Four ways to get your bridal party better acquainted BEFORE the big day

(All bridesmaid dresses by Dessy)

 

Remember in the film 'Bridesmaids' when a group of girls meet together for the first time? All they have in common is knowing the bride - and the fact that they are all going to be her bridesmaids. Which makes for a little awkwardness. 

Unless your wedding day party is drawn entirely from friends you and your other half knew at kindergarten school (and have kept up with regularly ever since), it's likely that you're going to be bringing new faces together. And of course you want them to have fun on your big day. You want to break the ice beforehand. 

To help you along we've thought of a few ways to make those all-important introductions

1. A field day

Host a field day (you know like the ones you used to have in elementary school). Have your bridal party take part in tug-of-war, a game of cornhole, three-legged races and pie eating contests. This is a great way to get creative and really allow your important friends a chance to get to know one another.

2. A meal

Breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner – if a simple meal is all you really have time for, that's fine. Co-ordinate a few hours with your entire bridal party at your favorite restaurant or in your own home that will give them an opportunity to get acquainted.

wedding-party---600

Pictures like this (with the girls in Dessy's Twist Wrap Dress) are the more memorable when the bridal party has gotten better acquainted! Everybody will be more relaxed (which makes for better images).

3. A sporting event

A great idea for both the men of your bridal party and the women. Co-ordinate a day to see a sporting event like baseball or football or basketball. Sporting events in general bring the unlikeliest of people together in the spirit of the game, so this could be a great way for your bridal party to get to know each other.

 

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4. A cookery class

If there are no games on nearby, or the weather is unseasonal or you just want to do something different, then how about asking a professional chef to put on a cookery class for you all. This could be to make a signature dish - maybe homemade pasta - and a dessert. Don't be too ambitious with what is cooked - it's not competitive! You could host the event in your own home if you have room or ask a nearby friendly restaurant if they could help. Then finish off by eating what you've cooked (or have a restaurant meal.)

 

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Other ideas are booking a bar and having a cocktail making class. Don't forget to ask along the groom's party too, if appropriate. 

Whatever you decide, having an event to break the ice before the wedding day is almost always a good idea. People can swap numbers, work out their skill sets and get well acquainted before the wedding day itself. Who knows what new friendships will blossom as a result? 

Bateau necklines are having a moment - and we know why

boat neck bridesmaid dresses

Bateau, boat neck, off the shoulder, Bardot  - whatever you prefer to call it, this neckline is having a real moment and we think we know the reason why. 

It's probably Meghan Markle - now the Duchess of Sussex - who has done the most to popularise the style, having chosen a bateau neckline for her beautiful wedding dress. 

From left: Studio Design Collection 4513, Dessy Style 3002

Who should choose a boat neckline? 

  • It's great if you want to show off a slim neck and shoulders
  • If you have a large tummy or bust it's flattering because it draws the eye upwards
  • Good for pear and hourglass figures
  • Off the shoulder - can sit on the shoulder or just below it

From left: Bella style BB112, Dessy Collection Style 3016

 

Remember to think about your underwear when you're choosing this style as visible bra straps are an absolute no starter. Choose a good strapless bra instead. 

Bateau necklines look wonderful with a hat as they leave a clear neckline, allowing the dress to work with the hat and vice versa. In the case of your bridesmaids, you might want them to wear flower crowns or some sort of fascinator in their hair. 

Talking of hair, a bateau neckline works best with an updo. It doesn't have to be super formal - a messy bun like Meghan's is a fantastic choice. Chandelier earrings also look amazing. 

 From left: Alfred Sung D686, After Six Style 6763

 

  • If you leave locks long and flowing it will detract from the line of the dress - so put that hair up!  
  • The other name for this neckline is a 'Sabrina' after the Audrey Hepburn film in which the heroine wears just such a style. 
  • It's supremely elegant and timeless, so it will look good in your wedding photographs for a long time to come. 

However, as you know, it's always best to choose bridesmaids dresses that flatter your girls - so if one of your maids is self conscious about her waist or has a larger bustline, then a bateau neckline probably isn't for her. Ask her what she'd like to wear and browse through some alternative styles. 

 

 

 

 

 

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.  

 

 

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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). 

 

6 novel ways to decorate your wedding tables on a budget

Your wedding tables are going to be such a focal point at your reception. And you really want them to have the wow factor so that when your guests walk in there's a delighted hush as everyone admires your choices. 

