How to Shop Bridal Shower Gifts

By Olaoluwa Olowu

Your friend’s big day is just around the corner, and she’s just invited you to her bridal shower. Of course, you’re excited for her but more than that, you want to get her a gift to celebrate the occasion appropriately. However, picking the right gift can often be a difficult task.

Most brides usually have a wedding gift registry for the wedding gifts they plan to receive which makes it easier to pick a wedding gift. This can be very helpful in selecting something to give her. Conversely, you may be more inclined to give the bride – who may be a close friend – something a little more personal and thoughtful. Wedding registries are often filled with functional gifts that are beneficial to the couple and may not provide options that have high sentimental value.

You can even get a little more creative with it by organizing a combination gift, such that the bridal shower gift works in conjunction with eventual wedding gift. For example, you might purchase a new set of pots & pans for the bridal shower that you then follow up with an oven.

Speaking of themes, some brides today are throwing themed bridal showers. In situations like these, brides often ask that guests bring gifts that are tied to a central theme. A bride might want only lingerie gifts, or only items for her new kitchen. She might even ask for items that are all in her favorite color. The hostess of the shower should be able to furnish you with any details you need about theme or etiquette.

Shopping for the perfect bridal shower gift can be made easy in these simple steps. Just follow them and you’ll have yourself a great gift that your host won’t soon forget.

1. Check for a registry
The first step in shopping for a wedding or bridal shower gift is to check if the bride has got a gift registry. If the bride has got a bridal shower registry, it’s pretty straightforward to pick out a gift for her. Just check the list for something that’s within your price range and go to a store where you can purchase it. It’s always a good idea to stick to the registry as they reflect the gifts the bride would most appreciate at that given time.

2. Consider your relationship with the bride
If she doesn’t have a registry or you wanna spice things up a notch by not selecting something from her registry, you can still ensure that you’re absolutely getting her something interesting and noteworthy.

Picking out something that’s not off a registry or predetermined list requires understanding your relationship with the bride. You want a gift that’s just right in that sweet spot between “I didn’t put much thought into this” and “I overdid it”. How much you should spend on a gift will intentionally or unintentionally reflect what you think of the bride as well as your relationship with her.

The personality of your gift as well as the cost will ultimately depend on the kind of relationship you and the bride have. If you’re best friends with the bride, you have a lot more leeway in terms of how off-brand or quirky you can make your gift. However, if you’re simply an office acquaintance, opting for the simple, classic gift is a great idea.

Lastly, the bride is expecting the best gifts from the people closest to her. Even if you mean well, upstaging her friends with your gift may very well not sit right with them. Get her something nice without giving off the impression you’re trying to steal her friends’ thunder.

3. Take a look at your budget
How much you should spend and how much you have to spend are in reality, two very different things. Make sure you have no reason to get into debt in trying to get the perfect gift.

If you’re low on funds, rather than borrowing to purchase the gift you have in mind, take time to really scour for something that has great sentimental value but low monetary cost.

4. Find out if there’s a theme
Bridal shower themes often mean a lot to the brides and getting a gift outside the theme is sure to indicate that you couldn’t care less about what you got her.

Reach out to the bride and find out if she’s going with a theme and what the theme is if she is. Once, you’ve gotten all the necessary details you need to understand the theme, get creative with your gifts and channel the spirit of the themed party.

5. Keep it simple
A bridal shower gift is usually a prelude to the main wedding gift. You want to save the best gift for last and most people expect you to give a better wedding gift.

Once you know what you wedding gift is, shop for a bridal shower gift that’s plays up your main gift even while still being an excellent gift in itself.

Shopping for gifts is an art that many have not mastered nor will ever master. Yet, with these tips in mind, you can shop for an excellent gift without breaking the bank. So, next time you’re invited for a bridal shower and need to get a gift, you’ll be ready!


How to Design Your Own Wedding Dress

By Olaoluwa Olowu

Just like a bride in a fairy-tale, you deserve to wear a perfect wedding dress of your own dreams.

