Posts in the 'bridesmaids' Category

Cool Wedding-y Shizz Around the Web

Supermarket arrangements aren’t always, the prettiest. Kiss My Tulle has a great how-to on giving those bunches a gorgeous makeover.

How to Make an Ugly Supermarket Arrangement into a Lovely Wedding Bouquet

Speaking of bouquets — Something Turquoise has some tips on how to fill out your floral arrangement.

Getting your ideas from the fairest of them all? Inspired by Dis created a great Snow White-inspired styleboard for your bridesmaids.

Snow White Bridesmaid Style

Not sure what wedding dress style will best compliment your shape? Head over to Tidewater & Tulle for a solid guide on flattering silhouettes for you.

Gift etiquette can be sticky. Brenda’s Wedding Blog has 8 do’s and don’ts for your wedding registry.

Budget Savvy Bride’s latest wedding tip is something we totally stand by.

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What awesome things have you seen on the web this week?

Real Bride Meg: Keeping it Budget-Friendly for Your Brigade

You guys. I recently read that the average bridesmaid spends $1,700 for your broke-ass wedding. Wait, what?!

As it turns out, this number is pretty real. Check out this breakdown:

  •  Average cost of bridesmaid dress: $200 (without alterations!)
  •  Average cost for bacholerette party: $400/bridesmaid
  •  Average cost for wedding day hair and makeup: $100-180
  •  Average cost on gifts (engagement, shower, wedding): $200
  •  Average cost for traveling expenses (shower, bachelorette events): $600

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Photo courtesy of someecards.com

I think we can all admit that the average cost of being in your darling friend’s wedding is outrageous — totally unacceptable! While I wasn’t aware of this number until recently, I have been doing all I can to keep the costs down for my favorite girls — mainly by letting them choose what they want to spend on.

My brigade’s adventures started with dress shopping … or lack thereof. My girls range in size, shape and color, so I always had the idea to mix and match their dresses. I had my eye on a few different styles pretty early on in the planning process, and had an even closer eye on when they would go on sale. At first, I thought about having 2-3 options for the 7 of them to choose from, but I quickly realized that there were a ton of pretty options out there! I was sure to alert them of any new styles I liked (especially when there was a sale!) and they ultimately all chose and ordered their own dress online. To pull it all together, I recruited my crafty mom to make some crystal belts. They looked amazing!

Everyone benefits when you let your ‘maids chose their own dresses. They get to pick what they like, how they want to look and the price range that fits their budget. It was a bit of a headache for the bride as far as coordinating went, but in the end, I believe my girls will be that much happier when it comes to wearing their dresses. Worth it!

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An early draft of my attempt at coordinating mixing and matching while meeting everyone’s needs using dresses from BHLDN and Loft

To piggyback off of the dress situation, I also gave my girls the option to have their hair and makeup professionally done the day of the wedding, and they can buy whatever shoes they’ll feel comfortable in. As far as hair and makeup goes, they have lots of options (including airbrushed makeup!), and I’m not requiring them to wear their hair any which way. I gave them a variety of colors for shoe preferences, and I’m trusting them to chose whatever they want. They ought to be able to pick if they’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on it all!

I don’t have too many requests for my favorite gals, but there is one thing I do require — no gifts, please! Between their bridesmaid duties, dresses, hair and makeup, and all of the party planning, it is absolutely unnecessary for them to then buy me a gift when all is said and done. What kind of BAB would I be if I accepted their gifts?!

Now, I’ve given my brigade some guidelines for the day-of attire, but as far as the shower and bachelorette party goes, I’m 100% hands off! The good thing about having 7 bridesmaids is that there are more gals to the share the costs of planning these things. I’m excited to see what they come up with!

With all that said, one of the best parts of having your 7 best friends join you on your wedding day is having 7 extra pairs of hands to assist you leading up to it! Your ‘maids will (hopefully) be thrilled if you ask for their help on something that doesn’t require a monetary cost. I recently had 6/7 of my girls over for a DIY day, and it was so productive! I feel 10 times better about my to do list thanks to their willingness to help. Next on the list– recruiting my favorite shoppers to help me pick out outfits for the shower, bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner. No purchase necessary.

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I made my ‘maids work!

Not the DIY bride? Here are some other ways you can help keep their costs down:

  • Don’t shop for bridesmaids dresses at a bridal store. Anything with the “wedding” label will definitely cost you more
  • If you have something specific you want them to accessorize with, give it to them as their “thank you” gift
  • Have a ‘maid who always looks amazing? Assign her to hair and makeup duty the day of the wedding
  • Chances are your girls don’t all live close to each other, so cut down on party planning and travel costs by having your shower and bachelorette party a 2-for-1 deal

So, when it comes to assigning duties and having requirements, be mindful of how much your bridesmaids are spending on you, and not just how much you’re spending on your wedding. When all is said and done, it’s who you chose to have stand by your side when you marry your prince charming that counts!

