As a bridesmaid, you’re part of a long history of wedding traditions. Here’s what’s expected of you and how to make the bridal party successful and fun.
Wedding traditions have long dictated the roles of bridesmaids and maids of honour, changing from bride to bride. Here are the general expectations of the bridal party.
How to Be a Bridesmaid
The bridesmaid may help the bride shop for her wedding dress, accessories, shoes, and flowers. She may even attend cake tasting and facility renting excursions and help the bride research wedding traditions. In addition, the bridesmaid and the maid of honourmay work together to help stuff wedding invitations into their envelopes, create wedding favours, and provide emotional support to the bride.
Great bridesmaids gently offer creative input and support the decisions of the bride and groom. Bridesmaids are also available for last-minute rescues, such as finding lost rings or mending torn veils. Members of the bridal party are there to support the bride and groom in any way they can.
Bridesmaid dress shopping is an indispensable and important aspect of your wedding planning.
Choosing the right dresses for your wedding party members involves unique challenges such as finding dresses that your bridesmaids approve, that also work with the wedding theme.
So, bridesmaid dress shopping may even end up being more demanding than wedding dress shopping itself! However, with proper preparation and planning, you can tackle bridesmaid dress shopping efficiently.
This comprehensive guide to bridesmaid dress shopping will discuss all that you need for stress-free bridesmaid dress shopping.
So, let’s get started!
Preparation for Bridesmaid dress shopping: Decisions to make
Did you know that the actual shopping process begins much before your bridesmaids set foot in a shop?
Ideally, you should start planning bridesmaid dress shopping at least six months before the wedding.
Do you feel like every responsibility has fallen onto your own shoulders as the wedding day approaches? On the one hand, you have an opportunity to arrange a wedding from your dreams, all according to your preferences and desires.
On the other hand, every last detail counts – especially when it comes to a group of friends that have accepted a bridesmaid’s responsibility. Each of them deserves a token of gratitude, but your head is buzzing from all the wedding information that you need to keep on your mind twenty-four-seven before you dash for that altar.
Have no fear! Here are some neat gift ideas for your bridesmaids that will get your imagination going!
You’ve probably seen a lot of couples that gift each other heart halves that are designed to be conjoined into one, and while this is a ubiquitous type of two-part pendant, it is hardly the only one. You can have quite a good time just searching the internet in search of ingeniously designed two-part pendants that are appropriate for friendships.
For example, if a bride and her bridesmaid are best friends that perfectly complement each other, you can purchase (separate) yin and yang pendants, but don’t limit yourself to such symbols. Check out Pinterest and Etsy for an impressive range of BFF pendants!
We’ll be covering jewelry because it is always a good idea. If chosen correctly, it is timeless and elegant. However, since little trinkets and accessories are such ubiquitous elements on an oversaturated market, you need something with that extra oomph to add uniqueness and value to the gift. This is where wonderfully personalized bracelets come into the picture.
It is a simple yet elegant styling choice that offers you more options to be playful than you’d initially imagine. There is a whole range of engravings to pick and choose from, and no, it’s not merely about names, statements, and letters. There are pictograms to add to the combo as well. For this reason, you can easily create a wholly unique, personalized gift that will forever be treasured.
A framed photo
Beautiful memories are food for the heart. Since you are celebrating love and, simultaneously, creating an exhilarating future-memory for you and your friends, a framed photo is the ultimate thematically appropriate gift.
You can turn to numerous websites that have streamlined this process. Delve into your galleries and choose photos that perfectly capture the best moment with each of the bridesmaids and email them to websites that will print and send the photos in the framing of your choosing.
Various gifts for different bridesmaids can put you in a tough spot. Such gifts might single out only too much who you consider being a closer friend. This can lead to hurt feelings, but if you consider it’s the best solution to treat everyone equally, there’s an easy fix for that – bridesmaid boxes!
