female body. With 25 years of experience helping brides find the dress of their dreams, we know which styles flatter which body types. How gowns are supposed to fit on the body, how to customize dresses from headtotoe, and what features and adornments add that extra oomph. Lace should flow in the right direction, seams should both enhance and diminish curves, and although this sounds impossible to achieve simultaneously, I assure you it is the basis for a perfect fit when it comes to wedding gowns!

First, we sketch the rough outline of how the gown should fit, then work with high-quality fabrics and choose the best ones for each individual gown. 

Every gown has a bride’s name on it before it’s even created. It’s as though the gown is destined to be hers. This idea is exhilarating and terrifying at the same time because we know she’ll come visit us in our boutique and fall in love with the dress. So it needs to hold up the Sinders quality standards. The design, fabric, shape, style – everything needs to be just right, otherwise, it won’t feel like ‘the one.’

When we go through the process for each gown and make decisions and support each other’s ideas, we know we’re creating something incredible!

We live for the moment our brides look in the mirror and just know, ‘that’s the one’. We design gorgeous gowns that are not only expertly crafted, but are comfortable to wear. Plus they make our brides feel confident, beautiful, and proud.

WHAT SURPRISED YOU MOST THROUGHOUT THIS EXPERIENCE?

How seamlessly everything just falls into place when you design a gown with purpose. The fabric sits perfectly, the lines glide down beautifully along the body, and the whole thing suddenly comes together almost effortlessly. When we completed our sample design, and finally got the gown on our model for the first time, it was an absolutely magical moment I will cherish forever.

Meghan

More humbling than surprising, but the level of support we received from our friends, family, and Sinders team of experts! From the moment we committed to designing this line of gowns to finally receiving them, we’ve received so much positivity and support from everyone. We couldn’t be happier to have them by our side throughout this experience.

Stacey

WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT YOURSELF?

I learned that it takes a village to achieve what seems like the impossible. We create a powerhouse team when every person contributes their strengths. Even though we both had this dream and planned to bring our dream to fruition, it takes every person in our shop. To keep us on the journey moving forward, until that dream becomes a reality.

Meghan

I learned that it has taken 25 years of ups, downs, and massive challenges to get me to this point. The designs and ideas are from working with hundreds of brides and really listening to their wants and needs, and educating myself on women’s bodies to know what looks good on certain shapes and sizes. That allows me to create gowns for all women. Gowns designed to make you feel like you are realizing the dream you’ve always desired.

Stacey

WHAT IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT LIFE-LESSON YOU BOTH LEARNED?

The most significant life lesson we learned both individually and separately was that for us to truly achieve our goals–professional and personal–it all starts with believing in ourselves and harnessing that confidence to make things happen.

From running a business to designing our custom line staying connected to one another, taking care of our families, and trying to juggle all the challenges life throws at us, having faith in ourselves and each other separates the thoughts of ‘I can’t’ to ‘I can’. We are overwhelmed some days with daunting tasks, trying to keep all the pieces in the air moving together. But it pushes us outside of our comfort zone, and in the end, we are incredibly proud and blessed to have each other and our incredibly supportive family behind us. And our amazing Sinders family has been by our side every step of the way, which we are eternally grateful for.

SINDERS BRIDAL HOUSE AND THE MISS UNIVERSE CANADA COMPETITION

HOW DID SINDERS GET INVOLVED?

An incredible woman with whom we’d worked with for several years in bridal shows in the Ottawa area had approached us. We had no idea she had been a Miss Canada contestant and even beyond that, a winner in the Miss Grand Canada competition. When Grace modelled for us each year, we got along so well, and she loved the fit and style of the gowns we chose for her. She was a natural on the runway – graceful and elegant – and she looked stunning in everything we put on her. It was hard to choose just one or two gowns!

WHAT WAS THE PROCESS LIKE?

