Bridesmaids tips for the day

The bridesmaid’s role at a wedding might not be as clearly defined as the best man’s, but it’s just as vital. And from emotional support to practical assistance, your duties start long before the big day.

1) Check the Venue

You might be asked to help set up or make sure the placing is correct on the morning itself. Don’t worry about losing out on “getting ready time” — remember the bride is the only one who needs to look perfect, your help and support is much more valuable.

2) Getting Ready

Get dressed as quickly, quietly and efficiently as you can (the bride won’t thank you for hogging the GHDs or having a tantrum over a bad hair day) and take charge of any younger bridesmaids to ensure everyone’s dressed with hair and make-up done.

3) Act as Photographer’s Assistant

Before the ceremony, liaise with the wedding photographer as well as rounding groups of guests up later on.

4) Attend the Bride

As well as walking down the aisle, hold the bouquet as she says her vows and arrange her train. Later, check she and the groom have champagne and canapés.

5) Public Speaking

More and more bridesmaids are making a speech, They’re also often asked to give a reading and the chief bridesmaid may be a witness. So be prepared to show the best man how it’s done.

6) Be Ready for Emergencies

Have a kit prepared, including lipstick, sewing essentials, tissues, baby wipes and blister plasters.

7) Get the Party Started

Make sure guests go in to the wedding breakfast when they should, and be one of the first onto the dance floor later.

8) Don’t Forget the Details

Check everyone has confetti, remind the bride to throw her bouquet (and make sure there are people to catch it!) — you can even help to distribute the cake.

9) Go the Extra Mile

One idea is to take the brides mobile phone on the morning of the wedding and not let her have to deal with any phone calls. Let her enjoy her morning and get ready without the hassle of having to answer calls.

Bridesmaid Planning

Assembling the dream team

When organising a wedding It can be tricky enough rallying the team together to find your dream dress, so how do you start shopping for them? We suggest a dedicated girls night in to begin the wedding planning.

We love an excuse to get together so what better way to shop than online at home with your faves and a few bottles of fizz?

Start with the flip of a laptop

Options online are now so vast; yes, even for bridesmaid dresses, even our favourite high street brands are releasing bridesmaid dresses. Make sure you shop them all, including Monsoon, ASOS and so many more.

Gathering the bridal party

Make this night a hen-initiation night. An evening of friendship, laughter and of course decisions. This is also an opportunity to discuss with your bridesmaids what it is you expect from them and what they can offer you in the build-up to the big day. And if you have ordered your bridal gown already, don’t forget to request a swatch of fabric for your dress to compare to the bridesmaids.

Make your other half scarce for the evening, get the team over, whack Bridesmaids the movie on and let the games/ dress trials begin.

Making the final selection

The day is, of course, yours so the theme and feel to the attire is ultimately your vision. However, don’t forget to listen to your bridesmaids too. The wedding photos from the day are going to last a lifetime and you want your bridesmaids to feel fabulous with you.

Each person is an individual and combining style, cut and colour is all the trend at the moment so don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Trust that you can work together as a team to create that beautiful look you’ve envisaged.

 

Bridal Accessories

Mix and match

Wedding Hair accessories can be a big outlay for something that you will only wear once. Instead of one expensive tiara, why not opt for a lower cost small bridal comb and a few pins or clusters of grips? These can be arranged in groups to create a high-impact look for less. Mix and match the styles to create an elaborate big day finish.

Make an investment

Why not spend your wedding accessories budget on a few key pieces of bridal jewellery that you will wear again and again long after your wedding day? Even a statement and more expensive piece of bridal jewellery will effectively cost less if you wear it lots of times!

Perfect presents

It is wonderful to include family members and friends in your wedding planning. So why not ask them if they would treat you to your bridal jewellery for your next birthday or Christmas present? People are often stuck for gift ideas and love to be part of your wedding preparations.

Double up!

Make your bridesmaids’ accessories their thank you gifts. Simply tell them you have their jewellery sorted and give them a wonderful surprise on the big day. It also ensures that your girls will be wearing accessories which fit in with your wedding theme.

Shop wisely

Make your pennies go further by shopping carefully. For the money you are spending on a particular piece of jewellery, is there another supplier offering something similar but with higher quality components such as real pearls instead of faux or glass ones?

