Wedding Planning ~ Deciding Between Plated Dinner or Buffet Style

We can all agree that your special day is going to be profoundly perfect, but between every wedding there is always a difference of how formal the actual event will be.

When deciding between a plated dinner and a buffet to feed your eager guests, make sure you are considering these few tips before choosing…

What’s on the Menu?

Deciding what items to include on the menu for your guests is a lengthier process than you may think!  A variety of options are put before you that will have a hard time choosing! 

A potential deciding factor for buffet vs. plated could be the number of entrees you want to have.  If you are looking to have several entrée options if you are not sure about dietary preferences… then buffet style may be the better option for you.  If you are planning a “standing reception” or cocktail-style event, then the menu will most likely consist of a greater selection of appetizers or “stations”.  This style also lends to the buffet category.        


If you are wanting to stay more on the formal side.. then the sit-down plated dinner is the perfect choice.   This allows for more table conversation between guests, eliminates the wait time at the buffet line and a more consistent experience for all of your wedding guests.  The one downside of this option is that the numbers have to be pretty spot on with regards to guests since the meals would be portioned and plated for them.  You may have to do a lot of followup for those guests that did not rsvp.  Things get a little complicated when you have guests that did not reply and attend anyway or those that respond saying they will attend and don't.  You run into the possibility of all the guests not having the same experience.


Deciding on a Magic Number

Make sure you have a set guest list in order to determine how many people you are going to be serving!  This is crucial when you are juggling between the two styles to ensure that everyone gets fed what he or she wants and on time.  

The average time waiting in line for a buffet is about 30-40 minutes for just around 100 guests. 


If your guest list is a more intimate one and does not exceed that number, then the buffet style is something to definitely consider!  However, if your attendees surpass that then it may be more efficient for your hungry guests to have a plated meal.  Remember to not forget the tone of your event.  What feeling are you trying to convey?... this plays a part in this decision too!

Special Considerations

When choosing your preferred style of catering, make sure you take into account how many ‘special orders’ you may have.  

In a lot of cases, buffets can be beneficial to avoid any allergies or dislikes with the food choices. Each guest is able to choose what they would like to eat and are taking their restrictions into their own hands.

If you are feeling ambitious... go one step further and try this little DIY project!

Food Allergy Placecards!  How cute are these:)


With an idea of how large or intimate your special day is going to be, you can now focus on the smaller details!

Now remember soon-to-be-brides; all of these decisions do come with a price as any magical day does.  Make sure that above all, your choices are reflecting your budget as well!   If you and your wallet are happy than there is nothing holding you back from having your fairy-tale come true!


Until next time!


Article written by Charlotte Rodgers ~ Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination

~Tip Tuesdays~ Choosing your bridal bouquet!

Kitchener Wedding Planner PlanningYes we all have our favourite blooms and colours but is that enough to select your bouquet?  

You will be carrying this as part of your outfit for most of the day so it deserves some special attention and consideration.

Where does one start to build this accessory?  

Here are a few tips that will hopefully result in you creating your perfect bunch of floral beauties!


Know your budget- This is important to discuss earlier on so your florist can create and adapt a design to suit your financial capabilities.

Visual Inspiration give your florist an insight to what you want and discuss colour palette options. Consider your wedding theme and current trends you might want to incorporate.

 Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning  Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Complement your dress - show your florist a picture of your wedding gown so you can reflect the details, style and shape but don’t steal the lime light from your dress by going over the top.

Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Colour - it is important to highlight the colours in your dress. Getting the right shades together with the right bloom is an art. Take swatches to your florist if possible.

Size and shape – believe it or not your frame dictates your bouquet to enhance your figure and dress. Petite brides should go with teardrop shaped bouquets or a small round posy to keep you in proportion. The taller bride should distract the attention from their height with a larger bouquet.

Tis the season – some flowers are not available all year round or are really expensive. Go with the seasonal flowers make it easier to source and less expensive.

 Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning 

 Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning 

Personalize – Maybe a flower that has meaning like the ones he brought you on your first date.  A family heirloom brooch, lace from an old gown or just add something different to reflect your personality. (remember it doesn’t all have to be floral!)

 Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning 

Bridesmaid’s bouquets – consider coordinating it with the brides or a similar smaller version.  You can diversify it by contrasting the colours or how about a simple single stem?

 Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning

Holding the masterpiece – for a picture perfect posture it looks better in one hand below the hip and slightly away from your dress. (Never hold it at chest level!)

To toss or preserve – you can opt for the traditions of a bouquet toss or keep your flowers.

  Kitchener Wedding Planner Planning 

Whatever you choose, remember to keep a flow throughout your celebrations.  You don't want to have a feel about your reception that is disconnected. 

You may need to have a second set of eyes to give you some feedback because we know that the process can become "blurry" and overwhelming after looking at it so long!  That's where a friend or wedding coordinator can offer their advice.  You may end up choosing something that you never thought you would!

Regardless, just enjoy the journey!

Happy Planning!


Article written by Keenda Sisouphanh ~ Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination

Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination



~Tip Tuesday~ - From the Knot to the Nest!

Kitchener Wedding Planning

Coming back from your honeymoon and trying to organize after the wedding can be stressful for newlyweds.

Just to get you started, here is a checklist to keep you in that honeymoon relaxing state!

 Kitchener Wedding Planning


1. Clean and store your gown

Within six months of getting married find a specialized laundromat for wedding dresses and store in a cool dark place.


2. Change your name

Make sure to change your name on your Driver's license, Passport, Social Insurance Card, and at your Credit Card companies.


3. Call the taxman

            Now that the two of you are a married couple, you can choose to file your returns together or separately for your yearly taxes. Talk to your accountant before making this decision!


4. Thank-you notes

Try sending out your thank-you notes within two months of getting married. Don’t go crazy and try and finish them in one day, set a goal for yourself and they will be done before you know it!


5. Tackle registry returns

Dealing with a pile of unnecessary registry gifts can be put on hold until after you have come home from your honeymoon. You do need to keep in mind that each store will have a different policy for returns & exchanges.  It is easier to tackle this within two months of the wedding to ensure you exchange the gift for exactly what you need.


6. Finalize wedding album and DVD

Very important!!!  Don’t put off your photo selections!!  It would be great to have all the photos and the wedding DVD on your first wedding anniversary. Keep in contact with your photographer and videographer to ensure you haven’t been forgotten!  This task can slip through the cracks very easily!


7. Legal beneficiaries

Becoming a unit allows your spouse to be your beneficiary. Contact your insurance company and HR departments for the paperwork necessary to start the process.  Decide which work health plan will best suit both of you.  Talk to your doctors and family lawyer for recommendations if you are having some trouble deciding.


We wish all our of our brides & grooms-to-be a beautiful wedding day!  But don't forget, it doesn't stop there! 

..............That is just the beginning!


Smooth Sailing everyone!



Article written by Emily Sousa – Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination

© 2012 Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination

~Tip Tuesday~ Find your perfect wedding venue!

Choosing a venue is an important decision to make and will kick off the rest of your planning in terms of theme, décor, catering and so on.  A fun way to start is to make a scrap book of magazine inspiration and your taste will soon become apparent!

Type of wedding
As a couple; decide if you want something small and intimate, large and extravagant or something in between.  Will the ceremony and reception be separate or combined?  Religious traditions vs. a civil ceremony?  Budget is obviously a key factor but don’t let it limit you at this early stage.

Narrow it down to a specific area and time of year then choose between an indoor or outdoor venue.  Does a particular date or location bare any sentiment?  Remember, Mother Nature is unpredictable so ensure for outdoor weddings there is an indoor alternative to move into for that ‘just in case’ moment!

Don’t be afraid to use your contacts & get discounted rates if you can! Always ask what is included in the rate (ie: service charges, gratuities, taxes) when getting a quote. Ensure there are no hidden surprises!

