(Photo via @mauimakaphotography)
Do those two words fill you with anticipation and excitement. Or dread?
Excited and happy because you're going to get together with your squad and have a fabulous time you'll remember forever for all the right reasons?
Or dread because you really can't face spending a load of money on something you don't want to do anyway, being holed up on a spa break when they're not your thing ....
It's your party and YOUR call
Think back to that classic film Bridesmaids where the maid of honor organizes everything just how she thinks it should be ... without really consulting the bride.
And that's the whole point really. It's all about communication.
Whilst surprises are fabulous, you really need to get over to your maid of honor exactly how you want your party to go. And that brings me onto another point. If your maid of honor has a tendency to be a bit controlling, then should she really be your chief bridesmaid anyway? (Read here on why your best friend doesn't necessarily make your best bridesmaid.)
Anyway ... moving on. You need to bring up the subject of your bachelorette event early on before anything has been planned and booked. Here's a few things to think about and discuss.
- Finances. Some girls will be on good salaries. Others not so much. (Again think back to the film bridesmaids where one of the girls has to fly off on a weekend she really cannot afford.) So may a luxury spa weekend or a flight off to St Barts won't work for some girls. Remember that what you really want is to have all your besties around you. So chat with your maid of honor about making your events affordable. Maybe adapt a sort of 'pick and mix' approach so that girls can join in all, some or one of the events. You could host a fun dinner at your place on a Friday and have beauticians into visit. Then maybe some of you could go off for the rest of the weekend to a spa break or trip further afield. If you're going to have a spa break, organize something that doesn't necessarily require an overnight stay so that the price is kept down.
- Look at some bachelorette packages to get ideas of prices for different options. Maybe before you decide on anything run a poll with your girls, asking what they'd like to do and what they feel they could spend. Ring each girl up and chat it through.
- Maybe get an AirBnB for a few days?
- Taking time off work or away from children could also be an issue for some of your girls, particularly if they're freelance, work on the weekends or have young children and childcare issues.
- Talk to your maid of honor about how you see your bachelorette party going. If you're a creative, designer-ish type then you could all attend a group cookery class and learn to make something a little unusual like sushi.
- Check that your girls have passports that are up to date if you're planning on going abroad.
Herb wedding favors? Image via DIY Inspired on Pinterest
Mason jars have become a staple at creative weddings in the past few years.
It's not really surprising when you think about it. These simple glass pots are really versatile and lend themselves perfectly to a bit of DIY creative wedding crafting.
Organise the children's table. Image via housetohome.co.uk on Pinterest
10 Mason Jar ideas you'll love to try
- Fill with tealights, tie string around the neck and suspend from the branches of trees for instant lanterns (image via Architecture Art Designs on Pinterest.)
- Use for informal arrangements of flowers. Gerberas, dahlias and peonies look amazing in Mason jars
- Make mini homemade cookies, and fill small Mason jars with them for wedding favors. Tie each guest's name on the jar with a label (which doubles up as a place setting of course)
- Place Mason jars in rows on a bar and fill with cocktails or lemonade. Add stripy straws (all facing in the same direction) to complete the effect
- Make up some bubble blowing solution with detergent, pour into Mason jars and attach a bubble blowing hoop alongside. Place by the children's table for instant entertainment (actually this is best done outside). Label each jar with the child's name so everybody gets their own bubble kit.
- If you're having an informal barn wedding with a buffet, put a set of cutlery and napkin in a Mason jar, labelled with each guest's name. (Image via Indulgy.com on Pinterest.)
- Make up separate jars with S'Mores kits as favors or put on the candy table.
- Create a kids' crafting table at the wedding and put beads, safety scissors, coloring pencils and crayons in different jars
- Add some sparkle and light by creating illuminated Mason jars. Put a small string of battery powered fairy lights in each jar, switch on and shut the lid. Put on your guest tables just before they enter the reception. (Image via Ever After Guide via Pinterest.)
- Fill a Mason jar with potting compost and then plant a small fragrant herb (we're thinking mint, rosemary, thyme). Then put on tables and ask guests to help themselves.
Images by Things in Mason Jars
It's a fabulous time of year to get married ...
- You get the sunshine
- You get beautiful colors on the trees
- You get everybody back from their holidays
- You get long, light evenings ...
September and October weddings fall into the "in-between" category: the end of sweet summertime and the beginning of our creep into winter (eek!). So, what would be the best bridesmaid dress choices for this time of year - late summer and early fall? We'll help you make the right choices.
There are four main factors that contribute to the bridesmaids' overall look.
