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How To Write An Unforgettable Maid Of Honor Speech For The Big Day

maid-of-honor-speech

The maid of honor plays a very important role in a wedding. They are right by the bride’s side every step of the way and available to help at a moment’s notice. That is why the role of the maid of honor is often given to the person who is closest to the bride such as her sister or best friend.

It is a great honor to be chosen to be that special someone in the bride’s ceremony. As a maid of honor, you want to come up with a legendary speech that will let the bride know just how much you care.

Fun and Emotional Maid of Honor Speech Ideas That Will Win Guests’ Hearts

You may be able to come up with a winning maid of honor speech all on your own, or you may get stuck at the beginning because you don’t know where to start. Either way, these interesting and fun ideas for maid of honor speeches can help you get the creative ball rolling so that you can deliver a speech that will make the bride laugh and cry at the same time. 

Introduce Yourself

speech

It is always a great idea to start off your speech by letting all the wedding guests know who you are and how you know the bride. This is important since many of the people in attendance may not know who you are.

It is also a great opportunity to tell the story of how you first met if you are best friends or share a hilarious story from your childhood if you are sisters.

Adding a funny backstory to your speech is always a good thing. Just be sure that it isn’t too embarrassing or contains too much adult content which could cause your funny story to go south very quickly.

Give Thanks

thank you

Since all people know how expensive weddings can be and how much time and energy goes into planning, it is a good idea to recognize all the people who helped out with planning the wedding or paying for the ceremony and wedding party such as the parents of the bride or groom and anyone else you feel that the bride would want to send a special shout-out to.

This gives everyone a chance to clap and show their appreciation for the beautiful ceremony they are attending.

Tell a Touching and Heartfelt Story About the Bride

telling stories

You are there to help introduce the bride to her in-laws since you are the person outside of her spouse who knows her better than anyone else.

If you have already shared a funny story about the bride, you may want to add in a touching story where the bride was there for you in your time of need or something that they have done in the past that always warmed your heart.

You don’t have to stretch the truth or add in info that isn’t correct. Just share something nice about the bride that you know will make her new family smile.

Tell a Story About the First Time You Met the Groom

Groom

You can start out your speech about the first time you met the groom. This could be a sweet story or a funny story, whichever you think is most appropriate based on the groom’s personality.

It will show that you are all friends and let his family know how much you approve of him marrying the bride.

Any interesting or hilarious stories about your first impression should be appropriate for your maid of honor speech.

Tell a Story About the Couple

wedding couple

Remember the guests will want to hear something funny so it’s always a good idea to add some humor to your speech and choose a funny story to tell about the couple.

But if you don’t want to have a complete comedy sketch on for your maid of honor speech, you can always come up with a sweet or touching story to tell about the bride and groom as well.

Telling a story about the couple is always a great way to segue into “That was when I knew it was true love.” You are sure to get a lot of smiles from the guests and it will bring back some precious memories to the lovely couple as well. Tell about how you noticed a change in your friend’s attitude or maybe even how the two of them didn’t get along as well when they initially met.

You are sure to share some details that a few of the guests may not be aware of and that will help make your maid of honor speech a success.

Use a Prop

wedding props

It may not work for every maid of honor speech, but if you have the opportunity to use a prop, you definitely should take advantage of it. Using a prop for a wedding speech can go very well with the audience if it ties in well with the main idea of your speech.

Some of the best props that you can use include childhood photos, slideshows, home, movies, or unexpected items such as a favorite childhood toy.

A prop is not something that should be forced into your speech so if you don’t think it will work with everything else you have planned, you should probably just leave it out. But if you come up with a prop that you think will win over the audience and bring back fun memories for the bride and groom, then it will definitely help you turn your maid of honor speech into something that is far more memorable than it would have been without it.

Use a Love Quote

love quote

If you are stuck on how to start off your maid of honor speech or how to end it, you can use a popular love quote, phrase, or a poem to help you get the ball rolling.

You can use a quote from a favorite book or movie, a line from a TV show, or a snippet from one of Shakespeare’s plays. No matter what you choose, just be sure the bride will approve.

Get the Audience to Interact by Asking Them a Question 

ask questions

A great way to get everyone involved in the speech portion of the reception is to add an interactive component to your time on stage.

You many want to ask the audience a question at the beginning of your speech and start off with “Raise your hand if…” or “How many people here…”  and then add something funny or relevant to the bride and groom at the end.

If you choose to go this route, it is a good idea to have a few people in the audience that you know will play along if it seems like others do not want to participate. They can help to encourage other members of the audience to answer the question and join in.

Adding a question to the end of your speech could be something simple that will get them cheering and excited for the rest of the reception such as “Who is ready to celebrate this couple with an awesome party?” It will help add more excitement to the room and get everyone in a great mood.

A Few Extra Tips for Writing the Best Maid of Honor Speech

You may have a ton of great ideas for your maid of honor speech or you may not have anything at all. Just remember to keep the speech short and sweet because while your intentions are sincere, you are taking to a large crowd of people who are anticipating music and food.

