Tag Archives: bridesmaids

Bridesmaid 101

kate-moss-sept-vogue-bridesmaids

This may seem trivial and self-centred, but I’ve always wanted to be a bridesmaid. As a child I didn’t once dream about my own wedding day, but I coveted the pretty, flouncy dresses that bridesmaids got to wear and the beautiful bouquets they got the carry. I wanted to do that so badly. “One day”, I thought, “one day it will be my turn”.

But it never was.

I have never been a bridesmaid. I’ve never planned a hen do, held the bouquet for a friend while she said her vows, or had to make a speech. And I’m not going to lie, I was starting to feel a little left out.

So you can imagine my extreme elation when my best friend from University, Carly, asked me to be her one and only bridesmaid when she came to visit last week. In fact I was so excited that the very next morning I was on the phone to a local bridal boutique to see if we could get an appointment to start dress shopping! I am taking my role very seriously as you can see.

I am a massive research nerd, so the next thing I did was to Google “bridesmaid duties” and “things to remember when you’re a bridesmaid.” Sure I might work in the wedding industry, but I want to make sure I do this thing right!

However I was disappointed to discover that nearly all the bridesmaid advice style articles I found on my internet travels came with a heavy dose of snark. What to do if you hate your dress, how to deal with a feuding bridal party, just how much it’s going to cost you… ugh, how depressing. This is not what I wanted to read at all!

So as the antithesis for all those awful articles, here are the real things you need to know if someone has asked you to be a part of one of the most important days of their lives.

Realise that it’s not about you

Your main duty is to help the couple in the lead up to their wedding; it’s not just about wearing a fancy dress and looking pretty! There are lots of little things you can do to assist, so be proactive. Offer to be the one to make the appointments, run errands, stay up late addressing invitations, organise a craft party to make these 100 metres of bunting that she has her heart set on…

Making the process easier and less stressful for your girl is your main prerogative. She’ll have a million things to do throughout the planning so anything you can take off her list will be massively appreciated.

Start with the fun stuff

I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always want to do the fun stuff first! And by fun stuff I of course mean dress shopping! It was the first thing I did when I got engaged and so it was the first thing I suggested Carly and I tackle too.

When it comes to finding that dream dress, all girls are different. She might be a super-eager forward planning type, or a more reluctant, slightly clueless babe. The key to being an awesome bridesmaid is knowing what kind of help your girl needs from you.

I don’t think Carly will mind me saying that she was crapping it about the whole dress shopping thing. She’s gorgeous, but she was stressing about not liking any of them and looking totally ridiculous. Now, I knew as soon as she tried some on she’d a) realise that they’re not as terrifying as she thought and b) that she’d look beautiful in them all. So, my first plan of action was to get her into something big and white so she would realise just how fun this whole wedding planning thing can be.

And it worked! After our appointment last week she turned to me and said “Well that wasn’t too bad, I actually liked a couple of them. I can’t wait to do it again!” RESULT!

By starting with some tasks that you know the bride will enjoy, you’ll help to elevate the “holy-shit-I’ve-got-to-plan-a-whole-wedding” pressure. If you have a nervous bride on your hands, start with the fun stuff – the dresses, the cake, the food tasting! Who cares about doing things in the ‘right’ order? Start with whatever you think she’ll most enjoy and take it from there.

kat carly

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Inexpensive Bridesmaid’s Gifts That You’ll Want to Keep For Yourself

inexpensive bridesmaids gifts

What are you getting your bridesmaid’s as thank you gifts? If you’re looking for something cute, inexpensive and thoughtful then look no further – I’ve done the browsing for you!

Statement jewellery

ForTheMaids

Source: For The Maids

For The Maids make loads of lovely bridesmaid’s jewellery sets. You can get them in squillions of different colour combos too!

Animal masks

sophie and barney silly animal masks

Source: Silly, vintage, rock n roll wedding

Silly masks aren’t just for the photo booth. Any kind of funny mask is sure to get a giggle out of your girls and they’ll look great in your photos. The most important question is… who gets the cow… or the pig!?

