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https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/2108542/should-you-buy-wedding-dress-before-engagement?fbclid=IwAR2Bgc_w4C5E3cnekWU9KIm2157e8pB7HNmw_0KZrKUz76LkVl4DMu-szx8

Should You Ever Consider Buying a Wedding Dress Before Getting Engaged?

There are a lot of sides to this argument.
By Jenn Sinrich

September 27, 2019

wedding dress rack shopping with grandmaPhoto:  Diane Hu

Whether you’ve stumbled across the wedding dress of your dreams at a can’t-pass-up price or know that your engagement is just weeks away, you might be eager to begin the search for (and lock down) the gown that you’ll wear on the most important day of your life. But should you ever go so far as to buy a wedding dress before you actually get engaged? Opinions on this tricky topic vary.

 
Diane Lloyde Roth, celebrity and wedding stylist and owner of L’Armoire, considers it not only bad luck to purchase the wedding dress before getting engaged, but also just bad form. In addition to being presumptuous, you also don’t know where you’re going to get married or what time of year, both of which will play a large part in picking a dress. “For example, if you are getting married in the summer, you don’t want to be wearing a heavy gown,” she says. “Also, the style will reflect the location, whether it be a beach wedding, a formal ceremony in a church, or perhaps a more casual wedding location.” Another important factor that she points out is that body size and shape as well as style changes over time, so if you’re not getting married in the next calendar year, you might find yourself with a dress that’s the right size and/or a style that’s no longer “in.”

Jodi R.R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting, on the other hand, doesn’t think this idea of buying a wedding dress before you get engaged is as crazy as it sounds. “Weddings can be very pricy affairs, so if you’re able to find a dress you love even before the engagement is official (or even before you find your significant other!), go for it,” she says. “Think about it this way: Brides who wear their mother’s wedding dress technically have their dress before they have the ring, so why should this situation be any different?”

Danielle Rothweiler, owner of Rothweiler Event Design, feels that there are a few scenarios that make sense for someone to consider buying a wedding dress pre-engagement—one being if she and her other half are discussing a future engagement that happens to be quite informal, especially if the engagement period is going to be short. “Most wedding dress take nine months to one year to be ordered and then altered for the bride, so if you’re talking about getting married and setting up details including the date and have limited time, you should start shopping in advance,” she says.

Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, feels that the decision is really dependent on the bride herself and her unique situation. “A wedding dress is one of the most personal and expensive purchases that someone will ever make, so there are a lot of factors to take into consideration,” she says.
Bottom line: What’s right for you might not be right for your friend, sister or co-worker, so take the advice you’re given lightly and ultimately go with your gut. If it’s the dress of your dreams, why let it go to another bride?

 

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4 Reasons Why It’s Not Worth Stressing About the Weather Ahead of Your Wedding

Let those worries go.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Landon Jacob Photography

When it comes to the most special and important day of your life, it’s hard to not get at least a little worked up over the little details. However, it’s important to realize which factors are in—and out of—your control. One that you can’t predict or change, no matter how hard you try, is the weather. “While it can be a hassle if you are caught in a sudden downpour on the way to your ceremony, or if a freak snowstorm blows in the weekend of your wedding, it doesn’t have to ruin your wedding,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance.

 

She does recommend, however, that all couples have a backup plan in place for your wedding, especially if any part of your celebration will take place outdoors. To help you cope with the unpredictability that comes along with wedding weather, here are some key reasons why it’s not worth stressing over.

 

RELATED: WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE TO RESCHEDULE OR CANCEL YOUR WEDDING DUE TO THE WEATHER?

 

You can’t control it.

To really enjoy the wedding day to the fullest, Leah Weinberg, wedding planner, owner, and executive planner at Color Pop Events, urges brides and grooms to accept that certain things will happen that day that are outside of their control. “When those things happen, you’ve just gotta roll with it,” she says. “Embrace whatever happens and make the best of it—that advice goes for things other than weather, too.”

 

Stress might kill the mood.

Not only is stress bad for your own health, but it can impact the moods of those around you. “If you find yourself snapping at others due to the weather, it could potentially cause more permanent damage,” says Sabrina Zeile of Weddings By Sabrina. “Even though it’s your special day, it’s important to be considerate of others.” If the weather is poor, she suggests shifting your focus to another aspect of the wedding like dancing.

