10 Things You Don't Want To Be Saying (Or Thinking) The Week Before Your Wedding Day

diamond engagement and wedding rings

There's a lot written about mindfulness these days and being in the moment. Thinking about what is great in your life right now and practising thankfulness. The thing is, if you don't do that you can look back and think: "Why didn't I just enjoy myself at that time because really it was ok."

The run-up to your wedding day should be just such a time. Think about it. You've met somebody you hit if off with and you're planning a life together, with all the support and companionship that brings with it. You don't want to be looking back at the period before your marriage and shudder at how stressed you were, when really you should have been enjoying the build-up. Read our tips below which will help you to embrace this time, rather that see it as something to get through. 

1. "I feel completely stressed out by all this".

Don't overdo it. Remember why you're getting married - it's to commit legally to somebody you love and want to spend your life with. It's not really all about the party, the dress you wear, who comes, where you get married. So what if you don't have time to hand-craft all the guest invitations, menu cards, seating plan and thank you cards. Buy them ready-made. So what if your chief bridesmaid announces that she's pregnant and will be in full bloom in your wedding day. There are some beautiful maternity bridesmaid dresses out there. So what if you can't afford to entertain hundreds of people and are going to have to keep your wedding small and select (it's more personal that way anyhow).  

2. "My wedding dress doesn't fit properly"

Although many brides embark on a major fitness and diet campaign before their big days, you don't want to overdo it. Remember that your other half fell in love with you the way you are. A good bridal boutique will allow for the fact that you're liable to lose a bit of weight before your wedding day, but you really don't need to walk up the aisle looking skinny and scrawny.

3. "I wish x, y and z weren't coming to the wedding". Remember it's your big day and you should only have people there whom you want to invite. Although if your parents are paying for a significant part of your wedding then they may feel they are allowed to have a say in who comes. If you feel that's taking over or you're not having the wedding you want, then maybe downsize to something the two of you can afford to pay for, so that you can do it your way.

4. "I wish xx (your chief bridesmaid) would do a bit more to help." Sometimes your best friend doesn't always make the best chief bridesmaid. Maybe she's got a busy job that preoccupies her, maybe she's got a young family, maybe she's just not very practical and organised. You might do better to look around at your friends and pick one that has all the qualities a chief bridesmaid needs (organisational skills, time management, imagination, ability to work under pressure ...) and have a diplomatic word with your best friend. She might actually be relieved not to have to take on the role.

5. "I wish we hadn't spent so much money." This is probably the most important thing to think about before you make your wedding plans. Sit down with your fiance, draw up a wedding budget and stick to it. There are plenty of apps out there to help you keep track of your spending and plenty of ways to make that budget stretch further. You really don't want to be starting married life in serious debt.

6. "I wish my bridesmaids were a bit more enthusiastic about what they're wearing."  It's really not friendly or kind to force your girls to wear dresses they loathe - even if you think pale pink frills look fabulous and it's what you've dreamed of ever since you were a little girl. Far better is to choose different styles for each maid that suit their individual figures - you can tie the look together by using the same colour. Why not start a Pinterest board of bridesmaid dresses that catch your eye and share it with your girls.

7. "I hope the photography is going to work out alright." We'd always say book a professional photographer. Don't rely on a good friend who has a photographic talent - they'll want to go off and socialise at some point and may miss that crucial shot. Put aside some of your budget for a photographer you've researched cay and let the professional take over. Better still, book a videographer as well.

8. "Why can't my mother in law back off". Difficult one this. But if your mother in law has only had sons getting married, she may never have had the pleasure of getting involved first hand in a wedding. Take a deep breath and try and delegate some tasks to her - she can't then complain she's being left out and you may be surprised at how helpful she can be.

9. "I've just got time for a facial". Don't do it. Having a facial in the week before your wedding day is asking for trouble. A facial lifts out all the impurities in your skin - just in time for a major breakout on your big day. Have a facial - but in the weeks before your wedding day so that your skin has time to benefit and settle down.

