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Wedding favors - DIY or don't DIY? What's best?

(Image credits: All via Pinterest except for Sloe Gin via Wedding Journal Online, personalised mints via Etsy).

Wedding favors are one of those little wedding extras that can cause a real headache.

  • What can you get that's different?
  • What can you get that's within your budget?
  • Are wedding favors a waste of money anyway?

Great recipe here to make gingerbread hearts.

Why are wedding favors a thing?

Wedding favors are given to guests to thank them for coming to your special day - traditionally they consisted of five sugared almonds in a gift bag (see how to DIY these inexpensively below). However, times have moved on, and many couples look for something that fits with their theme as a token for the guest to remember the wedding.

So what to do?

Well, you could go down the route of not giving them at all. Great if you are marrying abroad (baggage allowance is terrible these days!), or if your budget is extremely tight. But if you do choose to offer your guests a token of your appreciation of their attendance, there are two real routes to consider. Pre-made wedding favors or home-made.

(Image credit: Sugared almonds from Sweets Wholesale, gauze bags from Amazon, decorative tags by Hobbycraft)

DIY wedding favors

These can be really personal. Guests will know that you have taken time and effort to create your offerings and that means quite a lot. After all, anyone can just buy a little something. You can even make favors as part of a hen do these days so you don't have to do all the work yourself! Food or drink is the easy option here. Cookies are a great and inexpensive way of saying thanks. A heart-shaped cutter and little clear bags with ribbon at the top and you are away. Similarly there are many good chocolate moulds available. Little bags of sweets are easy to do. You could provide little boxes and encourage guests to fill with a mini cake of their choice (perhaps instead of one large wedding cake), or with sweets from a candy bar.

Homemade jam always sits well, as do little jars of hot chocolate mix (complete with mini marshmallows!). If you would rather the favor made it past the end of the night, a little keepsake such as candles, bath products or a personalised bauble at Christmas time are all lovely ideas.

We also like the idea of giving every guest a little pot of daffodils or narcissi when they are in season (which will also decorate your tables).

Is your wedding glamorous or luxe?

Then forget DIY. Unless you are a professional confectioner or baker; or unless you are a crafter and make things for a living, chances are you won't have the time or skills to create something you will be truly happy with. Time to splash the cash.

Buying favors

These may seem like the easy option, but while they don't take as long to organise and don't require you to have shares in your nearest craft/baking store, they do require a little more brain power. It is very easy to go on-line or into a shop and purchase any old thing that fits your price range. However, if you want your guests to actually take the gifts home (and use them), you need to be a little more selective.

If you are marrying in a vineyard, or if one of you is Scottish for example, a little bottle of local wine or whisky can be a lovely, thoughtful gift.

So what is better? DIY or shop bought?

That depends. Your time is precious. If you have enough of it and fancy giving it a go, then DIY is lovely, especially if you are looking at a vintage or rustic wedding. If you have only a little time, then why not mix the two and give a gift that is part bought, part made such as a little picture frame with an image of your friend inside.

Wondering about wedding themes? Why blue is never wrong ...

If you're not a bride who is in love with the color pink, then choosing wedding accessories in blue could be the answer, particularly the shade that's known as duck egg blue.

Why this particular blue is so versatile

  • It's a pastel shade - which means it will melt into the background if you want it to
  • It works beautifully at spring, summer and winter weddings
  • Combine duck egg blue wedding accessories with gold or silver and you get a very special luxe effect
  • Think about bronze, silver or gold shoes for your bridesmaids - or play it down with neutrals
  • Duck egg blue looks fabulous on wedding cakes too

For a clever, refined look at a bridesmaid dress, check this frock from Dessy. DC2946 which is actually a soft tulle in celadon over platinum rococo lace dress. Match with our Pearly Aqua Chandelier Earrings.

Romantic blue bridesmaid dress and earrings by Dessy

Why else is blue such a dream wedding theme? Use it to dress the inside of a marquee, for your seating plans, on your tables.

Clematis cakes by Rosalind Miller

Other reasons to choose blue

You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to flowers. Talk to your florist but just as a starter you can opt for; hyacinths, bluebells, delphiniums, clematis, grape hyacinths, ranunculus, lavender, larkspur, anenomes ...

Blue is a classic color for wedding invitations too. Nothing is quite as inviting as a crisp blue envelope coming into the mailbox, complete with beautiful calligraphy.

Invitations by Ananya

This shade of blue works well with lace as well. Consider placing lace over a blue tablecloth. Or dressing your bridesmaids in different shades of blue for an ombre effect.