We were just starting the creation process for one of our very first Joliceour designs, Sophia, when Grace approached us about sponsoring her path through Miss Universe Canada. She has such a presence and a confidence about her. We knew she would be a perfect fit for such a one-of-a-kind gown. We designed Sophia to be a statement piece, one you need to be able to pull off, or it will overpower you. When we had our sample ready for Grace to try on, it was like witnessing magic. The fit was perfect, she was jaw-dropping, and we knew she’d excel in the competition.

WHICH DESIGNERS DID YOU USE, AND HOW MANY GOWNS WERE IN THE MIX?

Miss Universe Canada has several phases and requires a gown for each phase. Along with our Joliceour gown, Grace also chose several of our pieces from Eva Lendel and WONÀ Concept (formally known as Crystal Design). Based in Ukraine, WONÀ is one of our favourite designers. We were fortunate enough to have met the designer/owner and established a great relationship with their team. One person is responsible for making each every one of their gowns, from start to finish. It’s such a rare thing these days in the fashion industry. Everything has been so commercialized. We really admire their creativity, and we were so grateful to have them partner with us in dressing Grace.

Throughout the competition, Grace needed one evening gown, six cocktail gowns, and one formal piece for the interview portion for which she chose an incredible ivory pantsuit we carry from Eva Lendel. It’s a showstopper, and she absolutely rocked it! She knew what looks she wanted to embody and was confident about how to portray herself in the garment. We felt so privileged to be able to provide Grace with every one of the pieces she needed, with the help of our amazing designers Crystal and Eva.

WHAT WAS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT THING YOU’VE TAKEN AWAY FROM THIS EXPERIENCE?

The best part of working with Grace for Miss Universe Canada was that she taught us so much about her work in sociology and the competition itself. It’s no surprise that these types of competitions get a bad reputation. We even heard comments like ‘…ew, those things still happen?’. But what’s amazing is that every woman involved in these competitions has a voice and is finding her platform to use it to help others. Grace stands for many tough subjects like police brutality, violence against women, and racial profiling, to name a few. Every woman there is trying to grow personally, philanthropically, and in their career in order to help others. So, why should society look down on that? A portion of these competitions might be based on fashion and aesthetics, but we ourselves are guilty of taking our love of fashion to the extremes sometimes!

What if we were to use our love of fashion to help educate and bring light to certain subjects, isn’t that worth it? We stood behind a woman who stood for confidence and empowering other women, and we are very proud of that.

“Empowering each other in life is something we think everyone should do more of these days.”

FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT OUR NEW CUSTOM LINE, JOLICOEUR!
Categories
Dress Shopping Wedding Dresses

How to Choose a Second Wedding Dress for your Reception

TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR SECOND WEDDING DRESS SO YOU CAN HAVE YOUR DREAM GOWN FOR YOUR CEREMONY AND YOUR RECEPTION

Many brides dream of walking down the aisle wearing a big princess-style ball gown, but by the end of the evening, it can become extremely cumbersome and uncomfortable to move in, making it difficult to enjoy your wedding reception and dance the night away.

Or, maybe you love the idea of having both a ball gown and a sexy, mermaid dress and are struggling to choose just one. For either reason, more and more brides are choosing to purchase a second (or third or fourth) dress just for their wedding reception.

But while planning an outfit change will ensure you get the best of both worlds, finding not one, but two or more dream wedding dresses can be a bit of a challenge.

READ MORE: HOW TO SHOP FOR WEDDING DRESSES IN OTTAWA

HISTORY BEHIND THE TWO DRESS TREND

While nowadays, it seems like the majority of brides are opting for an outfit change during their wedding reception, the trend has been around for longer than you might think.

Going all the way back to the 1930s, it was common for brides to change towards the end of their wedding reception into a “Going Away Dress” for their grand exit, where they would be whisked off to their honeymoon.

This “Going Away” ensemble typically consisted of a bridal-inspired skirt and jacket.

Now fast forward to 2019, and the trend has slightly shifted, with many brides purchasing two or more vastly different gowns for both their wedding ceremony and reception.

REASONS TO BUY A SECOND WEDDING DRESS

So, you’ve already found your dream bridal gown that makes you feel your most beautiful. You might be wondering – why would you want to wear anything else on your most special day?

