Why you should consider having floral bridesmaid dresses

(Images above from left: Alfred Sung Style D699P and Jenny Yoo 534

Flowers and weddings go together like ... perfection.

One trend to consider is having floral print bridesmaid dresses. The other day we recommended the idea of just having your maid of honour wear a floral gown as a way of standing out from the other bridesmaids, but here I'll show you how stunning the entire bridal party can look if more of the maids are dressed in florals.

Floral don't have to be spriggy chintzes either - you can have delicate flowers or something larger and more splashy - as Dessy shows here.

(All bridesmaids dresses from Dessy. From above: Jenny Yoo Style JY533, Dessy 2828, Alfred Sung 699FP, After Six 6766)

And then below we have another beautiful interpretation (from Green Wedding Shoes via Pinterest) where the bride chose to use the hand-tied flowers to lead the visual impact with bold, striking colours and dramatic ribbons. This allowed the girls to mix and match their dresses with two pale pink floral on black (one high neck, one a deep V) and one solid black deep V; two pale pink floral on blush (again one high neck, one a deep V) and one solid pale pink high neck. Very cleverly structured so that the seemingly random selection of dresses is actually extremely well planned and perfectly balanced with the bride's stunning cross-over gown.

pink floral print bridesmaid dresses

Another beautiful example of pink floral print bridesmaid dresses is this image from Knotsville.com via Pinterest. This time the background of the bridesmaids' gowns is a delicate duck egg blue which is a brilliant foil for the coral pink floral pattern, adding a lovely depth to the overall effect:

pink floral print bridesmaid dresses

As you can see, there are many ways to make floral bridesmaids dresses a unique statement at your wedding. Just look at the floral options available from Dessy and you'll be immediately inspired by the variety of colour within the fabric which will allow you to pick out whichever element you want as a highlight (pink, coral, red, yellow, green), as well as the different bridesmaid necklines (jewel, strapless and deep V).

pink floral print bridesmaid dresses

From the left we have D707FP, centre is D724CP and right is D723FP, all from the fabulous Alfred Sung collection at Dessy for the perfect summer wedding. Happy picking!

Which necklines would suit your bridesmaids?

(Real bridesmaids wearing a selection of Dessy gowns)

We ladies, we come in all different shapes and sizes. No two of us are quite the same (not even if we're twins).

Some of us are small and curvy. Some of us are athletic and toned. Others of us are just skinny.

Changing features

One thing is for sure, none of us are 100% happy with the way we look - we all have bits we'd like to change.
So what you need to make sure is that onlookers focus on your good bits (while you disguise the rest).

And that's also important when it comes to choosing bridesmaid dresses.

Dressing your bridesmaids to flatter

I hope that you're not going to dress each of your maids in exactly the same frock regardless of their shape and whether the colour and style suits them - there are so many ways around this, particularly if you choose a bridesmaid dress designer like Dessy who offer styles in as many colours and shapes as you can imagine. And it's easy to navigate your way around the site - just tick whether you're looking for cocktail dresses, full length dresses, halter necklines ...

So today I'm going to talk about necklines and what suits different - erm - chests. Here goes.

Alfred Sung Style D697

Scoop necklines

If you're fairly well endowed but aren't given to flashing your cleavage about (and you need a bit of support) then a scoop neckline is classy, flattering and comfortable.

After Six Style 6742

Halter necklines

If you're less well endowed, but have elegant trim shoulders and upper arms then a halter neckline is the way ahead.

Alfred Sung Style D681

Bateau neckline

This is a higher neckline- so suitable when you want to feel quite 'covered' up. Again, good for girls with small bustlines.A V-neckline can look stunning on girls with boobs. (The one above is Dessy Alfred Sung Style D681)

If you're a well endowed kind of a girl, look at V-necklines and styles which have a defined waist - like the Dessy dress shown above. Go shopping for a really good bra that's going to support you - take your bridesmaid dress with you to make sure the two work together.

Alfred Sung Style D691

One shoulder necklines

Va-va voom glamour alert. If your wedding is moving from day to night these are dresses that will look pretty and party on. Best worn by girls who have medium sized busts - if you're flat chested you won't really be able to carry off this look and larger girls will feel uncomfortable. Again, finding the right bra is crucial - so take your dress with you when you go bra shopping to ensure a really good fit.

