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Where can I find the dress I saw in Bride´s?

If your dream dress (or any other item that you want to find) appears in an advertisement, call the phone number listed on that page or the opposite page to inquire about it at a bridal shop near you.To locate a dress in an editorial fashion story (see example below), check the page for the name of the designer or manufacturer (usually in the corner of the page or on the opposite page) and look for the dress in the "Shopping Guide" section, toward the back of BRIDE´S. There will be a phone number under the designer or manufacturer´s name for you to call and ask about a boutique in your area that carries the dress. Or, this is just as easy, bring the entire copy of BRIDE´S Magazine with you to your local bridal shop and ask for assistance in locating specific designs. (Don´t just tear out the page, because the shop attendants won´t know how to find the dress without knowing which issue, and on what page, the dress was shown.) Most shops will be able to order any dress appearing in the pages of BRIDE´S.

How do I word my invitations?

The following are general examples of correct invitation wording, so if you don't see your particular situation outlined below, take the appropriate information from a close example and inquire about the remaining specifics with your stationer, or check an etiquette book such as BRIDE'S All New Book of Etiquette, available for purchase at our online Bookstore.

Traditionally, the bride's parents are the hosts of the wedding, and are named at the top of the invitation. Hosts do not necessarily pay for the event, but are simply honored as a sign of respect.

When the bride's parents host the wedding:

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski
*request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter Colleen Marie
Ryan Michael Cronin
Saturday, the twenty-third of May
at four o'clock
Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
New York, New York

When the groom's parents are included on the invitation:

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski
*request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Colleen Marie
Ryan Michael Cronin
son of
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Rigby Cronin
Saturday, the twenty-third of May, etc.


Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski
Mr. and Mrs. Jason Rigby Cronin
*request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding reception of their children
Colleen Marie and Ryan Michael
Saturday, the twenty-third of May, etc.

Generally, when a bride's parents are divorced, the invitation is sent by the parent who raised her.

When the bride's divorced parents are both listed on the invitation:

Diane Jean Chrzanowski (or Mrs.Robert Cheney, if remarried)
Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski (or Mr. Daniel Thomas Chrzanowski)
*request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter
Colleen Marie to
Ryan Michael Cronin, etc.

When the couple would like to host the event themselves:

*The honour of your presence
is requested at the marriage of
Miss Colleen Marie Chrzanowski
Mr. Ryan Michael Cronin
Saturday, the twenty-third of May, etc.

A simple way to add everyone when the couple would like to include their families (divorced or married) and host their own wedding:

Colleen Marie Chrzanowski and Ryan Michael Cronin
together with their parents
*request the pleasureof your company at their wedding, etc.

*Only ceremonies taking place in houses of worship should have the phrase "the honour of your presence"used on the invitations. Otherwise it's appropriate to use "request the pleasure of your company."

What does the wedding party actually do?

The honor attendant is usually a close friend or family member (sometimes even Mom) who not only organizes and hosts a shower for the bride, but also helps her get ready on the wedding day. She wears a dress that she usually pays for, which matches or coordinates with the other bridesmaids, and she sometimes carries a slightly more elaborate bouquet than the other attendants.

The bridesmaids are select friends and family, who are usually about the same age of the bride. They attend prewedding parties and also help out in anyway the bride asks. If she needs anything from picking up candleabras, to setting out place cards--these are the girls to ask. They wear matching or coordinating dresses (usually paid for themselves) to the ceremony and are customarily given a gift by the bride as a token of appreciation.

The best man is often the groom's best friend or a close family member, even Dad. His formalwear matches the ushers' and he pays the rental fees himself. He hosts the bachelor party, holds the ring during the ceremony, and leads the other men in the well-wishing.

Ushers are also close in age to the groom. They are usually chosen by the groom, and their primary function is seating guests at the wedding. They each wear and pay for matching formalwear, and the groom usually gives each man a present as a thank-you for participating in the wedding. These guys should also be on hand to help the groom with any errands he needs throughout the day, such as picking up guests from the airport, or driving them from the ceremony to the reception site.

Children between the ages of 9 and 14 are best suited for the duties of candlelighters, junior bridesmaids, or junior ushers. These attendants wear coordinating dresses or formalwear. Flower girls are usually family members, or a friend's child between the ages of three and nine, and they carry a small bouquet or basket down the aisle in the ceremony. The ring bearer is often a boy, but the duty can certainly be carried out by a little girl as well. Boys under age four wear an Eton suit or may be dressed in a similar fashion to the ushers. Parents pay for their children's attire when asked to be in a wedding, unless otherwise notified by the bride or groom.

How do we get our wedding featured in the Stylish Marriage section of BRIDE´S?

After the big event, send color copies of your favorite wedding photos, along with a write-up of the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon highlights to:

BRIDE´S: Stylish Marriage
4 Times Square
New York, NY 10036

Because of the high volume of mail we receive, we are unable to return wedding photos from readers, so please do not send in actual photographs or proofs. Color copies are best.

