Planning the Perfect Honeymoon

Your wedding day seems like it will be an unforgettable event, and for the most part, it is! Just be prepared for the day to go by in somewhat of a whirlwind of: photo ops, guest meet and greets, and dancing. The honeymoon, however, is the time where you shed all of the expectations and welcome married life in a state of complete relaxation and fun!

If the two of you are like most couples, you’re probably spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to fund that momentous day. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in 2018 was $33,931 (excluding honeymoon expenses). So basically, most couples are spending about as much on their wedding as they would if they bought a brand new car in cash…up front!

That being said, when you are budgeting expenses for that day, don't forget to budget for the honeymoon. For most couples, the tab for the honeymoon falls on their personal bank accounts—even if mom and dad pick up the wedding tab. If you and your future spouse are paying for your own dream honeymoon, then you should both start saving and planning as soon as the engagement ring lands on the finger.

Donations, please?

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You may have heard about honeymoon registry accounts that allow guests to give monetary gifts that go toward the cost of the couple's upcoming getaway. While many couples embrace this opportunity, don’t expect all guests to be on board. Some would rather give a tangible gift, and per registry etiquette, honeymoon registry information should be spread by “word of mouth.” 

In addition, some couples display a “honeymoon fund” jar or box at their ceremony/reception. This fund can also give you a way to keep your guests entertained at your reception. Try having your guests donate a dollar to get you and your partner to kiss or have them donate any amount to get a dance with you!

Budget Tips

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While most couples honeymoon immediately after their honeymoon, you also may choose to wait a month or two…especially if waiting coincides with off-peak rates for travel. When booking on a budget, your dollars will go much farther if you choose less popular months for your dream vacation. Peak seasons vary by destination, so do your research. Remember that peak travel periods vary across the globe. For example, couples planning summer weddings can score cheaper deals if they honeymoon in Vietnam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even Belize. Choosing an all-inclusive resort also may save you money—especially if you plan on hanging out at the resort for the majority of your stay.

Honeymoons don’t have to equate to airfare or out-of-country excursions. Local hot spots may offer cheap honeymoon getaways, so research local wineries or bed and breakfasts. You may even want to rent an RV and take to the road for a cross-country adventure.

Don’t Forget…

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If you plan to travel outside of the country for your honeymoon, plan accordingly. Touch base with your doctor to make sure you don’t need any immunizations before your trip. Also, if you don’t already have a passport…get one! While countries that are U.S. territories (like the U.S. Virgin Islands) don’t require passports, you will need a photo ID. But always check the travel requirements in advance.

No matter where you choose to spend your post-wedding days, plan a honeymoon that allows you plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and lots of blissful romance. Whether you choose a tropical paradise or a local bed and breakfast, the perfect honeymoon is one that lets the stress of the wedding melt away and marks the real beginning of happily ever after.

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What To Do After Finding Your Dress

You did it! You found your dream wedding dress! CONGRATULATIONS GIRL 🎉 This is a big commitment and now you can take a deep breathe and celebrate! 

But wait -  you’re not done. It’s time to put together your bridal look. From alterations to accessories and steaming/cleaning - we’re here to help you. And you thought we were just going to sell you a dress and send you on your way. 

We love building connections with our brides and not just to sell them a dress. As your stylists, we’re here to educate and help complete your bridal dreams.  👰

Let’s Make Your Dress Fit like a Glove

Once you purchase your dress, the next big step is alterations. Keep in mind, alterations should be done 2-3 months before the wedding day. This is standard in bridal whether you order or buy off the rack. 

Here at Brilliant Bridal, we recommend a full list of alteration specialists (selection depending upon what location you purchase from). Why don’t we offer in house alterations? Great question! Often times, in house alterations the cost of the dress is hiked up and you’re limited on alteration options. That’s why we provide a list of seamstresses we recommend, and they only make our list based on examples of their work and outstanding word of mouth. These lovely people do not work for Brilliant Bridal - we’re just one small business helping another. 