Jenny Yoo Style JY536

Strapless styles

Look at shots of film stars in the 1950s (I'm thinking Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor) and you'll see that strapless frocks have never been out of style. Fabulous choice for bridesmaids but not for flat chested girls (or girls who are large up top). Make sure you're wearing supportive underwear and make sure your strapless gown fits you perfectly - resist the temptation to pull it up all the time, that's so not a good look. If you're going to wear a strapless gown then you've got to wear it with confidence.

All bridesmaids dresses featured available from Dessy.

Transform your wedding reception into a cherry blossom-filled forest

Every year when the blossom trees come out I am struck by the precious, delicate beauty of the flowers and find it one of the most beautiful of sights.

And of course, I'm not the only one! The cherry blossom season in Kyoto is one of the world's most glorious natural events.

A canopy of blossom for your wedding day

So how would you like to turn your wedding reception into a cherry-tree blossom filled forest, like this one here?

artificial blossom trees

I challenge anyone to find a more beautiful, show-stopping sight than this incredible set-up from the innovative venue styling, marquee decor experts, Crescent Moon.

This is a company that really knows how to decorate a venue beautifully. Of course, it could be said that Kate Middleton kick-started the wedding tree trend six years ago when the aisle of Westminster Abbey was lined inside with trees, giving her a forest-style walk to her prince.

Crescent Blossom have two options for brides wishing to replicate the look. An avenue of artificial blossom trees as shown above within a marquee or room, or using the fake cherry blossom trees as table centres as below.

artificial blossom trees

In my opinion, both look completely beautiful.

The blossom-filled forest would be perfect for a spring or an early summer wedding day - particularly if the wedding is uncertain and you're marrying in a marquee. By decorating the interior of your venue you really can bring the outside in, and not worry about any potential rain.

In winter, the bare trees decorating the table will give a winter forest effect.

So if you want to have one of the most romantic wedding receptions ever, take a look at Crescent Moon's website and see how the experts use blossom trees - it really would give you a wedding day look that you and your guests would never forget.

Why we love Barn Weddings

Kingsbury Barn, St Albans, England

Charming, stylish, bags of personality, bit of a history (in a good way) and dependable.

Okay - so we know your fiancé is all that and more! But the same description could also be applied to a wedding that's held in a barn.

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Unpredictable weather

To be honest, in the UK we never know where we are with the weather. Marry in the summer and you're not guaranteed a beautiful June day - it could be cold, chilly and wet. You could plan an autumn wedding and be blessed with glorious sunshine. You just never know.

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A rural countryside feel

Which is why holding your wedding in a barn could work perfectly for you, particularly if you want a slightly rural, countryside feel to the whole day.

You'll find that many barn venues are licensed so that you can hold your wedding ceremony there and then move straight onto a party (which is going to save you on transport costs for a start).

Barn decorations

Decorating a barn isn't difficult either. The whole rustic background will give your wedding a personality, even before you start decorating.

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Add a few haybales, bunting and letters and styling your barn wedding is simple!

You can take the weather as it comes - if it's a beautiful day have drinks and canapes outside and then move under the barn's beams for dinner and dancing. Bring the outside inside with haybales and rustic-inspired flowers and decorations.

Twine fairy lights around the beams to give a touch of magical sparkle and atmosphere.

barn wedding decorated

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Dress up barn beams with lengths of inexpensive muslin and you'll really get the wow factor. You can use muslin for the tablecloths too.

Remember that if you have a venue with character it's much easier to decorate and a barn lends itself perfectly to a boho style or vintage wedding theme.

Why You Should Keep An Open Mind When Shopping For A Wedding Dress

One of my girlfriends is getting married in December - she's had a bit of a whirlwind engagement - and because she knows I write about weddings she asked me to join her on a wedding dress shopping trip.

I was so honored. So at the duly appointed time, I met her and her teenage daughter at the wedding dress shop for the appointment she'd set up, at Ellie Sanderson's shop in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

Fixed ideas about a wedding frock

It was a real eye opener to me. My girlfriend had arrived with a moodboard and she had very fixed ideas about her colors, the style of dress she wanted and the fit. (Her daughter is quite involved in the wedding planning side of things and had a very efficient-looking file with her).