Venues may require you to use their preferred vendors and bar or otherwise pay additional fees to bring in your own.

Visiting your chosen venues
Research the venue and read testimonials from several sources. You can ask these questions over the phone first:

  1. Capacity of venue – standing and seated?
  2. Is there a food and beverage minimum?
  3. Clarify set up and tear down times and potential for the rehearsal to be held there
  4. Parking and nearby accommodations and transportation options offered through the venue – accessibility is vital!

When you are onsite, take in the surroundings, make notes and take pictures. That way you can envision what your day may look like.

Trust your instincts and don't sign on the dotted line until you are 100% happy!

Explore your options and find what suits you!  Here are some visuals to help you get inspired!  Happy Planning!




Article written by Keenda Sisouphanh ~ Intern at Style & Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination


~Tip Tuesdays~ Out of the Box Bouquets!

What a busy summer it was!  We will be blogging about our goings on in the next little while so stay tuned!  Beautiful wedding images are on the way!

We did have the pleasure of exhibiting at the Your Day Your Way Bridal Show at the end of August.  A small group of wedding professionals from the area gathered to talk to brides + grooms about everything wedding. 

Style & Elegance had a moment near the end of the show to talk to some of the other businesses that were there.  We especially loved what Out of the Box Bouquets had to show us! 

We instantly fell in love with the concept of alternative wedding bouquets!  Specializing in paper flowers, Out of the Box Bouquets can create various pieces to help you achieve your wedding vision! Bouquets, pomanders, corsages, boutonnières, centrepieces, hair pieces, napkin rings, chair cover clips, backdrop embellishments, etc. The possibilities are endless!  If you can dream it they can create it!

Whether you are looking for a classic, trendy, or romantic feel, Out of the Box Bouquets can create custom designs that will undoubtedly blow you and your guests away!  Best of all, paper flowers last forever!  How great is that!

Those of you who know us … know that our camera is our best friend!  Here are some snapshots of Out of the Box Bouquetsfabulous creations!

Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner Kitchener Wedding Planner Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner

 Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner

Kitchener Wedding Planner

 If you like what you see, you can contact Out of the Box Bouquets through the below links!

Happy Planning Ladies!!


Kitchener Wedding Planner

~Trendy Mondays~ Colour Blocking

Welcome to our first installment of our weekly feature for the summer!  

Trendy Mondays!!!  

We will be talking about the latest trends in the wedding industry that you can incorporate into your big day!  

Today's feature is courtesy of our new intern - Emily!  Check it out!

What is colour blocking you ask???

Simply put, Colour Blocking means that you are pairing two or three totally different colours together to make a bold statement

This trend is making its way into the fashion world this Spring and is also crossing over into the world of weddings!  It’s a fun way to brighten up the day while staying trendy.

Kitchener Wedding Planner Kitchener Wedding Planner 

Vibrant colors from red and purple, yellow and blue, and pink and red are all making an appearance this wedding season!  For those of you who aren't afraid of colour, colour blocking is the way to go!

Some different elements of your wedding that can take on the colour blocking trend include Bridesmaid Dresses, Accessories, Nail Polish, Invitations & Programmes, Florals, Table decor and mismatched shirts & ties for the groomsmen!  So many possibilities that you can have fun with!

Check out this Colour Blocking Vision board created by our very own intern Emily!


 Style Me Pretty



National Chocolate Cake Day!

I just found out it was National Chocolate Cake Day!  How could I not have known that!  

In honour of this day (*big smile*) I am showcasing some of my fave chocolate creations!

I think I may be making a trip the refrigerator now for a midnight snack.....  

Have a great weekend everyone!


Look at the detail on this one!

This one is different!

All I need to say is YUM!

Love this next one!  Clean lines and just enough details.

This next one would be perfect for a vineyard style wedding!  Complete with a wooden crate!

Now just because it's "National Chocolate Cake Day", doesn't mean that cupcakes should be excluded!

