8 bridesmaid must-haves for the wedding day (and some will surprise you)

bridesmaids in white dresses with bride

(Above: Style 6740 in Palomino)

Looking forward to being a bridesmaid soon? 

Here are eight things you need to have in place before the big day - and some of them may surprise you. 

1. Attitude

Let's start with attitude. You need to have the right one. Not just on the day itself but from the moment you agree to being a bridesmaid until you wave the newly weds off. This means being co-operative with the bride and what she may request of you, understanding that there are other bridesmaids and everyone's personality is different.  If there is something you don't agree with, simply talk to the bride or the maid-of-honor calmly about it.  The less drama the bride has leading up to the wedding the better.

2. Appointments booked

Get your hair, nails, make-up, pedicure and dress-fitting appointments in place well beforehand, so you get the time slots you want (and don't miss out on a beauty treatment).  Don't wait until the last minute to pick up your dress from the dress shop, that adds stress for the bride.

3. Bridesmaid emergency kit

What? Don't panic, it's not as dramatic as it sounds. Bridesmaids need this stuff on the wedding day: Tissues, nail polish (and remover), safety pins,  bobby pins, hair clips, hair spray, makeup, pain relievers, panty hose, deodorant, chewing gum, some snacks and most importantly water.  

4. Flats for after the ceremony

We're not just talking about shoes for the wedding, those should be comfortable and be whatever the bride has asked you to wear. However, for afterward (and maybe the dancing) you'll want a pair of bridesmaid flats or flip-flops so you can relax at the party. 

5. A free-ish schedule

The bride shouldn't expect you to be available for absolutely everything wedding-related (or she'll be in danger of being called a 'bridezilla'). However you should be available to her for dress shopping, the bachelorette party, wedding shower and any other details she may want you to handle.


6. A point of view

Your opinion and view on the bridesmaid dresses is important for the bride and other bridesmaids, so don't be afraid to tell her and the other girls what you think about certain styles. If you think that different necklines and lengths would suit better then say so. 


7. Money

You could be spending a lot of money, from the dress, to the events and everything in between. Being a bridesmaid has a cost, so make sure that before you say yes, you have enough to shell out for what is asked of you.

8. Bustle technique

It may be up to you to 'bustle' the wedding dress. So take a bit of time to learn how to do it properly (and have a practise). It's always good to have a back-up in case the chosen bridesmaid can't do it. 

Bridezilla symptoms - are you suffering from this pre-wedding illness?

Bridezilla

Bridezilla sickness can creep up on you without you even being aware of it. And it can have some devastating effects - like friends not speaking to you, people avoiding you, arguments .... 

As with any illness, prevention is better than cure. So here's how to avoid it and spot the symptoms if you think you might already be affected. 

You're feeling very, very angry. Quite a lot of the time

Happy, what's that? If you find yourself more angry than happy while you are planning your wedding, then you're probably well into the mid-stage of this disease. Take a step back, take a deep breath and try some meditation. 

Demanding? Me?

Are your bridesmaids giving you the side eye? Then you're probably demanding too much. Okay, so they have duties but they don't have to devote their lives to you and your wedding. If you want to keep them as friends, then step back a little and hold off on the demands. 

"I haven't got time"

Don't have time to go to the movies? Walk the dog? Visit your mom and dad? You have other things than wedding planning in your life you know. Make time for them and keep wedding planning in a predefined slot. 

You think your phone is broken

It must be, because your friends, family and suppliers aren't returning your calls or e mails. Right away. Well, here's some news for you. Your phone is working just fine, it's just that they are tired of being given every minute detail. You don't need to send thousands of What's Apps, e-mails or calls to make sure everything is going well. Let people get on with their jobs without endless chasing. 

Your fiancé has a headache

You don't need to share every conversation and every problem that is going on with your wedding to a point where it is creating arguments with your fiancé. Wedding planning shouldn't be a reason to argue, but a time that you two celebrate because it goes beyond the wedding, it's about the two of you. 