 

Inclement weather might enhance your photos.

Believe it or not, but rain can make for incredibly romantic photos with ideal lighting, so embrace it! “I’ve seen some stellar photos taken on rainy days, so if you’re bummed about the rain, just flip your mindset and think of all of the cool images that are going to come out of it,” says Weinberg.

 

Your wedding day will fly by.

What’s the use in spending the majority of it worried and stressed? It’s important to remember that this day will happen rain or shine, and it will fly by. Instead of spending this precious time stressed out, which can cause negative effects such as headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, and muscle pain, Zeile suggests relaxing and re-focusing so you can enjoy the moments you do have while they’re happening.

We have been featured on Martha Stewart Weddings!

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https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/647492/tracking-down-wedding-rsvps-before-due-date-etiquette

Can You Start Tracking Down RSVPs Before the Due Date?

We know you might be impatient.

Contributing Writer

 

  • fall wedding guests attire long sleeve patterned dress shirt
Photography by: Tec Petaja

If you’ve been an invited wedding guest before, you know the drill: You receive the invitation and your response card, along with a due date indicating when you must let the bride and groom know whether or not you’ll be in attendance. Sounds simple enough, right? But when you’re on the other end of things—the bride and groom awaiting dozens of RSVPs—you realize things become a bit more complicated. You’re at the mercy of your invited guests, and when people don’t respond by the designated date, you’re essentially required to track them down.

Should a couple anticipate the inevitable—that their guests won’t respond in time—and reach out to them before the due date to get an answer? The answer, according to wedding experts, is a resounding “no.” In fact, the pros agree that trying to track down invited ahead of the “RSVP by” date you’ve outlined on your invitations is seen as a rude. “With invites, it’s important to stay organized and calm throughout the entire process,” says Sabrina Zeile of Weddings By Sabrina. “I think couples are often eager to cut their guest count due to costs per person, but the response due date should be at least three weeks before your wedding, which gives guests enough time to decide if they can attend.” By reaching out for an answer before then, your guests may not have a chance to make travel arrangements, request time off work, or determine if it’s in their budget to attend.

If you fear that stress over the bottom line is what would force you to track down RSVPs early, the best thing you can do is only invite the number of guests you can afford to host. Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance says that most brides and grooms anticipate a certain number of invited guests will decline the invitation, but that’s risky business—if they don’t, you’re on the hook financially for the group. She recommends creating an “A list” and “B list.” “For every person on the ‘A’ list of invitees who declines, an invitation could be sent to a guest on the ‘B’ list,” she explains. In order to do this successfully, you’ll need to set an early RSVP date and have two sets of invitations (one with an early RSVP date and another with a later one) printed.

If you’ve already sent your invitations and realize that the RSVP deadline you listed is too late, you have a few options, explains Lindsey Nickel, wedding planner and owner of Lovely Day Events. “The couple could send a quick and polite text to each guests, if there are not a ton or she could send a paperless post invite to the guests and request them to RSVP sooner via that link.” No matter what you’d do, you should apologize for asking for their response early, explain why you’ve reached out ahead of the RSVP date, and express understanding if they need more time to finalize their plans.

As in all situations, the couple should handle themselves with as much grace, tact, and patience as possible adds Lehman. “The last thing a couple wants to do is to become stressed out over the guest count.” Keep calm and remember that once the due date has passed, you have full permission to start tracking those RSVPs!

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https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/641129/pros-and-cons-proposing-at-home

The Pros and Cons of Proposing at Home

Consider these factors before you decide to pop the question in the comfort of your own home.

Contributing Writer
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Brainstorming different ways to propose is exciting, but it’s also fraught with pressure. You’re approaching a major milestone as a couple, and the moment you ask her to marry you will be one you both remember forever. One of the first decisions to make when it comes to the proposal is location. Where will you pop the question? While many choose to get down on one knee in an exciting, often public, setting, others prefer the comfort of their own home. Neither is a wrong choice, but determining which is right for you depends on a variety of different factors.

 

According to Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance, proposals at home are a long-standing tradition. “Not everyone has the time, money, or desire to plan an expensive or elaborate proposal,” she says. “In truth, the only requirements for a successful proposal are two people who love each other and want to spend their lives together, the question of ‘Will you marry me?’ and an affirmative answer.” Even an engagement ring is not always a must-have, she adds.

