March 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
via weddingchicks.com, photography by Peaches & Mint
Another Friday, another meaty topic to get our blogging teeth into. Today we discuss a topic that we covered as Official Blogger for The North West Wedding Fair’s magazine this spring and one that many brides-to-be struggle to make a call on – whether or not to involve your bridesmaids in the decision making process when choosing their outfits for the big day.
rachel says: let them choose!
One of a bride-to-be’s top priorities is naturally going to be to look and feel the very best she can for her moment in the limelight. However not too far behind should be the same thought for your bridesmaids, for they too are playing a key role in the proceedings and will not thank you for putting them in unflattering designs and uncomplimentary colours.
Too many cooks can spoil the broth – agreed, but going ahead and choosing the bridesmaids dresses without consulting or involving them is undoubtedly going to lead to some miserable maids come the big day.
You don’t necessarily need to take all your leading ladies on the first shopping trip, but having a discussion with them beforehand will help no end. This gives an opportunity to talk about what colours and designs are on the short list and for a bridesmaid to raise her concerns if she truly feels a certain suggestion would not suit due to her complexion, hair colour or figure.
It’s also an opportunity to discuss the price range, particularly if you are just putting a contribution towards the dresses, or are asking the maids to fully foot the bill for their attire.
The respect has to come from both sides to result in a winning wedding party that looks and feels great on the inside and out. So I say get the gals on board for a shopping trip that you can all enjoy while being honest and fair in your suggestions and choices.
julia says: it’s your decision!
Picture the scene – you’ve found the perfect gown for your maids, it’s in the right price range, it’s the right colour and would fit into the theme beautifully. But come shopping day when your friends see it they each find something they don’t like about it, and worse still they each find a totally different dress that they prefer. Bride meltdown alert.
While in theory it’s a nice idea, including all the bridesmaids in the dress decision making is likely to lead to endless and highly-stressful discussions, shopping trips and tiffs.
To keep the peace I suggest that you build up a mood board of bridesmaid dress ideas that would work well with your big day styling and then run them past a few choice people, such as your mum, the groom and your maid of honour, to get honest feedback before making the final call.
While selecting the shortlist you should also consider your maids’ colouring and figures to try to ensure they will be fairly happy with the outcome. If the maids are buying their own dresses it’s also important not to ask too much of them by looking at designs that carry a high price tag. You might consider intentionally mismatched gowns that work along a particular style or colour theme so they stand more chance of pleasing all parties while still working to your overall vision.
But when all said and done it’s your big day and the ultimate decision should be down to you.
via weddingchicks.com, Photography by Tealily Photography
what you said on Facebook:
Kerry: “Minefield! I chose them for my special girls and with a slight apprehension handed them out… but they were all well received and my girls are happy…at least to my face!”
Keli: “I’ve given mine a colour scheme but let them choose their own! All of them are completely different in personality and body shape so really wanted them to just have something they’re happy with.”
Emma: “I’m paying so I’m deciding!”
Sarah: “My friend (the bride) set up a Pinterest group of possible options for us all to share. Her budget was really tight and last minute. Three of 4=four bridesmaids met up with her and went shopping together, luckily we found one we all liked and that suited us all, it was over her budget so we all paid the difference each. I’d rather pay towards something we all liked than be uncomfortable.”
Rachel: “With six bridesmaids aged 40 to 13 who are all shapes and sizes I ‘ve chosen their dresses. That said I showed them all a picture before they were ordered and they like them.”
February 13th, 2015 | Julia Braime
Image via brit.co 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?
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 brit.co, 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,
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.”
October 28th, 2014 | Rachel Parry
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.
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.
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!
May 27th, 2014 | Julia Braime
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 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.
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.
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.
If you are interested in finding out more about Jessica’s bespoke bridesmaids range please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation.
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…
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
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 2909
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 (above and below, with and 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 Max style 5537
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
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