Ah wedding season, and all that comes with it. I’ve been bridesmaid twice so far, for my sister and Louise (the other Broke Diva) and I’ve another coming up November next year for my oldest childhood friend, 15 years of friendship and counting.
Here are a few things I’ve learnt along the way regarding engagements, hens, weddings – the lot!
This is SUCH an exciting time for the bride to be – join in on the excitement! Be just excited for her as she is for herself. Screech, squeal, jump around – get into the spirit – this will only happen once, you may as well make the most of it! (and PLEASE buy a bottle of prosecco or champagne to celebrate).
Entertain the early onslaught of Pinterest/Instagram/Google images you are about to receive, dresses, flowers, hotels, hairstyles, they will come thick and fast, but it will stop (or at least become less frequent) once the excitement of the engagement wears off. (Remember someday that will be you and you’ll want someone to bounce your ideas off too).
Bring her out for a drink or afternoon tea. Take some wedding magazines for browsing!
- Know the brides individual style and body shape DO NOT force her into dresses out of her comfort zone.
- Follow her lead, she will naturally gravitate to dresses that she knows will suit her
- Go on her cues when she steps out of the dressing room before you give your two cents worth.
- She may get emotional; this is a pretty big deal. Help her laugh it off on the car journey home!
- Patience is your best friend, if she wants to try on the same dress 5 times, let her!
- Obviously if she puts on something that is horrendous and that doesn’t suit her at all, it is your duty to tell her, but choose your words carefully.
- I knew straight away when the girls found their dresses. It’s written all over their faces and body language. Wait until you see the glow! You’ll know… Trust me 🙂
- Once the job is done… CELEBRATE!
Bridesmaid Dress Shopping:
If you’ve been privileged enough to be chosen as a bridesmaid, the bride to be obviously holds you near to her heart. She wants you to look and feel good, why wouldn’t she? Keep this in mind during the process of shopping.
- Dressing girls of different heights, ages and body shapes is hard and stressful, don’t be the one to add to the stress!
- Start a Whatsapp group where all the bridal party can voice ideas and bounce ideas off each other so noone is ‘surprised’ with a potential selection.
- Send photos you like but keep the other girls in mind, it’s not very fair if you keep pushing a bodycon if it clearly wouldn’t suit the others.
- A line is everyone’s best friend
- Go shopping! And try try try everything suggested to you on!
- Remember, it is not your day and you don’t have to look like your off to the Oscars, you are going to have your tan, hair and makeup professionally done and you are going to look only gorgeous.
- Everyone must be comfortable in the dress, even if it wouldn’t be their or your first choice.
- Once again… A line is everyone’s best friend!
I was really lucky, Louise knew exactly what she wanted, an Eliza and Ethan Multway dress that suits every body type. Finn and the other bridesmaids picked a fab Adrianna Pappel dress from House of Fraser when I was away on holidays, so I just went with the flow and loved it when I arrived back and tried it on!
Below is Louises bridesmaid dress
Oh it’s happening – and you’re in charge!
Lets not beat about the bush here – hen parties are so painful to plan. I’m not going to sugar coat it; its a mini wedding and you have to organise it.
First off – find out what the hen actually wants, does she want a weekend, or a single night? Does she want a spa day or activities? You need to consider the financial side of things – just because you can afford it, doesn’t mean everybody else will be able too..
With all this in mind this is how I planned both hen parties, I think they went down pretty well.
Louise’s and Finn’s Hen
Ok, so it was decided we’d have two parties. One just for friends, no parents, no aunties, no long lost relatives, just friends.
Both Finn and Louises had their hen party in Westport. There was an option of a 1 or 2 nights stay, some came for two nights, everyone came the Saturday night. Having a two night option meant that it gave people flexibility regarding their time and budget.
Louise wanted activities so on Saturday we did Zip Lining and Zorbing.
I kept everything pretty classy, nice little customised hen sashes, some bride to be bits, hen party cupcakes and the likes.
For Finns we had a few more typical hen party bits – willy inflatables, straws, shot glasses.
Louises was a little more up market (at her request; always listen to the hen!) If your on the look out for pretty hen bits the website Hippenings is so cute.
- An early dinner is ESSENTIAL so you have room for drinking later, being too full is a recipe for disaster. 10 girls sitting on the corner full of food? DISASTER.
- Haggle with the restaurant, they will ALWAYS throw in prosecco or a cocktail if you ask.
- Top tip for dinner time: buy a photo book from photobox
5. Take photos 😉
6. And if all else fails… Find yourself a stag party!
7. Your last role is to make sure the bride to be has bottle water by her bed.
Done – SUCCESS!
Mothers, long lost relatives, friends etc. We all went out for dinner in the local town and hit the pub after. Mammy didn’t see anything that would scar her for life, Aunty Helen had a right old time, cousin Mary danced the night away and couldn’t straighten up for a few days, we all went home to our own beds, happy.
Note: people will say they are coming, and they will pull out. Be prepared for the fact that you will be out of pocket somewhere along the line.. Just a heads up!
The Wedding is Near = Stress
There are so many things you can’t do leading up to the wedding, but you can listen. Potential problems to be wary of:
- Seating plan
- Wedding invites (or no invites as the case may be)
- Dress fittings
- Hair trials
- RSVP issues
These are the things you can’t sort out, but you can be there with a sympathic ear. You can suggest hair styles, but you can’t do it, you can drive her to dress fitting but again, you can’t do it. Just listen to her, let her off load on you.
My advice about invites, table plans , RSVP’s etc, STAY OUT OF IT. Let the bride and groom deal with that, it’s not your day, you don’t know cousin Betty once removed, and your advice could cause more aggro than its worth.
THE DAY IS HERE!
- Do what ever the bride asks!
- Get into your dress first so you can help her into hers
- Reassure her – it’s pretty nerve racking
- Take photos without being annoying
- Do whatever the photographer asks
- Give her a pep talk before you leave, tell her she’s looks amazing a zillion times (you’ll do this anyway because brides seriously just glow)
- Smile walking down the aisle
- Fix her up at the alter
- Eat your dinner
I am really lucky to be honoured with bridesmaid duty again in Nov ’17, to my dearest chum! Nichole is so organised but in such a laid back way, she could almost have the wedding this Novemeber with the amount of stuff she has organised already! I can’t wait to go through the process of shopping and hen party planning again, it’s hard work but definitely enjoyable and 100% totally worth when see your friend up at the alter smiling on her big day xx