So what better way can you do this? You can design your own wedding dress all by yourself!

You don’t have the experience right?

Here’s the good news, you can customize your own wedding dress to your own unique taste, all the way from start to finish, even though you are not a dress maker.

You can simply begin by finding out what details you would love and types of dresses that you know will flatter your figure.

Besides, designing your own wedding dress can be a really fun idea. All hail to the existence of computers and the internet, designing your own wedding dress have been made less a hassle – even if you have no first-hand idea of dress making.

More so, if you've never designed a dress, it's wise that you work with someone who is skilled and experienced.

So, if you are you a bride-to be that will love to customize every detail of her big day, we are willing to take you through the steps of designing your own dress. They are easy.

These days, many online wedding dress design websites have started surfacing, so you are spoilt for countless options.

Also, don't be afraid to ask for help or suggestions from friends and families.

Interestingly, the process is fun, meaningful, and really cool all the way! Here’s how you begin:

Search for wedding-dress inspiration
Gather the details and information on what you would love on your wedding dress like your favorite embellishments, patterns, and fabrics.

Also, check out some wedding dress look book for inspiration to help you with your design so that you can start the process without a hitch.

Explore the Internet
Secondly, all you have to do is explore the internet, find out how you can design your own wedding dress by yourself. Thank goodness we have tons of bridal websites where you can select different icons to design your own wedding dress to your own very taste.

Be sure to experiment with as many designs as you like so you can have tons to choose from. Remember to narrow your search down to your best two you

Work around the Icons

There are many icons to choose from that will assist you in designing that perfect wedding dress of your dreams. You are likely to find icons like these;

- bodice

- skirt

- Neckline

- Fabric

- Silhouette

- Sash

- Embellishments

However, because these icons are separate features, you’ll be able to get a see how you can mix and match these items before having to make the big decision of which design to settle for.

Save your design after that
Once you’ve played around with mixing and matching them to your satisfaction – and have gotten your choice, saved the combinations you prefer.

Your final choice can be saved aside or ordered when you finalise your wedding dress choice.

Make your purchase
So, after you’ve designed your dream dress and saved it, decide whether you want your completed design to be a dress or left as an inspiration for your own use. If you intend to purchase, make a payment and order your request.

In all, you can make any necessary changes to the design as much as you want so that at the end of it all, you'll have a truly unique and special wedding dress that will suit you.


How to Choose a Wedding Dress

By Olaoluwa Olowu

It’s the one thing most brides obsess over above all else – the perfect wedding dress. The right dress is a childhood dream made manifest. If you intend to make a custom wedding dress from a designer or by yourself, it’s easier to execute the image in your mind’s eye. However, if you have to choose from the rack of a store, then there are a few things you need to know to ensure you get exactly what you want or the closest thing to it.

Your dress should make you happy, it’s a second groom of sorts, something that fits you just right every way rather than something you had to settle for. Here are a few tips on how to choose the wedding dress of your dreams;

1. Set a Budget
It all starts with how much you’re willing to spend to get your wedding dress. Make sure your budget is pragmatic; at the end of the day, a wedding dress is often a one-time thing. Don’t overspend yet maintain enough financial flexibility to purchase a slightly pricey dress that’s perfect.

2. Do Research
The internet is your best friend at this point. Find ideas on Pinterest and familiarize yourself with the right term. It’s important that you’re not a complete novice about wedding dresses and dress-speak.

3. Focus on the basics
Begin with the basics. All wedding dresses can be broadly classified into different gown silhouettes and finding which one works best for your figure is key to not only getting an amazing dress but pulling it off as well.

The silhouettes are in 6 main categories: ball gown, empire, A-line, sheath, fit-and-flare, and mermaid. Choosing the basic category which works for you means going to a store to try them out and making sure, you look both stylish and feel glamorous in your gown.

