Friday, September 22, 2017

The 3 Wedding Guests That Should Always Get a Plus One

The 3 Wedding Guests That Should Always Get a Plus One

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Custom Long Sleeve Wedding dress inspired by Inbal Dror

This long sleeve wedding gown is in stock as shown in a size 12.  This dress was a custom designs by darius Cordell that was inspired by Inbal Dror.  Please contact us for the exact measurements or additional images.

You can purchase this on line through these sites:

Ecrater - http://dariuscordellcouture.ecrater.com/p/23691097/darius-cordell-long-sleeve-wedding

Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/pin/196962183683867983/

Shopify - https://www.dariuscordell.net/products/darius-cordell-style-c2015-mjls-long-sleeve-wedding-dress



For more info on this design or on having one made new with any changes please contact us directly.

Thanks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Verifiable Customer Reviews


-----Original Message-----
From: Tracey Meloni
Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2010 10:09 AM

Dress arrived - it is gorgeous and a perfect fit, with a luscious "hand" I did not expect. Many thanks!

Tracey Meloni
Harrisburg, PA




  -----Original Message-----
To: Darius Cordell
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 12:13 PM
SURPRISE!!! Dress just arrived,thank you. Fits like a GLOVE,is absolutely perfect,doesn't need a thing done to it. The jacket is beautiful...... The whole thing is a STUNNER! I'll definitely send a picture.

                                                                                Thank you,
                                                                                 Jennifer

As always in one of your dresses, I will be the Belle of the Ball! (At least I'll think so, but no one will be better dressed)!
(Repeat client from Winter Garden, Florida)

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 3:43 PM
To: darius designs
Subject: My gown
I just recieved my gown. It is beautiful! I can not wait to try it on! Thank you so much.
Latasha Haskins

I ordered a dress from Darius Cordell Couture in 2007, and had a wonderful experience. They were pleasant and easy to deal with
jamiezra

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 8:42 PM

Wheeeeee   I just received my order.   (You folks were scaring me there for a few days J )
What can I say?   It is absolutely gorgeous.   Exactly what I wanted!!!
I really like how the beading worked out, and the shimmer and flow of the skirt is just a marvel. 
Thanks again just a marvelous dress!
k
Aloha, OR

Hi David,
I love it! The gown is simply wonderful. It was an exact fit and the workmanship was exquisite. I  absolutely consider you my designer of choice and will not hesitate to order from you in the future. If anyone needs a reference, you are free to direct them to me. 
Donna Triplett
Milwaukee, WI

Thank you so much for following up!  It was an amazing day and my dress looked wonderful!  I can't begin to tell you how many compliments I received and comments from people telling me that my dress was very original, classic looking and fit my personality and taste perfectly.  The dress fit like a glove and no alterations were necessary.  It was, hands-down, the best formal dress experience I have had.  Thank you again for helping to make this day so perfect!
With love, Lee Anne Kirk
Allen, Texas

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 1:42 PM

Hello 
Just want to let you know the dress arrived safely.  I won't see it for another couple of weeks but everyone is telling me it is gorgeous.  I was amazed that it came through customs without me having to pay any duties or taxes.   
The additional money has been sent.  Please let me know when it arrives.   
Thanks for all your help, the service was brilliant in what was an oddly awkward situation. 
Thanks again
Dolly
Ontario , Canada

-----Original Message-----
To:Darius Cordell Couture
Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 12:53 PM  
You have no idea how pleased I am with my gown.  I will definately send you pictures of me in it as it is gorgeous!!! I have already referred your website  to a friend of mine who is getting married in March of 2009.  My husband was in complete shock when he saw it as well.  I look at it everyday and can  not wait until the 24th of May to wear it.
Not only did it arrive in plenty of time for my wear date, but it is EXACTLY as i specified it down to the material, the lining, and the thread!! 
Thank you so very much as I am very very pleased with the outcome.  This was my very first experience in ordering a designer gown, and the very first time I have purchased any garment without trying it on!! It is perfect!!  This will not be my last experience with you. 
Your staff has been marvelous, understanding, and very helpful.  You are all to be commended for your professionalism and expertise so please pass my thanks on.  Feel free to add my comments to your website as I want everyone who visits your website to know that you can not go wrong with a  Darius Cordell design! 
An extremely satisfied Customer,
Valerie Jordan
Altadena, Ca

