Brides Up North

the big debate: should you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, just because they asked you?

February 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Found on, via Lucky Mag

Image via via Lucky Mag

In this brand new Friday morning feature on the wedding blog, we’ll be debating all the most difficult wedding planning topics. Starting off with an awkward one, we ask: Should you ask someone to be your bridesmaid, just because they asked you?

Found on, Photography by Bryce Covey Photography

Found on, photography by Bryce Covey Photography

rachel says YES:

It’s not that you should feel obliged but if a relative or friend asks you to be one of their leading ladies it’s nice to return the favour, right?

As I see it there are enough catalysts to cause rifts and rows in the run up to a wedding without throwing another in to the mix by not returning the bridesmaid honour to someone who has deemed you worthy of the role.

Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve stepped-up to the position more times than perennial bridesmaid Katherine Heigl in the chick flick 27 Dresses, it might be that you couldn’t possibly return the invitation to all without a hefty entourage following you up the aisle. However, if you’ve had the honour bestowed upon you just a couple of times I think it’s a nice sentiment to include the ladies that invited you into their wedding party in your own.

Think of their strengths and the relationship you have with them and how this could contribute to their role as bridesmaid, in both the approach to and actually on the big day itself. For example, if one of the people that made you a bridesmaid is your go-to when you need a care-free and slightly crazy night out, they could well make a fabulous hen do planner. Likewise you might have been a bridesmaid for a relative who you can discuss your plans with and trust to give you an honest opinion – again, important bridesmaid skills. It could even be as simple as that the individual in question isn’t lacking in the confidence department and so would be the perfect contender to say a reading or poem allowed in church.

While you can preserve the role of maid of honour for your very nearest and dearest, building up a group of varied bridesmaids (rather than those that just look pretty in a dress) can make for a top wedding team. I also think that if you did a good job for them, they will certainly want to do their best for you and having got wed themselves they understand the importance of the role – instead of just thinking it’s a jolly.

Ultimately weddings are a pricey business and if you’re footing the bridesmaid dress bill numbers will have to come into consideration, but where possible it’s sweet for bridesmaid buddies to stick together and keep the peace.

Found on, via Kayla Elizabeth

Found on, via Kayla Elizabeth

julia says NO:

Take some advice from a girl who has pulled on a bridesmaid frock more times than she can actually remember (seriously, Katherine Heigl has nothing on me) and think twice before reading out your bridesmaid honours list.

Bridesmaids. Ask who you want to ask. Don’t ask who you don’t want to ask. And if you don’t want to ask, don’t ask anyone. That’s fine too.

First up: this is absolutely your wedding – you can do things the way you want to.  And secondly, are you sure your best girls wouldn’t rather pick their own hats for your special day?

Don’t get me wrong. Being asked to be a bridesmaid is a big deal.  A sort of public friendship badge of honour. But with great power comes great responsibility. Being a bridesmaid is about more than turning up in a pretty dress – and everyone involved needs to know it.  It’s easy (and fun!) to ask everybody in your friendship circle to take on the job, but before you get carried away in the excitement, take some time to reflect on who you really want by your side on your wedding day, and who you think will be up to the job. It’s not just about holding your bouquet during altar duty, after all.

When it comes to picking the team for your wedding day, it’s easy to get emotional. But that’s exactly the point: this choice should be based on emotion, rather than logic or loyalty. This isn’t a case of tit for tat and everyone’s idea of the perfect wedding is subjective. So what if you did the bridesmaid thang for your second cousin twice removed?! It’s your day, and I’d ask you to choose your attendants based on the people you know and love best.  After all, they’ll be hanging around in your wedding photos forever (and more).

Choose the people that mean the most to you, right now. Who cares if they asked you (or not)? Who cares what your mum thinks? Who cares what your mother in law thinks? This is your wedding.  These are your girls.

If you have to think twice, they’re not the ones for the job.

Your best girls will share in the dress shopping highs, hen night hangover lows, favour bagging cramps and cupcake sampling sugar rushes. Choose them because you love them, not because you think you should. And even if they’re not the same girls you’d choose in another 10 years’ time – so what? – you had lots of fun on the way,

And the ones you thought you left behind? The already marrieds? They’re just relieved.  They never suited peach anyway,

Found on, Photography Taylor Lord Photography

Found on, photography by Taylor Lord Photography

what you said on Facebook:

Adele: “I think if I had been a friend’s bridesmaid I would feel inclined to ask her to be one of mine.”

Shelley: “My best friend was mine but I wasn’t hers as she just had her sisters. Mine was a bigger wedding and was no hard feelings or awkwardness but we really are best mates so totally understood.”