 

If you’re thinking about proposing at home, consider these pros and cons.

 

RELATED: WAYS TO MAKE YOUR PROPOSAL POP

 

Pro: There’s way less pressure.

Home is often the most relaxed and comfortable setting for any occasion, but especially something as monumental as a proposal. The lessened pressure to perform in front of a crowd allows the couple the opportunity to solely focus on what’s happening between them. In addition to a more relaxing setting, couples proposing at home score the benefit of having more control over their setting, whereas in a public forum, anything can happen to get in the way of their moment.

 

Con: It can be underwhelming.

If you’ve been dreaming of the moment you would someday be proposed to since you were a child, and always pictured it happening in a romantic place with lots of people around to ooh and aww it, you might be sorely disappointed when your partner winds up asking for your hand at the dinner table you sit at each and every night.

 

Pro: Your furry friend can play a role.

It’s tough to include Fido or Fluffy in a public proposal, especially since he might cause a distraction in the midst of such a crowd, but in the comfort of your own home, he can be the star of the show! There are countless ways to involve pets in proposals, and doing so might make the moment all the more sweet and memorable. “My favorite proposal has always been putting the ring on a collar,’ move,” says Catherine Kowalski, founder and designer of Catherine Kowalski Bridal. “While this can get dangerous if you’re cat or dog isn’t trained properly, when done in the security of your home, your chances of a disaster greatly decrease.”

 

Con: You might not have a photographer on hand.

Unless you hired a photographer, or asked a family member, to hide out in your home until you popped the question, you’ll likely have a hard time scoring a photo of your proposal. If you propose in a public setting however, you’ll have a plethora of people to ask to take your picture, or capture a video of you in the act.

 

Pro: It’s affordable.

If you’re looking to start saving for your future wedding, the idea of proposing in a place that will cost you an arm and leg isn’t so appealing. But, as Lehman points out, a proposal does not have to be an expensive undertaking. “Other than purchasing an engagement ring, you only need the love in your heart,” she says. “The emphasis should be on the words you say and the memories created in that moment.”

 

Con: It’s not the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon.

If you and your future husband or wife like to travel or visit grand locations like museums, concert halls or monuments, then an at-home proposal may seem a little lackluster, Lehman explains. However, as an alternative, she suggests making a scrapbook of all the places you’ve visited together, including photos and mementos. “You can title it ‘Our Journey Together,'” she adds.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Groom’s Cake

This wedding tradition is still alive and well.

Contributing Writer
buffalo check axe log cake

Photography by: Sugar Geek Show

If you’re like most people, you might only be familiar with one wedding cake—that is, the one the bride and groom cut into on their wedding night and feed to each other as a significance of their shared love. But wedding traditions from other cultures incorporate more than just one cake. The groom’s cake, which originated in Victorian England, is one such example. “As tradition has it, there were typically three cakes served during a Victorian wedding,” says Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance. “There was the wedding cake that was served to the guests, the bride’s cake, which was served to the bridesmaids, and the groom’s cake, served to the groomsmen.” Eventually, Southern brides and grooms in the United States adopted this tradition, making it their own. (Who could forget the armadillo-shaped groom’s cake in Steel Magnolias?)

 

While the tradition has changed over time, the groom’s cake is still alive and well. In fact, it may be becoming more popular than ever. Couples across the United States and abroad—even Prince William had one at his wedding to Kate Middleton!—are serving a second confection tailored to the groom’s specific tastes. Thinking adding another cake to your party in honor of new husband? Here are some interesting facts to know about the groom’s cake.

 

RELATED: UNIQUE IDEAS FOR THE GROOM’S CAKE

 

The earliest groom’s cakes were actually fruitcakes.

Fruitcakes are a dark, rich cake filled with candied fruits and nuts that tend to keep well, especially with all of the liqueur used in their creation, explains Lehman. This is also why they are so popular to give as gifts during the holiday season! “Today, groom’s cakes are usually made with dark chocolate and may be filled with fruits and liqueurs, however, the groom’s favorite cake flavors and fillings should definitely take priority in this luscious dessert,” she says.

 

The groom’s cake is not always served at the wedding reception.

