Top Five Tips for Multitasking Brides

Weddings get CRAZY! While you’re getting deeper and deeper into into the craziness that is planning your wedding, you’re going to feel like you’re juggling a whole lot. It’s totally normal to start feeling overwhelmed while you’re planning the best party of your life. If you want to take some steps to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed, follow our tips to be the most marvelous multitasking bride ever!

Organize your Tasks

Write down literally EVERYTHING you need to do. Yes, this will take a while but it’s totally worth it! Get everything you can think of written down and from there, organize it. Use color coding to highlight everything into different categories, such as things that are dress/suit related, things that are venue related, dates that you need to pay vendors, etc. From there you’ll be able to group tasks together and even prioritize them. Once you prioritize your tasks, you’ll be able to knock out our next tip in no trouble!

Calendar your Completion Dates

Got an idea of what you need to get done? Get it on paper and and plan that out! One of our favorite ways to calendar our completion dates is to open a google calendar just for your wedding and input all of your tasks into it. You can even share that action items with friends by forwarding the invite to their calendar. You can even share the whole calendar with people who need to know, like your maid of honor or fiance. Sync the calendar to your phone so you get accessibility to the calendar no matter where you are. Be sure to set reminders for yourself so you’re sure to get everything done!

Keep a List of To Dos on Hand

After your calendar is uploaded, be sure you also have a list of things you can just pick up and work on. If you know you have to go to the doctor, DMV, or anything with a waiting room, be sure you have a list of things you can work on. If you have a few minutes, facebook message friends for their addresses. If you have a few more minutes, call and make appointments for teeth cleanings, mani/pedis, and anything else you need. Maximize your time by always working on running tasks!

Pass it Along

While you’re looking at your list of things to get done, see what you can trust your friends to do for you. You can ask them to do simple things like picking up samples, dropping off invites at the post office, or verifying addresses. If you have some awesome Type A friends who seriously have your back, you can even trust them with bigger tasks like delivering vendor checks, picking up your dress, or picking out wines. It’s okay to delegate- they’re your bridesmaids for a reason!

Budget in a Book

One awesome way to keep all your expenses straight is to create an excel book for all your expenses. You can create solutions within the book to automatically show how much you’re spending, how much you’ve spent, how much of the budget is spent and what it was spent on, basically anything! If you don’t excel at using excel, watch a few video tutorials and follow along. If anything, it’s also a good life skill to be able to use excel.


Top Five Under the Weather Bride Activities

Is it just us, or is this season especially bad? We’re all bundled up in jammies and blankets over here, but are you brides doing alright? If you’ve got some big things coming up but are feeling under the weather, no worries. We’ve got five fun things for you to do while you’re sick that will keep you on track and get you feeling better.

Mask Yourself

If you’re stuck at home for a few days, might as well make the most of it and get pretty. Since you have the time, do at-home hair and face masks. If you feel crafty, go ahead and do a hand and/or foot mask. You may not feel cute when you’re stuffy and sniffly, but you can help smooth out your skin and hair! Skip anything that has too many chemicals in it- keep it organic and au natural so you don’t risk any irritation.

Pre-Plan the After Party

If your head is on straight enough to get through some planning fun, start checking out honeymoon travel. There are a TON of great deals right now, and if you’re feeling like daydreaming this is the perfect bedrest activity. Check out deal sites like Expedia and Kayak, but also compare it to booking directly with the airline. Take the time to get deep into reviews online of resorts and different cities so you know exactly what kind of honeymoon you’ll have.

Make a List (to Check Twice!)

You can also take this time to get organized for anything you’ll need to follow up on after the big day. Take you guest list and create an excel workbook with everyone that’s invited so you have a checklist for when you create thank you notes. When you receive a gift from someone, just log in what they got you next to their name and when the time comes you’ll have a super easy way of referencing what to thank your guests for! It can also be handy to do the same for all the vendors you use- write down who they are, what they did for you, and how much you owe them. It’ll help you keep track of any checks you write or payments you make.

