It's Bridesmaid's Time
It's Bridesmaid's Time
A Bride Assigning Her Bridesmaids
After a bride chooses her wedding dress, her attention now focuses on her bridesmaids. You have chosen a maid of honor and some bridesmaids because these ladies have been very special to you and they can assist in planning your wedding. It now becomes bridesmaid's time. What planning and activities you do with them depends on your and their budget and how much free time they have from busy schedules and if they are up to spending time together.
Tradition states a bride should choose one bridesmaid and one groomsman for every 50-60 wedding guests, but that is only a guideline, how many bridesmaids to choose is totally up to the bride and her constraints. Now that the wedding dress is chosen, it's time to bring all the bridal party member's together and lay out a schedule of doing things together, one last time with all these people who have been very special to you. This article lays out ideas of what you might do together over the 15 weeks before the wedding.
Call a Bride's Meeting of Her Court
Week 1 - Calling a Special Meeting of the Bride and Her Court
At the very first meeting of the bride and her court, there are a number of items that need to be discussed. First you should introduce all the wedding party members, in some cases they are meeting for the very first time, childhood friends, high school friends, college friends, neighbors, work place friends, and family members coming together for a special occasion. At this meeting you should draw up a sheet with names, addresses, phone numbers, back up phone numbers or cell numbers and email addresses. You want to learn how best to contact them when a wedding activity comes up and you want to gain an understanding of their day to day schedules. You want to get an idea of the best days and times of the week to meet.
You want to inform them of the date of your wedding and time of your wedding and location of your wedding ceremony and the time an location of the wedding reception, to be sure none of the bridal party has a conflict on that day. If known, at the meeting also share the location and time of the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner and other wedding events, but often those matters may not be known for a bit.
Some brides will have chosen a wedding theme or a color scheme for their wedding, if there is a wedding theme or color scheme share that information with the wedding party. Some brides opt to choose a wedding theme or color scheme after consultation with their bridal party, some bridal members will research dresses along with the bride.
The next thing the bride needs to discuss, is who will be responsible for covering the costs of the bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen tuxedos. Will the bride cover the costs? will the costs be shared between the bride and the bridal party members or will the bride ask for the bridal party to pick up the costs. The costs in reality are covered many different ways, a lot depends on the bride's affordability and the bridal party's affordability.
At this meeting, you want to discuss how involved do the bridal party members want to be involved in planning and activities of planning the wedding, are they up to doing activities weekly or only get involved and get together on the important activities such as picking up bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen tuxedos and rehearsal activities and getting into picture shoots.
For a cohesive bridal party look that shows up best in wedding photography and wedding video, at least three of six things should match as they come together as a group. Three of six things include the color scheme of the wedding including the bridesmaid dresses, the style of wedding dress, the style of bridesmaid's hairdos, the style how makeup is worn, the bridesmaid's bouquets, and the style and type of adornments worn in their hair.
The bride and the bridesmaid's should review each week of the 15 weeks and decide if they want to partake in that week's bridesmaid's activities, but should they expect to partake in fun activities they also should partake in bridal functional activities.
Bridesmaid Dresses & Tuxedos at Bridal Spectacular
Week 2 - Research Bridesmaid's Dresses and Groomsmen Tuxedos
Before beginning to look for bridesmaid dresses, first look at the wedding dress chosen, is it classic, modern, contemporary, or vintage, the bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen tuxedos should get the vibe.
Another important factor that should be used to help identify bridal party outfits is the skin tone and hair color of the bridal party member. If bridal members predominantly have fair skin, lighter colors or pastel colors look best. if bridal party member's predominantly have olive or mixed colors of skin, primary rainbow colors look best. If bridal party members predominantly have dark skin, bright dark colors look best.
Also consider the season and location of the wedding, lighter colors for the spring and summer and darker colors for the fall and winter. The bride might pick the color and fabric for the bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits, and let the bridesmaid pick a style of outfit that most flatters her body type. The goal should be for the bridesmaids, pick a dress that the bridesmaids can wear again and again for special events, dinner dates, and for dancing. Bridesmaid dresses often cost a little bit, enable the outfits chosen to be worn for other events.