Your credit card has stopped working

Take a step back and prioritize what is important on your wedding day and what is less so. If you are on a wedding budget, splurge only on the must-haves, not on everything because of the vision you have created about your wedding day.

Your bridesmaids WILL wear what YOU want. No question.

You want every girl to wear a four inch heel, you expect them to all get their hair and makeup done at the same place, you want a short dress when some of your girls would look better in long ones, simply because it's what you want. No, that's not the way to go. Let them have a say in their shoes and their bridesmaid dress style and maybe go for deliberately mismatched bridesmaid dresses so that all your girls are happy (and feel pretty). 

 

6 novel ways to decorate your wedding tables on a budget

Your wedding tables are going to be such a focal point at your reception. And you really want them to have the wow factor so that when your guests walk in there's a delighted hush as everyone admires your choices. 

If you're DIY-ing your wedding quite a bit yourself - and even if you're not - it's always handy to have a bit of extra inspiration so that you can discuss table decoration ideas with your wedding planner, stylist, florist, mom, best friend or whoever you want to confide in. 

We've searched around and here are 10 of the best ideas we've seen lately to decorate your wedding tables on a budget.

(Image via Want That Wedding)

1. Greenery and candles

This is a good option if you're on a wedding budget because greenery tends to come in a bit cheaper than flowers. Pick out a burlap table runner (or buy a length of burlap and cut it to fit) and then arrange long trailing fronds of greenery on top, with tealights. Sorted. 

(Image via Want That Wedding)

2. Dramatic table runners

Strike a contrasting note with table cloths or table runners in unexpected designs, like the dramatic monochrome stripes above. (You can soften the look with tealights and simple flowers in vases). If you want to work in your wedding theme this is a good way to do it. Be creative with the fabrics you think about - you could choose runners in sequins or florals. Runners are great for wedding decor because you can buy the fabric yourself and you really don't need that much - it's just to create an effect. Runners draw the eye and if you don't have the budget for large arrangements of flowers on the table then a runner will still provide an attractive focal point. (They tend to work best on long tables rather than rounds).

(Image via Tara Nicole Weddings & Events)

3. Tall vases

This is a very classy look. If you have the budget, a cascade of roses and trailing blooms look amazing and the beauty here is that your guests can still converse freely over the table - their sightline isn't blocked. If you're on more of a budget then you can fill the tall vases with long stemmed lilies or clouds of inexpensive gypsophila.

(Image via Inside Out Magazine on Pinterest)

4. Balloons

Choose oversize balloons in a matt finish (and they have to be filled with helium so they float upwards). Balloons in a color to match your theme can transform a wedding event very simply and easily. Here they pick out the shades of the pale pink roses used on the tables. Which shade would you choose?

(Image via Papery and Cakery on Pinterest)

5. Technicolors

What could be simpler? Choose white blooms (daisies work well, as shown here) and place them in clear glasses filled with different shades of food coloring. There's a rainbow theme going on above but you could really play around with this one, adding more water or more color to create an ombre wedding theme (shades of blue, pink, green) ... 

(Image via Pinterest)

6. Good old Mason Jars

Where would we be without them? Fill them with colored glass beads (available from crafting shops), top up with water and put a lighted tealight on top. For added visual interest tie a raffia bow around. That's a lovely idea for a rustic wedding theme but you could also use gingham fabric, sequin ribbon ....  a really good way of tying your theme together. Literally. And they will look so pretty on your wedding tables.

 

 

Burgundy bridesmaid dress inspiration - your girls are going to love this classy shade and style

Burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Classic, elegant, flattering for all skin tones and never dates - look at the burgundy bridesmaid dresses shown above at real weddings by Dessy and we think you'll agree. 

Burgundy (or maybe think of it as claret, merlot or deep red) is a shade that looks good on blondes, brunettes, girls with fair skin and freckles and girls with darker skins. 

