Posts in the 'bridesmaids' Category

Real Bride Jess: What’s in a Bridal Shower?


Fresh Mimosa Bridal Shower Invitations

from Minted

I’m coming up to my first shower and I’m super excited (I mean: presents!) but also a little stressed. I know that the shower is not my concern at all – that my bridesmaids take care of it and I just show up – but that’s really hard for me to do. With my three bridesmaids being in different cities (my fourth bridesmaid is my 13 year old sister, so I don’t count her as a shower planner) the planning is rough to say the least. Since I love lists I’m going to give you a list of things to do, as bride, about your bridal shower (this is a mix of things I did and wish I had done):

  •  DELEGATE. Since I’m having two showers, one in my hometown (San Diego) and one in his hometown (Valencia), I delegated my San Diego shower to my maid and matron of honor since my maid of honor lives there, and my matron of honor is familiar with my family. I delegated my Valencia bridal shower to my future sister-in-law who lives in Valencia. This doesn’t mean that they can’t all give input on both showers, just that we’re minimizing two big problems: too many cooks in the kitchen and someone feels left out.
  •  Help your ladies find a venue. Most of the time this isn’t necessary since your grandma or friend or something will volunteer their place, but if your ‘maids aren’t familiar with the area of your shower or your family give, them some help. I suggested my grandma’s house for the SD shower because none of my ‘maids has a place big enough to host it, and I didn’t want them to feel nervous about imposing or anything silly like that.
  • Don’t let your mom plan the whole thing. Remember that this is not your mom’s responsibility – she is more than welcome to help, but she is not the hostess or the organizer. My mom has a tendency to get overwhelmed so I told her specifically: “This is not your project, if the girls have questions they can call you, but this party is not on you.”
  • Paper invites are always nice. My sister-in-law asked me if I wanted to do paper or e-vites for the Valencia shower, and I said paper or a combination. So we sent paper to the people we thought should get paper (my mom, the bridesmaids, etc.) as well as the older or technologically challenged guests. We sent e-vites to Michael’s mom’s friends (from church and school) and other people that we know check their emails often. The nice thing about e-vites is they make RSVPing easy as pie. You open the email and just click yes or no.
  • Make sure they know where you’re registered. On one invite we put “You can find Jess’ registry at smorriswedding.tumblr.com” and on the other we put “Jess is registered at Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Crate & Barrel, and Anthropologie.” I think that either is fine, but the second option may be easier for non-tech friendly guests.
  • Do. Not. Stress. This is the hardest part for me. I’m constantly worrying: “Is everyone feeling included?”; “I hope nobody is left out”; “Did I forget anyone?”; “Is my grandma too stressed?”; “Should I be helping?”. This is not your job. Unless they tell you otherwise, everything and everyone is fine. Your job is to show up, have fun and open presents. That’s my mantra, “Don’t worry, you’re only there to smile and open presents. Everything will be fine.” I whisper it as I go to bed.

I hope that helps all of you! If there’s any go-to advice that I missed about bridal showers, tell us all!

Help Your Ladies with a Day-Of Bridesmaid Survival Kit

There’s always a lot of chatter surrounding a day-of emergency kit for the bride — including Shout wipes and safety pins and mini whiskey bottles (or at least mine would) — but your ladies need a little love, too! And rather than present them with one uber expensive piece of jewelry or other doo-dad, why not fix those chicks up with a rad little kit filled with essentials that can come in handy far beyond your big day?

bridesmaid survival kit.jpg

Collage made with PicMonkey.

1. Get the girls going in style with glitter cosmetic pouches.

$26.95, Zazzle.com.

2. Don’t let your ladies sink into the grass in their killer heels!

$9.95, Sole Mate High Heelers.

3. A sweet, dainty pearl necklace with a custom card shows her your sweet side.

Coterie Necklace, from $39, Nelle & Lizzy.

4. Nip that hangover in the bud and save your ladies some pain with this rejuvenating non-energy drink.

$26.94 for 6-pack, RESQWATER.

5. Bobby pins are a necessity, but they’re never around when you need ‘em. Get a set that matches her hair color!

Goody Colour Collection Blonde Bobby Pins starting at $6.44 for 50, Amazon.

6. During a hot summer wedding, gum might melt into her bag. Opt for a fun, yummy breath spray instead!

Hello Breath Spray in Mojito Mint, $3.75, Amazon.

7. This one should really go without saying. Don’t let ripped nails be a downer for anyone on your big day.

Julep Emery Board, $5 ($4 with Maven subscription), Julep.

