Event & Wedding Planning

Wedding Fashion on a Budget

I know firsthand that a wedding budget can get out of hand as fast as you can say “I do.” Floral, catering, hair, makeup, favors, photographer, videographer, the list goes on and seems to never end. Your big day fashion moment can also eat up your cash flow pretty quickly if you don’t make an effort to manage it.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that a woman’s wedding day is the one time it is ok to splurge on ostentatious, luxurious items in which she would never otherwise indulge. Manolos? Go for it! Monique Lhuillier? Of course, darling! Oscar de la Renta jewels? Do it up, bride! This is IF you have the budget. If you splurge on your wedding day wardrobe, then cut somewhere else. The key is to pick one item to splurge on and save on all of the rest! Where can you save on all of your wedding day fashion items?

Amsale Arianna Gown

The Aisle New York! An online, members only site that provides you access to high-end bridal fashion and accessories at a fraction of the price. Dresses, shoes, jewelry, accessories and more from the industry’s top designers can be found online at The Aisle. Amsale, Thread, Monique Lhuillier, Angel Sanchez, Rivini, Anne Barge, Lela Rose, Isaac Mizrahi are just a few of the designers featured on The Aisle’s weekly sales and the prices are typically half of what you’d expect to pay at a bridal salon.

A few tips if you want to try out The Aisle for your wedding day:

Angel Sanchez Silk Gazar
Trumpet Gown
  • Do your research. Go to at least a few bridal salons and figure out what type of fabric, shape, style, color and designer you like the best and looks best on you. The same goes for accessories. If you’ve already selected your dress, don’t click buy unless you’ve tried on something similar to see how it looks. How much you save is irrelevant if you can’t wear it!
  • Buy The Aisle’s return insurance. For $200, you can return your dress for a full refund within five days. When saving thousands, a few hundred is worth it!
  • Are you working with a short timeline? Most dresses take 2-4 months to arrive once you order but many of the dresses on The Aisle are ready to ship same day!
  • Find an amazing tailor. Your odds of needing some serious alterations to your gown are as good as getting a regift from a distant cousin. 
  • Do you have a dream dress and a long engagement? Find it at a local salon and keep an eye out for it on the site. Watch the designers on The Aisle too as they tend to have some favorites. 
  • Are you the charitable type? Well good news, ladies! You can feel good about your purchases because 2% of all dress sales go to a charity of the designers’ choice. 
The site is members-only, so find someone you know who is a member who can invite you OR request an invitation. Take some time to peruse the site, familiarize yourself with their merchandise and more importantly, make sure you know what YOU want before taking the plunge – for the dress, of course! 

The Trials and Tribulations of Wedding Planning

Those of you who know me, know I am getting married in a little less than 6 months. The planning process has been quite difficult – much more difficult than I anticipated. Since these decisions are what makes life particularly eventful for me these days, I figured I might as well try to produce some positive advice!

I have a whole slew of decisions coming up for my big day. The hardest of which was, location, location. There was great debate amongst all my friends, family and anyone else who dared to get involved over what comes first – the location or the guest list?

This is a tricky call – do you decide who you want there before you find a venue or do you find a venue and then fill in the seats (or kick some guests out!). This matter is completely dependent upon a few things: Are you social? Do you have a million friends, fraternity brothers, sorority sisters and/or teammates? Have you always envisioned an intimate celebration with just family and a few friends? If you fall somewhere in the middle of this range, as in you are very social but don’t feel the need to invite every pledge class you ever hazed, I would recommend the following approach:

  1. Decide on your top 2-3 geographical locations. For instance, Florida, Georgia or Washington DC. Yes, this is based on my own experience, in case you were wondering.
  2. Make your parents (and his!) put together a list of their “must haves” and their “it would be nice to invite aunt irene” guests. The first list is all of the people they absolutely have to invite; the second is a list of the people they would like to be able to invite but it isn’t necessary. You get the idea.
  3. Of these two lists, have them make an educated guess at who would be able to attend a wedding in each of these three locations. For instance, Bob and Jane will make it to Florida or Georgia, but not DC; Cousin Betty can only make it to Georgia; Uncle Clive won’t make it anywhere unless he can bring his dog, but we have to invite him anyways…
  4. Add to each of these lists your own invitees. Consider what location is best for them and where they are most likely to be able to attend.
  5. Take a step back and look at each list from a different perspective. What is most important to you? Do you want as many people there as possible? Then go for the location with the longest list? Do you want to make sure you stay within your budget? Go for the smallest list. Do you want to end up somewhere in the middle? Well, then go for the list that stands some middle ground.

Now that you know which geographical location you’re looking at, you can start looking at venues based on your guess-timated guest list!


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