And of course, you'll be following the old rhyme for what to wear at a wedding for good fortune:

"Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue ..."

Credits: Wedding Cushion by Cherry Pete from Not On The High Street, bridesmaids with flowers via, wedding photo with balloons by Max & Friends via, buttonhole by Anna del Greco at BridalbyAnna.

20 Things You Should Know About Bridesmaids

(Image credit: Dessy Facebook page)

  1. A Sri Lankan bride currently holds the record for having the most number of bridesmaids - 126 - at her wedding in November 2013
  2. The Romans started a tradition of dressing the bride and bridesmaids the same - something that continued until Victorian times. But not a tradition we're likely to follow today!
  3. The oldest ever bridesmaid was Edith Gulliford, at the age of 105. She was maid of honour to Kyra and James in 2007 at Chatham, England. (Source: Guinness World Records).
  4. Don't be a bridezilla and try and get involved in your hen party organisation. Leave that to your chief bridesmaid and the rest of the girls. It's meant to be a lovely surprise for you!
  5. Your best friend might not be the best person to be your chief bridesmaid. She might a) live abroad b) have young children or be expecting c) not be a great organiser d) have a very demanding job e) be shy and retiring. You need to think about who is going to be able to commit to the job and do it well
  6. Be sensitive about finances. Not everybody has big salaries or spare cash. So let it be known that you're not necessarily expecting to have a blow-out weekend in a European city or further afield for your hen do. (Remember what happened in the film 'Bridesmaids'?)
  7. If you haven't seen the film 'Bridesmaids' then it's part of your wedding planning to catch it on Netflix or a DVD. Plenty of food for thought there
  8. If you want your girls to have their hair and/or make-up professionally done on the morning of your wedding, then you really need to foot the bill for this (see note 6)
  9. On the same note, don't suggest that your girls join you on your diet/boot camp, daily fitness sessions. If they want to, fine but don't put any pressure on them. They come as is!
  10. Work with your girls to choose their bridesmaid dresses. Don't just tell them what they're wearing - let them get involved by giving them a choice of gowns
  11. You should expect to pay for your bridesmaids dresses. Unless you've really given them carte blanche to pick out what they want to wear with no involvement. Make it clear ahead of time that you're expecting them to pay for their own dresses (if that's what you've decided to do)
  12. Putting your bridesmaids all in the same frock and the same colour is a bit dated. Far better (and far more flattering for them individually) to have different styles of frock in styles that will suit them. For example, your well-endowed friend may not thank you for putting her in a strapless number(Image credits: Little White and Kaleigh Foster via Dessy Facebook)
  13. Think necklines and hemlines. Your girls will probably have a good idea of which neckline suits them best - one-shoulder, strapless, sweetheart. And as for hemlines, not everybody will want to wear a short cocktail frock - if they're self-conscious about their legs they might prefer a tea-length gown.
  14. The same goes for colours. The same colour won't necessarily suit everyone so consider having different tones of the same shade (for an ombre effect). And some colours work well together - royal blue and orange, pastels, pale blue and sand tones. Get a Dessy Pantone tool to help you work out your colour scheme.
  15. If you're marrying in the summer, or one of your maids is going on a sunshine holiday just before your wedding, gently remind her of her style of bridesmaid dress so that she won't have strap-marks that will be noticeable.
  16. Your bridesmaids should each be allowed to bring their boyfriends/partners/husbands as a plus one. Goes without saying!
  17. Don't insist that your bridesmaids join you in endless favour-making afternoons/evenings. You can invite them along, but it's not everybody's idea of a good time to spend hours painting shells/boxes/making bunting
  18. It used to be the tradition that bridesmaids were always single, unmarried women. That's no longer the case I'm glad to say
  19. Girls are junior bridesmaids - not flowergirls - after the age of eight. Dessy has a fabulous selection of junior bridesmaid dresses designed to fit pre-teens - and many of them match the adult bridesmaid dresses by Dessy.
  20. Remember that you want these girls to be your friends when you're married. So don't be a bridezilla. They're part of your big day and there to help and support you - so have fun too!

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses - so many reasons why they're a great idea

(Images via Dessy Facebook page)

Weddings aren't 'cookie cutter'

How you display your individuality and taste on your wedding day is entirely up to you.

  • You don't have to dress your bridesmaids exactly the same
  • You don't have to have a cream or ivory dress
  • You don't have to have a white tiered wedding cake
  • You don't have to wear a veil
  • You can get married morning, afternoon or early evening

We found this great inspiration for mis-matched bridesmaid outfits via Easy Dreamer Photography to help give you some inspiration into the great world of 'anything goes' when it comes to bridesmaids. These girls aren't dressed like traditional bridesmaids at all - but this look really works, particularly if you're a bohemian, quirky sort of a bride.