Here are some of the most common reasons why brides are ditching their ceremony gowns before the reception.

COMFORT

Just like you may want to change out of your high heels as the night wears on, you may find yourself uncomfortable during the reception if your dress is a large, ball gown silhouette with lots of heavy fabric and beading.

Or maybe you went with a slinkier silhouette with a corset back that looks beautiful, but is difficult to sit and move in.

READ MORE: 10 EXPERT TIPS FOR PLUS-SIZED WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING

DANCING

Even if you don’t find yourself uncomfortable in your ball gown by the end of the night, dancing can still be a challenge in a big poufy gown. While dancing and twirling the night away in a sea of tulle can sound like a dream, in actuality, having so much fabric can increase your risk of people – including your groom! – stepping on the hem of your gown and tripping while out on the dance floor.

WEATHER

Getting married outdoors in the summertime has lots of advantages, but unless the temperature starts to dip after your ceremony, wearing a heavy gown with many layers of fabric and beading can leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable throughout your reception. By switching to a lighter, airier gown, you will feel so much cooler and not run the risk of overheating.

DIFFICULTY CHOOSING JUST ONE STYLE

Ball gowns, and a-lines, and fit and flares, oh my! With so many options for bridal gowns these days, finding your dream dress can be overwhelming and make your head spin.

Further adding to the stress is the fact that many brides struggle to decide what they want to look like on their wedding day and whether they should go with a sexy or princessy look.

If you find yourself in this predicament, purchasing a more fitted, sexier gown for the reception will help ease any indecision you are experiencing.

MODESTY

If you are getting married in a church, there are often some modesty rules you have to follow. This means you will likely need to stay a bit more covered up during your ceremony by having your shoulders or arms covered and concealing cleavage.

But after your ceremony, you may want to let loose and show off your sexier side. In this case, having a second dress is a good compromise.

TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR RECEPTION DRESS

Now that you’ve established the fact that you’d like to purchase a second wedding dress for your reception, how do you choose which one?

Here are a few tips for finding your dream wedding dress….again.

READ MORE: WEDDING DRESS SILHOUETTES – FINDING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

MAKE COMFORT A TOP PRIORITY

When picking your first gown, the one thing at the top of your mind is usually finding something that makes you feel absolutely beautiful, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

So, when searching for dress #2, you should be aiming for something you feel comfortable AND beautiful in.

BUDGET FOR TWO DRESSES

Before you even start shopping for your first wedding dress, it’s important to decide early on whether or not you feel you will want a second dress for your reception to help determine your budget.

If you’ve been dreaming of huge ball gowns or a skin-tight, corseted fit and flare, you may want to search for a ceremony dress that leaves enough room in your budget for a second gown. You can also consider increasing your budget in order to afford both gowns, or find a budget-friendly reception gown that will allow you to afford your dream ceremony dress.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX AND HAVE FUN

Your wedding day is a once in a lifetime experience, so why play it safe?

If you’re a fun bride who likes taking fashion risks, your reception dress is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality.

Don’t confine yourself to the traditional long, white gown. Try playing around with some colour and go with a blush, pale blue, silver, gold, or lavender dress, or even something more daring like black or red.

READ MORE: SINDERS TIPS FOR CUSTOMIZING YOUR WEDDING DRESS

A short and sassy dress, a jumpsuit, or romper are also great options that are super trendy right now.

If you chose to remain modest for your church ceremony or to avoid offending any older family members, also don’t be afraid to unleash your sexier side for your reception. At the end of the day, your wedding is all about you and your new spouse. So, don’t hold back, and wear what makes you feel your most confident.

MAKE SURE YOU CAN DANCE IN IT

The highlight of any wedding reception is dancing, so if you know that you will be getting down and boogieing the night away, it’s important to have a dress that you can move in.

To make sure you actually enjoy your reception and don’t spend most of it sitting down and feeling uncomfortable, find a dress with fewer bells and whistles that will help you focus on having fun, rather than trying to maneuver in your gown.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CHANGE

Now that you’ve found both dresses for your wedding, the next step is to determine when you will make your outfit change. There is no set rule for this, so the decision is completely up to you.