A pretty phone case

real flower phone cases

Source: FC Wonders

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: The Rings

So Roo‘s been a busy bee for the past few months. Not only has she been planning her wedding but she’s been up to her cute little eyeballs (can eyeballs be cute? I think hers can!) studying for Uni exams and turning in coursework. So she’s had a little break from writing for the blog recently but I’m pleased to report that she’s back! And as she’s now on her summer break, wedding planning is ramping up full throttle as will be the blog posts. HURRAH.

Over to you sweet cheeks…

Oh yeah this photo of her and Lamb in the sea has nothing to do with the article but I stole it from her facebook because it’s ace

One thing that’s struck me as quite unexpected since getting engaged was the dismay I felt at choosing a wedding ring. Despite owning and wearing quite a bit of costume jewellery, I’ve never really worn anything expensive or precious before, and the notion of having to choose and buy something that I would wear for the rest of my life was daunting, to say the least. Couple someone like me – indecisive, picky, a bit scatty – with someone like Lamb, who’d never even worn any kind of ring before; we were quite the pair. Over the past six months we’ve gone on a few meanders around Brighton’s South Lanes (home to dozens of jewellers) and tentatively looked at the window displays, pricing up metals, shapes, and stones. I tried to explain that the best thing to do was to go in and enquire first about ring sizing services (since Lamb doesn’t know his size) and ask to maybe try on a few and see what suited and fitted. Lamb’s primary concern was that of the ‘hard sell’; that even after we stipulated to a shop assistant that we were only trying, not buying, we’d be expected to make some kind of purchase. Having next to no experience with jewellers, I couldn’t correct him nor agree with him. As silly as it sounds, it was actually a little bit scary.

Besides our shyness, there was also a matter of taste. I for one am all about statement over status – that is, that I’m not so keen on ‘bling’ or expense, I’d much rather have something unusual. This idea was further cemented during a conversation last September with Feather Love’s Noa, when I commented on how gorgeous her wedding ring is. She told me that it cost something like $20 from a market (correct me if I’m wrong Noa), and that when she saw it she just knew it was “the one”. I hoped and expected that the story of my wedding ring was going to be the same.

My engagement ring, vintage from A Second Time. Photo taken the morning after we got engaged on June 22nd, 2011, in Berlin.

This was, after all, how I’d felt about my engagement ring. The moment that I saw it on my finger I knew no other ring could have been mine. My engagement ring was relatively inexpensive, but in my mind I’ve never seen a more precious and priceless ring in comparison. Ergo, it didn’t ever cross my mind that our wedding rings should cost a fortune – I just wanted them to be ours. Besides, it’s not like we have a fortune to hand anyway…

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Something Borrowed, Something Roo: Choosing My Bridesmaids

I’ve been thinking it over a lot this past week, and I figure that we know each other pretty well by now. There’ve been ups and downs as far as our wedding journey goes – so far – and you’ve been there through it all. I reckon I’m right in saying that you all know what makes me tick, but I realise that I’ve neglected to tell you about some of those who make me tick. In this instance, I am talking of course about my bridesmaids.

It wouldn’t be right for me to write this in the usual style of a how to, because the decision to pick (or not to pick) your bridesmaids/best man is such a powerful, personal decision that no one can make it but you. There was a time when I thought that not picking certain people would ultimately offend them or others, but in the end I went with my gut and I chose the people who’ve always supported me and my decisions, and will certainly be a huge part of my life forever.

I feel extraordinarily lucky to know these girls, and luckier still to stand beside them through one of the most important journeys of my life. This isn’t just an introduction for you; it is also a tribute to them, and a public thank you note to express how grateful I am that they’re a part of me, a part of my day, and a part of everything I stand for. I love you girls.

Emma

There is so much of who I am that I owe to Emma, and her unrelenting friendship. She’s like listening to Björk, and eating roast dinners, and falling over in the snow. She’s my identical, and she’s everything that I could want in another person. She’s beautiful and terrifying and on more than one occasion, I believe she’s saved my life. I once stayed in Emma’s house for a whole week watching TV documentaries about dragons, and she taught me that it was okay to cry at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Emma is the single other person on the whole planet who loves CocoRosie as much as I do, and if there’s such a thing as a soul mate or an other half, then Emma is it (sorry Lamb).