Such chic little bundles are thoughtfully crafted tokens of gratitude that come in many shapes and forms, depending on a retailer or a brand you choose. They can contain toiletries, durable edibles, trinkets and paraphernalia for the wedding, and they are typically assembled with economically sensible preconception: after all, the idea is to purchase such boxes en masse for a group of bridesmaids.
Emergency cosmetics set
You can tell your bridesmaids to breathe easy – each of them gets an extra stylish emergency cosmetic set that covers all the basics (some call them mini-mergency kits). It is not unheard of that bridesmaids shed tears of joy during their friend’s wedding, which renders such a gift perfectly appropriate.
Plus, you can custom-craft it by yourself, mix up a few basic cosmetic tools and necessities with a modest scent set that includes perfume, body milk, a shower gel, and a nicely wrapped soap.
Personalized initial ring
For the lovers of minimalism at its finest, discreet personalized initial rings are wonderful options. Each bridesmaid gets a ring with their initial letter twirling in gilded joy, which also serves as a top-notch demonstration of how you appreciate each bridesmaid individually.
Plus, this little piece of jewelry can be a wonderful addition to their everyday confection. Its utility goes way beyond the wedding itself, as well as friendship as such. In a way, it is a perfect gift.
You can even take this a step further and place the rings into customized ring boxes that have a friend’s initial pressed or printed on the top. This is a prudent option if you’re planning to purchase the same type of ring for all bridesmaids.
A jewelry box
Every girl needs at least one jewelry box in their vanity; two if need be, three, four or five just in case. If an idea of a timeless little treasure trove that holds your bridesmaids’ belongings has been rattling in your mind, you should know that this is a very safe, useful gift.
All that you have to worry about is the design. Purchasing a different jewelry box for every bridesmaid might be too hefty a task – you are, after all, too busy with all the wedding shenanigans – so you’ll have to go with the ‘designed for everyone’ approach. This is neat because this frame of mind will usually steer you towards more timeless designs, less idiosyncratic styles and flourishes.
Minimalist types, Bauhaus appeal, glass-made magic boxes – there’s an exciting world of opportunities out there, and you can find some truly tasteful and magical models.
A cashmere shawl
If we are talking about utility, cashmere shawl wraps with bows and a thank you notes on top is a wonderful choice if you want to bestow gifts that are useful way beyond the context of the wedding or your friendship with the bridesmaid.
It’s a sort of gift that pays off in the long run and, if you choose your colors right, leaves a mark. The bridesmaids won’t be able to stop wearing it; it can easily become one of their favorite everyday accessories. Plus, it can keep them warm during the wedding as well if the weather is somewhat fickle after the sun goes down.
The bridesmaid gift such as the wedding umbrella can be just plain fun. It doesn’t even have to be a rainy day; you can go with those old-fashioned Victorian-style sunshades. Primarily, it is a stylistic choice more than a regular gift.
The idea is to choose a collection of umbrellas that mesh well when grouped. You can go as simple as a range of different basic colors or assemble prints that tell a story when grouped – though this latter suggestion works well in a photo session, it is not as satisfying otherwise.
It wouldn’t go amiss to give your bridesmaids something that can keep their painstakingly arranged hairstyles dry in the off chance the rain does fall.
A hair clasp
Once you’ve all settled on a particular color and style of bridesmaid dresses, consider a hair clasp that blends in seamlessly with their outfits. A tie bracelet is a cost-efficient option, but a clasp just looks classier, and it’s not that big of a financial stretch.
Just put yourself in their shoes – the day goes on, it involves a lot of physical activity. A perfectly-arranged haircut begins to wear off, strands of hair start to stick out. Most ladies will already bring along a hair tie or a clasp anyway, so why not simply purchase the ones that will come in handy and retain aesthetic consistency with the outfits?
Clutches all around
Now, you can beat the girls to it in every sense of that word, and place some essentials (hair clasp included) into appropriate vintage clutches. You can either go with disparate patterns, so every bridesmaid gets one of her own, or you can fall back on aesthetic consistency.