When doing research for bridesmaid dresses there are some online websites that can be used to find some bridesmaid dresses, some of these websites provide color categories to look for bridesmaid outfits. Some of the recommended bridesmaid websites include bcbg.com, weddingtonway.com, jjshouse.com, simplydresses.com, bhldn.com, dessy.com, modcloth.com, and billlevkoff.com.
This week, a bride and her maid of honor and another bridesmaid, relative, or close friend might stop at a few stores to check out bridesmaid's outfits and choose one to go with. It is often best not to search for bridesmaid outfits with too many bridesmaids along or you may get many differing opinions and possibly cause a rift between bridesmaids. Who to invite depends on the personalities of the ladies, have they got strong personalities and very opinionated? If you think there is no problem, then invite the entire crew.
Should bridesmaid dresses be ordered online, in all likelihood the dresses will need to be altered and fitted, you should search for a dress shop that specializes in bridesmaid dress alterations. You also might check with relatives or moms to see if you can find someone that can alter and hem bridesmaid dresses.
This week you also may attend a bridal show or expo and get some ideas on bridesmaid out fits there, again, the bride should not bring too many bridesmaids along if she wishes to talk to wedding vendors. If she plans to attend a bridal fashion show with wedding dresses, and bridesmaid dresses she should claim a seat about an hour before the fashion show is set to begin. Get a floor plan of the bridal show and identify only the booths you want to see, pick up a tote bag to carry all the literature you will be provided with, wear comfortable shoes and carry a pen and pad and carry your checkbook along. If a vendor interests you set up a separate meeting to get one on one attention.
Shopping For Bridesmaid Dresses
Week 3 - Bridesmaid Dress Appointments
Usually bridal salons will offer bridesmaid dresses but often tend to offer higher prices on bridesmaid outfits but they are worth a look. You can also find bridesmaid dresses in department stores, prom stores, thrift shops, some dress shops, hand me down wedding boutiques and you can always go back to online bridesmaid websites.
The ultimate decision maker of choosing the bridesmaids outfits is the bride-to-be, she may take input from the bridesmaids but the final decision is hers. Once a decision on what bridesmaid outfits is chosen, the bride should make an appointment with the store in which the gowns were found.
As a general rule, appointments work best when the stores are less busy, generally Monday through Friday are the best times either mid-morning or mid-afternoon, but note some of your ladies may have a job that occupies them from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday so a night appointment is an alternate chose. Avoid a bridesmaid shop on Saturdays, they are just too busy.
It is important that all the bridesmaids order their gowns together. If the gowns aren't ordered together there is a risk that some of the dresses will come out in a different shade disrupting the visual effect of the wedding party. Many bridal shops have their own professional manner in which to take measurements and have their own size charts, you can't assume measurements will be handled consistently from store to store.
Once the bridesmaid dresses are ordered, plenty of time should be set up for alterations of the bridesmaid gowns. Allow for an additional appointment fitting. Make sure bridesmaids wear similar shoes as well as appropriate hosiery and slips, and make sure straps don't show on the type of dress worn. It is recommended to pick up bridesmaid dresses 2 1/2 to 3 weeks before the wedding.
If any bridesmaids are missing from the appointment, work with the store to see how the bridesmaid's measurement should be handled. Maybe a separate appointment can be arranged or another brand store can be used or how can she get her own measurements to the store using email, phone, or fax.
The flower girl's dress can be styled three different ways. Her outfit could match the outfits of the bridesmaids, her outfit could be a slight variation of the color scheme of the bridesmaid dresses or she could wear a white flower girl dress. You could look for her dress out of a children's store, try to bring a color patch of the bridesmaid's dress if you can.
Week 4 - Bridesmaid's Outing
To create a special memory, do a little something different, do something you have never done before to create a lasting memory. Try to do something everyone would enjoy as a group. Some ideas on what you might do, go on a golf outing, play tennis, go bowling, have a picnic and include a game of volleyball, go to an amusement park or a water park.
Some other ideas on activities include going shopping then to a Broadway show, or go see a sporting event, go to a comedy club, go on a girl's night out and go to a discotheque, or spend a day at an art or science museum or spend a day at the beach or a day on a boat or yacht somewhere.
