Tag Archives: wedding dress

Your wedding day will be the most amazing day of your life. The months or years of planning leading up to that date will be the most stressful time of your life. It’s not that you don’t want to plan your wedding; it’s that you want to plan it to the finest of details but it’s nearly impossible to get everything to look and feel exactly the way in which you envision things in your head. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should give up (not that you were going to give up anyway). The point is that you won’t need to compromise as much as you think if you just plan ahead. Here’s the ultimate wedding guide for the pragmatic bride.

Romantic Wedding Dress

The guest list.

This needs to be at the top of your ‘To Do’ list. Whether you have a couple of months or a couple of years to go before the big day, it’s vital that you invite the guests to the big day. Leaving the invites until the last minute could spell out total disaster because it’s almost certain that a noticeable portion of the guests will have prior plans on the date you mention. You want the table plan to be sorted early on, so it’s important that you know who is attending. Avoid disappointment and invite guests as early as possible to make sure people have a mark against your date on their calendars; you don’t want anybody to book a holiday or fail to book off work on your big day, especially if they’re close family or other important people in your life.

The dresses.

Obviously, your dress is the most important element of this big day, as you’re the bride. You’ll want to ensure this is all sorted well in advance because it can be quite a time-consuming process; if you leave dress-shopping until the last minute then you might find yourself settling for a style about which you aren’t completely happy. On top of this, the theme of your wedding is probably on your mind, and you want to be sure that your bridesmaids also have dresses which look amazing. Everything has to look perfect in the photographs.

The venue.

The place in which you get married and hold the reception, whether those are one and the same place, can make or break a wedding. The setting has to fit in with the theme of the wedding; you may have a traditional wedding in mind or something a little off-the-wall and adventurous. Colors, patterns, and floral arrangements all need to feel well-placed for the ceremony to look right. You could check out options such as this wedding venue, a social work club, for a sophisticated lounge that could create a classy vibe on your big day. It doesn’t matter what you go for; the important thing is that the venue can work around the rest of your plans for your wedding in terms of decor, the number of guests, and the general theme.

The budget.

Whilst you’ll want to sort this out before you pay for everything, make sure you have a detailed plan of the venue, dresses, photographers, and all other materials or staff that you’ll need to pay for on your big day before you make any purchases. This is why you should do your planning months and months in advance. You want to have an idea of how much all of that will cost and then make some changes if your budget needs to be stretched to cover things. You don’t want to spend a dime until you know that you can afford it all. Get an idea of every last detail before you make any decisions.

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While weddings are always unique in their own way, like all things, they have a tendency to fall prey to trends. There are only so many new ideas, so couples tend to fall into a similar pattern depending on the age they are getting married in.

Wedding mason jar bar sign

For example, in the 1980s, your wedding wasn’t a wedding without bridal sleeves so puffy they almost required helium to stand upright. This was also the time of the crown of flowers for the bride, along with the frosted lipstick and bright eye shadow that the decade inflicted on beauty trends. My mom was married in ’88 and had the flower crown (an idea I’m playing with myself), but certainly not the lipstick and eye shadow. And while her dress was stunning shame on her bridesmaids for rejecting her picks for them and going with that dated sleeve-y look.

In the 1990s, things began to change again. Trends are not necessarily all based around the bride; this was the onset of guests being given disposable cameras on the reception tables and chairs being covered in fabric rather than left bare.

The noughties brought the change in how the bride holds her bouquet; no longer prostrate in front of her, but cradled in her arms – calla lilies were particular favorites. It also saw the change in wedding dress length, with shorter styles becoming more popular.

So what does the current decade hold? There are a few trends that are emerging; especially the use of lace in wedding dresses. Once considered old-fashioned, lace has re-entered the sphere for wedding dresses, perhaps due in no small part to the gown Kate Middleton wore when she married Prince William in 2011. (Note: my mom’s dress was almost identical to Kate’s so who’s the real trend-setter?)

Given all of these considerations, you might find yourself wondering… do I need trends? Your wedding is supposed to be unique, but at the same time, you don’t want to do something so unusual that it stands out for all the wrong reasons. So how do you reconcile these two considerations?

