Posts in the 'bridal party' Category

Real Bride Jess: The Maids and the Maid of Honor Dilemma

How do you choose your maid of honor? Until recently the question was easy: my high school best friend & mother of my two goddaughters. As I grew closer to one of my college roommates, however, I started to wonder. Once I got engaged it was a dilemma: I love my high school best friend, but I knew that my college roommate had more time & resources to do the planning. How could I choose?

We’ve all seen enough “Say Yes to the Dress” to know that bridesmaids are tricky. You have to be delicate; say one wrong thing and you have disaster and drama. I’d heard horror stories of people that had no maid of honor, and equally scary stories from brides who had one tyrannical maid of honor.

So rather than choose between them, I asked them both! My high school friend is married so she is technically my “matron of honor” while my roommate is my “maid of honor”. I wanted to make sure that neither of them was hurt by this decision, and I made sure they each knew how important and invaluable they are to me in this process.

Me & Bailey in San Francisco

Me & Tessa in an LA bar


Anyway, I was right! They both totally understood my decision and were super stoked to my matron/maid of honor.

I’m so excited to have both of these ladies (plus my sister & sister-in-law to be) by my side on my big day!



{Real Bride: Carrie} Axing The Wedding Party To Focus On The PAR-TAY

Cute. Legitimately cute.

In one of our many efforts to keep our wedding simple and laid back, Zach and I decided not to have an official “wedding party.”  It’s not that we don’t have friends who we’d love to honor with this position, as I think both of us could easily pick a few close buddies to stand up with us.  It’s more that we just don’t really see the point.

I mean, dressing alike is cute when you’re toddlers…And then all of a sudden it’s cute again when you’re a fully-grown adult if you’re in a wedding?  I don’t get it.

We didn’t want to boss people around and tell them what to wear and what to help with for our wedding.  Honestly, we hope that our friends and family will voluntarily step up and help us out of the goodness of their hearts, not out of obligation because of some “title” we’ve bestowed upon them.  We’re still involving some special people in the ceremony by having them perform readings, and both of our best friends will still be giving toasts at the reception.

Still cute?

Another factor in our decision was that our wedding is only going to have about 60 guests.  The more people you put up front the emptier the seats will look!  I don’t want our ceremony to look like no one is there because there are no butts in seats!

Anyone else forgoing a traditional wedding party for a more casual approach?

{Can’t Afford It/Get Over It} Monique Lhuillier-Inspired Bridesmaid Dress For Under $150

Weddings aren’t just about your own budget. Being in a wedding can be costly for everyone involved. It totally makes sense to want to keep costs down for those supporting you on the big day. This week’s request is for for sexy, full length bridesmaid dresses…


This is a submission for can’t afford it, get over it.

I’m looking for my bridesmaids dresses and everything I’ve found that I like so far is a little over their budgets. I love this Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaid dress, but it’s too expensive. I love the grape color, the one shoulder strap and even the slit! Please help if you can to find a dress under $150.

Thank you!

Purple was my wedding color! Personally, I’m OK with dress styles not matching. So I gave ladies a color and basics that I wanted in the dress, and let them pick something within their own budget. Thankfully, finding a variety of long, matching grape-colored dresses for cheap isn’t too difficult.


ML Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids Pleated One Shoulder Chiffon Gown


Carlos Miele Amazon Rain Gown ($150 rental at Rent The Runway)


Strapless Long Charmeuse Dress with Slit ($129 at David’s Bridal)

One Shoulder Satin Dress ($159 at David’s Bridal)


American Living One-Shoulder Dress ($80 at JC Penney)

Tinley Road Ruffle Front Maxi ($21.97 at Piperlime)


Purple Chiffon Floral Applique Strapless Gown ($126 at Unique Vintage)

Don’t worry, that glaring red David’s Bridal dress also comes in grape! Also,  I realize one option is over $150. But, it’s so close to your inspiration, it would have been criminal not to include it. At least now you have a number of options to offer the girls. Happy shopping.

Renegade Craft Fair Round-Up: Handmade Bridal Party Gifts Edition

Screen printed "I fucking love you card" by 55his, $3.99

Say it like you mean it.

Searching for original budget-friendly gifts for your hard-working bridesmaids and groomsmen? Never fear. My fiance and I spent last weekend culling through the Brooklyn edition of the Renegade Craft Fair, a collection of hand-crafted wares by independent designers and crafters, to bring you the latest and greatest bridal part gift ideas.

All the mind-blowing gifts featured below are under $50 and handmade by independent artists, who may be willing to work with you to customize your gifts. Most are made using sustainable methods and eco-friendly materials.


Give your girls a place to store lipstick, double sided tape and tissues for when you start bawling at the altar with this handmade ikat and leather Shelburne clutch by Shelter, $49.00. Shelter focuses on using local and sustainable materials, and many of their fabrics, including leather, are made in the USA.

Shelburne Clutch by Shelter $49.00

So pretty you could take it down the aisle

Bridesmaids Back-Up Gift: If your girls aren’t into clutches, check out this reversible hand-printed Hunting Circle Scarf by Bark Decor, $42.00. It’s made from fine jersey cotton and eco-friendly inks.

Going Hunting Handprinted Circle Scarf, by Bark Decor, $42.00

A circle scarf for those in your inner circle. Brilliant.


What to get the sports fanatic? How about a custom hand-cut remake of an Official League Baseball from the 1900s for $39.95. Huntington Baseball Co. creates hand-stiched, pitch-perfect replicas of vintage baseballs. Crafted in limited quantities by a single artist, these are among the finest you can buy. Best of all, William, the craftsman and baseball fanatic behind Huntington, can hand stamp a custom message on each one.