However, a good rule of thumb for when to change from your ceremony dress into your second dress is during the cocktail hour, after you’ve finished taking photos.

But if you’d prefer to have your first dance in your ceremony gown, changing immediately after that is a good time as well.

Whether you can’t decide between two or more completely different bridal looks or you just want to feel more comfortable during your reception, choosing more than one dress is a great option to ensure you are 100% satisfied with how you look and feel on your wedding day. And when you do decide to go shopping, refer back to these tips to help find your dream bridal gowns.

Categories
Wedding Planning

How to plan the wedding of your dreams, part 1: under $10,000

To offer our brides-to-be a lay of the land on wedding planning and budgeting, we’ve created a three-part series filled with helpful information to make your experience more enjoyable. In Part I we’ll dive into wedding planning under the 10K mark – seems impossible, right?

READ MORE: HOW TO PLAN THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS, PART II: UNDER $30,000
READ MORE: HOW TO PLAN THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS, PART III: OVER $50,000

REALISTIC WEDDING PLANNING ADVICE FOR BRIDES ON A BUDGET

It’s no secret that the cost of getting married is getting higher and higher, making it feel as if achieving your dream, Pinterest-worthy wedding is far out of reach.

However, just because you have a tighter budget for your wedding, doesn’t mean you need to make tons of sacrifices or go into debt. Because contrary to what you may have heard, planning a beautiful wedding under $10,000 is completely attainable.

THE AVERAGE COST OF WEDDINGS

According to Wedding Wire, the average cost of a wedding in Canada is a whopping $29,450. As you pick your jaw up off the floor, keep in mind that down in the U.S, the cost is even higher – $44,000!

So how is all this money being spent?

Wedding costs that eat up the most of your budget typically include:

  • Venue
  • Open bar
  • Photography and videography
  • Catering
  • Flowers

Fortunately, there are tons of ways to cut costs on all these major expenses without sacrificing your vision.

HOW TO HAVE AN AMAZING WEDDING WITHOUT OVERSPENDING OR SACRIFICING THE THINGS YOU WANT

After you have determined your budget and are ready to jump into the planning process, come up with a list of things that are absolutely necessary (open bar, videography, decorations, your dream dress, etc.) and the little things you’d love to have but can live without (favours, calligraphy, certain types of flowers, etc.).

This will help establish your priorities so you can better allocate your budget.

And for the key elements of any wedding that you absolutely cannot live without, here are some tips for reducing the financial blow.

AREAS WHERE YOU CAN CUT COSTS WHEN WEDDING PLANNING

YOUR VENUE

Average cost: $22,500

Your venue is usually the biggest expense of any wedding and can set you back anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000.

Furthermore, most venues will charge significantly higher rates and require a minimum of 100 to 125 guests for weddings taking place during the most popular times to get married (Saturdays from May to October).

But this doesn’t mean you need to need to pay an arm and a leg to have both an amazing venue and a spring or summer wedding on a weekend. The key is to think outside of the box when researching venues and look for locations that aren’t necessarily marketed as wedding venues. That’s because the venues that don’t often host weddings typically won’t charge as much as traditional venues.

This can include parks, university campuses, art galleries, restaurants, farms, and wineries.

Another option is to host a backyard wedding at yours’ or a family member’s home or book an Airbnb or other vacation rental. Just make sure you confirm with the owner of the property that they are okay with you hosting an event before booking. You will also need to make sure there are enough parking and bathroom facilities for your guests.

MUSIC

Average cost: $1,750

You don’t actually need to spend a lot of money to hire a band or DJ in order to get everyone out on the dancefloor at the end of the night. Sign up for a premium Spotify (or other music streaming service) account and build your perfect wedding playlist. Then purchase or rent a large speaker that connects to Bluetooth and assign someone from your wedding party to take care of the music. Not only will this save you money, but it will also ensure you have complete control over what music is played.