Faux semi naked cake

Only Go With Trends You Genuinely Like

If you find yourself sighing over a trend like laser cut wedding invitations or subtle splashes of pink through the decor, then go with it. Trends become popular because people like them, and if you fall into that category, then why not? So what if your wedding photos may eventually look a little dated – it’s almost impossible to create a true “timeless” wedding, anyway. And make sure to include your groom too. I happen to love the look of a naked cake, a relatively new and trendy style. Kendall does not. We won’t have one. Moving on.

Pink Peony Boho Crown

Ignore The Trends You Don’t Like

This might seem obvious, but so many brides fall into a trap of thinking about what they ‘should’ do rather than what they want to do. This is why it’s so useful to have someone to bounce ideas off, be it bespoke wedding planners, your Mom, or even just your bridal party. This kind of feedback will help you decide if you’re making a choice based on your preferences, or if you are being influenced by the idea of being “in with the in crowd”. The only thing worse than having a wedding that might begin to look dated is having one that looks dated… that you never liked in the first place.

Certain trends that I think might be dated come the next generation of weddings:  1) super country looks with burlap and mason jars and 2) making your wedding party look like they’re going to Coachella. But do what you want, girlfrand. It’s your day!

Accept Replication

If you take advantage of current trends out of preference, then try and be reasonable if you see other brides using them. It’s too easy to find yourself offended if you go to another wedding this year and see a feature you used yourself. Just try and remember both you and all other brides are being influenced by the same factors, so it’s not necessarily a case of you being copied if you see the same features appearing! For example, one of my bridesmaids is literally recycling a dress from another wedding for mine. Navy is a great color that works on everyone, and I’m glad I chose a popular color so she doesn’t have to spend the extra money!

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There’s very little about a wedding that’s easy and stress-free. Trying to pick out the right attire for the day is certainly not going to be one example! Most weddings are, to a great extent, about putting on a show and feeling glamorous for a day, so this really puts the pressure on when it comes to choosing the right dresses and accessories.

Fortunately for you, this here is an epic guide to making sure you pick the wedding attire that’s right for you on your big day! It’s something that’s worth reading well in advance to ensure you have the time to follow it and achieve the best results.

Vintage 1950s wedding dress

Begin with the dress

Don’t try to go avant-garde on us. There are a lot of good reasons why most people will pick the actual dress before anything else, and it’s not a trend you should try to buck. After all, the dress is the “main attraction” of your attire, and pretty much everything else has to be picked so as not to clash with it.

With that in mind, you also need to remember that the dress itself shouldn’t clash with you or the venue! A contemporary venue should have a contemporary dress. A more casual or outdoors-y type wedding will call for a different kind of dress. There are people out there who think that choosing the dress first of all turns it into some kind of template, instead of giving it the emotional weight that it deserves. This is nonsense. Pick the dress first, because it’s the best way to choose everything else and avoid some kind of vestiary disaster down the road!

The silhouette

There’s an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to wedding dresses. You’re going to walk into a store and find about a million different dresses you’d love to wear, even after narrowing the range by budgeting beforehand. (Which, yes, is something you definitely need to do! Otherwise, the costs of this process may end up getting a little bit out of hand.) So you need to find more ways of narrowing your desired range so that you don’t get too overwhelmed. One of the best ways to do this is to narrow things down based on the dress silhouette.

The dress silhouette refers to the specific shapes that constitute a given dress. The lines, cuts and curves will determine what kind of shape you would take on if the lights cut out and you were simply a silhouette in that wedding dress. Put very simply, it can help determine how curvy, slender, or ‘poofy’ you look in that dress! It’s worth finding out precisely what kind of dress ‘shape’ you want – the most popular types are A-lines, ball gowns, mermaids, and trumpets. Make sure you know the differences when it comes to dress silhouettes!