10. "Think I'll have a new look for my wedding day and surprise anyone." Do not, do not have a major make-over just before your wedding - with completely different hair and make-up. You may not like the result. Hair takes a while to grow, a new colour may not suit you and you don't want to run the risk of your fiance not recognising you as you walk up the aisle. Have your hair cut and coloured as normal, maybe experiment with some new make up looks in the weeks before your wedding but don't make any dramatic changes.

 

A little-known secret about flattering dresses - it's all about the fabric and color


figure flattering bridesmaid dresses

Most ladies want to look toned and sleek. And we know it takes commitment. Diet, exercise, self-control and motivation.

We're all different shapes and sizes. Some girls are thin and some are curvy. The trick is to embrace your shape and make it look fabulous. 

Most girls feel even more pressure to look svelte on the days when they dress up. This could be for something like Prom, a business meeting, or..especially...a wedding.

We diet and exercise for weeks before a special occasion and work hard to find the perfect dress that will complement our bodies. That goes for bridesmaid dresses too. 

However, there are a few secrets about choosing a flattering dress that you should know. 

Flattering for less than perfect upper arms, the lace stretches and holds an hourglass figure. Dessy Collection Style 3014

Fabrics and colors matter too

Believe it or not, but there are some materials and shades out there that will take 5-10 pounds off your look, and if you're worried about the photographs, then you need to be aware of them. 

Here's what you need to know.


Show off a neat waist with a belt and slim wrists with bracelet length sleeves.  Alfred Sung Style D736

Flattering fabrics

Stretchy materials are usually best. You want something that pulls into you. Spandex blends are great. The key is to have the dress tight enough that it gives you a great shape, but not so tight that it shows every single part of you (and stops you breathing!)  Body con looks much better on curvy women than skinny ones. Get the right cut and the right material and you'll look dazzling. 


A black velvet column dress is supremely flattering. Dessy Collection Style 2998

Colors

If you want to appear slimmer then dark and consistent colors are key. Having one solid color from head to toe will make a woman seem taller and therefore slimmer. Crazy and bright patterns are the worst for a woman who lacks confidence in her shape. 

You can be fabulously fit and shapely (and not a size zero heaven forbid) and look amazing.

This dress looks wonderful on curvy girls. Studio Design Collection Style 4526

Necklines and waistlines

We've written before about choosing flattering necklines. What you need to do is choose a frock that WORKS. So if you're a bit flat-chested, don't choose a neckline that needs to be 'filled out'. And if you are well-endowed, make sure your neckline offers you support. 

A romantic strapless gown with a full skirt that floats along.  Studio Design Collection Style 4505

How old is TOO old to be a bridesmaid?

bridesmaids in white dresses

Should bridesmaids be under 25, 30, 40, 50. Or is there no age limit? 

We looked at some message boards on bridal forums and here's what people said. 

"I am a 28 year old bride with a lot of older friends. Two that I'm close with are in their late 40's. Can I ask them, with complete sincerity, to be a bridesmaid? Both feel like they're a mentor than a friend, but I think of them as a friend with awesome life advice. Any suggestions?" Kathleen

 
"I don't think there is an age limit. I would ask who you want by your side."  Hannah
 "My sister will be 50 in January and was my matron of honor. Didn't give her age a thought when I asked her her!" Mrs Ski
 
"No one has to be in a specific age group to be in your wedding. Are the older women in your life special to you? Do you want them to stand with you and your SO on your big day? If you answered yes to either of these questions, put them in your bridal party. " The People Bride 
 

"My 84 year old godmother is one of my bridesmaids." Sarah

There is no age limit

The general opinion seems to be that age doesn't really matter. Some bridesmaids in their late 30s, early 40s and older may jump at the opportunity to be a special part of your wedding. 

Others may have other reasons for not wanting to be a bridesmaid. 

Reasons she doesn't want to be your bridesmaid


She may not have time. Women in their late 30s and early 40s and older are often super rushed. They are running households, raising kids or just too busy with their jobs. Being part of a wedding just might not fit into their schedule.

