Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

maids made easy (ish!): bridesmaid dress shopping tips

November 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

4.Olegs Samsonovs Photography

Olegs Samsonovs Photography

A post for you and your #girlsquad this afternoon as the focus is on finding the perfect outfits for your leading ladies. Here to suggest how to shop smart and keep everyone onside in the process is our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine.

carrie says: So, the day of choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses has finally arrived. Everyone has assembled excitedly for brunch somewhere uber-chic first (the flowergirls and smaller bridesmaids are meeting you later). There’s a free prosecco fountain in the middle of the restaurant and, obviously, in the background, Bradley Cooper is setting the mood on the harp. You get down to business and brainstorm some dress ideas and are delighted to find your bridesmaids in unanimous agreement on your style of choice – even more surprisingly, they suddenly break into a rousing burst of spontaneous applause. Bradley Cooper is so moved by this show of female solidarity that he sweeps you off your feet and then…you wake up!

Real talk, it’s more likely that the day will begin with your maid of honour calling to say she’s fallen out with the other bridesmaid over hemlines; one of your maids will casually let you know that she can’t possibly wear any shade of pink… or blue; your best friend will reveal she’s pregnant and will be eight months’ gone by the time of the wedding, and your flowergirl lets you know she’s not coming if you try and put her in a dress. Bradley Cooper is nowhere to be seen.

As unlikely (and borderline depressing) as it may seem ladies, choosing your bridesmaids was the easy bit. Whether you’ve gone big and love the thought of fifteen girls of all ages accompanying you down the aisle, or have chosen an intimate and select group of your very closest two besties, there are still potential minefields to navigate. To help ensure nothing but smooth sailing ahead, read on for top tips for dressing your bridesmaids and be ahead of the game when that day of shopping arrives…

twobirds

twobirds bridesmaid

parameters

Being honest with yourself about what sort of a bride you are and your vision for how the bridal party will ‘look’ is paramount. And this is information that needs to be shared with your bridesmaids from the outset. If it’s important to you that all maids wear a particular and uniform style in a colour that you’ve been dreaming of since you were ten (and there’s nothing wrong with this approach whatsoever; in many ways, it makes life easier!), then tell your maids before you go dress shopping. If they’re worthy of the bridesmaid banner, they’ll respect that this is your day and that your wishes are the only thing that matter.

budget

Again, a frank and candid discussion with your best girls about who you anticipate paying for the dresses is needed at the very beginning of the whole process. Bear in mind the overall expense of your wedding for your bridesmaids, including travel, and accommodation etc. Many brides negotiate this often awkward conversation by offering to pay for the dress but ask their maids to cover the cost of shoes. Do also consider the budget for hair and makeup too – will your bridesmaids get their hair and makeup done with you on the big day?

emma-janephotography.co.uk

Emma Jane Photography

measure of the maids

If you see your bridesmaids in styles and colours that are tailored to suit them but loosely coordinate under a general theme, approach dress shopping collaboratively. That picture of prosecco-fueled fun with all your best girls need not be out of the question (sadly, we fear Bradley Copper’s presence might). We women of the world have some incredible insights; get your maids involved with the process! Consider hosting a ‘mood board’ party. Give your best girls some general guidelines then ask them to do their research and bring two or three dress ideas to the party. Put everyone’s ideas up on the wall to pack a visual punch and let the creative juices flow! Out of the mix, a sharper sense of clarity could well emerge, as well as fostering a truly positive dialogue that helps everyone empathise and understand one another’s hopes for, or anxieties about, the big-day look. Plus, this mood board will make an excellent memento for you afterwards!

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lovely littles: keeping your flowergirls sweet

July 13th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Flowergirl 5

image source, photography by Lucy G Photography

It’s that time once again when we hand over the blogging reins to our lovely guest writer, Carrie Marsden of our media partner Love Our Wedding Magazine, to offer her top wedding advice, inspo and ideas.

For today’s post, she’s talking flowergirls, and more specifically, how to keep the fine little helpers on form throughout the big day…

Carrie says: We’re besotted with the idea of a traditional wedding party, complete with the fairytale troupe of gorgeous little flowergirls. Inspired by Pippa Middleton’s recent nuptials and her pretty-as-a-picture party of little helpers, we felt moved to devoting some time to the cutest guests of them all. So, here’s our guide to keeping your precious flowergirls happy, entertained, and most of all, looking gorgeous!

Flowergirl 2

image source, photography by Miki Photography

dress to delight

Little girls love to be dressed as little princesses and as flowergirls, this is their moment in the spotlight! We have heard it on very good authority (from a four-year-old flowergirl, no less) that this was her day, never mind the bride’s! Make sure you factor in shopping trips and fittings with your little ones (if you’re brave enough, do them all in one go!). Absolutely make a day of it with them and share in their excitement – little girls are the best audience for getting excited with (and can talk about princess dresses for hours…).

if the shoe fits

Your princesses will need a pair of fabulous shoes to match that fairytale dress – and little girls’ shoes don’t come any more fabulous these days. Choose from colourful or sparkling options for a flowergirl that likes to stand out, or alternatively a pair of ballerina-style pumps in soft satin for a little lady that likes a touch of class.

Flowergirl 6

image source, photography by Photography34

get them involved

Little ones will love to feel a part of your day, and giving them a little responsibility, whether it’s in charge of holding your veil as you walk down the aisle or throwing confetti as you leave the church – they like to know they’re important! Treating your flowergirls like your main maids will keep them on board and make them feel loved.

Flowergirl 3

image source, photography by Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography

keep them entertained

It’s a brave bride who includes flowergirls in her day and then doesn’t cater for those moments when they get a little bored. Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard; today’s little girls will most certainly be heard if they want to, so make sure it’s for all the right reasons – because they’re giggling to the heavens above and having so much fun! We love the idea of photo booths with children’s dressing-up, as well as including games and sweet stands. A trusty grown-up maid in charge of the little ones is also a top idea (follow Pippa Middleton’s lead and ask your older sister to do it – if it’s good enough for royalty!)

Flowergirl 1

image source, photography by Emily & Katy Photography

say thank you in style

Your little flowergirls will love nothing more than being a part of your day and sharing in the excitement, though it’s nice to rewards their efforts with a gift. Trinkets that say thank you in style include engraved photo frames with you and the flowergirl on the day, as well as lockets and charm bracelets for when they get a little older. Perfect for on the day, however, is a ‘flowergirl teddy’ dressed in an identical outfit to your mini maid, or for that Disney-fairy perfection, a sparkling wand!

Love Our Wedding is stocked by hundreds of top bridal boutiques, venues and fairs nationwide. Visit loveourweddingmag.com to download or order your FREE monthly copy today!

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