Ask the Bride
Practical tips for the bride-to-be on delicate bridal party topics Of course it’s your big day, but remember that your friends are coming together because they love and support you.
The epic moments you spend with your closest girlfriends are sure to make it to your list of Top 10 Wedding Memories. You’ll laugh and recount stories about what happened at your bachelorette party, not to mention the last-minute wardrobe/hair/make-up malfunctions on the morning of the wedding!
Since your bridesmaids feature prominently at your wedding, you want them to make you look good. Their dresses, hair, shoes and jewelry must all come together to create a stunning package. Sounds easy? In reality, it never is.
Many brides-to-be have approached us about these details, so we spoke to a number of newlyweds and bridesmaids to come up with some tips for you.
Share your Dreams
The key here is to clarify your expectations of your bridesmaids, and allow them to do the same. You will, of course, want them to create a certain look and image together—so share that vision with your girls. It is important that they fall in love with your ideas too! If your dream is to have a Cinderella-themed wedding with your bridesmaids in fairy-like puffy pink dresses, ensure that your girls are on board with that.
Above all, keep the ‘princess’ attitude in check; of course it’s your big day, but remember that your friends are coming together because they love and support you.
Vary Style with Shape
Each of your bridesmaids has a unique body shape and size. It is not always easy to choose a single dress that will flatter every body type. Some girls may want to add sleeves, while some may want a longer hemline than the one you’ve chosen. There may even be a certain level of modesty that your girls are accustomed to and want to uphold. Our advice – be flexible! You want your girls not only looking beautiful, but feeling comfortable in their finery. When you are open to suggestions and feedback, you’ll find that many unnecessary negative sentiments and conflicts can easily be avoided.
Specific vs General
The brides covered in our Wedding Stories this issue varied in their approach to choosing bridesmaids’ dresses. One bride selected a specific dress from a supplier for her bridesmaids, while another picked a colour and asked her girls to wear any dress they loved, in that shade. Each approach has its pros and cons, so talk to your girls and see what’s most convenient and cost effective for them.
Traditionally, the bride took care of all these expenses. But don’t be alarmed. These days, there’s no set rule. First of all, be clear about your budget and realistically decide which items in your bridesmaids’ ensembles you can afford. Remember, it’s not only the dress; shoes, jewelry, hair and makeup are also costs to consider.
Recent brides advise that if you choose a dress that your bridesmaids can wear again and again, it’s not unfair that they pay for their own dress. However, do strongly consider sponsoring if it’s a once-in-a-lifetime statement piece that you have your heart set on.
Speak to each of your girls and see what they’re able and prepared to take care of. Some may be travelling from overseas to be part of your wedding, while others may be living on student budgets that do not allow for these expenses. Draw on your sense of practicality and ability to be understanding when making these important decisions.
Some brides prefer to keep it low-key and let their bridesmaids do their own hair and make-up, but it’s important to give some direction and styling tips to ensure that there will be no surprises. Other brides hire professional hairstylists and make-up artists to beautify their bridesmaids so that the hair and make-up looks will be the same for each bridesmaid. Styling elements such as jewellery and shoes should be coordinated in advance to achieve uniformity. Why not plan a relaxing ladies-only spa day just before the wedding? This will ensure that everyone is well-rested, glowing and photo-ready on your big day!
It’s no surprise that ladies are very particular about what they wear! From the bride to the wedding guests, everyone wants to look their splendid best. With a number of girls in your bridal party, expect a plethora of tastes, preferences and opinions. It’s impossible to please yourself and everyone else without hurting some feelings and bruising some egos.
A spirit of gratitude gives you the superpower to face all situations with poise and a clear focus on what’s truly important. It’s less about which shade of pink to go with, and more about the love, joy and harmony of being together.
Of course it’s your big day, but remember that your friends are coming together because they love and support you.
Diana and Ron said “I Do” in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Bride answers your most pressing questions:
CB: Why did you choose a destination wedding? What were your main considerations?
Diana: We wanted a non-fuss, simple, intimate ceremony, especially since we wrote our own vows; the thought of a crowd of people staring at us at such a sacred moment didn’t seem very romantic.
A beach setting was also high on the agenda (sand between our toes) and since we were honeymooning in the Bahamas, we thought why not have a wedding-moon; after all the Bahamas does have some of the most amazing beaches.
CB: Why did you choose Sandals?
Diana: All-inclusive and no children allowed – what could be better? Sandals took the worry and hassle out of planning the wedding. We merely informed them of our preferences for the day. Everything you could possibly need for a wedding can be provided: the bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, cake, champagne, minister, photography and even the DJ. You can also access a glamour team to help you look extra special.
We’d considered both St Lucia and the Bahamas, but decided on the Bahamas mainly because the resort had an offshore island also equipped with a pool, restaurant and bar – which was great for the honeymoon! You had access to the offshore resort plus the main resort.
CB: Where did you get your dress?
Diana: The resort also supplies a collection of wedding dresses. However, I found my dress at Megans in Trincity Mall, Trinidad.
CB: Can you describe the sequence of events on the day?
Diana: We had a morning ceremony on the beach (several locations are available), after which we had our first dance on the sand (which was magical; there were no piercing eyes staring at us to make things awkward), followed by an elaborate photo-shoot throughout the compound, with the sticking of the cake as the finale.
CB: Would you do anything differently?
Diana: The weather was a little too cold for my liking (we got there on March 22nd) – if I had to do anything differently I would have planned it one month later.
CB: What were the highlights of the honeymoon?
Diana: We’re an outgoing and adventurous couple so relaxation alone would never satisfy us, though we did a lot of that. We needed an adrenaline fix, which we got with parasailing. Every time we travel we try to do something we never did before.