 

Who should do what

Planning a wedding is a pretty daunting task for any bride and groom, which is why traditionally the bridal party have a number of jobs to help with the process, and to ensure smooth wedding planning at all times…

Bride and groom

The bride and groom’s biggest responsibility is obviously to seal the deal and get married, but they have some crucial planning decisions to make first. It’s important that the bride and groom work on these decisions together and share the workload fairly, and that both are happy with each decision made.

  • Set the budget
  • Compile a guest list (this will be influenced by the budget)
  • Choose a theme, date and venue – make the necessary reservations and deposits
  • Organise invites, flowers, a photographer and wedding entertainment
  • Choose the wedding rings
  • Write the wedding vows
  • Thank-you notes for the guests
  • Greet everyone at the reception
  • Dance the first dance at the reception – some couples have lessons beforehand

In addition to the bride and groom’s joint responsibilities, each traditionally have tasks to handle on their own. The bride needs to choose her bridesmaids and maid of honour and their dresses, and choose a gift for her hubby-to-be. The groom needs to choose his groomsmen and best man and their attire, and also choose a gift for his wife-to-be.

Bride’s parents

In past traditions the bride’s parents have always paid for the majority of the wedding, but today the cost is usually distributed between mainly the couple, the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents. However there are still certain responsibilities for the bride’s parents to take care of.

  • Help the bride and groom with the guest list
  • Offer assistance and moral support with the wedding details
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals
  • The bride’s father escorts her to the ceremony and usually walks her down the aisle

Groom’s parents

The groom’s parents have very similar responsibilities to the groom’s parents:

  • Help the bride and groom with the guest list
  • Offer assistance and moral support with the wedding details
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals

Maid of honour

The maid of honour is traditionally a sister or best friend, and is the member of the bridal party that the bride relies most on. The maid of honour’s responsibilities include:

  • Organising any bridesmaid-related activities
  • Coordinating the hen do
  • Most importantly, organising the wedding dress shopping and any fittings
  • Helping the bride and groom with any ad–hoc tasks or errands  (keeping record of RSVPs, etc)
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals
  • Help the bride dress and get ready on the morning of the wedding
  • Arrange her veil and train during the processional and recessional
  • Holds the bride’s bouquet at the altar
  • Sign the marriage license as the bride’s witness
  • Helps the bride during the reception with the dress

Bridesmaids

There is no minimum or maximum number when it comes to bridesmaids and you can have as many as you want for your wedding. Bridesmaids can be single, married and any age.

  • Assist the maid of honour with the wedding planning duties and help the bride when needed
  • Help organise the hen do
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals
  • Walk in the processional and recessional

Best man

The best man is the groom’s go–to man during the wedding planning and his biggest support. The best man is traditionally the groom’s brother or best friend, and can be single, married and any age again.

  • Organise the stag do
  • Help to organise the groomsmen’s suit fitting and pick this up before the wedding say
  • Write a speech for the wedding reception
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals
  • Make sure the groom gets to the ceremony on time
  • Brings the rings to the ceremony
  • Signs the marriage license as the groom’s witness

Groomsmen

Apart from assisting the best man, the groomsmen don’t actually have many responsibilities before the wedding.

  • Help the best man with any wedding planning duties
  • Attend the stag do
  • Attend any wedding rehearsals
  • Arrive early at the ceremony on the wedding day and help to greet and seat guests

Bridesmaid dress shopping

When you’re looking for bridesmaid dresses, take all your bridesmaids along. Brides often opt to allow the bridesmaids to pick their own style from a selection, but keep slight restrictions of colour, length or fabrication to keep some uniformity. Telling the girls to choose a style that they feel most comfortable in means that they are more likely to jump at the next chance to wear it again.

Choose a colour that is more of a neutral one, or a colour that is on-trend for the season. Popular choices at the moment are soft pinks, nudes, navy and black in the perfect neutral colour, palomino – there’s no doubt your girls would love to wear these again.

Plain dresses can easily be dressed up for the wedding and after the wedding, but in different ways. How about adding a sash, brooch or a bling necklace? Simple wedding accessories will make the dress wearable on so many occasions, and it won’t even look like you’ve worn it before!