It’s okay to tell a funny joke or two about the bride or even tell something that is a little embarrassing to get a laugh out of the audience. But don’t make your entire speech a huge roast for the bride or the groom for that matter. You could end up offending some of their family members or even making the bride angry in the process. Keep the embarrassing facts to a minimum, and you shouldn’t have any issues with stepping on toes after the speech is completed.

If you are nervous about giving the speech, the good thing is that you don’t have to make it last long. Give a few fun details about the bride, tell a funny story or two about the couple, talk about their childhood, add in a few touching details, and then you are ready to let everyone go to enjoy the rest of the party. Your work is done, and it will be a moment that the bride will remember and cherish for many years to come.

Will You Use These Ideas for an Upcoming Maid of Honor Speech?

There are some great ideas for writing a maid of honor speech mentioned here. But the most important thing is to stay true to the bride and write the speech from your heart. Think about how much you care about her and how much it means to you to be named her maid of honor. By doing this, you should write a speech that everyone will enjoy.

How To Get A Dream Wedding Reception Without Smashing Your Piggy

wedding reception

He's proposed oh so romantically, your ring is to die for, and there's only one thing left:

Planning your dream wedding reception.

Everything up to this point has been a whirlwind, and you know exactly how you want your reception to be. You've probably had this wedding itself planned out for most of your life.

The reception? That's the FUN part!

But...

It's going to cost you an arm and a leg -- maybe two.

Dreams Dashed

You don't have that kind of cash, and you certainly don't want your mom taking a second mortgage on the house. Right?

There's another way, and we're going to show you how it's done because

You deserve the best!

Lucky for you, you're not alone in your quest. Search #budgetwedding on Instagram, and you'll find out I'm telling the truth.

And you know what that means.

The road is already paved for you.

road

You can totally do this.

Average Cost Of A Wedding Reception

The Knot's 2017 Real Weddings Study says the average total wedding cost for a U.S. couple reached $33,391.

Average Cost of a Wedding Reception

We want to do better -- and we can. It is 100 percent possible to plan a quality wedding reception on a budget.

Post it

You can

  • D.I.Y-ing your food and decorations
  • Choose a cheaper venue
  • Skip the DJ

That alone will save you big bucks, but here's the rub...

The vendors know you're coming and their prices reflect.

Commit this to memory 'cause I'm going to tell you a secret:

gesturing Shhh

Vendors want your business. In fact, they need it, so never underestimate the power of the haggle. Most of them are willing to work with you on price.

If they aren't, there are plenty of other vendors in the sea.

Learn From The Pro

Who's more pro when it comes to creating than Martha Stewart?

No one. That's who.

Martha says the very first thing you have to do is set a budget for your wedding. There's no way to stay in budget if you don't know what your budget is, right?

According to the queen of decorating and entertaining, do these four things to figure out your wedding budget:

Martha Stewart
  • Set your absolute limit
  • Decide on what your priorities are
  • Set a target cost for each vendor
  • Put your money into what guests will touch

That's your starting point. Once you have your numbers, plug them into this nifty wedding budget calculator.

The more you adapt, the more interesting you are. -- Martha Stewart

Timing Is Everything: Choosing Your Wedding Date

pocket watch

The next step that goes into planning your wedding reception is picking your wedding date. Most weddings take place on a weekend, for obvious reasons. If you want to stick to a budget, the rule is simple:

Saturday

In fact, Saturdays are the most popular day of the week for weddings.

Palindromes are adorable -- 8/18/18, anyone? -- but cute is costly.

So, keep in mind:

The higher the demand, the higher the price. -- your econ teacher

Choose one of these instead:

Budget-friendly times

Budget-Friendly Times

Creating Your Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invites include the deets about your wedding and your reception.

By designing your own, you can save between 5,000 and $8,000 for just 100 guests.

And you won't believe how easy it is to do.

D.I.Y. those invites like a champ

Wedding invitations

Wedding invitations are an easy place to add D.I.Y elements and avoid paying a print or designer. Online marketplaces like Etsy offer countless wedding invitation templates.

But wait, there's more:

Many sellers allow you to purchase professionally printed invitations or a digital file that you can print at home. All you need to do is ask, and have a decent printer.

You can even add professional touches to your invitations, but don't get carried away.

Remember, we're trying to save money here!

Look at these elegant invites by Søstrene Grene:

On the other hand...

We live in the digital age. Send an e-vite.

It's free!

Where To Tie The Knot

reception hall

Unless you abandon the idea of a wedding reception altogether, your venue or reception hall will likely be the most expensive item on your list.

According to a survey from Wedding Wire, reception halls (not including the ceremony space) cost newlywed couples upwards of $10,000 on average.

Let's see if we can pare that down.

Of course, venues vary immensely depending on your wedding's location and the type of property you choose.

What you need to remember is:

Don't settle.

You can still have a beautiful location for a reasonable price.

Celebrity wedding planner, Andrea Freeman says, "Added personal things -- that's what people really remember."

There's also good news:

With a few simple tricks and small sacrifices, you can have the picturesque, stylish wedding you dream of without breaking the bank.

Here are some of our favorite ways to cut costs on a wedding reception venue:

Location, location, location

The location of your local wedding factors into your venue costs.

So, think about where you live.

If you live in a major city, moving a couple of towns over can save you a wad of cash.