Do Serious Research

If you’re still in planning stages, do the most productive kind of lazy day tv watching- make it wedding research! If you’re all curled up on the couch kind of sick, skip Orange is the New Black and check out wedding shows! We love Say Yes To The Dress and wedding episodes of our favorite sitcoms (Lily and Marshall’s wedding on How I Met Your Mother anyone?). It may not look like you’re working, but doing research like this can totally pay off! Watching other weddings can help you decide what you want and don’t want at yours (plus it’s an excuse to watch lots of Netflix).

Network from Bed

If you have vendors to reach out to, now is a great time to shoot out emails! Most people are available during working business hours, so if you’re skipping your job for the day, you’re in prime time to catch people at theirs! If your throat is sore or you have that raspy thing going on, it may be smart to notate in your email that you can’t talk just yet but prefer email communication. If you have the time, you can get different prices on things like your goodie bags, bridal party gifts, food, etc. Use this time to make sure you’re up to date with all of your vendors if you already have some picked out. Following up with others makes sick time productive!


Top Five Black Friday Tips for Brides

Happy Black Friday! Once you’re officially out of your food coma from Thanksgiving, you can take advantage of the best shopping day of the year. This is a great time for you to swoop up some fun stuff for your personal stash, but also for you to get great wedding items and gifts for your bridal party. If you’re waking up at the crack of dawn (or maybe even waiting until Cyber Monday), make sure you’ve got our tips for a great shopping day.

Do Your Homework

Before you head out to the mall, have a game plan. If you have a favorite store, go online and check out their deals. Some stores have deals that only last through certain hours and end at specific times, while some go all day. Figure out what stores you absolutely have to go to by a certain time, and which ones you can swing by later in the day. It can also help to park centrally between all your stores- it may be easy to park in front of one store, but if you need to run out to drop off bags, it’ll be smarter to make trips that are easy to get to from anywhere rather than park on one side of a mall and have to lug your bags through a department store crowd every time you need to drop stuff off.

Double Your Deal

While you’re out- look more for deals that will pay off later, rather than just one that has a flat discount. Keep your eye out for anything that will give you gift cards or some sort of credit for next time you go shopping. Rack up the credit for a future shopping trip will make last minute wedding buys that much easier for you.

Look Out for Your Friends

If you’re at the point in your wedding planning where you’re still looking for wedding party gifts, this is literally the best day of the year to pick fun stuff up. Keep an eye out for electronics deals- they’re great for both genders and are an easy and impressive gift. Fun things like tablets can be really affordable right now and are great for anyone. If you can’t afford to do something like a tablet for everyone in your wedding party, smaller fun things like waffle makers or LED showerheads are quirky fun for everyone you know.

Stock Up on Staples

If you have a vision for your wedding decor, keep an eye out for anything you can stock up on for fun DIYs. Black Friday isn’t just about high price ticket items- those are just usually the ones that get the best press! Find a local crafts store for fun stuff like vases, doilies, ribbon, DIY materials, anything you may need for wedding projects. You can take a DIY project and make it that much more affordable by stocking up now!

Stay Home and Dream Big

Not into the mall? Totally fine! Instead of waking up, putting on shoes, and running to the store do one type of shopping you have to do from home- travel shopping! Black Friday is effective in all realms nowadays, including travel. If you have a game plan for your honeymoon, go ahead and book something right now so you have another fun thing to look forward to! Aim for hotels since those are easier to cancel if anything (like your dates or location) changes. Flights may not even be that much cheaper than usual and are hard to cancel.


Top Five Wedding Wishlist Items

Make a wish- it’s 11/11! You remember the old superstition that you can make a wish on 11/11, right? Well we (not so) secretly still love it. Speaking of wishes, we have five things that you should keep on your wish list while you’re planning your wedding!

Wedding Planner

Obviously we’re a big advocate for hiring a professional for the occasion. Our very own Editor-in-Chief, Niloufar Gibson is one of the best wedding planners in Southern California is and lives and breathes weddings. If you’re not out in sunny SoCal, ask around, check yelp, and ask your venue if they recommend any wedding planners. Wedding planners will make your life a million times easier and make it possible for you to actually enjoy your whole wedding process. Wedding planners also usually know the best vendors to work with, so you’re immediately well connected before you even get started.