Be an early bird

You should take this to mean two things. The first is that you should start looking for a dress fairly early on. Unless you plan on becoming pregnant, the chances of your body shape changing in any significant way from the time you choose the dress to the day of your wedding is fairly minimal, even if you gain or lose a little weight. So it’s best to do this as early as possible. It’s not simply a case of “getting it out of the way” – although there certainly is an element of it to that, considering how stressful choosing a dress can be! – but it’s also about allowing you more freedom when it comes to time and choice.

So what else does “be an early bird” mean? Basically, when you’re going to visit a wedding dress shop, you should go as early as possible. Think about it: the assistants who work in that store have to deal with several budding brides a day. Just like the vast majority of us, they get a little more weary as the day progresses. I’m not saying that you’re going to get some apathetic and insulting assistant if you go in the late afternoon, but you’re certainly more likely to get someone more energetic and attentive if you go in the morning!

The danger of trends

Anyone who follows fashion knows that there are trends in pretty much every type of clothing – and that includes wedding attire. There are trends in gowns, suits, jewelry, hairstyles… everything. And the problem with trends? Many of them don’t tend to look that great when you look back on them in the future. You may think that you want a modern and trendy wedding, but this doesn’t mean you should take this so far that you end up copying and pasting your wedding attire style from whatever magazine you happened to be reading at the time, or whatever celebrities recently got married.

The best kinds of dresses are truly timeless. They’re the kind that look beautiful forever and don’t immediately scream “I got this idea from someone else!”. It is, of course, worth remembering that your choice of wedding dress should reflect your own desires, and make you look and feel great. And maybe that perfect dress for you does happen to be exactly what’s trendy at the moment. Basically, be careful about choosing wedding attire just because it’s trendy – but take care not to shun something you really like just because it’s trendy!

Freshwater pearl bridal jewelry set

Accessorizing

When we talk about accessorizing for a wedding, we’re generally talking about jewelry. Here’s something that’s important to remember: it’s possible to get more than one use of out the jewelry you choose, which is something you probably can’t say about your wedding dress! So this shouldn’t just be a case of making sure you find something that matches with your dress perfectly. You should consider picking out jewelry that you’d actually want to use for other occasions!

To some, this may imply that you should be willing to spend an awful lot of money to ensure you get something that’s beautiful, flexible, and long-lasting. Yes, you should aim for jewelry that is all three of those things, but they needn’t be too expensive. You can, for example, find wholesale diamonds for sale that will do the trick. Otherwise, you may want to consider simply renting jewelry for your wedding day. Heck, even a high-quality replica will probably do! At the end of the day, just ensure that your choice doesn’t clash with your dress and that you’re happy with it.

Avoid audiences

Think about all the wedding movies you’ve seen, and all the television shows that have featured weddings. In most of these there will have been a scene in which the bride-to-be is picking her wedding dress – and has brought approximately a bajillion friends with her. There are a lot of reasons why someone may do this: they don’t want any of their friends being left out, and they also want to get as many opinions as possible.

Here’s the problem with that: you’re just going to end up in the middle of a cross-fire of opinions! The more people you have with you, the more pressure you’re going to feel. It may ultimately be harder to pick out a dress. You should really only have one or two friends with you, at most. Don’t follow the example Hollywood sets – those scenes are there to create dramatic dialogue, which isn’t necessarily helpful in real life!

I (hair)do

When your attire has been decided, it’s worth giving some thought to how you’re going to wear your hair on the day. Fortunately for you, there’s already an in-depth guide to wedding day hairdos on this very blog!

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Being a bridesmaid is a huge honor, it means that you are very close to the bride’s heart and she wants you to be a part of her most special day. But she may not have been totally selfless in picking you to be a bridesmaid. (I know I wasn’t when I picked my girls!) In fact, she may have picked you because she wants your help and support on the day and in the run up too. So read on to find out all the way in which you can help support the bride, and make your best friends wedding the dream day that she deserves.

After This We’re Getting Pizza T-Shirt

Dress Shopping

Now it’s very likely that the bride will want the help of her maids when she is going through the process of choosing the dress. This is because it’s a huge decision. As a wedding dress doesn’t just represent the marriage, but the start of a whole new life for the bride, so she is going to want to get it right.