The devil is in the details but a solid understanding of the basics is the basis for an elegant wedding dress.

4. Pick the right top
Most wedding photos often feature the bride up to her waist and getting a dress with the perfect top portion is immensely important. The top of your dress should feature your favorite parts of any dress as well as its most appealing details.

A frilly hemline on a ball gown is nice but your guests are very likely see very little of it at the wedding and neither will you in the wedding photos.

5. Keep it classic
Trendy outfits are nice for when you’re picking out a summer outfit or beachwear. Photos of your dress will last more than even just your lifetime and you want to pick something that you’ll love looking at 20, 30 years down the line. Keep it classic and timeless – trends may come and go but a wedding dress is forever.

6. Try, try, and try again
The biggest secret to getting the dress you desire? Trying out a lot of dresses and then narrowing down your selection until you have “the one”. At the end of the day, there’s no substitute for actually going into stores to try out the dresses you’re interested in.

However, avoid trying out too many to the point where you have decision fatigue. Once you find a decent number of options you like, start the process of whittling it down to just one.

7. Bring your accessories
Whatever accessories you intend to wear on the wedding day should be carried along with you whenever you’re going to try out the final few dresses so you can consider how well they match with the dress.

8. Snap pictures as much as you can
As long as the store allows you use your phones within the changing area, then take as many pictures as you can from all sorts of angles with different levels of lighting. How well your dress photographs is just as important as how well it fits you.

9. Consult extra eyes
“Two heads are better than one,” or in this case; two eyes. Take a small entourage with you to the store and have them offer their take on dress styles, fit and anything else. Make sure they’re people who are familiar with you and your taste – it’s still your wedding after all, and you don’t want a constant difference in opinion with your escorts.

10. Ask away
Got questions about the dresses, styles, accessories? Don’t be shy to ask right away from the store assistant who’s helping you with your shopping. Make sure you have all the information you need before making any decisions.

11. Don’t freak out about sizing
Wedding dress sizes often slightly differ from ready-to-wear sizes but that isn’t a problem at all. If you can find your perfect size, you can always get something just a little bigger and then have it adjusted.

It’s not advisable to pick a size just below in the hopes of losing the extra weight so you can fit in. Pick something that you’d be able to get into right there at the store.

12. Keep an open mind
Everyone’s least favorite part about shopping for their wedding dress is not being able to get the dress you had in mind for some reason or the other.

It’s always good to keep an open mind and be willing to try out styles you didn’t previously consider as well as assessing each dress without bias.

13. Try and get a bargain
There are a lot of bridal wear sales all year round and if you can find what you’d like at a bargain price, that’s amazing. It may be somewhat oversized or slightly worn or samples that the store is getting rid of, but if you don’t mind all these – and trust me they shouldn’t matter all that much – then you have a great dress that will leave incredible memories without breaking the bank.

14. Take your time
Bridal wear purchases (including accessories) are often final so it’s essential that you take your time with making your decision. Ensure you’re absolutely certain about the dress you want and then go out and get it.

15. The dress is about you
Finally, and most importantly, choosing a dress is about you. It’s about your personality, your tastes and capturing an embodiment of you in a fabric. Whether it’s something as small as detail work or even something as striking as choosing a different colour; your dress should ultimately reflect you.

Choosing a dress shouldn’t have to be nerve-wracking. You deserve to enjoy stress-free wedding preparations and getting the right dress shouldn’t change that.


List of Wedding Dress Rental Online

By Olaoluwa Olowu

Why have a pricey wedding gown collecting dust in your closet after use when you can always rent the wedding dress of your dreams, regardless of your financial background.

As a bride, your wedding dress plays a starring role on your wedding day. That said, purchasing a new gown can however bite a huge chunk of your wedding budget – of which these funds could actually be used to fund other areas of your wedding.

Besides, renting a wedding dress is not a new trend but now it seems to be a “thing” that gives lots of brides the option to wear a jaw-dropping designer gown without draining wedding budget.