My girlfriend (I won't name names in case her husband-to-be is reading this!) had a look around at all the gowns, and then chatted to Ellie about the sort of wedding day she was planning, the time of year it was, where the ceremony was being held and the time of day.

Experts like Ellie Sanderson look at a bride's whole personality - as well as figure - and I was impressed at how quickly Ellie summed up my friend's being.

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Dressing For Your Fiance

The bride to be is a bright, bouncy kind of a person - it's a second marriage - and she wants to look amazing for her fiance (no surprises there then).

Ellie pulled out a selection of dresses from the racks - talked about why she thought they would suit and the pair of them then went off to the changing rooms, whilst teenage daughter and I chatted and waited impatiently. At this point you should know that my girlfriend had arrived in jeans and a shirt - so when she swept back out again in a floor length full bridal gown, with her hair pinned up off her shoulders, there was a total transformation.

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Play Up Your Good Points

My friend - let's call her D - has great shoulders, lovely skin and a good bustline. All of which were accentuated perfectly in an ivory, strapless frock with a hidden built-in corset which gave her a wonderful shape. The duchesse satin was pleated across the front (a confidence trick if you're less than perfectly happy with your tummy) and then the whole gown fell below to a wonderful full, sweeping skirt with a small train. D looked quite the princess. She immediately said 'this is the dress I want' but we persuaded her to try on a few more, which brought out different features. Each had their good points - but we all agreed that the dress she first tried on was The One. Which is interesting, because that's not always the case. Brides to be often arrive at a shop with a particular idea of a gown they've seen in a magazine and demand to try it on but are disappointed when it doesn't look quite right on them.

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Listen To The Experts

If you think about it, the experts in bridal shops see so many different girls a year and know the different specialties of different designers - so with just a look at you they can sum up what is going to show off your good points and flatter, and what will diminish your not so good characteristics.

Anyway, about an hour and a half later, D went back to the original dress and put it back on. As it was strapless, she felt she needed more of a cover-up for the ceremony itself and has chosen to wear a delicate lace tie back top made by Sassi Holford which gives a perfect day to night look. (She also looked very pretty in it.lace bridal top

Lace top by Sassi Holford

Originally D had wanted a purple wedding dress - to introduce a note of purple I suggested that she wear some purple shoes instead - an idea she loved for the quirkiness of it. Of course, she's getting married in December so purple is a wonderfully rich winter color for flowers too.

So to sum up. When you're wedding dress shopping:

  • Take a moodboard with you so that the shop knows the kind of look you're after
  • Talk about the sort of bride you want to be and how you see the event going
  • Let the experts look at you, your shape so they can judge what will suit you
  • Choose some dresses yourself but let the experts also make suggestions - you may well be surprised and that may end up being the dress you wear!
  • Think about colored accessories like shoes
  • If you have teenage daughters and nieces, don't be afraid to invite them along. If you look good they'll tell you, if not they'll also tell you honestly!

17 ways to make your wedding a bit QUIRKY!

Are you the kind of girl who likes to do things her own way?

You don't mind a bit of traditional - but you'd like to shake things up a little. Add a few surprises. Make your wedding day a little quirky.

I've had a look through some real weddings and some suggestions made by brides and created the following list of 20 ways to add that special quirky.

See what you think and if you've any to add, please let me know! All suggestions welcome.

20 Ways To Make Your Wedding Day A Little Bit Quirky

1. On each guest setting, write a note on how they know the bride and groom. Eg "Met the groom at school aged 7 and have been friends ever since." Or "Live next door to the bride and groom." A great ice breaker for the tables and a sure conversation starter.You could also do the above as a wedding badge - but keep it shorter. Eg - "This is the bride's auntie Rachel". "This is the groom's Boss!"

2. As a wedding favor, get a little mini Lego figure made of each guest. You can do this via MiniFigMe.com. And even if you don't do it for the adults, it's a great idea for kids wedding favors!

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3. Wear colored wedding shoes

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4. Mis-match your bridesmaids necklines. Let them choose what suits them and they'll be happy. You'll be happy. And you'll get some great photographs if everyone is smiley!

5. Give the groom and his groomsmen mismatched buttonholes too.

6. If you'd rather have a buffet and you're having a country-style wedding then what about having different styles of food served festival style in different gazebos?