8. Add a serious pop of color and some fun to her ensemble with a glass adjustable ring.

Joanna Vintage Glass Ring, $25.26, Eclectic Eccentricity.

9. Sometimes, when you have a lot going on, you forget to shave your pits. It’s a thing. Help a sister out.

Women’s 5-Blade Razor with 12 Cartridges, $19.95, 800Razors.com.

10. Make sure she’s good for nail polish touch-ups with cute little multi-polish kits.

Ladies Night kit, $35, Julep.

What do you plan on putting in your bridesmaids kits?

 

Real Bride Andrea: To Bridesmaid or Not to Bridesmaid? That is…

…. one of the many questions I have about Bridesmaids!

This looks like a nightmare. Both, the amount of bridesmaids and staging this picture in the middle of your wedding day.

Credit: Nina Carman Photography, Ltd.
This looks like a nightmare. Both, the amount of bridesmaids and staging this picture in the middle of your wedding day.

Growing up, I was one of those girls who didn’t have a lot of girlfriends because “girls were so much drama.” (I know. Gross, right? Don’t worry. I’m over that now.)  I had a few female friends because I was a dancer but mostly I hung out boys in my formative years with the exception of one female best friend I’d had since elementary school. (After a falling out in college, she and I parted ways. Woof. ‘Nuff said.) I had not formed any other close relationships with women. My time at Arizona State was spent dancing my ass off, leaving no time for friends. I was lucky to have met Travis. I had one sister in the bridesmaid age range and no real familial obligation to use any extended family. So, after the orginal engagement back in 2008, as soon as the high from the proposal and ring wore off, I realized that, other than my sister (who was only 15 at the time,) I had not a single option for a bridesmaid. This was an incredibly sad realization. I mean, I had friends, but no one close enough, you know? I had the kind of friends I could’ve asked, but they would’ve thought it was weird and definitely would not have used me as one of theirs. I realize that it is not necessarily the way to make decisions regarding bridesmaids, but it would be nice to know the “Will you be my right-hand bitch?” sentiment would be reciprocated.  My solution to this problem? NO BRIDESMAIDS! They were an overrated wedding ritual that we didn’t need anyway, right?!

I was depressed.

This bride is generous. GENEROUS. I would sooner have my bridesmaids in jean overalls than in white.

This bride is generous. GENEROUS. I would sooner have my bridesmaids in jean overalls than in white.

Well, we all know now that wedding never happened and I’m so glad. As I’ve grown and matured, (and thanks to “Sex and the City”) I’ve learned the importance forming relationships with female friends. It is healthy and incredibly rewarding! I mean, Duuuhhh, right?! Do I wish I’d learned this earlier? Yes. But boyo, am I incredibly happy I have the girlfriends I do now! I have some the most intelligent, talented, funny, and inspirational women in my life. I am even more thrilled to call these women my family and friends. I have so many options for bridesmaids, it’s even going to be difficult to narrow it down! What a fantastic problem! But, it IS, in fact, a problem.

They are perfect, aren't they? What an era! Thanks for all the Cosmos, ladies.

They are perfect, aren’t they? What an era! Thanks for all the Cosmos, ladies.

I assumed, perhaps somewhat presumptuously, that my fiancé, Travis would be against the idea of a bridal party. He tends to be a minimalist when it comes to wedding planning. However, when I broached the subject, he surprised me. Not only was he open, but he had six, SIX men in his life that he just HAD to have as his groomsmen. SIX?! This is frustrating number for a couple of reasons. First of all, I feel obligated to match the number for ceremony purposes. Secondly, I could have 4 or 8 bridesmaids. I’ll explain. There are echelons of friends and family. So, how do I cut a 1 or 2 women out when they are of equal importance to me?

I guess you could just see which of your friends were willing to to take this picture... That's how you know who your real friends are.

I guess you could just see which of your friends were willing to to take this picture … That’s how you know who your real friends are.

There are many surprises on the road that is planning a wedding and this was one of them. I didn’t anticipate “ranking” the women in my life; debating the pros and cons of each. I have not chosen my complete bridal party yet, but I sure do appreciate that I have an incredible selection. And this is just the beginning. In what creative and fantastically crafty way can I ask them to be my bridesmaids? Aren’t they supposed to get gifts that are equally clever and crafty? How do you make each lady happy and comfortable with what they wear on my big day?