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A Colourful Barn Wedding: Paul & Hayley

Paul & Hayley planned their wedding in just four months! They were engaged in July and wanted a winter wedding but the didn’t want to have to wait a whole year…so a speedy engagement it was! They were married in November at Vauxhall Farm in Suffolk.

“We decided that we wanted to decorate the reception ourselves and bring in caterers so Vauxhall Farm was perfect, ” Hayley told me. “It was essentially a big empty barn in the middle of some fields! Our thoughts for the venue styling was lots of colour and lots and lots of fairy lights!! We found lots of vases and lanterns and filled them with fairy lights and strung more lights across the ceiling as well. Our table names were pubs that we love. So we painted the inside of photo frames with chalkboard paint and wrote the names on there, we then gave our guests chalk so that they could wipe off the table name and have some fun!! Someone said that our tables looked like children’s party!”

The couple were lucky enough to have loads of talented friends to call upon to help them with various parts of their wedding. “The band at the church was made up of very talented friends,” Hayley continued. “Paul’s friend Dave Webster is a professional musician so he sang whilst we signed the register, which was beautiful. A friend of my parents made us a 3 tired Carrot cake, with dinosaurs on top! It was so yummy. Another friend did the flowers for us. I wanted a wild, small posy with a mixture of the flowers that my bridesmaids had in theirs (each bridesmaid had a different bouquet to match their outfit!) Our DJ was an old family friend, who actually also did the disco at my parent’s wedding 29 years ago. He was great, the dance floor was literally packed all night!”

Even their amazing wedding photographers o&c Photography, we’re friends of the bride beforehand. “I’ve known Charis for years and the o&c Photography blog has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I always knew that if I ever got married I’d want these guys to capture the day. So when we got engaged before anything was booked we checked their availability! We couldn’t of asked for more perfect photos, they capture our amazing day perfectly. We had so much fun climbing over stiles and running in fields, it didn’t really feel like we were having our pictures taken. They also appear to have spoken to lots people during the day, as so many of our guests have mentioned how lovely they are.”

“We were so blessed by people’s generosity, from giving time to help decorate and make invites, to putting up guests, doing flowers, cake etc. We had a lot of fun making and preparing so much ourselves, it made the day so much more personal. One of my favourite bits was our table plan. We painted a board in chalk board paint and then stuck pegs on it; which held a piece of card with the names of those at the table. It looked really cool! We also asked women to consider wearing hats of fascinators. I LOVE it when I see people wearing them at weddings and therefore wanted lots of people to be wearing them at ours. I think there were only a handful of people that didn’t wear anything in their hair in the end, it made me very happy!”

“If you’ve got the time and energy, do as much as you can yourself!” Hayley concluded. “One fun idea we had was to do with bottles on tables. We’ve been to so many wedding were everyone on the table likes red wine, but nobody white, or nobody is drinking the soft drinks, but they’re still there! So we decided to paint pegs, and use it as bottle currency! Each table had 5 pegs which they could swap for any bottle during the night. People loved it, and it also got people talking on tables were they might not have known each other.”

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Affordable Bridesmaids Dresses & Accessories from Girls of Elegance

Launched in 2004, Girls of Elegance are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of affordable bridesmaid dresses, wedding shoes and bridal accessories. After trading solely online for the past 8 years, in August last year they launched their first dedicated wedding shoe showroom in Dorset, and this February will see them taking Charlotte Balbier wedding gowns into their boutique.

Girls of Elegance pride themselves in the extensive range for bridesmaids, including dresses of all shapes and colours - all for under £100! My favourite has got to be this adorable polkadot dress which comes in at amazing £74.99 and is available in 6 colours. I love it so much in fact that I just nabbed it myself in the mint colour! I love the look of bridesmaids in the same dress but different colours, and wouldn’t this one just be perfect for a country garden themed wedding?

FYI the stock on this particular dress is limited so buy now to avoid missing out!

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