Think about where you live and your surrounding area to find the area with the least cost within a reasonable driving distance.

Have it at home

You've seen them on TV, gorgeous at-home wedding on lush green grass when the cherry tree just blossomed.

You think there's no way you could pull that off, but you'd be wrong.

If you own land or know someone who has

a beautiful yard

or barn

or garden.

Use it!

The only drawback here is that it may limit the guest list.

But think of the savings.

back yard reception

Consider these when deciding on a wedding at home:

Notepad
  • 1
    Dancing space
  • 2
    Eating area
  • 3
    Seating
  • 4
    Restrooms
  • 5
    Parking

Maybe take it outside

When you picture your upcoming wedding reception, you probably have a distinct image of it being inside or outside.

Garden Wedding Reception

The best money saving part of an outdoor wedding is this:

Outdoor weddings, if placed strategically, can create incredible backdrops and natural decoration. Public parks, especially, can make gorgeous outdoor wedding venues.

Imagine the money you'll save on flowers alone.

Dec That Hall

With a little bit of creativity and a few supplies, you can

Beautify

your reception with little cost.

Check out what Erin Elizabeth can do:

You can do that too.

But if you're a procrastinator than delegate this task. The last thing you want is to be up the night before your wedding making centerpieces.

Flowers

Flowers

If done right, flowers can truly be the only wedding reception decor you need.

Here's the bad news:

Professionally arranged flowers are not cheap.

But here's a thought:

If you plan ahead enough, you can grow your own wedding flowers.

flower blooming

Deciding this route can be risky, but try this to reduce your risk:

  • Choose flowers that will bloom at the time of your wedding
  • Choose in-season flowers
  • Plant early

Let's pretend all that planning is just way too much or you have a brown thumb.

Don't panic.

Opt to buy seasonal flowers. They will be more affordable than flowers that you have to have shipped in from another state.

Spring flowers

Summer flowers

Fall flowers

Winter flowers

Year-Round flowers

Anemone

Casa Blanca Lily

Daffodil

Delphinium

Hyacinth

Lilacs

Peony

Ranunculus

Star Gazer

Lily

Sweetpea

Tulip

Chrysanthemum

Lavender

Gerbera Daisy

Iris

Larkspur

Lillies

Asters

Queen Anne's Lace

Snapdragons

Sunflowers

Zinnia

Aster

Chrysanthemum

Dahlia

Marigold

Statice

Zinnia

Amaryllis

Anemone

Bells of Ireland

Casa Blanca Lily

Cosmos

Daffodil

Forget-me-nots

Holly

Jasmine

Narcissus

Poinsettia

Star Gazer Lily

Sweetpea

Tulip

Waxflower

Baby's Breath

Bachelor's Button

Calla Lily

Carnations

Gardenias

Lily of the Valley

Orchid

Roses

Scabiosa

Did you know?

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's wedding

Image via mirror.co.uk

Brad and Angelina married on the grounds next to one of their homes, and their children picked all the flowers for the ceremony from the surrounding fields.

Even celebs are budget friendly -- sometimes.

Let there be light

weave string lights

Image via pinterest

Fairytale lighting can truly transform a venue when the sun goes down.

Whether you opt for an indoor or outdoor wedding reception, string lights and paper lanterns are cliche but effective.

And that's not all.

They're also affordable.

string lights in a reception

Image by David Bastianoni via theknot

String lights can be draped overhead, wrapped up columns, or intermingled with your venue's natural greenery.

You can choose large globe lights or tiny bulbs that replicate fireflies.

Paper lanterns

Image via sous-le-lampion

Paper lanterns add tons of atmosphere at a low price. They come in every color under the rainbow.

There are even charming hot air balloon varieties.

Printables

For backdrops, table centerpieces, and more, paper is a versatile tool.

Using a free or paid printable templates, you can create a wide range of wedding reception decorations to suit any style.

And here's all you need:

Cardstock

Printer

Easy!

And here are three great resources for free printables:

Printable decorations certainly won't replace your entire decorating budget. But you can use your printer for a surprising number of small projects.

Let's face it, every little bit of cost-savings helps.

Something borrowed, something... cheap

There's no reason to spend your hard-earned money on items that are going to go into the trash or storage as soon as your day is done.

Think about that prom dress you never wore again.

Instead, consider buying used decorations or even borrowing items from close friends and family.

Take mason jars, for example.

You probably know someone with a surplus of canning jars that they can spare for a weekend.

Borrow them and make these:

If you can't borrow, hit the thrift store, and keep your eyes out for things that can be painted, embellished, or otherwise transformed to bring your vision to life.

Feed. Your. Guests, Feed Your Guests

According to Thumbtack, the average buffet-style wedding meal costs between $15 and $30 per guest.

And here's the worst part:

That number can climb to $150 per guest or more for a professional caterer.

Ouch!

Fortunately, you have a few other options.

Notepad
  • 1
    Skip the professional caterer
  • 2
    Look to family and friends
  • 3
    Ask local restaurants
  • 4
    Think about home-made

Food for thought

There's a light and dark side to each of these choices.

Pros

Professional caterer pros:

Everything is taken care of, Serving is included, Convenient, Professional chefs, Wide variety of choices.