Let's talk fabrics
Early-fall and late-summer weddings can be tricky when it comes to fabric selection. Depending on the climate, it's best to steer clear of satin and charmeuse in light shades - they can show perspiration - and dark shades of dupioni, as it can appear too heavy for a fair weather affair.
How about the cut?
Pick a silhouette (or silhouettes) with a bit more coverage - think one-shoulder, cap-sleeve or a sleeveless v-neck
For weddings that fall between the seasons it's best to not trend too far in one direction... Nothing too summery or too wintery. Navy, gold, purple, blue, green and silver are great options!
Accessories and styling
Keep bridesmaid accessories clean and minimal. If you've chosen a strapless silhouette, consider getting your bridesmaid coordinating or matching shawls.
And remember the other golden rules
- Your bridesmaids dresses don't have to match in style - let each girl pick a gown that flatters them
- Necklines can be different, again to make the best of every girl's features
- However, it's best to keep lengths the same, whether you choose long or short
- You don't have to have one color. Choose contrasting colors (in this case autumn shades might be stunning) or a blend of neutrals (like soft blues, blush, greys ...)
Photo credits: All bridesmaid dresses shown above available from Dessy. Thanks to @AmyFanton, @wearethemitchells
It wasn't so long ago that weddings followed a cookie cutter template.
- You got married in a cream, ivory or white dress that was long, with a veil.
- You wore shoes to match.
- Your bridesmaids wore matching dresses.
- All the bouquets matched (although the bride's would be a bit different).
- Invitations were always black and white script on card.
- The wedding cake was always three tier (or more).
And so on ...
Image credits: Disney Weddings, Hester Lear on Pinterest
But thank goodness those days are gone and couples getting married now can express their personalities, rather than following a formula.
It's got nothing to do with budget either. If you're prepared to spend a bit of time and effort finding good ideas on wedding websites and Pinterest, you'll find plenty of inspiration and there's masses of wedding stuff you can do yourself.
Image credit: Brides Up North
So what's this got to do with your guests and seating plan?
Well, what we're saying is that you can also have a bit of fun with this most important part of your reception and make it real personal.
Image credit: Bodas.net
You could just hand it over to your caterers and have a standard board at the entrance to the reception ... but you might want to dress things up a little.
- Instead of calling tables 1, 2 and 3 - think of some creatively themed table names. They could be the names of your favorite authors, athletes, artists, makes of car or places. So if you and your other partner have done a lot of travelling, the tables could be named after places you've visited: France, Italy, Greece, Bahamas ... you get the idea.
- You could call them after your favorite Disney characters or favorite films ...
Image credit: June Bug Weddings on Pinterest
Here's a few ideas we've found on Pinterest to inspire you:
- Find some old keys in a yard store or flea market and handwrite the table number and guest name
- Find an old mirror and write up your seating plan in silver or gold pen (or ask a friend who's studied calligraphy to do it)
- Get old photographs of your friends and put them alongside the table numbers. That will make everyone laugh when they see the board, that's for sure. Maybe some photos from your High School Yearbook?
- Get some empty wine bottles, print up sticky labels with the guest names and paste them on the bottles. Fill with flowers. Voila and an instant table centerpiece too ..
Image credit: Want That Wedding on Pinterest
Image credits Etsy, @afloral
Interior designers have known for a while now that the way to make a space special is by using carefully chosen accent colors.
You can have a neutral background - then mix and match with standout shades to add a depth of interest.
And you know something? You can use exactly the same trick to personalise and style up your wedding day.
Today's brides often give a nod to the past whilst incorporating elements of contemporary styling into their big day to give things an on-trend twist.
Image credit Dessy Style 6777 in Vineyard Green
Here are some ideas for using color accents on your big day
- Use the same accent color throughout - say this year's Pantone Ultra Violet - for the groomsmen's vests and cravats, your shoes, the bridesmaids' dresses, your table settings, your flowers - but keep everything else white or cream.
- Have a brightly colored vehicle to take you to the reception from your ceremony.
- Have an all-white reception (if you're a bit of a traditionalist) - linen, napkins, chairs ... but use your flowers to give pops of color.
- Maybe a colorful tiara?
- Put your bridesmaids in white but give them brightly colored, dazzling bouquets - and they don't all have to be the same shades either. Mix blues, reds, oranges and yellows in different posies.
- Wear jewel-coloured wedding shoes with a traditional white wedding dress.
- Or if you don't want to stick to one accent colour, think about ombre effects - where you use a graduated version of the same colour. Maybe from the most delicate lilac shade down to a deep purple. You can do the same with pinks, reds, oranges and greens
Remember that if you introduce accent colors to a largely white wedding, you'll end up with better photographs and videos as it gives the photographer something to focus on.