Don’t pick something that is outdated, or will go out-of-date quickly. Go for something timeless, or a trend you know will stick around for time to come because that way, the dress is much easier to wear again. The maxi just never seems to go out of trend, no matter what season. Team with a fab pair of shoes and some glitzy wedding accessories for a formal do, or just pop on a pair of sandals for a holiday look. You might even want one yourself for your honeymoon!

If you find your bridesmaids just won’t agree on one dress, consider different styles for each of them. It’s important to bear in mind that not all colours suit all skin-tones, so be flexible. And hey, mismatched bridesmaids is a top trend set for 2018 anyway.

Short dresses can be seen as more practical when thinking about reusing bridesmaid dresses; whether a formal occasion like another wedding where you’re not the bridesmaid, or a more casual one like a Saturday night out. But long, chiffon dresses do make great evening wear provided there is little to bling!

Bridesmaid dress shopping can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare with your girls not agreeing, or being grumpy about what you’ve chosen, but we know the ways to keep them happy to make wedding shopping a breeze!

 

Children’s wedding hair

Although we all hope to be thoroughly organised for the big day, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan and do as much in advance as possible, especially when it comes to children’s hair!

Before the big day

The dreaded visit to the hairdressers – it can sometimes be a battle to get children inside when it’s time for a haircut but you’ll likely to want their wedding hair is looking fresh for the wedding day.

Try chatting to your children about their impending haircut in the days leading up to the event – treating a haircut as a grown-up treat can help to get children excited about the experience. It can be worthwhile to spend a few minutes in the salon with your child before their appointment. Allowing them some time to watch other children in the salon chair can help them to feel more comfortable.

A little snack often works wonders for keeping little ones still in the salon chair, and small rewards such as a lollipop or a play in the park on the way home can help to make their experience a positive one.

If your child finds the salon environment particularly stressful, it might be worthwhile looking into a mobile wedding hairdresser, since your child is much more likely to feel at ease in familiar surroundings.

The night before:

Washing hair, the night before can help relieve pressure on the wedding day, and gives you at least one less thing to worry about!

Brush through any tangles before bed, and wash and dry their hair before they go to bed. Using a 2 in 1 shampoo can help to reduce the stressful process too by keeping hair washing time to a minimum whilst also easing any tangles.

To help reduce tangle – try to squeeze as much water from their hair as possible after washing, and try not to rub it with the towel as this can encourage tangles.

A little conditioning spray can help so try to do this when combing through wet and through dry hair using a wide-tooth comb, always starting at the ends. If your child has longer hair it can be beneficial to plait it back or tie it into a loose ponytail as they sleep.

On the wedding day:

There are lots of simple styles that even dads can help with! If your daughter has static hair, before diving right in with a bucket of product, he can lightly spray a hair brush with some low strength hairspray and brush through to tame any fly-aways.

Plaits can be a little tricky so unless he sees himself as a secret hair wizard, try gathering two pieces of hair at the front, twisting them individually to the back of your child’s head. Secure the twists with a couple of bobby pins – if you put them wobbly side down, they’ll grip better. Spraying a clean toothbrush to deal with any tricky flyways can also help.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can create some additional twists using the remainder of the hair, and remember – cute accessories can cover all manner of sins so don’t be afraid to keep things simple and let a couple of nice clips or matching ribbons do the talking!

 

Bridesmaid dresses put to good use

Bridal party brigade

When you’re looking for bridesmaid dresses, take all your bridesmaids along. Brides often opt to allow the bridesmaids to pick their own style from a selection, but keep slight restrictions of colour, length or fabrication to keep some uniformity. Telling the girls to choose a style that they feel most comfortable in means that they are more likely to jump at the next chance to wear it again.

Colour choice

Choose a colour that is more of a neutral one, or a colour that is on-trend for the season. Popular choices at the moment are soft pinks, nudes, navy and black in the perfect neutral colour, palomino – there’s no doubt your girls would love to wear these again.

Play it plain

Plain dresses can easily be dressed up for the wedding and after the wedding, but in different ways. How about adding a sash, brooch or a bling necklace? Simple wedding accessories will make the dress wearable on so many occasions, and it won’t even look like you’ve worn it before!