Cons

Professional caterer cons:

Expensive, Charge per guest

Pros

Local restaurant pros:

Less expensive, Wide variety of food, Professional chefs

Cons

Local restaurant cons:

Venue might not allow, May not have servers

Pros

Home-made pros:

Most affordable, Familiar taste

Cons

Home-made cons:

Venue might not allow, Time suck, Not professional, No servers

The cake

wedding cake

At around $500 for the average wedding cake, you might find that hiring a professional cake maker is in your budget.

But if you would rather save money or allocate this spending elsewhere, then you can cut costs here.

If you or a loved one is a talented baker, then reach out to them about making your cake for a reasonable payment.

They might even make it your gift. (Hint Hint)

The wedding wire also offers tips to save some dollars on your wedding cake.

  • 1
    Skip elaborate designs
  • 2
    Embrace the simple
  • 3
    Forget the groom's cake
  • 4
    Consider a sheet cake
  • 5
    Order a smaller cake and cut smaller pieces
  • 6
    Make sure you're not paying the baker for accessories

All about the booze

tended bar at a reception

When it comes to providing alcoholic beverages to your wedding guests, there are typically three options:

  • Full open bar is the most expensive
  • Limited open bar is middle of the road
  • Cash bar only costs a server charge​​​​

With a full bar, your guests can drink themselves into an unlimited stupor, but the price is steep.

A limited bar still gets your guests drinking, but they have limited choices. It often includes wine, beer, and sometimes a cocktail chosen by the couple. Any upgrades are paid by the guests.

A cash bar has alcohol available, but guests pay per drink.

Some people may think a cash bar is tacky.

But here's the kicker:

They're not footing the bill for your entire wedding. You are. And honestly, the people who think that are missing the point of your reception and maybe shouldn't be there.

man gesturing no no no

Also, think connections.

If you have a relationship with a local liquor store, see if they'll hook you up. Or if you've got a stocked bar at home, consider stocking the bar yourself on the cheap.

Just make sure your venue allows it.

The Jams

The Jams

The last thing you want to hear during your wedding reception is this:

insect

You need music.

When it comes to wedding music or entertainment, you typically have two options: a live band or DJ.

And there are ways to cut costs here too, young padawan.

DJ or not DJ

If you're considering a DJ for your wedding reception, consider if you really need a live person for the job.

Maybe instead, spend some time leading up to your wedding creating a playlist of the songs you'd like to hear throughout your party.

The Budget Savvy Bride says:

Musical Notes
  • Play the hits
  • Play 90 percent fast songs & 10 percent slow
  • Choose the top five pop songs this month
  • No silence between songs
  • Change songs every 90 to 120 seconds

As long as your venue has a sound system that you can hook up a phone, music player, or laptop to, then you won't need anything else.

But this is something to think about:

You will need someone to change the music to your first dance and other key songs.

Which brings us to...

The emcee (and no, it's not MC)

Wedding Emcee

Image via tallypress

If you forego a live DJ, you will no longer have a built-in emcee to announce important events like the first dance or bouquet toss.

The Maid of Honor or the Best Man can fill this role?

And here's all they'll have to do:

Most important wedding reception announcements:

  • Bride and Groom Entrance
  • First Dance
  • Family Dances
  • Cake Cutting
  • Bouquet Toss

And there you have it, an emcee for free.

The emcee (and no, it's not MC)

Some couples dream of a romantic live band playing throughout their wedding reception dinner.

But here's the bad part:

Live bands are significantly more expensive than D.I.Y-ing your music or hiring a professional DJ.

We're talking thousands.

So, unless you have personal connections to a group of musicians, you want to skip the live band.

Remember this point:

You just want your guests dancing and having fun. They don't care where the music comes from.

The Pics

Your decorations, food, and entertainment will all live on in your memory.

But your photos will last forever, so you want them perfect.

That said, professional photographers mean big bucks.

Lucky for you, there are options to cut costs here too.

Camera Lens

If your photographer charges by the hour instead of a flat day rate, consider only hiring them for part of the reception.

Look to local art school students or hobby photographers (including friends or family.) Be sure to check their skills ahead of time and ask for a portfolio.

When you invest in a wedding photographer, you are receiving their top-quality equipment and expertise in composition, lighting, and editing. Don't expect the same level of service from a budget photographer.

Think about this when choosing a photographer:

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. -- Dorothea Lange

You wouldn't trust that responsibility with just anybody, so take your time here.

This might be the place to splurge.

Create a #

A social media hashtag is a great way to capture and save candid photos from your guests.

Because here's the thing:

You'll be too busy visiting with loved ones to see everything.

So, use this free hashtag generator, and have your guests use it for all their social media photo shares.

Don't forget to inform!

Print your # on the invites or on the place cards.

After the wedding, search your hashtag and find all of the candid photos captured by your guests.

Do this

Image Printing Service

Image via popsugar

The After-Party

Wedding Afterparty

In some cases, an after-party immediately follows the wedding reception for those who want to party on.

Here's the thing:

It's really unnecessary, and if you're on a budget, you should skip this altogether.

After all:

With the money you saved on your reception, you'll be leaving for your honeymoon before the reception even ends.

If your guests want to carry on partying in your honor, they're welcome to do so...

