January 9th, 2018 | Rachel Parry
There’s no doubt that picking your bridesmaids can be a tricky task, but often choosing what they will wear for the big day can be even more difficult. There are different colours and styles to debate, and while one of your leading ladies might love your suggestions, another could take a little more convincing.
In order to help ensure shopping for your gals is an enjoyable rather than exasperating experience, we’re introducing you to our fabulous Sponsor Hannah of Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids, who has numerous bridesmaid dress designers and styles all under one roof with something to suit all ages, preferences and styles.
Frustrated that there wasn’t a special boutique that catered for groups of ladies to find the perfect gowns for their key role in the proceedings, owner Hannah Robinson set up Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids in North Yorkshire, which has proved hugely successful as news of its unique offering has spread.
With more than 300 different dress styles stocked at the boutique and a full floor dedicated to trying and fitting with spacious changing rooms and comfortable seating for brides to have fun with their bridesmaids, this is serious wedding #girlsquad heaven!
When and why did you decide to set up Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids?
hannah says: I set up the boutique in September 2015, I married in May 2015, and my sister got married the year before. We both really struggled to find somewhere to go to choose bridesmaids dresses. We found we had an amazing experience as a bride choosing our bridal gown but when it came to buying the bridesmaids dresses we were really limited. We couldn’t find a boutique that had a large selection of styles, colours and designers to try all in one place. I thought that there must be a better way to do things which led to opening Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids. I wanted to create the same experience for bridesmaids as the bride has. You choose your family and your best friends to be your bridesmaids, it is such an important and special time.
Where is Joy’s Bella Bridesmaids located and can you describe the boutique?
The boutique is in a rural location between York and Selby, in a converted granary. It’s definitely peaceful and a very relaxed atmosphere. When I was choosing premises for the shop I wanted somewhere a little off the beaten track with a lot of space and plenty of parking right outside. I think The Old Granary is perfect!
Can you tell us a little about the designers that you stock at the boutique?
I stock Sorella Vita, Dessy, twobirds and Amanda Wyatt. I wanted to have the highest quality designers that offer the largest range of styles and colours. Each of my designers offer something different, whether it’s Dessy who offer such a variety of fabrics, Sorella Vita with their sequin collections, twobirds which have such an ingenious solution for a large number of bridesmaids or Amanda Wyatt who have matching styles for all ages.
How do you select the designers that you stock?
A lot of research! The designers have to mirror the image and feel that I am creating within the boutique, they have to be so focused on getting it right for the bride.
Do you also stock flower girl dresses too?
I do stock flower girls dresses, they range from classic ivory dresses with matching sash to so many different styles to coordinate with adult dresses.
November 14th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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…
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.
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?
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!
July 13th, 2017 | Rachel Parry
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!
image source, photography by Miki Photography
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…).
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.
image source, photography by Photography34
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.
image source, photography by Stephen McGowan Wedding Photography
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!)
image source, photography by Emily & Katy Photography
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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