These days, especially for the less traditional couples, the groom’s cake is served at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. “This is always a nice touch because it spreads the fun across your wedding weekend,” says Catherine George, owner of Catherine George Cakes in Washington, D.C. She suggests leaving the cake out on display for a while before it’s served.

 

Although designated for the groom, couples are designing the groom’s cake together.

Though the cake design you select for your wedding reception will likely be fairly traditional in terms of color and decoration, the groom’s cake can be a bit more lighthearted and fun. Choose the look together as a fun detail you can both have some say in. If you like a classic look, though, feel free to go for it. The groom’s cake doesn’t have to show off his hobbies or interests. “As couples are veering away from a traditional cake (in the last few months we have seen a cookie truck, donuts, cobbler or pie, and ice cream for dessert instead) the need for a groom cake as an expression of the groom’s personality is becoming unnecessary,” says Isadora Martin-Dye, a wedding planner and owner of owner of Rixey Manor.

 

In terms of flavor and design, there really are no limits.

“Although the Southern tradition is to make a red velvet cake, I don’t believe wedding cakes in general need to have limits on flavors,” says Liz Berman, Boston-based baker and owner of The Sleepy Baker in Natick, Massachusetts. The same goes for its overall look. “I had a groom joke around about how he wanted a wedding cake that was a pegasus with him riding on the back. The bride refused to allow that and ordered a traditional tiered cake, but then secretly hired me to make a groom’s cake. The wedding cake was displayed next to a sculpted pegasus cake with an image of the groom riding on the back!”

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My Ring Bearer Is Too Young to Walk Down the Aisle Himself—What Are Our Options?

Don’t worry, he can still be a part of your big day.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Elizabeth Messina Photography

Congrats! You’ve selected a ring bearer for your big day. Now all you need to do is finalize the details of his big entrance. But what happens if your ring bearerof choice is too young to walk down the aisle himself? Most couples don’t have a long list of potential ring bearers to choose from—brides and grooms generally select the youngsters their closest to, like their nephews, young cousins, children of close friends, or even their own kiddos. If one of these important little guys isn’t walking yet, you’re not going to deny him the role, are you?

 

The choice is yours, but most couples decide that it doesn’t really matter if this attendant makes an entrance on his own or with a little help. If he needs a hand getting down the aisle, know that there are plenty of solutions wedding planners rely on when it comes to a too-young-to-walk-on-his-own ring bearer. We reached out to some of our go-to experts for their best solutions for incorporating a tiny ring bearer in the wedding processional.

 

RELATED: DAPPER RING BEARERS WHO COMPLETELY STOLE OUR HEARTS

 

Have the parent(s) carry the baby down.

If you’re having a very young child serve as the ring bearer at your wedding, chances are, his parents will be in attendance as well. Don’t hesitate to ask if they’d be willing to accompany (A.K.A. carry) their child down the aisle. If you prefer a more unified front, wedding and event planner Taylor Keenan suggests asking the parents to coordinate attire to show the significance.

 

Decorate a wagon or carriage for the baby to sit in.

Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegancerecommends pulling small children and toddlers down the aisle in a decorated wagon or stroller. “If the child has a favorite doll, or push or riding toy, consider allowing them to bring it along for the journey to make them feel more secure,” she says. “If the child likes balloons, (and, really, what kid doesn’t?) let them carry a small colorful bunch.”

 

Buy a personalized walker and have the baby push it down the aisle.

If your ring bearer needs a little help standing, but has enough leg power to keep his wheels in motion, a baby walker can be just the thing to help him walk down the aisle. “The walker can be painted in wedding colors and have the names of the bride and groom, the date, or even the name of the ring bearer,” suggests Keenan. “It also serves as a really nice gift for the baby!” If the aisle is a long one, have someone carry the baby half way down it and pull out the walker as they get closer.

 

Skip his role in the processional altogether.

There’s no rule that says a child can’t be ring bearer just because he didn’t walk down the aisle? “If the baby is simply too young to participate, in the programyou can have a picture of the ring bearer along with a cute biography,” suggests Keenan. “Ring Bearer: John Smith, nephew to the bride, is three months old. John loves to play with his toy giraffes, drink from his bottle and take naps. Currently, John is taking his nap!”

We were mentioned in an article on Martha Stewart Weddings!