Check out this recipe that will just satisfy your sweet tooth! 


~ Happy Planning! ~ 


Wedding Dreams Bridal Show Jan 2012

Well it's coming down to the wire now!  

The Wedding Dreams Bridal Show is only a couple of days away and we are busy preparing!  

Come on out and see all the fabulous exhibitors, the gorgeous gowns for the ladies, the sleek attire for the guys and the oh-so-cute outfits for the younger members of the wedding party! There are many prizes to be won as well.  Be sure to check out the show this weekend at Bingemans Conference Centre (10am-5pm Saturday & Sunday)


Drop by to visit us!  We are booth # 167 - Can't wait to meet you!


Kitchener Wedding Planner


I couldn't wait to blog about this one!!!  

It's always great to see people doing what they love!!! In this case it's family!!!

My cousin is working for a company in New York that provides a unique way to exchange a bridesmaid dress after the wedding for a new "Little Black Dress".

No more bridesmaids dresses hanging out in the back of you closet anymore!

Bridesmaid Dresses

Newlymaid offers a way for ladies to trade in something "old" for something "new".

This new service brought to us by The Dessy Group also has an added benefit.  The dresses traded in are either broken down and used to create new yarn which will be incorporated into future Newlymaid dresses or donated to organizations that can distribute them to people in need.  How great is that!

 Check out the below videos for more about how this fabulous idea works!!



For more information, click on the links below!


~ Happy Planning!

DIY Centrepieces

We are finding some awesome ideas for the DIY bride!  
This simple & beautiful centrepiece creation featured in Splendid Affairs magazine, will ~ wow ~ your guests and you can say you did it all yourself!

These beauties can also be used as an alternative to a ring pillow!
See how easy it is!

~ Happy Planning!! ~

Be Inspired!

Taking a break & reconnecting...

During the wedding planning process, couples tend to get overwhelmed and frustrated.   This is when one needs to step back....and take a break.  I can't stress enough to my brides & grooms how important it is to take some time for themselves in order to "recharge" and re-focus on life.  

A few weeks ago, after a very busy week, I myself needed a breather.  I had the opportunity to visit a very good friend, after a very long time and I decided to make it a "surprise" visit.  What a surprise it was.

When I showed up at the office, my friend came out expecting another patient and was stunned to see me!  Exactly the reaction that I was hoping to get!  I know that I needed to reconnect with a friend and it turns out that he needed that too.  It was so nice to hear.

We chatted over smoothies and caught up on life.

Amidst both of our very hectic lives, it was nice to slow it down.  

I left the office feeling really good.  It was nice that my little surprise was so well received.  I had taken the time and 'recharged' myself.  I helped someone else do the same - I was ready to take on the rest of my day.

Whether it be a coffee date with your fiance, an afternoon at the spa with girlfriends or a mini getaway to somewhere exotic, please take the time to refocus, reconnect and recharge. It will do you wonders!


~ Happy Planning! ~ 


Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo

Every girl's Princess dream as they were growing up was to find their" Prince Charming" and have that 
~ Fairytale Wedding ~
Now you can go one step further and have the 
dream dress as well !!!!

Alfred Angelo has partnered with Disney to bring you.....
The Disney Fairytale Weddings Collection and it's coming to Ladybug Bridal !

Seven beautiful gowns are being introduced for those women who have grown up with the Disney Princesses.
Inspiration for these gowns have come from Princess Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Belle.
From soft flowing shimmer satin to tulle over satin and real embroidered lace, these gowns are sure to dazzle and bring that Fairytale Wedding to life!

Take a peak at these dresses!  They are absolutely beautiful! 

Show off your sense of style!
Be inspired!

Until next time...

~ Afzia ~
259 Grange Road, Unit 1B
Guelph, oN
(519) 265-8265

Unique Movie-Inspired Engagement Session!