Darius,
I have letting you know that the dress was a hit at our daughter's
wedding--the dress was spectacular!!!!! Thank you for all that you did to
get the dress to me in the time frame that you had indicated. I appreciate
you staff working with me to keep me updated. You will always be the dress
maker for me:)
Thanks again,
Barbara A. Schaefer
Lakewood, Co

As for the tuxedo style gown we got in a 14, it was beautiful, we loved it, ......she wore it for Luck be A Lady, with a black fedora, and it looked fabulous....the work is beautiful  
Clare Henkel
The Indianapolis Symphony
Indianapolis, IN
(Purchased Style #C97E, B8042, 3010, B2028, 1101bg, 1101)

Hello

I wanted to touch base with you and let you know that I recieved the dress.

It was absolutely beautiful. And I rcieved many compliments

There were over 700 in attendance and your dress is on the front page of the paper.

It really is beautiful. Thank you and sorry about all the stress.

Mayor Dianne Watts - Surrey Canada

Hi David,
My dress was breathtaking, worth every penny.  I was very pleased.
Thank you so much.
Darlene
Long Branch/NJ
(Purchased Style #B8042)

Thanks so very much for completing my dress so quickly. I will be sure to spread the good word and pass your information along.  I know a ton of other large gals and I have no doubt they'll be thrilled to know they can have beautiful dresses custom-made.

Thanks again and Happy New Year!

Jennifer Hollenstein
Friendswood, Tx

Dear Hunter,  
I just received my dress in the mail yesterday -- I LOVE IT!  It's just everything I thought I would want and more.  The cut is so ridiculously close; I only have a few minor alterations to have done.  Thank you so much for your help with this.  I am certainly happy I went with your company!
I do plan to get the word out about this among my group of opera friends.  I hope you get responses!
Thank you and all of the team at Darius Cordell for bringing such a fabulous dress to life,
Jamie Barton - Bloomington , NJ
(Purchased Style #B109)
client picture

The dress worked out perfectly. It was a size to big, but my tailor did a great job sizing it for me.
Laura DuBose
Rollinsville,CO

We love the dresses.   We are in the middle of prom season now, but expect we will see more interest in these dresses as the summer approaches.   Thank you Debbie
Beaumont Bridal - Pocatello , Idaho
208-478-9021
www.deborahbeaumont.com

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Friday, January 30, 2009 11:26 AM
Final Payment for dress was made on January 23. Direct to Chase Bank......  The dress is absolutely beautiful and fits perfectly! I will be a return customer.
Tracie Keesee
Elizabeth, Colorado
purchased #2126

Hello David ,

Thank you for your message.  The dress is beautiful and fits perfectly.  I especially like the detail on the jacket.
Thank you for all your help thus far.

Kit Foster
San Diego , CA

David:
Although I got concerned about receiving my dress for the wear date I did get it the day before (almost too close for comfort). However, I must say the dress is absoulutely gorgeous.  My mother was a professional designer and seamstress for years so believe me when I say the dress and workmanship was without flaw.  My daughter designed the dress for me and she was thrilled when we opened the package and her original sketch was taped to the outside.  You made her vision a lovely reality. I tried on the dress and all my husband could say was "WOW"  and after 28 years of marriage that is a great compliment.  But the best compliment came from my daughter.  She said "Mom, when I get married that is the dress I want you to wear." It just can't get any better than that.

Thanks so very much, D. Bell - Blyththeville, Ar

It is magnificent!! And a perfect fit! Im totally in love with it! Even my Brazilian fancy shoes are a perfect match for my beautiful dress!  I just had to send you the pictures that my husband took of me, yesterday.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Giselle - Calgary Alberta - Canada
client picture

I found the info on your Q&A page easy to understand and sufficient; thank you for that as well.
Regards,
Friederike Bohlken

I just wanted to let you know that I received the dress last night andit is BEAUTIFUL! It fits wonderfully! Thank you so much for your business!
Jenness Rouse
Midland TX
(purchased #1112sg)

The dress is great. Looking forward to wearing it in March.

Thank you.