Hollie: “I wasn’t going to have adult maids but then chose two friends who have asked me – I didn’t feel obliged though.”

Suzy: “I wouldn’t ask someone just because I was theirs, and I wouldn’t feel like they should ask me either. Everyone wants different things from bridesmaids.”

Found on, Photography by Stephanie A Smith Photography

Found on, photography by Stephanie A Smith Photography

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lookbook. peachy keen

October 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Wtoo 6501

oh so sweet peaches and cream is set to be one of the hottest colour schemes for 2015 weddings.

Personally I couldn’t  stand the sight of peach at one point as I was doing up a house where all the woodwork was layered in shiny peach gloss (pass the sick bucket) but just recently the pretty blush tone has sneaked back into my good books and so I’m totes in favour of this upcoming trend.

Perfect for those tying the knot in spring and summer, the palette is light, playful and girly.

It’s also a particularly good choice of hues for bridesmaids’ attire as the warm peach and subtle cream work well with pretty much all skin tones. So what are the dress options I hear you cry?

Brides can either choose to find maid gowns that feature both colours or alternatively select frocks in alternating colours, so one in cream and one in peach and so on. Or if they prefer one colour to the other on their bridesmaids they could dress their girls in just one colour, say peach, and then incorporate cream elsewhere in the wedding, like the flowers, décor, stationery or the maids shoes.

Wtoo 693

Dessy has some stunning options, particularly for those looking to feature another top look for 2015 in their wedding – bohemian. Designs such as 2919, 2920 and 6677 are long, flowing and flattering and offer a choice of different neckline options. Meanwhile for those wanting to dress their maids in cute cropped numbers for weddings during the warmer months, design 2780 in ginger and/or cream would fit in with the desired colour scheme perfectly.

Jim Hjelm also has a couple of floor-length and mini maid options in various peachy shades.  The strapless 5410 design with fashionable scalloped edges is a particular favourite of mine that would look great on a young group of adult bridesmaids who aren’t afraid to show off their pins.

Wtoo 772

Meanwhile Dessy’s After Six range and Wtoo have some fabulous options that allow brides to pick different colours for different parts of the dress, meaning they can create their very own peaches and cream showstopper.  Take the Wtoo 772 dress for example, brides can select different hues from a plentiful palette for the top, skirt and ribbon of the dress (the apricot and pearl shades work well with this theme). Likewise the incredibly gorgeous 6675 After Six dress in ginger with the choice of ivory lace over the top creates a delicious winning combination.

And the result – bridesmaids that look good enough to eat!

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Bespoke Bridesmaids! An Exclusive First Look At The New Collection By Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

May 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

This afternoon I’m excited to be bringing you a sneak peek at the newest bridesmaids’ collection from one of my sponsors, Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride.  We’ve heard from Jessica before about the benefits of going bespoke for your bridal gown, and now your bridesmaids can get involved too.

We’d usually wait for a full set of editorial images before leaking news of any big launch, but the lovely ladies at Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride have agreed to share some preview images on these pretty pages first. 

Very special and super exclusive, this is a small collection which encompasses styles and silhouettes to suit every type of wedding and bridesmaid. Within the collection there are styles that can be worn together for those brides that wish to mix and match or there are styles that can be tweaked and altered to suit each bridesmaid when a group girls are being asked to wear the same dress.

I’ve a feeling your best girls are going to love these…

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

Jessica says: We have found that our clients love the opportunity to tweak the designs to make them extra unique and bespoke to their wedding. Our brides are able to choose the colours and fabrics and what type of support the dresses have.  Most of the dresses in the collection can have extra boning in the bodice to give additional support and a super luxe finish.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride  

When designing the collection we wanted to try and move away from the traditional bridesmaid’s dress to a collection whereby the girls themselves will love the dresses they are being asked to wear and feel comfortable knowing they can alter the designs to best suit their body shape and feel at their best.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

We’re really excited to be able to launch this range in addition to our couture wedding dress service. The collection will continue to expand over the coming months as we introduce new designs.

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride

If you are interested in finding out more about Jessica’s bespoke bridesmaids range please get in touch at to book a consultation. 


