What You'll Want to Keep After the Wedding Is Over

Obviously the most precious thing you'll have acquired on your wedding day is your new spouse.

However - there are some classic items that you will want to treasure forever and keep safely - maybe to hand on to future children and grandchildren?

Here's a list of what they could be.

Keepsakes for the bride


Your Dress: Some of you may think, well obviously. But there are brides out there that may donate their dress or are the types that enjoy "trashing the dress" after the wedding. If you aren't either of these types of brides, the best thing is to take your dress to a specialist dry cleaner and have it wrapped in special tissue paper in a special box. Then if a future daughter or grandaughter wants to wear it, it will be in beautiful order.


Your Beautiful Bouquet: You will have had many photographs taken of your bouquet but you may want to keep it to look at. Investigate having it pressed into a frame or put in a shadow box. You can also dry your wedding flowers.

Bulk Wedding Decorations: If items like your centerpieces don't belong to the florist and belong to you, you will want to keep them. Any keepsake items you may have had at the actual wedding should go home with you. If you don't want to keep them after the wedding, it may be a good idea to sell them. Hello e-Bay.

Wedding Day Accents: This includes your champagne flutes, your cake cutter and topper, your shoes. While many might say these are great items to sell, these were important pieces of your wedding day, some may have even been gifted to you from a close family member. For now, we suggest that you put them carefully away in a box - maybe for a future relation to use. They could become heirlooms.

Your Invitation: After the wedding, you will want to keep at least one invitation that you can have custom framed and in your home. It is a great keepsake item to have for the rest of your life. Also remember to have one in your photograph album.

The Top Tier of Your Wedding Cake: Have the top tier of your wedding cake frozen to be taken out again on your first anniversary. Some brides also like to use it as a christening cake.

Your Wedding Vows: Whether they were written on a napkin the morning of the wedding or typed on your computer months in advance, keep your wedding vows. While your wedding video will show what you and your husband what you said on your wedding day, having the actual vows is a nice item to keep. You might want to have them set down in beautiful callligraphy.

Your Guestbook: This is a good item to have after the wedding, because months down the road you will not remember who came or didn't come to a wedding. While certain people will stand out, you won't know. Photo booth guestbooks are a good way of doing this if you're the informal type.

Photo credits - From left: You are My True, Lasting Impressions by Design

50 wedding tips you really need to know about

(Twist wrap dresses by Dessy in blush pink.)

It's always easy to be wise after the event. Think to yourself: "Oh I wish I'd known that" and "Why didn't somebody tell me."

Well to help you in the run-up to your wedding day, we asked some past brides what they thought girls should know in the run up to their wedding. Here's what they told us.