She may be worried about the bridesmaid dress.  Maybe they don't feel like they can wear the same dress as the 25-year-old bridesmaid in the bridal party. In which case, talk to them, calm their concerns and choose something you will both love, that fits in with the day and the colors you have chosen. (You'll find tips on choosing bridesmaid dresses here.)

She may not feel in good shape: Women of every age never think they are physically fit to be in a bridesmaid dress to stand in front of a large group of people. She may be going through life changes or is just not feeling her best self physically.

She may not be able to afford it: A woman in her late 30s or early 40s may be saving for a house or recently just bought a house and any added expenses like being bridesmaid is not something she can do right now.

She thinks she will feel ridiculous: If she's older she is less likely to want to partake in the traditional bridal party activities like a weekend away for the bachelorette party or even being up all night for one.

Ultimately, leave the decision up to her, if she is an important person in your life and you explain why you have chosen her, she may surprise you! Just remember, be considerate of any apprehensions she may have.

 

Three questions you need to ask when choosing a hat to wear to a wedding

wedding hats

(All hats shown above by Vivien Sheriff)

If you're anything like me, you've been watching reruns of Meghan and Harry's beautiful wedding day. 

And something that stuck me last time was how beautiful all the hats were. 

Hats at weddings - why they're so right 

There's something about a hat that just completes your look when you're getting dressed up. At the Royal Wedding there were some amazing hats on show and there's a shape to flatter everybody, so don't class yourself as a non-hat person. You just haven't found the right one yet, that's all.  

 

A post shared by Rachel Meghan Markle (@meghansmarkles) on You can wear a hat if you're a bride - and of course, wearing a hat to a wedding as a guest is too good an opportunity to miss. 

 

When you're choosing a wedding hat, we suggest you ask yourself three main questions:




1) What hat will suit my face/body type?
It's important to make sure your hat flatters your face and your silhouette. If you feel overwhelmed or unattractive in one style of hat then try another shape that you feel more comfortable in. But be daring and try on different shapes. You'll be amazed at what you can wear!


Rounder faces tend to be able to wear most shapes, a large brim or very small brim. Narrow faces usually suit bigger brims. Petite ladies can't wear a huge brim that will overshadow them, and larger figures usually suit big brims and tall headpieces.




2) What hat works with my outfit?
It's worth going shopping with a swatch of your outfit. If you're wearing a very brightly patterned dress, then maybe tone it down on the headwear, wear a subtle disc shape hat or headpiece in neutral tones, this will create balance in your look. Likewise, if you're wearing a low key subtle dress, then that acts as a blank canvas for you to really express yourself and go wild with the hat or extravagant headpiece.


3) What makes me feel amazing inside?
Wearing a hat is a chance for a women to express herself and feel beautiful, sexy, classy or any range of emotion or feelings. If you're feeling flamboyant, wear a showstopper. If you're feeling subdued and reserved you can wear a piece that embodies tradition and formality. You can convey such a range of feelings and social messages through your choice of headwear; for example wearing a headpiece which covers the face with veiling can signify allure. Ultimately it's all about feeling great and expressing yourself; a hat in many ways acts as an a extension of your persona.

People who always wear hats to get their look right

  • HM The Queen
  • The Duchess of Cambridge
  • Meghan Markle - the new Duchess of Sussex
  • Amal Clooney
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • All hats shown here created by Vivien Sheriff.


Give your bridesmaid a beautiful back ...

Jenny Packham Bridesmaid Style JP1001 in Midnight Blue

Of course you want your maids to look wonderful as they walk behind you up the aisle. 

But when you think about it, how they look from behind is important too. (And it's how one Pippa Middleton almost stole the show at her sister's wedding.)

All eyes are going to be on your bridesmaids as they hold your train and accompany you, and people are going to be judging and thinking about what your girls are wearing. 

So you really owe it to them to make sure that they look pretty from all angles. 