Official 1900 League Ball by Huntington Baseball Co., $39.95

Make sure he opens this outside

Groomsmen Back-Up Gift: If you’re guys aren’t into sports, gift them these men’s cotton handkerchiefs screen-printed with the words “Blow Me” in the corner, $12 for a pack of two.  Witty and functional, what more could you want?

Hand-screened "Blow Me" Men's Handkerchiefs by Aperture Agog, $12 for a pack of two

This could be taken so many ways

Ring Bearers and Flower Girls

It’s not just any toy that can teach tykes cognitive skills and help them prepare for future teenage rebellions, but this Matching Tattoos Memory Game by Seven Acre Toys, $35, pulls it off. The twelve Maplewood tiles are laser-etched with six classic tattoos. Children flip over them over and play a game to help strengthen their memory-building skills. All products are handcrafted and made without paints, dyes or stains. While you’re at it, check out Seven Acre’s Mustache Wooden Pull Toy.

Matching Tattoos Memory Game by Seven Acre Toys, $35.00

Perfect for the young bikers in training

Ring bearers and flower girls back-up gift: The kids in your bridal party might be too old for a game of Memory, but not for a knitted friend, like this Elephant from Sweater Toys, $44.00. All Sweater Toys are one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn from recycled sweaters and vintage inspired cotton prints.

Elephant Sweater Toy by Sweater Toys, $44.00

Hugable and lovable

Stay tuned next week for my round-up of envy-sparking registry and wedding ideas from Renegade. Do you have other unique bridal party gift ideas? Share them in the comments!


Holla-worthy Headbands

Oh hello. Could you get any cuter?

I require a few of these delicious creations from Old Soul New Heart. My mom thoughtfully forwarded me today’s Daily Candy featuring these sweeties, which is extra nice when you consider that the duo behind Old Soul New Heart is a mother-daughter team, who keep it real by mixing vintage notions with modern twists, and make a bad hair day into something fun. Headbands, necklaces, and belts – oh my, I just love them!

I also love the prices – everything is less than $65.  Wouldn’t a row of badass bridesmaids absolutely kill it in a sampling of these?  Maybe they’d dress up your rehearsal look with just the right amount of jazz?  I know my Tuesday would be greatly improved with a little headband action….

What about using one of these belts as a wedding dress sash?  I DIE!!!!

The trouble is, of course, deciding between them all!  Which one should I get?  Which is your favorite?

‘Cuz a Girl Gotsta Eat…

There are few things that make me feel more pampered then a nice meal out when I don’t have to worry about every penny going into it; and few gifts please me better than that of good food for free. Let’s be real – who doesn’t love eating out? But honestly, who wants to pay full price? Not this broke-ass!

When I lived in Chicago, my favorite ‘in the know” deal was that a local radio station’s website had a 1/2 off section where you could score restaurant gift certificates for, you guessed it, half price! They had some of the best grubs in Chi-town on there… we even went to the uber-romantic Signature Room on our 3rd anniversary for half-price dinner!

Now there are tons of resources for similar deals in dining and entertainment, all over the US – and I’m all over that like curry on tofu! Many local radio and TV affiliates have the same kind of resources – so poke around and see what you can find! Try googling “half-price deals + your city”. I also find great results when I google “your city:” like these for Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.

Another super-duper deal resource is – which lists a new amazing deal in each of 17 cities (and growing) every day! The trick is that enough people have to want the deal for it to become available, so bookmark this site and make sure you give props to the best deals! But it doesn’t take many to get something available, and the savings are fantastic.

Looking to get your drink on, but can’t bear full bar prices? Check out and use their happy hour finder! While they missed a couple favorite local happy hours of choice, they had a lot of new suggestions I hadn’t heard about before.

I highly endorse self-pampering, whether you be in the thick of wedding planning and need a night-off of cooking without the hefty price tag, or you’re celebrating an anniversary on a tight budget, or just because Monday and you want to! But, remember, restaurant gift certificates make terrific thank you gifts to parents, in-laws, bridal party members, and all those ‘special helpers’ that make your wedding day beautiful. This way, you can give a substantial gift that won’t rock your bank balance too hard, and the lucky recipients will be loving you long time.

Or get creative and book your rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch somewhere that participates in these deals – you might be able to score some great gift certificates to use toward the bill! Trust me, your in-laws will love you for it!

What are your favorite online resources for cheap eats or nights out on the town?

…And Then There Were Three

Originally, we had 4 people on each side of the bridal party. Now, not so much.

The other night Hunter’s best friend and “homey of honor” in our wedding, El, called to share the news that he had been cast in a very exciting and promising off-broadway version of Neil Gaiman’s book (and now movie) Coraline. We are so proud of him and were totally thrilled to hear it. But, he said, the director wouldn’t allow him to miss a performance to be in our wedding. Not a one. No. bueno.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Hunter more devastated. Young boys don’t dream much about their wedding day, but ever since he was a young boy, Hunter looked forward to the day his best friend stood next to him at his wedding. This is his duuuuude. You know what I mean. Every high school story begins with “this one time, me and El….”

The look on my poor man’s face was enough to break a nation’s worth of hearts. Of course, it couldn’t be helped. Of course, we 100% support El in this incredible opportunity and are beyond happy for him. But of course, having a best friend miss out on standing next to Hunter – or moreso, having Hunter miss out on his best friend being there, is a difficult letdown to reconcile.

There’s just no replacing El. Sure, our bridal party will be uneven, but who really cares? Its not about numbers, its about love. We sure will miss El’s love that day… but I know his spirit will be toasting the moment with us all.

Poor, poor Hunter, though. If MaPo were to step down, I can’t imagine how disappointed I’d feel. It’s just so sad for him. I can’t even fathom.

Ah, showbiz….. Let’s hope El wins a Tony, y’all :)