For years, couples have rented important wedding materials, from tuxedos to chairs and tables for the reception.

However, the recent economic outcome have opened large rental market for couples who want to throw a dream wedding without a huge budget.

Importantly, renting a wedding dress offers you many benefits as a bride, apart from the fact that it’s cost saving. By renting a wedding dress, you get to expand your gown choices, reduce the stress of caring for a wedding dress, and the option of keeping the dress after the wedding is over.

So why not look for wedding dress rentals online instead of slashing your wedding budget.

Let’s help you get started with these lists:

1. Borrowing Magnolia

This site has arrays of designer wedding dresses to choose from.

After making your selection, they will send your request to you four weeks before your wedding.

Also, they handle all cleaning and shipping, so you get your dream dress at your home at your own comfort.

Take a look and browse through their collection of over 700 dresses and rent right away.

2. Vow to be Chic
Here’s another site that allows you rent from their array of top bridal designer wedding dresses at affordable price. They’ve got over 1000 designs from different designers like Nicole Miller, Theia, Tadashi Shoji and Jill Stuart.

Once you submit your measurement, the site will send you your most-loved dresses in two sizes to be tried on at home.

Every order you make comes with 2 dresses, in 2 sizes, and they also come two weeks before your wedding.

3. Weddington way

They have a very cool social features which allow brides to compare and share their experiences.

First, you register as a bride, then you add any gown you like to your list of favorites.

Once you’ve made your choice and pick them, you can compare the designs side-by-side and then add the members of your bridal train into the site to vote on their favourite.

Then you as the bride can add the highest-ranked dress to your girls' shopping carts.

4. Rent the runway
When it comes to online wedding dress rental, they have a large bridal selection, including bridesmaids’ gowns.

Here, the process is simple: you as a bride and your bridal train make selection of dresses and make a decision on which you would like.

Then you book and rent from the latest styles from over 450 designers.

Now it’s even better, new arrivals are added to their collections weekly!

5. Damol B Bridals
This is your one stop bridal shop that makes available all forms of wedding dress and accessories for rentals. Head on to their website to find out more.

6. Bridal Brilliance Rentals
They’ve got over 600 designer dresses to choose and rent from. More so, they are constantly adding to their list of bridal collections.

7. Gowns by Pamela
They have so many amazing wedding dresses to choose from with such a good rental price.

8. Hadassah Bridals

Their wedding gown rental service is available from N20, 000. Also, the dry cleaning of the wedding gown before and after use is by Hadassah Bridal House.

All you need do as a bride is just to pick up the wedding dress, use it and return it to them after use.

Not that alone, their wedding gowns are of high quality that you wouldn’t even know if it was rented if you were to be an outsider.

Their wedding rentals also include veil and bouquet, asides the wedding gown rentals.

Whether you live within Lagos or outside Lagos, their wedding gowns are available for rentals.

We hope you find these lists useful, feel free to share with other brides to be who may find this helpful.


Oldest Living Married Couple Around the World

By Olaoluwa Olowu

When a man and woman takes a vow and say ‘I do’? What are they signing up for? A happily ever after!

Though marriage is one of the biggest commitments in life and the process of joining two people in a bond that lasts until death, yet the practice is the opposite.

Factually, no marriage is without conflict, but how a couple endure to live together is how they handle the conflict.

However, if you're going to take marriage advice from anyone, you might want to take it from these oldest living married couples around the world, know the secret to what has been keeping them together.

James and Margaret Hurley – Ireland
Here’s an insight to the lives of James and Margaret Hurley, they have been married since 1941. While both are in their nineties, their union have produced 12 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

So what’s the secret to their long union?

Here’s what they have to say, “When you marry your best friend, it is easy to live a long and happy life”.

To them, they are blessed enough to live such long happy lives through so much together.

However, Margaret advice young couples to work hard, respect one another and love their family because they are the most important people in the world.

