(Twist wrap dresses by Dessy in blush pink.)
It's always easy to be wise after the event. Think to yourself: "Oh I wish I'd known that" and "Why didn't somebody tell me."
Well to help you in the run-up to your wedding day, we asked some past brides what they thought girls should know in the run up to their wedding. Here's what they told us.
The 50 pieces of wedding advice to take note of
- Having a videographer. Not having a wedding video is top of the list of brides regrets
- Remember to wear your wedding shoes in before the big day. On carpet at home, so they're comfortable
- If you're wearing high heels and you're usually in flats then get practising walking in them - so you glide, not stumble
- Make sure the ushers know what being an usher means. That is, showing people to their seats and handing over the order of service. Not standing chatting. People milling about, not sure where to sit is not how to make your guests feel welcome and relaxed
- Remember that there will be a few unforeseen glitches on your wedding day. So go with the flow and don't overstress about them. (Like the weather, a guest turning up wearing white, guests being late.)
- Offer a chill out room for young children to watch a DVD, play and snooze during the evening reception
- Have somewhere comfortable and quiet for guests to sit, chat and catch up after the reception - a must if you're planning on having noisy music! And the oldies really like it.
- Serve plenty of soft drinks and tea and coffee after the reception. Also plenty of water on the tables - jugs of tap water are quite acceptable
- Prebook taxis for the oldies and have a local taxi firm on standby
- Practise holding your bouquet at hip level - not at waist level. Looks much better in photographs that way
- You don't have to wear white or ivory shoes. A bright colour or a metallic can look fabulous (and you're likely to wear those shoes over and over again)
- Don't wear high heels at a beach wedding. DO have a pedicure. (Maybe for the groom too.)
- If your wedding gown is strapless, you could cover your shoulders with a lace shrug for the ceremony and then unveil a new look for the reception and evening party
- Ask your bridesmaids what style of dress they feel would flatter them. And then offer them suitable choices
- Some bridal registry companies let guests contribute to the cost of a honeymoon
- Check real wedding photography to see what style suits you. It might be reportage. It might be something more traditional. Give yourself time to research different photographers in your area
- Marry in winter or mid-week and you'll find your budget stretches further and you have more venue options
- How about wearing a colored petticoat peeping out from under your wedding dress?
- Investigate wedding dress sample sales if you're on a tight budget - you could find the designer dress of your dreams at a cut price
- Flowergirls don't have to hold bouquets. Maybe just baskets of confetti?
- Don't have a facial just before your wedding day because you'll risk a breakout. No later than 10 days before your wedding probably best
- Have a singles table at your wedding reception and see what happens. Mix everyone up. Don't lump the singles with the marrieds. That is very boring for them. They want to have a bit of a party. Flirt.
- Save money on transport and ask a relative or friend with an amazing car if they could drive you to the church and reception.
- Use a wedding budget planner on your phone to help you keep track of spending
- Set your wedding budget first before you do anything
- Your best friend might not be your best chief bridesmaid. You need somebody who is super efficient and organised
- Marry at lunchtime and have an evening party and you're going to have to feed guests at least twice - which can be expensive. Maybe consider a late afternoon wedding instead?
- Consider having a mini-moon after your wedding day and a more extended honeymoon later on
- Show your hairdresser snaps of the neckline of your wedding dress so you can be advised on the most flattering hairstyle
- Choose a neckline to suit your figure - strapless, one shoulder, sweetheart ... more tips here
- Think about your dress fabric and the time of year. Duchesse satin in winter. Light chiffons in warmer weather
- Bridesmaids can get chilly with bare shoulders. Drape a colour co-ordinate pashmina around them whilst they are waiting for photographs (they make a good bridesmaid gift too).
- You don't have to have a formal sit down dinner. Buffet style might suit you a lot better - with free seating for the guests
- Let men know the dress code. Lounge suits, morning suits or black tie. It's embarassing to turn up in the wrong clothes
- If your venue location is perfect but you find the inside of the room uninspiring, consider room draping to turn it into something spectacular
- Wedding wellies are the perfect way to go if you're having to walk to and from the car on a potentially wet wedding day
- Don't underestimate the amount of time a DIY wedding actually takes - really, how long will it take you to handcraft 150 invitations?
- Buy a good quality, plain iced supermarket tier cake - and then decorate it with fresh flowers to save money.
- Serve substantial canapes and you could may not have to offer a starter
- Give each of your bridesmaids, flowergirls and pageboys a framed photograph of you all together on your wedding day
- Ice cream vans and a dessert table work well at summer weddings held in marquees
- Choose wedding flowers that are in season rather than expensive exotic blooms that have to be flown in
- Let your bridesgroom get involved with the wedding planning - split up the tasks between you
- If your mother in law wants to help, then let her. Give her some jobs that you're happy to delegate to her
- Remember it's your wedding day and should follow the format you want (although if you're having financial help from parents they are allowed some say in it!)
- Marrying abroad (in Italy) can be a much less expensive to tie the knot and it would be just as super gorgeous.