Oh, and we love the idea of using globe artichokes as table decorations. A real talking point.

Couples now have so many options to personalize their Big Day. From decorations to venues you can make your wedding into exactly what you've envisioned.

One great way to individualize your day is through fashion. Bridesmaids can now wear matching dresses, mis-matched dresses, homemade dresses or evening gowns. Now, of course we at Dessy are partial to dresses, but love the trends of having a rainbow of colors where each bridesmaid wears a different color. Or, having the same color but on a different dress for each maid.

Look through these images and this bride really hasn't chosen traditional wedding colors at all. And yet the photographs are still romantic and dreamy.

That's because she's really worked out her color choices and cleverly threaded through some similar hues. Check the mustard coloured frock which works perfectly with the acid green of the flowers. The floral dresses. The blue beads matching the nail polish choices.

Bohemian certainly but very beautiful too.

Images by Easy Dreamer Photography

Blush pink bridesmaid dresses all girls will want to wear

(Image credits: Fulham Palace Weddings, Fab Mood Gorgeous Wedding Shoes, Hey Wedding Lady)

It's romantic, dreamy, timeless, classic. Just look at this inspiration you'll see that blush pink and weddings are made to go together.

Blush and Beige Bridesmaids Dresses

Back at the reception, I would be tempted to go for vintage-style table decorations like this beautiful one by the appropriately named Blush Rose Events - the colours are as subtle and lovely as the bridesmaids dresses!

And you can tell from this photo taken in the winter snow by Sara Ackermann Photography at Tara Nicole Weddings and Events that you're not confined to the summer months for your blush and rose bridesmaid dresses. Perfect against the snow (but give your girls something to wrap themselves in too). And of course the joy of Twist Dresses like these is that there are endless ways to wear them, making the dresses probably THE most versatile around. Shown here in Blush and Sea Pink.

Blush and Beige Bridesmaids Dresses

Blush and Rose Twist Bridesmaid Dresses

Blush pink gowns sort all sorts of complexions - both fair and darker. It's not true that pink looks best on blondes. Just look at this photograph of girls in their Dessy blush pink bridesmaid frocks to see the truth of it.

(Image credit: Kristin Byrum Photography)

Ways to use blush pink on your big day

  • Delicate pink roses in a bouquet
  • Metallics in soft silvers, gold and bronze work well with blush pink
  • Scented rose candles at the entrance to the ceremony
  • A delicate chiffon or organza stole or wrap for your maids
  • The softest pink lip stain
  • On your invitations of course - a delicate pink envelope
  • A blush-inspired wedding cake
  • Or maybe a pink ribbon around a classic white tiered cake
  • Pink champagne on arrival at the reception
  • Rose lemonade served as a non-alcoholic option
  • Pink napkins at place settings
  • Delicate pink shoes for the bride peeping from underneath an ivory gown

(Image credit: Wedding cake by GC Couture Cakes , rose chandelier earrings by Dessy).

5 things you need to know about sleeves on bridesmaid dresses

Are you planning sleeves on your bridesmaid frocks or would you rather your maids go sleeveless? How can you choose? Here's what you need to know.

1. Sleeves are a good choice for some religious ceremonies

The priest marrying you both may have a view of appropriate attire for getting married - and that will include your bridesmaids. So if your girls are covered up - even if it's just the shoulders - you will know that you are following any necessary etiquette. This Alfred Sung style could be just what you're looking for. Or the Lela Rose style LR225 below is a good halfway house - it's formal without being frumpy.

Alfred Sung Style D736

(Credit: The Jon Hartman Photography Company)

2. Your girls will thank you if you're marrying in winter

Set your wedding day during the winter months and it's likely to be chilly outside. Not great for when your maids are hanging about waiting to have their photographs taken - and worse if they are skimpily dressed! Somehow arms are always the part of the body that seems to get cold first. You could choose a gown with sleeves but that might not work so well if you're having an evening party (unless everyone is getting changed for that). Be prepared by letting your girls cosy up in a beautiful Dessy stole.

(Credit: Priscila Valentina)

3. Ditch the sleeves if you're expecting hot, hot weather

Having a beach wedding? Tying the knot outside under a blazing sun with no air-conditioning? Then we'd say forget about sleeves for your girls. They'll get anxious about patches of perspiration and will want to keep their cool with spaghetti straps, strapless frocks or a cap sleeve.