Bridesmaid Tote Bag
Week 5 - Bridesmaid's Hairstyle Lessons
There are a couple of different approaches in coming up with the bridesmaid's hairstyle for the wedding day. You could have a session with a professional wedding hairstylist, you could meet at her studio or have a special invite to one of your homes. If all the bridesmaids agree on a look, whether it be an updo, half updo, or wear their hair down. The wedding hairstylist can give a little lesson to create the look they all want.
You could look at hairstyles in magazines or online and note a hairstyle each bridesmaid likes and try to find a hairstylist to create the look you each bridesmaid found and likes. You can also find YouTube videos on how to do the hair. All the bridesmaids can do their hair in a similar way, or the bridesmaids can all do their hair different but use similar hair adornments.
One footnote, a bride should never insist a bridesmaid wear her hair a certain way, she must be willing to wear her hair in a fashion statement that you are looking for at your wedding, but a bride should never force her into a decision, and she should never take offense if she is unwilling to change her hairstyle. Move on to coming up with similar adornments.
DIY Bridesmaid Makeup
Week 6 - Bridesmaid's Makeup Lessons
As a group, you might spend one day setting up an appointment with a professional wedding makeup artist. The session could be at the makeup artist's studio or invite her into one of your homes. The makeup artist might give suggestions on what makeup would look best with each lady's facial features, skin tone, hair color, eye color, and the style of bridesmaid's dress each bridesmaid will be wearing. Each bridesmaid should learn the basic makeup products she needs for applying makeup, find good brand makeup products for her, learn about the makeup tools she needs, what techniques and stroking that is needed to apply the makeup.
Each bridesmaid should learn how to remove previous makeup, cleanse her skin, apply concealers to hide blemishes, apply foundation, perform contouring or shadow to minimize excess features on her face, apply cheek bone or blush to the apples of her cheek, apply powder to blend makeup and reduce shine. Next she applies highlights to accentuate her face, tweeze any eye brows out of place and define her eyeball area using a brow brush or spoolie brush. She then applies eye color or eye shadow to her eye sockets, apply eyeliner to define the size and shape of the eyes, then apples mascara using an eyelash curler.
Next for the lips, apply lip powder or lip balm and then apply lipstick or use a lip pencil to accentuate the shape of the lips and finish up the lips using a barrier spray and lip sealer to protect the makeup job from the environment so the makeup looks fresh all day of the wedding.
Each bridesmaid should create a checklist of all the steps to apply her makeup, she should note the brand of products plus the cosmetic tools she needs. She also should note where to find each product she needs at the best price and maybe note each product's cost.
13 Piece Cosmetic Makeup Brushes
4 Tips For Picking a Bridesmaid Bouquet
Week 7 - Bridesmaid's Flower Bouquets
This week the attention shifts to the bridesmaid's flower bouquets. There can be a different routes you can go. You could have a florist meet with the bridesmaid's and have a lesson to teach the bridesmaids how to make bridesmaids bouquets each themselves. You can also just meet at the florist's shoppe and put an order in for the bridesmaid's bouquets. Some bride's pick up a long stem flower for the bride to hold instead of the bouquet. Another option, is to find a YouTube video that shows how to create a bridesmaid's flower bouquets.
As for the design of bridesmaid's bouquets, the bouquets could be a miniature of the bride's bouquet, or the bouquets could contain one or two flowers from the bride's bouquet, each bridesmaid with a slightly different bouquet from the other bridesmaids. The bridesmaids bouquets can also be designed to the color scheme of her bridesmaids dress. The thing to note, the bridesmaid's bouquet should never overshadow the bride's bouquet.
Best Bridesmaid Dance Ever
Week 8 - Bridesmaid's Dance Lessons
The bride and bridesmaids as a group might want to include dance for the wedding, the music group or disc jockey is determinant of the type of dance there will be at the wedding. The bridesmaids or even groomsmen could join in and create a special wedding dance for the wedding, bridal group wedding dances often become the highlight of the wedding reception.