- Save The Dates are essential in these busy times if you want most of the invited guests to be able to attend
- Bridesmaids don't have to wear the same style or dress or even the same colour. Choose co-ordinating colours or go for an ombre effect
- If you're having a first dance together then practise. You might even want to have some lessons
- You are marrying your soul mate. The One. Nothing else matters really.
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 stylemepretty.com, wedding photo with balloons by Max & Friends via greenweddingshoes.com, buttonhole by Anna del Greco at BridalbyAnna.
(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.
- Choose your bridal gown BEFORE you decide on a veil (unless of course you're wearing a family heirloom)
- Expect your mom, sister or friend to cry when they first see you in a wedding veil
- Think carefully about your hairstyle if you're wearing a veil
- Take the veil to the hairdresser to experiment
- Practice taking it off for the reception with your chief bridesmaid
- Wear a birdcage veil if your dress is short or retro. You can keep it on for the reception too
- A blush veil is one which folds over the face when you're walking down the aisle, then lifted when you reach the altar
- For a bit more coverage, choose an elbow-length veil. Particularly if your dress has an ornate bodice you want to show off
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
(Bridesmaid dresses by Dessy)
Most girls suit blue. And it's a wedding color that works for bridesmaids at spring, summer and winter weddings. (Fall has different hues to offer of course and we'd go for oranges, browns and reds at that time of year).
It's like that old wedding rhyme:
"Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue..." Which just shows that weddings and blue should go together ...
What does blue say?
The thing about light blue as a color is that it really does whisper elegance and glamor whilst eschewing overt prettiness. And it tends to suit all complexions, which is always a consideration when choosing bridesmaid dresses.
Take a look at these one-shouldered bridesmaid gowns we've picked out. They're all beautiful - and because they're by Dessy they come in a variety of shades of blue - from delicate pastels through to sophisticated midnight blues.
(All frocks above from the Jenny Yoo collection at Dessy).
Different blues for different venues
If you've having a destination wedding or you're getting married under hot sunshine, then you can choose bright blues - turquoises, azures and a jade blue. Bright colors can stand up to bright light without looking faded, although they'd look more out of place if you're having a country garden style wedding.
Then again, you could have chosen to have a more rustic theme; so choose more delicate shades of blue like cornflower - which will look beautiful with wild flowers and less formality.
Maybe you're having a city wedding or a wedding that's being held in the early evening. Then your choices might veer towards elegant deep blues with a touch of shimmer - maybe like these gowns from Dessy below.
Choose the right shade of blue for your maids too. Don't feel that you have to dress them all in one color - you can graduate the shades of blues to get an ombre effect as below. (Check out Dessy's Instagram feed for images of real girls wearing Dessy at real weddings.)
(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.
Just sometimes, you get to craft something and it's great. By which you mean you can follow the instructions and the finished result looks fantastic. Professional and something to be proud of (rather than a bit of a disaster).
Which is what we think you'll find when you follow this easy tutorial for making paper chrysanthemums. The ones here have been made in a soft pink but actually chrysanthemums come in many different colors - whites, yellows, creams, golds, rich deep purples and hot pinks - so you pick out the colour that's going to suit your theme (or maybe even more then one color.)
You will need:
- Paper of 180 gsm or a thin cardboard (in a colour of your choice)
- Craft knife
- Sharp scissors
- Florists wire
- Florists ribbon
- Masking tape
- Watercolor paints
- Paint the paper horizontally with watercolor and dilute the brush in water to layer the color. (You don't need to do this if you've bought paper in a color you already like).
- Cut the paper into strips of less than 1cm. It can be cut with scissors. Don't worry if the strips aren't exactly the same width.
- Wind the scissors round the tips of the petals and curl with the edge.
- Cut the leaves from green paper.
- Fasten them to the flower with masking tape.
- Cut a piece of cork, pass through the wire and turn it.
- Push it gently through the middle of the flower.
- With masking tape secure the flower to the wire and just cover it to give body to the stem.
- In the middle of the stem add a leaf.
- Make the flowers in different sizes to add variety and realism
- You can also create flowers that look like buds or some with fully open petals.
Using Flowers For Decoration
So where to feature your flowers once you've made them? Well, you could use them to decorate chair backs at your wedding venue. Tie them onto napkins to decorate place settings. You could make a bouquet out of them for the bridesmaids.
Doorways always look good decorated with flowers, so if you've the inclination, why not make enough to create a garland to go around the entrance to your reception.
Original blog by DRI
Choosing your wedding colors or theme actually shows a lot about you and the person you are. It makes you take a good look at yourself. What is it about your personality that you want to be reflected in your wedding? Is it how you perceive yourself or how you want to be perceived? Red bridesmaid gowns are a confident choice and suggest that you might be an extrovert (or would like to be).
Extrovert or introvert?
If you are an extrovert, you'll love the fact that you are bubbly and gregarious. So if you've got an energetic, vivacious personality, you will probably choose warm, bold colors for your flowers or for your bridesmaid to wear or both!