...on their own dime.

Get Planning

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. -- Oprah Winfrey

On one hand, your wedding reception is a once-in-a-lifetime event. But on the other, what matters most about your wedding reception is the time you share with loved ones.

That's what they'll remember.

And so will you.

So, get out that notepad and get planning.

You can do this thing. It's going to be beautiful.

and

Your piggy bank will remain intact.

Blue Nile Reviews: Complete Guide For Your Diamond Needs

blue nile reviews

One of the biggest parts of a wedding is the ring. Not only for the wedding itself, but for the engagement as well.

Rings are key parts of any matrimony. Not only do they symbolize the bond between partners, but they also act as an important fashion piece and public statement later on.

However, as great as a good diamond is, not everyone has an endless budget to spend on a ring. Blue Nile fixes that by providing you with great rings at many different prices so that you can always get great quality at your budget.

An Industry Giant

Any number of Blue Nile reviews will tell you that it is one of the biggest online diamond realtors. In fact, in 2004 it sold as many engagement rings throughout the United States as Tiffany and Co. It has only grown since that time.

The company offers some of the best diamond rings on the market, especially when you compare cost and quality.

You can get just about every diamond you’d ever need from them, which is one of the biggest reasons so many people choose them over the competition.

In fact, they have nearly 140,000 loose diamonds listed. That gives them one of the largest diamond inventories on Earth.

Any Ring You Could Ever Want

wedding couple holding hands

Blue Nile is a diamond company, which means they offer rings. Lots and lots of rings.

One of the best things about their easy to use website (which makes both tracking and searching a breeze) is that they are bound to have anything you could ever want. Simply slide the bars or narrow your search to specific characteristics.

While there are plenty of options, the company is best known for their exceptional diamond engagement rings.

Here, you have two choices. You can use Blue Nile’s simple process to create your own, or you can purchase one from the site’s incredible selection.

When creating your own, you choose the ring setting and then diamond, which differs based on shape, cut, size, and various other important characteristics.

This buying process will work for anyone, even those who do not have a lot of experience with fine jewelry.

If you are worried or nervous that you’re in over your head, you can also check out the site’s in-depth educational page to find the diamond for you.

Wedding Rings and Fancy Diamonds

diamond wedding rings

Engagement rings are important, but they are not the only thing Blue Nile offers.

The company also makes fantastic wedding bands. That is great for people getting married, and it helps you find both an engagement ring and wedding band in one place.

There are many rings to choose from (both male and female) and they are available in cobalt, gold, platinum, palladium, and carbide.

Furthermore, if you want something a bit more special, Blue Nile also gives you the option to purchase fancy color diamonds. While that name may seem a bit silly, the naturally colored gems are beautiful to look at.

Yellow is the most common color, but the site has them in pink and green as well.

This is not something you’ll see on most wedding websites, but it is a great option to have for when browsing for the perfect stone.

Designer diamonds are also an option. You will find all of the top brands on the site, as well as various special designers.

More than Your Standard Jewelry

wedding ring on woman's finger

As Blue Nile reviews show, the company is known for its diamond rings. However, they offer a few other jewelry options as well.

They have pearls (Akoya, Freshwater, South Sea, and Tahitian) in addition to pendants, earrings, and bracelets. Those can then be outfitted with gemstones, diamonds, or even plain metal.

Their necklaces and earrings can be customized like their rings, while the other options come from excellent pre-made products.

A Multitude of Finance Options

investing a ring

As mentioned above, diamonds can be expensive. Though that is not a problem for some, it is always good to have various price points when it comes to investing in a ring.

Blue Nile offers multiple ways to finance your purchase, allowing anyone to get the ring they love without going over their budget.

First, the company offers the Blue Nile credit card. This is an exclusive card with no interest plan that offers special financing on your purchase, exclusive offers, no annual fee, and easy online account management.

Those traits are wonderful and make the card a perfect option for anyone who plans to make several purchases through the site.

Finance Plans and Price Match

woman wearing wedding ring

The next way to finance your ring is through one of Blue Nile’s special finance plans. These typically include 0 percent interest for 6 months on any purchase between $500 and $1,499 and 0 percent interest for 12 months for any purchases of $1,500 or more.

That is great value, but just be sure to pay within that timeframe to avoid the 27.24 percent APR that comes about after the promotional period runs out.

Finally, another great bonus of using Blue Nile is their price match option. While many companies offer price match, it is rare in the jewelry industry.

By guaranteeing the lowest possible prices the company ensures you get the best deals. As long as you find an identical (or nearly identical) diamond ring at a cheaper price on another site, Blue Nile will lower theirs to match it.

Returns and a Rock Solid Warranty

guarantee price tag

Though diamonds are forever, you never know what may happen in life. For that reason, it always helps to have some extra insurance behind your purchase.

Blue Nile offers that on many different levels, giving you a range of protection not typically available with bigger jewelers.

The bottom layer of that protection is their 30-day full-refund return policy. That will not only give you plenty of time to return a ring if something doesn’t go according to plan, but it also allows you to send it back if you are not satisfied with your purchase.

This also comes with a fully insured, free shipping label that can be sent to you via email.