Match it with lighter pinks in your bouquets and greens and you've got a really beautiful wedding theme going on. (Take a look at our Burgundy wedding theme ideas here for inspiration). 

Burgundy flowergirl dresses

Your little flowergirls are going to feel very grown up wearing this shade and if you don't want a block color, then match a Dessy flowergirl dress in white or cream with a burgundy sash. Very sophisticated for a little lady. 

As for your bridesmaids - the hardest part is going to be choosing which style. We're loving the mismatched bridesmaid dresses this bride chose. (Bet her friends loved having individual styles too). 

mismatched burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Sequins are really on trend just now and if you're having an evening wedding and want your bridesmaids in something a little slinky, then these burgundy sequin bridesmaid gowns would look completely fabulous. Choose either strapless, spaghetti strapped or maybe opt for burgundy sequin bridesmaid separates? 

sequin burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

And if one of your friends has announced her pregnancy you'll find burgundy maternity bridesmaid dresses here. They're so flattering and pretty for ladies in waiting!

maternity burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

Sometimes it's hard to decide whether your girls should wear long or short bridesmaid dresses. It really depends on your style of wedding day. If you're getting married earlier in the day and it's hot, then a short dress could be perfect. Short cocktail-style bridesmaid dresses also look sassy at evening weddings if you're having a buffet style event rather than a formal sit down dinner. The best thing to do is look at plenty of different styles and ask your girls what they think. 

short burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

We're big fans of dressing your bridesmaids in individual styles because every girl has a different shape and different styles will flatter (and disguise). So some of your girls might be happier wearing a burgundy bridesmaid dress with sleeves whilst others are happy in strapless or spaghetti straps. 

burgundy bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

 All burgundy bridesmaid dresses featured here by Dessy - discover the full range here. 

 

Why you need to be REALLY careful when picking your maid of honor

grey bridesmaid dresses by DessyDeciding on who should be your maid of honor is by no means easy. 

There may be several girls in your life who would be ideal. And there may be girls who are hinting that they really want to be asked (but you're not so sure they'd be up to the job.)

Close relationship

You need somebody who knows you well and with whom you have a close friendship - they can be family or a girlfriend. Think about who wants what's best for you and your wedding day and will be honored to be by your side. (This might not be your girlfriend who's the most fun - really you want somebody steady and reliable.)

An organizer

On the other hand, you don't want somebody who is so efficient that they are going to organize you too much (and maybe not listen to your ideas). It's a balance - somebody who is going to be like an executive assistant who works and develops your plans!

A delegator

In turn your chief maid of honor will have to give tasks to other bridesmaids. Deciding who is going to hold the bouquets if your train needs to be carried whilst you walk down the aisle. Who is going to hold your dress when you need to use the bathroom. Who is going to keep an eye on the little flowergirls. 

Reliable

You want somebody you can trust. Somebody who will be there for you, not cancel at the last minute, not turn up hungover and not drink too much at the reception. 

Your choice

It's up to YOU to decide who you want to be your maid of honor. You're probably going to come under a bit of pressure from family and friends to choose somebody in particular. But if you don't think they're right for the job, don't pick them. Choose somebody who feels right for you. Go with your gut instinct on this one. 

Close

It's best not to pick somebody you don't know very well or somebody you haven't known long. Make sure you've had a few experiences with them and heart-to-heart chats and that you know them pretty well. 

A good maid of honor can add greatly to the success and pleasure of your big day. A bad one ... well, you really don't want to go there. So pick carefully. 

 

What you MUST think about before you agree to being a bridesmaid

bridesmaid in peach color dress

It's a tricky one, that's to be sure.

Your BFF, sister, cousin or another close friend is getting married and the atmosphere is infectious. It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement yourself and say 'yes' when she asks you to be a bridesmaid, without thinking it through. 

(And you may be surprised to have been asked anyway.)

Are you ready to be a bridesmaid?

It's actually quite a commitment in many ways, particularly if the bride has asked you to be her chief maid of honor. 