The photograph above is taken from Joielle.com, with a piece on a blissed-out Australian bride and her equally happy girls dressed in their vibrant red bridesmaid dresses.
And what fabulous flowers - a cascade of deep reds, purple reds, pink reds all interspersed with delicate, bridal-white roses. As the bride said, it was particularly helpful choosing her bridesmaid dresses from Joielle as her four bridesmaids had differing body shapes so although she wanted all the bridesmaid dresses to be the same bold red color, she knew that she needed a variety of styles. And that's exactly what Joielle's supplier Dessy offers.
They can even supply ties (and waistcoats too) for the groom and usher in the same rich color - Claret - for a really co-ordinated look:
From the left we have the beautiful bridesmaids dressed in chiffon gowns in Dessy Style 2894, 2886, 2905, 2907.
If you have a younger bridesmaid, Dessy also offers a selection of red bridesmaid dresses that are specifically designed to suit teenagers, like this stylish Junior Bridesmaid dress JR530. And how lovely to give your bridesmaids a matching friendship bracelet as a reminder of your special day?
And don't leave the boys out: Dessy has men's accessories that color co-ordinate perfectly with the girls. You can even give the ushers cufflinks and studs to match!
You'll find more red wedding inspiration here.
If you're not a pink kind of a bride but you want a classic, delicate shade then you might like to investigate the possibilities of a Tiffany blue wedding theme.
It's an iconic colour and the beauty is that you'll find plenty of options in this shade - whether it's Tiffany blue bridesmaid dresses, shoes, accessories or even a Tiffany blue wedding cake!
Let's talk bridesmaid frocks first
Dessy's nearest shade to Tiffany blue is 'Spa', which you can see here (and here's a link to the dress).
Now, of course, the same dress probably won't suit each one of your maids. They'll be different heights and have different figures. So this might be a real opportunity mix up the bridesmaid dress styles, but have the same shade. Here's another gown in Tiffany blue (Dessy's Spa shade) that's different again.
Not forgetting the flower girls
You'll find this flowergirl design here.
What about you, the bride?
There's no rule that says you have to have white or ivory shoes peeping out from underneath your wedding gown and in fact, coloured or silver or bronze heels can give you a new look (not to mention the fact that those shades are colours that you're likely to wear again after your wedding day).
That little bit of white ribbon
Of course, to get your look to perfect, you should add a white ribbon to your splash of blue. That's easily done on wedding invitations, flower girl frocks (think of the sash), and of course around your wedding cake. We had a browse through Instagram and found some inspiration.
Are you thinking about a wedding full, and I mean FULL, of colour? Like, having your bridesmaids dressed in jewel-coloured gowns, and your flowers in bright, vibrant tones like these joyous ones from Helen Jane Floristry?
Then I've found just the marquee interior you need to follow that theme through for a really brilliant wedding reception party, one that has loads of colour and dancing and energy. And it comes in the form of paper lantern lighting. Hanging clusters of different coloured lanterns from the ceiling of a marquee can transform it into an Aladdin's cave of dazzling, magical beauty, especially if they are set against a backdrop of twinkling lights on black cloth, as shown below.
Tops Marquees in Berkshire introduced me to this fabulous marquee interior idea and I just love it. And with such vibrant paper lantern lighting stealing the show, you wouldn't really have to go mad on the flowers for the tables - after all, all of your guests will be too busy marvelling at the lights to pay any attention to the table decorations! But if you want to keep the lighting a surprise until the first dance, just ask your marquee provide to put up a revealer curtain separating the dance floor from the rest of the marquee, so that you can unveil the lanterns when you're ready and start your married life off in a riot of colour!
I know that black is perfect for winter, but don't be put off having short black bridesmaid dresses for a Spring or Summer wedding. The trick is in the accessories:
Take the girls above; strappy heels or colourful/metallic courts are the order of the day. And the flowers? Bold, breezy, voluptuous creations with spirals of foxgloves and fronds of ferns. Inspirationally oozing joy and fun rather than the more usual slick sophistication of a black-themed wedding.
You'll see more what I mean below. The flowers at this wedding were by Cornwall's Amanda Taffinder and they absolutely capture the vibe of the Very Happy Couple:
And I love the rustic touch of the wicker basket holding the cards (what a clever idea) and the outrageously vibrant table settting:
And they lived happily ever after.
With a million thanks to Amanda Taffinder for her amazing floral creations and to Shanna Jones Photography for capturing them on film.
If you'd like short black bridesmaid dresses for your girls, shop the look at Dessy.com. The first one I'd recommend is Alfred Sung D701 in Peau de Soie (below left). Its bateau neckline and scoop back are extremely flattering and the cut-a-way tulip sit with is neat bow detail at the natural waist is delightful.
Another pretty option is Dessy Collection Style 2939 (above right) which is a sleepless marquis lace dress with a jewel neckline and a fully shirred skirt. Its scalloped edge is a charming detail.
For a short black bridesmaid dress with a halter neck style front, look no further than Alfred Sung D492; the bared shoulder and low back make for a particularly becoming style.