Today I thought I would talk about my gorgeous bridesmaids. I’ll start with the gifts I put together for them, and then talk about what bridesmaids dresses they wore. (If you want to read about how I asked them to be part of our special day, click here).
GIFTS & ROBES
I really wanted to spoil my three best friends and thank them for being such a special part of our day, so I put a lot of thinking into what would be the “perfect pre-wedding bride/ bridesmaid” experience.
I had this thing about us girls having lovely robes to get ready in (if we were being photographed with no make up on and hair in curlers, the last thing I wanted was to be captured slobbing in our PJs too!) so I’d saved up my pennies and ordered floral robes for all of us off Etsy. The morning was a bit chaotic – we never actually got a photo with all 4 of us together! Whoops.
I left the robes hanging in their bedrooms on personalised hangers (I bought wooden hangers from The Warehouse and applied personalised transfers I had ordered from a seller on eBay). I made little goody bags for the girls too, which I left in their bedrooms to say thank you.
When the girls arrived the afternoon before the wedding, there were squeals of excitement when they entered their bedrooms and found their treats. I’d included:
- Thank you card
- Little bottle of bubbles
- Ballet flats for them to slip in to if their feet got sore in their heels
- White pashmina’s to pop over their shoulders if they got cold in the evening
- Pink Lindt chocolates and a Peanut Slab for energy
- Mini deodorants
- Pack of gum
- Watermelon lip balm
- Facewipes, a facecloth, and a face mask
- Little body moisturiser
- Earrings and hair clips
- Fun blue sunglasses for our photos
After we had finished the set up on Friday us girls had a snack/light dinner in the bridal suite and a bottle of bubbles, and some much needed deep & meaningful bestie chat. We all headed off to bed around 10pm, to get some beauty sleep – it was an early start the next day!
Everyone has a different opinion on how the bridesmaids dress thing should go, but my personal view was that they should be able to choose something that they felt gorgeous in. I thought I was pretty relaxed about it all, and the last thing I wanted to do was push my opinions on the girls.
In hindsight, I think I made things too hard for my bridesmaids. By leaving it completely in their hands, I didn’t really give any guidelines for them to work within and it was a big wide scary dress world out there.
It was 4 months before the wedding, and no one had their dress yet. I started to panic because I knew ordering timelines off international websites could be up to 12 weeks… and then you might need time for alterations. Similarly, we’d missed the summer stock in the UK (where I saw plenty of coral options) but if dresses weren’t bought before Christmas in New Zealand I knew that the sales would kick in in January and then the stores would be filled with Autumn fashion.
I would have loved to organise a girls shopping trip – but with me over here, and them over there – that wasn’t happening either. Fate kicked in and I happened to read a post about weddington way on Bec’s blog and got searching on there, and at the same time I saw some pics on pinterest (above and below). The dresses were Donna Morgan dresses and I loved the look of them.
I was able to send the favourites in an album through to the girls via the weddington way website. I loved how the website had examples of real girls (not just models) wearing them at weddings, and comments like “fits true to size” and “had to have them all shortened but that was the only alterations needed”. Really helpful stuff!
I ordered a few fabric samples and loved the watermelony pink colour (honeysuckle) that arrived in the post. It was perfect for what I had envisaged – bright and summery and floaty. Luckily the girls agreed.
Laura ordered the Rhea
Aleisha ordered the Anne
Natalie ordered the Blaire
The dresses were ordered directly from the Donna Morgan website, which had free shipping within the USA. Luckily Laura has a US mailbox through NZ Post, and so only had to pay the postage to NZ (no duty/ tax). The dresses came beautifully presented in huge boxes and were gorgeous – fully lined, boned and had an internal bra. The girls needed minimal alterations to take them in and make them an “on the knee” length.
The first time I saw one of the dresses was at my hen’s weekend, when Aleisha tried hers on – and I immediately started crying. The dress was so beautiful and SO perfect, and I hope the girls enjoyed wearing them as much as I loved seeing them in them!
I bought all of the girls shoes in the UK. I fell in love with a style at New Look – an antique gold which had a wedge heel (not too high or hard to walk in). Unfortunately I didn’t buy them immediately when I saw them as I needed to gather the girls sizes… and when I went back to order online the style had gone on sale and were sold out! I scoured almost every New Look in the UK and didn’t find the right size anywhere…so, I turned to eBay again! I managed to buy all 3 pairs, plus a pair for my oldest flower girl – over the space of about 5 months. I didn’t exactly make it an easy job for myself though, oops!
Accessories wise I bought a few options and left it up to the girls to decide how they accessorised. I found some fancy earrings from Dorothy Perkins – I wasn’t sure if they would go with the dress or not. I also bought them tulle flowers from H&M for their hair – but apparently the earrings were a winner!
I’m sure you will agree they looked absolutely gorgeous!
What did your bridesmaids wear? Have you ever been a bridesmaid – what did you wear?
All Photos by Coralee Stone.