The 50 pieces of wedding advice to take note of

  1. Having a videographer. Not having a wedding video is top of the list of brides regrets
  2. Remember to wear your wedding shoes in before the big day. On carpet at home, so they're comfortable
  3. If you're wearing high heels and you're usually in flats then get practising walking in them - so you glide, not stumble
  4. Make sure the ushers know what being an usher means. That is, showing people to their seats and handing over the order of service. Not standing chatting. People milling about, not sure where to sit is not how to make your guests feel welcome and relaxed
  5. Remember that there will be a few unforeseen glitches on your wedding day. So go with the flow and don't overstress about them. (Like the weather, a guest turning up wearing white, guests being late.)
  6. Offer a chill out room for young children to watch a DVD, play and snooze during the evening reception
  7. Have somewhere comfortable and quiet for guests to sit, chat and catch up after the reception - a must if you're planning on having noisy music! And the oldies really like it.
  8. Serve plenty of soft drinks and tea and coffee after the reception. Also plenty of water on the tables - jugs of tap water are quite acceptable
  9. Prebook taxis for the oldies and have a local taxi firm on standby
  10. Practise holding your bouquet at hip level - not at waist level. Looks much better in photographs that way
  11. You don't have to wear white or ivory shoes. A bright colour or a metallic can look fabulous (and you're likely to wear those shoes over and over again)
  12. Don't wear high heels at a beach wedding. DO have a pedicure. (Maybe for the groom too.)
  13. If your wedding gown is strapless, you could cover your shoulders with a lace shrug for the ceremony and then unveil a new look for the reception and evening party
  14. Ask your bridesmaids what style of dress they feel would flatter them. And then offer them suitable choices
  15. Some bridal registry companies let guests contribute to the cost of a honeymoon
  16. Check real wedding photography to see what style suits you. It might be reportage. It might be something more traditional. Give yourself time to research different photographers in your area
  17. Marry in winter or mid-week and you'll find your budget stretches further and you have more venue options
  18. How about wearing a colored petticoat peeping out from under your wedding dress?
  19. Investigate wedding dress sample sales if you're on a tight budget - you could find the designer dress of your dreams at a cut price
  20. Flowergirls don't have to hold bouquets. Maybe just baskets of confetti?
  21. Don't have a facial just before your wedding day because you'll risk a breakout. No later than 10 days before your wedding probably best
  22. Have a singles table at your wedding reception and see what happens. Mix everyone up. Don't lump the singles with the marrieds. That is very boring for them. They want to have a bit of a party. Flirt.
  23. Save money on transport and ask a relative or friend with an amazing car if they could drive you to the church and reception.
  24. Use a wedding budget planner on your phone to help you keep track of spending
  25. Set your wedding budget first before you do anything
  26. Your best friend might not be your best chief bridesmaid. You need somebody who is super efficient and organised
  27. Marry at lunchtime and have an evening party and you're going to have to feed guests at least twice - which can be expensive. Maybe consider a late afternoon wedding instead?
  28. Consider having a mini-moon after your wedding day and a more extended honeymoon later on
  29. Show your hairdresser snaps of the neckline of your wedding dress so you can be advised on the most flattering hairstyle
  30. Choose a neckline to suit your figure - strapless, one shoulder, sweetheart ... more tips here
  31. Think about your dress fabric and the time of year. Duchesse satin in winter. Light chiffons in warmer weather
  32. Bridesmaids can get chilly with bare shoulders. Drape a colour co-ordinate pashmina around them whilst they are waiting for photographs (they make a good bridesmaid gift too).
  33. You don't have to have a formal sit down dinner. Buffet style might suit you a lot better - with free seating for the guests
  34. Let men know the dress code. Lounge suits, morning suits or black tie. It's embarassing to turn up in the wrong clothes
  35. If your venue location is perfect but you find the inside of the room uninspiring, consider room draping to turn it into something spectacular
  36. Wedding wellies are the perfect way to go if you're having to walk to and from the car on a potentially wet wedding day
  37. Don't underestimate the amount of time a DIY wedding actually takes - really, how long will it take you to handcraft 150 invitations?
  38. Buy a good quality, plain iced supermarket tier cake - and then decorate it with fresh flowers to save money.
  39. Serve substantial canapes and you could may not have to offer a starter
  40. Give each of your bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys a framed photograph of you all together on your wedding day
  41. Ice cream vans and a dessert table work well at summer weddings held in marquees
  42. Choose wedding flowers that are in season rather than expensive exotic blooms that have to be flown in
  43. Let your bridesgroom get involved with the wedding planning - split up the tasks between you
  44. If your mother in law wants to help, then let her. Give her some jobs that you're happy to delegate to her
  45. Remember it's your wedding day and should follow the format you want (although if you're having financial help from parents they are allowed some say in it!)
  46. Marrying abroad (in Italy) can be a much less expensive to tie the knot and it would be just as super gorgeous.
  47. Save The Dates are essential in these busy times if you want most of the invited guests to be able to attend
  48. Bridesmaids don't have to wear the same style or dress or even the same colour. Choose co-ordinating colours or go for an ombre effect
  49. If you're having a first dance together then practise. You might even want to have some lessons
  50. You are marrying your soul mate. The One. Nothing else matters really.

Ombre Bridesmaids Dresses - and other ombre wedding delights

(Photo credits from top left: All bridesmaid frocks by Dessy; Drew Brashier Photography via Wedding Chicks; Christian Siriano wedding gown via Wedding Chicks)

Can't choose a wedding color?

Love pink - but then again you love blue too. But you can't decide whether to go for a light shade or something darker.

Then think about using ombre - which is graduated colors of the same shade.

(Photo credit: Lauren Feddersen Photography via Wedding Chicks)

Ombre lets you play around with different hues

You'll know how important it is to take your individual bridesmaids' complexions into account when you're deciding on dresses.

But maybe one maid suits a light pink and the other suits something much darker. For example, some girls will suit a vibrant pink. Others a slightly subtler rose shade.

With ombre you can have the wedding color theme that you're after - as these photographs show.

And you can also choose different styles of bridesmaid dresses so that you're flattering each girl's figure to best effect.

(Photo credit: Drew Brashier Photography via Wedding Chicks)

A wall of different shades of flower

We love the way this bride above had a cascade of ombre flowers tumbling down the wall behind her. What a great photo opportunity.