So here's a few things that you need to be thinking about before you agree.  

  • Can you afford it? This may (or actually it may) not be first thing you think about when you say yes, but you should take into consideration whether you can afford to be a bridesmaid. Depending on your role in the bridal party, you will be paying for a portion of the bachelorette party, bridal shower gift, a bridesmaid dress, shoes, hair and makeup, gifts for the bride and groom. And any other incidentals that may come up.
  • Do you have the time? We all have our own lives even, when someone close to us like a friend and family member is getting married, so you have to stop and think whether you really have the time to devote to the bride and the tasks at hand. Will you need to take time off work or away from home for the necessary appointments and the wedding? While it's hard to predict what happens down the road, if you know you cannot devote the time to being a bridesmaid, you may have to politely say no.
  • How close are you to the bride? Before you say “yes” to being a bridesmaid, you may want to consider how close you actually are to the bride. This is important because you will be spending a lot of devoted time and money on her, so it is important to weigh this out before stepping forward as a bridesmaid.
  • Do you have the patience  to be a bridesmaid? If the answer is “no” then you may want to consider not saying “yes” to the bride. You will need to be prepared to provide an ear and emotional support when the bride is stressed out. Are you prepared to wear a dress that may be less than flattering for your body type? Because unless the bride is really thoughtful, she may have already decided what you will wear, without taking into account what her maids would prefer. 

What to say if you'd rather not

It's much better to be upfront early on and politely decline the offer, rather than feel frustrated and put upon by the demands being made on you. Your friendship is much more likely to survive if you keep a little distance and your boundaries intact. 

If the bride asks why, you could say that you want to be 100% there for her but work/family/financial/location commitments will make it difficult and you don't want to let her down. 

Explain that while you are thrilled to be asked, you think the bride would be better off asking somebody else. Instead you could ask to be given a particular task that you can manage - for example scouring eBay for vintage brooches for a vintage-styled wedding day. Ask the bride what she needs help with in the wedding planning and take over responsibility for a role you can manage. 

That way you won't fall out and you'll still be a help to the bride and there when she needs you.

Main image via Dessy Facebook page 

How to choose your wedding veil so you look beautiful in your photographs

Your wedding veil should be a soft whisper and not overpower your dress in any way.

When choosing it you need to think about these three key things.

  • The length length
  • The trim / edging and detail
  • Its position on your head and how it will work with your hairstyle and tiara  

 

1. Length

The length of the veil you choose will depend on the style of your wedding. A cathedral length veil will not work in a small intimate civil ceremony. Equally a funky vintage birdcage will not work in a cathedral!

Cathedral is full length and will come to the end of your train; this length is dramatic and almost ethereal and just frames any gown with a soft mist of tulle - so so dreamy. Tall and small girls can make this length work well.

Hip Length is also known as fingertip and literally ends at your fingertips, these look best on tall girls as they make petite girls look smaller. They are perfect for girls who simply find the whole full-length veil overwhelming and they are best for less formal weddings.

Shoulder length is precisely that. It sits just beyond your shoulders and will work on any height of bride. These can look soft and gentle and are simply lovely and really easy to wear.

2. Trim/Edging - what will go with your dress?

This can get complicated. There is ribbon edge, soft stitched edge, cut edge and a lace edge. Ribbon and soft stitched are classic and non fussy and will work with most dresses, lace edge looks fabulous with lace dresses to enhance the vintage feel or to dress up a plain gown. Plain cut edge will work with any dress and create a soft tulle halo.

Make sure your choice enhances your look and remember that the veil is the accessory not the show stopper - it's all about you in the dress!

3. Position of your veil - and where to wear your tiara / headband

The most modern way to position your veil is to wear it towards the back of your head, just behind the line of your ears. This will mean it sits behind your shoulders, it will also feel less intrusive to wear. If you are wearing the blush over (that's when you wear it up the aisle) then you will need it further forward or it will simply stick to your lipstick - which is not a good look on your finest hour!