FOOD

Average cost: $70 per person

Instead of a fancy, traditional meal, opt for something more casual like a barbeque buffet.

Another great way to save on food costs is to ask caterers if they have a self-service option. This means they would provide just the food, with no setup or serving staff for a reduced price.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Average cost: $2,679

When it comes to photography, experience does not necessarily mean talent. So, don’t be afraid to hire an up and coming photographer – or photography student – that doesn’t have a lot of experience. Base your decision around the strength of their skills and portfolio, rather than the number of weddings they have shot.

Because lots of talented photographers will offer lower rates if they have less experience than other established wedding photographers.

INVITATIONS

Average cost: $386

Traditional paper invitations can provide a beautiful keepsake for your guests. But let’s face it, more often than not, they eventually end up in the trash.

Instead, opt for digital invitations sent out via email through a service like Paperless Post. Such a service will help you design and customize a beautiful invitation and Save the Date card and keep track of your responses, but for a significantly lower cost.

FLOWERS

Average cost: $3,000

Flowers are often at the top of a bride’s wish list when planning a wedding but can end up being one of the biggest expenses.

Rather than spending thousands of dollars on bouquets and other floral décor and arrangements, consider the idea of faux flowers. Faux flowers can look just as real as actual flowers and are much more cost-effective. Plus, going with faux flowers will ensure you get the exact flowers you want, without having to worry about them not being in season.

Faux flowers will also allow you to set up your decorations in advance without having to worry about wilting.

GUEST LIST

Average Number of Guests: 167

When devising your guest list, it can be incredibly difficult to keep your guest count low, especially if there is pressure from your families to invite certain people.

But it’s important to keep in mind that the more people you invite means the more money you spend on food, alcohol, invitations, etc. Keeping your guest list to around 50-75 will help ease the stress on your bank account.

But how do you go about picking and choosing who to keep and who to cut from your guest list?

If you have not seen someone in at least two years or more, and do not have contact with them on a regular basis, keep them off the guest list. This even goes for extended family. You and your second cousin may have been close as kids, but if you have little to no relationship as adults, you don’t need to feel obligated to invite them to your wedding.

Other ways you can reduce your guest list is to only allow plus ones for spouses and long-term partners and keep your wedding an adult only (no kids) affair.

WEDDING CAKE

Average cost: $600

While a beautifully decorated multi-tiered cake is something many brides dream of having, they are also incredibly expensive and unnecessary.

Remember that by the end of the night, the cake is going to be eaten and guests will likely forget what it even looked like once it’s in their stomachs.

But that doesn’t mean you have to forgo cake altogether. Instead, get one or more non-tiered, simply decorated cakes – and don’t make any mention of a wedding to avoid the dreaded wedding markup!

Doing away with the traditional, over the top-tiered cake, will also give you the option to pick multiple cakes in different flavours to please all of your guests for a fraction of the price.

AREAS TO SPLURGE ON

When wedding planning on a smaller budget, the focus tends to be on how you can save as much money as possible. But there are some areas where you shouldn’t try to pinch pennies.

YOUR WEDDING DRESS

Every bride dreams of looking like the most beautiful version of herself on her wedding day. It is your big day after all, and you should feel confident and stunning in whatever you choose to wear.

While it’s perfectly fine to set a budget for your wedding dress, don’t make this your sole priority when choosing a gown. And most importantly, do not buy a dress just because it’s inexpensive. Make sure you absolutely love it and it makes you feel beautiful.

Because those pictures will last forever. And if you are not 100% happy with your dress, it will cloud your memories of your big day.

DRESS ALTERATIONS

If you love your wedding dress but some things just feel a bit off, do not settle. With alterations, so much can be done to transform a dress into your perfect gown. However, depending on the scope of what you want done, they can get expensive. But at the end of the day, it will be so worth it to ensure your gown looks perfect on your wedding day.

VIDEOGRAPHY

While your memories from your wedding will last a lifetime, having a videographer present will ensure they are preserved forever. In the months and years following your wedding, you will be glad to have captured all the little details on film that you will come to forget over time.