Cool Wedding-y Shizz Around the Web

Have a few spring weddings to attend? Dress for the Wedding compiled some gorgeous dresses for those nearing nuptials.

This UP themed wedding on Inspired by Dis is just ridiculously awesome. The Dolly Couture dress, the sprinkle cake … and look at her ring!

Inspired By Dis Up Themed Wedding

Photo: Chris + Jenn Photos 

On Hey Wedding Lady, a husband surprises his wife with a vow renewal on a lake, a gorgeous gold gown and a freaking flower crown. Guys, take note.

You guys know I have a thing for mugs. Aisle Perfect found 10 more liquid of life (read: coffee) delivery vessels to show off your status.

Want to seriously save on your wedding flowers? Kiss My Tulle has a great step-by-step on how to makeover those supermarket bouquets.

Kiss My Tulle Supermarket Bouquet

 

Credit: Kiss My Tulle

One of our tried and true BAB tips is to opt for a sheetcake vs. an ornate tiered wedding cake. The BrideLink has a great tutorial for a faux tiered cake for display.

If you’ve thought about convertible bridesmaid dresses for different styles but the same color scheme, check out this post on Emmaline Bride that breaks down why it may be your best option for your gals.

For a whole ‘nother twist on bridesmaids bouquets, check out these great options on Chic Vintage Brides.

The Budget Savvy Bride offers up another one of her brilliant budget tips.

BSB Budget Tip #24Credit: The Budget Savvy Bride

 

Let Your Wedding Crew Choose. Follow and Get Out of the Way.

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Credit: Powell Pictures

So, I’ve been checking in with my 2015 couples a lot this week. March’s backyard wedding was relocated to another backyard. May wants a photo booth.  I’m looking at venues with July #2 this weekend. June #1 is in way better shape than she thinks she is. And, actually, so are you. Remember that the next time you start to wonder.

What’s been interesting is that each of them asked about managing their wedding party. And managing their families. Or, rather, managing their wedding party and families’ questions and expectations.

There are just so many of them, you know? Wedding party and family members. And questions.

When is the bridal shower, where is the bachelorette party? Should all 10 of your family members wear the same color as your bridesmaids and/or groomsmen? When should everyone, or anyone, fly in for the wedding? And on and on.

Should you let them choose, or just tell them what to do?

Well, yeah, definitely one or the other.

But here’s the thing: It’s up to you, what they get to choose, and what you want to  dictate. And it doesn’t always have to be one or the other. Most of the time, wedding-wise, people want (cough, cough, NEED) direction. But if it’s something that’s not a big priority for you, it’s okay to let them make the choice .

But let them know one way or the other.  And if the answer is, “This is what we’re doing,” remember to smile and say “Thank you.” And if it’s “Whatever you want to do,” give them a deadline to let you know, well, what they’re going to do. Every choice needs to come with a deadline. Every mandate needs to come with gratitude and a smile. Got it? Now go forth and plan …

What’s the last detail your wedding crew has thrown back to you? And which way did you decide to go. Let me know in the comments below! And if you’d like to learn a little bit more about me and my part of Wedding World, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

 

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz

Get Inspired: Host a Lovely Brunch to Ask Your Bridal Brigade

Ally, one of my favorite local DFW photographers and one half of the extraordinary team at The Purple Pebble — you may remember them from brides in glasses fame — recently got engaged (yayyyy!!!) and threw a lovely luncheon to ask her ladies to stand by her side on her wedding day. Of course, throwing a luncheon in and of itself can be a little spendy, and when you add special flare to it because it’s not just any luncheon, the costs can add up quickly. While she still shelled out a pretty penny for the party, Ally managed to be pretty resourceful with a lot of the details and definitely put the BAB credo to work: Creativity is our currency!

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Budget Bridesmaid Brunch

The girls I chose as bridesmaids are what I call my “lifers.” Those friends who you can be your true self with, who have proven that no matter what, they’ll be there for you. In my case, these girls are family, high school friends, college friends and girls I met in adulthood. Each one of these girls has been there for me and each one of their friendships means the world to me. When I thought about asking people to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, I knew I wanted to ask in a special way. What a better way than a nice, little brunch celebration? When I asked each girl if she was available for a Sunday brunch on a certain date, they all said yes! Five of the girls in the wedding live where I do. 