Image credit @LauraBodnar, Dolce & Gabbana
Click below for the video. It'll be interesting to know what you think. We actually thought that it was interesting how little wedding dresses have changed - and how some trends have even come back.
The first dress - a Downton Abbey-style wedding gown dating from 1915 - actually showed the bride wearing a veil that was very similar to the one that Meghan Markle wore at the Royal Wedding recently, right down to the scalloped edges. Just shows that real style never goes out of fashion.
Next up was a flapper style dress from the roaring 1920s - the decade of dancing The Charleston. Actually 1920's style dresses have never really lost popularity and many couples today decide to have a 1920s-styled day. In particular, the veil style - slightly bunched up around the ears - is a favorite with vintage brides.
One of the most timeless dresses - give or take a few details - is the 1935 wedding dress. Based on a bias cut slip dress, it's overlaid with a long lace coat. Change the collar a little and you could wear it today. The buttoning at the front is exquisite. (Actually we LOVE the idea of having a long lace 'coat' over a slip dress. Perfect afternoon to eveningwear.
The 1940's style wedding looks a little dated - and today's brides tend to prefer a gown that is more fitted.
Moving onto the 1950's dress. Today's brides styling a vintage style wedding day would just love to find a dress like this. A full skirt is overlaid in lace and lace is right back in style now. Really pretty. Did your great grandmother wear something similar?
In our view the most dated veil and headpiece is the one worn by the 1960s bride, with an oversized bow. The skirt has a tulip shape which you don't see so much now either but it's certainly a very romantic dress.
Moving onto the 1970s. If you're aiming for a boho-style day, then this is a dress we think you're going to love.
The 1980s style dress is certainly of its time, right down to the puff sleeves. Perhaps we'll leave things there.
The mid-1990s dress hasn't really dated much. You could wear that today and you'd look very chic. Again, you might want a more fitted gown but the off-the-shoulder look is right back in style.
Moving up to more recent times we have a strapless wedding dress - very popular with today's brides still and then a dress that is a nod to the gown worn by the Duchess of Cambridge at her 2011 wedding.
Wonder what the future holds for wedding dresses? What do you think?
(Image credit: Gossip Girl)
Now Meghan Markle is a naturally classy lady. She's well-groomed, well-put together, polite and charming.
But even Prince Harry's bride-to-be had to have some special lessons before she joined the British Royal family. There's a whole lot of stuff to learn when you're a Duchess. Things like when to curtsey to Queen Elizabeth, what color manicure is acceptable (it's neutral by the way), what not to eat and when not to eat ... and so on.
However, if you're a wedding guest then there are also some social skills you need to make sure you have. Because there are some things that absolutely must not be said at a wedding - or done.
Some people naturally have flawless manners. Others don't really have much etiquette at all and make faux pas constantly, embarassing those around them.
But when it comes down to weddings, it is important that everyone has etiquette - even if it is forced. However, regardless of how important this is, some people still tend to mess up and not say the right things when they should...or they say all the wrong things when they shouldn't.
Here's our list of the top 10 things you should never say to the bride, groom, or their families
- "I can't believe she finally is settling down! She's so wild. I never thought she would. Really, when you think of the time she...!" (And so on. Leave the bride's past in the past.)
- "You can't even tell she's pregnant!" (This may be a secret or the bride may want to keep her elderly relatives out of the loop. In any case, it's not your place to announce it.
- "Remember that time he/she was sooooo drunk......?" (Again, leave the past in the past.)
- "Oh...I thought you were going to go with the OTHER dress..." (This is almost guaranteed to make the bride feel a bit insecure and maybe not her best. NOT what you want her to be feeling. She's made her decision and your unhelpful comments are just that.)
- Well, he finally cleaned up nice...." (Tactless in the extreme.)
- "I came for the alcohol." (Not a classy comment for a guest to make.)
- "I'm scared to see them as parents..." (This doesn't make you sound like a kind person and doesn't show you in your best light.)
- "Good thing that first marriage didn't work out..." (Just unnecessary.)
- "Glad he finally grew up..." (Haven't you ever done things in your youth you regretted later? Cut him some slack.)
- "Why is she wearing a white dress again?" (You know something, it's really none of your business. It's HER choice.)
Maybe you've never spent a night away from one another ever. Maybe you can't bear to be parted.
Well, tradition dictates that the bride doesn't see her intended on the wedding day until she arrives for the ceremony and walks down the aisle towards him. (Which certainly ramps up the anticipation, excitement and atmosphere).
In fact, it's considered bad luck to see your partner before the wedding, something that many couples just don't want to risk.
Other reasons not to meet
There are other good reasons for not seeing your intended beforehand.