Keep it cool

Don’t pick something that is outdated, or will go out-of-date quickly. Go for something timeless, or a trend you know will stick around for time to come because that way, the dress is much easier to wear again. The maxi just never seems to go out of trend, no matter what season. Team with a fab pair of shoes and some glitzy wedding accessories for a formal do, or just pop on a pair of sandals for a holiday look. You might even want one yourself for your honeymoon!

Mismatched bridesmaids

If you find your bridesmaids just won’t agree on one dress, consider different styles for each of them. It’s important to bear in mind that not all colours suit all skin-tones, so be flexible. And hey, mismatched bridesmaids is a top trend set for 2017 anyway.

Show off those legs

Short dresses can be seen as more practical when thinking about reusing bridesmaid dresses; whether a formal occasion like another wedding where you’re not the bridesmaid, or a more casual one like a Saturday night out. But long, chiffon dresses do make great evening wear provided there is little to bling!

Hitch up the hem

Even if a dress is full length, it can be hemmed up to become a dress you could wear for a dinner, party, or another wedding to give a slightly different style.

Addition and subtraction

It’s not only the hem you can alter – think about how feasible it is to add or take away shoulder straps, beading, belts and so on. These can totally transform a dress, but keep the same fabulous fit and shape that suits your bridesmaids so well.

Bridesmaid dress shopping can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare with your girls not agreeing, or being grumpy about what you’ve chosen, but we know the ways to keep them happy to make wedding shopping a breeze!

How to avoid any in-law trouble

The date has been confirmed, and almost instantaneously, your neatly arrange personal wedding planner is bunged with dress appointments, wedding fair flyers and Wedding cakes sampling sessions. Yet in the midst of all this creative carnage, there may be a few VIPs left feeling a tad isolated… the in-laws.
It’s so easy to forget that there’s an entire family unit (equally important as your own) that may be completely oblivious to the upcoming wedding plans; and although many in-laws are perfectly happy with this scenario for others, it can lead to feelings of rejection and sometimes even resentment if they don’t feel the same level of involvement.

Out of nowhere tensions rise and emotions flare as you’re left wondering why you’ve been lumbered with such a treacherous display of family feuding. Is this a tiny glimpse of what to expect during married life? A moody mother-in-law offloading her dismay to anyone who’ll listen? Or worse still, comparing you to her other daughter-in-law who is seen as the definition of perfection.

Family planning

As we all know, a wedding day isn’t just about the Wedding Dress and elaborate selfies. It’s a time when two families become one, so make them feel that way before the big day. Organising fun family get-togethers can be a great way of helping everyone bond, relax and feel included. It’s always a good idea to start off with a neutral environment such as trying out a new restaurant together. If all goes well, keep up the momentum with joint barbeques, birthdays and regular catch-ups.

Dress it up

Inviting both mums along to help you pick a dress is a great way of making everyone feel extra special, particularly if your mother-in-law has no little girls of her own to coo over. However, if this seems a little too invasive then why not ask for her help with choosing the bridesmaids dress or accessories? It will really help in making her feel a big part of the leading ladies.

Don’t forget Daddy

Seeing as many grooms enjoy mulling over the manly aspects of wedding planning such as choosing wedding cars, then why not encourage your future hubby to invite his dad along for the day? The two men can spend an entire afternoon bonding over some vintage vehicles, maybe grab some grub and have a good old father-son catch up.

Talent spotting

If your groom’s dad is a whizz in the kitchen or his mum’s an expert in arts and crafts, you have the perfect opportunity to include their input for the important finishing touches such as making little edible favours or creating artistic centre pieces for the guest tables. You’ll be amazing at how thrilled they’ll be to show off their creative skills!

Keep in touch

Why not start out with a chirpy text message or email? At least they’ll know you’re thinking about them and aren’t as likely to feel completely left out of the loop.

Being able to build and maintain healthy relationships is something we all struggle with at the best of times, however regular communication can help avoid many unwanted feelings of exclusion. As they say, prevention is better than a cure.

Bridesmaid Dresses of the future

The rules for dressing your bridesmaids have changed. They no longer expect to be asked to all wear the same dress, in the same style, in the same colour… Which is great news for you!

Today the mode is much more geared towards the individual figures of the girls. Gone are the days when brides uniformly put their attendants in the same dress, all in the same colour and style – with no consideration given to different figures, ages, skin tones and personalities.