If you're DIY-ing your wedding quite a bit yourself - and even if you're not - it's always handy to have a bit of extra inspiration so that you can discuss table decoration ideas with your wedding planner, stylist, florist, mom, best friend or whoever you want to confide in. 

We've searched around and here are 10 of the best ideas we've seen lately to decorate your wedding tables on a budget.

(Image via Want That Wedding)

1. Greenery and candles

This is a good option if you're on a wedding budget because greenery tends to come in a bit cheaper than flowers. Pick out a burlap table runner (or buy a length of burlap and cut it to fit) and then arrange long trailing fronds of greenery on top, with tealights. Sorted. 

(Image via Want That Wedding)

2. Dramatic table runners

Strike a contrasting note with table cloths or table runners in unexpected designs, like the dramatic monochrome stripes above. (You can soften the look with tealights and simple flowers in vases). If you want to work in your wedding theme this is a good way to do it. Be creative with the fabrics you think about - you could choose runners in sequins or florals. Runners are great for wedding decor because you can buy the fabric yourself and you really don't need that much - it's just to create an effect. Runners draw the eye and if you don't have the budget for large arrangements of flowers on the table then a runner will still provide an attractive focal point. (They tend to work best on long tables rather than rounds).

(Image via Tara Nicole Weddings & Events)

3. Tall vases

This is a very classy look. If you have the budget, a cascade of roses and trailing blooms look amazing and the beauty here is that your guests can still converse freely over the table - their sightline isn't blocked. If you're on more of a budget then you can fill the tall vases with long stemmed lilies or clouds of inexpensive gypsophila.

(Image via Inside Out Magazine on Pinterest)

4. Balloons

Choose oversize balloons in a matt finish (and they have to be filled with helium so they float upwards). Balloons in a color to match your theme can transform a wedding event very simply and easily. Here they pick out the shades of the pale pink roses used on the tables. Which shade would you choose?

(Image via Papery and Cakery on Pinterest)

5. Technicolors

What could be simpler? Choose white blooms (daisies work well, as shown here) and place them in clear glasses filled with different shades of food coloring. There's a rainbow theme going on above but you could really play around with this one, adding more water or more color to create an ombre wedding theme (shades of blue, pink, green) ... 

(Image via Pinterest)

6. Good old Mason Jars

Where would we be without them? Fill them with colored glass beads (available from crafting shops), top up with water and put a lighted tealight on top. For added visual interest tie a raffia bow around. That's a lovely idea for a rustic wedding theme but you could also use gingham fabric, sequin ribbon ....  a really good way of tying your theme together. Literally. And they will look so pretty on your wedding tables.

 

 

Burgundy bridesmaid dress inspiration - your girls are going to love this classy shade and style

Burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Classic, elegant, flattering for all skin tones and never dates - look at the burgundy bridesmaid dresses shown above at real weddings by Dessy and we think you'll agree. 

Burgundy (or maybe think of it as claret, merlot or deep red) is a shade that looks good on blondes, brunettes, girls with fair skin and freckles and girls with darker skins. 

Match it with lighter pinks in your bouquets and greens and you've got a really beautiful wedding theme going on. (Take a look at our Burgundy wedding theme ideas here for inspiration). 

Burgundy flowergirl dresses

Your little flowergirls are going to feel very grown up wearing this shade and if you don't want a block color, then match a Dessy flowergirl dress in white or cream with a burgundy sash. Very sophisticated for a little lady. 

As for your bridesmaids - the hardest part is going to be choosing which style. We're loving the mismatched bridesmaid dresses this bride chose. (Bet her friends loved having individual styles too). 

mismatched burgundy bridesmaid dresses

Sequins are really on trend just now and if you're having an evening wedding and want your bridesmaids in something a little slinky, then these burgundy sequin bridesmaid gowns would look completely fabulous. Choose either strapless, spaghetti strapped or maybe opt for burgundy sequin bridesmaid separates? 

sequin burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

And if one of your friends has announced her pregnancy you'll find burgundy maternity bridesmaid dresses here. They're so flattering and pretty for ladies in waiting!