And think about how the ombre theme can work through to other aspects of your big day. Your stationery. Your flowers. Your tables. You can also use it for wedding cake.

With your cake, you could opt for graduated icing. Or you could have a tiered cake with the colors going from light to dark - so the lightest on the top tier and the darkest at the bottom.

Ombre is a very adaptable way of color theming and if you'd like to see how colors work together, it's a good idea to invest in our Pantone colour fan - which will let you mix and match shades to see what works for you?

You can also get in touch with Dessy and order fabric swatches in different colors and fabrics to see how the light falls (hold the material up to your bridesmaid's face to see how it works with their coloring).

Bridesmaid dresses above by Dessy: Styles and colors: 2906 Carnation, 2908 blush, 2905 carnation, 2882 blush, 2928 blush, 6678 carnation, 2896 blush. Pantone color fan from Dessy.

Elegant, Sophisticated, Flattering ... Bridesmaid Dresses Your Maids Will Be Wearing To Parties Long After Your Wedding Day

Your besties are very important to you - which is why you've asked them to be your bridesmaids and share in your wedding day.

So you're hardly going to make them wear dresses that don't flatter - ask your curvy girlfriend to squeeze into a bias cut number that's going to do her no favors. Or your less well-endowed friend to wear a strapless number that quite frankly makes her chest look like an empty envelope.

Oh no. You're a real friend, not a bridezilla and you're going to let them choose dresses that really flatter and suit them - maybe just tie in your wedding theme with colors but leave the style, necklines and length up to them

Bridesmaids Dresses For Partying

Now why don't you go one step further and suggest some dresses that your bridesmaids love SO much, they are going to be dying to wear them again and again after your big day and celebrations are over. Dresses that look so good, they're going to be on full show at the next party season.

In which case you need to look at frocks like the ones above that don't shout 'bridesmaid dress'.

Think about the occasions they could be worn for in future. Dessy's floral print frocks come in a number of different styles - spaghetti straps and strapless and various different colorways. Perfect for afternoon parties or summer evenings.

Then if you go for a dark, deep color in a rich fabric, you'll get more of an evening dress look. Add a diamante detail at the waist or on the shoulder for some glitzy glamor. Here you need to think about colors like black, midnight blue, forest green, berry shades, aubergine ...

Mind you, talking about glitzy glamor, you should check out Dessy's new sequinned separates in rose gold, and five other colorways, as well as dazzling dresses.

(Top image credits clockwise from top: Style JY Jenny Yoo style JY533, styles 4503 (left) and 4514 (right).


A rainbow wedding theme? These photographs will make you LOVE the idea

Wondering about colors for your wedding day?

Maybe you find pastels a bit too ... well pale.

You love brights but can't decide between scarlet, emerald green, electric blue or a striking mauve.

Nature has given you the perfect color theme - a rainbow

Put together red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet and you have your colors right there.

And they work together beautifully.

There are all sorts of advantages to having using these shades.

Color choices for your bridesmaids

Not all girls suit the same color. Well, not unless you're planning on having identical twins as bridesmaids!

Depending on their complexion, some girls will suit a bright red or an orange. Particularly if they have dark hair.

A blue often looks good on blondes, as can indigo. Maids with darker complexions will look fantastic in yellows or violet.

The thing is, if you go for a rainbow theme then you can offer your bridesmaids color choices. Try different frocks on until you find a shade that looks wonderful. And of course you can do the mis-matched bridesmaid style thing too, with different necklines and waistlines - but that's a whole other story.

Just take a look at Dessy's different colored bridesmaid frocks and you'll be well on your way. You can also order fabric samples in different colors too.

And of course, you can investigate different colored shoes. Maybe put purple shoes with a red dress, yellow shoes with a blue dress ... and so on.

Blooms in every hue

The same applies to flowers. You can take your pick between red roses, blue delphiniums, lilacs, sunny yellows. Talk to your florist about what's available to you in the season in which you're marrying.

We think it would be super stylish to have each of your maids carrying a bouquet in a separate rainbow color (your florist would just love to have a project like this).

Image credits:

Top photograph from top: Shop Joielle, CW Wright Photography via Wedding Chicks , Volatile Photography via Wedding Chicks

Bottom photograph clockwise from top: Volatile Photography via Wedding Chicks, Style Me Pretty, Volatile Photography via Wedding Chicks, Volatile Photography via Wedding Chicks

10 things brides should know about one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses

(All images via Dessy Facebook page)

Today we're going to be talking goddess-style bridesmaid gowns - or to be a little more down to earth, let's call them one-shouldered bridesmaid dresses. Or maybe you'd describe them as asymmetric frocks.