Bridal Luncheon Personalized Cards

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As I got to planning, I thought of what kind of costs would be associated with this. After looking over everything I wanted to do, and the fact that I had 9 bridesmaids and 2 house party members, I knew I needed to save where I could. First step, host the brunch at my apartment.
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For the tablescape:
My mother grew up in the Midwest and has inherited lovely china from her grandmother and mother. I asked to borrow a set. White china with a gold rim was what I went with since my wedding accent color is gold. I also was able to borrow gold silverware. Crystal is timeless and elegant and I thought it would be a nice mix with the china. I was able to borrow crystal water glasses as well as a beautiful round, crystal vase that I put white hydrangeas in. I already had the clear glass tea light holders.
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I enlisted the help of Facebook friends for a table runner and had a work colleague let me borrow a gorgeous rose colored sequin runner. I also used Facebook to find another unique piece for the table: I wanted antlers, however, most of the places around town that sell antlers sold them for $25+ a piece. I didn’t want to pay that much for a single antler that I was going to spray paint. I had luck when my fiancé’s mother replied to my post saying that she had a set of antlers in her garage that I could have. Absolutely perfect! I spray painted them gold.
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For food and drink: 
I wanted to keep the food low cost and light. I purchased fruit and donut holes to make kabobs, went to a local shop to get kolaches and baked Pilsbury cinnamon roles.

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For the mimosa bar, I purchased orange juice with a coupon at a local grocery store chain. As the day of the brunch grew closer, I had multiple girls contact me asking if they could bring anything for brunch. Three girls each brought a bottle of champagne so that was covered!
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Accents:
I purchased adorable black and white striped paper straws from the $1 section at Target. And I was able to find 2 boxes of Libby champagne glasses on sale at Walmart. Two days before the brunch, my mother received a large, beautiful floral arrangement for her birthday. I was able to borrow that for extra decoration. I had a super cute card from my future sister-in-law that said, “You’re Engaged!” and I decided to use that as a cute little accent piece!
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Favors: 
Here is where I wanted to really personalize things for my girls! A wedding planner friend of mine created personalized cards for them. They cost $7 a piece. I went into Michael’s craft store for something a month before I put on the brunch and saw that there were colorful block letters in one of the bins in the $1 section. I was able to find a letter for each girl and each letter cost me $1.50.
Bridesmaid Luncheon Personal Letters
And my favorite part for my crew … a custom cookie! I had a local bakery make me diamond engagement ring cookies for $3.75 apiece. I had to buy a minimum of a dozen so I spent $45 on a dozen cookies. It was 100% worth it … the cookies were decorated with silver metallic paint and large sugar crystals were used as the diamond! They were also very good! For the favors, I spent $12.25 for each lady.
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Photography
Being a photographer, I was able to photograph all this goodness at no cost!
All in all, I spent $200 on food, favors and accents such as flowers, straws and champagne glasses. Everything else, I was able to borrow. And it certainly helped that my girls brought champagne! For those who do not live in the same city as me, I shipped them a card, letter and cookie from the Post Office so each package was anywhere from $5-$7 to ship.
The girls were all so surprised at the brunch when I asked them all to be bridesmaids! They had no idea it was coming.
I was able to pull off a great, affordable brunch with lovely ladies!

How did you ask your crew to stand by your side, BABs?

Real Bride Tiffany: Wedding Party Gifts That Are Pretty Rad

Hello again, BABs! While we very (im)patiently wait for our wedding album to appear, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite wedding related things: PRESENTS! No, not for us. But for our amazingly awesome wedding party members. I love, love giving gifts and finding amazing deals!

If you’ve been following my posts for a while, you know that I don’t like things that don’t have a purpose or that are severely cheesy. Basically, any traditional wedding party gift you could think of. So I challenged us to think outside that traditional box and get our wedding party gifts that aren’t etched with our names and likelihoods.

And here are the results!

FOR THE MENS: The obligatory tie (I know, did I just contradict myself? Its a really nice tie though!). And a Marvel bottle opener. Each groomsmen got a different character, purposefully chosen by Justin. Amazon has a surprisingly large selection of these, at which Justin was OVERJOYED. The cost of each opener varied, putting the total cost of the gift around $40-50.

mens gift

I was really, REALLY proud of my wrapping presentation. My handwriting? Could definitely use some work.

