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So your best friend just got engaged and she’s asked you to be a bridesmaid. Yay! Well…maybe. Being a bridesmaid is exciting and fun, but it can also be stressful and a little overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what your responsibilities are. To give you some idea of what it’s all about, here are six things you’ll probably need to do as a bridesmaid. We have also added six ways you can go the extra mile and learn how to be the best bridesmaid ever!
Help! I’m a Bridesmaid! How to be the best bridesmaid ever
1. Ask the bride!
This isn’t just a disclaimer, it is fundamental! Ask the bride what she expects from you as a bridesmaid. Make sure she knows that she can contact you for help with anything. Try to get an understanding of what she has in mind first so you can adjust your expectations. In some cases it might be a good idea to find this out before agreeing to be a bridesmaid, to ensure you have the time and money to dedicate to the task.
Be the best:
At the start of wedding planning, your friend might not even know where to start with wedding planning or what it is she expects or needs from you! Help out by doing your own research first (reading this article is a great start!) and give her some concrete examples of things you are able to help with. Try offering your email address and phone number as the RSVP details on her engagement party invitations so guests can contact you about whether they’ll be attending or not. This will save her having to deal with that. Making an offer like this (or something similar) shows that you are on board and thinking about what needs to be done. Let her know that you understand the commitment is more than just showing up to the wedding in a pretty dress.
2. Buy the bridesmaid dress
As a bridesmaid, you will likely be expected to pay for your bridesmaid dress, shoes, jewellery, and maybe even your hair and makeup appointments on the day. While some brides are extra generous and will shout you for some of these things, you should definitely set aside a little cash for it. Chat with your bride about what she has in mind so you can determine the price range to be prepared for, and then be ready to pay when the time comes.
Be the best:
Be prepared to help the bride choose bridesmaid dresses and accessories, but be as accommodating as you can. Don’t make a fuss if you hate the dress or it isn’t your colour, and don’t try to make things about you. Give your honest input if it is asked for, but don’t make the bride’s job difficult! Planning a wedding is hard! The exception to this is if the bride is selecting a dress that is well outside a reasonable price range (eg. several hundred dollars for a dress might be excessive).. It is definitely acceptable to let her know you are going to have difficulty affording it, and let her decide whether to stick with it and make up the difference or find something else.
3. Go to everything
One of the most important aspects of being a bridesmaid is offering support, and unless there is a very good reason (props to all you long-distance bridesmaids!), this requires you to actually show up! Find out key dates as far in advance as possible, and do what you can to be there for them. This includes the engagement party, the wedding (duh!), wedding rehearsal and other events. This applies most of all to the wedding, of course. Unless you are in hospital, incapacitated, there’s really no excuse for missing the wedding.
Be the best:
Take it upon yourself to be a sort of behind-the-scenes host when it comes to wedding-related events. Help the bride with the planning before the day. Get there early and help set up. Make sure there is enough food out and that everyone has a drink. Talk to the Aunty that’s sitting by herself and looks a little out of place. Hit the dance floor first to encourage others to get into it. Your energy and support will make all the difference and truly cement you as the best bridesmaid (and friend!) ever. Plus, it’s good practice for the wedding day, when you need to be the bride’s eyes and ears for problems so she can focus on enjoying herself.
4. Throw the bridal shower/hen party
This one is a step above just showing up! The bridesmaids, led by the maid of honour, are usually expected to throw the pre-wedding party for the bride. Usually this is either a bridal shower or a hen party, depending on the preferences of the bride. Sometimes the bride wants both, in which case she will likely designate one to you. The bridesmaids are usually responsible for both the planning and the financing of the event, but this depends on the expectations of the bride.
Be the best:
Know your friend and what makes her tick, and communicate with her about what she wants the party to be like. Don’t be that friend that invites strippers to the party with her religious family, or forgets to buy alcohol for the shower of a bride that loves to party. Remember that the party is for her, not for you, even though you are the one planning it. Try your best to make it a day that she will love! For best results run everything by her to make sure she likes the sound of it, but keep one or two meaningful surprises up your sleeve to really blow her away.
5. Help the bride with everything
Okay, this might seem a little obvious, but this is the most important part of being a bridesmaid! Find out what your friend needs help with, and help her! You don’t actually need to help with everything, of course, but be willing to help with anything! This might mean taking responsibility for addressing wedding invitations, helping her choose wedding flowers, or listening to her rant about a disagreement with the groom. Be the person she can bounce ideas off or take along for a second opinion. This should pretty much be second nature if she’s your best friend, but it’s kind of official now, in your role as her bridesmaid.
Be the best:
Find out what is stressing the bride most and see if you can take it off her hands for her, or at least help her out. Is she freaking out about choosing the right photographer? Offer to do the research for her and come up with a few good options to make the choice more simple. Does she have to DIY bonbonniere for 200 guests, but she has no idea how to work a glue gun? Take some home with you to do while you watch Game of Thrones, or offer to come round and spend the day marathoning the craft.
6. Make a great speech
If you’re the maid of honour, you get the pleasure of making a speech at the wedding reception. Usually this speech is focused on the bride, your friendship, and how happy you are for her to be marrying the love of her life. When you’re writing the speech, keep in mind that guests at the wedding will include the bride’s new in-laws, some of whom she will be meeting for the first time. There might also be other special guests, like her boss or an important client. Make sure the speech is appropriate, not embarrassing. This is absolutely not the time to roast your friend! Don’t hit the champagne before giving the speech, either. Be on your best behaviour, basically, and show your friend in a positive, loving light. Let everyone in the room know how much you adore her, and why.