Here’s to wrangling my chicks,

 

Real Bride Elizabeth: Surviving My First Wedding Crisis

48811332_2b985302f3_o jilly~bean

These were the original dresses I picked. For some reason, no one was into them.

 I’d like to think that I am a pretty laid-back bride, and don’t demand too much from my bridesmaids. I have 6 of them, and the fact that they are all willing to fly to North Carolina to be a part of my wedding is amazing to me. I’m not telling them they can’t cut or dye their hair, I couldn’t care less if anyone is pregnant, and I’m letting them pick their own shoes.

Just so you have a frame of reference, here is my cast of characters:

Tegan (Matron of Honor): My little sister

Ali: My littlest sister

Jenna: My friend who I’ve known since we were 3

Cassie: My friend I met in college

Kasey: Another friend I met in college

Amy: My roommate for two years when I lived in Spain

I picked out my bridesmaid dresses pretty quickly, sent them the details, knowing they would get it done eventually. I wasn’t super worried about timelines, and I wasn’t hounding them every day to see if they had ordered the dresses.

Last week, I kept getting this feeling that I should remind them to order the dresses soon. I knew my mom had ordered my sister Ali’s dress, and that my other sister, Tegan, had hers, but I wasn’t sure what the status of the other four were. I was eating lunch on Thursday when I got a call from Kasey. She dropped this bomb on me. “I just ordered my dress and the lady at the store told me they are going to be discontinued in 12 hours!

Um, what? You would think someone might have mentioned it to me. I was at work, but quickly sprang into action, trying to track down my remaining ladies to see if they had ordered their dresses yet. I texted Cassie – she got right on it and ordered the dress online. I ordered Amy’s – since she is flying over from England, I was waiting to order hers until she got her plane ticket. I texted Jenna, the last one to confirm. “Did you order your dress yet?” No reply. I tried calling her. No answer. I wouldn’t say I was panicked at this point, but I was definitely a little frazzled. After about an hour, she texted me back. “I have my appointment tomorrow! I’m so excited!” Well, that wasn’t going to cut it, was it? I let her know the situation and she moved her appointment to the same day.

All I can say is thank goodness Kasey decided to go and get fitted for her dress that Thursday! I realize it would not have been the end of the world if they hadn’t ordered them that day. There likely would have been some left in stores, but still, the whole situation really got my blood pumping!

I’m sure this is only the first of wedding snafus and snags that I will encounter, but as long as I end up with a husband at the end of the day, it’ll all be fine.

Real Bride Tiffany: Fifty ‘leven girls

Ahhh, bridesmaids. Your ladies in waiting. Your personal party planners. Your servants. Your army of skanks. Lucky for me, my mom birthed a bridal party so my decision was relatively easy. Three sisters? Boom. One cousin that is basically like a sister and was your ever-trusted partner in crime growing up? Also, boom. One best friend who would do absolutely anything for you including address all of your save the dates? So boomed.

Five. Five ladies. Yes, I did leave one long distance best friend out and yes we had words about it, briefly. I told her it was for her own good and that she could just enjoy all of the festivities without having to shell out approximately one million dollars. And also that I don’t believe in bridal parties bigger than five. Because what is with these ginormous bridal parties? And here I go bitching again…

I made them wait about 4 months after the engagement for the official announcement, which was hilarious. There was a lot of speculation and a lot of “Well, I don’t want to assume…” which made my black heart giggle with joy. I wanted to be able to announce them all together and throw them a little party. Also, I wanted a great excuse to binge eat cheese and binge drink wine.

This was the first opportunity for me to test my DIY skills and learn my DIY tolerance. The results? Not great, Bob. Not great at all. I was able to use my remedial design skills for the invitations and survival guide. However, I printed almost half of them upside-down and backwards which led to me not being able to use our printer with Justin’s supervision. I also wanted to make one of those super cute and allegedly easy tassel garland situations. It didn’t turn out awful. But, after about 10 tassels I was donezo.

Remedial DIY skills aside, the party was a success. I wanted to give each girl something fun, but not wasteful. So many of the things on Pinterest for this type of occasion are just throwaways, and I don’t have that kind of money to waste! I gave the girls a personalized wine glass and a goody bag filled with survival kit items such as bandaids and advil.

But most importantly, to me at least, was the survival guide. Which had some preemptive FAQs and all of the information we knew about our wedding day up to that point. Really, I just wanted to be able to avoid answering questions because I’m an asshole like that. So I can now just say, “REFER TO THE PAMPHLET.”