Leon Watson and Rosina Rodriquez - USA

When Leon Watson and Rosina married each other in Oakland in 1950, mixed-race marriage had just been legalized in California.

Both couple in their late eighties are one the oldest living interracial couples in the United States.

Here’s their simple advice to young couples, “Do what we are doing: a lot of thinking ahead of time and just live it day by day.”

Bill and Bertie Nickerson - Canada
They have been married for 80 years after their wedding in 1935.

According to them, they met each other by chance. Bill had a friend who was going to Milton to visit Bertie’s older sister and encouraged Bill to tag along.

It however turned out to a blind date. They would later date for three years before they tied the knot.

Interestingly, both couple liked travelling and raising their two sons. They have four grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

Ken and Margaret Harris - UK
Ken Harris, 102 years-old with wife Margaret, 99 years-old were married in 1937.

Their marriage produced two children, Alan and Ann.

The couple spend their everyday together. This very loving couple are so proud to have celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary.

Jeram and Ganga Ravji – New Zealand
Jeram and Ganga Ravji were named New Zealand's longest-married couple, both couple are in their 100th and have spent 81 years of their life married to each other.

Together, they have six children, 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren living in Auckland.

Originally, they were both born in a small Indian town and betrothed to each other at the age of 6 and got married when they were 19, which was after they both moved to New Zealand.

Four generations of their family now live in New Zealand, though their journey to a century has not been an easy one.


How to Pick the Right Wedding Shoe

By Olaoulwa Olowu

For any bride preparing for her big day, picking the right pair of wedding shoes is just as important as the dress! After all, no detail whether big or small should be out of place on that day, not even your shoes!

Obviously, choosing the perfect wedding dress will probably be your utmost priority but don’t forget that you’ll need to pair it with some beautiful wedding shoes!

However, when you’re choosing the pair of shoes to go with the dream gown, there are a few things you need consider to enable you pick the right wedding shoe.

Here is how to pick the right wedding shoe for your big day:

1. Wedding shoes before or after the dress?

Though it depends on which is more of a priority to you either the dress or the shoes.

But then, it’s advisable you choose the wedding dress first so that you can pick your wedding shoes accordingly. The dress will dictate the mood, colour, embellishment and heel height of your wedding shoes.

2. Make sure that the colour complements your dress

Consider the colour of your shoes in relation to your dress if you want them to be matching or contrasting in colour.

But if the colours don’t match exactly, try to match the embellishment on your dress, jewellery, or bouquet with your shoes.

3. Consider the heels
On one hand, do not attempt to wear heels of any kind if you will be having a beach wedding ceremony, they will sink in the beach sand. On the other, if you are having the ceremony on a lawn, wearing heels on a lawn can be almost as tricky as well, especially if it just rained.

Not only will any of these make you be uncomfortable, you'll destroy those beautiful shoes. Instead, choose wedges or go for the inch of heels that you feel most comfy with.

4. Hem your gown
What’s a bride in a too-long dress walking down the aisle, kicking it out in front of her to do?

It’s also important to consider the length of your wedding dress since you don’t want any tripping disasters as you walk down the aisle.

5. Get the size right
When shopping for your wedding shoes, be sure to try on several sizes to see the one that fits you best. Trust you don’t want to end up like Cinderella and losing a shoe walking down the aisle.

6. Cost
Just like many things requires money, the cost of anything depends on what you can afford, what fits your budget and your lifestyle.

But in this case, it also depends on how important your wedding shoes are to you. Some women see their wedding as the perfect occasion to be extravagant.

However, it’s advisable to be honest with yourself about what you can afford, because sometimes, price does reflect quality. So, don’t be afraid to check the sale section for your shoe purchase.

7. Afterwards
Most often than not, some women prefer wedding shoes they can wear again long after the big day, while others just prefer to wear them once. If the case is the former, then it might influence your decision to buy something more simple and practical.