Be the best:
After the wedding, give the bride a beautiful copy of the speech as a gift. It might be carefully handwritten or typed up, framed or on loose paper she can scrapbook or put away in a memory box. You could also include a favourite picture of the two of you, perhaps one taken at the wedding. This will be a great memento of the wedding day as well as of your friendship, and will remind the bride of all your support and love during the months of planning.
So now you know how to be the best bridesmaid ever. Wedding planning can be stressful, but it can also be a beautiful (and fun!) experience to go through with friends by your side. If you’ve had the honour of being asked to be a bridesmaid, throw yourself into it and take the opportunity to show your friend how much you love her in a whole host of practical ways. After this, you’re going to be friends for life.
This was a guest post by Maddison Wallace from Paperlust Wedding Invitations. Maddison is head of content at Paperlust. She is a communications professional, postgrad student, part-time librarian, and occasional wedding photographer. She loves words and drinking cups of tea.
So today we have a subject close to my heart-wedding photography. A great photographer captures a moment in time, emotion, beauty, detail and do so in an artistic, creative way to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
In tough times the amount of couples who decide to let “Uncle Bob” or a cheap part time wedding photographer to photograph their wedding rises rapidly, as couples cut back on what they see as the non essentials to getting married.
Don’t get me wrong, their are some fabulous value for money photographers out there but there is also a lot of crap. Sorry to be so blunt but it’s true. We all know of a wedding photography horror story-bad photography, rude photographers, poor customer service, so today we have a post from an experienced wedding photographer, Jenny from McAvoy Wedding Photography, to give you a few of her top tips on choosing your wedding photographer….
Today I am thinking of hot sunny beaches, balmy evenings, cocktails on a veranda, the smell of orange blossom in the air, good food, good company….sleep.
Yes I am dreaming of holidays but alas for me the only thing on the horizon is not the sun, but 4 days at Glastonbury and a week in a caravan in Wales in August. So instead I will live vicariously through the blog and write about honeymoons instead, with a little help from guest blogger, Lianne Nichols.
Today is all about choosing the TYPE of honeymoon you fancy and not travelling too far afield. I am all for a laze on the beach far far away but in the height of the summer I just can’t cope with the heat and turn into a sweaty, grumpy monster and I know I am not alone. Not only that but after organising a wedding for goodness knows how long, the thought of a long haul flight straight away may not appeal. So Lianne has a few suggestions that may even be a little closer to home and can still be a romantic break for two.
So you are planning your wedding, ready to set a date. You know exactly what you want your wedding to be like. You know the type of dress you want, the venue and you’ve always dreamed of the exact type of flowers that you want. But…..are they available or cost effective at the time you are getting married?
Mary Potter is a writer who has been gardening and helping her family and friends plan weddings for years. She loves sharing the tips and tricks she has gained over the years with anyone willing to listen. She currently freelance writes for The Flower Exchange where she uses her knowledge about wedding flowers and today she is sharing her knowledge on choosing seasonal flowers with us….
So Valentines Day is just around the corner. If you are planning for a wedding you may not be in the mood for love AT ALL. Also if you are saving for a wedding, then there may not be a huge amount of money to spend on gifts, so today we have some very thoughtful but pretty low budget ideas that will also remind you just why you are planning that big day.
Mary Howard, a counselor for many years, is always looking for ways to help people find happiness. An avid writer, she likes to share what she finds by posting online and today she is sharing a few ideas to get you in the mood for love……
Planning a Valentines Day surprise or wedding anniversary treat can be a tricky business. There’s a fine line between romantic and cliché. Instead of just saying, “You’re the best husband/wife/fiance,” and extending a handful of chocolates, try these messages and surprises to show you still care.
Inside Your Card, Say…
“Even though the years are passing, spending each day with you at my side will never get old. Thank you for lighting up my life by sharing yours with me!”
“Amazing. Unbelievable. One of a kind. I could say all these words to describe you. But the years together have taught me you are way beyond all those things. There is no word for how precious you are to me. Happy anniversary!”
“You know all those people who say no one is perfect? Well, every time I look at you, I can’t help but think they’re clueless. Thank you for being my everything all these years!”
“Years ago I married my best friend-you. The only difference between then and now is that, now, I have even more reasons to do it again. Happy anniversary!”
Valentines Day Surprises
Get a bunch of simple helium balloons and print off pictures of you and your loved one. Tie the pictures to the balloons with pretty ribbons and place them all around your house, especially in the bedroom. To make the gesture extra special, write something loving or provocative on the back of each picture, such as “I can still eat you up after all these years” for a picture of the two of you dining together.
Write a series of Valentines day love letters designed for your partner to open at specific times. For example, one might be labeled “Open When Feeling Blue” and be filled with heartfelt encouragement or jokes. Present all the letters in a box tied up with a ribbon.
Create a list of all the reasons why you love your partner. Print out the list and frame it in a nice frame or. If you want to get a little more elegant, have it engraved or etched.
Go through the alphabet, coming up with something touching for each letter. For instance, “A is for how amazing you are” or “G stands for how grateful I am to have you.” This can be a simple list you have your partner read, or you can get more elaborate, doing a scrapbook or slideshow type of presentation.
For your Valentines day present show your love with a keepsake wedding Christmas ornament customized with your wedding date.
Instead of breakfast, have a Valentines day surprise dinner in bed. Once you and your spouse have nibbled enough food, who knows what could happen! Just be careful of the crumbs 🙂
Create a memory box filled with goodies from your relationship, such as the tie you wore on your first date or a lipstick identical to the one you had on during your first kiss. Go through the box together and reminisce.
Valentines day and anniversaries should be extremely special occasions. Don’t treat them like they’re just another day! With these ideas and messages, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to steal away your partner’s heart (again!).