It can also be a difficult thing to get sorted, as everyone is going to have an opinion, including the bride’s mother, and mother in law to be. That is why it’s essential that she has her maids with her on her bridal dress appointments to make sure that her wishes are heard, and she isn’t drowned out by what others involved in the wedding want. I would have been devastated if my girls didn’t like the dress I picked, but I was happy when my friends gave me suggestions of what they think would work for me. Luckily, there wasn’t much of a difference!

Venue Viewing

Another way that you can be a great support to the bride as a bridesmaid is to help her with her venue search. Picking a venue can be pretty hard work, as not only does the bride have to find something that fits her budget. But she will also want a place that is large enough and fits the style she is looking for too. I picked my venue with my groom + parents, because most of my brides are out of state. However, my MOH recently came for a visit and I was lucky enough to be able to show her my venue so she knows the space we’re working with!

Of course, the final decision will be down to the bride and groom, but that doesn’t mean that as the bridesmaid you can’t attend the wedding open days at the venues, like the ones they hold at The Wood Norton. Then you can help her get a feel for the place, and get into the bridal spirit, while still leaving the final decision up to the couple that is getting married.

Decoration Creation

Lastly, a way that you as a bridesmaid can be a huge boon is to get stuck in with the helping to make the decorations for the day. Many people chose to make at least some of their own decorations for their venues and tables now. Partly because it’s much cheaper to do so, and they can still look great.

That means you may have to give an up a few nights in the weeks leading up to the wedding to make rustic dream catchers with doilies and ribbons. Or stamp out place cards and then decorate them with rhinestones.

Of course, there is nothing to say you can’t make a bit of party out of it. So get a few bottle of wine in and enjoy having a girls night. Something which the bride is sure to appreciate in the run up to tying the knot.

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Being asked to be a friend’s bridesmaid at their wedding is a true honor! You will get to go dress shopping with them to find a dreamy dress and will have a lot of responsibility on the big day. After the bride and groom, all the bridesmaids are some of the biggest players in the wedding ceremony! Not sure what you will need to do on the big day? Here are some traditional bridesmaid duties.

Bridesmaids Gifts Oversized Mens Shirts

Co-Host The Bachelorette Party

One of the main jobs that all the bridesmaids will have to do is organize the big bachelorette party before the wedding. Normally, it is up to the maid-of-honor to make all the big decisions for the party, such as how you will celebrate and think about venues and guests. All the other bridesmaids will be asked to help to book venues, organize food, and collect RSVP replies. This is the final party your friend will have while she’s single, so it is important that you give her the send off that she deserves!

Record All The Gifts

The bride usually asks the bridesmaids to take care of all the presents that she and her new hubby receive on the day of the wedding. Most bridesmaids decide to make a record of all the unique wedding gifts, including names of which guest gave which gift. This way, the bride, and groom will be able to send personal thank you cards to each guest. As a bridesmaid, you will also be responsible for collecting all the gifts from the guests. If there is a table set aside for presents, you can arrange them neatly on there. If not, you might have to speak to the venue owner to see if there is anywhere where you can store them until the reception is over.

Last-Minute Errands

The whole point of bridesmaids is that they help the bride with anything that she may need on her special day. So expect to be given lots of little errands to do on the day right at the last minute! These could be tasks of any shape or form. For instance, the bride might just want someone on hand to make cups of tea while she is getting her hair and makeup done. Or maybe she wants someone who can run out and take a quick message to the groom’s party. No matter what she requests, as her bridesmaid, it is your duty to see that it gets done!

Watch The Train

If the bride has chosen a wedding dress with a long train, you and all your fellow bridesmaids will be responsible for looking after it. You will need to carry it behind her when she walks down the aisle. It is also important that you bustle up the train before the bride starts dancing at the reception. Otherwise, she may end up tripping over it!

You certainly won’t be bored on your friend’s wedding day. As you can see, being a bridesmaid is a lot more than just wearing a pretty dress!

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!