Another thing you can do is take formal dance lessons, you can take a couple of dance lessons at a dance studio and learn a few dance steps, you can learn ballroom style dance or learn Latin/rhythm style of dance. For some close bridal groups, taking dance lessons as a group becomes a fun adventure enjoying the last single days together.
Some brides order a dance lesson CD/DVD and take private lessons in their home, some will invite the bridesmaids and groomsmen over and learn some dance steps.
Dance Lessons 101
Bridal Shower Planning Tips
Week 9 - It's Bridal Shower Time
A bridal shower is a gift giving party held in honor of the bride-to-be in anticipation of her wedding. The bridal shower tradition goes back thousands of years starting out as a dowry concept. A dowry is a gift of money or valuable goods, so the bride can provide gifts to the groom-to-be, generations ago the bride-to-be did not have enough money or goods for the dowry, so in order for the bride to meet the demands for a dowry for her marriage she would meet relatives and friends at a venue and they would provide her with money and goods in order for her to marry.
Today, the bridal shower has replaced the dowry, with the bridal shower being a volunteer thing. The bridal tradition stipulates that the "maid-of-honor" is responsible for organizing and running the bridal shower, but she should coordinate the event in consultation with the bride's mother. Sometimes multiple bridal showers are held, there might be one with the bride's family, another for the groom's family, especially if the parents live far apart. Sometimes the bride's high school friends will organize a bridal shower, sometimes college friends as well, and sometimes where the bride works or any clubs might hold a bridal shower as well.
It is suggested to do a little decorating for the bridal shower and have a few good eats, either a luncheon type buffet or provide coffee and desserts for the affair. Maybe decorate the bride's front door and decorate the space in which a gift table could be setup.
The gifts for a bridal shower can run the gamut, they can be a pre-wedding present such as kitchen things or home décor. The gifts could be bedroom or honeymoon things such as fancy underwear, lingerie, bathrobes, flip flops, pajamas, designer towels, slippers, massage, or body lotions and oils. There are no rules for gift buying for a bridal shower, but something that you can afford. Whoever is invited to a bridal shower, must be invited to the wedding.
Very often bridal showers include bridal shower games, if depends on the personalities of the people attending the event. The following is a list of games that are popular at bridal showers.
Bridal Shower Games
1 - Wedding Bridal Bingo
Replace the bingo numbers with wedding terms. Create a bunch of bingo cards with a grid of wedding terms. Include words for all the bride's wedding categories, words like wedding dress, bridesmaids, groomsmen, wedding cake, wedding favors, caterer, bridal bouquet, wedding photographer, wedding invitations, and so on and so on. Play the game like regular bingo pulling wedding terms from a bingo cage or a flower girl's basket. The winner wins a favor.
The thing that makes this game great for a bridal shower, all the wedding terms puts thoughts in everyone's head allowing the conversation to be about weddings.
2 - Wedding Favor Price Is Right
For this game, visit a wedding favor website and gather pictures and prices of about two dozen wedding favor items. Provide each lady with $10 of play money, show each favor item, then each lady submits a price, each lady has to pay the amount she misses the amount by. The last lady left with money
3 - Wedding Dress Game
The ladies at the bridal shower break into two or three teams. Each team gets three rolls of toilet paper and six large paper clips. One team member is chosen to be the model and is decorated using the toilet paper made into a wedding dress, the bride chooses which team designed the best looking wedding dress. The winning team receives a favor.
4 - What's in the Paper Bag
A bunch of manly things are placed into paper bags. Each paper bag is passed around to the ladies. The ladies are only allowed to feel the paper bag and try to figure out what is inside. The lady who guesses the most right things in the bags wins a favor.
Some ideas on manly things include beer mugs, shot glass, jock strap, boxer shorts, men's wallet, iPhone cover, shaving cream, after shave cologne, golf accessories, condoms, tuxedo bow tie, a cigar, a pipe, bottle opener, and other manly gifts you can think of. At the end of the bridal shower, the ladies can present the manly gifts to the groom-to-be.