maternity burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

Sometimes it's hard to decide whether your girls should wear long or short bridesmaid dresses. It really depends on your style of wedding day. If you're getting married earlier in the day and it's hot, then a short dress could be perfect. Short cocktail-style bridesmaid dresses also look sassy at evening weddings if you're having a buffet style event rather than a formal sit down dinner. The best thing to do is look at plenty of different styles and ask your girls what they think. 

short burgundy bridesmaid dresses

 

We're big fans of dressing your bridesmaids in individual styles because every girl has a different shape and different styles will flatter (and disguise). So some of your girls might be happier wearing a burgundy bridesmaid dress with sleeves whilst others are happy in strapless or spaghetti straps. 

burgundy bridesmaid dresses with sleeves

 All burgundy bridesmaid dresses featured here by Dessy - discover the full range here. 

 

Why dark green bridesmaid dresses are having a real moment just now

dark green bridesmaid dresses

(All bridesmaid dresses shown above by Dessy)

Green is the color of growth, balance, harmony, health and nurture. 

All words that have a wonderful association with relationships and, of course, weddings. 

In fact some may even go as far as to say that the color green creates equilibrium between the head and the heart. No surprise then that it is seen to be an emotionally positive color, enabling us to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally." Hmm,' I hear you ponder, 'perhaps I should give it a go for my wedding!"

Real life wedding days in dark green 

In which case Dessy offers you some beautiful dark green bridesmaid dresses to choose, which look wonderful at weddings, as you can see from the real life wedding days shown above. 

There are some great choices going on here. We love the way some of the brides have chosen different styles of Dessy bridesmaid frocks for their maids but in the same color. Different necklines held together by a common shade. 

Colors to take a look at include; Hunter, Hampton and Emerald. You can see the full range of dark green bridesmaid dresses here. Getting some different color swatches in different fabrics might be an idea too. 

If you're having a winter wedding, then dark green can work particularly well. Contrast it against rich dark reds and berry shades. Make sure that your bridesmaids are wrapped against the cold in shrugs and pashminas. 

In spring and summer, dark greens work beautifully against spring flowers such as daffodils and narcissi. And in summer, dark green and white are a dazzling combination. 

Just remember to take note of the season in which you're marrying when choosing your bridesmaid's dresses. In summer, lighter fabrics will work best, such as chiffons. In winter you can choose heavier satins. 

A perfect tool for choosing both your fabrics and colors is with our fabric swatch selector, which allows you to buy swatches in your chosen shade (so dark green for example) so you can make an informed decision. 

 

 

 

 



9 tips that will help you choose the right wedding photographer

choosing right wedding photographer

You don't get a second chance with your wedding photographs. It's a one-time only show. So getting the right individual to capture those precious images for all time is crucial. 

But how can you find the right photographer who's going to get it just right? We've asked around a few recently married brides who have come up with the following tips. 

  1. If you are getting married at a hotel, don't feel pressured to use the in-house photographer. They are usually not the very best so you could end up disappointed.
  2. Check the photographer's website, any blogs they may have, and any social media sites. Check their reviews.
  3. Meet with the photographer in person. This is very important. You need to know that you can establish a rapport and communication with them. It will give you a chance to look at more of their work and see if working with them will be easy. 
  4. Meet with more than one potential photographer, so you can compare styles, prices and packages. 
  5. Make sure each potential photographer has your wedding date available before you commit to them.
  6. Make sure the photographer you meet with will be the same person who will be shooting your wedding.  You don't want a different person turning up on your wedding day who has a completely different style.
  7. When interviewing potential photographers, look to see if they actually can do what you want them to do in terms of style and the overall look of your wedding.
  8. Look at a variety of images from the photographer. When one of my relatives got married, she saw only the photographer's best work and on her wedding day she received less than the best from the photographer she chose.
  9.  Can you afford the photographer you have chosen? Be clear with what you can and cannot afford. Make sure you are clear about what you want and what you will be getting with the wedding budget you have.

 

Image credit: The Wedding Chicks

 

Make sure you read this BEFORE you start bridesmaid dress shopping

bridesmaid dress tips

On your big day you want to have happy, smiling bridesmaids in your photographs. Fabulous pictures that show your squad looking and feeling great.

One way of making sure your girls feel that way is by making sure that they're wearing the right dresses. For them (as well as you). So here's how to get it right.