During my travels on the net, I came across a couples' unique engagement photo session featured on a 
site called  Green Wedding Shoes.  
Very cute by the way!
Being a romantic at heart, I totally fell in love with this "Notebook" Inspired photo session!  It gives the moments surrounding the couples' special day that much more meaning and a 
more personal touch.    
Check out these photos and be inspired!!!


notebook movie inspired engagement photos


notebook movie inspired engagement photos

notebook movie inspired engagement photos
notebook movie inspired engagement photos

notebook movie inspired engagement photos

notebook movie inspired engagement photos

notebook movie inspired engagement photos

notebook movie inspired engagement photos

Photography by Blushing Bride Studio in Montreal, Canada.



Roller Coaster Engagement Video

Now more than ever, newly engaged couples are coming up with unique ways to announce their upcoming wedding.
Check out this "Save-the-Date" video that we came across that we think is just an awesome way to announce your special day!!!!

This Roller Coaster Engagement video was shot entirely on the Twister II Roller Coaster at Elitch Gardens in Denver Colorado. The bride and groom sent the link to their friends and family as a "Save the Date" invitation. The bride rode the T2 coaster 7 times and the groom rode it 6 times to capture enough footage to make this video.

Go ahead, Get Creative!!!!
Make your special day memorable!!!

Weddings That Don't Break the Bank!! - Part 1

You've set the date and now the panic is setting in as to how expensive having a wedding can actually be.

You CAN have a beautiful wedding without straining the credit card.

Here are some ideas on how to make your special day memorable without breaking the bank.

Dress Dilemmas

Through the public media, we are under a constant barrage of images of various high profile celebrities in their haute couture gowns such as Vera Wang and Christian Lacroix.

You want to have a beautiful dress but it doesn't have to cost you a huge portion of your wedding budget. There is no better place to find a stunning classic dress than in an Outlet store. You want to keep your eye out for dress warehouses or outlet stores. You can very well find a designer dress for a fraction of the price.

Spending a good portion of your budget on a dress you're only going to wear once may sound romantic, but when you see it sitting in the closet collecting dust and you're wishing you had enough for a nice vacation, you'll wonder what exactly were you thinking!

Exclusivity is Excellent

If you find your budget constantly escalating with every guest you add to the list, then you should consider going exclusive. Aunt Rachel's cousin and your father's ex-business partner don't need to attend. It's your wedding not a conference.

By approaching the guest list in this manner, you can put more money into the more important things to you like the food and wine. You have to remember, you're not being "cheap", you're being "exclusive".

Venue Variety

More and more couples are straying away from the "standard banquet hall". You don't need to get married in the same place as Tom & Katie, but you can take a cue from the "concept".
Different is the new trend. Places to possibly check out include historical venues, public gardens, an art gallery or booking an Inn. Even getting married at your own home may not be out of the question. You may not have a 20 room mansion, but you just may have a friend or family member who has connections. The point is, most wedding halls will actually increase the price and coerce you to use their caterers.  At that point you may be limited in the options to choose your own elements of the wedding.

With a little research "outside" the box, you may well find something perfect and affordable.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of  "Weddings That Don't Break the Bank!! " 


"Just how you dreamed it would be...."

Your Ultimate Henna Style!

Henna, or Mehndi as it is also known, is a signature part of South Asian Wedding festivities. It has become part of the brides’ “Shingar” – her makeup, on her wedding day.

From subtle to elaborate designs, henna is a time-honoured tradition marking a joyous celebration in a woman’s life. One of them being marriage.  Along with representing love & happiness of marriage, henna has also earned the reputation as an irresistible sensual allure… the guarantor of success and marital bliss!

With all the artistic henna designs out there it can be overwhelming to actually choose one that reflects you! Here are some tips on how to have your Ultimate Wedding Henna.

First Choose your Style…..

Depending on what region you are from, you will come across different styles of Henna. Here are just a few…

1. Persian Style Henna - Persian Henna design has a gentle rhythm to it. Whether you choose a swirl based design or a geometric pattern, it will be repetitive and meditative.