Full Coverage Photography

It may be cheaper to just get stills from the day of, but you’re going to want to remember all your friends and family from the moment they all get into town. If you can afford it, splurge and have photography going from your welcome party (if you’re doing one for out of town guests), your rehearsal dinner, your final night out, all that fun stuff. Also if you can, opt for a tester video or a highlight reel from your photographer. Stills can do some serious justice, but you’re going to want to really look back and watch your big day.

Big Girl Panties

You know how a good bra or your favorite pair of undies can make you feel a million times better? Don’t skimp on the lingerie- if you can, go big! It’s not just about looking good after the ceremony- it’s about how your body is shaped under your dress and how you feel in it. The right lingerie can make you look leaner and more fit than an ill-fitting set of lingerie. It can feel like a more silly splurge, but it can seriously change your entire silhouette. If you’re not the type to usually splurge on lingerie, now is a better time than ever.

Diamonds- your Other Best Friend

Yes, there’s one specific piece of jewelry that you’re going to be flashing all day, but you shouldn’t tone down the rest of your jewelry. Borrow or rent some fun jewelry that you wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to wear. Often times in larger cities there are some jewelers that will rent out pieces for a few days with a credit card on file. It can be worth it to go ahead and factor in a jewelry budget.


You should try to factor this into your budget off the bat- a honeymoon is some serious business. With the cost of weddings always going up, it can be easy to just push it back and do a honeymoon when you can afford it, but you’re going to want some alone time after the wedding. At the very least, you can take a short weekend or few days after the wedding, stay in a hotel, and just enjoy being married. It can be a harder thing to plan and budget for but if you can pull it off, it’ll be totally worth it.


Top Five Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Photo Booths

One of the most fun modern staples of weddings is photobooths. They’re fun, easy, and a fantastic souvenir for all of your guests to take home. Photo booths are becoming pretty commonplace now, but they can be a little difficult to navigate while you’re shopping. No worries- we’re here to help!

DO Know What Kind of Photos You Want

Not all photo booths spit out four action shots- these ain’t your mall’s photo booths. There are a multitude of different kinds of photo booths that create all sorts of fun and different photos. There are booths that create gifs that are emailed to you, 3D photos made from two images, sticker photo booths, and of course the classic photo booths. Shop around different photo booths in your area and really think about what you want, and what you want to offer your guests.

DON’T Forget The Space

You really can’t just stick a photo booth in a corner of your venue- you need to work it out with the venue coordinator. You’ll need power, power cords, room for set up and breakdown, and in some cases for instant uploads, a solid internet connection. You don’t want to be dealing with putting the photo booth in the right place while you’re busy putting on your wedding dress. You’ll also need to deal with the flow of the room and put the photo booth in a convenient spot that doesn’t interfere with anything else going on.

DO Timeline the Photo Booth

You’ll need to know how much time the company needs to set up and how long they will have an attendant for. You’ll need to know if they have enough attendees to cover any breaks or if there will be any gaps in service (some states have restricting labor laws that require employees to take breaks a few hours into a shift, even if they want to waive it). You’ll also need to know how long they’ll need to break down after the wedding so if they’re there longer than you are you can warn the venue. You probably won’t need it that long, but it’s good to give the venue a heads up.

DON’T Settle Fast

You shouldn’t settle for anything in general, especially not anything for your wedding. Take your time to shop around before you settle on one vendor. Narrow down what kind of photo booth you want (our first ‘Do’!) and from there, see who offers it in your area. There’s bound to be a few different companies that offer a similar service. Meet with everyone and figure out who you like the best, who can do the best deal, and who puts out the best product. Take your time and pick the booth that works best for you.

DO Work Out a Deal

Once you’ve got it narrowed down to the final few companies, do your research to work out a deal. Check out deal sites like Groupon and Living Social- deal sites almost always have deals for Photo Booths. You can look into what’s offered and call the companies to see if you can tailor fit a deal with them to what you want. You can even try to use that as leverage with a company you want to work with- bring up the deal to the company you want to work with and see if they can come down to a comparable price.