Making the back special 

Take a look at these dresses, which all share something in common. They look as good from the front as from the back. We've used lace, ties, ribbon, pleats, folds ... 

Left: Dessy Collection Style 3014 Midnight Blue  Right: Dessy Collection Style 3014 shown in Platinum

Let's start with lace. This is a supremely elegant style that is 'covered up', yet superbly glamorous. Lace details are very on trend and your girls would love the form fitting cut of this design. Choose from a light, muted shade or something darker and more dramatic. Ideal for a winter wedding, don't you agree? 

 

Left: Alfred Sung Style D751 in Silverstone Right: Alfred Sung Style D751 in Aubergine

Here's another form-fitting dress, with quite a different look. It's probably more suitable for a spring or summer wedding but either way would translate well from afternoon through to evening. In a rich, luxurious fabric with a sheen, the criss cross back is eye-catching - as is the off the shoulder neckline. 

Left:  After Six Bridesmaids Style 6779. Right: Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid Style JY540. Both in Suede Rose. 

Ruffles are coming back into weddings big time. You're going to see them on chairs, on table displays and on bridemaids dresses, as here. If a ruffle isn't your thing, then maybe a simple tie back and a higher neckline would suit. Love this colour too. It's Mist. 

 

Left: Bella Bridesmaids style BB111. Right: Dessy Collection Style 3022

We think the style on the left is just shouting out to be worn at a beach wedding. It's simple and unfussy. On the right there's another idea for working with ruffles. The front of the dress is relatively unadorned, whilst it's all happening in the prettiest way possible at the back. 

 

 

 

Read this and you'll be mixing and matching your bridesmaid dresses BEAUTIFULLY

Well, it's about time. Why should your maids all wear matchy matchy? The picture above shows just how cool mixing it up can be (here with sequins and chiffons).

  • One style is unlikely to flatter all
  • One color can look a little 'samey'
  • Why not blend colors a little?

Brides are going for similar NOT identical

These days brides are starting to veer a bit away from the traditional one-for-all mentality when it comes to their bridesmaids. Instead they are opting instead for similar, but not identical styles.

This trend is catching fire. Why's that? 

  • Bridesmaids get to have some freedom in their dress choice (who knew?).
  • Everyone ends up looking like themselves and feeling (and photographing) their best!

Elegant summer blue! Style 2970 and 2989 in mist
Picture by @lindsay_hackney

By default, girls are going to choose something that's flattering and that they feel confident wearing.

A bridal party with a view. Doesn't get much better than that! Everyone is in our Alfred Sung collection in Pearl Pink

Going rogue is not an option

Giving your best gals some freedom of choice doesn't mean that you let them go rogue though. It's important to set up some pretty strict stipulations to keep everything look organised and elegant. We've outlined the rules that will ensure everyone is happy and that your bridal party looks chic and sophisticated.

1. COLOR - Choose one or two Pantone shade(s) for your ladies. If you have just a few bridesmaids (like four or less) you could get a little risky and let them choose within a color family (like deep blue). A color story is a MUST, so this point is non-negotiable. We recommend following the outlined color rule and combining it with one or two of the tips below:

2. FABRIC - Whether it's lace or lurex (just kidding!) give your girls a fabric that they must stick to. Chiffon and silk crepe are both awesome!

3. LENGTH - Just below the knee, tea length or gown length are all great options. Something we love is having your maid of honor wear a gown while all other bridesmaids go for a shorter length.

4. NECKLINE - This is less popular, but it's still a noteworthy idea. Keep it sweetheart, one-shoulder or a classic scoop and then let them run a little wild with the length and fabric!

Running to the reception in Hunter Green

Fun fact

All images used in this post are from real Dessy weddings featured on our Facebook page! And just how fabulous do these real life girls look! 



Citrus wedding themes - these photos are going to make you want one!

 

citrus wedding theme ideas

Citrus. The very word makes you taste a zest and a zing. Gives you energy and vitality.

Layer a delicious mix of oranges, yellows and greens and you can create a visual palette that's refreshing and uplifting. 