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride 

Jessica Bennett Bespoke Bride is a Brides Up Northh Featured Supplier and this is a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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Blossoming Bridesmaids

May 12th, 2014 | Rachel Parry

Did you catch our exciting news on Thursday?  The Brides Up North team has grown!  The lovely Rachel joins our editorial team, and you’ll be hearing a lot more from her every week on these pretty pages. Opening the blogging for another beautiful week, it’s our Rach, on blossoming bridesmaids…

twobird Classic Gowns long in Coral, 

The Classic Gown by twobirds bridesmaid 

Rachel says: You’ve been asked to be a bridesmaid which is a great honour – you’re excited and flattered though you can’t help feeling ever so slightly anxious as you wait to find out what dresses the bride will pick for you and your fellow maids. Will it be a flattering colour, fit, style? Or are you going to be thrust into the limelight feeling massively uncomfortable while the entire experience is captured on camera? Even if you weren’t keen on the dress choice you’d have to grin and bear it right? It’s ultimately the bride’s decision, it’s her big day and you don’t want to add to her pre-wedding stress now do you?

I feel there may be one exception to this underlying rule though – a bridesmaid with a baby bump.  I have great admiration for these ladies – especially those who will be approaching their due date when the big day arrives.

Alfred Sung style M423,

Alfred Sung style M423

Not only does a pregnant bridesmaid have to worry about what she will look like and how she feel at the point the wedding arrives, but also who are the other bridesmaids and how will she compare on the day with a hefty bump, enhanced breasts and the strong possibility of a sweaty, I mean glowing, appearance?

I feel mutual respect is key in such as situation – it is ultimately the bride’s decision, but she should take the feelings of her pregnant bridesmaid into account when selecting the bridesmaids’ attire so that all maids feel equally comfortable and attractive.

Dessy Collection style 2904,

Dessy Collection style 2904

Dessy Collection style 2909,

Dessy Collection style 2909

Dessy Collection style 2913,

Dessy Collection style 2913

One option for pregnant maids is to buy a regular bridesmaid dress several sizes too big and get it altered by a seamstress nearer the time. This can work out fine though it is rather difficult for a bride to predict what stage her fluctuating weight gain will be at on the big day or in which areas she is going to expand. Therefore, in order to avoid numerous costly alterations and the dress being chopped and changed within an inch of its life, brides should consider what styles and fabrics of dresses will be most flattering and forgiving on their pregnant maids.

twobirds - High-lo Gown with sash,

twobirds – High-lo Gown (above and below, with and without sash)

twobirds - High-lo Gown without sash,

Another option is to choose a maternity specific dress in the same colour and fabric as the other maids’ dresses, or alternatively, choose a maternity-friendly dress for all your maids that the pregnant bridesmaid can buy simply buy in a slightly larger size for that little extra space.

Designers including Dessy and Alfred Sung have maternity specific dresses as well as designs more suitable for pregnant maids such as pretty A-line dresses and floor-length, flowing frocks. Meanwhile, twobirds is a great example of a designer with maternity-friendly options that will look equally attractive on pregnant and non-pregnant maids. Its Classic Gown (top image) has an empire waistline below the breasts which provides some support while its straps can be tied in 15 different ways for various looks and further support for those that need it. The loose jersey-blend material skims over bumps beautifully for an overall flattering appearance. The designer’s latest Hi-Lo Gown (above) is another maternity friendly option. It’s a strapless dress but with a built in bra in the same comfortable material as the Classic Gown which can be worn with a sash, to cinch the waist, or without a sash for a fabulous floaty feel.

Watters Bridesmaids Juniper style 3535,

Watters Bridesmaids Juniper style 3535

Watters Bridesmaids Max style 5537,

Watters Bridesmaids Max style 5537

Wtoo bridesmaid style 919,

Wtoo bridesmaid style 919

Now there’s just the question of suitable shoes to consider!


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 as credited

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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Here Come The Girls! High Street Honey: Monsoon

February 19th, 2014 | Julia Braime

High Street Honey Monsoon

1. Effie Dress, £169;  2. Dallas Dress, £109;  3. Ava Dress £99;  4. Ania Dress, £139;  5. Crissy Dress, £119;  6. Evina Dress, £179;  7. Beatrice Dress, £139;  8. Bonnie Dress, £89;  9. Lyra Dress, £139;  10. Lainie Maxi, £179;  11. Lorena Maxi, £119;  12. Lyra Maxi, £179. 

You know we’re not adverse to a bit of high street browsing here at Brides Up North HQ in our quest to uncover the prettiest bridesmaid offerings and bridal accoutrements out there – in boutiques, online and by pounding the pavement.  It’s a hard job… yaddah yaddah yaddah. 

This afternoon, step forward Monsoon, with their tonal selection of pretty gowns in a wash of muted red, white and blue.  Given our recent weather, Monsoon may not be the best named retailer on the block, but in terms of bridal party offerings, it’s as good as a day on the beach. 

Click here to check out my other recent High Street Honey finds


Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog – Images © 2014 Monsoon

This is not a sponsored post

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier 

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