Top Five Tips for Brides Needing ‘Me’ Time

Your wedding is going to be the biggest party you’ll ever throw, so it’s totally normal if it you start to feel overwhelmed. You’ll be coordinating with a ton of people both professionally (vendors, your wedding coordinator, etc.) and personally (friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and it’ll be harder and harder to take some time to yourself. You know you’ll need some ‘me’ time- everyone does and it’ll keep you balanced! Weddings can make it seem like you’ll never get ‘me’ time ever again, but you will- and we’re here to help you get some.

Send Out the Bridesmaids

You have a small army of girlfriends for this reason- to support you. You asked them to be bridesmaids because you love them, they said yes because they love you! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask them for help in tasks you can delegate out. Have them gather addresses by assigning a few to each bridesmaid. Have them help out by picking up vendor samples or do mail runs for you. Let your girls take care of things for you so you can sleep in that extra hour- you’ll thank them and yourself later!

Take a Day Off

The closer you get to the wedding date, the more each day will be eaten up with wedding tasks and errands. You’ll look down at your planner and see that it’s full of to-dos and meet and greets which can feel totally overwhelming. Our biggest tip for making some ‘me’ time in this scenario? Reschedule so you have a day off. Don’t schedule any wedding errands or meetings on Tuesdays for example so you can catch up on the rest of your life. We don’t suggest putting your day off on the weekend, since that’s when you’ll probably have enough time to knock out the most wedding action items.

No Phones at the Table

An easy way to enjoy some serious ‘me’ time? Enjoy a meal without any distractions (not even Instagram!). Nothing crazy will happen in the half hour you may take to enjoy a meal, plus you’ll actually be able to enjoy your food that much more. If eating alone isn’t your idea of fun, take along your fiance and agree to a no-wedding-talk meal so you can both destress from the craziness. Just be sure to turn your phone back on when you’re ready to be back on the grid.

Schedule Beauty Time

Your wedding is coming up so you will probably need to get a mani/pedi- you might as well take advantage of that! Splurge on yourself and get that extra pampering package and enjoy yourself. Put aside extra time to get pampered and while you’re at it, splurge for the extra few minutes of massage or even a facial. It may feel a little frivolous (especially if you’re on a budget), but it’ll make you feel fantastic and buy you some serious ‘me’ time.

Start With Yourself

When you wake up in the morning before you turn on your phone, start checking emails, or even get to showering and really waking up, watch an episode of something you’ve fallen behind in. Catch up with everything else after you’ve taken some time to yourself to de-stress and be ready for the day. You don’t always have to hit the ground running, you can lead up to it and then finish strong later in the day.


Top Five Ways to Get Help for your Wedding

If you’ve got a wedding coming up, chances are you’ve been knee deep in wedding craziness for what feels like forever. It’s totally fine to feel a little overwhelmed and want to get some help. That can be hard to ask of others, but we totally get where you’re coming from, and we want to help you!

Get Professional Help

If you have some time before the wedding, do the right thing and get someone who knows what they’re doing. Our very own Bridal Hot List Editor-in-Chief Niloufar Gibson is a serious rock star wedding planner (check out her work here!), and can make your big day a million times easier. If you’re not in the area, check yelp first to find wedding planners that are loved in your area. It can make a world of difference and make your whole experience that much smoother.

Recruit the Girls

You have a bridal party for a reason- to support you! Your maid of honor is your right-hand girl- she’s there to help with everything and anything. From there, your whole bridal party is also there for you, so go ahead and ask for help! Bridal parties are great for doing projects like decorating, putting together goodie bags, and stuffing envelopes. Think of projects you could use an extra set of hands for, invite your bridal party over, grab some snacks and make a night of it! Just keep it fun so it doesn’t feel like work and you’ve got yourself a whole troop of wedding assistants.

Aim for Free

You don’t have to already be friends with someone to get wedding help- you can cross your fingers and hope someone will help you out just because! If you’re renting anything like linens, chairs, anything at all, try to get package deals to keep costs down. If you’re ordering items to give away, ask if the company will send you samples for free. Take the extra time (or assign a savings-savvy bridesmaid) to reach out to vendors to work out package deals. Get help where you can get it!