When scheduling to meet with the seamstress, your first appointment will be a consultation. Numerous alteration specialists on our lists offer free consultations and others just a small fee for their services. The consultation is important because this is when you find out what needs to be done to your dress and how much it will cost. 

Use this consultation to:

  1. See if you connect with the seamstress 

  2. Make sure you trust their work 

  3. Get a price quote 

A consultation doesn’t mean you’re stuck - it’s okay to consult with multiple seamstresses to make sure you pick the right person to work on your wedding dress. 

Now let’s go pick out some accessories! ✨

Accessories

It’s true - your wedding dress should be the most self-expressive garment you ever purchase. So, help that personality shine by adding accessories! 

At Brilliant Bridal, we not only sell wedding dresses but accessories too! From earrings, necklaces, sashes and hairpieces - we make sure we have enough glitz for our brides to complete their look. 💍

Debating on whether or not you want a veil? Hop over to our Let’s Talk Veils post for some veil inspiration! 

It can be difficult to pick out what pieces will go perfectly with your dress and can be even harder when you don’t have your dress on hand. No worries, we got you, girl! 

Give us a call or schedule here on our site for an Accessory Appointment. This is the perfect opportunity for you to put your dress back on (because what bride wouldn’t be excited to do that) and it’s your chance to work with your stylist again to pick out your bridal accessories. This way you can make sure everything flows and works together perfectly!

Already have all your accessories? Have friends and family that haven’t seen your dress yet? Come party with us for one final HOORAH at Brilliant Bridal!

Reveal Party

In all the glory of planning bridal appointments and finding the one, it can be difficult for everyone important to you to be there for those life moments. That’s why Brilliant Bridal offers reveal party appointments! 

Reveal Parties are an oh so fun way for you to celebrate with treats and drinks! (What is offered depends on location). This lovely little bonus is at no cost to you - we just love having fun with our #brilliantbabes! 

If you decide to schedule a reveal party, these appointments are typically 30 minutes - just enough time for you and your loved ones to celebrate this new chapter in your life and your fabulous new wedding dress! 

This concludes our series on how to prepare, what to expect and what goes on during and after appointments with Brilliant Bridal. We hope these posts have been beneficial for your dress search and bridal planning! If you’re already a #brilliantbabe, thank you for choosing us to find your dream dress! If you’re a new bride, then come on over! Your dress is waiting to be found! 💙

Plan A Wedding In Less than Three Months

Sometimes, a long engagement isn't possible. Whether it’s because of military obligations, work related events, or you’re just too stinkin’ excited to start married life, don’t you worry. Although planning a wedding with a short timeline requires careful planning, lots of support, and some resourcefulness, it is totally possible!

The average wedding takes about a year of preparation. Vendors, especially major ones, have many events to prepare for and some may already be booked up (which in some cases help simplify the decision making process). Just keep in mind, you may need to reach out to more people to find a vendor with availability, but try not to get defeated when you hear your date is booked. Keep reading for some tips and tricks on preparing for a wedding that’s taking place in three months or less.

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The Bare Necessities

First of all, think of the most essential details of the wedding. Pick the date of your wedding and the venue for the ceremony and reception. It will be easier to find available dates if you opt for a Friday or Sunday wedding. A weekday wedding would make booking your preferred vendors so much easier. Set a budget and timeline of wedding activities, and create a checklist to help you keep track of everything.

If you have a problem finding a venue, you can hire a wedding planner who can help you scout for a location. Another option is to choose areas near where you live, or you can even have the wedding at your home if you have enough space.

Here are a few more things we recommend you o right away:

  • Book your officiant. If you have friends or colleagues who are judges, justices of the peace, or ordained ministers and they can legally officiate a wedding, ask them to be your officiant.

  • Get your marriage license.

  • Buy your wedding rings as soon as you can so that you won’t have problems in getting them resized or engraved.

  • Determine your wedding party and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance with preparations.