5 - Bride and Groom Trivia
Before the bridal shower, the maid-of-honor asks both the bride-to-be and groom-to-be a bunch of questions. Questions like, Where did they meet? Where was their first date? Where did he go to school? What color is his eyes? What is their favor colors? Who is their favorite actor and actress? When and where did they get engaged? What is their favorite movie? What is their favorite food? Who is the boss in this relationship? etc. The person who answers the most questions wins a favor.
6 - Celebrity Hubby
A bunch of pictures of male celebrity's pictures are printed out along with a picture of the groom. All the pictures of all the celebrities are rolled up with a rubber band and placed inside a balloon. At the shower each lady picks a balloon and has to blow the balloon up and has to bust the balloon by sitting on it with their fannies or stick the balloon with a pin or toothpick. Whoever pricks the groom-to-be's balloon wins a favor.
Another variation of this game is to place all the balloons on a cardboard box and each person takes turns throwing darts at the balloons, the one who busts the groom's balloon wins a favor.
7 - Pass The Bouquet
This game is just like musical chairs but is played with passing a bouquet instead. If no bouquet is available, you can gather the bows on gifts and tape them all together. The ladies gather into a circle, then wedding music is played, when the music suddenly stops, the lady holding the bouquet is eliminated. The last lady left wins a favor.
8 - Two Truths and A Lie
Each lady writes three things on a piece of paper, two things she did with the bride is true and one thing she puts down as a lie. The ladies have to guess which statement is the lie. Which lady gets the most correct lies wins a favor.
9 - Bridal Mad Lib
Pick up a Mad Lib Fun Book from a local book store or toy store. Using wedding related words or names of people in the bride's wedding fill in all the blank spaces with names, verbs, adjectives, adverbs. Read the Mad Lib aloud after all the blank spaces are filled in.
If you know of any bridal shower games that you would like to share with other brides and bridesmaids, leave how the game plays in a comment statement down below!
The Alternative Guide To Wedding Games
Bridesmaid's Trip to the Winery
Week 10 - Bridesmaid's Trip to the Winery
If the ladies can afford it, rent a limousine and make a day trip to a winery in the hopes of finding wine for the wedding, meet at the bride's house or one of the bridesmaid's houses. The purpose of the day is to spend time with close friends, learn a little about wine, maybe taste different wines to find wines that each lady likes. The bride should use this day to find good red and white wine to serve at her wedding.
Wedding planner's suggest you order 50 percent red wine and 50 percent white wine for the wedding. For a 4 hour wedding reception, experts state, expect adult guests to drink one glass of wine per hour. A bottle of wine typically holds 5 glasses of wine, so order 80% of your adult wedding guest count of bottles of wine. That means for 100 adult wedding guests you should order 80 bottles of wine. If you offer rose wine, order 45% red wine, 45% white wine, and 10% rose.
For champagne, champagne typically holds 6 glasses of wine in a bottle. You should figure, wedding guests will drink 2 glasses of champagne. Champagne bottles typically cover drinks for 3 wedding guests. You might also consider Port Wine or Merlot Wine for your wedding.
If the trip is not to a winery, you might consider a home wine and cheese tasting party, to sample different wines , the object is to find a good wine to serve at the wedding, also consider a wine that is affordable.
Wine Waiters Corkscrew
Bridesmaid's Dress Alteration
Week 11 - Bridesmaid's Dress Alteration Time
Around this time, the bridesmaid's dresses should be arriving at the dress shop. Each bridesmaid needs to get measured with her bridesmaid dress to insure it fits perfectly or does it need to be altered and try on again to be sure it fits. Bridesmaid's dresses should be picked up for the wedding about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks before the wedding.
If bridesmaid dresses are ordered online, the dresses still should be measured by a seamstress or checked out by a relative or friend who knows how to alter and hem bridesmaid dresses.
Bridesmaid Photo Frame
Bridesmaid's Day of Pampering
Week 12 - Bridesmaid's Day of Pampering
If the budget can withstand it, consider treating your bridesmaids to a special day called a bridesmaid's day of pampering. These ladies have been special people and close friends throughout your life, since you will soon be transitioning to marriage, it;s only fitting to treat them to a day of royal treatment.