Sandra Bronson
Sedona, AZ
(purchased #2009)

Absolutely beautiful; great service!
J. Machnacki - Canton, MI

I received lots of compliments on the # 4004 and how well the color looked on me as well. Do you have a 1108 already in stock ?
Angela.Burkard - (repeat client)
Ellicott city, MD
(Purchased Style #4004,1108)

Thank you for your superb customer service.
M. Sharp - Dallas, Tx

Dear Hunter.
Just returned from my trip to find the beautiful gown in my closet.  I'll be taking it next week for alterations. Thank you.   My husband and daughter think it is beautiful. Thank you  for repairing the star and replacing some of the stones. My first couture dress.   WOW!! 
J. Bradley - Washington Dc
(Purchased Style #3068)  

Thank you so very much for being so responsive to my situation!!  The dress arrived in perfect condition --- a little wrinkled.  It actually fits very well ---- a little hem, nip and tuck here and there and it will be perfect!!  I am so very grateful to my daughter for finding your website -----the quality and  design of the dress is wonderful!!    Again, thank you for rescuing me ----I am so looking for to wearing the gown at the ball!!   D. Green - Morgantown, WV

The sketch is what I had understood the fabrics would be. The construction of the dress is exactly how I had pictured it--and it is beautiful
Thanks for the help,
Sincerely,
Cammy
Euless, TX
(Purchased Custom Design)

Received the turquoise gown today and it is fabulous!.   Thank you for the terrific service!    I will be ordering another gown in the near future.
Thank you again,
S. Nelthorpe - Riverside, CA

I thank you for your excellent customer service,  from what I have recently experienced it seems to be a rare commodity within the bridal shop industry (condescending attitudes, "I'm doing you a favor" demeanors). 
K. Fitzpatrick - South Walpole , MA

Thanks for your help and your thoughtful emails.  
E. Mobius
Bethel Connecticut

Hi Hunter
The dress was a huge success and as soon as I get the photos from my friend, I will forward a few to you. Of course, thanks again for all of your help.  You're fabulous!
J. Lefebvre - New York , New York
(Purchased Style #2122)

I really like my dress (C494, floor model, purple) Thank you for sending it to me so quickly.
Pauline B. - Los Angeles, Ca

I love this gown.  I received dozens of compliments at each event. In the near future, I'll be in contact with you regarding two custom ball gowns. Hope all is well with you.
Respectfully yours,
S. Siracusano - SAUGERTIES, NY

THANK YOU HUNTER.
I APPRECIATE THE EFFORTS. AND YES I WILL BE ORDERING FROM DARIUS IN THE FUTURE.  THANK DARIUS FOR ME.  I WORK IN A SERVICE INDUSTRY TOO, SO SOMETIMES GIVING A INCH FOR A MILE CAN PUT A SERIOUS DENT ON OUR BUSINESS VANEER BUT IM ONE THAT ALWAYS REMEMBERS THOSE THAT GIVE GRACIOUSLY SO DARIUS CORDELL IS IN MY "GOLD" BOOK.  
CHEERS HUNTER,
SUSAN - KAMLOOPS , BRITISH COLUMBIA , CANADA

I purchased 2126 in white and just received my dress in the mail. I just wanted to let you know how beautiful my dress is-I just love it- my husband and I are renewing our vows in Las Vegas for our 25th Wedding Anniversay at the Venetian Hotel and the dress is just perfect-thank you so very much
S. Spradlin - Littleton, CO

I just wanted to say how absolutely fantastic your website is. I've been on hundreds of wedding dress websites and none of them come nearly close to being as user-friendly as yours. The pictures are wonderful, your Q&A section was direct and to the point and comprehensive. Excellent job!
Cheers,
C. Braidwood - Ottawa, Ontario Canada

I WANTED TO LET YOU AND YOUR STAFF KNOW THAT I GOT MY GOWN. IT IS TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL AND SO ELEGANT WITH  ITS TRAIN!!!!  THE WORKMANSHIP IS SUPERB AND   THE BEADING ON MY STOLE MAKES THE OUTFIT GO OVER THE TOP AND TRULY  A CLASSIC.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR MAKING THIS GOWN FOR ME TO WEAR AT THIS MOST IMPORTANT BLACK TIE AFFAIR.  MY BEST WISHES
Margaret Scisney-Matlock, Ph.D., RN - Ann Arbor, Michigan
client picture

Hello very nice people at Darius Cordell Couture,
I would have likely ordered #1095 in stead of my original choice. However I found something locally that will do for my occasion. Your gowns are lovely and next time I will order directly from you. I thank you for your fantastic response and assistance.
Cathy. Gilbert - St Albert , Alberta , Canada

Hi David,
I received the dress today and it is lovely--everything I wanted.  I look forward to ordering from you again.  I appreciate all your help.
Sincerely,
P. Jefcoat - Little Mountain, SC

At this time I do not plan to order this dress. I will keep your site bookmarked and continue to be awed by your beautiful work. I often have occasion for formal and I am glad I found you on the internet. Thank you for your quick and thorough response.  
Staci Handschuh - new milford nj

thank you for your follow up. I have found some dresses locally although not as wonderful as the dress we have corresponded about. Again, thank you for responding to my inquiries.