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Wardrobe

Ordering a wedding dress take up to six months at traditional ordering stores, which is why Brilliant Bridal is an especially great option for brides on a short timeline. All of our designer bridal gowns sell off-the-rack so you can take it home the same day you say yes to the dress. 🎉 Bridal alterations usually take 6 to 8 weeks, so if you find your dress early in the planning process, you shouldn't have to pay any rush fees on your gown alterations.

When it comes to hair and makeup, look for stylists who can do both, and try to set consultations as soon as possible. Help your stylist out by coming prepared with pictures of hair and makeup looks you love. 💋

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Invites, Reception, and Other Details

Another important aspect to get completed right away will be sending your invites. This will ensure that you can determine the headcount as early as possible. If local printers are unavailable, you can design the wedding invites yourself, using any number of online resources. If you’re the type who enjoys taking on DIY projects, making the invites, decorations, and wedding favors can help save the wedding budget, but may take some extra time.

For reception food, ask your favorite local restaurant if they offer catering services, or if you prefer, you can host the reception at a restaurant where the food can be served buffet-style. If no one can accommodate such a short timeline, then ask family and friends to do a potluck. Keep the menu simple and they will be so happy to be able to pitch in!

For your wedding cake, consider the bakery department in a local grocery store. They can often do beautiful (and delicious) designs with short notice. 🍰

For your bouquet, ask your florist to use blooms that are in season. They will be easy to acquire quickly and are often more cost effective. 🌻

Entertainment during the reception may not necessarily require hiring a DJ or a band. You can create your own playlist and play it on your phone or your laptop, as long as you can connect the device to reliable speakers. You will have no problem getting the party started. 🎶

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Reminders

Even if you only have a short time to prepare, you can still pull off the wedding of your dreams. Be sure not to get caught up in all of the business of wedding planning and remember why you're doing this, to get married! 👰Take time to prioritize your relationship which is what will last well beyond the wedding flowers and cake.

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For more wedding inspo + behind the scenes action, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.

Finding The One & Falling In Love

Hello again Brilliant Babes! Today, let’s talk about LOVE. 

Love is in the air when you get engaged, but not just the love between you and your fiancé. Falling in love with and finding your wedding dress is such a precious and unforgettable moment that will forever be part of your love story.

The other “love” we will be discussing is self-love. Because girl, you ARE beautiful and deserve the world - especially on your wedding day. 💛

Today’s post is continuing “Hey Brilliant Babe - Your Dress Is Waiting To Be Found”.  If you haven’t been following this series - check out our past blogs on “How to Prepare For the Bridal Experience” and “What To Expect” for stress relieving advice on the bridal process. Our latest part of the series showcased how the appointment generally runs, and how you and your stylist work together to find “the one”. 

Loving Vs. Liking 

Liking a dress isn’t the same as loving a dress. While shopping for your gown, you will find that there are many dresses out there that you like. However, only one dress will be YOUR dress. There's always beautiful dresses out there, but only one will speak to you and give you that special bride feeling. ✨

Narrowing Down

Don’t let yourself fall in love and have a favorite at every store you go to! This will only cause extra stress and confusion, and we all know planning a wedding brings enough of that. Be sure to narrow down and eliminate as you go! This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but looking at each detail and picking what you like and don’t like about each gown can be super beneficial. 👏 As our Brilliant Bridal stylist Mary always says, “You’re not marrying your second favorite person, so don’t get married in your second favorite dress!”

Self love

If you take away one thing from this post, please let it be this. When you go out and look for your gown, remember to be kind to yourself. You don’t deserve the self-criticism that sometimes comes with dress shopping. Love yourself & love your body. In some cases, limiting the amount of people you bring along with you can be helpful. Having so many opinions can be overwhelming, and you must remember this is about YOU and how YOU feel. 👰 At Brilliant Bridal, we believe that the dress is about what fits your personality, not your body type. If you want bold and sexy, we will find you the perfect fitted dress for your frame. If you want something romantic and whimsical, we can find a gorgeous flowy A-line. It’s all about finding a gown that expresses who you are as a bride. 🙌

The knot

The knot

Stay on the look out for our final post in the series - what to do after your find your dress. 🎉 In this post, we will discuss alterations, accessories, steaming and pressing, and MORE!