Backing that assurance is Blue Nile’s lifetime warranty. The company states that they will repair or recycle any ring that is damaged due to a manufacturing defect. They offer customers a complimentary cleaning and inspection as well.

Upgrades and Complete Insurance

diamond stones

Another reason there are so many positive Blue Nile reviews is because, if years down the line you or your partner wants a bigger ring, you can get it.

Blue Nile always gives you the option to return the diamond (as long as it is in original condition) for 100 percent credit towards a new diamond.

While the price of the new diamond must be at least double the cost of the original, this prevents “buyer’s remorse” and ensures that you will always be able to get your perfect diamond even if it takes a little bit of time to afford it.

If you want, you can also ask Blue Nile for an insurance quote. The company has teamed up with Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co., the nation's leading jewelry insurer, to make sure you always get the best possible price.

This is easy to integrate. Simply add the cost of the quote to your total purchase at the time of check out.

Affordable Price Points

diamond ring

It is not easy to get great diamonds at low prices, but this is one area where Blue Nile absolutely shines.

By selling diamonds that basically come straight from manufacturers and wholesalers the company has an enormous inventory with competitive prices.

Almost all of their diamonds come at razor-thin margins, creating a benefit for anyone buying from them.

Another big point of that comes from the fact that Blue Nile is a leader of the online diamond market. That has enabled them to build relationships with some of the largest wholesalers on Earth, creating a system where they can sell high-quality stones at great prices.

It may seem too good to be true in some cases, but it is just one of the advantages of using the site over others.

New Line Technology

ring worn on the finger

Though Blue Nile was slow to catch up to modern technology (something that you will see noted in many past Blue Nile reviews) they have rapidly risen in that area by providing their customers a chance to see any potential diamond before making a purchase.

While they fell behind initially, they have now introduced their own video technology that helps everyone get a great idea of what their stone will look like when it arrives.

All of the images are extremely clear, and they give customers a perfect glimpse into exactly the way their ring will come out once it’s shipped.

This feature may not seem like much, but it is extremely important because it makes sure that you’ll never feel cheated that you paid for something you didn’t want. You know your purchase upfront.

Meeting All of Your Needs

woman holing a ring in focus

Blue Nile is a gigantic company with competitive prices. However, that does not mean much if they don’t also provide great customer service.

The online realtor has many ways to help their potential customers, including a live chat option. The ability to instantly talk and connect to a real person is a great bonus that is becoming more and rarer in today’s increasingly digital world.

Even with more complicated or complex orders, you can be reassured that all of your questions will be answered in a timely and efficient manner.

Another bonus of this system is that, if you’re nervous about the shopping process you can also contact support to get help with picking out your ring.

Beyond that, the company also offer excellent support overseas. Blue Nile ships to all parts of the world, which makes them the best company to buy through when you’re abroad. This applies even if you plan on picking up your order within the United States.

The reason for that is the site lists all prices in local currencies and they will take the extra steps to make sure your package arrives, no matter where you’re located.

Comfortable and Stylish Packaging

stylish ring packaging

Rings, while resilient, can be a bit fragile. For that reason, it is common for people to worry about them being shipped (especially across countries or oceans).

However, Blue Nile understands that and equips their shipments with packaging that is both cushioned and well-designed.

The box works on two levels. One, it protects the jewelry, and two, it looks like a high-quality ring box should.

The packaging enhances your purchase in that it provides you with the feel of a luxury item. This is important because it makes your item feel important rather than just like another package showing up at your door.

In terms of design, the box has sleek, clean lines that bring everything together in a nice way. Though there are more fancy packaging options out there, the minimalist approach from Blue Nile is something that works on multiple levels.

It is not for everyone, but there is no denying that it comes across nicely.

Conflict Free

laying hands

The final point to touch upon in these Blue Diamond reviews is that the company ensures all of the stones it sells are humane.

Many people may worry about purchasing conflict diamonds, but that is not a concern here.

As Blue Nile only works with the world’s most respected suppliers, every diamond is tracked with the special “Kimberly Process” from the mine all the way to the market.

Meeting All Your Diamond Needs

Blue Nile is a company that offers endless options to meet all of your jewelry needs. No matter what you’re in the market for, be it an engagement ring a wedding band or special gift, you will leave satisfied.

It is rare that you can get affordable quality stones, but Blue Nile is filled with them. If you love accessible options behind a clean interface, this is the best site to go with.

Options For Wedding Diamond Rings

Wedding Photography Essentials: How To Pick Your Photographer

wedding photography

Your wedding photographer will capture the most precious moments on the happiest day of your life. So, you shouldn’t put such an important job in the hands of someone you don’t trust or isn’t reliable.

A wedding photographer should be chosen with care. You want to find a professional who has a great reputation for providing brides and grooms with exceptional results. These photos will hang on your walls and be a part of your family’s history from this point forward.

Therefore, you should find only the best wedding photographer who can take care of this very important job for you.

How to Find a Professional in Wedding Photography to Hire

There are several things that you should keep in mind when it comes to looking for a professional wedding photographer to capture your big day. Here are a few steps that will set you on the right path to locating the very best person in the wedding photography industry in your local area.

Choose the Style You Want

wedding prenup

Before you start researching the best photographers in your area, you should figure out what type of photography style you have in mind.

