Conde Nast Digital StudioLauren A. Greene, BRIDES
The reception can take a big bite out of your budget. We surveyed wedding-industry experts (and a few brides) to find out how you can trim the fat without losing the flavor.
skip the seafood: "I nixed shellfish, since my husband, mom, and MIL are all allergic. It saved us so much that we were able to add a wedding cake into our package at no extra cost." -Leba A., 24, Brooklyn
eliminate choices: Offer just one meat or fish entrée instead of giving guests two or three options (but make sure you have a vegetarian alternative available for noncarnivores), says Annette Babich, a New York-area wedding planner.
Related: 40 Ways to Save On Your Big Day
do a different dessert: Instead of a pricey wedding cake, create a sweets table or a cupcake, cookie, or brownie bar. "These budget-friendly options always wow the crowd," says Laura Ekker of Blue Plate Catering in Chicago.
ask for a better price: Don't be afraid to negotiate, says Amy Aversa of Sweet Basil Catering in
Blog Posts by BRIDES
Conde Nast Digital StudioLauren A. Greene, BRIDESRead More »from Secret Ways to Shrink Your Wedding Catering Bill
- BRIDES | Fashion – Tue, Aug 2, 2011 6:46 PM EDT
Fairchild ArchivePhillip B. Crook, BRIDESRead More »from Kim Kardashian Chooses Vera Wang to Design Her Wedding Dress
In a surprise move that came as a surprise to no one, reality star Kim Kardashian announced that her wedding gown will be designed by Vera Wang. "Vera has been a close family friend for a long time, and we had talked about this moment for years," Kim said on her blog. "When it came to picking my wedding dress designer, she was the first person I thought of. No one designs gowns the way she does!"
When Kim stopped by Wang's New York studio in June, she reportedly asked the designer's entire staff to sign confidentiality contracts-which makes it all the more odd that she made this announcement now. But come her wedding day on August 20 (and the E! special to follow), we'll finally see what the game of bridal designer hide-and-seek has been about. And it better be good!
Click here to see our favorite looks from Vera's Spring 2012 collection.
More from BRIDES:
• 10 Shocking Secrets of the First Year of Marriage
• The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide
Tom Corbett/BRIDES BRIDES magazineRead More »from How to Find the Perfect Plus Size Wedding Gown
Girls with major curves can score a flattering high-fashion frock (really!) if they shop smart.
Lori Allen of Atlanta's Bridals by Lori offers her tips for a positive salon experience.
Q: Carrying plus-size samples hasn't always been a priority for salons. Is that changing?
A: While it's still not the industry norm, more salons-including ours-now carry samples in bigger sizes. The issue is that most can't afford to buy more than one sample of a dress, and that sample is usually an 8 or a 10.
Q: So how can a plus-size bride find a dress?
A: By doing her homework. She should look on the websites of her favorite designers to find out which make plus-size gowns. Next, she should call salons to ask whether they carry these designers, and how many plus-size samples they have in-store, before booking an appointment.
Q: What's the biggest size that samples come in?
A: Our largest-size gown is a 28, and we carry all the major designers, like Rivini, Amsale, and
Condé Nast Digital StudioBekah Wright, BRIDES magazineRead More »from When Financial Opposites Attract
"It wasn't love at first sight," admits Candice Coppola. Instead, it was a case of opposites attracting for she and her husband, Mike. The differences that initially attracted the two were apparent when it came to planning for their future: Marriage was in the cards, though no date was set. "I was eager," Candice, 29, remembers. "Mike wanted to wait until he was financially able to get married. He also wanted to save up for my ring instead of financing it." The duo's different financial personalities were distinct. Says Mike, 33, "One of us is a spender; the other is more of a saver."
The couple's approaches to budgeting didn't quite meld either. "I came from a background where I didn't learn about financial tools," says Candice. "Mike was definitely taught how to manage money."
Related: Will You Be Richer or Poorer After Marriage?
Mike's strategy for saving? Placing money in hands-off accounts. "I know what bills I have and what I need to cover them,"
- BRIDES | shine-food – Mon, Jul 18, 2011 11:51 PM EDT
Wendell T. Webber, BRIDESLexi Dwyer, BRIDES magazineRead More »from Spirits of America: Spirits from Each of the 50 States
Want to show some regional pride during cocktail hour? We've rounded up iconic beverages from each of our 50 states.