7. Have a break in the dancing and hold a Mr & Mrs Quiz for the bride and groom. Guaranteed to get your guests laughing!

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8. Have a wedding photograph taken that's a pastiche of a famous movie poster image

9. Send out confetti with your wedding invitations so the guests can bring it along with them

10. Hand out DJ cards on the wedding tables and put a letterbox by the DJ so he knows what everybody would like played

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11.Surprise your other half with a groom's cake as well as your joint wedding cake

12. Copy the bouquet your grandmother held at her wedding and take a then and now image

13. Get married at 6pm and have an evening party. The law has recently changed in the UK so you can do this and it'll actually help your budget as you'll be giving your guests one meal rather than two (or an evening meal and afternoon tea).

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14. Serve a signature cocktail to your guests when they arrive.

15. Create a hashtag for your wedding day and give it to your guests so they can use it to Instagram pics, on Facebook, Snapchat or wherever. Then you'll be able to find everything. #KateandWilliamweddingday

16. Have a short video made up of your time together and use instead of a speech

17. Have a break in the dancing and play some kids games for 20 minutes so the youngsters can join in. I'm thinking games like musical chairs, musical bumps, musical statues or even pass the parcel ... all the stuff you played at parties when you were a kid.

Picking out perfect wedding accessories for your bridesmaids ...

(Breathtaking Dessy bridesmaids in our Dessy Collection dress style 2918)

My best friend always looks well-dressed and stylish. She hasn't got a big clothes budget either - she's just clever in the way she puts her outfits together. For example, she'll buy a chain store dress but swap the belt for something different or change the buttons. And so she's instantly created a look that nobody else will have - a look that's her own.

The same applies when dressing your bridesmaids.

I got to thinking about the way she accessorises and realised that the same applies with wedding accessories, especially when you're dressing your bridesmaids.

Wedding Sashes by Dessy

You could buy a dress off the peg and then embellish it with a sash. Maybe in a different colour, to contrast the whole effect. Think about the wedding accessories that will make a difference.

A georgette stole could also look very elegant - as a cover up for the religious ceremony and then to give the outfit a whole new look at the reception. (The stoles above from Dessy.)

Avoiding matchy-matchy for bridesmaids is very on trend right now. You can dress your maids in different shades, in rainbow colors or in variations on a shade (for example every color pink from the palest rose to the deepest magenta).

They'll love you for that because it means that every girl will be able to dress in a color that suits her complexion and flatters her figure. Some girls look fantastic in pastels - others look 'washed-out' and will be happier in a stronger color.

Dessy also does a tempting selection of glittery shoe clips to dress up plain ballet flats. There are mini handbags too.

The key to personalising your wedding and making it look original (and not off the peg) is to use accessories to alter an outfit. No two brides will do this in the same way. A good way to start is by looking at Pinterest and starting up your own board with accessory ideas.

10 Ideas for Wedding Table Seating Plans

Photo Credit: Laura Babb

When you get to a wedding reception, isn't checking out the seating plan board one of the first thing you do?

If you're single, it's exciting to see who you've been sat next to. And if you're a couple, it's good to see if you will be catching up with friends.

Seating is a focal point at your wedding reception and will be a gathering point for your friends at the start of the celebrations. How you choose to present your seating is entirely up to you and should be in keeping with the theme of your day.

I'm always amazed at the creativity of wedding seating plans - so here are 10 ideas for you to be thinking about for your big day.

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1. Black and white calligraphy wedding table seating plan. Never goes out of style really.

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2. Keeping it pretty and simple, with flowers and a pink wedding theme.

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3. Handwritten onto an antique mirror always looks good.

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4. Make yourself with Ferrero Rocher chocolates! A fun way to start off the festivities!

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5. Use a photograph you love of the two of you together and have it printed over.

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6. Nice idea if you have plenty of guests flying in from out of town.

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8. Maybe if you're having a tea party at your wedding reception?

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9. If you are keen bibliophiles!

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10. An easy one to DIY. Pick up old frames at any junk shop. Print out your table names and place them inside.

We'd love you to share your wedding table seating ideas and plans with us!

30 Photos You Really Need To Have Taken On Your Wedding Day

Image via Krista Mason Photography

No pressure - but your wedding day photographs are one aspect you really need to get right on your big day. There's no second chances there.