(Credit: On A Whim Photography)

4. Cap sleeves come in all sorts of styles

Depending on the neckline you choose you can have cap sleeves that stand up or ones that are slightly off the shoulder. Maybe this is one you should let your girls choose for yourselves - they'll know what suits them and what makes them feel most comfortable.

5. Stoles and wraps are the perfect accessory

Not only will they provide the perfect cover up, but if you're looking for a gift then a bridesmaid wrap or stole is both perfect and practical. Your maids can wear one again and again. Choose a fabric that works with the dress - chiffon, georgette or a soft wool are all options (depending on the season and location).

These rose gold bridesmaid separates will make you MELT

Beautiful and affordable - our new rose gold bridesmaid collection brings a whole new dimension to dressing your girls!

We've created a collection of bridesmaid separates that's trendy and affordable. And they're beautiful!

Your maids will love these looks

Put a sequin camisole top with floaty romantic skirt in a pastel. Or try it the other way around. It's your choice. If you ever wanted to be a dress designer then here's your chance.

The secret to dressing your bridesmaids well is to flatter and with this collection you can do just that. Choose a hemline that sweeps along the ground or show off those legs in a knee skimming length.

A post shared by Wedding Chicks® (@weddingchicks) on

We've designed skirts in so many styles you'll find it hard to make up your mind. Maybe a trumpet-shape shape skirt in sequins? Or a metallic top with spaghetti straps?

It's never been easier to create a custom look for your ladies.At the wedding itself you could dress your girls in one style for the ceremony. Then change it around for the drinks reception. And then again for the evening party.

A wardrobe favorite

These separates aren't going to be tucked away in the closet after the confetti has fallen and the wedding is over. Oh no. Afterwards your girls are going to want to take them out and show them off again and again. Because they are gorgeous.

  • They could wear one of these metallic camisole with jeans to dress things up a bit.
  • Or add a sparkly skirt to add a note of glamor to an evening dinner.
  • Or both together.

At these prices you can afford to get so many different looks. Mismatched bridesmaid dresses continue to be a real thing and rose gold metallics are absolutely right now.

So have a browse through Dessy and the Wedding Chicks collection here ...

12 secrets about choosing wedding veils all brides should know

(Veils above by The Wedding Veil Shop)

Choosing the perfect wedding veil veil can be a complicated task for many brides. One-tier or two-tier? White or ivory? Tulle or lace? This bridal task becomes one you'll relish with these goof-proof tips.


  1. Choose your bridal gown BEFORE you decide on a veil (unless of course you're wearing a family heirloom)
  2. Expect your mom, sister or friend to cry when they first see you in a wedding veil
  3. Think carefully about your hairstyle if you're wearing a veil
  4. Take the veil to the hairdresser to experiment
  5. Practice taking it off for the reception with your chief bridesmaid
  6. Wear a birdcage veil if your dress is short or retro. You can keep it on for the reception too
  7. A blush veil is one which folds over the face when you're walking down the aisle, then lifted when you reach the altar
  8. For a bit more coverage, choose an elbow-length veil. Particularly if your dress has an ornate bodice you want to show off
  9. Fingertip veils are good for full-length gowns, particularly if the bride is tall. But it won't look good if your wedding dress has a train
  10. A cathedral veil is floor length and dramatic. It looks wonderful with a formal gown (think of Kate Middleton on her wedding day) and falls six inches past the train
  11. A white veil suits a classic white wedding dress. Or choose 'antique white' if you're wearing an off-white dress. If your dress is ivory, choose a champagne colored veil
  12. Try on several different veils when you're choosing your wedding dress and listen to what the salesperson suggests. Although you may have always had your heart set on a particular type of veil, you could surprise yourself

Finally, if you want your wedding photographs to remain classic, then try not to choose a wedding veil that's too on-trend as it will look seriously dated in a short while.

A post shared by Coastal Occasions (@coastaloccasions) on

5 Things to DIY On Your Wedding Day and 5 Things to AVOID!


So you're all over Pinterest picking up ideas, checking out crafting blogs, on Instagram, YouTube ...

It's easy to get the DIY bug when you're planning your wedding and decide that you're going to make as much of everything you need as you can. And it's certainly a way to personalise your wedding day.

However, experience and stories from past brides have shown that some things are best not DIY-d unless you are a professional. Whilst others are simple and a cinch.

Via Not On The High Street

These are ok to DIY for your wedding day

Your wedding stationery

You can make a start by downloading these free "Will you be my bridesmaid?" cards from Dessy here.

Don't underestimate the amount of time it will take to make your own invitations and stationery - and don't demand that your bridesmaids help you either. Be realistic about what you can achieve - but if you decide to go for it, then enjoy!