We think that’s a real step ahead. At the end of the day, you want your maids to look happy and smiley in the wedding photographs, not awkward and pulling down their skirt to cover their knees or pulling up the strapless frock they’re having trouble keeping in place.
Mix it up!

Keeping girls over ten happy when it comes to bridesmaid dresses can be tricky. They don’t want to look ‘girly’ but grown up styles are not right for teenage figures. Involve them in your decision-making and they’ll love you for it! Choose a matching or coordinating fabric that will sit well with the flowergirls’ dresses.”

There’s no rule any longer that says bridesmaids have to wear exactly the same shade. We love it when brides mix it up a bit. It’s telling that the promotional poster for the comedy film ‘Bridesmaids’ showed all the girls awkwardly dressed in one size fits all hot pink taffeta, with ruffles.

Whilst we love hot pink, it’s a very distinctive colour and doesn’t suit everybody. The best way to decide what’s going to work is to look at real life weddings with real life bridesmaids.

There’s no one style suits all you can see that different styles of neckline feature – strapless and one shouldered. If one of your girls has a small bust she might feel uncomfortable wearing a strapless dress and a sweetheart neckline would be more suitable (actually a sweetheart neckline suits all busts). Or if one of your maids is better endowed then choose a dress with straps.

The same goes for lengths. Some of your girls might be happy with the shape of their legs, others would rather wear something below the knee. It’s always best to talk your ideas through with them and give them some options (but not too many).

Day to night dresses.

The recent law amendment that now lets you marry at any time up to 6pm has opened up new possibilities for bridesmaid dressing. If you’re having a late afternoon wedding (which in the darkness of winter will seem like the evening anyway) then why not dress your girls in dramatic deep shades? Dark blues, purples – don’t be afraid of dressing your maids in black either.

Your girls can then stylishly go from day to night in evening frocks. Talk to them about what you have in mind and let them be involved in the choice because this is certainly a time when they can choose a frock they could wear again and again to parties (particularly important if they’re paying for their own gown). It doesn’t matter if you go for cocktail style or something a little longer – just make sure that the colour blends the whole effect together.

Mother of the Bride

She’s one of the key people in your life, so it follows that she’s heavily involved in your wedding. Here’s how to make the most of the mother of the bride.

Traditionally the mother of the bride is the host of your wedding party – the reception. It is her job to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Check out what other jobs are ideal to assign to your lovely mum…

Mother of the bride to-do list

  1. Announcing the engagement to the press, locally and nationally

  2. Working with the bride and groom to draw up the guest list

  3. Ordering the stationery and chasing it up

  4. Sending out the invites and keeping an eye on acceptances and regrets

  5. Supplying the wedding gift details to anyone who asks for them

  6. Helping to organise the seating plan

  7. Help you to choose your dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses

  8. Planning the wedding flowers for the ceremony and reception

  9. Ordering the wedding cake

  10. Arranging table decorations

  11. Making sure all of the guests have got somewhere to stay that night

  12. Help you to get dressed and ready on the morning of the wedding

  13. Give the order of service sheets to the ushers

  14. Organising the buttonholes for key members of the wedding party, including the ushers, best man, bridegroom, and the two dads

  15. Look after the gifts during and after the wedding. This includes finding a safe place to store them during the day

  16. Collect the photo proofs from the wedding photographer while you are on honeymoon

  17. Organise the photo list – send out the right ones to the right people. You may want her to chase up your photos while you are away on your honeymoon, too. It’s great if the contact sheets are already waiting for you to look through when you get back home.

Remember…

  • DO Look after her – she is going to be working hard for you behind the scenes

  • DO Give her a bouquet at the reception, during the speeches

  • DO Encourage her to wear a complementary outfit to the colour scheme

  • DO Invite her to be involved with choosing your dress. It’s the most special bit for her

  • DO Encourage her to meet up with your fiancé’s mum regularly so that they know each other before the day (and don’t wear clashing outfits)

  • DON’T forget to thank her

  • DON’T exclude her from anything

  • DON’T forget her on the day – she’ll be longing to be useful

  • DON’T leave her to do everything. By tradition, she would be the last to leave the reception, but don’t ask her to stay until the last drink is sunk

  • DON’T forget to book her in with the hairdresser and nail technician in the run-up to your big day

  • DON’T let her interfere. It’s your day really…