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What to Do If You (or One of Your Wedding VIPs) Are Sick the Week of the Wedding

Don’t let illness ruin the fun.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Westend61

Ever become overwhelmed with worry when you think about all of the big and little things about your wedding day that you need to go right? It’s totally normal to freak out—you’re planning a huge event and a day that will hold immense meaning for you, your fiancé and your families. Of course, like anything in life, nothing is perfect and your wedding won’t be either. But that’s okay! Even illness is inevitable, especially during cold and flu season, so it’s smart to be prepared for anything and have more than one person that you can go to for support.

 

What happens if you, the bride or groom, or one of your wedding VIPS becomes ill during the week of your nuptials? It’s a tough dilemma that can totally happen. Of course, if your symptoms are treatable you can get on medications, but what happens if you get sick the day of the wedding? Kimberly Lehman, wedding and event planner at Love, Laughter & Elegance tries to be prepared for any situation—even the bride and groom turning green on their big day. “I have an emergency kit that contains over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, antacid tablets, various topical creams, a small first aid kit and personal products,” she says. “Being trained in general first aid, CPR and how to use an AED is a good idea for all event professionals.”

 

If you’re worried about getting sick—or someone important getting sick—before or at your wedding, here are some doable lines of defense.

 

RELATED: HEALTHY TRICKS TO GET YOU WEDDING READY

 

Hire a wedding planner at the beginning of your planning journey.

“A planner will be able to step in and take care of any last-minute crisis, whether it’s a few weeks before or on the ‘day of’ to ensure you have a special and memorable day you feeling like your day was ruined,” says Deborah L. Erb, owner and event planner at Simply Events Inc. “Planners also carry emergency kits with them in case someone needs pain reliever, something for an upset stomach or first aid kit.” They can also run out to get you anything else you need from a local pharmacy to help you and your loved ones get through the day!

 

Take care of yourself in the best way possible.

Planning a wedding is a stressful time—not only for the bride and groom, but also for those participating in the planning process, such as your parents, siblings, and wedding party. A month or so before the wedding, email or call as many of those important people as you can and remind them to take preventative steps to stay healthy in the weeks leading up to your wedding. “Eat well, stay hydrated, get your rest (eight hours each night!) and allow yourself some time to relax,” says Erb.

 

Recognize symptoms.

“Heading into wedding week, your body and mind will feel so many emotions—excitement, anxiety, stress, and nervousness,” says Lindsey Sachs, a wedding planner and owner of COLLECTIVE/by Sachs in Boulder, Colorado, and Minneapolis. “Take a moment early in the week to do a self-health check to monitor possible symptoms that could grow into sickness.” Remember: The sooner you can recognize these symptoms, the sooner you can begin to treat them.

 

Get checked out by your doctor.

Even if you’re feeling slightly under the weather, it’s important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you and seek out medical assistance. “Explain that you have a big day coming up and you need to be able to get through it and hopefully feeling well,” says Erb.

 

RELATED: 3 TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU BE HEALTHIER IN THE MONTHS LEADING UP TO YOUR WEDDING

 

Keep your family and friends informed on your progress.

If you are not feeling well—or a wedding VIP is not feeling well—let the other important members of the wedding party know. “Everyone will pitch in to assist as much as possible, to make sure the wedding day goes smoothly or to rearrange and reschedule plans as needed,” says Lehman. “Delegate duties and errands to your wedding party and family members.” If you’ve hired a wedding planner or coordinator, they can also assist in contacting vendors, wedding party members and guests and updating important information regarding the wedding. “We are here to help you,” Lehman adds.

 

Stay positive.

Sachs urges not to let your mind focus on the negative outcomes of being sick the week of the wedding. “The sickness of a wedding VIP can create unnecessary focus and attention away from the wedding as a result,” she says. “The marriage is what you want to remember and not who was sick.” Use the power of positive thinking to your benefit and breathe, think optimistically and hope for the best!

 

Have a “plan B” in place.

If a parent is sick, think of other people in advance that could step in for them last-minute if necessary, suggests Erb. Otherwise, come up with options to make it easier for them to “carry out their duties,” and rest in between or always have a chair to sit on. “Seek out someone that you trust to care for the one who is ill, so everyone can get through the day,” Erb says.

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