Consider the sole

Have you ever noticed that flexible soles let your toes bend naturally? And they cushion your heel to help keep your foot in place.

8. Comfort and Fit
There are chances that you will be wearing your wedding shoes from early in the morning until very late at night. This is why you should find a pair of wedding shoes that are not only beautiful but comfortable.

By the way, a good pair of wedding shoes should always be both!

When you try them on, imagine yourself wearing them all day and night while standing, dancing, and walking around? If not, you might have to keep looking.

More so, the level of comfort your wedding shoes offer is largely dependent on how they fit. If they feel too small, too tight, or too big, you may need to reconsider your choice.

9. Choose a pair you love

Most importantly of all, choose a pair of wedding shoes that you love. They will always be a reminder of your special day, just like everything else you wear on your wedding day.

On a final note, when shopping for your wedding shoes, never forsake comfort for beauty and style, you have to be comfortable and be able to walk around effortlessly while wearing them.

Wedding Bee:

Necessary essentials to look for when tying the knot abroad

 Numerous reasons why wedding videography and the wedding destination are crucial for a perfect wedding day is a Guest Post put together by Helen Clark.

Did you know that every 1 of 4 weddings is a destination wedding? Weddings abroad have slowly become quite popular because they give you the euphoric feeling of “eloping”, only with your whole family and all your friends.

However, the process of tying the knot in a different country differs from the accustomed traditions at home, so understanding the wedding destination and its wedding requirements is crucial for organizing a beautiful and carefree wedding.

Otherwise, brides can expect the unexpected to occur since, as it usually goes, one thing pulls the other until the chain reaction affects the whole wedding procedure. So what are the essentials to look after when going for a wedding abroad?

Selecting the Location
Don’t get stuck on one location only. Selecting the perfect spot for a wedding ceremony means finding the place that, apart from its beauty, also has the charm which suits your personality the most. It should carry a personal connection with you and your future spouse, but it should also have a lot of room for the wedding activities and invitees comfort.

Likewise, time is of the essence. Many problems may arise if you decide to get married in the tourist season. Venues and hotel choices will be limited and unless booked a year up front, the chances are you will end up with poor service and a low-grade hotel packed with tourists.

On the other hand, if going with a safer “off season” option, and then by all means check out the weather conditions and prognosis for the days of the wedding. Ensuring that the wedding goes smoothly and according to plan is the only way to prepare a destination wedding.

See First-Hand
Not only do you need to choose a location, but you need to go there and inspect it yourself. Actually, the one trip is not enough, two or preferably three trips are considered ideal. On the first trip, you will need to secure the venue, hotel, reception, ceremony, legal requirements, and the rehearsal dinner. The second is to find the right activities for the guests, hair and makeup, flowers, and other little necessities.

If you fail to do so, you might experience a disaster once you get there expecting a joyous ceremony. First of all, the law differs, which means that without previous research and a single trip to that country to obtain papers, you might not even have a wedding.

Furthermore, the currency and exchange rates vary and there is also an issue of spoken language. The language barrier may negatively affect the ceremony. Since sending directions online may not be conveyed in a proper manner, you can get what you didn’t ask for.

What about the Vendors?

A destination wedding is a once in a lifetime event, but hiring vendors without references and a mutual agreement on what you expect from the wedding can deprive you of the immortal wedding memories.

The perfect examples are the wedding videographers and the final footage you will get after the wedding. It is highly important to conduct an interview and discuss your desires and wedding goals. Though, the best approach when organizing a destination wedding is to hire a quality wedding videographer at home and bring him along for the adventure.

On the other hand, if going with a local destination vendor, make sure to avoid cheap and inexperienced individuals. And whatever happens, you can always count on professional video editing companies to fix imperfections and assure your video has the grace and style it deserves.

Understanding the wedding destination is half the job done. From there on, the wedding planning is easier and the overall ceremony safe from harm. Avoid common wedding destination mistakes and don’t forget to have fun and make the most of your wedding day.