Just think about Amal Clooney at Harry and Meghan's wedding - she absolutely nailed a bright yellow dress and hat and looked fantastic. (And she had the perfect arm candy too). 

 

A post shared by Footwear News (@footwearnews) on

 

How to do a citrus wedding theme

  • Use lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits for fun yet inexpensive displays. Makes a change from florals (although you can mix them both up)
  • Order whole trays of your chosen fruits from your grocer - and ask for the leaves too
  • Fill trugs and vases with piles of perfect, waxy fruits
  • Wear a citrus fragrance (we love Jo Malone's grapefruit collection)
  • Put your bridesmaids in citrussy colors - which could be brights or muted pastels
  • Mix block colors with lemon, green and tangerine florals
  • Serve a citrus-based cocktail to guests on arrival
  • In winter, choose heavier fabrics in citrus colours and in summer opt for lighter chiffons
  • Think about citrus envelopes for your wedding invitations - use paler colors if that works best for you
  • Wear pale orange, green or lemon shoes with your gown
  • Have your florist put in small fruits (like kumquats) into your wedding bouquet
  • Have citrus flavors blended into your wedding cake

)

Bella Bridesmaids style BB109 in buttercup

Alfred Sung Style D697 in mohito 

10 things Meghan Markle got absolutely right on her wedding day

I was absolutely glued to the Royal Wedding yesterday and loved everything about it. Meghan Markle is certainly a role model for many brides-to-be and here's why. 

  1. She let her natural beauty shine through and looked like the best ever version of herself. Some brides have a professional makeup artist on their wedding day (who they may not know very well at all) who gives them a whole new look - which makes them look nothing like they do usually. Having your wedding makeup done professionally isn't always a bad thing - but make sure you still look yourself, not like a stranger. Now of course you want to look your most beautiful but you also want to look recognisable - which is exactly how Ms Markle looked. Radiant yet familiar. Something to think of when you're considering your wedding day makeup. 
  2. She chose the perfect veil for her dress. Meghan's dress was beautifully simple and allowed for a dramatic cathedral-length veil with embellishments. The dress set off the veil to perfection and vice versa. 
  3. She chose the perfect dress. Meghan has a simple classic style and this shone through with the wedding dress she chose. It's not a design that's going to date anytime soon.
  4. She walked down the aisle elegantly and with fabulous deportment. Yes, Meghan was an actress, which helps. But she'd obviously walked a few times in her wedding shoes to get the feel of them and walked, with the eyes of the world upon her no less, with confidence and grace and perfect poise. Head up, shoulders back ... perfection.
  5. Beautiful flowers. From her low key bouquet to the fantastic flower arrangements on the archways. Meghan chose an all-white theme which was sophisticated and timeless. 
  6. Well-rehearsed pageboys and flowergirls. Those pageboys! They did their job fabulously, holding up Meghan's veil as she walked down the aisle. They were confident and well-prepared and knew exactly what their role was. 
  7. Meghan looked as through she was enjoying every minute (and we're sure she was). Some brides feel very nervous on their wedding day and forget to smile, and so look tense. Her actress training probably helped, but Meghan looked relaxed and so happy - which made for wonderful wedding photographs. 
  8. She had a low key manicure. Meghan opted for a classic pale and neutral manicure which suited her wedding day style absolutely. Make sure you have beautifully manicured hands on your big day but don't decide that that's the day you go for acrylic nails (if you don't usually wear them). 
  9. She chose perfect jewellery for her dress. Okay, it helps if Her Majesty The Queen lends you a priceless diamond tiara but Meghan also had a beautiful diamond bracelet on her right hand and some diamond earrings. We might not have her diamond budget or family heirlooms but think about the jewellery you wear on your wedding day and how it will suit your dress and your style of wedding. Don't leave it to be an afterthought. 
  10. She married her soulmate, Prince Harry. And looked as though that was the only thing that really mattered.  

 

 

A post shared by Jess & Mika (@mirandajess) on

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).