During Your Bridal Appointment at Brilliant Bridal

Hey Brilliant Babe - your dress is waiting to be found! The time has finally come. It’s time to find your wedding dress. If you’ve been following a couple of our previous posts - we have dialed you in on how to prepare for the shopping experience and what to expect. Now, let’s shop!

Welcome To Brilliant Bridal

In our latest post “What To Expect” we went over the initial greeting for your bridal experience. If you haven't read it, no worries! We’ll catch you up so there’s no surprises when you walk through our doors. 

Whether it’s just you or you and your nearest girlfriends/family, the moment you enter our store you’ll be greeted by your stylist! She’ll then escort you over to your own viewing area. Each Brilliant Bridal location looks uniquely different, but all locations will cater to the bride by providing each appointment their own space. 😍

Once you are comfortably seated in your viewing area, your stylist will get to know you!

Reference to the “What To Expect” post for details on trusting and working with your stylist. We are here for you.

How Are We Different? 

When entering your bridal appointment, it’s important to know how the boutique works. (Reference our “How To Prepare” post to find out the difference between ordering and off the rack)

Brilliant Bridal is slightly different than most bridal boutiques, and we’d love to share why! 

Girl, we get it - we all want that picture perfect wedding dress but not everyone wants to spend all the big bucks to get it. That’s where we come in. 

Brilliant Bridal sells brand new, designer gowns off the rack. We mostly receive our gowns straight from designers once they’re discontinued or if they have overstock inventory. This way, you get a designer wedding dress but not at the high-end retail price. Plus, you get to take your dress home with you so there’s no worry about whether or not it will arrive in time. Having one less thing to worry about when wedding planning can make all the difference. 👏

After talking all things wedding with your stylist and learning about how we work, it’s time to head to the floor and find your dream dress! 

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Let’s Shop

Okay, so you’ve been educated on the prep, you’ve been clued in on what to expect, and now you’re finally here. Let’s go find your dress! 

Your stylist will guide you and your group to the selection of wedding dresses you have to choose from - all our dresses are organized by size. Bridal sizing is different. Your stylist will explain and guide you in the proper direction. 

Okay, so you’re out with the dresses. Your stylist is having you choose 3-4 dresses to start. We know it doesn’t sound like much at first - because let’s be real, it’s hard to not want to try on the whole store when surrounded by beautiful dresses. 👰 We start with that amount not only so you don’t overwhelm yourself, but so you can optimally utilize your appointment time. 

Don’t worry - your stylist will pull plenty more for you after this first round! 

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Likes and Dislikes 

If you’ve been skimming through this post so far, I highly recommend giving your full attention to this section. 

Brides, this is oh so important, not only for your stylist but for you to truly find out what your bridal style is.

Once you and your group have pulled the first round of dresses - you and your stylist will go off to your dressing room. She will then clip you in the dresses for you to visualize how it could fit post alterations. Now it’s time to see yourself in a wedding dress. 

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You’re in a bridal shop, you’ll continuously try on beautiful dresses but not all of them are going to feel like you. Tell your group, tell your stylist, and tell yourself everything that you are drawn to in the dress and everything you don’t like. This not only helps guide your stylist to pull what you want, but it will save you sanity. 🙌

The moment you are able to eliminate a silhouette, fabric or specific detail - you know you no longer have to keep trying that same style on. This will save you stress and time. 

Remember, finding your wedding dress should be fun and memorable. Prepare a guide for your vision but still be open minded. Have budget on hand, bring those closest to you with minimal opinions, and enjoy the experience. Your stylist and our Brilliant Bridal family are here for you. 

Stay tuned for our next post on “Falling in Love and Finding The One”. 💙