Either way, wonderful vintage clutches are fairly affordable these days, even the ones that appear to be on the more glamorous side. You can even hire a local craftsperson or designer to fashion custom-made models exclusively for the wedding. If you have such an option in your reach, it is a perfect combination of unique and financially feasible.
Yoga has become one of the most prevalent activities that balms the mind and soul. The stigma that used to surround it has all but dissipated, so it’s pretty much a guarantee that neither one of your bridesmaids will find a yoga mat gift problematic. Still, ‘feel out’ your audience and check just in case beforehand. If everything’s a go, you can encourage your friends to get their Zen on with this thoughtful gift.
A travel set
Are you out of ideas? Do your future bridesmaids already own most of the things mentioned above to a certain extent? Practical gifts are your ultimate safety net – something that they will appreciate no matter what. A neatly packed collection of an eye mask, a cozy blanket, a pair of socks and a vanity case is not only an incredibly useful travel set, but it is also an encouragement for your friends to travel more often. It sends a positive message.
A set of classics
Ask yourself what is consistent with all of your bridesmaids? There must be a certain lining that connects you to all of them. For example, a natural bookworm will often forge friendships with people that boast similar sensibilities. This leaves you with a wonderful option for a gift that may not be for everyone, but which nevertheless holds great value and represents something meaningful to your group of friends. Consider a collection of classics.
Now, the options for such collections are astronomical, so you can consider two broad choices. First of all, you can purchase specifically designed collections of feminine classics that contain a Bronte, an Austen, a Montgomery and Alcott. On the other hand, if you and your bridesmaids already share a very specific love for certain books, you can do something even more exciting – create your custom-made collection of four to five novels that are meaningful to every bridesmaid involved!
Druzy necklaces have become a particularly popular gift for bridesmaids. This is probably due to their joyful, sparkly nature. The explosion of gleaming gemstones on a pendant sends a wonderful message about your perspective on life, friendship and the nature of everyone’s involvement – a festive opportunity full of positive energy and verve. Plus, it is so easy to fall in love with druzy necklaces and wear them all the time – another gift whose utility extends way beyond the wedding!
A personalized cute tote
One does not own enough tote bags, ever! These affordable bags are a peak of practicality due to their handiness in every occasion. They work as shopping spree bags, you can use them for trips and beach outings. They can even serve as gym-bags if need be. Appropriately, they also work as a gift for bridesmaids, especially if they are personalized like rings and bracelets.
However, since we are talking about a ‘broader canvass’ in the form of the material, you can let your imagination run wild here. Each bridesmaid gets a tote bag with their initials, but you can also ‘frame’ that initial with an interesting and unique visual flourish that, according to you, perfectly captures the personality of that particular bridesmaid. Imagine the choices!
Spa candles are usually already integral parts of other gifts – like cosmetic kits, sets and bridesmaid boxes. However, they are also singular items in such packages that can also easily serve as monumental personalized gifts.
Chances are you are already familiar with the tastes and preferences of your bridesmaids. In that case, you can choose a distinct scent for each of them, and even browse for spa candles with specific textures, accompanying fragrances, petals, fruit peels, and other aesthetic flourishes.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you consider choices carefully. The best kind of gift for bridesmaids is the one that shows that you care, and if you’ve put thought into specific choices, it will show! Whether each gift is personalized or not, the underlying message needs to be about friendship bonds and love that conquers all. Thankfully, you don’t have to look too far to find perfectly affordable gifts that show appreciation, adoration, and harmony.
Wedding dresses are a sentimental aspect of the wedding for every bride!
Every bride usually chooses this dress after much thought and deliberation. It is often also one of the biggest wedding day expenditures. So, isn’t it rather sad that you will wear this dress just once?
So, on the special occasion that is your wedding, it is only right that you show it off to the maximum. Also, there is a way to immortalize this dress forever, and that is through your wedding photos. Gorgeous pictures of your beautiful wedding gown, taken from all the right angles will serve as beautiful souvenirs of your lovely dress. Discuss the different options to capture your wedding dress in its full glory with your photographer. Or think up shots that will highlight your dress and share this list with your photographer.