Most brides wear a tiara or headband and the veil should sit comfortably behind your tiara. If you are wearing a side set comb then the veil should still be worn centrally.

Make sure your hairdresser secures your veil into your hair style so that it doesn't slip on the day.

How to wear a veil

You're obviously going to want your carefully chosen wedding veil to feature in your photographs - but getting your look right and photographed perfectly is a real art. Here are some key tips for being photographed beautifully in your wedding veil.

Ideas for veil shots

    • Cathedral length full veils should really be shown off at their best fully displayed out behind the gown. Just think of Kate Middleton on her wedding day.
    • Ask the photographer's assistant to fluff the veil (as if you were shaking a quilt) so the veil flies up and the photographer gets a shot of the veil in the air falling.Getting a bride to spin around whilst holding the veil out lets it spin round, offering a energetic and fluid photograph.
    • The bride and groom both under the veil can work but ONLY if the couple are facing and looking at each other. Eyes towards the camera is a big no-no as they can look like they are caught in a fishing net!
    • The MUST HAVE shot is the bride's father putting the bride under the veil before setting off down the aisle to meet the groom - and the moment when the groom or father removes the veil from the bride's face and she sees her bridegroom at the altar. Whatever happens it will always be a shot charged with emotion.
    • The bride shot from above walking down a staircase, veil trailing behind her.

Veil shots to avoid

    • Check when the groom is holding the bride in an embrace that the veil isn't being pushed into an unnatural shape or worse bunching up above her head.
    • If it is really, really windy, seriously consider removing the veil for some of the bridal portrait shots. If it is a full veil it will be blowing everywhere and the bride's expression might not be that relaxed.

 

 

 

 

How to get a polka dot wedding theme to perfection

Polka dots are starting to have a real moment in weddings just now.

You'll see this classic design on everything from shoes, dresses, hosiery, stationery and cakes.

It's the real pattern of choice for couples looking to bring a little more pop into their wedding by having a polka dot theme.

Why polka dots?


Polka dots can be be fun, whimsical and playful when woven through your wedding decor and accessories.

They work well with a variety of color combinations and patterns. Any bright color will do, and if you are looking to do lighter colors for your wedding, those work too!

We've focused here on a classic black and white polka dot colorway, but pastels look fabulous, as do primary colors. 

You can also mix polka dots up with stripes. 

Spot the bridesmaid

Mixing polka dots with block colors is a really stylish way to dress your bridesmaids. Match a black bodice with a polka dot skirt, or the other way around. Dress one of your girls in a polka dot cocktail frock for a vintage look. 

Bridesmaid dresses by Dessy. Left Alfred Sung Style D755FP, right Alfred Sung Style D696FP

Left Junior Bridesmaid JR533CP, right Junior Bridesmaid Style JR544CP 

Here are some other ways you can incorporate polka dots into your wedding day.

42-polka-dots-and-spots-wedding-ideas-9-500x714--600

This is a great way as the bride to incorporate polka dots as part of your wedding attire. Wear polka dot hose under your wedding dress. Photo featured on WeddingMania.com.

Polka-Dot-Wedding-Linen

Want to keep things subtle and low key? Polka dots can offer an elegant touch too, as you can see from this table setting. (By the way, we've loving the rose-themed slip covers on the chairs!) Photo by Vick Photography 

Fuoti-Walsh_0803_2013-thegirlt-2732319625-O

If you are looking for some cake inspiration for your spring wedding, let this be it. Polka dots and wedding cake? Um, yeah! Photo by The Girl Tyler Design and Photography

thebridaldetectivepolkadotsign

This way to the polka dot themed wedding! Small accents like this are spot on for spring and summer weddings. 

A 12 Point Checklist for Planning a Last Minute Wedding

last minute wedding (Image by Steve Jurvetson)

Short notice, off the cuff weddings can be very romantic. You can't wait a moment longer - you want to get hitched IMMEDIATELY (or as least as soon as possible).