2. Middle Eastern Style Henna - Cascading images, accented with flowers and open spaces adorn the contours of your hand.

3. Matching Henna – How does your Henna artist designing a one of a kind, original design based on the patterns of your bridal lengha sound? Pretty fantastic and totally you!

4. Pakistani Style Henna – Spanning from your elbows and going to the tips of your fingers, Pakistani Henna involves total coverage with intricate designs. For brides choosing this design, look for a Henna artist who has precise designs with fine lines, and who works very quickly! Otherwise you will be sitting for more than 4 hours!

5. Rajasthani Style Henna – Since this particular state is filled with many, many cultural images, so is their henna! Whether you choose Ganesh Ji or a Raja & Rani you are guaranteed gorgeous designs. Just like Pakistani Mehndi, this is a full coverage look, so make sure you pick your henna artist carefully!

6. Glitter Style Henna – Give your Henna a modern look with a touch of glitz and glamour! The latest designs add crystals & glitter to Henna designs, giving a whole new meaning to the word bling!

Then Choose your Henna Artist …..

Although all Henna artists will tell you they can do any of these styles (which may have some truth to it), when you take a look at their work, you will most likely see a definitive style to it.

If you are an Indian bride who wants any of the full coverage Henna style, you must look for an artist who has defined designs with very fine lines. The work should resemble a lace type pattern, and be very clean and neat. Also, ask the Henna artist how long that type of design takes them to do. Typically it should be no more than 2 hours for your arms.

Also look for a Henna Artist that is careful about what products they use. Black Henna is chemically altered to leave a black stain on your skin. For the side effects, please visit:

I suggest you ask your Henna artist about the ingredients in their paste and if you have any doubts, don’t have it done.

Lastly, Choose your Colour …..

For that rich rust colour every time, here is what you should do:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly, and apply Eucalyptus oil to your hands. Just a few drops is enough. This creates a moisturized base, so that the Henna doesn’t dry out.

2. As your henna is being applied, have one of your bridesmaids gently dab the dry areas with a cotton ball soaked in a mixture of lemon and sugar. This prevents the Henna from flaking off. Just make sure it is completely dry before you start touching it!

3. The final tip is the most important one of all! Place about ten cloves on a frying pan and heat them up. Hold your hands directly over the pan (careful not to burn yourself!) The smoke from the cloves will make your henna much darker……….. and get you out of housework for a few days!

For traditions sake, you can ask the artist to hide your groom’s name or initials in the henna of your right hand. After your have exchanged your vows, shared a first dance, and dashed off from your reception, tell your groom that you have a game for him to play. Ask him to find his name or initials in your henna! But don’t’ tell him it is all in your right hand, it’s more challenging that way! And, if he finds his it and wins, you get to give him a special prize…but, I’ll leave that part up to you!

Good luck and please send pictures of your henna
– I would love to see it!

Show off your sense of "Style" !!


A Different Take on Wedding Gifts

A private beachside dinner for two on the sands of Maui, Hawaii.

An in-room massage for two at a spa in Santorini, Greece.

A scuba diving trip off the shores of Phuket, Thailand.

A romantic sunset cruise off the beaches of beautiful Rome, Italy.
Whatever you and your soon-to-be spouse wish for in a honeymoon can very well be achieved.

When it comes to registering for gifts for your special day, you may come to realize that you want something more on the unique side.
While exploring the internet for unique and fun ideas, I came across a website which will help your guests contribute to your time away on your honeymoon.
Check it out and maybe you will find something that you like!

A Henna Party for your Bachelorette!!!

The Henna Night or Mehndi is all about spending time with close friends and relatives.... and turning each other into works of art!
Traditionally, the Henna Party is hosted by the Bride's parents. But if you feel that you won't be able to enjoy yourself with all your aunties and your mom watching your every move, then you can divide the night into two parts or even different days.

Hold the customary party for your relatives at your parents' house, complete with singing, dancing and good food. Then you can turn your Henna Party into your very own Bachelorette party. Taking it to a place where you can have your own kind of fun with your girlfriends.