Here are some of our ideas to inspire you to get the best possible shots of your wedding dress.
Your must-have list of wedding dress photos
1.The classic shot of the dress on the hanger
Give your wedding dress its own moment of glory, when your photographer captures its magnificence all by itself. Whether your wedding dress is an opulent ball gown or a minimalist sheath, it deserves to be shown off all by itself in your wedding album. All you need is the perfect spot to display it at and a beautiful hanger to hold it upright. Choose from silk-draped hangers, fancy vintage hangers and colorful beauties that match the tone of your wedding theme, for more impact. Your photographer will do the rest. More ideas here on the Junebugs Wedding blog. Hang it up against a mirror or between two windows in a clean and uncluttered location to capture every detail in its full glory.
2.Wedding dress with bridal accessories
If you aren’t too fond of the wedding dress on the hanger idea, you can instead have it photographed with the rest of your wedding day accessories. Create the perfect arrangement of your bridal bouquet, shoes, wedding bands and wedding jewelry, and your photographer can shoot it with your wedding dress in the backdrop. Here the focus will be shared by all the items that will complete your transformation into a beautiful bride. Although the wedding gown will not be the center of attention, it will still receive its due attention.
3.Being zipped or buttoned up
Whether your wedding dress has buttons, zippers, clasps or a corset at the back, have a close-up shot of your wedding dress while it is being put into place. This is usually the last step of wearing your wedding dress. The image of it can bring back memories of the entire process and also remind you of the many emotions you went through at the time. So, make sure you have this sentimental image in your album.
Capture your dress from a different perspective, when you ask your photographer to get a full-length profile picture. Identify your better side of the face, and show this to the camera. You can even include your accessories like the veil and bouquet to enhance the impact of this photograph. Look away from the camera and focus your gaze on a faraway object, to make this a masterpiece photo.
5.Photos with your bridal party
There will be a lot going on while you get ready. Your bridesmaids will (hopefully) fuss over you, as you wear your wedding dress and accessories. Ask your photographer to document the action and excitement of the scene, since it will be a memorable picture. Have the picture taken when your bridesmaids help you step into your shoes, straighten your train or set the veil. It would be best if your bridesmaids are also dressed in their respective attires at the time, to get the full effect.
6.Full length portrait
A full-size photograph in your gown will be a great addition to your album. It will capture the same effect that your guests experience when they see you for the first time on your wedding day. Try to have this photo before you wear your veil, so the sheer layers of your veil don’t hide these details. Pick a dramatic setting for the image, which is brightly lit with natural light. If your venue has a spectacular view, make this your backdrop. Else, pose before a portrait or in an outdoor location to get stylish pictures.
7.Image of the back
Many modern dresses have showstopper back details like beautiful keyhole or illusion designs, stunning fabric button trains or even low-cut daring details. If your dress has any of these amazing modern style elements in the back, ensure it is captured in your wedding photos. For this, have a picture taken as you face away from the camera. This will also draw attention to your hairstyle and any hair accessories you may have specially chosen for the occasion.
8.Photo of the wedding dress skirt
If your wedding dress has an interesting skirt and train, highlight it in your photographs with a suitable picture. Whether the skirt features tiered details, has a beautiful hemline or has perfect ruffles, show it from the right angle in an image. Try sitting down with your skirt spread around you to capture the effect of a full skirt in its full glory. For a ball gown skirt or one with ruffles, you can also sit with your feet up and the skirt spread out to display the various details in it. This idea is especially good for lace dresses.
9.Image of the fanned out train
If the dress has a long train, an image from the back with the train spread out to its full length will showcase its effect. This will also look great if the images are taken as you go up or down a staircase. The effect of the train and skirt will be magnified when taken from above or below and also be unique for the aerial positioning of the shot. For a longer train, get the full impact directly from the back.
