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Bridesmaid dresses

You’ve asked all your best friends or sisters to be in your wedding but now what? The dreaded bridesmaid dresses! Some people are reluctant bridesmaids because they’re obligated or spoil sports. As the bride you can help alleviate some of that stress by what you decide they should all wear.

Bridesmaid dresses can range from ball gown to boots and jeans. We’re sure all your bridesmaids are models and would look exactly like the pictures in the catalogs…Or they’re people with bodies that work hard for them and are of all shapes and sizes! As the bride you should definitely be aware of who’s in your party and what their body types are. Maybe give them a color or style of dress but leave the details to them like straps, no straps, belt or no belt. Some women are larger up top than others and will not feel comfortable in strapless gowns.

It may be easier to ask your bridesmaids what they do not feel comfortable with rather than what everyone wants. Bridesmaid dresses come in all sizes so that shouldn’t be a problem. But some maids may feel shorter is something they’d rather not wear. To make things less complicated and to keep you from pulling your hair out try selecting a designer and color you like. Then, let the bridesmaids pick among the style choices in that range. It can keep everyone on track and also feel their comfort levels are being taken into consideration.

Bridesmaid dresses can also be easier if you try Brideside, a site that lets you choose 3 styles you like, are shipped to your house and you get to try them on! They have consultants who can organize your bridal party as well and thus alleviate some stress off of you. They understand your girls have actual body parts that sometimes don’t cooperate or look good in certain styles. We recommend you tell your girls to give those dresses a good shake and jump too! You never know how the dress will hold up dancing versus just standing or walking. You and your bridesmaids can have a lot of fun picking dresses that will compliment them and make you the center of attention on the big day!

Bang for your Buck

Bang for your Buck

Bang for your Buck: Bridesmaids Dresses

No matter what any bride says there is a universal truth about bridesmaid’s dresses: you’ll only wear the dress once. “You’ll wear it again, right?” the bride asks, perhaps to make they feel better about asking you to shell out hundreds of dollars for it. Nope, you won’t. You’ll never wear that floor length, one-shouldered aubergine satin dress with the weird unflattering ruffles ever again.Bang for your Buck

It seemed like a lost cause, just part of the deal of being a bridesmaid–suck it up and buy the ugly dress, right? Wrong. Enter Rent the Runway and Little Borrowed Dress, maids can opt to rent a dress for the big day versus getting stuck with a frock they truly are not in love with.

Rent the Runway Weddings, an expansion of Rent the Runway, and a beacon of hope for future bridesmaids everywhere. Rent the Runway Weddings launched in 2011. It focuses on bridesmaids dresses. Badgley Mischka, Robert Rodriguez and Nicole Miller have designed bridesmaid collections that come in up to four styles in up to four seasonal colors exclusively for the site. Whereas Rent the Runway only allows users to rent dresses for a few days at a time, Rent the Runway Weddings offers 8-day rental periods. But the best part? The price. A Badgley Mischka bridesmaid dress averages at over $300. At Rent the Runway Weddings it’s $65.

Little Borrowed Dress does not have the big names like RTR does, but has very cute and simple options for your girls. With LBD, every style we carry was specifically designed to fit and flatter a variety of shapes and sizes. They are determined to design the ultimate bridesmaid dresses, so we use multiple fit models with varied body types to ensure the dresses will fit with no alterations required! Lastly, if you would like to try on before committing to the rental, that’s OK too. Why have an ill-fitting dress the day of the big day and a bridesmaid breakdown.

Another nice feature about LBD is that the process is simple, you can order color swatches beforehand, and if you’re girls DO want the option to buy a new dress…they can!Bang for your Buck

Pink Redux

We all remember the now infamous line from “Steel Magnolias” when the bride, Shelby is asked what her wedding colors are.  Her mother, played by the amazing Sally Field quips,” Her colors of pink and pink” but the bride insists that they are really, “Blush and Bashful.”  And while at the time, pink for weddings really did echo a certain Pepto Bismol sentiment, today the hue has been reinterpreted to an actual blush, varying in tone to seem softer and more accessible. We even see the grooms embracing the romantic color scheme as a trend in 2013, knowing full well that having a pink wedding is nothing like it used to be.