If you’re the type of bride that has been dreaming of her wedding her entire life and has multiple Pinterest boards filled with ideas, planning a wedding on a budget can be stressful and feel like you’re missing out on the wedding of your dreams. But in reality, with a little research and creativity, you don’t have to sacrifice much to have a perfect wedding.

Just remember to focus on the big things like food and drink, venue, and music, because most guests don’t care about fancy invitations, ornate ceremony programs, and over the top flower arrangements. At the end of the day, your guests won’t remember the little things, but rather the big picture, and how happy you and your new spouse were on such a special day.

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Wedding Planning

How to plan the wedding of your dreams, part II: under $30,000

To offer our brides-to-be a lay of the land on wedding planning and budgeting, we’ve created a three-part series filled with helpful information to make your experience more enjoyable. In Part II, we explore the possibilities of wedding planning under $30,000 – let’s see what you can do with this budget!

READ MORE: HOW TO PLAN THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS, PART I: UNDER $10,000
READ MORE: HOW TO PLAN THE WEDDING OF YOUR DREAMS, PART III: OVER $50,000

WEDDING PLANNING TIPS FOR A MEDIUM-SIZED BUDGET

The average cost of a wedding as of 2019 is around $30,000, which sounds like a lot, but when you break down all the expenses involved in planning a wedding, it actually falls within the mid-size range.

While a $30,000 budget can get you a lot, it also means holding back just a bit to avoid going completely over the top (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) and blowing your budget.

To help you balance the two, here are some tips for planning the wedding of your dreams without going over budget.

SAMPLE BUDGET – WHAT $30,000 CAN GET YOU

If you are unsure of how much you should be spending on different areas of your wedding, here is an approximate budget breakdown for a wedding with 100 guests and a $30,000 budget.

  • Venue (all-inclusive with open bar): $17,000
  • Flowers & Décor: $2,500
  • Photo & Video: $3,600
  • Dress and Accessories: $2,500
  • Hair and Makeup for Bride and Bridal Party: $500
  • Cake and Desserts: $500
  • Music: $1,200
  • Day of Coordinator: $500
  • Other Costs (Officiant, bridal party gifts, groom’s attire, etc.) $2,000

AREAS YOU CAN SPLURGE ON

Having a healthy budget means you don’t have to cut corners when it comes to big picture items. So, try to focus most of your wedding planning budget on the following areas.

VENUE

Your wedding venue is one of the most important – and expensive – details of your wedding. It sets the tone for your entire wedding and often dictates décor, food, and so many other elements of your wedding. So, if you can afford to pay top dollar for a venue, go for it.

Most dedicated wedding venues are all-inclusive, which means the cost of renting the venue includes food, service staff, tables and chairs, alcohol for the bar, and sometimes even a day of coordinator. In other words, it’s usually worth spending a bit more money for a beautiful, well-rounded venue that will save you from spending extra time and money on other areas of your wedding

DRESS AND ACCESSORIES

While it’s true that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to look beautiful on your wedding day, it’s also important to remember that this is your special day and you deserve to treat yourself.

When shopping for dresses, don’t focus solely on the price tag. Set your sights on a gorgeous gown that makes you feel like the most beautiful version of yourself.

This also applies to accessories. The right veil, jewelry, headpiece, or other accessories can completely transform the look of your dress. So, don’t be afraid to spend a bit more to find the perfect accents to compliment your bridal look.

FOOD

The one thing people often remember most about a wedding is the food, so get creative and plan an amazing meal that your guests will be talking about even after the car ride home.

If your venue does not have its own on-site chefs, you’ll have the freedom to shop around and find your own outside caterer.

When planning out your menu, think about what kinds of foods you and your future spouse really love and care about that others will love as well.

Also be sure to take into consideration your guests’ dietary restrictions.

OPEN BAR

While a cash bar is a great way to save a huge amount of money, asking your guests to pay for cocktails, wine, and even non-alcoholic drinks often leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths and can cloud their perception of your special day.