Do you want to have a documentary style of photographs that showcase every little event that happens throughout the day such as getting ready, decorating, or rehearsals? Or do you want traditional portrait style photos of the wedding party, bride and groom, family members and during the ceremony?

These are things to consider when choosing a photographer because there may be some who specialize in certain areas more than others.

Do Your Own Research

wedding memo

Your neighbor or co-worker may know the perfect person for you to hire for your big day who will do a perfect job at your wedding, but it is important that you do your own research to find the right photographer who will meet your specific needs and provide you with the wedding photos that you have always dreamed of.

Check out online reviews for wedding photography experts in your area and take the time to find out what former customers have to say about each one you have in mind. Don’t simply rely on suggestions from friends and family members without giving it a second thought, as that could lead to a huge mistake.

Interview Potential Wedding Photographers

consulting

If you have more than one wedding photographer in mind and are having problems deciding, you should set up a time to interview each one and find out more about their experience with the type of wedding photography you have in mind.

You can either meet with them face to face or you can do an interview over the phone. You may even want to reach out to them online by email or on their social media page. Any way to get to know the photographer better is a good way to help you make the right decision on who to hire.

Request to See Samples of Their Work

man and woman talking over business

You will be able to make a better decision on which photographer you should go with if you request to see a full wedding album of their past work. Most photographers keep several of their prints from other clients to add to their growing portfolio.

So, they should have some readily available to you to help you get a better idea of what they can do. And if they have a website, the photographer is likely to have plenty of samples for potential customers to check out in their own time.

Find out as much as you can about their past work so that you will have a better understanding of what they are capable of doing with your own wedding photos. You may want to view two or three full galleries of their work, as well as some of their additional projects that may or may not involve wedding photos just to get a good idea of their creativity and range.

And be sure to request to see samples of their work that goes along with your wedding venue such as outdoor wedding photos or pictures taken in low light settings.

Be Critical While Reviewing the Album

wwe aregetting married wedding invitation

Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and provide some constructive criticism as needed to the wedding photographer. After all, you will be paying a lot of money for their services if they are hired. Therefore, you need to make sure that this particular photographer is the person you want for the job.

When reviewing the sample album, look for the key moments that you want captured for your own ceremony. Did they get those photos in any of the samples provided? Did they capture the moment when the bride and groom saw each other for the first time? Was there ever too much clutter in the frame or too much going on in the background that took away from the main image?

It is also important that you detect sensitivity when the photos capture people’s emotions. Make sure that the subjects look relaxed and not like a deer caught in the headlights when they are photographed.

Do Your Personalities Mesh Well?

wedding photography in the middle of the water

It may not seem very important at first but check out online reviews for wedding photographers. You will quickly find out if the photographer’s personality doesn’t mesh well with the couple’s, the photo shoot will end up a disaster. This person will be capturing the most memorable day of your life and take photos of you in some very intimate and personal moments. You need to feel comfortable around them so that you can relax and be yourself fin the photos.

Pay attention to their mannerisms while you are talking to them prior to hiring them. Are they anxious? Do they seem timid or do they seem like the type of person who would be the life of the party? They should be able to get along with everyone and make every person being photographed always feel at ease whether it is the mother of the groom or the flower girl.

Getting everyone rounded up for a group photo can be time-consuming and stressful so you want to find a wedding photographer who is calm, relaxed, and capable of waiting around for everyone to gather up for a photo op.

Confirm All Your Photographers

chinese wedding photography

If you are working with a large photo studio for your wedding photos, it is possible that they have more than one photographer on staff and the lead photographer may not be available on the date of your wedding. You will need to specify if you want the lead photographer to take pictures at your wedding on the contract or if you are okay with someone else taking on the job.

If you don’t mind having another photographer do the job, if possible, you should at least meet with them to go over their samples and learn more about their personality before the wedding day. If you are working with an individual wedding photographer, check to see if they will have an assistant with them to help out on the big day.

If you have room in your budget, you may even want to consider hiring a second photographer to take on some of the load, or take a different style of photos if you prefer. Just make sure you confirm who is in charge of what before the wedding day arrives.

Compare All Packages

man taking a look at printed pictures

It is impossible to come up with the exact dollar amount you will pay the photographer until you are sure about which packages you want and how many albums you will need. Packages can range from $2,500 to $15,000 or more for professional photos. So be absolutely certain that you choose the right photographer and you know what you are buying before you sign the check.

When you interview your potential candidates for the job, you should ask for a general estimate for the photos as well as their standard shooting fee, which is very common among professional photographers. You need to find out everything that’s included in the standard package as well as the rates for any extras like special effects or an added engagement photo shoot.

Find out exactly how many hours of coverage are included and how much you will need to pay for any extra time they have allotted.

Ask About Your Rights

men talking in front of laptop

Be sure to find out about your rights as a customer and who owns the rights to all the photos taken at your wedding. The photographer has the right to use them as part of their portfolio and can even place them in ads. Any watermarked images or those that have credit to the photographer can’t be copied without their permission in most cases.

However, there are some studios that will allow you to buy the rights to your photos so that you can print and make as many copies as you want.