Ignore the pessimists

Now, you don't need to worry about all the pessimists who'll tell you that you'll never find a wedding venue that's free, that you haven't a hope of finding a bridal hairdresser to sort out your crowning glory, that every single florist and matrimonially expert photographer in a 100 mile radius is booked.

You see what you do is get married midweek -  which can avoid all the problems of eleventh hour marriage planning.

It can also make the whole ceremony much less expensive and there are some great last minute wedding deals to be had. Many hotels, car hire companies, caterers, bands and DJs offer considerable discounts for weekday weddings. Brides can benefit from a much less hurried service from hairdressers and make-up artists (who will probably be stacking up the bridal clients on a summer Saturday.) 

 

A post shared by Prasha_S (@prasha15) on

Here's your 12-point checklist for planning a last minute wedding 

We've covered the bases, so you don't need to worry about forgetting anything.  

  1. Check potential dates with principal guests
  2. Ascertain the availability of a registrar or priest
  3. Book the venue
  4. Draw up a guest list and send invitations
  5. Brief your wedding co-ordinator or planner. They should be able to recommend key suppliers such as photographers, dressmakers, formal hire, florists, cake makers and local bands. They should also be able to advise on local hotels, B&Bs and taxi firms.
  6. Make a gift list
  7. Book your hairdresser and make-up artist
  8. Buy the rings
  9. Book the wedding night accommodation
  10. Plan menus and running orders with timings with your co-ordinator
  11. Choose a honeymoon
  12. Enjoy your batchelor/batchelorette parties, relax and revel in the day!

Four different bridesmaids. Four dresses to suit...

blush pink bridesmaid dresses

We girls come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are tall and some are small. Some are curvy and some skinny. And many of us are between.

So when you're choosing your maids you're almost certainly going to find that different girls suit different dresses. Which we understand completely at Dessy.

That's why we've designed a range of gowns to suit every girl (and even bridesmaid dresses for pregnant ladies).

Above I've picked one of the Dessy colors - blush - and picked out four completely different dresses to show you what I mean.

For girls with curves

All of our bridesmaid dresses are available in sizes 00-30W, plus extra length for those of you who are 5'7" and taller. 

So you can browse through all our styles and know that whatever size or height you are, you're going to be able to find your dream bridesmaid dress. 

Above we have style 6706 from the Dessy Collection.

This style suits curvy girls beautifully, making the most of their figures so they look and feel fantastic. We've shown it in blush but remember with all our styles available, you can choose from an almost limitless selection of fabrics and colors. 

And your flowergirls

Being a flowergirl is an exciting moment in a little girl's life and having a pretty new dress to wear is all part of it. Our flower girl dresses range from traditional to a little more contemporary - you could even have a white or cream frock and add a colored sash if you like. We've created a range so the little ones fit in perfectly with the big girls ... and feel like a princess.


Shown above is Dessy Flowergirl style 4021 in blush.

That in-between age

Some girls are too old to be dressed as flowergirls, but too young to fit adult bridesmaid dresses - so that's why we designed our Junior Bridesmaid range. There's nothing childish about the styles or over sophisticated - we've created a flattering and pretty range so that the pre-teens feel grown up and confident.

Junior Bridesmaid dress style JR545 is shown above. How pretty is this ...

Finally, your bridesmaid friends

You want your besties to feel amazing in their bridesmaid dresses - not as though they are swamped in ruffles and frills. So our bridesmaid dresses are elegant and classic, whether you go for cocktail or full length. And we can safely say that many Dessy bridesmaids wear their dresses over and over again at posh events - they're too pretty to be left in the closet.

Above is Jenny Packham Style JP1007.

We also have some fabulous maternity bridesmaid dresses for your friends who are on the way to becoming moms. 

Have a look around our website and you'll be dazzled by the colors and choices. And check out the accessories too. You could share images with your friends on Pinterest and set up your own moodboard for your wedding. Enjoy.