Who Pays for What?

The following is a breakdown of the customary costs, but do keep in mind that families need to be flexible, and what´s most important is that you create the day of your dreams, without breaking anyone´s budget.

BRIDE'S Family
Groom´s ring; bridesmaid luncheon, the first engagement party; invitations, announcements, enclosures, personal stationery, wedding programs, thank-you notes; bride´s dress, veil, accessories; mother of the bride´s dress, father of the bride´s formalwear, bride´s trousseau; floral arrangements for ceremony and reception sites, bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girls; fees for ceremony site, sexton, organist, soloist, rental of aisle carpet, marquee, or huppah; engagement and wedding photos and video; transportation of bridal party to ceremony and reception site; all professional reception services, food, drinks, decorations, music, etc.; bride buys wedding gifts for her attendants and the groom.
Groom's Family
Bride´s engagement and wedding ring; engagement party (it should follow any festivities hosted by the bride´s family), a rehearsal dinner; groom´s thank-you notes, personal stationery; groom´s formalwear, his mother´s dress, his father´s formalwear; bride´s bouquet, corsages for both mothers and grandmothers, boutonnieres for best man and ushers; marriage license, clergy member or judge´s fee; limousine to airport, complete honeymoon; groom buys wedding gifts for attendants and the bride.
Best man and/or ushers host the bachelor party, maid of honor and/or bridesmaids host a bridal shower and may host a girls´ night out; maid of honor and bridesmaids pay for their dresses and accessories (shoes, too), ushers pay for rental of their formalwear; attendants who live in the area may offer out of town attendants a place to stay; attendants may give wedding gifts individually, or pool their resources for a group gift.
Options to share
Bride´s or groom´s family may offer heirloom rings; bride´s family may host the rehearsal dinner; bride or her family may pay for bridesmaids´ dresses and accessories, groom or his family may pay for ushers´ rentals; bouquets may be purchased by bride´s family, bride may give corsages to mothers and grandmothers; couple may cover all ceremony costs; one family may pay for photography, the other for videography, the groom´s parents or the couple may pay for any extra prints; either family may arrange for transportation, babysitters, a welcome buffet for out of town guests, or lodging for out of town attendants; groom´s family may offer to share reception costs, or cover specific services (liquor, musicians, etc.); couple may buy thank-you gifts for parents and friends or relatives who helped with planning.

Whom do I send my registry information to?

While it's not appropriate for you to slip a registry information card in with the wedding invitations, it's fine for your shower host or hosts to include a card printed with registry information in prewedding party invitations.

Most wedding guests will want to bring a gift to celebrate your new marriage, but it's impolite to imply that a gift must be sent along with an RSVP card.

We're renewing our vows. What do we leave in (or out)?

This is your chance to replicate your original ceremony (and even wear the clothes you were married in) or do something completely different. Either way, it's perfectly acceptable to send out invitations, say vows, exchange new or tried-and-true rings, and host a dinner or party for friends and family afterward.

For more information on renewing your vows, please check out the many BRIDE'S books that are available for purchase at our online Bookstore.

Where does the groom fit into all of this?

Gone are the days of the guy just showing up at the altar and saying "I do." Today's groom often accompanies his bride to the registry, he hires the band or dj, finds the caterer, writes vows with the bride, and helps with the thank-you notes.

The point is that modern wedding planning is a shared experience. Speaking of which, his family traditionally hosts a rehearsal dinner (although a lunch or brunch works, too) for the families of the bride and groom as well as the wedding party. Sometimes, out-of-town guests are also invited to this event, and if they're not, then special care should be taken to make sure they feel welcome. Arrange for welcome baskets filled with information about local sites and restaurants, to be placed in their hotel rooms.

Help! I need to hire a caterer, a photographer, a DJ, and a florist. Where can I find trustworthy service providers?

The best way to locate talented and reliable service providers in your area is to ask recently married friends and family about caterers, djs, florists, photographers, and anyone else you might need to pull off the big day in style. It's often a good idea to go with a recommendation of one service provider for another. If your caterer, for example, has a great baker in mind, then you might want to check out his work.

Be sure to visit with each vendor in person before committing your business to them. It could make a big difference in the quality of work you can expect.

Check all references with the Better Business Beureau for any complaints registered against them, and trust your instincts.

My dream is to become a wedding consultant. How can I do it?

Your best bet is to do two things: First, contact wedding professionals in your area and interview them about what they do. Ask florists about their rates for flowers, caterers about what dishes are popular, djs about how far in advance to book, etc.

Next, get in touch with the Association of Bridal Consultants at 860-355-0464, or June Wedding Inc. at 702-474-9558, or These are both national organizations with certification programs and many resources to help make your professional wedding-planning dreams come true.

Could I get a copy of your writer's guidelines?

You bet! We're always looking for new ideas and good writers, so please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

BRIDE´S Magazine
4 Times Square
New York, NY 10036
Attn: Writer's Guidelines
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