Assign POCs

‘POC’ stands for ‘points of contact’, and it can save you the headache of your phone blowing up the week leading up to your wedding. Assign someone to help people with directions and identify that person in a piece of communication that you send out. Ask a local in the wedding party to be available to help with any out-of-town guests who may get lost, and put their phone number or email address in the invitation. Aim random dress code questions to a bridesmaid, and have someone gather information on food allergies and communicate that to the caterer. Spread the love by giving out jobs to those who can help. All you’ll have to do at the end is write thank you’s to all those people!

Take your Time

If you need help with something, sometimes the best thing you can do is slow down. Any task is harder when you’re stressed out or anxious or feeling pressured. If you don’t want to ask for a favor, you can always do yourself a favor and take some time to destress. Refocusing can make everything look a lot more doable. Take a step back and look at your problem and identify where you need help, what you need specifically, and who you can talk to to make it happen.


Top Five Tips for Finding your First Dance Song

We all love to dance, but how much do you think about what you dance to? Well, you’re about to. The first dance at your wedding is going to be the most important and most memorable dance of your life- it deserves some serious thought. Your first dance as a newly married couple is a special opportunity to really show some personality and introduce your friends and family to the life you are about to lead together.


The most popular wedding song of all time? You guessed it, “At Last”. We love Beyonce’s cover from the ‘Cadillac Records’ movie.

Think Back

Do you have any special songs that have always been “your song”? That’s a good place to start. Even if it’s a more pop-py song, don’t be discouraged! Almost as soon as a song is released, a slowed down romantic cover is posted on the internet. Even if the song you fell in love to is more at home in a club than a church, you’ll be able to find an appropriate and romantic version of it.

Think Forward

Do you have a song in mind that gets you excited for your new married life? Some love songs mean that much more when you have shared goals in mind that you as a couple are working towards achieving. It may not have even come up yet for the both of you, but if you find something special in a song it’s worth looking into! Be sure to write down the lyrics to make sure that it is something that you really relate to.

Define your Vibe

Are you classic, no-nonsense, and romantic? Are you modern, progressive, and trendy? Have your song match your wedding by stylizing it to your profile! If you’re not super music savvy (or you STILL have the Grease soundtrack playing in your car… from fifteen years ago), do some research on songs that match your wedding. From your style profile, you can really narrow down what kind of songs to look into.

Do Research

We’ve got a homework assignment for you- settle in your jammies and turn on Netflix. Totally serious. Just start looking through your favorite TV wedding episodes and write down what music they’re playing, and if you like them. For example, on Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt got married walking down the aisle to an opera song and later had a friend play guitar to some of their favorite songs. On Modern Family, an instrumental version of “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played over their wedding. Saddle up for a marathon of wedding episodes from your favorite shows and take notes. You could find a new favorite that you didn’t even realize you already loved!

Spot a Spotify Playlist

Look online for playlists that other people have created for their weddings. A common way to narrow down music now is to create music playlists on Youtube or Spotify, and they’re free to browse. Just search for “wedding playlist” and you’ll be able to get some insight into other people’s wedding songs. Keep an eye out for artists that you also listen to so you can match your taste to the playlist.

Top Five Tips for Last Minute Bachelorette Parties

It’s already August- can you believe how quickly this summer passed by? If this summer’s been moving too quickly for you, you may have missed out on a few fun things. For example, did you remember to do a bachelorette party? Or were you more focused on the actual wedding? It’s okay to be focused on the big day, but you need to remember to take some time to have fun with your girls, too! If you need to take a weekend aside to have some fun with your bridesmaids, keep scrolling to check out our top tips on planning a last minute bachelorette party.

Keep It Short

Keep the bachelorette party to just a night if you’re in town, or two tops if you’re hitting the road. As you get closer to the wedding, you’ll all become more and more busy. Booking a long spa weekend with a Monday or Friday away from work can be too hard to plan for most people- especially if they’re already taking time off to go to the wedding. If you’re hitting the road aim for leaving on a Friday night and coming back Sunday afternoon. Do what you can to make it as unintrusive to everyone as possible.