Whatever. One thing is for sure though - they will make your maids look fabulous. Just look at these pictures of real bridesmaids wearing one-shouldered dresses at weddings to see.

  1. If your maids have athletic figures and broad shoulders then an asymmetric-styled frock will make them look very feminine
  2. Toned arms look fabulous in one-shoulder dresses
  3. See how a flattering ruched style would work for your bridesmaids
  4. One shoulder styles work well for girls with a larger bust as they offer more support than a strapless gown
  5. However they also work for girls with a smaller bust if they're ruched
  6. If the bride is going for a strapless gown, then a one-shoulder style creates a themed look (which will look wonderful in the photographs)
  7. Large chandelier earrings work beautifully with a one shoulder dress. You don't want to wear a necklace with this style - just put the jewellery focus on ears (and maybe add a bracelet or two)
  8. This is a style that won't date in a hurry. It's a classic - dating from Ancient Greece!
  9. Styles come in a range of fabrics - from a floaty chiffon through to a rich satin
  10. Shoulder details can be simple, or feature diamante for a bit of glitz or delicate fabric flowers

If you're having a cocktail party wedding, check out Dessy's shorter styled one-shoulder frocks

We've shown gowns in blush pink here, but Dessy has over 30 beautiful different styles of one shouldered bridesmaid dress in a rainbow of colors - so you can pick out whichever works for you. Our styles come in floral fabrics and darker shades of course, both of which would work well at future events - whether a garden party or a formal evening dinner and dance.

Mini-me flowergirls and bridesmaids

(All frocks by Dessy. Clockwise from top left: Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid style JY534, Flowergirl dress FL4054, After Six Bridesmaid Dress, Flowergirl dress FL4053, Flowergirl dress 4033, After Six Bridesmaid style T1507, Flowergirl dress FL4055, Jenny Yoo JY533)

Most little girls dream of being asked to be a flowergirl. It's a chance to dress up in a pretty dress, have a special hairstyle and cute shoes too. As well as having the important role of walking behind the bride, looking after her veil, her bouquet and being in charge of scattering confetti.

It's such an exciting moment for little sisters, nieces, cousins, daughters of friends ...

A memorable day in a young girl's life

Having a beautiful new frock to wear is all part of the fun.

Now what if you told your little maids that they would be wearing a smaller version of the older bridesmaids' gowns?

They probably wouldn't believe it.

But because at Dessy we know that brides love to have those extra special touches, we've created designs for flowergirls that echo the adult versions of the dress.

They come in the same colors, similar fabrics - with just a tweak here and there so they suit a little girl.

(Photo credit: @krishantiphoto @curtisphillipa on Instagram)

So your little ones can have mini-me versions of the grown up girls' dresses.

And as for colors, because it's Dessy designing and creating, you're going to find just the shades you're looking for, whatever style you're after.

Browse through our bridesmaid designs and see what you like, and then look at flowergirl options. Our dresses come in a variety of fabrics too - from chiffon through to satin - and many have lace details.

Perfect party wear

All these bridesmaid frocks are so gorgeous, they're going to be worn after the wedding as well - and all the above are perfectly suitable for a smart evening party! Little flowergirls will love to wear them again to parties.

We're particularly proud of our rose gold bridesmaid dresses and flowergirl frocks - which give a bit of shimmer to the day. If you're having an afternoon wedding in a garden then you should investigate our floral bridesmaid frocks too, as shown in the image at the top.

How to plan a destination wedding

Have you always dreamed of getting married on a beach? Where you can guarantee the sunshine during the ceremony, feel the sand between your toes as you exchange your vows, choose your wedding gown without having to think about what coat to wear if the weather suddenly takes a turn for the worse?

And by choosing to get married abroad, you can keep the guest list down to a bare minimum, if you want to, without causing any offence, neatly side-stepping the issue of how far to extend the invitations.

Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

But how do you plan a destination wedding? Where would you start?

Your destination wedding choice of course is driven not JUST by your dreams, but by the number of guests you are hoping will join you, how much you feel you should contribute to their expenses and how much time they will be able to take for the trip.

Whichever country you decide on, your next step will be to contact the foreign embassy or consulate to make sure that you really understand exactly the legal requirements and to allow yourself enough time. For example, if you want to have your wedding in Ireland, marriage by registrar's certificate requires three months written notice of intention to wed. You might also need to produce birth certificates, divorce and death decrees AND be resident for a period of time prior to an Irish wedding.