Make sure you put together a Guest List as you wouldn't want to miss out anyone, especially any family members, for you know you would never hear the end of it! An added touch would be to coordinate your Mehndi Invites with your wedding stationary. Contrary to custom, you can forgo the notion that Mehndi Nights are only for women. Get the men involved! As long as they're there to entertain you!

More and more brides are opting for Themed parties. Since your wedding comes along only once in a lifetime, go the extra mile and pull out all the stops to make your Henna night memorable. If you really want to go over the top, try re-creating a scene from your favourite Hindi movie, or go "Middle Eastern" complete with bellydancers and rich decorative marquees.

Whatever you decide, make sure that a good time is had by all....especially you!!!

I need to find the Perfect Dress !!!

Shopping for your Wedding Dress is one of the most memorable parts of the entire wedding experience. Post Engagement excitement, choosing the wedding dress can provide an opportunity for the Bride-to-Be to bond with the special women in her life.

Here are some helpful tips on choosing the Dress of your Dreams!

Do Your ResearchNine months to a year before your wedding, start collecting photos of dresses and noting important details; whether you prefer lace or a specific silhouette, for instance. Ask your planner and married friends to recommend shops, and check out designers’ Websites to find local stores that carry their lines. The sites also might clue you in to a sample sale or trunk show (which the designers often will attend).

Book Your BoutiquesFocus on a few stores that offer various experiences, such as an intimate boutique, a designer showroom (just call for an appointment – a month ahead for a Saturday reservation) and a large department store. Appointments are necessary at most shops. Allow an hour and a half or two for the first visit to see a variety.

Select Your StyleDon’t get too attached to one designer, unless he or she has a distinctive aesthetic you love. It’s more important to have an idea about the look you want. Flip through your clippings to choose a silhouette or fabric. If you’re unsure, the date and setting might help determine your look: The perfect dress for a summery beach soiree, for example, likely will differ from one for a winter ceremony in a cathedral.

Try it on for SizeMost salons provide strapless bras and specialty undergarments for customers to try with certain styles. But if you plan to use shapewear, like Spanx, for the wedding, wear it to the stores as dressses will fit differently. Also any jewellry or any colour swatches that are a part of your day should be brought along. It woul not be wise to purchase a gown based on "anticipated weight loss". A large dress can be taken in but it is virtually impossible to let out a small one. Another tip - avoid alcohol and salty foods the day before to prevent bloating and feel your best in the dressing room.

Accept AdviceWhen shopping, bring just two or three friends or relatives with trusted opinions. “It’s counterproductive when there are too many opinions flying around the room. Consider how much professional input you want, and ask whether shops have open or closed inventory. Both can have excellent service, but they operate differently: Closed stores have stylists who pull styles based on the bride’s preferences; those with open inventory let customers peruse sample gowns themselves. (Most high-end boutiques have a closed selection.) in either case, don’t rule out a gown a stylist suggests before you try it on. A dress does look different on the body than it does on the hanger. Sometimes a bride will select a style far from her original plan!

The Fittings
The importance of fittings cannot be stressed enough. A bride must devote some serious time and effort toward fitting her gown to preserve the beauty of the gown itself and her own peace of mind. Regardless of the shape or the way the gown is made, it will only look beautiful if it fits properly. A good piece of advice would be to take your wedding shoes to every fitting you have in order to avoid hemline issues! You should also check with the retailer to understand their policies surrounding alterations.

Take the Plunge Purchase your dress at least six months in advance of the wedding, to allow for adjustments and shipping. Still, a dress with a long, bustled skirt or an intricate bodice will require more fittings and take longer. It’s tempting to tell the world about your gown, but we suggest sharing the details with only a few close confidants and making your look a surprise for family and friends on the big day. “They should gasp with pleasure and have tears of joy the first time they see you.”

Remember this is your special day and in the end your choice should reflect your sense of identity ...........also you should feel like a princess!
Happy shopping!