Why not reward them with their own pre wedding spa day at a fabulous spa retreat. This day is devoted entirely to getting all your bodies feeling good, talking girl stories, and becoming beautiful. The day may start out with all meeting at the bride-to-be's house with coffee and some brunch or a brunch at an area diner.
Next it's off to the spa, coordinate with the spa and the ladies on which treatments to get. Don't forget to look for discount coupons for the spa or talk to the spa about getting a group discount. Discuss with the ladies on the treatments that would be good and fits the budget.
Some treatments they might consider, getting their major haircut for the wedding, or get facials, manicures, pedicures, massages, skin cleansing, sauna, steam room, and maybe throw in a tanning session as well.
Bath Body Gift Basket
Creative Packaging DIY Wedding Favor Ideas
Week 13 - Help the Bride Wrap Wedding Favors
If the bride can use some help in wrapping wedding favors, about two weeks before the wedding is about the best time to help her out. What might take hours to do, with the bridesmaid's help, this task might be reduced to a couple of hours. At this get together it's good to offer good coffee or tea and maybe a specialty dessert something like cheesecake, pies, or a homemade dessert. Another option is to serve appetizers or hors d'oeuvres, but be careful, you don't want food on favor wrapping.
Before the ladies come, make sure you have how to wrap the wedding favor down. When the ladies are their to help, you should be able to show them exactly how the wedding favors need to be wrapped.
After the wedding favors are wrapped, you want to find a comfortable environment to keep the wedding favors, either in a closet, a back bedroom, or office space and away from prying eyes. You should also try to figure how to set up the wedding favors at the reception, either at an entrance table or each place setting. You should also identify who will deliver the wedding favors to the reception space and who will set the favors out.
Week 14 - It's Bachelorette Time
Bachelorette parties use to take place the night before the wedding. This practice often would put stress on the wedding couple, sometimes disrupting the wedding day, the wedding couple may be left with a hangover or the spouse would be mad with flirtations from the opposite sex. In the last generation, the bachelorette and bachelor parties are often held a week before the wedding.
Many couples handle their bachelorette and bachelor parties differently. Some couples opt to invite a special guest to teach the ladies how to cook some dishes or how to make some desserts. Some ladies choose to go to see a good movie. Some others take a limousine and spend a last time single's night out at a disco. Some ladies have a gag gift party and add a little striptease entertainment.
Some couples enjoy having a Jack and Jill party, the girls play party games or play a round of table pool, or watch a movie like the Bridesmaid or the Father of the Bride and have a few drinks. The groomsmen also come to the party and go off to a separate area playing poker, casino games, have a beer tasting, or watch a sporting event.
Often, having Jack and Jill parties become great parties but sometimes mixing guys and girls together, especially single ones right before a wedding can lead to jealous partners, so be careful, know your bridal party members before deciding on this type of party.
Bridesmaid Hip Flask
What Great Times We Had!!!
Week 15 - Wedding Week Is Here!
Bridesmaids and groomsmen have their responsibilities for the week, they may be asked to do a few things to help out in wedding planning. Some might be asked to give a speech and a toast at the rehearsal dinner. They need to arrive in time for the rehearsal practice and learn to time their entrance and know where to stand during the ceremony. Then they need to arrive at the rehearsal dinner on time and leave a good impression on the bride's and groom's family's. Some bridal members need to focus on being on their best behavior and to show good manners. They need to make the bride and groom look good, in some instances, they are leaving a first good impression on the wedding couple with some family members, that don't know the wedding couple's partner well.
Later in the evening, sometimes bridesmaid and groomsmen favors are presented to bridesmaids and groomsmen to thank them for being special people and for participating in their wedding ceremony. Some bride's will present their bridesmaid's wedding favors the morning of the wedding, when they first get together, sometimes at the bride's house.
On the wedding day, the bridal party members need to be on time for the wedding, comfort the flower girl and ring bearer and time the entrance well and follow where to stand from the wedding rehearsal. Later, they need to be available for the wedding photography shoot and any wedding video. They need to arrive onto the wedding reception floor as they are introduced, behave themselves and get onto the dance floor and help the wedding become a rousing success. Finally the wedding couple departs and it's bridesmaid's time no more.