Blush and Bashful

So here are our thoughts on pink weddings: We love them! And when we say pink, we mean start with the color and then work your way to various shades and tones until you have the perfect balance of romance and elegance.  Or you can take pink to newer and more modern extremes. Hot pink fuchsia orchids or peonies wrapped in Kelly green foliage for a pop of color can make for a preppy and fresh statement.  We love to see brides embrace a very “Kate Spade” look when approaching their themes. Crisp colorful linens, with perfectly tailored accents like contemporary menu cards and modern vases, can take a shocking pink to uber chic levels.

pink collage

But we still say there is nothing more romantic than the beauty of blush.  Recently, the ombre effect has taken hold of wedding all over and we don’t see this trend slowing down one bit. For those of you confused by ombre, it’s simply the effect of using one color and having the hue fade from darker to lighter or lighter to darker. It’s the perfect way to show off the versatile use of one shade.  And for pinks, the ombre route is the way to go.  We have seen it with wedding cakes, linens, and bridesmaid dresses that vary in style and color while all remaining in the same family.  We even love the idea of Bridesmaids wearing metallic versions of blush tones- we simply cannot get enough and hope to see more metallics as Bridesmaid looks continue to branch out.

pink ombreombre cake

And let’s not forget that virtually no other color scheme is more complimented by candlelight than blushes. The tones tend to give off both silver and gold light and can even push you towards using mixed metals for things like flatware, chargers, and plates. Mixing and matching has never been more appropriate!   Timeless and trendy have struck the perfect balance!

Pajama Party for the Bachelorette!

Could this quite possibly be the most adorable idea for a Bachelorette party ever? Long have we associated the infamous “ last night out” as an event filled with debauchery, alcohol, and crazy hangovers.  But it seems for more and more brides, and their girlfriends, when it comes to celebrating the bride in her all-girls glory, the tide seems to have turned to a new, more civilized celebration. We are still seeing Vegas getaways and crazy nights out, but it’s nice to know there’s a more subdued alternative like spa days, wine tastings, and luxe sleepovers. This girls-only fete is the ultimate in sleepover chic and we just had to share.

Pj party

Cassandra, the host of this soiree, is the editor of the fabulous blog, cocokelley.com.  She brings lovely interiors, housewares, and fashions to her readers daily and some days you can find some super inspiring wedding details that can translate to all kinds of events. Like everything she does, this ladies night was full of whimsy, fun and thoughtful details that are perfect for honoring the bride-to- be! Take a look at our favorite elements and take notes for your next girl’s night in!

custom pj

Customized pajamas? Yes, please! These girls were surprised with custom monogram pajama sets from the ultra chic line, Eberjey.  You can find similar ones at Target and can easily find a screen printing company locally to add a monogram. Nothing says special like a personalized gift or favor that lets your guests know you thought enough of them to create something just for them that they will be able to take home with them!  We couldn’t be more in love with this idea and think it’s perfect for all kind of occasion and gifts.

masks

The sleep theme gets a major makeover with an interactive sleep mask decorating station. Complete with sequins, glue, paint, markers and other adorable sew-ons, each girl can goof around or make something truly gorgeous to wear for the night. It gives your guests something fun to do without taking any one activity too seriously. Remember, this is a grown- ups night but that doesn’t mean you can’t go old-school with crafts when it comes to your theme!

food

No sleepover would be complete without the plethora of junk food and beverages. In this case, the quintessential popcorn and candy is abundant in chic bowls, but this time the drink of choice is champagne.  Feel free to think beyond these staples to fun and female friendly trays of sushi, fancy cheeses, and gourmet pizzas to pair with your bubbly! Also consider a mini chocolate bar or tiny desserts you can pick up and nibble on throughout the night! Bachelorette party of not, it sounds like a great way to spend time with your girls and enjoy the joys of just being a girl!

