Tag Archives: bridesmaids

I Do… & I Don’t: A Feminist’s Guide to Being a Bride: The Bridal Party

Our real bride columnist Rachel got married in September this year. We’re following her journey of planning a feminist meets rock n roll wedding.

I’m sad to say I’m the only person I know who has ever been “fired” as a bridesmaid. I was eighteen and the bride was in her early twenties. As the big day came closer, I realised I was expected to pay for my own no-so affordable bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair, make-up, travel and accommodation over the wedding weekend, and for the hen weekend, including all the activities and meals out. I absolutely could not afford to do this, and neither could one of the other bridesmaids who was also in her teens.

I constructed a careful message to the bride, explaining that we simply didn’t have the money and asking if we could maybe talk on the phone about how to make it work for everyone. Minutes later, I received an all-caps response telling me “THIS IS MY WEDDING DAY!!! NOT SOME BIRTHDAY PARTY!” and that I needn’t worry because I was no longer welcome at her wedding… “OR HER LIFE!”.

When I responded, she didn’t reply and we haven’t spoken since. I now realise that this probably wasn’t about me at all, there was clearly a lot else going on and she snapped, plus we were all very young. I still think it’s sad that one day became more important than years of friendship, though. I still think it’s sad that when her marriage ended a couple of years later, we were no longer friends.

When it comes to writing this column, there are a thousand directions I could take. I’m going to stick to the thing I’ve known since that experience when I was eighteen… that my friendships with the people I ask to be part of my bridal party are more important to me than one day of my life, even if it is my wedding day.

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Bridesmaid 101: The Evolution of the Wedding Party

Bridesmaids have been getting a bum rap recently. A modern bridesmaid wears many hats. Party planner, counsellor, keeper of secrets… Let’s be honest, they’re basically a one-woman version of the Queer Eye team, and for that, I fucking salute them!

But when did these close friends go from ladies who turn up to the church on the day in a nice dress (exactly what our mother’s bridesmaids would have done) to pre-wedding slave friends? Emotional punching bags that organise everything from strippers to destination getaways, people who by some people’s measures are expected to go into debt to pay for a dress and talk you off a ledge when the napkins that you ordered are delivered without the lacy imprint?

I am hoping you aren’t that kind of bride (of course you aren’t, you’re a Rock n Roll bride!), but the evolution of the bridesmaid has been swift, and I think rather brutal.

In ye olden times, a large group of bridesmaids provided an opportunity for showing off the bride’s families social status and wealth – the more you had, the higher up the ladder you were. The bridesmaid tradition originated from Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding to outsmart evil spirits believed to attend marriage ceremonies (otherwise known as your future mother-in-law! Boom-tish! Sorry). The bridesmaids and ushers dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn’t know who was getting married. So, it has a bit of history.

Many of our modern wedding rituals are based on traditions, superstitions and social oddities. When you break them down, they are fairly naff. Unless you’re part of the Kardashian clan (and even that’s a stretch), you’re probably not focused on the symbolism and social hierarchy of the bridal party and the only evil spirit that may mar your day is tequila.

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Turn Your Bridesmaids into Rainbow Bright Unicorns with Curious Coco!

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When it comes to looking for bridesmaid dresses, it can be tricky to find anything really, truly unique. Sure, if you want to do the mismatched thing, or the multiway dress thing, or the 1950s reproduction thing it’s getting much easier, but if you want your maids rocking something really wacky and different it can be pretty difficult. While the high street is also a great place to look, it can also be hard to make sure all your girls match and look like bridesmaids, rather than just wedding guests.

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Enter Curious Coco: A new range for alternative bridesmaids from the genius team behind The Couture Company! When I saw this shoot to launch the collection with all that colour and sparkle and rainbow action, I knew I had to share them with you.

“This shoot was created with one mission in mind: Go as bright as you like!” explained Jo, the brains behind The Couture Company and Curious Coco. “In a world of wedding beige we want to splash colour wherever we go. Our aim is to be super bright and offer a real alternative to traditional bridesmaids options.”

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The For Her and For Him Annual Bridesmaid Dress Sale is Now On!

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When it came to finding bridesmaid dresses for my sister’s wedding last summer, I was quick to recommended that we looked at US based For Her and For Him. Not only do they offer hundreds of different styles in every colour you can think of (meaning even the pickiest of bridesmaids is sure to find something she likes!) but their incredible group discount pricing strategy means that the more dresses you buy from them, the greater the discount they give you on your order!

For the start of the new year, they’ve just released their 2017 collection and I’m thrilled to share some of my favourites with you today.

Do you want rich, deep tones for an autumn or winter wedding?

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Or pretty pastels for spring/ summer?

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The 2017 collection features some of the most fashion forward styles too (no frumpy bridesmaid dresses here!) including everything from two-pieces with cropped tops, high low hems, floral patterns and even head to toe sequins!

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Save Up to 30% on Bridesmaid Dresses with For Her & For Him’s Massive January Sale!

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Whether you want your bridesmaids to all wear the same dress, or for them to pick one they like that fits in with your wedding scheme, finding something to please everyone can be a tricky and stressful exercise. However things get whole lot easier when you discover For Her and For Him.

Not only do they have over 500 dresses on their site to choose from, but every gown comes in a range of colours, meaning they’re the perfect option if you want to do the whole mismatched thing. Simply order swatches of the potentials and have a play around until you find the right shade for everyone.

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Not only do this New York company have one of the largest selections of bridesmaid gowns going, but they’re currently having their blow out January sale with up to 30% off ALL dresses on their site. This incredible deal can even be used in conjunction with their year-round offer of group discounts depending on the number of dresses you order.

The good news doesn’t end there though because as always, are still offering free worldwide shipping and a free custom sizing service for all their customers.

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Why is Shopping for Bridesmaid Dresses Such a Chore?

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As a bride, finding that one perfect dress for yourself can be stressful enough, without also having to deal with the overwhelming task of also getting perfect dresses for all your best friends as well.

Bridesmaid dress shopping can seem like an extremely daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be! As long as you go in prepared and you take the initiative to address some of the most common issues upfront (like budget, and finding something that everyone’s happy with), it can actually be quite a fun experience.

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The other option is to bypass the bridal boutiques and high street completely, and hit the web in search of the perfect gowns. One of the best online stores that I’ve discovered is For Her and for Him.

Not only do this New York company have one of the largest selections of bridesmaid gowns going, but they’re currently having their biggest sale EVER. Until January 31st they are offering 30% off every single dress in their catalogue and FREE worldwide shipping!

There are also group discounts available on top of the sale. The more dresses you buy, the bigger the bulk buy discount. Just check out some of these real wedding examples to see how gorgeous your babes will look!

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