First off, you need to decide on the style of wedding photography you want. Do you prefer a traditional set up with traditional poses or are you going for a more reportage kind of a style? It's really up to you - just remember that these photographs are going to be a longstanding reminder of the day you tied the knot and you want to be sure you're going to be happy with them.

Are you a traditionalist? Photography by Jose Villa

A post shared by Krista Mason (@kristamasonphotography) on Or do you prefer reportage style?

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Before you book a photographer have a good look at their portfolio of work so that you can be sure you like their style. Ask to see testimonials from other weddings and engagement shoots.

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See how you can work your venue into the background of your images

It's also a good idea to walk around your venue looking for photo opportunities - and also give you and the photographer the chance to get to know one another. You should also give your photographer a list of must-have shots so that nothing gets forgotten (and so you don't spend any more time than you need to away from your guests). Here's our list of 30 photographs we think you'll treasure forever - and if you've any to add please leave us a comment.

20 Must Have Wedding Shots

  1. Close up of bride's dress on hanger and/or bride's shoes
  2. Bride's mother and attendants helping bride with finishing touches (veil, shoes)
  3. Bride with mother and attendants
  4. Groom with his best men
  5. Groom at altar/ceremony doorway waiting for bride
  6. Bride in car with father (or whoever is giving her away)
  7. Bride and bridesmaids walking down the aisle
  8. Groom's face when first sees bride
  9. A shot of the marriage ceremony
  10. Couple walking down aisle as newly weds
  11. Bride and groom walking out of ceremony being greeted by guests with confetti/rice
  12. Bride and groom's first kiss together
  13. Bride and groom's hands with rings
  14. Exterior of reception venue with guests arriving
  15. Bride and groom arriving in car at reception
  16. Bride and bridesmaid's bouquets
  17. Bride and groom with their attendants
  18. Bride and groom with their parents/grandparents
  19. Interior of reception venue with tables ready
  20. Seating plan
  21. Table place settings
  22. Receiving line (if you're having one)
  23. Guests' faces during bridegroom's speech
  24. Top table during speeches
  25. Bride and groom enjoying a quiet moment together as newlyweds
  26. Young bridesmaids and pageboys during reception
  27. Cake cutting
  28. Bride and groom's first dance together
  29. Guests dancing and enjoying themselves
  30. Bride and groom leaving in car for honeymoon

Anything you think we've missed?

Wedding cake trends to look out for

(Image credit: Midsummer Nights Dream by Rosalind Miller Cakes)

I don't know about you, but I LOVE looking at photographs of wedding cakes. It doesn't matter if they are professionally made or made by a keen baking friend - they are all so different.

Designers such as Rosalind Miller, Helen Mansey of Bellisimo Cakes and Ceri Olofsen of Olofsen Design are some true culinary artists to look out for. Next season's wedding cakes appear to be moving away from traditional styles. The most popular wedding cake fashions at the moment are incorporating an increasing use of color, lace, metallics and height.

glowing tiered wedding cakes

Rosalind Miller Silver Silouhette wedding cake-2

Rosalind Miller Gold Silouhette wedding cake 2

Spot the watercolor effect here below ...

floral tiered wedding cakes

Textures, embellishments and geometric patterns are all playing a part - along with this new watercolour technique.

gold sequinned wedding cakes

Metallics are increasingly popular (and Dessy has designed a range of metallic bridesmaid frocks that you should certainly check out if you like this kind of a look). Think gold, silver, platinum and rose gold for a delicate look.

Brides who love lace will be delighted by a new product - edible lace - which can be used by cake designers to match the lace on the bride's wedding dress.

Tiered wedding cakesdecorated wedding cakes in pale blue

Beaded wedding cakes are also having a bit of a moment. The beads can be all one colour or form a sort of ombre effect. Either way, we like what we are seeing!

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Florals on wedding cakes are never really going to go out of style. It just depends on the way they are done.

Whimsical cakes

Whimsical and slightly fantastic wedding cakes still have their place. It's probably because a) They allow the wedding couple to express their personality and b) Because they create a real centrepiece at the wedding reception c) They're really, really fun.

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In our view, cupcakes, shabby chic and vintage are a bit over. They've been around for a while now so it really is time for a change.