Best wishes,
C. Belford - Savannah, Georgia

I received the dress.  Its beautiful and the color you picked for this dress is amazing.  I just love everything about it.  Thank you so much. 
M. Abady - Alexandria, VA

Thank you very much for all of your wonderful e-mails.  Im all set with what I will be wearing. Your fashions are fabulous.  I actually (this may sound cheap) have a friend that purchased one of your darius cordell designs.  Her son and future daughter-in-law called off the wedding.  The dress fit me and I bought it from my friend.  I have two other children that are marriage age and I will certainly will go to your website again.

Thank-you,
Sue Sousa - Castro Valley, CA

I have ordered a Darius Cordell Inc for the past two years and I have loved each one of them.  Thanks.
Daphne R Robinson - Alexandria, LA

I have recieved the wedding dress. Things have been a little crazy for me because of the move and everything, but I wanted to say thank you to whoever made my wedding dress. !   it is very beautiful and looks great on me.  thank you again
Sncerely,
L. Leach - boonton, nj

Good morning JD and the Gang,
I just wanted to thank all of you. I received my dress yesterday, and it is almost perfect. It has a couple of quirks that have to be fixed, but I really like it. Well see how much the judges love it this weekend!
 Thanks again,
Desiree A. Bodin - Cut Off, LA

Thanks so much David!! I swear that I will never buy another occasion dress from anyone else!! I love the selection.......and the quality is the best!!!  Thanks. I will be faxing my form to you shortly. Thanks again for everything! Tracey. Gurda - new hampton, ny

Since the mid 90's we have sold hundreds of darius cordell couture evening gowns & custom wedding dresses per year through our very simple mail order process (using our on on line catalog) to many new and repeat clients.  But unfortunately, ever so often a client may overlook some of the information we present to them and then may become frustrated, embarrassed or overwhelmed.  Obviously we do not want this to happen.  We want all of our clients happy and to enjoy the proven simple and easy process.  So, to avoid any client becoming disgruntled, frustrated or confused - and because this is probably a very important made to order purchase (not something off the rack or from a warehouse) - we strongly urge all potential clients to take their time to read (and understand) all of the extremely important information  we present to them on our Q & A page.  If this is done then we are more than certain we will be able to add your name to this prestigious list of satisfied paying clients  who have received their made to order evening gowns as we disclosed prior to their order and were more than pleased with the results. 
To obtain the link to our Q & A page please contact us.  We will then reply to your inquiry via email or phone to begin the process.
Thank You Sincerely,
The Staff of Darius Cordell Couture

Additional photos of previous and current repeat clients
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Friday, January 9, 2015

Wedding Planning: 30 Expert Tips and Tricks

When planning your wedding, there are things that are nice to know, like that mermaid silhouettes are all the rage or that purple is making a comeback. Then, there are things you need to know -- advice so essential that any bride who's lucky enough to hear it thinks, "I'm so glad someone told me that!" If you're wondering whether there's something you may have missed (or even if you've got everything under control), check out our indispensable planning secrets.

1. Guests Come First

Get a grip on the approximate number of guests you'll invite before settling on a venue. This will ensure there's ample space for your crew. As a rule of thumb, allow for 25 to 30 square feet per guest. That may seem like a lot, but it's not if you count the space you'll need for the tables, bustling waiters, the band, and the dance floor.

2. Investigate Wedding Blackout Dates

Know ahead of time if your wedding date falls on the same day as a trade conference, charity walk, or other local event that could affect traffic and hotel room availability. 
Click here for wedding dates to avoid.

3. Listen to Mother Nature

Heed the weather and other potential annoyances. Guests have been known to skip out early from hotter-than-hot summer tent weddings and improperly heated winter loft receptions. Bugs (gnats, deerflies, and no-see-ums) also swarm in certain areas during certain seasons. Consider renting pest control tanks to alleviate the problem or including bug repellent in guests' gift bags. And if you want a sunset ceremony, make sure you know when to say your vows by checking SunriseSunset.com.