ALABAMA Clyde May's Conecuh Ridge Whiskey
ALASKA Permafrost Alaska Vodka
ARIZONA 3 Amigos Tequila
ARKANSAS Rock Town Distillery Arkansas Lightning Cask Strength Whiskey
CALIFORNIA Hangar One Vodka
COLORADO Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry Liqueur
CONNECTICUT Westford Hill Distillers Eau-de-Vie Brandy
DELAWARE Dogfish Head Brown Honey Rum
FLORIDA KeKe Beach Key Lime Cream Liqueur
GEORGIA Thirteenth Colony Distillery Plantation Vodka
HAWAII Koloa Kauai Dark Hawaiian Rum
IDAHO Teton Glacier Potato Vodka
ILLINOIS North Shore Distillery Aquavit
INDIANA Three Floyds Dolomite Corn Malt Liquor
IOWA Templeton Rye Whiskey
KANSAS High Plains Distillery Most Wanted Citrus Flavored Vodka
KENTUCKY Jim Beam Original Bourbon Whiskey
LOUISIANA Old New Orleans Rum
MAINE Cold River Blueberry Vodka
MARYLAND Sloop Betty Wheat Vodka
Kim Forrest, Heather Lee, and Lauren Matthews, BRIDES
Hairstylists and makeup artists discuss the celebrity styles that brides are requesting for their wedding day, and how they tweak those (sometimes insanely over-the-top) looks for a "real world" wedding.
Leigh Bond, BRIDES
Read More »from Summer's Best Sunless Tanners
Each year, sunless tanner products get faster, better formulated, and ever easier to apply (consider the new application mitts a must). For all products, fine-tuning the misting/spraying/slathering process is key&mdash. Yes, you really do need to exfoliate; no, you should absolutely not start testing the week of your wedding. Regardless, an authentic-looking tan from a bottle is possible. Here are our editors' top picks for a gorgeous, sunless glow this summer.
Phillip B. Crook, BRIDES Usually we crave whatever clothes fashion icon Kate Moss is wearing, and her wedding day look was no different. If you similarly loved the details of Kate's gown-from the 1920s-style silhouette to the glittering metallic embellishments and the sheer overlay neckline-take a l
- BRIDES | Work + Money – Fri, Jul 8, 2011 7:30 PM EDT
David Lewis Taylor/BRIDESBRIDESRead More »from Sparkle for a Steal: The Most Affordable Engagement Rings
These dazzling diamonds prove you can get serious bling for a stellar price:
1. Eighteen-karat white-gold ring with diamonds totaling .87 carat, $3,650, Simon G.; simongjewelry.com.
2. "Beautiful Beginnings" platinum princess-cut ring with diamonds totaling 1.05 carats, $7,805, A. Jaffe; ajaffe.com.
Related: 8 Daring Modern Engagement Rings
3. "Transcend Single Halo Dream" platinum solitaire ring with diamonds totaling .7 carat, $3,800, Hearts on Fire; heartsonfire.com.
4. Fourteen-karat white-gold round-cut ring with diamonds totaling 1 carat, $2,350, Neil Lane Bridal; kay.com.
5. Eighteen-karat white-gold princess-cut ring with diamonds totaling 1.32 carats, $5,950, Simon G.; simongjewelry.com.
6. "True Love Celebrate Romance" fourteen-karat white-gold solitaire ring with diamonds totaling 1 carat, $2,750, Modern Bride; jcp.com.
Related: 5 Iconic Diamond Cuts
7. Eighteen-karat white-gold solitaire ring with diamonds totaling .5 carat, $4,010, Tacori; tacori.com.
Condé Nast Digital StudioRory Evans, BRIDESRead More »from How to Weatherproof Your Summer Wedding
Consulting a Magic 8 Ball ("Outlook good") doesn't count as being prepared. Depending on your locale and the season, you may have to contend with a downpour, a snow-storm, or a heat wave on your big day. We've got tips that'll help your wedding run smoothly, come rain or come shine.
Problem: You planned an outdoor ceremony, but now there's a 60 percent chance of rain.
Solution: Since ceremonies are short, don't go nuts with an elaborate plan B. An indoor reception space gives you lots of options; talk to your reception manager about staging the I do's on the dance floor or in a hallway if it starts to pour. Much of the outdoor decor-pots of daisies, rose petals-should work indoors as well, says Jesse Brix, a Seattle-based planner (truecolorsevents.com).
Related: 10 Secrets Only Wedding Planners Know
Problem: How can we stay dry going from point A (home) to point B (the ceremony) to point C (the reception)?
Solution: Get dressed at the ceremony site, and pack extra