Make a Plan

Of course you have one thing on your plan- have fun! But other than that, you need some sort of an agenda to keep it from being you and your bridesmaids all dolled up with nowhere to go. Look into any clubs, shows, or events that are going on that you could get reservations for (you don’t want to show up somewhere and have to wait in a long line or get turned away). Locking in a plan is so important and often gets overlooked. Be sure whatever you do and wherever you’re going is actually going to happen!

Sound the Horn

Have your maid of honor (or two of your bridesmaids) help you arrange your bachelorette party. You can’t do it all alone, afterall! Have one of your girls be the more main point of contact for wrangling all your bridesmaid so you don’t have to. Have them be sure that everyone is in attendance and knows what to wear. The last thing you need right now is your bridesmaids texting you suggesting different clubs to go to. Planning a wedding requires enough juggling as is, you don’t need to juggle arranging another party on top of it!

Plan your Rides

If you’re trying to get into some (safe!) trouble, be sure that everyone will be able to get home safe. Set up uber drivers, taxis, or a designated driver if there’s going to be any drinking at all. There’s often promo codes for free credits for uber drivers and other similar services (so you can do it on a budget!). Know in advance if you’re going to sleep at a friends house or if anyone is going to sleep on your couch for the night. Do what you can to get to your location and get home as safely as possible. It can be easy to overlook getting a ride, but you’ll be happy you planned ahead when the line for a cab goes around the block and you’re in uncomfortable heels.

Designate the Team Photographer

Be sure everyone’s phones and cameras are all charged up and ready to go! It can be handy to have one person be in charge of taking pictures so you’re not all fighting for selfie time. Have your maid of honor or one of your bridesmaids handle taking pictures for everyone and uploading in a timely manner. You may also want to prep her on what to upload and what not to upload, but that’s more up to you.


Top Five Do’s & Don’ts of Throwing a Geeky Wedding

Themed weddings are have become more and more popular over the last few years, and we totally get it- it’s fun! Giving your wedding some flavor for your passions is fantastic. If that passion is video games, sci-fi, wizardry, or whatever, go for it! Weddings are all about love, why not incorporate you other loves into your celebration of love? We’ve got the best tips to help you throw a wedding to make any geek go gaga.

Do Pay Attention to Detail

Details always matter. Always. Be meticulous about every bit of communication that goes out and look for areas of opportunity to incorporate your theme. Look out for places you can put puns, images, and references to what you love. Work your fandom into your color palette and menu. Doing specialty drinks during your reception is a fun, creative way to incorporate your passion as well.

Don’t Buy Out of a Box

While it may be easier to go and find some official merch from your fandom, try to avoid it at all costs! Official logos and anything you can pick up at a store may make your wedding look more like a gift shop rather than an homage. For example, if you’re having a Harry Potter wedding tryo to incorporate the Gryffindor logo rather than images of Daniel Radcliffe. Try to recreate a theme, feel, or sense rather than just showing off merch from your fandom.

Do DIY as Much as Possible

In the vein of avoiding standard merchandise, do try to go homemade as much as possible! Nothing shows off passion in your passion like a homemade piece. Websites like Pinterest are great for finding crafts to line up with your theme. If you’re not the crafty type, check out Etsy for fan-made goodness that you can use. Wherever there is a fanbase, there is a group that is willing to create awesome goodies. If you dig enough on the internet, you can find basically anything. If you see something that is almost perfect, message the seller and see if you can customize an item. More often than not, fans are willing to help other fans. Reach out and see what you can get done!

Don’t Pressure Anyone

While you of course love whatever theme you’re going with, try to keep in mind that not everyone may love it too. If you’re doing a theme wedding, don’t pressure anyone else into dressing or acting a certain way. If you’re doing a renaissance wedding it can be in bad taste to, say, force your guests into speaking with an accent and dressing in full renaissance wear. With a theme wedding, keep it a little more loose for your guests. Give them the opportunity to participate in the theme, but try to be understanding if they’re not as die-hard of a fan as you are.

Do Keep it Fun

Weddings can be stressful- but if you’re doing a theme wedding just remember that it’s fun! When you’re stressed out or nervous about the big day try to take a step back and realize how much more awesome your wedding is going to be. Geeky weddings are that much more memorable and all your hard work will pay off infinitely. Keep a smile on your face, and just remember- never give up, never surrender!