Think about your own wedding dress

Your bridesmaid dresses need to work with your wedding gown. So if you're wearing a boho kind of a dress, don't dress the girls up in formal structured dresses in fabrics like satin. Let it flow. Think about it. Will the looks you have in mind for your bridesmaids work with your wedding dress or do you need to consider making some alternations to your ideas?

What about the weather?

When are you getting married? You won't want to dress your girls in flowing chiffon in the depths of a snowy winter. Or heavier satins for a beach wedding. Think carefully about the style and materials and the time of year (you can order fabric swatches from Dessy while you make your mind up).

Do you really want your girls to all wear the same?

No two girls are exactly the same shape and size and each one will have features they are happy to show off and others they'd prefer to disguise. So you really don't need to dress your girls all the same.

Of course you can have the same color and the same length of dress, but mix it up a bit with different necklines and possibly waistlines. Your squad will thank you for it.

Allow time to get your bridesmaid dresses

If you're ordering from Dessy, we recommend that you order your dresses so that you receive them at least two weeks before your wedding day.

We have a big selection of in-stock bridesmaid dresses that are shipped 1-3 business days from the date of the order, whilst our special order dresses ship around 9-10 weeks from the time you place your order.

Wear shoes of the right height when trying on dresses

When your girls are trying out different dresses, make sure they are wearing shoes. If they're wearing heels on your big day, they'll make a difference to how the dress hangs (and the length of course). So take along heels of a similar height. Same thing if they're wearing flats - you need to see how the dresses look with flats - girls can change their minds you know!

Think about colors

There are some colors which make a girl look fantastic and others that make her look washed out. Ask your girls which colors they feel particularly suit them and which don't. Of course, at the end of the day it's up to you but you might like to moderate your ideas a little (you could have an ombre effect or dress girls in two different shades, which looks very chic).

All images taken from Dessy Facebook page.

18 ways to save money on your wedding day (that your guests won't even notice)

If you're anything like most brides-to-be (and we even think this would include a certain Miss Meghan Markle) you won't have an unlimited budget to spend on your wedding day.

Sticking to a wedding budget you set is really important - you don't want to start off married life together with a pile of debt. 

So we've talked to some clever brides and asked for their tips on saving money (and many of them won't even be obvious to your guests). 

  1. Get married on a Sunday or Monday to Wednesday. Venues are less busy at these times so you're more likely to be able to negotiate a special rate. Try and avoid a Saturday at any time of the year as this is the most popular day.
  2.  The same applies to your photographer. Try and pick a time when your photographer is unlikely to be innundated with work. They will be more open to negotiation.  
  3. Look out for your wedding dress at designer sample sales. You could pick up a top label dress at 50% off the retail price - it will be cleaned and altered to fit you.
  4. Have a tiered wedding cake (but only one tier is real cake, the rest are for show!)
  5. Decorate your cake with fresh flowers rather than intricate icing.
  6. Serve canapes instead of a starter.
  7. Consider having a wedding during the afternoon with a vintage theme - maybe a Great Gatsby theme? Serve traditional afternoon tea, sandwiches and cakes with music from a 1920's style band. Much less expensive than a sit-down, three course dinner. 
  8.  Use flowers that are in season rather than exotic blooms that have to be flown in (you're also keeping your eco credentials intact).
  9. Or use greenery on your tables.
  10.  Forget wedding favors. People won't even notice. 
  11. If your ceremony and reception take place at the same venue you won't need wedding transport. 
  12.  Really think about your guest list. You don't have to invite everyone. Just the people that matter to you. 
  13. Have a rustic wedding with bowl food in different styles of cuisine - and let your guests sit where they wish. Less formal and pricey than a sit-down three course dinner. 
  14.  Do your wedding make-up yourself. Have some lessons beforehand and try out some different looks so you know what will suit you. 
  15. See what you can borrow. You never know who has a spare tiara or even a wedding veil you could use.
  16. Make your own wedding table centers. A pot of hyacinths or daffodils in Spring would look and smell fabulous. Or put one or two blooms (roses, gerberas, daisies) loosely in a simple stem glass vase.
  17.  Ask a friend with a classic vehicle to drive you to and from the ceremony.
  18. Don't have children at your wedding. Avoid getting married during school vacations or taking your honeymoon at that time. Airlines and travel agents put a premium on flights and hotel rates then, so you'll be paying a lot more than you would during term. Travel when the kids are in school and you'll save (you may also find your flight/hotel/beach is a lot quieter).