Whatever the requirements, if you follow the correct process according to the local law, your marriage or civil partnership should be recognised.

(Image credit: Stephen Ludwig Photography)

Wedding packages can be helpful

  • You can plan the whole thing yourself but that could be quite stressful unless you know someone on the ground.
  • Wedding packages organised by tour operators are quite cost effective and have the bonus that you know they've done it before.
  • Many hotels will have an on-site expert to work with you to reserve your dates, plan the schedule of events, coordinate all food and beverage details, from menu design to table linen, and assist with other aspects of your wedding experience.
  • It is always worth considering insuring your wedding, but perhaps more than ever when you are thinking about getting married abroad.
  • Probably the last thing big thing to think about is how much you contribute to your guests' stay. Maybe nothing; maybe the odd meal here and there; maybe just the celebration itself - ultimately it doesn't matter what you decide to do, as long as you make it clear at the outset what the possible expenditure is for those you invite.

This is how to dress your bridemaids in purple

So it's purple for your wedding day? You just love the richness of this shade. You love the way you can move from lilacs and mauves through to a rich imperial purple, something dramatic that will hold its own on a winter wedding day.

It's a shade that lends itself perfectly to having an ombre bridesmaid line up as well. Depending on your girls' complexions you can choose soft pastel purples (we're thinking of sugared almonds here) or deep dark tones.

Hold some fabric samples up against the face to see which color works (you can get the color samples from Dessy right here). It might be surprising to see what works with which maid. Somebody might be convinced they don't suit pastels, only to find out they work beautifully. Another might always have avoided brights, only to realise that they should have been wearing dramatic colors always.

How a real bride did it on her big day

There's no doubt, such an exquisite colour palette is incredibly amorous - and so many violet-coloured flowers have a wonderfully delicate fragrance too. You'll also find a big selection of blooms in shades of purple - just talk to your florist about what's available. Whose heart (and nose!) would not be moved by the posies below, created by the lovely Helen Jane Floristry, with the perfumed muscari, syringa, roses and freesias?

This might be time to revisit the Sophia Coppola film "Marie Antoinette". It's a confection of pastels and purples and could give you some fabulous inspiration.

As for accent details, you'll find that metallics work well with purple. Silver, gold, bronze - maybe do things a little differently and put your maids in silver or gold sandals ...

Takeaways from this post

  • Purple is a fabulous accent color to choose for your wedding day for a number of reasons
  • You can go for an ombre theme and use every shade of purple from the palest lilac through to a rich deep purple
  • You'll find plenty of wedding flowers in purple shades - talk to your florist about choices for the time of year
  • Purple shoes peeping out from beneath a traditional cream or white wedding dress look fabulous (but think about metallics too)
  • Depending on the shade you choose, purple is just at home at a city wedding in winter, a country garden wedding or a destination wedding on a palm-fringed beach

Bridesmaid dresses for moms-to-be

Well, you never know what's going to happen when you're wedding planning.

And the chances are that somewhere down the line, one of your chosen bridesmaids is going to announce that she has some happy news. That's she's pregnant and so she's going to need a bridesmaid gown that works with her mom-to-be status.

How to do maternity bridesmaid dresses beautifully

Well, we think all moms-to-be deserve to be dressed so they feel and look wonderful and so here's a whole range of dresses that will suit different girls.

And because they're by Dessy they are available in a literal rainbow of colors.

You want a pastel colored wedding and a pastel colored maternity frock? No problem.

Dessy maternity gowns clockwise from top left: After Six Maternity Dress M428, Dessy Collection Maternity Bridesmaid Dress M433, Alfred Sung Maternity Bridesmaid Dress Style M437, Dessy Collection Maternity Bridesmaid Dress M431

Blues, greens, pinks, reds, sapphires, jewel tones ... browse through the shades and you'll wonder how you'll ever choose. Strapless maternity bridesmaid gowns, round neck or a plunging neckline - take your pick. Dessy has an amazing range of maternity bridesmaid dresses.

Maybe get right on trend and have an ombre thing going on? Dress your maids (including the non pregnant ones!) in varying hues of the same shade.

This is where our Twist Wrap Dress will come into its own

If your mom-to-be bridesmaid wants to be sure that her dress will adjust to fit her, then maybe investigate our Twist Wrap Dresses (as shown above here) which can easily adjust to fit a changing size. Your maid will also be able to wrap the dress in a style to suit her (which will give her more confidence).

Staying comfortable

Dessy also does some great bridesmaid flats in matching and contrasting shades, as a pregnant bridesmaid probably won't want to be wearing heels ...