Choosing the Right Photographer Is an Important Part of the Wedding Process

Choosing the right photographer for your wedding is an important part of your wedding plans. You want to make sure to get the right person for the job so that you will have many beautiful images of your special day to look back on years from now.

Be sure to read up on reviews and interview several photographers before you make a final decision on who should capture your memorable moments.

Other Stuff You Need On Your Wedding Photos

How Much Should A Wedding DJ Cost?

wedding dj cost

A wedding DJ can be the highlight of any dull wedding reception and if you want to hire the very best in your local area, you will need to be willing to pay the price. In this industry, you often get exactly what you paid for with the most expensive DJ’s having the best equipment, playing all your favorite tracks and having a great attitude that helps get the party started. Choosing an affordable DJ could result in listening to an outdated playlist and little to no communication to help get the crowd involved.

What Is Considered Reasonable for a Wedding DJ Cost?

You don’t want to spend a majority of your wedding budget on a DJ that doesn’t live up to your standards. But at the same time, you want to have a reception that is memorable and fun so that all of your guests will have a great time. This is your way of thanking them for helping you with your wedding and being there for the ceremony. Your parents, best friends, and family members who traveled a long distance deserve the very best.

If you have never hired a DJ before, it is likely that you have no idea what it costs to hire a decent one. This can be nerve-wrecking because you may think you are getting a great deal only to find out that you spent too much money on an amateur. Therefore, it is important to take the time to do a little research of your own and find out how much should a wedding DJ cost.

Wedding planners and event experts agree that this is one of the most popular questions they are asked by brides and grooms. And it actually is not an easy question to answer, mainly because there is so much misinformation out there.

The average cost for a 4-hour wedding reception, for example, will vary based on the level of quality you want. No one wants to pay for a tacky wedding DJ that will only play a certain type of music and never takes requests. So here are a few estimates to consider.

For around $200 to $300, you can get an inexperienced DJ that is likely only working part-time for some extra cash here and there. DJ-ing is their hobby, not their occupation. And while they may take pride in their craft, these DJs are usually not very good.

For $400 to $600, you can get a DJ that will have more experience than a beginner, but it is highly likely that they are also just a part-time DJ and do not dedicate their spare time to improving their skills.

For $1k to $2.5k and up, you can get a professional, well-trained DJ who has more experience than the others mentioned here. They will often work full time as a DJ and that means they are constantly working on their craft to find new ways to improve it.

If you can afford it, the wedding DJ that costs between $1k and $2.5k would be your best option. But unfortunately, most couples can ‘t afford that type of professionalism. Unless you have someone else footing the bill for your wedding, you may have to pass on the professional wedding DJ.

You also have your wedding budget to consider when you start looking for a wedding DJ. If you haven’t paid for all your decorations, your dress, the caterers or the venue yet and you are considering hiring a very expensive DJ. You could run into some issues. Make sure that you filter in the Wedding DJ costs before you make a final decision on who you want to hire.

How to Hire a Wedding DJ While on a Budget

dj

If you are on a tight budget for your upcoming nuptials, you can’t expect to pay out more for a wedding DJ than you do for other important services such as catering or the venue. Here are a few things to consider that may help to decrease your spending so that you can have the perfect wedding and the perfect DJ at your reception.

Consider Hiring a Friend

Conduct Interviews

Go to a Show

Do You Really Need a DJ?

Choosing the Right DJ for your Wedding

party

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when it comes to hiring a wedding DJ. Here are a few facts about wedding DJ cost.

  • The average cost for a wedding DJ is $1k.
  • Most couples spend between $750 and $1,400 for a wedding DJ.
  • The lower range prices for DJ’s is $450 or less.
  • The higher range prices for DJ’s is $2k or more.

Services Offered by a Wedding DJ

disk jockey

A wedding DJ will play music all throughout your wedding reception. They may even play during your ceremony if you don’t have any musicians scheduled. Of course, this would be for an additional fee. The DJ can also serve as the emcee for your reception. They will make announcements to the crowd, introduce speakers such as the Best Man or Maid of Honor and basically take control of the show.

The qualities of a great DJ include an outgoing personality, energetic, being able to read the crowd and in-tune with the latest music hits as well as old favorites that are appropriate for a wedding reception. They know what songs are perfect for father/daughter dances and the first dance between the bride and groom. They also know what songs to play to keep the crowd entertained and moving.

Remember that the high cost of a wedding DJ isn’t just paying for their time playing music. They took the time to put together a witty script for your wedding and a playlist. They also had to travel to the reception site, set up and use their own equipment. Your bill also covers their operational costs and any insurance they may have on their pricey equipment.

What Determines a Reasonable Wedding DJ Cost?

Hiring a wedding DJ can be tricky because many of us have never had to do it before and don’t have anything to compare the price to. Fortunately, there are plenty of review websites available online, but if the DJ you have in mind is just getting started, they may not have many reviews for you to check out. It is often best to go with a DJ that has years of experience, one who is outgoing, and one who DJ’s full time instead of part time. You know that they depend on this work to make a living and therefore they will strive to do a good job for all of their customers. Always be sure to do a short interview with the DJ’s you have in mind and make sure that their personality and attitude will work well at your wedding reception.

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