 

guide 1.jpg survival guide 2It has worked 80% of the time. There is always that one sister-maid that wants a backless dress. I should’ve added that to the Bs…

Overall, the party was a success and my army of skanks has been delightful thus far! I do believe they are planning the bachelorette party before the bridal shower and that is how we roll.

Yes, those flower girls have veils on. I cannot even handle them. Yes, those flower girls have veils on AND princess dresses. I cannot even handle them.

Ask Heather: Navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dress sold in stores

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 2.54.36 PM

Photo courtesy of bridesmaiddressaleca

Dear Heather,

I need to find navy, knee-length, one-shoulder bridesmaid dresses. The catch – under $100 and something that stores carry. My maid of honor lives out of state and wants to try it on before she buys, and I totally agree! I’ve heard too many horror stories of online dresses not fitting right! Help me, please!

Bride Seeking Little Blue Dress

Dear Blue,

I will admit that this is a little outside of my bailiwick. However, I’m attempting to tackle it anyway in the hopes that my lovely readership will chime in with their suggestions.

After copious Googling, it seems like The Dessy Group might be your best bet. I’m not sure where your MOH lives, but they have an easy-to-use store finder and tons of stores. They also sell Alfred Sung, who offers a navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dress for $99.

And now, I’m going to be annoying. I know you said you wanted it to be sold in-store. However, Target now sells bridesmaid dresses. They are not sold in stores, BUT don’t stop reading! They’re affordable (most of them are around $70) and you can return them at Target stores, no questions asked. I actually purchased one a few weeks ago. It arrived super-quick, but it was a bit too small. I went to my local Target Guest Service counter, said “this doesn’t fit”, and they took it back, no further questions, full refund. Plus, if you have a Target REDcard (which is that whole “Would you like to save 5% at Target today” script you hear whenever you shop there), shipping is free. Your MOH could order a few in different sizes, see if anything fit, then return whatever she didn’t like. And they definitely have navy, knee-length, one-shoulder dresses for less than $100.

And now, valuable readers, please chime in! Do you have any recommendations for Blue? Tell us in the comments below where she should go for her ultimate bridesmaid dress!

{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?

{Broke-Ass Hard Truths} How To Not Be A Completely Selfish Idiot About Someone Else’s Wedding

HI! If someone referred you here, it may be because they don’t feel they can adequately explain to you why you’re being an asshole about their wedding. Maybe it’s because they simply love you too much, or maybe it’s because they can no longer stand the sight of you! It’s probably some combination of both. You obviously haven’t noticed it yet, but your words and actions are causing them bucket loads of needless stress and anxiety. And as planning a wedding is one of the most stressful situations a girl will ever voluntarily put herself through, that shizz needs to stop right now.

In any case, don’t be mad at them for directing you here and sort of implying that you’re being an idiot. They never said you were an idiot! DISCLAIMER: I am not explicitly calling you an idiot either (except when I am). I’m sure you have an excuse for your behavior that sounds completely reasonable…in your own mind. But please,  let me try and explain why your selfish actions are at risk of totally bogarting someone’s big day. Read these options and see which one applies to you.

This is what we’d like to avoid.

Oh, you think this bridesmaid dress makes you look fat/pregnant/too old/too young? Your opinion has been noted! And renoted. Highlighted, and put in ALL CAPS. Please stop kvetching about how much you hate your dress, and let your friend get back to enjoying her wedding planning journey. Consider the expense of a single dress you are not-so-secretly not in love with versus the price of friendship. (And if you’re secretly thinking the price isn’t worth it — DON’T use one of life’s happiest occasions as an excuse to broach the subject. Chalk it up to a life lesson.)

Are you using this wedding as one giant excuse to stir the pot and re-incite old family tensions? Seriously, if you can’t be a damn grown-up and sit through a meal surrounded by a few people who rub you the wrong way, maybe just sit this one out.  But don’t act like you’re making a statement by doing so either, you asshole.

You can’t comprehend why your children aren’t invited to this wedding? It’s because they’re tiny assholes. No, the bride didn’t say that. She probably doesn’t even think that. I think that. Some people are all about big, loud, raucous family weddings. Others would rather foster a more sophisticated, adults-only atmosphere.  Just because you’re used to big family weddings, doesn’t mean someone is slighting you or your children by not inviting them. Would you take your kids to a cocktail party? No. So leave your tiny assholes at home, and relish in the opportunity to enjoy some good old fashioned adults-only fun for a night, or stay home. And if you do decide to decline on the RSVP, SEE ABOVE.