10.With the veil
The veil is often one of the most striking bridal accessories that instantly enhances the bridal look. If your outfit includes a veil, get a picture of yourself in it. Lifting the veil also is a magical moment that makes for an amazing photo. Ask your photographer to capture the effect of the veil on the dress from different angles, and find the one that is most appealing to include in your album.
11.Zoomed-in image of intricate details
If your dress features intricate beading, lace appliques or embellishments, a close-up shot of these intricate details will capture it well. It is a good idea to take a closer look at your dress and find out which details you love the most. Share this information with your photographer, so he can do justice to the shot by focusing on that one special feature of the dress.
The neckline and waist add definition to a wedding dress. Let these features get their place in the spotlight with a photograph of the bodice. Zoom in on this area and also include jewelry like necklace or earrings for the complete effect. An aerial image will also create a unique perspective and make it an interesting picture.
13.With the groom holding you
There is immense scope to experiment with this shot. You can even showcase the back of your dress in this shot, as you face away from the camera. Include your bouquet for a pop of color and also as a prop that will work well in the setting. Other ideas are to hold hands and walk while the images are captured. Or sit in a strategic position so your dress is highlighted without a direct focus on it.
14.An outdoor shot
Make the most of the natural lighting to get a beautiful portrait. Choose the golden hour, which is an hour before or after dawn and dusk for the best pictures. Since the natural light at these times of the day is most flattering, your images will turn out great. If it is impossible to plan an outdoor shot at these timings, make sure you step outdoors for few pictures when there is plenty of natural light. Or choose a room with a window through which natural light streams in to get pictures with similar effect.
15.Bridesmaids holding the train
Take a look at this picture, and I won’t have to say anything more to convince you. This will be a beautiful and classic picture of your wedding day. As you stride forward, have your bridesmaids pick up your train and hold it visible from all sides. This will enhance the beauty of your dress, and also create beautiful imagery with the contrast in color with that of your wedding party.
16.Photo with your bouquet
This is one picture that simply cannot go wrong. Let the pristine white color of your dress pop against the bright colors of your bouquet, when the image focuses on your dress and the bouquet in your arms. Unless it is a close-up shot, make sure that this image is taken in a clean backdrop with few other distractions. The bouquet should preferably be the only colorful element in the entire frame, to capture the impact with full effect. Such photos are really pretty if there are saturated colors in the bouquet. However, your photographer may also be able to adjust the settings to make this picture unusually attractive.
17.Bride looking in the mirror
This is another wedding dress shot that is sure to be beautiful. The photograph will actually focus on the image in the mirror, and and the real bride with less clarity. Black and white photos of this scene will be extraordinarily beautiful, and this is one you should definitely consider. Make sure that the mirror is clear, the surface below it uncluttered and the background clean for the image to look its best.
18.On the dance floor
This is the chance to have yourself photographed at an angle that emphasizes the beauty of the dress, while you dance with your husband. The dance floor, especially if it is a reflective surface, will form a beautiful backdrop when your photographer clicks the image from a low angle. A talented photographer will be able to capture this emotional moment with perfection. It will also be an opportunity to showcase your dress from a different position and highlight its statement features.
19.Walking away with your husband
This is a very symbolic photo and one that creates a nostalgic image. While the picture will also show off the back of your dress, it will help you relive the special emotions that you felt as you stepped into the new chapter of your life. So, make sure your photographer captures it.
Once you get your hands on your special wedding dress, you may feel that no number of photos are enough to capture the beauty of the dress. While that is true, including it from all possible angles is the next closest thing you can do. Discuss the specific features of your dress with your photographer, so he can ensure no detail is missed in the photographs.
For photogenic wedding dresses that are perfect for your special day, visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride. With a wide range of designer wedding dress collections that are suitable for any taste, budget and body type, you will have no trouble finding your dream dress at our store. Visit our website today to shortlist your favorites.