Photos by Sunshine Charlie

Fall Wedding Trends

It’s that time of year again; the air is turning extra crisp and the days are getting shorter. That’s no reason not to celebrate however, because Fall is one of our favorite seasons and paired with the changing hue of the leaves and charmingly rich tones we get to enjoy, we don’t see why Fall can’t be the perfect time for a wedding.  Since we are merely weeks away for the big holiday kickoff, the time is ripe for more intimate affairs and for the unexpected send- off to wedding season. In years past, summer weddings in May, June and July dominated in popularity when it came to planning your nuptials. Not that those months have taken too much of a hit but just last year it was revealed (in Chicago anyway) that September, the unequivocal welcome mat of Fall took the top prize for most popular month. And October and November aren’t falling that far behind.

So let’s dig in to our favorite fall trends.  There’s something quite magical and full of whimsy when it comes tot his time of year and these ideas are sure to echo that sentiment.

GOLD! We’ve seen the latest craze in Gold foiling and metallic spray painting pumpkins ( which could easily be used in a rustic, cornucopia style wedding) and now we are seeing other fall staples such as leaves, apples, pears, and even acorns used as décor.  The idea of walking into a wedding and finding your name wistfully scrolled onto a card attached to a perfectly gold polished apple is about as gorgeous as it gets. And so easy!  It’s organic, budget friendly, and something to really set-off the tone of Fall.  Follow it up with many other small gilded gourds or foliage around vases of seasonal flowers for your tables and you are golden!

Burgundy: If you think you are experiencing fashion déjà vu, you are not alone. Burgundy is without a doubt, the HOTTEST color for Fall and we have been seeing it on everyone!  Some call it Merlot, wine, jeweled maroon, but any way you put it, one thing cannot be denied: It’s HOT! The rich color is always a showstopper for bridesmaids as it really compliments most skin tones, and mixed with this season’s ever –so- hot hint of lace, it is a true fashion statement. We are even seeing brides with bright burgundy sashes on dresses and oversized bows for their bouquets. Either way you incorporate it, this color of the moment is sure to please even the most fashion- forward guest.

Natural Elements: Some of the most elegant Fall weddings we’ve seen actually took place in barns. With natural bead lights, and rustic table settings, the choices are anything but ordinary. Using the natural beauty of nature is key when it comes to an Autumn affair.  We love the use of seasonal fruits in large bowls; the dark grapes, the perfectly rouge Anjou pears, varieties of seasonal squashes mixed with natural raffia twine and seasonal flowers.  Take advantage of what’s all around you and you may be surprised by the inordinate and breathtaking choices you have available. Skip the peonies and lilies for something that makes sense. Practicality has never been so chic!

 

Bridesmaid and Groomsman Gift Ideas

Wondering what to get your bridesmaids and groomsmen as a unique and thoughtful bridal party gift? We’ve got your covered!

While traditionally a bridesmaid or groomsman gift is meant to simply be a token of appreciation to show your close pals and family how much their support and friendship have meant during this critical time before the wedding, some couples opt for gifts ranging from modest and personal, to lavish and much more outside the box. Some are even choosing to forgo the standard cufflinks (still always a great choice), necklaces or matching bridesmaid shoes for experiences or getaways.

That means spa weekends for the gals and sporting events or nights on the town for the guys.  Whatever you decide to do, taking the time to treat your bridal party is a great way to say a thoughtful thank you to those closest to you.  And should you choose one of the old standby gifts, (no harm in that…they call them standbys for a reason) consider adding a monogram or personalization to those items like stationary, clutches, or ties for the boys! And remember, there’s nothing classier than a grateful couple!

Fun Ways to “Propose” to Your Bridesmaids

Most little girls dream of the day the man of their dreams pops the big question, and just as many women look forward to the day their best friends and siblings will ask just as important of a question: will you be in my wedding?

Despite what some people will lead you to believe, wedding planning will go quickly. Before you know it, you will be reminiscing the days of your engagement and wondering where the time went. To make the most of this special time, make every moment memorable. Rather than simply asking your favorite ladies to stand next to you during your ceremony as bridesmaids, treat each one like its own personal proposal. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Give Her the Ring of Her Dreams

Rumor has it women want a huge rock when they get proposed to; make your favorite lady’s dream come true by popping the question with a huge ring pop. She will love the humorous gesture.

Surprise Her with a Locket

We love the cute saying in this locket: I couldn’t say “I do” without you. Plus, you can put a special message inside. Every time she wears the necklace, she will think of you (and your wedding, of course).