Your wedding cake

Seriously? Yes. The trick is to buy a plain, white tiered cake from a reputable source - Marks & Spencer and Waitrose do some excellent plain iced cakes. Then decorate it yourself using fresh flowers or butterflies as Fiona Cairns shows above. (She made Kate Middleton's wedding cake, so she's certainly got a reputation to uphold).


Ok, we'd advise you not to make your own wedding bouquet. But you could certainly do the flowers for your table centrepieces. If you're having a countrystyle wedding day, wild flowers in jam jars can look fabulous.

A post shared by White Barn Events JCross Ranch (@whitebarnevents) on

Your make-up

You don't need to get it professionally done. In fact, in some ways it's better if you don't, as a make-up artist might give you a new look that makes you unrecognisable. Instead, visit a few make-up counters in the run up to your wedding day to get some ideas on how to accent your best features and have some lessons. Then you can do it calmly yourself on the morning of your wedding day.

Your wedding favors

You don't want to spend a lot of money on these that can be better used elsewhere. We've talked a lot about DIY wedding favors which could be as simple as a beautiful beach pebble with the guest's name written on.

A post shared by The Dessy Group (@dessygroup) on

Wedding DIY to avoid

Your wedding dress

Don't even go there. Even if you're a professional. Making your own wedding dress is time-consuming, stressful and it's got to be perfect. If you are a professional, well, perhaps that's ok. But make sure you have some help along the way. If you're tight on budget and that's why you're considering making your own dress, then there are plenty of other options - you can check out wedding dress sample sales, hiring a dress or finding a vintage gown that you can make your own.

purple wedding bouquet

Your wedding bouquet

This is going to take centre stage on your wedding day. If you are a florist then maybe you can consider it (although you're going to be pushed for time the day before you get married, which is when it's likely to be made). Take our advice and have it made by a professional (although of course you can diy floral items like your wedding tablecenters).

Your wedding music

You might think that a Spotify playlist or playlist you've created will do the job, along with wireless speakers. But best not to go down this route. Your music is an integral part of your guest entertainment - it could go wrong and then what will you do? Better to hire a professional DJ or a band.

The bride and groom were DJs at their wedding


Try and put a chunk of your budget towards hiring a professional photographer. You might have a friend who takes good photographs who offers to help, but the result won't be nearly as good and in any case your friend might drift off to enjoy the party and miss some key shots. A professional photographer will be on duty, take the images you need and make some useful suggestions.


Your hands are going to be on show all day and be a focus in your wedding photographs. So even if you've never had a manicure in your life, then this is the time to go for it. Have your nails professionally manicured, don't varnish them yourself. You'll get a better finish and be confident that your hands look their very best. coloured nail varnish

Trash the wedding dress? Or treasure it forever?

The Best Trash the Wedding Dress Ideas We've Seen!

The wedding is over, the guests are gone and your wedding dress now hangs in your closet ready to be sent to the dry cleaners and stored away for eternity.

Or maybe you're a trash the wedding dress bride?

In recent years, there's been a vogue for brides to have photographs of themselves literally 'trashing' their dress in the most spectacular ways. They do it in all sorts of ways:

  • Lying down in the waves at the seashore as above
  • Running romantically through wheatfields with their partner
  • Wearing it to a festival (when it's muddy)
  • Worn it during a food fight
  • Used it as a canvas for a paint splattering session

Well it's your call, but we don't really think trashing your wedding dress is particularly romantic. In fact, you may well come to regret it in years to come, particularly if your daughter or granddaughter asks if they can wear it on their own wedding day.

Trashing the wedding dress photos

Photo featured on and taken by Jeremy Wolfe. WinterTrashtheDress
Photo by

Photo featured on by Sullivan Photography.

So what about treasuring your wedding dress?

You'll have spent a lot of time (and probably money) choosing your beautiful wedding gown. So doesn't it deserve to be professionally dry-cleaned and stored carefully in tissue paper in a box in your home? Just think how wonderful it will be to pull it out in years to come to show it off to your daughters/nieces/grandaughters ...

A post shared by The Dessy Group (@dessygroup) on

In which case you might like to think about having a professional photography shoot after your wedding day that is the opposite of a trash the wedding dress day - rather a 'cherish the wedding dress' day.

You can book a photographer, after all the stress and fuss of your wedding day, and pose in your wedding gown looking relaxed and beautiful (particularly if it's just after your honeymoon).

You can wear your gorgeous wedding shoes again, pick a location that means something to you and have the photography taken at your leisure.

It's certainly a thought - and gives you a chance to wear your wedding gown all over again ...