All eyes on the wedding dress, of course!

Our fashion show plans. We promise a life-size 3D version during Something New Bridal Event on Jan. 3 at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart.. 

Our fashion show plans. We promise a life-size 3D version during Something New Bridal Event on Jan. 3 at the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart.. 

You don’t have to venture far into the Internet to find out why a wedding dress is such an important symbol – for yourself, for the ceremony, for the memories. No decision during the entire wedding planning process likely causes more stress or ultimately provides more satisfaction for the bride-to-be.

When the ideas for Something New Bridal Event were first being tossed about, it became clear to the planners that the fashion show must be a focal point for the day.

Forget the runway – let it have theatrical elements.

Leave behind the dull drapery background – imagine the dresses in the settings for which they were designed.

Ditch the single-file parade – give the audience a chance to take in all the beauty.

“With the unique facility that we have at our disposal, we have been able to create fashion shows that are completely unlike other events,” says fashion show director Danny Reynolds, owner of Stephenson’s in downtown Elkhart. “Whereas other shows are focused on the vendor, we wanted to create ‘Something New’ – a completely bride-centric event. The focus of this show revolves completely around what the bride and groom need in order to plan and achieve the most important elements of a dream wedding.”

Stephenson’s models will share the stage with another Gateway Mile boutique, Elegant Designs. The show also will get an assist from the talented performers of Premier Arts and the Lerner Theatre’s professional technicians.

“These shows will highlight dresses in the settings of traditional, destination and garden/outdoor weddings, and we will showcase fashions that will be trending in 2015 and beyond,” Reynolds says.

Bridal fashion shows will take place at noon and 2 p.m. and are included with admission to Something New Bridal Event on Jan. 3. For complimentary tickets, visit any of our participating expert sponsors and vendors.

One more for the road - the coffee bar

Go creative and give your guests a little something extra with a hot beverage station - coffee or tea, as you please! (Photo from The Farm Cafe at the Collingwood Children's Farm)

Go creative and give your guests a little something extra with a hot beverage station - coffee or tea, as you please! (Photo from The Farm Cafe at the Collingwood Children's Farm)

When the party’s over, think about sending your guests out on a (caffeine) high note.

The coffee cart can be a perfect final gathering spot for family and friends on their way out of the reception. It can be useful throughout the day for guests who aren’t into the hard stuff, or those who just need a break when the cake is served.

Coffee carts can be hired in, if you have the budget and don’t need one more thing to think about setting up. Or you can approach it creatively – take this example of an outdoor, rustic wedding. From the bed of an old truck, floral aspects from the ceremony were incorporated into a welcoming area for people to find coffee and tea.

You can also go farther, offering seasonal herbs or spices to flavor drinks. For a summer wedding, it could become an iced tea wagon, with fresh fruits and ice buckets, or even a soda fountain.

What special spin can you put on this idea? Share in the comments below!

Keeping within the lines, money wise

At the risk of sounding too much like Dave Ramsey, you probably should have more depth to your wedding spending than “whatever it takes.”  (But, then, Dave says thass not OK to lots of stuff.)

On that one day in your life, everything should be beautiful and perfect. But you can’t realistically take the rest of your life to pay off your wedding OR listen to your parents pointedly remind you about how they helped bail you out of debt.

In fact, that’s a good place to start. If your parents can help cover costs, ask them what their contribution will be. It’s not impolite – it’s smart planning. That figure lets you know what you’ll need to contribute to get to your goal, and then you can start setting aside money in your monthly budget to get there.

This process also helps you determine what your personal priorities are. Will you sacrifice a little on the location or food to be able to go on the honeymoon of your dreams? These are ideas you need to come to an agreement on early to prevent wild spending later.

Your top-shelf needs can survive, as long as they fit with the bottom line.

How are you planning to make it work? Share your tips in the comments!

Winning colors, at least by Pantone

Ooh, the colors.

Ooh, the colors.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a simple blue or shimmering silver for your wedding. Maybe peach or soft green has been calling you as the best fit with the location of your ceremony.

Color choices can be very meaningful and should express a lot about who you are. They are a defining element for your day, and unless you choose the total mono filter for the prints, they’ll always be part of your home in the framed photos of your wedding.

All that said, Pantone – the people that bring you lots of charts with numbers that make graphic artists happy – has chimed in with their hot colors for spring 2015. Spoiler alert: lots of blue. Check out their recommendations, and let us know what you think in the comments! 

Signs, signs, everywhere signs

More stressful - Front of the house, where the guests are arriving? Or back of the house, where everything needs to look and feel perfect before the grand entrance?

It’s probably a tossup. But one of the hottest wedding trends will make life easier for the ushers, family and close friends manning the entry point – signs!

Signs can even help you when you get back from the honeymoon - accessing photos from the wedding with your own hashtag.Photo source: wildwhim.com / Via weddingchicks.com and Buzzfeed

Signs can even help you when you get back from the honeymoon - accessing photos from the wedding with your own hashtag.Photo source: wildwhim.com / Via weddingchicks.com and Buzzfeed

They can be as fancy or rustic as you like. They can be handmade or printed, strung from trees or framed on tables. They can resolve so many basic questions and allow everyone a greater chance to mingle without the burden of finding answers. Used as props, they can even caption your photos … though no promises the cousin that didn’t get invited won’t come up with her own tagline on Facebook.

Through the planning stages, keep a running note on your phone or in your journal about ideas for signs. As you shop at craft stores or antique places, pick up cute frames, chalkboards or cutouts to incorporate. Don’t worry about placement at the wedding or reception just yet – those details can be worked out closer to the big day.

For more ideas, check out this blog post by Kate Aspen and some great visuals by Buzzfeed. Photo source: theflashdance.com via Buzzfeed.

For more ideas, check out this blog post by Kate Aspen and some great visuals by Buzzfeed. Photo source: theflashdance.com via Buzzfeed.

How much time do you have?

Every bride deserves to have that one special item or moment on her wedding day that she'll cherish forever. It's even better if it makes people stand in awe and wish they'd thought of it first.

What will it be for you? This bride, known by "alkikat" on Reddit, decided to take matters into her own hands. She crocheted her own wedding dress.

Wha?!?

Huffington Post photo

Huffington Post photo

Yes, that's her ... on the subway ... hook in hand. Not really something people want to hear about a subway rider, but her intentions are good and the outcome was fabulous.

The best part: The dress cost a total of 30 bucks ... as long as don't place a value on the time.

All brides like "alkikat" should have that one defining element for their day. But something like this comes at the cost of time. Do you really want to do personal calligraphy on all your invitations just because you have a quill pen? Do you really want to fire up the kiln to make glasses for the wedding party to use for the toast? Your time has to be spent wisely - you and the people you invite will remember the missed necessities just as much as they will be in awe of something elaborate.

Let creativity and interest be your guide. Just know you have a lot of work to do before your wedding day. Don't take on a monumental but special task at the sake of leaving all the other plans unfinished.