It takes away that moment when the groom sees his bride for the first time walking down the aisle, when he looks back and sees HER! (Remember Prince Harry's face when he saw Meghan Markle walking towards him).
And of course that particular moment is also a fantastic photo opportunity.
And reasons why you might want to
- Photographers sometimes prefer fresh pre-ceremony photos of the bride and groom (and getting these out of the way means you have more time to spend enjoying your reception)
- It will give you some quiet time together beforehand.
- You'll be more relaxed when you meet in front of the priest/celebrant
Why is there this tradition?
No one really knows. Some say it goes back to the days when arranged marriages between families were the way marriages happened. Seeing each other before the wedding day could cause the groom (not the bride of course) to change his mind, (we've come a long way since then).
The veil also plays a part in this tradition. The veil prevented the groom from seeing the bride and at (gasp!) the last minute calling the whole thing off.
Fast forward to modern times. This is really a decision that should be made by the bride and groom themselves. If you are both the superstitious and traditional types, then adhere to it. If you are a couple that doesn't care either way, then by all means see each other before you say 'I Do.'
Main image via Wedding Chicks.
Credit: Alison Leigh Photos. Floral dresses by Dessy Style After Six 6763
Did you know that not having the wedding filmed is top of a bride's regrets about her big day. So it's probably not something to save money on - after all, you want your grandkids to see how fabulous you both were as a young couple!
How To Avoid A Wedding Day Video Disaster
- If you can afford it, have your wedding filmed. Being able to see your ceremony, your first kiss and dance as a married couple are magical moments. And you only get one chance!
- Don't ask a relative or guest to shoot your video. They are guests and want to be busy enjoying themselves, rather than on duty capturing your big day. And they might miss those crucial moments!
- Know what style of wedding video you want - standard, static or fly on the wall documentary.
- Think about the elements of the wedding you want recorded; Bride getting ready; Groom getting ready; guests arriving; bridal party and bride arriving to the ceremony; the ceremony; drinks reception; newly weds entrance to reception; dinner and speeches; cutting the cake; first dance; party with guest dancing.
- Meet and discuss ideas with your videographer well in advance. Make sure they are sensitive and respectful of your needs.
- Good videographers are booked a long way ahead, so try to secure your choice as soon as possible.
- Make sure you know exactly what your video package includes,so that you avoid any hefty add-ons later.
- Prices will depend on the equipment the videographer uses and the number of crew coming along.
- Ask to see previous examples of the videographer's work and get recommendations from previous clients.
- Remember, you ultimately get what you pay for. So if something is cheap, then it probably will look it
Did you have a wedding video made of your big day? Which were your favourite shots and which do you think you could have done without? If you've any great wedding videos tips, please share them with us below by leaving a comment.
Blush pink? A soft blue? Florals? Neutrals?
Really, there's no one size fits all when it comes to deciding on the colors that should inspire your your big day. A lot will depend on the time of year you're getting married, the venue, the mood you want the day to have ... However, there are a few ground rules to consider when you're planning your wedding day colors so here's some food for thought. And if you need real inspiration, just look at the colors of nature for the season in which you're marrying and that will give you plenty to think about.
Marrying somewhere hot?
If you're having a destination wedding on a sandy beach somewhere or a place where the sky is going to be blue, blue, blue then we'd suggest that you go for the brightest of bright shades for your bridesmaids dresses, your accessories and your flowers. Hot pinks, turquoises, emerald greens, scarlets, bright sunshiny yellows all look fabulous - if the light is bright anything pale or pastel is going to look a bit washed out. Think of the tropical colors that are going to surround you and use them as your color palette.
A country garden wedding day
If you're having a rustic wedding in a beautiful country garden, then we'd suggest you go for pale pinks, blues, yellows, greens, whites and creams. This is one day when tropical brights will look out of place. Think about a classic herbaceous border filled with summer flowers like roses, delphiniums, lavender, peonies, and daisies and you'll get the look right. You could also consider a mocha wedding theme which would look very pretty and sophisticated.
A city slicker wedding
A monochrome wedding looks fabulous in a city and if you want to extend the theme really far, just ask your guests to dress in black and white. You can add an accent of colour by wearing red wedding shoes.
A wedding by the sea
This is where we would go for a navy and white theme, or maybe stone and white.
And if you're marrying in winter?
Winter weddings demand rich tones. We're thinking plums, forest greens, ruby reds, maybe a deep blue and of course a bright hollyberry red. Again, think about the wedding flowers that are likely to be in season and use them to denote your color scheme.
You might also find the Dessy Pantone tools invaluable when it comes to deciding on your colors and shades.
All bridesmaid dresses featured by Dessy.