I know a lot of girls struggle when it comes to choosing their bridesmaids, not to mention choosing a dress to suit everyone. I thought I’d share my experience of the process with some lovely pictures from our glorious autumn wedding day.
As with most things in life, when it came to bridesmaids I went with the ‘more is more, less is a bore’ approach. I was proud as punch to have eight of my best female pals by my side to share in such a special time. Each bridesmaid is a strong individual and together they make a group of ‘stone- cold- weirdos’ so it was a lot of fun to get everyone together. If you’re a regular reader I’m sure you’ll recognise a few faces, these ladies have been with me through some truly fabulous times over the years -for which I am very grateful.
Getting married at Manchester Cathedral in such a dramatic Gothic setting, I knew I wanted to add an element of theatre to the proceedings. Always partial to a healthy dose of pomp and pageantry I designed some hooded cloaks, each cloak was 3 metres long at the back so swept down the aisle most elegantly. The bridesmaids cloaks were made of silk in a warm gold colour, Theresa’s (The Best Woman) was in a warm ivory colour.
The cloaks looked so beautiful in the light of the Cathedral, they were also a great way for the bridesmaids to cover up in church whilst still looking elegant. Needless to say after the wedding ceremony everyone had a turn at wearing a cloak (because everyone secretly wants to dress like a superhero)
Mix and match bridesmaid dresses:
My bridesmaids are all very strong individual characters so going for matchy- matchy identikit dresses just didn’t seem to make sense. Instead I opted for ‘mix and match’ bridesmaid dresses, this way each bridesmaid could wear a style that suited their frame, height and personal style a little better.
I chose a variety of dresses in complimentary colours that suited our rich autumnal colour palette, this way they didn’t look ‘too random’. I also made sure each dress (apart from Theresa’s) had an element of drape, was made of silk and was floor length.
From left: Hazel wears Lela Rose, Sarah wears Lela Rose, Rachel wears Laura Ashley, Theresa wears Reiss, Helena wears Vera Wang, Gina wears Marchesa Notte, Christianne wears Coast, Lucy wears Mango.
Buying the dresses:
Having eight bridesmaids might sound like a real headache to some, thankfully my lovely bridesmaids are pretty laid-back and drama-free and were happy for me to buy their dresses and fit them at the hen party. The bridesmaids’ dresses were from a variety of high-street and designer brands. I have to confess I really enjoyed buying the dresses and loved it when everyone tried on their dresses at the hen party for the very first time.
I knew what dress size each bridesmaid was, then went and bought dresses that would suit their figure. My criteria when shopping was, that each dress was silk, had an element of drape, was floor length and came in a rich autumnal colour. We fitted a few of the dresses at the hen party, pinning and reducing the length as needed, I then had the dresses altered with a seamstress.
- Don’t take things too seriously when dressing your bridesmaids- try to have a little fun throughout the process, after all planning your wedding should be an enjoyable experience.
- Mix and match bridesmaid dresses are a great way to cater for a variety of body shapes, heights and individual styles.
- It’s o.k to mix high-street and designer styles but if you are mixing and matching styles do keep an element of consistency be that colour palette, silhouette, fabric or length.
- If you’re budget conscious Ebay and sample sales could be your new best friend.
- Most importantly- have fun, do what feels right for you and enjoy the process- there are no rules.
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe
Hope you enjoyed seeing a few pics from our big day.
(Photography: Richard Pickavance)