4. Check Your Credit

Take advantage of the high cost of weddings and sign up for a credit card with a rewards program. Whether it gives you airline miles or great shopping deals, consolidating all wedding-related purchases to this card will help you accumulate thousands of rewards points (which could be used for your honeymoon).

5. Pay It Forward

Let one vendor lead you to another. Your wedding photographer can tell you which florist's blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band packs the dance floor.
Let one vendor lead you to another. Your photographer can tell you which florist's blooms really pop, and your reception manager should know which band packs the dance floor.

6. Lighten Your List

The easiest way to trim your wedding budget? Cut your guest list. Remember, half of your wedding expenses go to wining and dining your guests. If it's costing you $100 per person, eliminating one table of 10 can save you $1,000.

7. Ask and You Might Receive

Request an extra hour for cocktails or for your band to throw in that Frank Sinatra sound-alike before you sign on the dotted line. Most vendors would rather secure the reservation than nickel-and-dime you early on and turn you off. Later on, though, they may have less of a motive to meet you halfway.

8. Make a Meal Plan

Another unforeseen expense? Feeding your wedding day crew. Before you sign the contracts, make sure you're not required to serve the same meal to your vendors that guests will receive. Otherwise, you could be paying for 20 additional lobster tails. Choose a less expensive (but equally hearty) meal for them instead. You will have to let your wedding caterer know a couple of days before the wedding exactly how many vendors you need to feed (don't forget photography assistants and band roadies) and what you want them to serve.

9. Get Organizationally Focused

In a three-ring binder, compile all your correspondences with vendors, notes you make during meetings, and photos or tear sheets from magazines you want vendors to see. Set up a special email address dedicated to your wedding, and store important vendor numbers in your cell phone.

10. Tend to Your Bar

Typically, you need one bartender per 50 guests to keep the line at a minimum. But if you're serving a signature cocktail that cannot be made ahead of time (or in large quantities), consider adding an extra server designated to this task.

11. Leave Some Room in Your Wallet

Your wedding budget should follow this formula: 48 to 50 percent of total budget to reception; 8 to 10 percent for flowers; 8 to 10 percent for attire; 8 to 10 percent for entertainment/music; 10 to 12 percent for photo/video; 2 to 3 percent for invites; 2 to 3 percent for gifts; and 8 percent for miscellaneous items like a wedding coordinator. It's essential to allocate an extra 5 to 10 percent of your money for surprise expenses like printing extra invites because of mistakes, additional tailoring needs, umbrellas for a rainy day, and ribbons for the wedding programs. Go to TheKnot.com/budgeter for an interactive budget allows you to add your own items.

12. Don't Be Afraid to Ask

Your wedding vendors should be your go-to, most-trusted experts during the planning process. When working with them, you should feel free to really explore what it is you want -- maybe it's serving a late-night snack instead of a first course or doing a bridal portrait session rather than an engagement session. The bottom line is that you should feel like you can have an honest conversation with them about what it is you want. Their job will be to tell you what you can and can't make work given your wedding budget.

13. Wait for a Date

Sometimes, last-minute planning can work in your favor. The closer your date, the more bargaining power you have. Since most people book their wedding sites at least six months in advance, calling for open dates two months prior to your desired time can save you up to 25 percent. And, Friday and Sunday weddings should cost about 30 percent less than Saturday weddings.

14. Manage the Mail

Of course you want the perfect stamps for your wedding invitations. But not all stamps are widely available at every post office, especially in large quantities. Save yourself scouting time by ordering them online at USPS.com. And be sure to weigh your invitation and all the additional paper products before you send them out so you can attach the right amount of postage. Ask your stationer about the need for additional postage for odd-shaped envelopes.

15. Prepare for Rejection

Know that as a rule, about 30 percent of the people you invite won't attend. Naturally, this depends on the location of your wedding (destination weddings are harder to attend), how many out-of-towners are on your list, and the timing of the event (some guests may have annual holiday or summer plans). On the other hand, everyone could accept -- knowing your wedding will be the can't-miss party of the year!