Write It Down

Another great way to let your favorite ladies know how much they mean to you is to write them a personal note asking them to be your bridesmaids. They will love that you took the time to make them feel special.

6 Wedding Shots to Add to Your Photo List

There are the traditional shots that are a must on your list, but why not spice up the day and add some fun wedding shots to your photo shoot. These poses are sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Not So Serious Sexy Pose

We love the slightly sexy bridal poses that are trendy right now, but we also love a bride (and groom) who can have a good laugh. Involve the groomsmen in a not-so-serious sexy pose and you will have a picture that will keep you laughing for years to come.

The Morning of Photos

There will be plenty of pictures of how you and your pretty ladies looked on the big day, but don’t forget about what you looked like the morning of. Make these pictures fun by purchasing matching robes for your bridesmaids, and don’t be afraid to take some candid shots without your hair and make-up done. (Gasp!)

The After the Wedding Shot

You and your new hubby will create just as many memories after the wedding as you will at the ceremony and reception. Why not capture some of those precious moments on film?

Michael Segal Photography

The Just for Him Shots

Every groom is dying to know what is under that beautiful gown you are wearing. Let me remember that image forever with some sexy, yet classy, just for him photos.

The Boys Will be Boys Photos

While the girls are spending the day being pampered, the guys are spending the day goofing off. Let them have their fun, but be sure to capture it all on film.

The Before the Wedding Pictures

You don’t have to let the groom see you before the wedding to get some priceless photos together. Blind fold him for a pre-wedding kiss, or let a door separate you while you exchange some pre-wedding words.

Pinterest: Pins of the Week

Bridesmaid/Groomsman Schedule: Attendants are such an important part of a wedding.  They’re important not just because they’re our dear friends, but also because they’re supporting us on one of the biggest days of our lives.  They have a variety of jobs and duties over the course of the wedding weekend, and we love the idea of providing them an easy to follow timeline, telling them where to go, when to be there, and what to bring with them.  And while a word document would get the job done, we love this illustrated timeline.  Informative and eye-pleasing, a delightful combination!

Macaroon Cake: Macaroon’s have always been a classic French dessert, and over the past year, they’ve made a big splash among the wedding world.  We love how beautiful they look whether served singly on a plate or boxed in a tiny box.  But this inspiring cake takes macaroon love to the next level.  We love the whimsy of the ombre, and if we were wedding guests, we might just have to have one of each color!

One Love Photography

Go Gray: The majority of grooms tend to opt for black on the big day, but we love that more and more guys are embracing lighter options, including gray and khaki.  We particularly love the guys in this photo, as they opted for shades of gray, in their jackets and vests, polished off perfectly with a classic black tie.  We also love that the groom is standing out in a lighter shade and a lighter tie.  Classic with a bit of modern, always a win in our eyes!

How to Wear Flowers in Your Hair on Your Wedding Day

Flowers are a beautiful way to glam up your hairstyle on your wedding day, and they are a great accessory for bridesmaids and flower girls. For years, different flowers have been used to symbolize various emotions and characteristics. According to Hairfinder.com, these are a few of the common associations:

Daisy: Innocence and purity
Gardenia: Secret love
Camellia: Gratitude
Ginger: Strength
Tuberose: Forbidden pleasures
Hibiscus: Delicate beauty, sensitivity
Red rose: Passion, love
Pink rose: Friendship, admiration, happiness
Apricot rose: Desire, admiration, modesty
White rose: Purity, secrecy, spiritual love
Jasmine: Sensuality
Yellow carnation: Disappointment, rejection
Spider Flower”  “Run away with me”
Violet: Modesty, faithfulness

While the above list shows the meanings of various flowers, you may choose a flower simply because it is your favorite type or because it matches your theme. You also may choose to use one individual flower or several small flowers. They look beautiful in updos, half-up/half-down styles, and side-swept styles. You could also do a headband of flowers, which is perfect for flower girls.

When choosing your flowers, you may want to match the flowers used in your bouquet. This will help create a seamless look. Also, use flowers that are sturdy. This will decrease the risk of the flowers breaking throughout the evening.