So, if you can afford to do so, splurging for an open bar is a great way to show your appreciation for your guests who have come together to celebrate your love.

Also consider creating your own signature cocktail for the bartender to serve guests to help personalize your wedding.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY

Your wedding photos and video are one of the few tangible things you will be able to take away from your wedding to look back on.

As your memories start to fade, you can look back on your photos and re-live how you felt on that most special day.

Therefore, it’s important to invest in an experienced, professional photographer and videographer who will help you preserve all the little details of your big day for years to come.

DAY OF COORDINATOR

If you plan on having a big wedding with lots of guests and things going on, you may want to splurge on a wedding coordinator to help move things along and make sure everything runs smoothly during your wedding.

Unlike a planner that helps plan out your big day, a coordinator is someone who handles the logistical side of things on your actual wedding day and helps you get organized and iron out certain details during the lead up to the big day.

AREAS WHERE YOU CAN CUT COSTS

With most of your budget tied up in the big-picture items, you will likely need to find ways to save when it comes to the small stuff. Here are some recommendations for areas you can cut back on.

INVITATIONS

Custom designed invitations and save the dates look beautiful and can be a wonderful keepsake to have, but at the end of the day, most of them will end up in the trash.

Plus, the process of stuffing and stamping 100+ envelopes and having them mailed can be a major, unnecessary pain.

Instead, save both time and money by using a digital invite service such as Paperless Post that lets you choose from hundreds of beautiful designs and customize your own digital invitations and send them out to your guests via email.

YOUR DATE

While having a June wedding may be your dream, it’s important to note that it’s also one of the most expensive times to get married.

READ MORE: SETTING THE DATE!

Between May and October are considered peak season for weddings, and venues will often charge significantly more for Saturday weddings during this period.

So, if you find that your budget has become a bit tight, consider choosing a date during the off-season if you are planning an indoor affair.

But if you are set on having a wedding during peak season, think about having your wedding on a Friday or a Sunday to save on venue costs.

FLOWERS AND DECORATIONS

While everyone wants to create a beautiful ambiance at their wedding, the truth is that an abundance of flowers and decor are not something most guests tend to remember.

Plus, flowers can set you back thousands of dollars that could be better spent on more important things.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to forgo flowers altogether. Instead of filling your ceremony and reception site with an abundance of flowers, focus on having them for certain elements that are most important to you, such as a ceremony arch, bouquets, and simple centrepieces. Or, consider using high-quality silk flowers.

GUEST LIST

One of the reasons weddings tend to set you back so much money is the fact that you need to pay to feed, seat, and entertain all your guests. And when your guest count reaches 100 people or more, the costs are often astronomical.

To avoid having to make too many cutbacks and sacrifice your vision for your wedding in order to stay within budget, consider keeping your guest list on the lower side – 100 people or less.

HONEYMOON

There’s nothing more romantic than being whisked off to an amazing destination immediately after your wedding to bask in the glow of newlywed bliss. But after spending tens of thousands of dollars on your wedding, spending even more on a honeymoon can be difficult to swing.

For this reason, more and more couples are opting to delay their honeymoon for a few months until after they have settled into married life and can afford to jet off on vacation.

An added benefit to this is that you get to avoid the stress of planning and preparing for a trip on top of all the craziness of wedding planning.

FAVOURS

While favours are cute and a great way to personalize your wedding, most guests will overlook them and forget to bring them home at the end of the evening, resulting in wasted time and money on your part. Instead, focus on providing your guests with a fantastic experience that is so memorable, they won’t even miss the monogrammed candy, bottle opener, or other trinket by the end of the night.

As the cost of a wedding continues to rise, having a medium-sized budget can feel limiting, but it doesn’t have to be.

When planning your wedding, regardless of budget, always remember to think about the big picture and try not to stress about the little things.

Focus on planning an amazing event, enjoying every moment, and soaking it all in. Because at the end of the day, neither you nor your guests will be thinking about all the little extravagant details. All you will remember is how happy you and your spouse were, and how much fun you had along the way.