16. Make a Uniform Kids Policy

You have four choices: You can welcome children with open arms; you can decide to have an "adults only" wedding; you can include immediate family only; or, you can hire a child care service to provide day care either at the reception space, in a hotel room, or in a family member's home. To prevent hurt feelings, it's wise to avoid allowing some families to bring children while excluding others (unless, of course, the children are in your bridal party).

17. Prioritize Your People

Pare down your guest list with the "tiers of priority" trick. Place immediate family, the bridal party, and best friends on top of the list; follow with aunts, uncles, cousins, and close friends you couldn't imagine not being there. Under that, list your parents' friends, neighbors, coworkers, and so on. If you need to make some cuts, start from the bottom until you reach your ideal number.

18. Take It One Step at a Time

Put together a wedding planning schedule and do things one by one, in a logical order, so you don't take on too much too fast and end up with everything snowballing around you. Don't hire any vendors before you've confirmed your date; don't design your cake before you've envisioned your flowers; and don't book a band before you've settled on a space.

19. No Ring, No Bring

If your guest list is bursting at the seams, assess the plus-one scenario. Do a faux seating chart in your mind, and imagine whom your single pal would sit with. If it's a table of singles that she knows pretty well, then you're all set. If it's a table of couples (making her the odd one out) or if it's a table of singles where she won't know anyone, consider bending the rules. If asked why you're not allowing single friends to bring guests, size constraints or your parents' never-ending guest list are always good fallback white lies.

20. Release Rooms

As soon as you have picked a date, start to look for hotels in a wide variety of price points. Many hotels allow you to reserve rooms for guests under a special wedding block and a reduced rate. You can then release any unbooked rooms a month prior to your wedding. If the hotels you contact insist upon contracts with cancellation penalties, just say no -- you don't want to be responsible for rooms you can't fill.

21. Provide Accurate Driving Directions

Make sure guests know where they're going. As easy as online map programs are to use, sometimes the directions are wrong -- or there's a quicker, less traffic-prone route to take. Ask your ceremony and reception sites for printouts of recommended driving directions, which they often keep in stock for weddings and will give to you for free, and test out the routes yourself.

22. Keep a Paper Trail

Get any nonstandard changes to your agreements in writing or send the vendor a confirmation email saying, "Hello, just confirming that you'll keep the venue open until 2 a.m. versus midnight." Don't take anyone on his word -- by the time the big day rolls around, your contact may no longer be working there to vouch for you.

23. Schedule the Setup

You must make sure there's ample time for setup. If you're renting a venue and bringing in outside help, ask, "What time can people come in to set things up?" Preston Bailey, author ofPreston Bailey's Fantasy Weddings, recommends seeing if they can do it the day before, or at the very least the entire wedding day, before the event starts.

24. Learn About Marriage Licenses

You can check your state's license requirements online, but confirm with a call to the county clerk's office to see when they're open. Even if it's open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., they may issue marriage licenses only during slower times like, say, Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Give a copy of your marriage license to your mom or your maid of honor (just in case you lose yours during the final days before your wedding).

25. Go Over Ground Rules

Be prepared! Ask the manager of the house of worship or site where you'll be married for the list of restrictions (if any). For instance, is flash photography or bare shoulders prohibited? Or, if you're exchanging vows outdoors, are you allowed to plant tent stakes in the lawn (which is often a no-no)?

26. Classify Your Cash

Wedding budgets are all about balance. Start your budget planning by making a list of the crucial details, like the music, your wedding gown, the invitations, the flowers, and the photographer, and assign a number to each -- one being the most important and three being the least. Invest your money in all your number ones and cut corners on your number threes. (But everything can't fall into the number one category!) For example, if a designer gown and fabulous food are what really matter, you may have to choose simple invitations and smaller floral arrangements.

27. Help Guests Pay Attention

Make sure your guests can see -- and hear. If people are seated farther than 15 rows back from your ceremony altar or podium, consider renting a mic and a riser. This could range anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on the equipment used. You'll need to coordinate the delivery and setup with your ceremony space, so put your wedding planner or best man in charge of this task.

28. Write Down Your Digits

Carry an emergency contact sheet on your wedding day. Keep the paper with names and phone numbers of all your vendors in your purse -- it may come in handy in case your limo driver gets lost or you decide you'd like your photographer to take some behind-the-scenes shots.

29. Call the Fashion Police

Don't go dress shopping on your own -- all the gowns will start to look the same after a while and it will be harder to recall which style you really loved. But be careful about who you do bring. If your mom or sibling can't make the trip, ask a friend who is truly honest. This is the time when you really need to know which dress looks best.