Are you of the opinion that because you or your party are helping the happy couple pay (or are paying in full) for their wedding, you have final say on everything? I say this with love … you’re kind of a horrible person! I’m sure being parented by you was trying enough, so maybe loosen up a little and let your children plan their own damn wedding? You’re lucky they still love you at all, because it seems you have serious control issues, and/or are unbelievably selfish. If you absolutely do expect to have the final say on everything, but disagree with me on that last little bit, then you also need therapy.

You’re paying for, or financially contributing to the cost of the wedding, so you think you can invite whoever the eff you want? Well the good news is, you’re not horrible (and you’re not at all alone). The bad news is, you should probably just let your kids decide who gets to share in one of the most important days of their lives. I know your baby’s big day is the perfect opportunity to show off and assert your superiority over distant cousins, coworkers, and whoever else, but don’t. Just don’t. You can show them all the pictures later. Having a bunch of people at your wedding that you barely know is both horribly awkward, and a needless expense.

If none of them resonate, it’s VERY likely that …

You don’t care enough. Dammit, your son/daughter/sister/brother/best friend is getting married. It is a BIG DAMN DEAL, and you treat it like it’s mostly a major inconvenience, if you bring it up at all. Maybe you’re too young and stupid to get how serious this whole affair is, or maybe you’re too old and stupid to remember how crazy and stressful and wonderous and joyful the whole wedding experience can be — but suffice it to say, you could care more. You could do more.

Maybe you’re sad and a little bitter because love hasn’t found you yet — or maybe it’s found you four different times and you’re just sort of over it. That doesn’t change the fact that these two people have found each other, love each other, and have to decided to JUST GO FOR IT, statistics be damned! And that is worth celebrating every time.

You care too much. Holy hell, back off already. This isn’t your wedding. These aren’t your decisions. If the bride wants you to take the reigns and plan her entire wedding, she will ask you, pointe blank. If she hasn’t asked you, don’t just assume the job is yours! And don’t get on her ass just because she’s not planning her whole shindig based on some wedding planning timeline you read about in a magazine.

Again, I say this with love: Find another hobby. Maybe you’re just jonesing to plan your own wedding, there’s no groom in sight, and you’re just living a little too vicariously through her. Maybe your wedding was a gajillion years ago and you’re just trying to recapture your former bridal glory, while totally annoying her with all your terribly dated decor suggestions. Your day will come —or your day has come. Hard lovin’, I know. Find something else to obsess about.

“But, but, but…” you say, “the bride in my life has morphed into a completely unruly, wedding-addled wackjob!” Well, look out for my follow-up piece “Oh, You Think You Fancy? Your Wedding Is Ruining Everyone’s Lives!” on the blog soon! And hang in there.

{Partner Love} For Her and For Him Wants To Share The Love With Big Changes And Killer Savings

Wowza, you guys just can’t get enough of For Her and For Him, can you? Well, they feel the same way about you, so For Her and For Him is back with a whole new range of dresses, some big changes in the shop, and one smokin’ promotion, just for you Broke-Asses.

For Her and For Him has made some improvements in the shop, including hiring a very experienced pattern maker who has helped spruce up dress patterns to better suit customer preferences. They have ramped up stitching intensity from 7.5 to 10 for every last inch of fabric and have scoured various fabrics to find a lighter, thinner lining material, thus leaving you feeling more comfortable and relaxed – like you’re floating on cloud 9! All this, plus there’s a shiny new measuring guide that is practically foolproof!

Because For Her and For Him is so in lurve with you BABs and they want to show off all their fancy new improvements, they’ve got a killer deal for you. What? Yeah, you heard.

From Sept. 5th through Nov. 30th, For Her and For Him is offering:

- 10% off the purchase of two dresses, 20% off 3-5 dresses and 25% off the purchase of 6 or more!

- FREE custom sizing

- FREE FedEx shipping worldwide

And that’s not all. “Like” For Her and For Him on Facebook and get an extra $10 off immediately. Not looking to buy right away? No problem. By liking their Facebook page, you’ll get a code that will extend the deal until you’re ready to make your purchase.

In addition, if you write a review after receiving your dress and post pics, you’ll get $20 cash back!

Whew. I don’t know if it gets much better than that, BABs! So get yourself over to For Her and For Him and score yourself some sublimely sweet, divinely affordable bridesmaid dresses!