FOR THE LADIES: Kate Spade earrings in a BAB gift? BRIDES. I cannot yell this enough. Sign up for the Kate Spade newsletter and when there is a surprise sale just BUY ALL THE THINGS (and watch the deal and link roundup on Fridays, because you know the Ten for the Weekend will include it!). I snatched up 5 pairs of those gorgeous earrings for less than $100. RIGHT? Go sign up now, I’ll wait here …

Okay, so I may have gone a little overboard with the girls. The sequins on the bottom are actually from a clutch that I acquired from Brickyard Buffalo ($8 each). The bracelet on the left was custom made by a dear friend of mine. I commissioned her to make them for the Moms and she wanted to make them for all the girls. They were her gift to us and absolutely beautiful and special. The You Smell soap was just something my 12-year old self thought was hilarious (World Market, $2). The pumpkin pie flavored edible lip scrub is TO DIE FOR. Because naturally I got one for myself (because it was only $3.75 which was a STEAL and I’m going to buy all of my Christmas gifts from that shop).  And that little handkerchief situation was totally an afterthought because I knew there would be tears and I didn’t want anyone to be stuck without a wiping device. It was also a total hit ($12.99 for 9 hankies, or $1.44 each).

Total cost for each lady gift: $34.

girls gift

I actually think there is a Kate Spade sale going on right NOW.  Get those maids something shiny!

The littles got a variety of things but let me just give you a pro-tip: a sticker book will keep a child quiet and occupied for at least 45 solid minutes.

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I think this is the quietest he was all weekend. STICKER BOOKS WIN.

And because he has 4 daughters and has lost most of his sanity because of that, and because I love nothing more than giving my father a hard time, I made him a custom father-of-the-bride T-shirt. Seriously though, buy the man a drink!

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Two down, two to go! #fatherofthebride. He only pretends to be this annoyed with me.

We went a bit over budget, but it is hard not to when you have an amazing wedding party that has been spoiling you throughout the entire process. We were really proud of our gifts and our wedding party definitely appreciated the thought that we put into them. But I mean, you can’t really go wrong with superheros and sparkly things, right?

Real Bride Tiffany: Vegas Won, Penis Hats and All

My bridal party, knowing my love of debauchery and penny slots, planned an incredible bachelorette party weekend in Las Vegas. I survived one day. ONE. But I am here to tell you the good, bad, and ugly of said party weekend.

THE GOOD:

Free flights. WHA? Yea, a BAB dream come true. My MOH’s dad accumulates billions of frequent flier milers for business travel and was kind enough to donate them to a few of us so we could fly (rather than drive 6 hours) to Vegas. And along with that came free drink tickets (which may have been the initial problem … ).

Phallic decor for days. My MOH asked me, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how penisy do you want your party gear?” I went with seven. Which meant sparkly head gear and cookies shaped like man parts. They even gave me a whistle, which was a terrible idea in restrospect because I decided that every time I blew the whistle they would have to lineup by height.

Real Bride Tiffany: Vegas Won, Penis Hats and All

That headgear though? At least 9 people asked to take our picture. One man even gave us $7 to do so.

The shirts. YES THOSE SHIRTS. When planning our Vegas wardrobe I discovered that I looooathed every bridal party shirt on the planet. The rhinestones. The phrases. I just could not do that to anyone. So instead I found the tackiest {Read: greatest – Eds.} shirts on the planet and made everyone choose one. They acted like they hated it but I know that it will become a wardrobe staple soon enough.

Hofbrauhaus. AKA my home away from home. Although this was the place that likely did me in, I have no regrets. And there were ACTUAL GERMANS which was a total plus.

THE NOT SO GOOD:

Paris Hotel and Casino. GET IT TOGETHER. We were so excited to stay here because we could shout “I’m goin’ to France y’all!” every five minutes of our journey. Strike one occurred when our room wasn’t ready one hour after normal check in time. Strike two was when the other girls’ room wasn’t ready two hours after normal check in time. And strikes 3-80 are the severe lack of mirrors in the room which led to incredibly cramped primping sessions. They were able to complain about the delayed check-ins and get one night comped (SCORE!) and then they gave them keys that didn’t work. Paris just couldn’t get its shit together, for real.

THE UGLY:

My lack of stamina. You guys, I can usually rally pretty good. Wake up, crack a Coors and start all over. NOT THIS TIME THOUGH. I was down for the count and spent Saturday night half dead on a lounge chair in the beautiful cabana my girls rented for the day. And then in bed watching Law and Order while they enjoyed the strip. I TOTALLY BLEW IT.

Southwest Airlines. Specifically a flight attendant named Bernie who shamed us over the PA system for not having our drink order spoken as quickly as he would’ve liked it. We will never move on from it, I am sure.

Overall, I had a really wonderful time. And even though I gave a disappointing performance to the crew on Saturday, I was reminded several times that’s kind of how Vegas goes. And oh how true that is.

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?

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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?