30. Be Realistic With Your Time

When it comes down to the last month of your planning (and when you're particularly harried) look at your mile long to-do list and cut three things. Yes, cut three things. Not crucial things that you just don't feel like doing, such as picking a processional song or confirming final details with all of your vendors. Eliminate only the over-the-top tasks like hand-painting "Just Married" signs, or baking cookies for all of the welcome bags. Make a pledge to not think about them ever again.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

7 Smart Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding

Weddings can be the stuff dreams are made of. Unfortunately, nightmares, too.

Just ask the couple whose wedding and reception was supposed to be at a mansion in the Tampa, Fla., area -- before the property owner canceled three weeks before their big day.

The groom told Reddit they managed to save the day by moving the whole shebang to a family member's farm, where they had a rip-roaring party. "I can't even say 'It went okay' as a joke," the groom wrote on Reddit. "It was epic. We took the 'have it in a field' idea and really ran with it."They saved so much money on the venue, they were able to rent bounce houses and a petting zoo for the guests and have a pig roast for the feast. While it might not sound like your typical wedding, the guests had a blast. And the bride and groom didn't break the bank with their down-home celebration.

With the average cost of a wedding clocking in at $24,000 last year, according to market researcher The Wedding Report, any way you can save money on the big day is a good thing. And if you can have fun at the same time, all the better.

So check out our ideas on how to trim your wedding costs without losing the fun factor:

1. Are they on the list?

Newlywed Catrina Hilbert of Pennsylvania offers this smart advice to WalletPop readers: Don't bow to pressure to invite everyone and their brother...or second cousin or childhood neighbor. A smaller wedding can be just as enjoyable -- and sometimes better.

"If I could do something different, I would have definitely made our guest list a lot smaller! It would have saved a lot of money and stress," Hilbert says. "Invite the people who are close to you or who have played a part in your life and helped make you the person you are today."

So don't let your mom talk you into inviting Cousin Louie and his large brood or let your mother-in-law pressure you into asking her book club friends. Your budget will thank you.

2. Mum's the word.

Financial guru and WalletPop colleague Lynnette Khalfani Cox advises readers not to tell caterers, rental halls or other service providers of the reason for your interest in their services.

"The minute you say 'I'm getting married!' all of a sudden the regular white shoes you wanted become 'bridal shoes' -- at a big financial premium, of course. The same thing goes for renting a limo, purchasing flowers, getting party favors and so on," Khalfani Cox says. "With some expenses, like renting a wedding hall or hotel room, it's practically impossible not to let on that the event in question is a wedding. But I've heard of people playing it coy with hotels and other places and just indicating that they're having a 'special event.' "

3. Buying by design.

Most people pay a large chunk of change for a dress that's worn just once. In order to get the best deal on your wedding gown, WalletPop writer Barbara Thau recommends shopping at designer retailers rather than at a bridal salon.

"Buy a dress off the rack from retailers such as Ann Taylor or White House Black Market, which now offer wedding dresses with simpler silhouettes that are much less expensive than what's typically found at a bridal salon," Thau says, adding that many of these dresses can be bought online, too.

4. Light up the room.

Reception decorations don't have to be elaborate to look impressive. One inexpensive but effective way to do that is to use candlelight. At a friend's wedding, the bride and groom bought mirrors and candles at their local dollar store to use as the centerpiece for each table. When the lit candles were placed on the mirrors, the reflected light shone around the reception hall.

5. Timing is everything. 

If you're set on having a church ceremony, choosing a date around the year-end holiday season could be a boon to someone looking to trim costs on flowers and decorations. Most are usually decorated for Christmas, so you won't have to bring in your own decor. The same is true for the Easter season.

6. Ask for help.

You most likely chose the members of your wedding party because they're close to you -- ten to one, they'd be willing to pitch in with the planning and coordinating, too, for your big day.

"Don't be afraid to ask for help," says Hilbert. "Make good use of your wedding party; that's what they're there for."

7. Just run away.

If all else fails and it's starting to sound as if you're going to have to take a loan from Fort Knox to pay for it, elope. While your family and friends may be disappointed, you don't want to get your married life started off on the wrong foot. And spending money you can't really afford -- or, worse, going into debt -- for a one-day event is just not a smart financial move. Trust us, your bank account and your credit score will thank you later.